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[Fan-remake] [Resurrection] Beast: the Monomyth

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  • [Fan-remake] [Resurrection] Beast: the Monomyth

    It's been over a year since I first posted about this. Damn, depression is a bitch to your creative drive. After taking some criticism I decided to reassess my original concept. Turns out making a complete overhaul of a game is actually tons of hard work. Who'da thunk? This time, rather than going into the nitty gritty mechanics right away, I pinned down the main themes and overall setting first.

    For those unfamiliar, Monomyth is more an overhaul of the general concept of Primordial rather than making a few tweaks here and there. It may take several leaves from Primordial's book, but that's because I personally liked it and believed it to be a good fit for Monomyth, not because it's beholden to Primordial or anything. I'm making this mainly because I just don't like Primordial, but I love its core concepts. If you wanna ask for details on why I don't like Primordial and/or wanna discuss that particular topic, please don't make any posts on this thread here. It isn't for that type of discussion. PM me instead.

    I have a Discord server for discussing the game if you wanna join: https://discord.gg/3SSr59

    And now without further ado, I give the introduction to Beast: the Monomyth:

    Beast: the Monomyth
    A Storytelling Game of Vicious Cycles


    You thought you were human; but now you know better.

    Just like everyone else, you had friends and family. You went to school and found a job. You had the same petty concerns as they did. Watched the same trivial shows and played the same trifling games as they did. Had the same paltry hobbies and joined the same boring groups as they did. You had aspirations of a better life, like everybody does. And just as everyone does, you too knew that you’d only fulfill some of them. Maybe even none of them. Such was life, of course. Every day was pretty much the same hum-drum. Eat, work, and sleep. Day in, day out. Same ol’, same ol’.

    Then something changed. Your life suddenly twisted into some kind of messed-up fairy tale. Or rather, it wasn’t messed up; it was simply messing you up. Things went from bad to worse in spectacular fashion. Your life was being ruined with a wicked precision. It was like you had the starring role in a film directed by a sadist. You got fired, your friends and family tore themselves away from you, or you had an accident that disfigured you for life. It made you miserable. Your hope was ground to dust, your confidence rotted away, and your dignity was stripped bare.

    When it all came to a head, when worse became worst, you thought it would be the end. Death would be a blissful release from your personal hell, you thought. But it didn’t end. Darkness devoured you, yes; but instead of a light at the end of the tunnel, it was Her. She gazed at you with a wry smirk; She spoke not with words, but with meaning itself. She commanded you to wake to your true nature: to embrace Her darkness. That’s when you realized the truth: you were never really a mortal human, driven by the frailties and petty wants of the flesh-puppets you once called friends or family. You were never even human at all.

    You never belonged to Homo sapiens; you belonged to Kali, the Dark Mother. She birthed you from her sunless womb. Your human mother? She, unsuspecting and unwitting, simply formed your disguise. You Emerged as the mighty dragon that burns down the kingdom; the shadow lurking undetected; the devil tempting poor souls into sin.

    You are a Beast: a nightmare incarnate that haunts humanity’s collective soul.

    Driven by a hunger of mythic proportions, you feed by striking fear and suffering into the hearts of humankind. Maybe you hunt them down, lay waste to their works, force them to face their shame, or feed on their pain by a myriad of other means. You don’t have a choice; you must feed on their anguish, or starve to death. Maybe you try to mitigate the harm by utilizing your feeding as a means of adversity that steels your prey. Perhaps you only feed on the guilty, delivering justice like a dark knight. But no matter how hard you try deal with your hunger, you must make people suffer in order to live.

    That’s why the Heroes seek to slay you. Wherever Beasts prowl, Heroes rise up to meet them. Driven by a need eerily similar to yours, they will stop at nothing to end you. You’re the monster of their story; or so they claim. Just because they say it’s the way things are, doesn’t mean that it is, or has to be. You don’t have to follow the Monomyth that pulls Beasts and Heroes toward gruesome ends. Break free from those chains; write your own Myth.
    Because the alternative is nothing more than a vicious cycle.

    Themes

    What is your deepest fear?

    Beast is a sudden movement in the corner of your eye. Something breathing on your neck. A chill running down your spine. Your heart pounding. Shuddering breaths escaping your lips. Beads of cold sweat slithering down your face. The monster is here, and there’s nothing you can do.

    Beast is about horrifying monsters and the heroes who seek to slay them. It’s a history in which all the legends are true, yet their tales are filled with lies. The heroes of these tales have blood on their hands, and the monsters often aren’t as black as they’re painted. It’s a world caught in grey shades amid a narrative that’s cruelly black and white.

    Beast is where worlds collide. It’s a world where humanity’s dreams brush against the primeval darkness, twisting into nightmares. Its a place where the monsters live among us, wearing human skins; a world where the Mother of these monsters lurks in the depths. Watching. Waiting. Hungry...

    Beast: the Monomyth is a storytelling game of vicious cycles and haunting tales. Welcome to the nightmare.


    Narrative & Subversion

    It’s a story as old as time: A Beast rampages across the landscape. It slaughters the livestock, demolishes the village, and devours the hapless populace. They need a Hero to rise against it. That Hero arrives; usually one of their own who decided to step up. The Hero hunts the Beast down, corners it in its den, and then finally slays the wicked thing. The Hero returns with the Beast’s head and the village rejoices. A happy ending for all!
    Except for the Beast, that is.

    The Beast is the designated loser of the story. As far as the tale’s hearers are concerned, it’s not even really a person. Nobody cares about what the Beast feels; it kills people, so it’s obviously evil. It’s the bad guy: its role in the story is to hurt people and die for its crimes. That’s the natural order.

    But is it? Who decided the Beast had to die, or that the Hero had to kill them? Why should the Beast follow this “natural order”, when it’s clearly not doing them any favours? Couldn’t the Beast just throw the old script in the garbage and write a new one? Why not give it a shot? What has the Beast got to lose?
    In the world of Beast, there is a supernatural force that influences Beasts and Heroes alike: the Monomyth. It pulls them into its narrative; into its endless cycle of violence. However, the best stories always subvert expectations. Beasts, and even Heroes, can defy the Monomyth. It all comes down to their choices, really. In this game, all the players weave a collective narrative together. Each individual then subverts that narrative in their own way; forming wrinkles that make the whole chronicle unique. Every good story has a solid structure, yes; but they also have their own twists to keep things interesting.

    The narrative, and subverting that narrative, creates haunting tales that linger in our memories long after those tales have been told.


    Who's the Monster?

    Heroes are good and Beasts are evil. It’s in the very definition of the words themselves; or so we’re expected to believe. But in the real world, what’s good and what’s evil often depends heavily upon many factors; not least of which are perspective, circumstance, and motive.

    Beasts need to feed themselves, as every creature does. If the Beast is simply feeding itself, can we really call it evil? Heroes set themselves up as the defender of the common man, fighting against that which harms society because they feel the call to do so: to stand up and make that vital commitment against the night. But if the Hero acts as judge, jury, and executioner in pursuit of that calling, ending lives out of their own conviction that such is necessary and without regard to common decency, can we really call them good?

    Real life is seldom so black-and-white as to leave a clear-cut idea of who’s really either a hero or a villain; it’s complicated and messy, and every situation is subtly different. Whom we hail or condemn often reveals more about us than it does about the people to whom we appoint these titles. Sometimes the designated monster isn’t really the villain of the tale; and sometimes, the tale hails a Hero whom society should more rightly despise. Often, the real villains of the tale are the people who buy so effortlessly into its narrative: who refuse to question the part the players are assigned, and simply accept the villain and the hero at face value.

    Beast: The Monomyth is a game that seeks to get players thinking about that blurred line: about the thousand-shades-of-grey world of subjective decency. About where the line of villainy truly lies in different situations; both for your characters and their antagonists. How do you feed your hunger for fear and suffering? Do the ends justify the means? Can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror after all’s said and done?

    It’s an exploration of where the lines lie and about where we put them; and more importantly, about what these choices have to say about ourselves.


    A Family of Monsters

    Beasts can get quite lonely. They’re monsters in a world that denies the existence of monsters; and of the few that don’t, many seek to slay them. While they were never human to begin with, they lived a human life before they realized their true nature. That means they had human parents, human siblings, and human friends. For many Beasts, those connections and social needs don’t go away (or at least, not immediately). Besides, there’s safety in numbers; and when you’ve got enemies, it pays to have some allies.

    There are many creatures in the world of Beast; all manner of monsters prowling the night. Vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are but a few. And while there’s all sorts of monsters about, each kind has several commonalities with their fellows. Vampires, for instance, are immortal, have a thirst for blood, and share a weakness against sunlight and fire. Beasts, by contrast, have few commonalities. Beasts can be dragons, sirens, devils, and an infinite variety of other monstrosities besides. And yet, they feel a soul-deep connection with their fellow Beasts and all the other fiends in the darkness.

    This is because Beasts aren’t so much monsters as the essence of monstrosity itself. They feel a primal connection to all other monsters because, in a very real sense, they do have a primal connection to them. And then there’s Kali, the Dark Mother. The Mother of Monsters. A primeval god that birthed all the horrors of the world; or so Beasts believe. Even if She’s just a myth, that’s still real enough to creatures like Beasts: creatures that are living myths by definition. And if She truly is the Mother of Monsters as Beasts believe, then Beasts, vampires, werewolves, and all the other terrors out there in the World of Darkness truly are part of one, great Family.

    A Family of monsters.


    Overview

    In Beast: the Monomyth, most players take on the role of a Beast: a monster that is quite literally the stuff of nightmares, and yet all too real. Beasts live in a world much like our own, but darker; and they don’t live there alone. There are things go bump in the night, the restless dead do haunt the living, and many alien creatures older than time itself loom large in their eldritch dwellings. All the while, ordinary humans, which Beasts tend to refer to as Commoners, are largely unaware of the supernatural underbelly that permeates their world. Mostly this is their wilful ignorance towards the things they don’t want to consider: the truths behind their tales. Some of it, however, is not; for the terrors in the dark like to keep themselves hidden from the notice of their prey, and by a wide variety of means...

    Beasts - The Begotten

    Since the dawn of humankind itself, we’ve told stories to drive back the dark. Tales of primordial monsters and epic heroes spring from our tongues and are felt in our hearts. We use them to teach ourselves and others our moral codes, to inspire greatness in our young, and to serve as cautions to those considering a walk down dark roads. We listen to them, both for entertainment and for instruction; and we heed what they tell us or we don’t as befits our moods. Because in the end, they’re just stories; or so we tell ourselves.

    In the world of Beast, stories aren’t just mere stories; some have come to life and walk alongside humans, even daring to wear a human skin. These Beasts are the tales of woe; of calamity; of sin. They are the monsters that haunt your dreams and fill you with dread. They’re spoken of in hushed tones with ominous titles. But they’re good at hiding amongst us, and we go out of our way to deny their presence among us. We tell ourselves that they’re still just stories; that they couldn’t possibly be real. Because if they were real...

    A Beast begins life like an ordinary human; completely unaware of their true nature and living in a state typically known as their Dormancy. They live their life like any average Joe. Then one day, through fateful circumstances, they discover the truth of their existence... and Emerge as a Beast.
    A Beast isn’t a mere monster, however: a simple fleshy incarnation of some dreamt-of terror. Their full form is that of their Myth. The monstrous form that others see when they reveal themselves is only the superficial “body” associated with that idea. A dragon Beast is more than simply a giant, flying, fire-breathing lizard: it’s also the tale of that dragon burning down kingdoms and hoarding the spoils in its cavern. They’re the very concepts such tales evoke; so the dragon Beast is greed, tyranny, and destruction incarnate, walking among men and smiling at their ignorant complacency.

    Since Beasts are quite literally the stuff of nightmares, they must maintain their existence through instilling the fear and suffering they represent. The dragon Beast must ravage the kingdom because it feeds from the terror and loss of the peasants and lords. And the truly horrible thing is, they don’t have a choice about that. If a Beast doesn’t feed from the terror and pain of their victims, they starve to death.

    As horrible as that point is, however, it’s only the beginning of a Beast’s problems. Regardless of how they look in their everyday Guise, they aren’t human; and their inhumanity comes with its own special set of issues.


    Sidebar: Myths & Truths

    Stories of terrifying creatures are told throughout the world. With so many people telling so many tales, falsehoods naturally abound. So what’s true and what’s hearsay?

    Beasts are monsters: True, but not entirely. We’re living nightmares. Our monstrous forms are only the “body”; our souls lie in our tales of horror.

    Beasts prey on humanity: True, though not in the conventional sense. We don’t often eat people; and even if we do, we’re not gaining sustenance from the body itself. We feed from the fear and suffering of our prey.

    Beasts can walk among us in human skins: Quite true. This skin is known as our Guise, and makes a great asset for our hunts.

    Beasts are feral: Absolutely false. We’re just as intelligent as our prey at the very least. Most of us are even smarter, cleverer, and wiser; as each of us is a thing much grander than you hairless apes.

    Beasts are evil: Not inherently. While we must cause fear and suffering, that is only to live. We don’t have a choice in that. That said, many Beasts are indeed evil, but that’s only due to the choices we do have.

    Beasts are only nightmares in your head: Oh honey, if only that were true. It is true that we’re literally the stuff of nightmares, but that doesn’t mean we’re not real. We’re very real; and we’re oh-so-hungry...

    Every Beast will be slain by a Hero: Not if we have anything to say about it! Heroes do exist and do try to slay us; believing we’re nothing but a scourge to be eradicated. But like hell we’re just gonna roll over and die!


    The Monomyth

    According to some anthropology scholars, all stories from the most ancient myths to the most recent blockbuster films have a pattern commonly referred to as the Hero’s Journey or the Monomyth. Basically, the Hero goes on a journey from their ordinary world to the special world, faces adversity and hardship most commonly in the form of a ferocious Beast, and returns a greater person after having solved the problem that warranted their quest to begin with (usually, by slaying said Beast). While the theory that all stories follow this pattern has been criticized extensively and backed with abundant counter-examples, the general idea holds in the majority of people’s minds.

    As creatures literally woven into being from the fabric of stories and ideas, commonly-held beliefs like the Monomyth can greatly affect Beasts. Or at least, this is one of the most common theories of how the Monomyth came to be and why it affects Beasts and Heroes as it does. Some Beasts contest this notion with their own theories. No matter who’s right, though, the consequences are the same: the Monomyth is some kind of (un)natural law that pushes Beasts and Heroes to fight one another.
    The Monomyth deems that Heroes should rise up and slay Beasts for the suffering they cause, just as it deems that it is the role of the Beast to be the worthy yet ultimately defeated adversary in the equation. Naturally, most Beasts don’t appreciate this particular assessment of their existence. It’s bad enough they have to terrorize their once-fellows to simply survive; they’re not just going to roll over and accept some metaphysical background force deeming that they should be murdered over what they cannot control. So they fight it, viciously and with everything they have; and in so doing, they all too often become the very adversary they refuse to be told they are meant to be.

    Whether they appreciate it or not, the Monomyth tries at every turn to pull them into this vicious cycle of violence and death: an endless war of Beasts defeating and slaying inferior Heroes, and superior Heroes stepping up to take them down at last. The worst part of it is that the Heroes in this equation seem to be all too happy to reinforce its efforts.


    Heroes - The Chosen

    When a Beast comes forth to prey on the innocent and defenceless, a Hero will rise to slay the wicked demon and defend the innocent. Or so, at least, says the Monomyth. The truth is seldom so clean-cut; often it can be hard to tell what separates the Hero from the Beast at the end of the day. Heroes are seldom nice people, and seldom stick to clean methods to find and slay their quarries. They’ll all too often win by methods fair or foul, and collateral damage be damned.

    Considering their inception, this isn’t surprising: all Heroes were once ordinary humans, but were called by the Monomyth to become the Hero after surviving the ravages of a Beast. For Beasts don’t merely feed on fear and suffering; they have a tendency to gorge themselves on it, to the point sometimes of mentally breaking their prey. And when a Beast feeds so harshly that their victim snaps, the Monomyth sees its chance: it Calls forth a new Hero.

    Of course, not all such Calls are answered; in fact, only a few ever are. Most minds are too frail to survive the onslaught of a truly ravenous Beast, after all. But a very few do. They turn the cruel feelings of defilement and predation outwards, unleashing their pain and fury back upon their tormentor... and upon all like them. So when the Monomyth Calls, they answer. Should they overcome the Road of Trials it lays at their feet, it Forges them into the tools of its ultimate purpose: slaying Beasts.

    Upon Forging, the Monomyth feeds the emergent Hero with powers and a purpose: the ability to find and slay Beasts, and an overwhelming drive to set their feet to that path. They’re rendered sensitive to the predations of Beasts. They suffer nightmares and visions of the people’s misery, driving them forward. They find that tracking and slaying Beasts offers an unrivalled thrill, and the Praise from those they save nourishes their powers. Blessed (or cursed, depending on the new Hero’s point of view) with that power and purpose, the Monomyth sets them forth on its holy Quest: the fulfilment of the Hero’s Journey.

    From a Beast’s perspective, Heroes are little more than narcissists out for blood. Looking at their behaviour from the outside, such a conclusion is only natural. However, the Heroes are as much victims of the Monomyth as Beasts are. Most don’t know they are, or even want to know; because the Monomyth has filled them with a sense of both power and belonging, telling them that what they do is right and just. Through the eyes it gives them, they see the slaying of Beasts as an objective and altruistic good, and argue that the foulness of the means they so often find necessary only underscores the wickedness of their prey. Beasts, of course, would argue the exact opposite: that the blindness to civilian casualties, decaying morality, and self-righteous assumption of a caricature of goodness only underscore that it is the Hero, rather than the Beast, who’s the greater monster in the equation.

    Regardless of who the true heroes and villains of the story are, Heroes present an active and powerful threat to the Begotten.


    The Primordial Dream & Lairs

    So where do Beasts originate? They may be born into humanity, but that’s only half the story. The other half is the Primordial Dream. It’s an oneiric wilderness of primeval creatures and ancient terrors far older than the young hairless apes that crawl upon the material Earth. Human dreams occasionally graze against the edges of this region of consciousness, transforming them into nightmares and inspiring tales of monsters.

    Every Beast has their own piece carved from this domain: their Lair. It’s their den; their sanctuary. It’s where a Beast is truly at home. And even if it appears to be, it’s not truly separate from them; it’s as much a part of them as their body and mind. Beasts are horror tales, and every tale has a setting; the Beast’s Lair is that setting.


    The Primordial Pathways

    Amongst many spiritually-inclined mystics and supernatural denizens, it is often said that there was nothing before the Primordial Dream: that it is the centre and origin point of all existence, and that everything else was born from it. They claim that mankind and lesser creatures are, in a sense, the dreams of the Dreamborn: that the things we consider to be creatures of dream think much the same of us. While no one can confirm such notions, they do at least offer a tentative explanation as to how the Dream might be connected to the mundane world and various supernatural dimensions: the Underworld, the Shadow, the Astral Realms, and countless other worlds besides.

    Beasts have come to realize that this perspective of their origin realm as the centre of reality has shown them paths through the chaos: roads that can allow them to travel amongst all of these realms as easily as walking from one room to the next. These corridors are known amongst them as the Primordial Pathways: the ancient roads of dream that connect all dreaming things, be they people, animals, trees, mountains... or even the very stars themselves. And to the Beast, they are the secret highways that protect them, empower them, and shelter them from their Heroic pursuers.


    The Bright Dream

    The Primordial Dream may touch on human dreams, but it’s not truly a part of them. It’s far grander and older than human thoughts, and has no real regard for what humans dare to think or feel. The dreams of humans manifest in their own form: as a separate realm that is composed of humanity’s collective unconscious, including all of its hopes and dreams for the future. This Realm is known by Beasts and Heroes alike as the Bright Dream: the Beasts out of a sense of contrast to the darkness of the Primordial Dream, and the Heroes out of the sense of righteousness and purpose it stirs within them.

    However, even the brightest part of humanity’s collective unconscious contains its fears. Hopes and bright dreams are, after all, built on a knowledge of despair and terror; specifically, on the will to avoid them. For this reason, it’s not exactly clear as to whether the Bright Dream actually composes its own realm, or whether it’s a kind of twin to the Primordial Dream; or even if defining them as separate realms is a helpful idea. What is known is that it is in this grey overlap, this region that is neither one nor the other, that both Beasts and Heroes are born.

    Beasts emerge here precisely because it takes the understanding of humanity’s collective unconscious to allow the nascent Beast to incarnate as a human in the physical world. They may originate deeper in the Primordial Dream as some form of nameless, Dreamborn horror, but it is by coming into contact with the Bright Dream that they truly become Beasts. They are tied to humanity because, through contact with the Bright Dream, they have become tied to its hopes and fears.

    Heroes draw from the light and hope of the Bright Dream as a source of power, and heed its calls to purge the world of all that makes humanity afraid. Beasts use its light and hope as a lesson-book on what humanity fears the most, and thus learn how to instil and feed upon the deep terrors of humanity.


    Kali, the Dark Mother

    There’s a reason Beasts often refer to themselves as the Begotten: Kali, the Dark Mother. Or at least, that’s what they call her; she has several other names, each belonging to its own culture or time. Lilith. Echidna. Tiamat. And the list goes on. She is the mother figure of all Beasts and their Cousins. She is the Mother of Monsters. Her Children most often call her Kali because the Hindu goddess comes closest to how they perceive the Mother: the pure, primal darkness from which everything else springs; as ferocious as She is nurturing; uncompromisingly ruthless, yet unexpectedly kind. Greatly misunderstood, they would say; much like Her progeny.

    What is She exactly? No-one truly knows; but many theories abound nonetheless. Some believe she is a great über-Beast with the whole Primordial Dream as Her Lair. Others believe She is the Primordial Dream itself. Most non-Beasts who know of Her believe She is a figment of the Begotten’s collective imagination. But Her Children know better. The Dark Mother definitely does exist. Their Emergence confirms that. And yet, Her true nature eludes them as fully as it does everyone else.


    Cousins & Relatives

    Beasts aren’t the only monsters that walk among the herd of ignorant human sheep. Vampires, werewolves, and mages also exist, to name but a few. Beasts refer to these creatures as their Cousins; believing them to be simply a more distant progeny from Kali. These ‘cousins’ often question that narrative; but the Begotten have abilities and insights that back up their notions.

    Even among humanity, there are those with special gifts (or curses, depending on who you talk to): people who are forever marked by the supernatural, either through the possession of psychic powers or through some quirk of their natures in relation to the supernatural world. Luck-thieves. Telepaths. People who can sense the monster behind the disguise, even if they don’t know exactly what it is they’re feeling. Beasts commonly refer to such rare examples of humanity as Relatives: people who possess a connection to the supernatural like their true Cousins, but whose connection is not as close or as deep. These Relatives remain human, despite their minor supernatural traits; as true Cousins decidedly do not.


    Abominations

    A common nickname for the Primordial Dream is the “Supernatural Highway”; and given that it seems the Primordial Pathways can lead into all other supernatural dimensions, it’s a nickname that carries some weight. However, it would be more accurate to think of it as the “Supernatural Sinkhole”: due to its connections with several other worlds, inhabitants from these places inevitably fall into it. And when they do, it seldom ends well; the Primordial Dream is a hostile environment even to Beasts, let alone to any foreigners who accidentally stumble in. Most of these unfortunate souls die through the predation of the Dream’s natives, or fall to its environmental hazards. Essentially, the Dream consumes them.

    The Dream, however, doesn’t merely profit from what falls into its waiting maw. You are what you eat; and when you eat a little of everything, that, inevitably, is what you become. As the Dream collectively absorbs supernaturals, it integrates pieces of all their individual natures: their powers; their insights; their frailties. And as the birthplace from which Beasts arise, it fuses these fragments together in a seemingly infinite array of combinations, creating horrific monstrosities both unrecognizable and utterly insane. Vampires, werewolves, mages, and more: all mixing together in a spoiled broth made by an incomprehensible multitude of cooks, and spawning unguessed-at children from the primordial soup of horror itself. Such new creatures are commonly referred to as Abominations.

    Sometimes, these Abominations manage to break out from the Primordial Dream into other realms. With no real purpose or even cohesive thoughts to begin with, they rampage through these other worlds and leave chaos in their wake. With their connection to the Dream, Beasts are the most equipped to know about and deal with the Abominations that come knocking on their doorsteps. Cousins and Relatives can only do so much, Heroes are too busy slaying Beasts, and Commoners don’t even know that the monsters exist.

    Ultimately, it falls to Beasts to put Abominations down.



    So that's the introduction for the setting itself. I'm gonna write a section about storytelling games within the intro chapter, of course. I just thought it wasn't necessary to post it here because you guys are already familiar with that stuff. I haven't gone into mechanics yet. Though I do have some basic ideas for them. I figured first thing's first, so I got that done. Lemme know what y'all think.
    Last edited by crapcarp; 05-25-2020, 07:11 AM.

  • #2
    How would you say that Monomyth differs from Primordial at a glance? I like what I'm reading, but is there an elevator pitch for the concept?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jollycooperative View Post
      How would you say that Monomyth differs from Primordial at a glance? I like what I'm reading, but is there an elevator pitch for the concept?
      Imagine Primordial with a thematic focus on narratives and how said narratives can lead people to destructive ends. It also offers political factions and much more antagonists; allowing it to stand as its own game without relying on the other gamelines yet still being crossover-friendly.

      That's what I would go with, anyways. Note, this is about as close as this thread should get to comparing Primordial and Monomyth. Please PM me if you want a more detailed discussion.

      Comment


      • #4
        With the introduction outta the way, it’s time to go over the two core aspects of Monomyth Beasts: Breeds and Creeds.

        Breeds (the X-Axis) are similar to Primordial’s Families: they’re the general archetypes Beasts embody.

        Aunshégh (pronounced ON – shey)
        The Tricksters who lead you astray; the jokers who take it too far; the unpredictable madmen. Yanking you through the looking glass, they turn your world upside down and show how fragile your grasp on reality really is.
        • Cipactli: I’d rather mess up their minds than their bodies.
        • Mara: Oooh, now that’s twisted!
        • Masshit: It’s boring to just wreck everything.
        • Nyarlathotep: Why so shy?
        • Shakpana: And people call us the freaks.
        • Turéhu: Why just take their stuff, when you can take their sanity?

        Cipactli (pronounced see – PAAK – tlee)
        The Prowlers hiding among the sheep; the lions, tigers, and bears; the relentless bloodhounds. You can run, you can hide, but in the end they’ll catch you and gobble you up like you’re Christmas dinner.
        • Aunshégh: You’re more weird than scary.
        • Mara: You show the prey they’re not so different from us. I show them we’re all too different.
        • Masshit: You’re not gonna leave any for me, are you?
        • Nyarlathotep: Can you teach me how to hide that well?
        • Shakpana: Stop ruining all the meals!
        • Turéhu: Wait, you just keep ‘em? Why?!
        Mara (pronounced MAH – rah)
        The Devils you know (and even the ones you don’t); the succubi tempting you into dirty deeds; the embodiments of human vice. They hold a mirror to your face to reveal the horns on your head.
        • Aunshégh: You’re like us, but where you twist their reality, we show them how twisted they really are.
        • Cipactli: All that running; all that hunting. Must be exhausting...
        • Masshit: You show them they’re nothing. I show them they’re worse.
        • Nyarlathotep: You can get so much dirt on them, and you never use it against them?!
        • Shakpana: I’d rather rot their souls, thank you.
        • Turéhu: If you show them how their gains are ill-gotten, they’ll do your work for you.
        Masshit (pronounced mah – SHEET)
        The Calamities laying waste to your home; the forces of Nature you cannot overcome; the unstoppable juggernauts. Get in their way, and they’ll crush you like an ant underfoot without even noticing.
        • Aunshégh: Your methods are a bit – elaborate, for my liking.
        • Cipactli: Quite cruel how you give them hope...
        • Mara: I prefer a more direct method of showing their worthlessness.
        • Nyarlathotep: Humanity strives to gain knowledge; you strive to keep it from them. I could never understand how one fights against the tide.
        • Shakpana: Not my style, but I do love your work.
        • Turéhu: If you destroy what they treasure, they can never take it back from you.
        Nyarlathotep (pronounced nyar – LAAT – hoe – tep)
        The Shadows lurking beyond humanity’s torch-lights; the silent stalkers right behind you; the incomprehensible creatures. You’ll never see them coming; and even if you could, you’d never understand what you’re seeing.
        • Aunshégh: Wanna twist their minds? Just turn off the lights and they’ll twist themselves up for you.
        • Cipactli: If you have to chase them down, you’re doing it wrong.
        • Mara: The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.
        • Masshit: If you think their hunger to know makes me vulnerable, then you really don’t get it. And I like it that way.
        • Shakpana: The human psyche can grow accustomed to the disgusting. It’ll never be able to stand the unknown.
        • Turéhu: You create a void in their heart by stealing it. I am the void in their heart just by being.
        Shakpana (pronounced shaak – PAH – nah)
        The Plagues rotting you to the core; the polluters wasting the land away; the hideous monstrosities. Their grotesque gaze will turn you to stone and their breath will make your statue crumble to dust.
        • Aunshégh: Your work is only temporary. Mine leaves scars that last the ages.
        • Cipactli: You may like to wolf down your meals, but I prefer to savour mine.
        • Mara: I’m uglier than our prey ever will be.
        • Masshit: Not much difference between us. I mean, our results look the same after we’re done.
        • Nyarlathotep: Why do you hide from them? Can’t look any worse than me.
        • Turéhu: I’d rather rot it all away than keep it, but you do you.
        Turéhu (pronounced TOO – rey – HOO)
        The Ravagers taking everything of value; the thieves in the night; the kidnappers of children. Clutch your purses and hide your silver, but they’ll still get their grubby hands on your valuables.

        Aunshégh: All that chaos can make for a wonderful distraction...
        Cipactli: If you steal what they treasure, you can get dinner to come to you.
        Mara: The only thing you take are the lies they tell themselves.
        Masshit: But if you just wreck it all, you can’t hoard it for yourself.
        Nyarlathotep: Can you hide my hoard for me?
        Shakpana: Eww, I don’t want my hoard to rot.

        Creeds (the Y-Axis) are belief systems Beasts ascribe to as an alternative to the Monomyth (with the exception of one). Besides that, they join Creeds for protection, communion, and political gain among other benefits. Those without a Creed are typically known as Wanderers.

        The Black Guard
        They believe Beasts are embodiments of the world’s evil. When a Beast feeds, they absorb this evil into themselves. Therefore, by feeding on those who commit the most evil, the Blackguards can concentrate it to purify the rest of the world. They’re the dark knights eating the world’s sin to spare the rest from it.
        • Cackling Fiends: Doesn’t matter if you’re proud of it; you’re still walking time bombs.
        • College of Agony: Some are beyond helping. That’s where we come in.
        • House of Nox: Fine. We’re all one big, happy family. Just don’t forget what we really are.
        • Scions of the First: You got your heads in the clouds. Or should I say the Dream?
        • The Devil’s Clergy: Just another mess to clean up.
        • Wanderers: Feed sensibly, you’re golden. If you don’t, expect to see us soon.
        • Heroes: Our greatest enemies and our greatest shame.
        The Cackling Fiends
        They believe Beasts have a right to exist; that their feeding is just another part of the natural world. The Monomyth is one big joke they constantly laugh at. Hellions embrace their monstrosity and wear it proudly as a badge of honour. If you’re a monster, why not have fun with it?
        • Black Guard: Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, BATMEN!!!
        • College of Agony: Goody-two-shoes...
        • House of Nox: You can keep your politics; we’re here to PAR-TAY!
        • Scions of the First: NEEEEEEEEEEERDS!
        • The Devil’s Clergy: Oh, fuck that.
        • Wanderers: If you ever wanna enjoy life, come to us.
        • Heroes: Bring it, bitches!
        The College of Agony
        They believe that since Beasts must cause fear and suffering to live, their true calling in life must be to build their prey up through adversity. The Agonists carefully plan their feeding as Trials designed to lift their “pupils” to greater heights. They’re the teachers using hard knocks as lessons.
        • Black Guard: Prevention is better than cure.
        • Cackling Fiends: Yes, we’re not evil for existing. But that doesn’t mean we can just feed willy-nilly.
        • House of Nox: We need more than our Family. We need a cause. A purpose for our Family.
        • Scions of the First: Your insights our useful for our Trials. But there’s more to life than Kali.
        • The Devil’s Clergy: We build humanity up; you tear them down. We’re nothing alike!
        • Wanderers: If you want purpose, you only need to enrol yourself.
        • Heroes: Tragically, they’re the ones in most need of our Trials.
        The House of Nox
        They believe that their connection to all the other creatures in the World of Darkness means they not only have a right, but a duty to mediate between them. Family sticks together, right? And Beasts are Family with all monsters. So, the Mediators form Pacts between monsters in their region to maintain peace.
        • Black Guard: We appreciate your sense of duty and efficiency. We just don’t like your pity-parties.
        • Cackling Fiends: You guys know how to throw a party, but could you be a little less reckless, please?
        • College of Agony: I respect that you turn our needs into a positive outlet. Please respect that not everyone agrees with you.
        • Scions of the First: Kali may be the centre, but even the centre is just one part of the big picture.
        • The Devil’s Clergy: And I thought the Agonists were overzealous.
        • Wanderers: You have a right to your independence. That said, you will have to follow the Pacts like everyone else.
        • Heroes: We may be monsters, but it’s not like we’re monsters about it!
        Scions of the First
        They believe a Beast’s true calling is worshipping their Dark Mother: Kali. To truly worship Her, one must learn all they can about Her. And the only real way to do that is to delve into the Primordial Dream and uncover Her secrets yourself. The Acolytes bring a must-needed spirituality to Beast society.
        • Black Guard: Being the Children of Kali is nothing to be ashamed of.
        • Cackling Fiends: You take what our Mother has given you for granted, and you don’t even thank Her.
        • College of Agony: Our purpose is with Kali, not with humanity.
        • House of Nox: You’re distracted by Her branches; we discover Her roots.
        • The Devil’s Clergy: You’re nothing but heretics; your Monomyth nothing but blasphemy.
        • Wanderers: Kali is within us all. Know Her, and you know yourself.
        • Heroes: Slay me if you can. You’re here to prove my worth, not the other way ‘round.
        The Devil’s Clergy
        They believe fulfilling the Monomyth is the only way for a Beast to complete themselves. If the Monomyth is like gravity: pulling Beasts and Heroes to fight one another – so the Diabolists reason – Beasts are clearly meant to align with it, not fight against it. Naturally, they present a powerful and overzealous threat to dissenting Beasts.
        • Black Guard: The wolf doesn’t protect the sheep.
        • Cackling Fiends: Heathens...
        • College of Agony: You’re almost there. All you need to do is accept the Monomyth.
        • House of Nox: If you want to unite our Family, unite them with the Monomyth.
        • Scions of the First: You worship our Mother, yet you reject the Calling She gave us.
        • Wanderers: No matter where you go, you will hear the Monomyth’s Call. Answer it and you will know peace.
        • Heroes: Our soulmates. Our partners in crime. Let’s complete ourselves.

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        • #5
          If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to help. I'm a fair hand at writing mechanics and have been known to occasionally think of good ideas for fluff

          Comment


          • #6
            This is awesome stuff. I really like the idea of the Devil's Clergy as antagonists and how they interact with Beasts less accepting of the Monomyth!

            Just one observation - I think the Nyarlathotep name kind of stands out as being particularly modern in comparison to the others.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TheScottishFianna View Post
              If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to help. I'm a fair hand at writing mechanics and have been known to occasionally think of good ideas for fluff
              I'm gonna be setting up a Discord server for Monomyth development pretty soon, so if you've got a Discord and PM me your username and number on there I can friend you and add you as soon as it's set up.

              Originally posted by jollycooperative View Post
              This is awesome stuff. I really like the idea of the Devil's Clergy as antagonists and how they interact with Beasts less accepting of the Monomyth!

              Just one observation - I think the Nyarlathotep name kind of stands out as being particularly modern in comparison to the others.
              Thanks! Another kind of Beast antagonist are the Kinslayers: Beasts who kill (and perhaps feed on) their fellows because they believe all Beasts are evil. They only reason they don't immediately kill themselves is because they wanna kill all other Beasts first.

              As for the Nyarlathoteps, I was sorely tempted to name them Cthulhus at first. The main reason I didn't is because Cthulhu him(?)self is much more a Masshit. Now, for all the Breed names I wanted each one to be derived from the mythology of a different geographical region. Aunshégh comes from Celtic mythology, so that's Europe. Cipactli is from the Aztec Empire, which was centered in (no pun intended) Central America. Mara comes from several East Asian mythologies. Masshit is Abrahamic, so it comes from the Middle East. Shakpana comes from West African mythology. And Turéhu comes from Maori mythology, so that's Oceania covered.

              Among others, that leaves North America. At first, I picked Amorok, which were a type of supernatural wolf from Inuit mythology that would eat those who went out hunting in the night. So basically, I thought they were a cautionary tale of going out alone at night. Then I saw another myth involving one that was essentially a harsh mentor figure and some other more positive roles they played. Besides, I was also going for incomprehensibility as a major theme for the Breed, so it didn't entirely work.

              So then I thought to, in a way, go with my first choice. While Cthulhu isn't appropriate, the Cthulhu mythos itself is well-renown for incomprehensible monsters and it originated in North America. So I looked for one that fit the bill, and settled on Nyarlathotep, the Faceless God. It was especially good considering that Nyar actively torments humanity. But I do have to admit, it is also because I couldn't find anything else.

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              • #8
                Uh...

                You realize that - while certainly a reasonably distinct geographical area - Central America is part of North America, right? You're leaving South America (with options like the Inca and Mapuche to look into) completely out in the cold for a thing a guy that happened to live in North America made up ~100 years ago?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  Uh...

                  You realize that - while certainly a reasonably distinct geographical area - Central America is part of North America, right? You're leaving South America (with options like the Inca and Mapuche to look into) completely out in the cold for a thing a guy that happened to live in North America made up ~100 years ago?
                  Well, the Middle East is part of Eurasia. I said different geographical regions, not necessarily entire continents. Besides, I've left room for extra Breeds with South America.

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                  • #10
                    So you combined Families and Hungers into Breeds and made the Y axis be more like social factions?

                    This is so much better than Primordial, I have no idea why it ins't like that to begin with, I mean, that's how it is for all the other splats, I can already tell that you have a lot of experience with CofD, and at the same time it makes it seem like the writers of the original never had any experience with CofD games.

                    Argh, reading this is kind of painful because it's not really much different from the original but actually feels more like a good CofD game, it makes me sad why it couldn't just be like this to begin with. I want this so much RIGHT NOW, ONYX PATH HIRE THIS PERSON ALREADY!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                      So you combined Families and Hungers into Breeds and made the Y axis be more like social factions?
                      Yeah, pretty much.

                      Speaking of Hungers, I was actually thinking of having them be centered on the Breed, but each individual Beast has their own specific spin on it. For example, Mara feed on human vice and sin, but each Mara feeds on a specific type of sin. One Mara could feed on those who hoard their wealth to the detriment of others, while another Mara feeds on those who have murdered others. Nothing concrete yet, but that's the general idea I have at this point.

                      Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                      This is so much better than Primordial, I have no idea why it ins't like that to begin with, I mean, that's how it is for all the other splats, I can already tell that you have a lot of experience with CofD, and at the same time it makes it seem like the writers of the original never had any experience with CofD games.
                      Funny you mention that, because from what I've heard on Primordial's development, a lot of the developers were enthusiastic newbies.

                      Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                      Argh, reading this is kind of painful because it's not really much different from the original but actually feels more like a good CofD game, it makes me sad why it couldn't just be like this to begin with. I want this so much RIGHT NOW, ONYX PATH HIRE THIS PERSON ALREADY!
                      Aww, thanks! That's a big help, honestly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So i'm going to be the guy pooping in the punchbowl.

                        I don't want an upcoming edition of Beast to have a z-splat, or force beasts to pick an arbitrary 'creed' belief system. Beasts are free from morality meters and mandatory social groupings (because they are basically mandatory when they come with huge benefits) and are free to do or not do whatever they want without societal baggage. This would be great - for another game.

                        Keep Beast free. Stop trying to make it just another XYZ splat. Let it be unique.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Eternal Darkness View Post
                          So i'm going to be the guy pooping in the punchbowl.

                          I don't want an upcoming edition of Beast to have a z-splat, or force beasts to pick an arbitrary 'creed' belief system. Beasts are free from morality meters and mandatory social groupings (because they are basically mandatory when they come with huge benefits) and are free to do or not do whatever they want without societal baggage. This would be great - for another game.

                          Keep Beast free. Stop trying to make it just another XYZ splat. Let it be unique.
                          One, if you don't like the material don't use it. There isn't a single legitimate reason to not make something like this.
                          Two, I like the idea of Creeds & feel they are an angle of the Begotton that very much needs to be explored.
                          Three, Begotten are not free to do or not do whatever they want without societal baggage. No one is, the Begotten's concerns just take a different shape.
                          Four (& this really needs to brought up), "pooping in the punchbowl"? What the hell? Why would you subject us to such gross imagery?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Krat05 View Post

                            One, if you don't like the material don't use it. There isn't a single legitimate reason to not make something like this.
                            Two, I like the idea of Creeds & feel they are an angle of the Begotton that very much needs to be explored.
                            Three, Begotten are not free to do or not do whatever they want without societal baggage. No one is, the Begotten's concerns just take a different shape.
                            Four (& this really needs to brought up), "pooping in the punchbowl"? What the hell? Why would you subject us to such gross imagery?
                            Welp. I tried kids. I really did. I really wanted us to just ignore the same old shit storm. But here we are. This thread exists, and as always, it has defenders.

                            Addressing that!

                            1) If someone doesn't want their material commented upon, then they need to not post it in a public forum. Or, at a minimum, make it clear what they are looking for so that when moderators come looking at what the problem is, it's clear what that problem is. Parameters Must Be Set.

                            You do not present any form of material without an expectation of critique. If your idea of presenting homebrew involves just the people who agree with you commenting on the homebrew, get out of homebrew. And artistic endeavors in general.

                            2) Great! I love that you love Creeds.

                            WHY do you love them, and WHY should I give shit that you love them?

                            This isn't flippant, these are the real questions you have to ask when promoting shit, be it your own or others. I have dealt with this question as a professional ALL THE TIME.

                            3) Believe it or not, I agree with you-it in fact forms the heart of my concurrently operating thread-but this leads to the questions a)does the text actually explore and make that an explicit theme without it needing being to be moved from strong setting implement to mechanical implement, b) does dragging it into mechanical implement instead of setting material work well or complicate things on both spectrums, and c) does this homebrew understand the former two complications and handle them neatly? I addressed my own topic with hesitancy for the same reasons as listed in C.

                            4) Pooping in the punchbowl has been around since the 1940's, and if you're saying we're too tender to handle such imagery in the year of our lord peeling off his smegma into the mass produced hamburger meat consumed by millions each day, CE #@&%$, I.....can't help you.

                            And now, an important point that I will not go into more of unless prompted to, but must note all the same:

                            5) You have stumbled into, through no fault of your own, a topic we are all really, really, really tired of.

                            This has gone on for a really

                            Really

                            REALLY

                            long time.

                            Me personally, I have no fucking use for Monomyth as a crap on Primordial anymore than I have a use for Genius as a crap on Awakening. You do you, but also please know what you are getting yourself into and where you are having discussions.
                            Last edited by ArcaneArts; 05-22-2020, 11:34 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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              4) Pooping in the punchbowl has been around since the 1940's, and if you're saying we're too tender to handle such imagery in the year of our lord peeling off his smegma into the mass produced hamburger meat consumed by millions each day, CE #@&%$, I.....can't help you.
                              This is my first exposure to the phrase "pooping in the punchbowl" & I assumed that it had just been conjured from out of the air. I apologize for this assumption.
                              In other news, I'm aware that my previous post here is a bit thin in places & plan to possibly flesh it out at some point.

                              Comment

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