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  • Beast Analysis - Cross Gaming

    So having bought the premium hardcover VTR2 and BtP I've learned that.. Beasts talk a big game but they don't seem to really stand up to other supernaturals.

    At first glance, a Vampire's disciplines, access to blood sorcery, and even some coils (Zirnitra ._.) clearly outclass Beasts. What Beasts gain in freedom, they lose in raw power. Lair traits are largely -1 to 3 penalties or easily avoided damage (unless they stack beyond -5 , in which case you have a good chance against some supernaturals)
    Mages straight up look at something and it disappears, melts, or never existed in the first place, notwithstanding the incredible creative freedom they have with their powers.

    So I'm sitting here after having read BtP all weekend, what makes their claim to power have any meat to it? Especially since only Ugallu can clash an Obfuscated vampire, and other sort of lukewarm feelings I have about the birthrights. How should a Beast be played such that it's advantageous and indeed - even capable of defending itself against say a vampire who can just interrupt their movements or always go first. (Or in the case of Rhino's Hide and Flesh of Iron, has anywhere from 6-20 (with iron muscles) armour?

  • #2
    Well in the more abstract Beasts do have the easiest time making friends with other splats.Not necessarily a huge combat advantage, but hey not terribly bad to have friends that might give someone pause before they consider attempted homicide.

    As for combat it's not like the Beghotten are propped up as the alpha predator species, so not unreasonable that they can claim to be dangerous even if they might not be able to take absolutely anything they come across.

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    • #3
      Attempting to kill the right specked beast is an exercise in futility almost akin to trying to do so with a Mummy. By that point, it can simply shadow the offender (literally) and destroy it at it's most convenient.

      Vampires turning to dust by the fiery dragon's breath, or mages having their souls cowered into a corner of the Primordial realm, and leaving them without any chance to cast anything comes to mind - so much that I'd use that as an explicit antagonist in a mage game akin to a Jack the Ripper figure.

      Nevermind the kind of power an apex can bring to bear.

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      • #4
        I tend to compared Beast to Changeling a lot in this regard. Both games are very flexible in what you can build your character to do, so how scary one is in any given type of conflict is exceedingly variable; whereas Vampire and Werewolf are much more focused in the kind of monster you're playing.

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        • #5
          Mistaking 'Powerful' for 'Interesting' here, I think.
          It doesn't matter where a Changeling, Kindred, Uratha, Arisen, Begotten, Awakened etc. stand on the powerscale, really. It is their relationship to Humans that mostly defines them, and with Beasts the additional fact they can get along with and insert themselves in the other splats' societies and survive. Purely for fluff and story reasons that makes them something different. I don't need to be able to beat the Gangrel Overlord mano a mano.

          What we all want is a good experience. I can have Mages and Uratha and Kindred in a Beast game that are impossible to beat, or only with a good strategy, or tricky, or easy, and vice versa. Whatever the game calls for, really. And when playing alongside each other, there should still be enough versatility with the Beast that it can do things others cannot. Especially in early games, Beasts start of strong and can support others well.
          Whiteroom comparisons are largely considered useless for a reason.

          You say Beasts have few powers? I think they are fine with their limitations and especially their variations: that Beasts' powers are situational is much of the charm for me.
          Are Kindred strong? Yes. But Kindred are basicallyexcluded from daylight hours, which can easily make certain stories I want to have not possible/need to be strongly reworked.
          Also, makes them very vulnerable half the time. Any Beast with something like Epic Direction Sense or Needs Must can easily devise a strategy to expose them to sunlight.
          Lair Traits are situational and hard to call down, sure, but they can be overpowered: A single starting Beast could wipe out all Kindred attending the Prince's court in one fell swope if they can call down intense flames or Blazing Light (a Minor Lair Trait).
          Those proposed character builds of yours take a certain amount of xp. Imo, a Beast will probably be a lot more versatile with this amount of xp, and still be a worthy opponent if done right. They have also nice mobility in being able to retreat into their Lair, wherein most chars are weaker than them.
          Also, don't forget that atm, Beasts have far more limited sources than other games: additionall material is sure to come.

          You do not have to like them, you would not be the only one to not like them, but to me, Beast is one of THE most interesting lines next to Promethean.
          And honestly, people would complain if they were dominating the others, too, wouldn't they? In fact, some already did with the level of power Beasts have, claiming they make "other specialists obsolete" or somesuch. (Was in an old post somewhere, not gonna search for that now)

          You want the King of All Monsters? Apex can be that. As can the Pack Alpha or the Prince/'s Sheriff.
          Are they unbeatable? No, they are not, as things that are per definition unbeatable are boring.

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          • #6
            Beast is certainly interesting, but the limits in place are pretty strong. ie: Ugallu's Birthright seem to be the main method of any beast to find something hidden, even supernaturals.Without their gift, you're hardly likely to expose someone long enough to mark them with Needs Must.

            It's interesting, but also frustrating to know you're not on equal footing without some serious extraneous set up which serves to close the gap.

            Also, Anakim and Ugallu seem to have by far the best Birthrights? a -2 penalty or -1 temporary Composure loss doesn't really compare to smashing Supernatural barriers and illusions.
            Last edited by Arduras; 07-23-2017, 08:43 PM.

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            • #7
              I'm running an offline Beast game---I'd have to say, in my experience at least, Beasts can be plenty powerful. In Conquering Heroes there's a Beast who can summon sea storms. If he wanted to do so, any coastal community he wants to destroy he can easily destroy. And places like NYC? While he couldn't take out New York, he could nevertheless wreak unholy amounts of damage to it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arduras View Post
                Beast is certainly interesting, but the limits in place are pretty strong. ie: Ugallu's Birthright seem to be the main method of any beast to find something hidden, even supernaturals.Without their gift, you're hardly likely to expose someone long enough to mark them with Needs Must.

                It's interesting, but also frustrating to know you're not on equal footing without some serious extraneous set up which serves to close the gap.

                Also, Anakim and Ugallu seem to have by far the best Birthrights? a -2 penalty or -1 temporary Composure loss doesn't really compare to smashing Supernatural barriers and illusions.
                If I want to find something hidden, I just search for it the old fashioned way, or use a Nightmare on the owner of the Item to make him either paranoid about it and follow him, or make him think it wants to kill him with a curse, and offer to take it off of him.

                But I think you are right in that there is a certain lack of perception Atavisms, especially when it comes to things that are invisible.... I will homebrew one, thanks for the inspiration.

                I do not think this counts as a gap in power, though. Maybe an oversight, but maybe you have other examples of where you feel Beasts lack in power?
                Once more: With the right use of a nightmare, I can make people think their children are reptiles, my co-worker attack my boss so I get the job, the drug dealer rethink his life choices... Can other supernaturals do that? Yes they can! Is it the same? Absolutely not! And this difference can be worth playing the game.
                Maybe takea look at what Beasts are good at. Among those, we can count the ability to open any and all gateways, use people as back doors, and when it comes to AoE Damage, I think only mages and Titan Prometheans are capable of more output (might be wrong though, haven't read all books by far).


                That depends on your Chronicle. -2 to composure means the average person has basically no chance to resist. If the chronicle focuses on social maneuvers etc, it is actually more powerful/useful than the Anakim birthright of smashing barriers.

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                • #9
                  Also, something that came to mind:

                  All Beasts can reflexively notice is someone around them is supernatural (except Demons because of that thing). Sure it doesn't allow them to break supernatural stealth powers, but it is resisted with Composure. Which means for just noticing other supernaturals in your Beast's area, a Composure penalty like that is actually very useful.

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                  • #10
                    Has anyone played a Beast in a game of primarily one other gameline?

                    I think part of the problem Arduras is having is because he's coming at them as antagonists, which they don't really seem to be made for except perhaps in a Demon or mortal game. They can do it. But as antagonists you really have to just go all out to make them tough, at which point you may as well go with anyone else. A vampire can't be active during the day but they can have ghoul operatives, and if you're running a cunning Beast with tentacles throughout the city and a wide variety of abilities, then you could do the same with a vampire. I think there's been a big push to have them as part of existing games, usually as allies. Even the Night Horrors book has very few playable Beasts as antagonists.

                    I'm more curious about them alongside other games. The Atavisms themselves are pretty powerful, and pack a whole suite of abilities in one convenient purchase. But you can get by with just a few and raising your Lair seems to help most of them. Like, if I'm making a legendary werewolf Beast, I get Relentless Hunter for healing, Needs Must for hunting ability at the start, then maybe Limb from Limb during play. These are all directly impacted by Lair, with Needs Must's Perception bonus being Lair, Relentless Hunter's Toxin Resistance and Damage Lowering, and Limb from Limb adding Lair to damage. That's 3 or 4 Experiences and I've got my werewolf, done. All that's left is for them to be more powerful in terms of the abilities I've already mentioned. Sure, there's a lot of other ways to go about it but just for the legendary werewolf example, you're done.

                    How has this kind of thing stacked up in games, specifically longer term ones, not one-shots, alongside a coterie of vampires or cabal of mages or krew of sin-eaters? Does anyone have any experience being part of a game like that and can speak to how advancement turned out? Or know of an Actual Play with this kind of setup?

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                    • #11
                      I think beast can be vary powerful sure they are not that good if you're going in guns blazing but a specialized beast can wreck shit up using the -2 compose power you can be great at mind control or with relentless hunter and unbreakable plus some merits you can get great armor plus more combos
                      So yeah beast can be great

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                      • #12
                        If we must compare Vampires to Beasts, there is a metric to remember, a drum to beat in determining which is better:

                        1) Those who are clever about their advantages,
                        2) Those who are not.

                        Beasts have all sorts of tools that can wreck merry hell on a vampire, and vampires have all sorts of tools that can wreck merry hell on Beasts. Depends on how you play it-but I will note a bias here and point out that Beasts inherently have a wider toolbox than vampires.


                        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                        Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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                        • #13
                          ArcaneArts Thank you for those two lines, I was searching for those when I wrote my long walls of wordiness!

                          nofather sadly, no, but if things pan out right, I might be able to tell you soon how a physical-defense-specced Beast might fare in Kindred Society.

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                          • #14
                            Wouldn't any Beast with the Burning Lair Trait or the Dragonfire Atavism be utter murder against vampire?

                            Also while I didn't play Beast I used as GM Beasts as antagonists for Mages and Mortals. To my surprise it's the Lair which is the biggest advantage of the intelligent Begotten, letting the Tilts cripple your opponents before swooping in is a winning situation

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nofather View Post
                              Has anyone played a Beast in a game of primarily one other gameline?
                              It isn't *primarily* another gameline, but it's a crossover chronicle. What I've noted playing a Beast is that my character is as powerful as I'm willing to push him. I can wreck shit up, but only if I'm willing to invest Satiety, which I might need the next time I need to wreck shit up. And because it's a very plot-centric story, finding time to feed is tricky.



                              Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

                              VtR: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2ndTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
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