Lovecraftian Randomness: Aberrant Descriptions

If you have ever played in a horror game and asked questions like:

  • Where did that tentacle come from?
  • Are human eyes supposed to have vertical slits?
  • Why does that guy have flippers for hands?

Wikimedia Commons Lovecraft Cthulhu SketchThat might be an indication that you’re playing somewhere near the weird world of H.P. Lovecraft. Like getting near the edges of a fun-house mirror, sometimes things get a little warped at the edges.

It’s his birthday this week, so I’ll be offering some weirdness of my own in a Moebius Adventures fashion.

Today I am offering a couple of tables to inspire some weird descriptions. Roll two dice – a d10 and a d20 – and see what strangeness it inspires…

Aberrant Element

  1. Eyes
  2. Horns
  3. Tentacles
  4. Skin
  5. Teeth
  6. Hands
  7. Feet
  8. Fingers
  9. Nose
  10. Growths

Aberrant Descriptor

  1. Large
  2. Small
  3. Speckled
  4. Elongated
  5. Irregular
  6. Oblong
  7. Slitted
  8. Slick
  9. Banded
  10. Bulbous
  11. Spare
  12. Scaly
  13. Warped
  14. Disfigured
  15. Burned
  16. Scarred
  17. Spiny
  18. Pitted
  19. Moist
  20. Airy

Some Examples

  • (Eyes/Scaly) “The frog-faced man stares from the shadows. His watery eyes and wide, lop-sided grin offer little reassurance as to his motives, but the hint of scales reflecting in the lamplight betrays something otherworldly about his origins. Perhaps his message holds more hope than his countenance?”
  • (Tentacles/Slick) “The edge of the dark pool roils with movement just beneath the surface, glimmering with an oily sheen reflecting the ethereal light. A single tentacle coils and uncoils on the lip of the slick, damp stone, almost as though the creature waiting is beckoning to whomever sees it…”
  • (Teeth/Pitted) “Even dead, this creature smiles. Rigor set in in moments instead of hours, revealing a gruesome grimace. You wonder at its diet as you see the deep, stained pits, grooves, and chips in every tooth… too many teeth to fit into one mouth. Where did this thing come from?”


Though I’ve read quite a few Lovecraft stories, I rely more on the feel of those tales than the exact wording. You can use that odd feel in just about any genre of storytelling you wish to use. I might imagine some otherworldly evil deep in the mines of a fantasy epic just as easily as a story set in an 1880’s western mining town. Or openly otherworldly creatures attempting to take over our world in a modern or science fiction tale…

The Big Book of Little Spaces: Haunts can be helpful in these situations as well as anything openly Lovecraftian. So be sure to check it out!

And stay tuned this week for more random madness to explore. 🙂

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