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  • #16
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    "The hive" is specifically defined by being a bunch of Chambers from the same area connected through the shared influence of the Apex. If there's no Apex then there's just a bunch of disparate Chambers in geographical proximity to each other.
    If there is no Apex there is no Shared Hive Trait. Not no Hive. A Hive Exists in the Dreamscape regardless... just no-one can interact with it.


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    • #17
      Originally posted by RickmanUK View Post
      If there is no Apex there is no Shared Hive Trait. Not no Hive.
      The Hive Trait is literally the only thing connecting every single Chamber in the hive to every other Chamber in the Hive. Without that unifying feature, you just have a bunch of Chambers that happen to exist in the same general area, which cannot be used in the manner of a hive.

      Originally posted by Paradim View Post

      I would disagree from what the books say.

      Under "The Hive" in the core, page 94: "All of the Chambers in a region are part of a larger system called the hive."

      Under "Hives and Hearts" in the PG, page 151: "Beasts call the sum total of all claimed and unclaimed Chambers in a region, plus the network of Burrows linking the claimed ones into Lairs, the region's Hive."

      I don't really see support saying that without an Apex, there is no Hive. Where do you find that?
      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      A follow-up, prompted by checking the books for a different thing:

      The "Here Be Monsters" section on page 67 of the corebook defines "regions" of the Primordial Dream as "areas under a given Apex," and the "Why Do Beasts Fight?" section on page 230 further specifies that what makes a hive is the shared link of its Chambers to the Apex.

      Make of that what you will.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
        The Hive Trait is literally the only thing connecting every single Chamber in the hive to every other Chamber in the Hive. Without that unifying feature, you just have a bunch of Chambers that happen to exist in the same general area, which cannot be used in the manner of a hive.
        Let me rephase, There is no Defining one that someone is "Now" putting upon them. I Would say it just has one that is there from Local Myths and Legends. Or from the Old Apex.


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

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        • #19
          So without Apex, can Chambers of not-the-Hive can be travel easily between them, like if there is clear Apex? They are still representing the same regions locations, in the end...


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          • #20
            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
            So without Apex, can Chambers of not-the-Hive can be travel easily between them, like if there is clear Apex? They are still representing the same regions locations, in the end...
            Pg 151 of the players guide says one can traverse the primordial dream version of said area. Like a Beast wandering the Primordial Dream version of Detroit is just getting the fragile PD version of Detroit and can roam around as they choose. In theory if they encounter a Chamber they can go inside and will know if the Chamber they've entered is in fact part of a Lair. You are however required to leave the Horror in the Lair when you leave and you don't merge if you enter another chamber unless it connects to your Lair. Also Burrows aren't actually present in the Primordial Dream when you leave a Lair, so no crisscrossed Burrows and another Beast could not track your Lair by finding one chamber in the PD and then tracking the burrows from outside of the Lair.

            Of course I don't remember anything implying such a thing wasn't possible with an Apex either.

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            • #21
              Okay, re-reading the relevant parts of the corebook and BPG, I revise my position. Specifically, page 151 of the BPG, emphasis mine:

              Beasts call the sum total of all claimed and unclaimed Chambers in a region, plus the network of Burrows linking the claimed ones into Lairs, the region’s Hive. ... To these Beasts, the Hive Trait is the result of proximity to the very bedrock of spiritual reality, like deep caves being warmed by geothermal vents. The Apex is merely the face those Primordial energies take, which is why the position can be usurped so easily; the Hive naturally takes on an aspect of the biggest, scariest monster in the regions making up its Chambers.
              So the Hive always has an Apex -- not because one monster is always uniquely, powerfully scary, but because the Hive automatically attunes itself to the best Apex candidate, even if it doesn't have many good ones to chose from.

              I still interpret this to mean that the Hive has an a priori existence independent of any particular Apex, which means that the Apex in (for example) a rural area might be very weak and thus easily supplanted. But the Chronicles of Darkness setting is too rife with supernatural critters for any Hive to be completely devoid of an Apex, even if that "Apex" ends up being just a rank-1 ghost that scared some kids that one time and the story spread. (Not that most Hives don't have a stronger Apex than this, but that's the minimum I could think of.)

              In other words, the Hive makes the Apex, not the other way around.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Mad_Maudlin View Post
                In other words, the Hive makes the Apex, not the other way around.
                The hive is made of Chambers that can and eventually will fall out of the dreamscape and the dreamscape is not meaningfully affected by reputation alone. A specific Apex may not make the hive, but it is very definitely the quality of having narrative room for an Apex that enables a hive to form where one does.

                Originally posted by The Beast Incarnate - Control The Hive
                The hive isn’t just a loose collection of Chambers in a city. It’s the bond of the people who live in that region, their experiences with the supernatural, their collected dreams and nightmares. The hive isn’t simple to understand or manipulate, but doing so is possible; a Beast who wishes to be the Incarnate can take over a hive and establish herself as the ruler of the area.

                The first step in doing so is becoming the Apex of the hive, but any Beast approaching Lair 8 probably has already reached that status. Still, if she hasn’t, she needs to figure out who or what the Apex is and wrest control away. She can do that by interacting with the people of the region, insinuating herself into their dreams and creating Chambers by terrifying them (whether or not she intends to add them to her Lair). Alternatively, she can simply kill the existing Apex and claim his position.


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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                  The hive is made of Chambers that can and eventually will fall out of the dreamscape and the dreamscape is not meaningfully affected by reputation alone. A specific Apex may not make the hive, but it is very definitely the quality of having narrative room for an Apex that enables a hive to form where one does.
                  At this point I can't even tell if we're disagreeing with each other. The quote you posted seems to confirm that the Hive exists a priori because it's formed by the mortal community, and the existence of any Apex is similarly a by-product of what's prominent in the minds of mortals. A particular individual can become Apex by making herself more prominent in the community, which will as a side effect create more Chambers as she's interacting more with mortals. But that's still not the same thing as "the Apex creates the Hive."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mad_Maudlin View Post
                    But that's still not the same thing as "the Apex creates the Hive."
                    I would think the fact that I said "A specific Apex may not make the hive" made it clear I didn't think the Apex creates the hive, but a hive does not form without the shared connection that facilitates there being an Apex.

                    If an area goes through a dry spell of supernatural activity and its Chambers fade into the Mists and its people lose the fundamental connection of shared terror that brought their nightmares that much closer in the core of their unconscious, there will not be a hive in that place anymore because a hive is made of Chambers and lasting Chambers do not form without supernatural involvement.

                    Absent extenuating circumstances, If a small town falls out of touch with itself for a decade and then two Beasts form Chambers on opposite ends of the city limits, those two Chambers are not going to be connected until there's been a critical mass of traumatic paranormal-adjacent activity establishing the region as close enough to the Primordial Dream to make a hive and establish an Apex. Not every place with more than one Chamber in proximity to each other is a hive, because a hive is a physical manifestation of the shared history of a region in relation to its human population at a foundational level of the unconscious realms.

                    The Dark Dream does not run on rumor. Forming Chambers is not "a side effect." The Apex is the Apex because they have contributed to the Chambers of the hive both before and after they gain that status.
                    Last edited by Satchel; 05-06-2018, 09:41 AM.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                      I would think the fact that I said "A specific Apex may not make the hive" made it clear I didn't think the Apex creates the hive, but a hive does not form without the shared connection that facilitates there being an Apex.
                      I think I see the root of the problem now. Am I right that you're arguing (potential) Apex --> shared connection --> Hive? Because my primary interpretation was shared connection --> Hive -- > Apex.

                      If an area goes through a dry spell of supernatural activity and its Chambers fade into the Mists and its people lose the fundamental connection of shared terror that brought their nightmares that much closer in the core of their unconscious, there will not be a hive in that place anymore because a hive is made of Chambers and lasting Chambers do not form without supernatural involvement.
                      I don't think the origin of Chambers is in dispute here. But if the only thing that can create a "connection of shared terror" is the presence of supernatural agents, what's the point of the "Dreamscape" section of Building a Legend (pp. 31-33)? The geography of the Primordial Dream between Chambers exists because the shared fears of the community exist whether or not there are supernatural agents at work. Supernatural power ramps those fears up to 11, makes them more "real," but if supernatural involvement was the only thing that populated the Dark Dream then all Chambers would exist in a vaccuum, with nothing outside/between them. That's clearly not the case for all Chambers (the Mists are a distinct region of the Dark Dream) so it's my interpretation that the existence of a community inherently includes the existence of a common space in the Primordial Dream. If enough Chambers are placed there, they will become a Hive.

                      Absent extenuating circumstances, If a small town falls out of touch with itself for a decade and then two Beasts form Chambers on opposite ends of the city limits, those two Chambers are not going to be connected until there's been a critical mass of traumatic paranormal-adjacent activity establishing the region as close enough to the Primordial Dream to make a hive and establish an Apex.
                      Disagree. If the Primordial Dream corresponding to a given place has zero Chambers (that is, any pre-existing Chambers have fallen into the Mists) and you and I both make Chambers there, that is a minimal potential Hive, which will react to whoever is the biggest fear in the mind of the local community as Apex. That could be you, or it could be me, or it could be the rank-1 ghost who's become the most popular urban legend in town, depending on what's scariest in the mind of the overall community.

                      Not every place with more than one Chamber in proximity to each other is a hive, because a hive is a physical manifestation of the shared history of a region in relation to its human population at a foundational level of the unconscious realms.
                      Unconscious realms that exist, a priori, in the CofD cosmology. Calling a collection of people a "community" implies they've got a shared history and shared interpresonal relationships, which include shared fears that project into the Dark Dream. That shared history includes any active supernatural agents in the region, but itsn't limited to them.

                      The Dark Dream does not run on rumor. Forming Chambers is not "a side effect." The Apex is the Apex because they have contributed to the Chambers of the hive both before and after they gain that status.
                      "Side effect" was a bad choice of words, you're right. What I should've said is that the same activities that form Chambers usually also leave traumatized people in the community, including some who will talk about their experience, making the potential Apex loom larger in the collective dreamscape.

                      Let me propose another edge case: In a community there are three very powerful supernaturals. One is a mummy with a moderately active cult, but he still only has a short Descent ever 10-20 years and thus doesn't interact with mortals enough to create many Chambers. One is a reckless Unchained whose usual way of interacting with mortals creates lots of Chambers, but she covers her tracks with liberal use of the Embed "Never Here." The third is a very active Beast who wants to become Apex and therefore is deliberately interacting with mortals in a way that builds zir Legend, and this also means ze creates a lot of Chambers whether or not that's zir primary intention.

                      The RAW explicitly says the mummy is not a good candidate for Apex because he's not active among mortals enough, and I think we'd both agree the Beast is a potential Apex candidate. My interpretation would also exclude the demon, because by mindwiping her victims every time, she's not leaving much of an impression on the mortals in the community even though she's making lots of Chambers--nobody specifically fears her as an individual, so the Hive does not become attuned to her the way it would to the more "public" Beast.

                      Assuming I'm understanding your argument right, however, your interpretation is that the demon is a potential Apex candidate because she's personally created a lot of Chambers, they probably have one or more Lair Traits in common, and so that Trait will become the Apex Trait if/when she reaches a "critical mass" of Chambers created. Am I correct?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Mad_Maudlin View Post
                        I think I see the root of the problem now. Am I right that you're arguing (potential) Apex --> shared connection --> Hive? Because my primary interpretation was shared connection --> Hive -- > Apex.
                        I'm arguing that a place isn't a hive if it hasn't got a lot of situations where Chambers have formed or come close to forming, because a hive is specifically a thing made of Chambers and the influence of the Apex is confined to its Chambers in the dreamscape as defined in the Player's Guide.

                        But if the only thing that can create a "connection of shared terror" is the presence of supernatural agents, what's the point of the "Dreamscape" section of Building a Legend (pp. 31-33)?
                        Descriptive cues for the "rough facsimile of material reality" that the Player's Guide describes for characters exploring the Dream outside of the Chambers of the hive, ways to seed story fodder, and so on. Movie monsters don't become the Apex, nor do notorious murderers in another part of the country.

                        (Also, that section goes on to describe "the dreamscape" in terms of what nightmares people are having rather than the literal geography of the Primordial Dream outside of its Chambers; several of the examples are directly incompatible with the "no living things except your fellow travelers" characterization in the Player's Guide. Most dreams explicitly do not have a lasting impact on even the Bright Dream, and the Primordial Dream itself is even less plastic than that beyond the fragility of its contents.)

                        The geography of the Primordial Dream between Chambers exists because the shared fears of the community exist whether or not there are supernatural agents at work. Supernatural power ramps those fears up to 11, makes them more "real," but if supernatural involvement was the only thing that populated the Dark Dream then all Chambers would exist in a vaccuum, with nothing outside/between them.
                        Supernatural involvement is required for all three ways that a Chamber can be formed, even if it's just "a Beast was there when I was being tortured." The geography of the rest of the dreamscape is essentially the material world proper in broad strokes, because that part of the Astral is "anywhere anyone has ever thought about or dreamt about in the context of fear." Chambers are notable and noticeably demarcated to Begotten exploring the Dream, but that doesn't imply that the rest of the dreamscape is nonexistent just because it's less overt in its expression of fear — remember that one never feels completely alone while traveling there.

                        That's clearly not the case for all Chambers (the Mists are a distinct region of the Dark Dream) so it's my interpretation that the existence of a community inherently includes the existence of a common space in the Primordial Dream. If enough Chambers are placed there, they will become a Hive.
                        Right, I'm just saying that a hive does not instantiate itself with a Trait and everything as soon as a population center gains Chambers — otherwise the phenomenon wouldn't be especially notable to the Begotten as corresponding to places with lots of people and globalization would have a much more drastic impact on the Primordial Dream than a higher incidence of false positives for threat-I.D.

                        Disagree. If the Primordial Dream corresponding to a given place has zero Chambers (that is, any pre-existing Chambers have fallen into the Mists) and you and I both make Chambers there, that is a minimal potential Hive, which will react to whoever is the biggest fear in the mind of the local community as Apex. That could be you, or it could be me, or it could be the rank-1 ghost who's become the most popular urban legend in town, depending on what's scariest in the mind of the overall community.
                        Much as two parking spaces don't make a parking garage and two threads of silk don't make a spiderweb, I have to disagree that a hive can be said to meaningfully exist with just two Chambers. The existence of a hive being a unifying phenomenon does not mean that any degree of connection draws it out.

                        Suppose development starts on a fledgeling lumber town and a pair of Beasts haunt the mills — does the place become a hive as soon as either of them has any purchase in the Dream, or is it more reasonable for that state to arise once the place has built up a head of steam on forming the monstrous history that goes into grimoires?

                        My interpretation would also exclude the demon, because by mindwiping her victims every time, she's not leaving much of an impression on the mortals in the community even though she's making lots of Chambers--nobody specifically fears her as an individual, so the Hive does not become attuned to her the way it would to the more "public" Beast.
                        Building A Legend's Dreamscape section directly points out that loss of memory is no insulation against an event's inclusion in nightmares and killing the old Apex is explicitly a means of becoming the Apex with no need for anyone to be aware of it. We have multiple examples on the books of Apexes that are a mystery even to supernatural characters in the know — it's a spiritual facet of an unconscious process, and people consciously knowing about it is the least important part.

                        Assuming I'm understanding your argument right, however, your interpretation is that the demon is a potential Apex candidate because she's personally created a lot of Chambers, they probably have one or more Lair Traits in common, and so that Trait will become the Apex Trait if/when she reaches a "critical mass" of Chambers created. Am I correct?
                        Yep, for those reasons plus the above — the demon has the breadth and depth of instilled trauma necessary to potentially become the face of the region's Primordial energies with or without their Cover being blown.


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                          I'm arguing that a place isn't a hive if it hasn't got a lot of situations where Chambers have formed or come close to forming, because a hive is specifically a thing made of Chambers and the influence of the Apex is confined to its Chambers in the dreamscape as defined in the Player's Guide.
                          I'm not disputing this. What we're disagreeing on is 1. under what conditions a set of Chambers does/does not constitute a Hive, and 2. how does an individual become Apex of the Hive.

                          Right, I'm just saying that a hive does not instantiate itself with a Trait and everything as soon as a population center gains Chambers — otherwise the phenomenon wouldn't be especially notable to the Begotten as corresponding to places with lots of people and globalization would have a much more drastic impact on the Primordial Dream than a higher incidence of false positives for threat-I.D.
                          Am I right that you're referring to this passage under "The Apex" on p. 57 of the corebook?

                          Originally posted by Beast: The Primordial
                          Beasts have an odd relationship with cities and population centers. So many people in a small area raises the chance for a brush with the supernatural, and therefore raises the chance of forming Chambers. The Chambers in a given area are unconnected, unless Beasts add them to their Lairs and join them with Burrows. The Chambers in a hive, though, all share some similarity, some small aspect granted by who- or whatever supernatural figure looms largest in the area’s Primordial Dream.
                          Because this is the only reference in any of the books so far that describes a set of proximate Chambers that aren't a Hive. Even the Pine Barrens setting writeup on p. 252 assumes that there's a Hive, despite the area having a population density of less than two people per square mile. So I don't think it's fair to say that Hives "correspond to places with lots of people" as a rule, just that they are more likely to occur in dense population centers because the odds of Chamber formation (accidental or deliberate) are higher.

                          Much as two parking spaces don't make a parking garage and two threads of silk don't make a spiderweb, I have to disagree that a hive can be said to meaningfully exist with just two Chambers. The existence of a hive being a unifying phenomenon does not mean that any degree of connection draws it out.

                          Suppose development starts on a fledgeling lumber town and a pair of Beasts haunt the mills — does the place become a hive as soon as either of them has any purchase in the Dream, or is it more reasonable for that state to arise once the place has built up a head of steam on forming the monstrous history that goes into grimoires?
                          Everything has to start somewhere. A Hive of two chambers may be small and fragile and temporary, but if it develops an Apex trait, it's a Hive.

                          And at this point I'm afraid I'm going to start repeating myself, so it might be time to bow out of the discussion.

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                          • #28
                            It's not supported by direct quotes from books, but from my POV - based on idea that Astral Realms loves stories, not only events - you have Hive in region whenever there can be said some STORY about that region. Apex is natural binder of it, of course, but it can exists without it, once it was created even eons ago.

                            To determine if there is Hive nearby real question should be this - Can you tell a horror story about this particular region? If yes, you have Hive from nearby Chambers, wherever is it with Apex or not.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              It's not supported by direct quotes from books, but from my POV - based on idea that Astral Realms loves stories, not only events - you have Hive in region whenever there can be said some STORY about that region. Apex is natural binder of it, of course, but it can exists without it, once it was created even eons ago.

                              To determine if there is Hive nearby real question should be this - Can you tell a horror story about this particular region? If yes, you have Hive from nearby Chambers, wherever is it with Apex or not.
                              That is an interesting way of looking at it, despite the lack of support.


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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
                                That is an interesting way of looking at it, despite the lack of support.
                                While I disagree with the particulars of the beginning and end of that train of thought, the thrust of my point is roughly similar: A place develops a hive when its supernatural history is significant and important to the setting.

                                Given the in-game needs of Beasts and the out-of-game necessities of making a story suitable for Beast player characters, it is more likely than not that a typical game of Beast: the Primordial will be set in a place that has a hive with an Apex in some form, but this does not mean that every Chamber within an arbitrary range of another Chamber is part of a hive.

                                By extension, a typical hive setting is not going to be so sparsely furnished that the Apex could reasonably be the only supernatural entity active in the region (and not just because "region" is a widely variable and imprecise geographic term) — that whole "proximity to the bedrock of spiritual reality" angle the traditionalists trot out has its reflection in Kinship's laws of sympathy, because a place with a hive is a place with a lot of monsters in it and a place with a lot of monsters in it has a lot of things to hook weird folkloric whisper-down-the-lane onto.


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