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Author Topic: Woking Cthulhu?  (Read 4198 times)

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2021, 07:14:17 PM »
More seriously, I don't think you can be-Woken Cthulhu, any more than you could "Christianize" it. As I've said before, the entire point of cosmic horror is the moral meaninglessness of the universe, and Wokism is all about its moral judgements.
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

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Armchair Gamer

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2021, 07:48:04 PM »
More seriously, I don't think you can be-Woken Cthulhu, any more than you could "Christianize" it. As I've said before, the entire point of cosmic horror is the moral meaninglessness of the universe, and Wokism is all about its moral judgements.

   You can Christianize Lovecraft ... but you have to assume Lovecraft was fundamentally wrong about things. The recent novel Providence Blue by David Pinault takes one approach to this, and I've been tempted to juxtapose the opening paragraph of "The Call of Cthulhu" with a line from Tolkien's unpublished The Notion Club Papers: "There's lying in the universe--very subtle lying."

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2021, 07:57:42 PM »
You can Christianize Lovecraft ... but you have to assume Lovecraft was fundamentally wrong about things.

Well, sure. But again, that's missing the whole point of that kind of cosmic horror. "Fear of Hell" and "Fear of No Hell" (to use GURPS Horror's terms) are both terrifying things to contemplate but they're not the same thing.

Which is not to say I wouldn't read or enjoy a story that used Mythos-style trappings in the service of Christian themes. But I wouldn't get the same kind of frisson out of it that I do from "At the Mountains of Madness" or the movie The Void.
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

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Spinachcat

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2021, 11:36:20 PM »
Don't game with wokists and don't buy the shit made by wokists.



palaeomerus

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2021, 11:44:02 PM »
More seriously, I don't think you can be-Woken Cthulhu, any more than you could "Christianize" it. As I've said before, the entire point of cosmic horror is the moral meaninglessness of the universe, and Wokism is all about its moral judgements.

You can argue about authenticity but it has been rolled into other formats. Brian Lumley did several corny almost smarmy penny dreadful style adventure romance books set in his own version of the Lovecraft mythos. Kind of H. R. Haggard meets Dennis Wheatley meets the Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Emery

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2021, 12:20:35 AM »
You can argue about authenticity but it has been rolled into other formats.

Absolutely. Again, it's a question of trappings vs. themes. For cosmic horror all you really need is something that drives home the immensity, weirdness or incomprehensibility of the universe, and the smallness and irrelevance of mankind, in a way that makes all our lives seem pointless.

The Mythos's imagery of shapeless tentacled monsters and genetic degradation are particular trappings to that end: you can put them in stories without hitting the same themes, and you can hit those themes without using those trappings.
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

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FingerRod

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2021, 06:27:14 AM »
Any experience around here with Cthulhu Hack? Looks like 2e is being kickstarted.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2021, 10:58:50 AM »
Again, it's a question of trappings vs. themes. For cosmic horror all you really need is something that drives home the immensity, weirdness or incomprehensibility of the universe, and the smallness and irrelevance of mankind, in a way that makes all our lives seem pointless.
A basic science class on geography or astrology? Or even economics or psychology?
I find cosmic horror has lost almost all of its edge in modern times.

Darrin Kelley

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2021, 11:12:08 AM »
I don't think it is possible to make Cthulhu Woke and stay true to the fiction Lovecraft produced.

Lovecraft was a bigot. It informed a lot of his writing. For good or ill. But he did give birth to a particular kind of horror.

Cosmic horror can be done better these days. New authors can use the basic themes Lovecraft originated to create something new. And honestly? They should.

I just don't think rewriting Call Of Cthulhu is the correct approach. I believe it should be left as it is. Flaws and all. So future generations can learn from it.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 11:14:33 AM by Darrin Kelley »
 

Banjo Destructo

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2021, 01:25:42 PM »
More seriously, I don't think you can be-Woken Cthulhu, any more than you could "Christianize" it. As I've said before, the entire point of cosmic horror is the moral meaninglessness of the universe, and Wokism is all about its moral judgements.

To horrify "woke" people who play.

You found out that the deep ones had established the patriarchy and systemic racism that plagues your community, but during the stunningly brave confrontation you planned you were captured by the society. Now you awaken in a chamber full of candles and strange apparatuses, with a mirror infront of you that slowly comes into focus as you get a grip of the situation you realize... you've been mutated into a white male! Your urge to fight for justice drains from you as this new persona takes over your mind, as you reach over and grab a briefcase, ready to head out and get a job, get married, and have lots of kids that you were previously not planning on doing because of overpopulation

Abraxus

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2021, 01:35:03 PM »
I actually like the Brian Lumkey stories as after awhile the overall “ we’re doomed I tell you doomed against Cthulhu and his minions, coupled with how Lovecraft makes governments responses to. The zmythis completely clues and inept annoying.
 

Sure humanity is fucked against the Mythos..nothing says a person can’t empty both gauges into ole squid eye face either.

A little to heavy in the Elder sign aspect for sure I actually liked humanity fighting back rather than be fucking  utterly us against the Mythos 

Same thing with the Lsundry series of novels. Humanity or at least major governments are not going to sit by and do nothing again incursions from the Mythos
« Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 02:10:46 PM by Abraxus »

Stephen Tannhauser

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2021, 01:58:07 PM »
A basic science class on geography or astrology? Or even economics or psychology?
I find cosmic horror has lost almost all of its edge in modern times.

A lot of it, yeah. A key part of why Lovecraft and cosmic horror packed such a punch is that a critical part of it is loss of faith, and we live in a largely faithless age. The abyss of nihilism is only terrifying to those still trying not to fall into it.
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

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Armchair Gamer

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2021, 02:22:41 PM »
A basic science class on geography or astrology? Or even economics or psychology?
I find cosmic horror has lost almost all of its edge in modern times.

A lot of it, yeah. A key part of why Lovecraft and cosmic horror packed such a punch is that a critical part of it is loss of faith, and we live in a largely faithless age. The abyss of nihilism is only terrifying to those still trying not to fall into it.

   I've theorized that Lovecraft only really 'works' as intended for a 20th century audience. Previous centuries in the Anglosphere were generally too confident in God and the rationality of the universe, and most of his 21st century audience takes the meaninglessness for granted, if not as a positive good. (See my crack about Internet Progressives above.)

jhkim

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #58 on: November 19, 2021, 02:29:40 PM »
I don't think it is possible to make Cthulhu Woke and stay true to the fiction Lovecraft produced.

Lovecraft was a bigot. It informed a lot of his writing. For good or ill. But he did give birth to a particular kind of horror.

Cosmic horror can be done better these days. New authors can use the basic themes Lovecraft originated to create something new. And honestly? They should.

I just don't think rewriting Call Of Cthulhu is the correct approach. I believe it should be left as it is. Flaws and all. So future generations can learn from it.

The Call of Cthulhu RPG has never been very true to the fiction that Lovecraft produced. It's always been a horror RPG that draws some of the trappings of Lovecraft and some of the themes, but also from Lumley and other writers and its own approach. Further, over the decades there have been a lot of different variants that mix Lovecraft's writing with other sources and genres -- like Delta Green (mixing in flying saucer mythology), Victorian horror, Pulp Cthulhu, and many others.

For example, with regard to the Deep Ones...  In Pulp Cthulhu, it's about square-jawed American heroes punching out Nazis and the horrors like Deep One they work with - clear good vs evil fight. That's obviously and intentionally opposed to Lovecraft's cosmic horror, in my opinion.

Lovecraft's stories aren't about good humans fighting against the evil monsters. He much more often had that the horror was that the evil was all around us all the time, and that humans themselves were evil and/or monsters themselves.

In the last CoC campaign that I GMed, I took an approach opposite to Pulp Cthulhu. The game was set in an alternate 1940s just after the Deep War, a devastating worldwide war with the Deep Ones. Part of the idea here was that players didn't have to play dumb, because the PCs knew about Lovecraftian horrors. In the Deep War, the Allies were the great naval powers: the U.S., Britain, Germany, and Japan. The Soviets and the Chinese were neutral. This had a much more uncomfortable feel, as the U.S. had a reluctant alliance with Nazi Germany. The Nazis had a particular hatred of Deep Ones as they produced mixed-race abominations. I think this was closer to Lovecraft's writing than Pulp Cthulhu, though it also had its own take.

S'mon

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Re: Woking Cthulhu?
« Reply #59 on: November 19, 2021, 02:39:48 PM »
This had a much more uncomfortable feel, as the U.S. had a reluctant alliance with Nazi Germany. The Nazis had a particular hatred of Deep Ones as they produced mixed-race abominations. I think this was closer to Lovecraft's writing than Pulp Cthulhu, though it also had its own take.

If you really want to be uncomfortable you'd have the Pure Aryan Nazis fighting the Miscegenating Deep Ones & their British, American & Soviet Allies...

You could soften it a bit by having the Nazis allied to eg the Great Race of Yith, or maybe the Mi-Go.