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Subject: The Opener is Yog-Sothoth?! rss

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Exupery Ether
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OK, so I am kinda bugged by this.

Why is the Opener of the Way depicted as Yog-Sothoth in this game?

I have recently read Robert Bloch's Opener of the Way story from Weird Tales and there is really no indication in this text that the Opener is actually Yog-Sothoth. In the story (which is quite bad actually), the Opener is a statue of Anubis, who works as a vehicle between worlds.

Then there is of course the Cthulhu Wars model for the Opener, which does not look to me too much like Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth (not enough bulbous spheres!).

Overreacting? ninja
 
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Probably not.

Various wikis title Yog-Sothoth as the Opener of the Way, but I'm not finding a source material. (Just checked Cthulhu Encyclopedia.) I found some "rituals" and a story mentioning YS as the Opener (Donald Tyson, 2012), but these could be just works made after YS's association as the Opener.

It is possible that an author doesn't mention a deity in their mythos works, only to have it ascribed in later writings!
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Salvador Bernadó
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I'm not an expert on the mythos but I know that several authors have written stories that could be classified as pertaining to the mythos.
Some of these stories give another interpretation of ancient myths and legends.
And there's also discrepancies about the same 'character' from different authors.
Yog-Sothot appeared first in a Lovecraft story, I think in The Dunwich Horror and was described like this:

"Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread."

It's possible that it got the title opener of the way from this.

The Call of Cthulhu RPG and card game also have Yog-Sothoth as the opener of the way.
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Exupery Ether
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Thank you both for your response.

Now, I think I am quite familiar with Mythos, Lovecraft and all the gang. Have been reading and collecting old Arkham House books for close to 20 years now. My issue with the Opener of the Way (the Cthulhu Wars version) is that it does not resemble too much Lovecraft's Yog Sothoth. It does not resemble Yog-Sothoth physically, that's it. I don't comment on the rules of the Opener, which I find very Yog-Sothoth, indeed, with Yog being both Gate and Guardian.

So perhaps what I want to say is that I have been a tiny bit disappointed in the CW model depiction of Yog-Sothoth. A far cry from "a conglomeration of glowing spheres".

Even so, Cthulhu Wars is by far the no. 1 board game of 2015 for me. By far. And that includes Kingdom Death: Monster, which I have received two weeks ago but I was way too busy and in love with CW in order to even play a test game of KD:M.

 
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I think Yog-Sothoth in its depiction of CW is much more in the spirit of these atrocious beings than a simple cloud of soapy bubbles would be. Because a few iridescent spheres, let's face it, how do you lose your sanity over that? I always found the description to be ridiculously banal and boring (especially for something that should be, per se, indescribable).

If I have a complaint regarding one creature of the whole shebang so far, it is regarding Azathoth. He looks more like a ridiculous and retarded starfish with a few too many arms than anything else...
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Exupery Ether
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To each its own, Dumon.

To me, Lovecraft's description of Yog, including "a few iridescent spheres" is absolutely terrifying. One of Lovecraft's most original creations. I don't need a king-size slobbering slob monster to get my blood pumping. We have enough Godzillas.

The Sleeper of CW also looks kinda puffy. Scary or awe-inspiring? Not quite...

I love the sculpt for the Windwalker.

My favourite expansion sculpts so far must be the one for the Star Vampires, the Servitors and the Elder Things. Oh my god. That's just perfect. Amygdala from Bloodborne anyone?

But, hey, we both enjoy the game so that's great!
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Paul F
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Windwalker is indeed a beautiful sculpt. I do love CW Yog though... I even bought a print from Richard Luong to place above my gaming table. It just captures what was in my head when I was reading about it with no visual reference.

As for favourite sculpts that I actually own (just the core game) - I've got to pick The King In Yellow. If only for the fact that his naked backside offends my 7 and 9 year old kids. So much so that they spend most of the game turning it around to face each other as an insult, while I quietly go on desecrating what's left of the Earth, casting us all into inevitable oblivion.
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Salvador Bernadó
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pmdf wrote:
Windwalker is indeed a beautiful sculpt. I do love CW Yog though... I even bought a print from Richard Luong to place above my gaming table. It just captures what was in my head when I was reading about it with no visual reference.

As for favourite sculpts that I actually own (just the core game) - I've got to pick The King In Yellow. If only for the fact that his naked backside offends my 7 and 9 year old kids. So much so that they spend most of the game turning it around to face each other as an insult, while I quietly go on desecrating what's left of the Earth, casting us all into inevitable oblivion.


You can tell your kids that he's not naked, he's just wearing some very thin tights. yuk
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Mark Llewellyn
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In "The Lurker at the Threshold" Yog-Sothoth's appearance is described as

...great globes of light massing toward the opening, and not alone these, but the breaking apart of the nearest globes, and the protoplasmic flesh that flowed blackly outward to join together and form that eldritch, hideous horror from outer space, that spawn of the blankness of primal time, that tentacled amorphous monster which was the lurker at the threshold, whose mask was as a congeries of iridescent globes, the noxious Yog-Sothoth, who froths as primal slime in nuclear chaos beyond the nethermost outposts of space and time!
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Michael T.
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knightstalker30 wrote:
In "The Lurker at the Threshold" Yog-Sothoth's appearance is described as


which was written by August Derleth (but using notes from Lovecraft). I have no problem with that description and can imagine somehow disgusting moving spheres and bubbles a sane mind couldn't understand anyhow.zombie I also very much like Luong's design and the sculpt.

And i have the same problem with Azahtoth as a starfish-brother of the big endmonster in Ridley scott's Prometheus.
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Von Strubel wrote:
... with Azahtoth as a starfish-brother of the big endmonster in Ridley scott's Prometheus.

Funny you should mention starfish, because the first time I saw the sculpt it reminded me of the scramblers from the novel "Blindsight" by Peter Watts. I like it thoughgoo
 
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Eric Foldenauer
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Sandy addresses this directly in an Onslaught 2 update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1816687860/cthulhu-wars...

It is the section at the bottom titled, "A little more about Opener."
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sam newman

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my complaint is with dagon, the miniature is in direct contrast to the creature described in the story of dagon least from my memory. Also in cthulhu wars it looks like a prehistoric dinosaur which is cool but dagon can go on land indicated by the story of dagon and yet this creature does not look as though it could go on land at all.
 
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Claymore Nash
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gorkel wrote:
my complaint is with dagon, the miniature is in direct contrast to the creature described in the story of dagon least from my memory. Also in cthulhu wars it looks like a prehistoric dinosaur which is cool but dagon can go on land indicated by the story of dagon and yet this creature does not look as though it could go on land at all.


But was that necessarily Father Dagon itself? The narrator only mentions Dagon within the story as "hopelessly conventional tales" of the actual real life god of fishing and grain. It could just as easily be a very large deep one or something else entirely. I've read essays from Lovecraft scholars who think that was a very early depiction of Cthulhu!

I think it's fun to design things a little loosely anyway. Lovecraft contradicted himself a few times and there have been a thousand and one writers who've dabbled in the mythos since then. Different interpretations are bound to pop up!
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Paul F
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ReptileViking wrote:
I think it's fun to design things a little loosely anyway. Lovecraft contradicted himself a few times and there have been a thousand and one writers who've dabbled in the mythos since then. Different interpretations are bound to pop up!


Agree completely. The ease of interpreting the denizens of the Cthulhu mythos in different ways is both a blessing and a curse. It's why there will always be arguments, as there's little in the way of definitive answers, but it's also what makes it so much fun. We all see the Great Old Ones differently - the loose - often conflicting - descriptions in the texts allow us to mix them up with our own fears, dreams and fantasies.

Then we see something like this, where you give great illustrators like Richard Luong enough artistic licence to come up with what is the definitive version, at least as far as the game is concerned. And it's amazing that we even agree on anything.
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Sandy Petersen
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I say that our Yog-Sothoth is in fact precisely the way he is described.

1) only Derleth, whom I consider non-canonical, says he is a "congeries of spheres". Regardless, my Yog-Sothoth IS in fact, roughly speaking a congeries of spheres - however, instead of soap-bubbles I chose to interpret it as spawning bladders, sacs, and rootlets.

2) all indications from The Dunwich Horror are that Yog-Sothoth is incredibly horrible and hideous - not just a bunch of bubbles. Look at his kids! They are half-human, half Yog-Sothoth, and the part that is Yog-Sothoth is described as an "octopus centipede spider kind o' thing". I contend that the roots, tentacles, and squishy parts of my Yog-Sothoth represent this just fine, and represent the awful horror that is Yog-Sothoth.

3) finally, Opener of the Way is a perfectly accurate description of Yog-Sothoth's role in Beyond the Gates of the Silver Key.

At least, that's my take on it.
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Neil Edmonds
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If you're still not convinced by Sandy's argument, here's some alternate takes to help you out:

1.) Perhaps Yog-Sothoth's description is influenced by the biases of the mad-person describing the GOO. Maybe colored soap bubbles was how that person's mind resolved the paradox of what they were witnessing.

2.) Yog-Sothoth's shape might vary depending on what point in Time and Space the Way is being opened. [Insert mandatory Ghostbusters "Choose the form of the Destructor" joke here.]

3.) Reports of Yog-Sothoth's appearance might be confusing the GOO with one of the children. It's sometimes unclear where the child ends and Yog-Sothoth begins when the Way is being opened.
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the artificer
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Of course, we're all assuming that the Great Old Ones actually HAVE a fixed form in our relatively paltry three dimensions.
Maybe they simply inhabit forms that please them at the moment.
goo
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Neil Edmonds
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I would personally delight in devouring the earth to Don Ho's
Tiny Bubbles if I was Yog Sothoth, so it's a good thing I'm not.
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Rich Fleider
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Though the concept and sculpt were created well before my time, as resident Art Director, I think if they were created on my watch, I would pretty much have had to veto a giant solid purple collection of spheres. Call it artistic license but I believe this depiction looks a lot less like a mound of discarded bubble gum.

I do like the possible interpretation that the descriptions we have in the text come to us second hand from people who only caught furtive glimpses or whose mind has been irrevocably damaged in the encounter. I've used that rationale for a lot of creatures that, if we stuck to the literal depiction, would look more goofy than menacing.
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the artificer
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RogueSwompy wrote:
Though the concept and sculpt were created well before my time, as resident Art Director, I think if they were created on my watch, I would pretty much have had to veto a giant solid purple collection of spheres. Call it artistic license but I believe this depiction looks a lot less like a mound of discarded bubble gum.

I do like the possible interpretation that the descriptions we have in the text come to us second hand from people who only caught furtive glimpses or whose mind has been irrevocably damaged in the encounter. I've used that rationale for a lot of creatures that, if we stuck to the literal depiction, would look more goofy than menacing.


Insert a literal interpretation of Daoloth here.
goo
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Rich Fleider
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artificer wrote:
Insert a literal interpretation of Daoloth here.
goo


You absolutely read my mind. As much as it's totally appropriate for Daoloth's mini to be constructed from "...long plastic rods. The rods were of a flat grey colour...", I'm trying to avoid a giant malevolent Erector Set.
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fwiw, Anyone who's interested in the "conventional" look of various Mythos creatures should check out RAFM's "old school" miniature line. They also include investigators and others in 25mm and 28mm scales:





http://www.rafm.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store...
 
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Zachary Liver

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I have to agree with Sandy here. I love his interpretation of the design. I actually find it more accurate to what I believe Yog-Sothoth to be. What's interesting to note is that the story "Through the gates of the silver key", was actually co-written by E. Hoffmann Price who was said to have created the vast majority of the descriptions of the occult and higher dimensions and consciousness. Yog-Sothoth almost seemed out of place in that story (if the entity even was truly Yog-Sothoth). Yog-Sothoth from the Dunwhich horror and Dreams in the Witch house seemed to present the idea of a being that lives/travels through hyper-space. Almost like an organic star ship of sorts. The organic nature of Yog-Sothoth may be more in tune with it carrying/incubating lifeforms from places within/beyond the universe with matter different than our own. It travels to these places through hyper-space, which may be where Azathoth himself rules. It explains how beings can travel the incredibly vast distances. I like this interpretation of Yog-Sothoth better than the idea that many hold of him (as the manifestation of the multi-verse, which is not really alluded to even in the story that suggested he was a collection of archetypes). A creature that is able to travel between planets/stars/dimensions instantly via a part of space interconnected with ever point and time in the entire universe, that goes around taking alien life from planets/other places and using that Alien life to spread itself over the cosmos. That seems far more Lovecraftian than any other description I've seen for Yog-Sothoth. This is why Sandy's design is not only accurate, it shows he did a lot of thinking beforehand.
 
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Nick Storm
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Ol'e Yog is a wonderful interpretation IMHO.

Now, Father Dagon...he's supposed to have a great single eye, I'm pretty sure. Great 'Dinosaur' sculpt but not canon.
 
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