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  • Wormwood
    started a topic How do you create a Horror?

    How do you create a Horror?

    Out of curiousity, when you Design your (N)PC horrors, what is your process/source? Games, books, images? Mythology, or modern creatures? Do you have a preference for animalistic/humanoid/elemental Horrors?
    How do you tie horror, feeding and theme of the char/concept together?

  • Wormwood
    replied
    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
    I prefer animalistic Horrors, myself. I find that animal themed characters stand out far better than humanoids. Partly because when you look at them, you immediately get a sense of their personality and nature than you do with a typical humanoid. I don't usually consider making elemental themed characters, but I'm not opposed to incorporating some aspects or traits into the character's design in some way.


    As for sources of inspiration, I like to use real world mythology when I can. I like to think of them as 'pre-generated' archetypes, and it makes it easier to decide on how you want to build your legend over the course of development. That being said, I don't mind using an original idea of my own, when I happen to have one that I think is good enough.


    As for the process behind their creation, I found that looking at them from a metaphorical point of view, rather than a literal standpoint offers a far greater range of options. The problem is you have to have an open mind to see many of those possibilities, which becomes difficult if you've become accustomed to certain interpretations.


    Finally, I don't have a designated process for working feeding or concepts into the mix. I usually just run with whatever feels natural for what the rest of the character is designed around. Once again, the options for this become significantly more diverse once you look at them from a metaphorical standpoint.
    Totally understand that approach. Has a lot of merits, and feels very quick and 'organic', too.

    Currently re-discovering the Dresden Files as inspirational material, and BOY is there a lot to take for Beast.

    I mean, sure, the Denarians could be Demons, but they also work very well as Beasts (although once it is out, they might actually work best as Sin-Eaters, but we will see).
    I mean Nicodemus and his Living Shadow Anduriel? Totally has Shadowed Soul and Wings of the Raptor as well as Unbreakable and Relentless Hunter, being an Inguma Tyrant with the Overlord Legend =P.
    They mostly would be Inguma, Namtaru and Anakim, Makara and Ugallu being suspiciously absent, but fear not, the Fomori got you covered when it comes to Makara!
    And then we have Scions like Kincaid, and Kincaid makes a DAMN fine Beast.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nyrufa
    replied
    I prefer animalistic Horrors, myself. I find that animal themed characters stand out far better than humanoids. Partly because when you look at them, you immediately get a sense of their personality and nature than you do with a typical humanoid. I don't usually consider making elemental themed characters, but I'm not opposed to incorporating some aspects or traits into the character's design in some way.


    As for sources of inspiration, I like to use real world mythology when I can. I like to think of them as 'pre-generated' archetypes, and it makes it easier to decide on how you want to build your legend over the course of development. That being said, I don't mind using an original idea of my own, when I happen to have one that I think is good enough.


    As for the process behind their creation, I found that looking at them from a metaphorical point of view, rather than a literal standpoint offers a far greater range of options. The problem is you have to have an open mind to see many of those possibilities, which becomes difficult if you've become accustomed to certain interpretations.


    Finally, I don't have a designated process for working feeding or concepts into the mix. I usually just run with whatever feels natural for what the rest of the character is designed around. Once again, the options for this become significantly more diverse once you look at them from a metaphorical standpoint.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wormwood
    replied
    Originally posted by Gellydog View Post


    Yesssssss. I actually had thought of exactly the xenomorph alien, the Predator hunter and the pod people as a base for some of the other families.

    The Alien alien would actually be a Namtaru, based on the alien queen from Aliens. It's powers would revolve around the aliens' life cycle, spawning things like face-huggers and Horrorspawn while generally being creepy and gross. I think a minion-focused Beast would actually be pretty neat. It's Hunger...I'm not actually sure. Hunger for Prey just seems boring for such a weird design.

    The Predator alien would be an Eshmaki Predator, obviously. It embodies the fear of being stalked and hunted by something sneakier than you, stronger than you, and better equipped than you. It's Lair would be a Stalking Ground it lures people into, then it hunts them through the landscape. It's preferred Prey would be "worthy opponents." Only those who can fight back are worth its time, and the more dangerous the prey, the more Satiety to be had.

    The pod people obviously is an Inguma, that represents the fear of familiar people around you being turned into strangers. The doppelganger atavism in particular seems made for this Beast! I'm thinking the Horror itself would be some sort of weird plant. Look up the Thorian from the video game Mass Effect, and that's basically what I picture. Its hunger would be Transgression, with a focus on making people break the unwritten social contract in ways that alienate their friends and family. Basically, it tries to get victims to make themselves act like "pod people."
    Awesome! For the alien queen, may I suggest Collector ? Tyrant would work, too, but considering the Queen in the movie 'collected' people as spawn Material... and you did want something weirder.
    As for the Thing, it could be a Namtaru Predator, with stuff like enemy within, skin deep, and limb from limb.

    Cinder that is just beautiful! Thanks a lot!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gellydog
    replied
    Originally posted by Wormwood View Post

    Awesome ideas! I like those! Will you do the 'alien as parasite/invader/predator/hunter' concepts, too? I am thinking of the thing, alien, predator,body snatchers, specifically.
    ‚Äč

    Yesssssss. I actually had thought of exactly the xenomorph alien, the Predator hunter and the pod people as a base for some of the other families.

    The Alien alien would actually be a Namtaru, based on the alien queen from Aliens. It's powers would revolve around the aliens' life cycle, spawning things like face-huggers and Horrorspawn while generally being creepy and gross. I think a minion-focused Beast would actually be pretty neat. It's Hunger...I'm not actually sure. Hunger for Prey just seems boring for such a weird design.

    The Predator alien would be an Eshmaki Predator, obviously. It embodies the fear of being stalked and hunted by something sneakier than you, stronger than you, and better equipped than you. It's Lair would be a Stalking Ground it lures people into, then it hunts them through the landscape. It's preferred Prey would be "worthy opponents." Only those who can fight back are worth its time, and the more dangerous the prey, the more Satiety to be had.

    The pod people obviously is an Inguma, that represents the fear of familiar people around you being turned into strangers. The doppelganger atavism in particular seems made for this Beast! I'm thinking the Horror itself would be some sort of weird plant. Look up the Thorian from the video game Mass Effect, and that's basically what I picture. Its hunger would be Transgression, with a focus on making people break the unwritten social contract in ways that alienate their friends and family. Basically, it tries to get victims to make themselves act like "pod people."

    Leave a comment:


  • Cinder
    replied
    Originally posted by Wormwood View Post

    Thank you.
    Currently Debating what to do with Ciri - I was unhappy with the swallow horror, as I was with Ugallu as a family... so I considered Namtaru with alien allure (she has to deal with a lot of disgusting stuff, and is Considered abhorrent by some) with a black Unicorn as a horror, or instead going Anakim (she carries immense power, and most of her life was a lesson in powerlessness. At the end, it is the opposite) with the concept of the Hen Ichaer as her horror (a raging, Sentient fire), or again, the Black Unicorn.
    If you could use my two cents, I'd go with Anakim. Alien Allure is an Atavism that works perfectly for her, since a lot of people are obsessed with Ciri or fall for her, so I'd say she should have it, but Anakim as a Family works both with her immense power and the constant troubles she has fleeing both from her nature and those who are hunting her down, as you mention. I don't always do it, since sometimes there's no room for it, but the idea some Beast have a sort of simmetry between the nightmare they embody and the struggles they have to deal with is something I find interesting to play with when making characters. That they know their nightmare intimately because they experienced it and made their own, in a way, is something that tends to come up frequently for me, and I see potential for that in an Anakim Ciri.

    As for the Horror, what about an animal form, giant swallow or unicorn for example, who's only the outer facade for Hen Ichaer? Imagine its skin cracking with barely contained power, flames erupting from the flesh like lava from a cooling volcano and the eyes as windows for the raging conflagration that burns within. It is, in my humble opionion, fitting for an Anakim, works with her being conflicted about her own power and unusual enough to be memorable. That Horror is both Ciri and the power of the elder blood, trying to coexist in a single being.
    Last edited by Cinder; 03-29-2018, 10:51 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wormwood
    replied
    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
    That...that works beautifully, if you ask me. Kudos.
    Thank you.
    Currently Debating what to do with Ciri - I was unhappy with the swallow horror, as I was with Ugallu as a family... so I considered Namtaru with alien allure (she has to deal with a lot of disgusting stuff, and is Considered abhorrent by some) with a black Unicorn as a horror, or instead going Anakim (she carries immense power, and most of her life was a lesson in powerlessness. At the end, it is the opposite) with the concept of the Hen Ichaer as her horror (a raging, Sentient fire), or again, the Black Unicorn.


    Daigotsu Max sounds cool, and now I want a Big Five African brood.

    Leave a comment:


  • Daigotsu Max
    replied
    I'd done a kinship inspired horror (the giant bat Ugallu Wormwood mentioned above in fact - great minds!) but never a full brood! Great idea, particularly with kinship merits being a thing!

    One themed brood I made once was centered around the 5 deadly venoms: the Centipede, the Snake, the Scorpion, the Lizard, and the Toad. Never saw the movie but saw the idea in another game and thought it would make a great mix of Beasts, all with Basilisk's Touch!

    Leave a comment:


  • Wormwood
    replied
    Originally posted by Gellydog View Post

    I love series! They're such a great way to inject some easy inspiration, and can get you to work outside your comfort zone with Families or concepts you normally avoid.
    [...]
    I'm also thinking of doing a series that's based on Broods that would have Kinship with a specific other splat's society. I.E. five Beasts that all are themed around things that thematically fit in with the local Forsaken. Or four Beasts that all work well with the All Night Society.
    Awesome ideas! I like those! Will you do the 'alien as parasite/invader/predator/hunter' concepts, too? I am thinking of the thing, alien, predator,body snatchers, specifically.

    My Kerrigan and Abathur could fit in there, too.

    themed Broods is always fun (even if you just go with 'creepy crawlies', 'snakes', 'ninjas') but never thought of doing Kinship themed ones. Seems so obvious now. A slavering loupgarou anakim, a black Wolf eshmaki, a almost - human wolf man inguma... It makes so much sense! Vampire, too, from blood god Namtaru to an anakim chiropteran monstrosity, A Giant Bat ugallu, A fanged, Pale 'human' Inguma, a Traditional Dracula Talassii, a bat swarm eshmaki... So Many Possibilities!
    Thanks for that kickstarter!
    You'll have to come up with new Kinship merits, of course. Addictive oder Ar least blood, maybe...

    Leave a comment:


  • Gellydog
    replied
    Originally posted by Wormwood View Post
    Currently, I am working on a 'inspired by' series of characters (for fun, maybe to later use as npc)
    I love series! They're such a great way to inject some easy inspiration, and can get you to work outside your comfort zone with Families or concepts you normally avoid.

    I've got some that I'm still working on that are based on the theme of "aliens." So far, I've got a Talassii Collector whose Horror takes the form of a stereotypical "grey alien." Skinny, grey skin, bulbous head and big shiny eyes... Their shtick is that they feed into "alien abduction" stories by kidnapping people, dosing them with something that messes with memory, and then lets them go awhile later with no clue what happened. They collect DNA samples from their victims- the only bit they can remember is the collection.

    Then there's the Ugallu Whisper. I don't normally like the Raptors; nothing wrong with the family, just a little too remote for me. But this one is fun! It's based on UFOs, and the Horror takes the form of The Sky Lights, a collection of floating lights that constantly shift and split, change and combine. The Heart of its Lair is a giant cornfield with, of course, crop circles in it. Traits are Undergrowth, Poor Light and Blinding Light. (yes, both- it's dark everywhere except where the Horror is shining its attention) It Hungers for coverups and conspiracies.

    I'm also thinking of doing a series that's based on Broods that would have Kinship with a specific other splat's society. I.E. five Beasts that all are themed around things that thematically fit in with the local Forsaken. Or four Beasts that all work well with the All Night Society.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deinos
    replied
    Ah yes, my bad. Seems like rank 2 is what most goetics gravitate towards.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Deinos View Post
    One thing I greatly enjoy about beast horrors is that they don't, themselves, have to be anything remotely significant to start: they begin as rank 1 goetia afterall.
    Larval Horrors are Rank 2.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deinos
    replied
    One thing I greatly enjoy about beast horrors is that they don't, themselves, have to be anything remotely significant to start: they begin as rank 1 goetia afterall. Like a pack totem, they needn't represent anything more deep or heavy to advance in power level; afaik the only time they need to redefine themselves is during Incarnation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cinder
    replied
    Originally posted by Wormwood View Post
    My Geralt is an Inguma Predator, and Ciri is an Ugallu Nemesis... But their Horrors? A white wolf, for geralt, originally. Then I went back to the original White wolf, since Inguma horror are usually humanoid. And so, elric of melnibone is his horror. Fun game of association basically Led me, here.
    That...that works beautifully, if you ask me. Kudos.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wormwood
    replied
    Currently, I am working on a 'inspired by' series of characters (for fun, maybe to later use as npc), and most were easy - Sarah Kerrigan's horror? Her zerg- Form.
    The guy inspired by Abathur? Take a guess. War from Darksiders? His chaosform.

    What are significantly harder are the characters that were inspired by human(oids), and were the horror came in last in the Design process. My Geralt is an Inguma Predator, and Ciri is an Ugallu Nemesis... But their Horrors? A white wolf, for geralt, originally. Then I went back to the original White wolf, since Inguma horror are usually humanoid. And so, elric of melnibone is his horror. Fun game of association basically Led me, here. (Will Post the write up on character ideas next week)
    Ciri, I am still stumped. Swallows are hardly scary, and the White Frost ist already her lair. But that makes finding something that clicks All the More Interesting.

    Leave a comment:

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