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Beast: the Monomyth

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  • #16
    This discussion is being had on a very abstract level. While it's important to refine core assumptions, it might go on forever or until everyone is too tired to continue.

    crapcarp Could you try posting some solid material? I mean something like Birthrights for your Breeds, Gifts for your Foils or Creed advantages patterned as Merits. This would offer something concrete to talk about.


    ~

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    • #17
      Similar to Teatime , I think a lot of the issue here is that there are assumptions being made about how the proposed mechanics work with the concept of the Monomyth, how they work from a game design stance, and how and why they from Beast.

      crapcarp , could you maybe flesh out how you think each of your proposed mechanics addresses the Monomyth (with some examples, similar to the example monsters the Families have, to help show why you made the choices you did). That would give people a better way to critique without just disagreeing.


      (he/him/his)


      Backer #2010

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      • #18
        "That's...kinda CoD's schtick when you get right down to it. I mean, its main focus is personal horror, after all."
        No.

        VAMPIRE is a game of Personal Horror and none of the others are billed as such. There's already a Vampire, and downgrading Beast to make it Vampire mk2 doesn't do anything. The phrase "personal horror" doesn't even appear in most of the other gamelines, if at all.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Deinos View Post
          "That's...kinda CoD's schtick when you get right down to it. I mean, its main focus is personal horror, after all."
          No.

          VAMPIRE is a game of Personal Horror and none of the others are billed as such. There's already a Vampire, and downgrading Beast to make it Vampire mk2 doesn't do anything. The phrase "personal horror" doesn't even appear in most of the other gamelines, if at all.
          I mean, he's actually not wrong on it, but as Heavy Arms mentioned, other gamelines play around with it to different degrees and in different ways. It doesn't always need to resolve in the sort of existential angst Vampire has trained us to associate personal horror 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.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            Better focus would account for the fact that Monomyth is an outside experience to the natural world that we inhabit, an alien sort of narrative. The world as Beasts experience is fundamentally nihilistic in nature, and validates most stories as personal experiences that fit within broader socio-psychological structures that have emerged over the species' run on the planet that nevertheless are not wholly defining for people, much like how how two siblings can come from the same family and have the same set of family stories but ultimately have their own experience are are thus their own people. Monomyth, in Primordial, is counter to that attitude, and thus feels like an alien invader to the world as people experience it, an imposition into the way of the world that might have even more dangerous validity than Beasts are comfortable with because of how prominent it seems, but the world of Beast, as much as our own, largely treats it as antagonist because it's form cannot hope to actually describe the infinite multitude of stories that are naturally emergent, and attempting to use it actually causes more harm to both the narratives and the people who both tell and receive them by stripping them of all meaning except for all but a narcissistic few(for more on this, there are way too many articles, both online and academic, about the problems of Monomyth, I trust you can find them).


            That's...precisely one of the themes of Monomyth. I mean, it's called a "Storytelling game of Vicious Cycles" for a reason. The Monomyth is nothing more than an imposed script on both Beasts and Heroes. Most protagonist Beasts seek a way to defy or escape it. They don't like what the Monomyth says about them and commands them to do. Considering it says "You're a horrible thing that needs to die" it's a pretty natural reaction to say "Fuck you, I'm more than that". It's the whole "What makes a man a man?" idea from Hellboy.

            Now, I didn't specify this in the OP, so I can't fault you for not knowing this. I'm mostly focused on developing mechanics, and I didn't think of explaining the themes. That's something I'll rectify.

            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            And finally, look man, you don't want to read material post two books that turned you off, I get that, but you should know full well what the reaction will be when you then try solve things that are well and resolved by supplemental material. You wanna rewrite the game, you gotta know what you are getting into.
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post

            EDIT Oh yeah, I forgot: No, Beast does not claim that Heroes emerge from low Integrity. Heroes emerge from a phenomenon similar but not quite like what Beast's experience. Where Low Integrity matters is that the Heroic condition as it exists in a post-agricultural age tends to push most Heroes into a Low Integrity lifestyle without some work against it, which is why most of the Heroes who are active in their antagonizing of Beasts tend to hang around Integrity 4. A Hero could be Integrity 10 and still be a Hero, it's just likely that his prey are probably exceptional outliers to Beast's normalcy and that the rest of their schtick involves the interpretation of Beast activity and the mitigation of their harm without actively killing them or destroying their role in the psycho-spiritual ecology.

            You can tell me you read the books, but stuff like this feels...counter to the argument.
            Here's the thing: I've completely given up on Primordial. I don't care what supplements say and I don't need them to make Monomyth. You are under no obligation to like Monomyth, you already have Primordial. If you think Primordial has already solved its problems, good for you; I'm still not gonna play it. Frankly, it offends me on a deep level, and I'm just not gonna play something that offends me. Besides, if a game needs supplements to solve its fundamental issues, then clearly there's something deeply wrong about its premise and/or execution. Personally, I believe it's the latter; hence why I'm making Monomyth in the first place.

            If your only complaints about Monomyth is "But it's not Primordial", "You just don't understand Primordial", or something along those lines, I'm just gonna ignore it from now on. I'll also put this up in the OP.
            Last edited by crapcarp; 01-08-2019, 06:52 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by crapcarp View Post
              Here's the thing: I've completely given up on Primordial. I don't care what supplements say and I don't need them to make Monomyth. You are under no obligation to like Monomyth, you already have Primordial. If you think Primordial has already solved its problems, good for you; I'm still not gonna play it. Frankly, it offends me on a deep level, and I'm just not gonna play something that offends me.
              Here's the thing: We did this song and dance two years ago with someone trying to "fix" Mage and Promethean by making their own takes on the monsters in question that they unaccountably opted to use the official games' subforum space to discuss.

              That that user was similarly abrasive about the official lines and subsequently banned for the way they conducted themselves is a salient warning against keeping this up. If you want to make your own ChroD game about narrative-associated nightmare creatures, that's fine and dandy, but let it stand on its own merit instead of wasting everybody's time talking about how you're going to "fix" Primordial by doing so and complaining about books you haven't read. That's a cycle we could all do without.


              Resident Lore-Hound
              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                Here's the thing: We did this song and dance two years ago with someone trying to "fix" Mage and Promethean by making their own takes on the monsters in question that they unaccountably opted to use the official games' subforum space to discuss.

                That that user was similarly abrasive about the official lines and subsequently banned for the way they conducted themselves is a salient warning against keeping this up. If you want to make your own ChroD game about narrative-associated nightmare creatures, that's fine and dandy, but let it stand on its own merit instead of wasting everybody's time talking about how you're going to "fix" Primordial by doing so and complaining about books you haven't read. That's a cycle we could all do without.
                This, so much. My tolerance for the song and dance is still not back.


                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.

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                • #23
                  Also, again, it's not even a matter of supplements. Things got changed in the corebook prior to printing.

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                  • #24
                    One other thing that must be mentioned is that, like a certain Lizard Privateer Vessel, this new take doesn't really read all that different from the last time this subject came up, and it reflects a refrain of yours that have been answered several times by people.

                    Like, it's one thing if you wanna address new problems after a post-learning phase and create a game of Beast that, in it's current incarnation, simply can't hope to address but still plays to some of these central ideas. This is literally banging the same drum, in which case we have to reconcile that people aren't exactly swinging over to your point of view with the fact that you are still not accepting the answers that have been well provided for you.

                    I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react except with exasperation.
                    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 01-09-2019, 12:47 AM.


                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                      Here's the thing: We did this song and dance two years ago with someone trying to "fix" Mage and Promethean by making their own takes on the monsters in question that they unaccountably opted to use the official games' subforum space to discuss.
                      Well, if you believe this thread shouldn't be in the Beast subforum, I think that's fair. If the thread needs to be moved, it needs to be moved. I just thought of posting here since Monomyth is related to Primordial in terms of general concept. On the other hand, I can also see how it should be put in the general ChronDark forum since it's very much its own game.

                      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                      That that user was similarly abrasive about the official lines and subsequently banned for the way they conducted themselves is a salient warning against keeping this up. If you want to make your own ChroD game about narrative-associated nightmare creatures, that's fine and dandy, but let it stand on its own merit instead of wasting everybody's time talking about how you're going to "fix" Primordial by doing so and complaining about books you haven't read. That's a cycle we could all do without.
                      Not liking Primordial isn't being abrasive. I ain't demanding Primordial to be taken away or arguing that those who enjoy it are wrong for doing so. I personally don't enjoy it but I want to, so I'm making Monomyth and sharing it on these forums. That's all I'm doing here. You're not wrong for liking Primordial or for disliking Monomyth. Enjoy what you enjoy; I just can't join you with Primordial, but you are welcome to Monomyth if you wanna play it. If you don't, then ignore it.

                      If anyone's been abrasive on here, it's been you and some other responders on here. Case in point:

                      Arcane Arts: Stripping down her garrulous posts to their bare essence, we get nothing more than "The supplements answer your problems, so you need to read them before making Monomyth" and "You just don't get all the symbolism and metaphors in Primordial" with nothing of actual substance to back up the latter. Here's an example:

                      "Meanwhile, while I get what you're doing with Emergence, that really does strongly miss out on the strong metaphor-and-starting-character-beat that Beasts start on with the Devouring having been clarified and even defined as they are. They have come home not only because they have, you know, turned into monsters they always sort of knew they were, but because they have gone through a mythic realization of self, a metaphor that is as powerful for a transgender individual as it is for...well, anyone else. They have Devoured everything confining and defining and have escaped themselves into a fuller and more whole individual. This concept also creates interesting story potential for starting Beasts, because beasts start off at a point many stories-hell, many of the other gamelines-would actually end on, and therefore opens up a new cavalcade of character concepts and story concepts as we now answer the question of "now what?", which is primarily the dual matters of self-transcendence(enforced by Lair bleeding into Hunger and Chamber gathering, which builds into Kinship, and is heavily conflicted with by both Heroic and Insatiable confrontation) and self-reflection(to a lesser extent, admittedly, but that's not forgotten)."

                      There's literally no difference between this and the Emergence. Granted, one could argue that Arcane simply didn't know there wasn't any difference. However, if that was the case, then this response is a rash judgement on her part.

                      Heavy Arms: Overly critical and often with little reasoning to back up their arguments. Here's an example:

                      "[Myth is] still deprotagonizing with your options of, "keep Myth low and be so week Heroes will easily kill you," and, "let your Myth go up and have so many Bans and Banes that Heroes will easily kill you."

                      Why do I want to play, "roll a lot of dice to see how you die when the NPCs finally kill you no matter what you do." as a game?. Either you obey and die, or rebel and die, and there's no way out besides hand your sheet to your ST... which might as well mean die."


                      In contrast to a similar criticism from Leliel:

                      "The big problem is going too far in the "power comes with chains" direction. I'd be cool with a weakness towards a Torment style mechanic wherein the Beast becomes slaved to their role in the Monomyth for a bit, but the Myth is also their story, so it shouldn't come with an "NPC" level.

                      That being said, I'm quite intrigued and looking forward to more work on this. Seems a bit more cohesive and less player-alienating as a core concept. So, as a suggestion; Heroes are still largely antagonists, but here, it's explicitly because the Monomyth is a liar. They are generally fated to win, and so it seems like they're the chosen ones... And then the asterisk of the Monomyth hits; the Hero wins, but the Devouring Legend wants her to suffer first. It doesn't care if she loses everything worth protecting in the process of finishing its tale, only that she does. They get punished for breaking the story, while Beasts, being allowed the agency of being an antagonist, can and do act in ways outside their proscribed role without censure. Thus, a Beast can actively plot to break the mold, while a Hero can resist, but not much else."


                      Where Heavy Arms is saying nothing more than "This is too limiting and no one would ever wanna play it", Leliel has offered useful criticism by providing an example of how to fix the problem (and even giving encouragement on top). Heavy Arms' criticisms were unbalanced, where Leliel's were not.

                      All that being said, there are a few things I've messed up on. Such as:

                      Heroes and Integrity: Yes, Heroes aren't generated from low Integrity in the final corebook. There was a definite emphasis on low-Integrity Heroes and the reasoning that Beasts don't tend to meet high-Integrity Heroes, but low Integrity isn't a prerequisite. I stand corrected, and I'll rectify that in the OP.

                      Self-Loathing Monsters: No, self-loathing monsters isn't ChronDark's schtick, which was most eloquently stated by Heavy Arms. Personal horror may be the general focus, but not self-loathing. Again, I stand corrected.

                      Heavy Arms' criticisms weren't completely negative; in fact, they've provided some useful ideas, such as Creeds being too focused in and of themselves. So I've decided to establish Creeds as the core of a Beast's philosophy, as well as a means of shaping themselves (since they're essentially creatures of thoughts and concepts).

                      At the end of the day, I'm not making Monomyth because I simply refuse to like Primordial.

                      It's because Primordial goes places and is presented in a way that I personally find not merely confronting, but painful.

                      I'm not kidding here. For example, when I read Thaddeus's backstory, I literally went into a bout of suicidal depression. The writers aren't to blame for this, and it certainly wasn't their intent. It's just a simple case of my mental damage not gelling well with how Primordial was presented. Horror games should be a bit uncomfortable, given the subject matter, but they should never be too much so. Unfortunately, Primordial is too uncomfortable for me. Shit happens, and no one's to blame here.

                      What's why if even only I use Monomyth, I would still consider it a success. It's a personal project for me because I want to like Primordial, but can't. So I'm taking the same basic premise, and going in a different direction with it. It's not so much a case of me fixing Primordial for everybody, just fixing it for me.

                      And that's all I have to say on the matter in this particular thread. If you still wanna discuss this particular topic with me, please do it through PM. This is "Beast: the Monomyth" not "Why I can't like Primordial".
                      Last edited by crapcarp; 01-10-2019, 07:36 PM.

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                      • #26
                        TL, DR: Constructive feedback on game design and forum behavior is not wanted, got it.

                        I mean, on my part, I at least get it, but Christ alive Heavy Arms is at least asking good critical questions that answering and reconciling with will help build a good game.

                        Christ, this is ReptilePlunderBarge again.


                        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.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by crapcarp View Post
                          Not liking Primordial isn't being abrasive.
                          No, but you have established a pattern of behavior. You've proven more than willing to believe stuff that's not true about the game on very flimsy grounds, repeat it, and then wave off any arguments to the contrary, which, surprise, tends to rub people the wrong way about as badly as casual insults do.

                          Like, I'm talking about that exact phenomenon in the back half of that first paragraph that I wrote a whole year and a half ago to you, and now you're complaining about the tenor of criticism you're getting from people who've seen you change nothing about the way you talk about the official content.

                          If you don't, then ignore it.
                          Again, I'd be happy to if you'd stay in your lane and just make the project. I got more than enough of this nonsense on the Promethean boards circa The Lightning Chronicle™ and people not understanding how buy-in works. I'm not going to ignore completely unnecessary jabs so you can use a general-access subforum as a public diary.

                          I'm more than eager to see interesting fanworks, but my casual hope for any given piece of homebrew to contain worthwhile ideas does not outweigh my impatience for that particular form of beating around the bush and it probably never will.

                          If anyone's been abrasive on here, it's been you and some other responders on here. Case in point:
                          Case in point: You're burning goodwill you haven't got for the sake of getting longform defensive about failing to understand the concept of focusing on the thing you say you made the thread for.

                          I'm not kidding here. For example, when I read Thaddeus's backstory, I literally went into a bout of suicidal depression. The writers aren't to blame for this, and it certainly wasn't their intent. It's just a simple case of my mental damage not gelling well with how Primordial was presented. Horror games should be a bit uncomfortable, given the subject matter, but they should never be too much so. Unfortunately, Primordial is too uncomfortable for me. Shit happens, and no one's to blame here.

                          What's why if even only I use Monomyth, I would still consider it a success. It's a personal project for me because I want to like Primordial, but can't. So I'm taking the same basic premise, and going in a different direction with it. It's not so much a case of me fixing Primordial for everybody, just fixing it for me.
                          I'm dreadfully sorry that your headspace makes it impossible for you to like this game.

                          That still doesn't help the comparisons to the other crank who also pulled the "this made me want to kill myself" card when confronted with how they were acting in relation to a roleplaying game about monsters who draw negative attention to themselves that they were making a mostly-for-themelves homebrew replacement of.

                          Nothing about the practice of homebrew requires you to put down the official products or defend putting down the official products or frame your attempt as superior to the official products. Take your own advice to heart and ignore the bits you don't like from Primordial if you're going to address it in relation to this thing you are making as an explicit attempted replacement that you are sharing with the rest of the forums.

                          Good luck to you with this endeavor and all the best, genuinely, but common sense and prior example really does indicate you'd be best-served leaving Primordial alone at this stage. Better to start fresh and stay that way, y'know?


                          Resident Lore-Hound
                          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                          • #28
                            Well, you could also NOT write in this topic.
                            Simple and clean.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by The Throne View Post
                              Well, you could also NOT write in this topic.
                              Simple and clean.
                              Who is this aimed at?

                              I mean, if it's aimed at Heavy Arms or Satchel*, great idea, but, and hear me out, I know this is a crazy idea but it might have merit: maybe this idea is a dumb one for a communal forum on a subject of a developing alternative to the game where the OP has asked for critical review and feedback but the predominant response of the writer/developer has so far been to both ignore the most critical and helpful feedback he's been getting and the most astute observations about why the OP is getting the sort of pushback he is getting from people with a clear and obvious case study of over a year's worth of content from a user who eventually dug her own exile and ban all in one go with an equally clear comparison to how that behavior is identical to the OP's.

                              If people don't want to play the game, maybe they shouldn't set up the board, is all I'm saying.

                              *and to a lesser extent, myself, though I admit I'm being lackluster in the critical aid department because dear god is it more important that this is the same song and dance then actually bothering with the product because it's the same song and dance.
                              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 01-11-2019, 04:09 AM.


                              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.

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                              • #30
                                I dont agree with some idea exposed by crapcarp. But dont want .attack him/her for his/her idea about a GAME.
                                My 20 cents? Cool down. Nobody MUST win a debate about how " imagine" a homemade game: the idea is wrong from the start.
                                You dont agree? Your opinion are thrown away? It is life. Go away and let other people take fun.

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