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On the Problematic Nature of Beast (And Why I Think That's a Good Thing)

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  • I feel like more expressive and insightful people have made several excellent observations. It feels a little daunting to add my two cents at this point, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

    I like Beast a lot, which is precisely why I wanna see it improve and become the best game it can. Big kudos and good luck to whoever embarks on that quest. It deals with some heavy themes, and its execution runs the gamut. Despite all of the unfortunate implications, I believe Beast offers something special.

    This thread gave a lot of attention to the notion of the Other and such, but that doesn't have to be the entirety of it. I see Beast as a way to express and examine the darker parts of our psyches, whether we belong to minority group or not.

    I only speak for myself, but it seems to me that in order to be a part of society, one must accept its rules. No one is ever 100% OK with these rules all the time. Beasts are equal parts living cautionary tales and embodied transgressions against society.

    Therefore, it follows that these creatures lurk on the edges of society and form bonds with others like them. To play as a Begotten is not to aimlessly seek revenge against those who see you as the Other. It is to remind people of the importance of rules and when it is right to break them.

    Beasts are prime examples of a villainous mindset. That does not mean they are evil, although they can definitely be. It means that they exist for a reason: the villains we remember represent something wrong with society that got out of control.

    Heroes are the other side of the coin: they represent an immune response that is likewise not inherently evil, but certainly reactionary. In the vast majority of iconic stories, the Hero rises up to face a challenge posed by the villain.

    And that's the crux of it. Villains aren't born, they're made. And it could have been any one of us.

    Let Him Speak.


    • It is to remind people of the importance of rules and when it is right to break them.
      This reminds me of the original meaning of the phrase “to honor in the breach”: it originally was talking about how we have rules that are based on general principles (in the specific case in Shakespeare, the principle was “honor”, and the rules were formalized expressions of honor); but rules are imperfect, and sometimes we can uphold the underlying principles better by breaking the rules. We've kind of inverted the meaning of that phrase since the Bard first introduced it.


      • Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
        So with that in mind: let’s say for the sake of argument that OPP was greenlighting a second edition for BtP despite being so early in the game’s lifecycle, and they’ve asked you for advice on what to change in the core. What advice would you give them? What needs to change in the core book in order for the “diamond in the rough” to which several of you have alluded gets a chance to shine?
        I’m a simple man with simple needs, I’d hand it (along with BPG as reference material) to the nearest editor and tell them to go to town on it. Then I’d hand the ripped off cover of Building a Legend to whoever’s Beast dev now, point at the title, and tell them I want a supplement that’s actually about that.


        • Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post

          I noticed. Wondered what had been up with the Unseelie being portrayed as evil-er in the rest of the book. Coupled with how offensively odd the Shadow Court write-up is, artifacts of older mechanics being left in...ugh.

          Although I do wonder at the oddity of Matt mentioning his art notes being ignored (for instance the C20 Eshu looking...very very white-passing when they're not supposed to).
          Yeah the Unseelie court has always been weird, like how their sometimes, super evil, and then they just want to overthrow the oppressive Seelie court,


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