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  • I don't understand collectors or benevolent beasts

    So, getting past the arguments of morality on "teaching lessons", or the intricacies of garnering fear from the populace, i don't understand the justification for some of the characters I've seen. For example, people discuss an archeologist collector(the book itself offered this option), or a professional safecracker, in that these people show incredible ability at acquiring things while limiting the personal harm or trauma. The confusion i have is, how on earth do they get any sustenance from that? For one thing, nobody suffers for these actions, and they are ultimately beneficial to the parties involved unless you try particularly hard at being a total jerk.

    In a vacuum, i might understand that it was the physical activity that feeds them, but in light of the other hungers and the metaphysiology of a myth-monster for a soul, it's obviously supposed to be a matter of reaction to what they do. Not only that, but if i break into a house and steal something valuable, what happens if the homeowner is away for a month-long vacation? Collectors have a weird disconnect from their victims unless you keep it personal that i don't understand.

  • #2
    I think this one just comes down to "there are people who want to play Beast and are extremely uncomfortable with the tone as presented, so character options exist to avoid the awfulness." It's the Beast version of the vampire who only feeds on animals/blood banks, which is a well enough established archetype that it transfers to nightmare monsters easily enough.


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    • #3
      Although I think most people swinging for good-guy Beasts go for Nemesis and play Batman.

      I think those examples of collectors were written before they really solidified the metaphysics though, so they're a bit wonky in execution.

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      • #4
        I don't recall where the archaeology one, so I can't say there. As far as the safe-cracker I think there's a bit of a difference between one who cracks professionally and illegally. So depending on how the clients are run it could be that he's acquiring stuff from other people's safes on commission. Of course the other option is that these people were trying to build a good secure safe and that either by mundane means of breaking the safe or just using the anakim ability to rip through barriers.

        It's tricky with feeding as a collector as you are bound to a more complicated timetable. You don't get to feed until it is known that you have done something. Plus side you can potentially set up time delay feedings on the lower scales if it will take longer for it to be known. At least I think that is a part that you should check with the ST on.

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        • #5
          I play a Namtaru Nemesis who is basically a goodguy Joker/Scarecrow combination. He's a psychiatrist and uses his skills both mundane and supernatural to treat victims and...treat those who victimized them...permanently. Thankfully, the city he lives in has no shortage of horrible individuals in need of his special brand of justice. Thus far only two have escaped alive: A Hero who was just too tough for him to beat and a petty thief who he basically scared straight. I really feel like the idea that Beasts have to be these terribad monsters is overblown and a lot of it seems from my point of view to be just peoples' personal beliefs coloring the way they see the game in the worst way possible. His lessons are pretty brutal and straightforward: Behave like a good citizen, or get punished for it.

          As to the OP's question that's hard to answer definitively because it depends on how you view the concept of Hungers. Where some people consider theft of belongings trivial, others would feel terrified and utterly violated to discover that a stranger entered their home and took their belongings without them knowing. That creates a different kind of fear and paranoia and believe me, if you've ever been burglarized you understand the feeling that your home, your sanctuary, has been rendered unsafe.

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          • #6
            Now I'm wondering if a collector could get a fix by breaking in somewhere, rearranging a bunch of stuff and then only stealing something trivial like a spoon.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gaius94 View Post
              So, getting past the arguments of morality on "teaching lessons", or the intricacies of garnering fear from the populace, i don't understand the justification for some of the characters I've seen. For example, people discuss an archeologist collector(the book itself offered this option), or a professional safecracker, in that these people show incredible ability at acquiring things while limiting the personal harm or trauma. The confusion i have is, how on earth do they get any sustenance from that? For one thing, nobody suffers for these actions, and they are ultimately beneficial to the parties involved unless you try particularly hard at being a total jerk.

              In a vacuum, i might understand that it was the physical activity that feeds them, but in light of the other hungers and the metaphysiology of a myth-monster for a soul, it's obviously supposed to be a matter of reaction to what they do. Not only that, but if i break into a house and steal something valuable, what happens if the homeowner is away for a month-long vacation? Collectors have a weird disconnect from their victims unless you keep it personal that i don't understand.


              I imagine Collectors try to teach people not to be so fixated on material possessions. Some people are willing to kill each other over the most trivial things, such as a brand new pair of shoes, for example.

              "Just let it go, it's not worth your life." - that's what I imagine the collector's point of view is.


              As for benevolent Beasts, teaching their victims a lesson IS their way of being benevolent. The Horror doesn't give a crap if its victims learn anything from its attacks, that's something the Beasts came up with on their own. Their Horror would be just as happy (if not more so) if the Beast just cut straight to the chase and terrified people so it could feed upon them. But the Beast chooses to be more sophisticated than that and passes along some wisdom that ultimately helps the mortal improve their life somehow.

              Nine times out of Ten, most people won't make a conscious effort to change themselves until they have been placed a position that forces them to do so. The Beast's role in this scenario is to put them in that position, as sort of a 'scare them straight' tactic.
              Last edited by Nyrufa; 09-08-2017, 11:14 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                Now I'm wondering if a collector could get a fix by breaking in somewhere, rearranging a bunch of stuff and then only stealing something trivial like a spoon.
                Mm, that sounds more like Power or (at a stretch) Ruin to me. Stealing every spoon might do it, because the victim would have to get new spoons, whether just losing one may well make no difference (and this is making me laugh a lot more than it ought to).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                  I imagine Collectors try to teach people not to be so fixated on material possessions. Some people are willing to kill each other over the most trivial things, such as a brand new pair of shoes, for example.

                  "Just let it go, it's not worth your life." - that's what I imagine the collector's point of view is.
                  I wanted to add that there are other valid approaches, some being an actual opposite.

                  Resources are important. They give you access to food, clothing, medicine and a roof over your head. Following one's life passions isn't always free either, not to mention having a safety net for the darkest hour. However, there are people who never needed to face the harsher realities of life and freely waste what could in other hands change a life for the better. A Beast might decide to help them get their priorities straight. Preferably by taking away the riches from the student; or the student from the riches. "Value what you have".

                  There's more to objects than just their utility. Consider the difference between giving, and having something taken from you. The first is an exercise of power - when you decide someone is deserving of what you have. The second means someone thinks so little of you they don't acknowledge your basic right to own things. Outright theft and extortion, while brutal, have at least a certain honesty to them. However, playing on your compassion or desire to belong does something worse - it grinds down your self-respect, often with you none the wiser. A Best could decide to show where that path leads. "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile" or "Know your worth".


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                  • #10
                    "All your Spoons are belong to me"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                      Now I'm wondering if a collector could get a fix by breaking in somewhere, rearranging a bunch of stuff and then only stealing something trivial like a spoon.
                      This totally works as a Ravager that takes a trophy for having destroyed their sense of safety. AND makes me thing of the Wight in Blood and Wine, for some reason.



                      Imo, Collectors mostly teach a lesson of re-evaluation: what is it you value most? What is the most important thing in your life?

                      As the core says, they might even let their victims keep this most precious thing after forcing them to go through that process of fearing they lost their most valued possession. Collectors are less 'evil'/horrible?
                      Hah! Here's a concept for you:

                      He focuses on busy rich people, those with families and little time. CEO's, managers, politicians - you know the kind. The type that says they love their family, but probably have seen them less than 10 hours last month because of work. He also spends time on those rich entitled bastards who are so busy admiring their art collection they don't notice their daughter started meeting the wrong people, or the guys who think doing overtime is more important than sitting down and talking to their children and significant other every once in a while.
                      He makes them... rethink that attitude. And what better way than taking something and leaving a little letter telling them to chose? In the last case, he took a museum director's son, and left a letter stating some demands. He got the diamond necklace of some queen, probably worth around two million, and released the boy back into his father's now-very-loving-and-attentive-grasp. They police raided the place within 4 minutes, but he was long gone by that moment. The necklace is nothing but a reminder, the real meal is scaring them to death over the thought of their loss.
                      Sure, the son is going to need therapy, and the parents will be paranoid for a while (hey, with his extended Family around, that might even be a good thing!). The loss of the necklace will probably cost the director tons of money, maybe his job.
                      But at least he now knows what really matters, right?

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                      • #12
                        We cover this in the Player's Guide. The core unfortunately has a bit of disclarity about how these things all shake out, due to the last minute changes; we do a lot of feeding preference discussion in the PG, and how exactly that fits into gaining Satiety (and lessons, and "ethical" feeding). I did Collectors, among others, and hopefully I've clarified some things (so you know who to blame if they're not!)



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                        • #13
                          I didn't see anyone address the archaeologist Collector idea so I will take a stab at it.

                          I always saw it like Belloq from Raiders of the Last Ark. He's the archaeologist that gets there first or uses underhanded techniques to get the items. He feeds by taking the thing the other archaeologist wanted and making sure the other guys knows he got it instead.

                          You could have the same thing with antiquing or at auctions. The Collector gets the thing not because they want it, but because someone else does and you take it from them.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
                            I didn't see anyone address the archaeologist Collector idea so I will take a stab at it.

                            I always saw it like Belloq from Raiders of the Last Ark. He's the archaeologist that gets there first or uses underhanded techniques to get the items. He feeds by taking the thing the other archaeologist wanted and making sure the other guys knows he got it instead.

                            You could have the same thing with antiquing or at auctions. The Collector gets the thing not because they want it, but because someone else does and you take it from them.
                            The auction example is exactly one I used in the PG.



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                            • #15
                              Mind a lot of the "How does collecting a thing from a person teach a lesson" is only if we're going for the direct of the lesson being by collecting and not something like how silver age Batman and Superman had massive piles of superweapons and such from foiled supervillain plots. You know teach the lesson, terrify the person, do what you gotta, and then you walk off with the thing as a trophy.

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