Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher (Carrion Crown 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

3.70/5 (based on 10 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher (Carrion Crown 4 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 4: "Wake of the Watcher"
by Greg A. Vaughan

No one goes to Illmarsh. An ugly town, unfriendly to strangers and squatting amid the nastiest stretch of swamp in Ustalav, Illmarsh seems to breed rumor and madness, and those who speak of it always whisper of strange disappearances, misshapen shadows, and sacrifices to things terrible and forgotten. But when the trail of the death cultists known as the Whispering Way leads to Illmarsh, it’s up to the PCs to learn the secrets of the sickly village. There they’ll find a desperate people, caught in a war between beings from beneath the seas and invaders from the darkest corners of the cosmos. Can the heroes save Illmarsh from its tradition of terror? Or will they be the next victims of the horror from beyond the stars?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Carrion Crown Adventure Path and includes:
  • “Wake of the Watcher,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 9th-level characters, by Greg A. Vaughan
  • Blasphemous secrets of the foul faiths known collectively as the Old Cults and sanity-shattering gods such as Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, and Cthulhu, by James Jacobs
  • A giant bestiary filled with eight classic monsters inspired by the writing of H. P. Lovecraft and the tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, by James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan
  • Laurel Cylphra’s discovery that the dead aren’t the only dangers in Ardis in a new entry into the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider

Each monthly full-color softcover 96-page Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-311-8

Wake of the Watcher is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (561 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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I love Cthulhu!

5/5

When you put James Jacobs and Greg Vaughan together and toss in some Cthulhu Mythos for spice you come out with the most sanity-bending awesome tools any H. P. Lovecraft loving GM can use, nay, MUST have. Now Wake of the Watcher is the fourth installment of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, but I can’t talk about the adventure's place in the path, how this fits in with the rest, or how it flows with them. I can say that the adventure within these pages is easily the most portable of the adventures in the paths I have observed in a while. All a GM needs to do is place Illmarsh in the path of players on the way to someplace else, take out any direct references to following Whispering Way operatives and, Whammo! Adventure.

Taken alone the adventure is useful for a GM seeking to fit in to his own campaign, whether you run the Adventure Path as a whole or not. Combined with the support articles, you have pure Cthulhu-esque gold. Now what I hoped for, and happy enough to recieve, was a conversion of ALL of my personal favorite Cthulhu monsters. (Color Out of Space!!) But Mr. James Jacobs went and converted all of my old favorite Outer Gods and Old Ones to Pathfinder godhood status. Not only can I use these to terrify my players, but they can’t even touch them because they are treated as gods. Pardon me while I giggle to myself a little bit.

I realize I haven’t spoken of F. Wesley Schneider’s contribution. This is because I haven’t read it (yet). When I have additional funds I will make every effort to purchase the first three contributions to this adventure path and catch up on what I missed.

Gold, Messrs. Jacobs and Vaughan, Wake of the Watcher is pure gold for Lovecraft lovers. This gem scores a full five elder signs from me.


The stars are right and they rule

5/5

I like this one the most of the carrion crown Aps so far especially the beastairy and the article for the elder gods, for this stuff alone made it worth it for me. I am not much for using modules/adventure paths for I like home brewd adventures when I DM but I love ideas and tools so that is why I buy them, well that and I love monsters and magic items. The adventure itself is chock full Lovecraftian goodness that oozes out of every pore just like a lot creatures in there would do if they had the chance.


A bit dissapointing but not all bad

2/5

So far this AP has been really great, the previous three in the AP have had some really original and engaging bits.

Almost all the AP's have had that one part that i did not much care for. Kingmaker was the first and so far only AP that did not have a bad egg in it. I thought Carrion Crown was shaping up to do the same.... until this one.

Now as a stand alone adventure this one would have been better, but it just does not seem to fit with the rest of the AP. Sure it fits the horror aspect, but not the general feel of the rest of them that came before it.

I think though that one of my problems with this one is the Lovecraft aspect. I personally think that Lovecraft is getting way overused lately, and not just by Paizo. I work for a company that sells games, and so i have to be familiar with them before they come out, and it seems like every forth game or so that comes out has something to do with Lovecraft. So i am a bit burned out with Lovecraft and think that is coloring my view of this one.

Now there are some really neat parts to this adventure though, namely the inventor and his invention and the insanity rules, but i just think it could have been better suited to a stand alone adventure.


Oh mi-go, Oh my oh!

5/5

Wake of the Watcher does a masterful job of continuing the Carrion Crown adventure path and retaining the themes presented throughout the previous adventures even as the theme transitions from the classic horror of Frankenstein, ghosts, and werewolves to the alien horror of the Dark Tapestry. Fans of Lovecraft, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and the D&D adventure The Last Breaths of Ashenport will enjoy this adventure to its fullest.

Wake of the Watcher takes a large step forward bringing the characters much closer to the Cult of The Whispering Way combining mystery, horror, and adventure all the way. However, the real shining star here is the bonus content. Wake of the watcher includes expanded rules on sanity that can be applied to many situations. The details presented on the beliefs and practices of the Cults of The Old Ones have planted the seeds for a new generation of antagonists, secret societies and mad prophets (be they PC or NPC) in future adventures. The bestiary is a true tome of horrors that provides many new monsters who desperately needed official stat blocks and is sure to tantalize any summoner, wizard, and cleric with an interest in the Dark Tapestry. My only regret is that we did not have access to it sooner.

All in all Wake of the Watcher is a fantastic adventure and addition to Carrion Crown. The blend of horror and adventure sets a mood that only a Lovecraft inspired adventure could manifest and provides an excellent array of new content that any DM can utilize making this product worth it to anyone who needs a new element of arcane horror to antagonize their characters whether they are utilizing the Carrion Crown adventure path or not.


Almost great but feels incomplete.

3/5

There is a lot to like about Wake of the Watcher, the new monsters and Lovecraft addendums are excellent. The module itself, in terms of combat, is very well done as well. The problem is that the adventure, as a whole, feels rushed if not outright harried, and as a result it lacks some of the lore and depth of story evident in the earlier modules. A Lovecraft-inspired AP especially should have had at least the depth of story of Haunting of Harrowstone. What story there is honestly feels tacked on.


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martinaj wrote:
Alright, I know I'm probably going to catch hell for asking this, but why is Cthulu always regarded as the end-all-be-all ultimate evil and grand terror of Lovecraft? Frankly, I was a bit bored by the actual "Call of Cthulu" story, and I thought some of his most chilling tales were the ones written before the whole Cthulu Mythos.

Probably because the actually creepy ones are hard to translate to an RPG, while the classic Cthulhu stories work much better in that vein. How do you turn The Colour Out Of Space into a module? Yet, The Call of Cthulhu seems to almost have been written as a game.

Shadow Lodge

martinaj wrote:
Alright, I know I'm probably going to catch hell for asking this, but why is Cthulu always regarded as the end-all-be-all ultimate evil and grand terror of Lovecraft? Frankly, I was a bit bored by the actual "Call of Cthulu" story, and I thought some of his most chilling tales were the ones written before the whole Cthulu Mythos.

Because almost all of his stories have some degree of ties to the Mythos. If you're asking why the entity Cthulhu in particular is singled out, I can't really tell you. He's a mid-level power in the Mythos as a whole.


What about stories like The Rats in the Walls or Picman's Model? There are a plethora of Lovecraft stories that have nothing to do with the mythos. In fact, I think that after the creation of the mythos, Lovecraft started to love his own inventions too much, and became far more concerned with showing off his pantheon than with the quality of his stories.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning the man by any means, I mean he invented a genre. My problem is that the stories within this genre are so often casts as horror, but it seems that "dark sci-fi" would be a more appropriate classification. His ideas are certainly frightening, but the execution is what is lacking. Things in Lovecraft's stories so often seem to be scary because he tells you they are, not because he actually demonstrates their terror.

What bothers me about this is that he demonstrated in his earlier works his ability to write genuinely horrifying tales, but seemed to abandon effective writing techniques in favor of bland narrative.

Dark Archive

martinaj wrote:

What about stories like The Rats in the Walls or Picman's Model? There are a plethora of Lovecraft stories that have nothing to do with the mythos. In fact, I think that after the creation of the mythos, Lovecraft started to love his own inventions too much, and became far more concerned with showing off his pantheon than with the quality of his stories.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning the man by any means, I mean he invented a genre. My problem is that the stories within this genre are so often casts as horror, but it seems that "dark sci-fi" would be a more appropriate classification. His ideas are certainly frightening, but the execution is what is lacking. Things in Lovecraft's stories so often seem to be scary because he tells you they are, not because he actually demonstrates their terror.

What bothers me about this is that he demonstrated in his earlier works his ability to write genuinely horrifying tales, but seemed to abandon effective writing techniques in favor of bland narrative.

The Rats in the Walls and Picman's Model are my two favorite Lovecraft stories. And I do not think any of the Mythos stories would even make my favorite Lovecraft top 10. I do love the Mythos stuff but a lot of his other stories are much better IMO.

And on topic for this thread. It is going to be sooooo hard for me not to read the bestiary section of this book as I am currently a player in the path.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

martinaj wrote:
Alright, I know I'm probably going to catch hell for asking this, but why is Cthulu always regarded as the end-all-be-all ultimate evil and grand terror of Lovecraft? Frankly, I was a bit bored by the actual "Call of Cthulu" story, and I thought some of his most chilling tales were the ones written before the whole Cthulu Mythos.

I would say Nyarlathotep's the "end ll and be all ultimate evil" in Lovecraft, actaully... but Cthulhu has a lot more presence than him, mostly because he's the only one that ever had his name appear as an actual story title mostly. Having your name in the title of one of the most well-known of Lovecraft's stories AND having that same name be the name of the RPG that's been around for over 30 years helps an awful lot with the recognition and fame.


James Jacobs wrote:


I would say Nyarlathotep's the "end ll and be all ultimate evil" in Lovecraft, actaully... but Cthulhu has a lot more presence than him, mostly because he's the only one that ever had his name appear as an actual story title mostly. Having your name in the title of one of the most well-known of Lovecraft's stories AND having that same name be the name of the RPG that's been around for over 30 years helps an awful lot with the recognition and fame.

Speaking of Nyarlathotep, Seems like a good time as any to drop this here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX6HKwOdGZg


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I would say Nyarlathotep's the "end ll and be all ultimate evil" in Lovecraft, actaully... but Cthulhu has a lot more presence than him, mostly because he's the only one that ever had his name appear as an actual story title mostly. Having your name in the title of one of the most well-known of Lovecraft's stories AND having that same name be the name of the RPG that's been around for over 30 years helps an awful lot with the recognition and fame.

The short story "Nyarlathotep" is rather bizarre, even for Lovecraft, and belongs to the dream cycle. I believe I read that it was actually unfinished. Anyway, it's not surprising it's not more read.

Nyarlathotep's real role is in the culmination of the dream cycle, the Dream Quest. I always preferred him and that story to squidface and tCoC in terms of literary appeal.

I can't wait for this. Will we get the pdfs Monday? I'm nearly shaking with excitement! I love what Paizo has done with Lovecraft, even more than Monte's CoC d20. There's a lot more of the dream cycle in Golarion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Azazyll wrote:


I can't wait for this. Will we get the pdfs Monday?

Typically the orders ship either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. It depends on what all you're receiving. For example, since you and I have the same subscriptions (Roleplaying, AP, and Campaign Setting), we'll be getting our stuff at around the same time, whenever that may be.

Needless to say, I too am very much hoping to have this tomorrow.


Can't wait for my copy to ship!


What if you live in eastern China? How long would it take to arrive then? I've just been waiting for the PDFs to become available, but I've wondered recently about singing up for the AP subscription.

Dark Archive

martinaj wrote:
What if you live in eastern China? How long would it take to arrive then? I've just been waiting for the PDFs to become available, but I've wondered recently about singing up for the AP subscription.

No idea, but it would be a bit ironic that the books are printed there and then shipped to the US and then they would in turn be shipped back to China to you. :)

From what some European costumers have said my guess is 2-3 weeks. I think the main killer for them in shipping costs, not sure about for China.


martinaj wrote:
What if you live in eastern China? How long would it take to arrive then? I've just been waiting for the PDFs to become available, but I've wondered recently about singing up for the AP subscription.

I live in Korea and it takes up to 2-3 weeks usually. Tend to get the PDFs rather quickly though, but I suppose that is more based on what you order.


Azazyll wrote:

The short story "Nyarlathotep" is rather bizarre, even for Lovecraft, and belongs to the dream cycle. I believe I read that it was actually unfinished. Anyway, it's not surprising it's not more read.

Nyarlathotep's real role is in the culmination of the dream cycle, the Dream Quest. I always preferred him and that story to squidface and tCoC in terms of literary appeal.

That short story is one of the greatest depictions of the end of the world, far more apocalyptic than anything he wrote later on.

On the issue of the short story Nyarlathotep:
"I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid; and others screamed with me for solace. We swore to one another that the city was exactly the same, and still alive; and when the electric lights began to fade we cursed the company over and over again, and laughed at the queer faces we made."

Ninety years ago, and yet it seems like whenever there is a disaster (in an increasing stream of disasters) all we can do is laugh at the queer faces we make. For all the criticism he gets if he can tap into the human condition with this story then he hits the mark. Even with all the fantastic elements of the short story, I always think of current times and fears whenever I read it.

Grand Lodge

There are some good variant rules for Sanity (Called Stability) over on the Carrion Crown Forums that are worth a look if you do want to introduce that "San Blasting" feel to your games.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Crypt Keeper wrote:

That short story is one of the greatest depictions of the end of the world, far more apocalyptic than anything he wrote later on.

** spoiler omitted **

I agree that it has amazing ambiance and its apocalyptic nature is superbly handled, but to me it always felt more like a nightmare than future fiction. It's also short, even for Lovecraft, if I recall correctly. It's a shame more of his dream fiction isn't read, but there it is. I always thought it would make for a great "weird animation" tv show.

I always like going on geek forums because they are the only places I can be sure to interact with someone else who's read the full canon :) And especially for this AP!

Sovereign Court

gbonehead wrote:
How do you turn The Colour Out Of Space into a module?

Try it and find out:

I don't want to ruin the surprise for folks who might play it:

http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/p/pelgranePress/trailOfCthulhu/v5748btpy8g gw&source=search

Liberty's Edge

So, how did Paizo get permissions for Real Genuine HPL(tm)? I remember back in the day when TSR crossed Chaosium in the first printing of Deities and Demigods with the Mythos and Elric pantheons, that got yanked in the second printing. At that time, Chaosium had exclusive license rights for RPG usage of those properties.

So, either we've passed the magic copyright-checkpoint since then, or Paizo asked Chaosium nicely.

Sovereign Court

The entirety of Lovecraft's been public domain since 2004.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
BobSlaughter wrote:


So, either we've passed the magic copyright-checkpoint since then, or Paizo asked Chaosium nicely.

A little bit of both, actually. As cappadocius mentioned above, Lovecraft has dropped into the public domain, but Paizo also goes out of their way to maintain a good relationship with Chaosium, plugging them and their game whenever possible. They even explicitly point people over to Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu RPG right in the middle of their print products, such as the Lovecraft-inspired Carrion Hill module.

Sovereign Court

Joseph Wilson wrote:
but Paizo also goes out of their way to maintain a good relationship with Chaosium, plugging them and their game whenever possible.

This is important, because while Cthulhu is public domain, "Cthulhu as tubby, green, octopus-headed, tiny-winged, giant dude" is not, and that's some trade dress that is firmly and enthusiastically defended by Chaosium.

Shub-Niggurath? The ONLY thing we have from Lovecraft on that is the name. The debased fertility goddess cloud of hooves and vaginas is a Call of Cthulhu RPG creation, and without good relations with Chaosium, Paizo would have to recreate from scratch a Shub-Niggurath mythos. Better to spend that effort on Lamashtu and Rovagug, which PAIZO can own outright and make other people ask nicely to use.

I'm always interested in seeing how other companies dress up the ol' go-to monsters; Chaosium pretty much owns or has licensed all the distinctive well-known visualizations of these guys, so its a great exercise in creative interpretation of the texts.

Shadow Lodge

cappadocius wrote:
This is important, because while Cthulhu is public domain, "Cthulhu as tubby, green, octopus-headed, tiny-winged, giant dude" is not, and that's some trade dress that is firmly and enthusiastically defended by Chaosium.
Lovecraft wrote:
Above these apparent hieroglyphics was a figure of evidently pictorial intent, though its impressionistic execution forbade a very clear idea of its nature. It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful. Behind the figure was a vague suggestion of a Cyclopean architectural background.

Public domain.

Sovereign Court

Kthulhu wrote:


Public domain.

Cthulhu in the 'popular' imagination is green, has a big round head, has bat-wings in addition to two arms and two legs, with two eyes and tentacles instead of a mouth. That is because that is how he is depicted in the Call of Cthulhu RPG

Not ONE of those traits is to be found explicitly in that description.

Later in the story, it is described as green, having flabby claws, a squid head, and

The Johansen Narrative wrote:


The Thing cannot be described—there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled.

Still awfully vague.

Popular Imagination Cthulhu is Chaosium's baby. Cthulhu himself is not. Paizo's smart enough to walk that line, thankfully.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

As folks have mentioned, Lovecraft's works are in the public domain. Other writers... not so much—that's why you won't see us do much about cthonians, Y'golonac, or Ithaqua—those names aren't in the public domain.

What we can (and DID) do with this particular volume, though, was get permission from the awesome folks at Chaosium to stat up a few creatures from the Call of Cthulhu game that are only obliquely mentioned in Lovecraft's writings. Things like the gnoph-keh and the dark young of Shub-Niggurath are almost wholly the invention of Chaosium, and stats for these creatures wouldn't have been possible without their blessing and permission. Other creatures, though, like the flying polyps or the colour out of space, are so well-detailed in a public domain source that anyone can tackle versions of them... but STILL it's nice to let Chaosium know what you're doing and get their blessing on such ventures.

(As for Cthulhu, you're forgetting all the carvings of Cthulhu that Lovecraft describes, cappadocius... some of which DO have things like arms, legs, and wings, and so on. He's actually one of the few Great Old Ones that Lovecraft DOES bother describing some of the physical and magical abilities of, and there's been illustrations of him in that form LONG before Chaosium came along. In fact, the cover to Arkham House's "The Dunwich Horror" from 40 some years ago does just that, although no bat wings in that one...)

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
As folks have mentioned, Lovecraft's works are in the public domain. ... What we can (and DID) do with this particular volume, though, was get permission from the awesome folks at Chaosium to stat up a few creatures from the Call of Cthulhu game that are only obliquely mentioned in Lovecraft's writings. ... but STILL it's nice to let Chaosium know what you're doing and get their blessing on such ventures.

Thank you James and everyone else for clarifying what's going on.

Also, as much as I like the Golem, i wonder if we'll ever see PaiZuZu. ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BobSlaughter wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
As folks have mentioned, Lovecraft's works are in the public domain. ... What we can (and DID) do with this particular volume, though, was get permission from the awesome folks at Chaosium to stat up a few creatures from the Call of Cthulhu game that are only obliquely mentioned in Lovecraft's writings. ... but STILL it's nice to let Chaosium know what you're doing and get their blessing on such ventures.

Thank you James and everyone else for clarifying what's going on.

Also, as much as I like the Golem, i wonder if we'll ever see PaiZuZu. ;)

In addition to being a creature from real world mythology, Pazuzu is open contenta and you can glance at his winged glory as he appears in Book of Damned vol.2, Lords of Chaos.

Dark Archive

Besides his mention in a few products (not the least is in AP#1) you should check this out.

edit: ninja'd by my favourite Bag of Devouring.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:


(As for Cthulhu, you're forgetting all the carvings of Cthulhu that Lovecraft describes, cappadocius... some of which DO have things like arms, legs, and wings, and so on.

Granted. Of course, I am of the firm belief that we gamers are too quick to accept as gospel, unvarnished truth the ravings (and carvings) of madmen that are virtually the definition of unreliable narrators.

Old Castro's degenerate Cthulhu Cult is the primary source of the idea of End Times and Stars Coming Right, but those have been writ large in the secondary and tertiary sources as the inevitable future of humanity for decades. Sources such as The Mound, At the Mountains of Madness, and The Shadow Out of Time paint a picture of a very different universe than the one those Louisiana cultists see. I expect Cthulhu itself isn't quite the squiddy horror of the idols or Johansen Narrative, either.

That said, taking The Call of Cthulhu as a whole does present a certain template on which we might project, royalty free, a big fat green dude with an octopus for a head. Even if he is trapped on Earth and has no right to be mucking about on Golarion. ;)

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

cappadocius, I dunno why you are so hung up on the popularized conception of Cthulhu being Chaosium IP, but artwork that isn't all that substantially different from many of their artwork has existed for decades before Chaosium ever became a company. Hell, Lovecraft himself drew a quick sketch that showed the world that his artistic talents were almost entirely literary. :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
Hell, Lovecraft himself drew a quick sketch that showed the world that his artistic talents were almost entirely literary. :P

Excellent point.

Here's a link to that sketch.

Looks like Lovecraft himself was fine with the fat humanoid octopus-headed bat-winged version of him. Can't get much more official than that!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
cappadocius wrote:
Of course, I am of the firm belief that we gamers are too quick to accept as gospel, unvarnished truth the ravings (and carvings) of madmen that are virtually the definition of unreliable narrators.

Then why even bother reading Lovecraft's stories in the first place? I mean, if you can't "trust" the stories themselves... what's the point? I think you're overthinking the whole thing.


James Jacobs wrote:


Actually, that's not true today. I think Pathfinder's the most elegant incarnation of those rules. And yes, I've updated my post-apocalyptic RPG "Unspeakable Futures" to be Pathfinder now—six folks get to try it out in a few weeks at PaizoCon, in fact.

I completely agree ... so when will we see "The Unspeakable Futures Core Rules" come out? It'd make an awesome holiday item ;)

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
cappadocius wrote:
Of course, I am of the firm belief that we gamers are too quick to accept as gospel, unvarnished truth the ravings (and carvings) of madmen that are virtually the definition of unreliable narrators.
Then why even bother reading Lovecraft's stories in the first place? I mean, if you can't "trust" the stories themselves... what's the point? I think you're overthinking the whole thing.

That's like asking why even bother to read the Chronicles of Amber because Corwin is an unreliable narrator, Mr. Jacobs. The unreliability or not of a character in a story is irrelevant to its quality as a story.

I'm not even disputing that, in the context of the story, the events we read about happened - exploding Cthulhu and all. I am disputing, and I believe we've gone around on this before, that the madman Old Castro reciting, essentially, the catechism of his faith about stars coming right; and holocausts of killing, and reveling, and joy; and the God-like power of Cthulhu is any different than an old Catholic priest talking about the blood of the lamb, and the Ascension of Christ, and the 2nd Coming. Sure, it's what he believes, but what makes Old Castro more reliable than the bas-reliefs of the Elder Things or the reports of Yiang-Li from 5000 AD, neither of which seem to think of Cthulhu as any worse than a cosmic Saddam Hussein or Xenu?

And even if we *do* accept the reliability of the narrators in Call of Cthulhu, we know that the mere sight of the High Priest of Yog-Sothoth will drive men mad or kill them from fright. Their idols and carvings can be nothing more than sidelong looks, glimpsed in a mirror, darkly.

My opposition, Kthulhu (to switch to another post mid-stream), stems from the standardization of Cthulhu, reducing it to a marketing icon, as stereotyped in appearance as Santa Claus or Charlie Brown.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cappadocius wrote:
That's like asking why even bother to read the Chronicles of Amber because Corwin is an unreliable narrator, Mr. Jacobs. The unreliability or not of a character in a story is irrelevant to its quality as a story.

(shrug)

Still feels to me like you're arguing just to argue. In any case, I'm not really interested in continuing said argument, since I don't really see the point.


Soooo ... any chance we'll see something in a Nightgaunt-ish form? ;)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kevin.....wants.....Now.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Sketchpad wrote:
Soooo ... any chance we'll see something in a Nightgaunt-ish form? ;)
Chances of seeing the nightgaunt statted up in this volume's bestiary are 100% (although sans any connection to Nodens).

Always loved those guys, going back to the Grenadier CoC Creatures set.


Downloading like the fist of the north star.

Dark Archive

Ice Titan wrote:
Downloading like the fist of the north star.

Wha-wha-wha-wha-what!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dark Archive

Ice Titan wrote:
Downloading like the fist of the north star.

I'm going for Nanto Seiken myself, but yeah, downloading too.


martinaj wrote:
Alright, I know I'm probably going to catch hell for asking this, but why is Cthulu always regarded as the end-all-be-all ultimate evil and grand terror of Lovecraft? Frankly, I was a bit bored by the actual "Call of Cthulu" story, and I thought some of his most chilling tales were the ones written before the whole Cthulu Mythos.

You can actually thank the late August Derleth for that. He's the one who coined the term 'Cthulhu Mythos,' in a letter he wrote to HPL. Lovecraft's response was that the Hastur Mythos was a more apropo name for the collective entities from 'outside.' As an aside it wasn't Chaosium that sued over the use of the Cthulhu Mythos and Melnibonean Mythos in the 1st ed. Dieties and demigods, but Arkham House publishing (owner to the rights to HPLs work at the time, helmed by August Derleth) in regards to Cthulhu; and Michael Moorcock himself for copyright infringement over the Melnibonean mythos. These two lawsuits actually paved the way for Chaosium to then accquire the rights to both properties, since the, at the time big dog of the hobby gaming industry had blown it so badly that another chance to use the material would not be forth coming for quite some time (25 or 30 years to be precise)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

James Jacobs wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Hell, Lovecraft himself drew a quick sketch that showed the world that his artistic talents were almost entirely literary. :P

Excellent point.

Here's a link to that sketch.

Whoa. That sketch makes this photograph even more terrifying.

Shadow Lodge

I do agree that it's odd that Cthulhu gets the most publicity, given that he's really a middle-level power in the Mythos. But hey, what u gonna do? That was one of the least of Derleth's crimes against the Mythos.

I do tend to call the whole the collectively just "the Mythos" or "the Lovecraft Mythos" (if I feel the need to be more specific). I feel that is more appropriate than calling it "the Cthulhu Mythos". Lovecraft himself used the term "Yog-Sothothery".

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kthulhu wrote:

I do agree that it's odd that Cthulhu gets the most publicity, given that he's really a middle-level power in the Mythos. But hey, what u gonna do? That was one of the least of Derleth's crimes against the Mythos.

I do tend to call the whole the collectively just "the Mythos" or "the Lovecraft Mythos" (if I feel the need to be more specific). I feel that is more appropriate than calling it "the Cthulhu Mythos". Lovecraft himself used the term "Yog-Sothothery".

Again... it's the power of name recognition. The fact that "Cthulhu" is in the title of one of Lovecraft's more successful stories is key. As is the fact that in our little gamer microcosm the fact that his name is in the title of one of the oldest and most successful RPGs.

Personally, I prefer to call the whole thing the Lovecraft Mythos as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ice Titan wrote:
Downloading like the fist of the north star.

<shakes fist impotently> I want, too! :p


What about some Yog-Sothoth? Can we see some Yog-Sothoth in this volume?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
martinaj wrote:
What about some Yog-Sothoth? Can we see some Yog-Sothoth in this volume?

Yog-Sothoth is listed like any other thing your cleric can worship in here does that work?

Sovereign Court

Justin Franklin wrote:
martinaj wrote:
What about some Yog-Sothoth? Can we see some Yog-Sothoth in this volume?
Yog-Sothoth is listed like any other thing your cleric can worship in here does that work?

Yog-Sothoth is the Gate and the Key.


martinaj wrote:
What about some Yog-Sothoth? Can we see some Yog-Sothoth in this volume?

*cough* Carrion Hill module! *cough*

Cheers, JohnH / Wanda


Kthulhu wrote:

Hell, Lovecraft himself drew a quick sketch that showed the world that his artistic talents were almost entirely literary. :P

Excellent point.

Here's a link to that sketch.

Wot's this?? A sketch of Great Cthulhu taking a cyclopean dump?! =:-o

Cheers, JohnH / Wanda


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just finished reading this last night and I love it. It's an excellent homage to Lovecraft, and also doesn't step too much on the toes of "From Shore to Sea."

I have two small quibbles though: the picture of Illmarsh's mayor, specifically the necktie. Also, were I to run this, I'd definitely skip the part with the

Spoiler:
submarine.

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