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I am over tentacles...

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GBL

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« on: <09-05-10/0304:56> »
... So whats the next best way to do lovecraftian otherworldly aliens so powerful that your mere presence near them is tolerated merely because you are so damn insignificant?

I want to start putting ideas together for a Shadowrun game to come a long way off. I am leaning towards Deep Crow or similar, but i get the feeling my players will just start talking Penny Arcade when that is brought up.

Last game i had put together a series of semi corproate runs that lead them to discover a Computer that had decided it was a Deep One and was able to gather a significant amount of power to accomplish similar tasks (mind controlled an army of technopaths and mages etc) It was able to strike at the players anywhere (Matrix, Magical and RL) which spooked them pretty mightily.

I think they want something in a similar vein to that. What would people recommend?

Mooncrow

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« Reply #1 on: <09-05-10/0404:27> »
Possession, while hard to pull off well, has always been one of the most frightening things for my groups.  Especially when it starts happening to people near the players.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #2 on: <09-05-10/0413:00> »
If their presence is only tolerated because the players are insignificant, then why would they posess anyone?

Also, the Lovecraftian Horrors out there LOVE the people of Earth...as a snack.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

GBL

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« Reply #3 on: <09-05-10/0418:44> »
Possession, while hard to pull off well, has always been one of the most frightening things for my groups.  Especially when it starts happening to people near the players.

Possession could freak them out. Especially if i take the possessed outside of game mechanics. They can punch as many holes into it as they want, the animated remains just keep coming until the controlling influence decides to end it. I like that!

If their presence is only tolerated because the players are insignificant, then why would they posess anyone?
It could be a seriously powerful enemy mage, or similar. Perhaps a devotee to the Old Ones. Something along those lines

Also, the Lovecraftian Horrors out there LOVE the people of Earth...as a snack.
Heh, True.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #4 on: <09-05-10/0449:14> »
Anyone getting my ED reference?

Seriously, though, alien entities from beyond who simply don't care about human existence simply wouldn't bother showing up.  Because, really, why would they care?  If they are capable of being noticed, however, then they are capable of being interacted with.  That interaction might be hostile, especially since dragons don't like being ignored.

While I enjoy Lovecraft horror as much as the next guy, the fundamental flaw with it assumes that these entities don't care about human existence...and then go around manipulating humans and starting cults and stuff.  If you introduce baddies that are that cosmically powerful, then what's the point?  The players will never measure up.  There is already a game for that (Call of Cthulhu), and while it's fun, it's not a game I want to play all the time.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Mooncrow

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« Reply #5 on: <09-05-10/0455:38> »
I got it^^

But, while cosmically powerful baddies may not care about human opposition too much, it's hard to turn down a new universe of "soul food"^^  And when you require human help in order to manifest in this new smorgasbord, you get the cults and whatnot, all eager to throw their lives away for the promise of more power.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #6 on: <09-05-10/0458:31> »
That's true, but that's not Lovecraftian.  Those guys supposedly don't care about humanity.  The horoi, OTOH, wanna devour everything.  I mean everything.  Humans are just tastier treats.  That is NOT ignoring or not caring about humanity, and definately outside of the Ctholoid mythos.

EDIT:  Need a spellchecker. :(
« Last Edit: <09-05-10/0505:27> by The_Gun_Nut »
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

GBL

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« Reply #7 on: <09-05-10/0503:43> »
Often the danger comes from people who are interested in them, not the other way around. While they arent interested in us they are powerful enough that they could blink wrong and destroy Seattle. Obviously this sort of power would interest a Megacorp.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #8 on: <09-05-10/0506:38> »
Mostly as a target for pre-emptive strikes.  Cause humans only worship it if they can't kill it, first.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

GBL

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« Reply #9 on: <09-05-10/0515:26> »
I have read some good fiction to the opposite. Remember insanity was a focus of Lovecraft aswell.

I know it makes for a terrible villain, but some people just want to watch the world burn.

The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #10 on: <09-05-10/0544:19> »
Insanity is easily fixed in SR nowadays.  Behavior mods and personafixes see to that.  It's only the ones cause by serious biological trauma (I.E. damage) that is dificult to repair.  Of course, it still costs big nuyen...

Having uber-powerful opposition that you can't do anything about is really boring.  It's a terrible way to play a game.  It only works for CoC because when you play it, you go in accepting that fact.  It is a part of that setting and that genre that players buy into in order to play.

However, for a game set in the "real world," as it were, such things don't work too well.  Real, common sense questions and actions work just fine in Shadowrun, because it is set in "our world" with just a few new things added in.  The great strength of the setting is that everyone and everything act like you would expect a real, living person to act (sometimes they act badly, but still).  Even the monsters act in a manner that can be understood, because they exist in a world where the rules are just the same.  Magic is just something that got tacked on to people's world and worldview, and the people have reacted much the same way they react to everything else in the world.  I.E. how can it be used/exploited to maximum advantage/gain?  Should such entities become known to the Shadowrun world, they will be either exploited for maximum profit or eliminated.  As apothetic as the world at large has become, it wouldn't do a lot to stir up worship (except with the tiny number of crazies around), since those entities don't actually DO anything, either for or against the people worshipping them.  And if they did, then we are straight back to mainstream exploitation or elimination.  There's not a lot of in between here.

For the limited communication and knowledge base of the 1920's, it works fine.  But with the oversaturation of information present in the 2070's (heck, even in modern times) those things will become just another resource to exploit.  Good old practical exploitation and apathy will annhilate any lingering terror.  The Enemy (the Horrors from Earthdawn) want to devour the world, and they are very interested in who takes notice of them, and so act cautiously, lest they be opposed and stymied before they are ready.  In this way, they are easier to understand, and integrate, than any Cthuloid monster.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

GBL

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« Reply #11 on: <09-05-10/0608:32> »
My opinion differs. From having seen it work. When you think you can control everything THAT is when you take the control away. Sure there could be a Reasonable Explanation at the end, but Horror comes from losing power, not from not knowing about it in the first place.

Our games are fun. And seriously, all i asked for was a new nasty megabeast outsider type. I have seen Dragons in other settings become similar in power and scope. No need to drag this into a discussion of whether or not how we have our fun is legitimate in your view.

Jadehellbringer

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« Reply #12 on: <09-05-10/0849:00> »
Just make your 'aliens' in business suits and tell your players they're selling time-shares.

If that doesn't terrify your players, I don't know what will.
Not to be demanding, but can you please point that Panther Assault Cannon somewhere other than my groin?


The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #13 on: <09-05-10/0957:12> »
My opinion differs. From having seen it work. When you think you can control everything THAT is when you take the control away. Sure there could be a Reasonable Explanation at the end, but Horror comes from losing power, not from not knowing about it in the first place.

Our games are fun. And seriously, all i asked for was a new nasty megabeast outsider type. I have seen Dragons in other settings become similar in power and scope. No need to drag this into a discussion of whether or not how we have our fun is legitimate in your view.
Cthuloid horror is predicated upon the knowledge that They Are Out There (tm).  When the characters realize this (in CoC) that is when the insanity points start piling up.  Real horror, IMO, is from getting a glimpse of SOMETHING and then having no clue what it is or why it is killing you, or just having everyone around the characters start dying or worse, and realizing that something, some entity is causing it.  Cthuloid horror doesn't spring on them until they grasp the situation.  But familiarity breeds contempt, and, truthfully, knowing what is causing it (as completely as it seems some CoC games go) is a short step to dealing with it.  Knowledge of the Beast doesn't scare me; it's not what I would call that exciting.  But that's my thing.

I wasn't suggesting that your fun is or is not legitimate.  I said that you go into CoC (as a player) accepting certain truths of the setting.  I have had lots of fun playing CoC the few times that I did play.  But that is more a function of the GM and the other players.  I, as a player, knew that there were things in the game that my character had no way of coping with, and I just ran with it and ran with the other players.  The role playing off the other characters is what made it fun for me, even though it wasn't terribly suspenseful.

As far as Megabeasts go, dragons and great dragons are the top dogs of the SR game setting currently.  The Enemy (we know now that they were the Horrors from Earthdawn) are out there, but only in very tiny numbers.  The barrier between worlds hasn't been reduced enough for them to swarm over en masse yet.  THAT knowledge is keeping the dragons of the world up at night, as well as a few of the Immortal elves.  When the rest of the world finally learns of it, there is going to be some mass panic for a bit, probably.  Then it will calm down and the world will prepare for the invasion.  But that is milennia away right now.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Electron Dream

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« Reply #14 on: <09-05-10/2139:36> »
Here's an idea for ya.  You could use a magician of a tradition with possession tradition without directly targeting the runners-just have the magician target the runners contacts or casual acquaintances.  Have someone the runners know disappear for a while and then suddenly show up acting strangely.  Over a couple of sessions have more and more acquaintances do things that are more and more disturbing.  Give a couple of dead ends and then let the runners confront the magician.  If you want a more powerful villian, use a spirit from a distant metaplane that's trying to manifest in the physical world.  Something like that.

The same thing could be set up using an AI, Sprite, or dissonant technomancer for the matrix.