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7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-02-11 07:40 PM


I think this is a smart concise dissection of the genre. Insightful is a good word for it. But I think two things are left out that are very common to the genre.



1) I have noticed in Lovecraftian fiction that there is often a strong emotional detachment in the tone pieces. The works are often use an academic or clinical dissection of the events. The most obvious case of this is the afore mentioned Mountains of Madness, but also The Lurking Fear, The Dunwhich Horror and even Rats in the Walls all sort of have strong emotional detachment. Consider in Rats in the Walls when the protagonist discusses his invalid son with an almost off hand matter of fact tone. In modern Lovecraftian fiction there is a clinical tone to it. Consider reading the "The Ugly Chickens" by Howard Waldrop and see if this does not strike you as having a Lovecraftian tone.



However, this tone may not be Lovecraftian and something more about the puritanical English approach to horror. Certainly true in Bram Stoker's Dracula (the book) was that Western Europeans could use reason, discipline and a scientific method to describe and thus defeat the vampire. In something like the Exorcist it is the failure of reasoning that is scary. I think that this scientific view or psuedo-scientific view that I believe runs through Lovecraftian fiction adds strongly to the next point.



2) I feel that the second essential part of Lovecraftian fiction is the corruption. Somebody may claim this is what was meant by total party kill or secrete societies but they would miss the point of this. Total Party Kill is a sad ending and secrete societies are part of that horror in our own backyard theme. Corruption is the idea that horror and destruction are contagious. Take the story "The Lurking Fear" for example here you have the corruption of the Dutch settlers as the primary conclusion of the piece and the realization of which disturbs the narrator. In Event Horizon or In the Mouth of Madness you have the "turning" of the reasonable hero. The Color Out of Space the farm is corrupted, Rats in the Walls the Virginian is corrupted, and in Shadow Over Innsmouth of course you have the *spoiler* the narrator finding out that he is part of that gold mining fish cult-so kind of corrupted.



Thanks for driving this discussion.

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7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
axlerowes's comment on 2014-03-12 02:24 PM
I never liked the corruption aspect of the Lovecraft's stories though, and that is why I wanted to separate it. Did it really matter if they were brother and sister in the Dunwhich Horror or that crab armed mole people were the Dutch colonists in The Nameless Fear? Indeed finding out that there was human corruption that lead to these horror takes away from the nameless horror part. Go to Comment
7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
valadaar's comment on 2013-10-09 08:25 AM
Great!

Love Lovecraftian stuff :)


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7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
The Bull's comment on 2013-10-02 03:12 AM
Very well written and most useful not only for writing fictions.

Thanks for sharing it with us. Go to Comment
7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
young0ne2's comment on 2014-01-11 09:09 AM
Only voted Go to Comment
7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
Gossamer's comment on 2013-10-17 12:40 PM
Don't forget the one where they manage to banish the evil but everyone thinks they're crazy and they end up either locked up (Nightmare on Elm Street) or on the run (Terminator 2). And of course, evil Always returns, mwahahahaha. Go to Comment
7 Things about Lovecraftian Fiction
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
Darkstand's comment on 2013-10-02 01:24 AM
Not much to say, fan of Lovecraftian fiction (though truth be told some of the later authors suit me better than the original... might be culture clash). This goes in the RPG bookmark folder.

I will note that adding Lovecraftian horror to a campaign does not have to be all or nothing, the party can skirt the edges of something beyond them or find a 'minor' artifact in a otherwise non-lovecraft setting/campaign. Go to Comment
The Clowns Gang
Society/ Organizations  (Criminal/Espionage)   (Area)
Scrasamax's comment on 2013-09-29 02:07 PM
Added the graphic warning, good call. As for the leering images of evil clowns, mission accomplished. Go to Comment
The Clowns Gang
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Scrasamax's comment on 2013-09-30 10:27 PM
The Clowns are a gang of degenerates that have been used as the worst of the worst in my home game. In the home game, they rarely have any sort of leadership and it is a general carnival of chaos and mayhem. The history and background of the Clowns is somewhat unimportant in that context so the leadership role being filled by the various actors/personas that have played the Joker provided a figurehead for both leadership and for their history.

As for long term plans, as the Joker says, Do I look like the sort of guy who makes plans?

The things that set the Clowns apart from other gangs is that they are the bottom of the barrel, the most depraved, the most violent, and the most inhuman of all. They are involved in the drug trade, but on the bottom side up, peddling the worst sort of drugs, the sort that cause bodily harm by simple proximity like meth and bath salts. The thematic elements are the most obvious factor, with the circus/clown theme recurring over and over. The gang members lose themselves in those elements.
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The Clowns Gang
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Cheka Man's comment on 2013-10-01 12:47 PM
Not a gang to mess with. Go to Comment
The Clowns Gang
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Dragonlordmax's comment on 2013-10-11 08:17 AM
This is pretty horrific. I mean, in sort of a good way. I'm not sure these guys would fit into the sorts of games I tend to run, but at the very least, the post makes a good format for a gang write-up, and there are definite strong points to this one. Go to Comment
The Clowns Gang
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valadaar's comment on 2013-10-08 07:05 PM
Brutal in a good way. Great use of pictures.


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The Clowns Gang
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Dossta's comment on 2013-09-30 06:54 PM
I think the pictures added quite a bit, though some of them could have been sized down a tad. As for the content, it's pretty much what you'd expect of a whole gang based around Heath Ledger's Joker -- violent, disturbing and scary as hell. I especially liked the bit about the various drugs; that one sentence about administering Nuke to hostages to "keep them cool" tells you all you want to know about being at the mercy of this gang.

If there was anything I could suggest, it would be to imagine a few more unique gang-related activities. The Suicide Parties are a good step, but what else can they do to distinguish themselves from other "normal" gangs (besides the thematic elements, I mean). Are they big in the hostage industry? Sex-trade? Do they have any long-term plans? Go to Comment
The Clowns Gang
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caesar193's comment on 2013-09-29 11:48 AM
Drug-addicted, psychopathic clowns slaughtering people? You are an evil, sick strolenite, Scrasamx. I, naturally, love it.

I especially love the suicide parties and the rape bit. Well, I don't love it, because its sick and evil, and in fact hate it... ah, you know what I mean.

The one improvement I can see is less pictures. You see, having so many pictures means I'm seeing at least one as I read, which means that I get a mental image of an evil clown grinning as he rapes and burns me to death.

Also, it might help if you add a line saying that it has graphic content. I don't mind it, but others might. Go to Comment
Hekatonkheire
Items  (Armor)   (Villanous)
Scrasamax's comment on 2013-10-03 08:58 AM
This biomass is functionally ectoplasm, ephemeral material, that is 'bleeding' over into reality. Multiple dimensions, and dimension seepage are both not rare events in the cosmic era. The biomass is not targeting non-biological material, the biomass is the unintended consequence of arcanotechnology, it isn't a normal organism. Its cybernetic cancer.

As for being implausible, well thats the entire purpose of arcanotechnology; levitation, free energy, infinite heat dissipation, true mechanical sentience, copying people's memories, artificial brains, giant robots, exotic beam weapons, etc. It is supposed to be strange and disturbing. It isn't a slick shiny creature inhabiting the shell of a mecha, it is a mass of cancerous tissue, tapping into the conduit of human suffering and misery. Go to Comment
Hekatonkheire
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Scrasamax's comment on 2013-10-03 11:40 AM
Evangelion is one of my favorite animes, and I have to admit there was certainly some influence from it. I would make a hekatonkheire a mix of evangelion and the Zerg infested units from Starcraft. Unlike Evangelion, these aren't being produced deliberately by any secret government agencies, though there are several of them in containment undergoing study. At this point, I am going to say that domesticating a hekatonkheire is currently beyond the ability, or simply too dangerous to be reliable.

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Hekatonkheire
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Cheka Man's comment on 2013-09-24 11:22 AM
Undead machines. Ick. Go to Comment
Hekatonkheire
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valadaar's comment on 2013-09-24 12:15 PM
This submission is like the universe itself - pulling in bits and pieces everywhere into a cohesive whole.

These are great and form instant adventures for the game. Playing a mechwarrior/battletech campaign in this world would be wild fun.


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Hekatonkheire
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Gossamer's comment on 2013-10-03 08:16 AM
Where does this bio-mass come from, and why does it specifically target non-biological stuff? Wouldn't it have been more plausible to have like a nano-swarm or other sentient technology attach itself to the mecha? If this bio-mass can do this, wouldn't it just have been easier for it to make itself a fully biological body, or to take over a biological entity? Visually, the idea is nice, but it just seems a bit implausible. Go to Comment
Hekatonkheire
Items  (Armor)   (Villanous)
Gossamer's comment on 2013-10-03 10:35 AM
Oh sort of like Evangelion, where they built the mechas of the fallen angels. That makes more sense. Go to Comment
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