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The new Malleus Monstrorum: some Work-in-Progress

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Fab indeed!  And just imagine Asenath Waite boobytrapping her library by sealing a portion of shoggoth-matter in a “smuggler’s bible” version of The Necronomicon.

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On 9/10/2019 at 10:43 PM, midwinter said:

Or spectacles, clothes and lots of books like the guy turning ghoul in "Paper Chase". Btw, I dislike that scenario because the ghoul guy is such a friendly chap. He breaks the Peterson mold of a horror creature being malign. The NPCs reasons for becoming a ghoul who gnaws upon the dead is probably the weakest motivation ever. He dislikes company and the demands of the civilized world, just likes to read and being a ghoul crawling around underground among the rot and filth with other monsters allows him to do all this apparently.

He could just have sold his house, moved to Alaska or somewhere else that's isolated, bringing his books with him to live the life like any other recluse. But nah, eating wormridden flesh and slurping adipocere in order to be left alone reading Kipling or something is choice numero uno for this mental midget. A small price to pay for personal leasure, lol.

Well thats the thing. Even in HP lovecrafts works the Ghouls were rarely malevolent.  They were kind of people.

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On 9/19/2019 at 5:49 PM, Videopete said:

Well thats the thing. Even in HP lovecrafts works the Ghouls were rarely malevolent.  They were kind of people.

People who turned into monstrous ghouls who ate the dead. Not exactly your local vicar or the knitting lady on the porch.

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1 hour ago, midwinter said:

People who turned into monstrous ghouls who ate the dead. Not exactly your local vicar or the knitting lady on the porch.

What is your Lovecraft source for a specifically non-rare malevolent ghoul?

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7 hours ago, Steve said:

What is your Lovecraft source for a specifically non-rare malevolent ghoul?

"Pinned with a thumb-tack to a vacant part of the canvas was a piece of paper now badly curled up—probably, I thought, a photograph from which Pickman meant to paint a background as hideous as the nightmare it was to enhance. I reached out to uncurl and look at it, when suddenly I saw Pickman start as if shot. He had been listening with peculiar intensity ever since my shocked scream had waked unaccustomed echoes in the dark cellar, and now he seemed struck with a fright which, though not comparable to my own, had in it more of the physical than of the spiritual. He drew a revolver and motioned me to silence, then stepped out into the main cellar and closed the door behind him.

I think I was paralysed for an instant. Imitating Pickman's listening, I fancied I heard a faint scurrying sound somewhere, and a series of squeals or beats in a direction I couldn't determine. I thought of huge rats and shuddered. Then there came a subdued sort of clatter which somehow set me all in gooseflesh—a furtive, groping kind of clatter, though I can't attempt to convey what I mean in words. It was like heavy wood falling on stone or brick—wood on brick—what did that make me think of?

It came again, and louder. There was a vibration as if the wood had fallen farther than it had fallen before. After that followed a sharp grating noise, a shouted gibberish from Pickman, and the deafening discharge of all six chambers of a revolver, fired spectacularly as a lion tamer might fire in the air for effect. A muffled squeal or squawk, and a thud. Then more wood and brick grating, a pause, and the opening of the door—at which I'll confess I started violently. Pickman reappeared with his smoking weapon, cursing the bloated rats that infested the ancient well.

'The deuce knows what they eat, Thurber,' he grinned, 'for those archaic tunnels touched graveyard and witch-den and sea-coast. But whatever it is, they must have run short, for they were devilish anxious to get out. Your yelling stirred them up, I fancy. Better be cautious in these old places"

Even Pickman himself, most familiar with ghouls, carried and needed to empty his revolver to scare the ghoul/ghouls away who came up from beneath. And of course, the whole ghoul lore is from Arabic myth, where they are quite evil beings. And also, the eating of dead humans, their monstrous looks, etc, doesn't equate to some granny offering you a glass of lemonade on a hot day.

And my ghouls are monsters. Through and through. During the transformation from human to ghoul, there might be some civility left though. But that being said, I really dislike the scenario Paper Chase. It has a boring plot and a boring bookworm turning ghoul. There is no horror in that scenario.

Edited by midwinter

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7 hours ago, Kijli said:

Will the new edition of Malleus Monstrorum have a section with tools and tables to build new creatures?

There will be guidance and probably some inspirational tables.

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More malignant MALLEUS MONSTRORUM work-in-progress by the amazing Loïc Muzy...
Chakota, Cold One, Crawling Ones, Thrall of Cthulhu

1883329099_Loic1.thumb.jpg.adce2c62108c5e4816c8fda948711e63.jpg

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More Mythos monsters! – masterful work-in-progress from Loïc Muzy for the new MALLEUS MONSTRORUM, one of most anticipated Call of Cthulhu releases for 2020:


—The Martense Kin, from HPL's 'The Lurking Fear'.

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—Inhabitants of L’gy’hx, from Ramsay Campbell's 'The Insects From Shaggai'.

448016741_L-gy-hxInhabitantsof.thumb.jpg.e11119fd085b7ee247f1961d0d47db4d.jpg
—Nioth-Korghai, from Clark Ashton Smith's 'The Tomb Spawn'.

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—Spawn of Nyogtha, from Chaosium's 'Fatal Experiments'.

Spaw-of-Nyogtha.thumb.jpg.06e8b9b3b38b78c172f42f0c2b735521.jpg

 

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I'm not a big fan of illustrations of monsters, it's rarely good. It's a bit like when the monster is completely revealed in a horror movie. The tension and mysticism disappear, falling flat. In the horror genre, it is extra important to think about what is not shown. (maybe even more when it comes to a Lovecraftian monster)
For some reason, the gaming world forgets this. Everything should be displayed, big weapons, big monsters, stereotypical faces, tentacles, etc. It results in very graphically packed books but it has a tendency to overflow and the price thereafter.

I should be honest to say everything that has so far been shown from the new edition of Malleus Monstrorum is not "bad" I want to avoid criticizing the pictures. But does it belong in a Call of Cthulhu role-playing game?

The great quality of the first edition is precisely that one has chosen not to illustrate the monsters, it makes the book so much more frightening and creative for me as a reader and keeper.

I was hoping that Chaosium would go in the opposite direction, today we are surrounded by so many different Lovecraftian games and all of them portraying Mythos monsters over and over again. Chaosium have always kept some level of weirdness but are now loosing some of that, you can be more daring and innovative?  

Roleplaying is mostly about storytelling, using your voice, your acting, building characters, it is about a group of people creating magic and images in our heads. But books are also important for most of us who play role-playing games (that explains why so many reacts on covers and new illustrations for new books), they set the tone and create the mystery surrounding the game. How that tone should appear and look is very personal and everyone feels different, but my advice is to hold back and keep the Mythos in the dark.

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You created an account to say that? "Well, back in 1st Edition, we knew how to do it! Uphill both ways!" You think art should be kept out of books because you don't personally find it useful. Art in books doesn't need to be shown to players. It can give Keepers descriptive inspiration though. 

So, since you don't find it personally useful, no one should have it? That's your argument? Come on. The hobby is more than just you.

My current hypothesis is that there is one small group of fans that are creating accounts and posting these contrarian posts about the art. Because the world would be righted again if 7th didn't exist and members of The Club get to play CoC.

Folks, if the cover or internal art is making or breaking your Call of Cthulhu games, your problem isn't the art. And if you don't find something valuable in a game, you are entitled to your opinion. You are not entitled to your opinion preventing other people from getting useful things. 

Edited by klecser
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It's worth noting that good art in a book also provides more tools to the GM. I (almost) never show any of those illustrations to my players (I don't name monsters either... if they fight a Deep One, I never label it, I just describe it in as creepy/vague/etc. a way as possible). But having a good illustration gives me something to draw from (get it?) for that moment in the game when I need to describe it.

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7 hours ago, klecser said:

You created an account to say that? "Well, back in 1st Edition, we knew how to do it! Uphill both ways!" You think art should be kept out of books because you don't personally find it useful. Art in books doesn't need to be shown to players. It can give Keepers descriptive inspiration though. 

So, since you don't find it personally useful, no one should have it? That's your argument? Come on. The hobby is more than just you.

My current hypothesis is that there is one small group of fans that are creating accounts and posting these contrarian posts about the art. Because the world would be righted again if 7th didn't exist and members of The Club get to play CoC.

Folks, if the cover or internal art is making or breaking your Call of Cthulhu games, your problem isn't the art. And if you don't find something valuable in a game, you are entitled to your opinion. You are not entitled to your opinion preventing other people from getting useful things. 

But he's entitled to his opinion, just like you are. And your hypothesis has a slight tin foil shimmer about it. A small clique of "contrarians" create accounts and post negative stuff about CoC's cover art? A person must be blind if he hasn't noticed that many covers have had a cartoony feel about them. Or a company man, a yes man. Do you ever dislike anything Chaosium does, klecser?

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I have some weirdness about of the new Field Guide critters...lots of weird little hands on a couple of them.

I grew up with Tom Sullivan's versions is all.

 

Edited by Fallingtower
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12 hours ago, Agentmax7 said:

I'm not a big fan of illustrations of monsters, it's rarely good.

Then, quite simply, this is not the book for you.

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Monster art (in fact, any art) is subjective. When drawing anything, the artist must rely on their interpretation of the briefs (which, in this case are drawn from numerous sources including original text wherein they appeared) - just as a writer tries to convey their sense of the monster using words and terms understandable by humans - hence, Lovecraft using phrases like "an octopus-like head" = we use "xxx-like" because it gives us a common frame of recognition, it does not actually mean Cthulhu is an octopus.

Monster art provides another form for Keepers to picture the monster in their heads and is a big help when describing said monsters to others around a gaming table. 

The overwhelming response to our new monster art across social media has been very positive. 

 

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4 hours ago, Mike M said:

the artist must rely on their interpretation of the briefs

Aha! That explains why some people find it a bit pants. <badum tish>

OK, I know, I’ll get my coat. 

Quote

Monster art provides another form for Keepers to picture the monster in their heads and is a big help when describing said monsters to others around a gaming table. 

This exactly. A little bit of lubrication in the creative juices is always appreciated when you’ve already got enough to think about when running a game. If the art doesn’t match your personal vision of the entity then you don’t have to use it, any more than you would have to use  a text description of the monster exactly as written.

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The overwhelming response to our new monster art across social media has been very positive. 

It gets a thumbs up from me too. Very evocative, which is what we want if it’s to be useful. 

Edited by Cloud64
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6 hours ago, Mike M said:

Monster art (in fact, any art) is subjective.

 

I must object to that, because it belittles true works of art. All art is not of equal value and beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. I will give you exhibit A (Dude looks like a lady) and B, horse paintings:

8C8723184-tdy-130823-museum-of-bad-art-tease.jpg

1200px-Mona_Lisa-restored.jpg

digital-art-myths-drawing-from-imagination.png

stolen-horses-charles-marion-russell.jpg

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