New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 28 of 28
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Gender
    Male

    Default Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    I had this thought and want to incorporate it into my next game, but I'm not sure how. I was drawing and rather than just childishly scrawling and sketching like I usually do, I decided to put in a little more effort and do it right, planning it out in pencil and then inking over it, and erasing the pencil marks... but I ended up kind of liking it with both ink and pencil showing. It got me thinking: the ink is the intended drawing, which tries to create the illusion of 3 dimensions on a 2 dimensional plane, and the pencil reveals the process of creating the illusion. So what could be revealed in a game setting that would show the players that the world they play in is artificial but was intentionally crafted to look "real"?
    My Homebrew (Free to use, don't even bother asking. PM me if you do, though; I'd love to hear stories).

    Avatar done by me (It's Durkon redrawn as Salvador from Borderlands 2).

    Nod, get treat.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NontheistCleric's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    I think they would have to somehow see the real world and how their own world was only an imperfect copy.

    Otherwise they wouldn't have a frame of reference for what kinds of worlds are considered 'authentic'.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    A prop I used in a surreal campaign was a picture that had been cut into five pieces that could be assembled into a square in two different ways - the idea being, the right way is the one that gives you a coherent image. But there was also an image on the reverse side that was only coherent if you assembled it the other way. The idea was to suggest that even though it looked like the images were physically painted by the artist and then the painting was torn up, it had to have been formed this way in pieces to begin with. Not a huge 'this isn't real!' smoking gun or anything, but just a bit of weirdness.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    I once had a PC group summoned via a summon creature type spell cast by a wizard from another dimension.

    It had the effect of them questioning the nature of their reality.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    The reality the characters inhabit is a version that the gods have already deemed "done" as part of an iterative experiment and are waiting to wind down prior to disassembly. This in part explains why magic is dying but still flaring up sporadically (but could also be used for all sorts of end of world threats).

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Your description makes me think of a palimpsest, which is a piece of paper that has writing on top of old writing because paper used to be expensive. Imagine your world as the new writing, but the old writing is still there. It's faded and it runs in a 90 angle to your world, but it's still there. So there's an old world that's still there, but it's also not and you have no idea why the gods made a new world on top of the old, or what was wrong with the first world. Honestly, that would make a cool concept for a setting, with some interesting implications when it comes to religion.

    I love it!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    I once had a PC group summoned via a summon creature type spell cast by a wizard from another dimension.

    It had the effect of them questioning the nature of their reality.
    That actually sounds pretty neat. It'd be rather cool to have someone be communed with by a two dimensional life form, who sees the PC as basically an Outer God, an incomprehensible being from a higher dimension, especially if the PCs are themselves interacting with beings from a higher dimension than themselves.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    So what could be revealed in a game setting that would show the players that the world they play in is artificial but was intentionally crafted to look "real"?
    I guess you could say that something is not real or an illusion if it contradicts itself. Something could start waking them up to the contradictions and to what remains constant, which may not be what they consider to be important (like the pantheons changing, but a certain deserted house remains the same).
    Maybe they step out of reality for a short time, and when they come back they noticed some of the "lines" were erased or changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    So there's an old world that's still there, but it's also not and you have no idea why the gods made a new world on top of the old, or what was wrong with the first world. Honestly, that would make a cool concept for a setting, with some interesting implications when it comes to religion.
    Reminds me of a world I thought of, in which the creator gods literally bury the world and create a new one above it. But it's not for a mysterious or cosmic horrory reason, they just feel like creating something new and are fine with killing masses for it (they did it multiple times).
    Madly In Science, an RPG in which you play mad scientists, you can get it for free.

    Spoiler: Some other things.
    Show
    A world behind the mirror (stand alone plane)
    (Wall) passer, a rogue variant
    My not realy extanded homebrewer signature

    Quote Originally Posted by Grinner View Post
    In a world ruled by small birds, mankind cannot help but wonder how this state of affairs came about.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Millstone85's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Paris, France
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Your description makes me think of a palimpsest, which is a piece of paper that has writing on top of old writing because paper used to be expensive. Imagine your world as the new writing, but the old writing is still there. It's faded and it runs in a 90 angle to your world, but it's still there. So there's an old world that's still there, but it's also not and you have no idea why the gods made a new world on top of the old, or what was wrong with the first world. Honestly, that would make a cool concept for a setting, with some interesting implications when it comes to religion.

    I love it!
    In the flexible lore of the SCP Foundation, this is a common origin story for the Pattern Screamers. Their universe has been overwritten by ours. They are now crushed under the fabric (or pattern) of our reality, a condition they experience as being not just unnoticed (despite how much they scream) but infinitesimal (and they hate feeling small). The result is that any civilization that uncovers the deepest laws of physics also gives the PS the means to unravel said laws, at least at a planetary scale, and the advanced civilization is thus destroyed.
    PbP characters: Irides, Tanael

    Homebrew planar maps for D&D 5e:
    Standard planes: English / French / Medal
    Additional planes: English / French / Thread (soon-ish)
    For spelljamming: English / French / Thread (soon-ish)

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    61.2 N, 149.9 W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Have people remember historical events differently. Not everyone, not everything. But have people accidentally slipping from one leaky reality to another. So you meet and old friend and you end up talking about the time when you were kinds and <something> in a red sweater. Except you remember the sweater as blue. No biggie. One of you is mistaken. Except you've still got the sweater and the friend has a picture. Now, the real & pic sweaters don't match, and as a bonus you turn up a third friend who was there to settle it. Third friend swears up and down that one of you is dead. Literally, saw them die like three years ago.

    Whats happening is one of the three of you all, really did die. And at least one, if not two have slipped across to nearby realities thay are almost, but not quite exactly the same. The more connections a person has to the world, living relatives, current friends, admired statues, famous paintings, etc., the more "stable" you are. The less connected the more likely you are to slip, but you can only slip into a world with a "you"-shaped hole in it. Meaning people can only slip into worlds where they died or the previous version slipped out.

    Thing is, it can spread. Somewhere out there is a reality where any specific person is a friendless, homeless, nobody orphan. And those people tend to die more than others. There's always a tiny chance of you, or anyone, being the most recent in a chain of slips through those vacant spots. Jusy, sort of waking up or turning a corner, and some minor fact or two is now different.

    In theory you could increase the chances, possibly even control it. But you'd need to be almost completely unknown, and all your other versions in other realities would need to be dead. And since you can't slip across to kill your other selves... why are so many of them suddenly dead?

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    That actually sounds pretty neat. It'd be rather cool to have someone be communed with by a two dimensional life form, who sees the PC as basically an Outer God, an incomprehensible being from a higher dimension, especially if the PCs are themselves interacting with beings from a higher dimension than themselves.
    If you have not already I recommend the novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbot Abbot

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Your description makes me think of a palimpsest, which is a piece of paper that has writing on top of old writing because paper used to be expensive. Imagine your world as the new writing, but the old writing is still there. It's faded and it runs in a 90 angle to your world, but it's still there. So there's an old world that's still there, but it's also not and you have no idea why the gods made a new world on top of the old, or what was wrong with the first world. Honestly, that would make a cool concept for a setting, with some interesting implications when it comes to religion.

    I love it!
    Spoiler
    Show
    Sounds a bit like the end of The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag


    EDIT:
    I also recommend reading The Circular Ruins by Jorge Luis Borges

    Spoiler
    Show
    It's a little bit like if Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends had a Shamalan ending tacked on where it turned out that Mac had been imaginary too the whole time
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2023-10-04 at 03:43 PM.
    "If you want to understand biology don't think about vibrant throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology" -Richard Dawkins

    Omegaupdate Forum

    WoTC Forums Archive + Indexing Projext

    PostImage, a free and sensible alternative to Photobucket

    Temple+ Modding Project for Atari's Temple of Elemental Evil

    Morrus' RPG Forum (EN World v2)

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    A comet passes in the world's orbital path causing countless meteor showers over the next few months. As Autumn turns to Winter, persistent coughing begins among all breathing creatures. By Spring, about ten percent of animals have died and, though less severe, the cough persists.

    In the spring it is discovered that ten percent of seeds fail to germinate, and that fishers are catching fewer fish. By Summer, strange black and orange plants begin to grow, displacing normal vegetation.

    Year after year, the native populations of everything are being decimated while the strange growths fill in and expand. In the fifth year the comet returns, and many declare it an omen that the end of their suffering is near. They are half-right.

    The comet rounds the sun, and heads back on a collision course with the planet. Instead of colliding, the comet makes several elliptical orbits of about a month per orbit, and over the next year the orbit becomes more regular and shorter, until it settles into a circular orbit of almost four days. Meanwhile, the debris trail either rains on the world as meteor showers in the first few days after the arrival of the comet, or is wrapped around the world on a chaotic ring pattern which creates nearly continuous meteor showers. In the first few days of the meteor showers, many hundreds of meteorites remain large enough to impact the ground, with two or three such strikes detectable from any single location on the ground. Fragile or tall structures are weakened by the continual earthquakes while large objects such as sports fields, arenas, or cities may receive multiple impacts.

    With the arrival of the comet, the coughing returns, the die- back of alien life gains momentum, and four-legged insect-like creatures begin to appear.

    DM Info: It is an alien invasion. They are terraforming before they land. It is not known if they are aware of the native sophonts, or if they even care.
    Last edited by brian 333; 2023-10-13 at 05:48 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
     
    D&D_Fan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Laniakea Supercluster
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    That everything is a wave. No, really, everything is a wave. Every single thing is a wave. Particles are waves. Atoms are just particles moving together in waves, and atoms move with one another in waves. Light is a wave. Heat is a wave. Electricity is a wave. Gravity is a wave. Time is a wave. Love is a wave. Consciousness is a wave. Everything you have ever known is just a wave. Wave propagates through waves propagating through waves.

    That there exists such an infinite amount of things in the multiverse that everything is meaningless, and nothing is unique. For all the infinitely many instances of you who are dead, all who are different, all who never even evolved, all whose planet never formed, all whose universe never formed, there exist too an infinite amount of instances of you who are identical. Perfectly identical. Whose entire lives are identical to yours without any deviation, and who will never deviate. It's an infinitely small proportion of infinity, but it's still infinity. You are nothing.

    That most of everything is nothing. For the multiverse that we know, there exists such a vastly large proportion that is empty, garbled, madness. If you took 1 trillion universes and looked at each of them, they would all be broken and unsuitable to be conceived. The chance of even one having anything resembling matter or energy or even space or time is so negligibly small it's insane how empty reality really is.

    That the world is a story. Inside a story, inside a story, inside a story. The people telling the story exist inside the story of a higher being, and in the stories they tell, the characters in those stories exist on a lower level of reality, that is altered through the view of the storyteller. Everyone is a god. And the gods are just mortals, who play a game. And their gods are just mortals who play a game. And their gods are just mortals who play a game. And so on, and so forth. Every action that was ever made was the infinitely complex choice of some sort of higher being who is telling a story about a storyteller who tells a story about a story teller who tells a story about a story teller. And you're so far from the top... Are you just a background character in an offhand joke in a play in a television show in a movie in a book in a cartoon brought up in a conversion about a game about a fairy tale about a book about a scroll about a hymn about a poem about a joke about you? Does all of the multiverse come from the top down or the bottom up?

    Do some things exist completely out of possibility and conception? Things that will never, ever, ever occur, and that nobody will ever be able to imagine. That in all of infinite creation, some things simply never will be whatsoever? What if there exists a mirror-creation in which nothing in our world will ever occur in that world, and nobody in that world will ever be able to understand our own?

    Truly, an all powerful being would be powerless, since they exist as a singular infinite being who does everything ever. If they could do anything, they already have, and because they can do everything, they already have. They will never know anything new. Their mind and body is simply reality. And their consciousness and soul cease to be because they already have done everything. And so effectively, such a being would splinter into infinite incarnations of itself across space and time, some who can do anything, some who can do very little. In fact, every single being at all in the universe is just that all-powerful god in some form. Every human, animal, plant, bacterium, virus, atom, particle, wave.

    It's all waves.

    Everything is a wave.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    The characters only have four fingers per hand but leave five-fingered handprints
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2023-10-13 at 10:47 PM.
    "If you want to understand biology don't think about vibrant throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology" -Richard Dawkins

    Omegaupdate Forum

    WoTC Forums Archive + Indexing Projext

    PostImage, a free and sensible alternative to Photobucket

    Temple+ Modding Project for Atari's Temple of Elemental Evil

    Morrus' RPG Forum (EN World v2)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Are we talking Truman Show level where other people are in on the idea, or is this a case where nobody the PCs interact with is any level of clued in? Answers might vary depending on context. I'm leaving out "we're all imaginary constructs/computer simulations/characters in a game", since finding that out requires either finely grained probing of the nature of reality or else intervention from a being in a higher level of reality. The former doesn't play well in TTRPGs and the latter is likely to go past creepiness and land firmly in ironic humor.

    One thing that might be interesting for either case would be the existence of unused assets. The characters wind up with a reason to go somewhere they'd otherwise not be expected to, and after many "coincidental" difficulties (which might also involve other people, depending on if other people are in on the idea) reach a place full of partially formed versions of things that they're used to. Partially formed and/or powered off versions of things that we're used to tend to be decently creepy.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    A comet passes in the world's orbital path causing countless meteor showers over the next few months. As Autumn turns to Winter, persistent coughing begins among all breathing creatures. By Spring, about ten percent of animals have died and, though less severe, the cough persists.

    In the spring it is discovered that ten percent of seeds fail to germinate, and that fishers are catching fewer fish. By Summer, strange black and orange plants begin to grow, displacing normal vegetation.

    Year after year, the native populations of everything are being decimated while the strange growths fill in and expand. In the fifth year the comet returns, and many declare it an omen that the end of their suffering is near. They are half-right.

    The comet rounds the sun, and heads back on a collision course with the planet. Instead of colliding, the comet makes several elliptical orbits of about a month per orbit, and over the next year the orbit becomes more regular and shorter, until it settles into a circular orbit of almost four days. Meanwhile, the debris trail either rains on the world as meteor showers in the first few days after the arrival of the comet, or is wrapped around the world on a chaotic ring pattern which creates nearly continuous meteor showers. In the first few days of the meteor showers, many hundreds of meteorites remain large enough to impact the ground, with two or three such strikes detectable from any single location on the ground. Fragile or tall structures are weakened by the continual earthquakes while large objects such as sports fields, arenas, or cities may receive multiple impacts.

    With the arrival of the comet, the coughing returns, the die- back of alien life gains momentum, and four-legged insect-like creatures begin to appear.

    DM Info: It is an alien invasion. They are terraforming before they land. It is not known if they are aware of the native sophonts, or if they even care.
    That sounds a bit like the Clark Ashton Smith story The Metamorphosis of Earth
    "If you want to understand biology don't think about vibrant throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology" -Richard Dawkins

    Omegaupdate Forum

    WoTC Forums Archive + Indexing Projext

    PostImage, a free and sensible alternative to Photobucket

    Temple+ Modding Project for Atari's Temple of Elemental Evil

    Morrus' RPG Forum (EN World v2)

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    That sounds a bit like the Clark Ashton Smith story The Metamorphosis of Earth
    I've never read the story, but I may have read about it some time in the past. In any case, it makes a good background for an Apocalypse type story/adventure.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Millstone85's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Paris, France
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    It's all waves.

    Everything is a wave.
    This makes me think of the bit in Rick and Morty with the planet where everything is on a cob and Rick freaks out but then never explains what was so terrifying about it.

    For all the infinitely many instances of you who are dead, all who are different, all who never even evolved, all whose planet never formed, all whose universe never formed, there exist too an infinite amount of instances of you who are identical.
    A longer running theme in the same show and a more understable existential dread. In a branching multiverse, we are dealt all the hands, we take all the options, and specific combinations aren't unique. A challenge to both agency and the self. Not that a single cause-to-effect timeline is that much comfier.
    PbP characters: Irides, Tanael

    Homebrew planar maps for D&D 5e:
    Standard planes: English / French / Medal
    Additional planes: English / French / Thread (soon-ish)
    For spelljamming: English / French / Thread (soon-ish)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    If any of you have the Max app, look up the avant-garde horror film Rubber, there's a scene a little after the halfway point where one of the characters is aware that it's a movie and wants to end the film early, he has one of the other characters shoot him to demonstrate that it's all fake, but is eventually forced to go on with his role in the plot, now with two bloody bullet wounds through his chest that don;t affect him
    "If you want to understand biology don't think about vibrant throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology" -Richard Dawkins

    Omegaupdate Forum

    WoTC Forums Archive + Indexing Projext

    PostImage, a free and sensible alternative to Photobucket

    Temple+ Modding Project for Atari's Temple of Elemental Evil

    Morrus' RPG Forum (EN World v2)

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    I am reminded of The Chronicles of Amber.

    On Amber there was a Pattern which was the key to the ability to travel through the multiverse.

    It was mirrored in Remba, which was thought to be the first sub-plane from Amber. It, also, could be used to empower a being to control his travel through the multiverse.

    There were lesser and fragmentary patterns with decreasing utility as one traveled "farther" from the pattern in Amber.

    Spoiler Alert!

    Both Amber's and Remba's patterns were primary reflections of the original master pattern. At that point, reality was as real and as immutable as it could be.

    Something like this could be found in your world, where two or more realities overlap. Discovery of a second or third overlapping existence should afford PCs the opportunity to question, hypothesize, test, and theorize about the ultimate nature of their reality.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    I would do it like the movie "Dark City". The PCs go about their lives and do whatever they do before the big reveal. The entire time, I would describe the setting for each scene and always mention that it's nighttime:
    "The street lamps reflect off the streets that are still wet from an earlier rain shower."
    "The narrow side street is dark except for the neon sign of the 24 hour diner where you're meeting your contact."
    "You pull off the Crosstown Highway to get gas. The gas station seems to be the only thing open in the neighborhood. Its two pumps sit in an island of light on the corner of two streets lined with brick buildings with dark windows."

    If somebody makes a plan to do something during the day:
    "You wake up to your alarm clock ringing. It's dark outside. Apparently, it's 7PM, not AM and you slept all day. You still feel tired like you still haven't slept enough."

    Then eventually, someone drops the bombshell on them: "When's the last time you remember doing something in the daytime? Not some distant memory of the beach years ago, but, like, yesterday? Last week? Have you ever had breakfast at a restaurant that didn't offer 'breakfast any time'? Have you ever had to take your coat off because the sun was too hot? How long have you been on the night shift? Do you ever wake up before sundown or go to bed after sunrise? You can't remember the last time you saw the sun, can you?!"
    Last edited by Xuc Xac; 2023-10-27 at 09:58 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Has anyone seen the episode of I think either The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits where the couple gets caught between two moments in time and there's all sorts of stagehands walking around building the next momemt?
    "If you want to understand biology don't think about vibrant throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology" -Richard Dawkins

    Omegaupdate Forum

    WoTC Forums Archive + Indexing Projext

    PostImage, a free and sensible alternative to Photobucket

    Temple+ Modding Project for Atari's Temple of Elemental Evil

    Morrus' RPG Forum (EN World v2)

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    You can do this by taking a conspiracy theory and running with it. Easiest to do in in a contemporary setting; for a more fantastic or speculative setting, you need more groundwork to first get players to accept some untrue things as true before challenging those very statements.

    You can start with something innocent-seeming. Like "Bigfoot is real". Maybe the player characters meet one in the wild. No big deal, just another big animal in the world, right?

    But then, the question sneaks in: if it is just another big animal in the world, why did it go unconfirmed for so long? Why do seemingly reasonable people insist on its fakeness? Why are people who believe in this simple thing lumped together with people who believe in much crazier things? There doesn't seem to be a benefit to anyone denying or keeping it secret, so why? Why does any of it happen?

    Once the question is asked, it's possible to give it an answer that puts the character's idea of where they stand in the world under further questions - hence creating cosmic horror in its most genuine sense.

    If you want to be cruel, you can use genuine pain points and unresolved questions for this. An easy one would be: why has society not collapsed yet? Just go through the list of horribly disruptive and destructive things even a single person could in theory achieve, such as making and detonating a dirty bomb in a population center. Challenge your players to think on these issues and see if they can state any obvious reasons for the state of things. If they can't, now you're free to give it your favorite conspiracy spin. If they can, you can choose a less obvious explanation that's in the same direction but places the player characters in an uncomfortable position.

    Obviously, depending on how well informed your players are on a given topic, it's possible to touch on some very real horrors. Or take a horror your players think they know and make it even worse.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    How do you guide players into asking the questions without telling them the questions they need to ask?

    [Long Story]
    In my Paladin Quest campaign the PCs dealt with undead from an extinct and nearly forgotten culture. While resting at what had once been a temple to the gods of this culture, they were visited by the forgotten god of dreams and magic. He tasked them with seeking out the last groups of undead and destroying them so that the god could finally be free of their insane nightmares. When they had completed their task, the god visited them once again in their dreams and told them how to access the treasure vault under the temple. He gave the key to the party wizard; a staff he called Binder and Unbinder. It was still there when they woke up.

    The staff would animate ropes to tie or untie, Knock or Wizard Lock, Bind or Banish outsiders, and that sort of thing. Great for dispelling.

    This staff was used to unbind the mortar in a castle wall, which tore down a 30 foot section of wall, inconveniently leaving the blocks behind. The discussion around the table was about what might have happened had the staff been used to unbind the blocks themselves. This lead to discussing the potential to unbind a piece of the world. Would it act like a ball of string with just the cut strands fraying? Or would it be like a rubber band wound into a ball, and a single cut cause the whole thing to unravel?

    The wizard who had the staff was LG and had no intention of unraveling the world, so he never tried to find out.
    [/Long Story]

    By using questgivers to lead the players to items and ideas, they become active investigators rather than passive readers and listeners. Lead the players to the questions rather than tell them what the questions should be.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    How do you guide players into asking the questions without telling them the questions they need to ask?
    You don't need to be subtle about which questions a game is about. I tend to put one or more such questions directly in my scenario pitches. Player agency and engagement is in trying to answer them - which typically involves them asking their own questions in return. Such back-and-forth is the basis of all tabletop roleplaying games, really.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    On the "Web"
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    Bring them into Deja Vu scenarios with almost identical wordings and endings but different outsets and themes.
    Have NPCs sometimes glitch out, such as their faces are completely placid and motionless while they give an impassioned speech, but no one else seems to notice.
    Writing appears to continue off of the edge of the paper into thin air, not through magic but as though the ink itself forgot to add in a line break to fit onto the page.
    A man they saw die, or they themselves killed, is seen doing the same thing he was before they intervened (bandit, shopkeeper, bartender, etc.) with absolutely no recollection of the event.
    Ask them to reroll a check multiple times regardless of whether they succeed or fail and mention that despite making the same actions repeatedly it only seemed to take as long as a single attempt.
    Have creatures with eyes on the sides of their heads stare directly at them and make eye contact as though they were looking straight at them like a human would.
    Change the types of gems they have seemingly randomly, though only the ones that are a single main color (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz, Onyx, etc.), but do not change anything else about them.

    Make them question themselves and their reality long before anything is dropped on them. Let them see the cracks in the veneer before they can see the threads that actually make up the tapestry itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Steam: Papa Palpy Palpatine
    Pesterchum: mysticUmbra
    YouTube: Noctus Does Things

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    The Rest of my Signature
    My Hombrew

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Anyone have any Weird Fiction/Cosmic Horror ideas for disturbing revelations?

    The party encounters a TPK.

    And meets at a nearby inn to discuss whether to undertake the proposed adventure.
    DM fast forwards through the adventure until a PC wants to do something different, where the adventure begins again at that point. Until they meet a TPK.

    And meets at a nearby inn to discuss whether to undertake the proposed adventure.
    DM fast forwards through the adventure until a PC wants to do something different, where the adventure begins again at that point. Until they meet a TPK.

    And meets at a nearby inn to discuss whether to undertake the proposed adventure.
    DM fast forwards through the adventure until a PC wants to do something different, where the adventure begins again at that point. Until they meet a TPK.

    And...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •