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Is it too easy to get Mythos Lore from a book?

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#21 tjgreenway

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 05:17 AM

That sounds about right, Ronin, if they've had access to a couple of tomes and managed an initial read of those plus the CM from going insane at the sight of a mythos creature.


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#22 eternalchampion

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:54 PM

 I have no idea what I said to deserve that reply,

 

Relax mate, I wasn't being offensive. You presented an interpretation of the rules concerning the skills that I do not agree with. This is ok, it is your game.

 

You seem to use 'Pulp' as a slur.

 

No.

 

Now, on the original question I tried to find something on what Tjgreenway wrote above about having to check on Mythos skill to get the percentage from the books. I couldn't find something like that in the 6th edition. However under the skill it states:

 

No human, even one with 99% Cthulhu Mythos, approaches complete knowledge of the Mythos. It is fair to say that not even Great Old Ones do. Their 100% scores represent convenient comparisons against what humans can achieve, a thorough plumbing of the mysteries of the Mythos. Perhaps the Outer Gods know it all, if they bother to think about such things. But only gods can cope with infinity. The cruel of the Mythos extends forever. Seeming mastery of its puzzles is temporary, local, and illusory.



#23 mvincent

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:43 PM

I am by no means an expert on the rules since I just started running a 7e CoC campaign, only four sessions in so far. I believe the rules reduce the amount of mythos knowledge you gain if you read the same book a second time.

 

I believe in the new 7e rules each book has a 'Mythos Rating':

- if your Mythos knowledge is below the 'Mythos Rating' number when reading the book, you gain the regular amount of Mythos knowledge when done.

- If your Mythos knowledge is above the number, then you get a lower improvement (as listed: usually half).



#24 Eusebio

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:30 PM

Tomes and books are for me, a long-standing issue: they are an integral part of the whole Mythos-experience, but have also been a huge let-down to me as a player and Keeper. Throughout the years and my games, I have adapted a different approach to them. A lot has already been said, so I do apologize should it come over repetitive. This is how I approach the matter in my games.

 

  • Availability 

    Real, genuine tomes are very rare. Obtaining one is not just a matter of tracking it down, but also of acquiring it. Often they are very well-hidden and if they are not, they are a part of a private collection. Should one come up for auction, it would cost a buyer a vast amount of money. There are of course 'lesser copies': translations, interpretations, cheap reprints, etc. Those are more easily obtained than their 'original counterpart', but will always contain less valuable information. It even offers the Keeper some interesting possibilities for red herrings (wrong translations, missing parts of a spell or rituals, ...). Puzzling together what's in the original may take a player several 'lesser' copies and different translations. It's not just a quick read, it's a matter of ongoing study.
     
  • Decyphering

    Which brings me to my next point: the decyphering of a tome. Tomes of the occult are never an easy read. Not just because the actual content is sanity-wrecking, but the whole medium is far from easy. Often, they are the work of a disturbed mind. They are not always written logical or cohesive. It takes getting into the mind of the author, trying to understand the method behind the madness. When hand-written, it might also be a matter of unraveling the handwriting of the author. 

    Often, tomes have a certain age, which means the language used is as ancient as the book itself. Even when in English, the reader will have to learn how to translate the middle-English into a modern version. After all, if you're not familiar with , for example, Middle-English, a sentence like: Icc hafe wennd inntill Ennglissh, Goddspelless hallghe láre, Affterr þatt little witt þatt me, Min Drihhtin hafeþþ lenedd. (I have turned into English, the Holy Gospels' lore, according to that little wit that My Lord has granted me.) is not something you read over breakfast.

    Decyphering takes time. A lot of time. As characters sweat and toil over a tome they acquired, it will takes them in-game months of study and work to slowly unearth the secrets within. It also slows down the rate in which they gain the Mythos lore within the tome as well as the loss of sanity. Both are a gradual process, almost like an erosion of the mind.

    My players love this take: it gives their characters something to do in down-time or while 'traveling' (on the Orient-Express, en route to Egypt, while in the hospital after that shotgun incident, ...). It also presents them with choices:  "do I keep on studying my tome or do I spent my downtime doing something else?" 
    Once they have 'finished' their tome this way, I notice the reward is great. It has become an achievement. 
     
  • Content

    We don't always know what's in these tomes. The different rulebooks give us a single descriptive paragraph and some stats (spells, sanity loss, etc.)
    But what is actually in the book? Is it the Truth in it that shreds the mind (De Vermiis Mysteris)? Or perhaps the unsettling drawings (Culte des Ghouls)? Maybe it's a single symbol (A certain yellow sign)  or the very otherwordly rythm of the poetry (the works of Al-Aziz himself? 

    Thinking about the content of the tome will present derangement-hooks: maybe the reader hums a certain stanza? or does she see a symbol or sign in mundane images?
    Will it make them doubt their own beliefs?  A tome or text is more than simply a series of stats and modifiers. It will start to become a part of a character's world and reality.
    By giving it "a personality', it becomes much more real (and terrifying).

    And if you have the time and inspiration, or you can find a piece that is rumoured to be in a tome, why not make a prop out of it and let players actually read it and work on it?
    When they find a certain journal in the Mountains of Madness-campaign (I'll not say what-when-why to avoid spoilers, but you know what I mean), you should have seen the face of the player that stated 'she was going to read it' and was promptly handed over a propped-version of the actual 'At the Mountains of Madness'-novel. 

These are of course ways that work for my games and my players. I understand it might be everyone's cup of tea. I believe however tomes and texts are a very important part of the Mythos and the game. They have a true 'Call of Cthulhu'-feel to them and should be treated as an integral part of the game, and not the 'rule on page 128'  or a quick way to 'level up' stats.



#25 Gaffer

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:53 PM

Great post, Eusebio.

 

As an example, I have run several times a con event in which Irish gangsters come into possession of several tomes for several days. The only one really accessible in terms of language is an English translation of The King in Yellow. In a couple of runs, the ditzy singer-girlfriend of one of the gangsters is attracted to it because she wants to be a star in a Broadway musical. She can read the play over several nights.

 

I assigned a part of the sanity loss and CM skill to each chapter, making it a gradual effect. She also read the play out loud to her boyfriend and he took some of the damage/gain himself.

 

I also make use of damaged or incomplete books (say one of three volumes of a longer work) to provide useful information in a shorter period of study than quoted for the full work. And if the investigator devoted more than eight hours a day to working on it, I will reduce the weeks it takes to complete the study. NPCs handwritten copies of portions of a greater work are also useful for this purpose.

 

Finally, I think there should be an EDU requirement as well as a language component for most of the big tomes. A Breton fisherman/smuggler is fluent in French, but how will he fare with Cultes des Goules in terms of time to study and comprehension?


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#26 Celebrim

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 02:42 PM

@Eusebio: The essay you wrote is a very good one on Mythos tomes, but it feels to me like it mostly just restates the basic rulebook descriptions of a tome in general, with a bit of added color because you are apparently quite familiar with the original stories that the tomes were mentioned in.  For example, the rules already emphasize that the tomes are very rare, very hard to acquire, and hard to translate and require lengthy periods of study and decipherment.  I agree with you that one of the biggest problems is the rules silence on the tomes and their contents.  I realize that the original stories use a literary device of being largely silent regarding the tomes and telling rather than showing us that they are terrible, but I'm not sure that device is actually applicable to an RPG.  In particular, I think it important that you call out that we do know at least something about the contents of several of the more important mythos tomes, and therefore that we ought to be able to expand upon those ideas.

 

I am most intrigued by this statement: "but [the Mythos tomes] have also been a huge let-down to me as a player and Keeper."  Could you explain to me how the tomes were usually employed or described in games before you evolved your current methodology, and why that was such a let down?

 

Also, I think much could be accomplished with fuller descriptions of the books, maybe broken down into 20 page sections and describing the major and minor themes of each section and exactly what spells are to be found in therein, and which spells in which editions are soundly described, or badly described so that they 'misfire', or described so badly that they don't even work.  If the work is a manuscript copy, there might be chances assigned to each category for each spell.  Books described thusly could be adroitly damaged so that pages 118-120 have been ripped out crudely, or the last 20 pages are badly water damaged, or what have you.   Indeed, system for assigning random damage might exist, and as you note the most common sort of tomes might be incomplete and partial copies.

 

Indeed, I imagine that you could end up with quite an extensive lore book covering just mythos tomes and lore.  I personally don't think that leaving the mythos tomes entirely as plot devices vaguely described and totally up to individual keepers works in most cases.  In an RPG you can't cop out with just telling and no showing the way an unreliable narrator in a horror story can.

 

All of that by the way speaks to the problem I have with the existing rules.  If you treat tomes as something that the characters have some relationship with rather than something the induces a mere mechanical change in the character sheet, it's not just a matter of even getting a tome or a couple of tomes.  Piecing together mythos lore or spells might well be a matter of getting and studying a lot of tomes.  Instead of having a copy of a major tome working like the Junior Woodchuck Guide to the Elder Gods, and then after one or two you are done because reading one more tome is going to too permanently threaten your sanity, the rules would then create a non-binary process where in the investigator painstakingly put together lore through a scholarly process with sanity draining consequence  - what you aptly call "the erosion of the mind". 

 

On the other hand, this process seems to suggest a campaign length measured in decades rather than months or even years with leisurely periods between scenarios rather than some sort of race against time.



#27 Eusebio

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:27 PM

I am most intrigued by this statement: "but [the Mythos tomes] have also been a huge let-down to me as a player and Keeper."  Could you explain to me how the tomes were usually employed or described in games before you evolved your current methodology, and why that was such a let down?

 

I have had Keepers who treated tomes as the stats you find on them in the rulebooks:

 

Keeper: "Amongst the many volumes, you find one book that somehow seems older."

Player: "I take it out and try to read it."
Keeper: Roll you German
Player: Succeeded.
Keeper: You find Unausprechlichen Kulten. You can add X to you Mythos score, and roll me X Sanity

It was, for me, a technical matter, almost like when you loot something in a video game: you look at the stats. I don't blame Keepers for doing so, after all, the rulebooks do not give us much more to work with. In my opinion, tomes can (and should) be so much more. 

I agree with you a more extensive description of the books would be very useful, although I'm not sure it should be in the main rulebook. Maybe a nicely illustrated, hardcover book on tomes?

 

(Take note, Chaosium  :-D ) Because now, I must admit, when using one of the canon tomes, I need to dive deep into the rabbithole that is the internet. 

On the other hand, tomes are (again in my opinion) luckily not the only way to raise your Mythos score. To me, the Mythos score reflects how much a character knows about the Secret and Terrible Truth that is Out There. It is an otherwordly counterpart of the occult skill in a way. It also means that every little snippet of knowledge learnt on the Mythos can enhance this skill, no matter how small. 

A simple realization like 'I shot the monster in the face with my shotgun and all that did was make it even angrier' can be a valuable lesson (if you survive to learn it), and should be reflected in your Mythos score (even if it raises the score with only 1%). Tomes often represent the theoretical knowledge of the Mythos: they grant you a lot of lore, but they are hard to come by. The everyday insights (that particular symbol that we saw at the cult murder scene somehow represents warding off the evil) can be a much more natural way to get that Mythos score up for your players. That way, you're not forced as a Keeper to put in more tomes because the characters need a certain understanding/score of the Mythos and tomes can remain the time-consuming rarity they are.



#28 tjgreenway

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 03:27 AM

I have had Keepers who treated tomes as the stats you find on them in the rulebooks:

 

Keeper: "Amongst the many volumes, you find one book that somehow seems older."

Player: "I take it out and try to read it."
Keeper: Roll you German
Player: Succeeded.
Keeper: You find Unausprechlichen Kulten. You can add X to you Mythos score, and roll me X Sanity

It was, for me, a technical matter, almost like when you loot something in a video game: you look at the stats. I don't blame Keepers for doing so, after all, the rulebooks do not give us much more to work with. In my opinion, tomes can (and should) be so much more. 

 

Unfortunately this has been my experience so far as well, and it's really put me off playing - that's fine, it's made me realise that I'm happy to devote more time to mastering my GM skills so that my group can enjoy the game as much as possible. I'd hate to think how many others it's had the same effect on, though - it might not be a major issue for a lot of people coming from a traditional fantasy RPG background, but I imagine it would be offputting for a lot of Lovecraftian fans who have delved into CoC as their introduction to gaming.

 

 

Maybe a nicely illustrated, hardcover book on tomes?

 

This would seriously be an auto-buy for me, it would be an absolute dream - detailed descriptions of all the major tomes with game stats, some nice illustrations and a short excerpt to give it some added flavour, in the same vein as the Mysterious Manuscripts articles in The Unspeakable Oath. A collection of articles in that manner would be fantastic to have collated in one place. Round it out with a couple of scenarios that focus on the books themselves (something along the lines of Bookhounds of London), and I'd be throwing more money Chaosium's way in a flash!

 

That being said, I've found the Cthulhu Myrhos Encyclopaedia by Daniel Harms is invaluable as a 'keeper for this very reason - there's just enough information in there to whet the appetite and get the imagination flowing. I'd highly recommend it for any new GM's!



#29 jlynn

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:37 AM

I'm coming late to the debate here, but I want to say up front to Celebrim that your OP was sheer genius!  The mechanics might need to be flexed a bit depending on the circumstances, but your reasoning is sound, the idea is brilliant, and it clearly addresses an issue that most of us Keeper types have felt one way or another for, in some cases, decades.  Thanks for sharing that idea.  7th Edition DOES have a mechanic for sort of addressing this, but it isn't really developed as fully as your system seems to be; I'm wondering if there's a happy merger of the two concepts out there that might actually deliver a much more reasonable way of determining how people can use Tomes in the game and still actually, you know, participate in the game.

 

Most of the objections, if I may overly generalize, seem to revolve more around the "hard to manage" and "it's not really a problem" categories; and it IS hard to manage, but anything that breaks player "suspension of disbelief" IS a problem in my opinion, and the Tomes were always one of those areas that was probably going to do that.  When I first started playing back in the early 1980's HPL was not at all well known among my contemporaries -- in fact, I was the only one of the entire gaming group (and there were over 10 of us) that actually knew who he was and had read most of his stuff -- one of my early rules was that they players weren't ALLOWED to read anything by him for the first year or so of play (I didn't want someone to interrupt my creepy description of the creature bearing down on them with an offhand "oh, it's just a 'deep one'...").  Because of that, the Tomes issue didn't break anyone's suspension of disbelief, but after that, the problem became much more acute for me; and playing it the way I had previously wound up leaving a "retrospective" bad taste in the mouths of my players.  Unfortunately, the rules said (or at least implied) do it that way, and, like most inexperienced GMs, I used the rules as a crutch, not a springboard.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to say I love the concept that you came up with, though frankly I might make it even harder -- i.e., when you roll on the book the first time to see how much you get out of it, that is the final limit on you gain from that book (rolled a 1%?  Too bad! Welp, you can give that book to someone else now...) and even studying a "better" copy of it will only buy you, potentially, the difference between that copy and the one your originally studied.  (For example, if the new copy is 6% better than the old one (the first one had a +6% Cthulhu Mythos, and the better version has a +12% Cthulhu Mythos, then the max your player is going to get is 1% from the original roll, plus whatever fraction of the additional 6% you manage to roll (for a possible maximum of 7%).)  That book just isn't making any sense to you, no matter how many times you re-read it!  Then I'd tend to apply your rule for all the other Tomes as well (that is, stacking the difficulties; the books themselves can be a problem, and the corpus of knowledge is ALSO a problem) -- let's face it, the Human mind isn't really designed to understand the Mythos, and some people just aren't going to be susceptible to that understanding no matter how hard they try.  It's like anything else; some of us are olympic class swimmers, others can barely dog-paddle, and that's just the difference between those two individuals.

 

I also seem to remember reading some rules somewhere in the long ago (a magazine?  One of the earlier supplements?  I can't remember.) that had suggestions on reading times, how to handle that in the game, and even a way of spacing out the Sanity losses and the Mythos gains in terms of the number of weeks of effort (and it required a LOT of effort -- like full-time, 12-hours-a-day stuff) to more realistically simulate "the correlation of the contents of the reader's mind".  Unfortunately, the ideas in that article required a LOT of the Keeper's time to manage and were really sort of impractical for use during an actual gaming session; they effectively consigned the reading of Tomes to the players' off-stage time, which also tended to remove some of the feel of HPL's work from the game.  What we really need is a satisfying way to do both things -- a sort of "unification theory" that makes the Tomes useful in actual play without breaking either the system or the players' suspension of disbelief, while at the same time making them a very hard hurdle to cross, with clearly understood principles for how they are studied, how and how quickly knowledge is gained and sanity lost, and how they are handled in action sequences.  And if you can do that, you are probably the next Sandy Petersen...

 

Oh, and at MOB and Chaosium -- I'd like to seriously put in a pitch for a Tomes splat book -- it would be an autobuy for me too; and you've already done something similar with the Grand Grimoire, so it's not like it would break any precedents!  :-D


Edited by jlynn, 08 December 2017 - 03:42 AM.


#30 Gaffer

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:26 PM

Keith Herber's 1993 Keeper's Compendium had a chapter on Forbidden Books that covered a lot of ground, though probably not in the detail requested here.


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#31 Celebrim

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:56 PM

Keith Herber's 1993 Keeper's Compendium had a chapter on Forbidden Books that covered a lot of ground, though probably not in the detail requested here.

 

Even if it did have sufficient detail, the game and its assumptions have changed so much from 1993, that any information that it had there would be largely out of sync with the game rules and assumptions today.



#32 Gaffer

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:05 PM

I'll just note that not everyone has chosen to leave 'old school' style behind.
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#33 mvincent

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:29 PM

Even if it did have sufficient detail, the game and its assumptions have changed so much from 1993, that any information that it had there would be largely out of sync with the game rules and assumptions today.

 

How so?



#34 Celebrim

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:41 PM

How so?

 

My impression is that over time what was called 'The Greater Grimoire' of straight forward spells like Call Azathoth or Summon/Bind Byakee have become less and less important in published scenarios simply because they don't work well as game devices for either PC's or NPC's.   In contrast, what was called 'The Lesser Grimoire' has become more important simply because it's more useful to have a sorcerer deploy weapons like Wrack and Dominate than it is for them to summon up Azathoth or even necessarily a Dimensional Shambler. 

 

So my impression is that a writer in 1993 would use the tools at hand, filling the canonical mythos tomes with lots of call, contact, summon and bind spells and little or no spells of other sorts without any real reflection on whether it makes for a better game (much less an internally coherent world) to have tomes contain the means to summon an incarnation of the demon sultan from his place in the center of the universe (or the equivalent) and basically nothing else.  As plot devices, I think the tomes deserve to have more use than that, and I think from what I've read of the scenarios, scenario writers tend to want to use them for various creepy but less world shattering uses.



#35 Eusebio

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:51 PM

As plot devices, I think the tomes deserve to have more use than that, and I think from what I've read of the scenarios, scenario writers tend to want to use them for various creepy but less world shattering uses.

 

As far as I read the description of many of the more known tomes, they are indeed much more than a simple grimoire, a collection of spells. If you look at 'Unaussprechlichen Kulten', the book is almost the pseudo-scientific diary of Von Juntzt as he travels te world and encounters strange and exotic cults. The same goes for the 'Culte des Ghouls', a work that brushes with the sociology and the natural history of another mythos phenomenon, the ghouls.

 

Of course, these kind of books will describe some spells, most likely Contact, Summon, Bind or Ward spells, like you said, but that is in my opinion not their primary role. They offer an understanding of (certain parts of) the Mythos, and it is through that understanding, new spells potentially open to the reader/scholar.



#36 jlynn

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:20 PM

Keith Herber's 1993 Keeper's Compendium had a chapter on Forbidden Books that covered a lot of ground, though probably not in the detail requested here.

 
That seems to be a part of it, but not all that I remember -- so maybe I'm conflating two different articles in my mind. Seems to me that I do that a lot more these days than I did when I was 20! My mind is a cluttered attic...
 
And thanks for finding that for me! ;-)
 

As far as I read the description of many of the more known tomes, they are indeed much more than a simple grimoire, a collection of spells. If you look at 'Unaussprechlichen Kulten', the book is almost the pseudo-scientific diary of Von Juntzt as he travels te world and encounters strange and exotic cults. The same goes for the 'Culte des Ghouls', a work that brushes with the sociology and the natural history of another mythos phenomenon, the ghouls.
 
Of course, these kind of books will describe some spells, most likely Contact, Summon, Bind or Ward spells, like you said, but that is in my opinion not their primary role. They offer an understanding of (certain parts of) the Mythos, and it is through that understanding, new spells potentially open to the reader/scholar.

 
I have to agree with this -- the books are not simply a source of spells, they are supposed to be a major plot element in and of themselves. Part of the problem, as I see it, is that too many players want to use spells in Call of Cthulhu as if they were D&D spellslingers instead of treating them as the terrible and horrifying things they are in HPL's omniverse. The use of a spell, for a PC at any rate, should be the absolute last resort, when all hope of even surviving by doing anything else has fled. Instead, people try to go around shooting these things off like they were Fourth of July firecrackers (or, for our British friends, Guy Fawkes Day fireworks). Even cultists ought to be a bit leery of casting any spell -- and while they aren't subject to loss of sanity (or at least not in the same way), they should have the possibility of severe repercussions as well -- personally, I go with a "consequences" possibility a la Dungeon Crawl Classics -- a cultist casting a spell can have the possibility of something severe going wrong as a result, even if the spell is successful; e.g., he suddenly sprouts a pair of horns, or one of his limbs becomes a tentacle instead, etc., etc. (Players can be subject to this as well, to make it even more creepy.)
 
Those sorts of things tend to severely cut back the eagerness of the players to go around shooting spells at the drop of a hat. Plus, I try to make them play the casting time and efforts (there was a thread on here quite a while ago where someone suggested using a web site to download silly Latin paragraphs and then making the players repeat them out loud, without mistake, in the middle of the game when they are trying to cast a spell. This becomes almost impossible with any kind of distraction, particularly in a combat situation -- which is when our D&D-esque spellslingers want to go into action. And if they DO make a mistake, well...
 
In short, magic should be extremely risky, time consuming, expensive, and horrific, all at the same time. The good guys should probably look on it as a case of the cure being worse than the disease, except in extremely desperate circumstances.

#37 Gaffer

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 11:23 PM

When I was a young man in the late 60s (instead of an old man in MY late 60s), like many people I was credulous about paranormal phenomena. I looked into a number of 'arcane tomes.' Some purported to be copies of 17th and 18th century grimoires. Almost all enumerated ways to contact/summon various named demons. Most also described various 'useful spells' like love philtres and such.

I see no reason Mythos books shouldn't be the same.
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#38 jlynn

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:34 AM

Why, then, make it so!  ;-)

 

In my games, I'll do it differently, but mostly because I see a difference between "popular" magical books (that probably don't really work, or are wildly malappropriate versions of Mythos Spells for completely different purposes -- and that the players had better hope DON'T work) and the "real" magic contained in the fabulous, legendary, and very hard to obtain Mythos Tomes...  But hey, that's just me.



#39 ReydeAmarillo

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:47 PM

When I was a young man in the late 60s (instead of an old man in MY late 60s), like many people I was credulous about paranormal phenomena. I looked into a number of 'arcane tomes.' Some purported to be copies of 17th and 18th century grimoires. Almost all enumerated ways to contact/summon various named demons. Most also described various 'useful spells' like love philtres and such.

I see no reason Mythos books shouldn't be the same.

 

Totally.

 

And assuming that our occultic traditions are loosely based on Mythos truths, then Mythos tomes should bear some resemblence to their lesser cousins.

 

But also, what are Mythos tomes primarily for? Imho they are for the seekers after truth (High cultists) to preserve the knowledge and spells and pass it all on to the next High bod. What spells would GOO's want their human slaves to use? Surely those t9hat bring their servitors to earth to run riot, or utility spells that enhance the chances of that occurring (Enchant object spells etc). I dont think that making some human sorceror so powerful that he/she no longer needs to Summon and Bind a Servitor is on a GOO's mind. Hence I see the Greater Grimoire of mostly Contact and S&B etc being just that- the greater, more often used and so more often written in a tome, spells. So I normally write and Keep with servitor races interfacing with a High Cultist bod who can summon the beastie to a worship/sacrifice, and then loads of lesser bods to drain MP's from and maybe provide a snack if they get clumsy or lazy. So High bod would have Contact the Deity, S&B the Servitor race, a coupla utilities (Gate, Enchant Item, Voorish Sign) from Greater and then maybe a couple of suitables from Lesser. Maybe a combat, a defense/heal and a special?

 

And those spells, plus a bit of the Deities "gospel" would be all that is on the High bods Tome. Whether that tome is a hand written section from Cults des Ghouls or just the first high bods diary.

 

I guess it depends whether you want a powerful sorceror leading an evil cult, or the Critters of the Mythos having high bod under their control to ensure the cult provide whatever "worship" and sacrifice is required.

 

Just in closing I MUCH prefer the seperate Summon and Bind rules in 5e and earlier. Summon is the critters invite and Bind is to tie it into not eating too many cultists once its here. Also it ramps up the tension that bit more for Investigators !!

 

That is just my take.



#40 jlynn

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 07:34 PM

What's a "bod?"  Do you mean person?

 

Also, sort of off-topic, isn't it interesting that the all-powerful GOOs can't even come and go as they please?  Seems to be a disconnect somewhere in HPL's concept of them...  :-)

 

(Of course, I recognize that they had to be limited in that regard to aide in the suspension of disbelief for his readers -- if they were all that awesome, why aren't they right here among us now?  Why does humanity even exist?  A nihilistic approach to life tends to be self-limiting after all, I guess.  Who knew?)

 

Also, I agree.  I preferred the separate Summon and Bind spells as well -- you'd better have ALL of your ducks in a row before you summon something.  "...doe not call up Any that you can not put downe; by the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up somewhat against you, whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. Ask of the Lesser, lest the Greater shall not wish to Answer, and shall commande more than you" is as true for the various creatures and GOOs as it is for the essential saltes.







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