While commenting on the need for a God Machine tag that stands separately from the tag, I made an offhand reference to a hypothetical . Turns out we have one. Turns out it's being used awfully.

Here's the description from the tag wiki:

"Cthulhu is a fiction being [sic] created by Howard Philips Lovecraft. He, along with the rest of the Cthulhu mythos, are commonly used in horror RPGs, most notably The Call of Cthulhu and more recently The Trail of Cthulhu."

Here are the questions tagged with this:

Of these questions, only one actually references the fictional entity that the wiki says the tag is about; the others are either references to particular Mythos games, asking about the Mythos generally, or are completely out there. Can we sink this tag, or at least redefine it to something more useful?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This title is phenomenal. You make a good point too! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


The tag wiki was only recently created and can't be considered authoritative, so let's see where it came from. The tag's earliest appearance is in the Bad Old Days of We Don't Really Know What We're Doing. Ignoring the tag wiki for a moment and instead looking at its original and most common later uses, this appears to be a setting tag that is phenomenally badly-named.

It should be replaced with , the most common name of the setting. Meanwhile, should become a synonym of the setting tag, and mighty Cthulhu can join the Tarrasque in not having a personal tag.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would go with lovecraft. That gives the tag a wider scope and potential use for questions regarding all aspects of his writing etc that relate to rpg games \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 8:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or [lovecraft-mythos]? The questions are about the mythos, after all, not the author. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 10:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ lovecraft-mythos was my thought, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 13:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've actually heard gamer folks casually mention Cthulhu mythos yet never Lovecraft mythos. Someone aiming to tag a question appropriately seems much more likely to go with the former rather than the latter, despite its technical inaccuracy. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I've heard of using "Lovecraft" to refer to both himself but also his body of work, but my perception might be local. :) I begin to suspect Cthulhu mythos (often shortened to "mythos" even) is actually more common. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 15:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Phil If we had some Dream Cycle questions I'd be inclined to agree, but we don't actually, so we should tag for what's actually being used. If we need a broader umbrella tag later we can always do that then, when we need it. In practice, I suspect that two tags may be more appropriate anyway if they're setting tags, as though there's thematic overlap, AFAIK there's no setting overlap between the Cthulhu mythos and the Dream Cycle. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I would understand "Lovecraftian" to mean essentially the same thing as "Cthulhu Mythos", but "Lovecraft Mythos" sounds odd. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brilliand
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Brilliand Yeah, I don't think "Lovecraft Mythos" is actually used; and we avoid coining new names for tags. "Lovecraftian" is understandable, but I think is far behind "Cthulhu Mythos" as a commonly-used title, since it's more a descriptive adjective. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can accept that then. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited the answer to only suggest [cthulhu-mythos], since having two suggestions in one answer inhibits our ability to detect consensus from voting, and that one seems much less controversial/broadly-accepted. If anyone wants to put up answers with a [lovecraft] tag suggestion or other tag suggestions, please do. :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 6:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would, personally, understand "Lovecraftian" to be about an overly florid writing style, using a superfluence of multisyllabic adjectives and adverbs, where otherwise brevity might hold the day. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vatine
    Commented Sep 1, 2014 at 11:24

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