Ok, so incompetent folk and masters don't see dragons as dangerous But being moderately competent makes you terrified


Basically. Low wisdom, you're too dumb to realize the danger you're in. High wisdom you think you are capable of victory. In the middle, you're questioning the life decisions that brought you to this point.


High Wisdom doesn't mean you can take on a dragon. I'd rather see it as: you may know you're doomed, but you don't panic.


You know that panicking will only make things worse. Average roll means you do panic which certainly doesn't improve chances.


The high wisdom one depends on level.


It depends on the dragon age, or if the fact if it has reached a point where it has achieved Greatwyrm status


In Call of Cthullu, if you encounter a Thing That Man Was Not Meant To Know, you roll against intelligence. On a failure, you lose some Sanity points. On a success, you realize just _what_ you're looking at, and consequently lose a lot more Sanity.


On the other hand, and this may be depending on the edition, if your character firmly doesn’t believe in the supernatural, they don’t lose Sanity points until they encounter something which convinces them, at which point they lose all of that Sanity at once.


Shane Madej would be a god in that game.


First thought too. Love to see another fan of the show


Couldn’t you logically create a character that states that science is based of rules, and if there are outliers to the rules science will change to intergrate them? Therefore meaning that you won’t lose sanity?


I mean technically but then you face the worst status effect of all: your friends hating you for trying to win a storytelling game


I guess that’s fair. Though I find it a little strange since that’s the way I see the universe personally.


Giving my answer a bit more thought: The thing that’s supposed to be mind-breaking about an eldritch horror isn’t that it doesn’t make sense, but that it confirms your deepest and most terrible fears. It tells you you’re an insignificant speck in a universe that not only doesn’t care, but which hates you and would destroy you given the chance. It’s about realizing that every comforting thought is a lie, that every irrational fear you’ve ever had is actually perfectly reasonable. Geometry being weird just happens so much because Lovecraft couldn’t think of anything scarier than gaps in human knowledge, subsequent Lovecraftian horror has expanded the scope of it much further.


That makes more sense, I guess then the line of thought I have in terms of game mechanics would be believing in the supernatural and taking normal sanity damage. It might be more realistic for the book to say that those characters aren’t ones that don’t believe in the supernatural, but rather don’t believe things that terrify them completely as real.


Yeah, that’s more along the lines of what the game says. Specifically, iirc, they’re called skeptics, referring to someone who actively thinks eldritch terrors don’t exist. It’s the difference between an agnostic who never prays and an atheist who’s constantly talking about how they aren’t a believer: if a real angel came up to the two of them they’d probably have very different reactions.


CoC is made for mental BDSM dungeons.


The wisdom save isn't "recognizing it as a threat", it's "keeping your nerve while it tries to intimidate you"


A dragon's frightful presence is because they're the apex predator at the top of the mortal food chain, and most things are instinctually programmed to run away the same way we fear falling. This is true for humans in particular, as the very concept of a dragon is "all the things that used to eat us, combined." In Western culture, dragons have the teeth and build of Africa's large cats, the wings and talons of large birds that used to rip our ancestors from the branches, and the scales, long neck, and spit of dangerous snakes (in early Western lore, dragons spat venom, not fire). All of these things are ambush hunters, so by the time we saw them there was only time to flee or die. In Eastern culture they're more snakelike, but with a lion's mane. Their role as "apex predator above humans" also gave rise to the idea that they're smarter than us too. That's they're niche in lore: Better than us in every way. This is why dragon-slaying is classically the most heroic and daring quest one can undertake, like a mouse defeating a jaguar.