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The Psychology of a Sane Hero

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  • The Psychology of a Sane Hero

    One of the things I find the most...regrettable about Beast is that the books have only noted that non-psychotic heroes exist, but not really done much to delve into their personality and how they work contra their Gaston Counterparts. Like there is one hero in Conquering Heroes who is just a mom that protects kids from the worst kind of Begotten, but I would like to see a future supplement that goes into detail about these and maybe even makes them playable.

  • #2
    "Sane" and "psychotic" probably aren't the best words to use here.

    Beyond that, you might want to look at Dark Eras 2's Hunger in the Black Land when you get the chance. While brief, it discusses Oracles, ancient predecessors to Heroes. They're pretty much what you're ever going to see in terms of playable Heroes (at least until there's a Beast 1.5 or 2.0 written by people that don't agree with the design approach of keeping the antagonists more off limits).

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    • #3
      The impulses and archetypes that make a Hero do not make for the most socially well-adjusted of individuals. Actual monsters in the closet do not help.


      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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      • #4
        There was the Silversmith in Conquering Heroes too. He functions mostly as a Hunter, mentions he used to be one, makes things for the Hunters and just deals with problems that crop up in his area. I'm pretty sure it mentions he just warns Beasts not to cause problems in his territory and if they do he kills them. Considering how many of the more sane Heroes tend to be stationary and the mention that the core had Heroes who stopped being problems just no longer seeking Beasts I feel like its a fair case to make for more sane or less antagonistic Heroes to be the ones not actually on the hunt and more just defensive.

        Wouldn't be too off base for a table to portray it as Heroes that give in to the Quest and start just wandering the world looking for the resonance of a Beast to slay and gain power start to lose their bloody sanity and become more psychotic and monstrous from the perspective of normal humans. So a Heroes that's anchored to a specific thing and doesn't go around questing is able to fit in more with the rest of the world. The Quest doesn't care about societal rules, moors and behaviors; so long as its destroying monsters and things causing ripples in the Primordial Dream. Much like how a Horror doesn't care about anything around the feeding so long as you're feeding it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
          The impulses and archetypes that make a Hero do not make for the most socially well-adjusted of individuals. Actual monsters in the closet do not help.
          and yet, the amount of people asking for more socially adjusted (and playable) heroes never seems to go down. and damn, it is annoying.

          anyway OP, the heroes that seek out beasts understandably go quite power hungry and become knight templars. having the sub conscious power to make people your unquestioning followers, combined with fighting literal nightmares come to life, simply is not good for your mental health

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
            and yet, the amount of people asking for more socially adjusted (and playable) heroes never seems to go down. and damn, it is annoying.
            Well, there's the weird part where we have this game called Hunter: the Vigil for people that want to play character that struggle to fight monsters already.

            I get the push back in Promethean with Alchemists, because hunting Prometheans is effectively incidental for them. They're after alchemical components, one of which you need to harvest from Prometheans.

            High Integrity Heroes... what are you playing that isn't just playing Hunter?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

              Well, there's the weird part where we have this game called Hunter: the Vigil for people that want to play character that struggle to fight monsters already.

              I get the push back in Promethean with Alchemists, because hunting Prometheans is effectively incidental for them. They're after alchemical components, one of which you need to harvest from Prometheans.

              High Integrity Heroes... what are you playing that isn't just playing Hunter?
              Which is why* I personally don't care about playable Heroes.

              *realistically, one of a lot of reasons why
              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 01-31-2020, 12:08 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
              Feminine pronouns, please.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                Well, there's the weird part where we have this game called Hunter: the Vigil for people that want to play character that struggle to fight monsters already.

                I get the push back in Promethean with Alchemists, because hunting Prometheans is effectively incidental for them. They're after alchemical components, one of which you need to harvest from Prometheans.

                High Integrity Heroes... what are you playing that isn't just playing Hunter?
                wish I used that lol. theres also the fact Heroes aren't the first or the last antagonists to be mostly knight templars, yet the only ones to be criticized for it

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  High Integrity Heroes... what are you playing that isn't just playing Hunter?
                  Obviously a Hunter who's also an action movie hero. That's the main difference to my mind, against any of other splats or really entities in CoD a Hero is just a hunter with that action movie protagonist thing to be able to heal away anything that doesn't remove body parts or kill them.

                  Honestly, my speculation is partially the name. Like ignore the fact that the name Hero is what the Beghotten refer to them as ironically and how the Heroes view themselves most of the time, and the word hero has a lot of baggage on it that is generally positive. So you've got a title for an entire category that defaults to a giant neon sign saying, "This is the good guy, the one in the right and the one you're supposed to root for." which isn't hurt by the fact that they literally exist to fight living nightmares who feed on pain, fear, and trauma. (Beast feeding habits oversimplified, but you get the idea.)

                  I also wonder if it isn't partially a desire to play Drizzt Do'urden's role of the lone good guy rebelling from their race of unrepentant monsters and such. Not trying to insult anyone there since I recall it being a long standing insult or something to chastise someone for playing a Drizzt clone. It just seems there was a reason the character was popular and it wouldn't surprise me if the initial presentation of Heroes as a group of unrepentatnt ego driven psychotic glory-hounds doesn't allow the Heroes that are more Hunter+ to fit that sort of niche for those looking to play in CoD.


                  I honestly wonder, sometimes, how things would have shaken out if Heroes had been given a different name like Slayers or something.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                    Obviously a Hunter who's also an action movie hero. That's the main difference to my mind, against any of other splats or really entities in CoD a Hero is just a hunter with that action movie protagonist thing to be able to heal away anything that doesn't remove body parts or kill them.
                    A Hero's non-Beast specific powers are generally less dangerous than Endowments so... not really sure that's enough even if it might be accurate to certain motivations.

                    Obviously Cell and Compact level play doesn't have that, but Conspiracy level Hunter play does. If I'm a vampire, I'd rather face a high Integrity Hero than TFV agent packing anti-vampire equipment.

                    I honestly wonder, sometimes, how things would have shaken out if Heroes had been given a different name like Slayers or something.
                    The name part just feels so... superficial. They're called Heroes because Beast uses the monomyth as a framing device. The book isn't subtle about this. I just don't get how you get into the book far enough to know that there are the bad low Integrity Heroes, and the reasonable high Integrity Heroes, and not get that they're called Heroes because of their forced roll into an intrusive narrative, not because they're inherently good.

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                    • #11
                      Also, I feel that it should be mentioned that if you feel that Hunter does not cover the themes of being an Hero which you like, there is the Dark Hero template from Mirrors which was meant for players. Sure, it would require some adjustments, as it is in 1e system, but I'm sure a number of people have made a conversion for them. So yeah, if you want to have playable Heroes you can and have some mechanical support for it, it is just that in a game focused around Beasts, it makes little sense for those who slay the protagonists of the game to be presented as playable.


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                      • #12
                        I think it's worth remembering that a lot of people's first impressions of Heroes are from the kickstarter draft, and because that initial impression was so poor many of them didn't bother to follow up and see how things changed in publication. Even for those that did, well, first impressions are important for a reason, they stick with you.

                        It's unfortunate, but a lot of people were really put off by how myopic and hypocritical Beasts came across, especially given that at the time Heroes were created primarily by Beasts feeding carelessly and so many example Beasts were unrepentant monsters in the worst sense of the word. It's unsurprising to me that so many view Heroes as, if not the good guys, at least the significantly lesser of two evils.

                        I think Beast could have benefitted greatly from more word count and editing on the topic of reduction to monomyth as a fail state. Heroes and Beasts are complex people with a wide range of values and drives, at least until the monomyth catches them up and strips them of nuance in favor of archetype.

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                        • #13
                          ....like....beasts are meant to be hypocritical...they are full of shit and the world doesn't need them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Caedus View Post
                            ....like....beasts are meant to be hypocritical...they are full of shit and the world doesn't need them.
                            That sentiment applies to a good portion of the splats.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Caedus View Post
                              ....like....beasts are meant to be hypocritical...they are full of shit and the world doesn't need them.
                              This does not, in exchange, mean that Heroes are morally and ethically consistent, full of roses, and needed by the world- and that's before you account that Beasts, and by comparison Heroes, are more complicated than this angle captures.

                              Beast is a game of right bastards circling around each other in a dance of violence, but each is also a contributor to and pillar for communities, offering truths and beliefs in ways that are also uncomfortable and even compromising. The Chronicles world would probably be better on the while if both were removed, on the whole, but they are complicated enough that that's a wibbly statement.

                              The myth of the hero is a complicated but ultimately toxic concept in the real world, but Beast has traditionally had trouble communicating that nuance in it's narrative. I have ideas on how to fix THAT problem, but for now that's one guy's fanon.
                              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 01-31-2020, 11:39 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.

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