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[Crossover Homebrew]This is My Story-Heroes, Anathema, and Kin

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  • [Crossover Homebrew]This is My Story-Heroes, Anathema, and Kin

    So there I was, muttering ominous mutterings to myself as I brainstormed some writings that y'all probably see soon when I came across an interesting conundrum concerning Heroes:

    Heroes are kind of lacking as a crossover antagonist.

    Don't get me wrong, this isn't the usual "Heroes are underpowered" topic you get, heaven knows I have opinions on the careful balance there. Nor is this an explicit thought of defocusing Heroes- they are, first and foremost, the fear and foe of Beasts, and their main focus should be on how they interact with Beasts. But while the heroic tactics of terrorism, control of the human narrative and mob, and Gift employment serve them as well against Kin as it does Beasts, Heroes don't have as much of a way to inflict that fear of "This is my story" on Kin that is emblematic of the horror narrative that is at the heart of Heroes.

    Now, again, that is kind of the point-Heroes aren't really the strong things of the world so much as they have the weight of narrative behind them, so by not having them be able to gain edges over every other kind of monsters, it helps to keep that focus in mind. "My friends are my power" is a very real and viable answer for Beasts in their conflict with Heroes. THAT SAID, Kin aiding Beasts should run into some of the fear that the Begotten experience, suffer the edges of it, and while Gifts like Kinslayer and Family Rivalry help that sensation. As it stands, a Hero for Kin is not much of a different experience than fighting a Conspiracy hunter, and that feels a little like a missed opportunity, particularly with certain kinds of Kin being able to find parallels in experience*.

    The three big scare factors of a Hero are Heroic Tracking, Anathema, and the earning of Gifts from Beast murder. Heroic Tracking comes in with Kinslayer, and that feels like an appropriate limitation. Contrawise, it's never appropriate for Heroic Advancement to be tied to the murder of Kin. So that leaves Anathema, and it's ability for a Hero to define the story.

    Now straight up being able to inflict Anathema on Kin is too much, but some kind of Anathema-like ability, a minor case of it, seems like an interesting angle to play around with.

    So, that's the thought experiment: How to bring the Hero horror to Kin without overshadowing the import of their relation to Beasts.

    ‚ÄčIdeas?

    *the primary example I can think of is how a Hero finding a Beast and imposing Anathema against them and their nature would probably feel disturbingly like a True Fae to a changeling, and that they can find safety in that those powers can't touch them is a little disappointing-granted, a smart Hero can probably exploit research into Contracts and Pledges and turn loopholes and catches against them, but it doesn't quite match the "and now you are always angry, Mr. Calm Person" that both Heroes and True Fae can tap into.


    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.
    Currently Working On: The Noble and the Sovereign, Blog

  • #2
    My initial thought is to still involve the Beast. Make it so that the horror for the Kin comes from their association with the Beast in their fight against the Hero. So maybe some Anathema that involve the Beast turning on the Kin? Or making the Beast resemble the Kins traditional Antagonist in some way; like forcing a thematic Nightmare to be inflicted by the Beast.


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    • #3
      Part of the thought experiment was in how antagonists can be used as such in other gamelines without needing to involve the original antagonist-so, as a minor example, a Hero who is dealing with a Changeling on the side without a Beast being involved(yet, anyways). Still, that does create a fun idea of a Disquiet-like Anathema. The Beast doesn't get cursed, but anyone who has Family Ties to the Beast does.

      Hexed(for future development)


      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.
      Currently Working On: The Noble and the Sovereign, Blog

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      • #4
        Ahh okay.

        So if we go with the assumption that the Hero is after the character because they think it is a Beast (for whatever value the Hero actually thinks of Beasts as a specific thing beyond 'things they are driven/destined/etc to kill'). Then maybe a weaker Anathema equivalent that follows the same general logic as Anathema but doesn't quite work because the target is not actually a Beast. Perhaps relying on the standard tropes of the splats that are not (necessarily) true in CofD. So, they could use a horseshoe (regardless of its metal content) against a Changeling or cancel a Changelings escape ability with the old idea that capturing a fairy forces it to make you a wish or something.


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        • #5
          I also believe that going through the Anathema way through Beast is a good starting point. Powers that corrupt Kinship and highlight the monstrous side of a Begotten while taking out the family one and that go both ways, either making the Beast act or look like the baddies of the various gamelines to Kin or that make the Begotten itself suddenly feel disgusted/creeped out/hateful towards her Family members. With the result of making it the solitary monster in the Lair that waits to get slain, while all the other magical creatures rejoice.

          Other than that, perhaps there's something that can be done with a sort of "Anti-Kinship Merits"? Merits that can be bought in opposition to Beast's ones and that grant benefits against specific kinds of Kin. Nothing as dramatic as Anathema, but still a plus for Heroes that can be written while mirroring the idea behind Kinship Merits. Where those involve connections between the monsters and the Beast becoming closer to them, these might focus on solitary fanatism and the Hero tapping into the monster hunter mythos of the various Kin. Not as strong as other powers, but something to be wary about. Details and limitations might apply or not, like "all of these only work if the Hero is tracking down one of more Beasts", but there might be some potential there. The first name that comes to my mind is "Questing Merits", but it can be improved.

          That's what I got for now. It's more brainstorming than anything, sorry about that, but right now my time's limited.
          Last edited by Cinder; 05-02-2018, 07:02 PM.


          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

          I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

          This is what I'm working on

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          • #6
            There's an incredibly pertinent detail about the Primordial Dream that Beasts can take advantage of but Heroic Tracking and Stalking don't care about, and that's always felt odd to me in the context of Beast as a crossover game.

            The Begotten are not the only ones who make ripples in the Primordial Dream. The masses of other supernaturals and purely mundane trauma are what shapes the world that Beasts have the dubious privilege of interacting with by creating Chambers and forming the inchoate fears in the collective consciousness that nestle to become their Horrors. And though Heroes are intrinsically connected to the Dream as potential Beasts are, and Beasts wholly dive into the net of interconnections that their origins and environment are defined by, the mechanics and role of the former for some reason almost completely overlook this to monomaniacally concentrate on Beasts.

            (This is something you could say is a matter of understandable focus and the additional edges of the Beast-Hero relationship as they are bound by the emergent narrative of the monomyth, as well as the original and now mostly distorted and forgotten role of Heroes as the answer to the frightening tales Beasts embodied. But it remains as a fact that it refuses to partake of a big chunk of what makes Beast a crossover game, especially in the context of how it might not be satisfactory to ever play Beast looking only inwards - nevermind that it was not conceived of that way.)

            In my admittely unlikely dabbles at making Heroes more personable (or perhaps I should say more nuanced in both mechanical and narrative representation), I considered the idea of letting Heroes sense any and all disturbances created in the Dream through Heroic Tracking and Stalking, while leaving their Gifts and Anathema limited to targetting Beasts; the intent being to allow a greater degree of liberty and relevance in how Heroes connect with the crossover part of the game, but keeping the core of their experience focused on their essential relationship with the splat protagonists. The Kinslayer gift and others stemming from it could then further modify the applicability of their other powers to supernaturals that have established kinship with Beasts.

            I think the suggestion might be a good start to giving Heroes more meat as crossover antagonists.

            I like the thoughts of abilities that can pervert Kinship and sort of contextually repurpose Anathema by relying on what resonates with other splats, though.
            Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 05-02-2018, 09:48 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by YeOfLittleFaith View Post
              And though Heroes are intrinsically connected to the Dream as potential Beasts are, and Beasts wholly dive into the net of interconnections that their origins and environment are defined by, the mechanics and role of the former for some reason almost completely overlook this to monomaniacally concentrate on Beasts.
              "For some reason" here meaning "forming a Chamber is almost universally considered an aberrant failure state for other gameline-level supernatural entities, whereas even when Beasts aren't looking to actively engineer that degree of disturbance they still make waves in it in the course of their normal operations." It's the same state of affairs that means most hives' Apexes are going to be Beasts.


              Resident Sanguinary Analyst
              Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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              • #8
                I don't think that necessarily holds up, though you are correct that Beasts make bigger waves by virtue of being Beasts. Getting into statistics isn't useful, but it doesn't seem to be an assumption of the game that Beasts are so overwhelmingly common in the supernatural world they would outnumber the relevant incidences of other supernatural creatures.

                There's plenty of reason why Heroes overlook those in design, and it plausibly has everything to do with the dynamic that they have attached to Beasts in particular and vice-versa. But for the purpose of the topic, it's pertinent to put that into question and leave it slightly to the side a while.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
                  Ahh okay.
                  So, they could use a horseshoe (regardless of its metal content) against a Changeling or cancel a Changelings escape ability with the old idea that capturing a fairy forces it to make you a wish or something.
                  Oh, I really like that idea
                  Would love to see a hero wearing a garlic necklace to fend off vampires, and it actually working to a degree.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IceBen View Post

                    Oh, I really like that idea
                    Would love to see a hero wearing a garlic necklace to fend off vampires, and it actually working to a degree.
                    Indeed. All those efforts of other supernatural types to spread misinformation regarding their traits and weaknesses coming back to bite them is deliciously ironic.


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                    • #11
                      Some of this bites a little hard into the Cainite Heresy's tricks, but I've definitely got some ammo to work around with.


                      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.
                      Currently Working On: The Noble and the Sovereign, Blog

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                      • #12
                        Perhaps they could develop a "Calling out" Mechanic... that can force an Integrity check or suffer a Penalty? Something like that would be useful against every Line/Kin and not just a single one. Something in the Line of thought of say "Ahha! I know you Monster! Your a Fae! Your kind doesn't do well against Cold Iron!" and then throws some shackles against them.. the Hero could Force them to act as if they have the Weakness even if they don't actually have it, if they fail their Integrity check. None of it would be Permanent and it could fail much more easily?

                        In this idea, It would be the understanding of The Heroes "Thinking" he knows the weaknesses of the Kin type and focusing it into reality with Narrative Causality. It doesn't Actually work, but they THINK it does too the degree that it does for a short period. (Plus it's playing with the Anathema mechanic they already have)

                        Ideas.
                        Last edited by RickmanUK; 05-04-2018, 08:16 PM.


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

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                        • #13
                          Many other splats have inherent banes already; I think it could add to the scare factor of Heroes a lot if they were just exceptionally good at figuring out what hurts a given splat the most after minimal contact. It doesn't fit the thematics of Anathema, where Heroes are essentially just making shit up because a Narrative Asspull Victory is part and parcel of their story... but I'm not sure that's a bad thing when the idea is to not have Anathema work the same way on Kin. It adds a layer of confusion to what it is they're doing on a metaphysical level.

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                          • #14
                            So in BPG they have this thing about how part of the offense of Anathema is the "nonsensical" nature of the,-or rather, the offense of having someone tell you what you are. You might actually be a chill motherfucker, but if a Hero is convinced you're an angry son of a bitch and hits you with it, congratulations, you are now an angry son of a bitch until you Ravenous the fuck out of it. It's not about reality as it actually is or even popularly perceived. It's about this one fucking asshole telling you who you are-and you now have to deal with being that.

                            It's the horror in that writ...smaller, or more appropriate for Kin, that I'm looking at.


                            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.
                            Currently Working On: The Noble and the Sovereign, Blog

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                            • #15
                              + 1 vote for making Hero ( possible by Anti-Kinship Merits ) to generate Banes in monsters from humans myths. Hero making vampires afraid of garlic or werewolves being poisoned by Belladonna.


                              My stuff for Scion 2E, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
                              LGBT+ in CoD games

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