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

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  • #31
    Oh man, the place this thread went explains everything and I suspect I'm going to be linking it pretty often from now on. Heck, it even makes sense now why most of the second draft changes not only (IMO) came out seeming clearly kludged in and clashing with the surrounding text (both thematically and in writing style),* but ended up straight up making things even worse in a lot of people's eyes: because at that point Matt had about as much idea what he was doing as anyone else, which is to say very little.

    * The Ugallu Predator I'm currently playing was first conceptualized a few days into the Kickstarter and I've been quite happy to have her outright pity "lesson-teaching" Beasts (direct quote from her writeup: "the way [character] sees it, any monster that has to rationalize its own actions is the one with a thing or two to learn about itself").

    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    with only 2 supplements already fixing the many issues into something better, there is also much hope in this gameline.
    Amen. STG when?

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    • #32
      Not read the entire thread yet, but for the elephant in the room man...one cannot let assholes ruin good things that more people have worked on. If you do then you let the assholes win, so rather than rejecting beast...we must embrace it and make it even better to spite all the douches!

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      • #33
        a storytellers guide was mentioned to be possible a long time ago on these forums. I'm still hoping for it (I mean, there's a lot of stuff it could go over, from how to portray lessons, lairs, the dream, and crossover)

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
          Beast may have had a bad start, that much is true (unless you dont consider an understatement true). but with only 2 supplements already fixing the many issues into something better, there is also much hope in this gameline.

          Yossarian, your brutal honesty with yourself is very admirable. you are right in saying the book is unclear on beasts being the bad guys, but this is an aspect that can be saved from the depths. Beasts certainly DO feel like bad guys in many aspects, from their very nature to their enthusiasm in being a monsters and having their kin join the ride. everyone can grow attached to a tragic monster trying to fight off his worst impulses, but as everyone says, people LOVE a good villain. so wherever beast is headed, let's hope it's to new heights (or depths) in the primordial dream to see what is really is to be a monster
          What issue did you have with the core,?
          Last edited by Konradleijon; 03-27-2019, 09:41 AM.

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          • #35
            the presentation on beasts as monsters. were they supposed to be tragic, anti villains, lack of clarity about brood lairs and such (which most of these problems were addressed in the BPG, especially brood lairs)

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
              the presentation on beasts as monsters. were they supposed to be tragic, anti villains, lack of clarity about brood lairs and such (which most of these problems were addressed in the BPG, especially brood lairs)
              What do you mean by the presentation of Beasts?

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              • #37
                like yossarian said. Beasts were all over the place in whether they were some tragic monster like vampires or embraced their monstrosity into something new.

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                • #38
                  Tossing in my two cents from the development cycle:

                  I was not a writer for Beast, but I was part of Jim Fisher's playtest group(that never got around to playing it), and I was green then. THe problems that came with the Underhill Changeling also hit for being in that position, it was just so exciting to be part of a thing you love, it got easy to not be as critical as I know I can be (I once was asked to write an eight page review of one issue in a guy's book that he wanted one more set of eyes over before sending it to a publisher. I ended up writing twenty pages overhauling the work and getting it direct back onto his concept).

                  I haven't looked at those drafts in a while, but I remember being excited by everything I was reading, including how Beast was going for more of a villain protagonist angle than most of the other gamelines-but the entire thing felt disjointed as hell. There were a lot of shades of the same idea that nevertheless didn't keep in pace with one another. I kept waiting for everything to come together properly, and for some of the weaker points to burnished up. Honestly, even when the first draft came out on the KS, and everything was reasonably still more together, It still din't feel like the seams were closed. That disappeard with the second draft on the KS, but you could still see the seams-it wasn't a clean stitching.

                  I just kept assuming things would get cleaned up at some point, that of course early drafts are messy-but now that I know more about how Beast was made, what I saw makes a whole lot more sense.

                  Beast has gotten better, and it's really started to gel into an identity, but I can get why that's not an identity dig into. Problem is that, even being aware and wary of how and why Beast is what it is... it remains the one template that, if you twisted my arm on, I would become. I love Beast a whole damn lot, and I've found it speaks to me more than I realized even when it started.

                  More supplements will continue to refine the game, and if it ever gets a solid second edition, I'm willing to bet the overhaul will do wonders for the game.

                  Beast is a flawed game, and a lot of that is construction and some of it is that it's base concept needed perhaps a very wary and disciplined eye on it. But hell if I don't want more of it. Hell if I don't want to write for it.


                  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
                  Feminine pronouns, please.

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                  • #39
                    I never really viewed Beasts as being "good" things. Even at their best, they're not "nice" things.

                    I think it's best to start with the perspective of them being "villain protagonists", but even then, there is a lot of room to put nuance into the characterization to make them empathetic or even sympathetic. While they are monsters, they are still people. That means they have things important to them, others they care about, their own measures of what they're willing or not willing to do. There is a lot of room to make a compelling character there.

                    I'd be tempted to swing Beast myself, if there was an option.

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                    • #40
                      if I may ask ArcaneArts, did beast drift off from the villain protagonist angle much, or is the spirit of it very much still there

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                        if I may ask ArcaneArts, did beast drift off from the villain protagonist angle much, or is the spirit of it very much still there
                        Like, currently vs those earlier drafts?

                        Ish?

                        The big difference as that goes is that the earliest drafts got big into the unrepentant, fuck-you-I'm-me sort of attitude that Brookshaw mentioned that was, depending on the section you were in, justified or not, questioned or wholly accepted. Beast at this point owns it's Villain protagonist angle, but also is more interested in coherent questions on the board across and is more interested in allowing for anti-villains and those with buyer's regret, while also allowing for the fuck-it-all types-but asking a few more critical questions of the latter type, with the middle ground between the two being expected and part of the horror that it gets across.

                        I think Beast currently sits on the "Let's be bad guys" side of the board, still more so than most of it's peers (Maybe not more so Mummy, Demon, Mage, or Vampire, but at least on the side versus the other half of the board, currently), and it may even be more honest about that fact- but I think every character is now at least having to ask some kind of question about the black hat* they chose to wear.

                        *Er, association realized but not intended.
                        Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-27-2019, 05:11 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
                        Feminine pronouns, please.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          thanks for taking the time to answer. so Beast went away from a simple "yeah we wreck shit for fun and profit" to a more philosophical approach by asking what makes a creatures very nature evil (and of course how beasts ambitions of inheritance and Legend shape their villany while Life gives it nuance)

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                          • #43
                            I liked the ‘just wreck shit thing’ made it unique l

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                            • #44
                              I'm not sure about that. you gotta have depth. if it's just wrecking shit, just play a strix for the hell of it. it's not that unique at all

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                                thanks for taking the time to answer. so Beast went away from a simple "yeah we wreck shit for fun and profit" to a more philosophical approach by asking what makes a creatures very nature evil (and of course how beasts ambitions of inheritance and Legend shape their villany while Life gives it nuance)
                                It's less interested in what makes a person evil(Because the answer pre-the-fact is the Devouring and that's not where the game's focus is, and the answer post-the fact is Hunger which is not a great way to examine the question), and more interested in how destructive urges can become constructive, as well the relationship between self and community and how much any one person is expected to give up versus what is offered up by (or taken from) the community. THere's more themes beyond that, but Beast definitely wants you to wonder about what we owe each other.
                                Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-27-2019, 05:43 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
                                Feminine pronouns, please.

                                Comment

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