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How to Survive a Lovecraft Story

Categories: Section Eight

Don’t drink the water!

By Chris Womack, (c) 1998

Subj: DG: How to Survive in a Lovecraft Story
Date: 98-04-27 13:29:22 EDT
From: oaktree@nocturne.org (Chris Womack)
Sender: owner-deltagreen@nocturne.org
Reply-to: deltagreen@nocturne.org (Delta Green List)
To: deltagreen@nocturne.org

I wrote this a while back, and while I originally had Lovecraft’s original 20’s-era fiction in mind, a good many of these suggestions might prove of benefit to DG agents today…

Note: these are tips for survival should one find oneself in a piece of Lovecraftian fiction. Attempts to apply them to a CoC game campaign should be undertaken only with extreme caution.

  1. If you find yourself in a position to acquire your ancestral estate (castle, manor house, etc.), *don’t*. Especially if it’s built on a cliff or overlooking a bog. Just trust that your ancestors moved away from there for a *reason*, and steer clear of the place yourself. Don’t even go there on holiday.
  2. Never read *anything* whose author was reputed to be mad.
  3. If, while dreaming, you find your dream-self going down a long flight of steps toward a gate, *turn around*. *Go back up.* Settle for a nice wet dream featuring a supermodel of your choice instead.
  4. *Don’t drink the water*. ‘Nuff said.
  5. Any electronic equipment you may bring along for the purpose of artificially enhancing your sensitivity to unknown phenomena, or for recording such phenomena, will only increase the likelihood of you going insane and/or getting eaten. Just stick with a flashlight (if you really *must* be able to see where you’re going; even that is often ill-advised) and a really good pair of running shoes.
  6. Buy a gun, but use it *only* in the following situations: if somebody you know comes to you claiming to have been dispossessed of his/her body, which is then subsequently inhabited by an alien intelligence, *shoot that person*. You’re doing him/her a favor. Likewise, if you ever suspect that your own mind has been has been displaced by another, just go ahead and shoot yourself. Avoid the stress and aggravation.
  7. In all other situations, *leave the gun at home.* You’ll only drop it in your mad flight to safety anyway.
  8. Avoid fog, mist, shadows, darkness, and anything or any place that smells bad. Avoid primeval forests, caves, cemeteries, charnel houses, abandoned buildings, and the sea.
  9. Break off friendships with anybody who tends to capitalize the following words in their writing: “Old,” “Elder,” “Ancient,” “Chaos,” “Evil,” “Dweller,” “Lurker,” “and “Horror,” especially if any of these words are used in combination with one another or with the word “God(s)”.
  10. Break off friendships with artists. Especially weird ones. The same goes for college professors. These people quite simply know too much for their own good. Or yours.
  11. Never travel to the following destinations, particularly for exploratory purposes: rural England; rural New England; any town or city in America that can justly be described as “centuries old”; India; Africa; Australia; Asia; Antarctica; or any place above or below the ocean’s surface that might ever have been part of the lost continent of Lemuria. If you live in any of these places, *move away immediately*.
  12. Don’t keep a diary, journal, or travelogue. The only people who write down things that happen to them are the people to whom bad things happen.
  13. If a stone artifact ever comes into your possession that is clearly artifical in shape, and just as clearly not the work of human beings, *get rid of it*. And the box it came in, just to be on the safe side. Then go and wash your hands.

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