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Why does beast feel incomplete?

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  • Why does beast feel incomplete?

    I really don't want to sound rude, and i am thankful for all the answers, but beast still has some things that stop me from enjoying it as much as the other game lines.The issue often winds up being a "that's it?" kinda response from me. I will admit, i've only read the corebook and conquering heroes, but still, i generally never got the whole, that's it feel from any other game lines corebook. It felt underwhelming. A big issue is that being a beast is kinda... aimless. You have no greater society to join and explore, no great ordeal to preform, no evil to fight against. While a good GM would be able to make an engaging story for you, it leaves beast feeling bare bones compared to others. Feeding is also an issue, while i don't think morally it's as bad as draining the blood from a hobo on the street, but the sheer importance the book puts on it feels off. No other Supernatural Creature puts so much emphasis on regaining resources, and the parts of the book that aren't on feeding are just as flawed. Heroes are the worst antagonist splat in the CoD, they're not nearly strong enough to be a true threat to most beast and the books seem to have a weird desire to say sympathetic heroes exist and can be just in fighting beast. It does show it decently often, with guys like the Silversmith and Sleeping Beauty, but refuses to say it for some strange reason. Compared to guys like the Seers of the Throne, the God-Machine and the Pure, it's aggravating that their so inconsequential and Harmless.

    Finally the lack of a real beast community hurts it a lot. I know they were trying to go "The entire Supernatural Community is the beast community" but it doesn't make beast more interesting the same way other supernatural communities do. They just seem to be hitching a ride off of the other supernaturals, and besides, most of their actual organizations likely won't accept a beast on the virtue it isn't a vampire/changeling/mage. They could likely join a group like a Throng or Motley, but never really get involved in the bigger scene.

    If they lacked any one of those things i likely could ignore it, but the fact so many things seem missing really holds back my enjoyment of beast. It often seems like it's the "What's the point?" WoD game at times.

  • #2
    Why don't you leave this as a review on DrivethruRPG? That would be a bit more productive.

    Like, you're basically just asking for an argument with people who don't have those issues.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Michael View Post
      Why don't you leave this as a review on DrivethruRPG? That would be a bit more productive.

      Like, you're basically just asking for an argument with people who don't have those issues.
      I actually want to know if these issues get fixed in the players guide, which i haven't read.

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      • #4
        READ PLAYER'S GUIDE! It's like Beast Corebook, part 2! It changes everything in the game, and goes everything to 11!


        My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
        LGBT+ in CoD games

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        • #5
          The other supplements help.

          As well, one of the issues is the basic premise: Beasts seek to define their own story. The game can't prescribe too much of that process for you, or it loses the feel of doing it yourself. Maybe we'll see a bit more structure to this in the future, but it's never going to be that specific.

          Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
          You have no greater society to join and explore,...
          There's the local Hive, and Apex to deal with, exploring the Primordial Dream and the residents of it, and of course joining and exploring the societies of other Supernaturals to learn more about the nature of the Dark Mother.

          no great ordeal to preform,
          Inheritances.

          no evil to fight against.
          Antagonistic Apexes, other Begotten that decide to just be evil for the hell of it, the Insatiate, the evils of the other gamelines you get involved with, the rare Hero that's gotten really good at what they do.

          Though... it's the CofD... plenty of games lack a "Big Bad" you need to worry about

          No other Supernatural Creature puts so much emphasis on regaining resources, and the parts of the book that aren't on feeding are just as flawed.
          Vampire puts just as much emphasis on feeding. Werewolf puts as much emphasis on hunting (not exactly the same, but the Wolf Must Hunt, quite literally). Etc.

          "Flawed" without context isn't really something that can be addressed.

          Heroes are the worst antagonist splat in the CoD,
          That's a fairly strong assessment for the complaints levied.

          For their power level, it's important to remember that the rules are meant to give a reason to the idea that most notable monsters of legend kill a bunch of monster hunters before one of them finally gets them. They're not meant to be toe-to-toe threats. You're supposed to kill a bunch of them, but at a cost, like having an Anathema placed on you, or running out of Satiety and drawing more attention to yourself. But eventually one's going to get lucky if you're not careful. And the most kills a Hero gets, the more dangerous they get. Heroes also don't work alone. They can work in groups, and they gather followers around themselves. Heroes certainly max out in potential threat sooner than Beasts do, but they can be a threat far more into the game than you're giving credit, and can do things that permanently mess up a Beast's life even if they die in the process.

          The sympathetic critique is phrase in a self-contradictory manner. The books says they exist, it shows they exist... but "refuses to say it" somehow.

          And comparing Heroes to the G-M is... ridiculous. Heroes don't stack up to one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) entity in the whole setting? So what? The Seers and Pure aren't really apples to apples comparisons either. How about comparing them to things like Alchemists from Promethean, Hunters are antagonists to other gamelines, Dhamphirs, hobgolins, and similar things that are meant to be threats by things 'below' the supernatural playable groups on the pecking order rather than their 'equals?'

          Finally the lack of a real beast community hurts it a lot.
          Or it's liberating to not have every game in the CofD follow the same formula. Though Hives of multiple broods has plenty of community to play around with. It's just not set in stone, it's built by the Beasts in that area.

          I know they were trying to go "The entire Supernatural Community is the beast community" but it doesn't make beast more interesting the same way other supernatural communities do.
          Of course it's not the same. It's different. That's the whole appeal. It's not the same old same old.

          They could likely join a group like a Throng or Motley, but never really get involved in the bigger scene.
          There's no reason for this to be considered the case. The powers that help them get the foot in the door on the small scale work on the larger one.

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          • #6
            From the production point of view, let's just say that Beast had a very troubled production.

            Balancing that with a more textual-analysis perspective, Beast as a concept has a lot of things to juggle, particularly as a splat built on diving into the crossover nature of the game. Because of that, Beast itself has to start at an interesting position as way to make that work-namely, it's concepts are simple despite their depth, and characters start off actualized in a way that is different from their contemporaries.* None of this is to say that complex ideas can't be explore (they definitely can) or that Beasts don't have character arcs (they definitely do), but that in order to facilitate their position regarding their ideas, Beasts start off in a very different position, one that is inherently looser and less....typically driven than other PCs-which is not to say they aren't driven.

            The actualization of characters is actually a big obstacle that, while not insurmountable, was not properly addressed in the drafts of Beast, because that means Beast characters are by and large characters expected to have worked out the major wrinkles of self and know what they want of the world, and therefore their primary conflict is one of transcendence, of making the wholeness of their selves extend and become the world around them. This means that Beast characters have more of an onus to have a self-determined answer to "What the fuck am I doing" as an inherent part of their make-up, because at this point it's all about Building their Legend Outwards, developing their Lair through Feeding their Hunger and Building their Kinships and fundamentally sewing "This Is I" into their dominion. The simplicity of their own themes and desires can help to make that easier, but it also can feel aimless, because at it's core all they really need to do is....well, Feed their Hunger, Build their Kinship, and Fight Any Fucker Who Challenges Them. There's a point to it, all of it a matter of Owning their Story, but Beast isn't hyper clear on this theme of self-ownership and trascendence, even with the role that the Inheritances play into that narrative.

            Lessons were added as a way of making clear this declarative transcendence, by basically facilitating the idea that what they do Says Something-in fact, Says Exactly What They Want to Mean, Don't You Fucking Spin It Your Own Way, and that sort of helps with building that sense, as well as just creating more sense in their day to day life? But as a late addition that is itself idly muddled, and of course comes with it's own baggage.

            Anyways, that actualization is also a problem for larger organization, because while Beasts have their sense of kinship, it effectively means that Beasts tend to be islands unto themselves, and even if loosely aligned principles exist, one Beast's goals and means tend to be personal enough that it doesn't jive with how another Beast goes for it. It's more of a pack or archmage-esque basis than a court or order sort of thing. And because those ends are also simple, it makes it easy for a Beast to get snarled in or drag in the elements of any other gameline, so if a particular structure is needed, it becomes easier for a Beast to appropriate and synthesize those structures under their claws.

            And while a lot of that this sounds like a problem, the bigger problem is that the game didn't readily provide this sort of clarity or more satisfactory direction on how to build that into character or chronicle design-because while obstacles, they aren't deal-breakers, and honestly that actualization and simplicity are big parts of Beast's appeal. These are characters who have got themselves, and really honestly have every reason to be confident in their place in things, while also being really accessible for it, because you know what you have to do. They are primordially powerful characters, idea and thought wise, easy to slip into and equal parts aspirational and anti-aspirational. It's hella cathartic to play this dark figure who gets themselves and has the power to harm and help others at their whim to their own ideals, and who can bring the world under their wings until it reflects themselves.

            Heroes are a natural counter, and they have something of a hard game to play (as I discuss more in this post) and also have the problem of Having To Deal With Audience Response, but hopefully it's something that can be worked out as time goes along. I need to eat, I don't have enough time to talk on Heroes again, I might do so later.

            Soooooo without addressing the production history, I think the heart of the problem is that Beast didn't start with concrete enough themes, and as such didn't really know what sort of advice was needed for it's characters. Proper clarification on those themes** would lead to better tools to support it and make it clear how the game is to run and play with itself and others. The elements are there, they just need to be shown for what they are.

            *Compare a Beast's starting position with any of the other splats and it's easy, though not wholly accurate, to say that they Beasts have start at a place the other splats are largely intended to arrive at after a healthy bit of gaming/storytelling, and while not accurate (oftentimes, Beasts can and do play with the same struggles, just from an opposite side of the struggle), that's also very intentional.
            **On record, Beast's true themes are more likely This is My Story vs This is The Story, What We Owe Each Other, and No Neat Boxes.
            Last edited by ArcaneArts; 04-29-2019, 08:37 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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            • #7
              the players guide adds greater beast societies (these societies are all very decentralized and provide narrative benefits, basically not a Y-splat). even without that, the hive is a greater community into itself, as it affects every beast. as for emphasis on feeding, Vampire has whole sections for that just like beast.

              Heroes are good antagonist. they are just ones that dont carry with them huge benefits for being the enemy (like belials brood, seers and the exarchs). what they do is let the beast know that they are seen as the bad guy of the story, the mindless beast needing to be killed. it is true that heroes can be killed easily compared the other antagonist, they give beasts crippling weakness despite of that. a powerful hero is one that will give you trouble, one that's killed many beasts before it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                the players guide adds greater beast societies (these societies are all very decentralized and provide narrative benefits, basically not a Y-splat). even without that, the hive is a greater community into itself, as it affects every beast. as for emphasis on feeding, Vampire has whole sections for that just like beast.

                Heroes are good antagonist. they are just ones that dont carry with them huge benefits for being the enemy (like belials brood, seers and the exarchs). what they do is let the beast know that they are seen as the bad guy of the story, the mindless beast needing to be killed. it is true that heroes can be killed easily compared the other antagonist, they give beasts crippling weakness despite of that. a powerful hero is one that will give you trouble, one that's killed many beasts before it.
                Really, can you explain these societies for me. Even if their not like the Pentacle Orders or Freeholds, just knowing likeminded beast get together could be intriguing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                  Really, can you explain these societies for me. Even if their not like the Pentacle Orders or Freeholds, just knowing likeminded beast get together could be intriguing.
                  the athaeneum is a vast Hive that serves as an occult library. it is filled with more academically minded beast.

                  the empusae are, in very simplified forms, sorta the beast equivalent to the circle of the crone. they believe they have nothing to learn from humans (just that, they still get along with them). they are the primal beasts, believing their relationship with the dark mother is something shared in every act of feeding and rituals.

                  the guardian beast believe the dark mother is an abusive parent. they seek to break off from her and see incarnate (or just inheritance in general, dont quite remember) to be that separateness.

                  finally, the dominae dont see kin, they see lesser monsters that they are better than. this does not mean they cant make allies, it's just they see power as an end to itself

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                    the athaeneum is a vast Hive that serves as an occult library. it is filled with more academically minded beast.

                    the empusae are, in very simplified forms, sorta the beast equivalent to the circle of the crone. they believe they have nothing to learn from humans (just that, they still get along with them). they are the primal beasts, believing their relationship with the dark mother is something shared in every act of feeding and rituals.

                    the guardian beast believe the dark mother is an abusive parent. they seek to break off from her and see incarnate (or just inheritance in general, dont quite remember) to be that separateness.

                    finally, the dominae dont see kin, they see lesser monsters that they are better than. this does not mean they cant make allies, it's just they see power as an end to itself
                    Nice to have some more ways for beast to view the world and interact with each other

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                    • #11
                      It doesn't.

                      Yes, the Player's Guide helps.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                        It doesn't.

                        Yes, the Player's Guide helps.
                        I mean, I'm a crazy fan of the game, and I can still admit that it does.

                        Namely because the lack of solid direction leads to a lot of pieces that don't quite keep on point.


                        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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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                          It doesn't.

                          Yes, the Player's Guide helps.
                          it doesn't what?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                            it doesn't what?
                            "Why does Beast feel incomplete?"
                            "It doesn't."


                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              "Why does Beast feel incomplete?"
                              "It doesn't."
                              ahh ok I get it now

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