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A Different Take: Heroes as Protagonists and Beasts as Antagonists?

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  • A Different Take: Heroes as Protagonists and Beasts as Antagonists?

    EDIT-For the sake of clarity, the intended purpose of this thread was to see if there is potential in a "flipped script" take on Beast using the mechanics of the game and whether or not I should actually buy the book for Beast or if I should save my money and just do a little tweaking to Hunter: The Vigil with the same base concept. It is not intended to attack fans of Beast or anyone else, although I admit I should have made this more apparently clear in my original opening post.


    Alright, it's no secret that Beast is the least favorite of the CofD gamelines in my opinion for a wide variety of reasons that I'm sure most of you already know by now, so I won't repeat them all.

    Normally, I just invoke Rule Zero and excise Beast entirely from my CofD games, but I actually had an idea recently to fix that. It's subversive and intentionally runs counter to the default themes of Beast anyway, but I was never one for thematic purism to begin with.

    I don't like the Beasts and find them unsympathetic, and often times, I actually kind of root for the Heroes and find their strawman portrayals in the early Beast works to be cringe-inducing at best. The fact that the main villains of the game are literally called "Heroes" just reeks of punk contrarianism, which I am not a fan of. But it has given me an idea of sorts.

    What if someone did a fan game that was an inverse of Beast: The Primordial? One where you played as the Heroes and the Beasts were the true evil in the setting?

    Before anyone accuses me of trolling, I want to make it clear that this is not meant as an attack on anyone who likes Beast the way it is. If you like Beast as written, that's fine by me. You do you and to each their own. Have fun gaming the way you like to.

    However, I do not like Beast as written and I want to change it to fit my liking, something more in line of action-horror, dark modern adventure, and stories of Good vs. Evil (with the Heroes being Good and the Beasts being Evil) because that's more to my tastes.

    However, I am not as familiar with the mechanics of Beast (I boycotted the game at launch and so I don't have a copy of it) and I am wondering about the potential of a Heroes fan game, with the archetypes being based on literary and mythic heroes such as Hercules, King Arthur, Odysseus, Robin Hood, etc.

    There could be room for tragedy, a Hero risking becoming the very monsters he fights. However, I like the dynamic struggle between Good and Evil as a theme, even if it is an old one.

    Would anyone be willing to give such a fan game a chance? Is there potential in a direct subversion of Beast's premise?

    Or should I just keep doing what I was doing and act like Beast isn't there in my CofD games?

    Any constructive feedback is appreciated. Let's keep it civil and not bring any off-topic issues into this thread.
    Last edited by Camilla; 03-18-2019, 03:19 PM.

  • #2
    Well things is, if you want a game of heroes fighting against monster, you should consider Hunter the Vigil, Heroes are monster, as much as the beasts they hunt They don't hesistate to gather a group of mundane human sycophant and point them at the Beast they're hunting to sacrifice them so they can swoop down and avenge the poor, poor human who tried to fight back against the "monster" and get all the glory. Hunters could work very well against Beasts, Heroes already give Hunters a dark reflection of what they could become.

    Personally i like beasts that tries to act humane, i find it very interesting that Beast don't have a moral trait like Integrity, Wisdom or Humanity.
    Any game aside from mortal is based on the trope of "You are a monster now" and i find that Beast have an interesting spin on it, you are defenitely a monster, but it's up to you to choose how you will act as a person, some beasts even fight their inhumane kin.
    Heroes don't have that luxury, they are egomaniacs bent on getting as much glory as possible by slaying beasts, to the point that they don't ever bother with slaying other supernatural because killing them don't yield the sick joy and rush of power they get when they put down a Beast

    So yeah, a new Hunter conspiracy focusing on Beasts could be a very cool idea
    Last edited by Emerick; 03-16-2019, 11:30 AM.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Emerick View Post
      Well things is, if you want a game of heroes fighting against monster, you should consider Hunter the Vigil, Heroes are monster, as much as the beasts they hunt They don't hesistate to gather a group of mundane human sycophant and point them at the Beast they're hunting to sacrifice them so they can swoop down and avenge the poor, poor human who tried to fight back against the "monster" and get all the glory. Hunters could work very well against Beasts, Heroes already give Hunters a dark reflection of what they could become.

      Personally i like beasts that tries to act humane, i find it very interesting that Beast don't have a moral trait like Integrity, Wisdom or Humanity.
      Any game aside from mortal is based on the trope of "You are a monster now" and i find that Beast have an interesting spin on it, you are defenitely a monster, but it's up to you to choose how you will act as a person, some beasts even fight their inhumane kin.
      Heroes don't have that luxury, they are egomaniacs bent on getting as much glory as possible by slaying beasts, to the point that they don't ever bother with slaying other supernatural because killing them don't yield the sick joy and rush of power they get when they put down a Beast

      So yeah, a new Hunter conspiracy focusing on Beasts could be a very cool idea

      I'm well aware of Hunter: The Vigil and I find it awesome.

      But I want to subvert the "Heroes as egomaniac glory hounds" and instead make them the main protagonists, allied with Hunters but more focused and possibly empowered as well.

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      • #4
        I don't think it would work really well as Raw, Heroes don't work well with groups at all and all their mechanics are focused on their obsession towards Beasts, you would need to re-write a lot of it, but i think i remember a supllement for hunter about Heroes called Hunter Tooth and Nail that dealt with them, you might want to check it out !


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Emerick View Post
          I don't think it would work really well as Raw, Heroes don't work well with groups at all and all their mechanics are focused on their obsession towards Beasts, you would need to re-write a lot of it, but i think i remember a supllement for hunter about Heroes called Hunter Tooth and Nail that dealt with them, you might want to check it out !

          I know it wouldn't work well as written, so I'm intending to re-write it so Heroes can work well with groups (especially Hunters, Mages, and Princesses, if we're including fan games) and instead flipping the script where Beasts cannot work well in groups of non-Beasts.

          Basically I am intending to fully subvert Beast's themes and premise and instead flip the script. I want a game where Beasts are so dangerous and evil that even other shady characters in the CofD such as Vampires don't want to deal with them.

          In this setting, Hunters are too over-burdened to deal with the threat of the Beasts, while the other splats have their own issues, leaving the Heroes to bear the brunt of the fight.

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          • #6
            This is not a different take.


            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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            • #7
              Yeah it's kinda Heroes from their PoV now that i think about it.
              Last edited by Emerick; 03-16-2019, 12:43 PM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Emerick View Post
                Yeah it's kinda Heroes from thei PoV now that i think about it
                Well, like, asides from, what Primordial's take on it does for the Beasts themselves, it isn't just like a particular other gameline, it is literally any modern fantasy game that borrows plays into the mythic hero archetype, of which there are literally dozens of games that communicate that, often better than what you could wring out of the Storyteller system.

                The reason Beast works is that it flipped the actual narrative on it's head and then wildly innovated from there to create a player character that is highly distinctive from both it's peers in the Chronicles world and the larger discussion concerning the type of stories (including games that play with them). There's nothing quite like Beast out there, whether you like it or not.

                Also, taking this larger meta out of the picture for a second, Heroes as the Protagonists is one of the more recursive subjects of conversation in Primordial, and has been pretty much ever since we got any details on the Beast/Hero dynamic. Hell, I am looking over someone else's attempt at the subject right now to give them ideas on how to refine it. This idea is not new in the slightest, and that should at least be noted.

                EDIT: Also, yes, in case anyone is wondering, the first thing I am telling the person I am reviewing material for is that this has been done to death and there's no good reason to do it.
                Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-16-2019, 12:54 PM.


                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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                • #9
                  not only that, but it's been stated that Camilla hasn't even read the new Beast. and a LOT of people doing these hero things haven't while claiming beast makes them strawmen. heck, conquering heroes does a great job of giving them depth

                  also, all this crap about beast being irredeemable monsters is so stupid whenever vampires, werewolves, demons, mummies, snd other supernaturals are brought up.

                  EDIT: Tooth and nail has Yuris group. a compact that thinks beast are the greatest evil and try to rehabilitate victims, and the Merrick institute, a conspiracy that can fight beast in the dream realm
                  Last edited by Primordial newcomer; 03-16-2019, 01:33 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                    also, all this crap about beast being irredeemable monsters is so stupid whenever vampires, werewolves, demons, mummies, snd other supernaturals are brought up.

                    I always wonder where such individuals (who think that) stand on Changeling's Autumn Court. Considering, based on my purely anecdotal evidence, that Autumn tends to be a very popular Court. And unlike Beasts, they chose to feed on fear whereas a Beast has to.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                      Well, like, asides from, what Primordial's take on it does for the Beasts themselves, it isn't just like a particular other gameline, it is literally any modern fantasy game that borrows plays into the mythic hero archetype, of which there are literally dozens of games that communicate that, often better than what you could wring out of the Storyteller system.

                      The reason Beast works is that it flipped the actual narrative on it's head and then wildly innovated from there to create a player character that is highly distinctive from both it's peers in the Chronicles world and the larger discussion concerning the type of stories (including games that play with them). There's nothing quite like Beast out there, whether you like it or not.

                      Also, taking this larger meta out of the picture for a second, Heroes as the Protagonists is one of the more recursive subjects of conversation in Primordial, and has been pretty much ever since we got any details on the Beast/Hero dynamic. Hell, I am looking over someone else's attempt at the subject right now to give them ideas on how to refine it. This idea is not new in the slightest, and that should at least be noted.

                      EDIT: Also, yes, in case anyone is wondering, the first thing I am telling the person I am reviewing material for is that this has been done to death and there's no good reason to do it.

                      I love Beast myself even if it's been a while since i red it, and don't relly sympathize with Heroes, i tend to view them as either tragic victims or dangerous sociopaths. But i'm really curious how a Hunter would act when confronted with a conflict between a Beast and a Hero

                      Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                      also, all this crap about beast being irredeemable monsters is so stupid whenever vampires, werewolves, demons, mummies, snd other supernaturals are brought up.
                      I agree, nearly all the CofD games revolve around you being a monster, and Beasts aren't necessarly more awful than the others or more morally degenerated than some mortals
                      Last edited by Emerick; 03-16-2019, 02:11 PM.


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                      • #12
                        I can't see this end well, Camilla.

                        For starters, reading the OP makes me groan for how much it willfully ignores what even Beast detractors admit the books say. No need to like the book nor the game because, it's worth repeating, not all gamelines are for everyone, but to dislike something, with its flaws and weak points, is different than to dislike something that only exists to you.

                        But the main reason I doubt you'll have an easy road ahead is there's a lapse of logic between what you feel, what you want to do, and what you're asking. You find Beasts repulsive and yet want to make them even worse so everyone would be well within their rights to slay them without a thought? That makes things worse and only serves to confirm your own bias. Also, a game about heroes killing monsters, with them being the protagonists of the events and the focus of their consequences? That's hardly anything new, either as a game or a topic discussed around here.

                        First, the book allows that, straight from the core. The only difference is that you would made their enemies so horrible, any conflict in there would be gone. I get that you don't like it, but there's this tightrope Beast walks on between the mythical ideal of Heroes and Beasts as forces of Good & Darkness and how it manifests in less than absolute ways in the setting reality which is a rather big deal for the game themes, one of its central conflicts and reasons to be.

                        Long story short, if you subvert a subversion and ignore everything that made it interesting in the first place, you'll have something emptier than both the original trope, its deconstruction and even what one good reconstruction would do. I'm an advocate for Beast & Heroes to always feel and confront with tensions towards a clearer, more platonic and "simple" life, but a source of struggle more than anything else.

                        So I don't think there's much potential for this idea as something more than your own personal hack for the game. Aspects of it are there, others build upon foundations that don't exist and overall it offers something that it's either done better elsewhere or I doubt would pique the interest of those who like the game for the unusual narrative avenues it offers.

                        Can't speak for others, naturally, but I personally see no way this sort of fan game can gain much traction in this specific context. Sorry about that.
                        Last edited by Cinder; 03-16-2019, 02:45 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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                        • #13
                          I wonder if Heroes had gotten another Name if there would really be such a call to "redeem" them.. I mean the person who hunts down and Kills vampires is traditionally the "Hero" of that.. same with the person who hunts down and kills werewolves... I mean honestly how is an Compact/Conspiracy dedicated to Hunting Beasts... not the appropriate thing here?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lian View Post
                            I wonder if Heroes had gotten another Name if there would really be such a call to "redeem" them.. I mean the person who hunts down and Kills vampires is traditionally the "Hero" of that.. same with the person who hunts down and kills werewolves... I mean honestly how is an Compact/Conspiracy dedicated to Hunting Beasts... not the appropriate thing here?
                            I'd also like to add that hunters should, by all means, hunt and kill Beasts. The Begotten, in all their shapes and incarnations, are so perfect as antagonists for Hunter it's almost too easy. I'd be quite disappointed if there's no mention of Beast-lite monsters throughout Hunter 2nd Edition.


                            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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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                              I can't see this end well, Camilla.

                              For starters, reading the OP makes me groan for how much it willfully ignores what even Beast detractors admit the books say. No need to like the book nor the game because, it's worth repeating, not all gamelines are for everyone, but to dislike something, with its flaws and weak points, is different than to dislike something that only exists to you.

                              But the main reason I doubt you'll have an easy road ahead is there's a lapse of logic between what you feel, what you want to do, and what you're asking. You find Beasts repulsive and yet want to make them even worse so everyone would be well within their rights to slay them without a thought? That makes things worse and only serves to confirm your own bias. Also, a game about heroes killing monsters, with them being the protagonists of the events and the focus of their consequences? That's hardly anything new, either as a game or a topic discussed around here.

                              First, the book allows that, straight from the core. The only difference is that you would made their enemies so horrible, any conflict in there would be gone. I get that you don't like it, but there's this tightrope Beast walks on between the mythical ideal of Heroes and Beasts as forces of Good & Darkness and how it manifests in less than absolute ways in the setting reality which is a rather big deal for the game themes, one of its central conflicts and reasons to be.

                              Long story short, if you subvert a subversion and ignore everything that made it interesting in the first place, you'll have something emptier than both the original trope, its deconstruction and even what one good reconstruction would do. I'm an advocate for Beast & Heroes to always feel and confront with tensions towards a clearer, more platonic and "simple" life, but a source of struggle more than anything else.

                              So I don't think there's much potential for this idea as something more than your own personal hack for the game. Aspects of it are there, others build upon foundations that don't exist and overall it offers something that it's either done better of elsewhere or I doubt would pique the interest of those who like the game for the unusual narrative avenues it offers.

                              Can't speak for others, naturally, but I personally see no way this sort of fan game can gain much traction in this specific context. Sorry about that.
                              I'm going to take a second here to say I am being...polite in my response to Cam, largely because (being blunt) I don't want to get banned from the forums-but I do want to take a second here to just say I could just unload on Cam's desires vs any reality of art/game development, from cynical to aspirational. It is really about dealing with creatures who are on the opposite ends of, say, Scott McCloud's spectrum between idea, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface.

                              Simply put, though, not only has the basic idea of this thread been done better, even it's cheapest forms, time and time again in a variety of games and even fan hacks(like the ones that don't ignore the problem of the Hero/Beast dichotomy)-

                              Not only that, but it lacks an understanding that games as story require asking something of the medium, in the form of a idea or what the particular form can do. Since Storyteller Games rely on it's mechanical cohesion between the various franchises, each gameline within it relies on it's different ideas within the framework to make itself compelling, particularly since it depends on also relating the primary themes of Chronicles on the whole. This is why, even with more lines than the original World of Darkness, it is impressive that Chronicles not only has eleven gamelines to it's name, but that they still strive for an ambition of more beyond that, and seem to at least have answers for it-because there's also a deliberate coursing of the direction and dialogue here.

                              And that's really worth diving into: regardless of whether or not the games speak to any one person's desires, Chronicle games, and White Wolf games on a larger scale, speak to the needs of almost everyone in some form or capacity, because it's interest in personal horror, angst, and drama means that it relates and often says something both real and aspirational to...really, anyone. You can see this almost any post about how people relate to Beast, in how a lot of people feel the validation, not from the idea that their natures merely have a place, but a functional place in the universe, that who they are is not divorced from the reality they deal with even as it might be divorced from the reality some people perceive, and in fact might even be useful in building better worlds.

                              That's true for a lot of White Wolf games, really. In a world that, as long as White Wolf has existed in, has made certain types of being so controversial as to be political, it is affirmative that not only does the seeming "monstrosity" of a wide variety of alienating patterns, natures, and behaviors are okay to be, but can, also, be of benefit to the world around them when acknowledged and handled correctly. The games transmute both the feelings of anxiety and loneliness and more asides and the states of being that might cause them into not states of acceptance but belonging, even if the current society doesn't accept them.

                              Long story short, what this proposition misses is that what makes these games speak to people is that they carry something human in their hearts with them, which can and does include both personal horror, angst, and drama, as well as the cathartic transgression and ultimate True Acceptance of such things into the world as it is.

                              Even shorter summary: Look, this concept is a hollow wreck, and there comes a point where even escapist-aimed fantasy needs something in it before we're all just playing the original Jumpman for empty psycho-spiritual calories.


                              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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