HOWTO typeset Call of Cthulhu spells to make them look like the scrawlings of a gibbering madman


23 Responses to “HOWTO typeset Call of Cthulhu spells to make them look like the scrawlings of a gibbering madman”

  1. liquidstar says:

    I can totally understand his desire for appropriate ‘props’ for his RP game – the effect they can have in the game can be surprising.  As a former DM, I once for kicks actually wrote out ‘Abandon all Hope, Ye Who Enter Here’ using a Xmas calligraphy set (probably the only time it was ever used) on a piece of letter grade paper and then ‘ aged’ it using a lighter, making it yellow and singing the corners.   This was mean to be presented at the beginning to a whole new adventure area, a sort of Monty Python gag.   But lo and behold, the presentation of an the paper at the entrance so affected the party members that they all immediately decided to turn back, leaving the DM to scramble to figure out a way to get them to go back in as no other areas were prepared for that night. 

  2. petershultz says:

    Can the right answer please be “write it by hand”! Maybe after drinking too much coffee and staying up too late.

    • Jim Saul says:

      Printing with your “off” hand is probably effective. With a fountain pen you can flick those nice Ralph Steadman style ink splashes as accent.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Can the right answer please be “write it by hand”!

      If you use brain pus instead of ink and do it on non-euclidean paper.

    • xzzy says:

      But doing it with code would be a huge nerd draw. Programmers love that type of challenge.

      • retchdog says:

        rolling your own stochastic font grammar/generator/editor/renderer would be a serious undertaking. by stochastic, i mean that every single character is randomized… that’s what it would take to do this right.

    • Marc Mielke says:

      I would recommend actually BECOMING a Cthulhu worshipping madman! 
      Just chant: PH’NGUI MGLW’NAFH CTHULHU R’LYEH WGAH’NAGL FHTAGN and you will be sublime. 

  3. Ambiguity says:

    “I am a Cthulhu worshiping gibbering madman, unhinged by the horrors I have wittnessed.”

    It’s the new Ipsum Lorem!

  4. Ito Kagehisa says:

    I wish my handwriting was as neat and structured as that.

    • blueelm says:

      Yeah, I’m afraid that my handwriting is a bit more unhinged. But maybe just imagine that it took the gibbering madman three days to print that… using a ruler.

  5. Mark Finn says:

    This is silly. There are literally a shoggoth worth of sites online dedication to recreating the Cthulhu Mythos in the real world. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Preservation society and Propnomicon come instantly to mind. He doesn’t need a font for a madman, he needs stronger google-fu.

    • pauldrye says:

      I envy him his innocence, Mark. There are things Man was not meant to know. If we could but correlate all that Google contains we would be driven mad — it is a blessing we have not that capacity lest the world be rendered into a blasted heath under a rubicund, shivering sun! Tread not those paths; stick to Comic Sans and count your blessings! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Goat With a Thousand Young!

  6. Mordicai says:

    This is relevant to my interests & manifestly useful to my weekends.

    My players will not thank you for this, but I will.  Thanks!

  7. cellocgw says:

    Ummm,…. gee… Should take about five minutes using LaTeX.

  8. johndberry says:

    Use a handwriting font with alternate forms for individual letters, so they don’t look identical when they occur next to each other (pp, rr, oo, etc.) An OpenType font with contextual alternates might be the simplest way to go. 

  9. Peter Flynn says:

    I did this one using Kenn Munk’s Aether font: — it did indeed take well under five minutes in LaTeX, which is why it’s worth learning :-) The .tex file is in the same directory.
    I have emailed KM to ask for permission to make the LaTeX setup for the font available (his site provides it in TTF, which is fine if you run XeTeX, but many people don’t).

  10. serpent says:

    It does not look like a madman note until it’s written from start to end. No borders, no paragraphs. Avoid punctuation and use extremely long sentences. Try to fill the whole page. Write vertically, up or down where you run out of horizontal space. All caps and multiple font colors for an extra bonus! Trust me, I’ve seen some madman letters.

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