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    Canonfire :: View topic - Dread Cthulthu - Epic?
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    Dread Cthulthu - Epic?
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:53 pm  
    Dread Cthulthu - Epic?

    Epic?

    Or is it its own, unique thing? Not really epic? Not really Greyhawk?

    Its not like you are going to "kill" Cthulthu in any case. "That is not dead that can eternal lie . . ."

    Thoughts?

    GVD

    PS - Note that Wotc's Call of Cthulthu d20 game gives d20 stats for Cthulthu.
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    GVD
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    Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:15 pm  

    There are lots of CthulhuHawk fans around, including several articles on CF! GVD---a quick search for Cthulhu and Necronomicon should turn up a few :D

    In terms of epic, I think the Lovecraft Mythos in general is pretty antithetical to epic-level adventuring---even at 25th+ levels, PCs shouldn't stand a chance of harming an Elder God or Great Old One. Such characters would have too many escape options to make it fun to use HPL's gods, IMO :D
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    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
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    Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:12 pm  

    grodog wrote:
    There are lots of CthulhuHawk fans around, including several articles on CF! GVD---a quick search for Cthulhu and Necronomicon should turn up a few :D

    In terms of epic, I think the Lovecraft Mythos in general is pretty antithetical to epic-level adventuring---even at 25th+ levels, PCs shouldn't stand a chance of harming an Elder God or Great Old One. Such characters would have too many escape options to make it fun to use HPL's gods, IMO :D


    I use sanity rules for the Mythos beings adapted from CoC. Epic levels won't help the San check. It nice to see high level characters blubbering and worse when the San check goes by the boards.

    IMC, while PCs cannot kill the deities, they have a small chance against avatars and an even or better chance against lesser Mythos deities, depending on what it is.

    I hope to post my version of the Necronomicon in the Flanaess sometime. Your article was excellent. And now thanks to the "Libris Mortis," the Necronomicon is "officially" D&D, not just CoC D&D.

    GVD
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    GVD
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    Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:41 pm  

    Hmmm, I wasn't aware that Liber Mortis had HPL stuff in it. I'll have to check it out next time I'm at the hobby shop....
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    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
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    Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:10 am  

    grodog wrote:
    Hmmm, I wasn't aware that Liber Mortis had HPL stuff in it. I'll have to check it out next time I'm at the hobby shop....


    It is very minor. I would not buy the book just for that.

    I wonder that it is not a copyright violation, unless there is some kind of license with the Lovecraft estate or Chaosium (beyond CoC D&D).

    GVD
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    GVD
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    Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:00 pm  

    But surely the EEG are/is the Elders of the Lovecraft mythos? That's how I've always played it.

    We cannot deal with it, and that's the beauty of GH.

    However tough we get, there are beasties and baddies that will kick our arses. Surely once we've defeated the demon princes, there's someone greater; once the demigods are polished off there's a bigger challenge. Attaining godhood for the party becomes an issue, surely? At ludicrously high levels (difficult to play, harder to DM, and I thank my DM, Moffsta, for his abilities at stupid level), making the monsters stupid hard isn't the only answer, its "forced thinking" - the only thing better than rolling dice is having to think about what dice you're rolling IMO; "End of Days" is more of a story challenge than "Kindergarden Kop". Same experienced god appearing, different class of deities.

    Haven't checked out Libris Mortis, but will now.

    Anyway, first post, should shut up now before I talk too much more nonsense.

    Summary of post: EEG = HPL = EHA (EpicHawkAdventure), IMHO
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:16 am  

    grodog wrote:

    In terms of epic, I think the Lovecraft Mythos in general is pretty antithetical to epic-level adventuring---even at 25th+ levels, PCs shouldn't stand a chance of harming an Elder God or Great Old One. Such characters would have too many escape options to make it fun to use HPL's gods, IMO :D


    I agree with Grodog, in fact, I'd say that 'cthulhu-esque' campaigns work far better at low levels, when you can still scare the crap out of the PCs. Also, in following the example set by the Call of Cthulhu rpg, PCs should probably be dead or insane long before they are anywhere near epic levels.
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    Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:07 pm  

    chatdemon wrote:
    grodog wrote:
    In terms of epic, I think the Lovecraft Mythos in general is pretty antithetical to epic-level adventuring---even at 25th+ levels, PCs shouldn't stand a chance of harming an Elder God or Great Old One. Such characters would have too many escape options to make it fun to use HPL's gods, IMO :D


    I agree with Grodog, in fact, I'd say that 'cthulhu-esque' campaigns work far better at low levels, when you can still scare the crap out of the PCs.


    Scaring players and their PCs is always one of the most fun things in CoC and CthulhuHawk games :D That said, starting to peel back the layers of the reality of the planes as PCs grow in power ("what the heck was that I saw for a second while Dimension Dooring??" [a la shadows from B5 in hyperspace...]), that can also be a good way to keep higher-level Mythos games challenging with a lower-magic feel (that can also be enhanced by not letting a PC mage select any spell they want when they gain a level---make 'em work for their spellbook contents!).

    Quote:
    Also, in following the example set by the Call of Cthulhu rpg, PCs should probably be dead or insane long before they are anywhere near epic levels.


    Now that I'm not so sure about---if we're positing a D&D world where conjuring demons/human sacrifice, faith-based miracles, fireballs, etc. are normal, then I think that D&D PCs would have a higher threshold to losing sanity, something more akin perhaps to the space marines in Aliens II---they wigged, but they didn't turn into drooling catatonic snacks upon seeing the bad guys.
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    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
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    Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:31 pm  

    Bear with me for just a moment - In the Psionics Handbooks, one way given to handle psionics is to declare them "different." For example, psionics in this way would completely ignore spell resistance and an anti-magic shell or globe of invulnerability would be as nothing to an attack using psionics.

    Okay.

    If the Mythos is "different," all those Epic levels don't mean squat. But the PCs won't know, until they discover that. You want "scarred?" Nothing like an Epic level character who mega-damage and mega-magic is useless. What they need is an elder sign, of course they have probably never heard of one to that point.

    And as noted, Gather Information can be the skill that kills, or at least drives the PCs mad.

    IMO, one of the greatest challenges of epic play is challenging the characters in more than a "more HP monsters/higher CR." Forcing them outside their comfort zone is one way to do this. I think the Mythos is unique in that it can force PCs to fight on "its" terms. The epic abilities will still come in handy with minions but when the mythos beings come on stage, things get "different." Epically so.
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    GVD
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    Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:19 am  

    I've always been of the opinion that, while very powerful, Great Old Ones were still mortal. Mortal in comparison with such beings as Azathoth or Shub Niggurath. The GOOs represented the "true" level of sapient beings in the universe, while humanity was such a young species it was on the level of virii. I believe that in some accounts Cthulhu itself is merely the high priest of Yog-Sothoth. So, while the GOOs are powerful by human standards, they are still mortal beings, just not mortal the same way we are.

    But, is a 3oth level Suel sorcerer from Oerth still mortal the same way a human mechanic from Earth is, either? I believe that, given enough power, a human in D&D could indeed kill a GOO, at which point he should be considered a GOO himself. The GOOs are only"gods" by virtue of thier power comparative to a humans. Give a human equal power, say, through magic, and hes a "god", too. Thats the essence of Epic level D&D, to me :)

    GOOs arent gods, Azathoth is. The Great Old One/Outer God distinction from CoC in action, there.

    Also, I have always equated D&D magic to Mythos magic, alien superscience that obeyed the true laws of physics which humanity is incapable of fully grasping. Spells are learned by knowing "when you do this, this happens." New spells can even be constructed by using principles and techniques from other spells, but the reason "why" it happens isnt understood. Thus, a human wizard with enough knowledge of the true laws of the universe can equal Great Cthulhu itself.

    Lords of Madness made me giggle like a schoolgirl by pretty much saying that the Aboleth Elder Evils were other names for the Outer Gods, and nicely combined the Greyhawk Mythos and the Cthulhu Mythos. I'd been doing it for years. Ive always thought of Tharizdun as an Outer God comparable to Azathoth, the sucking entropic destruction to Az's explosive energetic creation. I imagine Cthulhu cults on Oerth, worshipping thier hidden master imprisoned beneath the sea on a far away world, much the same as Hastur cultists on Earth.

    And just where is Aldebaran in relation to Oerth, anyway? Maybe not too far. Wink

    Ah well, just had to say something, CthulhuHawk is an idea that just makes me all giddy.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:48 am  

    Glad to see another reply here, that made me reread the whole thread, and rethink some things going on in my campaign.

    Basically, what I want to say, is you can do Cthulu style stuff at any level. The key is that it is so different, weird, and overpowered as to scare the carp out of the players. Doing this at Epic Levels is a challenge, but may be even easier, beacause they are so sure of themselves, and how the world works, that it might be a challenge when things work differently.

    Here is what I am thinking - the Cthulu mythology is related to Tharizdun, he is like a herald, a cork in the bottle keeping them locked away in the Other realm. The Other realm is a source for Pseudonaturals, so you can start bringing them in as you bring T into espace mode. Then you need to upgrade a lot of the Cthulu d20 creatures (if you want to use them) to be Epic creatures, and have them invading Oerth, in dark spaces, that only the PCs are aware of. They are more dangerous than demons, and harder to stop. They are not limited by being "outsiders" and not affected by banishments. I like the idea of them even being immune to anti-magic and spell resistance - scary stuff. Only by stopping T from being realeased can you hold back the coming of the Great Old Ones. And even the gods are afraid of them! They could destroy whle pantheons and realign the world as it was in primordial days. they predate demons, and the gods themselves.

    It can still work at Epic levels, and for me, I think it might work better, as it gives me a reason to introduce really powerrful things not normally seen on Oerth.

    ROB
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    Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:57 pm  

    Like rob_douglas said, this is a great thread. Glad to read it. I hope my contribution is on point. Rob wrote, "They are more dangerous than demons, and harder to stop."

    It seems that the meta-myth that Iquander et al. have devised pulls the Cthulu Mythos into GH via the Far Realm. See Lords of Madness, several Dragon and Dungeon articles, and the 2e publications that presaged them; see also Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss; and Green Ronin's The Book of Fiends.

    I like this idea and think that Tharizdun and the Elder Elemental God are its easiest translations, plus certain obyrith demon princes and perhaps Incabulous and Nerull. I braid all these ideas together using Maldin's GUT. See http://www.melkot.com/mysteries/multiverse.html. As you will recall (or learn) Tharizdun is a contained Shard of the ProtoUniverse. (I'm unsure what the EEG is. Perhaps another Shard, with less Dimension than Tharizdun, in any case seemingly akin to Shub-Niggurath.)

    Returning to Rob's quotation, "They are more dangerous than demons, and harder to stop," it seems to me that demon princes / lords and other tanar'ri are the latter day saints of the Great Old Ones (elder obyriths, slaad lords, unspecified demondand rulers, and whatever rules Pandemonium.

    Aboleths, mind flayers, and other Aberrations are therefore the spawn of these Elder Evils, perhaps a step closer to the Shards but embedded in the Prime Material Plane?
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