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Three new inheritences- Haunted Houses, Scary Monsters and Dopplegangers

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  • Three new inheritences- Haunted Houses, Scary Monsters and Dopplegangers

    Cloistering: The Beast Retreats

    They'd never really felt at home anywhere. Not the intermittent council flats of their childhood, not the shitty apartments of their adulthood. They'd always felt lost.

    But here, in the depths of their maze, they were home. A place where no-one could enter but them. A place all for them, with walls of knifes and dark water to keep others out.

    As the water filled their lungs and their vision faded, they
    should have felt terror. It should have felt like dying.

    it didn't

    It felt like going home.

    It's easy for a beast to grow complacent about the Lair. The human side has memories, the Horror shrieks with hunger. But the lair is just a house. A beast may see it as useful, or fondly, but it isn't something that lingers in their mind.

    No all beasts feel this way.

    Maybe they had no home to begin with, maybe they fear the outside world, maybe they simply take after a spider waiting for prey. But these beasts spend more and more time in their lair, learning its secrets and recovering in its shadows. Some begin to see themselves as the lair, the human and horror mere avatars for dark chambers and black forests.

    For these beasts, the Cloistering awaits.

    Initiating the Cloistering

    The first step of the Cloistering is simple. Firstly, the beast must have at least Lair 5, and must have the maximum chambers that they can support. Secondly, the beast must be ruler over their domain. They cannot be part of a hive, and if anyone has ever challenged their lairs dominance (broken in, collapsed a chamber, betrayed an invitation, et), the beast must track them down and take vengeance before they can complete the process.

    Once they have shown this, the beast must enter their lair. They must meditate in each chamber, musing on the memories and contexts they provide. And then they must enter the heart, and spend a dot of willpower to turn off their Lair Immunities. As the lair slowly destroys the horror, they must roll Resolve +Lair

    Dramatic failure: The Lair rejects them. They are cast into the real world, but more importantly, their vulnerability to their lair traits is permanent. Their Lair is now as much a deathtrap to them as anyone else. Few survive after this blow.

    Failure: The merging fails, and the horror simply dies, leaving behind a very confusing crime scene for those who must figure out how a Kraken drowned in its own abyss.

    Success: Upon death, the Beast achieves cloistering. The horror and beast both merge bodily and spiritually with the Lair, becoming a sentient location.

    Exceptional Success: The merging amplifies the Lairs. The Lair immediately gains a new lair trait.

    The House Comes Alive

    The Cloistering makes the beast into a sentient lair. Visually, there are a few hints. The Horror is calcified in the heart, in some thematic form to the lair (statue, oddly shaped tree, skeleton, et). As a mild note, the Apex Trait is removed from the lair. Depending on the details of the area, this may be a minor bit of fluff, a significant advantage, or a major problem as the Apex tries to figure out what is going on.

    The Cloistered gains a significant number of advantages. They can now see anywhere in their lair and move the parts of the lair as if they were limbs. They can also selectively apply lair traits, and gain the Trap Room Merit for free. They cannot be damaged, except by collapsing chambers, and no longer age or need other sustenance beyond their Hunger
    They can activate nightmares on anyone in the lair as if they have made eye contact with the beast. Atavisms are an erratic bunch- Some like Wisdom of Mimir don't change, some like Basilisk's touch are relatively easy to translate, some like Illusion of Safety are now totally inapplicable. Generally, veer on the side of losing them, maybe with some nightmares/minor lair traits/lair merits as compensation.. Being a sentient house has its disadvantages.

    The main flaws of the Cloistering are, well, being a sentient location. The beast cannot move, and must act by proxies to catch prey. This is particularly important as, being bound to the lair, the Horror can no longer feed autonomously when ravenous. Most Cloistered set up cults, minions or allies to bring food to them before setting off on the Inheritance
    If Satiated, the Lair enters unconsciousness until someone enters the lair, at which point it drops to 9 satiety and immediate consciousness.
    Obviously, the Cloistered can no longer make new chambers, being unable to enter the real world to make them. This also means they cannot replace lost chambers.
    Lastly, and more situationally, the Insatiable subversion is much worse to them. If an insatiable manages to claim the lair, it gains all the Beasts former Nightmares and Atavisms for as long as it stays in control. Also, this act of subversion is deadly to the Cloistered. Even in the Insatiable is driven off, the beast is dead. The lair has nothing left but ruins.

    Storytelling hints

    The Cloistering is very much an NPC ascension- it's very hard to play as a character. They work more as behind the scenes enemies and masterminds. They're very hard to take down in their home lair, but whittling down their minions and entry points can slowly drive them away from the world. The players could also be those minions, gaining an unusual ally and home base with a lot of story hooks.

    The act of inheritance, depending on the Beast's past, may be benign or may be a blood bath as they try and track down every minor ally from their past. This is perhaps one of the biggest changes a beast can go through, and the work to ensure the inheritance isn't a simple jump to starvation can drag the players in in a number of ways.

    Antagonism- The Hero Justified

    They say that if you say his name in the dark, he'll come for you

    They say that the old house outside of town is his domain, and no-one can enter without falling prey to him

    They say that he can reach through any photo of himself.

    And from behind a cage of words, he watches, and waits to see what they will say next.

    Beasts are very much defined by their role in the world's stories. The greatest inheritance of all is, of course, to take control of that story and forge ones own place in it

    But not all Beasts want to take control. Some are happy to bask in notoriety, letting the stories around them pull them as they go. Maybe they never had much of an identity, or maybe they preferred the horror's nature to their human one. Maybe they were simply happy to give up freedom for power.

    For those willing to settle into the narrative role that the world gives them, to be nothing more then an evil monster in a dark lair, there is the inheritance of antagonism.

    Initiating Antagonism.
    The intended Antagonist must meet a few criteria. Firstly, they must have a lair of at least 3. Secondly, they must be notorious. Their horror form must be well-known in urban legends, creepypastas, folk tales, morality plays, what have you. This is more of a fluff requirement, and it is generally up to the GM when the Horror has reached the right point. This is more about notoriety then strict numbers- a Beast that terrorises a small town of 600 people is closer then one that is an obscure legend worldwide.

    The third step is deceptively simple- the Beast must kill someone as part of a feeding. Not accidental or in a fit of hunger, but genuine, cold-blooded murder. This can be indirect (a collector stealing enough to get someone thrown onto the streets to freeze) as long as the beast is clearly and knowingly responsible. This murder must also tie into the story. It must be clear which monster was responsible

    Once that is done, they simply need to take the body into their lair and pledge themselves to the story. The force of narrative will do the rest

    Roll- Lair+ Presence

    Dramatic Failure- the beast resigns themselves to the story, but the story decides that theirs is over. The beast inevitably dies within the next week, the forces of fate contriving to ensure an end comes to them.

    Failure- The beast is cast as a minor villain. They suffer all the disadvantages of being an Antagonist, but none of the benefits. A particularly clever beast might survive, but the odds are against them

    Success- the beast surrenders their human nature, becoming exactly what the myths of the world says they are. The inheritance is complete.

    Exceptional Success- The ascendant horror glories in its new power- the Beast gains a level of lair.

    Being the monster.

    Upon the inheritance, the Beast and Horror permanently merge as if the beast had entered their lair, and stay that way even upon leaving the lair. They can use low-satiety atavisms as if they were the horror, and also retain access to nightmares. In addition, they lose their Life, but can regain full willpower by acting on their legend

    This level of power is extreme, but as many power-hungry beasts have learnt to their detriment, being a villain in another person's story has its downsides. Firstly, the beast is sealed in its lair- all chambers detach from the real world, leaving the relevant locations totally mundane. The only time an Antagonist can leave its lair is when autonomously feeding while ravenous, or when the story allows them to. The story must have some trigger that makes people vulnerable to their predations. If this is a ritual, it can manifest in the physical world when that ritual is performed. If its an action, it can manifest whenever someone who has heard and had an emotional reaction to the story does it. If it's a location, it can manifest when someone enters there. Whatever the details, it can only manifest for (lair) hours before being forced back to the lair.

    Secondly, the beast can no longer feed on the minor hungers that more benevolent beasts can. The Beast can no longer gain satiety from any feeding where a person is not seriously harmed in some manner.

    In addition, the beast is now vulnerable to heroes- their very nature counts as a major disturbance in the primordial dream, and any hero who enters an area their legend is told immediately knows what they are and where to find them. Heroes have a flat +2 to any roll to defeat the Beast, and the beast develops a permanent anathema tied to their legend upon taking the inheritance. Any anathema they have (both the permanent and any others) is permanently in its high-satiety level, regardless of the beast's actual satiety.

    Storytelling hints

    The Antagonists are less of a character type and more of a natural disaster among the Begotten- a massively powerful and evil monster that kills indiscriminately, spreads knowledge of the supernatural and drags countless heroes out of the woodwork whenever they are around. Their fairly easy inheritance method makes them disturbingly easy to pop up. Most stories will be based around either stopping one completing its inheritance or taking one down once its managed it.

    Ironically, the Antagonists can make the hero/beast relationship much greyer- if there's any situation where the two sides could team up, it would be this one. A hero may see the better of their prey in the face of the true depths of what a Horror could be. Of course, it might also inspire them to tar all others with the same brush. Where these monsters walk, everything becomes devastation.

    Adoption- The Kin Joined

    She was powerful, yes. Feared, yes. But some things even giants can't fight. She looks in the mirror, and sees the wrinkles. What heroes and monsters couldn't do, father time might manage.

    And she looks at her old friend, still just as young looking as the day they met 70 years ago. And she knows what she has to do.

    It's messy buisness, but its done. She looks in the mirror, and she sees no wrinkles. She sees nothing. What was once a gaint smiles a fanged smile.

    Beasts are powerful, yes. There is a lot to envy about them. But there is a lot the beast is missing. The immortality of the vampire, the feral strength of the werewolf, the versitility of the mage, the raw power of the mummy. A beast might grow to envy their siblings in the dark. But they are all children of the dark mother. Why not simply move a few family braches to the left?

    This is the path of the Adopted.

    Initiating the Adoption.

    A beast must choose one type of supernatural creature to join. They must have a least 2 kinship nightmares with that type, and they must have now kinships of any other type. They must have also, fluffwise, spent a significant period of time interacting with that type.

    Once this is done, they must choose a supernatural creature. That creature must be at least 3 in the power stat of that type, and they must be a significant figure amoung that type. Famous, feared, powerful, it doesn't matter as long as they're well-known. Once this figure is known, the beast must feed to Satiaty on them- stealing from them, attacking them, controlling them, whatever. Upon reaching satiety, they must roll Occult+Manipulation to complete the process and transform the beast.

    Dramatic Failure- Rather then transforming, the horror is simply shattered by the process. The beast effectively undergoes the Erasure (becomes a normal human, for those without the players guide), except they do so after angering a powerful and well-connected supernatural entity. Good luck.

    Failure- the beast simply enters satiety. As well as these dangers, the type they meant to replace knows what was intended. Thicker then water inverts for that type- they always start with a hostile impression with that supernatural species.

    Success- the beast's legend and powers warp to imitate the relevant type of supernatural. The lair collapses, expelling the beast into the real world as a new entity

    Dramatic Success- The beast does a very good job of copying- the beast starts with a full fuel stat upon their creation

    Being a cuckoo

    Mechanically, the Adopted is now a starting character of the relevant splat. Details are determined based on the details of the beasts horror- A hulking Anakim might become a gangrel, while a Ungulla voyer might become a winged darkling. They have no social splat upon creation, and a beast cannot become a demon in this manner, in case that wasn't obvious. They cannot undergo any "endgame" traits of that species (becoming an archmage, becoming a true fae, the new dawn, golconda, etc)- if they try, it simply doesn't do anything. Bloodlines, Entitlements, Legacies and other things that seriously change the creature's nature are possible, but the horror is spread much thinner to fake them- while they work mechanically, anyone familiar with that particular group knows the Adopted is faking their new powers, even if they don't necessarily know why or how.

    All traits of the beast is gone, the horror is transformed fully. Mechanically, there are few downsides, although the beast doesn't change in appearance, which might raise some eyebrows.

    Storytelling hints

    Narratively, this is a minefield of conflicts. They are not really a new supernatural being, just a beast with a grossly mutilated horror, and the real supers will notice. This might be comparatively mundane- the vampires realise they can find no sire for this neonate, the changelings are suspicious by how unemotional the Adopted's stories of their durance are. It may also be supernatural- the spirits know that there is something wrong with this werewolf, or the graveyard network works out that this bound's "giest" isn't like anyone else's. In addition, by their nature, they come onto the scene after a vicious attack on a powerful member of the supernatural community, bringing suspicion and panic just when the Adopted can least afford it.

    The difficulties in navigating this new series of affairs, hiding one's true nature, trying to avoid suspicion from deeply paranoid entities and the moral question of what the beast did all provide ample stories. Whether the players help the Adopted hide or reveal the truth is a question they will have to answer themselves.

  • #2
    Antagonism inherently misses what's going on with...Beast in general, and kind of flounders in terms of what it gets, with the mechanics offering the same as the merger but now you're trapped in your Lair, basically starve most of the time, and oh yeah now Heroes suck even more for you. Not really desirable, in character or out of character. If a Beast wants to just embrace being a villain, they can do that, and maybe even actualize into Incarnation.

    If you want Antagonism to be a thing, you have got to at least make it more desirable than the Merger but less than Inheritance.

    Also, stories don't work like the Wyrd in Primordial metaphysics-in fact, a large point of Beast is that stories have no more power than is given to them, with Heroes being a perturbing but challenge-able wrinkle in the script.

    I'll have to look over Haunted House and Adoption again, but those look decent enough in concept.

    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.


    • #3
      I seriously pondered on an "Adoption Inheritance" with a very similar concept once upon a time. It's interesting where you went with the tone for it. Playing on the transformation as an ultimately false thing that comes from mutilating the Horror in spirit was not a thought that had occurred to me, yet seems like a natural repercussion of chasing that goal.
      Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 02-02-2019, 12:27 PM.


      • #4
        If the Cloistered inheritance requires you to not be part of a Hive to begin with, why do you mention that the Apex Lair Trait is removed after inheritance? Isn't that only present in a hive? Or are you talking about a Brood's conjoined Lairs? And what if the Beast looking for the Inheritance is the undisputed Apex of a hive? Must they still somehow cut themselves off from the rest of the local Primordial Dream (probably by weakening the power of their own Legend)? How do their cultists send victims into the Lair? If they can't move, what do you mean when you say they can move their Chambers like limbs? Do they lose their Life anchor trait? Do they lose both Anchors? How do they communicate with whoever is supplying them with victims?

        A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"


        • #5
          I'm sure he means that if a beast cloistered in a school as his lair, he could not move to a different school. he would forever be bound to that school he cloistered in (but he could control the school itself like limbs)