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Game idea brainstorming.

So my initial thoughts were for a game set in the 1920s-30s AKA classic Call of Cthulhu era. But I like to offer a choice, so I've been trying to think of what I would do for a modern era story. Something that *could* be Delta Green, but doesn't have to be. So me being me, it turned into how can I send them to Silent Hill. Because imma just say, I was promised a Silent Hill game in college that was never delivered.

So the question really was how to incorporate it into Call of Cthulhu, because on the whole in spite of some themes being similar SH doesn't have a whole lot to do with the Cthulhu Mythos. It's far more heavily inspired by Steven King and Clive Barker. And while both of them kneel before the altar of HP, they have their own unique take on weird horror. The most direct things you can connect to Silent Hill and Lovecraft is there's a creepy town, there's a cult, and witchcraft is involved. None of the monsters are particularly Mythos inspired until you get to SH3 and even then it's still the main character's mind fucking with them. It's weird, but nothing you can point to and say, "THAT'S fucking right out of the mythos."

But that's relatively shallow thinking with what Silent Hill as a setting and a story is. The town is as much a character as anything else. And the town is being consumed by darkness we're told. The town cult is trying to call forth their god who will wipe the earth clean and start over. Maybe. Everyone will be dead so there won't actually be anyone to make sure they don't welch on creating paradise. But that part aside, the town is being consumed by it's exact copy from another dimension. They're slowly merging. And the Other World is basically the town only decayed even further. It doesn't just look abandoned, it looks burned out and rotten.

This idea that the town is just decaying before your eyes the closer Dahlia gets to performing her ritual at the end of the first game kind of puts the theme of entropy front and center in the first three games of the series. And THAT seems more like a Mythos theme than anything else in these games. Just not specifically Cthulhu. In 1895, a writer named Robert Chambers wrote a short story collection called The King in Yellow. The stories were sort of framed by excerpts from a play by the same title, about a decadent city being visited by the otherworldly King in Yellow and that city being drawn to and becoming the city of Carcosa on the Lake Hali. The Yellow King is later assumed to be an avatar of the Great Old One Hastur, who resides in Carcosa. The city existing near the star Aldebaran. Where the King in Yellow steps, that place becomes Carcosa and the location and it's inhabitants are drawn into it. So how does all that fit into Silent Hill?

I will do the less obvious connections first. In the Delta Green supplement Countdown, there's an entire section based on an interpretation of Hastur not being this alien entity waving it's tentacles around waiting for someone to call it so it can fuck with Earth. Instead Hastur is an embodiment of the laws of entropy in the universe. Worshiping it is akin to worshiping gravity. But through the actions of humans it can manifest itself. Perhaps in a corrupted town or city for example. Those who become enraptured by the idea of this cycle of entropy gives rise to the King in Yellow actually appearing and taking said area away to become part of Carcosa. Just an endless cycle of it happening over and over and over in one new place after another. But it isn't the actions of an alien entity for unknown purposes. Humans do this. Just like if you consider that everything that happens in the Silent Hill games happens on how the characters do it. There isn't some overarching figure manipulating them. They, like the rest of us bring about our own destruction.

There's also the thematic similarities. Silent Hill sits besides a lake, like Carcosa. There is a strong level of decadence associated with the town, that kind of just hovers under the surface (the cult for starters, Heaven's Night, the numerous other evidence of fucked up shit buried beneath the surface). The appearance of the Incubator in SH1 bears many similarities to how the King in Yellow is portrayed in art. Valtiel is associated with the Yellow Angel Lobsel Vith and acts as the agent ensuring the birth of God (Hastur) onto Earth, much in the same way that The King in Yellow prepares the way for Hastur to come to where it is summoned. This on top of the town being subsumed by another town that's the same, but decayed and different. To the point that at the end of the first game you reach an area just called Nowhere. Who's to say that this area hasn't just been entirely devoured by Carcosa at this point and either stopping the summoning of the King or killing it sends Harry back. Where he's already dead? James being self-destructive as he is, is almost a perfect way for Hastur to manifest on Earth. One of the stories from the original collection even tells of a man who's lover was turned to stone and his quest to bring her back.

Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that the first Silent Hill and Countdown were both released in the same year I'd swear one inspired the other. Maybe they did since the themes kind of got stronger in SH2 and then SH3. But for me, it doesn't really matter. It fits and I want to use it.

So how to set it up? Depending on the campaign frame, they can be Delta Green agents investigating a town given over to a really weird cult. The regular feds just see another case of Jonestown or Branch Davidians. A group of people from the cult were caught leaving the town with some strange implements and Delta Green took the opportunity to swoop in. Especially after hearing tales of seeing, "The king coming down" and "We all had to wear masks, but he didn't have none!" If the game doesn't go the Delta Green route, the players are all drawn to the town for their own various reasons.

Each character would have a secret that they wouldn't tell their dearest loved ones. Maybe it's something they've kept repressed from themselves. But it eats away at them and draws them further and further into the spiral of entropy that comes with Hastur. You play up on this and as they go more and more insane they don't know who in the party to trust. All the while trying to unravel who are the ringleaders of the cult who are for some reason trying to draw the King in Yellow and ascend the town to Carcosa. All the while, reality breaks down and parts of the town are pulled into Carcosa with the investigators in them. Pretty much exactly like how Silent Hill plays out. A little bit more open ended, but I think it could work. It's not an easy concept to work with, but the challenge is what makes it fun I think.

So yeah, gonna be doing a ton of research on Silent Hill and Hastur this weekend I think.


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