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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Inspiration is everywhere: Day 5

Today the heat and tiredness have just sapped my ability to think. I don't have any idea what to write about. But that's why we have a system, right? Let's go to the shelves. 

The gift of friend Chris (whose cool DIY Mass Effect costume blog you can find here), this copy of the infamous Simon Necronomicon is part of the overlap of my collection of occulty nonsense and my collection of Lovecraftiana. Its textual history has been covered in great detail by Dan Harms, but that's not what we care about. What we care about is whether there's anything in this load of goddamn nonsense that might be useful in a gaming context!

Behold its arcane majesty. 

I think there is a certain amount. Firstly, sometimes you just want to bash out a little occult ritual text or artwork and you don't give a hoot in hell for authenticity. When that happens, you can't go wrong with some of this book's high-falutin' pastichery (or cut-and-pastery as the case may be). Something like: 

Thee I invoke, Serpent of the Deep!
Thee I invoke, NINNGHIZHIDDA, Horned Serpent of the Deep!
Thee I invoke, Plumed Serpent of the Deep!
You could give me twenty tries, and I'd never come up with Ninnghizhidda, Plumed and/or Horned Serpent of the Deep. And I like to think I'm good at names.

The Simon Necronomicon itself could also figure in games. Most games written by people who actually know anything about the field would die with shame rather than incorporate the Simon text (though I seem to recall that it does get mentioned in some Call of Cthulhu supplements, maybe?). But consider Unknown Armies, where magick tends to come from weird places. Alternatively, you could have a CoC tome (particularly in the Delta Green setting) that was written by some hack to capitalise on perceived Mythos weirdness but which nonetheless has magic properties.

Yeah, so our author -- let's call him Paul Lilak* -- is that fascinating mix of carnival barker, isolated weirdo and basic-model hippy that you get hanging around occult circles pretty much anywhere in the world. He mashes together some real-world mythology, some stuff he just made up, and some stuff ripped off from other sources. And through some combination of occult alchemy, even though the original materials didn't have magical powers, the mixture does.

So here's everyone ripping the piss out of Lilak, because everyone knows that his book is a load of bullshit, and he's getting increasingly crazy-furious, since he knows his crap works and that these magic-nerds aren't even bothering to try it. And serious occultists avoid it like the plague, so the only people even gaining the magic from the book are small-timers, lonely teenagers and dumbasses. That has potential.

(*I don't expect anyone to get this joke.)

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