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avatarofportent
20-03-2009, 21:18
I've been reading about HP Lovecraft and his Cthlulu mythos, and it seems that most of his stories deal with the infinite levels of knowledge and man trying to make sense of them

"When such vistas are opened, the mind of the protagonist-investigator is often destroyed. Those who actually encounter "living" manifestations of the incomprehensible are particularly likely to go mad, as is the case of the titular character in The Music of Erich Zann. The story features an insane mute violist virtuoso's sixth-floor apartment, whose window is the only one high enough to see over a wall on a mysterious, disappearing Parisian street—a wall whose other side contains unexplainable horrors" - wikipedia

does this not sound like the warp or what, humans trying to use the warp for their own ends and it drives them mad or some demon eats there brain

sycopat
20-03-2009, 22:00
Lovecraft definitely had a major influence on 40k, and warhammer fantasy before it(Although potentially to a lesser extent)

The warp, The C'tan, the old ones, tyranids, the terrible threats from without and within, dark cults worshipping strange and hideous daemons and gods, a lot of general darkness in the setting, the penchant for games workshop inventing strange books of dark rituals written by madmen... I could probably go on, but suffice to say Lovecraft is a major influence.

Warhammer in general (both systems) are inspired by and draw on a lot of fantasy, horror and sci fi writers stuff, while retaining enough originality to function quite well as a setting in it's own right.

Clockwork-Knight
20-03-2009, 22:29
There is a port Cthulus mentioned in Battlefleet Gothic, in sector 51 nonetheless, uhhh.

And every ship that went there turned over to Chaos.

fluffystuff
20-03-2009, 22:41
Lovecraft is one of my favourite authors. I believe that GW printed the Call of Cthulhu RPG 3rd edition rules. Most of his work is disturbingly bizarre.

Imp of High Noon
20-03-2009, 22:43
The idea of the C'tan is definatly lifted from Lovecraft, impossibly ancient beings menacing the galaxy since before men were even monkeys, the weird impossible geometry etc. It's been quite well done though.

redbaron998
20-03-2009, 22:46
Lovecraft definitely had a major influence on 40k, and warhammer fantasy before it(Although potentially to a lesser extent)

The warp, The C'tan, the old ones, tyranids, the terrible threats from without and within, dark cults worshipping strange and hideous daemons and gods, a lot of general darkness in the setting, the penchant for games workshop inventing strange books of dark rituals written by madmen... I could probably go on, but suffice to say Lovecraft is a major influence.

Warhammer in general (both systems) are inspired by and draw on a lot of fantasy, horror and sci fi writers stuff, while retaining enough originality to function quite well as a setting in it's own right.

Qouted for truth, A dedicated lovecraft fan here, best american author ever.

SisterMordagg
21-03-2009, 00:55
Call of Cthulu is also related subtly to the Dark Eldar. The Old Ones would come back when the humans acted as horribly as the old ones.
Dark Eldar did exactly that- acted so vicious they created a god just as vicious.

Dangersaurus
21-03-2009, 01:46
Qouted for truth, A dedicated lovecraft fan here, best american author ever.

Please, read more. I love Lovecraft, but we have so many better authors than him. He was the Stan Lee of horror, in all the worst and best ways.

Edit: ...and to the subject, Lovecraft is such an ubiquitous influence in all forms of fantasy fiction these days that for every direct reference I'm sure there are at least three indirect references. For example, hormagants. Influence comes by way of the Alien franchise, by way of HR Giger, by way of Lovecraft.

starlight
21-03-2009, 01:53
So two sources, given that the Alien franchise *is* Giger...:p


Lovecraft is an unfortunate example of what happens when you don't protect your IP. He waited to long (by his own admission) to challenge GW's blatant appropriation of his works in the early days.

zeep
21-03-2009, 02:00
So two sources, given that the Alien franchise *is* Giger...:p


Lovecraft is an unfortunate example of what happens when you don't protect your IP. He waited to long (by his own admission) to challenge GW's blatant appropriation of his works in the early days.

He died in '37, just how early did you want him to file ;)

redbaron998
21-03-2009, 02:01
Please, read more. I love Lovecraft, but we have so many better authors than him. He was the Stan Lee of horror, in all the worst and best ways.



I have read plenty, there is just something different to me about his writing, he definetly nails home the creeping horror aspect. I work nightshift and when i read his work i often find myself uncounciously looking over my shoulder.

Occulto
21-03-2009, 02:03
Lovecraft is an unfortunate example of what happens when you don't protect your IP. He waited to long (by his own admission) to challenge GW's blatant appropriation of his works in the early days.

Considering Lovecraft died in 1937, I think he can be excused for not challenging GW nicking his work. :p

Da Black Gobbo
21-03-2009, 02:08
Along with Poe (best american writer IMHO), lovecraft is my fav writer, and i think GW has several things "inspired" in his tales. The chaos gods and its cultists (who are driven mad and mad the more they "understand" chaos it self), chaos gods are like the "old ones" only able to manifest in certain places and with their own "non euclydian :P realms" that makes crazy to all mortals who visit it. Necrons and C'tan are pretty Lovecraftian too, star vampires is something mentioned in the lovecraft's writers circle. I think 'nids are also pretty lovecraftian shape wise.

starlight
21-03-2009, 02:18
He died in '37, just how early did you want him to file ;)


Considering Lovecraft died in 1937, I think he can be excused for not challenging GW nicking his work. :p

'Tis likely I'm attributing comments made by his estate to the man himself. :)

Dangersaurus
21-03-2009, 02:22
So two sources, given that the Alien franchise *is* Giger...:p
Well, that's steps. Hormagants are one example reference, I wasn't trying to start a Kevin Baconish game with HP Lovecraft.


Lovecraft is an unfortunate example of what happens when you don't protect your IP. He waited to long (by his own admission) to challenge GW's blatant appropriation of his works in the early days.
You must be thinking of someone else. Moorcock maybe*? Not only did Lovecraft die long before Priestly and the rest were twinkles in their dad's eyes, but he was also very open with his creations and encouraged other writers to pilfer ideas at will.


* Slightly ironic, given Moorcock's views on HPL

victorpofa
21-03-2009, 02:37
Moorcock is the rest of Chaos' influence. GW's Chaos = evil and the eight pointed star are lifted directly from Moorcock's Eternal Champion.

I assume he does not care for HPL?

starlight
21-03-2009, 02:45
After some searching in the archaic corridors that comprise my recall facilities, it is indeed Moorcock I was thinking of, not Lovecraft...hey, they sound the same...sort of...:p


Look, bunt cake! :D


*note to self, wait until after eating before posting...* :p

holmcross
21-03-2009, 02:52
Nothing in 40k strikes me as being overtly Lovecraftian, but I guess thats why the OP wrote "lovecratian influences" in the title :) .

The Necrons fit the Lovecraftian bill the most, I think: horrors entombed under dead cyclopian cities so old they're practically beyond time.

The Ctans are a very appropiate fit, as well. Entities of pure malelevonce (from the perspective of mortals, of course) that are about as alien as it gets.

The Chaos Gods are intrinsically linked to mortals, so they're less 'alien' as I see it. They typify extreme natures found throughout life: so they're nothing more then an emergent property of life. The C'tans are utterly independent and alien to anything else in the galaxy, and that gives them a very lovecraftian element: the horror of the unknown, the horror of the completly alien.

The C'tans obviously like to feed upon life, but they're able to sustain themselves in other ways. They (especially the nightbringer) simply prefer the delcacy of mortal suffering. The Chaos Gods, otoh, utterly depend upon mortals for sustience/power.

Come to think of it, I don't think the Chaos gods are lofecraftian in the slightest. They're very human/mortal, just the archetypal extremes of certain natures. Ironic in that sense, that the chaos gods are very definable and congruent. They have specific natures that they can be expected to follow. Tzeench is the only one that is utterly chaotic. Nurgle obviously favors some movement towards entropy, but even he has defined qualities beyond "the absence of all order" (e,g tzzentch).

Nephilim of Sin
21-03-2009, 03:03
Lovecraft is an unfortunate example of what happens when you don't protect your IP. He waited to long (by his own admission) to challenge GW's blatant appropriation of his works in the early days.


He died in '37, just how early did you want him to file ;)

This is why I love Warseer. Thanks guys, I needed to laugh. :D

fluffystuff
21-03-2009, 03:10
Well IMHO Lovecraft was a disturbed genius, years ahead of his time. I don't think that anyone before him had such strange,disturbing vision of the universe. He and Robert.E. Howard ( conan stories ) are 2 of my favourite authors. Pure genius.............and that coming from a Brit

TimLeeson
21-03-2009, 03:14
Count me, huge lovecraft fan. Chaos and Necrons fit the bill the best, but neither really uses the imagery to the full extent unfortuantly.

holmcross
21-03-2009, 03:17
The asthetics of the necron tomb worlds has always reminded me of the cities described in At the Mountians of Madness, CoC (at least the island), etc.

starlight
21-03-2009, 03:19
This is why I love Warseer. Thanks guys, I needed to laugh. :D

*bows deeply*

My work here is done... :)

Cuda
21-03-2009, 03:58
H.P. Lovecraft is my favorite writer, I can't get enough of him. His influence covers a lot more than what some may know. 40k is a potpourri of stories, movies, historic war & H.P. Lovecraft. It is too bad that the best homage to the master is other writers who took up the mighty pen and wrote using his creatures, realms & characters. I would think of the Necron race very inspired from Lovecraft, the Old Ones for instance. The Eye of Terror would be Azathoth, Azathoth sounds like a Chaos God too me.

Cuda...

JCOLL
21-03-2009, 04:32
I think Lovecraft has inspired every generation of crazy fan boy to grow up and tell his own 'lovecraftian' tale. Every writer of sci-fi, fantasy, horror etc was inspired by him whether they know it or not. So maybe the writers of GW's fictions didn't pull it from his pages, but their influences very well may have. His ideas have become archetypes, as much as Howards have become in the fantasy world. (I think the two were friends of sorts, both dying too young and screwed over by those who profited from their works.) It's something innate in the human psyche to ask what is beyond the black seas of infinity ;)

holmcross
21-03-2009, 05:23
Wonderful. First shakespere, now lovecraft.

Starchild
21-03-2009, 06:18
I can see where Lovecraft has had an influence on 40k, but I can't help but think that the 40k universe has become overly simplified (by necessity, I suppose, since GW can produce only so many model ranges.)

What I miss is the sense of mystery in the Rogue Trader book. Sure, it went over the Imperium and some alien races, but there was an all-pervading atmosphere of uncertainty. The Game Master could create any race or weapon he wanted, so the *unknown* was always lurking in the dark corners of the book, waiting to be unleashed on unsuspecting players.

Now we have a 40k rule book that supposedly explains the entire galaxy from rim to rim, which is a very bad thing for cosmic horror. It does mention that the Imperium covers only a small proportion of the galaxy, but I still get the feeling that too much is assumed, and the mystery gets thrown out or neglected.

Bring back the mystery and the unknown to 40k, I say. Lovecraft did mention that mankinds greatest fear is the fear of the unknown... it also makes compelling games! :skull:

IJW
21-03-2009, 09:36
I believe that GW printed the Call of Cthulhu RPG 3rd edition rules.
They were the UK publisher for several years in the mid-Eighties, and also produced some of their own supplements, including 'Green and Pleasant Land'. There were also some cracking adventures in White Dwarf, but of course all the players had read them. :(


Lovecraft is an unfortunate example of what happens when you don't protect your IP. He waited to long (by his own admission) to challenge GW's blatant appropriation of his works in the early days.
Not to rip on you further, but... ;)
It would have been Chaosium in any case, not GW, given that CoC wasn't GW's game.

Temprus
21-03-2009, 16:44
Not to rip on you further, but... ;)
It would have been Chaosium in any case, not GW, given that CoC wasn't GW's game.
Since he was actually referring to the Moorcock situation, he was correct, MM waited too long to challenge GW over their use of the "Chaos" IP to fight it properly. Besides, their use of it is vague enough that it would be too hard to really press the matter. It is not like MM created the first 8 pointed star. ;)

Technically, no one actually owns the Cthulhu Mythos as a whole, just certain more modern elements of it.

endless
21-03-2009, 17:03
and, with due apologies to starlight, the wonderful thing about Lovecraft was that he actually encouraged others to play in his 'sandbox'. IP would be anathema to him, as it should be to all SF...

Chaos and Evil
21-03-2009, 17:13
Lovecraft wrote some great stories... pity he was a complete raving racist.

SimonL
21-03-2009, 17:17
Lovecraft wrote some great stories... pity he was a complete raving racist.

Not again! A number of post on this subject were recently deleted, let's not go there again...;)

Zahr Dalsk
21-03-2009, 17:19
Lovecraft wrote some great stories... pity he was a complete raving racist.

Hey, that's more influence on 40k!

Notice the overwhelming number of white people, and practically complete absence of other nationalities.

endless
21-03-2009, 17:21
Lovecraft wrote some great stories... pity he was a complete raving racist.

so were most people of any era prior to the 1970's, and indeed, later. Art and biography shouldn't go hand in hand, and certainly shouldn't be used to criticise each other...
(P & R?):p

Dangersaurus
21-03-2009, 17:42
Hey, that's more influence on 40k!

Notice the overwhelming number of white people, and practically complete absence of other nationalities.

That's not fair. The three "poster" chapters in AoBR are the Ultramarines, White Scars, Crimson Fists and Salamanders (white, asian, hispanic, black.) Sure, it's almost diversity by committee, but they're trying.

As for Lovecraft, if you really want to study his work and the subtext behind a lot of it (especially if you want to compare it to other works), you can't ignore his racism and (faux) elitism. As with a large number of literati after the WWI and the Russian Revolution, he feared the masses as much as he feared minorities. The "fear of the unknown" from his essays on horror is just another way of expressing the percolating xenophobia of the times.

Poseidal
21-03-2009, 17:55
I think there are quite a few Lovecraftian influences on 40k.

For example, C. S. Goto reminds me of Lovecraftian cosmic horrors because posting his writings, or sometimes even mentioning his name can cause a previously normal forum thread to descend into madness.

endless
21-03-2009, 19:15
I'm not sure you can place fear of the unknown directly next to racism, and xenophobia in 40k is a little more particular.
Lovecraft in 40k and in the wider SF 'conciousness' is the idea of an unspecific threat, the helplessness of man in an uncaring universe. When it first emerged 40k was a lot closer to that idea, as it has developed it has moved further and further away from this. As the threats to humanity have been developed so has man's response, it has lead to the moving Imperium closer and closer to Bryan Ansell's original concept (allegedly), the specific extermination of an alien threat.

Faolain
21-03-2009, 19:29
Another very Lovecraftian creature in 40k is the Malanthrope. It's a floating, bloated sac with tentacles.

HK-47
21-03-2009, 20:58
Another very Lovecraftian creature in 40k is the Malanthrope. It's a floating, bloated sac with tentacles.

Yeah the thing looks like Cthulhu without wings.

Lovecraftian horror is a big part of both Chaos, Nids, and Necron fluff. The unknown enemy beyond comprehension is pretty much what they are; his works also ramp up the pessimistic nature of the universe and stress how small we humans are in the grand design of the universe.

Form the Call of Cthulhu story

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

"The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

"Who knows the end? What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come - but I must not and cannot think! Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye. "

Humans fear what they can't understand, and in a universe that is infinite and incapable of total comprehension we will never know the truth of our existence. We will never become more then just intelligent primates drifting through space on a rock. That is what I think is at the heart of cosmic horror, that we are ants and the unknown universe is going to crush us.

You see this in 40k, with the Necron, and Nid doomsday scenarios, but you also see the opposite of that. Humanity trying to become something more then what we are whether it is through chaos or the Emperor,we are trying to destroy the unknown either by giving up or humanity to become a part of it (Chaos), or fighting against it (IoM.)

Lovecraft's actually xenophobia also is a moral of his works, it shows to me something more important then all of the cool creatures he created. That while we are instinctively afraid of the unknown we can't let it run our lives.

Nostro
21-03-2009, 21:23
Another very Lovecraftian creature in 40k is the Malanthrope. It's a floating, bloated sac with tentacles.

That and the Cthulhu Genestealer and Lictor heads :)

AmBlam
21-03-2009, 21:47
Lovecraft has affected lots of stuff. Terror from the Deep, the Xcom game was pure lovecraft and the follow up game had lots of lovecraft named buildings in etc.

I find his Novels a bit samey I must say. I have read 3 and it feels like I have read them all.

DarkMatter2
21-03-2009, 21:56
You simply can't sort Lovecraft out of the fabric of fantasy writing anymore. Almost anything fantasy or scifi made within the last who knows how long likely has some influence from HPL.

40k IS NOT a Lovecraftian setting however, and, IMHO, it reflects a misunderstanding of both universes to believe that they are compatible. In the Lovecraftian Mythos humanity is always depicted as weak, feeble, embarassingly stupid, inclined to foolish religious belief, prone to insanity at the mindcrushing nature of the cosmos etc. In the 40k universe humanity is powerful, in fact ruling over the galaxy for the most part - there is a pro-human god in the Emperor and humanity's inherent nastiness has given it an edge over the other races of the galaxy.

40k is a setting that can occasionally have Lovecraftian imagery and some themes, but it is not LOVECRAFTIAN.


All that being said, the most directly Lovecraftian aspect of the 40k setting is the Necrons. Ancient horrors who have rested for untold millions of year, waiting to return and reclaim what is rightly theirs...yeah.

The genestealers are somewhat reminiscent of the Deep Ones in the way they interbreed with the local human population.

dodicula
21-03-2009, 22:00
"40k IS NOT a Lovecraftian setting however, and, IMHO, it reflects a misunderstanding of both universes to believe that they are compatible. In the Lovecraftian Mythos humanity is always depicted as weak, feeble, embarassingly stupid, inclined to foolish religious belief, prone to insanity at the mindcrushing nature of the cosmos etc. In the 40k universe humanity is powerful, in fact ruling over the galaxy for the most part - there is a pro-human god in the Emperor and humanity's inherent nastiness has given it an edge over the other races of the galaxy."

This is true in 40K man vs. chaos is a little more of a fair fight

DarkMatter2
21-03-2009, 22:06
This is true in 40K man vs. chaos is a little more of a fair fight

Lovecraft is not about Man vs. Chaos. Man vs. Chaos is a Moorcockian thing, and it is reflective of the Man vs. Himself "conflict" line that we all learned in English class in elementary school.

The Necrons are more Lovecraftian simply because they are alien, they are "invincible", they have their own ends which humanity hardly factors in to.

Lovecraft is Man vs. THE COSMOS, with the vastness and inhospitality of the dark void represented by strange and fantastic beings who would just as readily step on human beings as people would on ants.

SimonL
21-03-2009, 22:27
40k IS NOT a Lovecraftian setting however, and, IMHO, it reflects a misunderstanding of both universes to believe that they are compatible. In the Lovecraftian Mythos humanity is always depicted as weak, feeble, embarassingly stupid, inclined to foolish religious belief, prone to insanity at the mindcrushing nature of the cosmos etc. In the 40k universe humanity is powerful, in fact ruling over the galaxy for the most part - there is a pro-human god in the Emperor and humanity's inherent nastiness has given it an edge over the other races of the galaxy.


Very, very well said. There is much more to the Lovecraft Mythos than unknowable gribbly monsters. It is about fear of the "outside" and solving things with your brains.

40k is about solving things with chainsaw swords and CHARGE! ;)

endless
21-03-2009, 23:12
honestly, lovecraft tries to show the inability of the brain to understand, you can't solve it, it isn't going decimal or barking toad, ugly says hello

victorpofa
22-03-2009, 01:06
(I think the two were friends of sorts, both dying too young and screwed over by those who profited from their works.)

You might say that. ;) They were part of a writing circle and corresponded frequently. Howard wrote several Cthulhu Mythos stories at HPL's prompting. Both did die before their time. HPL's works were collected and published after his death to honor his memory. Arkham House was created to do just that. I treasure my Arkham House books of HPL's work.

sycopat
22-03-2009, 04:05
Of course 40k ain't lovecraftian: It's far too hopeful a setting to be lovecraftian.

That is irrelevant however to the fact that lovecraft was and is a major influence.

And if you don't believe me read he following:

The dunwich horror(Personal favourite)
The Shadow over innsmouth
The colour out of space
The Call of Cthulhu
The rats in the walls
Herbert west- reanimator,
the case of charles dexter ward
the thing on the doorstep
At the mountains of madness

Also, it is now possible to get a book comprising howards complete chronicles of conan if you are interested (Because they are now out of copyright, for a similar reason you can get a large collection of lovecrafts tales from a publishing house i can't think of, possibly gollianz. Both are large black hardcover books with titles and images printed on in gold. They are quite impressive.) relatively cheaply

Hellebore
22-03-2009, 05:00
The Imperium certainly has a few of the socalled Lovecraftian human concepts in it, amongst them ignorance, fear of the unknown (and thus requiring a purging) and blind religious belief.

The only real difference I see is that humanity is powerful enough to confront ancient stygian horrors without going insane and being obliterated. Sure that's a pretty major style change, but apart from that Imperial humanity seems on the whole just like Lovecraft's humanity.

Someone mentioned the author of Conan as well. Is it a mistake or did BOTH of these authors commit suicide?

Hellebore

Faolain
22-03-2009, 06:04
The Imperium certainly has a few of the socalled Lovecraftian human concepts in it, amongst them ignorance, fear of the unknown (and thus requiring a purging) and blind religious belief.

The only real difference I see is that humanity is powerful enough to confront ancient stygian horrors without going insane and being obliterated. Sure that's a pretty major style change, but apart from that Imperial humanity seems on the whole just like Lovecraft's humanity.

Someone mentioned the author of Conan as well. Is it a mistake or did BOTH of these authors commit suicide?

Hellebore

Lovecraft died of intestinal cancer IIRC.

massey
22-03-2009, 07:12
There's a lot of Lovecraft's influence in any dark sci-fi these days. He had a lot of great ideas, but I'll disagree with most people here. His actual skill at writing is sub-par. His talent was in creating a concept, but when it came to putting it on paper... meh. I've tried to read his stuff multiple times. I can get through about 30 or 40 pages, and then I stop. Stephen King takes Lovecraft's themes and does a far better job of crafting a story.

Random Lovecraft story generator:
1. Unlikeable main character
2. In New England
3. Unknowingly stumbles across mysterious something
4. Terror! It is unknowable!
5. Character is forever scarred.

Sprinkle in a foolish professor and some sort of ignorant minority. Grab a large number of consonants out of a hat. Add in 6 extra "g"s and "h"s. And apostrophes. Bingo. Instant Lovecraft story.

If you want great American authors, try Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, or Mark Twain. I think somewhere there's a bit of fluff about Marneus Calgar tricking a Bloodthirster into whitewashing a fence for him. It was in Rogue Trader, I think.