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GBSteve

The Boojumverse - an SF setting for HPL (and CLD).

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GBSteve

Has anyone thought about using this setting? I'm talking about the three short stories by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette:

- Mongoose, Izrael Irizarry hunts Toves with his Cheshire, Mongoose (audio, text, review)

- Boojum, space pirates encounter something in strange cylinders (audio, review)

- The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward, a dead ship floating in space (audio, review)

 

The Boojumverse is clearly a Lovecraftian setting of cults, interdimensional things with teeth, Lewis Carroll names and ideas, brain-running and plenty else. It seems in someways similar to Rogue Trader, the more open of the Warhammer 40K settings.

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cloud64

Ooh! Carrollian Cthulhu is hard to resist, and another interesting podcast too. Best listen lest it softly and suddenly vanish away and never be met with again.

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GBSteve

Fortunately you can download the stories. I'm just trying the Wreck ... now. It's pretty spooky. Our protagonist doctor is on an Arkhamite ship, salvaging a dead Boojum.

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DrMonster

Thanks for the links.  Fascinating stories.  The first half of “Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward” made me afraid to listen to the second half.

 

Although I did find the anti-Christian bigotry in “Mongoose” off-putting.  If you substituted any other group, the authors would have been roasted by their editors and readers and the story probably wouldn’t have been published.

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PaulStJohnMackintosh

Those stories are huge favourites. As for rules to play them, Cthulhu Rising might work (https://www.chaosium.com/cthulhu-rising-pdf/), as conceivably might CthulhuTech.

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Dante7
20 hours ago, PaulStJohnMackintosh said:

as conceivably might CthulhuTech.

 

Boojum = logical evolution of Engels?

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GBSteve
2 hours ago, Dante7 said:

Boojum = logical evolution of Engels?

 

Possibly, although they are said to be creatures which live in gas giants.

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DrMonster

Any write-ups for Cheshires, toves, raths or bandersnatchi? 

 

Why does a space station need a political officer?

 

If boojums have an eventual urge to go interstellar, could a crew negotiate a ride and stock the additional supplies needed to survive and boldly go where no investigator has gone before?  The stories don’t spell out how fast the creatures can travel in space.  A generation ship in a critter’s innards?

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PaulStJohnMackintosh
42 minutes ago, DrMonster said:

Any write-ups for Cheshires, toves, raths or bandersnatchi? 

 

Bandersnatches are essentially Hounds of Tindalos, as far as I can read it - and superbly evoked as unstoppable horrors. If you need stats, Hounds would likely do. And Cheshires are immature bandersnatches (Puppies of Tindalos? 🤣 ) so presumably share many of their characteristics.

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RogerBW
3 hours ago, DrMonster said:

Why does a space station need a political officer?

 

That sounds like a dangerously counter-revolutionary sentiment. Incorrect Thought leads to Incorrect Action, and Incorrect Action leads to the station being eaten by terrors from beyond space.

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GBSteve

There are no gaming write-ups for any of this, so help yourself. Poul Anderson's Gateway might be an inspiration for interstellar action.

 

4 hours ago, RogerBW said:

That sounds like a dangerously counter-revolutionary sentiment. Incorrect Thought leads to Incorrect Action, and Incorrect Action leads to the station being eaten by terrors from beyond space.

 

The Tsan-Chan Empire salutes your vigilance citizen.

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DrMonster
7 hours ago, PaulStJohnMackintosh said:

Bandersnatches are essentially Hounds of Tindalos, as far as I can read it - and superbly evoked as unstoppable horrors. If you need stats, Hounds would likely do. And Cheshires are immature bandersnatches (Puppies of Tindalos? 🤣 ) so presumably share many of their characteristics.

 

The 6th edition gives stats for a creature roughly equivalent to a mountain lion or jaguar in size and strength although much smarter and tougher. Very dangerous but not something that could eat a whole ship’s crew in one sitting. The boojum stories give the impression of a B-movie “Deadly Mantis” sized monster.  So the Hounds in the original short story still weren’t full grown?  Eek!

 

(So if they’re so smart, why don’t they order out?)

 

4 hours ago, RogerBW said:

That sounds like a dangerously counter-revolutionary sentiment. Incorrect Thought leads to Incorrect Action, and Incorrect Action leads to the station being eaten by terrors from beyond space.

 

Mister Comissar, tear down that (interdimensional) wall!  🧐

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Dante7
On 22/01/2019 at 09:40, DrMonster said:

 So the Hounds in the original short story still weren’t full grown?  Eek!

 

So..Bandersnatches could be the development between a regular Hound and a Lord of Tindalos, perhaps?

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DrMonster

If so, Bear and Monette have done a lot of fleshing out of a purposefully vague creature.  As originally described, a hound of Tindalos possessed some sort of head with a sharp tube-like tongue for feeding, was covered in blue pus-like slime, and oozed into our dimension like smoke — and that’s it.  No mention of size, number and type of limbs, sensory organs, or anything else.  Anyone who learned the details was probably dead.

 

In the boojum stories, Cheshires seem to be some chimera of snake, octopus and deep-sea fish about the size and temperament of a daschund.  Scary even when they aren’t B-movie giants, but they don’t sound like a classic hound.  Of bandersnatches we learn almost nothing other than that they are huge, voraciously hungry, and can strike fast like a praying mantis.  The lack of specifics at least mirrors the incomprehensibleness of the original hounds.

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PaulStJohnMackintosh

"What toves tore and raths widened was an access for the apex predator of this alien food chain. The bandersnatch: Pseudocanis tindalosi. The old records and the indigent Arkhamers called them hounds, but of course they weren’t, any more than Mongoose was a cat. Irizarry had seen archive video from derelict stations and ships, the bandersnatch’s flickering angular limbs appearing like spiked mantis arms from the corners of sealed rooms, the carnage that ensued. He’d never heard of anyone left alive on a station where a bandersnatch manifested, unless they made it to a panic pod damned fast. More importantly, even the Arkhamers in their archive-ships, breeders of Mongoose and all her kind, admitted they had no records of anyone surviving a bandersnatch rather than escaping it."

 

You probably want to stat up toves and raths as more common and unique threats for this setting - although still pretty damn nasty in the case of raths. ("They were armored like titanium armadillos. When threatened, one of two things happened. Babies flocked to mama, mama rolled herself in a ball, and it would take a tactical nuke to kill them. Or mama went on the warpath. Irizarry had seen a pissed off breeder take out a bulkhead on a steelship once; it was pure dumb luck that it hadn’t breached the hull.") Bandersnatches can have the baddest Tindalosian powers you can think of, because chances are your characters aren't going to survive them anyway. And a lot of the fun will be in the slow erosion of spacetime by the toves and raths, and the realization that at any moment a bandersnatch may pop out of the breach. You probably want some kind of reality-degradation mechanic for that, with more toves increasing the chances of raths, more raths increasing the chances of bandersnatches, etc...

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Darken
On 21/01/2019 at 08:15, PaulStJohnMackintosh said:

Those stories are huge favourites. As for rules to play them, Cthulhu Rising might work (https://www.chaosium.com/cthulhu-rising-pdf/), as conceivably might CthulhuTech.

 

I found an upgraded version of CR on gitlab (https://gitlab.com/NHcthulhu/NewHorizon). Eldritch Skies (https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15596.phtml) and Shadows Over Sol (https://www.tabcreations.com/shadows-over-sol/) might also work too.

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Dante7
On 24/01/2019 at 08:29, DrMonster said:

In the boojum stories, Cheshires seem to be some chimera of snake, octopus and deep-sea fish about the size and temperament of a daschund.

 

Cheshire.jpg

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