Monsters, Beasts & Alien Gods
This chapter provides a selection of monsters, beasts and alien beings for use within Call of Cthulhu. The chapter is divided in to four sections, each focusing on a specific monster type: Cthulhu Mythos entities, Cthulhu Mythos gods, classic monsters and beasts. The selection of monsters across the sections is not exhaustive — every horror fan can probably think of some terror not present.
The ones here are those found in the most important stories, frequently appear in scenarios, or are commonly referred to. Many more can be found in the Call of Cthulhu supplement Malleus Monstrorum, also from Chaosium.
About the Entries
Most monsters and entities have characteristics including STR, CON, SIZ, POW, INT, and DEX. However many do not have an APP or EDU, since these qualities are meaningless in such alien and horrific creatures. Keepers have full reign to alter, modify, and rethink these entries. Lovecraft did not codify the monsters in his stories, so neither should you if you wish to present dramatically different versions.
These are creatures of nightmare, and individual monsters may vary from one encounter to the next in their characteristics and abilities. The characteristic values given for each monster are those of an average specimen. As Keeper, you have the option to roll an individual monster’s statistics, or choose to create a lesser or greater specimen using the dice ranges as a guide to generating characteristic values.
Only full characteristic values are listed for monsters. Non-player character and monster characteristics are primarily used to set the difficulty level of players’ skill rolls. As Keeper, you may occasionally need to figure out one-half or one-fifth of a particular monster’s characteristic value, but this will be unusual.
Certain monsters are staggeringly huge when compared to the human scale (mostly 15-90%); for example, a dhole’s average SIZ of 2775 equates to being nearly 31 times the size of the largest human. For size comparisons, see Table: Comparative Builds.
Along with the characteristic of SIZ, each monster, character and vehicle has a build value. This figure provides an ‘at a glance’ guide to scale. The average human has a build of 0, with the full range extending from –2 (children and small persons) to +2 (heavyweight boxers for example). The Build Scale is not linear; combining 5 motorcycles would not create something larger than a truck. When considering what a being can lift or throw, use a standard human as a guide. The average human of Build 0 could lift someone of equal build off the floor, perhaps carrying them over their shoulder. Something of 1 build smaller could easily be lifted, and a thing of 2 builds smaller could be thrown. With a strain, a human of Build 0 might just lift a person of Build 1. The most a person of Build 0 might do to a person of Build 2 is to unbalance them or disarm them.
Using this as a guide, it becomes simple to figure the relative capability of a monster to lift and throw things—for example, whether a monster is large enough to throw a car.
- If a target is 2 builds smaller: it can be thrown.
- If a target is 1 build smaller: it can be lifted with ease.
- If a target is of equal build: it can be carried for a short time.
- If a target is 1 build larger: it can barely be lifted.
- If a target is 2 builds larger: it cannot be lifted, but might be unbalanced or disarmed.