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    Default Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    That's it! I'm sick of all this "Cthulhu is just a Half-Dragon/Illithid on steroids" bullcrap that's going on in the DnD system right now. Cthulhu deserves much better than that. Much, much better than that.

    I should know what I'm talking about. I myself am currently investigating a genuine Cult of the Great Old Ones for 2 years now. I have been inducing episodes of self-hypnosis to better align my thoughts with their chaotic beliefs and practices. I can now even see manifestations of parts of Cthulhu itself everywhere I go.

    Even the basic concept of Cthulhu drives many people insane. The more you encounters you have with these horrors, the further your insanity slips away, until there is nothing left that could be considered reasonable thought.

    Cthulhu is thrice as powerful as the Demon and Devil Lords, and thrice as tough to harm for that matter too. Anything a DnD deity can do, Cthulhu can do better. I'm pretty sure Cthulhu could easily devour both Asmodeus and Demongorgon with barely a thought.

    Ever wonder why the entirety of the DnD Pantheon never bothered conquering Cthulhu? That's right, they were too scared to face the cosmic, nightmarish horrors of a Great Old One. The closest that anyone dares to come to challenging Cthulhu, is fighting against its cultists to ensure it is never fully awakened, because its power is so feared and respected.

    So what am I saying? Cthulhu is simply the best entity that the multiverse has ever seen, and thus, require better stats in the d20 system. Here is the stat block I propose for Cthulhu:

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    Cthulhu
    (Great Cthulhu)



    Colossal aberration (Chaotic, Cosmic, Great Old One)
    Hit Dice: 45d8 + 630 (990 hp)
    Initiative: +12
    Speed:70 feet (14 squares), fly 200 feet (poor)
    Armor Class: 47 (+32 natural, +11 insight, +4 dex, -8 size), touch 25, flat-footed 43
    Base Attack/Grapple: +33/+76
    Attack: claw +48 melee (4d6 +18)
    Full Attack: 2 claws +48 melee (4d6 +18) and 6 tentacles + 46 melee (2d6 +9) and one crush + 48 melee (4d8 + 9) or by spell
    Space/Reach: 30 ft/40 ft
    Special Attacks: dissolving grip, fear, improved grab, improved grapple, spell-like abilities, snatch, spells, summon star spawn,
    Special Qualities: change shape. Cosmic awareness. Cosmic entity. Damage reduction 25/epic or axiomatic. Darkvision 60 ft. Fast healing 10. Gaseous shape. Immune to polymorphing, petrification, or any other attack that could alter its form. Immune to energy drain, ability drain, or ability damage. Immune to mind-affecting effects. Immune to poison. Immune to acid, pressure and vacuum. Regeneration 20. Resistance 20 to cold, fire and electricity. Spell resistance 50.
    Saves: Fort +40, Ref +30, Will +47
    Abilities: Str 46, Dex 18, Con 39, Int 34, Wis 32, Cha 33
    Skills: Bluff +46, Climb +33, Concentration +54, Diplomacy +50, Gather Information + 42, Hide +2, Intimidate +56, Knowledge (arcana) + 60, Knowledge (history) +40, Knowledge (local) +34, Knowledge (nature) +34, Knowledge (religion) +60, Knowledge (the planes) +40, Listen +41, Move Silently +4, Search +22, Sense Motive +51, Spellcraft +60, Spot +48, Survival +21, Swim +38, Use Magic Device+30
    Feats: combat casting, enlarge spell, extend spell, heighten spell, improved initiative, maximize spell, multiattack, power attack, quicken spell, spell penetration, widen spell
    Epic feats: epic spellcasting, improved spell capacity, superior initiative
    Climate/Terrain: the sunken city of R'lyeh, prime material plane (Earth, possible connection to other worlds)
    Organization: Solitary (unique)
    Challenge Rating: 44
    Treasure: Triple Standard
    Alignment: Chaotic (morally unaligned)


    Change shape: While is general overall shape is basically fixed, Cthulhu may warp and modify it, extending or reducing his limbs, tentacles or wings, up to double the original dimensions. He can reduce his body by half to better flight.

    Cosmic awareness: even in his sleep, Cthulhu can sense anything within one mile around the mentioning of its name, titles or an item of importance to him for up to one hour after the event. The power is barred by beings with divine ranks or Virtual divine rank of 6 or higher.

    Cosmic entity: Cthulhu has a +5 bonus on rank checks

    Dissolving grip: Cthulhu can use this ability against opponents grappled, held or snatched. Every round the victim is grappled or held by one of his tentacles, Cthulhu inflicts automatic tentacle damage (constriction damage) and one of the following: rot (loss of 1d4 pts from str, dex and con; those can be recovered only with a restoration spell cast by a 23° level priest), energy drain (1d4 levels; fortitude save DC 43; Cthulhu gains 5 temporary hit points for every negative level he inflicts), madness (loss of 3d6 wisdom points, or 1d6 if the victim succeed in a DC 55 will save; wisdom loss can be recovered only with a restoration spell cast by a 23° level priest) or disintegration (fortitude save, DC 43). Chtulhu can choose the effects every round for each tentacle.
    A victim can be hit and grappled/held (and so be exposed to more attacks) by more than one tentacle, depending on their size: huge or larger creatures may be attacked by six tentacles, large by four, medium by two, small and smaller creatures by one.
    If Cthulhu has grappled successfully an adversary, with his claws or with one of his tentacles, other tentacles may join the grip, up to the limit for the size as described above, with a cumulative bonus on their to hit roll of +10 for each tentacle wrapped; each tentacle gripping an opponent impose on him a -5 penalty on each successive grapple check. A pinned opponent is automatically hit by the tentacles.

    Fear: All creatures within 60 feet of Cthulhu must succeed at a 43 will save. An affected being becomes shaken; also, they must succeed in another will save or lose 1d8 + 5 wisdom points. This can be cured by magical means. Cthulhu may suppress at will the wisdom loss effect.

    Gaseous shape: Cthulhu may at will turn himself into a huge cloud of green gas as “gaseous form” spell (but retaining all his immunities and damage reductions). In gaseous shape, Cthulhu's fast healing and regeneration are doubled. If brought to 0 hp or less from damage he can regenerate, he will turn in gaseous state, to reform fully recovered after a couple of minutes.

    Improved grab: If Cthulhu hits with a claw or a tentacle an opponent gargantuan or smaller, he deals normal damage and may start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If he wins the grapple check, he may immediately use his Dissolving grip ability, bringing the prey to his tentacles with his claws (in this case, a tentacle must hit the grappled opponent), or wrapping the tentacle against the opponent. Cthulhu may decide to hold a creature grappled: in this case, as per normal rules he has a -20 penalty on his grapple checks but it is not considered grappled himself.

    Improved grapple: Cthulhu doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity when starting a grapple, and has a + 4 on his grapple checks.

    Spell-like abilities: at will: blast of fire, call lightning, circle of death, create undead, detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, detect magic, detect thoughts, dominate person, dispel magic (greater), locate object, nightmare, see invisibility, telekinesis, unhallow; 3/day: control weather, gate, fire storm, mindrape. Caster level: 56 level; DC 21 + spell level

    Snatch: Cthulhu may snatch with his claws a victim large or smaller. If he hits, he deals normal damage and may start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If he wins the grapple check, he may hold the opponent as per normal rules, inflicting squeezing damage automatically and/or bringing him to his tentacles for his Dissolving grip ability.

    Spells: Cthulhu casts spells as a 25 level wizard and a 20 level cleric with access to the following domains: Death, Destruction, Madness, Water. Arcane spells per day (0-10): 4/7/7/7/7/6/6/6/6/5/2. DC: 22 + spell level. Divine spells per day (0-9): 6/9/9/9/8/8/7/7/6/6. DC: 21 + spell level
    Epic spell slots: 12; spellcraft check taking 10: 70.

    summon star spawn: Three times per day, Cthulhu may summon 1-3 star spawns


    Description: A living, titanic nightmare 60 feet tall, with the head like a giant squid, a humanoid body covered with scales stronger than steel, long claws on his hands and feet and great, bat-like wings on his back: this is Great Cthulhu, the most powerful of the Great Old Ones of Earth and one of the most powerful in the cosmos. Cthulhu dwells in the dead city of R'lyeh, sunken deep beneath the surface of the Pacific; he is in a sort of living death from where he may awake for short times in particular circumstances, when the stars (and the planes) are right. In the city are also entombed other members of his race; Cthulhu is their high priest and ruler of them all, and by far the most powerful. Cthulhu fully understand the role of primordial chaos in the cosmos, being one of the most powerful servants of Azathoth and closely connected with the great interloper deity Nyarlathotep.
    In combat, Cthulhu makes full use of his spells and magic powers. In melee, he enjoys to use his dissolving grip ability, watching his opponents crumble and decay under his power. The combined options of improved grab, improved grapple and snatch are at his disposal to force a victim under his grip (note: Cthulhu has more than six tentacles, but he can only use a maximum of six in combat)

    Cthulhu's cults: Cthulhu's cult is the most widespread and popular of all the Great Old Ones cults on Earth. The doctrine is as follows: Cthulhu plunged from the stars with his kin million of years ago, and built a great prehistoric city at R'lyeh, ruling the world. When the stars changed and their continent sank beneath the waves, the city and its inhabitants fell into a death-sleep where they await their reawakening by members of Cthulhu's cult. When R'lyeh rises above the waves, the members of the cult will be required to come to it and open the vast black door behind which he wait to be fully awaken, to finally rise above the world to rule again, together with his faithful. Entire tribes worship Cthulhu, from Eskimos to Lousiana swamp folks. He seems to be more worshipped among sea-folk, or being that live near the sea. He is served also by the deep ones and his star-spawn. Given the regional differences of his cults, he's know with many names, like Tulu, Thu Thu and Ktulu.
    Cthulhu has cultists, but has also (in particular in the less remote and more civilized location) a true clergy. He may grant his cultists and priests spells from Death, Destruction, Madness and Water domains.

    Cultists special powers: At second level, they gain a +2 bonus on knowledge (arcana) and (the planes) checks. At fourth level, they gain a +2 bonus on will saves. At fifth level the ability to cast the “Nightmare” spell once per week. At sixth level, they can cast once per week the “animate dead” spell. At seventh, they can cast “dominate person” once every three days. At eight, they can cast “feeblemind” once every three days. At tenth, a cultist may summon a star spawn once a week.

    Possessions: As a being who come from far interstellar realms and ruled the Earth for millions of years, Cthulhu has a huge array of magic items and artefacts.

    Note on cthulhu's grip:
    while Cthulhu's multiple attacks make him a deadly foe, his most dramatic attack is with the dissolving grip, made with his tentacles. To explain better how the attack routine work, here's some clarifications and an example.

    if Cthulhu hits with a claw, he may choose to snatch (make a grapple check; if he wins, he inflict claw damage automatically each round). Or, he can bring the prey to his tentacles: depending on the size, he may wrap around his victim from one to six tentacles, with a cumulative bonus on the hit roll from his tentacles, round after round until he may constrict and dissolve with all six of them.

    In the best (or worse, for an opponent) situation, if he hits with a claw (two possibilities in a full round action) a huge or larger victim, and wins the grapple check, he inflicts grapple damage (1d3 + 18 non-lethal, or lethal with a -4 penalty on grapple checks) and may immediately try to hit with a tentacle. If he hits (with one or more tentacles), he inflicts damage from the tentacle attack and may in the same round constrict and dissolve. The second round, he may try (if he wins again the grapple check – note that each tentacle wrapped around the opponent inflicts a -5 penalty on the opponent's grapple roll) to hit with his remaining tentacles, with a +10 cumulative bonus for each tentacle already wrapped around the victim, while the first tentacle(s) inflicts constriction and dissolving damage, and so on until he has all six tentacles wrapped around the victim.
    If the victim is large or smaller, he won't inflict only grapple damage, but full claw damage (thanks to his snatch ability) and may hit and wrap with from one to four tentacle attacks, with the routine described above.

    If instead of using a claw, he hits with one of his six tentacles, he may, again, choose to start a grapple attack (six possibilities in a full round attack): if he wins, he may immediately constrict and inflict special (dissolving) damage, and other tentacles may join the attack; in this case, all successive tentacles have a +10 bonus on the attack, and if they hit they will attack at progressively better to hit rolls, inflicting at the same time a penalty on the opponent grapple roll, up to -30 for all six tentacles.

    All this against a single opponent; Cthulhu may dissolve multiple victims with his tentacles, depending on their size.


    Now that seems a lot more representative of the raw, cosmic power of Cthulhu in real life, don't you think?
    tl;dr = Cthulhu needs to be more powerful in DnD.

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    Of couse... True stats cannot be written up for Cthulhu. Just put 'I Win' in every block.

    Stat block by Paolo from phpBB forums
    Last edited by PrismCat21; 2013-02-21 at 03:26 AM. Reason: Spellcheck
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD

    I'm afraid I don't get what joke you are trying to make. Would you mind explaining?

    To elaborate, this is probably about the right strength for Cthulhu as a high-powered Demigod; as he is a Great Old One rather than a true deity. However, this statline is not even the slightest threat to an actual god; and if he tried to devour Asmodeus he would be turned into a Lemure instantly since he cannot possibly make a save against the Overlord's spells and The Lord of the Nine cannot fail a save against any of his attacks.
    Last edited by Iamyourking; 2013-02-20 at 05:41 PM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD

    Quote Originally Posted by Iamyourking View Post
    I'm afraid I don't get what joke you are trying to make. Would you mind explaining?
    It's the "Katanas are Underpowered" meme. This came up in the other Cthulhu thread on the front page of this subforum.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD

    Quote Originally Posted by Iamyourking View Post
    I'm afraid I don't get what joke you are trying to make. Would you mind explaining?
    It's the old "katanas are underpowered" template joke with stats for an eldritch abomination more fit for the homebrew forum (hint, hint).
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanuki Tales View Post
    It's the "Katanas are Underpowered" meme. This came up in the other Cthulhu thread on the front page of this subforum.
    I got replies faster than I thought. Thank you.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Man what a wimp, the Tarrasque could kick cthulhu's butt...

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD

    Damn it, sorry. I can't believe I missed such a well known meme and then wasted my time explaining.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Cthulu's only stat line need be:

    Damage: 1d6 investigators per round.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    Cthulu's only stat line need be:

    Damage: 1d6 investigators per round.
    Attack: Nom
    Full Attack: Om nom nom

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Cthulhu was knocked out for all time by a sailboat. Seriously. This guy's not a real threat at all.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Cthulhu was knocked out for all time by a sailboat. Seriously. This guy's not a real threat at all.

    JaronK
    "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."

    "Knowing that the Thing could surely overtake the Alert until steam was fully up, he resolved on a desperate chance... [...] There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler could not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where—God in heaven!—the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam."
    Yeah...the boat did jack squat long term.

    The original story doesn't even explain what happened to Cthulhu after that excerpt; it just mentions that he must be trapped or slumbering again or else the world would be a screaming horror.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Cthulhu was knocked out for all time by a sailboat. Seriously. This guy's not a real threat at all.

    JaronK
    No, he was woken up ahead of schedule, got hit on the head by a steamboat, said 'bugger this for a lark', and hit the snooze button before going back to sleep.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Cthulhu was knocked out for all time by a sailboat. Seriously. This guy's not a real threat at all.

    JaronK
    A steam yacht, actually. And honestly, threat levels depend on the opposition. In Call of Cthulhu he's one of the ultimate big bads because he's a goddamn eldritch abomination and we're baseline humans.

    I would assume that in D&D, to conserve the threat level, he'd either have no statblock at all for his true form, or godlike stats for an avatar or something.

    And do recall that he's not knocked out for all time. Jeez, that's something that the story should make perfectly clear, it's not that hard to comprehend.

    That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.... what has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise.
    Last edited by Crinias; 2013-02-20 at 10:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    No, he was woken up ahead of schedule, got hit on the head by a steamboat, said 'bugger this for a lark', and hit the snooze button before going back to sleep.
    See, as an eldritch Horror Glyph probably met him once and knows.

    So really I don't get why people/designers need to buff his HD/hp. Isn't the regeneration and fast and DR he has enough?

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Don't forget that he/she/it can also be easily defeated by the power of children's breakfast cereal.

    In order to combat this I suggest Eldritch Horror Power Armor:

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    Last edited by Agent 451; 2013-02-20 at 11:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Crinias View Post
    A steam yacht, actually. And honestly, threat levels depend on the opposition. In Call of Cthulhu he's one of the ultimate big bads because he's a goddamn eldritch abomination and we're baseline humans.

    I would assume that in D&D, to conserve the threat level, he'd either have no statblock at all for his true form, or godlike stats for an avatar or something.

    And do recall that he's not knocked out for all time. Jeez, that's something that the story should make perfectly clear, it's not that hard to comprehend.

    That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.... what has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise.
    The thing is... Lovecraft is Cosmic Horror, while D&D is Conan-esque Heroic Fantasy. Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft often corresponded with their works, and many of Lovecraft's Eldritch Abominations got their asses handed to them by Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Scow2 View Post
    The thing is... Lovecraft is Cosmic Horror, while D&D is Conan-esque Heroic Fantasy. Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft often corresponded with their works, and many of Lovecraft's Eldritch Abominations got their asses handed to them by Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian.
    Do you mean Shuma-Gorath? Because he was Howard's creation, not Lovecraft's.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    I should know what I'm talking about. I myself am currently investigating a genuine Cult of the Great Old Ones for 2 years now. I have been inducing episodes of self-hypnosis to better align my thoughts with their chaotic beliefs and practices. I can now even see manifestations of parts of Cthulhu itself everywhere I go.
    Aw, sweet, I didn't know there were CoC LARPers out there! How do you work out SAN loss?

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    Cthulu's only stat line need be:

    Damage: 1d20 investigators per round.
    ftfy. This is a d20-based game after all. 1d6 would simply be underpowered anyway.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by PrismCat21 View Post
    Cthulhu is thrice as powerful as the Demon and Devil Lords, and thrice as tough to harm for that matter too. Anything a DnD deity can do, Cthulhu can cut do better. I'm pretty sure Cthulhu could easily devour both Asmodeus and Demongorgon with barely a thought.
    You left a cut in there.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    While I see that you are not being serious, I'd like to point out that Cthulhu can be incapacitated by a boat hitting him. Doesn't scream of power greater than the divine in D&D to me.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    This was funny, although part of me was hoping you would've gone the route of:

    "I should know what I'm talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Cthulhu in R'lyeh for 9001 SAN (that's about $3) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even devour whole investigators with my Cthulhu."

    (also, you seem to have accidentally left a superfluous "cut" verb in paragraph four)
    Text goes here.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ View Post
    While I see that you are not being serious, I'd like to point out that Cthulhu can be incapacitated by a boat hitting him. Doesn't scream of power greater than the divine in D&D to me.
    Read further up the thread.

    Said boat incapacitated him for barely any length of time. If we assume it was only capable of about 8 miles an hour, then it was moving somewhere around 12 feet a second. Cthulhu was already completely re-integrating himself by the time that the ship had cleared the gore cloud. He most likely completely healed himself in the span of rounds.
    Last edited by Tanuki Tales; 2013-02-21 at 03:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Cut the 'Cut', Thank you for catching it.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    I never understood the "drive everyone insane" bit. One guy saw him. After being shipwrecked, half-starved and dehydrated, he was still coherent enough to tell the story. The only other thing he did was give a few people across the world weird dreams.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanuki Tales View Post
    Read further up the thread.

    Said boat incapacitated him for barely any length of time. If we assume it was only capable of about 8 miles an hour, then it was moving somewhere around 12 feet a second. Cthulhu was already completely re-integrating himself by the time that the ship had cleared the gore cloud. He most likely completely healed himself in the span of rounds.
    Actually he never seems to have awakened again after that nasty head bump. He's very much down for the count.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    I concur with Jaron. When I read the story, it seemed to very much imply that while humans may be totally incapable of killing Cthulhu, the steam ship knocked him out. It was the climax of the story and I think it is clear that without the boat smack, Cthulhu would have risen.

    Now, 100 years to Cthulhu may be like a few seconds to a human. So its possible it just slowed him down a miniscule amount in his mind. That doesn't change that a boat smacking into him put him back under for a at least a human lifetime.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Most of Cthulhu's incarnations are underpowered in general. You have to remember, that mofo's still sleeping. If he, or any of the old gods, ever fully wake up and make it to Earth, everything is already over. A properly optimized level 20 Wizard might be able to take him, but a group of Tier 4 characters aren't going to have a chance.

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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    C'thulhu as powerful as they need to be. If you are playing a game with level 20 wizards, it will take a last ditch hail mary to stop C'thulhu.
    If it's Vanilla Mortals in a d20 Modern game, it will take a last ditch hail mary to stop C'thulhu.
    What form it will take will vary, but it always will be risky and desperate, and also likely suicidal for at least someone.
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    Default Re: Cthulhu is underpowered in DnD 3.5

    Cthulhu is perhaps one the best examples of "memetic badass". In Lovecraft's mythos, this thing is just a priest to the actually threatening stuff. It's not very high in the cosmic totem pole of his works. In D&D, it could be very well be modeled as a Phrenic Pseudonatural Half-dragon Giant Squid. I'm not sure what that adds to, but I'm fairly sure it's not even close to CR 20.

    A horrifying beast from beyond the stars to a level 3 Expert with ranks in Profession (Sailor), brunch to a ECL 15 Fighter carrying a small kingdom's worth of magical armaments.
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