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Beast: the Alternate Take

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  • Beast: the Alternate Take

    I’m not gonna sugarcoat it: I cannot enjoy Beast as it currently stands. I believe it betrays one of the most important themes of ChronDark, it makes veeery unfortunate implications, and overall is rather immature.

    Now please keep in mind that is simply my personal opinion on the game. I am in no way saying this as concrete fact. If you like the game as it stands, more power to you. I’m not here to tell you what you’re enjoying is wrong, all I’m saying is that I simply can’t enjoy the game. That’s it.

    And ultimately, my opinion on the game is really besides the point of this thread. I’m not here to say why I don’t like the game, I’m here to say that I don’t like the game, but I do like some of its concepts, so I’ve come up with a way to change it so I can enjoy it. I’m not alone in disliking the game either, so this alternate take might provide something useful for others in my boat. Who knows? Even if you like the game as is, you might enjoy this alternate take on it.

    So basically, I’m not saying “This game is bad and you should feel bad” but rather “I don’t enjoy this game, but I like some of the concepts, so I’ve come up with a way to change it so I can enjoy it”.

    With that outta the way, onto Beast: the Alternate Take.

    Premise

    You were human once, not anymore.

    What are you now? You’re caught in the place between humanity and monstrosity. You delved too deep in a place where all nightmares and fears pour into a horrifying ocean. The Primordial Dream, they call it. There resides the Dark Mother, the progenitor of all monsters, and she wants to make you one of her Children. She sent a Horror to Devour you, claiming your soul. It burrowed deep in there, molding it into its Lair. The Dark Mother feeds on fear and suffering, and now that you’re Devoured, so do you. You must torture, terrify, maybe even kill others just so you can keep on going one more day.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. You, through some miracle (or maybe curse, depending on who you talk to), managed to maintain some semblance of your humanity. You weren’t completely Devoured, otherwise your body would’ve transformed to match the Horror within. You can fight this, become human again, but you gotta hurry. It’s only a matter of time before the Horror finishes what it’s started.

    Your only hope? The darkness you once forced yourself to ignore. Before all this, you like most people denied the darkness that lurked just under the surface of the mundane world you knew. You went about your normal life, pretending that the monsters weren’t there. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you, right? Look how that turned out for you. You’re gonna have to delve into this world of darkness if you wanna find a cure, ‘cause sure as hell the mundane world doesn’t have one. You’ll have to meet the vampires, werewolves, and stranger things, to understand their nightmares so you can escape your own.

    As if things weren’t bad enough, there are people called Heroes who want you dead. They’re like humanity’s antibodies against the Dark Mother’s agents, and they’ll stop at nothing to wipe you out. Even if they knew your plight, they’ll still end you because they see you as hopeless, a lost cause. But you aren’t a lost cause, you can stop this Devouring before it’s too late.

    What have you got to lose, anyway?


    And that’s pretty much the gist of it. I know, it’s more like a complete rewrite than an alternate take, but if it’s gonna take a complete rewrite to make this game enjoyable for me, then so be it. I’ve got several ideas to flesh out the concept, and I’ll be putting them in future posts. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Like it? Dislike it? Have some ideas? Let’s discuss!

  • #2
    Actually, this isn't all that different that what Beast is already. I'm straining to notice the differences, really. Antagonistic relationship to the Horror and Dark Mother? That's about it so far.

    I have a few takes/rebrandings as well I can share (in addition to my more typical looting of mechanics and complete overhauls).
    Last edited by Vent0; 06-12-2017, 11:26 AM.


    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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    • #3
      Essentially the only difference is the Origin point from what i can see... and How accepting they are of being a Monster. This is actually a perfectly justified reaction (Especially if you go with the Current take on Devouring... I Preferred Homecoming anyway) to having Beast-hood forced upon you. It's also right on the nose for "Losing yourself to the Narrative" Beast's are monsters of stories.. and one such tale is how a normal person becomes something else.. is forced to make compromises and give up a piece of themselves to save themselves and others (Potentially) or fall and become a monster.


      Light and Dark are two Sides of a Coin... Humanity is What Happens when it Lands on it's Edge.

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      • #4
        I feel like this is less of an alternate take on the setting and more of an alternate character motivation. Like playing a vampire who wants to find a cure or attain Gehenna. It's a perfectly valid goal for an individual character (or group of characters) within canon, without having to change anything about the setting itself. I like it!


        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          Actually, this isn't all that different that what Beast is already. I'm straining to notice the differences, really. Antagonistic relationship to the Horror and Dark Mother? That's about it so far.
          Originally posted by RickmanUK View Post
          Essentially the only difference is the Origin point from what i can see... and How accepting they are of being a Monster. This is actually a perfectly justified reaction (Especially if you go with the Current take on Devouring... I Preferred Homecoming anyway) to having Beast-hood forced upon you. It's also right on the nose for "Losing yourself to the Narrative" Beast's are monsters of stories.. and one such tale is how a normal person becomes something else.. is forced to make compromises and give up a piece of themselves to save themselves and others (Potentially) or fall and become a monster.
          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
          I feel like this is less of an alternate take on the setting and more of an alternate character motivation. Like playing a vampire who wants to find a cure or attain Gehenna. It's a perfectly valid goal for an individual character (or group of characters) within canon, without having to change anything about the setting itself. I like it!
          ​Honestly, I wasn't expecting this kinda reaction, but I'll take it!

          ​Anyways, now that I think about it, it's not so much a change of setting as it is a change of themes. That said, it's a complete reversal. Rather than accepting that you're a monster and how you manage that, you're looking for a way to become human again. It also changes the whole attitude of Heroes, they're not hunting you because they're egotistical assholes who hate you, they just see you as another monster causing mayhem, which you do in order to feed, and that's assuming they don't know what you're going through (and they normally don't). More educated Heroes tend to still hunt you because they see your complete Devouring as inevitable and kill you to spare your misery. On the other hand, there is the possibility you could convince them that you can end your curse, and they might help you accomplish that.

          ​In game terms, this would make Lair your Integrity equivalent, rather than Satiety. The Horror's Lair is a reflection of how close it's getting to completely consuming you. Of course, that begs the question "Why would players ever spend Experiences on Lair?" and to that I say "They wouldn't, because they get...

          Devouring Beats

          ​Devouring Beats reflect the Horror's progression. Feed, you get a Devouring Beat. Let your Horror Rampage to feed itself, you get more Devouring Beats. Gain a new Atavism or Nightmare, Devouring Beat. Get enough Devouring Beats, you get another dot in Lair. Get 10 dots in Lair, the Horror has now completed its Devouring. Something like that, it needs a lot of work, but the basic idea is to facilitate a race against time. This is cool because as you're getting stronger and more fun stuff to play with, the narrative stakes raise appropriately. As your Lair raises, you gain more and more...

          Horror Traits

          ​As your Lair grows bit by bit, your body changes to physically reflect the Horror within. At first, you might get slightly longer nails, maybe a few blemishes, or perhaps your pupils become slits. But then the changes get more and more obvious, a tail starts growing, scales form on patches of your skin, you start growing extra fingers. Fortunately, Mortals can't see these changes, the Dark Mother provides an illusion that occludes these "features". Unfortunately, Heroes can see past this illusion and immediately recognize you as a Beast if they even so much as get a glimpse of your Horror Traits (I'm also thinking of making a Gift that drops the illusion, revealing what you really are to Mortals). One part Body Horror, one part Paranoia Fuel. I'll probably use the Demonic Form rules as a basis for these. Speaking of Demons...

          God-Machine Demons are Kin

          ​Instead of the Dark Mother having a supernatural lineage with other supernaturals as the basis of Beasts connection to them, rather the Dark Mother embodies the very concept of monstrosity itself. This allows Demons to be Kin, since they portray characteristics of mythical monsters (specifically that of stealing people's souls and replacing them in their loved one's lives). Not sure if angels or the God-Machine would (most likely, though).

          Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
          I have a few takes/rebrandings as well I can share (in addition to my more typical looting of mechanics and complete overhauls).
          ​I would happily appreciate to see anything you got.
          Last edited by crapcarp; 06-13-2017, 09:25 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by crapcarp View Post
            Demons are Kin

            ​Instead of the Dark Mother having a supernatural lineage with other supernaturals as the basis of Beasts connection to them, rather the Dark Mother embodies the very concept of monstrosity itself. This allows Demons to be Kin, since they portray characteristics of mythical monsters (specifically that of stealing people's souls and replacing them in their loved one's lives). Not sure if angels or the God-Machine would (most likely, though).
            Well the GM and the GM Angels would be Kin if you are Counting The GM Demons as Kin, Inferno Demons already are Kin for that matter... (Don't think anyone has done any Kinship nightmares for them yet.)


            Light and Dark are two Sides of a Coin... Humanity is What Happens when it Lands on it's Edge.

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            • #7
              Kinship Nightmare: The Game's Rigged (Envy aligned Infernal Demon)

              What? You think people play fair? The law exists to keep the masses down and give the lawyers a pay check. You think people love their family? Watch an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras. Everyone's screwing everyone to get to the top, if they aren't it's because they're not good enough for anything except getting screwed.

              Roll: Manipulation + Satiety vs Composure + Supernatural Advantage

              Normal: The victim becomes convinced that everyone's playing dirty to get to the top; it's the only way to succeed in this dirty rotten world. When somebody attempts Social Manuevuring against them the pusher gets double benefit from playing to their Vice or offering other bribes and inducements. The victim also cannot gain extra Doors if the request violates their virtue.

              High Satiety: The victim's belief heightens to true paranoia, any attempt of social interaction by or with the victim that doesn't have a selfish motive (or when the selfish motive is too well disguised for the victim to figure out) takes a -3 penalty as the victim refuses to play a sucker's game or is distracted by trying to figure out what the other guy really wants.

              Satiety Expenditure: Under the effects of this Nightmare the victim sees nothing wrong with doing whatever it takes to get what they want. Extortion, blackmail, even murder becomes perfectly acceptable. After all, everybody's doing it. The charachter may forgo rolling a single breaking point and take a single automatic success provided that it meets two simple criteria. Firstly it must help them achieve an Ambition. Secondly they mustn't suffer any real social consequences for it. If nobody catches them, or if their expensive lawyer gets them away with a slap of the wrist fine they're good, but if they loose a friendship or face jail time they must roll. After all, there is one rule in this game everyone plays by: Don't get caught.


              1) Soften their resistance to your bribes and temptations. 2) Isolate them from their healthy relationships. 3) Take away moral objections. 4) Profit.
              Last edited by The Kings Raven; 06-13-2017, 05:29 AM.


              “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
              My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
              Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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              • #8
                Well its just vampire im not trying to piss you off but why not play vampire instead it dos i a lot better in my opinion just dont make beast what i hate most clinging on to your old self instead of moving on thats when if i ever play vtr I'd paly a vamp who moved on

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                • #9
                  Though i might play a guy whos trying to reach golcondea

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                  • #10
                    I can see this as an Interesting Idea to run with... Maybe an End-game for them would be to Accept what they have become, this does sound like a character i had an Idea for Right back before release. They wouldn't/couldn't Accept their own monstrosity... Conflict within the soul someone who literally was 2 minds about most things.


                    Light and Dark are two Sides of a Coin... Humanity is What Happens when it Lands on it's Edge.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
                      Well its just vampire im not trying to piss you off but why not play vampire instead it dos i a lot better in my opinion just dont make beast what i hate most clinging on to your old self instead of moving on thats when if i ever play vtr I'd paly a vamp who moved on
                      ​No, Requiem is more about how you deal with eternity. Hell, that's why it's called Requiem. The game asks the question: "You can live forever, but what are you gonna do with all that time?" I suppose there's the hope of Golconda, but that's more about balancing your civility with your predatory nature rather than recovering your humanity.

                      ​This take on Beast is more "You're turning into a monster, can you find a cure before it's too late?", so it's a completely different theme. If you hate that, that's okay, you don't have to play it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
                        Though i might play a guy whos trying to reach golcondea
                        I'm begging you: please take four seconds to spellcheck your post and use punctuation before you submit them. You're very hard to parse.


                        Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                        • #13
                          I think we have vary different ideas of vampire and golconda but thats ok

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
                            I think we have vary different ideas of vampire and golconda but thats ok
                            Vampire's Major themes are essentially Eternity and dealing with that fact. Secondarily it deals with being a Monster that has to feed on Blood and what that does.
                            Beast's Major Theme is about Family and what you will for your Family. Secondarily it deals with being a creature of nightmares that must feed on Fear, and what you will do to justify that need.

                            Think what alot of people take umbridge with Beast is that it plays with the idea you are an abuser and that have to abuse to feed. I don't have that issue.... Well not with how it used to be written, The Devouring is a sticky thing. I Preferred the Homecoming... where you realisied you were denying your nature and that the thing that haunted you was yourself. Devouring just feels False too me. I could see it as an Option... something that could lead to interesting Conflicts, but not as the main way Begotten spread. (By way of a Hack for me.. no character i make will actually go though a devouring.. well not by my choice.)


                            Light and Dark are two Sides of a Coin... Humanity is What Happens when it Lands on it's Edge.

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                            • #15
                              2 things
                              1 theres a bloodlind that ages so it can go against the themes plus its done better by mummy with vampire they say some of that bloodline walks in the sun to feal it and die rather then grow old
                              2 well you got the beasts themes backward

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