The word “shoggoth” simply means “servant” or “slave” in the language of the Elder Things, and as such, the star-headed extraterrestrials designed and bred them into a variety of forms to suit specific functions. The most familiar breed of shoggoth was designed for building Elder Thing cities—a living bulldozer or crane, effectively. Other forms were engineered for other purposes, especially during the wars against the mi-go and the spawn of Cthulhu, during which shoggoths were transformed into living artillery and other forms.
Those few sorcerers since the decline of the Elder Things who understood the nature of shoggoths as servants have continued to tinker with the malleable protoplasm, designing new forms to suit their own needs. The most common of these are the Obsequious Servants.
Obtaining a sample of shoggoth-tissue (often through bargains struck with Nyarlathotep or contact with deep ones), a sorcerer conducts the appropriate rituals to bind this “infant” shoggoth to their will, compelling it to servitude. Once appropriately “tamed,” the shoggoth is directed to inhabit a specially-prepared hollow doll or mannequin, its size dictated by the quantity of shoggoth-tissue. The shoggoth-tissue animates the doll, forming its muscles and ligaments to allow it to walk and perform the tasks its master requires of it.
Obsequious Servants exist to perform the day-to-day tasks a sorcerer wishes to forego in favor of study and experimentation. Tasks might be as simple as cleaning a ritual space after use or as involved as preparing food for the sorcerer. Servants present themselves as eager to serve and their intelligence increases through interaction with their creator; some sorcerers have been known to teach their servant spells such as Consume Likeness (The Grand Grimoire of the Cthulhu Mythos, p. 72) to allow them to run errands for their creators.
Of course, Obsequious Servants retain the rebellious intelligence of their forebears, and more than one unwary wizard has learned, too late, that their Servant had studied their grimoires while they slept, learning magic and methodically planning their escape from servitude.
There are an unknown number of free Obsequious Servants in the world right now, pursuing their own agendas along timelines many times longer than a human lifespan. What these agendas might entail, only they know.
The statistics below represents a newly-created Obsequious Servant; to create a more advanced specimen, add up to 3D6 to the dice rolled when calculating the Servant’s intelligence.
Mimicry: All Obsequious Servants are able to mimic human voices, and more intelligent specimens can engage in actual conversations, choosing their words with care. Older Servants frequently lapse into taciturnity, discovering they have little they wish to discuss with their human “masters.”
3D6 × 5
4D6 × 5
(1D6-2d6+6) × 5
3D6 × 5
2D6 × 5
4D6 × 5
Average Hit Points: 8
Average Damage Bonus: -1
Average Build: -1
Average Magic Points: 14
*This number is determined based on the size of the doll or mannequin chosen for the shoggoth-tissue to inhabit.
Attacks per round: 2
Obsequious Servants will often pick up a knife or club to defend their masters; they may also “break open” and attack with pseudopods.
Fighting 50% (25/10), damage 1D6+DB or by weapon type.
Dodge 26 (13/5)
Armor: Varies based on the material used to construct the servant’s body; an articulated wooden puppet might have 1 point of armor, while a Servant inhabiting a metal shell might have as many as 8 points of armor. The shoggoth-tissue inside takes half damage from fire and electrical attacks, and (once armor is factored in), no more than one point of damage from mundane physical weapons. A Servant regenerates 2 hit points per round (dying at zero hit points), though it may need to leave a casing that’s been too badly damaged in search of another.
Spells: typically none, though Servants with an INT greater than 70 are likely to know 1D4+1 spells.
Sanity Points: 0/1D4 Sanity points to encounter an Obsequious Servant; 1/1D6 to see one that is damaged and leaking shoggoth-matter.
William Adcock is a historian by training and a horror author by necessity.