Mythos 'Monster' stats

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Should Mythos creatures have stats?

Yes
9
10%
Yes
9
10%
Yes
9
10%
Yes
9
10%
No
3
3%
No
3
3%
No
3
3%
No
3
3%
Depends (explain)
11
12%
Depends (explain)
11
12%
Depends (explain)
11
12%
Depends (explain)
11
12%
 
Total votes: 92

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Noshrok Grimskull
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Mythos 'Monster' stats

#1 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:48 am

This topic crops up every now and then, so let's nail it down for good.
As it says above, should the creatures from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos be put into stats? If so, what would those stats be?

I know Butch already put a few of these creatures into Shark Bytes 3, but what about those that are still missing? The Dhole, the Cthonian, the Gug, or even the Star Spawn (Cthulhu spawn), to name only a few...

(And don't try to come up with stats for one of the Old Ones. Those are DEFINITELY beyond stats!)
Last edited by Noshrok Grimskull on Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#2 Postby lordthrog » Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:21 am

I voted yes, and here is why. I don't know much about Cthulhu Mythos RPG stuff, but as a general rule of thumb, if a monster is one that PCs are supposed to be able to encounter and "defeat" there should be stats to back that up. That is any setting, really.
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#3 Postby palehorse » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:34 am

lordthrog wrote:I voted yes, and here is why. I don't know much about Cthulhu Mythos RPG stuff, but as a general rule of thumb, if a monster is one that PCs are supposed to be able to encounter and "defeat" there should be stats to back that up. That is any setting, really.


That pretty much sums it up for me exactly.

I still have a lot ofMythos critters written up for Savage Beasts Vol 2 (the horror edition), but it's had to go waaay back on the backburner for now.

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#4 Postby Count Zero » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:53 pm

"If you stat it they will kill it"

If that's ok, then stat away!

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#5 Postby The Dead Ranger » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:00 pm

If the Mythos entity is something that the PCs are able to have a fighting chance against (Deep Ones, Byakhee, Nightgaunts, Ghouls, etc.) then they definitely should have stats, assuming you stat any of your opposition.

However, if it's something the PCs should run from no matter what or something that only shows up if they screw up or otherwise is guaranteed to kill them (any Great Old One, Outer God, mature Dhole, etc.) or can otherwise only be dealt with by banishing, you don't need much in the way of stats.

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#6 Postby ron blessing » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:13 pm

I voted yes.

I'm not one for campaigns where anything is impossible to defeat. I understand the need for archetypal characters (Cthulhu certainly fits that bill), but if the characters can stand before it (which I'd likely never allow with the Cthulhu), then they should be able to have a chance to fight and kill it (even if it is equal to the iconic snowball in Hell).

This is why I gave Stone stats (as ridiculous as they were) in Deadlands.

Bottom line: No GM should ever hold an archetypal character dearer to heart than his/her players.

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#7 Postby Redeucer » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:37 pm

It really depends on the level of "Mythos" creature. A Mi-go? Sure! A Hound of Tindalos? Yes. An Ancient Thing? Maybe. Probably. But it would be very tough. Gug. About the same. Any of the big names like Azathoth, C'thulhu, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, etc. should not have stats. There is no point in stats for something that is that powerful and overwhelming. They are a game effect and nothing more.

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#8 Postby Clint » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:44 pm

ronism wrote:Bottom line: No GM should ever hold an archetypal character dearer to heart than his/her players.


I don't think that's the issue at all. It's a matter of the setting and style of the game.

Call of Cthulhu isn't a horror rpg where you just happen to be fighting squidheads, fishmen, funky colors, fungi, etc. It's about something that has been said so many times, it's become a cliche that has lost a lot of its meaning.

Things - Man - Was - Not - Meant - To - Know.

Really read that, and then consider it. It's not just something that has been kept a secret from man; it is something that shatters reality as he knows it. I don't think Parry is a real big issue then. :wink:

The whole point of Call of Cthulhu isn't for the players to beat the monsters. It's about getting to play a character who is forced to face their own insignificance and doubt their own sanity (with a slight chance of "survival" through some kind of McGuffin usually). That's pretty much the heart of most H.P. Lovecraft stories.

Granted, that style of play isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is true to the stories and the settings. And in that style of play, the characters' lack of stats isn't a testament to their importance but to the players' importance.

And my take is that if that isn't the style, then it isn't really Call of Cthulhu. It's something else with Cthulhu Mythos elements. Neither is better or worse, simply different.

But the question then isn't whether the monsters should be statted or not, but simply what kind of game do you and your players like? The answers come out the same.

My two cents.
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#9 Postby Revolution 9 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:12 pm

I voted "Depends." Dead Ranger and Redeucer summed it up perfectly. Creatures that players might fight through or are quite "common" (in that are an entire race and not a unique abomination) should have stats. A creature that must be banished by magic or by breaking some object that keeps them tied to the plane, or some other special method of destruction only needs certain stats, and even those are easy to make up.

Certainly, Cthulhu is not immortal; he's essentially an extremely powerful alien being, but not a god. However, his power is such that for gaming purposes he might as well be considered such. Besides, if players are really getting to the point where they can fight and possibly defeat Cthulhu, your game is messed up.

Clint also brings up a very important point. CoC is not a dungeon crawl. "Things man was not meant to know" implies that man only learned it by some fluke, the chances of which were almost nil to behin with. We might read the stories and think the realities Lovecraft presented are really not that shocking; in this day and age, learning that there is no God and that mankind is doomed to destruction, for many, would not come as much of a surprise. However, I would assume there are many more facets that we don't know. After all, we'd be insane if we did :cry:
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#10 Postby DaoLong » Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:26 pm

Its been said before, but it realy depends on your game and players.

It also kinda depends on what you mean by stats.

I personally like the whole "Lets roll on this chart and see what happens to the players" type of stats.

Sometimes its good to give Mythos creatures incomplete stats like shooting or fighting so you can roll to see how many players die each round they try and fight it (and because rolling dice is fun).

Anyway, thats my 2 pennies.
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#11 Postby palehorse » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:06 pm

I'd rather have them and have the option of not using them than not have them and decide I want them when it's too late to wing it.

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#12 Postby Sitting Duck » Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:19 am

Here's a thought. Stat all the Mythos races but don't allow acing on damage rolls against them. Does that sound good or is it maybe a bit too cruel?
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#13 Postby ron blessing » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:10 am

Clint wrote:
ronism wrote:Bottom line: No GM should ever hold an archetypal character dearer to heart than his/her players.


I don't think that's the issue at all. It's a matter of the setting and style of the game.

Call of Cthulhu isn't a horror rpg where you just happen to be fighting squidheads, fishmen, funky colors, fungi, etc. It's about something that has been said so many times, it's become a cliche that has lost a lot of its meaning.

Things - Man - Was - Not - Meant - To - Know.

Really read that, and then consider it. It's not just something that has been kept a secret from man; it is something that shatters reality as he knows it. I don't think Parry is a real big issue then. :wink:

The whole point of Call of Cthulhu isn't for the players to beat the monsters. It's about getting to play a character who is forced to face their own insignificance and doubt their own sanity (with a slight chance of "survival" through some kind of McGuffin usually). That's pretty much the heart of most H.P. Lovecraft stories.

Granted, that style of play isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is true to the stories and the settings. And in that style of play, the characters' lack of stats isn't a testament to their importance but to the players' importance.

And my take is that if that isn't the style, then it isn't really Call of Cthulhu. It's something else with Cthulhu Mythos elements. Neither is better or worse, simply different.

But the question then isn't whether the monsters should be statted or not, but simply what kind of game do you and your players like? The answers come out the same.

My two cents.


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