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  • #16
    And, lets be honest, the whole x, y, z thing was never really that accurate in the first place; and more so once Changeling and Hunter hit.

    People didn't like the the "z-splats" being compared to D&D prestige classes, and this was just when D&D 3e was producing a huge come back for D&D (the new WoD now CofD was launched the year after D&D 3.5 hit) because of the association with D&D 3e's focus on mechanical optimization via lots and lots of character widgets. So we came up with different words to describe them even though the served the same conceptual space of "specialized character niches to aim for later in game."

    Once it was clear that the formula the first three games used wasn't at all necessary, it barely exists at all any more.

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    • #17
      You can kinda force most games into the x/y-splat structure, but it's definitely going to bend the definitions.
      X-splats are still the particular archetype of the monster you're playing, but they're no longer the tight slots that everyone who belongs to that x-splat must fit into. They're much more open and now only exists as guides because too much freedom kills creativity. It has gone from "characters of this Clan needs to start with dots in these Disciplines, one of which is almost exclusively available to them alone, and buying other Disciplines costs more XP" to "you can take any Variations you want as long as you don't have too many dots from these four lists that together form a relatively small minority; no XP taxes or anything".
      Y-splats represents large, often global, organisations that WoD was, and still is, extremely into, but that's something CofD has steered away from hard. The two latest games have no y-splats at all, and there is a focus on getting a build-your-own-organisation system out with the latest games and game updates. And the games that do retain y-splats generally have them be much less pervasive during actual gameplay and when interacting with others. A demon's Agenda or a mummy's Guild generally only affect the characters that are part of them. Covenants, Orders and Tribes, on the other hand, are the ruling bodies of vampire, mage and werewolf societies, respectively, and the politics of these are huge influences on those games. Quite the difference.
      Z-splats, as defined back in the day, no longer exists. Like, at all. Since the first three games I don't think there has been a game where there is an optional modification template that provides a specialisation to your character (with the possible exception of Entitlements; I have not yet checked out OAT yet). One might bring up Forms in Deviant, but they are neither specialisations nor do they follow a template, since they're all non-standard effects. They're much more akin to atypical Awakenings than Legacies, if compared to MtA. There's also no rules for gaining them after character creation, which was another big part of z-splats. I personally think their disappearances are due to the much less restrictive x-splats that allow for much wider character concepts. If you want to build a specific type of vampire, you'd choose the archetype (Clan) that is the closest, and then a Bloodline to break out of the Clan restraints and actually reach your desired character concept. If you want to build a specific type of deviant, you just fucking do so. Your Clade does little to nothing to stop you from building your character however you want. Now Deviant might not be the most fair comparison, but I still think the point holds when comparing to other games without z-splats.

      I'm not saying you shouldn't develop z-splats for Beast, but you should probably figure out what purpose they should serve first. What can they bring to the game that is lacking? What kind of specialisation can they bring that couldn't be just as well represented by Atavisms and Nightmares (or whatever Beast: The Monomyth might end up replacing them with) or even just Merits.


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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      • #18
        I've gotten myself up to date on this threads posts & have come to the conclusion that there actually isn't any room for a proper z-splat. Which is kinda disappointing in my opinion.
        Connected to that, a list of various ideas I came up with to bounce of off & potentially develop a z-splat:
        ● Some kind of "sub-Families".
        ● Call upon the power of infamous Begotten.
        ● Strengthen Family Ties with some group of kin.
        ● Greater skill in Obcasus Rites. Some kind of priesthood of the Dark Mother.
        ● Manifest some hybridization of Hunger & Family.
        ● Use Lair to teleport around the world.

        Also, the game could use a some sort of proper y-splat, so I'm gonna try & look into making that.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Krat05 View Post
          Also, the game could use a some sort of proper y-splat, so I'm gonna try & look into making that.
          It really doesn't, though.

          I mean, actually, rewind. Since you say it needs a y-splat, convince me.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            It really doesn't, though.

            I mean, actually, rewind. Since you say it needs a y-splat, convince me.
            Begotten society, doesn't really feel very well developed to me. It feels a bit thin. I know of the y-splats being the social angle to the gamelines. So yeah, that's my entire argument. Note that this is nothing more than my opinion of things.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Krat05 View Post

              Begotten society, doesn't really feel very well developed to me. It feels a bit thin. I know of the y-splats being the social angle to the gamelines. So yeah, that's my entire argument. Note that this is nothing more than my opinion of things.
              Not very well developed, yes.

              But convince me an explicit y-splat is needed when Broods and a proper exploration of Family on the whole resolve that issue within the themes and structure of Beast

              Because honestly, a refocusing on family dynamics and Broods as Political/Mythological Entities is all that needed, and any more organizational focus beyond that begins to destroy the advantages you have from Family on thematic, directional, diversely stratificational, and conflicting levels, and possibly more.
              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 05-26-2020, 12:10 AM.


              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
              Feminine pronouns, please.

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              • #22
                Hungers have virtually no mechanics attached and there's A LOT of overlap, it's pretty much an afterthought in character creation.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                  Hungers have virtually no mechanics attached and there's A LOT of overlap, it's pretty much an afterthought in character creation.
                  *stares in bafflement*

                  What are you even on about.


                  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


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                    *stares in bafflement*

                    What are you even on about.

                    I mean, to everyone else it seems to be obvious why one would say "Beast needs a proper Y-Splat" since calling the one it has underdeveloped would be an understatement.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                      I mean, to everyone else it seems to be obvious why one would say "Beast needs a proper Y-Splat" since calling the one it has underdeveloped would be an understatement.
                      ...no. No it doesn't. It's the thing that informs what type of fear Beasts Feed on. I'm not sure why anymore is needed.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post

                        ...no. No it doesn't. It's the thing that informs what type of fear Beasts Feed on. I'm not sure why anymore is needed.

                        You could literally just ask "What is your character's preferred way of feeding?" at character creation and be done with that, that's literally all Hungers is.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                          You could literally just ask "What is your character's preferred way of feeding?" at character creation and be done with that, that's literally all Hungers is.
                          This kind of reductive approach ignores that Family has a similarly minimal mechanical impact, as does Incarnation in Demon and Clade in Deviant.

                          If you pay close attention, you'll notice that the common ground between these things is that their narrative impact is bigger than their attached rules, but they're still a significant enough part of the templates that they warrant spots on the Quick Reference sheet.

                          Beast's a game that is in large part about singular characters developing their personal legends based on what they've done and who they know, which doesn't map well to more-than-archetypal social structures when everyone's playing different flavors of Demon Lord (they've got the castle and everything). Somebody winds up the Biggest Sibling, and that ends up steering policy on a more significant level than enshrined philosophies when every Begotten generally finds it easier to specifically convince other monsters — including other Beasts — to go through with a thing.

                          It's a riot of regional brand-identities only broadly united by Kinship — everyone's either very chummy or giving you space, and which one of those approaches comes from whom is entirely down to your personal relationships. You've all got to eat, and playing at secret societies is more of a fun diversion than a necessary frame.


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

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                            This kind of reductive approach ignores that Family has a similarly minimal mechanical impact, as does Incarnation in Demon and Clade in Deviant.

                            If you pay close attention, you'll notice that the common ground between these things is that their narrative impact is bigger than their attached rules, but they're still a significant enough part of the templates that they warrant spots on the Quick Reference sheet.

                            Beast's a game that is in large part about singular characters developing their personal legends based on what they've done and who they know, which doesn't map well to more-than-archetypal social structures when everyone's playing different flavors of Demon Lord (they've got the castle and everything). Somebody winds up the Biggest Sibling, and that ends up steering policy on a more significant level than enshrined philosophies when every Begotten generally finds it easier to specifically convince other monsters — including other Beasts — to go through with a thing.

                            It's a riot of regional brand-identities only broadly united by Kinship — everyone's either very chummy or giving you space, and which one of those approaches comes from whom is entirely down to your personal relationships. You've all got to eat, and playing at secret societies is more of a fun diversion than a necessary frame.

                            Then it is a problem that seems to be common in the recent game lines, but still a problem nonetheless.

                            I don't feel the need to justify an opinion that I often see reproduced in other places, it was something that was often mentioned about Incarnation and it is a thing that I often see mentioned about Hunger, if hearing this is a reason for you to be baffled then you must have isolated yourself from the community quite well.

                            Hell, at least Incarnation not being impactful past character creation fits thematically since it's nothing more than your character's past, you are in fact encouraged to leave your Incarnation behind and build your own personal hell instead of a role the God-Machine gave you. The same can't be said about Hunger, thematically it's supposed to be very important but mechanically it barely matters.

                            Reading ArcaneArts' thread I can't help but think Hunger should be something that is part of a Lore system instead, think about it, the Bogeyman scares children who don't behave, do that enough and it becomes a part of your Lore, a part of you, so you get mechanical advantage for further feedings in that way (extra dice), but at the same time it might become so ingrained in the collective thought that feeding in a drastically different way wouldn't feel so right, Lessons are more effective when they are consistent.

                            Having the player work towards creating their story is so much more fun (at least to me) than picking from 5+2 generic descriptions of what type of monster they should be.
                            Last edited by DreadQueen; 05-26-2020, 04:04 AM.

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                            • #29


                              Originally posted by Krat05 View Post
                              Begotten society, doesn't really feel very well developed to me. It feels a bit thin. I know of the y-splats being the social angle to the gamelines. So yeah, that's my entire argument. Note that this is nothing more than my opinion of things.
                              While I can see the want for a wider Begotten society beyond the Brood (though I would definitely prefer building up local domains), what would be the purpose of tying that to a y-splat instead of developing a wider society in the setting? I think forcing characters into specific organisations with unique advantages clashes a bit with the themes of family and building personal relationships. And it might be impossible to implement without also uniting beasts as a group apart from other monsters, which would seriously hurt the idea that beasts choose their own family freely from other splats as well.

                              Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                              Reading ArcaneArts' thread I can't help but think Hunger should be something that is part of a Lore system instead, think about it, the Bogeyman scares children who don't behave, do that enough and it becomes a part of your Lore, a part of you, so you get mechanical advantage for further feedings in that way (extra dice), but at the same time it might become so ingrained in the collective thought that feeding in a drastically different way wouldn't feel so right, Lessons are more effective when they are consistent.
                              As opposed to the bonus already granted to feeding according to your preferences, and the penalty for not feeding according to your preferences?

                              Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                              Having the player work towards creating their story is so much more fun (at least to me) than picking from 5+2 generic descriptions of what type of monster they should be.
                              I do agree with this statement. That's why I like how recent game lines have stepped away from forcing you into 5+2 generic archetypes of what type of monster you get to play and instead grants you the freedom to create the character and story you want to play.

                              Deviant is particularly good at this. Almost your entire character is built from the building stones provided by the game, untied to any splat axes. The game would be just as mechanically sound if you excised Clades completely and had Adaptations be choices from a list. The only problem is that too much freedom tends to kill creativity, and having five generic archetypes as your first stepping stone (as opposed to five generic archetypes which your character is forced to lean into, as used to be the case) to narrow down your ideas into a functioning character concept.
                              For me it doesn't really matter that Hunger isn't mechanically pervasive in the game because it has a huge impact on my character creation process to make my character more interesting. For that purpose it very well could be a question to answer during character creation.


                              Bloodline: The Stygians
                              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                              • #30
                                So something that basic requires an entire meaningless system devoted to it just to act as suggestion boxes to the players but the way Beast society works should be left completely to the player's imagination?

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