Mankind is not alone in the Universe. That is the terrible truth that lies behind all cosmic horror, and in particular the most well-known tales penned by H.P. Lovecraft.

Listed below are the unnatural creatures and unique entities invented by Lovecraft to be the agents of alien terror that propel his stories and provide them with ghastly detail. Compared to most of the monstrosities mentioned here, humanity is just an insignificant footnote in the ledger of all life that has evolved in our reality (and in those adjacent dimensions that are sometimes accessible).

Azathoth

Lord of All Things, Blind Nuclear Chaos, Idiot God

a vast seething mess of nuclear chaos

Azathoth by Brad Hicks

Azathoth is the nuclear chaos, the blind and idiotic god at the center of the Universe. It is the Lord of all things, creating and destroying worlds, surrounded by a horde of dull and amorphous dancers who lull Azathoth with their thin and monotonous flute-like drone, perhaps keeping ultimate chaos at bay. A fragment of Azathoth, were it to arrive on Earth, would spell devastation for vast swathes of land.

Azathoth is at the center of many occult rites and secret organizations, each drawn to the power ascribed to him by ancient tradition. Many legends exist regarding the meaning of Azathoth’s true name, since (it is reputed) knowing that name offers tremendous powers.

POW 100

Physical Attacks: Lethality 60% with Kill Radius 3 meters/yards, doubling in damage each successive round (corrosive touch).

Outer God: Azathoth is so powerful that it exists and acts beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, it has no physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact. For regular people, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. An earthly manifestation of Azathoth might begin as a relatively local phenomenon (say, 50 yards across), but the scale of the incursion expands exponentially over time.

Beyond the Veil: The presence of Azathoth, or even fragments of its form, may be sufficient to disrupt the fabric of space-time. This results in strange perceptions, fluctuations in the perceived reality. Witnesses often report sensations of images, sounds and smells becoming distorted. In some cases, people may be able to peer behind the veil of normality and physical laws.

Cosmic Chaos: The motivations of Azathoth are so far beyond human imagination that they seem random and erratic — true chaos in the purest sense of the word. Random and improbable events transpire when Azathoth’s presence coalesces in a region of space-time. The forms of causality humans are accustomed to, begin to break down.

Cosmic Resonance: The flute-playing horrors that lurk in Azathoth’s court transmit their blasphemous music across the universe. Sometimes this odd “music” also reaches individuals who are sensitive to it, or especially talented. Cases have also been reported where a curious resonance with the cosmic songs can be produced through skilled playing of musical instruments or through scientific experiments.

Nuclear Chaos: Encountering Azathoth — or even just a fragments of its being — exposes a character to radioactive radiation (see rulebook for guidelines on damage due to Radioactivity). The potency of radiation dose depends on the type and duration of the encounter and is left to the discretion of the GM.

Unnatural Knowledge (+1d100): Encountering this creature inevitably increases the character’s Unnatural Knowledge by +1d100 points. The character then simultaneously loses sanity points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity check protects against this trait. The Unnatural Realization occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and regardless of its result. A face-to-face encounter with nuclear chaos leads to both profound insights into the truths of our universe and inevitable madness.

SAN Loss: 1D10/1D100 to witness the physical form of Azathoth (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Achieving mental contact with the blind chaos costs 1D6/1D20 SAN.


Yog-Sothothery

“He thought of the ancient legends of Ultimate Chaos, at whose center sprawls the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a daemonian flute held in nameless paws.”

The Haunter of the Dark, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1935.

Beings of Ib

Faithful Children of Bokrug

The city known as Ib in the land of Mnar was the site of one of the most infamous acts of destruction in the history of Earth’s Dreamlands.

For vast ages Ib was inhabited by a race of creatures (the so-called Beings of Ib) that were similar in scale to humans but vastly different in form. The bodies of the Beings of Ib resembled toads or frogs and they were silent – never a word issued from their pouty, slack lips. They also possessed large bulging eyes. It is said that the Beings of Ib descended from the moon; because of their unusual biology they felt most comfortable living in humid regions such as moors or jungles. The Beings of Ib never displayed any hostility towards humanity.

At some point in Dreamlands history, humans from the cities of Thraa, Ilarnek and Kadatheron expanded their territories to the point where they encroached upon the stone city of Ib and its neighboring lake. At first the two races co-existed. But eventually, the ruthlessness of the humans led them to commit a dire act – mercilessly killing all the Beings of Ib. Then they razed the city to the ground. On its ruins they built a new human city – a place they dubbed Sarnath.

However, the spirits of the Beings of Ib were not so easily dispelled. Along with their great god Bokrug, these dead souls waited for 1,000 years before they decided to take their ultimate revenge. One night, without warning, doom came to Sarnath and every human in the city was slain. Thus it was that the loyal Beings of Ib helped their god to become worshiped across the land of Mnar and beyond. The Beings of Ib – if any are still alive in the current Dreamlands – would be protected and supported by their god’s many adherents.

STR 12 CON 10 DEX 11   INT 12 POW 8
HP 11    WP 8

Size category: Medium.

Movement: Beings of Ib can crawl 9 meters/yards along the ground in a turn. If swimming they can move 10 meters/yards in a turn. 

Armor: 2 points of rubbery skin.

vs Lethal Damage: RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill a Being of Ib but inflicts normal Hit Point damage equal to the Lethality Rating, less the normal armor rating (minimum 1 HP).

Attacks:

Front Leg Strike 30%, damage 1D4.
Rear Leg Venom 40%, Lethality 5%, onset after 1D10 turns; mucous membrane and skin irritation.

Skills: Athletics 50%, Swim 75%.

Summons of Ib: The Beings of Ib have an innate ability to call others of their race to congregate to perform rituals to their god Bokrug together.

Terror of Ib: Anyone who witnesses the strange ritual dances of the Beings of Ib run the risk of being struck down by a chilling feeling of terror. Somehow the gestures which form part of these rites and the indescribable flames issuing from the golden platters combines to inspire horror. Anyone affected must make a POW×5 test or flee in abject fear. Remaining in the presence of this uncanny display costs 1/1D4 SAN per minute.

Dreams of Ib: The Beings of Ib (and their disembodies ghost forms) can make contact with humans through their dreams. Affected individuals experience visions of the lost city of Ib, usually accompanied by haunting alien flute music. So vivid are the dreams that those experiencing them cannot say for certain whether it was truly a vision or whether they were truly transported back to the ancient days when the city still existed. Superstitious folk believe that receiving such visions is a sign that one should show reverence towards the lost Beings of Ib and their great god.

SAN Loss: 1/1D6.


Yog-Sothothery

Beings of Ib are ultimate pacifists. Even when humans came to dwell alongside them (and even live inside the walls of their city), they were willing to share their territory and resources. It was purely human greed that caused the peace to be broken.

While traditionally associated with Earth’s Dreamlands, there is no reason that the Beings of Ib might not also be found elsewhere.

“It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young, before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar, another city stood beside the lake; the gray stone city of Ib, which was old as the lake itself, and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold. Very odd and ugly were these beings, as indeed are most beings of a world yet inchoate and rudely fashioned. It is written on the brick cylinders of Kadatheron that the Being of Ib were in hue as green as the lake and the mists that rise above it; that they had bulging eyes, pouting, flabby lips, and curious ears, and were without voice.”

— The Doom That Came to Sarnath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1920.

Bholes

Destroyers of Worlds

a giant fanged worm like creature

Bhole by Brad Hicks

According to Mythos lore, Bholes are worm-like creatures that inhabit the Dreamlands, dwelling in the valley of Pnath in the underworld. It is said that no one has ever seen a Bhole and returned from the experience to describe the creature first-hand. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the strange monstrosities typically dwell in places of absolute blackness. Secondly, they are huge and vastly destructive, easily crushing or devouring a human form perhaps without even noticing it. 

There are some vague rumors of very similar creatures called “Dholes” — most authorities believe the two names to refer to the same horrors, but as always in the study of arcane matters there is no certainty or consensus about such matters.

STR 300 CON 400 DEX 8   INT 13 POW 24
HP 350    WP 24

Size category: Extremely Large (target size bonus: +40%).

Movement: Bholes can crawl 23 meters/yards along the ground in a turn. If they burrow into the earth they can move 12 meters/yards in a turn. 

Armor:10 points due to massive physique (see MASSIVE, below).
vs Lethal Damage: RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill a Bhole but inflicts normal Hit Point damage equal to the Lethality Rating, less the normal armor rating (minimum 1 HP).

Attacks:

Crush & Smother 30%, Lethality 99%, armor piercing 10-points.
Swallow 30%, Lethality 99%, armor piercing 10-points.

Skills: Alertness 50%, Athletics 80%.

Sense Vibration: Bholes use echolocation (like that of a bat) to orient themselves in the pitch blackness. However, their eerie song also serves a secondary purpose, namely communicating with others of their species. Such signals can carry through several miles of solid rock. Some outlandish accounts even suggest that a Dhole’s song can penetrate through space and time. Because of this special perceptive ability, a Dhole can sense even the slightest vibration in the ground near their current location.

Massive: A Bhole is a gigantic giant worm from the Dreamlands. Its massive body loses hit points from ordinary attacks (minus armor), but attacks with lethality value are less efficient (see above). 

Pinning: If the victim remains alive after a successful attack, he or she is usually buried under the Bhole’s vast body; all such targets are considered pinned.

Wormhole: Bholes eat through any type of rock or soil with ease. Their skin secretes a chemical that stabilizes their tunnels after they have been dug (or rather, chewed). Bholes are native to Earth’s Dreamlands, however, a Bhole can burrow not just through stone but also across time and space. By such arcane means, they are able to tunnel their way to reach other worlds. When a Bhole travels in this way, it leaves behind a curious and quite large tunnel through earth and rock which abruptly ends. For a short time after the transmigration of the Bhole, its wormhole remains open — potentially permitting other entities, or people, to follow it on its strange journey. A Bhole can also use its wormhole abilities to achieve a tactical advantage in combat, fleeing quickly or drastically shortening the distance between it and its opponents.

SAN Loss: 1D8/1D20.


Yog-Sothothery

It is believed that Bholes also also capable of digging tunnels between the Dreamlands and other dimensions. They pose an immense threat to any location they infest, since they are more than capable of devastating entire planets. A single specimen can reduce cities to rubble. Furthermore, their ability to “burrow” through time and space opens up many interesting story ideas for scenarios. Are such wormholes stable? Where do they lead to and in what time-zone? What transformations might happen to a human that uses such extra-dimensional anomalies?
 
Of all the many strangely-named creatures mentioned in the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, there are few that have received as much debate and discussion among Lovecraft scholars as the Bholes — or Dholes — or, occasionally Doels. Published versions of Lovecraft’s short stories mention all of these names, seemingly referring to similar (perhaps identical) monstrosities. Scholars have wondered whether HPL intended these to be the same, or whether the difference in spelling is intentional. S.T. Joshi, perhaps the most prolific of modern Lovecraft scholars has strongly asserted that the appearance of the name “Dholes” in early published editions is actually an error — perhaps a mis-correction of someone’s reading of Lovecraft’s manuscript or typescript. For this description we have accepted Joshi’s argument, and made “Bhole” the primary name for these terrors. Of course, in the context of a game there’s nothing stopping inventive designers charting their own course and developing a distinct and separate worm-like monstrosity and calling it a Dhole. It’s your game after all. 
 

“Now Carter knew from a certain source that he was in the vale of Pnath, where crawl and burrow the enormous Dholes; but he did not know what to expect, because no one has ever seen a Dhole or even guessed what such a thing may be like. Dholes are known only by dim rumour, from the rustling they make amongst mountains of bones and the slimy touch they have when they wriggle past one. They cannot be seen because they creep only in the dark.”

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Bokrug

The Corruptor

6 eyed lizard creature from nightmares

Bokrug by Brad Hicks

Based on the depictions of Bokrug, which are often executed as stone, sea-green idols or ornate works of glass, onyx, or other valuable materials, this god-like entity takes the form of a water lizard. Bokrug is still worshiped throughout the land of Mnar (in Earth’s Dreamlands), despite his faithful servants — the Beings of Ib — having been brutally slain by the townspeople of Sarnath. Bokrug waited 1,000 years to finally raise the spirits of the dead beings of Ib and bring doom to Sarnath.

POW 24

Physical Attacks: Lethality 15% with Kill Radius 1 meter/yard (fearsome bite or tail lash).

Great Old One: Bokrug is so vastly powerful that it exists and acts beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, it has no physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact with that creature. For humans, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. Its physical form is larger than man-sized (roughly the size of buffalo).

Spirit of Bokrug: Bokrug can summon and command dead beings that served him during his lifetime as spirits. After fulfilling Bokrug’s will, they may then continue to live on in whatever plane of existence they have been called to.

Bane of Bokrug: Should harm befall his followers, or if asked to do so as part of a ritual, Bokrug can bring ruin to entire lands. To do this, he summons the spirits of his dead minions, spreading terror and madness until nothing is left. In this way is Bokrug’s thirst for vengeance satisfied.

Unnatural Insight (+1D10): Encountering Bokrug inevitably increases the character’s Unnatural skill by +1D10 points. The character then simultaneously loses sanity points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity check protects against this trait. The Unnatural Insight occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and regardless of its result. This only applies to the first encounter with Bokrug or a vision of him.

SAN Loss: 1D8/1D20 to witness the physical form of Bokrug (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Achieving mental contact with the corruptor costs 1D4/1D10 SAN.


Yog-Sothothery

“Thus of the very ancient city of Ib was nothing spared, save the sea-green stone idol chiseled in the likeness of Bokrug, the water-lizard.”

The Doom That Came to Sarnath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1920.

Cats of the Dreamlands

Graceful and Mysterious Denizens of Slumber

Earth’s Dreamlands are home to many cats. Some are native to that curious other reality, others are felines from our world indulging in their favorite pastime. The latter find their way to the Dreamlands in much the same way as human Dreamers. There they live in harmony with the native cats of the Dreaming, conversing in their feline language.

If it is needed, Cats of the Dreamlands can fashion themselves into formidable warriors. Fighting with fury and coordination they can present a fury of claws and sharp teeth upon their foes.

Dreamlands Cats have numerous enemies, not least of which are the sneaky Zoogs who seem always to be plotting ways to subjugate the feline population. Then there are the cruel (and alien) Cats From Saturn who alongside the dreaded Moon Beasts represent some of the most terrible opponents anyone could face in the Dreamlands.

Despite all their detractors, Cats of the Dreamlands spend most of their time as care-free and peace-loving citizens, living harmonious lives in the cities made by humans. They are even said to occasionally form lasting friendships with chosen human companions and even take such individuals with them when they travel to the dark side of the moon. Given that they make such trips by launching themselves into space in a vast single leap, riding along would be quite an odd experience.

Cats hold special status in a few parts of the Dreamlands. For example, in Ulthar it is the law that no person may harm a cat. The people who live in that city well understand the reason behind this ancient law (even if they can’t explain it fully to visitors). Somehow it relates to the worship of cats in Ancient Egypt, and the watchful protection which the goddess Bastet provides for felines in both the Waking World and the Dreamlands. Some say that the Cats of the Dreamlands simply know how to contact their goddess when the fur begin to fly …

STR 3 CON 3 DEX 18   INT 12 POW 10

HP 3    WP 10

Size category: Medium.

Size category: Extremely Small (target size penalty: -20%).

Movement: Cats can move 12½  meters/yards in a turn. 

Armor: None.

vs Lethal Damage: NORMAL – affected by Lethal Damage the same way humans are affected.

Attacks:               

Claw or Bite 60%, damage 1.

Skills: Alertness 55%, Athletics 65%, Dreamlands Lore 25%, Military Science (Cats) 60%, Stealth 80%, Tracking (Smell) 65%.

Rituals: Accelerated Healing, Body Swap, Dominate Will, Open Dimensional Rift, Prolong Life.

SAN Loss: 0/1 SAN to see a cat do something “impossible” outside the Dreamlands.


Yog-Sothothery

Are the common cats that we know really that different from the Cats of the Dreamlands? Perhaps for felines the barriers between the Waking World and that other dimension are easier to navigate – and that every one of these velvet-footed creatures is truly a denizen of both worlds. It may be that the only reason that nobody in our world has ever head a cat speak is because they want to keep us in the dark about their true abilities. Or perhaps it is some ancient feline law? It is possible then that the great rivalry between the Cats and the Zoogs might not just be in the Dreamlands but might extend into our world too. It would certainly explain what some of the otherwise bored house companions might get up to after nightfall. Who knows, maybe they even have their own abilities to cast Unnatural rituals?

“It was a stupendous sight while the torches lasted, and Carter had never before seen so many cats. black, grey, and white; yellow, tiger, and mixed; common, Persian, and Manx; Thibetan, Angora, and Egyptian […]”

— The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Colour Out Of Space

Incorporeal Devourer of Vitality

The Colour Out Of Space is an entity comprised wholly of energy of a form unknown to human science. Humans perceive it as a kind of alien color – a hue that is entirely unlike anything in the normal spectrum of light.

Wherever The Colour comes into contact with living beings or plants that life withers, the affected flora or fauna (or people) taking on the same extraterrestrial color. In one documented case, such a Colour came to Earth somehow embedded in a meteorite which fell close to Arkham, Massachusetts. Adding to the terrible devastation caused by the impact, the true horror was caused by the insidious corruption caused afterwards by the Colour. Over a period of months, the effect on people and the surrounding environment became increasingly devastating, ultimately ending in madness and death.

Nothing is known of the physiology of this bizarre creature and it is uncertain whether The Colour is a single, unique entity or part of a race of similarly enigmatic energy beings. Equally obscure is the motivation and aims of this weird but seemingly insatiable form of “life”.

STR N/A CON N/A DEX 14   INT 12 POW 20
HP 10 per size category*           WP 20

* i.e., 10 HP for an Extremely Small Colour, 20 HP for a Small specimen, 30 HP for a Medium, 40 HP for Large, 50 HP for Very Large, and 60 HP for Extremely Large.

Size category: Varies from Extremely Small (target size penalty -40%) to Extremely Large (target size bonus: +40%) as The Colour grows (see GROWTH).

Movement: The Colour Out Of Space can move 15 meters/yards in a combat round while rolling along the ground; 25 meters/yards while flying.

Armor:None, but unaffected by physical attacks (see TRANSCENDENT, below).
vs Lethal Damage: IMMUNE – not affected by physical attacks yielding Lethal Damage.

Attacks:

Corrosive Touch 40%, damage 1D6 to both HP and WP (see also PENETRATING ATTACKS and LIFE FORCE DRAIN, below).

Skills: Alertness 50%, Stealth 70%.

Preternatural Senses: The Colour Out Of Space can innately sense all living beings in its immediate vicinity (15 metres/50-feet radius per size category: i.e., Extremely Small specimens can sense 15m, Small can sense 30m, Medium 45m, Large 60m, Very Large 75m, Extremely Large 90m).

Penetrating Attacks: The Colour is a purely energy being, hence its attacks are not impeded in any way by armor (i.e., ignore all Armor ratings).

Flight: The Colour can move effortlessly through the air and is not bound by the normal physical laws of motion.

Life Force Drain: The presence of The Colour exerts a corrosive effect on its surroundings, literally draining life. This is evidenced by rotting or wilting plants, disease, and accelerated aging in people and animals. The Colour’s influence is felt across a circular area whose radius depends on the size of The Colour (15m/50-feet per size category, as per PRETERNATURAL SENSES, above). Any being which remains in this area of effect cannot regain Hit Points through normal processes of natural healing; similarly, the regaining of Willpower Points is reduced considerably with a night’s sleep only recovering 1D4 WP. A person who remains for an extended period in territory blighted by The Colour will lose 1D4 SAN per week spent continuously in its influence. Direct physical contact with The Colour is even more damaging: not only do affected individuals lose HP and WP, but they also visibly age (e.g., gaining gray hair or wrinkles).

Transcendence: The Colour Out Of Space is immune to normal physical damage. It is a purely energy being which can easily pass through normal matter.

Growth: It is unclear whether The Colour is a single being or a colony of countless smaller energy creatures. Regardless, after becoming resident in a location, it slowly grows. Even the presence of a small Colour will be enough to begin the spread if the specimen is able to absorb life force from its surroundings. If fed in this way, a Colour will grow one size category (e.g., from Small to Medium) every 1D6 years spent draining the environment.

SAN Loss: 1/1D6 to see The Colour when it is Extremely Small or Small, 1/1D8 to witness it at Medium size, 1D4/1D10 to see it as Large, 1D6/1D12 to see it at Very Large size. Anyone unlucky enough to see The Colour when it reaches Extremely Large size suffers 1D8/1D20.


Yog-Sothothery

The origins and aims of The Colour Out Of Space are unknown. Perhaps it is an entity that explores the cosmos by piggybacking on comets and meteorites, uncovering new worlds as it journeys through space. It may be that its characteristic drain of any lifeforce it encounters is simply part of its experimental gathering of samples. Or perhaps its corrosive influences on the environment are The Colour’s attempts to make contact with other life – perhaps even its plea for help to survive in a physical reality that is inimical to its biology.

West of Arkham, the Gardner’s farm lies now underwater at the bottom of a man-made reservoir. It was in the well of that farm that The Colour once lived – perhaps some fragment of its strange hue still survives down in the cold depths?

“It was a monstrous constellation of unnatural light, like a glutted swarm of corpse-fed fireflies dancing hellish sarabands over an accursed marsh; and its color was that same nameless intrusion which Ammi had come to recognize and dread. […] It was no longer shining out, it was pouring out; and as the shapeless stream of unplaceable color left the well it seemed to flow directly into the sky.”

— The Colour Out Of Space, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Creeping Corpses

Animated Corpse-Colonies of Squirming Maggots

Creeping Corpses are the products of arcane rituals conducted by wizards and sorcerers who seek to gain a form of “immortality”. Via such magicks their bodies are transformed from human flesh into something nauseating – a mass of swarming maggots that maintains general humanoid outlines. These are grave insects that fed on the decomposing corpses of the wizards’ earthly remains, and thereby absorbed a fragment of that person’s spirit.

The colony of worm-like creatures usually assemble themselves into the approximate human outlines of the original sorcerer. Their bodies are, however, unnaturally soft and clammy and so the Creeping Corpses usually cover themselves in loose-fitting cloaks or veils to disguise their uncanny appearance.

Creeping Corpses cannot speak and can only communicate with others through gestures and by writing. Because they are, in fact, composed of hundreds of individual living things, the colony can rearrange to adopt other physical forms, squeeze itself through even the smallest of cracks or holes, and (in extreme cases) even disband entirely.

STR 8 CON 15 DEX 8   INT 18 POW 18
HP 12  WP 18

Size category: Medium.

Movement: Creeping Corpses can move 7½ meters/yards in a combat round.

Armor: None (but see UNNATURAL ORGANISM and SWARM, below).

vs Lethal Damage: PARTIALLY IMMUNE – when struck by a Lethal attack, percentile dice are rolled as normal even though the test will automatically fail. The Creeping Corpse, instead takes Hit Point damage equal to the lesser of the two digits on the Lethality roll.

Attacks:

Improvised Weapon 30%, damage 1D4-1.

Skills: Alertness 40%, Dreaming 80%, Dreamlands Lore 50%, History 60%, Occult 90%, Unnatural 60%.

Rituals: Aklo Sabaoth (Shub-Niggurath), Inflict Harm, Open Dimensional Rift, Summon Entities (Night-gaunts), and other rituals at the GM’s discretion.

Formless: Although they tend to usually adopt a humanoid outline (in memory of their original form), Creeping Corpses in fact have no fixed rigid form. They can thus squeeze themselves through very narrow openings, even passing through tiny cracks if needed. They can also morph their shape at will, even taking on the rough outlines of specific people. Via such methods, the Corpses have a limited ability as shapeshifters, although they cannot mimic details such as facial features (a limitation they can overcome with a suitable mask).

Swarm: Creeping Corpses are made up of a vast colony of individual smaller creatures. If they wish, they can disperse that colony and instead attack as a mass of many insectoid horrors. Fighting back against such a swarm is difficult, since most damage is dispersed among many discrete bodies. In game terms, successful attacks against such a swarm yields a maximum of 1HP damage. Lethal attacks cannot kill outright but yield HP damage instead (see above). If a Creeping Corpse is reduced to 0HP while in swarm form, its constituent parts are considered scattered and/or destroyed.

Unnatural Organism: Because a Crawling Corpse’s body is little more than an ever-shifting mass of maggots, their physical form has no real weak points of vulnerable organs. Targeting to increase damage is therefore not possible, nor are critical hits. However, the creature still takes regular damage.

SAN Loss: 1D8/1D20.


Yog-Sothothery

The worm-laden forms of the Creeping Corpses aren’t dangerous physical opponents. They can, however, prove difficult opponents mostly because of their significant knowledge of the Mythos and its attendant unnatural rituals. After all, you don’t study the arcane arts without picking up a thing or two and living for centuries – even if as a maggoty mass – gives one time to reflect on the nature of reality and the many rituals for manipulating it.

Creeping Corpses’ ability to pose as human – at least in a very rudimentary fashion – also adds to their potential for mischief. Most Creeping Corpses belong to an arcane group aptly called the Cult of the Creeping Doom; most also worship Shub-Niggurath.

“The nethermost caverns, wrote the mad Arab, are not for the fathoming of eyes that see; for their marvels are strange and terrible. Cursed the ground where dead thoughts live new and oddly bodied, and evil the mind that is held by no head. Wisely did Ibn Schacabao say, that happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes. For it is of old rumor that the soul of the devil-bought hastes not from his charnel clay, but fats and instructs the very worm that gnaws; till out of corruption horrid life springs, and the dull scavengers of earth wax crafty to vex it and swell monstrous to plague it. Great holes secretly are digged where earth’s pores ought to suffice, and things have learned to walk that ought to crawl.”

— The Festival, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1925.

Great Cthulhu

High Priest of the Great Old Ones

a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.

Cthulhu by Brad Hicks

Cthulhu is the priest of the Great Old Ones and sleeps in his dark house in the sunken city of R’lyeh until the “stars are right”, at which time the island and its cyclopean and non-Euclidean structures will rise again from the floods. Great Cthulhu sends his mental “call” to humans, primarily the creative and artistic minds, and causes them to see in their dreams things of ages to come.

In addition, cults exist throughout the world that worship Great Cthulhu and yearn for his resurrection. The most prominent of these is undoubtedly the so-called Cthulhu cult, which has followers scattered around the world who practice obscure and blasphemous rituals.

POW 42

Physical Attacks: Lethality 66 with Kill Radius 2 meters/yards (flabby claws or face tentacles).

Great Old One: Great Cthulhu is so vastly powerful that it exists and acts beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, it has no physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact with that creature. For humans, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. Its physical form is enormous (roughly the size of a battleship).

Idols of Cthulhu: Obscure carvings, intricate depictions on ancient reliefs, signs written in incomprehensible language — there exist countless Cthulhu idols that are central to the worship of the Cthulhu cult. However, these items also have a greater power: unnatural vibrations emanate from such artifacts, heralding the ominous vision of a new age. It is rumored that the presence of idols also enhances Great Cthulhu’s influence in the local vicinity.

Cthulhu Cults: Worshipers of Great Cthulhu may be found all over the world. The most powerful group of these is the international Cthulhu Cult.

Call of Cthulhu: Cthulhu has the power send tidings of his coming reign to dreamers around the world. However, most of the time the waters surrounding R’lyeh suppress these mental projections, keeping them from the minds of men. On certain occasions, such as the appearance of R’lyeh in March 1925 or other circumstances, such barriers are removed. Depending on the nature of the dreams and the things witnessed, they may result in SAN losses and abnormal behavior, even mass panic attacks.

Unnatural Insight (+1D20): Encountering this creature inevitably increases a character’s Unnatural skill by +1D20 points. The character simultaneously loses SAN points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity test protects against this trait. The Unnatural Insight occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and irrespective of its result.

SAN Loss: 1D10/1D100 to witness the physical form of Cthulhu (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Being visited by his dreams costs 1D4/1D10 SAN.


Yog-Sothothery

“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.”

— The Call of Cthulhu, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1926.

Dagon and Hydra

Father and Mother of the Deep Ones

A large fish/human hybrid cradling a tall rune & illustration carved obelisk

Father Dagon by Brad Hicks

A large fish/human hybrid perched on all fours on top of a large rock jutting out of the sea

Mother Hydra by Brad Hicks

Dagon and Hydra both resemble Deep Ones, but at an enormous stature. They are each vastly powerful entities, deeply revered by their people. According to legend Dagon and Hydra are the “father” and “mother” respectively of the Deep One race. Both are believed to have significant powers to control nature and the ability to influence people through their dreams.

In many cases, humans chosen by Deep Ones to replenish the race’s gene pool are brought before Dagon or Hydra to receive special ordinations from them.

POW 30

Physical Attacks: Lethality 21 with Kill Radius 2 meters/yards (monstrous claws).

Great Old One: Dagon and Hydra are each so vastly powerful that they exist and act beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, neither has physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact with either entity. For humans, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. The physical forms of Dagon and Hydra are both immense (roughly the size of a bi-plane).

Call of Dagon/Call of Hydra: Either Great Old One is capable of calling Deep Ones as well as other sea creatures to their location, whether for protection or in pursuit of other goals.

Dream Sending: Dagon and Hydra can send dreams to humans, albeit on a limited basis. Such dreams almost always involve immediate coastal regions close to the recipient, or a vision of the crew and passengers of passing ships.

Weather Control: Dagon and Hydra can summon severe storms at will, as well as calm winds, fog banks, or enormous waves. The area of influence of such abilities is limited to maritime locations: the open sea, islands, or coastal regions.

Unnatural Insight (+1D10): Encountering this creature inevitably increases a character’s Unnatural skill by +1D10 points. The character simultaneously loses SAN points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity test protects against this trait. The Unnatural Insight occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and irrespective of its result.

SAN Loss: 1D10/1D20 to witness the physical form of either Dagon or Hydra (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Experiencing a dream sent by either (or otherwise achieving mental contact) costs 1/1D4 SAN.


Yog-Sothothery

Dagon and Hydra are both of elemental importance to all Deep Ones, being figures central to the social order of the species. How far their contact or kinship with the sleeping Cthulhu extends is not known. However, it is generally assumed that Cthulhu, the Deep Ones and Hydra and Dagon share much more than just the sea.

“[…] an’ the children shud never die, but go back to the Mother Hydra an’ Father Dagon what we all come from onct—Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.”

— The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1931.

Deep Ones

Scourge of the Seas

a long tailed half man half fish abomination

 Deep One Maria Savko

This race of amphibious sea creatures has made its home in the dark trenches of the deep sea and on the reefs off the coasts of humans for a very long time. In such places they have built underwater cities, establishing aquatic empires. The Deep Ones worship their dark gods, Dagon and Hydra, and above all worship Great Cthulhu.

Deep Ones are notoriously deadly hunters underwater, although they can be just as deadly on land. Their physical form is human-like, but far more powerful, and their heads are more fish-like. Their skin is grayish-green with a white belly and a scaly dorsal crest. Deep Ones have webbed feet and gills and speak with raspy, barking voices.

Deep Ones are immortal: it is possible to see the knowledge of the aeons in their bulging dark eyes – assuming one survives an encounter. This usually only happens when the Deep One in question has a particular reason to let the person live.

Animals fear and shy away from Deep Ones, and dogs bark at them. The Deep Ones themselves fear the Elder Sign like nothing else.

Deep Ones have maintained a special relationship with humans, particularly those living in remote locations near the sea, for thousands of years. They also mate with humans and enter into pacts with them, e.g. The Esoteric Order of Dagon.

STR 25   CON 30 DEX 18   INT 13 POW 15
HP 28     WP 15

Size category: Large.

Movement: Deep Ones can move 10 meters/yards in a combat turn on the ground; 13 meters/yards while swimming.

Armor: 3 points of thick skin (see also UNNATURAL ARMOR, below ).

vs Lethal Damage: NORMAL – affected by Lethal Damage the same way humans are affected.

Attacks:

Claw Rake 50%, Lethality 10% (plus KNOCK DOWN, see below).

Skills: Alertness 60%, Athletics 40%, Stealth 40%, Swim 80%.

Rituals: Aklo Sabaoth (Dagon and Hydra), Summon Entities (Dagon and Hydra).

Amphibious Life Form: Deep Ones can breathe indefinitely both on land and in water. However, they dry out if they are separated from water for too long. Long-term separation from the water means eventual death for a Deep One.

Reproduction: Deep Ones can inter-breed with other species. Such unions can arise either voluntarily or from the Deep One exercising their Call of the Deep power (see below). The hybrid children created have some fish-like features to their anatomy, but otherwise possess the normal characteristics of their non-Deep One parent species. It is generally believed that hybrids evolve into Deep Ones as they age, with many disappearing into the sea. Having even a tiny amount of Deep One genetic heritage can trigger such a change, and it is possible for the taint to remain undetected for generations. The exact factors that trigger a transformation are not been fully known or documented. It is also unknown whether this hybridization is a frequent method of reproduction (perhaps the main way Deep Ones reproduce?) or a rare phenomenon.

Knock Down: If the victim is still alive after a successful claw rake, the force of the strike knocks them through the air landing them on the ground.

Call of the Deep: Deep Ones can compel other beings through a form of mental control. Once per turn, in addition to its combat action, a Deep One can make an opposed Willpower check against another being to attempt to bring it under such control. If the Deep One succeeds on the test, the victim has no control over their actions and must act as instructed. The victim, however, remains fully aware of what is happening. After each action performed under mental control, the victim can make another opposed Willpower test. Success means they have broken free. A Deep One can usually only mentally control one victim at a time, although it is possible that especially powerful specimens may be able to control several victims simultaneously. The experience of being compelled in this fashion costs the victim 1/1D8 SAN [helplessness].

Unnatural Armor: The armor value is on account of the overall toughness of the Deep Ones’ hide. The creatures rubbery flesh also absorbs damage more easily than usual, meaning that they ignore any Armor Piercing value of their attackers’ weapons.

Immortality: Deep Ones are inherently immortal, dying only from violent causes.

SAN Loss: 1/1D8. 


Yog-Sothothery

“And yet I saw them in a limitless stream—flopping, hopping, croaking, bleating—urging inhumanly through the spectral moonlight in a grotesque, malignant saraband of fantastic nightmare. And some of them had tall tiaras of that nameless whitish-gold metal… and some were strangely robed… and one, who led the way, was clad in a ghoulishly humped black coat and striped trousers, and had a man’s felt has perched on the shapeless thing that answered for a head.
I think their predominant color was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. I was somehow glad that they had no more than four limbs. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked.”

— The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1931.

Y’ha-nthlei

This Deep One city lies off the coast of Innsmouth, Massachusetts in a spot also known as Devil’s Reef. In 1928, during the storming of Innsmouth by US authorities, Y’ha-nthlei was damaged by torpedoes fired by submarines. It is unknown whether this attack caused the destruction of the entire city or merely delivered superficial damage. The fact that Deep One activities have never entirely ceased in the area would, however, suggest either that Y’ha-nthlei still exists (in some form) or there are more such cities elsewhere along the same coastline.

Deep One Hybrids

As a rule, the offspring arising from Human-Deep One mating are usually born resembling normal human babies. However, as they grow and develop their anatomy changes in increasingly bizarre ways. The individual’s head becomes strangely elongated and their facial features warp, causing a flattening of the nose and a bulging of the eyes. The latter can protrude to such a degree that the hybrid can no longer completely close his or her eyes at all. At the same time, across the entire body all hair is lost and the skin becomes wrinkled and scaly. Eventually as the changes proceed, the individual develops  gills on the sides of their necks and webbed fingers and toes.

The rate at which this transformation occurs varies considerably between hybrids. If it reaches completed, the individual has effectively evolved into a fully-fledged Deep One. In such cases, the (now-immortal) individual typically enters the water to join one of the Deep One colonies. However, not every hybrid fully reaches this state. Some become stuck at a certain point in their development, retiring from human society because their warped body carries too much of the “Innsmouth Look” to fit into normal society without drawing attention.

Elder Things

Ancient creators of life

roughly eight feet tall and have the appearance of a huge, oval-shaped barrel with starfish-like appendages at both ends

 Elder Thing by Brad Hicks

This ancient race has inhabited the earth for many millions of years and may have created life on Earth as it appears today. Elder Things prefer water as their habitat, but can also move effortlessly on land and even fly.

Their appearance resembles a cylindrical shape approximately two meters high, the ends of each tapering slightly, so that an Elder Thing almost resembles a barrel. Furrows and ridges cover their body with strange growths. These, coupled with the creatures’ wings and strange head, shaped like a five-pointed starfish, lend the creature characteristics reminiscent of both animal and plant life.

The Elder Things established at least one major city in Antarctica and created the Shoggoths there who used by them as slaves. During the millions of years of their existence on Earth, the Elder Things have fought many conflicts, but now seem to have entered a kind of hibernation or seclusion.

STR 30   CON 50 DEX 8   INT 50 POW 20
HP 50     WP 20

Size category: Large.

Movement: Elder Things can move 10 meters/yards in a combat round on the ground, 13 meters/yards while flying.

Armor: None (see also UNNATURAL ORGANISM, below).
vs Lethal Damage: HIGHLY RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill an Elder Thing but inflicts normal Hit Point damage equal to the Lethality Rating, less the normal armor rating (minimum 1 HP).

Attacks:

Grab and Rend 30%, Lethality 15% (plus see PIN DOWN, below)

Skills: Athletics 30%, Fly 80%, Swim 80%, Unnatural 95%.

Rituals: Elder Sign, Abjuration, DHO-HNA Formula, Summon Creatures (Shoggoth).

Pin Down: On a successful attack by the creature, the target is Pinned down. This can only be avoided by successfully dodging the attack.

Shaping Matter: Elder creatures can shape matter they touch with their grasping arms, morphing it to their liking. By such means they are able to create completely new objects, creatures and even buildings with relative ease. Living creatures or people can resist this effect with a CON × 5 test. A transformation does not necessarily have to be detrimental or deadly for the affected living being. It is, however, always very painful and leads to a loss of 1d4/1d10 SAN.

Unnatural Organism: An Elder Thing’s physiology reveals no weaknesses or particularly significant areas of the body. Targeting to increase damage is therefore not possible, nor are critical hits. However, the creature still takes regular damage.

Unnatural Toughness: The creature possesses a number of additional HP that are not derived directly from CON or STR using the usual formula.

Sanity Loss: 1D4/1D10.


Yog-Sothothery

The Elder Things are described in great detail in Lovecraft’s story At the Mountains of Madness. In this context, it is interesting to speculate as to whether or where there may be other dwellings for these beings apart from Antarctica. If they see themselves as architects of life forms, what might they have accomplished in the past millennia?

“Complete specimens have such uncanny resemblance to certain creatures of primal myth that suggestion of ancient existence outside antarctic becomes inevitable. Dyer and Pabodie have read Necronomicon and seen Clark Ashton Smith’s nightmare paintings based on text, and will understand when I speak of Elder Things supposed to have created all earth life as jest or mistake.”

— At the Mountains of Madness, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1931.

Formless Hunter

Flying Terrors and Hunting-Horrors

Formless Hunters appear as a writhing, formless darkness. Survivors of their vicious attacks describe a variety of (sometimes conflicting) features, perhaps a testimony to the speed and ferocity of their assaults. Most often, accounts compare them to black smoke or a black veil floating in the wind. When needed, this amorphous mass can manifest mouths, wings, teeth, or claws on demand.

The Formless Hunting-Horrors are thought to be somewhat associated with Nyarlathotep, in whose service they are often found. Whether there is any connection between these flying hunters and the infamous Haunter of the Dark (considered a direct manifestation of Nyarlathotep itself), remains a point of conjecture.

STR 30   CON 20 DEX 16   INT 12 POW 15
HP 25     WP 15

Size category: Large.

Movement: Formless Hunters can move 9 meters/yards in a turn on the ground; 14 meters/yards while flying.

Armor: None (but see Formless and Flicker, below).

vs Lethal Damage: RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill a Formless Hunter but inflicts normal Hit Point damage. Take the percentile roll made for Lethal Damage, treat each of the dice as a D10 and add them together. This is the amount of Hit Point damage inflicted.

Attacks:

Raking Claws 50%, Lethality 15%, armor piercing 3-points.

Skills: Alertness 50%, Athletics 60%, Flicker 50%, Stealth 60%.

Formless: The physiology of the Hunters lacks any noticeable weak points or critical areas of the body. As such, it is impossible to target an attack against them to increase damage. Furthermore, critical die rolls in combat do NOT deliver double damage as usual. Otherwise, Formless Hunters takes damage as usual. Their amorphous form also makes it possible for the creatures to squeeze through the narrowest of openings.

Flicker: Formless Hunters exist partially between the dimensions, and as such can readily flit between planes of reality. In fact, some believe that the bodies visible in our reality (or the Dreamlands) may well be just a tiny fraction of a much larger form that exists beyond our normal dimensions. Because of their weird extra-dimensionality, some attacks simply pass straight through their “bodies” without dealing any damage — to model this weird ability in game terms, Formless Hunters are given a “Flicker” skill; this is tested each time an attack would otherwise strike them. Success on the test means the Hunter was outside our normal plane of materiality at the critical moment, and they are unaffected by the attack.

Flying: Formless Hunting-Horrors move through the air. This does not mean that they actually “fly”, in the traditional sense. In fact, their movement generally is not bound by the laws of Physics as we know them.

Vulnerability to Sunlight: Formless Hunters cannot tolerate sunlight. It causes them pain and makes them retreat to their original plane of existence. Prolonged exposure to sunlight is lethal to them. For each full minute a Formless Hunter is exposed to direct sunlight, it suffers 2D10 points of damage. Shorter exposures to light don’t inflict damage but serve to repulse a Formless Hunter. It also enrages them.

SAN Loss: 1D4/1D10.


Yog-Sothothery

These ruthlessly efficient hunters pose a dire threat to anyone they pursue. While these amorphous creatures would appear to have originated in Earth’s Dreamlands, reports suggest that the Formless Hunters can also be found in the waking world.

“Stars swelled to dawns, and dawns burst into fountains of gold, carmine, and purple, and still the dreamer fell. Cries rent the aether as ribbons of light beat back the fiends from outside. And hoary Nodens raised a howl of triumph when Nyarlathotep, close on his quarry, stopped baffled by a glare that seared his formless hunting-horrors to grey dust.”

— The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Ghasts

Middle Predators of the Underworld

Ghasts are humanoid creatures found in the darker corners of Earth’s Dreamlands (principally the Vaults of Zin). In mass they are larger than human-sized (approximately the height and weight of a horse). They possess a characteristic pair of lower limbs that resemble those of a kangaroo. Via such powerful legs they hop around in an erratic motion.

Ghasts are predators whose favorite food is Ghouls. They are in turn pursued by the massive Gugs, who will happily devour a Ghast if given the opportunity.

STR 30   CON 30 DEX 14   INT 8 POW 10
HP 30    WP 10

Size category: Large.

Movement: Ghasts can move 13 meters/yards in a combat round.

Armor: 3 points of thick skin.

vs Lethal Damage: RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill a Ghast but inflicts normal Hit Point damage. Take the percentile roll made for Lethal Damage, treat each of the dice as a D10 and add them together. This is the amount of Hit Point damage inflicted, less the normal armor rating (minimum 1 HP).

Attacks:              

Claws 50%, damage 2D8.

Skills: Alertness (odors) 60%, Athletics 50%, Tracking (via smell) 60%.

Excellent Sense of Smell: Ghasts rely exclusively on their sense of smell to track their prey.

Sensitive to Light: Light is extremely unpleasant to Ghasts and they avoid it wherever they can. Ghasts receive a -20% penalty to all actions when exposed to gentle illumination (candlelight or torchlight), but this increases to -40% penalty any time they are exposed to stronger light sources.

If they are ever exposed to daylight, they take 1D6 HP damage each turn.

Powerful Leap: Ghasts are able to jump more than 3 yards/meters from a standing start, and can leap further still from a running start. If they can succeed on an Athletics test at the conclusion of their jump, they can perform another action in the same turn.

SAN Loss: 1/1D8.


Yog-Sothothery

Ghast society is primitive to say the least, with an individual’s place in the pecking order determined solely by their physical strength and ferocity. Their entire life is spent in a struggle: eat or be eaten.

Like the Gugs, they are subject to a curse that imprisons them in the underworld realms of Earth’s Dreamlands. It may be that they were the original builders of the Vaults of Zin where they yet reside, however no concrete evidence has ever substantiated that theory.

“The ghasts try to come out when the Gugs sleep and they attack ghouls as readily as Gugs, for they cannot discriminate. They are very primitive, and eat one another. The Gugs have a sentry at a narrow in the vaults of Zin, but he is often drowsy and is sometimes surprised by a party of ghasts. Though ghasts cannot live in real light, they can endure the grey twilight of the abyss for hours…”

— The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Ghouls

Immortal Eater of Corpses

Ghouls are said to creep through the underground like dark shadows. However, only a few people have ever actually seen these immortal corpse-eaters and lived to tell the tale. The origin of these beings is obscure, however it is believed that some ghouls were once human beings.

At first glance, Ghouls look similar to people. On closer inspection, however, one can readily discern their lurking posture and the pale, hairless and rubbery skin that stretches over their bones. There is something canine about their appearance.

In close combat, a Ghoul’s claws and fangs make them clearly superior to unarmed humans. Ghouls attack for two main reasons: when they become very hungry or when they feel cornered. They feed on human corpses – whether they prefer fresh or old is unclear. Because of this grisly diet, Ghouls are often found near cemeteries or burial sites.

Ghouls often appear in small groups and carry out obscure acts that are (presumably) meaningful to their own kin. Some disturbing reports suggest they are organized in social structures and able to feel emotions such as joy, gratitude and fear.

In order to communicate with one another ghouls use a range of sounds, from chattering or squeaking sounds through to deep, rumbling and growling noises. They seem less sensitive to physical sensations of cold, illness and pain than humans.

For all their horrific and repulsive behavior, ghouls are perfectly capable of communicating with people and even doing business in their own interest. There are even reports of a “king” or “queen” of the Ghouls. In this context, Egypt apparently plays an important role, which might suggest that Ghouls settled in that part of the world long ago. After all, there are some ancient necropolises and tombs in the land of the pharaohs.

STR 20   CON 20 DEX 18   INT 10 POW 10
HP 20    WP 10

Size category: Medium.

Movement: Ghouls can move 11 meters/yards in a combat round.

Armor: 3 points of rubbery skin (see also RESISTANT TO PHYSICAL DAMAGE, below).
vs Lethal Damage: RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill a Ghoul but inflicts normal Hit Point damage. Take the percentile roll made for Lethal Damage, treat each of the dice as a D10 and add them together. This is the amount of Hit Point damage inflicted.

Attacks:

Claws 60%, damage 1D10, armor piercing 3-points.
Bite 40%, damage 1D8+2 (plus WORRYING, see below).

Skills: Alertness (odors) 70%, Athletics 60%, Disguise 30%, Stealth 70%, Unnatural 20%. Depending on the Ghoul’s life, it may know one or more languages.

Excellent Sense of Smell: Ghouls rely on their sense of smell to track down their prey.

Worrying: After a successful bite attack, a Ghoul can hold onto its victim. If it chooses to do this, the victim suffers an additional 1D4 Hit Points of damage each subsequent turn until the hold is broken by a successful ESCAPE action. At the same time the Ghoul is free to carry out other actions that don’t involve its grisly mouth.

Resistant to Physical Damage: Any physical damage is halved before being offset against the armor value. In the case of a critical hit, the damage is not halved, but neither is it doubled as per usual.

Feast on Corpses: By devouring human remains, a Ghoul may heal itself of 1D4 Hit Points of damage per day.

Subterranean Dwellers: Ghouls prefer to live underground near cemeteries. They can, however, also move around above ground (or through underground tunnels) when they need to travel places.

Sensitivity to Light: Bright light is very uncomfortable for Ghouls and they avoid it where they can, as it confuses their senses. In artificial light or in normal daylight, they receive a penalty of –20% on all tests. If the illumination is especially strong (e.g., powerful artificial light or bright sunshine), the penalty is –40%.

Immortality: Ghouls are undead creatures and are effectively immortal. However, that does not mean that they cannot be damaged and killed through violence.

Unnatural Rituals: Some Ghouls are able to perform rituals, especially if they had previously been sorcerers or ritual magicians prior to becoming a Ghoul. A few others who are particularly old may also have accumulated their own knowledge of rituals.

SAN Loss: 1/1D6.


Yog-Sothothery

 

Ghouls are an intriguing category of Unnatural horrors. On the one hand, their appearance and behavior are distinctly human-like. This is offset, however, by their instinctive nature and foul dietary habits which make them seem utterly alien and repulsive.

Ghouls are intelligent and social in their own way and live in an organized societal structure. Many are in possession of Unnatural knowledge that they have been able to accumulate over centuries. Furthermore, some Ghouls know details of the secret connections between the waking world and the Dreamlands: long forgotten tunnels, caves full of blackness and mysterious catacombs. These are places hidden from normal view, where one may travel to distant locations or perhaps even bridge the gap between the waking world and the lands of earth’s dreaming. 

There, on a tombstone of 1768 stolen from the Granary Burying Ground in Boston, sat a ghoul which was once the artist Richard Upton Pickman. It was naked and rubbery, and had acquired so much of the ghoulish physiognomy that its human origin was already obscure.“

— The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Gnorri

Grand Architects of Underwater Marvels

The Gnorri are a peaceful people who dwell beneath the waves in Earth’s Dreamlands. They are often found in places off-shore from the established land cities of the human residents. In these places the Gnorri build elaborate and magnificent structures crafted from exotic materials. Some of their constructions are vast in scale, rivaling the land-based cities of men.

The labyrinthine and intricate dwellings of the Gnorri can be seen by those who pass above them in ships, since they radiate light from their seabed locations, glowing with scintillating and many-colored light.

Gnorri are accomplished traders. While most comfortable in their native environment, they can (grudgingly) survive adequately out of water for some time. It is in the water where their grace and agility are most apparent.

STR 12 CON 13 DEX 14   INT 12 POW 12

HP 12    WP 12

Size category: Medium.

Movement: Gnorri can swim 13 meters/yards in a combat turn.

Armor: None.

vs Lethal Damage: NORMAL – affected by Lethal Damage the same way humans are affected.

Attacks:               

Spear 50%, damage 1D8, armor piercing 3.

Skills: Alertness 60%, Swim 80%.

Rituals: Accelerated Healing, Aklo Sabaoth (Nodens), Inflict Harm, See Through The Ages.

Marine Lifeform: Gnorri are adapted to living underwater and swim through any depth of water with utter grace and agility. They can survive for short periods out of water, but if kept away from it for an extended period they would dry out and perish.

SAN Loss: 1/1D4.


Yog-Sothothery

Gnorri are typically warm-hearted and generous creatures. They like living in waters close to major human settlements, sometimes even teaming up with human engineers to build majestic hybrid environs like Ilek-Vad. Staunch allies of the Dreamlands peoples, Gnorri seek only occasional assistance in dealing with some of the various threats their undersea life entails.

There are rumors that Gnorri are worshippers of Nodens and serve as his agents in the Dreamlands. Competing hypotheses link the Gnorri with the Waking World’s own undersea dwellers, the Deep Ones. Via such imputed connections, they have also been loosely associated with Dagon and Hydra, and ultimately Great Cthulhu himself. But such linkages are just suppositions by Mythos scholars. Any connections between the Gnorri and a larger Mythos web is likely something that the human mind cannot properly understand anyway.

“It is rumoured in Ulthar, beyond the River Skai, that a new king reigns on the opal throne of Ilek-Vad, that fabulous town of turrets atop the hollow cliffs of glass overlooking the twilight sea wherein the bearded and finny Gnorri build their singular labyrinths, and I believe I know how to interpret this rumour.”

— The Silver Key, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1929.

The God of the Sunken Temple

Nightmare Beneath the Waves

a greek god holding a trident standing on the back of a dolphin & holding it's reigns with the other hand in front of some underwater greek ruins

God of the Sunken Temple by Tayna Rezunenko

During all ages, sailors traversing desolate oceans have reported strange glowing phenomena under the water, some of which are likely caused by this entity. No one can say whether this vastly powerful creature was buried with the legendary Atlantis or whether it makes its home amid other ruins under the sea. Sometimes small ivory figures depicting a youth crowned with laurels bear witness to its existence, and the discovery of such artifacts may be harbingers of an encounter with this Great Old One. Occasionally such figurines and other exotic wares showing depicting its form turn up in markets selling items traded from far-distant shores.
It is said that the God of the Sunken Temple can physically transport people from the waking world to the Dreamlands and vice versa. It is possible that it’s powers for dimensional travel are even broader, able to create portals to entirely different places or times.

POW 35

Physical Attacks: Lethality 30 (trident).

Great Old One: The God of the Sunken Temple is so vastly powerful that it exists and acts beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, it has no physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact with that creature. For humans, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. Though resembling the human body, the god’s physical form is much larger (roughly 6 meters, or 18 feet, tall).

Call of the Deep: The God of the Sunken Temple sends out his mental call to sailors and those who find his markings and likenesses on jewelry or goods, preferably traded in markets in foreign lands. Anyone who hears the call must pass a POW × 5 test to avoid immediately following the god’s will. If the individual remains near the artifact, he must repeat the test daily until he or she falls victim to the Call of the Deep. A successful INT × 5 test allows the person to become aware of this effect and its cause.

Gateway to Alien Worlds: Anyone who actually manages to approach the physical form of the God of the Drowned Temple, which lies somewhere in a cold and dark place at the bottom of the sea, may be able to pass through the dimensional portals which it routinely creates. Entering such a gateway might take someone to Atlantis, to the Dreamlands, or … wherever else the GM wishes to transport the characters.

Unnatural Insight (+1D10):  Encountering this creature inevitably increases a character’s Unnatural skill by +1D10 points. The character simultaneously loses SAN points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity test protects against this trait. The Unnatural Insight occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and irrespective of its result.

SAN Loss: 1D10/1D100 to witness the physical form of The God of the Sunken Temple (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Falling victim to the god’s mental call costs 1D4/1D10 SAN.


Yog-Sothothery

It is not known whether the God of the Sunken Temple and the Great Old One Cthulhu share common roots. Certainly there is a striking similarity with the nature of their imprisonment.

The God of the Drowned Temple shares with Nodens the domain of water, and both seem to have dolphins as trusted companions of sorts.

People whisper to each other behind closed doors that the god worshipped in the Sunken Temple must be the god of Atlantis, whose face may be seen from time to time old old coins that turn up at markets. However, there is also a city under the waves in Earth’s Dreamlands, the ruins of which Randolph Carter noticed from his ship. Some say that mysterious sunken metropolis was truly the place that spawned this god.

“Our men searched him for souvenirs, and found in his coat pocket a very odd bit of ivory carved to represent a youth’s head crowned with laurel.
[…] I could not forget the youthful, beautiful head with its leafy crown, though I am not by nature an artist.
[…] The head of the radiant god in the sculptures on the rock temple is the same as that carven bit of ivory which the dead sailor brought from the sea and which poor Kienze carried back into the sea.
[…] And over all rose thoughts and fears which centered in the youth from the sea and the ivory image whose carving was duplicated on the frieze and columns of the temple before me.”

— The Temple, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1925.

Great Race of Yith

Inquisitive Librarians and Temporal Meddlers

a conical thing with 4 tentacles coming out of the top, two with crab claws, 1 with 4 suckers, and 1 a mass of sensory orgains & feelers

Great Race of Yith by Brad Hicks

When the Great Race first came to earth 600 million years ago, travelling through both time and space, they elected to project their intelligences into the bodies of a terrestrial species of cone-shaped vegetation-based beings. What happened to the displaced consciousnesses of the cone creatures (if they were indeed intelligent in the first place) is unknown. The minds that occupied the bizarre conical bodies — festooned with strange protuberances — came from somewhere called Yith, but whether that was their original home or just the latest in a series of way stations on a long journey of mental migration nobody can say.

What is known, however, is that the Great Race possesses very advanced forms of technology. They seem to be locked in an eons-long battle with a terrifying species of Polyp-like aliens, who pursue the Yithian minds as they hop from planet to planet, era to era. The Great Race would seem to largely use their amazing technical abilities to stave off this existential threat, although they are also a scholarly and inquisitive species that seems to revel in the acquisition of knowledge.

The conical forms adopted by the Great Race in the Proterozoic Eon of Earth’s early development, stand about 18 feet (3 meters) tall and four greenish extremities at the upper end that can be extended or contracted. They also have a separate head, which is also mounted on a movable stalk. Large pincer-like claws are attached to two arms, which are used for transporting objects and communicating by means of clicking or scratching noises. Locomotion occurs through expansion and contraction of the viscous cone base.

Members of the Great Race are able to project their consciousnesses into the past or future and, moreover, to exchange them with the minds of intelligent beings. In this way, the Yithians can experience all knowledge from all times firsthand and also influence future timelines in their favor. The Yithians seem to obsessively collect and record this knowledge in vast library-like repositories in their “home era” (millions of years before our time). It is known that the ultimate fate of the Yithians is to abandon the conical shapes and flee into other forms … perhaps into Earth-based insect creatures in our future.

STR 50   CON 50 DEX 12   INT 45 POW 25
HP 50    WP 25

Size category: Very Large (target size bonus: +20%).

Movement: Members of the Great Race can move 9 meters/yards in a combat turn.

Armor: 5 points (thick skin and sturdy build).

vs Lethal Damage: PARTIALLY RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll from a weapon does not kill a member of the Great Race but inflicts normal Hit Point damage equal to the Lethality Rating. Lethal damage from other sources (e.g., explosions, fires) have normal effect.

Attacks:       

Pincer 40%, Lethality 25%.

Electrical Weapons 30%, Lethality 4%× number of charges spent (see ELECTRICAL WEAPONS below).

Skills: All knowledge-based skills at 80% (see MASTERY OF SKILLS, below).

Consciousness Projection: Yithians are able to exchange their consciousness with other beings across space and time. To do this, they use a purpose-built Projection Machine. Before being swapped back to their own bodies, the Yithians customarily wipe the memories of the individual, by way of the Erase Memories ritual.

Vast Knowledge: The Great Race collectively carries vast knowledge about the past, present, and future. This permits them to undertake actions that seem to make no sense from a human’s point of view, but are beneficial because of events which have not yet transpired. A Yithian can call on this reservoir of knowledge while its consciousness is projected into another being. Sometimes fragments of this knowledge and incompletely erased memories remain in the mind of a swapped being after the projection has been reversed. With a successful Luck check, a person that has been such a victim may access fragments of this infinite knowledge, gaining a one-time +1D10 boost to their Unnatural skill.

Mastery of Skills: All of a Yithian’s knowledge-based skills are considered masterful with a skill value of 80%.

Electrical Weapons: The Great Race developed large camera-shaped weapons to use in their wars against the Polyp things. These devices shoot powerful bursts of electrical energy. The Great Race manufactured several different varieties; a common variety was powered by an energy pack that may contain up to 32 charges. When firing the Electrical Weapon, the firer can choose how many charges to channel into the resulting burst. This can be any amount (up to the number of charges remaining) but whenever a burst contains more than 4 charges there is a chance that an electrical overload will occur, ruining the weapon. The chance of this occurring is 5% for each charge channeled into the burst beyond 4 (e.g., if 8 charges were channeled the chance of burn out would be 20%). The basic range for an Electrical Weapon is 100 yards/meters; for each additional 100 yards reduce the chance to hit by 20% and reduce the gun’s Lethality rating by 3. Reloading a Yithian Electrical Weapon Gun by fitting a new charge pack takes one turn. There is no humanly‐known process of restoring energy to a depleted charge pack.

Unnatural Matter: Members of the Great Race are made of unnatural matter which absorbs most physical attacks without incurring significant damage. Any normal (non-Lethal) attack that succeeds will yield a maximum of 1 HP of damage. Lethal attacks are also much less destructive than usual against a Yithian (see above).

Unnatural Organism: The physiology of a member of the Great Race reveals no weaknesses or particularly significant areas of the body. Targeting to increase damage is therefore not possible, nor are critical hits.

Unnatural Rituals: DHO HNA Formula, Dominate Will, Elder Sign,  Erase Memories, Body Swap, Open Dimensional Rift, Voorish Sign.

SAN Loss: 1D6/1D12.


Yog-Sothothery

Through their immense knowledge and ability to manipulate the future, the Yithians can be responsible for many events that, at first glance, seem to make no sense at all. Such a paradox might arise when protagonists believe that a situation has been resolved, only to be surprised by an unexpected twist — a development with some seemingly intelligent motivation to it. It could be the sudden propitious arrival of reinforcements, or sudden discovery of some resources. Or it might be the sudden change in the behavior of an NPC — someone whose every action is now fully controlled by a intelligence of the Great Race living inside their head.

“The Great Race’s members were immense rugose cones ten feet high, and with head and other organs attached to foot-thick, distensible limbs spreading from the apexes. They spoke by the clicking or scraping of huge paws or claws attached to the end of two of their four limbs, and walked by the expansion and contraction of a viscous layer attached to their vast, ten-foot bases.”

— The Shadow out of Time, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1936.

Gugs

Cursed Titans of the Stygian Darkness

Gugs are one of the dominant species haunting the Underworld of Earth’s Dreamlands. Standing thirty feet tall, they these giant behemoths have black fur and their mouths open vertically to devour any prey with their razor-sharp teeth.

Gugs are formidable in strength and are known to predate on anything that moves in the darkness. They are most often found in the blackness between The Tower of Koth (their home), the ruins of Zin (where the Ghasts dwell), and the Plain of Bones. As with many creatures in the Underworld, the Gugs are subject to a curse that prevents them from leaving their dark territory.

The Tower of Koth has a trapdoor at its top that leads directly up into the Enchanted Forest. This doorway, however, bears the Sign of Koth which makes it utterly impassable to Gugs. Were it not for this apotropaic sigil, the Gugs undoubtedly would venture forth to devour the many Dreamers from the Waking World who start their journeys in that pleasant wood.

STR 50   CON 50 DEX 7   INT 12 POW 10
HP 50    WP 10

Size category: Very Large (target size bonus +20%).

Movement: Gugs can move 13 meters/yards in a combat round.

Armor:5 points of thick fur.
vs Lethal Damage: MASSIVE – Takes only 1 HP damage from attacks with Lethality < 25%; for attacks with higher Lethality Ratings, the Gug takes higher Hit Point Damage. Take the percentile roll made for Lethal Damage, treat each of the dice as a D10 and add them together. This is the amount of Hit Point damage inflicted, less the normal armor rating (minimum 1 HP damage).

Attacks:

Claws 60%, Lethality 30%

Attacks:                Claws 60%, Lethality 30%

Skills: Alertness 60%, Athletics 60%, Stealth 30%, Tracking (sense of smell) 60%..

Excellent Sense of Smell: Gugs rely on their sense of smell to track their prey.

SAN Loss: 1D6/1D12.


Yog-Sothothery

It is said that at one time the Gugs were zealous followers of Nyarlathotep as well as the Great Old Ones. Their worship of those terrible forces involved devoting sacrifices to them. This adulation, however, seemingly did not please the older gods but angered them – either that or some particular act by the Gugs provoked their ire. As a result the Gugs became banished to the Underworld, never to again be permitted in the upper Dreamlands.

Some speculate that in the time before their exile the Gugs may have been a more enlightened race, lacking the bestial savagery that is presently their defining characteristics. There is no firm evidence to support or refute such a theory, although it must be said that the sophisticated architecture of the Tower of Koth – their great construction and current home – speaks of a certain intelligence and artistry. It also suggests some form of advanced social structure, something not commonly associated with the Gugs today.

“The Gugs, hairy and gigantic, once reared stone circles in that wood and made strange sacrifices to the Other Gods and the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep, until one night an abomination of theirs reached the ears of earth’s gods and they were banished to caverns below. Only a great trap door of stone with an iron ring connects the abyss of the earth-ghouls with the enchanted wood, and this the Gugs are afraid to open because of a curse.”

— The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1927.

Hounds of Death

Merciless undead hunters

a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.

This undead creature is the product of a terrible transformation which occurs when a Jade Soul Symbol amulet affects a dead ghoul or human. Most often such exposure happens when an existing Hound of Death’s is stolen, borrowed, or otherwise purloined. This compels the Hound to hunt down and kill the individual that now possesses the amulet. The act of slaying the transgressor causes his or her corpse to be transformed into a new Hound of Death. 

The creature retains its basic form at the time of transformation — usually a half-rotted corpse or a skeleton — but it takes on canine features. It develops sharp fangs, terrible claws, and black web-like wings. At the same time its empty eye sockets begin to glow with a  phosphorescent light in the dark.

Hounds of Death are rational creatures, but utterly vicious.

If a Hound of Death’s personal amulet is stolen, or if a creature otherwise draws its attention, the creature will always give chase. It is an unrelenting pursuer, usually tracking down its quarry within 1D10 nights. When it catches its victim, a faint and distant barking (like the sound of a monstrous dog) can be heard heralding his approach. This eerie bark draws steadily closer and closer. Once the Hound finds its victim, it will terrify them for another 1D6 nights before finally ripping them to pieces with tooth and claw. During such an attack, marked victims and bystanders might hear scraping and knocking on doors, a whirring or flapping in the air, mad giggles and unintelligible babbling. They might see inexplicable claw marks on the windows and experience the sensation of eyes watching from the dark. All of this is overshadowed by the ever-present barking of the invisible dog, which grows louder every night.

STR 20   CON 20 DEX 10   INT 10 POW 20
HP 20     WP 20

Size category: Medium.

Movement: Hounds of Death can move 15 meters/yards in a turn. When flying, the creatures can travel up to 20 meters/yard in a turn.

Armor: None (see also UNNATURAL SWIFTNESS, below).
vs Lethal Damage: RESILIENT – a successful Lethality roll does not kill a Hound of Death but inflicts normal Hit Point damage. Take the percentile roll made for Lethal Damage, treat each of the dice as a D10 and add them together. This is the amount of Hit Point damage inflicted.

Attacks:

Claws 60%, Lethality 10% Armor Piercing 3 (plus see PIN DOWN, below)
Fangs 40%, damage 1D8+2.

Skills: Athletics 50%, Stealth 60%, Unnatural 30%, Pursue (find amulet) 70%..

Special Sense: The Hound of Death can unerringly locate its personal amulet over unlimited distances.

Pin Down: On a successful attack by the creature, the target is pinned down and then shredded. This state can only be avoided by dodging.

Curse of the Hound: Being mauled to death by a Hound of Death automatically triggers the dead person’s transformation into a similar undead monstrosity.

Ability to Fly: The creature can move through the air.

Light Sensitivity: Hounds of Death, like other Unnatural creatures, are extremely uncomfortable with light and avoid it where they can. They take a -20% penalty on all actions in normal daylight and -40% in bright sunshine.

Unnatural Swiftness: The creature is always considered a fast-moving target in combat. It can also use the dodge action against firearms.

Sanity Loss: 1/1D8.


Yog-Sothothery

After a successful hunt, a Hound of Death withdraws into his coffin like a vampire, clutching its Jade amulet with bloody fangs and a sardonic grin. Bats seem to show a special affinity for Hounds of Death. All members of the species seem to belong to the cult of the corpse eaters of Leng.

“For crouched within that centuried coffin, embraced by a close-packed nightmare retinue of huge, sinewy, sleeping bats, was the bony thing my friend and I had robbed; not clean and placid as we had seen it then, but covered with caked blood and shreds of alien flesh and hair, and leering sentiently at me with phosphorescent sockets and sharp ensanguined fangs yawning twistedly in mockery of my inevitable doom.”

— The Hound, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1924.

Hypnos

The Lord of Sleep

Hypnos is a mysterious figure who is regarded as the Lord of Sleep, and was worshipped as such by Ancient Greeks and Romans. The being has the form of a middle-aged man with a vaguely faun-like appearance. In his black eyes is the knowledge of eons.

Hypnos seems to take particular delight in showing individuals visions which transcend their normal reality and inspire them to embark on shared journeys beyond the physical world. This can involve travel to other planes of existence, other dimensions, or even alternate realities. Such odysseys are harmful to a person’s sanity, and will eventually leave the traveler a burned-out human wreck. When this happens, the Lord of Sleep simply finds a new companion.

POW 85

Physical Attacks: Lethality 50 (spontaneous physical transformations or reality shifts).

Great Old One: Hypnos is so vastly powerful that it exists and acts beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, it has no physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact with that creature. For humans, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. Its physical form is man-sized.

Hypnosis: Hypnos has the power to put any sentient creature into a trance state, which can only be resisted by a successful POW×1 test. While in the hypnotic state, the subject is highly suggestible and will follow any directions given by the Great Old One. The entranced will also truthfully answer any questions, revealing any secrets or knowledge requested. This power works via telepathic communication and is invisible to any onlookers, who simply see the victim become immobile and unresponsive.

Unnatural Insight (+1D10): Encountering Hypnos inevitably increases the character’s Unnatural skill by +1D10 points. The character then simultaneously loses sanity points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity check protects against this trait. The Unnatural Insight occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and regardless of its result. This only applies to the first encounter with Hypnos or a vision of him.

SAN Loss: 1D10/1D20 to witness the physical form of Hypnos (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Achieving mental contact with the Lord of Sleep costs 1D6/1D10 SAN.


Yog-Sothothery

The Lord of Sleep is driven by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of the human mind, which he pushes to the point of destroying the sanity of his victims. He can spontaneously create bridges between the Waking World and the known Dreamlands, and likely can similarly open portals to a range of other Dream realities, strange corners of reality, and alternate dimensions. Hypnos’ seems to enjoy witnessing how human subjects react to knowledge that challenges their experience of mundane reality. Why this fascinates him is a mystery no mortal has solved.

Whether Hypnos has anything to do with the ‘sleep’ that seems to keep many Great Old Ones inactive in our world. It may be that he is somehow responsible for the relative calm between the eons which has allowed humanity to evolve without overt interference from the Mythos.

“But always I shall guard against the mocking and insatiate Hypnos, lord of sleep, against the night sky, and against the mad ambitions of knowledge and philosophy.”

— Hypnos, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1922.

Keziah Mason

Vicious Witch and Hideous Nightmare

a hooded witch with black eyes, holding a pet rat that has the face of a human who's mouth is dripping blood

Keziah Mason by Lola Valola

Keziah Mason of Arkham was accused of witchcraft at the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and under torture confessed that she had signed an oath to the Dark Man. She also admitted to travels through time and space by means of a magic of “lines and curves”. Before being sentenced, Keziah disappeared from her cell without a trace by employing exactly this type of dimensional manipulation, leaving nothing by a few lines painted in blood on the walls of her cell.

In truth, the witch Keziah escaped not just from her imprisonment, but also from the physical reality we understand. She entered into some kind of transdimensional space, where she still exists. From such weird dimensions she continues to haunt Arkham. Keziah is not undead in the normal sense of the word, but it must be admitted that but the centuries she has spent lurking in the space between dimensions have changed her.

On May 1 and Halloween, Keziah Mason returns to our reality (and to Arkham particularly) to enact a ritual during which she sacrifices young children to prolong her own life. These offerings are made to the Dark Man (Nyarlathotep).

In physical appearance, Keziah resembles a typical witch as portrayed in fairy tales, having a hunched back, a long nose, malicious eyes, and a croaking voice.

She has a familiar – a Rat Creature named “Brown Jenkin” – who continues to serve as her messenger. This ugly beast survives by feeding on Keziah’s blood.

STR 13   CON 12 DEX 13   INT 16 POW 22
HP 13     WP 22

Size category: Medium.

Movement: Keziah Mason can move 7 meters/yards in a combat turn.

Armor: None.

vs Lethal Damage: APPARENTLY NORMAL – Keziah’s mortal form is affected as normal by Lethal damage, however it is up to the Game Moderator to decide whether the death of her physical form truly destroys her.

Attacks:

Fingernails 30%, damage 1D4.
Ritual Dagger 40%, damage 1D4+1.

Skills: Dreaming 40%, Insight 60%, Science (Mathematics) 80%, Stealth 60%, Unnatural 50%.

Rituals: Annihilation, Dominate Will, Inflict Harm, Open Dimensional Rift, Prolong Life, Summon Entities (Dark Man form of Nyarlathotep), Summon Entities (Elder Things), Voorish Sign.

Mind Control: Keziah can enter people’s dreams and influence their decisions by means of a kind of hypnosis. Once per night, she can attempt give a dreamer such a mental command. If she wins an opposed POW test against the target, the target must follow her instruction.

Transfer Curse: Keziah has the ability to transfer a curse from one party to another. She needs to be within close proximity (near enough to “touch”), either in the real world or inside a dream reality. 

Sanity Loss: 1/1D4.


Yog-Sothothery

While Keziah was supposedly killed by Walter Gilman in the 1930s, who knows if such a vicious and clever spirit can ever truly be extinguished forever.

Other Witches

Keziah Mason is just one possible manifestation of a witch. Witches can be human (and comparatively harmless), undead, or outright monstrous beings. Regardless of whether they appear as nightmare loners like Keziah Mason, neatly organized in a coven, or as superficially friendly new-age witches, Witches can prove extremely clever and dangerous opponents. They rely less on their physical strength and more on their power and the numerous rituals they know.

Two other suggestions for formidable witches:

    • The triple Baba Yaga personifies virgin, mother, and hag. She is an immortal shapeshifter who lures with promises of help – but the price for that help is very high.
    • The human Wiccan follower who entered into a covenant with the Dark Man and received unnatural knowledge and rituals in return – knowledge that will soon shatter her sanity.

Possible rituals known by witches: Accelerated Healing, Aklo Sabaoth (Shub-Niggurath), Aklo Sabaoth (Yog-Sothoth), Annihilation, Body Swap, Dominate Will, Erase Memories,  Inflict Harm, Open Dimensional Rift, Prolong Life, See Through The Ages, Summon Entities (Night-Gaunt), Summon Entities (Dark Man form of Nyarlathotep), Voorish Sign.

Possible unnatural abilities for witches: Enhanced Senses, Flight, Mind Transfer, Mind Control, Shapeshifting, Transfer Curse.

 

“[…] It was this house and this room which had likewise harboured old Keziah Mason, whose flight from Salem Gaol at the last no one was ever able to explain. That was in 1692—the gaoler had gone mad and babbled of a small white-fanged furry thing which scuttled out of Keziah’s cell, and not even Cotton Mather could explain the curves and angles smeared on the grey stone walls with some red, sticky fluid.”

— The Dreams in the Witch-House, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1933.

King in Yellow (Entity)

Madness in Yellow Tatters

a man shaped thing wearing tattered yellow rags and a pallid mask

The King in Yellow is as much a concept as he is a true physical entity. The King is the embodiment of decay and decadence, alienation and doubt, anxiety and fear. No one has ever looked behind the pale mask worn by the King in Yellow and remained wholly sane. It may be that he is the avatar of other beings who embody chaos. It is true that he is the quintessence of entropy, everything which runs counter to order and which tears it to shreds — just like the King’s robes that hang from his body in sickly yellow rags. Throughout the history of our world, power and arrogance have brought powerful people closer to the King in Yellow. More than a few of them paid for their association with their sanity or their lives, in some cases damning whole kingdoms in the process. Less influential people have also been seduced by the King, and received fates no less horrible. Many view the King in Yellow as something akin to a virus, a corrosive force that leaves chaos and destruction wherever it appears in the cosmos. There are countless reports of incidents involving the King in Yellow, from all over the world and from different historical eras. Again and again, common patterns of behavior, constellations of people, events and dangerous thoughts manifest themselves in otherwise unrelated situations. Each incident on its own may be disturbing, but comprehending the bigger picture is far worse. Some sources assert a relationship between the King in Yellow and the “Hastur” cult. Scholars have wondered whether the King in Yellow is truly a servant or even high priest of the being known as Hastur? Little consensus exists, and it is likely that any truth would only arise from a most thorough exploration of the play that bears the King’s name … and such an analysis is considered by most to be a direct path to madness.

POW 35

Physical Attacks: Lethality 15 (razor sharp tatters plus mental blast).

Great Old One: The King in Yellow is so vastly powerful that it exists and acts beyond the limits of the human imagination. As such, it has no physical stats, and the GM is free to decide the consequences of direct contact with that creature. For humans, however, an encounter usually means certain death or insanity. Its physical form is roughly man-sized (about six feet, or 2 meters, tall). Decadence and Decay: The influence of the King in Yellow touches everyone who deals with it — whether it be in a play, a poem or a computer game. If a character exposed to such concepts fails a SAN test, he or she begins a downward slide of sanity, drawn to debauchery and decay. Things and sensations outside the general norms of decency and good taste forever call to them, shaping their perceptions and even their actions. At the time as this lustful obsession begins reshaping their lives, the character also loses 1D4 SAN and 1D4 WP. This same penalty applies every time the afflicted character commits an act that reaffirms their devotion to decadence. Any time the person’s WP falls below 2, his or her acts of debauchery become increasingly impetuous. Eventually this escalates into a passionate frenzy that does not stop even at 0 WP. Such lustful obsessions can even lead to death by exhaustion. Mask of the King: Those who claim to have seen the King in person report that he wears a yellow mask. Often these “testimonies” are little more than incoherent stammerings from the dark rooms of a psychiatric ward or from poor souls found shrouded in rags under bridges in large metropolises. Sometimes these rambling accounts include the words “Mask? No mask!”. Unnatural Insight (+1D10): Encountering The King in Yellow inevitably increases a character’s Unnatural skill by +1D10 points. The character simultaneously loses SAN points of the same amount and suffers the usual consequences. No sanity test protects against this trait. The Unnatural Insight occurs immediately after the regular sanity check and irrespective of its result.

Sanity Loss: 1D10/1D100 to witness the physical form of The King in Yellow (see also Unnatural Insight, above). Making mental contact with its corrupting intelligence costs 1D3/1D6 SAN.

The Question of Hastur?

 

The name “Hastur” is mentioned several times in the original fiction which describes the weird corrosive influences of the King in Yellow (both the entity, and the play via which his decadent taint enters the minds of humans). While some writers of Cthulhu Mythos fiction — and even some games — have gone as far as describe “Hastur” as another name, or face, of the King in Yellow, the original sources don’t compellingly support such a connection. In fact, the few places where “Hastur” is mentioned in the stories of Robert Chambers, it seems more like it is intended to be either the name of a star in the sky above the Lake of Hali (Repairer of Reputations) or an attendant to a royal court (The Demoiselle D’Ys). While one of the characters in the former story also refers to himself as a “son of Hastur”, there’s nothing to suggest this is intended in a literal sense or that Hastur is necessarily an entity at all. None of these references sound very much like they are describing a god of the Mythos.

To complicate matters, Chambers himself borrowed the name “Hastur” from an earlier story by Ambrose Bierce where it is used to describe a god worshiped by shepherds. Neither do H.P. Lovecraft’s few references to Hastur (all in The Whisperer in Darkness) shed much light on the subject — one of them simply inserts the name into a list of Mythos beings *and* places, while the rest simply talk about the existence of a “cult of Hastur” that is somehow linked to the Yellow Sign and Carcosa.

So … what should you do if you want to include Hastur in your Lovecraftian games? Well you have a few different options:

1.       You can decide that Hastur is just another name for the King in Yellow

2.       You can decide that Hastur is a Mythos God or Entity of its own … and has a cult of degenerate human worshippers on Earth

3.       You can decide that Hastur isn’t an entity at all, and that the cult mentioned by Lovecraft doesn’t worship a god as such, but the Yellow Sign or the power of Carcosa.

Given the ambiguous nature of passing references in the key fiction, any of these decisions is a reasonable extrapolation … we suggest you pick the one that works best for your game. And don’t necessarily feel the need to limit yourself to one of these options exclusively. The unknowable nature of the Cthulhu Mythos doesn’t preclude an entity being different things at different times, or in different contexts. After all, our feeble minds are not equipped to understand what any of them truly are.

Yog-Sothothery

No one can say for sure who or what is behind the mask of the King in Yellow. Perhaps his physical appearance is nothing more than an empty shell, dressed in pale rags — a symbol representing the final result of a life dedicated to decadence and decay. Perhaps the mask hides a mirror of one’s own worst fears? It is also possible that this being is merely a projection or a mirror onto which the degenerate state of society is cast. 

Carcosa

This city of great black buildings, labyrinthine alleys and bizarre inhabitants, is said to be located in the Hyades star cluster. Carcosa itself is located on the shores of Lake Hali, whose dark waters weirdly reflect neither the light of either the planet’s two moons nor Aldebaran, the main star of the constellation of Taurus.

In Carcosa, the King in Yellow reigns supreme. Few have journeyed to this alien city and returned from it. Anyone who have seen the flowing shreds of The King’s garb and witnessed what lurks behind his pallid mask suffer a mental collapse. Most such individuals can be found incarcerated within in the bare rooms of a psychiatric ward, or living in the filthy alleys of a big city, stammering incoherent words to themselves: “Shadows … in lost Carcosa.”

“‘You are speaking of the King in Yellow,’ I groaned, with a shudder.
‘He is a king whom emperors have served.’
‘I am content to serve him,’ I replied.
[…]
Night fell and the hours dragged on, but still we murmured to each other of the King and the Pallid Mask, and midnight sounded from the misty spiers in the fog-wrapped city. We spoke of Hastur and of Cassilda, while outside the fog rolled against the blank window-panes as the cloud waves roll and break on the shores of Hali.”

— The King in Yellow, Robert William Chambers, 1895.

 

Cassilda’s Song

The waves of clouds break along the coast,
The twin suns sink under the lake,
The shadows
grow longer in Carcosa.
 
Strange is the night in which black stars rise,
And strange moons circling through the sky,
But stranger still is
The lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades should sing there,
Where the king’s tatters flutter,
Must die unheard in the
gloomy Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die unsung, just as tears that have not been cried should
dry up and die in the
lost Carcosa.

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen
In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.

— Cassilda’s Song , Act I, Scene 2

This page lists Unnatural Entities whose name begins with ‘A’ to ‘K’; a separate page completes the list of horrors beginning ‘L’ to ‘Z’.

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