ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
Cthulhu at the beachThe rulebook for Weird of Hali: The Roleplaying Game is coming along nicely at this point, and one of the remaining tasks is making sure it's well stocked with monsters. Now of course this is Weird of Hali, so the player characters are on the side of the monsters, dodging heavily armed Radiance negation teams and subtler dangers alike, but there still has to be a good collection of eldritch creatures. I've already included everything that appears in the seven novels of The Weird of Hali -- Deep Ones, voormis, shoggoths, the basement-dwelling and obligingly hungry formless spawn of Tsathoggua, and the hideous and not always visible Shambler from the Stars, among many others -- but a Lovecraftian adventure is like a wildlife park: the more critters, the merrier. 

So the question I'd like to toss to the tentacle fans among my readers is this: what hideous creatures out of old-fashioned weird fiction would you like to see in WoH: The RPG

A few terms and restrictions apply: 

a) if it's from movies, TV, anime, etc., I'm not really interested. The raw material for this project is pulp magazine fiction, above all the legacy of the between-the-wars golden age of the weird tale. I may at some point make an exception for kaiju -- that is, Japanese movie monsters of the Godzilla genre -- but that's really a separate project. 

b) On the other hand, anything from the weird tales era is an option, even if it's not part of the Cthulhu mythos. I've already made the Thurian and Hyborian ages -- the parahistorical settings of Robert E. Howard's heroes Kull and Conan, respectively -- part of the backstory, so all of Howard's creations without exception are potential raw material. So are the critters conjured into being by the second- and third-string authors of the same period -- the Shambler from the Stars comes from one of Robert Bloch's very earliest and, um, least distinguished stories. (You have to start somewhere, even if you end up as good as Bloch.) 

So trace the chalk circle, turn the unhallowed pages of the Necronomicon, and conjure up your favorite eldritch horrors from six whole weeks before the beginning of time itself...

(The image of Cthulhu at the beach? That's by cartoonist Patrick Dean, and may be found along with much more of the same kind on his blog Underwhelming Lovecraft Monsters.) 
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(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 01:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
How about the Hounds of Tindalos?

Ubbo-Sathla? He doesn’t do much but lie there, but he could provide atmosphere.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 01:25 am (UTC)
jpc_w: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jpc_w
Depending on your definition of "hideous", "Doc" Smith's Arisians, Eddorians and their servitors could work as would-be alien invaders fought off by the Elder Gods, who left behind the seeds of the Radiance when it became obvious the weren't the big dogs they thought they were...

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] jpc_w - Date: 2019-02-27 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 01:38 am (UTC)
wildernesschurch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wildernesschurch
How about meteorites with orbs that emit the Color From Space when shattered? Not really a monster, I suppose...

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 01:44 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You might also consider Ithaqua the Windwalker and Yig, the Father of Serpents.

This is going to be fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 02:52 am (UTC)
deansmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deansmith
It's been a while since I read the first two Hali books, so forgive if any of these eldritch denizens are mentioned in your books already...
The first two would be the undead witch Abagail Prinn and the unholy one she tries to summon, Nyogtha in The Salem Horror by Henry Kuttner.
The third isn't so much a monster, but the sorcerer Azedarac from The Holiness of Azedarac by CAS. A misunderstood guy from my point of view, just trying to do his thing in an unsympathetic world and help out the protagonist...

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 03:05 am (UTC)
deansmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deansmith
Oh, and also gotta have a way to summon The Hounds of Tindalos!

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 05:01 am (UTC)
deansmith: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deansmith
Man I can't wait to play this. I play mythos games on the regular with a few friends. And yes, poor Abby Prinn's sad yet courageous story is begging to be freed from Radiance propaganda!
From: (Anonymous)
The sharp angles on Stealth aircraft summon Hounds of Tindalos so they will eat radar waves- that's how Stealth works. Maybe Lovecraft read something about radio waves and right angles.

The Javanese flying cucumber was the basis for Otto Lilienthal's hang gliders and might be a gliding form for a Shoggoth.

Favorite Eldritch Monsters

Date: 2019-02-27 06:40 am (UTC)
wonderingmagic: Anonymous Statue (Default)
From: [personal profile] wonderingmagic
Funny enough, my favorite HPL story is probably his only actual sci-fi story, "In the Walls of Eryx". The Venusians in that story are given scant description, but that just means you can create your own descriptions, abilities, social systems and hierarchy, etc. HPL's depiction of Venus could be some sort of adventure setting, (assuming there's a way for the PC's to breathe), including invisible mazes and power crystals.

I haven't actually read your Hali books yet, but earlier tonight I ordered the first one in paperback. Please note that, as far as I can tell, there is some sort of HTML code error on the Founders' House web page to buy Kingsport in paperback. The PayPal "Add to Cart" button doesn't seem to do anything. I've tried it in two different browsers, Chrome and Firefox. I sent a message to Founders House, I guess I'll order Kingsport later when they fix it, as I'd rather give my money to them than Amazon.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] grandswamperman
Since Hyborian creatures are allowed, how about Yag-kosha's species from "The Tower of the Elephant"? Perhaps one of the earliest sympathetic treatments of an eldritch being in weird fiction.

Robert E Howard

Date: 2019-02-27 11:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have always liked the carnivorous apes and serpent-folk of the Conan Stories. I would be into encountering them (in a game). They are nice lower level threats for low level characters, also, which can be hard to come by in cthululand.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 01:25 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Keziah and her giggly pet, Brown Jenkin?

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mchangeling
I suggest Yag-kosha "trans-cosmic being" with the body of a man and the oversized head of an elephant. The blind and tortured prisoner from "The Tower of the Elephant" is probably the most memorable critter from Robert E. Howard's Conan world. At least I can remember him vividly after more than decade and half since I read the story!

Edited Date: 2019-02-27 06:25 pm (UTC)

Genius Loci?

Date: 2019-02-27 03:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zarvoc
How about the incorporeal being that haunts the meadow in Clark Ashton Smith's short story Genius Loci? It's one of my enduring favorites.

Re: Genius Loci?

From: [personal profile] zarvoc - Date: 2019-02-28 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand


Date: 2019-02-27 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I imagine you have some Zoogs in there? Those being the sentient rodents from the Dream Quest? If you have Zoogs though, you'll also want to have cats too.

Justin Patrick Moore

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Machen's (by way of Blavatsky) sinister—or in this case, misunderstood—Turanians could be a fun addition!

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Came here to say Brown Jenkin, but I see someone beat me to it.

Consider Brown Jenkin seconded?

Also, has anyone mentioned Mi-go?

-Dudley Dawson

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-02-28 06:19 am (UTC) - Expand
From: (Anonymous)
The main point of this comment is not in reference to a monster or creature, but to a skill that might be something the characters can develop. It may already be in your game book, but if not consider astral travel/dreaming/pathworking / remote viewing as a set of inter-related though distinct skills the characters can develop for possible the various possible uses each of those might have in the world of the Weird of Hali and its various recensions. A skill in dreaming might relate to premonition, whereas pathworking could relate to being able to commune, in their own sphere, with various spiritual entities. Remote viewing would be more for scoping things in the physical out... etc.

One creature that comes to mind from this would be an "astral barnacle" don't know what the technical name for it is, but the little things common in the lower astral that might cling to someones etheric body.

Just had these thoughts after my last comment.

Justin Patrick Moore

Radiance Base?

Date: 2019-02-27 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I happened to see this massively ironic article about the "Carousel of Progress" ride at Disney.

Theme parks could make good Radiance bases or schemes for mass brainwashing (why do the people coming off that ride look so glazed?...)

Just a thought.

PS Got Chorazin in the mail the other day - I'll probably get to it this weekend!

Old Fangled Creatures

Date: 2019-02-27 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The Shan or Insects from Shaggai. Anybody Delta Green hates that much must be OK.
Ice Age Megafauna, cryptids, and ordinary animals and / or rules to create them.
My war mammoth stomps on the grey SUV.

Re: Old Fangled Creatures

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-02-28 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand


Date: 2019-02-27 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daveotn
I've always been a fan of Marc Laidlaw's "Leng", published in 2009, where the real-life parasitic Cordyceps mushroom is, far up in the Himalyan plateaus, parasitizing and controlling a human culture as well.

Might be treated more like a disease than as an entity you can really interact with, but maybe that will get your imagination started - I would think there are quite a few horrible wasting diseases or bodily conditions you might want to include in your sourcebook.

Re: Cordyceps

From: [personal profile] mesosylvania - Date: 2019-03-01 02:10 am (UTC) - Expand


Date: 2019-02-27 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dean's Lurker at the Threshold seems especially good.

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-27 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] walt_f
Some of the alien creatures from Weinbaum's A Martian Odyssey wouldn't seem out of place. Especially the predatory "dream-beast" that uses mind reading and telepathic illusions to lure prey into its (of course) tentacles.

It occurs to me that during the same time period eldritch creatures were getting such a bad rap in the weird tales, Earth's native creatures weren't faring much better in the pulp adventures. Species ranging from gorillas to rats to ants to giant clams were constantly and invariably portrayed as bent on gratuitous homicide. There might not be any straightforward way to either follow or subvert that tradition in the WoH game, but stats on a range of terrestrial creatures, that can be summoned into play as allies or altered by Radiance science and fielded against the player characters, might be useful.

Terror Birds !!

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2019-02-28 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2019-02-28 04:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Just casting my mind back to "The Curious Case of Charles Dexter Ward," you've got the unmentionable horrors in Curwen's pits (what if a Radiance goof-up released a pack out into the streets?), Curwen himself got up to some vampirism (I can't see how he's the only sorcerer to learn that trick), and it seems like you could work up some serious shenanigans with the resurrecting salts.

Also, in my jaded old age, I'm thinking the Radiance would be in league with the Arisians. I seem to recall that Earth in the Lensman universe becomes a technophilic hellscape bombarded with unceasing advertisements (not to mention the Lensman graduation ceremony has striking overtones of totalitarian precision).

Cats of Ulthar

Date: 2019-02-28 08:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Perhaps hard to work in but a spell to call upon a bunch of creatures to avenge a killed familiar? --lieven
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ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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