DM Blog 5: Cthulhu Fhtagn

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It’s a double public holiday where I am because of a one time WW2 anniversary coming at the same time as another holiday, plus bureaucracy. But it results in me getting almost two weeks off. And to top it off it’s raining. We use some miniatures in D&D and a battleboard but usually just to clarify large battles. We rarely use all the combat rules in versions three onwards, relating to exact positions on the board. My figures are a random assortment of unpainted placeholders. But now this holiday came along and at the same time a branch of GW opened near my house, so I decided to grab a Citadel starter pack and paint some of my figures for fun. It’s been a while and Youtube has arrived in that time so I checked a video to remind myself about how to use a ‘wash’ to get the details and I had a lot of fun. The picture above is what I did, a cleric and some skeletons. Fair play to Citadel, the metallic paints for the weapons, together with a wash, look amazing.

Everything is coming up Cthulhu lately. I saw a nice copy of Lovecraft’s key short stories in the book store, the Penguin Classics version, and bought it. Then I was listening to an episode of The Indoor Kids podcast¬†Live from the L.A. Podfest¬†with guests Jared Logan and Thomas Middleditch. They talk about their table top RPG gaming in their free time and it turns out they love Call of Cthulhu. Then when they try to explain their game in detail, it is amazing. Their sessions sound great and their talk invokes everything I used to love about playing that game: the weirdness, making characters really out there, and finding the brutal and frequent PC deaths and insanity hilarious. It’s a must listen. Then. I was checking related stuff on a whim and found a couple of movies made about Cthulhu mythos that I was completely unaware of. They are usually lower budget works of passion but awesome for fans. I watched two and they were both great, for me. They are Dagon and The Whisperer in Darkness. The latter is not only set in the original 1920s canon, but the film is made exactly in the style of old classic cinema.

In case you are in the one percent of people reading this blog who have no idea about this topic, Cthulhu is the name of a fictional alien being and object of cult worship in the works of H.P. Lovecraft – who is both a genius of literature/human cultural achievement, and a shocking racist. It’s a complicated world. Cthulhu Fhtagn means “Cthulhu is dreaming.” It’s part of a longer prayer to Cthulhu that turns up in the books. Luckily for the beginner, there is an accurate and hilarious video explaining how to pronounce it all … like a boss.

Finally, there is a nice post on io9 about finding people to play D&D with. I’m making a point to post this because despite all the awesome tech we have for playing over the net these days, playing together in the room is still the best.

Io! Io! Cthulhu fhatgn!

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