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Topics - Great Scott!

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Hello everyone,

Just wanted to know your opinion on this matter. Do you think that Lovecraft's literature can or should be classified as existential? I would argue no! I think that the existential label is widely misunderstood by the majority of the populace and therefore is widely misused. I recently read Jean Paul Sartre's essay titled "Existentialism is a Humanism" and have been thinking of this subject for a couple months now.

To simplify things, all quotations are from Sartre's essay "existentialism is a Humanism" as translated by Mairet, unless stated otherwise. (I figure I will cite the Grand Inquisitor chapter of the Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky at some point as well).

So to start things off let us define "Existentialism." Sartre's essay is actually devoted to this purpose but I will paraphrase and present some key points.

Sartre says that "Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position." Existentialism, according to Sartre, holds that existence precedes essence; that we make our soul by forming our own destiny. "... there is no human nature .... man is responsible for what he is." Existentialism, under this perspective holds then that man is ultimately in charge of his own life, his own destiny. To be a man under an existentialist view is to be free: "man is free, man is freedom."

I feel this notion is summed rather well in the Brother's Karamazov when one of the brothers says "..everything is permitted."

So, in regards to Lovecraft I consider his works to present a view of the universe where hope is certainly lacking, but a universe where the human race is ultimately subject to the whims of the powers at be. Humanity is certainly not free. Humanity has, perhaps to some extent, some choice influence on their destiny, but it is rather negligible. You may temporarily prevent the goals of Nyarlathotep, or great Cthulhu, but you can never thwart them.

So, just curious as to what your opinions may be. Where do you fall on this topic? Am I wrong?

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Synnibarr! Hear that Ross????
« on: July 06, 2012, 07:55:04 AM »
Hey, just thought that I'd mention that there is a kickstarter for Synnibarr. For those of us who listened to RPPR a few years ago, we all know how much Ross loves Synnibarr. ;D

General Chaos / H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (Portland)
« on: May 11, 2012, 12:58:44 PM »
Hey guys,

I was just wondering if anyone is going to the film festival in Portland this weekend.
I've never been to any of these festivals before so I was wondering what to expect and I was curious about just how amazing it would be!

Call of Cthulhu / World of Darkness / Masks: Advice and General Discussion.
« on: December 24, 2011, 07:25:34 PM »
Hey everyone,

Once school starts back up again I'm thinking about running Masks of Nyarlathotep for my group and was looking for some advice, suggestions, etc. on how to run it and whatnot from players and gm's who have experience with it.

I remember Ross talking in one of the rppr episodes about how he had an organization that fed new pc's into the game which sounded like a good idea to me. Finding a way to reincorporate dead players into the game so as not to disrupt the flow of the story has it's obstacles.

Aside from that, maybe things in the campaign that you thought were confusing or should have been presented in a way that is different than in the book.  Ideas on how to spice it up, add more atmosphere etc. anything really. I'm looking for a more in depth discussion of the campaign so as to help me run it to the best of my abilities.

For reference, I have an older 1989 copy Masks.


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