Friday, March 25, 2016

#02 - Lumens & Yog-Sothoth


Lumens are quite simply floating balls of light. They go by many names, such as pine lights, witch lights, will-o-wisps, corpse lights, fairy lights, or fox fires etc. They are said to be the guardians of dimensional nexus points.

In the RPG...

Lumens might not seem like much of a threat at first glance—the same size as a Shan (so about the size of a pigeon), and with only 2 hit-points, they sound like a push-over. However, they can only be hurt by magic; fly faster than anyone can run; and their "Cold Burn" attack averages 16 points of permanent CON damage. Not only this, but the Malleus Monstrorum states that, "they normally travel in groups of a hundred or more and can attack en masse." Luckily, it also says that they rarely attack unless threatened, so if investigators just walk on by, they should be fine... unless a ruthless Keeper chooses to call a Luck Roll for that "rarely".

In a video game...

I'm not really a fan of magic in Call of Cthulhu, so any time I come across a monster that can only be killed with such, I can't help but sigh. Because of the casting times associated with each spell, there are very few that would work in a video game context anyway, so if it were my game, I'd most likely leave it out altogether. Having said that, I would leave Lumens as a creature that can't be killed otherwise. If the player came across a group of them, the significance of their presence should be the important thing, and if the player was so gun-happy as to attack them without provocation, then I think it would be fair that they suffer the consequences.

In a film...

Lumens would actually be pretty cool in a film, I think. Again, not so much as an adversary, but as a precursor to something bigger... and most likely scarier. A dimensional nexus has infinite story potential on its own.


Yog-Sothoth is the penultimate Mythos being. It exists between dimensional planes and appears as a conglomeration of iridescent globes which are always shifting, flowing into one another, and breaking. This mass is large in size, but also variable, so that at one time it may appear to be 100 yards across, and at another time, half a mile or more.

In the RPG...

Like every other deity in Call of Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth cannot actually be killed. Reducing him to 0 hit-points would simply banish him, or dissipate, only to recombine again after a short time. Actually achieving this is another matter entirely. Just like the Lumens, Yog-Sothoth can only be hurt by magic, but unlike the Lumens, he has 400 hit-points, so unless the investigators have an enchanted rocket launcher or tank, they probably won't be "killing" Yog-Sothoth any time soon. As an aside, one thing I found interesting was that Yog-Sothoth actually has an identical attack to the Lumens—a permanent CON-damaging touch. Talk about coincidence. It's even the same damage! Not that he would use it when a single touch can also transport a person anywhere in space and time.

In a video game...

Like many of the other deities, there would be no point to having Yog-Sothoth as a fightable enemy. He is just too powerful. He could, however, be used to great effect as "scenery". With his connection to space-time, just having him present would allow the game designers to play around with those aspects in which ever way they please. It could reasonably be presumed, too, that the walls between dimensions would weaken when he's around, once again allowing plenty of interesting scenarios.

In a film...

A cult summoning automatically comes to mind when thinking of Mythos deities on film, but perhaps a more interesting take could be simply the sudden arrival. Yog-Sothoth appears over a populous city overnight, or is discovered floating out above the Sahara. Why is he there? What will he do? What does it mean for humanity's understanding of the universe? Can anything be done to kill it? Should anything be done? I would love if a movie posed all these questions, only to have Yog-Sothoth simply vanish after a few weeks, having done nothing at all. It would be a cool twist on the "aliens are all evil and want to kill humans" cliche.

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