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The Elder Influence

You have made a pact with an Elder Influence, which might be a Great Old One, Outer God, or one of the more unusual entities in Chapter 8. Perhaps you found a rite in a book best left unread and purchased magical insights before understanding the true cost. Perhaps you made a brilliant leap of logic on your own and attracted the attention of Nyarlathotep in a mortal guise, who deftly coaxed you into signing your mind over to him or another entity.

However you made your pact, you need not be true to the creature’s aims to continue using the power you gained, but you had to serve it in some manner in order to form the pact in the first place. Even if you are no longer loyal, the pact leaves a mark on you, possibly drawing the interest of your patron and its true servants. They might coerce or attack you if you do not diligently serve its interests, or perhaps only if you directly oppose it. Discuss with your GM what the nature of your patron means for the campaign.

The Elder Influences in Chapter 8 tend to reveal different secrets to their warlocks according to how they violate common understandings of reality: Dimensions Unfathomed, Time’s End, and Unearthly Mutation.

Elder Influences that show distance and dimensions to be meaningless distinctions include Atlach-Nacha, Azathoth, Great Cthulhu, Hastur, the King in Yellow, Nyarlathotep (the Dark Demon, the Shadow Pharaoh), Rhan-Tegoth, Tsathoggua, and Yog-Sothoth. Their warlocks most often choose the Dimensions Unfathomed secret.

Elder Influences with such destructive power that they threaten time’s very continuity include Azathoth, Byatis, Bokrug, Cthugha, Ghroth, Great Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa, Gobogeg, Nyarlathotep (the Howler), Nyogtha, Quachil Uttaus, Rhan-Tegoth, and Tulzscha. Their warlocks most often choose the Time’s End secret.

Elder Influences that teach the warping and remaking of life include Abhoth, Chaugnar Faugn, Great Cthulhu, Father Dagon, Ithaqua, Mother Hydra, Nyarlathotep (the Bloated Woman), Shub-Niggurath, Ubbo-Sathla, and Yig.

Their warlocks most often get the Unearthly Mutation secret.

Otherworldly Secret

When you select this Otherworldly Patron at 1st level, you choose a secret taught by your patron and gain its feature.

Dimensions Unfathomed. When you damage a target with a warlock cantrip, it teleports to an unoccupied space you choose that isn’t hazardous to it and that you can see within 10 feet of it.

Time’s End. Whenever you deal damage with a warlock spell, the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by the damage it took for 1 hour. If you reduce the target to 0 hit points, you gain 5 temporary hit points. If you reduce the target’s hit point maximum to 0, it dies.

Unearthly Mutation. You grow fangs, horns, or a long proboscis. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d4 piercing damage. They have the light and finesse properties. In addition, you grow a thick hide, giving you a base AC without armor equal to 13 + your Dexterity modifier.

Expanded Spell List

The Elder Influence lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. Two of the following spells of each spell level are added to the warlock spell list for you. There is one spell of each spell level you add regardless of which Otherworldly Secret you chose. The other you add depends on the secret you chose at 1st level.

Cosmic Loophole

At 6th level, you gain a feature from the Otherworldly Secret of your choice. You can choose the same type you selected at 1st level or a different type.

Dimensions Unfathomed. Your reach with melee weapon attacks and melee warlock spell attacks increases by 5 feet. The range of any warlock spell of 5th level or lower you cast and any ranged weapon attack you make is doubled.

When you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to twist space. If you would have been out of reach or range of the attack if you were twice as far away as you actually are, the attack misses instead. If doubling the distance would move you from normal range to long range and the attack didn’t already have disadvantage, the attacker makes a new attack roll and uses that result instead.

Once you use this reaction, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Time’s End. Raw cosmic force infuses your spells and attacks. Once on your turn when you deal damage with a warlock cantrip, a pact weapon, or your familiar, you deal one target additional force damage equal to your Charisma modifier.

When you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to attack your attacker with your pact weapon or a warlock cantrip, or you can cause your familiar to attack the attacker (using its reaction).

Unearthly Mutation. Your body mutates to become more mobile and adaptable, giving you the following benefits:

  • You can breathe air and water.
  • Your base walking speed increases by 10 feet and you don’t have to spend extra movement to climb or swim.
  • When you hit with an unarmed strike, it deals 1d6 piercing damage. When you are damaged by a creature within 5 feet, you can use your reaction to attack that creature with your unarmed strike.

Alien Perspective

Starting at 10th level, you have advantage on saving throws against effects that would cause your actions to be determined by a die roll, by the GM, or by other creatures, such as confusion or symbol (insanity). You also have advantage on saving throws against effects that would give you the charmed condition, frightened condition, madness, insanity, or one or more levels of dread.

Unlocked Power

At 14th level, you gain a feature from the Otherworldly Secret of your choice. You can choose the same type you selected at 1st level or a different type.

Dimensions Unfathomed. You can cast either teleport or plane shift once without expending a spell slot. You then can’t cast any spell with this feature until you finish a long rest.

Time’s End. When you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction to vanish out of the normal flow of time. The attack or effect that reduced you to 0 hit points automatically fails to kill you but inflicts any other effects on you normally. You regain up to two spell slots and can spend up to five Hit Dice to regain hit points while outside time, and then reappear in your original location (or the nearest unoccupied space, if it’s occupied) at the end of your next turn. You can’t take any actions while outside time.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Unearthly Mutation. You can cast regenerate or reincarnate once without expending a spell slot or providing components. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest. The target’s body is mutated visibly by your magic, generally taking on one or two characteristics reminiscent of your patron.

Elder Influence Expanded Spells
Spell Level All Secrets Dimensions Unfathomed Time’s End Unearthly Mutation
1st identify mist of R’lyeh false life cure wounds
2nd see invisibility rope trick moonbeam alter self
3rd clairvoyance blink slow protection from energy
4th confusion greater invisibility death ward polymorph (can be a monstrosity)
5th teleportation circle planar binding cone of cold contagion (no creature type restriction)
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Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos, © 2018, Petersen Games; Authors: Sandy Petersen, David N. Ross, James Jacobs, Arthur Petersen, Ian Starcher.