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 Post subject: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:00 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Hi :D

I just printed my copy of the beta rules. I'm enjoying the reading. I plan to run a game soon so I may start to post some real feedback.
Anyway I wanted to share one question...

Why is Cthulhu a neutral deity on DCC?

I'm not an expert on Lovecraft's works. But that tiny detail in the game has puzzled me as I always thought of Cthulhu as monster more related to the primordial chaos than the balance (It even has doomsday cult!).

(It's also strange to me that a Cleric serving Cthulhu consider "perversions of nature (otyughs and slimes)" unholy to their believes).


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:43 am 
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onearmspence wrote:
Why is Cthulhu a neutral deity on DCC?
My theory is that Cthulhu himself is neutral because the old ones don't notice humans any more than we humans might notice ants. If you don't care about something, you're pretty neutral. Followers of Cthulhu, on the other hand, may do Chaotic things in order to try to attract his attention and gain his favor.

An interesting discussion on this can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=68&t=14434

Feel free to add more in this thread, however.

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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:01 am 
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I think the issue seems like neutral alignment is not really well defined yet.

Neutrality with Cthulhu seems to work as you say fynarvin like indifference

but... by the way its handled the cleric's abilities and titles it seems like it doesn't fit on that sort of neutrality.

5th lvl are called druids (I may be wrong on that point but when I think of a fantasy druid I'm looking at guardian of nature)

the unholy creatures also seems wrong on that matter (its actually pretty weird as it also considers mundane animals unholy :? )

on other hand...

Neutrality in Moorcock's novels is called balance and it seems to be a positive force. Worlds that walk the path of chaos/law sooner or later destroy themselves (rather by corruption or sterility), while those who try to maintain balance survive. (of course those worlds are an utopia and are almost impossible to achieve in the long term).

Neutrality/Balance do looks like the correct path for cleric devoted to the preservation of nature but I'm not sure about a cultist leader (cleric?) to Cthulhu.


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:28 am 
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It's explained under the alignment rules section that Neutrality can "also reflect the neutrality of those who came before Law and Chaos: the Old Ones, the great Cthulhu, and the empty Void, and the emptiness of the time before gods."

As for the level title, most of them are erratic like that. Surprisingly enough the Druid one is actually somewhat fitting if you go by the Greek/Roman sources with human sacrifice rather than D&D's nature protector.
I also recall Rob Kuntz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_J._Kuntz) having written a module called "Dark Druids" that had them worshipping "the Dark God" also known as Tharizdun, the Lovecraftian Greyhawk Deity.

I could see Cthulhu's worshippers having mundane animals as "unholy". While a Cleric with a nature goddess like Ildavir considering Mundane Animals as unholy is hilarious.
The entry on turning says "A cleric can attempt to turn away un-dead, demons, and devils. Some clerics of particular faiths may be able to turn away other kinds of creatures, depending on what powers their deities award them." while the entry for alignments has a lot of creature types. I wonder if they're meant to be examples of creatures you could have as unholy to a particular God of that alignment rather than something every Cleric of that alignment automatically gets?

Could just be a small oversight that came out of putting Cthulhu and Ildavir in the same alignment of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Cthulhu is neutral because Cthulhu don't give a f**k. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:52 pm 
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Privateer wrote:
I could see Cthulhu's worshippers having mundane animals as "unholy". While a Cleric with a nature goddess like Ildavir considering Mundane Animals as unholy is hilarious.
The entry on turning says "A cleric can attempt to turn away un-dead, demons, and devils. Some clerics of particular faiths may be able to turn away other kinds of creatures, depending on what powers their deities award them." while the entry for alignments has a lot of creature types. I wonder if they're meant to be examples of creatures you could have as unholy to a particular God of that alignment rather than something every Cleric of that alignment automatically gets?

Could just be a small oversight that came out of putting Cthulhu and Ildavir in the same alignment of course.


I Agree. It seems like neutrality isn’t the same thing as "balance" or "good" but different and sometimes more alien approaches to the eternal struggle.

Maybe an unholy creature shouldn’t be related to the deity’s alignment but his concept, much like wizard's patrons. The book may give one or two examples of core deity's unholy and encourage the judges to create other lists of such creatures for other deities (maybe giving some brief advice on that subject).


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:46 am 
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onearmspence wrote:
I think the issue seems like neutral alignment is not really well defined yet.
Historically (and I'll probably get blasted by the "don't do it just because it was done in the day" crowd) alignment was more of an "us" versus "them" thing moreso that today. In Arneson's original Blackmoor campaign the heroes were mostly "Law" and the bad guys "Chaos" and I suppose anyone not active in their support of either side became "Neutral."

In a literary Appendix N sense, Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions made a big deal of alignment with his paladin Holger Carlson, and Michael Moorcock popularized it with Elric and his struggles.

What gets tricky is that "Law" is usually "Good" but not always and "Chaos" is often "Evil" but not always, which is why D&D had spells like "Protection from Evil" even there was no evil alignment. Frankly, I don't think folks really stressed about it back then because to them it was obvious. Today we have many players who wordsmith rules sets and look for loopholes in the word of the rules, and they often miss the spirit or intent of the rules along the way. I'm hoping that DCC stays simple and helps to bring back the spirit of the game.

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"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:36 pm 
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onearmspence wrote:

the unholy creatures also seems wrong on that matter (its actually pretty weird as it also considers mundane animals unholy :? )

on other hand...

Neutrality in Moorcock's novels is called balance and it seems to be a positive force. Worlds that walk the path of chaos/law sooner or later destroy themselves (rather by corruption or sterility), while those who try to maintain balance survive. (of course those worlds are an utopia and are almost impossible to achieve in the long term).

Neutrality/Balance do looks like the correct path for cleric devoted to the preservation of nature but I'm not sure about a cultist leader (cleric?) to Cthulhu.


Mundane animals, even wild animals like ferocious komodo dragons, belong to the relatively domesticated world of modernity. Cthulhu belongs to the primordial terror that would even frighten dinosaurs.

If guys like Dracula scare horses, guys like Nodens scare tigers (and horses), and guys like Cthulhu scare dinosaurs (and tigers and horses).


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
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finarvyn wrote:
onearmspence wrote:
Why is Cthulhu a neutral deity on DCC?
My theory is that Cthulhu himself is neutral because the old ones don't notice humans any more than we humans might notice ants. If you don't care about something, you're pretty neutral. Followers of Cthulhu, on the other hand, may do Chaotic things in order to try to attract his attention and gain his favor.

An interesting discussion on this can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=68&t=14434

Feel free to add more in this thread, however.


This is my take on it. Cthulhu is the Primordial Whatchamacallit from which Chaos and Law emerged. Perhaps he dreamt it up. Perhaps in a similar fashion to how Azathoth dreamt him up.

Cthulhu doesn't care about the struggle between Chaos and Law. It's like ants fighting to him. He'd just as soon smash all of them as pick a side.


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:43 pm 
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What about his followers?

According to the beta rules they "must match" his god's alignment.

What do Cthulhu's clerics fight for? the eternal indifference of the old ones? or they are just mad scholars, dark philosophers that wizards consult in their research for magic power?


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:38 pm 
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onearmspence wrote:
What about his followers?

According to the beta rules they "must match" his god's alignment.

What do Cthulhu's clerics fight for? the eternal indifference of the old ones? or they are just mad scholars, dark philosophers that wizards consult in their research for magic power?


Well, I'd guess pretty much what they fight for in CoC. When Cthulhu "wakes up", all this Law/Chaos stuff is going to end. It's like being fairly sure it's going to rain tomorrow and listening to two of your friends argue about whether they should go to the beach or play softball in the park.

I'd think Cthulhu's Clerics would be a lot like those poor people who got caught up in the Rapture fever a month ago. Only it's fairly perpetual with certain signs indicating Cthulhu will return sooner rather than later.

A Cleric of Cthulhu would probably be out trying to instigate those omens somehow, irrespective of his effects on the struggle between Law and Chaos. Perhaps his big book of Cthulhu's Coming says this one kingdom needs a noble and just ruler and there needs to exist a crossbreed between a Demon and a Dragon for Cthulhu's stars to be right. So he'd help establish right and good in one adventure while trying to artificially inseminate a Dragon with Chaotic Eww in the next.


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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:22 pm 
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jeff wrote:
Cthulhu is neutral because Cthulhu don't give a f**k. 8)


Really under its alignment it should just say "Not applicable." :twisted:

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Cthulhu a neutral god?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:09 am 
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onearmspence wrote:
I think the issue seems like neutral alignment is not really well defined yet.

Neutrality with Cthulhu seems to work as you say fynarvin like indifference

but... by the way its handled the cleric's abilities and titles it seems like it doesn't fit on that sort of neutrality.

5th lvl are called druids (I may be wrong on that point but when I think of a fantasy druid I'm looking at guardian of nature)

the unholy creatures also seems wrong on that matter (its actually pretty weird as it also considers mundane animals unholy :? )

on other hand...

Neutrality in Moorcock's novels is called balance and it seems to be a positive force. Worlds that walk the path of chaos/law sooner or later destroy themselves (rather by corruption or sterility), while those who try to maintain balance survive. (of course those worlds are an utopia and are almost impossible to achieve in the long term).

Neutrality/Balance do looks like the correct path for cleric devoted to the preservation of nature but I'm not sure about a cultist leader (cleric?) to Cthulhu.



Maybe neutral clerics should just be able to control neutral creatures like animals instead of turning "unholy" creatures.


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