A complex world of magic, paranatural, and non-euclidian pantheons is ripe for potential factions vying for the unthinkable power of the Old Powers, regardless of the risk. Some are patrons, others adversaries, and almost all are warring with one another. This is a world thirsty for power. Some factions could be:
- Secretive government agencies with mysterious hierarchies. <- is “black budget” really a thing people say? Maybe just “secretive”?
- Private corporations experimenting with magics and acquiring objects of power.
- Modern fronts for ancient orders of widely varying world views and opinions on the esoteric.
- Old, powerful bloodlines forever changed by exposure to Old Powers.
- Covens of witches and warlocks wielding chaos magic, with varying levels of control.
- Ancient scholars whose souls should have long since left the mortal coil.
- Wise and terrible monsters who have survived in the shadows and stood the test of time.
- The children and monstrosities that hide in the low and high places, long ago cast off by the Old Powers, coveting what they feel is entitled to them.
- Cults. Cults of every shape, size, and ideology.
Cosmic Horror focuses around the fear of the unknown, dread, darkness, forbidden knowledge, futility, threats on a grand & existential scale. The scale of what you face is incomprehensible. Truth is unattainable. In a single word, you face: DOOM.
What is so versatile about cosmic horror is the ability to leverage other motifs in the larger horror genre (body horror, questionable humanity, evil locations, monsters/myths).
This game is designed to use any set of Old Powers, Old Gods, or Entities, whether borrowed or new. The game lives in the realm of the unknowable, so it is less about absolute truths and instead about grappling with the vast and hostile entities as they enter into the world of the player.
Liminal Horror was designed for a modern day setting. I recommend using a city you and your players know. This can root the weird within the context of the mundane. Use maps of local landmarks and buildings to breathe life into the city where your investigators roam.
Remember there are sewers, caves and subterranean haunts everywhere. Who’s to say that an incursion hasn’t left a doorway to another land, just waiting to be stumbled through?