Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#62 - Martians & Proto-Shoggoths


Like the Triffids, I was actually surprised to find H.G. Wells' Martians in the Malleus Monstrorum. I love that story, but I find it hard to picture them as being in the same universe as the Mythos, mostly because it means the titular war never happened. Anyway, in The War of the Worlds the Martians are described as being a "big, grey, rounded bulk, the size, perhaps, of a bear," as well as having lank tentacular appendages, a V-shaped mouth, and fungoid, oily brown skin." They are, however, most well-known for their 100ft-tall tripodal war machines.

In the RPG...

The Malleus Monstrorum gives stats for both the Martian and the War Machine, but other than taking only half damage from physical weapons, the Martians themselves are unremarkable, with human-ranged stats save for SIZ. The War Machine, on the other hand, has 30-point armour, which means very few weapons are getting through. If any do, however, each point of damage adds 5% chance of the machine breaking down, as well as the operator taking the damage itself. Taking out one of the tripod's legs—with 40 hit-points—will also bring it down, and for some reason makes it non-operational (I would have thought it could still function, just not walk). Despite breaking down after 20 points of damage, a War Machine has 120 hit-points, so presumably it would blow up or something if brought to zero. Offensively, the War Machines are also terrifying. They have metal tentacles that can do an average of 20 damage (or grab), as well as their famous Heat Ray, which does an average of 35 damage in a 4-yard radius. On top of these, they also have a chemical weapon known as Black Smoke, which is considered "Lethal" in the 7th edition conversion, so does an average of 22 damage each round... though with a 97% chance of killing an average Investigator, it's unlikely there would even be a second round.

In a video game...

There was a decent 1998 strategy game called Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds where you got to choose whether you played as Martians or humans. If I recall, you only saw the actual Martians during cutscenes though. Just now, in checking the game's release date, I discovered that there was also an unrelated 3rd-person game released the following year... with the exact same name! Why would they do that? Anyway, having never played it, I obviously can't speak to its quality. Regardless, I'd love if there was a game released on the current generation, specifically where you play as someone on the ground, so you could get the full experience of the tripods looming overhead, the black smoke, and the Red Weed.

In a film...

There are already two great (IMHO) War of the Worlds films, as well as a TV series if I recall, so who knows when we'll see the next one.


A Proto-Shoggoth is basically a Shoggoth made of human skin and parts, which it can create and remove at will. They are not true Shoggoths, however, but creatures created through alien science or arcane secrets. Smaller Proto-Shoggoths may even take human shape and more undetected amongst them.

In the RPG...

Like a regular Shoggoth, a Proto-Shoggoth takes only minimum damage from any attack, and regenerates 2 hit-points per round, meaning they're almost unkillable. It can also crush its victim with an average of 20 damage.

In a video game...

Proto-Shoggoths would suffer the same issues as a regular Shoggoth as far as animation goes, and if a shape-shifting human was desired for the story, I would personally say a Shoggoth Lord would be the better option.

In a film...

A Proto-Shoggoth in a film would probably be like the T-1000 Terminator, mostly used for mimicry.

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