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The nature of The Beast

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  • The nature of The Beast

    Is losing yourself to The Beast the literal destruction of your soul, or is it just a way of representing a psychological erosion caused by constantly experiencing superhumanly intense urges towards feeding and violence? Do Wights have souls or do they poof when dead?

  • #2
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    Is losing yourself to The Beast the literal destruction of your soul, or is it just a way of representing a psychological erosion caused by constantly experiencing superhumanly intense urges towards feeding and violence? Do Wights have souls or do they poof when dead?
    I see the Beast as the actual animal that the vampire is. The human part is camouflage that just so happens to be able to direct it better.

    When the Beast dispenses with the pretense of being human, it is just the natural true face of a vampire exerting itself.

    That's why the Masquerade is ironically so important because you are only as human as much as you pretend to be.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-07-2021, 10:16 PM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      I mostly agree with CTPhipps on what the Beast is, in terms of metaphysics, but I tend to think that the human part is genuine, and co-exists with the Beast. A vampire is something that is made *within* a person -- and out of that person. But a person's soul is a divine thing, and not so easily destroyed. One does not simply walk into Mordor, and one does not simply snuff out a soul.

      The human soul has three things going for it: resilience, familiarity/habit, and social reinforcement.

      The Beast has three things going for it, as well: raw power, human fallibility, and time.

      That's why I give characters both a Humanity score *and* a Beast score. They might both be high (a highly conflicted character with a strong moral sense but a ragingly strong Beast) or both be low (a bloodless killer with a nonetheless rather quiet and satiated Beast). I see them as independent, and at war with each other over the same patch of common ground: the vampire itself.

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      • #4
        So do Wights still have souls?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
          So do Wights still have souls?
          I think that a wight is so feral and animalistic that if it is killed and somehow became a wraith, it would just be a mindless Specter.


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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          • #6
            Yeah, but do they have anything to become a wraith or specter WITH, or do they poof out of existence because they are just shells?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
              So do Wights still have souls?
              Yes, IMO. It's probably very different from a Human soul, but there is "something" comparable still "there."

              Depending on your perspective, it may be answered mechanically. Do the rules say whether or not you can commit diablerie on a Wight? If diablerie means consuming a vampire's "soul," and Wights are valid targets for diablerie, then a Wight must have a "soul" of some kind.

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              • #8
                I think they did as of Revised, not sure if it's been touched on since.

                Personally, my approach is that one's higher self departs at death, to be replaced by something unnatural and animalistic that buds off from the sire's particular version. The human personality and consciousness remains, and can subsequently become a wraith assuming it's not diablerized or ground down to nothing by degeneration, but the part that reincarnates or achieves final reward is already long gone.

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                • #9
                  The first scenario in Gehenna had the Beast be Caine's own rage against God, passed down from sire to childe. When vampires talk about inheriting the sins of the father, that's why.

                  The Beast can be more or less whatever you want, but that's the only time I can remember its nature being specifically defined in VtM. I'd have enjoyed seeing WW offer some more potential explanations for GMs to choose from.

                  I haven't ever liked the idea of vampires becoming wraiths after final death. Maybe if they deliberately attempt to become wraiths while still undead and use powerful necromancy ala Cappadocius, but not if someone simply kills them. They've already died once and gotten their second chance. There's a reason it's called the final death.


                  Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                  • #10
                    A Vampire is a human who has trapped a Beast. A wight is a Beast who has trapped a human soul.


                    Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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