Advice from you Cthulhu fans

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Lobo316
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Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Lobo316 »

OK here's the situation. I'm running a game that has a subplot of a Cthuluh style "invasion" going on. Right now, it's the back story, but I'm planting seeds to come back around to that later down the road.

As of now, the group are resting and recovering from a battle with some creatures from that domain, including Deep Ones

Now if you're a Cthuluh fan, you know that deep ones reproduce by mating with human hosts, then years later, when that child grows, it hits a point to where it begins to transform into a deep one. After defeating the deep ones, they were able to rescue several females who were, for all intents and purposes, "breeding stock" for the deep ones. They've already been "violated" so to speak (and the players know they were violated).

After resting, the parties cleric is casting detect evil over EVERYONE. They know they are in a place of evil, and are not taking anything for granted. Now the question...

Would the detect evil pick up anything on the women who may be carrying (assuming they got pregnant) future deep ones?

I thought it was very heads up and saavy for the player to think ahead to do this, but, what would the detect evil pick up (if anything)??

Thoughts? Votes maybe? I'm honestly not sure how I'm going to handle this one.

Thanks!

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kreider204
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by kreider204 »

Well, it's my understanding that very few of the Cthulhu mythos creatures are evil. Lovecraft's idea was simply that they were so alien that we humans couldn't comprehend their motives - transcending human moral thinking, as it were. Yes, they were destructive, but only in the same way that a human destroys insects underfoot without even realizing it. This was all part of Lovecraft's modernist critique of the Enlightenment tradition.

So anyway, I would vote "no" for the detect evil spell indicating anything.

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kreider204
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by kreider204 »

BTW, I'm assuming you've seen this?

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/8 ... _31807_0_0

'Twould be easy to convert, obviously.

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Lobo316
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Lobo316 »

kreider204 wrote:Well, it's my understanding that very few of the Cthulhu mythos creatures are evil. Lovecraft's idea was simply that they were so alien that we humans couldn't comprehend their motives - transcending human moral thinking, as it were. Yes, they were destructive, but only in the same way that a human destroys insects underfoot without even realizing it. This was all part of Lovecraft's modernist critique of the Enlightenment tradition.

So anyway, I would vote "no" for the detect evil spell indicating anything.
Yea, that's the thing I have to decide. I'm pulling inspiration from the Cthulhu mythos, but not attempting a faithfull recreation. And in D&D or C&C terms, would those creatures fall into the realm of LE? Or would they be neutral? If it's LE, then the spell would have a chance of working (but even then, would the embryo's detect as evil? They don't even start "turning" until later in life).

And yea, I've seen that. Have not picked it up, but might be useful. I did pickup Goodman Games 4E Cthulhu book. It's not bad, but...it's 4e, so...ya know :(

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kreider204
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by kreider204 »

An easy way out might be simply to rule that since they are a bit otherworldly, they are immune to such detection spells. Or perhaps the "parent" creature casts a protection spell that hides the spawns' true nature until they mature.

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Traveller »

Casting Detect Evil on the women will not work. Not because the spell doesn't work but because the women aren't evil. The hybrid fetus I don't believe would detect as evil since it's not fully formed, and wouldn't develop evil tendencies until much later, probably a few years before the transformation.

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Sir Ironside
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Sir Ironside »

I like ingenuity of players and rewarding such play.

Then on the other side I like intricate plots that engage players.

In this case, purely from a game play stance I'd vote "nay" on the detect evil thing. Not only does it move the plot forward but I'm in agreement that Cthulhu transcends human understanding which means we couldn't judge them using humanoid morals.

Their "acts" register as evil on our human moral scale but that doesn't make them evil.
"Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." - Hunter S. Thompson

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Lobo316
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Lobo316 »

Thanks for the feedback all. I'll go with the "nays". Makes sense and works for the plot, but for future reference, what alignment would you put Cthulu like creatures at? For the sake of my story, I'm likely going with a NE alignment. I'm going to tie Mind Flayers into the mythos and they are LE, so that lines up well. When we get to that point, I'll make sure to stress the fact that Mind Flayers do not exist in our world (which works, since they're not C&C in the first place, lol....stupid copyrights!!). Even if I change my mind and say Mind Flayers do exist, they will be like "advanced agents" that have been here for a while, trying to open a door for the rest of thier "race".

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Lurker »

Welllll ... I would have fun with it ...

Like Ironside said, I like to reward clever players. But also like to keep running back ground plot hooks going. So, I'd say the DE wouldn't ping hot, but the cleric would feel something 'odd' hidden behind the reading. Just some feeling that gives him a warning, but not enough to justify taking action. Is it bleed over from the evil area they are in, is it residual contamination from being captured and 'used' by the Deep ones, Like I said, have fun with it.

Now, the party gets to start digging into old books and researching things that they maybe shouldn't be reading, talking to old mentors, etc etc etc and going deeper into the plot hook you already have set up.

This way, they are sure something is going on, but not sure what and they are not being caught completely flat footed.
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Lobo316
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Lobo316 »

Lurker wrote:Welllll ... I would have fun with it ...

Like Ironside said, I like to reward clever players. But also like to keep running back ground plot hooks going. So, I'd say the DE wouldn't ping hot, but the cleric would feel something 'odd' hidden behind the reading. Just some feeling that gives him a warning, but not enough to justify taking action. Is it bleed over from the evil area they are in, is it residual contamination from being captured and 'used' by the Deep ones, Like I said, have fun with it.

Now, the party gets to start digging into old books and researching things that they maybe shouldn't be reading, talking to old mentors, etc etc etc and going deeper into the plot hook you already have set up.

This way, they are sure something is going on, but not sure what and they are not being caught completely flat footed.

Hmmm...I like that Lurker. Yea, I can run with something like that.

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by kreider204 »

Not that it's necessarily authoritative, but IIRC, the 1st ed. AD&D Deities & Demigods listed them in various ways. The ones beholden to a higher authority were LE; those not so beholden were CE.

EDIT: Okay, checking, I'm seeing all sorts of combinations of Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic with Evil and Neutral (no Good, obviously). Less intelligent pawns of greater beings tend to be LN (i.e., they just follow orders, but don't really have a lot of intentions themselves). Less intelligent free agents are CN. Most of the intelligent ones are CE, just a few LE.

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Sir Ironside
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Sir Ironside »

Lobo316 wrote:After resting, the parties cleric is casting detect evil over EVERYONE. They know they are in a place of evil, and are not taking anything for granted.
I quoted this because of a little CK inspiration.

I take it by the quote that they are still in the "area". I think I'd change my answer to "yea" for detect evil. Only more on the , "careful what you wish for, you might just get it" way of thinking.

Because they are still in the area I'd have the Cleric detect evil "everywhere"! Every person or thing detect as such. And for dramatic effect he gets this result on only casting it once. It just bombards him from all sides, twisting reality and maybe have some kind of saving throw or some kind of temporary effect will happen.

The area hasn't changed everyone to evil, they stay as they are, view it more like the ambient energy screws around with the Detect Evil spell.

I'd also have the residual effect that the Cleric has some kind of understanding, now, of the power they are up against, which can be very unnerving. Though not a concrete feeling, like experiencing the power of a dragon can be tangible, this understanding is unreliable as to just what exactly power would be. It'd be fleeting and difficult to put into words. The Cleric couldn't say, we are in danger or anything like that as it is only the essence of the feeling and that feeling has a neutral element to it.

It is like being given an exam, for a class you never took and being told that even one wrong answer will get you sent to jail. It just exists.
"Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." - Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Litzen Tallister »

Seems that, regardless of the outcome of a detect evil spell, it leaves the PCs with some difficult decisions. Assuming one of the players has an idea of how the Deep Ones operate and as they are aware the human females are impregnated with what will eventually become more Deep Ones, there are moral decisions to be made around how to deal with the eventual threat. As the OP states, this is an "invasion" and therefore it becomes much more important to win the war, over the battle, I wonder if something could be made of how the PCs address this problem. Kill the women as they will eventually give birth to beings that eventually become monsters? Keep tabs on the women, come back and slaughter the children that will eventually become monsters? Intervene with the children and try to find a way to prevent them from becoming monsters? And what are the alignment implications for doing a horrible act (as some of those choices are) in favor of the 'greater good.' Is consorting and helping children that will eventually become monsters aiding Evil?

With a Cthulhu angle, I think some of that horror at how man (or elf or dwarf or etc....) addresses these cosmic entities and the horrors that are unleashed as a consequence are an important part of H.P. Lovecraft's writing. That and all the other crazy parts of his work. :o

As far as the original question as to what detect evil would do, I like Sir Ironside's approach of evil being everywhere. Knowledge of the Elder Gods of the Cthulhu mythos was a dangerous thing and, giving some negative feedback will teach them to not willy-nilly cast spells at deities and their machinations.

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Treebore »

The women are the alignment they have always been. They are victims, not converts. What I would do, for those who are already pregnant, is say they have a clear "seed of evil" in their abdomens. I think that is a difficult enough of a potential dilemma.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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kreider204
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by kreider204 »

Also, casting Detect Evil on mythos creatures should drive the cleric insane ...

(JK ... ?! ... )

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Relaxo »

I think this is implied above, but I'd have the results of DE show one or two women as evil, just because they were evil before. I don't think it would detect the fetus thingies since they are not evil.
Now if there was a detect chaotic, IMO the Mythos beings are chaotic. the elder powerful ones. that is. Deep ones I have to read up on, but if they have a orderly society or wahtever, they may be lawful.

and like others have said, by poking around in the greater cosmic knowledge, does that treaten the cleric's own sanity? hmmm......
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Lobo316
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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Lobo316 »

Going to sorta highjack my own thread, but I'm supposing that the same philosophy on detect evil could be applied to lycans? If it's not the full moon, and the victim of the lycanthropy curse is not a werewold (or were-whatever) would they detect as "evil"? Probably not, but...would there be an "aura" or a "feel" the cleric or palladin gets? Something "off" about the lycan victim?

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by Traveller »

Unless my recollection is faulty AD&D didn't have a mechanism to cover the lycanthrope's curse. It took a Dragon Magazine article for OD&D to cover that (Lycanthropy - The Progress of the Disease, Dragon #14, pp. 29-32). In short, the lycanthropes inevitably changed to the alignment of the werecreature they became, as given in the appropriate Monster Manual entries. Thus a lawful neutral being bitten by a werewolf would gradually shift towards chaotic evil. It was left to the referee as to how this was accomplished.

While it's possible to use the information given in the article (if you can find it) for Castles & Crusades, both the AD&D DM and C&C CK have some latitude on how they wish the disease to function. For example, I would recommend having the alignment shift be temporary, only occurring when changed. The character would not remember what happened while changed, thus detect evil cast upon the character when in normal form would not work since the character isn't evil.

P.S. The spell is a little too focused to detect alignment changes. You'd need something a bit more broad for that. Even then, given the character won't remember what happened, at least how I play it, the spell shouldn't detect anything out of the ordinary.

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by NJPDX »

My philosophy on detect evil has always been that it detects active evil intent and/or beings of an infernal nature, rather than sussing out alignment (which is something a creature/man in my world is always ignorant of in themselves, and is used mostly as a tool to enforce role-play).

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Re: Advice from you Cthulhu fans

Post by jdizzy001 »

kreider204 wrote:Not that it's necessarily authoritative, but IIRC, the 1st ed. AD&D Deities & Demigods listed them in various ways. The ones beholden to a higher authority were LE; those not so beholden were CE.

EDIT: Okay, checking, I'm seeing all sorts of combinations of Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic with Evil and Neutral (no Good, obviously). Less intelligent pawns of greater beings tend to be LN (i.e., they just follow orders, but don't really have a lot of intentions themselves). Less intelligent free agents are CN. Most of the intelligent ones are CE, just a few LE.
I think this is a very good point. It's already been pointed out that the deep one's thoughts are not our thoughts and their ways not our ways so to label them LE would be departed from the lovecraft mythos. Having no idea how you're running your campaign, and basing this post off what you've typed, it sounds like your deep ones ARE archetypically evil and alien from the heroes paradigm so it sounds to me that their alignment must be CE from a human stand point. With exception to the lesser critters who obey the deep one rulers, which has already been pointed out that they would be LN.
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