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  • #16
    I like it enough to give an earnest chance to a rewrite, and have idly envisioned multiple ideas for Chronicles centered on it. Some of my most fun characters are Beasts, I'll readily admit. There are too many people who describe this game like it's the second coming of FATAL or whatever. Those people should sit down and realize that it's just a somewhat bad game with some promising parts. Furthermore, some arguments they use as "proof" that the game is an abomination have been decently addressed in the supplements, but not fully fixed. Last but not least, its flawed nature is very old news at this point, ain't it? Whoever shits on it nowadays is willingly smearing paste on their skin made from the horse they beat to death. Mistakes happen, it doesn't mean they need to be a big deal for all eternity, and we can learn from them.


    "I hope you will have a long and happy life, if only so you can realize how stupid and wrong you are."

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Teatime View Post
      Whenever someone asks about Beast and its history, I refer them to http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/the-new-world-of-darkness/beast-the-primordial-aa/1299506-on-the-problematic-nature-of-beast-and-why-i-think-that-s-a-good-thing?p=1299553#post1299553"]this Thread[/URL]. It contains experiences of several writers from the project, and opinions from multiple fans. Usually it's the former that's of most interest, but if you're interested in how other people read the book, both can be relevant to you.
      Well that was an interesting thread, even the bit about dwarves.

      Honestly I'd highly support a Beast 2e, or a cleaned up 1.1. The game has issues and themes many people are uncomfortable with and kind of either has to lean into 'a beast I've become' or rework those aspects. The issue is that some portion of the existing fanbase is going to hate whatever direction you go with.

      The fact is that even from the early days the outline of Beast has struck me as amazing, but I was never truly sold on the crossover aspects or the specifics. I've got no idea on how to make feeding on fear not problematic, and not everybody I'm likely to play with is as up for villain protagonists. But there's been a lot of damage control and at this point it's probably no worse than Vampire is.


      Blue is sarcasm.

      If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by TwoDSix View Post
        The fact is that even from the early days the outline of Beast has struck me as amazing, but I was never truly sold on the crossover aspects or the specifics. I've got no idea on how to make feeding on fear not problematic,
        Your millage may vary, of course, but it helped for me to think of Feeding as not quite being about fear, but about hitting certain narrative beats during the story. Need to get information from someone? That can be a potential food source, depending on how you handle it and your Hunger. You don't even need to intimidate them, sweet talking can work too, depending on your Hunger. Besides, even modern morality allows for and uses fear for certain institutions. For example, the justice system in part works due to fear of it. I think regular police work can feed the majority of Hungers as long as you are willing to stay at lower Satiety.

        I've got nothing for the cross over mechanics though, if they are not to your taste.

        Originally posted by TwoDSix View Post
        and not everybody I'm likely to play with is as up for villain protagonists. But there's been a lot of damage control and at this point it's probably no worse than Vampire is.
        I might be crazy, but I find Vampire much worse in the villainous protagonist department. I mean, there is a whole class of Beast that can feed well by simply being a good Private Investigator and doing their job. Compare that to Vampires, and the need to have something harmed so you can can live another night. Even in Vampire's best case, you have to be quite wealthy to afford to buy all the blood you need just to survive. On average, vampires effectively either stab a person, or deal actively harmful and addictive drugs every night just for basic survival and upkeep. Meanwhile Beasts can channel their hunger into something vaguely positive, or at least minimally harmful, if they are prepared to work for it.

        Vampire is probably still a good baseline for seeing if people would like to play, as the games are still quite similar.
        Last edited by TempleBuilder; 05-08-2022, 12:31 AM.


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        • #19
          I think the important part about keeping feeding from being an problem for playing the game is to remember that it is supposed to be a problem. A Beast sating they're Hunger is not doing something good, laudable, or commendable. They're doing something they need to do to survive. They might be able to disguise what they do as something people think is good, but it's always tainted by the fact that it was hunger first, and any ability to put a good PR spin on it second.

          There are lots of ways to make a Beast where their preferred method of feeding is something people see as neutral ("They're just doing their job") or even good ("They're making bad people pay when the system fails") by many people. Make sure to not lose sight of the fact that the big picture here is not that "look how good this monster is!" but rater look at our society where monsters feeding off of fear can do it so easily without being condemned by local society. It's certainly a heavy theme to deal with, but not losing sight of the idea that their are Beasts that are seen as normal or even valued members of their communities because those human communities have a place for such social trauma to be inflicted on others is important. Because it's a commentary on ourselves: What do we tolerate in our communities that would be perfect for a Beast of the right appetites to occupy? Why do we accept that as normal, tolerable, or even good?

          It's fine if Beasts tell themselves pretty lies about how they're helping people by preying on scumbags or whatever. But the players should never lose sight that it's a post-hoc justification. Just like the books remind us that Lessons are something Beasts do to make themselves feel better about the impact of feeding. Lots of Beasts do things for the sole reason of attempting to convince themselves or their friends/etc. that they're doing something good after being dealt a bad hand, but they ultimately know it's a lie (and there's lots of Beast antagonists ready to remind them of that if they forget). As long as the players remember to treat their PCs as trying to justify horrible actions and never start treating their Beasts as doing actual good when feeding; you avoid most of the pitfalls involved.

          While somewhat cliched at this point? You don't need villain protagonists as a litmus test for if people can handle Beast: pick any dark anti-hero superhero character. If people can accept that characters like Batman and the Punisher are supposed to be heroic, they can handle Beasts who are supposed to be monsters trying to minimize the damage they do.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            I think the important part about keeping feeding from being an problem for playing the game is to remember that it is supposed to be a problem. A Beast sating they're Hunger is not doing something good, laudable, or commendable. They're doing something they need to do to survive. They might be able to disguise what they do as something people think is good, but it's always tainted by the fact that it was hunger first, and any ability to put a good PR spin on it second.

            There are lots of ways to make a Beast where their preferred method of feeding is something people see as neutral ("They're just doing their job") or even good ("They're making bad people pay when the system fails") by many people. Make sure to not lose sight of the fact that the big picture here is not that "look how good this monster is!" but rater look at our society where monsters feeding off of fear can do it so easily without being condemned by local society. It's certainly a heavy theme to deal with, but not losing sight of the idea that their are Beasts that are seen as normal or even valued members of their communities because those human communities have a place for such social trauma to be inflicted on others is important. Because it's a commentary on ourselves: What do we tolerate in our communities that would be perfect for a Beast of the right appetites to occupy? Why do we accept that as normal, tolerable, or even good?

            It's fine if Beasts tell themselves pretty lies about how they're helping people by preying on scumbags or whatever. But the players should never lose sight that it's a post-hoc justification. Just like the books remind us that Lessons are something Beasts do to make themselves feel better about the impact of feeding. Lots of Beasts do things for the sole reason of attempting to convince themselves or their friends/etc. that they're doing something good after being dealt a bad hand, but they ultimately know it's a lie (and there's lots of Beast antagonists ready to remind them of that if they forget). As long as the players remember to treat their PCs as trying to justify horrible actions and never start treating their Beasts as doing actual good when feeding; you avoid most of the pitfalls involved.

            While somewhat cliched at this point? You don't need villain protagonists as a litmus test for if people can handle Beast: pick any dark anti-hero superhero character. If people can accept that characters like Batman and the Punisher are supposed to be heroic, they can handle Beasts who are supposed to be monsters trying to minimize the damage they do.
            "A god is just a monster you kneel to", and the world is lousy with gods.

            I'll freely admit, despite that, this was an angle I hadn't considered directly. I by and large tackle Beast from the angle of how human history has always demonstrated a need for monsters in it's communities (somewhat rooted in the way Ferrum presented the subject in Promethean 1st Edition) as an extension of how Beast is a game of making place, but this is actually a big part of the dichotomy of Heroes and Beasts, and part of the reason why I posit that a rewrite that emphasizes Heroic Hungers-some monsters get called the Hero because it's done in a way people can get behind, while others remain as monsters because who they are isn't of utility or aspiration to people-but monsters are monsters.

            On the other hand, market control and branding is a two way street.


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            • #21
              Honestly, I like Beasts as villain protagonists. I like that things you can spin as good or neutral are not going to keep you well fed. Try to be good and you need to start fighting your hunger.

              And yes, a refocusing on the lies we tell us to make ourselves feel better could make feeding work. That those who have bad things happen from our actions Deserve It because of one thing or another. That digging up people's secrets is completely fine and not a way to gather power. Oh it's okay, I'm just teaching 'lessons'. That what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so really you're helping people, right?

              Beasts can be reluctant villain protagonists, and they can struggle to be anti-heroes and everything. But I think that a strength of Beast is that they have no inherent need to, they can spend every night stalking people and raising paranoia or even kill and eat their victims and they don't take a hit to their 'I'm not a monster, honest' meter like Vampires do. A Beast's morality is their choice, and it's what makes both those who try to control their feeding and those who indulge interesting.


              As to the crossover rules, I can pretty much just ignore them or tone them down. They're a lot less important than I assumed back in the day, where I assumed they'd actively push Beasts towards crossovers in every chronicle.


              Blue is sarcasm.

              If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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              • #22
                I personally feel like the comparison to vampire is a bit disingenuous; one of vampire's core themes is struggling with the fading embers of your humanity versus the impulses of the Beast (lots of things is called Beasts in OPP games which is a bit ironic consider the topic), you still have some sort of connection to humanity via your touchstone, and yes, you are a cursed monster, and you need to drink the blood of mankind to survive, but you're not actively written as someone who was sent out by a vague origin goddess to punish humans (alternatively just consume their fear if you happen to think that's easier and more convenient).

                Vampires are confronted with their monstrosity in a way that Beasts are definitely not. A vampire that takes steps to preserve their humanity, that tries to be humane, that goes out of their way not to hurt or abuse human seems like a completely natural thing (though by no means would all vampires do this), whereas a Beast doing the same just struck me as something very contrary to how their corebook described them.

                I don't know. I felt like there's many redeeming qualities to Vampire both on the individual levels and in the gameline in its entirety, whereas beast just struck me as 'you exist to fuck people up, embrace it, period.'

                Beasts definitely came across as several shades more villainous than Vampire did to me, though both are definitely scourges upon mankind.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Vintervalpen View Post
                  I personally feel like the comparison to vampire is a bit disingenuous;
                  I'm never sure why I end up saying this so much when it comes to Beast...

                  Comparisons and analogies are never perfect, otherwise they'd be tautologies.

                  The comparison between Vampire and Beast is around the fact that both games deal with monsters that feed off humans in inherently harmful ways; with a lot of subsequent issues around how people seem to be willing to engage with that with Vampire, but struggle with the same issue with Beast. Of course most of the follow discussion is about things like themes and what not, but that's getting away from the actual comparison being made.

                  Obviously they're not the same, because if they were the same Beast would be a completely redundant game to have. That doesn't make any comparison impossible, or worthy of calling disingenuous (remember that word implies people are being deceptive, not just making a bad argument).

                  Vampires are confronted with their monstrosity in a way that Beasts are definitely not.
                  The converse is also true though. Vampires don't risk their inner beast literally ripping itself out of their soul to rampage around to gorge itself on blood, while the vampire slowly starts to die until said need to feed is sufficiently sated by one of them until the incident ends. A Beast reaching Satiety 0 is confronted with their monstrosity in a very different way from a vampire that hunger Frenzies. Both types are confronted by their beast/hunger rather directly if they don't figure out good coping strategies though.

                  A vampire that takes steps to preserve their humanity, that tries to be humane, that goes out of their way not to hurt or abuse human seems like a completely natural thing (though by no means would all vampires do this), whereas a Beast doing the same just struck me as something very contrary to how their corebook described them.
                  Only because of the phrase, "goes out of their way not to hurt or abuse human," is doing a lot of heavy lifting here. Vampires drinking human blood are hurting humans. Humans need blood. While modern humans are generally safe from severe consequences of minor blood loss, vampires can't always control themselves either. It takes a considerable amount of proactive effort to be a vampire that can ensure that any of their victims never have to worry about getting hit by a car in an unforeseen accident on the way home after giving the vampire some blood, and dying because they didn't have that blood in them and appropriate blood wasn't available to the medics/ER docs. Vampires generally take enough blood, even for 1 vitae, to strain an average healthy human adult's body. The system might not get granular here, because it would detract from the personal horror angle, but VtR is plenty clear that vampires can only reduce risk of hurting humans, never completely escape it.

                  Beasts of course have to "abuse" in some fashion because they're feeding off of emotions. Unlike changelings that can sip Glamour off of any strong emotions, Beasts have to spark specific personally resonant ones in their victims. Of course a Beast that's trying not to "abuse" humans is running contrary to the core book.. they literally cannot do that. What Beasts have control over is how bad the abuse is, and who they target.

                  Like vampires, the begotten are in the business of risk management. The difference is mostly in immediacy. Vampires, as befits immortal parasites, manage risk on a detached long scale. Beasts, as befits emotional predators, manage risk on a more visceral short term scale.

                  Beasts don't have to struggle to maintain their humanity... because that concept is as foreign to them as it is to any human. A Beast knows who they are. If they still consider themselves humans on some level, they can do that. They can be active members of their pre-Devouring families. They can do any normal human thing they want to do. Their monstrocity isn't in a physiological change that makes normal human relations difficult to maintain. Beasts, even in the very flawed core, are repeatedly shown to do this. It's not, at all, rare for them to "be human" on some level. That's why one of their Anchors is call "Life." They have a normal life they lead on some level.

                  I don't know. I felt like there's many redeeming qualities to Vampire both on the individual levels and in the gameline in its entirety, whereas beast just struck me as 'you exist to fuck people up, embrace it, period.'
                  I understand how you can walk away from the Beast core book with that impression, but please acknowledge that so many people are trying to fight for how Beast is so much more than that aren't just making it up. It is actually in there.

                  Beasts definitely came across as several shades more villainous than Vampire did to me, though both are definitely scourges upon mankind.
                  I don't think any of the CofD games actually benefit from this sort of thing. The games are supposed to be morally complex. There are Beasts that have far more easily defended lives from a moral/ethical perspective than your average vampire, and vice versa. The same goes for the worst of their kind.

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                  • #24
                    Beast might cast you as an abuser, but it's well known that vampire casts you as a metaphorical rapist* who causes physical damage to your victims. You can justify it all you want as you want, and many groups do, but it's still very difficult to be a vampire while dealing with that fact. I don't see how that's really different to the justification that Beasts do.

                    I mean yes, as a vampire you can sustain yourself entirely on bagged or animal blood, and go into torpor regularly to maintain the option. But that's kind of cheating the point of the game, and honestly less interesting than Beasts engaging in petty and nearly harmless behaviours to keep themselves just above starving.

                    Plus honestly since CofD started ditching the morality meters in 2e playing around with morality became more interesting. Humanity is the part of Vampire I like the least, despite it being a central part of the game. The least moral PCs I've ever seen were in an Unknown Armies game simply because the game said nothing about PC morality, it just handed them tools and motivation to go to extremes to complete their objectives. So yes, Beasts might be villain protagonists as written, but if it was better handled (as Vampire generally is) that wouldn't be bad.

                    * And when you consider how the standard Embrace works not so metaphorical.


                    Blue is sarcasm.

                    If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by DontEatRawHagis View Post
                      Beast needs a 2nd Edition with better designers/writers with a unified vision.

                      What works:
                      • Crossover Splat compatibility
                      • Nightmares act as good support abilities (i.e. debuffs).
                      • Lairs are a great mechanic.
                      • Satiety as a mechanic is great: Depending on its value changes what abilities might do also you can spend satiety to boost the ability if you want.
                      • Beasts as Mythological/Legendary monsters that exist in people's nightmares.
                      What doesn't work:
                      • Thicker than Water - Beasts automatically increasing their Impression with other splats and monsters by +1. This is mechanical benefit that should be left to roleplay, doubly bad in that it is a passive ability they have.
                      • Beasts are hunted but have no oversight on keeping Heroes from being created. Vampires have a governmental body to enforce the masquerade, Beasts do not. The Apex doesn't care and the Dark Mother doesn't care. Makes Beasts seem very anti-survival.
                      • Beasts written from a "morally right" perspective, either have them be inherently villains or have them be vigilantes.
                      • Heroes being only low integrity - This seems added to make Heroes look like the bad guys. Having morally grey Heroes or even ones who are Hunters who lost someone to a Beast would be perfectly fine to have and be more interesting the M'Lady Guy.
                      • Family Dinner - Requirements for what constitutes "hunting" is too restrictive depending on how Beasts are being portrayed. For example, RAW Beasts don't get Satiety from a Vampire feeding from their Herd, instead they have to get it from a Vampire hunting a Mortal.
                      • Lessons - This just doesn't fit. Its a paper thin justification for why Beasts do what they do.
                      What could work:
                      • If Good Guys:
                        • Replace Hunger (Tyrants) from asserting Dominance to removing people from Dominant positions. (i.e. feed on Pride)
                        • Hunger (Collector) works in my mind, but may need to be tweaked slightly. (i.e. feed on Greed)
                        • Replace Hunter (Predators) from hunting prey to hunting other predators. (i.e. feed on
                        • Replace Hunger (Nemesis)... No idea what to replace it with, but thematically it seems like a generic version of Hungers.
                        • Replace Hunter (Ravengers) with destroying destroyers maybe?
                        • If Beasts fed off of cleansing people of Sin like Pride, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Lust, Wrath, and Gluttony I feel like it would be more thematic for them as "good".
                      • If Evil Guys:
                        • More thematically if Beasts fed off the presence of Sin like Pride, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Lust, Wrath, and Gluttony I feel like it would be more thematic for them as villains.
                      • Split Beasts into 2 factions like how we have the Vampire Covenants vs VII, Forsaken vs Pure, Pentacle vs Seers, Prometheans vs Centimani, Changelings vs Loyalists/Privateers, Hunters vs Slashers, Mummies vs Shan'iatu, Angels vs Demons, and Deviants vs Devoted... Man its almost like we have a theme here?
                        • Maybe take the idea of Beasts who cleanse Sins and Beats who instill Sins and put them into two rival factions? Sounds good. Sounds better than BtP is right now imo.
                      Very much agreed on only low integrity hunter feels off, I know they address it in later supplements but still say high integrity heroes won't hunt and I feel that's off. The heroes should be able to be a range of characters so they contrast not only with beasts but with each other

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                      • #26
                        My own opinion boils down to it being wierd that the unchained are singled out as not kin but are the only instance of not kin monsters. Even abyssal things are kin so the argument of them being unnatural feels wierd to me.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Mr.F.I.X. View Post
                          My own opinion boils down to it being wierd that the unchained are singled out as not kin but are the only instance of not kin monsters. Even abyssal things are kin so the argument of them being unnatural feels wierd to me.
                          I've got the answer to this (and lean into the argument from Brookshaw that the Abyss shouldn't be kin, but that's still not text, so), but as I've answered that somewhere in the range of approximately way too fucking much, I'm gonna flip the script for this one:

                          What does allowing the Unchained and the other supernaturals born from the God-Machine's power and influence to be treated as kin, the same as everyone else, do to positively benefit both Beast and Demon within their respective lines and games that include each other regularly(As opposed to a Demon game that has a Beast or visa versa)? What do you think some of the consequences of doing it like that would be? Do you think those benefits outweigh those cons?

                          Convince me.
                          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 05-10-2022, 12:35 PM.


                          Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
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                          • #28
                            ArcaneArts honesty, I don't mind that they aren't kin. I only mind that they are the only instance of not-kin. Sadly, though its word of god with what Brooks haw mentioned we have some kinship powers that related to the abyss iirc, I forget the specifics but I remember it making paradox worse.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Mr.F.I.X. View Post
                              ArcaneArts honesty, I don't mind that they aren't kin. I only mind that they are the only instance of not-kin. Sadly, though its word of god with what Brooks haw mentioned we have some kinship powers that related to the abyss iirc, I forget the specifics but I remember it making paradox worse.
                              It's a Mage related Nightmare. It emulates Paradox/the Abyss because it's part of what makes mages scary. Many has interpreted this as the Nightmare invoking the actual Abyss, but as far as I understand Beast, Kinship Nightmares have nothing to do with the actual powers (or weaknesses) of other supers, and everything to do with human perception of those supers, accessible to Beasts through (and powered by) the Primordial Dream.


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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                                It's a Mage related Nightmare. It emulates Paradox/the Abyss because it's part of what makes mages scary. Many has interpreted this as the Nightmare invoking the actual Abyss, but as far as I understand Beast, Kinship Nightmares have nothing to do with the actual powers (or weaknesses) of other supers, and everything to do with human perception of those supers, accessible to Beasts through (and powered by) the Primordial Dream.
                                It's not so much that it's invoking the Abyss (though, c'mon, everyone has a bit of the Abyss in them, and a splat that evokes soul-deep Nightmares has some room to tap into that) that's the discussion so much as it's kinship with the Abyss that grants it.

                                Brookshaw has posited, after the release of the core, that it's antithetical to the nature of the Abyss as a contrarian mess that refuses to mesh semiotics to meaning at all-In a poor visual metaphor, shoving someone's face into a fire in the Abyss could result in them drowning or having their face flower-and so basically wouldn't have the metaphysical nature for the sympathetic connection of Kinship to stick-the psychosymbolic association of Monster like-to-like is too confining a label for a metaphysical force that basically laughs at names and other identifiers.

                                THere's a lot of arguments about it, but the simplest and biggest one is that Beast has established that as not being the case so far, and it falls on later developers on whether to honor that text and surrounding logic or Brookshaw's argument and surrounding logic, and how that's going to be addressed.

                                Giving that psuedo-developer answer in the interest of moving on from the topic, I'm inclined to lean in favor of Brookshaw and to basically not have to worry about retroactively explaining it, because Beast has a lot more shit to deal with than that if it's gonna get it's act together.

                                ANYWAYS.
                                Last edited by ArcaneArts; 05-10-2022, 05:34 PM.


                                Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                                Feminine pronouns, please.

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