and-so-is-cthulhu

A Guide to Roleplaying Systems

Player: Can I do the thing?

Mutants and Masterminds: Yes you can do the thing.

GURPS: Fill out these forms in triplicate.

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition: Yes, but it’s really not worth it unless you are a Dream Elf with the Godblooded feat and at least five levels in the Thingomancer Prestige class from Complete Thing. Or you could just play a Wizard, they get The Thing as a 3rd level spell.

Call of Cthulu: You can do the thing, but you REALLY don’t want to.

FATE: That depends, can you bullshit the GM into believing that one of your vaguely-worded aspects supports you doing The thing?

7th Sea: Only if the thing is properly dramatic!

Shadowrun: Yes, but you’ll need a bathtub full of D6s.

Paranoia: The thing is treason.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition:

[I copied the above from this brilliant post, and I reblogged as text because I really felt the need to add the gif for 5e, and chat posts don’t allow gifs, dammit.]

It’s hard not to appreciate how much HP Lovecraft has influenced modern horror and media.

  • The reference of anything otherworldly as “eldritch” was first used in a Lovecraft story.
  • The entirety of the concept of otherworldly beings sporting tentacles first appeared in a Cthulhu story, and the Great Old Ones are said to be “from the stars.”
  • The Necronomicon, one of the most identifiable staples in many horror tropes and series (such as the Evil Dead) was a part of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
  • His stories were so revolutionary that “Lovecraftian” is not only a descriptor but an entire horror genre.
  • The name Arkham from the Batman comics was taken from a town frequently mentioned in Lovecraft’s works.
  • “Beyond description” is now a common term to describe something horrific and was inspired by Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos.
  • Lovecraft is one of the first, if not the first, horror novelist to use the occult as a staple part of his work (effectively, Lovecraftian horror is occult horror).
  • The entire concept of the Void and the Voidborn in the League of Legends game lore is taken from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, including the design for the character Kassadin, which resembles Cthulhu.
  • Cthulhu is literally now a staple horror monster that even people who don’t know Lovecraft know about.
  • Every.  Single.  Call.  Of.  Cthulhu.  Game.
  • Deep sea creatures being used as a horror element was first used by Lovecraft.
  • Seriously Lovecraft was so influential and a lot of people are surprised when I point this stuff out.  Hell, some people don’t even know he existed but he’s left such an impact on media it’s insane.

“If you’re calling someone a garbage person, then for some reason you felt like the previous insults that were available to you weren’t strong enough,” says McCulloch. (Suechting agrees–"a garbage person is so massively awful that, like Cthulhu or the bone structure of Ted Cruz’s face, all one can do is signify the impossibility of describing them,“ he writes.) Run hard enough on the hyperbole treadmill, and you end up with the prenominal "garbage"–and "sewer,” and “dumpster,” and their many related accoutrements.


There is one synonym notably absent from this putrid panoply–the simple, elegant “trash.” This word, it turns out, is largely reserved for “fandom trash,” an active scene on Tumblr that allows refuse-minded verbal maestros to turn the can on themselves. Click around the online fandom sphere for a while, and you might see Lin Manuel-Miranda’s devotees referring to themselves as “Hamilton trash,” or thirsty Star Wars buffs calling Kylo Ren “my trash son.” (In the slightly baffled words of Miranda himself, “The kids, when they like something on the internet, they call themselves the trash of the thing.”)


“It’s kind of like a guilty favorite,” explains McCulloch–"like, I think I’m a little bit too obsessed with this, so I’m going to pre-emptively insult myself about it before anyone else has a chance.“

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The Linguistic Appeal Of ‘Garbage Person,’ The Internet’s Favorite Insult (Atlas Obscura)

revisit (or behold anew) the origin of the trash of the thing: the Halloween 2015 #ham4ham show!