Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book of Evil Entities (Role Playing Prop)

I rejoined a role playing group and for the first time I'm playing a class that isn't a ranger or a thief.  I'm playing a Warlock.  Got my creative ideas going and decided to make one of the items my characters has picked up.  It's a book of evil entities.  But, I didn't want to use real world evil entities from human religions/myths or even D&D evil entities.  I decided to use pop-culture evil entities.  I spent about a month going over source material for ideas/inspiration before I started. 

Going through some my favorite bad guys, I got the idea that no one person wouldn't write a book like this.  It would be multiple people over several lifetimes.  Realistically, I doubt a single person would make a go of finding the most evil beings of the universe and surviving them.  That meant it would likely be written in several languages.  Not to mention the native languages of the evil entities themselves.  Once I got the basic ideas organized, I started researching fictional languages and writing/glyphs to also use to give it a more authentic feel.  

While I did that, I decided I wanted a nice, hand-made journal.  I found one made in Poland on Etsy and bought it.  It was nice and small.  That was the one thing that did bug me in movies, books and video games about books that were used.  Like, the Darkhold in Agents of Shield.  Looks cool, but man, that book would get annoying to lug around.  If I were putting together a book of demons and evil entities, I would want it to be easy to carry while I went from place to place doing my research.  I also wouldn't want a big, gaudy monstrosity with skulls and crazy shit on it. 

The first entry so far is Cthulu (Ktulu, Cthulhu).  I got a collected works of H.P. Lovecraft and two different Necronomicons to use for direction.  And then obviously the internet for various details.

Everything in here actually says something.  It's not just scribbling gibberish.  The Old Ones had a language, Lovecraft gave us bits and pieces of it.  Someone actually went through and dissected his collected works to figure it out. Using that as a key for R'leyhian and a Cthululian font I found, I created what I imagined would be the constructed written language of the old ones.  

Then I paired with English based on the Call of Cthulu and the couplet said by people to represent the common tongue of whatever realm this prop ends up getting used for (I plan to eventually run my own table-top game using this book for the players).

However, the Old Ones wouldn't be writing a book about themselves, so I found what seemed like a logical second script called Wizarding Runes and used that as the base language for the person writing it.  Presumably a wizard.  I kept the wizarding language based in English for the sounds and equivalent letters.  It's almost a 1-for-1 translation, the exception being no punctuation and c/k being interchangeable.
Using symbols from both Necronomicons, and a few I made up myself, I spend several pages explaining things like I imagine someone trying to capture knowledge about an entity would.

From here, I'm planning to use other pop-culture references like Frankenstein's Monster, Sauron, Eidolon, Korax, D'Sparil, Diablo, Zuul, Pennywise, Darkseid, The Dead King of Atlantis, Voldemort, Loup Garou, Megitsune, La Magra, Imhotep, The Dark Presence, The King in Yellow, Cronus, Dormammu... for starters.  I will likely snag more of Lovecraft's Ancient Ones.  I'd like to dig into Hellboy and Ghost Rider a little bit.  I have a book called the Magic Island I got to learn more about zombie mythology for a book idea about 10 years ago I plan to read through and resource concepts from.  Also, obviously, the Necronomicon Ex Mortis.