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  • #16
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    I mean, I'm a crazy fan of the game, and I can still admit that it does.
    That's the thing about asking questions like this, in the particular manner of the thread title - it presumes that the subjective feeling you have is shared by the audience. In this case, it isn't for me. I don't feel like Beast is incomplete, and that's my answer.

    It is my favorite gameline, but I still think it's a lot of not great things - I think it's poorly edited, and I think it's poorly written in some spots, and even poorly designed in others. None of these things make me feel like it's incomplete, though. I can look at the totality of Beast books and say 'Yes, this product presents a complete game that I can play, though there are definite issues'

    What's the measure for 'completeness'? Flawlessness?

    I have never considered it the job of a given gameline (or Storyteller...) to provide motivation for my characters - that's what my job as a player is. So the 'aimlessness' doesn't bother me in the slightest or make it feel less complete to me at all.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
      That's the thing about asking questions like this, in the particular manner of the thread title - it presumes that the subjective feeling you have is shared by the audience. In this case, it isn't for me. I don't feel like Beast is incomplete, and that's my answer.

      It is my favorite gameline, but I still think it's a lot of not great things - I think it's poorly edited, and I think it's poorly written in some spots, and even poorly designed in others. None of these things make me feel like it's incomplete, though. I can look at the totality of Beast books and say 'Yes, this product presents a complete game that I can play, though there are definite issues'

      What's the measure for 'completeness'? Flawlessness?

      I have never considered it the job of a given gameline (or Storyteller...) to provide motivation for my characters - that's what my job as a player is. So the 'aimlessness' doesn't bother me in the slightest or make it feel less complete to me at all.
      I mean, I get that, and I agree with that-but if you can readily admit to the bolded, I don't think it's a leap to say that you can see how others might feel that way when reading it. Simply saying "It doesn't" kind of reads like an attempt to shut down and invalidate the original feeling.

      I have always gotten Beast, and I know the frustration of people not getting it-but me just saying "Well I've never had that problem" has never helped to bring people home to the game, and if I ain't doing that, I might be getting the game wrong, savvy?


      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        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.
        Vampire can put as much emphasis on feeding, but it also presents a completely abstract feeding roll or even just rolling a die between sessions to see how much Vitae you start with.
        Extremely variable focus on resource management to fit all play styles.

        Werewolf put a lot of emphasis on the need to hunt, which makes Essence management a very natural part of the game without actually having much focus at all.
        The resource management is fully integrated with expected gameplay.

        Beast puts a lot of emphasis on feeding scenes, kinda like how werewolves must hunt, but unlike Beast Werewolf is a game with a lot of direction and expected gameplay. Compared to Werewolf, Beast has little to no expectations on the type of stories you should play, and without such direction feeding can all too easily become disconnected from the story you end up playing. If that happens then you end up having to dedicate time to this one endeavour when you might be more interested in the story you're trying to play with your mates. Even Vampire, with all its focus on blood and feeding, knew that feeding is not always interesting and will even become tedious in time so it included abstractions and quick subsystems to alleviate that.
        Tl;dr: Beast is a game with a lot of focus on resource management, but without the direction needed to naturally incorporate it in play which makes it stand out a lot more than in other games.


        Bloodline: The Stygians
        Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
        Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Tessie View Post

          Vampire can put as much emphasis on feeding, but it also presents a completely abstract feeding roll or even just rolling a die between sessions to see how much Vitae you start with.
          Extremely variable focus on resource management to fit all play styles.

          Werewolf put a lot of emphasis on the need to hunt, which makes Essence management a very natural part of the game without actually having much focus at all.
          The resource management is fully integrated with expected gameplay.

          Beast puts a lot of emphasis on feeding scenes, kinda like how werewolves must hunt, but unlike Beast Werewolf is a game with a lot of direction and expected gameplay. Compared to Werewolf, Beast has little to no expectations on the type of stories you should play, and without such direction feeding can all too easily become disconnected from the story you end up playing. If that happens then you end up having to dedicate time to this one endeavour when you might be more interested in the story you're trying to play with your mates. Even Vampire, with all its focus on blood and feeding, knew that feeding is not always interesting and will even become tedious in time so it included abstractions and quick subsystems to alleviate that.
          Tl;dr: Beast is a game with a lot of focus on resource management, but without the direction needed to naturally incorporate it in play which makes it stand out a lot more than in other games.
          The big reason, and problem, there is that it gets emphasis because Feeding Your Hunger is one of the main ways you Build and Shape your Lair, since Lair is basically your presence in the psycho-spiritual landscape of humanity and Inflicting Yourself Upon Others is a key way of doing that.

          Transcendance, Lessons, Own Your Story, the usual spiel.


          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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          • #20
            Also, "resource management" for Beast isn't about competition for resources. Ultimately, the majority of splats expect these activities to be a source of narrative conflict. Vampires politic over the best feeding grounds. Werewolf packs fight for territory and access to Loci. Mages squabble over Mysteries and Mana sources. Etc. For Beasts, resource management is about enacting character preferences. Beasts manage their hungers to keep themselves in a specific state because they like the pros and cons of that state over the other options.

            To an extent, feeding in Beast is most analogous to Harmony in werewolf rather than feeding/resource gathering in the other games; not hurt that Satiety is also the Integrity equivalent. It's not about

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Tessie View Post
              Beast puts a lot of emphasis on feeding scenes, kinda like how werewolves must hunt, but unlike Beast Werewolf is a game with a lot of direction and expected gameplay. Compared to Werewolf, Beast has little to no expectations on the type of stories you should play, and without such direction feeding can all too easily become disconnected from the story you end up playing. If that happens then you end up having to dedicate time to this one endeavour when you might be more interested in the story you're trying to play with your mates. Even Vampire, with all its focus on blood and feeding, knew that feeding is not always interesting and will even become tedious in time so it included abstractions and quick subsystems to alleviate that.
              Tl;dr: Beast is a game with a lot of focus on resource management, but without the direction needed to naturally incorporate it in play which makes it stand out a lot more than in other games.
              Vampire also frames feeding that isn't just the abstracted answer of "roll a die and add your Feeding Grounds to see how much Vitae you have" as a contextualizing activity for its characters and has a hard-locked minimum rate of fuel loss outside the extremely unlikely chance that you manage to regularly and consistently roll an exceptional success on attempts to stay awake. Meanwhile, Beast has a substantially slower time-based rate of progression that it specifically recommends for NPCs and absentee PCs in direct contrast to the more elective "the ST offers you [Lair] Beats per story in exchange for losing points of Satiety," and in practice most of their feeding fills the same niche as the roll in Vampire that gives you particularly dramatic entanglements on dramatic failures and exceptional successes.

              Beast is also a game where feeding explicitly works better when it aligns with the character's Aspirations; if the players aren't using the tool the games provide for communicating to the ST what they want out of the game and the ST isn't providing an engaging supernatural landscape to deal with in a game whose characters inhabit a supernatural landscape, that's not a problem unique to Beast.


              Resident Lore-Hound
              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                I mean, I get that, and I agree with that-but if you can readily admit to the bolded, I don't think it's a leap to say that you can see how others might feel that way when reading it. Simply saying "It doesn't" kind of reads like an attempt to shut down and invalidate the original feeling.
                I answered the question that was asked.

                • The original post doesn't focus on poor editing, poor writing, or (the type of) poor design (that I was talking about).
                • The original post does call out things that the gameline is 'missing' relative to others (a broader supernatural community, more defined direction for PCs)
                • I don't feel like the absence of those things makes it an incomplete game, because I don't believe they are required for a complete game.
                • I feel like it should be self-evident that when someone asks 'Why does X feel like Y' and there is a followup response of 'It doesn't', that the responder is only speaking for themselves - none of us can speak for the feelings of other people. It seems like I'm wrong on that front, though, so for absolute clarity - it's not my goal to invalidate anyone's feelings, merely to provide evidence that they aren't universal.

                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                I have always gotten Beast, and I know the frustration of people not getting it-but me just saying "Well I've never had that problem" has never helped to bring people home to the game, and if I ain't doing that, I might be getting the game wrong, savvy?
                I gave up trying to be an ambassador for this gameline a very long time ago. That has nothing to do with understanding (or not) the gameline, but with a growing understanding of the audience I would have to convince.

                That said, I have some extra mental bandwidth this morning and might actually have the energy to deal with this today, so let's see how that goes:


                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                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.
                That's totally fair, because Beast is quite a bit different from the other gamelines. I wouldn't necessarily say that means it's incomplete, though.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                I will admit, i've only read the corebook and conquering heroes,
                This is relevant to several other things you mention later on, but I'm going to go ahead and insert this now - the Player's Guide should really be required reading for Beast. It vastly improves the game, and brings several things to the table that might make it feel more complete to you - specifically, supernatural community, varying presentations of motivation for different groups of Beasts, and a lot of new player options.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                A big issue is that being a beast is kinda... aimless.
                Here is the largest difference between Beast and most of the other Gamelines. Most gamelines give you a decent understanding of what it feels like to be an $Splat, and then more sharply focuses on several different tracks of motivators and driving forces you might face in-game. Beast doesn't do that. Beast focuses very much on what it feels like to be one, and then asks the player what they're going to do with that.

                It's a big ask, and it's probably something that a lot of players aren't used to. This isn't necessarily a flaw in the game - both myself and the other people I play it with view it as one of the strongest features of the game - but it is something that means it might not work well for everyone.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                You have no greater society to join and explore
                You have every greater society to explore. You mention this dismissively later on, but it's kind of part of the point. Beast focuses heavily on crossover, and discarding that out-of-hand is and then calling attention that there's nothing else there to fill the gap feels a bit disingenuous.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                no great ordeal to preform
                Pursuing Inheritance, or more broadly, taking control of Your Story. At character creation, you've already decided to do that, but it doesn't mean that you've already locked down ultimate success forever. Your life moving forward is going to be an unending parade of other things trying to tell you how Your Story should end, and you're going to have to fight to remain in control again, and again, and again.


                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                no evil to fight against.
                If you're so inclined, there's a very obvious evil for you to fight against - the one that's inside of your soul and wants you to kill people, even when you don't have to to feed.

                But overall, you're right, here. Beast isn't necessarily a game about fighting evil.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                While a good GM would be able to make an engaging story for you
                Beast requires a huge amount of player buy-in and motivation, and if you rely on the Storyteller or the game itself to provide Your Story for you, you are missing the entire point of the line.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                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
                Even Beasts that don't have inherently violent Hungers get a bonus to satiety if they actively kill their victims. I think, on the whole, it is every bit as bad as the tendency of vampires to lose control and over-indulge.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                but the sheer importance the book puts on it feels off. No other Supernatural Creature puts so much emphasis on regaining resources,
                Because the Hunger a Beast feels is unlike any other Supernatural Creature, and that's a key point of the line. Until now, vampires kind of had a monopoly on the whole 'hungry monster that does terrible things to satisfy it' thing, but in Beast, your Hunger is such a central concept that it's literally one of your splats (I can never get x vs y right). It is as central to Beast as Covenants are to Vampire or Courts are to Changeling.

                Beasts are Hungry, and that Hunger drives them to do horrible things. People want to (often justifiably) end them because of the things that Hunger makes them want to do. It is trying to steal away your own control of Your Story just as surely as anything else in your life as a Beast. So...what are you going to do about it?

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                Heroes are the worst antagonist splat in the CoD, they're not nearly strong enough to be a true threat to most beast
                So, yes. Heroes can't engage Beasts on equal footing (especially in a white room). That's what Insatiable, other Beasts, and other crossover critters are for.

                However, if they're played as characters that are actually aware of their relative weakness compared to the supernatural potency of their prey, they are perfectly capable of fulfilling their role. 'Most' Beasts can't really do a lot about a Killing Blow in their sleep, or an IED in their car. Some of them can, but there are plenty of other creative angles of attack. Just like Hunters, Heroes are up against superior prey, and should play out their hunts accordingly. The difference is that a Hero will stop at nothing to win, and once they've done so a few times, they start to get not-insignificant power to back up their claim to righteousness.


                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                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.
                Yep, this was poor writing. It doesn't make it incomplete, though I can certainly agree that it sucks.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                Compared to guys like the Seers of the Throne, the God-Machine and the Pure, it's aggravating that their so inconsequential and Harmless.
                Heroes aren't supposed to be as powerful as the monsters. They're supposed to be weaker, but they're supposed to win anyway, using the same types of creative bullshit shenanigans that Heroes use in every story. The way they challenge Your Story is by trying to hold it to those tropes.

                One way you can regain control is, obviously, by proving that it's not going to work that way.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                Finally the lack of a real beast community hurts it a lot.
                Citation needed.

                Snark aside, it doesn't have to. If you're a player that prefers to engage in a supernatural community, and you're also a player that doesn't want to do crossover in the gameline designed for it, there's definitely a gap here. The Player's Guide does, however, include a lot of societal options for Beasts.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                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.
                Because Beast focuses on Hunger instead - the thing you were complaining that they focused on above. That might not be for you but that doesn't make it inherently bad.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                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.
                Citation needed.

                Beasts have abilities specifically aimed at greasing the wheels of their Kin. The extent to which those do or don't allow them to engage in broader societies within the context of any individual story is 100% a table decision, but I would not at all take it as a given that they can't participate.

                Originally posted by Penguinbowler View Post
                "What's the point?"
                It's a good question.
                You're a Beast, and you define Your Story.
                So what's your answer?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                  I answered the question that was asked.
                  Touche.
                  Last edited by ArcaneArts; 04-30-2019, 11:50 AM.


                  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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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                    It's a good question.
                    You're a Beast, and you define Your Story.
                    So what's your answer?
                    My answer is, thank you for helping show what people enjoy about the game to me. I still aren't likely to play it for the time being, (combination of trying to get a group together and still not being 100% sold) but seeing some reasons why people love beast is nice. I know it's probably the most divisive main CoD book, and I have been trying to give it a fair shot. I can see some of the appeal, just don't think it's for me.

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                    • #25
                      holy shit, a productive discussion where a new to Beast OP asks about the game ends on a positive note. I am truly blessed to witness this elusive event

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                      • #26
                        For me, Beast is missing three major sources of appeal that most of the other CofD games have one of or the other:
                        a.) Societies. It's been said that the Player's Guide goes into this, so I'll not complain further until I forget that fact.
                        b.) The splat itself being something recognisable from pop culture. That fits anything that resembles oWoD splats. That means that the player already has some ideas about what the game could like, even if it doesn't really fit as written. Beasts, from what I gather, are nightmare-monster-people who have some very strong powers and need to cause suffering in some particular fashion: I don't see the appeal.
                        c.) A fantastic realm that's somehow horrific to humans. I'm not sold on Sin Eaters, but I want to know more about the Underworld. What happens to the dead? Why has the God-Machine written it off? What can be done to help those who end up there? If Beast has something like this, I imagine that it's something like Mage's Pandemonium as much as the Hisil is like the Primal Wild. But I've heard nothing about this yet.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
                          c.) A fantastic realm that's somehow horrific to humans. I'm not sold on Sin Eaters, but I want to know more about the Underworld. What happens to the dead? Why has the God-Machine written it off? What can be done to help those who end up there? If Beast has something like this, I imagine that it's something like Mage's Pandemonium as much as the Hisil is like the Primal Wild. But I've heard nothing about this yet.
                          What about the Primordial Dream? It's the birthplace of all Horrors and the place where all Lairs are "located". The only problem is that it (and the rest of the Astral) is not very accessible without the BPG. With only the core book it would be limited to the characters' own Lairs and the local Hive, but at least some bonus points for player-created nightmare realms.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
                            c.) A fantastic realm that's somehow horrific to humans. I'm not sold on Sin Eaters, but I want to know more about the Underworld. What happens to the dead? Why has the God-Machine written it off? What can be done to help those who end up there? If Beast has something like this, I imagine that it's something like Mage's Pandemonium as much as the Hisil is like the Primal Wild. But I've heard nothing about this yet.
                            The Primordial Dream is literally most consistently encountered through places that are formed from breaking points or extreme mental powers in conjunction with stage hazards, and those places are the personal hunting grounds of monsters out of nascent urban legends. This has been the case since the corebook.


                            Resident Lore-Hound
                            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                            • #29
                              Primordial Dream and the wider Astral Realms are covered in the BPG, yes it'd help if that was in the core, Dragons and Mythological creatures are pop-cultural enough thanks to the nerd boom and the carry over of High Fantasy and Epic Mythology with that, and despite the problems I mentioned about it earlier, BPG also added societies, and yes again it'd help if that was in the core, though again Beasts are predisposed to be their own societies.

                              I'm not saying that these aren't problems, per se, but they're problems of presentation rather than absence.

                              (I don't know why this is a sticking point, but it's really important to me that Beast really just needs a clearer presentation.)


                              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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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                                I'm not saying that these aren't problems, per se, but they're problems of presentation rather than absence.
                                (I don't know why this is a sticking point, but it's really important to me that Beast really just needs a clearer presentation.)
                                It's the damn truth. I would give a lot to see a cleaned-up, more coherent version of the game we already have, just presented better.

                                Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
                                Stuff that is totally reasonable to believe if you haven't read the game.
                                I was going to point-by-point this, but Kelly did a better job than I would have. All of these things are there, largely thanks to the Player's Guide.

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