Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shoggoth!

I try to pretend that I'm not into 'things' as material possessions. I've owned numerous computers, books, movies, music, etc... However, I do like owning some thing and their loss would be a blow. One of those things is my old copy of Deities and Demigods that has the Cthulhu Mythos in it.


The shoggoth on page 46 what could be its cousin, but is probably Shub-Niggurath on page 47, both done by Erol Otus, who also did the cover painting, showcase a monstrous entity that oozes along with limbs and eyes and tentacles and teeth coming and going.

But the shaggoth is well, weak. Don't mistake me, it's twenty hit dice, and 30% magic resistance along with some innate immunities, to weakness, paralysis and charm, provide it some benefit. But...  Suffice it to say I like the 3.5/Pathfinder version much better.

In Rolemaster, there are monsters that are tough to kill. They're not powerful monsters. They just have lots of hit points. Things like whales and what not. That method always made sense to me. These big monsters aren't going down with a single sword stroke, but unlike say 3.5 D&D, where monster level automatically grants it X amount of power, those big monsters weren't necessarily capable fighters either.

Anyway, the shoggoth, ancient creatures created by 'Primordial Ones' also have a variant. I remember reading about it in one of the various works of fiction published by Chaosium. The thing is, these shape changers are roughly humanoid and walk among humanity. It wasn't long until I bought one of the Rafm miniatures. Heck, I'm almost done with it. Maybe I'll post pics when it's finished. The one below is from Rafm: Edit; And posted!






Now what brought this to mind is that I just finished reading the graphic novel, Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead. Like all good sieges and attacks and large scale combats, its tale involves the use of spies and traitors. How much better if you can add something like a proto-shoggoth? There is no innate link there. Merely the reading of one book, seeing a situation that could use something that would've been different, and then the idea.  The use of dopplegangers and other entities that shape change are fairly well known, but not all D&D players are familiar with the Cthulhu mythos.

By changing up the expected monsters and assassins, even though its still a 'gotcha' moment, it might be a different sort of gotcha moment. The Cthulhu Mythos tends to evoke a different type of horror than standard D&D monsters. At worse, perhaps it'll take the players off guard.