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Baltar
14-01-2008, 01:04
I'd say either the Tyranids or the Necrons.

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 01:12
Why not Chaos?

Kage

imperial_scholar
14-01-2008, 01:12
Define: Lovecraftian

Warpcrafter
14-01-2008, 01:18
Define: Lovecraftian

Wierd, otherworldly, incredibly ancint and suffused with a nearly unshakable aura of doom and gloom. :skull:

icegreentea
14-01-2008, 01:19
If we take Lovecraftian to be superduper star gods beyond human understanding and comprehension, AND are neither benevolent or malevolent (the Star Gods arent out to kill humanity. It's just that humanity is so insignificant that they totally don't care about them in any way). Then it must be either Tyranids or Necrons. They are the only powers which we can actually say have the possibility of drawfing the rest of the galaxies, AND is beyond human understanding.

The imperium is human, so by definition they cannot really be beyond some level of human understanding. The Eldar and Orks can be understood to some degree, and certainly do not leave humankind like an ant in comparison. Chaos could be said to be Lovecraftian to some degree (in that in some cases they are just so beyond that huamnity can be driven to insanity), but they certainly do not leave humanity as an ant. The fact that Chaos seems to derive MOST of it's power from humanity itself at the moment would also seem to mean that it really can't be Lovecraftian.

Tau are just tau. The cthulhu doesn't need railguns.

thechosenone
14-01-2008, 01:25
Having read almost all of HP's stuff as well as the works of CLark Ashton Smith and other similar authors of the same time i think i can speak with a bit of certainty.

The tyranids at first glance could be thought of as Lovecraftian but they lack the "eldritch" intelligence that some of his monsters have. The Migo, the polyups, the old ones and elder gods all had schemes that were impossible for human minds to know but they had schemes. The tyranids are for want of a better word "animals". They fit some of the minor races of the Mythos but not the important ones.

The chaos powers are very much the flip side of many of the mythos' powers. The chaos powers invested interest in followers, depend on them for existance and in fact require emotion to thrive while granting power to followers. The "Gods" of the mythos really don't even see the human race as sentient. They enslave them and aside from enslavement and causing insanity they couldn't care less about humans. Its the other powers they are involved with. Shoggoths, that's a creation of the Mythos gods that they care about. They are not human at all.

Eldar and their gods behave in a similar fashion to the Elder Gods of the Cthulhu mythos and some of the powers from the dream cycle mythos. They are aloof, condesending and arrogant toward humans.

There is no orkish equivelent, sorry

The only Tau like connect to the Mythos is that their origin may be connected to the meddeling of another race.

The Old One C'tan conflict is VERY VERY similar to the Old One v Elder Gods in the Cthulhu Mythos. Both races created or dominated other races to do fighting for them. Both races were unknowable and god like to their followers. Cthulhu and some of his Old One buddies went into distant corners of the galaxy and sleep/hibernated had pipe playing monstrosities play songs for them to keep them calm ect... much like C'tan went to sleep.

So in my opinion, hands down the C'tan concept is the closest to the Cthulhu Mythos Old Ones which is at the heart of Lovecraft's stories.

imperial_scholar
14-01-2008, 01:26
Necrons.... hands down.
The Tyranids may eventually be beaten by an unadaptable super virus... but the necrons hold a lot of power... even the ability to close the eye of terror... if the necrons were not in some sort hidden slumber, they could probably conquer the universe. Why the C'tan have gone dormant is another question altogether. But if you think about guerrilla warfare they are probably just slinking away until their enemy who can defeat them disappears.

SpaceLanceCorporal
14-01-2008, 01:28
Define: Lovecraftian


H.P. Lovecraft was an early 20-th century sci-fi/horror author.
Many of his stories had themes consistent with Chaos in the 40k world, especially Tzeentch. Often times the deities in his works had cults of followers and to even know the true nature or schemes of such gods was to court insanity. In addition the protagonists often found their fates inescapable and were powerless to combat their foes.
His name is synonymous with doom, despair, and disturbing concepts and images.
I agree with Kage2020, Chaos is undoubtedly the most Lovecraftian of the 40k concepts. Tzeentch especially is reminiscient of his "dream world" gods.

Johnnyfrej
14-01-2008, 01:55
I'd say necrons because much of their fluff is actually based on Love Craft's works.

thechosenone
14-01-2008, 02:05
H.P. Lovecraft was an early 20-th century sci-fi/horror author.
Many of his stories had themes consistent with Chaos in the 40k world, especially Tzeentch. Often times the deities in his works had cults of followers and to even know the true nature or schemes of such gods was to court insanity. In addition the protagonists often found their fates inescapable and were powerless to combat their foes.
His name is synonymous with doom, despair, and disturbing concepts and images.
I agree with Kage2020, Chaos is undoubtedly the most Lovecraftian of the 40k concepts. Tzeentch especially is reminiscient of his "dream world" gods.



I do agree that Tzeentch is pretty similar to some of the Dream Cycle stuff but I think the nature of the Gods is extreley different from some of the Cthulhu mythos stuff. If we take the path that the gods are swirling warp storms and completly unknowable(which i do) then there is some resemblance there too but the nature of them being birthed by us vs we being the most worthless rags of flesh unnoticed by the universe's powers is different

Baltar
14-01-2008, 02:05
The most significant similarity between the Chaos Gods and the Lovecraftian Gods, IMHO, is their weird names.

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 02:06
Surely that is merely a preference as to which attributes you want to see as paramount?

Kage

Devil-Tears
14-01-2008, 02:17
If we take the path that the gods are swirling warp storms and completly unknowable(which i do) then there is some resemblance there too but the nature of them being birthed by us vs we being the most worthless rags of flesh unnoticed by the universe's powers is different

I have to agree with this comparison. The chaos gods are emotion personified (or monstrousified rather), while the Mythos are literally gods whom are also beings. While the chaos gods are simply out to do their "emotion" per se, the Mythos have their own agenda, goals, etc. Something of a greater plan. However, this also means that if we follow the chaos gods back to previous editions (unlike the watered down ver. in 4th ed), the two are similar.

Anyways, my vote goes to: Necrons :chrome:

Chaplain of Chaos
14-01-2008, 02:54
The only thing that would embody the insidious corruption and extra-galactic cosmic terror would be Chaos Tyranids.

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 03:09
Erm, but how specific are we getting with "extra-galactic"? The warp is by definition "extra-galactic." It just happens to be a part of a wider set than just "galaxy." ;)

Kage

redbaron998
14-01-2008, 03:15
Lovecraft in 40k, its not quite as clear as in Fantasy (where you can find a good bit of lovecraft inspiration)

I am gonna have to with with Necrons. They def. fit the whole, things that should not be thing and Cthulhu is such a Star God wanna be haha.

If not them then Nids as they have the whole warp black out and fear thing that seems unstoppable

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 03:26
I'd say either the Tyranids or the Necrons.

Chaos, unspeakable and unknowable entities. Though, the chaos gods are more like Cthulhu, who wasn't a god, per se, but the high priest of the old gods who alone were beyond incomprehension. The Chaos Gods, like Cthulhu, are at least semi-definable, but the definition tends to drive those who see it insane.

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 03:31
One could, however, point out the nature of the puritan-radical divide as being the quintessential characteristic of the Lovecraft story, i.e. the idea of curiosity or otherwise delving too deeply into that was not mean to be known. And the results of this curiosity are manifestly obviously given the 'fluff.'

Again, though, that seems to be a preference as to what aspects you define as "Lovecraftian." For me this is a part of the essence, while the rest is merely a part of the universe - the mythos - and thus how you assemble or label those fears. Even strictly it's not that clear. :D

Kage

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 03:55
One could, however, point out the nature of the puritan-radical divide as being the quintessential characteristic of the Lovecraft story, i.e. the idea of curiosity or otherwise delving too deeply into that was not mean to be known. And the results of this curiosity are manifestly obviously given the 'fluff.'

Again, though, that seems to be a preference as to what aspects you define as "Lovecraftian." For me this is a part of the essence, while the rest is merely a part of the universe - the mythos - and thus how you assemble or label those fears. Even strictly it's not that clear. :D

Kage

Very true, most of the lovecraftian theme didn't come directly from the entities therein, but the in the overall plot and amoral outlook of the universe. You didn't have to throw R'lyeth in to every story to tell it was a Lovecraft. However, If you're going to pick a single race that seemed to come off as something from a Lovecraft story, I would still stand by Chaos, with the ever changing followers, the mutated believers, and hidden apocalypse cults, as the one.

However, I think it's always worthy of pointing out that Lovecraft wrote more than just the Cthulhu mythos, and that's just as worthy of mention.

Champsguy
14-01-2008, 04:35
Well, Lovecraft was a little bitty guy, kinda prissy, really skinny and weak. Therefore I vote for Imperial Guard. :D

Baltar
14-01-2008, 04:42
Well, Lovecraft was a little bitty guy, kinda prissy, really skinny and weak. Therefore I vote for Imperial Guard. :D

You're dead to me.

Kandarin
14-01-2008, 04:58
Certainly not the Tyranids. Lovecraftian fiction was all about the impossibility of comprehending the unknown, and the maddening nature of true understanding of its goals. The Tyranids may be utterly alien and horrifying, but their goals are fairly simple and clear-cut. Their movements may be plainly observed and their actions can be predicted. There's just no stopping them. Is a hurricane Lovecraftian?

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 04:59
Very true, most of the lovecraftian theme didn't come directly from the entities therein, but the in the overall plot and amoral outlook of the universe.
The comment about amorality being significant there, surely? It always seemed to be the 'radical,' to put it into 40k terms.


However, I think it's always worthy of pointing out that Lovecraft wrote more than just the Cthulhu mythos, and that's just as worthy of mention.
True. But reading them in the 21st century can sometimes be extremely painful. Then again, this comes from the person that finds Tolkien as equally painful at times. :D

Kage

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 05:50
The comment about amorality being significant there, surely? It always seemed to be the 'radical,' to put it into 40k terms.


Well, the 41st millenium is so full of "Goods" and "Evils" that it lacks both definitions, and becomes Amoral from a third-person-universal standpoint. Each side does what it does for "The Greater Good", or "The good of yourself" even if they don't say those specific words. Which sometimes means 'evil' things for 'good' causes, and sometimes 'good' things for 'evil' causes. With each race and force being fully defined as they are, they tend to have fully fleshed out and reasoned meanings for everything they do.

And Remember, even the most Puritanical Inquisitor might be as quick to kill as a Chaos Space Marine to prevent a corruption, and the most Radical Chaos follower might defend an innocent if they feel it's right by their code.

Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos is about being more Puritanical or Radical in your view of the universe and those things within it, not about "good"s or "evil"s. The "evil" creatures in the mythos having existed long before we first uttered those words and transcended our concepts of both. Lovecraft's not a theologian, after all.


I actually take back my previous assumptions. The best representation of a good Cthulhu Mythos based army, is the Ordo Malleus. In both the aspects of investigating places that should be left in the darkness, and in it's philosophies.

superknijn
14-01-2008, 06:11
After reading the Lost and the Damned, I'm sure that Tzeentch comes the closest. I mean, even his artwork describes him as an ancient great power, planning things without even his truest followers knowing what.

R÷vhalt
14-01-2008, 09:10
The Emperor. Not even his closest generals and the primarchs understood him and ten thounsand years his true motives are lost in the fog. And the fact that he could kick any of the chaos gods in their nadgers of doom makes him cool...

edit: Crap! Saw that it was 'which race?' in the title. Sorry...

Da Black Gobbo
14-01-2008, 11:16
I think Necrons and Nids are the ones who fix in here, nids have no comprehension of the world just are a super-organism that only wants to survive. Necrons are a damm ancient race very superior to the humans, and their gods are evil and want to exterminate all living things in the galaxy. Chaos gods are so much concerned with human kind (they want to control them) to be "lovecraftian" because the entities of lovecraft's tales are not concerned about the humans, for them we are a bunch of ants that infest a planet.

Sidri
14-01-2008, 12:20
Certainly Necrons!!!

And Flayed ones after meeting with liktor may do proper "Ftaghn"...

jfrazell
14-01-2008, 13:30
Necrons and Chaos. Nids are just Aliens with more FOC choices.

Chaplain of Chaos
14-01-2008, 13:50
Necrons are not tentacley, you need tentacles along with your otherworldy cosmic terror to truly be Lovecraftian.

Adra
14-01-2008, 13:58
When i saw this thread i made a sound like a whale. there seem to be a small group of GW fans that spend a lot of time comparing Lovecraft to 40K. Yay lets compare other things to 40K that no one else has heared of...woot. Not that World of Lovecraft isnt good, just ive never met anyone that cares. :)

Kandarin
14-01-2008, 14:11
World of Lovecraft

Best MMO idea ever.


I've never met anyone that cares. :)

Thanks to Call of Cthulhu, quite a lot of the tabletop RPG community cares, and that frequently overlaps with the tabletop wargaming community.

Adra
14-01-2008, 15:18
Thanks to Call of Cthulhu, quite a lot of the tabletop RPG community cares, and that frequently overlaps with the tabletop wargaming community.

Well that explains that then.....i wanna see a RPG guy and a Wargamer 'overlap' ;)

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 15:23
I think Necrons and Nids are the ones who fix in here, nids have no comprehension of the world just are a super-organism that only wants to survive. Necrons are a damm ancient race very superior to the humans, and their gods are evil and want to exterminate all living things in the galaxy.
Yet the "gods" in Lovecraft's Mythos aren't "evil", they just are. They existed long before humanity, and if this new race of ants is somehow destroyed in their waking then it's nothing to them. They've lived long before humanity, and they'll live long afterwards. They also don't want to destroy all living things in the Galaxy, they are just waiting until the stars are "right" to awaken, nothing about destroying the galaxy or the inhabitants there-in.


Chaos gods are so much concerned with human kind (they want to control them) to be "lovecraftian" because the entities of lovecraft's tales are not concerned about the humans, for them we are a bunch of ants that infest a planet.

Actually, they're very un-concerned with humans:

Let's get a few things cleared up about how Chaos Gods work.

1. They barely even notice mortals, nevermind take a personal interest in them. Some, like Archaon, might be prominent and destructive enough to gain their attention momentarily, but it's bit like a human following a particular ant across the patio, then when it disappears they give it no more thought. We don't care about the ant, what it's been up to, where it's future lies, and Chaos Gods feel the same about mortals even when they become aware of them.

BrotherAdso
14-01-2008, 17:14
... i.e. the idea of curiosity or otherwise delving too deeply into that was not mean to be known[/i...

Again, though, that seems to be a preference as to what aspects you define as "Lovecraftian." For me this is a part of the [i]essence, while the rest is merely a part of the universe ....

Kage

I can always count on sound analysis from you, Kage. Your point that the styles and themes of Lovecraft are more important than the specific content is a good one, but I think there's a fundamental disconnect here.

I just recently got done reading a couple of collections of Lovecraft's stories, and their themes rarely include: temptation of humanity, passion and irrationality, nor its lust for power. Instead, the weaknesses, fear, malleability, and petty lusts of mankind are emphasized. Chaos and the Chaos Gods owe more to fantasy literature, Biblical themes, and "modern" occultism than they do to Lovecraft. Their imagery, too, is rather at odds with Lovecraft's. Lovecraft prefers a kind of 'rational horror', where beings simply do not fit in to our conceptions of the world, are terrifying and strange because the shatter our conceptions and reduce us to shreds of flesh with something we would not even recognize as violence. This is quite the contrast to evil voluptuous bondage-demons and huge horned humanoids with giant flaming blood-swords -- or whatever the demon of the week is.

So I think Chaos is far from being the most Lovecraftian of the 40k groups.

The most Lovecraftian, by far, are the C'Tan. Not the Necrons, really, but the C'Tan themselves. Unfathomable, utterly ruthless, passionless but coldly cruel, and with plans and machinations stretching from one end of the universe to the other, they embody Lovecraft's fear that the worst things in the universe are so terrible we cannot even give them words in a human language. Their imagery, too, is lovecraftian. Seeping, violent and sudden and yet also focused. Sleeping dangerously, able to wake at any time and ravage the universe from end-to-end. Fathers of a thousand lesser beings, mere perversions or misguided servants of their ends. The objects of misguided and misunderstood interest or devotion by humans, who they use, discard, or ignore as suits them.

The Eldar, too, are pretty Lovecraftian, at least in their less 'good guy' incarnations. They're ancient, subtle, and have nothing but contempt or hatred for lesser races. Their powers and thought processes are totally outside of human experience and understanding, they live their everyday lives using eldritch secrets that chill humans to the soul, and they routinely meddle with things we dare not name, or manipulate us.

Right. Well, I've wasted a good deal of time here. What else might you all suggest to amend these arguments?

-Adso

PS - To everyone who has written about the 'mythos' or the Old God / Great Old One / Elder God stuff: Lovecraft was just a nutty turn-of-the-century pulp writer. He never developed nor concieved this whole universe of creatures and rivalries. Subsequent authors did that, and Chaosium sythesized and packaged it to sell a (very good) roleplaying game. In asking what is Lovecraftian, I suggest we use the (often awkward and archaic) style of the man himself, and his (incoherent and piecemeal) world as the basis of the argument.

Damien 1427
14-01-2008, 17:26
The C'tan, but that's mostly because their fluff feels like a bad knockoff of Lovecraft's mythos.

The problem with 40k is that it's essentially justification for a wargame. Everything will get the tar beaten out of it. The fact everything can die, or at least get a kicking, does remove the "Lovecraftian horror".

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 17:45
PS - To everyone who has written about the 'mythos' or the Old God / Great Old One / Elder God stuff: Lovecraft was just a nutty turn-of-the-century pulp writer. He never developed nor concieved this whole universe of creatures and rivalries. Subsequent authors did that, and Chaosium sythesized and packaged it to sell a (very good) roleplaying game. In asking what is Lovecraftian, I suggest we use the (often awkward and archaic) style of the man himself, and his (incoherent and piecemeal) world as the basis of the argument.

Actually he had a lot of it all written out which is evident in his correspondence with other writers, where he even laid out the lineage of Cthulhu and himself within the universe. Cthulhu Mythos was coined by the head of the publishing house that Lovecraft used, but it was used to describe Lovecraft's work before the many other writers were added on.


The fact everything can die, or at least get a kicking, does remove the "Lovecraftian horror". Funny that you should say that...

"That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange Šons even death may die." is a famous bit of lovecraft which goes quite well with a wargame-like world.

King Thurgun
14-01-2008, 17:53
Nids. Tentacled mouthed Lictors = Cthulu

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 18:17
This is quite the contrast to evil voluptuous bondage-demons and huge horned humanoids with giant flaming blood-swords -- or whatever the demon of the week is.
You see, that seems to be an imagery thing once again. While it is true that the daemons subscribe to the fantasy imagery, but the Chaos Gods themselves do not. Once you make that differentiation, everything that you say about the C'tan applies equally, and perhaps even more so, to Chaos.

Kage

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 18:33
You see, that seems to be an imagery thing once again. While it is true that the daemons subscribe to the fantasy imagery, but the Chaos Gods themselves do not. Once you make that differentiation, everything that you say about the C'tan applies equally, and perhaps even more so, to Chaos.

Kage

There's also the fact that demons (with the exception of demon princes) have no definite form, their shape being determined by what the summoners think the demon should look like. If they really thought it would look like a leman russ there'd be a giant demon tank rolling across the battlefield.

BrotherAdso
14-01-2008, 18:37
Actually he had a lot of it all written out which is evident in his correspondence with other writers, where he even laid out the lineage of Cthulhu and himself within the universe. Cthulhu Mythos was coined by the head of the publishing house that Lovecraft used, but it was used to describe Lovecraft's work before the many other writers were added on.


Again, not really. He did develop a kind of background for his cycles, and in his correspondence with other pulp authors, they developed common themes and 'in-joked' one another (Kull, for example, shows up in Lovecraft and Yog-Sothoth or Shub-Niggurath in Howard). But there was never, nor was there intended to be, a universe of the kind of encyclopedic clarity we assosciate with, say, Tolkien.



You see, that seems to be an imagery thing once again. While it is true that the daemons subscribe to the fantasy imagery, but the Chaos Gods themselves do not. Once you make that differentiation, everything that you say about the C'tan applies equally, and perhaps even more so, to Chaos.


I agree, I have put a lot of stock in imagery here. This is because neither 40k nor Lovecraft are particularly internally coherent, and certainly don't meet any standards for clarity of detail. Because of that, they are (justifably) much more important for the feel, style, approach, attitude, and ethos they project.

40k may have a metaphysically complex idea about the nature of the Chaos Gods bouncing around somewhere, but they boil down to the Daemonic imagery and screaming, self-flagellating cultists and hideous mutants firing machine-guns most of the time. Thus, it seems valid to match the style/image/feel of a 40k race to the style/image/feel of Lovecraft's work, rather than the loftier idea you advocated above.

Your argument seems to be: IF the Chaos Gods are as remote, dispassionately cruel, and fundamentally alien as the C'Tan, then they work as being analouges to Lovecraft.

But I think, even if we accept going on something other than pure style, that the Chaos Gods are NOT so remote, cruel, and alien. They are the incarnations of very human flaws, passions, and temptations -- in a sense, they are powerful and all to understandable because we bear them inside us. This is the very opposite of the evils in Lovecraft's tales, which are so horrifying and deadly because they share nothing at all with us.

-Adso

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 19:03
...but they boil down to the Daemonic imagery and screaming, self-flagellating cultists and hideous mutants firing machine-guns most of the time.
Again, I would argue that while this is the imagery surrounding Chaos as an army, it is not the imagery of the Chaos Gods themselves. It's easy to fall back to the wargame miniatures, or the "hideous mutants firing machine-guns," but that is merely a by-product of the Gods, not the Gods themselves. Thus, once again, the point does seem to stand.

(I really wouldn't compare Lovecraft to GW's writing... ;))

Kage

Xisor
14-01-2008, 19:36
BrotherAdso, I'd generally disagree with your refutation of the Chaos Gods as 'Lovecraftian'. In their most explored form, via Liber Chaotica, I can think of a portrayal of them no more Lovecraftian. The archaic style, the pieced-together style, the dreams, the waking horror, the delving into things that just shouldn't be known. Those styles of work are entirely Lovecraftian as much as anything, IMO. Certainly for 40k/Fantasy. (Indeed, the 'Echoes of the Birth' in Liber Slaanesh echoes even the mythos 'style' of the Call of Cthulhu game & mythos)


I would be very keen to see an exploration of the C'tan, as I feel that GW, for all their bad decisions with the C'tan, did well to portray them as just that sort of god. Powerful and usually uncaring, but the 'universe' just managed to interest them enough to bring their might to bear upon the affairs of mortals. But even then, the whims of the gods...even the Necrons are but a passing flicker to the C'tan, I'd assume. The Necrons want to kill all life, the C'tan want to sit down for a tasty meal for all eternity. The two aren't entirely compatible...

Anyhow, C'tan are by far the most Lovecraftian of the races, and certainly seem the most thouroughly inspired by the Cthulhu mythos but if you want that...feel, that sensation...it is far easier to find in the Inquisition, in Chaos, in cults and in the galactic dismay of the 40k setting.

(In essence, I loosely agree with Kage)

BrotherAdso
14-01-2008, 20:45
I have to admit, I don't own the Liber Chaotia or the other major Chaos books -- my pre-2000 40k is limited to the original Rogue Trader book and some of the Compendiums. I will cede the point that in the documents you're citing, the Chaos gods are written about in a way that sounds Lovecraftian indeed (and pretty damn cool, incidentally...too bad those books are all-but-impossible to get ahold of now).

Kage, your point does stand. However...if the 'incarnations, reflections, and byproducts of the Gods bear little or no relation to the original entities, how important can the actual origins be? They almost become a moot point.

And I agree with you, Xisor, on one crucial point: in the best writing about the unpleasant shadows of the Imperium, that tentacle-to-the-spine, things-you-should-not-know shiver that one gets from Lovecraft is much more present than anywhere else in the GW universe.

Anyhow, perhaps one should divide "chaos" into the abstract/conceptual version that Kage and Dante have advocated for a long time, and the imagery in art, models, and most modern fluff. The early and abstract stuff could be quite Lovecraftian, not so much the modern.

-Adso

Sir Charles
14-01-2008, 21:45
I'd go with the C'Tan and Old Ones as well. The Chaos Gods and such have always seemed more Moorecokian( I'm sure I buchered his name) to me, although with some Lovecraftian elements.

Decius
14-01-2008, 22:39
Maybe it is my lack of understanding on Necron fluff, but I would say Chaos can fit the bill of "rational horror" very well thanks to the Warp. Physically impossible examples include: towers taller than the room their in, stairs that go up but lead down, a hallway infinitely long until you realize it isn't, and a mountain range the size of Nepal inside a ship only 500m long. That all just from one book, "Dead Sky Black Sun" I believe. Now, I'm no expert on Lovecraft, but if it is the rationally impossible you want then look no further than Chaos.

Kage2020
14-01-2008, 22:41
I have to admit, I don't own the Liber Chaotia or the other major Chaos books -- my pre-2000 40k is limited to the original Rogue Trader book and some of the Compendiums.
<whispers> The Liber series is post-2003. You might be thinking of the Realms of Chaos duology.


I will cede the point that in the documents you're citing, the Chaos gods are written about in a way that sounds Lovecraftian indeed...
Perhaps that is the difference: how something is written. I really don't see this as fundamentally "Lovecraftian," but rather the elements involved that define the genre (e.g. the aforementioned delving into that which we should not know). If you're specifically talking about the writing style, then, yep, I'm wrong. :D


Kage, your point does stand. However...if the 'incarnations, reflections, and byproducts of the Gods bear little or no relation to the original entities, how important can the actual origins be?
While the somewhat whimsical artwork from Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness does give a form to the Chaos Gods, I've always seen this as, well, a whimsy. A flight of fancy that, if you wanted to give it an in-house justification, are merely the deranged imaginations of some... person. (Of course, that book wasn't placed in a narrative like GW's more recent materials, so one cannot underestimate the importance of inclusion merely because GW thought it looked "kewl.")

In many ways, "They shape and form decreed never was" (line from "The Ritual" in Harlequin by FASA Games) -- the form of the Chaos Gods is muteable, defined more by collective (sub)consciousness (and modeller fiat) as anything else. They are concepts, not figures to be released. And miniatures of greater daemons, or whatever, are a modelling convenience.

I can see why people would say the C'tan -- I mean, it's the most obvious selection. Slumbering, powerful entities and all that. I just consider them to be trappings of the story (which has Lovecraftian elements), but that the whole array of 'fluff' around Chaos just smacks of the right flavour.

Even if the creator of the C'tan were to come here and say that, yes, s/he designed them off Lovecrafts work, I would likely say, "Well, cool, but you didn't really do a top-notch job in translation."


The early and abstract stuff could be quite Lovecraftian, not so much the modern.
Hmmmmn... If that is the case, and I do not doubt it is, all I say is bring back the older material. The Imperium as written has just gotten namby-pamby... ;)

I guess it can be summed up by a comment made elsewhere about Inquisition books and how they 'fit' with the 40k universe: "Abnett for details, Watson for flavour."


The Chaos Gods and such have always seemed more Moorecokian...
Because they're called "Chaos Gods?" In terms of representation, the whole manifesting gods is more in keeping with the representation of the C'tan.

Kage

BrotherAdso
14-01-2008, 23:40
Heh. My lack of attention to any but the basic works (Codices and such) really shows here. Hopefully writing style and analytic acuity can compensate! (In that case, I was thinking of Realms of Chaos though...)

Onward!




Perhaps that is the difference: how something is written. I really don't see this as fundamentally "Lovecraftian," but rather the elements involved that define the genre (e.g. the aforementioned delving into that which we should not know). If you're specifically talking about the writing style, then, yep, I'm wrong.



Well, I'm mostly talking about style, yes. But some of the genre-elements don't fit. If the Chaos Gods are shaped by the perciever, that seems a little too dependent on humans to me -- Lovecraft depends on the fact that the world is unchangable, unknowable, and largely unrelated to us. But this is a minor quibble.

What do you think of the idea of 'separating' Chaos into the two types I mentioned for the purposes of this argument?

-Adso

Malevon
15-01-2008, 00:11
The influence of Lovecraft is felt in a number of ways in 40k. If you took the backstory of the C'tan (the war against the Old Ones, the long slumber, the ancient, eldritch evil), combined it with some aspects of the Chaos Gods (cults springing up among humans, symbols that make the viewer sick or insane, the corrupting influence), and then had their servants be Tyranids (horrifying tentacle-monsters), then you would have an army truly worthy of the Cthulhu Mythos. As it stands, however, these aspects are spread among several different aspects of the 40k universe.