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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:13 am 
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Karaptis wrote:
Sorry praying for your god to come back when the stars are right and destroy civilization is chaotic! He's just very powerful chaos but still chaos.


Yeah, but those prayers and desires are what's Chaotic.

Real life example: Christianity. I don't think that god would be Chaotic, but fundamentalist offshoots like The Westboro Baptist Church are carrying out Chaotic actions in his name. Do many of these people not look forward to The Rapture?

Edit: Please do not be offended or turn this into a serious discussion of religion in the real world. I merely wanted to offer what I feel like is an analogous situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:43 am 
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Vanguard wrote:
Maybe the reason you think he is Chaotic is all of the atrocities that have been carried out in his name.

Maybe he's not such a bad guy, y'know?


This.
If you explained Christianity by starting with the Crusades and the Inquisition you would give the impression that all Christians are zealots who torture and subjugate nonbelievers.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:38 am 
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Cthulhu apologists, ha!


I prefer to believe that he is malevolent if he notices you at all, as he was in HPL's first tale of him when he rose above the waves and started psionically lashing at everything and trying to destroy.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:43 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
Cthulhu apologists, ha!


I prefer to believe that he is malevolent if he notices you at all, as he was in HPL's first tale of him when he rose above the waves and started psionically lashing at everything and trying to destroy.


The Thing cannot be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.

Three men were swept up by the flabby claws before anybody turned. God rest them, if there be any rest in the universe. They were Donovan, Guerrera, and Angstrom. Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn't have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse. So only Briden and Johansen reached the boat, and pulled desperately for the Alert as the mountainous monstrosity flopped down the slimy stones and hesitated, floundering at the edge of the water.

Steam had not been suffered to go down entirely, despite the departure of all hands for the shore; and it was the work of only a few moments of feverish rushing up and down between wheel and engines to get the Alert under way. Slowly, amidst the distorted horrors of that indescribable scene, she began to churn the lethal waters; whilst on the masonry of that charnel shore that was not of earth the titan Thing from the stars slavered and gibbered like Polypheme cursing the fleeing ship of Odysseus. Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency. Briden looked back and went mad, laughing shrilly as he kept on laughing at intervals till death found him one night in the cabin whilst Johansen was wandering deliriously.


Tell me you're not hungry after a long nap!

:mrgreen:

RC

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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:44 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
I prefer to believe that he is malevolent if he notices you at all, as he was in HPL's first tale of him when he rose above the waves and started psionically lashing at everything and trying to destroy.


Come on now! If I've been asleep for several hundred millenia I'm going to be a little cranky too before I have my morning coffee.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:27 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
Cthulhu apologists, ha!


I prefer to believe that he is malevolent if he notices you at all, as he was in HPL's first tale of him when he rose above the waves and started psionically lashing at everything and trying to destroy.


"Psionically lashing?"

The idea that he's actively malevolent goes counter to Lovecraft's whole premise however, which was that the universe and these beings were uncaring and amoral, not evil, and that ultimately we're alone, we're not special, and no-one gives a snot about us. The idea of these forces being objectively Good/Evil is the trite rubbish that August Derleth tried to foist on HPL's works.

To quote HPL himself:
Howard Phillips Lovecraft wrote:
Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form-and the local human passions and conditions and standards-are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all. Only the human scenes and characters must have human qualities. These must be handled with unsparing realism, (not catch-penny romanticism) but when we cross the line to the boundless and hideous unknown-the shadow-haunted Outside-we must remember to leave our humanity and terrestrialism at the threshold.
—H.P. Lovecraft in note to the editor of Weird Tales on resubmission of "The Call of Cthulhu"


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:30 am 
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Colin you have been making great points on this. I'm clearly beginning to waffle on my capital C stance of Cthulhu's alignment to seeing it both ways.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:40 am 
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To put it simply, humankind is insignificant to Cthulhu. Like humans think of ants or fleas. Barely noticed, but crushed if they become a pest. Do ants think of humans as evil? Just my opinion of course. My father, now 63 , gave me my first H.P. Lovecraft books. I just remember the covers had these horribly distorted faces on them. Locks on the faces, bats coming out the mouth, stuff like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:14 am
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Colin wrote:
cthulhudarren wrote:
Cthulhu apologists, ha!


I prefer to believe that he is malevolent if he notices you at all, as he was in HPL's first tale of him when he rose above the waves and started psionically lashing at everything and trying to destroy.


"Psionically lashing?"

The idea that he's actively malevolent goes counter to Lovecraft's whole premise however, which was that the universe and these beings were uncaring and amoral, not evil, and that ultimately we're alone, we're not special, and no-one gives a snot about us. The idea of these forces being objectively Good/Evil is the trite rubbish that August Derleth tried to foist on HPL's works.

To quote HPL himself:
Howard Phillips Lovecraft wrote:
Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form-and the local human passions and conditions and standards-are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all. Only the human scenes and characters must have human qualities. These must be handled with unsparing realism, (not catch-penny romanticism) but when we cross the line to the boundless and hideous unknown-the shadow-haunted Outside-we must remember to leave our humanity and terrestrialism at the threshold.
—H.P. Lovecraft in note to the editor of Weird Tales on resubmission of "The Call of Cthulhu"


Yes, I understand your point. I don't mean to say that Cthlulhu actively seeks us out to destroy and consume us. I understand that the great old ones are above our morals, but make no mistake, if Cthulhu notices us we ARE destroyed. There's no flipping of a coin or chance for him to be friendly. To be noticed is to be crushed. Since we have to squeeze him into our constructs, I'd say from our perspective he is chaotic.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:55 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
cthulhudarren wrote:
Cthulhu apologists, ha!


I prefer to believe that he is malevolent if he notices you at all, as he was in HPL's first tale of him when he rose above the waves and started psionically lashing at everything and trying to destroy.


The Thing cannot be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.

Three men were swept up by the flabby claws before anybody turned. God rest them, if there be any rest in the universe. They were Donovan, Guerrera, and Angstrom. Parker slipped as the other three were plunging frenziedly over endless vistas of green-crusted rock to the boat, and Johansen swears he was swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn't have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse. So only Briden and Johansen reached the boat, and pulled desperately for the Alert as the mountainous monstrosity flopped down the slimy stones and hesitated, floundering at the edge of the water.

Steam had not been suffered to go down entirely, despite the departure of all hands for the shore; and it was the work of only a few moments of feverish rushing up and down between wheel and engines to get the Alert under way. Slowly, amidst the distorted horrors of that indescribable scene, she began to churn the lethal waters; whilst on the masonry of that charnel shore that was not of earth the titan Thing from the stars slavered and gibbered like Polypheme cursing the fleeing ship of Odysseus. Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency. Briden looked back and went mad, laughing shrilly as he kept on laughing at intervals till death found him one night in the cabin whilst Johansen was wandering deliriously.


Tell me you're not hungry after a long nap!

RC


Tell me that isn't a manifestation of chaos, madness, and destruction, at least from our point of view!


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:53 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
... make no mistake, if Cthulhu notices us we ARE destroyed. There's no flipping of a coin or chance for him to be friendly. To be noticed is to be crushed. Since we have to squeeze him into our constructs, I'd say from our perspective he is chaotic.

If he acts the same way in all situations... isn't that some extreme manifestation of Law? Doesn't seem very Chaotic, to me, to do that same thing all the time.

note: I am being facetious in an attempt to point out that Cthulhu can be whatever alignment you want because alignments are inherently subject to such a degree that the only real definition that stays true is "whatever the Judge says."


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:14 pm 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
Yes, I understand your point. I don't mean to say that Cthlulhu actively seeks us out to destroy and consume us. I understand that the great old ones are above our morals, but make no mistake, if Cthulhu notices us we ARE destroyed. There's no flipping of a coin or chance for him to be friendly. To be noticed is to be crushed. Since we have to squeeze him into our constructs, I'd say from our perspective he is chaotic.


From some people's perspective, sure, but from others, no. If nothing else, this thread demonstrates how such an entity can be viewed in very different ways, which is very cool. It's the reason I'd allow any Alignment in terms of characters following Cthulhu. On one tentacle, you'd have the insane, the power-hungry, and desperate, those Chaotic individuals who see Cthulhu largely as a destructive force and who hope perhaps to be spared or at least to enjoy power while they still can. On the other tentacle you could have very neutral scholars, those who recognize Cthulhu as an advanced being that ultimately doesn't care, but is worthy of study, propitiation perhaps (hope springs eternal), and that could serve as a gateway to larger cosmic alien forces and understanding. On the third tentacle, you could even justify (at a push) some Lawful followers, who see in Cthulhu and his kin a stronger, purer, more advanced and aged civilization, and seek to learn more about it or perhaps even emulate it.

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:49 pm 
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This is exactly why I don't usually bother with alignments in my games. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:47 pm 
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My perception of the Goodman take on this is that Law and Chaos are these two warring forces. The alignments aren't really moral predictors so much as they are what 'side' you're on in this struggle. Cthulhu isn't part of that conflict; he predates these parvenue deities championing what are to him irrelevant nuances in the fabric of reality. So he's neutral. That doesn't mean he's your friend. Law, Chaos, and neutrality all have room for good and evil. If we had the nine alignment system here he'd be neutral evil. But we don't.

Now I know that some of the alignment descriptions in DCC itself go against this, because the book itself seems to be of two minds on the matter. Some of its text tries to be evenhanded in viewing the three alignments, but some of it really does endorse the chaos = evil concept. Regardless, I think that's why Cthulhu ended up where he is in the tables. Whether he should stay there in YOUR game depends on how your group deals with alignments.


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:07 am 
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One day last summer I was outside picking up all the crud that had been blown into my yard. Back and forth across the yard I went just picking up all the trash and branches ect that had blown in. After a bit my wife who was sitting on the front steps said" Those ants really hate you!".

I stopped and looked around and still didn't have a clue what she was talking about. I put the trash in the trashcan and walked back to her asking"What are you talking about?"

She pointed back up the walk to several small black smudges on the walk and said" they were all lined up and hauling stuff back to that ant hill over there when you just obliterated them by walking to pick up some stuff,then after a bit the ones left seemed to get sorted out and started again when you hit them again. Almost all of them died that time. More came out and swarmed the area and you almost did it again but veered away at the last second. Then you stepped on the anthill.

You are now known as The Great Destroyer and he who can not be named!"


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 Post subject: Re: Why is Cthulhu Neutral?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:43 am 
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...and in strange aeons, even ants may die.

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Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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