C: C is for “Call of Cthulhu”

I’m participating in the A-Z April Blogging Challenge and my theme of choice is Dungeons & Dragons.

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a-to-z-letters-c “THE CALL OF CTHULHU”

The Call of Cthulhu” is a short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in the summer of 1926, it was first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, in February 1928. The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared fictional universe, based on the work of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. An ongoing theme in Lovecraft’s work is the complete irrelevance of mankind in the face of the cosmic horrors that apparently exist in the universe. Lovecraft constantly referred to the “Great Old Ones“: a loose pantheon of ancient creatures and deities from space who once ruled the Earth and who have since fallen into a deathlike sleep.

The Great Old Ones are powerful, ancient creatures worshipped by deranged human cults. Many of them are made of an unearthly material with properties unlike normal matter. A Great Old One’s influence is often limited to the planet where it dwells. If it is based on a planet outside the solar system, it can only extend its influence to Earth when the star of its planetary system is in the night sky. In such cases, the help of cultists performing various rituals may be required.

This idea was first established in “The Call of Cthulhu“, in which the minds of the human characters deteriorated when afforded a glimpse of what exists outside their perceived reality. Lovecraft emphasised the point by stating in the opening sentence of the story that “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

The Cthulhu Mythos can easily be introduced into the Dungeons & Dragons game if a Dungeon Master wishes to do so. In fact, in 2002, Wizards of the Coast did publish a long-awaited d20 adaptation of Call of Cthulhu in one all inclusive rulebook. Elements of Lovecraft’s work have appeared over the years in numerous horror medias, but now role-players can delve into a campaign centered around the author’s popular Cthulhu Mythos. The Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game contains everything needed to play or narrate a roleplaying campaign, including all core-game rules for the d20 game system.

So if your idea of the Dungeons & Dragons game involves mysteries, dark secrets, and investigators (with modern or fantasy times) then perhaps you should check out the Call of Cthulhu genre.

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