We often hear about how the creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos are hyperintelligent. With mental faculties far exceeding humans. Even the creatures who aren’t as intelligent as say the Great Race or the Elder things typically have intelligence on par with humans.
Yet often I see in scenarios, game stories or live plays that when the creatures fight the investigators, they do so by simply charging in and bashing them to pieces. Often the creature’s intelligence is only shown through its larger plot, whatever its long-standing goal may be, but is absent as soon as the investigators get in the same room as it.
This is something I’ve been trying to fix in my own scenarios and so I’ve had a few successes looking back.
Once I had a creature that was trying to get the players to come to its lair, so it could eat them. It had access to a few spells including the Cause/Cure Blindness Spell. I fudged the magic point cost but it decided to use its power to blind two of the players any time they move away from it’s lair (A cave they were at the mouth of). Needless to say, it was a bit railroady but it put a lot of fear in them and they reacted very intensely.
Most recently a team of heroes found themselves at the bottom of a well. They had fought and hurt a protoplasmic creature halfway down but learned only fire could damage it. As soon as they did it raced away up the well and covered the well by stretching itself over it. The players continued on lighting torches and getting as much fire as they could. But soon they realized that all of the smoke was collecting in the area and wasn’t able to escape because of the creature forcing them to fight it with a host of penalty dice.
In another scenario my players encountered some Elder Things in their lab. Rather than initially fight them I had the Elder Things treat the investigators like one would an escaped lab animal. They pointed with their arms, gave the characters a lot of room and made gentle noises trying to get them into a particular holding area. The investigators were utterly befuddle and after several attempts the Elder Thing grabbed a hold of one player and tried to guide them in. When they fought back the Elder Things revealed their strength and hurt them as an example to the others.
I’m hoping to see if other people have had this problem or have solutions of their own.
If you have specific tactics for a particular monster let us know, or if you have generic tactics you think for other monsters let us know.
If you’ve had a particular incident of a monster using tactics in combat feel free to share.
Players feel free to hare an anecdote about a time you felt that a monster had you outmaneuvered.
I've given it a little thought, and I think the pooling of stats works pretty well. As @Merudo said, 3 average investigators would tally up to 4 Build, which means they'd each get a Bonus Die tackling a Ghast, and only a single Penalty Die each towards a Dark Young, but I think for the maneuver to work, it would require all 3 to succeed, which would keep the chances of success at a reasonable level. I don't want it being too easy. Thanks for the communal brainstorming, guys
Now out in the wild...
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