Well that would ruin the horror of it, gottgen.
After having to fight a horde of horrific zombie slaves, they wouldn't be as fazed by whatever Cthulhu-thing is lurking around.
The key to horror is to have one kind of fear. Horror movies are almost always centered on one phenomena, one individual, one monster. Go to Comment
I like monsters that are easy to confront once you know their secret. In fact, most monsters in our common pantheon are easy to kill, once you know how. However, the monsters need to keep themselves cloaked in mystery and mythology, so they can continue to pray on the unsuspecting... appearing unstoppable. ONce the monster is revealed, and its weakness sussed out, it is moderate easy to kill the supposedly unstoppable thing.
The great and mighty "Fear Demon" from one of the Buffy Halloween episodes is a great example. It seems all powerful. It can alter reality (or our perception of reality). It can cause you to do things you would not normally do, via fear. Yet, if you confront your fear and then the demon... it goes squish because it is only 1 decimeter (about 4") tall.
Your monster might of done nothing more than use illusions to generate fear and cause the villagers to kill each other off. They left all the physical damage, in their insane, fear driven state. Go to Comment
Good adventure starter! I too am a fan of Lovecraft.
"Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fthagan!"
My only suggestion is to add some minions. Perhaps the missing townspeople have been reanimated as laborers and to keep out prying eyes? Or maybe the being called other creatures that used to worship it so it could regain strength and a power base in the area.
The beast, itself, could be more than any physical weapons can handle...needing a spell or specific combination of events to imprison it again. The focus would then be avoiding/defeating the servants while trying to beat the beastie down again. Go to Comment
How did the "thing" kill all the townspeople? if it just killed them it should be powerful enough to just kill the players... and if it can just kill the players it will only take one fight and theres nothing scary in that...
If its only one monster that has killed everything and its a Cthulhu-thing it should somehow affect their minds. the willagers were weak minded and became paralysed and then they were easy pray for it, but the players are tough adveturers and manage to flee, not seeing completly what it is, but they fear it, even the hardiest of them...
It could be a "thing" thing or somekind of Shadow, it could then assume ANY form it has seen, even family cant see the difference, it can even mimic the voice (if anyone has played L5R, that shadow). But as it can take the form of anyone, think what it could do if it gets the party separated. *evil grin* Go to Comment
The comments that this inspired are perhaps the most interesting part of the sub. The initial "encounters" are evocative and traditionally "Lovecraftian". Variations on this theme aren't uncommon.
I'm not as pleased by the conclusions offered. The original description didn't elaborate, saying "It's bad, it's scary, it killed off the town..." without giving details. The proposed conclusions help, but the PCs should have the opportunity to figure out more about the monster. Perhaps the local priest wrote some notes about what happened: They were burned in his final moments, but a few pages survived... A local hedge wizard had a plan for binding the creature, but could not gather all the materials needed before he, too, fell.
Perhaps the thing only strikes at a particular time or under certain conditions, such as after Aldebaran rises, or when clousds cover the moon. Give the players the impression that it's a race against time for them to gather everything needed to deal with the horror before it comes for them. Go to Comment