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  • Penguinbowler
    started a topic Why does beast feel incomplete?

    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.

  • Eternal Darkness
    replied
    Originally posted by Deinos View Post


    b. Beast is the spiritual successor to Bygone Bestiary, but more directly resembles Demon the Fallen.
    c. The Primordial Dream is amazing and way more front and center than the otherworlds of other games, likely to show up constantly even if you're trying to do. Its also nice to have another realm of existence that is coterminous but not a Darwinian Deathtrap like the Hisil.

    People that don't think Beast has a lot going on should probably play it instead. Beast has a ton of stuff going on and there's not much like it.

    Regarding extensive supernatural societies and antagonists, this is the biggest turnoff I have for Mage, and I am absolutely thankful Beast is nothing like that. I want my stories to be about how the PC feels about this or that, not how your monolithic political faction feels about this or that. Politics and sadistic gods you can't do anything about are the last thing I want out of an RPG.

    This is what turned me off about Mage as time went on. I got tired of always having to factor in a dozen monolithic organizations with every game and character concept. I still love Mage (old and new), but it's lost a lot of its shine.

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  • Deinos
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    b.) The splat itself being something recognisable from pop culture. That fits anything that resembles oWoD splats.
    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.
    b. Beast is the spiritual successor to Bygone Bestiary, but more directly resembles Demon the Fallen.
    c. The Primordial Dream is amazing and way more front and center than the otherworlds of other games, likely to show up constantly even if you're trying to do. Its also nice to have another realm of existence that is coterminous but not a Darwinian Deathtrap like the Hisil.

    People that don't think Beast has a lot going on should probably play it instead. Beast has a ton of stuff going on and there's not much like it.

    Regarding extensive supernatural societies and antagonists, this is the biggest turnoff I have for Mage, and I am absolutely thankful Beast is nothing like that. I want my stories to be about how the PC feels about this or that, not how your monolithic political faction feels about this or that. Politics and sadistic gods you can't do anything about are the last thing I want out of an RPG.

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  • Penguinbowler
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

    ​Spencer, extending Beast popculture inspirations - have you seen (now) Netflix's Lucifer TV series? Titular character is basically a Begotten - he is monstrous being, that Hunger for true Punishment, using his Nightmare powers to solve crimes because he 'need' to point Lessons on humans. ( I would say Lucifer is Anakim, but your assertion may varied on his Family. ) Even if being 'fallen angel' Devil, he is intertwined in whole Celestial Family - whole Dad and Mom issues - and most of TV series main plot revolve on his and his Kin implication on humans and themselves. Hell, even Decker can be seen as non-violent Hero here, blessed with some weird powers to cancel those of Lucifer - like super-Anathema.
    Man i never could watch that series, always makes me sad we never got a true Sandman tv Series :P.

    I also don't think this is modern but i think the best Hero in literature is Captain Ahab

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    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.
    ​Spencer, extending Beast popculture inspirations - have you seen (now) Netflix's Lucifer TV series? Titular character is basically a Begotten - he is monstrous being, that Hunger for true Punishment, using his Nightmare powers to solve crimes because he 'need' to point Lessons on humans. ( I would say Lucifer is Anakim, but your assertion may varied on his Family. ) Even if being 'fallen angel' Devil, he is intertwined in whole Celestial Family - whole Dad and Mom issues - and most of TV series main plot revolve on his and his Kin implication on humans and themselves. Hell, even Decker can be seen as non-violent Hero here, blessed with some weird powers to cancel those of Lucifer - like super-Anathema.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    “Incomplete” isn’t the right word to me but there are definitely a number of concepts that the corebook could or should have gone into more depth on.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
    Wyrd, can you please not post entire rules chunks from the books?
    Edited the post to point only on fluff of power.

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  • Bunyip
    replied
    Wyrd, can you please not post entire rules chunks from the books?

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    You also have to give a bit to genre conceit (the supernatural of the CofD is supposed to be hidden, and actually being a giant dragon doesn't really work for that), and mechanics (the CofD mechanics do not handle larger monsters well). Making monsters that don't inherently look human most of the time work in the CofD takes a bit more work and stretching from the source material. Yes, the comparison to changeling is apt, but it's not impossible to bring the Horror to the physical world, it's just hard.
    Developing more argument 'I cannot be physical monster in Beast' - once more, I point to Beast Player's Guide and Skin Deep Atavisms from it:

    Originally posted by BPG, p. 87
    Skin Deep [Namtaru]
    The alien grotesquerie of the Namtaru’s Horror lives just beneath her human facade. She need make only the slightest effort to surrender to the Horror and let it tear through her skin to impose its nature on the world. The modifications from this Atavism are expressions of the Primordial Dream; their presence creates ripples in the physical realm.
    Basically, it gives you IN FLESH few modifications like Horror of yours.

    Really, I found this for most of 'I want to be physical monster' Begotten characters totally enough!
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-02-2019, 03:50 AM.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    I mean that I feel most have some of them, although on reflection, I wrote them poorly. In terms of a, b and c as "societies" usually meaning Y-splats, "familiar splat" and "environment" :
    OK, but you see my point that these aren't universal elements that Beast is "lacking" for not hitting all three to a specific level. These are also things that exist on a spectrum and aren't strict binaries. Werewolf and Promethean might not classify for society, but they aren't equal in how much that category applies to them either.

    Broods, as I originally read them in the core, lacked the complexity that you mentioned in Vampire, Mage and Changeling and the ability to explore other supernatural societies is possible in other games anyway.
    Broods are the equivalent of coteries, cabals, and motleys, so no, by themselves they don't hit the social complexity of the those games alone. Though (and more so with the BPG material) broods are more complex than those base groups more like packs and krewes. That's why the Hive matters. The Hive forces broods that live in the same area to come into contact with each other, which means they need to hash out a more complex social system to keep all the broods from coming into conflict (since that's bound to attract Heroes that would love to take advantage). The Hive is also impacted by the Apex of the area, which isn't inherently a Beast, adding another layer to what's going on.

    As for interaction with other groups, it's a matter of degree. Every splat is technically capable of exploring the Hedge, but that does not mean it's equivalent at all; especially compared to the Lost. Beasts are natural experts at it, and have far more reason to. Beasts get direct benefits just for forming social bonds with other supernaturals. They don't need a specific plot reason to take the plunge - like a mage chasing a Mystery that's guarded by werewolves - or have it worked in as a unique aspect of the character's story - like a changeling who's relative was Embraced and wants to connect with that vampire as part of their old life that can accept what they are - they have built in reasons.

    To me, they don't feel like dragons or giants much more than the Dragonborn in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim does.
    Well, from experience? Atavisms definitely have a strong feel to them that makes Beasts feel like "natural" monsters rather than humans using powers. It helps that a lot of them are automatic. I don't need to spend any points, or do a mystic chant, to glide over some enemies and strafe them with a stream of fire. I just need two Atavism and be at Low Satiety and I can keep doing it all night. My character might not look like a dragon while doing it, but they're still flying (if limited) around and breathing fire.

    A lot of the Atavisms are rather blatantly supernatural when the Beast wants them to be, even if normal mortals don't see the monster underneath the human skin. Though keep in mind anything with supernatural senses can get a peek at the Horror when Atavisms are actively being used; even mortals with sensory supernatural Merits.

    You also have to give a bit to genre conceit (the supernatural of the CofD is supposed to be hidden, and actually being a giant dragon doesn't really work for that), and mechanics (the CofD mechanics do not handle larger monsters well). Making monsters that don't inherently look human most of the time work in the CofD takes a bit more work and stretching from the source material. Yes, the comparison to changeling is apt, but it's not impossible to bring the Horror to the physical world, it's just hard.

    This is also in reference to the idea of the splat being based on things in pop culture that people can pull from, even if that might bring in some baggage that doesn't apply to the game.

    Outside the Primordial Dream, they look like humans and do human things.
    Look human, but do human and monster things.

    Playing a strange type of monster and watching someone or even playing someone who encounters one are different things.
    Sure, but it's the CofD... outside of mortals and hunters, we're playing the things that are encountered in their source material. The idea is if someone's not sure what to expect from a Beast, I can say, "Pennywise from It is basically a Beast if a particularly vicious one that's more likely to be a NPC than a PC." It doesn't matter that the story's told from the Losers Club's perspectives.

    I think that I'd like it more if I had a better idea of what influence the Anima Mundi has and why horrors of all things get so far from astral reality.
    Well, it got covered above. Though it's important to remember that it's not really a failing of Beast's writing that it didn't go into a lot of these details... it's unlikely that most people playing Beast are going to need to worry about details that are only really relevant for mages that explore the Astral realms.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    I think that I'd like it more if I had a better idea of what influence the animi mundi has and why horrors of all thing get so far from astral reality.
    The short version is that Horrors are Dreamtime goetia that have taken form from human legend in the process of entering the Temenos, and Dreamtime goetia have always had an exceptional level of influence over the world beyond ideas. The Anima Mundi is where the Aeons dwell, after all, and even without getting into things with Arcana the residents still included beings capable of lending Influences and forging Platonic exemplars out of the elements.

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  • Spencer from The Hills
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    I think it's worth noting that a lot of CofD books don't hit all of these points. "C" especially is practically 50/50 on if it's present in the games or not. A is also really variable in the games. Complex multilayered societies are definitely front and center in Vampire, Mage, and Changeling, while Werewolf, and Mummy have those societies but are pushed pretty strongly into the background to focus on the direct social circle of the PCs, Promethean, Demon, and Beast have common philosophies more than societies past the immediate social circles of the PCs... and Hunter is entirely dependent on the organization you're part of.
    I mean that I feel most have some of them, although on reflection, I wrote them poorly. In terms of a, b and c as "societies" usually meaning Y-splats, "familiar splat" and "environment" :
    • Vampire: Societies, familiar splat
    • Werewolf: Familiar splat, environment
    • Mage: Familiar splat, societies and environment as a distant third
    • Promethean: Just familiar splat, so far I know, especially with the alchemy.
    • Changeling: Potentially all three, but I like it for the original courts and low clarity shenanigans.
    • Geist: Usually just environment, based on how I've phrased this, but aside from the splat itself, it is about ghosts.
    • Hunter: That doesn't really fit my checklist neatly. In a way, playing humans passes the splat familiarity and the societies and environment depend on what the storyteller wants include and crossover content. This is perhaps something like the freeform nature that Inodiv was talking about except the answer "What do they do?" is in the name, even if the reasons, targets and means are open.
    • Mummy: Societies (they're a civilisation) and especially environment.
    • Demon: Environment with some incidental incidental societies (more among agents of the God-Machine).
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Even without the BPG, there's still Broods, Hives, and the ability to explore other supernatural societies.
    Broods, as I originally read them in the core, lacked the complexity that you mentioned in Vampire, Mage and Changeling and the ability to explore other supernatural societies is possible in other games anyway.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Beasts are the monsters from traditional epics: dragons, the Minotaur, giants, oversized predatory animals, etc. Like Changeling this inherently makes them flexible but urban fantasy in pop culture is full of this... so it seems a stretch to say they aren't something recognizable. Even something more new like Obscurials from Harry Potter are things in pop culture to point to.
    To me, they don't feel like dragons or giants much more than the Dragonborn in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim does. Outside the Primordial Dream, they look like humans and do human things. My idea of the epic monsters is closer to the horrors themselves, Beasts who spend pretty all their time in their lairs and the ones who have undergone certain types of Inheritance. It's like looking at Changeling and expecting it to be about the fae.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    But pretty much any supernatural horror movie that doesn't use an easy to define monster works for this for Beast. It, The Babadook, It Follows, Us, etc.
    Playing a strange type of monster and watching someone or even playing someone who encounters one are different things.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    As noted there's the Primordial Dream. Though it does seem worth noting that every Beast has a literal fantastic realm that's horrific to human brought into it in their Lairs. And Broods can link their individual Lairs into a larger horrific realm. And that in turn can become part of the fabric of the local Hive.
    There's probably hell of a lot of this that I've just missed. I think that I'd like it more if I had a better idea of what influence the Anima Mundi has and why horrors of all things get so far from astral reality.
    Last edited by Spencer from The Hills; 05-01-2019, 09:57 PM.

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  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    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.
    You do not seen/read Tokyo Ghoul, did you? Cause Beasts are kinda like Ghouls from this anime, only about mental stress of others rather than eating their meat only. ( But some Beasts can be also about flesh. )

    In series there are even 'your hidden monsterous extensions that let you do inhuman things' - just like Atavisms in Beast.


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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    To add a bit:

    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    For me, Beast is missing three major sources of appeal that most of the other CofD games have one of or the other:
    I think it's worth noting that a lot of CofD books don't hit all of these points. "C" especially is practically 50/50 on if it's present in the games or not. A is also really variable in the games. Complex multilayered societies are definitely front and center in Vampire, Mage, and Changeling, while Werewolf, and Mummy have those societies but are pushed pretty strongly into the background to focus on the direct social circle of the PCs, Promethean, Demon, and Beast have common philosophies more than societies past the immediate social circles of the PCs... and Hunter is entirely dependent on the organization you're part of.

    "B" is perhaps the most vital for a CofD game, though it gets stretched pretty hard; harder than Beast does in a few cases.

    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.
    Even without the BPG, there's still Broods, Hives, and the ability to explore other supernatural societies.

    b.) The splat itself being something recognisable from pop culture.
    Beasts are the monsters from traditional epics: dragons, the Minotaur, giants, oversized predatory animals, etc. Like Changeling this inherently makes them flexible but urban fantasy in pop culture is full of this... so it seems a stretch to say they aren't something recognizable. Even something more new like Obscurials from Harry Potter are things in pop culture to point to.

    But pretty much any supernatural horror movie that doesn't use an easy to define monster works for this for Beast. It, The Babadook, It Follows, Us, etc.

    c.) A fantastic realm that's somehow horrific to humans.
    As noted there's the Primordial Dream. Though it does seem worth noting that every Beast has a literal fantastic realm that's horrific to human brought into it in their Lairs. And Broods can link their individual Lairs into a larger horrific realm. And that in turn can become part of the fabric of the local Hive.

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  • lnodiv
    replied
    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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