One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Introduction To Call of Cthulhu

I’ve written a few post’s now that reference the Call of Cthulhu RPG. This week I felt like writing a little bit on Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu as the theme for my posts. Today I’m going to start things off by writing a little about how I first came to discover Lovecraft, and as the week progresses I’ll talk about a little about some of my favorite stories and moments that I’ve had over the years.

I didn’t come to discover the Call of Cthulhu RPG through what I would consider normal channels. In fact it was the movie Army of Darkness that first piqued my interest in the works of Lovecraft’s fiction, never mind the fact than an RPG existed to support it. Yeah, Bruce Campbell, and the Army of Darkness lead me to discover Lovecraft. Weird huh? It was this opening dialog in the movie that moved me in a way that was neither healthy nor right for any young person to be moved at such a tender and impressionable age.
My name is Ash and I am a slave. As far as I can figure, the year is thirteen hundred A.D and I'm being dragged to my death. It wasn't always like this, I had a real life, once. A job. I had a wonderful girlfriend Linda. Together we drove to a small cabin in the mountains. It seems an archeologist had come to this remote place to translate and study his latest find: Necronomicon exmortis. The Book of the Dead. Bound in human flesh and inked in blood, this ancient Sumarian text contained bizarre burial rights, funeral incantations, and demon resurrection passages, it was never meant for the world of the living. The book awoke something dark in the woods, something evil. It took Linda. Then it came after me, it got into my hand and it went bad, so I lopped it off at the wrist. But that didn't stop it, it came back big time.

There was something insidiously beautiful about that book. It I began to obsess about it. After seeing this movie, despite it being a comedy horror fest, I wanted, nay needed to learn more and delve deeper, to explore it’s origins, and perhaps to see if there was in fact any basis for this blasphemous tome.

Not long I found a cheap soft cover version in the new age section of my local bookstore in the mall. Even though I bought it I was disappointed. This was decidedly not the book I was looking for. Much later I would discover the internet. At the time I had not idea that this new wonder would open up a whole new world. A world built of pornography, forums to enable masses of faceless haters to spew off whatever vitriol laden bullshit they desired, and whole new definition of what spam was. At the time the internet to me was the information highway. Un-restricted access to knowledge that somehow was being kept from the youth of the world and stopping us from taking over from the old people whom controlled everything. The first thing I looked up wasn’t porn but the Necronomicon.

And that was the first time I discovered this dude named H.P. Lovecraft. So the Necronomicon was fiction. Invented by a dude whose name could have been that of some cheesy 70’s porn actor. Yet at the time trying to get a hold of his fiction at the time was fairly difficult at the time. It seems as if for a period of time Lovecraft had fallen into the cracks. Only later when I moved to Montreal and joined a gaming club in college did I discover there was a Call of Cthulhu RPG. It would be several more years later that I actually got to play this game for the first time. It would also be around this time that I would actually read for the first time any of Lovecraft’s fiction. But that’s for a later post. Suffice it to say I thank Army of Darkness and the other Evil Dead movies for my first introduction to Lovecraft and the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

Tomorrow I’ll write about the first time I actually played the game, and what has become one of my favorite Lovecraft stories of all time…


  1. They say that the great warrior Ash carries the souls of dungeon delvers into the sky to become one with Joesky.

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  2. @Scottsz - I've heard the same story! ;)

    @Zombiecowboy - I don't think its so weird, coming to HPL that way--I suspect that happened with a lot of folks. My first exposure though was through my cousin who was reading the paperbacks with the Whelan covers (I had seen those myself, but avoided horror in thoes days). The whole Yog-sothothery thing sounded interesting to me, but I still couldn't make the leap until the publication of REH's Cthulhu tales.

  3. @Scottsz - Word.

    @Trey - I guess its not that weird, but I dont know anyone else who came to Lovecraft that way.