Game Poem 7: The Sign of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond

This is a game for two players. One player will take the role of the mad worshipper, bent on manifesting the Great Old Elder God From Beyond here on Earth, and the other will act as the avatar of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond itself. (You may play the game multiple times, alternating roles, at your own risk.)

To begin, decide how powerful the Great Old Elder God From Beyond will be. Some Great Old Elder Gods are worse than others. Give the avatar a number of tokens – stones, coins, nails, pieces of candy, teeth, whatever you have at hand – to denote exactly how terrible they actually are, with fewer tokens being worse. For example, you may give the avatar of the GOEGFB five tokens if they are just plain horrible, or even just a single token if they are quite horrible indeed.

The avatar of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond then asks their foul master to deliver unto them an action that the worshipper may perform that will allow it to assume a monstrous form in our plane of reality, and lay waste to the insignificance of human civilization. This may be something as simple as touching one’s nose with the left index finger, or as complicated as jumping up and down on one foot while rubbing your belly and whistling “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space”. The difficulty of the action is entirely up to the avatar, depending on how sadistic they think the Great Old Elder God From Beyond is feeling today.

Once decided, the avatar declares, “BEGIN, MORTAL!” The worshipper may then begin asking questions about the summoning action, which must be able to be answered with a “yes” or “no”. The avatar of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond must then answer the question to the best of their ability. If the question is unclear or unable to be answered, the avatar may simply respond by bellowing “MY MASTER IS DISPLEASED WITH YOUR INQUIRY!”, and the summoner may ask another.

If the avatar answers the supplicant’s question in the affirmative, bringing them one step closer to bringing ecstatic devastation to mankind, the worshipper becomes just a little bit more unhinged. After answering “yes”, the avatar of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond must choose one of the words that the asker used in their question, and declare it forbidden, stricken from their mind. The worshipper may not speak the word, but they may emit gibberish from their mouths in place of it.

For example, the worshipper may ask, “Shall I touch a finger to my forehead?” The avatar answers, “Yes, and you are now forbidden to utter the word ‘finger’.” The mad god’s servant may then ask, “Do you wish me to use my pinkie?” or “Must I use my middle galbahrah to summon you?” Bear in mind that the worshipper may only ask questions verbally – they may not use physical gestures (“Do I use *this* finger?”) to get information. If these strictures are broken – if the worshipper uses a forbidden word, or physical gesture to ask a question – then that question is stricken, and they must give the avatar of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond one of their tokens in compensation for their transgression. If they have lost their last token in this way, the GOEGFB immediately strikes them down where they stand, and they lose the game.

Alternately, if the avatar is able to answer the worshipper’s question “no”, then the avatar must give the worshipper one of their tokens. If the avatar has run out of tokens, and cannot give them one, they may demand that the inquisitor immediately attempt to summon the Great Old Elder God From Beyond, on pain of being torn limb from limb by invisible demons. This is most unpleasant, and is to be avoided at all costs. The avatar may also demand that the worshipper attempt a summoning if they cannot formulate an understandable question – it is possible, nay, likely, that so many words will have been elided from the questioner’s mind that all they can do is spout unrecognizable gibberish. If this is the case, the GOEGFB may demand that the avatar remove all tokens from play, as the worshipper makes one last desperate attempt to interpret their demands.

The worshipper may attempt to summon the Great Old Elder God From Beyond at any time – or when required to, as above, when the avatar is unable to give them a token for a negative answer. The summoner announces that they are beginning the ritual by discarding a token, and attempting to perform the action that they believe will bring ruin to the worthless insects that crawl upon our world. If they successfully perform the action that was communicated to the avatar by his dark overlord, then the Great Old Elder God From Beyond is able to manifest upon the earth, wreaking destruction and havoc to the great delight of its followers. Hooray! If the attempt fails, and the worshipper has not discovered the correct action to bring about the End of Man, they must give another token to the avatar, and continue trying. If they have lost their last token by doing this, the Great Old Elder God From Beyond becomes extremely displeased with their failure, and is able to breach into our dimension just long enough to consume their degenerate worshipper, and drive the avatar into utter madness and despair. Way to go, guys.

(A simpler version of this game may simply eliminate all of the foolishness with the tokens, and simply focus on the elimination or gibberish-ifying of the worshipper’s vocabulary, and their ridiculous attempts to fulfill the wishes of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond and its avatar. Continue until the proper summoning action is discovered, or until there is no sensible language left available to the summoner. Have fun destroying the world!)

3 Responses to “Game Poem 7: The Sign of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond”

  • Game Poems | Play Free at Work Says:

    […] 1. Playing 20 Questions with Cthulhu, attempting to discover how you may summon him and re-establish the dominion of the Great Old Ones over earth — that is, do some physical action, such as crossing your eyes, that the Cthulhu player chose at start of play — with the extra rule that each time you learn something about the ritual, a word, chosen by Cthulhu, is erased from your mind and may not be used by you again (or can be replaced by gibberish). [The Sign of the Great Old Elder God From Beyond] […]

  • Paul Says:

    So if the avatar is running low on tokens, isn’t it to the summoner’s advantage to ask illegal questions in order to give tokens back to them and thus delay the game? Is this intentional?

  • majcher Says:

    @Paul: I reckon you could do that, depending on how horrible the Great Old Elder God From Beyond is, and how confident you are that you won’t mess up or need more tokens to make additional guesses. It’s not necessarily an intentional part of the design, but it seems fine, if you want to risk it…

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