I felt the game of Cthulu Dice was missing a central focal point, so I made this the other day to give the game some extra visual weight, if you will.
Truth be told, I know very little about the Cthulu mythology as first created by H.P. Lovecraft. The catalyst behind this piece, besides the simple urge to create something yesterday, was the ‘board’ game Cthulu Dice from Steve Jackson Games. Recently, a friend of mine who has discovered an interest in tabletop games, shared this game with me. In a nutshell, each player starts with all of their marbles (3) intact. Then the designated player (the caster) picks another player to attack. Depending on how the die lands, you either lose or gain sanity, from the victim or from Cthulu. Once learned, it’s a fairly simple game that moves quickly and uses a fun, interesting mechanic. However, what I felt was missing was the central focus of the player’s goal: Cthulu himself.
During the last time we played I commented that I should make a Cthulu figure to gather up and hold the players’ sanity — this was after I had lost most of mine. The resulting piece is molded from polymer clay and painted with acrylics. It’s a little hard to see in the photos, but the interior and his eyes are a high gloss, while the exterior ‘skin’ has a textured matte finish. My original idea was to depict a miniature Cthulu holding a basin that would collect your marbles, something more comical, like the My Little Cthulu vinyl toys. Instead, after deliberation, I decided that while our playing of the game included much laughter the underlying idea was the loss of your mind, and that it needed a more serious solution. Here, your sanity (or will) is collected in or drawn from Cthulu’s head directly. While I don’t know if anything like his head opening up is ever considered in the mythos, I felt this was sufficiently idealized and case-specific enough not to worry too much about what might be canon. If nothing else, it should keep our marbles from getting too scattered.