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Mograg

"Holy Hastur, Batman - it's a shoggoth!"

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Mograg

Okay, I was just eating a tuna fish sandwich while sitting on a concrete pier overlooking the Atlantic ocean and listening to YSDC's "Masks" audio campaign...

 

Bear with me, this is going someplace (I hope).

 

So Paul and the Scooby Gang are in Egypt, and they've just encountered

 

oops - wait - there be SPOILERS just ahead!

 

....

....

....

....

 

okay, so then , Paul and the Scooby gang have just run into a bunch of animal-headed nasties in a cavern complex under the desert sands. People are starting to panic a bit and whip out their firearms. They're losing Sanity at seeing people with hippo heads, cheetah heads, ibis heads, etc.

 

So while I'm heading back inside (I've yet to hear how the encounter turns out), I think, well this almost seems like a comic book episode. Animal-headed thugs underneath pyramids. Like genetic mutations. I suddenly had a vision of caped supers duking it out with (or power blasting, or whatever) these animal-headed monsters.

 

Which made me think about all the great old Marvel Superheroes games I used to run and play in, many years ago. The problem with our superhero games is that they lacked a lot of plot, and most of them were essentially "you're on patrol in the City when a bank alarm goes off. Some costumed goon with a gigantic sonic rifle (or whatever) has just stepped into the street, clutching a bag of loot." And the fight was on!

 

So, Call of Cthulhu has a lot of plot, mystery, and atmosphere. I thought, well, what if I took the "Masks of Nyarlathotep," or "Beyond the Mountains of Madness," and ran them for a bunch of superheroes? Some quick thoughts before my lunch break is over:

 

With Supers, the old problem of getting a group of "normals" together to solve hideous problems would mostly vanish. They're supers - their "job" is to save people and stop evil. They're likely already a team, drawn from diverse walks of life.

 

Sanity rolls. Well in the old Marvel system (TSR old school), this could be represented by a Psyche roll on the Universal Chart. And a whacked out super could be a lot of fun to roleplay, especially if he's shooting at everything in sight...

 

In regular CoC, combat is mostly a bad idea because guns and sticks (not to mention monster claws and tentacles) kill. With supers, that threat is mitigated to a great degree. But what is not mitigated is the urgency of the mystery. Sure, you can beat the snot out of the cultists, but does that get you any closer to finding out who killed Jackson Elias? Yes, you could laser blast the Penhew Foundation down to its, erm, foundation, but does that get you any closer to finding the next clue? Or maybe you've just blown up a lot of clues.

 

So it might be a neat challenge to play supers in a Cthulhu world. It might be neat to be the "only" supers circa 1925, and have trenchcoats and fedoras rather than spandex and big plastic boots.

 

Anyway, just a weird idea, borne of eating tuna fish while looking at the Altantic while listening to "Masks."

 

Thanks for playing along with me (and congrats if you made it this far!).

 

Brian C.

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FunGuyfromYuggoth

Doc Savage, Batman, Flash Gordon, The Shadow, The Phantom, The Rocketeer, Tarzan, and their ilk would be interesting to see in this setting. DC Comics (help me out comicphiles) had a Justice League series a few years with Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, etc. confronting a thinly veiled group of Great Old Ones in the ocean.

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ProfSpender

I'd say got for Masks for this - it already is pulp: "Nitocris the Ghoul Queen", resurrected Egyptian Queen with a plan for world domination, can certainly be "supered" up a bit ("Welcome to my underground lair, puny humans."), and the surviving Carlyle expedition members are straddling the border betweeen bond-style villain and super-villain, too.

 

Just what happens if one super investigator takes that rocket head and flys out into space with it during the ritual?

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DrJest

Many times over the years, comics have dabbled with concepts from the Cthulhu Mythos. A classic Swamp Thing story from the early 70's directly mentioned Lovecraft in a story that seemed to feature Abhoth. Many Dr. Strange villains have names or cast spells that sound influenced by Lovecraft and his peers. And one of my favorite JSA story arcs featured an extremely Lovecraftian entity referred to as the King of Tears.

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Marty

I would say White Wolfs 'Adventure' RPG covered just this sort of thing, course, with less Mythos involvement.

 

Also, in an episode of Justice League (possibly Unlimited, can't recall), Cthulhu or something like it was tryng to break into the world and the league fought it back, with help from Solomon Grundy if memory serves... So it has been considered before as viable....

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DrJest

Speaking of DC cartoons, Superman and Dr. Fate teamed up to fight a mythos-style menace in one episode of the WB Superman cartoon. And the second season of Batman Beyond had an amazing two-part episode where he joins the Justice League and they fight a classic JLA villain. The first episode sets a very paranoid tone, as one of the League members tried to kill another one, but they don't know who, and bring Batman in to investigate. The second episode, they know who did it and why, and that brings the team into conflict with an old villain, but the tone of everything is definitely Lovecraftian.

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Guest squashua

I cowrote an article for Pyramid Online a few years ago on just this subject: Lovecraftian Supers. You can check it out at http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/ but you have to subscribe.

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Rev_Danno

Of course there is The doom that came to Gotham.

A gaslight era esleworlds story about Batman.

Giant Penguins!

No really there is way more to it...

I also just remembered the Batman/Hellboy/Starman cross-over from a few years back... good stuff!

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Coelacanth
Many times over the years, comics have dabbled with concepts from the Cthulhu Mythos. A classic Swamp Thing story from the early 70's directly mentioned Lovecraft in a story that seemed to feature Abhoth. Many Dr. Strange villains have names or cast spells that sound influenced by Lovecraft and his peers. And one of my favorite JSA story arcs featured an extremely Lovecraftian entity referred to as the King of Tears.

 

Here he is:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Sorrow[/url]

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Coelacanth
Many times over the years, comics have dabbled with concepts from the Cthulhu Mythos. A classic Swamp Thing story from the early 70's directly mentioned Lovecraft in a story that seemed to feature Abhoth. Many Dr. Strange villains have names or cast spells that sound influenced by Lovecraft and his peers. And one of my favorite JSA story arcs featured an extremely Lovecraftian entity referred to as the King of Tears.

 

This one it?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Sorrow

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DrJest
Many times over the years, comics have dabbled with concepts from the Cthulhu Mythos. A classic Swamp Thing story from the early 70's directly mentioned Lovecraft in a story that seemed to feature Abhoth. Many Dr. Strange villains have names or cast spells that sound influenced by Lovecraft and his peers. And one of my favorite JSA story arcs featured an extremely Lovecraftian entity referred to as the King of Tears.

 

This one it?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Sorrow

 

Yeah, that's the right story arc. I see Johnny Sorrow as sort of a Nyarlathotep type figure, while the King of Tears is like one of the more inhuman Great Old Ones, like maybe Azathoth.

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Guest squashua

That was a great JSA arc. Sorrow is a very cool King in Yellow / Nyarlothotep.

 

If you'd like to see more of him, pick up the prior "JSA Classified" arc involving the Injustice Society where the Gentleman Ghost leads them on a little journey...

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