Any party manage to send Cthulhu back to R'lyeh?


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As any party of four (or more) mythic PC's managed to succeed in taking on Cthulhu and sending it back to it's slumber in the depths of the corpse city of R'lyeh? Just curious...


Me and my party are currently running our first mythic campaign and it is centered around lovecraftian cults So there is a chance that we might end up fighting him someday but of now outside of theorycrafting debates I have never seen anyone take anything even close to Cthullu on the games I have played


I did it alone as a level 20 mythic five wizard. I knew he was being summoned due to his cult stating so when I pretended to join them. I got ready, learned about him, prepared, and destroyed him before he could move. Twice.


I had a party of 3 Mythic 18th level PCs who did it in a modern day setting (the party was from Golarion, just the setting was modern day), with the help of some army helicopters. Use modified Bestiary 4 stats for Cthulhu. Mine was slightly weaker, but not much.


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This link covers my entire opinion on the topic


Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic

I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.


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Trojan Flumph wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic
I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.

Even in Lovecraft's own mythos, there are things that would squash Cthulhu like a bug, so if Cthulhu occupies "a place" in a GM's world-narrative, that place needn't be at the very top. And if you're in a world where humans have as much "upward mobility" as Golarion does... well, they can climb a lot higher than the level 1-4 commoners that Lovecraft's world probably mostly contained, and face things that would break those commoners' brains to try to comprehend.

Granted, doing so would mean that, even if such a game incorporates "elements from Lovecraft", its overall genre would not qualify as "Lovecraftian Horror" per se. Okay... so? True, if you tell a story about a bunch of heroes ascending to demigod levels of reality-warping magic and punching the Eldritch Abomination in the face until it runs back to R'yleh with its tail between its legs... then yes, you're not telling a story about a hopeless struggle against existential dread.

But those are hardly the only kind of stories you're "allowed" to tell with Cthulhu, any more than mystery-genre stories are the only kind of stories you're "allowed" to tell with Sherlock Holmes.

If the whole thematic "point" of your plot arc is the contention that humans actually can grow beyond what we thought our limits were yesterday, and stake out a claim even in a big, scary universe that doesn't much care about us... then Cthulhu actually makes perfect sense to use as a final boss, for the exact reason that he's the go-to poster child for the opposing view.

So... maybe it's not the case that those GMs "have no idea what they are doing".

Maybe they're just doing something different.


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claymade wrote:
Trojan Flumph wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic
I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.

Even in Lovecraft's own mythos, there are things that would squash Cthulhu like a bug, so if Cthulhu occupies "a place" in a GM's world-narrative, that place needn't be at the very top. And if you're in a world where humans have as much "upward mobility" as Golarion does... well, they can climb a lot higher than the level 1-4 commoners that Lovecraft's world probably mostly contained, and face things that would break those commoners' brains to try to comprehend.

Granted, doing so would mean that, even if such a game incorporates "elements from Lovecraft", its overall genre would not qualify as "Lovecraftian Horror" per se. Okay... so? True, if you tell a story about a bunch of heroes ascending to demigod levels of reality-warping magic and punching the Eldritch Abomination in the face until it runs back to R'yleh with its tail between its legs... then yes, you're not telling a story about a hopeless struggle against existential dread.

But those are hardly the only kind of stories you're "allowed" to tell with Cthulhu, any more than mystery-genre stories are the only kind of stories you're "allowed" to tell with Sherlock Holmes.

If the whole thematic "point" of your plot arc is the contention that humans actually can grow beyond what we thought our limits were yesterday, and stake out a claim even in a big, scary universe that doesn't much care about us... then Cthulhu actually makes perfect sense to use as a final boss, for the exact reason that he's the go-to poster child for the opposing view.

So... maybe it's not the case that those GMs "have no idea what they are doing".

Maybe they're just doing something different.

This. This so much.

And actually, going with Lovecraft's own themes, Cthulhu is just an organic super alien. There's nothing supernatural about him, he's just much more advanced than us, but in the end he's just one more critter in a cold, dark and meaningless universe.

People prop Lovecraft's creations way higher than what they were actually supposed to be.


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Trojan Flumph wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic
I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.

I disagree entirely. He's a perfectly acceptable high-level mythic threat. There are stats in Bestiary 4. I like to think Paizo doesn't put stats in a book and expect people to ignore their existence, or just look at them and go "wow, pretty stats."


rando1000 wrote:
I like to think Paizo doesn't put stats in a book and expect people to ignore their existence, or just look at them and go "wow, pretty stats."

Isn't that what they expect from every monster?


rando1000 wrote:
Trojan Flumph wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic
I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.
I disagree entirely. He's a perfectly acceptable high-level mythic threat. There are stats in Bestiary 4. I like to think Paizo doesn't put stats in a book and expect people to ignore their existence, or just look at them and go "wow, pretty stats."

Pathfinder even has NPCs without stats, the gods. Everyone else is fair game to fight.


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rando1000 wrote:
Trojan Flumph wrote:
Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This link covers my entire opinion on the topic
I couldn't agree with this more. If your GM has ever has you combat Cthulhu in any physical way then they have no idea what they are doing.
I disagree entirely. He's a perfectly acceptable threat for high-level mythic characters. There are stats in Bestiary 4. I like to think Paizo doesn't put stats in a book and expect people to ignore their existence, or just look at them and go "wow, pretty stats."

They know about the stats. They is partly why they made the comment. They don't think he should have been given stats.


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wraithstrike wrote:
They know about the stats. They is partly why they made the comment. They don't think he should have been given stats.

Then don't blame the GM. Blame the company that put out the stats. Once there are stats for something, you shouldn't say "the GM has no idea what they're doing" for using those stats.


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rando1000 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
They know about the stats. They is partly why they made the comment. They don't think he should have been given stats.
Then don't blame the GM. Blame the company that put out the stats. Once there are stats for something, you shouldn't say "the GM has no idea what they're doing" for using those stats.

Just because someone gives you the stats that does not mean they have to use them. <----That is likely their counter, but we know from 3.5 that if you give something stats the players will try to kill it.

Personally, I don't agree with them since he is an actual creature, and not even the top guy despite being the most famous.

I don't see it as blaming the GM, so much as disagreeing with how to use Cthulhu. What they want Cthulhu to represent can not really be done in Pathfinder unless the group buys in with their idea.

It is more of a "you're doing it wrong" than "this is ALL your fault", and yes there is a difference.


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wraithstrike wrote:
They know about the stats. They is partly why they made the comment. They don't think he should have been given stats.
rando1000 wrote:
Then don't blame the GM. Blame the company that put out the stats. Once there are stats for something, you shouldn't say "the GM has no idea what they're doing" for using those stats.

Personally, I just feel he's been stated up* very incorrectly** because fans have (reasonably) bought into the hype instead of buying into the themes.

The Zygomind and the game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem both capture Cthulu and the mythos themes (and puts them in a potentially hopeful*** PF-like context) better than most anything that I could hope for.

I personally feel that the needless inflation makes them both less interesting and less terrifying - less cosmic and less weird - than they actually are in their own texts.

The zygomind is horrifying because it's a CR 18: you're expected to be able to not only take it on, but win against it at that level - or, with effort, at level 15! That... that is terrifying^. Stuff like denizens of leng, aboleths, intellect devourers, and so on are all decent. As soon as the mythos entities enter it, though, weird things start happening and CRs and abilities seem to get weirdly inflated and not entirely affiliated with what's actually written in the text: Cthulu's stats, for example, make it entirely impossible for the novel in which he actually appears to happen: there is no reasonable way for those people to ever make those DCs or survive anything even remotely resembling that stat block, without so many natural 20s that it strains credulity, even for the Power of Plot.

But then again, I'm aware that I feel that stats are there to assist in telling the story (and should constrain the story), and I seem to have a different philosophy than the developers at PF, so that's a thing^^. But that's just different people with different ideas and preferences. :)

* The real conversation I'm talking about picks up here.
** That post and the next two posts thereafter.
*** Well, sort of.
^ At least, if you don't allow extreme rules uses, such as infinite wishes or similar.
^^ It's too bad for me, but that's how it goes. It's one of the primary reasons I stuck with PF instead of 4E: that the rules are consistent across PC and NPC, mortal and monster and other creatures alike - all things follow the same basic rules structures and you can hypothetically have any one thing follow any path... they all work the same, and the world is internally consistent. But that's just not quite how Paizo wants to run things, it seems. :/ Oh well.


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wraithstrike wrote:


Just because someone gives you the stats that does not mean they have to use them. <----That is likely their counter, but we know from 3.5 that if you give something stats the players will try to kill it.

I don't know from 3.5, but I know from Ad&D1... that letter to Dragon Magazine from that gaming group that wanted a second Deities and Demigods because they had already killed everything in the first was pretty infamous back when.

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Someone's group killed all the AD&D gods... including the good aligned ones?! That's just nuts. What sort of GM would even have that as a possibility in the campaign?! Generally speaking, when you have a god personally show up in an RPG campaign it's as a Plot Device.


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Unless the plot was to overthrow the Titans (as in the old gods, not the titan giant)


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wraithstrike wrote:
rando1000 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
They know about the stats. They is partly why they made the comment. They don't think he should have been given stats.
Then don't blame the GM. Blame the company that put out the stats. Once there are stats for something, you shouldn't say "the GM has no idea what they're doing" for using those stats.

Just because someone gives you the stats that does not mean they have to use them. <----That is likely their counter, but we know from 3.5 that if you give something stats the players will try to kill it.

Personally, I don't agree with them since he is an actual creature, and not even the top guy despite being the most famous.

I don't see it as blaming the GM, so much as disagreeing with how to use Cthulhu. What they want Cthulhu to represent can not really be done in Pathfinder unless the group buys in with their idea.

It is more of a "you're doing it wrong" than "this is ALL your fault", and yes there is a difference.

I would note that Pathfinder even has Azathoth if someone wants to tell that kind of story. Azathoth has no stats and is the size of a star. You aren't going to physically engage that and win.

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Then as mentioned, there's the zygomind. That thing is scary. Even if you kill one, you can never tell if you actually killed it or are trapped in it's dream world. I've been toying with the idea of a campaign centered around the party spending the first 6 or 7 levels trapped in a zygomind's dream world, only to wake up weak, near death, and years younger then they think after a party of high level adventurers kill the creature.


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Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Then as mentioned, there's the zygomind. That thing is scary. Even if you kill one, you can never tell if you actually killed it or are trapped in it's dream world. I've been toying with the idea of a campaign centered around the party spending the first 6 or 7 levels trapped in a zygomind's dream world, only to wake up weak, near death, and years younger then they think after a party of high level adventurers kill the creature.

If you kill a Zygomind in its mindscape it dies in the real world, so you're safe.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
I would note that Pathfinder even has Azathoth if someone wants to tell that kind of story. Azathoth has no stats and is the size of a star. You aren't going to physically engage that and win.

What's funny, is that I would say it depends on what you mean by "physically engage" that.

Azathoth has no stats, but is supposedly the size of a star.

But I'm required by law to wonder: how does that work, exactly?

We know that PF-omniverse actually shares a cosmology with earth - not just any earth, but an earth where 1920s-era science (and p(r)ossibly even more advanced science, if the crashed Numerian tech is any indication) actually functions along-side magic... but which part is which?

(Though you've got much larger scales attributed to Azathoth than a single star in some works, you are correct in PF canon that is exactly how large he is.)

At the size of Azathoth, you've got to have one of several things happening to have an actual entity going on:

1) "science fiction" - matrioshka brain, or similar megastructures, and perhaps hypothetically something along the lines of a black hole; these sorts of things would actually be able to function (hypothetically) as creatures (of a sort) and would possibly need the sort of weird handling (at least in very broad strokes, as interpreted by Lovecraft) seen in the Cthulu mythos, in terms of having other creatures more or less placating the super-thing to prevent it from going nuts all over everything with it's super-power (especially if it had lots of potential other stuff going on). One of the really cool things is that you've got lots of weird possibilities that this kind of creature could start doing that no one wants it to do, including creating Kugelblitzes or other weirdness that could cause lots and lots of very bad things. Heck, if the surrounding creatures were (effectively) Jupiter brains who were forced to attend their own hyper-sentient-yet-idiot-Matrioshka-brain star, you have pretty much the exact scenario Lovecraft described with only a visual difference to describe it... the weirdness factor would still solidly be there, and very, very bad things could and would happen to the universe if the court didn't keep up their "dancing" and "piping" or whatever. And of course Jupiter brains sending out endless probes to and from each other and beaming signals and whatnot would be weird and having their own near Dyson-swarm-like satellite clusters would look formless and amorphous. And that low, steady beep of a satellite could sound like monotonous piping. But, frankly, this kind of thing would likely never be accepted. Even if I do think science is the perfect tool for explaining the inexplicable... ;D

1) "magic" - this explanation is interesting, but points to several flaws, because magic really doesn't explain (Ex) functions well (which are explicitly supposed to be "not magic") and which Cthulu's immortality is supposed to be (probably in a developer's attempt to prevent people from actually killing him*). The problem, though, is that if you rely on magic, you start having clear, concise, easy ways of dealing with the thing.

2) "weirdness" - this is really the only thing that's going to be accepted, and it's really the most frustrating way that it can be handled, because it results in "whatever we feel like we need" but the problems become plentiful: it begins to strain credulity and cause really weird and frustrating stat blocks to become a part of the game. You just start looking at a thing and asking, "What, exactly, is a GM supposed to use this for, and when?" It's left unclear and uncertain - and what's more, the stat-block might not tell the creature's own story (that is, the story that the creature(s) originally came from). You're left with things that do not fit well in either the narrative of the original story, nor in the rules of PF very well. The zygomind leaves several rules questions open - it's a plant that forces mind-affecting effects and only allows you to escape by using mind-affecting effects on it; that requires either a very specific build (or magic items), or something that the GM places in the game that lets you get around that... but the GM knows that going in, and it fits with the rules systems. There is no exception to the rules just to make this one monster arbitrarily "scary" (which, really, it just makes "frustrating" for players instead). It's not that this sort of thing can't be good - I mean, the Tychilarius is another example of weirdness-based statblock, as is the havero and its tentacle, or the bhole** - but these things are built to be interesting encounters and to make interesting stories with their rules systems.

Buuuu~uuut, as I've said before my preferences definitely don't line up with everyone's.

* The problem with Cthulu's statblock is that his immortality explicitly notes that he fades away to "his tomb in R'lyeh" until he's released again. But what if some form of trap to damage or harm him is placed in his tomb? Or what if his tomb is destroyed? The fluff text notes that he's bound there (and it's fortunate), but that negates the text of his immortality entry, and there's really no backup text to indicate what happens. Probably intended to be implied that he can't be beaten down permanently anymore, but rules-wise, without a R'lyeh, his essence goes to R'lyeh... which is nowhere. He'll never be released from the tomb, because it doesn't exist. He's gone for good. Of course most GMs likely wouldn't let that fly. Which comes back to the problem: what are GMs actually expecting to do with Cthulu's statblock? Of course, I thought the Star Spawn of Cthulu was a bit over-the-top, but that's just me...
** Though I do not understand the reasoning behind that creature's charisma score. At all. Anyone want to help me out?


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Since they are leaders of cults and use other creatures to their own end it makes sense that they have a high charisma score.


wraithstrike wrote:
Since they are leaders of cults and use other creatures to their own end it makes sense that they have a high charisma score.

The bhole is? Hm... I didn't realize that. How do they manage that with a 3 Int? Thanks!


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Tacticslion wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Since they are leaders of cults and use other creatures to their own end it makes sense that they have a high charisma score.
The bhole is? Hm... I didn't realize that. How do they manage that with a 3 Int? Thanks!

I thought you were talking about the Star-Spawn. I didn't notice the ** so I thought the sentences were connected.


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Tacticslion wrote:
The problem with Cthulu's statblock is that his immortality explicitly notes that he fades away to "his tomb in R'lyeh" until he's released again. But what if some form of trap to damage or harm him is placed in his tomb? Or what if his tomb is destroyed? The fluff text notes that he's bound there (and it's fortunate), but that negates the text of his immortality entry, and there's really no backup text to indicate what happens. Probably intended to be implied that he can't be beaten down permanently anymore, but rules-wise, without a R'lyeh, his essence goes to R'lyeh... which is nowhere. He'll never be released from the tomb, because it doesn't exist. He's gone for good.

Personally, I'd probably go at it from the opposite direction were I GMing such a clash. Treat R'lyeh itself as more or less an enormous artifact, complete with an artifact's quirk of "only one way to destroy it". That method being, in this case, to permakill Cthulhu.

If I were going to explore that angle, I might let that be accomplished by killing him in the actual heart of R'lyeh itself, after he's already where he's been sent back to. Or maybe something more involved, depending on the needs of the campaign.


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Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Then as mentioned, there's the zygomind. That thing is scary. Even if you kill one, you can never tell if you actually killed it or are trapped in it's dream world. I've been toying with the idea of a campaign centered around the party spending the first 6 or 7 levels trapped in a zygomind's dream world, only to wake up weak, near death, and years younger then they think after a party of high level adventurers kill the creature.

Why not just go all the way(or as close as you feel you want to run) to 18, have the PC's fight a Zygomind, then(win or lose) have them wake up in the same situation?

Even better, reduce them to 1 hit die(and lvl 1 stats/skills) and have them level back up to level 7 as NPC classes gestalted with their "dream" class, using minimal "adventurer" type encounters as though they were characters in an idealistic sit-com type(or a reality show) world instead of adventurers, with any cosmic source they tap for information referencing their "dream" character while everyone else just pretends(or has no knowledge) of them, finally unravelling their "too perfect" world however you like(either pulling "your princess is in another castle" with another Zygomind or changing it up with something else capable of world altering.


wraithstrike wrote:
Since they are leaders of cults and use other creatures to their own end it makes sense that they have a high charisma score.
Tacticslion wrote:
The bhole is? Hm... I didn't realize that. How do they manage that with a 3 Int? Thanks!
wraithstrike wrote:
I thought you were talking about the Star-Spawn. I didn't notice the ** so I thought the sentences were connected.

Ah! Okay. Thanks! I just thought I was missing some important bit of lore somewhere. (That happens.) :D

EDIT: Easier to read, I hope.


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Charisma is force of will/ presence.

Mindbreaking horrors have vast amounts of that.


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Bhole Talk!:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Charisma is force of will/ presence.

Mindbreaking horrors have vast amounts of that.

Sure!

... but what does it do with it?

I mean, it amounts to a +6 on Intimidate checks; +10 if it's larger than it's opponent - which it probably will be. That's... not very much, for a CR 17 creature.

None of its other things use charisma at all, and it's a +6 bonus to any other attempted social checks (which it's noted as not talking very often, so it doesn't try it much).

Don't get me wrong - I don't actually have a problem with it having a high charisma.

I'm just confused because it feels so very un-Pathfinder-like. PF normally only has stuff to make the numbers do a thing to fit a chart. I can't figure what chart they were trying to fill.

Beyond that, with a 3 INT and no skills other than Perception, a 23 CHA feels... strange.

So... what does it do with it?

What minds does it bend in horror? It's mostly "a really, really big, really cool monster... that has a high charisma" to me, and I'm curious why.

Then again, "mind-bending horrors" either don't seem to have very high charisma, or else seem to explicitly be designed to use it in at least some capacity or another, you know?
(Even if it's exactly one skill, at least they're intelligent enough to make use of it.)

The bhole just seems to be in an odd place to me.

A bhole isn't even evil - hypothetically, you could communicate with it, solve its needs, and help it live in harmony with yourself and your planet (whatever that is). So... less horror, and more just big, dumb, and dangerous. Potentially horror, but not inherently. I'd try to be its friend, first, personally. That would be awesome, actually. Like a Mythosian Falcore...

*cue Neverending Story theme with Mythos-themed words...*

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claymade wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
The problem with Cthulu's statblock is that his immortality explicitly notes that he fades away to "his tomb in R'lyeh" until he's released again. But what if some form of trap to damage or harm him is placed in his tomb? Or what if his tomb is destroyed? The fluff text notes that he's bound there (and it's fortunate), but that negates the text of his immortality entry, and there's really no backup text to indicate what happens. Probably intended to be implied that he can't be beaten down permanently anymore, but rules-wise, without a R'lyeh, his essence goes to R'lyeh... which is nowhere. He'll never be released from the tomb, because it doesn't exist. He's gone for good.

Personally, I'd probably go at it from the opposite direction were I GMing such a clash. Treat R'lyeh itself as more or less an enormous artifact, complete with an artifact's quirk of "only one way to destroy it". That method being, in this case, to permakill Cthulhu.

If I were going to explore that angle, I might let that be accomplished by killing him in the actual heart of R'lyeh itself, after he's already where he's been sent back to. Or maybe something more involved, depending on the needs of the campaign.

Alternately, and this would probably fit the mythos better... You kill it, the essence returns to R'lyeh, but with the tomb/prison destroyed Cthulhu simply reforms, is stunned for a few rounds, then is fine. This would naturally be a great "Oh... !@#$" moment as the heroes come to realize that the elder sign they destroyed had been the only thing imprisoning this eldrich abomination. Assuming they aren't left an insanely babbling (and possibly suicidal) wreck.

After all "That is not dead which may eternal lie, and in strange aeons even death may die."

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M1k31 wrote:
Kahel Stormbender wrote:
Then as mentioned, there's the zygomind. That thing is scary. Even if you kill one, you can never tell if you actually killed it or are trapped in it's dream world. I've been toying with the idea of a campaign centered around the party spending the first 6 or 7 levels trapped in a zygomind's dream world, only to wake up weak, near death, and years younger then they think after a party of high level adventurers kill the creature.

Why not just go all the way(or as close as you feel you want to run) to 18, have the PC's fight a Zygomind, then(win or lose) have them wake up in the same situation?

Even better, reduce them to 1 hit die(and lvl 1 stats/skills) and have them level back up to level 7 as NPC classes gestalted with their "dream" class, using minimal "adventurer" type encounters as though they were characters in an idealistic sit-com type(or a reality show) world instead of adventurers, with any cosmic source they tap for information referencing their "dream" character while everyone else just pretends(or has no knowledge) of them, finally unravelling their "too perfect" world however you like(either pulling "your princess is in another castle" with another Zygomind or changing it up with something else capable of world altering.

Interesting idea. As I said, still tinkering with the campaign concept here. The idea was that the level 1 party starts investigating a problem in a village, only to unwittingly get trapped in the dream realm by the zygomind. I'm tenitively thinking level 7 for the 'reveal' because to be honest, I know I'd get really upset if the GM let us get to level 18 then pulled dick move such as "Oh, your entire adventuring career ws just dream, you're level 1."

I was thinking I'd let them keep the experience earned, so they're still level 7. But they would have to actually train to 'recover' any physical level up attributes they assigned and the physical conditioning (hit dice). And naturally they don't have the equipment they thought they did. To soften that blow I am considering having some magical gear in the zygomind's 'horde' which is equivalent or maybe bit less effective.


Kahel Stormbender wrote:


....I know I'd get really upset if the GM let us get to level 18 then pulled dick move such as "Oh, your entire adventuring career ws just dream, you're level 1."

I was thinking I'd let them keep the experience earned, so they're still level 7. But they would have to actually train to 'recover' any physical level up attributes they assigned and the physical conditioning (hit dice). And naturally they don't have the equipment they thought they did. To soften that blow I am considering having some magical gear in the zygomind's 'horde' which is equivalent or maybe bit less effective.

to clarify, I wasn't thinking bumping them back to level one exactly either, but rather reducing their hit die and skill points(and spell level/spells known) to their level one state, then returning each every time they gain a new NPC level. and the "dream" would be handled almost as a separate campaign at that point, more to simplify the campaign than anything(so essentially just the GM calling the Campaign complete early, then tying in two more).

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Hmm, interesting there. WHile the zygomind is a horrifying entry in the bestiaries, it does provide some intriguing possibilities for campaigns. You know, if you're mixing in the Cthulhu mythos that could even be one way to justify saving a party which did all fall under the mental whammy of a zygomind. You know, finding a path into Lovecraft's Dreamscape, and from there back to reality. Various stories by Lovecraft do heavily imply there are places where you can walk into the dreamscape while still awake after all.


Well, hypothetically, they could literally plane shift out of the region of dreams, though you might require multiple shifts: from Peng to dream, from dream to ethereal, from ethereal to material. Of course it might be more of a journey, depending on your interpretation: having to go from Leng (or wherever) to dream to the deep ethereal to the shallow ethereal and then home no 'shifts allowed.


...

... sooooooo...

... tooting my own horn. (Sort of.)

Tacticslion wrote:
1) "science fiction" - matrioshka brain, or similar megastructures, and perhaps hypothetically something along the lines of a black hole; these sorts of things would actually be able to function (hypothetically) as creatures (of a sort) and would possibly need the sort of weird handling (at least in very broad strokes, as interpreted by Lovecraft) seen in the Cthulu mythos, in terms of having other creatures more or less placating the super-thing to prevent it from going nuts all over everything with it's super-power (especially if it had lots of potential other stuff going on). One of the really cool things is that you've got lots of weird possibilities that this kind of creature could start doing that no one wants it to do, including creating Kugelblitzes or other weirdness that could cause lots and lots of very bad things. Heck, if the surrounding creatures were (effectively) Jupiter brains who were forced to attend their own hyper-sentient-yet-idiot-Matrioshka-brain star, you have pretty much the exact scenario Lovecraft described with only a visual difference to describe it... the weirdness factor would still solidly be there, and very, very bad things could and would happen to the universe if the court didn't keep up their "dancing" and "piping" or whatever. And of course Jupiter brains sending out endless probes to and from each other and beaming signals and whatnot would be weird and having their own near Dyson-swarm-like satellite clusters would look formless and amorphous. And that low, steady beep of a satellite could sound like monotonous piping. But, frankly, this kind of thing would likely never be accepted. Even if I do think science is the perfect tool for explaining the inexplicable... ;D

You know, I wrote this, but I really like this as an alternate take on Lovecraft.

Eerie monotonous piping.

... So. Awesome.

XD

(I love it when seemingly unrelated things just kind of "synch up" when just examining things in an unrelated way. So cool.)


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How about they think they defeated the Zygomind by opening the rift to their home. They arrive and free the old themselves from he Zygomind, and don't disappear. The rift remains open and mythos monsters start coming through.

To close the rift, they have to fix the paradox, somehow.

I think there is magic, science, and 11th dimensional rules of unnatural nature. If R'lyeh is a demiplane inside, and you summon Yog Sothoth in there, his presence destroys the place. To destroy Cthulhu you have to get him into the dessert, as his element is water, and he will die. If the dessert ever floods, he will come back to life. There may be dried up starspawn in the dessert, waiting for some idiot to expose them to water.


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Cthulhu in the dessert, perhaps jello?
Now Cthulhu in the Desert....
Cthulhu as water demon is An August Derleth slant on the Mythos, much more suitable to the hero-centric DuD focus than Lovecrafts.

If you want closer to the Lovecraft vibe, just ignore the rules as Cthulhu and his masters' presence is felt. The town becomes a pool of screaming slime. Even a Miracle can,t change it, and the most powerful divination says that it was and will always be that way.
Are you going to try to tell your goddess that she is wrong about that? Don't worry though, a greater restoration will mostly fix up your false memories.


Goth Guru wrote:

How about they think they defeated the Zygomind by opening the rift to their home. They arrive and free the old themselves from he Zygomind, and don't disappear. The rift remains open and mythos monsters start coming through.

To close the rift, they have to fix the paradox, somehow.

I think there is magic, science, and 11th dimensional rules of unnatural nature. If R'lyeh is a demiplane inside, and you summon Yog Sothoth in there, his presence destroys the place. To destroy Cthulhu you have to get him into the dessert, as his element is water, and he will die. If the dessert ever floods, he will come back to life. There may be dried up starspawn in the dessert, waiting for some idiot to expose them to water.

Daw wrote:

Cthulhu in the dessert, perhaps jello?

Now Cthulhu in the Desert....
Cthulhu as water demon is An August Derleth slant on the Mythos, much more suitable to the hero-centric DuD focus than Lovecrafts.

True! If you go with this take, he should be quite vulnerable to a certain elemental plane.

Or hell.

Heh.

"Cthulu in Hell: Who is the Monster When Waters of Madness Meet Flames of Malevolence?" would make an interesting book...

Daw wrote:

If you want closer to the Lovecraft vibe, just ignore the rules as Cthulhu and his masters' presence is felt. The town becomes a pool of screaming slime. Even a Miracle can,t change it, and the most powerful divination says that it was and will always be that way.

Are you going to try to tell your goddess that she is wrong about that? Don't worry though, a greater restoration will mostly fix up your false memories.

Naw. If you want to closer to the Lovecraft vibe, have Cthulu be the rough equivalent of a Zygomind in CR with an unbeatable regeneration and trading mind-control for mind-breaking SLAs and head-gas, but with a marked propensity to go back to sleep for "reasons" - just so long as he's both large enough to try to stupidly swallow a boat, and weak enough that said boat pops his head.

Also of not-terribly-advanced wisdom.

The creatures of Lovecraft's designs weren't really all that powerful or tough, relatively speaking; they just had a huge amount of hype built up around them, and the ability to drive low level commoners and experts mad.

Attempts to make them the "Sephiroth" will inevitably lead to frustration.

Heck, that didn't even work for Sephiroth.

It is worth noting that fans still insist that Sephy is "the best" even though he entirely failed to kill Cloud when he stabbed him when Cloud was little more than an untrained kid, he lost when he had godlike power to Cloud and his friends, he lost a one-on-one duel with Cloud, and his followers went to absurd lengths in order to resurrect him just so that he could lose another one-on-one duel with a Cloud who was weak due to dying from disease. All because Seph was able to mind-control Cloud that one time, when Cloud was much weaker and explicitly had been rebuilt with a mind-control effect inside of him.

This is the thing: Sephiroth just seems daggum awesome, and is powerfully charismatic, and has a whole myth built about him, making him seem much more invincible than he really is; Cloud is just kind of cool.

Same thing with SquidsMcGee Cthulu et. al.

Sure, they're terrifying - most anyone in their right mind should be at least mildly nervous that the thing exists and might wake up - but the PF-style heroes are not most anyone, and attempting to scale Cthulu up either results in hyperbole that never happened (or, at best, happened in suspicious-at-best accounts - and is relatively easily recreated by moderate-level PF folks anyway), or the weirdly statted monstrosity that appeared in the Bestiary 4.

Thing is, Squidders isn't really meant to be all that big a deal. He's the one people remember, but he's kind of a small fry. Godlike to a regular schmo, but so is a level 18 character.

The Zygomind is terrifying precisely because it fills the space of "right there within reach, but oh so very far away." - it's terrible because you know what it can do to you, and there's no way you'd ever really be able to be sure, even as a player, that it hadn't.

Make Cthulu that thing, that also worships bigger things.

That would be pretty terrifying.

(I still like my interpretation above, though. That is truly terrifying... because it's quasi-plausible.)

Dark Archive

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Oh, nice to see a Cthulhu stats conversation :D

I mean, apparently part of the party I run games for is composed of Lovecraft fans since some of them keep complaining about why Ctulhu is CR 30(and why Bokrug the water lizard even has stats since he is one shot guy apparently) since they think he should be the weakest of great old ones.


Yes, Cthulhu is small fry compared to Azathoth and its peers. Some of that may be because something has already killed him, and he is waiting on Death to die before he fully wakes up again. If someone figures out away to collapse the reality of R'Lyeh into, say, the First World where death doesn't exist, you need to erase that someone from existance so not even a memory remains.

Look up August Derleth edits for Mythos Defeatable, stay away from undiluted Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. Lieber and Howard are good resources.

You can do serious Lovecraftian and related True Eldritch Horror, but not within the spirit of the Pathfinder Adventuring Hero ruleset. The True Gods of Golarian are beyond the mere rules the characters live and die by. The Great Horrors of the Lovecraftian Mythos are anathema to those rules.

Find out which reality you are in before your your Superhero tries to shake the Pillars of Heaven. Neither take is more valid than the other, but they are completely incompatible.


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I think its appropriate to mention the following:

1 -> People have built characters to solo Cthulhu in 1v1 combat
2 -> Cthulhu has whopping 31 intelligence, meaning that he knows he can be beaten in 1v1 combat and would be unlikely to engage in it against a powerful enough foe.

If the GM plays Cthulhu as a simple fight, fighting to the death, then of course he is easily defeated. If you play Cthulhu like he is even smarter than your party's God Wizard, give him minions, and make use of his +48 UMD then he becomes a whole lot scarier. Especially since Cthulhu 3x treasure for a CR30 encounter, that is a lot of gold that can be sunk into wands, scrolls, staves, rods, or other spell trigger items. With +48 to UMD he will always make the roll to activate these items, and succeeds 95% of the time. Cthulhu has 4 tentacles that are listed as weapons, they can probably each hold a spell trigger item.

Keep in mind that Cthulhu can use potions as well.

Where does he get these items? Worshipers. Their offerings can be taken directly to Cthulhu via his hoard of Star-Spawn who can Gate 1x day, additionally, it is worth mentioning that there is no limit to the number of Starspawn the GM can fiat into existence. After all, Cthulhu has been operating for a very long time. Besides the star-spawn, there are also cultists, other aberations that the star-spawn have enslaved, the potential for ascended cultists (those worthy enough to be brought to R'lyeh itself), and the fact that Cthulhu is operating on multiple planets simultaneously for thousands of years.

Basically, anyone who decides to make Cthulhu fight like an Int 3 creature who tries to straight up fight his opponents is making criminal use of the resources the Great Old One has at his disposal to throw at the PCs.


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^
This, basically. High-level foes need to be played smart if you want them to be genuine threats to a high-level party.


Most of these aren't played for anything more than notches on a sword belt.


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Daw wrote:
Most of these aren't played for anything more than notches on a sword belt.

Which is a shame, because those notches are basically meaningless if the encounter isn't played well. Sure you "beat" the Cthulhu but where is the challenge? Its a false victory.


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ShroudedInLight wrote:
Daw wrote:
Most of these aren't played for anything more than notches on a sword belt.
Which is a shame, because those notches are basically meaningless if the encounter isn't played well. Sure you "beat" the Cthulhu but where is the challenge? Its a false victory.

On a much less imposing level than Cthulhu, this is something I've complained about who GM's run Dragons in Pathfinder for a long time. Players often comment on how easy dragons are to kill, then you find out the GM run the dragon like a big animal.


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Daw wrote:

Cthulhu in the dessert, perhaps jello?

Now Cthulhu in the Desert....
Cthulhu as water demon is An August Derleth slant on the Mythos, much more suitable to the hero-centric DuD focus than Lovecrafts.

If you want closer to the Lovecraft vibe, just ignore the rules as Cthulhu and his masters' presence is felt. The town becomes a pool of screaming slime. Even a Miracle can,t change it, and the most powerful divination says that it was and will always be that way.
Are you going to try to tell your goddess that she is wrong about that? Don't worry though, a greater restoration will mostly fix up your false memories.

The spell checker sucks with context. I meant Desert, the one with sand.

But a separate set of rules for mythos creatures is what I was going for. Maybe all your attacks cause Cthulhu to grab the closest character and retreat to an ocean of tentacles beyond the sky.


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I figured it was spellchecker, nice to know my arch-nemesis is distracted by others on occasion. I loved the mental picture though.

Rather want a Cthulhu jello mold now, and I don't even like Jello.


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Saldiven wrote:
On a much less imposing level than Cthulhu, this is something I've complained about who GM's run Dragons in Pathfinder for a long time. Players often comment on how easy dragons are to kill, then you find out the GM run the dragon like a big animal.

The other side of the coin is: There are already GMs who are very reluctant to use dragons, because they feel they can't make the fight as epic as 'necessary'. You can find a few postings about this on the boards - and more or less, I belong to this group.

So, from the perspective of the players, is it better to get no dragon or one used in a mediocre / bad way?

For myself, the answer is: Get used to dragons with related creatures (drakes, amphipteres etc.), where the expectations are lower but the monsters have several capabilities in common with true dragons. This way you improve your chance to deliver a 'proper' dragon fight later.

To get back to Cthulhu: Maybe the same applies here - a rather new GM could build up experiences with lesser related creatures to make Cthulu really a memorable fight.

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