NEWS

What happened to Dunkelzahn?

  • 188 Replies
  • 58492 Views

Longshot23

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 937
« Reply #180 on: (02:23:32/10-28-11) »
Great, so their online avatars are (probably) safe . . . what about the rest of the world?

ARC

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 480
« Reply #181 on: (02:50:48/10-28-11) »
I just got done talking with The Almighty, he says he can get me out of this but your Fragged.
Living the Electronic Dream

The Wyrm Ouroboros

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 4470
  • I Have Taken All Shadowrun To Be My Province
    • VU93 Writeup for The Wyrm Ouroboros
« Reply #182 on: (03:01:44/10-28-11) »
The Horrors is an idiotic Cthulhu nonsense that has no place in SR. Cthulhu is fine in certain circumstances. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't one.

And this is coming from someone who has a Grade 6 physad and cyberzombie fight to the death and has no problem with a cockroach technomancer swarm. They may be far off on the horizon, but I do have my limits.

Whether you like it or not, the cycle of magic and the dangers it brings have been part of Shadowrun since the game's inception. If you look back at the early days of Shadowrun, hints about an ancient magical past and dangerous bad magic and creatures started cropping up long before Earthdawn was published (Bottled Demon, Universal Brotherhood, and an early SR short story written by Jordan Weisman). This very dark and dangerous aspect of the Shadowrun universe is an integral part of the game, and always have been.

Here's the thing: he gave an opinion based off personal preference, not a decree.  He stated -- in the rest of his post -- that he goes lots of places with the game, and having read what he's published for the game, what he's written on the boards, his philosophy on 'what is written' compared to 'what is meant', and read what he's written even before he became one of the writers for Shadowrun, I can categorically state that while he may not personally like the Horrors, he accepts them as part of Shadowrun canon when he writes for Shadowrun.  He's sunk his fingers into making things even darker and more dangerous -- and in my opinion, the Horrors have got nothing on the pain and anguish humans can inflict on each other, which is something James is trying to bring into the Shadowrun universe by making the political climate more ... realistic.  Which in this case means worse.


For you to suggest that a fundamental part of the SR universe doesn't belong tells me that you really don't really understand the game and what it's about.

And for the record, the Horrors are not "Cthulhu nonsense." The Horrors from Earthdawn and the monsters of the Cthulhu mythos are very different on many levels. Once again, this statement demonstrates that you really don't know what you're talking about.

That being said, personally, I don't think any of the Named Horrors from Earthdawn (with the possible exception of Verjigorm) really belong in Shadowrun, but the danger that the Horrors in general represent (even if they are appearing *very* early in the cycle) definitely belong in Shadowrun. Perhaps they shouldn't play a big part in the current meta-plot, but they shouldn't simply be dismissed either.

Lou Prosperi
Who worked with the people who created Shadowrun

... I have to say, this strikes me as being the very height and depth and breadth of conceit and arrogance.  You decide from two sentences of less than thirty words total (including articles!) that one of the current writers for the game 'really (doesn't) really (sic) understand the game and what it's about'??  That he 'really (doesn't) know what (he's) talking about'?

Lou, you wrote for Earthdawn, and were that product line's developer.  I get that.  You, before most others around, 'get' what you and those with you meant the Horrors to be.  I spent fourteen years keeping an eye out for my copy of 'A Killing Glare', have bought 'Horrors', 'Blades', and 'Shattered Pattern' purely for reference material.  I personally love the inclusion of the Horrors.  I will tell you, though, that from many readers' points of view, Horrors ≈ Cthulhu ≈ Demons.  You have particularly brought to the forefront the idea of them feeding on pain, agony, anguish, and psychological distress, but this is not new; this was not new when Lovecraft wrote about it.  They made these stories when man was still using charcoal and clay as wish/intent-projection and wall art. 

Your writing and story-telling?  Good stuff.
To have you show such contempt to one of the current writers of the game?  Bad form.
Pananagutan & End/Line

Old As McBean, Twice As Mean
"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
Play the game. Don't try to win it.

Longshot23

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 937
« Reply #183 on: (03:32:12/10-28-11) »
I just got done talking with The Almighty, he says he can get me out of this but your Fragged.

Oh, well, there's always the next lifetime . . .

Reincarnation rules!!!  8)  ;D

The_Gun_Nut

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1583
« Reply #184 on: (10:41:51/10-28-11) »
@The Wyrm:

I have to disagree with you about Cthulhu monsters being very similar to the Horrors (or demons being similar).  Cthulhu monsters, in general, do not care about the fate of humanity.  This is stated (or implied) several times throughout Lovecraft's works.  Yet they always seem to hang around to torment humans, or be the object of worship for a cult, or whatever.  They have what I call "active disinterest" in humanity, to the point of one walking up to your door to borrow a cup of sugar, but without all that bothering to knock and ask you for it.  It's really perplexing, even if the stories themselves are interesting and well written.

Demons want to torment humanity because they are evil.  Period.  That's it for motivation, they don't get any deeper than that.  Demons will eat someone's legs because, oh ho that's really viscious and nasty and EEEeeevilll!!  I can't write anymore about them because they don't have anything else there.  They are really a very dull antagonist.

Horrors, OTOH, are much better villians and antagonists.  They have a reason for coming to the Earthly plane, one that is easily understandable, even if their methods are not:  Food.  Perhaps it's harder for predators there to get sustenance without great risk, and so "our" world looks like a garden ripe with fruit to them.  It may be a simple motivation, but it is one that makes far more sense than Cthulhu mythos ("We don't care about you, FEAR ME!!") or a demonic invasion ("RARR!! ME EVIL!!").

Speaking of evil, the Horrors are undoubtably evil, but not because they are Evil (twirl that mustache!), but because they perform evil actions.  This is a crucial difference, and one that makes them a better foil.  A monster that is evil because it is what it is (demons) is not nearly as interesting to read about, or fight against.  Since they do have a clear motivation for their actions, they can be bargained with (not recommended), or someone can use that motivation against them.  A clever hero can use their wits to thwart them, and not because a Horror is dim (often they are not) but because their motivation is something that can be understood and used.

IMO, Horrors are a far more interesting and useful antagonist than any mere Cthulhu creature or demon.

EDIT:  I can't speak for LouP (and wouldn't want to), but that might be the thing that he is referring to when he speaks to Meiers.  That's just a guess, though.  LouP would have to clarify.
« Last Edit: (10:44:53/10-28-11) by The_Gun_Nut »
There is no overkill.

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

The Wyrm Ouroboros

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 4470
  • I Have Taken All Shadowrun To Be My Province
    • VU93 Writeup for The Wyrm Ouroboros
« Reply #185 on: (14:17:48/10-30-11) »
I have to disagree with you about Cthulhu monsters being very similar to the Horrors (or demons being similar).  Cthulhu monsters, in general, do not care about the fate of humanity.  This is stated (or implied) several times throughout Lovecraft's works.  Yet they always seem to hang around to torment humans, or be the object of worship for a cult, or whatever.  They have what I call "active disinterest" in humanity, to the point of one walking up to your door to borrow a cup of sugar, but without all that bothering to knock and ask you for it.  It's really perplexing, even if the stories themselves are interesting and well written.

The concept for Cthulhu mythos creatures is actually quite simple and direct: they are several stages of development (mystic/psychic, one would assume) above humanity.  They are, to us, what we are to, say, cockroaches; amoeba or paramecium might be even better.  They don't particularly care or need to care about (or even notice) our existence.  We would not think about accidentally stepping on a one-celled organism, breaking into its house, or just living in the same place as it; we would not even be aware that they have a society, much less what some fragment happens to be doing (e.g. worshipping us) while we're going about our daily business.  And with Cthulhu-mythos beings, the impact of the power of their psyches, even from the 'least' of them, causes enormous amounts of stress and can lead to psychotic breaks and other forms of insanity.  It isn't a matter of intent, it's a matter of power levels.  So yes, I would agree with you that Cthulhu monsters are not quite similar to Horrors; the Horrors, of all types and levels (right up to the Great Hunter himself) would themselves be several levels below those of the Cthulhu 'group', just due to their attachment to humanity.  I'll agree that paralleling Cthulhuae (??) with Horrors may be a sub-ideal comparison.

Demons want to torment humanity because they are evil.  Period.  That's it for motivation, they don't get any deeper than that.  Demons will eat someone's legs because, oh ho that's really viscious and nasty and EEEeeevilll!!  I can't write anymore about them because they don't have anything else there.  They are really a very dull antagonist.

Err, well, no.  That's emo goth 'bad person' wannabes.

Demons -- if we're presuming these are those angels who rebelled in Heaven and chose to Fall instead of humbling themselves and accepting YHVH's forgiveness -- desire to torment, mislead, and cause the downfall of humanity because of a philosophical disagreement.  Depending on the starting point, either Mankind either needs to be saved in its entirety (and the demons so torment us in order to prove a point against the whole 'each must make choices throughout life') or else Mankind does not deserve to receive such love and attention from YHVH (and the demons so torment us in order to display why they are unworthy of that attention.  It isn't hunger; it's politics.  A demon wants people first and foremost to Make Bad Choices, i.e. to sin, and will use any and all methods of persuasion -- conversation, debate, enticement, seduction, blackmail, threats, violence, torture, &c. -- to push their victim into committing sins.  They are defined as evil by humanity and the Heavenly Host (who have written the history books); they themselves do not define themselves as being evil, except in the most whinging sorts of writing.

Comparing demons with Horrors is, again, sub-ideal; it'd be like comparing a person with a dog.  The person is shooting the rabbits because they're eating his crops (the philosophical reason), and the fact that he can eat them is a secondary benefit; the dog attacks them purely because he's hungry.

Horrors, OTOH, are much better villians and antagonists.  They have a reason for coming to the Earthly plane, one that is easily understandable, even if their methods are not:  Food.  Perhaps it's harder for predators there to get sustenance without great risk, and so "our" world looks like a garden ripe with fruit to them.  It may be a simple motivation, but it is one that makes far more sense than Cthulhu mythos ("We don't care about you, FEAR ME!!") or a demonic invasion ("RARR!! ME EVIL!!").

Speaking of evil, the Horrors are undoubtably evil, but not because they are Evil (twirl that mustache!), but because they perform evil actions.  This is a crucial difference, and one that makes them a better foil.  A monster that is evil because it is what it is (demons) is not nearly as interesting to read about, or fight against.  Since they do have a clear motivation for their actions, they can be bargained with (not recommended), or someone can use that motivation against them.  A clever hero can use their wits to thwart them, and not because a Horror is dim (often they are not) but because their motivation is something that can be understood and used.

IMO, Horrors are a far more interesting and useful antagonist than any mere Cthulhu creature or demon.

And I accept your opinion.  In mine, Cthulhuites (?? -- what IS the right term for the entire lot of 'em?) are interesting the way natural disasters are interesting, as an examination of humanity by how they react to an extreme situation.  Horrors are interesting because despite their sentience, they are still motivated by that one thing, hunger; all they do is derived from the desire to satisfy that one need, in all its myriad forms.  As you say, they can be fought against, thwarted, redirected, tricked, etc. -- but in essence and my opinion, fighting against even the most powerful Horror is to battle a near-sentient creature with a singular aim.

Demons, again in my opinion, are the hardest and worst of the lot -- because they are out to cause you to corrupt yourself.  They don't need you to beat yourself up over it the way Horrors do (because that anguish is the Horror's bread-and-butter); they just want you to do it, because in so doing you are proving their point, that you don't deserve either a) free will, or b) redemption.  Or c), both.  They are the hardest to fight, because you aren't fighting them, you are fighting yourself.

So no, demons and Cthulhu beings do not quite parallel Horrors; in both cases, the Horrors are lesser than those they are being compared to,  In a generalized form, however, all three can be considered 'wholly alien' to the human condition; beings from 'elsewhere', with powers far beyond what man has, and who torment/torture humanity for reasons of their own (or simply as a side effect of going about their own business).  This is the point that James indicates, not the nitty-gritty of how and why.
Pananagutan & End/Line

Old As McBean, Twice As Mean
"Oh, gee - it's Go-Frag-Yourself-O'Clock."
New Wyrm!! Now with Twice the Bastard!!

Laés is ... I forget. -PiXeL01
Play the game. Don't try to win it.

Malex

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Hoy!
« Reply #186 on: (12:03:14/11-24-11) »
Watch out Gun Nut, someone has you in their sights.  ;D
Look past the lies, and all the scary stuff that remains is the truth.

Netzgeist

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1556
  • Serpens, nisi serpentem comederit, non fit draco
« Reply #187 on: (12:21:30/11-24-11) »

[...] I'll agree that paralleling Cthulhuae (??) with Horrors may be a sub-ideal comparison.[...]

[...]In mine, Cthulhuites (?? -- what IS the right term for the entire lot of 'em?) are interesting [...]


The term you are searching is Great Old Ones (has nobody yet tried calling them the GOO?).

The_Gun_Nut

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1583
« Reply #188 on: (13:32:48/11-24-11) »
Watch out Gun Nut, someone has you in their sights.  ;D
Heh.

I've held off posting a reply for a bit while I chewed TWO's last post.  Plus, I forgot about it a bit.

The trouble I still have with GOO's intentions (there, I used it) is that they don't have any.  There is absolutely no motivation to them.  They are, as has been pointed out, more akin to a force of nature than a real antagonist.  For antagonists, their followers and minions are all the PC's are going to deal with (because wrestling a tornado is not nearly as survivable).  The "crazed fanatic" story gets old pretty quickly, though.  And without their masters to provide a truly suitable final opponent, GOOs just become window dressing.  And while the curtains might be nice to look at, they make for boring conversation.  So a GOO is good for a one off game or a single campaign, but IMO are only tolerable in low doses.  Anything more gets boring very fast.

Quote
Demons, again in my opinion, are the hardest and worst of the lot -- because they are out to cause you to corrupt yourself.  They don't need you to beat yourself up over it the way Horrors do (because that anguish is the Horror's bread-and-butter); they just want you to do it, because in so doing you are proving their point, that you don't deserve either a) free will, or b) redemption.  Or c), both.  They are the hardest to fight, because you aren't fighting them, you are fighting yourself.
Emphasis mine.

So, just to confirm, demons are (or bring about) people's worst nature seeking to bring them down for the sake of bringing them down.  Evil for the sake of Evil.

While this can be (and often is) the subject of some great stories, and even great games, they, like the GOOs, are only fun for a single campaign.  Unless, of course, one makes a demon something that can be directly combated and not something that gets dealt with only via hocus pocus , then the players have something in front of them to hit (the TV show Supernatural eventually went this route).  This makes them more enjoyable to encounter on a regular basis, but it does errode their central idea or theme (fighting oneself).  This turns them into "hack and slash" baddies.

Both are still lesser antagonists than Horrors.  In the sense that an antagonist in a game is something or someone that can be encountered and (possibly) defeated by the protagonists i.e. the players.  Neither GOOs nor (pure) demons are interesting enough long term antagonists to base a long term game upon.  By long term game I mean a series of campaigns lasting multiple sessions each.  Too much of anything can become dull but too much of either GOOs or (pure) demons tends to show up by the 5th session.

Horrors, OTOH, by their variety and their motivations, are something the players can encounter repeatedly, either through minions or directly, and still be interesting and engaging.  Very powerful Horrors (VPH) can even have their own minions or lesser Horrors that the players must deal with prior to their final (?) encounter with the VPH.  Or, the players can simply encounter the lesser variety, hacking and slashing their way through droves of near mindless baddies in order to save not only their own lives, but the lives and livelyhoods of others.  In this, the Horrors play upon something primal in the human psyche.
One of THE most primal fears of any human being is being eaten.  In this, Horrors are tailor made to go right for the old amygdala.  They aren't here to revive some weird cult, to make you into a bad person, or to turn you into a monster.  They may (and often do) do all those things, but they are doing it to devour you.  Body or soul, all you are to them is food.

And this is why Horrors are better antagonists.  That huge sucker punch to the gut:  primal fear.  If you lose to them you don't lose some esoteric idea of the world, you get eaten.  If you fail to thwart their schemes, you don't become a bad person TM, you get eaten.  And if you don't stop their minions from capturing and sacrificing their victims to their object of worship, you don't get sacrificed, you get eaten!!

For all their endless variety, Horrors want one thing from their victims...sustenance.  Everything else is window dressing.  And because of their endless variety, because their motivations are known, the players can encounter them again and again, in any form or any location and know that this fight is the fight of their lives.  Because it is.
There is no overkill.

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