Author Topic: CoC Etiquette Question  (Read 5147 times)


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CoC Etiquette Question
« on: June 17, 2011, 12:33:05 AM »
I've gathered that making up new monsters, tomes, and cults is not unheard of among CoC roleplaying, but what about deities? Is it okay to invent, for the purposes of a specific game, a new Outer God or Great Old One? Or would that be considered in bad taste?

I know I've come late to the Lovecraft party, but after studying the history of the mythos for a bit, it seems that everyone's invited as long as they bring heaping helpings of MADNESS and DOOM. I don't see why people can't throw more contradictions into the already-confused mythos potluck so long GM's "don't negate" the mythos (i.e. "Actually, Azazoth is a pussy; this thing is really scary!"). In fact, I feel that new creations become necessary for real horror to occur in a CoC game once you've read the stories/sourcebook.  As Ross once told me, it is harder to be creeped out in game when that player voice in the back of your head is screaming, "Oh, that shit is definitely a Star Vampire. Buy a plane ticket and get the hell out of town. Game Over." Having versed myself more, CoC gaming seems to be moving towards the tactical decision of when to die/go crazy and away from the more character-driven logic of "OMG! WTF is that?! AHHHHH!" that I feel was Lovecraft's, and the system's, original vision. 

But looking at the GenCon boards, I don't see much in the descriptions promising "new terrors from beyond time and space." Even DG, which adds an interesting new take on human reaction to arcane horrors, seems to treat the deities of the mythos as if they were literally sacrosanct. I haven't heard of any publications expressly dedicated towards the publishing of new mythos deities for the game world.  My limited experience in gaming makes me suspect this might not go over well in mixed company, which I suppose is understandable.  The CoC gaming system is so powerful in part because it originated organically from fiction; perhaps that tradition should be honored. And who wants another of Dereleth's pansy-ass Elder Gods prancing around? Nobody yearns to hear their GM spout off about how the new guy is "like Hephaestus...WITH TENTACLES!"  Yawn.

I mean, if players wanted to live in their GM's personal horror mythos rather than Lovecraft's, they could have played another game, right? In short, my reading of Chaosium doesn't inspire the same eagerness to experiment as, say, Eclipse Phase does, where the GM section is basically, "Maybe the rogue AI's were cuddly and didn't really kill everyone. Who knows? Run with it!"

So I suppose I'm torn on the issue myself. What do you guys think? At what level of the mythos hierarchy should gamers say no more and leave it Lovecraft?

P.S. I'm totally going to try and come up with some new Outer God, regardless of what is said here and/or my massive potential for failure. I'm just curious as to what everybody else thinks.


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Re: CoC Etiquette Question
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 01:56:31 AM »
It certainly is but the main thing is: does it add to the game?

The deities of the mythos are very broad and amorphous entities with mountains of lore about them. There are also multiple interpretations of each one, allowing for a very physical or very abstract deity. The game Trails of Cthulhu has great background on this topic - showing how you can take Cthulhu and make him the high priest of a species from the star Xoth that battled the Elder Things, the god of the Deep Ones made flesh by their worship of him, an infra-dimensional entity that exists only within the conceptual 'R-Complex' of the human mind and all at the same time. Or something else entirely. A common theme in the mythos is how a multitude of cults think they worship different gods yet all serve Nyarlathotep or Cthulhu or whatever.

Anyway, that being said, if you have a deity that you think is sufficiently unique from the existing deities, then go ahead and add him. Of course, power inflation (my god can beat up Azathoth etc) is a problem.


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Re: CoC Etiquette Question
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 10:53:56 AM »
We don't want it to stagnate.
It is your duty to create more better of things.

The Cathartic Lobster is a Mythos Deity so I see no reason for you to not conjure one up if you've got a great idea for one. But I don't think people would appreciate it if you do it in a "pop-goes-the-weasel" sort of fashion. By that I mean you don't want it to be a gag.  "My CoC has More Great Old Ones! The super secret one you never even heard of, that's how mysterious and great and old he is."

Is it mentioned in the necronomicon? Are you sure it isn't just another aspect of Nyarlathotep? Is it more like Nodens or more like Cthulhu? Is their a need?

There are plenty of authors adding to the mythos so i'm sure you doing so with an deity will be fine with great Cthulhu, even if later on I steal it and change it to be the example of what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass.

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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: CoC Etiquette Question
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 11:28:17 AM »
I've actually never run a CoC game that mentioned a known entity of the mythos by name. Shallazar beat me to it but I was going to use the Cathartic Lobster as an example of how you can totally make your own nasty mythos creations. I've run two seperate games (CoC and World of Darkness) which focused around an organization deticated to the Lobster and they both went really well.

Remember that the mythos deities where compiled over decades and not only borrowed and confused with one another often but, like Ross mentioned, reinvented or interpreted. Listen to Dig to Victory for Adam Scott Glancy's excellent take on Tsathoggua. Or compared the Mi-Go as presented in Delta Green and CthulhuTech to see how differently the alien societies can be imagined.

I totally encourage you to make up new stuff because you've proven to be quite good at making things up using composite parts and I think you'll create something truly pants pissing horrifying.


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Re: CoC Etiquette Question
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 09:34:17 AM »
I'd say that the various gods of Lovecraft's vision are purely there to blow your mind, figuratively and literally. Staring onto the abyss and all that. That's the sanity part... and since you can't stop a planetary sized space monster with a Tommy gun, I'd say it was never about foiling their dastardly plans, it was just about stavng off their sinister minions a little while longer. And that's where you might be best imagining new things, which I'd say you've done with aplomb in your puppet monster and sex fiend. I picture it like in Hellboy when he gets a vision of the future and sees giant monsters eating a city, but then he just goes around hammering much more manageable monsters with his fist. My two cents.
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