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Old 07-22-2021, 07:54 AM   #1
Hyrneson's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: U.S.
Default Summoning Elder Things

Elder things cannot be "banished".
I'm using variants of some of the Cthulu-esque things like deep ones and such. I don't intend on bringing in the big Mr C or anything that huge to my fantasy campaign but the rear Elder Thing will spice things up..
As these creatures / beings are extra-/quasi-dimensional can they be summoned with a 'Summon' spell?
My current inclination is to use a plane shift other spell but dress it up for the fantasy campaign so that it appears as a very obscure and arcane, specialized 'Summon' spell.

Working from the Cthulhu verse source, we know that Elder symbols were used for protection and containment but would a "Pentagram" spell work on a Elder creature or should I cludge that too (like above) using a specialized variant of a "Repel" spell or "Control" spell masquerading as a pentagram for Elder things?
In my campaign there are different types of pentagrams and protective circles for different classes, astral, ethereal, spirit, demonic, etc...). If a protection or containment circle would even work on an Elder Thing I'm just inclined to fold it in under another specialized category of pentagram.

The campaign is a low to mid level fantasy campaign set circa 1250 CE equivalent.
Thoughts please?
And all should cry, "Beware, beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice & close your eyes with holy dread for he on honeydew hath fed & drunk the milk of paradise"
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:50 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama
Default Re: Summoning Elder Things

In the cthulhu mythos there are some creature or entities that can be summoned, there are formulas or spells to summon them.

Also protections against them, but not always effective or easy to use as a pentagram.

There are the dimensional shamblers, tindalos hounds, and many others, each entity traditionally have a spell or formula to summon and another for protection...if any.

Also, summoning one not necessarily means controlling it, sometimes a different formula/spell is needed for control.
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Old 07-22-2021, 10:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Summoning Elder Things

Since it sounds like you're defining the rules of the game world, the answer to all your questions is 'Yes'

GURPS is generic, so it generically uses the term "demons" for evil extradimensional baddies. If in your world there are "elder things" instead of "demons" then you'd define for your game the various spells that interact with the generic "demon" descriptor as working on "elder things" just swapping out the world 'demon' for 'elder thing'.

Now if BOTH kinds of entities exist in your world, then specializing spells, powers, and skills is appropriate, and where a specialized variant for Elder Thing vs. Demon doesn't exist then that particular power/spell/skill isn't applicable (or heavily defaulted, whatevs). This saves time since you don't have to write new mechanics, you can use the existing spells/powers/skills mechanics and put (Elder Thing) next to it so you know that it only works on Elder Things.

It would definitely be cool to be able to summon the more dimensionally weird things. Fishmen are pretty corporeal, but Shoggoths would be cool to pop out of a rip in the fabric of reality. I would just use the Summon spell since the mechanics are tuned for that kind of action, and specialize it like Summon (Elder) vs. Summon (Demon), no defaults from one to the other, same costs & prereqs and since it's obscure/arcane figuring out where you can learn it to justify points in it is a challenge.

Same thing with the other entity-interacting spells. Specialize by putting the spec in parentheses and allow/disallow defaults as you feel appropriate. As for the Elder Symbol being important, that's just set dressing but a good one so putting the descriptor into the specialized description is aces. To help you sort your decision as to whether protection/containment spells work on Elder Things, you mention that protective/control spells are already specialized for other entities. I would, for consistencies sake, advise treating the Elder Thing specialization with the same limits as the other entity specializations, including defaults and penalties for using the not-quite-right protection/control spell. IF Elder Things are supposed to be extra hard to deal with then you can increase penalties or not allow un-specialized protection/control spells to work on them.
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:49 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2006
Default Re: Summoning Elder Things

In my game world I have demons as evil beings from the Infernal planes while Elder Things are forces of primordial chaos from the creation of the universe. Basically the universe was created out of chaos but there are bits of chaos still lurking in the dark parts of it. Magic is a spiritual power and it affects spiritual beings like demons which can be summoned. Psionics is a power that emanates from the creation of the universe and interacts strongly with Elder Things. Psionics can open portals to other dimensions and also attract and summon Elder Things. Magic does not interact with Elder Things in ways other than physically because Elder Things are not spiritual but instead a completely natural part of the universe. I have Elder Signs as being a psyonic force projection that can have power over Elder Things.
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Old 07-23-2021, 05:08 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rome, Italy
Default Re: Summoning Elder Things

Since it's your campaign you can do whatever you like.

For a bit of more context: Pathfinder has elder things in the bestiary and classifies them as "aberrations" so they are their own category but no different than any other: hence you got "detect aberration", "summon aberration" and so on...

Since GUPRS is a lot more flexible than that you can use this way of thinking or just consider Elder Things as a specialization/familiarity and slap a penalty on skill rolls when handling them until the user has adjusted or found specific materials/rituals.
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?
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cthulhu, elder thing, horror magic, pentagram, summon

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