Star Log.EM: Great Cthulhu (SFRPG)
This Star Log.EM-installment clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
This supplement begins with the new Great Old One subtype graft: Great Old Ones are immune to ability damage and drain, aging, death effects, dead and dying conditions (YEP!), disease, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, petrification and polymorph effects. The Great old Ones get a stellar alignment variant unique to the respective Great Old One, and they have a 300 ft.-aura of unique effects. Oh, and they are genuinely immortal. Reducing them to a 0 Hit Points and Resolve just makes them dormant.
This graft alone is great already. It does not chicken out. It retains their essence – that they can’t be slain, only…postponed. Many a fantasy/science-fantasy/pulp game gets that wrong, so kudos from the get-go.
Cthulhi, as presented herein, are situated at CR 20, and use the spellcaster array, with SPs , etc. – they are immortal and have an overwhelming mind – basically a representation of the star-spawn, or for games that enjoy bashing Cthulhu-looking critter’s faces in.
Great Cthulhu, as befitting, is situated at CR 25, 700 HP, 8 Resolve, and uses the combatant array. Great Cthulhu gets resistance 25 against all core energy types, immunity to cold, a massive SR, and the claws attacks can behave as though they had the automatic special property, attacking targets in a 15-ft.-cone. Cthulhu can communicate with sleepers and invade their dreams; as a non-euclidean entity, all attacks against him have a 50% miss chance, and he is immune to being grappled or entangled – this may be offset with true seeing, but at the risk of insanity when gazing upon Cthulhu’s splendor. Cthulhu can use Mysticism to demoralize targets, and if the target is within range of his planetary telepathy, Cthulhu may spend Resolve send visions that can potentially scare the victim to death. Cthulhu can sense the creative, and may affect these targets at even longer ranges. Creatures affected by Cthulhu’s aura are affected by snuff life, and those damaged are staggered.
Cthulhu’s stellar portents feature has 3 modes: Unattuned, dreaming and waking. In dreaming mode, he can render sleepers insane, cause targets to fall asleep and gets some serious defensive boosts. Waking mode instead nets Cthulhu the option to make full attacks as a standard action, and, when fully attuned, a whole second turn per round! As far as his immortality is concerned – Cthulhu rejuvenates fully after 1 minute, and then is staggered for 1 minute. If slain AGAIN during this minute, he is truly sent back to R’lyeh. Good luck with that if your players think that trying this is a good idea…
There is one single thing I am not too fond of: Cthulhu’s flight (and that of the cthulhi) is extraordinary, when flying through the void is pretty much canon – that should probably be supernatural.
Editing and formatting are good on a formal level (noticed e.g. a doubled “After a minute” and a “,.”, but nothing serious) and very good on a rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and Jacob blackmon’s drawing of Cthulhu is easily one of my favorite pieces of his – I did not expect that it’d be possible for him to make a genuinely scary critter in his signature drawing style, but there you go – happy to be proven wrong. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Alexander Augunas’ take on Great Old Ones is cool – it doesn’t chicken out, and the unique stellar attunement now makes me want Cthulhu-serving Solarians, seeking to wake their dread master. The build is cool, deadly and the cthulhi are a nice bonus. All in all, a great little pdf – well worth 5 stars!
Do you want to bring forth the endtimes to waken the dread master? Cool! In the meanwhile, you could ensure that this reviewer whose name is a pun on “Endzeit” (end-times) and “zeitgeist” (not associated with movie etc.) can continue his work? You can contribute to this dread cause here on patreon!