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  • #16
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    By default, the needs of the Beastly constitution make you necessarily a nexus of nightmares and/or kind of a shitty person, and not even the kind particularly out of place among drug-peddling vampires, gristly trophy-displaying werewolf gangs, changelings running protection rackets, power-hungry mages, etc. A rewrite could stand to make that clear, but that's already how it works now.
    Okay but that's kind of a related problem, isn't it? You can Feed as a Beast with some trivial, petty stuff, right? You don't have to go on full abuser. But that kind of reduces the horror premise of the game to absurdity, doesn't it? "I am the Primordial Serpent Lamia!" cries the Beast. "And I make people think they may have left their phone behind at the restaurant!"

    Which goes to the basic problem. In order for Beasts to be scary, they have to be monsters, and in order to be monsters that feed off of fear, they have to abuse people. Take the example of a Tyrant who is the middle manager at a retail store, who feeds off making people fear being fired. That guy exists. The real world is full of petty tyrants like that. No one has ever been bitten by a vampire and no one ever will. There's an overlap between the feeding techniques that actually feel scary enough not to reduce the game to absurdity and real world abusive practices. If it's not a trivial fear, it's emotional abuse, and if it's a trivial fear, we're in a horror comedy. I do not know how to resolve this issue other than to go at it directly with no dissembling or drop it entirely.

    The other route is to keep it to exaggerated horror-movie level where the abusive practice is heavily attenuated by the familiar tropes of the horror genre; you have to drag someone into your lair once a year and chase them around as a giant spider until they pass out. Drop 'em off at home and hopefully they think it was a dream. That sort of stuff. And if you don't do it, you'll give everyone in town horrible nightmares when your Horror gets loose into the local subconscious.

    But what I can't see the game being able to manage is this weird half-step, where the Beast is just kind of an asshole. Does "I am a primordial monster who feeds off the primal fears of mankind" really feel like it's "kind of an asshole" territory? It'd be like Vampire but you had the option of shitposting on Twitter instead of drinking blood.

    But, again, I think the skeleton of the game is fine. It just needs the kind of refinement a good second edition brings to flesh it out some more. These sorts of conceptual issues are solvable.
    Last edited by Professor Phobos; 02-14-2020, 07:53 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Professor Phobos View Post
      Okay but that's kind of a related problem, isn't it? You can Feed as a Beast with some trivial, petty stuff, right? You don't have to go on full abuser. But that kind of reduces the horror premise of the game to absurdity, doesn't it? "I am the Primordial Serpent Lamia!" cries the Beast. "And I make people think they may have left their phone behind at the restaurant!"
      The Beast doesn't cry that unless they're being absurd, is the thing. It's a metaphorical Primordial Serpent that feeds on the fear that someone has taken something of yours (and, unless you're leaning hard into the lowered signal-to-noise ratio of the modern Dream, its favorite food is probably not Missing Smartphone). In your Lair it's a very literal atavistic snake-monster, but the Astral is a realm of literalized abstractions.

      Outside of the Dream, the Primordial Serpent is iconography.

      But what I can't see the game being able to manage is this weird half-step, where the Beast is just kind of an asshole. Does "I am a primordial monster who feeds off the primal fears of mankind" really feel like it's "kind of an asshole" territory?
      Vlad III Dracula, Son of the Dragon, was infamous for his terror tactic of impaling people. He was far from the only ruler or noble whose heraldry included dragons, and the fact that he is as well-known as he is would translate directly to power in the Temenos.

      Vlad the Impaler is an outstanding example of the kind of notoriety that you work toward to become Incarnate. Most Beasts are not Vlad the Impaler (although many of them would probably like to be), much as most werewolves are not the Beast of Gevaudan and most changelings are not Queen Mab.

      This is why I keep coming back to the idea that the Kickstarter draft's writing was skewed too much in the direction of Low-Satiety-High-Lair Begotten — at the start, a Beast who is not in dire straits manages their meager Hunger by taking small bites and not rocking the boat too hard while they steer the resonance of their locale in such a fashion as is conducive to building their Legend and the Lair that houses it. Turning into a dragon is a climax point, not a constant.

      The part of Beast's premise that is "Astral shamanoid" deals with the fact that symbols and the collective unconscious are messy things with a lot of power in them, but going into the line craning your neck for Big Monster Setpieces to take priority over petty day-to-day villainy is going to skew expectations in a way that, yes, a rewrite needs to correct for.


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

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Professor Phobos View Post

        Okay but that's kind of a related problem, isn't it? You can Feed as a Beast with some trivial, petty stuff, right? You don't have to go on full abuser. But that kind of reduces the horror premise of the game to absurdity, doesn't it? "I am the Primordial Serpent Lamia!" cries the Beast. "And I make people think they may have left their phone behind at the restaurant!"
        I will never not enjoy how glorious those moments of being able to drop into the absurd are. Do know one of the Nightmares a Beast has literally is the fear of "Crap this project is due tomorrow!"

        Originally posted by Professor Phobos View Post
        Which goes to the basic problem. In order for Beasts to be scary, they have to be monsters, and in order to be monsters that feed off of fear, they have to abuse people. Take the example of a Tyrant who is the middle manager at a retail store, who feeds off making people fear being fired. That guy exists. The real world is full of petty tyrants like that. No one has ever been bitten by a vampire and no one ever will. There's an overlap between the feeding techniques that actually feel scary enough not to reduce the game to absurdity and real world abusive practices. If it's not a trivial fear, it's emotional abuse, and if it's a trivial fear, we're in a horror comedy. I do not know how to resolve this issue other than to go at it directly with no dissembling.
        Or you can just do your job. Tyrant health inspector/ auditor if there is anything wrong they will find it and there is nothing you can do to stop them from marking you down for it or whatever is deemed appropriate by regulation. Hell the Core has a Namtaru nurse who just works in hospice.

        Originally posted by Professor Phobos View Post
        The other route is to keep it to exaggerated horror-movie level where the abusive practice is heavily attenuated by the familiar tropes of the horror genre; you have to drag someone into your lair once a year and chase them around as a giant spider until they pass out. Drop 'em off at home and hopefully they think it was a dream. That sort of stuff. And if you don't do it, you'll give everyone in town horrible nightmares when your Horror gets loose into the local subconscious.

        But what I can't see the game being able to manage is this weird half-step, where the Beast is just kind of an asshole. Does "I am a primordial monster who feeds off the primal fears of mankind" really feel like it's "kind of an asshole" territory?
        Or you just hang out with people who's feeding habits are less abhorrent to you. Hell even still horror to it, hang out with a Promethean feed when they get their stuff and all the while you're keeping an eye out as the disquiet builds. Are you and your friend going to be able to finish whatever you need and get out before it goes to shit. Are you going to be able to protect them and yourself if everything goes bad, how far are you willing to go to avoid that situation or protect your little family if you can't avoid the situation, is it even worth it to try?

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        • #19
          Does Beast need a rewrite? Yes.

          Does this thread's original post and subsequent advocates capture the knife's edge direction that Beast needs to walk and play on that will be fun, cathartic, meaningfully artistic, and tasteful in a way that will be attractive to a wider group while still being true to the spirit of the game that has earned it it's current fanbase?

          No.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
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          • #20
            Originally posted by Professor Phobos View Post
            Okay but that's kind of a related problem, isn't it? You can Feed as a Beast with some trivial, petty stuff, right? You don't have to go on full abuser. But that kind of reduces the horror premise of the game to absurdity, doesn't it? "I am the Primordial Serpent Lamia!" cries the Beast. "And I make people think they may have left their phone behind at the restaurant!"
            To add to the response to this:

            The game has, you know, multiple parts to it that work together and mix around.

            Beasts that try to get by with these smaller petty feedings are also Beasts that have low Satiety because those are meager meals for their Horror. This creates a very different horror: they're one bad day from running out of Satiety and turning into the ravenous unstoppable monster they're trying to avoid becoming. If they screw up at all, their Horror will go running around feeding horribly in people's dreams, while the Beast will have to get it back into control be offering it up a tasty (aka super horrific to the victims) meal.

            Low Satiety Beasts get to have "lighter" meals, but they're on a razor's edge of losing their shit and tearing everything apart. Worse their Atavisms (which are generally brute force and dangerous powers) are at their strongest, while their Nightmares (their cerebral powers) are a their weakest, making it harder to walk that line.

            It's easy to pick a part of the game out and make it look absurd, but things need to be looked at in context. If you ignore all the downsides of Harmony 10, Werewolf would seem absurd that werewolves can just sin towards the Flesh until they can basically live as humans without any problems.

            No one has ever been bitten by a vampire and no one ever will.
            Well nobody's ever been bitten by a supernatural vampire. Just like nobody's ever been a fear source for a Beast.

            Yes, Beast hits closer to home than some of the other games in this sense of having very human evils done by the monsters you play in it. Nobody here defending the game-as-is is going to deny that it might be too "real" for everyone to enjoy. That's fine, not every game is going to be for everyone. There's just a difference between, "this game goes places I don't want to in a game," and, "this game needs to be changed to suit my tastes."

            Does "I am a primordial monster who feeds off the primal fears of mankind" really feel like it's "kind of an asshole" territory?
            Yes.

            It'd be like Vampire but you had the option of shitposting on Twitter instead of drinking blood.
            Actually, it's more like Changeling, but you can't passively feed off of people's emotions and have to force emotions on them.

            Because for all the talk of fear, it's the force that's the core issue that people generally have. Changeling would be a far more controversial game if harvesting glamour required you to manipulate people into feeling the emotions you're feeding from instead of being able to hang around highly emotional people and soak it in. Forcing people to feel love against their will gets really creepy really fast.

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            • #21
              I don't know if I think the game needs to change all that much. Like I said, the skeleton is sound. If you wanted to come up with a "general mythic monster catch-all" game in the WoD-style framework you'd hit most of the same bullet points as Beast.

              But I do think the game is conceptually kind of complex and doesn't communicate itself well and since it deals with dark subject matter that resonates personally, it suffers for that lack of clarity more than, say, a game about being secret elves on a space station who use the power of rock & roll to fight ghosts would suffer.

              EDIT: Though to be fair, I levy that same criticism at basically the entire CofD these days. Jargon heavy, obscurantist writing, an almost total disregard for mechanical consistency or concision, etc. People seem to dig it anyway. Maybe I should finally realize I haven't enjoyed a WoD book in years and just bow out.
              Last edited by Professor Phobos; 02-14-2020, 09:31 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by johntfs View Post
                However, the actual game with Hunger and the horrifying abusive shit that must be done to satiate it just sucks every last bit of fun and goodwill out of it for me.
                Batman would be an entirely viable character concept for Beast: The Primordial. As a Beast, not a Hero. Just from the stuff the character does in comics.

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                • #23
                  Beyond that, pretty much any vigilante/criminal hero/protagonist would work as a Beast on some level.

                  The second your character can get away with breaking the law, and are still the "good guy," they can probably be a Beast.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Paradim View Post

                    Batman would be an entirely viable character concept for Beast: The Primordial. As a Beast, not a Hero. Just from the stuff the character does in comics.
                    ...hurm.

                    *off to go thought experiment Phoenix-Joker as a Hero*

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                    • #25
                      really, if there was one thing I'd want a re-write for, it's how the Horror fits into the actions of a Beast. how is the legend of the Horror coming into play as the collective human unconcious starts to make sense of it. like the Corporate Ravager from Conquering Heroes, how does the Horror fit?

                      Beast: the Primordial should talk about about the astral and how these legends start to take form. right now, it seems only the Beast is really in the minds of people, with the Horror only being vaguely mentioned. also, more on Lairs and just how odd they can be (and while a small part, an example of how dream logic works would be cool. a Hero and beast fighting in a lair, especially the Heart, should be plausibly told in an epic fashion, due to dream logic of course. the Anakim and Hero arent merely locked in a brawl, it's a desperate trek as the Hero traverses a mountainous maze, narrowly avoiding a yeti that just smashes the obstacles in his way...and the hero starts to notice a soft belly underneath all that fur)

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                        really, if there was one thing I'd want a re-write for, it's how the Horror fits into the actions of a Beast. how is the legend of the Horror coming into play as the collective human unconcious starts to make sense of it. like the Corporate Ravager from Conquering Heroes, how does the Horror fit?

                        Beast: the Primordial should talk about about the astral and how these legends start to take form. right now, it seems only the Beast is really in the minds of people, with the Horror only being vaguely mentioned. also, more on Lairs and just how odd they can be (and while a small part, an example of how dream logic works would be cool. a Hero and beast fighting in a lair, especially the Heart, should be plausibly told in an epic fashion, due to dream logic of course. the Anakim and Hero arent merely locked in a brawl, it's a desperate trek as the Hero traverses a mountainous maze, narrowly avoiding a yeti that just smashes the obstacles in his way...and the hero starts to notice a soft belly underneath all that fur)

                        How do you feel that the Player's Guide fails to go into these topics?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Paradim View Post


                          How do you feel that the Player's Guide fails to go into these topics?
                          huh? I assume this thread is like making a Beast 1.5 edition. the players guide is fine to me when talking about how these relate to the personal connections a Beast and horror has. even then though, the players guide does not really delve into the making of a Legend in terms of "here's an example of how the Horror takes hold of the collective unconscious".

                          hmm, perhaps the storyteller guide would be better suited to the latter parts of what I want to explained. also, I think Life and Legend has a chance at being a big part of the Beast. one part I liked about the players guide was describing how a particular beast's Legend and life will effect how they are viewed by a community, and how their Life affecting their legend can make it harder for a Hero to persecute them.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Paradim View Post

                            Batman would be an entirely viable character concept for Beast: The Primordial. As a Beast, not a Hero. Just from the stuff the character does in comics.
                            Batman doesn't usually take criminals to the Batcave and terrorize them to death.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by johntfs View Post

                              Batman doesn't usually take criminals to the Batcave and terrorize them to death.
                              Beasts don't need to do that either. There are no rules in the book that force you to do something like that.

                              So, you can still play a Beast like Batman, using the rules as written (and intended, I believe) with no issues, with little deviation from what Batman does in the comics.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by johntfs View Post

                                Batman doesn't usually take criminals to the Batcave and terrorize them to death.
                                actually, just like a lot of vigilante beasts, batman beats the ever loving shit out of them without killing them. in fact, beast dont even need to cause physical harm, just psychological damage (which batman also does)

                                not that I'm against batman, he is pretty badass

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