Mythos Superhumanity: An Ideas Thread

JAMUMU

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So over on the monster-hunting horror thread there's a tangent about how best to mash-up superpowers/humans/heroes with the Cthulhu Mythos. I thought it might be better to have a thread to discuss those ideas, maybe bodge something together.

I've run quite a few "superteam vs Mythos-type threats" over the years, but I think the aim here is to smoosh the two things together, so that the powers come from Mythos sources, even as those powers are used to stave of humanity's demise at the hands of Mythos sources (maybe?).

Over on the other thread, the things that were mentioned were:

  • Body horror
  • Psychic emanations/powers
  • Cost/Benefits analysis during play
  • Early Dr Strange
  • Grant Morrison's Zenith
If you've got any strange, weird, heck, even terrible or hateful ideas, please feel free to share them!
 

PolarBlues

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The adventure for ICONS "Danger in Dunsmouth" makes clear references to Mythos lore, but it's a parody, not sure it counts.
 

lategamer

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I'm currently writing a book with this. I've got system stuff done and I'm working on the fluff and feels. Hence the interest.

My theory ...(and happy to share and share like):

1) there are power sources in the universe which are like magic. Super powers come from this.
2) Superheroes are fairly unique and mostly self contained
3) the power sources can be channelled though...to give extra power. And that's where the danger comes.

to add to the sources...

Have a look at The Whispering Vault RPG.
 

JAMUMU

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I'm currently writing a book with this. I've got system stuff done and I'm working on the fluff and feels. Hence the interest.

My theory ...(and happy to share and share like):

1) there are power sources in the universe which are like magic. Super powers come from this.
2) Superheroes are fairly unique and mostly self contained
3) the power sources can be channelled though...to give extra power. And that's where the danger comes.

to add to the sources...

Have a look at The Whispering Vault RPG.
Yeah I could see different power archetypes coming from different Mythos sources. Energy blasts and manipulation from Azathoth, Teleporting from Yog-Sothoth, Regeneration from Shubby-N, Psionics from Cthulhu himself, fuck knows what from Daoloth. Technomantic powers?

I'll look at that. There's also The Midnight World which uses its own mythos, but has similar ideas.
 

lategamer

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Yeah I could see different power archetypes coming from different Mythos sources. Energy blasts and manipulation from Azathoth, Teleporting from Yog-Sothoth, Regeneration from Shubby-N, Psionics from Cthulhu himself, fuck knows what from Daoloth. Technomantic powers?

I'll look at that. There's also The Midnight World which uses its own mythos, but has similar ideas.

Well, again, some of the entities I would have as essentially the Apex Predator from their part of the universe.

Cthulhu himself. Once a mild mannered Mind Flayer (tm) he grew in power and gained bodily immortality and immense mind powers by drawing on Cosmic (neither benign or malign) universal sources.

I mean it's no more nonsense than the brothers and sisters and children of Cthulhu theories.
 

JAMUMU

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Well, again, some of the entities I would have as essentially the Apex Predator from their part of the universe.

Cthulhu himself. Once a mild mannered Mind Flayer (tm) he grew in power and gained bodily immortality and immense mind powers by drawing on Cosmic (neither benign or malign) universal sources.

I mean it's no more nonsense than the brothers and sisters and children of Cthulhu theories.
I'd say it's better in many ways. Those who can/learn to tap this Cosmic force grow in power, but risk mutation (physical and mental). As people push too far and become superhuman monsters, new people have to step up to channel the power to fight them. Creating a cycle.

When we were talking this through one night, one of my guys thought that actually playing one of the lesser entities might be fun. As a way of playing the "weird/ugly" character from a superteam. Like a Byakhee-type thing as Angel from the X-Men, a Moon Beast-alike as, well Beast from the X-Men, or a Venom-analogue, a Dark Young as a Hulk, that kind of thing.
 

lategamer

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I'd say it's better in many ways. Those who can/learn to tap this Cosmic force grow in power, but risk mutation (physical and mental). As people push too far and become superhuman monsters, new people have to step up to channel the power to fight them. Creating a cycle.

You not only have to risk, but you have to let it in...to get power in the first place. No different to "radioactive spider" dude.

When we were talking this through one night, one of my guys thought that actually playing one of the lesser entities might be fun. As a way of playing the "weird/ugly" character from a superteam. Like a Byakhee-type thing as Angel from the X-Men, a Moon Beast-alike as, well Beast from the X-Men, or a Venom-analogue, a Dark Young as a Hulk, that kind of thing.

Certainly I'd save up my pennies to help find an artist who wanted to dream up superheroic monstrosities.

Another Reference or two:

1) The Fury from Captain Britain (and the whole Jaspers Warp)
2) and related to that, if you ever get the chance to read Sids Story. Wow. (ping me if you want to read it, I do have scans of some of my paper comics)

It might also be worth having a look at ELDER GODLIKE. It's Achtung Cthulhu with supers taken from either Godlike or Savage Worlds. I'll be honest, I didn't like it much. But that's because THIS is what I wanted it to be and it isn't this.
 

JAMUMU

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You not only have to risk, but you have to let it in...to get power in the first place. No different to "radioactive spider" dude.

Certainly I'd save up my pennies to help find an artist who wanted to dream up superheroic monstrosities.

Another Reference or two:

1) The Fury from Captain Britain (and the whole Jaspers Warp)
2) and related to that, if you ever get the chance to read Sids Story. Wow. (ping me if you want to read it, I do have scans of some of my paper comics)
Thanks for the offer! I think my mate might have all the Captain Britain stuff, so I'll ask him at our next game night. He might make me dress in a white paper suit and read it with tweezers though!

The art would definitely make or break this, moreso than the typical supers game. Ironically, AI art lends itself to this weirdness, but as far as I can tell it's verboten in the hobby industry.
 

lategamer

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Bits and pieces for reference:

AZATHOTH - "started with loathing when told of the monstrous nuclear chaos beyond angled space" (Whisperer in Darkness, 1931)

YOG SOTHOTH - "The being is said to take the form of a conglomeration of glowing spheres. It is an all-knowing deity, which means it knows the past, present, and future. Yog-Sothoth is coterminous with all time and space

SHUB NIGGURATH - the name given to a hegemonising swarm of quasi-biological origin

HIDEOUS MIGHT (possible name), comes from The Faerie Queen, Canto VIII

What makes a superhuman different? Is it a psychic force? Is it "contamination" with "psychomalleable" tissue (this could be from contact with MiGi, the Great Race, even Shoggoths).

Pyramind Magazine in 2002: http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=3118
 
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lategamer

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Watch! as your erstwhile heroes travel to Mesoamerica to fight the risen Star Spawn with only their wits, mythos-derived superpowers and their new allies, Yig, father of Serpents and the inscrutable, unfathomable Serpent People.

Witness! as our heroes travel dimensions trying to track down the one cause of the Yellow Sine, a quasi-electromagnetic signal which transcends time and space, calling all minds to join with Carcosa and worship the cthuloid hyperbrain Hastur.

Scream! as our heroes are recruited by the masters of time and space in the ancient superhuman city of Tindalos as their agents, The Hounds, and dispatched to find the secret prison of Yog Sothoth. The players, armed with superhuman powers and able to materialise through any angle across the whole of time and space, they must work to find Yog Sothoth and prevent an interdimensional rift from consuming the multiverse.

Live! the life of a newly recruited Hound of Tindalos and work to prevent the Awakening of Azathoth - dread Azathoth, whose very body forms the materia of the Milky Way and whose Awakening and thrashing would cause the deaths of trillions of intelligent beings. He must sleep evermore.
 

Simlasa

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It wouldn't be my taste to just mash comic-style supers with the Mythos, but I've always wondered about the idea of what humans as Mythos beings would be like... the process of becoming such a thing.
Maybe someone like an archmage would approach that disconnect with mainstream humanity.
Recently I bought Dracula: The Great Old One because it looked to explore that concept... though he's not at all a 'hero'.
The old Chaosium 'monograph' The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan had some interesting ideas as well... but again, not heroes.
 

lategamer

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The League of Extraordinary Beings
(just for fun. I want the supers to be actually more like normal supers....but with the danger of biting off more than they can chew)

Carter, able to slip between Dreamlands and the Real Universe. And brings others with him.

The Thing, a Shoggoth, rescued from an Antarctic ice-floe and successfully bargaining for access to technology in return for service. It wants to rebuild its ship and leave the Earth. Who wouldn't!

Wilbur Whateley, possessed of inhuman strength and speed and also the ability to summon an unearthly powerful force which can steamroller towns.

Spring Heeled Jack, a powerful masked vigilante and a member of the Ghoul race.

Nightgaunt - bat winged, blank faced and inscrutable

Reptile - an immortal member of the Serpent People who's the official liaison with humanity (in his human guise) and also the chief negotiator with The Thing.
 

Tulpa Girl

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I would have sworn there was a thread of similar nature a year or two ago, but my search skills are failing me.

And I finally found the thread I was thinking of: Superworld/CoC

Hmm. Those brightly-garbed superhumans began to appear a little over a year after the most famous chronicler of various hidden horrors passed away...

...no, I don't think there's any connection between the two, nor would I dare suggest that the former might well be the latter hiding in plain sight, and I'm quite certain that the timing of the two events is purely coincidental.
 

urbwar

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There's a huge thread over on tbp going back to 2008 you might want to sift through for ideas. I remember there was some good concepts shared in it.
 

lategamer

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There's a huge thread over on tbp going back to 2008 you might want to sift through for ideas. I remember there was some good concepts shared in it.
Yeah I requoted some bits I wrote for that thread above.

My interest in it started with Golden Heroes as a teen in the 80s, playing Cthulhu adventures in White Dwarf because there wasn’t much published for superheroes. (V&V was a rare American phenomenon).

I don’t think that Spider-Man should be slowly turning into a Cronenburg horror but I think that there should be the option to channel Chaos/Essence/Aethyr/whatever to boost abilities … at a cost.
 

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"It was just a routine field trip, kind of thing that happened at least once a week, showing a group of high-schoolers around the research labs to encourage the rare few into a career in science.

Only something went wrong.

Really wrong.

Instead of taking the party to the tier 1 labs, the stupid intern went to the Tier 3 lab. The one where they were examining the evidence from Project Arrowhead. Whilst the staff were challenging the intern, some of the highschoolers started to muck about and specimen '#003 Gray Widow' was freed from it's container and we can't find it!"

***

"Mrs. Parker. This is Janice from Midtown High. There's been an incident at school. It seems your nephew Peter attacked another student and tried to bite them. He keeps talking about webs. The police have been called but I think you should come down as well."
 

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Dr David Banner, physician, scientist, searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have.
Then, an accidental overdose of Tillinghast radiation alters his body chemistry and now when David Banner grows angry or outraged a startling metamorphosis occurs. He turns into a terrible, indescribable thing.
A shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light.

"Don't make me hungry. You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry."
 

JAMUMU

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If you go back to the pulpy early days of comics, there's a few Mythos-adjacent ideas getting used as superheroes. Like this guy - er, I mean eye:

250-3690752331.jpg

7fa5618cee1647ab1519dc0c2892a5b2.jpg
 

urbwar

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If you go back to the pulpy early days of comics, there's a few Mythos-adjacent ideas getting used as superheroes. Like this guy - er, I mean eye:

View attachment 55217

View attachment 55218
There are at least 2 villains named The Black Pharaoh (one who fought Ibis the Invincible, the other fought Thun-Dohr. In the mythos, the Black Pharaoh is an avatar of Nyarlathotep. Were these villains the Crawling Chaos himself, trying to help these heroes reach their full potential, or was he just bored and playing games in between sowing chaos and discord across the world?
 

lategamer

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So, generate your heroes in your favourite system as normal.
Allow for a Push mechanic ... or a Channelling mechanic -this is either like Push in YZE or Threat in 2d20 or maybe it's like exposure to Chaos in WHFRP.
On a "Botch" dice, you can choose...

Fail. Or get what you wanted with a random roll on the "Wrongness" table.

Play on.
 

JAMUMU

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Aberrant isn't a game I've tried. We're strictly FASERIP or M&M2 guys. If I was doing this with one of those systems I'd want to port over the Devil's Bargain from FitD games. A significant power boost but at a mythos-related corruption cost. However I know that players would just ignore the rule as if it wasn't there, which is a problem with the underlying concept.
 

Stumpydave

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If I were going to run it, I'd be inclined to use Freak Legion for Werewolf.
 

lategamer

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Another nice mechanic worth nicking is Shadow Awareness.

In TOR2e, this is a number which is made up of the group for who they are. You've got an elf or a dunedain? Add more to the score. Someone scores a magical success on a test? Add one to the score. The shadow awareness is then rolled (presumably at the start of the season) to see if the Shadow has noticed the fellowship.

It's a nice effect where having powerful people with great renown can work against you in some ways. No-one wants to attract the baleful eye of Nyarlathotep but might be ok with the MiGo coming to tea.
 

remial

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I have had this idea to combine Trail of Cthulhu and Mutant City Blues.
PCs start off as investigators who work for a weird old man, they encounter some mythos crap, gain mental instabilities, and these instabilities lead to them developing super powers based off the big chart in MCB.
The weird old man is in fact one of the mythos gods. they are dying, and each god is backing a new crop of replacements. Eventually the PCs will have to fight these other groups, because only one pantheon can win.
 

Voros

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A good inspiration for this idea I think would be Alan Moore's Captain Britain run which is one of the darkest and most disturbing yet mind-bending things he ever wrote in the superhero genre.

Captain-Britain-from-MSH-1.jpg
 

lategamer

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I have had this idea to combine Trail of Cthulhu and Mutant City Blues.
PCs start off as investigators who work for a weird old man, they encounter some mythos crap, gain mental instabilities, and these instabilities lead to them developing super powers based off the big chart in MCB.
The weird old man is in fact one of the mythos gods. they are dying, and each god is backing a new crop of replacements. Eventually the PCs will have to fight these other groups, because only one pantheon can win.
Thats a cool campaign idea.
 
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