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The Psychology of a Sane Hero

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    But also, Beast itself already states that there are Heroes who Beasts rarely if ever encounter; and they're generally the “sane” ones.
    They're also the narratively boring ones; outside of (oh look at this...) using them to subvert the expectations of Beasts that expect their enemies to be the normal type of Heroes in the game.

    The Heroes the book says exist it also says it doesn't bother putting on screen for a reason. The Good Hero that uses their connection to the Primordial Dream to find people that really need help and get them to come to support group meetings isn't really the jumping off point for a good story if they don't want to go out and do more with that connection because they know it risks losing themselves towards less altruistic and productive efforts (and that self awareness, not sanity, is actually the key difference). Their stagnation in this regard is what keeps them good, but also keeps them from being fun to play.

    Changing that requires either changing their connection to the Primordial Dream, or changing how they can interact with Beasts.

    Edit:

    For a more pop culture reference point here.

    A Good Hero is like playing Bruce Wayne who never puts on the cowl and becomes Batman, and instead figures out after a bit of vigilante crime fighting, that he's punching crooks because of his personal issues, and he can actually make the world better by being a wealthy philanthropist instead.
    Last edited by Heavy Arms; 02-03-2020, 07:36 AM.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

      As a random thought, I feel that to a Hero, all supernatural beings that step up to him are Beasts, and he engages them as such, as hero of his tale. He can’t be the aggressor in this story, as that wouldn’t make him the hero, but if he’s in a vampire’s territory and it decides to stalk him, it’s a beast. If he’s with his family and werewolves begin hassling them, they’re beasts and suffer the weight of the anathema he brings to bear.

      But these are only lesser minions sent to trouble the Hero while he hunts his true foe, the Beast itself. The Hero can hunt the Beast as that’s the story. But these lesser creatures only make themselves his enemies when they stand in his way. Of course, smart Heroes figure this out and can twist the narrative to be deliberately provocative, essentially forcing other creatures to notice him, and he feels the invigoration of anathema power as those beings decide to hunt.
      This is similar to how I've hacked my Heroes to work as.

      At my table, Heroes can apply Anathema to all supernaturals who share a Kinship with the Beast they're hunting, but also get to do so to those who attack them regardless of a Begotten's role in the events.

      By going after a Hero, supernaturals become part of The Narrative™ and the confrontation between them and the Hero becomes part of his saga (at least for what concerns the forces that empower the Hero and probably the Hero himself, depending on his attitude & morals). Not the central one, not the most glorious one, not the primordial one, perhaps, but the practical result is there. And yes, smart ones can provoke that. After all, if monsters decide to attack you because they want to take you out, from a symbolic point of view they're creatures coming after you because your heroic nature is a menace to them and their schemes

      It also helps to tighten the threat they pose to Beasts and their allies both in crossover games or not.

      "Don't worry about this Hero, my dear dragon friend. Stay here and we'll kill him for you. That wooden bat he wields is no threat to us"

      "Yes, it is"



      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

      I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

      This is what I'm working on

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        This is similar to how I've hacked my Heroes to work as.

        At my table, Heroes can apply Anathema to all supernaturals who share a Kinship with the Beast they're hunting, but also get to do so to those who attack them regardless of a Begotten's role in the events.

        By going after a Hero, supernaturals become part of The Narrative™ and the confrontation between them and the Hero becomes part of his saga (at least for what concerns the forces that empower the Hero and probably the Hero himself, depending on his attitude & morals). Not the central one, not the most glorious one, not the primordial one, perhaps, but the practical result is there. And yes, smart ones can provoke that. After all, if monsters decide to attack you because they want to take you out, from a symbolic point of view they're creatures coming after you because your heroic nature is a menace to them and their schemes

        It also helps to tighten the threat they pose to Beasts and their allies both in crossover games or not.

        "Don't worry about this Hero, my dear dragon friend. Stay here and we'll kill him for you. That wooden bat he wields is no threat to us"

        "Yes, it is"
        my only issue with that is, to me, it takes away from the unique conflict beasts have within themselves. if Heroes can apply Anathema to just anything that attacks them, then just about all supernaturals understand the suffering of the monomyth. in my opinion, that really takes away from Beast and makes all supernaturals closely related to the primordial dream (since that's how beasts get anathema in the first place)

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
          my only issue with that is, to me, it takes away from the unique conflict beasts have within themselves. if Heroes can apply Anathema to just anything that attacks them, then just about all supernaturals understand the suffering of the monomyth. in my opinion, that really takes away from Beast and makes all supernaturals closely related to the primordial dream (since that's how beasts get anathema in the first place)
          I agree that the Anathema are very much a Beast thing, as they're directly tied to the Horror itself. Beasts are also only susceptible when Sated. How does that translate to other supers?

          I do like the idea of other supers being able to stumble into The Narrative*. Instead of placing Anathema, you could extend Gifts that normally only applies to Beasts to the new target (perhaps with reduced efficiency, if possible), as well as use the Wits+Empathy roll (with appropriate penalty) for finding preexisting Anathema to find out one of the target's Banes or Bans, if they have any. As an ST I'd go for the ones that are easiest to weaponise or otherwise use to your advantage.

          *Personally I'd frame it so it's less that the non-Beast supernatural creature gets pulled in into some metaphysical narrative, and more that it's the Hero that extends their nature when finding an appropriate opponent. As such it would only happen during significant circumstances. Perhaps it could be determined by a roll, modified by circumstances and whether it resonates with their Legend or Life.
          Or perhaps it's something that only happens to a small subset of Heroes that are subject to some quirk in their nature as a Hero. Maybe some Heroes resonate closely with vampires and can spend a WP to "pull in" any vampire they find. Maybe the most "successful" Heroes build up a Legend that has started to hunger for the blood of monsters, any monsters, allowing the Hero to go after anyone they deem monstrous enough (nudge-nudge, wink-wink).
          Either way, my idea is for Gifts to work on the target not because the target is weak to them, but because Gifts are part of the Hero and it's the Hero that is modified to be able to use them against a non-Beast.


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          • #65
            I rather like the thought of a Hero being able to quickly identify pre-existing weaknesses or qualities that affect a supernatural creatures behavior. Like being able to tell what sets a werewolf off to go into death rate really fast.

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            • #66
              There's the Kinslayer Gift to consider, too.

              I like the idea that monsters who aggress against a Hero become vulnerable to his Gifts; but I'd reserve Anathema for Beasts, with Kinslayer being retooled to extend them to monsters with Family Ties.


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              • #67
                Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                I agree that the Anathema are very much a Beast thing, as they're directly tied to the Horror itself. Beasts are also only susceptible when Sated. How does that translate to other supers?
                To get more into details, my personal solution is for some Gifts to apply (those easier to weaponise you mention, like Vanquisher's Strength and Champion's Endurance, as they are more on the "Hero's own strength" side of thing) and for Atavisms to consider monsters with Kinship to a Beast as if they're Middle Satiety and those who came looking for trouble as Low Satiety. No High Satiety except against Beasts, as usual, and no Anathema whatsoever if the Hero is fighting monsters by his initiative without a Begotten being part of the picture.

                The whole thing is basically a counterpart to Kinship, which works only for those monsters who enter the Narrative either as obstacles to the monster slayer or "minions and allies" of the big final monster at the end of the hunt.

                But that power does not come from the supernaturals themselves: it comes from the Hero. Beasts are related to monsters through the Primordial Dream & the Dark Mother. Heroes are the nemesis of the Begotten and. as such, they have a degree of influence over other monsters, though much more limited by the Monomyth and the structures of the Astral.

                If it sounds wrong, that's because it's intentional. Inside a game where Beast are involved, either crossover or not, it shows Family what the deal with Heroes is, gives them a bitter taste of the monomyth, and tests the bonds of Kinship they have.

                There's lots more I have to say on the matter, if anyone's interested. Though I probably should make another thread for that.
                Last edited by Cinder; 02-03-2020, 01:38 PM. Reason: Added an important "by his initiative"


                Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                This is what I'm working on

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                  To get more into details, my personal solution is for some Gifts to apply (those easier to weaponise you mention, like Vanquisher's Strength and Champion's Endurance, as they are more on the "Hero's own strength" side of thing) and for Atavisms to consider monsters with Kinship to a Beast as if they're Middle Satiety and those who came looking for trouble as Low Satiety. No High Satiety except against Beasts, as usual, and no Anathema whatsoever if the Hero is fighting monsters by his initiative without a Begotten being part of the picture.

                  The whole thing is basically a counterpart to Kinship, which works only for those monsters who enter the Narrative either as obstacles to the monster slayer or "minions and allies" of the big final monster at the end of the hunt.

                  But that power does not come from the supernaturals themselves: it comes from the Hero. Beasts are related to monsters through the Primordial Dream & the Dark Mother. Heroes are the nemesis of the Begotten and. as such, they have a degree of influence over other monsters, though much more limited by the Monomyth and the structures of the Astral.

                  If it sounds wrong, that's because it's intentional. Inside a game where Beast are involved, either crossover or not, it shows Family what the deal with Heroes is, gives them a bitter taste of the monomyth, and tests the bonds of Kinship they have.

                  There's lots more I have to say on the matter, if anyone's interested. Though I probably should make another thread for that.
                  well I'm interested, and initially, I thought you just meant anathema could be applied, no strings attached (also, how was writing Mummy)?

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                    well I'm interested, and initially, I thought you just meant anathema could be applied, no strings attached (also, how was writing Mummy)?
                    I did not want to bore anyone with the exact details of my table

                    But I admit it probably caused more confusion than anything, my bad. One cannot exactly jump in the middle of a discussion and rush a reply like that. Sorry, I'm shamefully rusty when it comes to writing on the forums.

                    (Writing Mummy was a blast)


                    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                    I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                    This is what I'm working on

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                    • #70
                      I suppose I just don't find much interest in tweaking the Hero rules. I feel like almost everything people want out of them, to be complex and multifaceted and compelling, can already be done, since that's all just a matter of how you write the character and present them in-game. The books give you a baseline for what Heroes act like, but you're free to dial up or down as much as you need. You want a Hero that tries to be genuinely good? Great! Have them struggle against their worst impulses, just like the Beasts are struggling against theirs. It's hard, but not impossible, I think.

                      Extending their powers to affect other supernatural creatures doesn't feel necessary. Ordinary humans can fight monsters already! Give someone silver bullets, or a Molotov cocktail, and some meticulous planning, and they'll be able to take down a werewolf or a vampire. In fact, you could get a lot of story out of a Hero who has fought Beasts and gained power, but suddenly has to deal with these other things "just like everyone else." Could be good for adding that depth!

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                        I did not want to bore anyone with the exact details of my table

                        But I admit it probably caused more confusion than anything, my bad. One cannot exactly jump in the middle of a discussion and rush a reply like that. Sorry, I'm shamefully rusty when it comes to writing on the forums.

                        (Writing Mummy was a blast)
                        I would like to hear more, because hearing how other people make use of the material in the books, even if it's going off the rails, is something I find helpful for informing me on what I can liberally steal er... Find inspiration from! Yes... That... >.>;

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                          I did not want to bore anyone with the exact details of my table

                          (Writing Mummy was a blast)
                          Cinder, we want to read the stuff from your games. Write it, please - make another topic if you need.


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

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Gellydog View Post
                            I suppose I just don't find much interest in tweaking the Hero rules. I feel like almost everything people want out of them, to be complex and multifaceted and compelling, can already be done, since that's all just a matter of how you write the character and present them in-game. The books give you a baseline for what Heroes act like, but you're free to dial up or down as much as you need. You want a Hero that tries to be genuinely good? Great! Have them struggle against their worst impulses, just like the Beasts are struggling against theirs. It's hard, but not impossible, I think.

                            Extending their powers to affect other supernatural creatures doesn't feel necessary. Ordinary humans can fight monsters already! Give someone silver bullets, or a Molotov cocktail, and some meticulous planning, and they'll be able to take down a werewolf or a vampire. In fact, you could get a lot of story out of a Hero who has fought Beasts and gained power, but suddenly has to deal with these other things "just like everyone else." Could be good for adding that depth!
                            To be clear: I'm not using that hack to make Heroes "balanced", "nuanced" or anything like that. Let's get this out of the way: I like that more positive Heroes exist. I like that "bad" ones exist, I like that "good" ones exist, and, more than anything I like that complex ones exist*. I like killers that mean well, peaceful people that will still go after a Beast if it threatens the neighbourhood, and cruel folks who want the blood of the Begotten regardless of a given Beast's attitude and control over their Hunger. I want things to be difficult, hard to judge in simple terms, painful, volatile, and scary because *Beast as a game* should be difficult, hard to judge in simple terms, painful, volatile, and scary

                            Or, to get to the point, I don't do that to make Heroes playable. I do that to highlight the game's themes and conflicts.

                            Oh, believe me (not you personally, Gellydog. I do love my vocative sentences), I've been through a lot when it comes to Heroes lately and even had a long phase where I seriously joined the "playable Heroes" side, some of which had to do with my personal feelings & inner conflicts regarding Beast-related stuff, but now I firmly belong to the "let's not" side.

                            Heroes can do that, at my table, because they're locked into a confrontation with Beast. In the role both Heroes & Beast they have both as reflection and influence over mankind's subconscious, the former always threaten to derail the plans of the latter. Beast is about Building Your Legend while juggling Hunger & Kinship together, it's about trying to tell your story despite the influences of the entire construct of the human immagination, the ravenous needs you have, and what those with the power to stop you might have to say.

                            I don't care how a Hero does against vampires in a white room scenario. I don't care how a Hero behaves when he has no reason to fight monsters. I don't care about how a Hero reconciles his call with his morality: I care about those things when they happen in a Beast story and have consequences on Beasts and their Family. I do feel my hack makes those consequences easier to feel.

                            Heroes are a tool through which the conflicts of Beasts, both personal and intrapersonal, shine brighter. Or rather, bite harder. What makes Beast interesting is the subversion at its core where you get to play as a monster from the legends, no excuses or justifications, and confront that monstrosity with your own idea of yourself, what you want that to mean for your life and that of those who surround you, and if you get to debate about it in the first place. Heroes, with all the nuance you can give them, are there to feed the fires of the subversive, difficult game that's Beast: The Primordial.

                            You could try and see what it feels what it means to be on the side of the Hero, but it's threaded path and frankly other games do that better. Beast offers other stories, stories I care for, and to have Heroes as a playable option would weaken the whole structure and its potential while offering little in return.

                            I don't like the idea of that, at all. **

                            *I wrote fiction about those and my Heroes I like the most all mean well or are tragic figures with heavy burden on their souls. The violence, either physical or metaphysical, between them and Beast is still there though.

                            ** Of course, you do you. I'm not the final authority on Beast now and will never be, no matter how much I write about it. That's why I preferred not to reply at first: I don't like to write in a thread and go against the OP's stated intention and feelings just because I can. I hope this stronger reply of mine does not come as a jerkass move. If so, that's not the intention and I apologize.
                            Last edited by Cinder; 02-03-2020, 07:59 PM.


                            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                            I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                            This is what I'm working on

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