Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Call of Cthulhu

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had not yet read any Lovecraft stories. Well I just read the Call of Cthulhu. It was fascinating. Also completely horrifying. It does make me want to explore the idea of such alien beings in my games. However I do not believe, as the stories of Lovecraft posit that humankind is insignificant. I believe that we are even created in the very image of the Creator. To some degree or another that idea has shaped my idea of mankind's role in the fictional universes I set my games in. So my view of beings like Cthulhu is also shaped by that idea. It would be entirely possible for an adventuring party in my games to prevail once and for all against dread Cthulhu, not merely stalling the "inevitable", but averting it entirely. Not very Lovecraftian at all. More similar to the treatment of such beings in World of Warcraft, wherein being like C'thun and Yogg-Saron are to put it frankly, Raid Bosses. Now enemies in my games are not quite "Raid Bosses" that can be farmed for loot and the like, but a true adherence to the spirit of the Cthulhu Mythos would likely not give such beings statblocks and the like at all. I am not ashamed of this philosophy, but merely note the dichotomy between the spirit of the original material and my treatment of it. In fact I am considering having some kind of Chtulhuoid being be the guardian of the Water Crystal in my Legacy of the Titans campaign. Though as the Kraken that was the Fiend of Water in Final Fantasy, the inspiration for my Legacy of the Titans campaign in the first place, was quite like Chtulhu anyway, I might just use a Kraken and emphasis the similarities.sp

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Disciples of Pyro have returned!

Well I have got a hold of some my old friends online and we've arranged to play Dungeons and Dragons online together! I think I might have them hear of the legendary Fire Crystal and thus, perhaps, engage in a pilgrimage to this obviously holy site... Then they may get involved in the Legacy of the Titans storyline. This is quite different from where the campaign was likely to go before, but even these plans are not set in stone.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Classification of Beings in the Castle Acheron Campaign

I have given a lot of thought to the manner of beings found in the Castle Acheron campaign. What varieties of being are there? How are they classified? How did they come about?

There are certainly animals, plants and other forms of life, similar in nature to those found in our world. There are also beasts that are not found in our world, but are otherwise similar to natural animals. "Above" those are spirit beings, which include spirits clad in flesh and disembodied spirits. It is in this category that humans and others that can be considered people, (like hobbits and orcs, if I decide to include them) are found. These beings are primarily spirits, but inhabit animal bodies. There are also ascended beasts that are similar, but different in that they are created only late in an animals life and then only under specific conditions. These would include the kitsune, tanooki and nekomata spirits of Japanese myth. The spirits of people survive the deaths of they're bodies. Most leave this world for other planes of existence such as the Lands of the Dead (Hades, Hel, etc.), or the realms of they're Gods, but some remain in this world. There are also various spirits of nature, such as those found in animistic religions. Then there are spirits that do not have animal bodies at all, but may have "psuedobodies" of different natures. These include beings we might call faeries, but this category may also extend into the third category I have yet to discuss. Elves, dwarves and gnomes would fit under this category.

This third category also includes beings we might call angels, demons or gods. They are not spirits in the same manner as those of the second category, but of a different sort. I'm not really certain about the basis of the distinction, but I do think that beings such as demons and gods should be distinct from men. However, in this campaign I will make no distinction between demons, angels and gods. Though, some "angels" may in fact be beings created by "gods" to serve them. The distinctions between "gods", "angels" and "demons" will largely be a matter of the mythologies held by mortal beings. However, it's not that they are completely wrong, as they're mythologies will have some basis in fact, reflecting much of the actual relationships between the deities. However going further into this subject would be beyond the scope of this post. Perhaps I might call this category "celestials".

There may also be a fourth category of abberant beings that don't fit any where else. Similar to the aberration creature type of 3rd Edition or the aberrant origin of 4th Edition, and like those inspired by the Chtulhu Mythos. I haven't read any actual Lovecraft stories, but only things inspired by them like D&D and Warcraft. I find the creatures and beings of the Mythos to be fascinating, but do not agree with Lovecraft's world view. So the influences of the Mythos on my campaign are likely to be superficial. It should also be noted that my "celestial" beings include certain elements that make them similar to beings from the Chtulhu Mythos like alien forms and to some degree mentality. Some are at least superficially human-like but others are less so.