FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic


  • Dungeons & Dragons has whole races of Eldritch Abominations; from 3rd edition onwards, they have been increasingly linked with the Far Realm, an impossibly vast, incomprehensible place far beyond the cosmology of most D&D settings. A 3.5 sourcebook, Lords of Madness, gave greater detail to the "Aberration" creature type, which is mainly used for such creatures (many of the weirder/most horrible Outsider-type creatures also count).
    • One of the various backstories of Asmodeus, the Lord of Nessus and King of Hell, is that he is actually one of these. What others see when dealing with him is actually an advanced illusion. Asmodeus' real body is that of a titanic, miles long serpentine creature who is still injured from being thrown into hell. Because he was some sort of primordial entity who predated the Gods, and who literally created the Nine Hells when the Gods threw him into them.
    • The subterranean illithids (also known as mind flayers) are inhumanly dispassionate, squid-headed alien creatures with vast psychic powers who raise human cattle to feed on their brains. They prefer "wild" game, though, as unlike muscles, brains apparently taste better when they've been getting proper exercise. They, at least, are more humanly understandable than most Eldritch Abominations, though their physical form is definitely inspired by Cthulhu.
      • To make matters worse, the third edition gave us Mind Flayers of Thoon, illithids seriously twisted by a trip to the Far Realm (which, itself, is a breeding ground for Eldritch Abominations) who worship something known as Thoon. Their numbers include various constructs, Thoon Disciples, Shadow Flayers (mind flayers that can turn invisible), Madcrafters of Thoon (sluglike monsters that can spawn constructs), Thoon Infiltrators (former slaves infected by a Far Realm parasite that can imitate regular beings and create thralls), and Thoon Thralls (slaves that can blow themselves up....really, these guys are legit).
      • Illithids aren't even naturally humanoid - they reproduce by infesting humanoids with their larvae, which then take over and mutate the victim into a new mind flayer. Occasionally they manage to infest nonhumanoid creatures, such as dragons. And larvae that survive long enough without being implanted eventually become neothelids, gigantic tentacled worm-things with massive Psychic Powers.
    • Several kinds of demons in the game invite comparisons to Lovecraftian beasties as well, especially the various Obyrith subspecies: they've existed since before the dawn of time, often have incomprehensible biologies, and just glancing at one is enough to induce new phobias or temporary insanity. One of the oldest horrifies reality itself and can kill if you get a glance at its true form.
      • While some Obyrith subspecies and especially demon lords have been present in the game for a very long time, the concept proper is relatively recent, and ironically not from any Wizards of the Coast product; the third-party supplement Armies of the Abyss by Green Ronin (which came out a few years prior to any first-party mention of obyriths) introduced the Qlippoth, inherently corrupt beings of Chaos and the original inhabitants of the Abyss, who created the first demons as slaves and playthings, but were brought low by a devastating war against Order, followed by conquest and occupation by the Eladrin (celestial incarnations of Chaos), and a rebellion of their now more numerous demon slaves. This should sound more than a little familiar to those who know about the 3.5 backstory to the obyriths.
      • The obyriths recently showed up in 4th edition with a revised backstory. Whereas the other demon lords seek to eventually destroy reality, the obyriths have already succeeded at least once before. The obyriths crippled their home dimension and started it on the unstoppable path to complete oblivion before even bothering to work out how they would survive the end of their own reality. They escaped to another reality and inadvertently created the demon lords. Basically, both the obyriths and the new demon lords plot to destroy reality, escape to a new dimension before the previous dimension completely collapses, destroy that new dimension, escape to yet another reality, destroy that reality, and so on until there are no more realities left.
    • The Epic Level Handbook for 3rd edition brought us the Abominations; malformed offspring of deities which desired to destroy all reality. Among the most horrific of them are the Atropal, which are the undead remains of stillborn godlings, as well as the Dream Larvae, who transform into something so scary that it can kill you with fear instantly the first time you look at it.
      • Also in the Epic Level Handbook are the pseudonatural creatures. Horrifying, tentacled, soul draining creatures from the aforementioned Far Realms the lesser of which can take on greater demons such as balors. Did I mention they're ridiculously resistant to spells? If you come across a paragon (paragon creatures are the perfect forms of a given creature) pseudonatural creature suicide is your best bet.
        • In fact, almost a third of all the monsters in the Epic Level handbook are eldritch abominations; visibly the authors felt that there isn't much else that can challenge you when you're powerful enough kill elder dragons and demigods.
    • Then There's Neth, The Plane That Lives. A whole freaking demiplane that is ALIVE, introduced in The Manual of The Planes. It qualifies as both an Eldritch Abomination and an Eldritch Location. Though the Far Realm suggests that it contains creatures possibly just as large or maybe even larger, leading this troper to believe that Neth is one such native of the Far Realm that just so happens to have a portal to the Astral Plane inside itself. It learns by absorbing the denizens of other Planes that visit it.
    • Perhaps closest to the Lovecraftian mold are the aboleths, giant psychic fishlike aberrations that dwell in the deepest, darkest parts of the world in unspeakable aquatic cities and have racial memories stretching back to before the births of many gods (and maybe even the current universe). They can enslave people by sliming them; the slime turns skin transparent. Ironically, these monsters are terrified of the illithids, who they, despite their long memories, have no recollection of.
      • That's because illithids are from the future, refugees from the destruction of their vast empire at the end of the universe's lifespan.
    • Aboleths are too arrogant to worship anything, but they respect beings they call the Five Elder Evils. These are thematically based on H.P. Lovecraft horrors, and include flames surrounding a body that will drive you mad if you see it (if it does not kill you outright), a ball of sentient goo the size of a planet, and a drilling subterranean squid / centipede thing that appears to be eating its way very, very slowly through the crust of the planet. Whose feces will make your head go wonky if you get too close to it.
      • It's not so much that they are arrogant, they are just older than pretty much all of the modern day Gods and have seen how they came to power. They pretty much view them as young upstarts who have no business messing with them or demanding worship from creatures far older then they are.
        • 4e suggests that aboleths aren't even intelligent, thinking creatures; rather, everything they do is the result of a guiding, species wide instinct that is unfathomable by mortals.
      • Aboleths have enough parallels to abominations of the Cthulhu Mythos that the question was directly addressed in the Lords of Madness sourcebook:

 Readers will notice a thematic resemblance between the aboleths, the Elder Evils, and various creatures or beings found in the stories of H. P. Lovecraft. This is, of course, completely intentional.

    • Another subterranean race culled from Lovecraft are the kuo-toa, amphibian humanoids consciously modeled on the Deep Ones.
    • Don't forget the Daelkyr. Extradimensional invaders who mess with the fabric of reality for shits and giggles. They also like to mess with mortal biology like a kid plays with Play-Doh.
      • For some reason, though, all of the six Daelkyr who were trapped on Eberron look like unnaturally handsome male humans with one feature changed. The Master of Silence, the Daelkyr Big Bad in the The Dragon Below Trilogy, has smooth skin where his mouth should be. According to Word of God, however, the question is not to ask why daelkyr look so humanoid, and to ask why humanoids look so daelkyr...
      • Speaking of Eberron, there's also the Quori, horrifying monstrosities from the plane of dreams with very strong Psychic Powers (usually of the Mind Control or Mind Rape varieties) and the ability to possess mortals; they've already conquered/subverted almost an entire continent, and would really like to take over the rest...
      • Don't forget the Daelkyr's unique minions and mutants. As well as the 'standard' Dolgrim, Dolgaunt and Dolgarr, Dragon Magazine also gives them Akleu, Dolgrue, Kyra, Opabinia, Xenostelid and Xorbeast, each of which is its own flavor of ghastly.
    • One of the last 3.5 books Wizards released is called "Elder Evils", which features a guide of how to create your own Cosmic Horror, as well as several examples of Big Bad Eldritch Abominations, including Ragnorra, the Mook Maker Space Whale with an Evilutionary Biologist streak; Pandorym, the living Forgotten Superweapon with a personality you don't want anywhere near a Forgotten Superweapon; Atropus the undead planetoid (who is the quasi-sentient remains of the thing that birthed the universe); Kyuss, The Worm That Walks (that's his actual title); and of course, the Hulks of Zoretha.
      • It also updates/reimagines one of D&D's earliest published examples of this trope: Zargon, a tentacled aberration revered by a fanatical drug-cult in B4: The Lost City.
      • Since most of said world-threatening Elder Evils described in the book are actually beatable (in some cases killable) by non-epic (i.e. non-godlike) characters, quite a few cases of Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? can result. On the flipside, many of these cases are either fighting the monster before they've fully awoken/recovered from crash impacts, facing down a cult that was about to flood reality with beings like the one that just almost killed the party, or taking down an alien weapon designed to soften us up for invasion.
        • Atropus is a Genius Loci, so you kill his aspect. The Leviathan wraps around the world, and all you can do is defeat minor aspects of it and put the thing back to sleep. Pandorym is probably the toughest being in the cosmos, so powerful that its stats (the strongest monster in the book) is only a fragment of its consciousness. Stats are not given for its fully released mind because it would be too much for the party, and when it unites with its body it's stronger than all the gods combined. You fight Ragnorra while she's regenerating from her crash-landing on the planet. Sertrous is fought after you force him to manifest in a weaker-than-normal form. Zargon has some very powerful abilities that only affect gods. Father Llymic, the Hulks of Zoretha, and Kyuss are all fought at their full power.
    • 3.5 Edition also included the Alienist class. The class features made all your Summoning spells summon creatures from the aforementioned Far Realm, which took the forms of creatures you could normally summon, but took on a template that gave them more hit points, resistances, tentacles or other deformities, and the ability to shift into their "true(r) form" which scared everything like crazy. Further, your familiar became one of these creatures. Basically, you're calling tiny C'thuloid monsters. In addition to that, the caster who takes the class eventually starts becoming like one of these creatures, goes more then a little insane, and (with the timeless body class feature) is taken to the Far Realms by the unspeakable Eldritch Horrors when they would normally die of old age, specifically never seen again by people on the prime material plane. If you manage to reach the maximum level, you can cheat dying of age altogether, gain the "Outsider" trait and become a Humanoid Abomination. Your character grows a tentacle or two at this point.
    • 4th Edition introduces an Origin classification for Eldritch Abominations called "aberrants". Naturally, any aberrant creature is almost guaranteed to have numerous tentacles or mind and reality-warping abilities -- usually both.
      • 4E also has the Primordials -- a primeval race of elementals who created the universe, and are powerful enough to destroy gods. They would like nothing more then to destroy said creation, since as their nature as elementals dictate, they wish to continue an endless cycle of death and rebirth. Most mortals are perfectly fine with the world as it is now, especially since said death and rebirth would include them.
        • Also, given that the gods' (and primal spirits') ideals of stability are stated to be utterly alien and chimeric to the primordials, it can be argued that from the primordials' perspective, it's the gods who are the actual Eldritch Abominations.
      • Also 4E gives Warlocks the Star Pact power source, which basically involves beseeching strange otherworldly creatures that lurk behind specific stars for power. A lot of fluff text suggests that they become a little unhinged. Furthermore, a Dragon Magazine supplement includes an Epic Destiny where you become one of these strange otherworldly entities. It also describes the aforementioned stars, and notes their "unnatural" qualities, particularly one that you're better off not looking at for long.
      • The stars themselves are Eldritch Abominations in 4th edition. And some of them have the ability to create avatars of their power, to the point where even black holes can create such avatars.
      • And at least one of those stars is good. While featured in a Dragon article, Ulban the Messenger is a mostly benevolent comet god who wants to change the future-thus averting The End of the World as We Know It, but his Star Spawn was featured in the Monster Manual Three, and oh looky, it's evil aligned.
    • While it mostly deals with Gothic horror, the Ravenloft campaign setting features an eldritch abomination in the form of Gwydion the Shadow-Fiend, Darklord of the Shadow Rift. He became trapped between realities when a planar gate collapsed on him, and really, really wants out. His full appearance is unknown, but what has been seen causes even The Fair Folk to go mad.
      • The Dark Powers, the force(s) that created Ravenloft itself, could also apply, since their actual nature, methods and motives are entirely unfathomable. As well, the Nightmare Court could qualify.
      • Regular old fiends (demons, etc.) were described pretty much in cosmic horror or eldritch abomination terms in Van Richten's Guide to Fiends for this setting. It didn't seem inappropriate. Horrifying creatures of great power and alien minds from other realities...
    • Cthulhu himself has an entry in the 1st edition Deities & Demigods supplement -- and the way 1st edition rules worked, a high enough leveled player character could, in fact, punch him to death.
    • Also the Gibbering Mouther (and its 4E relatives, the Gibbering Abomination and the Gibbering Orb). The name alone is obviously inspired by Lovecraft.
    • The First Edition was no stranger to Eldritch Abominations as well. Aside from the Nightmare creatures (like the Diaboli and the Malphera), whose physiology was utterly alien and horrific to humanity, there were also the creatures from the Vortex, a place beyond all dimensions and planes of existence who could cause inexplicable phenomenons with their mere presence. Even the Immortals are afraid of such things.
  • The Forgotten Realms has three Elder Evils. Ityak-Ortheel the Elf-Eater was created when the blood of the orc god Gruumsh and the elven god Corellon Larethian merged. Its appearance is Lovecraftian-inspired (a massive body supported by three legs, tentacles everywhere) It lives in between the planes and is occasionally released by mad cultists (mostly of Malar) to, well, eat elves. And anything else in its way, of course, but it takes pleasure in destroying elven towns and cities and slowly devours them over hundreds of years. The second is Kezef the Chaos Hound, who appears as a massive, skinless hunting dog, its coat covered in maggots. It hunts for the Faithful, those who worship a god, and kills them, and then the maggots swarm over the body before returning to Kezef. The soul of the person slain is utterly destroyed, and not even the gods can bring them back. It also bit the hand off Tyr when the gods were trying to chain Kezef down. The third is Dendar the Night Serpent, a serpent several hundred feet long that came into being when the first creatures had a nightmare. It feeds on (and causes) nightmares of every sentient being in the world. As far as Eldritch Abominations go, Dendar serves a somewhat useful purpose: if she wasn't around, people would remember every nightmare they've had in exact, excruciating detail, never wanting to sleep again, for fear of adding to their terror.
  • Greyhawk has a few of these as well:
    • The most horrifying example is Dread Tharizdun, a monstrosity that threatens all of existence and that the rest of the gods were forced to cooperate to imprison. Since 3E, Dread Tharizdun has also evolved to become a more general Abomination for the whole D&D cosmology.
    • Another example is the Elder Elemental God, a bizarre entity that, from what little we see of it, is all tentacles, eyes and sluglike bodies. Worshipped by some particularly depraved drow, some people think that the god is in fact another form of Dread Tharizdun, although canon remains unclear on the issue.
    • An entity that actually exists on Oerth itself is the Mother, a bizarre entity served by a colony of degenerate and inbred humans who found it while they fled the destruction of their old empire. Physically, the Mother looks like a large mass of disgusting white ooze that slithers across the walls, floor and ceiling of the caverns it inhabits, with the ability to drain the life out of anything it makes physical contact with. Unlike the other examples, it's possible for the Player Characters to actually punch the Mother out, as it's mentioned in one of the adventure ideas provided by Gary Gygax in the original 1983 Greyhawk boxed set.
  • The psionic Slarecians of the third-party (by a White Wolf subsidiary, unsurprisingly) Scarred Lands setting. They're revealed to originally have been beings of pure thought, who were trapped in the world as it was forming, and now they want out. They've decided the only way to do that is to completely destroy the world. The guide book detailing them goes into details of their various experiments during their time on the world Scarn, which, befitting their origins, are pretty damn weird.
    • To a lesser extent, the Titans, the original rulers of Scarn. While they usually appear humanoid, and can easily interact with mortals without driving them insane, they're also powerful to the point of not having statistics, they usually see mortals as irrelevant, and their mindsets are incomprehensible.
  • The Pathfinder system, being effectively D&D 3.75, has of course included those in its base setting, to the point of obvious Author Appeal. The Aboleths have an extensive undersea/underground empire responsible for the rise and fall of that world's Atlantis stand-in, and two of the basic pantheon's gods fit pretty well: Rovagug the Rough Beast, a ravenous, slavering monster from beyond whose reason for being is destroying the world, and who had to be stopped by all the other gods working together to imprison him inside the Earth (many dying in the struggle), and who periodically disgorges horrid spawn to devastate the surface (like the Tarrasque); and Zon-Kuthon the Midnight Lord, whose jealousy towards his half-sister drove him to a self-imposed exile in remote corners of the cosmos, from which he came back changed into a thing of darkness, pain and loss. Both tend to attract insane cultists (or to drive cultists insane, depending).
  • Naturally, Chaosium's The Call of Cthulhu game is just full of them. One of the basic stats of PCs, along with the normal STR, DEX, CON, WIS, INT and such, is SAN. That's Sanity. It's arguably the most important single stat unless you want to keep rolling up new characters.
    • And, driving the trope home, increasing your Cthulhu Mythos skill directly reduces the extent to which your lost Sanity can be regained. Things Man Was Not Meant to Know indeed.
    • There's also a board game based on Call of Cthulhu by Fantasy Flight called Arkham Horror which has tokens for hit points, knowledge of other worlds, and (you guessed it) sanity. Every turn, there's a high chance of a gate opening to another universe, and as more gates open, more monsters come flooding through ... and as the game progresses, the Doom Count slowly rises. If it gets high enough, the Old One (Cthulhu or one of his cousins) appears and the players have to battle it. (Each Eldritch Abomination has special powers -- Azathoth's power is "if summoned, the game is over. Azathoth destroys the world.")
      • And now there's spinoff game Mansions of Madness, which is contained in a compact Haunted House format.
      • As well as the card game Elder Sign.
    • And of course, the CCG based on Call of Cthulhu (also by Fantasy Flight) has loads as well, although it's actually possible to see a game played in which they don't appear. Just not likely. (Sanity is too valuable as an attack vector.)
  • In the world of Earthdawn, the cyclical ebb and flow of magic periodically allows Horrors to slip from their own dimension into the world and devour anything that moves. If you're lucky, they will devour your body before they start on the good stuff. Luckily for the world, magic energies are on the decline, so the survivors the last cataclysm the Horrors caused have just to outlast their ability to keep existing in our world for a generation or two before they're all gone.
  • In White Wolf's Old World of Darkness, Cosmic Horror is not the central theme of the game, but the authors love to incorporate Eldritch Abominations from beyond time and space into the setting, whose presence corrupts souls, drives people insane, or warps reality. Included in this list are the various unearthly patrons of the Nephandi from Mage: The Ascension, the Fomorians from Changeling: The Dreaming, the Neverborn Malfeans from Wraith: The Oblivion (and Grandmother from Orpheus), and the Earthbound from Demon: The Fallen. Vampire: The Masquerade has a lot less of this... although the Tzimisce and Gangrel antediluvians now resemble these, they started out human.
  • And then there's the New World of Darkness, published as Lovecraft's works are getting more influential...
    • Abyssal entities from Mage: The Awakening come from what could best be described as an "anti-universe," a world that lives by rules wholly antithetical to those of Earth. Truly, however, the most horrifying thing about Abyssal entities is that the idea that beings of the Abyss always take such predictable -- horrifying and maddening, but predictable -- forms as "monstrous, unclean abomination" is actually a comfortable lie that Mages tell themselves to hide from the fact that the Abyss is, in fact, in no way as banal and quantifiable as that.
      • An Abyssal entity that's been known to sell a lot of prospective players on the setting is the Prince of 100,000 Leaves, a demon made of living anti-history whose first summoning rewrote history and spawned a cannibal cult that literally eats its victims out of history in an attempt to bring the world in line with the Prince's native timeline
      • Oh yeah, and Imperial Mysteries has the reason for the strange predictability: each and every Abyssal being is actually a resident and part of a Greater Abyssal Entity. You know what those are? Semisentient stillborn universes. The Prince is explicitly stated to be an example of one, with all his manifestations being him trying to replace all of reality. Now think: What kinds of beings gave birth to everything else in Intruders, since they aren't part of the Prince...?
      • There's also the Nemesis Continuum. It's the scientific Cosmic Horror to the Prince's perversion of the humanities. It's an altered set of the laws of physics. Bits of the material world it contaminates are twisted; what if anything green was suddenly boiling hot, and the speed of light was slower than the speed of sound? It gets worse. The Nemesis Continuum is summoned by intelligent scientists "accidentally" (the book says that most proofs are found through indirect interference by acamoth) finding a proof for it, which then becomes true. And they become obsessed with finding more proofs. The best part? The Nemesis Continuum is apparently the physical laws of the Abyss itself, so to fight it on its own level, you probably need to infect yourself with them. By the way, it's also easier for a scientist to explain and thus prove a proof once he understands it...
    • The Sourcebook Summoners includes some other examples, such as the chthonians of the Underworld (known as the "neverborn" since they exist in the realm of the dead, but cannot be reliably said to have ever been alive) and certain Supernal beings. Said Supernal beings include the Ochema, avatars of the Exarchs in Seers Of The Throne. Sure, they look (and act) like people, but look at them with Mage Sight... Unlike many examples, this is actually because they're less corrupted than everything else: The Fallen World simply can't handle Supernal beings like them... Although they stay significantly longer than and don't cause unintentional damage like Abyssal creatures, since they're supposed to be a part of the natural order of reality.
    • In addition to mentioning the above Chthonians, Geist: The Sin Eaters features Kerberoi -- wholly alien in mindset, bizarre in appearance, and nearly unstoppable, they exist solely to enforce the Old Laws of the Dead Domains. Geists can also border on this -- they're universally completely or near-completely alien in mindset, and varying degrees of bizarre in appearance.

      The supplement Book of the Dead introduces the Leviathan, the Kerberos of the Ocean of Fragments, who pretty well embodies this trope. It's an impossibly vast sea creature of some sort -- it's assumed to be a cephalopod, but that's just because it has tentacles; it's too big for anyone to ever see enough of it to make out its true form. Every human in the world has had nightmares of it lurking beneath them in an endless ocean, even if they've forgotten them. It cannot be killed or placated, any more than the tide or any other force of nature, and stats are provided solely for the purposes of escaping it or inconveniencing it enough to drive it off temporarily. Fortunately, it's rarely seen -- to the point that most people think the Dead Dominion's only other notable inhabitant, the Admiral, is actually its Kerberos.
    • The True Fae of Changeling: The Lost deserve a mention. Now, they're more recognizable than their stablemates above, capable of great Pride, vanity and twisted creativity, but they are ultimately alien, incredibly powerful and terrifying beings with no concept of empathy, kindness or selflessness, capable of rending souls and striking pacts with aspects of reality itself, and within their home dimension they are capable of just about anything, and can twist their kidnapped human subjects to meet their needs. That they happen to have inspired Fairy Tales perhaps only makes them more frightening. And do you wanna know how they're born? No. No, you don't.
    • The sourcebook Second Sight has a pretty good chapter on building your own abomination, a Misanthrope Supreme or Fallen Hero to serve as their high priest, and a cult to worship them. The creation example is a being of dissonant sound. (Although one suggested weakness for this being -- music of unity -- seemed uncannily reminiscent of Ghostbusters 2.)
    • BIG Hunter: The Vigil spoiler: The Cheiron Group is run by ten of them, with illusions of human beings to let them interact with people. It's the Storyteller's choice whether they're working to defend our world or are planning to exploit it for everything we've got.
  • Genius: The Transgression has the Cold Ones, entities living at the end of time, who'd like to go back and experience things like heat and movement.
  • White Wolf's Exalted has some bizarre entitites which originated in the chaotic non-place outside of reality itself.
    • There are several vast armies of insane, unreal things "out" there positively itching to roll up reality like a carpet and devour the souls of the living. And these things are the setting's elves. Since this is Exalted, it's the player characters' job to punch every last one of them in the face with the power of their undiluted, shiny awesomeness.
    • The Primordials came out of said Primordial Chaos and built Creation, with all its gods to take care of it, so that they had time to smoke magical crack. Their minds are so vast that they're divided between entire hierarchies of multiple souls, each of which has a mind of its own and multiple lesser souls with minds of their own.
      • Most of the Primordials that didn't get killed are now the Yozi, demon princes who have had their very beings and souls turned inside out and who live in the broken body of their leader. They wish to turn Creation into Hell as part of a rather demented plan to escape their prison by expanding it.
      • The Neverborn are dead Primordials that you have to meet face to architecture. Killing them broke the universe and shat the entire Underworld into being.
      • Autochthon, a living non-Yozi Primordial, is a giant hollow machine-deity approximately the size of a planet, mostly made of steampunk (and he's a good guy. Sort of.)
      • The three kinds of Primordial Exalted -- Alchemicals, Infernals and Abyssals -- are gradually evolving into something closer to their patrons. Alchemicals gradually turn into cities, but the others have only existed about three years and as such have had nowhere near enough time to turn into... whatever it is they end up becoming.
      • Return of the Scarlet Empress revealed Yozi charms which define the ability of Primordials to exist in their worldform jouten[1]. Which a Green Sun Prince can learn. Which means that every Green Sun Prince is actually an infant Primordial.
      • To up the fun, PDF supplement The Broken-Winged Crane gives the Green Sun Princes another path to transcendence, the Heresy charms. Instead of turning yourself into a world, you gain the ability to create worlds within yourself.
      • Did we also mention that once the Exaltation shard becomes redundant, it is released to be implanted in another Infernal...?
  • The Greater Titans of Scion are beyond mortal ken. They're beyond divine ken. They are so divorced from reality (despite being incarations of its primal concepts) that they had to divide their power among Avatars just to have a clue what they were doing. Each one is its own internal world.

    Worst of the lot, though, is Hundun, the Titan of Chaos. It alone of the Titans couldn't be bound, for doing so requires definition - and Hundun cannot be defined. An easy way to enter Hundan is to have a God become the Void, the living embodiment of all things chaotic... and then jump in.
  • In the Tabletop Game Monsters and Other Childish Things, one of the types of monsters used in its dark and twisted take on Mons are Eldritch Abominations. The non-statted sample monster Dewdrop is an Eldritch Abomination take on a unicorn, while one of the statted sample monsters is a Lovecraftian monstrosity merged with a teddy bear named Yog-So`Soft. Both these and the more "normal" monsters tend to cause bouts of panic and madness in people who see them as well, further adding to it. There are also a few non-Mon antagonists that are also abominations.
  • In The Whispering Vault, the player characters are all minor Eldritch Abominations who act as a "police force" that apprehends and retrieves other abominations who have illicitly made their way to Earth. Reality is also literally All Just a Dream cooked up by those abominations who haven't gone rogue.
  • Warhammer 40000 has the Chaos Gods and their Daemons who reside in The Warp.
    • The Enslavers, who at first take on almost comprehensible forms of cyclopean octopi and swim in the warp currents. Seem kind of cute until you realize that even the hiveminded Tyranids and other creatures of the warp like Daemons have trouble with them.
    • While the Tyranids may seem more like a Horde of Alien Locusts, the utterly alien nature of said Hive Mind and the metaphysical effects of a Hive Fleet's presence (the Shadow in the Warp, which screws with communication, sensors and navigation and causes insanity in psychically sensitive beings) is rather telling. And at one point it was hinted that they were running from something even worse.
    • The original Warhammer has the Gods of Law, which are arguably more inhuman and, should the unlikely case of their victory occur, will turn the world into a stillborn reality where no change of any sort occurs. This is particularly more true to Alluminas, whose requirements for his worship are extremely bizarre, and who can cast a light that makes anything it touches unmoving and unchanging.
  • Magic: The Gathering has the "Horror" and "Nightmare" creature types. Not all of them fall under this trope, but a fair number do. For example, the Nemesis of Reason. As well, there's Marit Lage, an ancient, betentacled Sealed Evil in a Can. The card Dark Depths allows you to unseal her.
    • For those who don't play MtG, a brief explanation: The deck, generally consisting of 60 cards, represents the player's spell reserve and memory remaining. So, effectively, everytime the Nemesis of Reason even looks at you funny, you lose one sixth of your mind. No questions. And Marit Lage? She is 20 times as strong and resistant as one of the heroes who defeated the Empress of Fae in one of the more recent sets, gameplay wise.
      • To clarify further: The player's role is that of a Planeswalker, one of the most powerful kinds of beings in existence. The starting life total is sufficient to survive multiple attacks from Leviathans, Kraken or Ancient Dragons. Marit Lage will kill you in one hit.
      • The fluff for the Zendikar block strongly hints at the existence of an entire race of Cosmic Horrors called the Eldrazi, all of which got locked away inside planets by a coalition of aforementioned planeswalkers. The name of the final set in that block? Rise of the Eldrazi.
        The (comparatively) good news is that this is probably localized for now to Zendikar, and (hopefully) will be stilled there by Jace and/or Chandra. Still, there's something very unsettling about them. In M:tG, everything except lands and artifacts have at least one out of the five colors of mana associated with them; those mana colors define what aspects of reality they are most attuned to. Lands, meanwhile, almost always supply mana, and when colorless mana is supplied, that usually means mana too raw to have a particular slant; think of "colorless" as actually meaning "no particular attunement to a specific aspect of existence". The Eldrazi in question? They don't have a color. And no, they're not artifacts (the only type of colorless spell card until then). They're alien to the structure of the known multiverse. And if that Annihilator keyword is anything to go by, wherever they go, a bit of the multiverse there gets destroyed. And to think that they were once worshipped as the main gods of Zendikar...
        • Now that the whole set has been revealed and released, there are THREE Mythic Rare Legendary Eldrazi: Kozilek, Emrakul and Ulamog. These can't be killed permanently unless you exile them since as soon as they hit your graveyard from anywhere, you shuffle your entire graveyard into your deck. There are six more non-Legendary Eldrazi, the smallest of which is a 7/7 and is COMMON. Of these six, 2 are common, 2 are uncommon, and 2 are rare. All of them have the Annihilator ability. Plus there are several cards that create Eldrazi Spawn (small creatures that can be sacrificed for mana to help cast the big guys). And there are four non-creature colorless Eldrazi spells with considerable power. Notably, the mythic rare All is Dust destroys everything that has a color and the rare Eldrazi Conscription turns any creature into an extremely powerful Eldrazi.
    • Of course, there was the original Cosmic Horror if you go WAAAAAY back to the Legends expansion. The art says it all.
    • The "Horror" creature type was actually used as a grab-bag for a blend of vat-grown monsters, demons, experiments Gone Horribly Wrong (or worse), and other creatures that shouldn't have been for various reasons. That said, many are indeed unbelievably horrific things that will burn your sanity.
  • The Lords of Cthul from Monsterpocalypse are the Cthulhu-esque, Godzilla-sized avatars of powerful extradimensional monsters... who get bodyslammed regularly.
  • The Unspeakable One from the Freedom City Mutants and Masterminds setting. (It also provides Golden Age stats for an eldritch entity, although that barely qualifies - it may look like Cthulhu, but it doesn't drive you mad simply from looking at it.)
  • GURPS: Fantasy treats Tiamut as this, giving stats for a minor avatar of hers that while not particularly odd looking (it's an enormous dragon with four eyes) can still cause terror from just looking at it. Said avatar automatically regenerates every year making the effort of trying to kill it futile. To get rid of it permanently you'd have to track down and kill the real Tiamut... who is half the size of the universe (about 2.24* 10^18 Hit Points) so good luck with that. There's even a Lovecraft quote after the stat block.
    • GURPS has a few more from diffetent settings and splatbooks: GURPS: Cabal, with its cosmology based on the qabbalah's Sephirot has the creatures of Qlipoth and its Ur-Lords, Creatures of the Night has the godlike Betweeners, the force called "the darksome" which is responsible for the creation of the literal organ-farmer Darklings, and many of the non-undead creatures described, a few licenced settings (like Cthulhupunk and War Against the Chtorr) have their own native abominations, and Infinite Worlds, the meta-setting that ties The Multiverse together, not only makes all the previous settings inter-accessible, but also has at least one world (Taft-7) where humanity never evolved in the first place because of Great Old One (or similar) influence 50 million years back- and although they're long gone, they left enough "Fun Stuff" behind (and the risk of attracting their attention is great enough) for the agencies overseeing interdimensional travel to quarantine the world from any travel there whatever the reason.
  • Spoofed in Pokethulhu. Yes, there are hideous, evil non-Euclidean critters. But you can tame them and use them as Mons (and they still drive you to insanity).
  • While our nature in Kult allow us to kick most super beings with ease once awakened, the Forgotten Gods are different stories. These beings represent principles incomprehensible to humanity and powerful enough that they do not even care about the plans of the Demiurge or Astaroth.
  • Cthulhu Tech. An RPG set about 80 years in the future after the Mi-go (or rather, Migou) have attacked earth and the Great Old Ones are stirring. It combines H.P. Lovecraft with Neon Genesis Evangelion of all things (what with the gigantic biological weapons called Engels that pilots mentally sync to and ride in their spines).
    • It also throws Guyver into the mix, with Cosmic Horror Expys of Guyvers and Zoanoids (you can actually play the former).
  • Dragon Warriors brings us Balor, the god of darkness. A humanoid being, but of such immense size and power that he can rampage across the world unstoppably. It's a good thing that he's entombed in magical ice. His cultists, the Darkness Elementalists, are granted some of the best elemental spells.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh!! TCG gives us the Alien archetype of monsters, the two strongest of which are Cosmic Horror Gangi'el and Cosmic Fortress Gol'gar. Not quite as unspeakably horrible as some other examples, but still pretty terrifyingly-hideous nonetheless.
    • Worm Zero is a giant moon size thing that looks like it has multiple heads sprouting out of itself, going by its effects, it can erase monsters by assimilating them, implant some hive mind knowledge into its user, or give birth to a worm. Said worms could also qualify, given their origins.
    • One of Pegasus' signature monsters, Relinquished could also qualify. Its main gimmick is assimilating an enemy monster into its body, taking on its stats, and using it as a meatshield in the event that it might be destroyed.
    • And then there's Fusion Devourer. Just look at the face-tipped tentacles.
  • Spoofed in the Munchkin Cthulhu stand-alone Munchkin set and its expansion, The Great Cowthulu. It added a new dimension to the game in the form of the players being able to become cultists. And if everyone in the game became a cultist, the game was over as Cthulhu won. Also, one of the monsters featured is the very cute Chibithulu. Cthulhu also shows up as a monster in the original Munchkin game (based on Dungeons and Dragons).
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill has, as one of its 'haunt' scenarios, 'The Stars are Right'. Just guess what survivors are trying to stop, and what the traitor is trying to do.
  • Unknown Armies deliberately subverts this trope, at least in a way. What's scary about the universe isn't that it's so alien and vast and inhospitable to humans. What's truly scary is that You Did It.
  • The Ancients in Traveller. Especially Grandfather, who uplifted the rest, and exterminated them by himself after they outlived their usefulness.
  • The Mad Gods from Witchcraft. When they intrude on our reality, they spread taint, which causes mutations, madness and a weakening of the veil separating universes, potentially allowing more to come through. In the follow-up game Armageddon, a Religion of Evil dedicated to one of them called the Leviathan is currently trying to conquer the world in its name; it's about halfway done. You know it's bad when most angels and demons get to the conclusion that they have to work together if they want any chance of stopping it.
  • Eclipse Phase: Encountering any alien life triggers a stress check, and the only canon sapient species that transhumanity has contacted resemble giant slime molds. And then there's the Seed AI that can potentially achieve god-like intelligence and the effects of some strains of the Exsurgent virus are not pretty.
    • Warning, GM only info ahead the ETI, a Kardashev III or maybe IV entity that created the Exsurgent Virus. Described as being eons old and capable of megascale engineering with an understanding of physics, matter, energy, and universal laws that makes all of transhuman knowledge seem insignificant. And for some reason it has seeded the galaxy with probes that infect near-singularity intelligences with civilization destroying viruses.
  • In Glorantha (as seen in Rune Quest and other sources), Chaos is like this. One major empire has an enslaved Chaos god/demon/thingy called the Crimson Bat. It's huge, it flies, it is covered with eyes, it glows with unholy energy, and it will eat your soul. It is crimson, and I suppose it's at least as much like a bat as it's like anything else... which isn't much.
  • Nobilis has three main types. First, the True Gods- some of the earliest gods to come into being, to be found below the world in an enormous mass of tentacles and weirdness, simultaneously fighting and mating with each other. Next, the Excrucians, beings of not-being from outside reality who aim to destroy the universe, and finally the Actuals, the precursors to the True Gods- the movement like life, before it learned to live. The Actuals are vital to the existence of reality- but if one is summoned into the world, it will consume everything in a futile attempt to attain self-awareness if it isn't stopped. The True Gods, on the other hand, could quite possibly be the guys who empower the PCs.
  • The Gumshoe System has openly embraced the concept for its first settings- there is of course Trail Of Cthulhu, their own take on the Mythos, but there is also the basic campaign world for Esoterrorists and Fear Itself, which they have given the cutesy moniker of World of Unremitting Horror. The monsters, most of them described in the supplement The Book of Unremitting Horror, are for the most part ghastly humanoid abominations that seem straight out of one of Clive Barker's more horrifying stories, many also blurring the line with other monster types such as demons, undead and fairies, the worst being Reality Warpers from "The Outer Black"; many others feed on and/or are created by the worst aspects of human nature (for example the Snuff Golem). The entries, which include numerous fiction pieces and detailed descriptions of how to identify the things' depredations through forensic sciences all add up to some seriously Nightmare Fuel.
  • The Star Wars RPG has the DarkStryder, a self-aware supercomputer created by a Precursor-type race that has created several species of its own and looks like THIS, and the Mnggal-Mnggal, a sentient fluid adept at possessing bodies so horrible that even the Celestials (a Precursor race even more mysterious than the DarkStryder's creators, and believed to be nearly omnipotent) didn't want anything to do with it and sealed it away. Word of God from the creator of the latter abomination says it's supposed to be the same type of being as fellow Star Wars abomination Waru.
  • Well, though the RPG of Mortasheen isn't out yet, there are three creatures in the setting so powerful they might as well be some of these. Called The Destroyers, these unfathomably powerful weapons are as follows.

Notes

  1. Technically, all of a Primordial's jouten are defined by charms (as are all of their capabilities and personality aspects). The most accurate way to describe a Primordial is as a sentient collection of charms built around a central theme.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.