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  • New to Beast the Primordial

    Hello All! So I have been playing Chronicles of Darkness games since it was oWoD and have recently purchased Beast the Primordial. My current favorite gameline (and my current Chronicle that I have been running) is Geist the Sin-Eaters (CANNOT wait until the 2e!). I am very excited to run Beast and was hoping you all have some tips for Storytelling a first game in this line.

  • #2
    Hey Eldritch,

    Before I even dare to give concrete advice for running a Beast Chronicle, because there are maaaaaany styles it can be done, I'll need to know a little more about the Chronicle you had in mind to run. However, there is one thing I can share. And that is in the form of the question I always ask myself before I start writing a Beast Chronicle: Why is a monster a monster?

    To me, Beast: the Primordial is one of the most empathetic gamelines in all of the Chronicles of Darkness. It encourages the players to see other monsters, be they splats or Fortean Horrors from the CofD Core book, as family and to try and understand them. It also tries to show that if you have to hurt others to survive, you don't have to do so without trying to give something positive back. These themes are great to question the player's morality and assumptions about the world they are exploring, and if done right may even teach them a lesson they'll never forget.

    Now, what kind of Chronicle did you have in mind?

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    • #3
      Well, sorry for the long delay, I actually took the time to read through Beast again as I just obtained my Hardcopy from DtG. Besides of course the route of struggling to stay somewhat sane in their day to day lives being the Beast and having to feast, my thoughts go towards an antagonist (hero) being so over the top that he is actually viewed as a slasher in the eyes of the public. The public simply believes that these are the cold blood killings of a psychopath, however, the Beasts know differently. I am thinking of introducing this over time throughout as I want to focus on the personal story first with the players. I struggle with actually bringing the players together besides having them do character creation together of course as a way to do so. My games are always hosted on Roll20 as where I am at there are no gaming stores or even comic shops so I have been an avid ST/DM/Keeper on Roll20 for 3 years now.

      I like your question by the way. The Beast is a Beast because of perception. I am assuming the beast would not even call itself a beast, but a child of the Dark Mother. So is it really a Beast or is it simply another integral aspect of life...good and bad are perceptions...that's why there are slashers...they don't consider themselves terrible....they consider what they do to be an actual necessity.

      Similarly to what I did with Geist, I ran the story without too much emphasis on a plotline and allowed the characters to develop themselves a bit more in their surroundings and then introduced more NPCs and eventually the plotline of a possible end of their kind in the area. Made them comfortable with themselves first and then brought in the idea of that being taken away from them, similar to how their lives were taken away from them previously. I am trying to find a similar theme with Beast. Create a level of coming to terms with themselves and then having a threat to take that last thread away from them.

      That's where I am at with that at this point, however, its a bit too broad at this point.

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      • #4
        Excellent, I'm glad you liked my question and I can really dig the premise you're going for story wise. This I think is the ideal approach to a first Beast the Primordial Chronicle, especially since my own first Chronicle explored similar themes.

        That was my Beast Camp Chronicle, which I am trying and failing to write a decent Live Play for, which involved a group of recently Devoured Begotten getting sent to a Beast run Summer Camp disguised as a rehibilitation camp. There they would come into their powers and characters in a safe environment and even get to scare the neighboring mortal campers to explore their Hungers on the neighboring camp's equivalent of devil's night (get to play upon the classic camp horror tropes, certain rules are set in place by the councilors so no lasting damage is done to the mortals and the so the Begotten learn they can have some measure of narrative control over how they feed, Ect.) Then due to forces beyond both the players and the camp councilor's control everything goes wrong, and suddenly the save place for Begotten to come into their own becomes a battleground where they must fight for their very lives. It was one of the first times I ever successfully ran a full Chronicle and sparked an entire series based around that group of Begotten.

        If I was to give you any advice for this style of gameplay, which you already sound pretty well versed in with your experience with Geist the Sin-Eaters, it would be to showcase how the Begotten's connection to the other supernatural denizens of the Chronicle can be a huuuuuge double edged sword. Begotten are often considered Mary Sueish for their innate affinity and connection to the other monsters of the world, but many often forget or don't realize that all of the other monsters don't share those sentiments or express them through a lens only they can understand, case and point you never want to become friends with the True Fae. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever. This makes Beasts the ultimate interlopers, always ready to lend a helping hand ever if they don't fully understand the situation they happen upon. While designing the normative state that your players will be exploring their characters in take into consideration what other splats, monsters, and organizations you want to fill the world with. I recommend those you're most familiar with, take Geist for instance, and let the players explore on their own and let them happen upon Sin-Eaters in their natural environment and see what the Begotten do and what assumptions they make. This, more often than anything else from my experience, is where the best material for Beast comes from. Then, when the Hero begins to amass their sycophantic followers and campaign against the Troupe have the other supernatural societies, and even the mortal ones, react to the Hero's and Beast's accordingly with their own assumptions and biases.

        As for designing the Brood...hmmm...I would say to tell your players to either design the Brood like a disfinctional family or buisness venture. Where the former has your charcters have a history with one another and have helped eachother out of bad spots before but other than that they have little in common besides their condition as Children of the Dark Mother. They look out for one another and keep eachother's back because no one else will, and because Heroes will come. The latter is far more practical but has more potential to fall apart in the late game, which might not be a bad thing story wise at least, and that's to have each Begotten of the Brood add a resource or service to the group at large that is needed for everyone to benefit. It could be to hunt together more effectively, cover eachother's tracks from Heroes or other antagonists, utilize a resource that will allow them to open doors within the city, or any other number of reasons. That way, it's beneficial to keep them around, even if you don't particularlu like one another.
        Last edited by Dusksage; 02-16-2017, 04:01 AM. Reason: Spellcheck

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