HP Lovecraft as an Unreliable Narrator

“Yeah, well, if you put too much faith in rumors in this game you’re going to wake up dead, like all the folks who thought H. P. Lovecraft was a tour guide, not a mad uncle in the attic.”

- The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross



I've been giving some thoughts as to resuming our group's Call of Cthulhu game later this year. I'm finding I'm missing the insanity that is the worlds of HP Lovecraft.

One thing that came to me a while back was how I'd reconcile the timeline. After all, the US Government raid on Innsmouth doesn't happen until 1928. The events of "The Dunwich Horror" also reach a climax in 1928. The Pabodie expedition takes place in 1931. We know who it is that deals with Wilbur Whateley and his brother. 

Unless, of course, I decide that Lovecraft can't be fully trusted. It's an idea I got from Stross' Laundry Files series and the Atomic Robo portrayal of Lovecraft. The idea is HP Lovecraft learns of the major events of the Mythos and turns them into stories - which may diverge from the "actual" events in our campaign. It's a totally unnecessary conceit, but it's the sort of thing that appeals to me with my need to make everything "fit".


And Lovecraft would be rather horrified by our non-exclusively white group of investigators. So were he to get wind of some of the stories he'd be sure to "clean them up" a bit. Was it really Henry Armitage who dealt with the Dunwich Horror? Or was it his African-American assistant librarian?




Image Credit - Atomic Robo, Vol. 3: Shadow From Beyond Time by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener

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