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Best Inspirations for Nexus Crawlers

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  • Best Inspirations for Nexus Crawlers

    I find Nexus Crawlers hard to run because their powers are so wide ranging that I feel I can't do justice to them. However, I've now taken to base them on existing characters in fiction. It's given me some models I can use for my own depiction. My only rules are that 1) they must be powerful, 2) they must have the power to alter reality, and 3) they must be evil or at least creepy. They also need to be specific enough in their personality and actions that I can think of specific actions to take for the Nexus Crawler based on them. And they could be defeated by a pack of experienced Garou.

    Of course, I do my best to rub the serial numbers off and hide their source to my players.

    So below is the list of fictional characters which I find inspirational for Nexus Crawlers.
    1. Pennywise from It by Stephen King.
    2. Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls.
    3. Anthony Fremont from Twilight Zone's Its a Good Life (based on the story by Jerome Bixby)
    4. Aku from Samurai Jack
    5. The version of Mr Mxyzptlk from Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow (not other versions)
    6. Scarlet King from the SCP Foundation
    I don't include a great character like Q from Star Trek because while he possesses immense power and a great personality, he doesn't do anything truly horrific. But he has to be an honorable mention. Likewise most of Lovecraft's "Outer Gods" (an RPG term not found in his actual work) aren't given enough screentime to deduce specific actions they might take if actually encountered.

    I know I am missing a lot of good inspirations simply because I don't know enough media. So what are your recommendations?
    Last edited by Black Fox; 12-29-2019, 09:18 PM.

  • #2
    I always found nexus crawlers weird and out of place as a wyrm spirit anyway. There entire shtick is that they cause their environment to randomly change material and state, something that has very little to do with destruction and a lot more to do with Wyld chaos.

    I'd see a WTA version Bill Cypher and Mr Mxyzptlk more as a high ranking enemy Wyld spirits as well too. They aren't as much about destroying things as they're about turning the rules on their head and making reality a lot less "Boring" in their view.
    Last edited by Prometheas; 12-29-2019, 09:32 PM.

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    • #3
      Nexus crawlers are less characters and more horrific storms that corrode reality in the shape of some alien assemblage of unrelated parts.

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      • #4
        Just personally, HP Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" and the film Annihlation (I've yet to read Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy which it is based on). And to some degree, the character of Elder Centipede from One Punch Man.


        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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        • #5
          Lovecraft's old god Nyarlothotep, the Crawling Chaos, comes to mind. Though most of the reality warping it applies to the world is actually only in the perception of those who see it in a few of its forms. As the viewer goes tripping quickly down the spiral that used to be its sanity.


          "At the risk of sounding like a murder hobo"

          Attributed to Nyrufa.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
            Just personally, HP Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" and the film Annihlation (I've yet to read Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy which it is based on). And to some degree, the character of Elder Centipede from One Punch Man.

            I actually have the Colours Out of Space in my games as their own kind of creature, and they are associated with all kinds of other strange entities.

            However, I could see some kind of massive area development like in Annihilation being its own kind of super creature like a Nexus Cralwer. I like this. I'll be taking it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Inertial Frame View Post
              Lovecraft's old god Nyarlothotep, the Crawling Chaos, comes to mind. Though most of the reality warping it applies to the world is actually only in the perception of those who see it in a few of its forms. As the viewer goes tripping quickly down the spiral that used to be its sanity.
              Nyarlathotep, and the other Outer Gods or even Great Old Ones, are problematic models for me, because they can't truly be antagonists. At least not in Lovecraft's own stories. They're just background material and names chanted by cultists and aliens. Nyarlathotep himself really only appears as a distant godlike being in the Dreamlands stories, and he's more of a plot device than an adversary to be fought.

              Although Lovecraft's initial dream of him as some kind of sideshow carnival Tesla that brings madness in his wake is a cool image, I still have trouble figuring out how to make that an interesting encounter.

              Some of the Call of Cthulhu RPG supplements use one or more of his forms to good use, but given the rules of the game, most of the time it is a total party kill encounter to be avoided, than something I can use as a model for my interactions.

              So while I completely understand where you are coming from, it's hard for me to actually use. I find the examples I've given to be easier for me, perhaps because in most of their media, they've either been defeated at some point, or you can envision how they could be defeated.

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              • #8
                I think The Nemesis Continuum from MtAw is very similar to what you're looking for here. And eldritch, mind-breaking set of laws of physics that agressively tries to xenoform every universe it's summoned to.

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                • #9
                  I see where you're going with that now. I was just thinking of beings that have the level of power that Nexus Crawlers do, less so those that can actually be defeated. It is true, though, that there are very few Nexus Crawler level critters in media that are actually defeated, as opposed to temporarily set back. Of course, we're also talking about significantly different protagonists, too, so maybe werewolves can do something amateur occultists can't to a being like Nyarlothotep (as an example).


                  "At the risk of sounding like a murder hobo"

                  Attributed to Nyrufa.

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                  • #10
                    Nexus Crawlers, being spirits, can be normally attacked by Garou and defeated like any other. So we don't need special magic formulas, enchanted weapons, etc. that normal protagnists need in these kinds of stories. The normal power set of the Garou should be enough to allow experienced PCs to win.

                    It's just that their Warp Reality attack is so expansive, that I'm like a deer in headlights. So many options, I just don't know what to do. So if I have a "model" to base it on, it helps me decide how to best use it to creepy effect because I'm not overwhelmed by the choices.

                    I've played in other games, and very often when a Nexus Crawler shows up, that ST has the same small list of things it does. Which can be a great encounter, but when ALL their Nexus Crawlers act the same way, I feel it reduces their creepiness and horror. Personally, I want each Nexus Crawler to be unique in how they approach their Warp Reality power.
                    Last edited by Black Fox; 12-31-2019, 05:10 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Logothétēs View Post
                      I think The Nemesis Continuum from MtAw is very similar to what you're looking for here. And eldritch, mind-breaking set of laws of physics that agressively tries to xenoform every universe it's summoned to.
                      I had to look it up, and I agree it is quite creepy. Something like the Kruschyta Equation, an avatar of Nyarlathotep, in the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

                      The problem is how is it a gameable encounter if I throw it at PCs. What kind of attacks against the PCs happen? And how can the PCs attack a mimetic virus?

                      I like the idea that the Nexus Crawler could be released into our reality by a scholar "discovering" the Nemesis Continuum and working on it. And I suppose I could run its attacks by simply inverting normal scientific functions - I could have black homes materialize, gravity reverse, light sockets being supercharged with electricity, water sprinklers becoming acidic. Making it very much"science going haywire" as normal scientific laws simply stop working in very scientific lab/university surroundings. But I'm not sure how such a Nexus Crawler should materialize in the umbra or realm so that the PCs can, essentially, run up and hit up. Maybe they'd first need to "enter" a subtle umbral domain around the infected scholar, and then be presented with a kind of massive DNA helix/fibonacci sequence/fractal spiral thing inside it.

                      Could work. Thanks.
                      Last edited by Black Fox; 12-31-2019, 05:10 PM.

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                      • #12
                        I KNOW that I have seen (or read) SOMETHING in the past five years that actually fits this perfectly - encountering and conflicting with something that is altering reality as it happens - but for the life of me I can't remember what it was, and it is driving me crazy.



                        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
                          A possible approach to one might be the evil force from the Evil Dead movies. It reanimated corpses , animated rapey trees in the woods, animated taxidermied animal heads and other household objects in order to laugh and taunt, possessed living people and discrete parts of their bodies, created demonic duplicates, and caused a rain of blood.

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                          • #14
                            That's a good one. I'll add it as the Kandarian from Evil Dead movies.
                            Last edited by Black Fox; 01-05-2020, 03:01 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Possession is a bit outside of the typical signature of the Nexus Crawler. Ones that have it tend to be unique and named, like that one in Rage: Warriors of the Apocalypse.

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