In the Cthulhu Mythos, a group of cosmically powerful entities. The distinction between Outer Gods and Great Old Ones is indefinite (and not even used by some authors; e.g., Brian Lumley includes the beings sometimes labeled as Outer Gods - Azathoth, etc. - under the heading of Great Old Ones).
Lovecraft himself did not use the classification; he used the term "Other Gods" instead ("other" as opposed to the Great Ones or "mild gods of Earth", the gods of Earthly mythologies who dwell in Earth's Dreamlands). The "Outer" part would seem to come from their place of residence - those existing remote from Earth, whether physically or dimensionally would tend to be "outer" beings and the Great Old Ones being those resident upon or imminent to Earth.
Like many things in the Cthulhu Mythos, the list of Outer Gods varies. The following are some of the more commonly used:
*Azathoth, a "nuclear chaos" at the center of reality
*Nyarlathotep, "soul and messenger" of the Outer Gods
*Yog-Sothoth, "conterminous with all space and time"
Other beings sometimes classified as Outer Gods (most of the following have also been labeled as Great Old Ones) include:
*Abhoth, "source of all miscreation and abomination", which produces a vast variety of misshapen offspring
*Shub-Niggurath, an "evil cloud-like entity" with fertility associations
Game and Story Use
- Common targets of worship by crazed cults in a Mythos game.
- A good model for other settings and systems, especially those with an angels, demons and squid cosmology … with these creatures providing the squid course.