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Question about Beasts and Feeding

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  • Question about Beasts and Feeding

    Like many new people, I'm struggling with the concept of Beasts. If Beasts are meant to "teach a lesson" to humanity through fear, what about those that eat, cannibalize, or kill humans outright? Are those flesh-eaters more like Vampires or do they actually kill everyone no matter what? I understand that Beasts are meant to be the villains, but it almost sounds like they don't have any real purpose or destiny in a story other than to just feed and hide in lairs. I don't want to be ignorant, I just want to understand Beasts better. Is there a list of plot ideas I can read to understand it better and use it for players? Thanks.

  • #2
    Beasts are living nightmares. the whole lessons things might be their purpose,just might. But it also might something they invented to justify the most morally abbhorrent aspect of their existence

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    • #3
      Well the hypothesis, in universe, is that originally Beasts were meant to be lessons in the way fairy tales used to be cautionary tales. Heroes by contrast were a control method, you know stick to the roads if one must travel at night and you won't be tricked off a cliff by a will-o-wisp, caves are dangerous don't go in there by yourself if you don't want to get eaten by a troll, with the big exterminations not necessarily being the whole of the ending.

      Now in the current setting that's not as applicable. The first thing to remember is that a Beast is literally of two minds on things. Mind the first is the human part with all its memories, hopes, dreams, etc. Mind the second is the Horror; the Horror generally speaking only gives a fuck about one thing that isn't eating and that not being dead and that is generally a distant second compared to getting lunch. This being your basic conflict since so long as you're keeping it fed the Horror doesn't care, so the question is how far and what are you willing to do to keep it fed seeing how if starves enough the hunger pains will literally rip you apart.

      The Player's Guide goes into it a bit more, but for the Beghotten that chose to indulge in them, lessons serve multiple purposes. First, allowing one to have an impact on the world you don't like a behavior you have power you fix it, this may or may not include corpses and/or nervous breakdowns that leave your previous meal looking like they just finished a story in the Cthulu Mythos. Second, purpose. As stated your Horror gives no craps about whether or not the poor sod you fed on learned anything or was perceived to have it coming. So as you said, "What's the point?" Lessons enable a Beast to have more purpose, for the feeding to be more than just a thing you do to avoid dying.

      The last one is a bit weird, defense. You're acting for a reason, you're doing stuff, you are more than just a rabid dog. Sometimes this helps in more than a psychological method. Now granted this is less helpful with say Heroes, but sometimes you might actually be able to avoid problems if you're just trying to help. An example I gave ages ago were tyrants or nemeses who enforced the rules of a community, like making it clear to young Kindred that the Masquerade is important and violations have consequences that may be less than pleasant if they're deemed to happen too frequently or on too high a scale.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by OvercastGhost View Post
        I understand that Beasts are meant to be the villains, but it almost sounds like they don't have any real purpose or destiny in a story other than to just feed and hide in lairs.
        Beasts Horrors are living (horror) STORIES. They purpose is role in this show. It's a DNA of them as beings. HOWEVER, Beast is also the human host of it. As Monomyth put Beast in the role of 'feed and hide in lair', the human host breaks this mold by saying: 'My story is not as simple as that. I'm more than those urges!'

        There is example of this in corebook - Beast can easily kill his enemy Hero. He would do this on sight - after long monologue, of course - but Beast says to him 'You cannot now hurt me, you are free.' Horror in Beast simply would kill his enemy - but the Beast made active choice and made her own decision.

        Monomyth suggest Beast what to do - but it's her choices that makes up her existence.
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-01-2018, 02:07 AM.


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        • #5
          For plot ideas, yeah most what Beasts concerns themselves with is feeding, but there feeding is typically different then how it is say vampire so keep that in mind. If you have players who are Tyrants then they would be more inclined for a political game as they interact with either mortal affairs or supernatural ones for example. There Hungers are there motivation, it influences what they want to do in the world. Other examples is Collectors playing up a rogues and treasure hunters, as they abscond with stuff, while Ravagers and Predators would go for more combat heavy games where it is expected for them to kill and destroy stuff. If you have a hard time coming up with plots for Beasts, consider ramping up their Hungers and what interesting stories you can make if you apply them to the larger supernatural community. Thats how it works for me at least


          .

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          • #6
            Lessons are a justifcations Bests use for a variety of reasons. The Horror itself doesn't much care-so long as there's fear to feast on, it's fine, and all the better if that fear is final.


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            • #7
              I find the "teach a lesson" thing to be undesirable except in the sense that horrors basically have goetic ancestry and thus could be viewed as living blots of information, and a chamber a blot of information in chamber form. Its a collective thing. In my view, beasts are "sent" by the collective oversoul of mankind to see what the hell is going on when people get traumatized or fed upon by the supernatural. That's why they're drawn to sites of supernatural trauma and benefit off of watching the supernatural feed. Its a knee jerk collective unconscious thing, like scratching an itch or pulling their hand away from the fire.
              Beasts of course don't have to be villains, the Life anchor is about flipping that narrative for example. On the other hand more semi-benign beasts do great in roles where they can enforce social norms such as cops, detectives, etc. "Scaring them straight" and all that.

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              • #8
                Humans have hopes, dreams, fears, loved ones, plans, preferences, histories, memories, likes, dislikes, enemies, friends, frenemies, car payments, mortgages, 401Ks, season tickets, seasonal allergies, kinks, favorite drinks, shoe closets, beliefs, regrets, pets, perks, and so much more.

                Monsters just "hide in their lair, emerging only to feed."

                Beast is about those who are stuck in the middle.

                As a Begotten, you retain all of those things in the first list, plus everything else. Only now, you've got a voice in your head demanding that you ignore all that and just eat and rest. Eat and rest. Forever. The game is about finding where your character draws the line between human and monster...or doesn't.

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                • #9
                  I find beast to be heavier into the personal plot than grand sweeping events. It's not about "what do the begotten do?" It's more "what's going on around them that they'll get mixed up in?"

                  The setting I'm running in is crossover, with Prometheans, demons changelings, werewolves, mages, vampires, and soon(tm) sin eaters. There is a metaplot of the setting and each of the venues, but mostly? My players get into trouble just being themselves.

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                  • #10
                    As far as plot ideas go; you can certainly run an event focused chronicle, as in Beast's cosmology, events (often tragic or horrific ones) become places. A chamber can be a clue that something is going wrong or that there is a new resource to exploit.

                    My next Beast game is going to be basically about a series of sites to explore and associated chambers. The players aren't too savvy, so they're not going to realize I'm going to go with the whole bit about kin starting with a default good/neutral social impression, and so they will rarely be in direct harm; however, they will likely discover early on (probably ghosts of a too vicious beast's victims) that consequences still can exist if they go too far. They will be able to explore a range of supernatural places, phenomena, people and history and profit or intervene as they see fit.

                    As far as antagonists, assuming they don't antagonize anyone, heroes are notably not going to be intended to be a devastating threat, but they are one that can easily escalate. They, and most notably the people they call up, aren't that tough, but they're inclined to home in on PCs that trigger heroic tracking (presumably by being too destructive). This can bring attention they might not like, and a lot of dead peasants on their doorstep may especially bring attention they may not like. If they just plain kill too many people, they might even produce an angry ghost infestation.

                    The main curveball is probably demons and the God Machine's servants; they're not kin yet they don't have any inherent issue with beasts. On the other hand, nothing stops hostility from breaking out and these are among the most powerful creatures in the game; while the PCs will be on safe mode most of the time, antagonizing biomechanical horrors has the chance of cranking up the difficulty to 10. If the PCs want to go somewhere of a high danger area, it will likely be to tangle with the God Machine.

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                    • #11
                      Don't forget that a beasts actions can rapidly influence the spirit world, wreaking havok on what forsaken are trying to maintain. If you have a thyrsus in the area or leylines they might accidentally pollute, it'll be even more hectic.

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                      • #12
                        The person you kill doesn't have to be the one learning the lesson. As long as somebody does, the Dark Mother and the Primordial Dream will thank you for it

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zannmato View Post
                          The person you kill doesn't have to be the one learning the lesson. As long as somebody does, the Dark Mother and the Primordial Dream will thank you for it
                          Also you're not immortal is a viable lesson, course I suppose if you're trying to kill a Sin Eater you could view it as a refresher course in how much dying sucks.

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