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Horrors with a history

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  • Horrors with a history

    I don't know if this is a topic that's been floated out there either as a novel forum idea or something for a future supplement, but has anyone put any thought into exploring Horrors that have had previous hosts and/or are notable throughout the past? The obvious concept is a 'famous' Horror out of myth - being Devoured by Megaera (of the three Furies) instead of just a more nebulous bird monster, for instance - but also the idea of one that hasn't made it into mortal storytelling, but has nonetheless taken prior hosts in the past. As someone who really enjoys generational stories and past life narratives, the idea that even as this flimsy human-ish shell is fleeting and modern, the monstrous soul of the Horror has hunted and hungered across the ages is super cool, especially with the chance for personal archaeology or recalling memories of those prior existences.

    Has anyone else thought on this? Is it something we might see in a book later on?

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  • #2
    I think this got specifically mentioned a couple times when Matt asked what people wanted to see in the Player's Guide, so I'' hoping we will hear more about it very soon.

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    • #3
      Secrets of the Ruined Temple touches on this a little bit. Obviously this was years before Beast was even a thing, but the book still discusses "Chimerical Beasts" as a Temenos phenomena wherein astral entities resembling monsters of legend possess or even Claim human hosts. It also mentioned Eidolons, which instead of being legendary monsters are legendary heroes and even deities. I think they emphasized "deity" over "hero" though. It's been a while since I've read the book, but I imagine you could mine it for some ideas.

      Perhaps, when Geist comes out and we see what the Bargain Manifestation looks like, we'll be able to reverse-engineer a Devouring Manifestation, giving an opportunity for an Unfettered Beast to become one of the Begotten again.

      I know in one game I played, there was a Beast who believed, and acted, like they were the reincarnation of an ancient dragon. They didn't pick it right out of the box, but they were going to purchase Mimir's Wisdom as an Atavism to represent their history and vast memories. I imagine something like the Long of Days Merit from the Changeling playtest documents, which gives the character the Informed Condition once per Chapter, I believe, because they've lived such a long time they have all this nebulous experience and knowledge hanging around, wouldn't be out of the question either. Or you could just refluff Long of Days and allow Beasts to take it.

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      • #4
        I had thought there was a merit to help represent this. Epic fame or some such?


        • #5
          Advanced Fame. It can be used to represent that, yeah.

          It's something I gave some thoughts. Going past the obvious fact it all depends on how much the character embraces his Horror and considers it a part of himself, it's a topic worth discussing. Glad that from what I've heard, Matt is gonna address this in the player's guide. Right off the bat, I guess there are two main ways you can play with this.

          The first one is that of the legacy character. Whether it's the Horror reborn or the Beast tapping into some fundamental fear that takes a familiar shape, it has potential. The character is the inheritor of a legacy and has to confront himself with the previous holders of his Horror.

          The second one goes a little bit more the Exalted way, with the Horror acting as the recurring element among the different incarnations of a soul. Horror and Soul so deeply tied that they remain together through the ages, perhaps not in every single life, but in many. It is, as you said, something that call for narratives about past lives and memories of previous existences.

          Either way, old enemies and ancient rivalries might be at work, not to mention your precursor trying to preserve secrets and advices for those who will follow them. Finding places and traces of your past lives is just cool.

          On my table, I personally allow both options. A character I made is firmly convinced to be not only a sea monster, but Scylla reborn, as in the Greek mythology one. She has no particular interest in exactly changing her way of life because of this, but holds respect for her legacy and the legend itself sometimes influenced her decisions. In this case, being the inheritor of an old Horror is what spurs her to learn more about Beast's history and the Dark Mother, but of course this is only an example. There are many option about how to deal with such a legacy.

          Last edited by Cinder; 11-18-2016, 01:36 PM.

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          • #6
            Just an idea, a plot hook of sorts: what if a Horror can be sentimental about its first host? If so, it could bond with multiple hosts over time, bending and twisting them towards its original Beast. Or perhaps it drags along bits and pieces of its previous hosts' minds, implanting them into new hosts. Of course, the kind of personality which existed back in the Bronze Age might not fit so well in the modern.