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  • Cthulhu Mythos?

    Has anyone included the Cthulhu Mythos in their Mage game? Are there any examples of mythos creatures statted up for Mage? I'd like to include some references but don't want to duplicate effort.

  • #2
    Welcome to my Chronicle


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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    • #3
      Nice one Saikou, do you stat out each of the creatures or just use generic 'spirit' type stats with some custom abilities? Also have you heard of a Call of Cthulhu to Mage conversion guide?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
        Nice one Saikou, do you stat out each of the creatures or just use generic 'spirit' type stats with some custom abilities? Also have you heard of a Call of Cthulhu to Mage conversion guide?
        If I throw lovecraftian beasties at them, I usually don't bother stating them out. Instead I'll think about what these creatures are capable of doing and choose the appropriate amount of dice to represent their rolls. It's all done more or less on the fly.

        If I throw spirits at them, then I'll just refer to Axis Mundi for a grab bag or appropriate critters. But in general, I think that too much focus on stats takes away from the story part of the game.
        Last edited by Saikou; 02-12-2017, 09:30 AM.


        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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        • #5
          I am right there with @Saikou
          It doesn't matter if the Beast has 4 dots this and 5 dots that. What really matters is the color and descriptions (smell, how it moves, surroundings, and the sudden realization that the tentacles aren't tentacles but fleshwormparasites with a maw at each end and the urge to move to another vehicle)


          So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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          • #6
            I have made them independent of the conflicts on Earth (even the conflict of the Triat is a local matter to them). The Great Old Ones are more powerful than Archmages or Antediluvuans and are equal to Celestines in power while the Elder Gods are equal to Superals in power. Most of the Independent and Minion Races have superhuman capabilities, benefit from the Delirium, are immune to Disbelief, and have magical powers similar to Numina (the Migou would be the least powerful but most numerous, and they would have Attributes ranging from 3 to 8).

            Mage is an interesting venue for the Mythos because they have opposing viewpoints. In the former, humans are masters of Reality. In the latter, humans are just clever apes that might evolve into something interesting in a few million years. To do the Mythos justice (instead of just having Lovecrafting Umbrood), Mages are just another group of clever apes that have deluded themselves about their importance.
            Last edited by Aya Tari; 02-12-2017, 11:35 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nonsense View Post
              I am right there with @Saikou
              It doesn't matter if the Beast has 4 dots this and 5 dots that. What really matters is the color and descriptions (smell, how it moves, surroundings, and the sudden realization that the tentacles aren't tentacles but fleshwormparasites with a maw at each end and the urge to move to another vehicle)
              I understand what you're saying, I just have this terrible urge to stat everything up as I'm preparing.

              It's a curse really...

              but it does help with understanding the rules sometimes - especially when writing rotes for Mages or come to an understanding about spirits based on the various different ways they're treated
              Last edited by Dogstar; 02-12-2017, 12:44 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                I have made them independent of the conflicts on Earth (even the conflict of the Triat is a local matter to them). The Great Old Ones are more powerful than Archmages or Antediluvuans and are equal to Celestines in power while the Elder Gods are equal to Superals in power. Most of the Independent and Minion Races have superhuman capabilities, benefit from the Delirium, are immune to Disbelief, and have magical powers similar to Numina (the Migou would be the least powerful but most numerous, and they would have Attributes ranging from 3 to 8).

                Mage is an interesting venue for the Mythos because they have opposing viewpoints. In the former, humans are masters of Reality. In the latter, humans are just clever apes that might evolve into something interesting in a few million years. To do the Mythos justice (instead of just having Lovecrafting Umbrood), Mages are just another group of clever apes that have deluded themselves about their importance.
                Aya's hit on one of the core issues with going full-on Lovecraftian in Mage. A core conceit of Lovecraft's is that humanity is helpless. That helplessness is fundamental to the horror of the sub-genre. Mages are not helpless. They are omni-capable. Taking away that capability is going to have some significant effect on Mage as it requires nerfing their capabilities to some extent or acknowledging that the horror factor is going to be diminished.

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure that Mages are quite as capable as Elder Gods, in the overall scheme of things Lovecraftian humanity, with all it's weapons of mass destruction, be they scientific or thaumaturgical, is still pretty insignificant. Look at the Laundry Files for a perfect example of capable Mages facing an overwhelming threat.

                  Again I think it's a difference between 80s/90s power gaming and modern story telling.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
                    I'm not sure that Mages are quite as capable as Elder Gods, in the overall scheme of things Lovecraftian humanity, with all it's weapons of mass destruction, be they scientific or thaumaturgical, is still pretty insignificant. Look at the Laundry Files for a perfect example of capable Mages facing an overwhelming threat.

                    Again I think it's a difference between 80s/90s power gaming and modern story telling.
                    I think you're missing Ajax's point. The two are thematically incompatible. That is unless you downplay the Elder gods--not necessarily by making them less powerful, but by making them more distant and less capable of directly affecting humanity.

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                    • #11
                      Alternatively, you can use the elements of Mage that were inspired by Lovecraft. The K'lashaa nephandi being one example, the many dark corners of the Umbra being another.

                      There are plenty of things in the deep umbra that can create the same feel of "things that man was not meant to know".

                      Other places like Mirror Zones, The Null Zone, The Shade Realm of Entropy, the deep ocean, The Deep Dreaming, all prime places for the unknown to dwell.

                      Quiet is another good thing to play with, especially as mad Mages will often create the reality they see around them.


                      Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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                      • #12
                        Richard Dansky, who did a lot of the Nephandi stuff for Mage (the Book of Mirrors and the revised Book of Madness come to mind) was a huge fan of Lovecraft, and it really shows. Likewise in a lot of the Wraith stuff he developed.

                        Not sure about conversion guides. A lot of stuff from the Mythos goes a bit beyond what WoD stats can cover, I suspect. I know there were at one time conversions for d20/D&D3.5. So if there are any WoD to d20 conversion guides out there, you could two-step it, maybe?
                        Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-12-2017, 06:36 PM.


                        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                        • #13
                          Well, Mages can be a game about hubris and insanity (both are major themes), which fits well with the Mythos. In the Mythos, some of the worst monsters are the equivalent of Mages, mortals who learned the secrets of reality at the expense of their humanity. The fact that the Great Old Ones and the Elder God's would be more powerful than Mages is no more of a factor in most Mage games than the fact that there are Archmages out there that can erase a Mage from ever existing or who can create a private torture Universe for Mages who displease them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                            Well, Mages can be a game about hubris and insanity (both are major themes), which fits well with the Mythos. In the Mythos, some of the worst monsters are the equivalent of Mages, mortals who learned the secrets of reality at the expense of their humanity. The fact that the Great Old Ones and the Elder God's would be more powerful than Mages is no more of a factor in most Mage games than the fact that there are Archmages out there that can erase a Mage from ever existing or who can create a private torture Universe for Mages who displease them.
                            ^This exactly.

                            The thing you must remember about the Great Ones is that, being so much more powerful than us pitiable mortals, they therefore have better things to do than poke at us. A vast majority of them don't care about Humanity, Earth, or its surrounding Umbral network. Not any more than the average human cares about the ant hill outside her house.

                            I suspect that the only denizens of the Outer Dark who truly care about the Earth are those that are much weaker overall - minor Elder Gods or their servitor races and worshippers. And the Great Ones that truly matter likely see these lesser deities as wasting their time. Again, like a child with a fixation on ants. Because of this (and because the rules of the Tellurian work just differently enough to the Outer Dark that the Elder Gods have trouble acting directly inside it, assuming they can even fit inside it), their actions upon our world are indirect, done through proxies, cultists, and servitor races sent in. These are the Eldritch happenings Mages will encounter most often.


                            Another point, I'm not as big a fan of the K'lashaa and their Masters. Not in and of themselves - evil cultists serving evil gods is all well and good. But because it points the denizens of the Outer Dark as being universally antagonistic towards humanity. This I think is part of the hubris of humanity and mages. Like I said, most of the Great Ones don't care about humanity. Of those that do care, some are indeed malicious in their intent. Some kids just like burning ants with magnifying glasses, because they are cruel little shits.

                            Others, though, might find humans curious or amusing (again, in much the same way a human might find study of ants diverting). Still others might have plans that involve the Earth, but only as an incidental step in some greater agenda. We have no reason to believe that the Great Ones are united in purpose, any more than humans are. There could, in fact, be wars (or at least interpersonal conflicts) between Great Ones, and one of the fronts of those dramas could play out through Earthy proxies. Like how during the Cold War, the US and USSR backed different sides in largely regional conflicts, because one side happened to be communist and the other happened to be capitalist (or just non-communist). To the Great Ones, the humans are pawns in their chess matches.

                            Still others may, to borrow a phrase from the Lovecraft-inspired Bloodborne, be "sympathetic in spirit". They might be fond of these lowly bipeds, and render aid to one human or another, largely on a whim. Of course, because the Great Ones are so alien to human sensibilities, they may understand humans about as well as humans comprehend them. That is to say, poorly. A Great One's Sympathy could be as harmful to the human as their Antipathy. If Cultists use rituals to contact the Great One, seeking to become more like the object of their worship, the Great One might be flattered and answer their request. If a lone occultist seeks knowledge of infinity, it might be bestowed upon them. If a victim of abuse cries out to the stars for the power to punish the ones who wronged her, that wish might be granted. That the resulting "help" ends up twisting the bodies and/or minds of the humans in question is just a consequence of the Great One not understanding what it does, or caring overmuch about the long term fallout on Earth beyond the immediate gratification of a charitable whim.


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                            • #15
                              If a Great Old One or Elder God grants powers, it should probably be handled similarly to Infernal Pacts (replacing Soul Points with Sanity Points and negotiation rolls with understanding rolls). When the practitioner reaches '0' Sanity, they die and their gibbering soul is drawn to their patron.
                              Last edited by Aya Tari; 02-12-2017, 09:22 PM.

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