Campaign of the Month: March 2017
The Cthulhu, Hastur and Shade Mythoi
The so-called “Cthulhu Mythos” of H.P. Lovecraft and his circle has formed an important part of the Nocturnum-verse since the original game, with the Mad Gods of C. J. Carella’s WitchCraft tied directly to the Elder Gods and Great Old Ones of Lovecraft. It became necessary as we went on, to have access to Unisystem abilities for these creatures and their mythos. A large part of this came from the netbook, The Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft, which was co-written by myself and Salvatore Cucinotta.
- Cthulhu Mythos: This Wild Card Skill can only be gained or improved through exposure to the horrors of the Outer Dark. You can’t have this skill if you have no Madness. It allows identification and knowledge of the Mythos, where Occultism allows knowledge of more… “mundane” supernatural horrors.
- Shade Mythos: See “Cthulhu” Mythos, above, but related specifically to the forces known as the Shade, which are new to this season. Currently the Shade references the Hastur Mythos as originally envisioned by Robert W. Chambers (and interpreted by me) and the Red God Ornduhl, as seen in the Amazing Adventures and Castles & Crusades role playing games. The only way to pick up knowledge of the Shade is to be exposed to Lyssicus, the essence of madness entropy that exudes from the “entities” (for lack of a better term) of this Mythos.
- The Hastur Files: A military dossier from 1987, found in an old abandoned Delta Green safehouse in Virginia, which details incursions of the King in Yellow on Earth.
- Delta Green: A secret government conspiracy organization dedicated to hunting down incursions of the supernatural and quelling them wherever they occur. In our universe they’re a step above the Combine in that, firstly, they don’t nearly have the resources to ruthlessly stomp out every scrap of the supernatural, and secondly, they have a degree of perspective in realizing that every sorcerer and vampire isn’t a Cthulhu Mythos or Hastur incursion. They concern themselves mostly with keeping the public in the dark about magic, and stopping major apocalyptic events. For more on Delta Green, check out the outstanding role playing game by Shane Ivey, Greg Stolze, Dennis Detwiller, and Christpoher Gunney, published by Arc Dream Publishing.
- Madness: Madness points are accumulated through encounters with eldritch horrors from beyond the pale. Once a character accumulates enough madness to equal twice their Willpower score, they gain a Mental Drawback (for which they don’t get points to spend). Thereafter, every multiple of Willpower in Madness Points gained, results in another mental drawback (or a worsening of an existing one). If a character gains ten times their Willpower in Madness Points, they become Tainted, a lost follower of the Outer Dark. Madness points can be lost through Catharsis (See the Mockers in the Abomination Codex ); however, no character can ever be reduced to zero Madness once they’ve got a point of it.
- Lyssicus: A new form of Essence is in play for this particular game, called Lyssicus, the pure essence of madness, corruption and entropy that is the kind of Essence endemic to the world of Hastur and Carcosa. Lyssicus will work essentially the same as Sorcery, should any characters gain access to it, but cannot be combined with Sorcery. There are, in addition, other consequences to gaining Lyssicus, but these will come into play, should a character start using it.