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[w/Princess] Odd Friends-Don't Mess with a Princess and Her Dragon

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  • Paradim
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
    The Kickstarter preview draft went so far as to claim that those who disagreed with the Begotten on this point were homicidal maniacs, more dangerous to the mortals than the Beasts were, and totally unjustified - that's why it was hastily rewritten.
    "Disagree with me" is an interesting term to use for "trying to kill me."

    If someone is trying to kill me, I would probably think of them as a "homicidal maniac", too.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
    This is inaccurate. All the CofD game lines give players the option to play unrepentant monsters, and Vampire doesn't let them play anything else. What Beast does that no other game does is endorse unrepentant monsters - it approves the IC belief held by its characters that there's nothing wrong at all with making mortals suffer. The Kickstarter preview draft went so far as to claim that those who disagreed with the Begotten on this point were homicidal maniacs, more dangerous to the mortals than the Beasts were, and totally unjustified - that's why it was hastily rewritten. There's a world of difference between works that ask their readers to look past the threat posed by an alien creature, understand why it acts as it does, and see the virtue in it; and works that claim the evil an alien creature does is actually good, and opposing such behavior is the only real evil.
    Michael. This is a falsehood, and an inflammatory one at that.

    In both drafts of the game, Heroes did not pursue Beasts out of any moral sense, and it is the actual underlying reason for their pursuit that the gameline did and still does put forward as a legitimate grievance with the mythic inheritors of Perseus and the rest: You do not deserve death just for being the thing that you are. Heroes seek to kill Beasts because they're Beasts and killing them is what they understand a Hero's role in life to be, even if the Beast in question has no greater sin to lay at their feet than being the epicenter of a rash of horrific nightmares.

    This is not the same position as "mass murder is good, actually," and it does your argument no favors to treat it as such.

    A game where you played a person who's been forced into the role of an archetypal monster - a being compelled to act in ways that make him a social outcast and a target for all defenders of the social order - but who is capable, if he chooses, of being more than that role, and can sometimes get mortals to treat him as an individual and not an archetype, could have been made from the materials that went into Beast. But Beast is not that game. To be that game it would need, at minimum, a tension encoded in the mechanics between Legend and Life, and a clear sense that magical power comes at the expense of social position - which the other CofD games do by loading disadvantages onto a high power stat and a low Integrity-equivalent, and which Beast deliberately doesn't do at all.
    It does that.

    That is literally what Satiety Conditions and the scaling depth of Hunger with Lair accomplish by making it easier for Beasts to flense their social connections at low Satiety. It's part of the reason for the option of setting the Horror to sleep at the price of huge crimes or forming and then severing ties with one or more monsters being at the opposite extreme of the Satiety scale from "lose half your powerset and freak out the local dreamscape." It's why the core Inheritances all get rid of the Beast's Life and either leave or evolve their Legend and why it's always been pretty clear on the subject of how easy it is for Beasts to alienate their mundane and supernatural families in the process of pursuing their Hungers.

    The tension is not absent just because you refuse to acknowledge it.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Arguably it's actually the "Are Beasts Irredeemable Assholes?" argument.
    People said and say that Mage doesn’t have solid and clear mechanics emphasizing their monstrosity and its consequences, and thus mages aren’t really monsters. To that, people said and say that it’s the narrative and mechanics-light parts that contain it, and that the book only appears to endorse mages because it’s by default written from their perspectives.

    Now swap out “mage” with “Beast,” and that seems to be what Michael Brazier said above. (Sorry for not addressing you directly, Michael - I’m on my phone now, and quoting is unreliable on it)

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
    I see that the Mages Are vs. Are Not Monsters argument has been resurrected.
    Arguably it's actually the "Are Beasts Irredeemable Assholes?" argument.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    I see that the Mages Are vs. Are Not Monsters argument has been resurrected.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Brazier
    replied
    Originally posted by Eternal Darkness View Post
    plus Beast goes a bit closer to portraying truly and unrepentantly monstrous characters as playable and not necessarily entirely horrid and villainous characters than most other WoD/CoD game lines do.
    This is inaccurate. All the CofD game lines give players the option to play unrepentant monsters, and Vampire doesn't let them play anything else. What Beast does that no other game does is endorse unrepentant monsters - it approves the IC belief held by its characters that there's nothing wrong at all with making mortals suffer. The Kickstarter preview draft went so far as to claim that those who disagreed with the Begotten on this point were homicidal maniacs, more dangerous to the mortals than the Beasts were, and totally unjustified - that's why it was hastily rewritten. There's a world of difference between works that ask their readers to look past the threat posed by an alien creature, understand why it acts as it does, and see the virtue in it; and works that claim the evil an alien creature does is actually good, and opposing such behavior is the only real evil.

    A game where you played a person who's been forced into the role of an archetypal monster - a being compelled to act in ways that make him a social outcast and a target for all defenders of the social order - but who is capable, if he chooses, of being more than that role, and can sometimes get mortals to treat him as an individual and not an archetype, could have been made from the materials that went into Beast. But Beast is not that game. To be that game it would need, at minimum, a tension encoded in the mechanics between Legend and Life, and a clear sense that magical power comes at the expense of social position - which the other CofD games do by loading disadvantages onto a high power stat and a low Integrity-equivalent, and which Beast deliberately doesn't do at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by HelmsDerp View Post
    Also there was a line in the original kickstarter draft (scrubbed from the eventual release version) that explicitly made the Beast/minorities connection
    Here's the thing: It didn't. It mentioned minorities as part of the brief explanation of how the Astral and the Temenos worked, and people did what people do when they see words next to each other. Everything after the first paragraph here was cut:
    The Astral is a conceptual space. Islands float within the dream-stream, worlds unto themselves, such as the idea of a pristine earth or the hellish memory of trench warfare playing out over and over again. Most of it is flotsam: half-forgotten memories, vagrant ideas, and orphaned cultural images. Nothing is ever truly forgotten, though, just pushed to the margins where it becomes a symbol instead of a specific memory.

    A symbol can be far more potent. Symbols are universal and timeless; they wear whatever form the culture bestows on them. How many people have heard of Jack the Ripper? Millions? Compare that to the scope of his crimes. Only five women’s deaths have been conclusively laid at his feet. Horrific as they were, they pale compared to the number of people who died from coal smoke and disease in Victorian London. Jack the Ripper is a nobody, just another maladjusted murderer, and yet he has become synonymous with evil.

    For millennia, lepers were reviled as harbingers of plague and corruption, both moral as well as physical. Homosexuals became the lepers of the AIDS generation and were victimized by the same moralist hysteria. Immigrants, Muslims, transgender, and impoverished people have all been vilified in the modern era, turned into scapegoats by bigoted “crusaders” with narrow minds and selfish agendas. The next pandemic or culture shift will produce its own outcasts and they, too, will be blamed for their plight.

    Humans are mythmakers. Symbols provide the seeds for stories, the grain around which forms the pearl. Some serve as warnings; others make sense of the inexplicable. Introduce an unknown or shocking element — a mystery, a nightmare, or a monster — and people instinctively build a legend around it.

    Legend cuts both ways in the Astral Realms. An ordinary madman like Jack the Ripper can be elevated to a mythic monster, taking his place in the Temenos and casting a long shadow over human history, but a Beast can become the stuff of legends just by growing in power and holding sway over a greater part of the collective unconscious.

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  • HelmsDerp
    replied
    Also there was a line in the original kickstarter draft (scrubbed from the eventual release version) that explicitly made the Beast/minorities connection

    Leave a comment:


  • Eternal Darkness
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

    Yeah, that I already knew from sociology classes and anthropology tidbits, but I was just wondering why it all erupted with Beast in particular.

    Which I understand that it’s been something already dealt with in the forums, so I won’t be going too deep there. Nor am I intending to invite anybody else to reignite all that.

    It's a combination of factors: We live in a more socially-aware age, plus Beast goes a bit closer to portraying truly and unrepentantly monstrous characters as playable and not necessarily entirely horrid and villainous characters than most other WoD/CoD game lines do. Other game lines say 'You are an inhuman creature and a monster, but you can completely avoid being monstrous, so not really'. Beast says 'You are a Monster, no matter how you slice it'. This makes people uncomfortable because it intrudes on what they believed they knew about the game lines and their implied settings; on one level, it forces them to consider the fact that ideas they considered too awful to ever be represented in the form of a protagonist in a form of interactive media like a PnP RPG might be compelling, interesting and enjoyable to others. It challenges viewpoints in peoples' safe space, and you know how human beings typically handle ideas that they find abhorrent and challenges their beliefs on how things are and should be.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    I will kindly point at the above video for a strongly compelling case, but as a short hand-society develops taboos, society uses monsters to communicate taboos, social minorities that fulfill those taboos see themselves in monster. Beast in particular evokes that since it rails against the heroic myth, which is often a shorthand for societal triumph over their taboos.
    Yeah, that I already knew from sociology classes and anthropology tidbits, but I was just wondering why it all erupted with Beast in particular.

    Which I understand that it’s been something already dealt with in the forums, so I won’t be going too deep there. Nor am I intending to invite anybody else to reignite all that.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
    Why do people keep projecting social minorities on to Beasts, anyway?
    I will kindly point at the above video for a strongly compelling case, but as a short hand-society develops taboos, society uses monsters to communicate taboos, social minorities that fulfill those taboos see themselves in monster. Beast in particular evokes that since it rails against the heroic myth, which is often a shorthand for societal triumph over their taboos.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
    Why do people keep projecting social minorities on to Beasts, anyway?
    Some undertones I'm pretty sure were not intentional.

    Since the Player's Guide came out though, I just realized we have a Princess' best friend with Whispers, especially investigator types...and Enticers, aka "KILL IT WITH NUCLEAR FIRE!"

    Leave a comment:


  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Why do people keep projecting social minorities on to Beasts, anyway?

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Davesknd View Post


    Using that video to rebut the critics of beast is a pretty dangerous thing.
    The nature of the monster, as presented in the video, is that the monstrous is not harmful beneath. That the facade is just that: A facade. If taken as an allegory for "the other", it is used to say "These others, they don't mean harm".
    Beasts, as presented in BtP cause harm. Beasts have no other choice than to cause mental anguish or enable pain by proxy (Family dinner still means that you watch other supernaturals hunt and harm human beings). If you use them as an allegory for strangers, different races and so on, you say "those people deserve to exist, but they are pre-destined to cause harm in the future".
    That's the real issue with Beast: You're not the Minotaur in the labyrinth that never comes out or the Beauty and the Beast-beast who lives alone in the castle, you're an aggressive, serial abuser who dies when they can't abuse anymore. Do you REALLY want to use that as an allegory for other humans?
    If anything, the Begotten are the exact inverse of the movie monsters mentioned. They look human but they hide a nature that can only exist by causing harm and thereby perpetuate the cycle of mistrust. Promethian is the game where you're the innocent monster, not Beast.
    I don't have enough time in my day between trying to finish up writing pitches and work to really build into this, so I'll keep this brief.

    I'm not saying you didn't actually watch the video, but when you try to argue that the monster in the video is not harmful, I do get the feeling you only paid attention to the fishman of Shape of Water, who still ate a cat. Elias Ainsworth from Ancient Magus' Bride, the 1990's Disney Beast, the original Creature from the Black Lagoon, the original King Kong and Phantom of the Opera, all of these and more are presented as harmful in their ways and even decisions-Elias, for fuck's sake, has demonstrated that he routinely wiped Chise's memory, nearly strangled her to death, and made the firm decision to try and kill Stella as a sacrifice to extend Chise's life purely because he can't handle jealousy right now. 1990's Beast starts off the story as an active aggressor, with the clear strength and power to severely hurt Belle (and did actively torment Maurice, in case people forgot about his imprisonment) and a clear deeply ingrained disposition to fly off the handle. I could go on with any one of these.

    That these monsters are harmful and often violent does not stop the powerful sympathy that people through the ages have felt for these creatures, simply because for many people who feel like outsiders-whether it be because of race, gender, sexuality, mental conditions, emotional impulses, even tastes-to see themselves represented in those monsters is a call for humanization and understanding, and to eventually become them. This is a cornerstone that has been involved with these games since Vampire the Masquerade, and is in fact a big part of the reason why that game was radical and revolutionary. It is a tradition that has continued onward, and can be felt across every single game of Chronicles. All of these monsters* are harmful and abusive, with a long history that paints them as such, so to pretend that Beast is somehow worse than Werewolf or Changeling or Demon is openly disingenuous, and to make a point of that is to miss the point of the dialogue.

    You may have watched the video, but I'm struggling to believe you actually paid attention to the point.

    *Yes, Hunters too, for reasons that also are touched on in the video.

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  • Davesknd
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Okay, so, this particular bit of conversation does not relate to the larger conversation we're having in this thread, at least directly-but it does relate to a lot of the counter-rebuttal towards Beast, and this is a Beast Forum, and if I wanted to really bend it, I can, and would, point out how this entire diatribe reflects a major fan failing that is both reflected in discourse about Beast and is one of the few things I hold Princess accountable for and to-

    I'm losing track, my point is I wanted to share a video as relates this point, particularly in how, even if the monster-as-outsider metaphor can carry negative castings, that feeling nevertheless turns right around and can be built on by outsiders. Or, long story short, there's a reason Chronicles is about monsters, and this video strongly captures why it has to be about monsters:


    Using that video to rebut the critics of beast is a pretty dangerous thing.
    The nature of the monster, as presented in the video, is that the monstrous is not harmful beneath. That the facade is just that: A facade. If taken as an allegory for "the other", it is used to say "These others, they don't mean harm".
    Beasts, as presented in BtP cause harm. Beasts have no other choice than to cause mental anguish or enable pain by proxy (Family dinner still means that you watch other supernaturals hunt and harm human beings). If you use them as an allegory for strangers, different races and so on, you say "those people deserve to exist, but they are pre-destined to cause harm in the future".
    That's the real issue with Beast: You're not the Minotaur in the labyrinth that never comes out or the Beauty and the Beast-beast who lives alone in the castle, you're an aggressive, serial abuser who dies when they can't abuse anymore. Do you REALLY want to use that as an allegory for other humans?
    If anything, the Begotten are the exact inverse of the movie monsters mentioned. They look human but they hide a nature that can only exist by causing harm and thereby perpetuate the cycle of mistrust. Promethian is the game where you're the innocent monster, not Beast.
    Last edited by Davesknd; 03-07-2018, 12:53 PM.

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