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  • The astral ideal of monsters and its relation to hunters

    So hunters. They (most) are fundamentally human, but have twisted their morals into the Hunter "Codes". Codes that often lead to some alien ideas of morality.
    Is it possible that if a hunter were to have a very altered Code, they would begin to fit into the Astral idea of monsters, thus allowing for Kinship? Or must they have a supernatural quality (unless the only way for non supernatural hunters to gain kinship is to become a Scourge).

    I've just been wondering this, because as far as I know, Kinship is connected with the astral, which means it's not necessarily literal monsters that connect to Beasts, but simply those that can be considered monstrous. Is it not possible for a hunter to gain that?

  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    It should be noted that in 2e, Endowments sounds like a much more transmutive process than in 1e. To quote-



    Heck, if you use the optional Oath Stone rules for the AKD, I would argue that under those definitions, the AKD are considered to be Kin. 2e really did made things much murkier, but there are also counter points to somne of those arguments, such in the case of Benedictions. Sure, it does sound like a tranformitive process, but the fact it is also reversible would make me wonder if those powers could truly be considered to be a part of the hunter, and not "loaned' to it by some obscure entity commonly called "God".

    So yeah, Hunter complicated thingas, but what else is new?
    It's very much it's function.

    I would argue the Oath Stone still doesn't change a hunter-it's more like a mystical RFID chip in a way more minor that the Mark of the Scythe for the Council of Bones (it's not co-integrated into your body). THe Ascending Ones alchemy though...

    ...

    Put them in the debatable category. It's quite a line to ride, but C&C also has that Cheiron implement that helps to define the lines.

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  • LostLight
    replied
    It should be noted that in 2e, Endowments sounds like a much more transmutive process than in 1e. To quote-

    Originally posted by Hunter 2e Preview
    Alchemy is the art of transforming one substance into another. Truly advanced practitioners of
    the art need no laboratory or tools to perform their miracles — their own body and enlightenment
    suffices. The Ascending Ones guard the secrets of internal alchemy, for they are easily abused
    and dangerous to the uninitiated. Many elixirs are highly toxic without an alchemical touch, and
    a few may seriously harm or cause a fatal reaction.
    Elixir Endowments represent the knowledge and training needed not only to prepare the
    alchemical cocktail the hunter imbibes, but to transform the reagents within herself and redirect
    that energy as needed.
    Heck, if you use the optional Oath Stone rules for the AKD, I would argue that under those definitions, the AKD are considered to be Kin. 2e really did made things much murkier, but there are also counter points to somne of those arguments, such in the case of Benedictions. Sure, it does sound like a tranformitive process, but the fact it is also reversible would make me wonder if those powers could truly be considered to be a part of the hunter, and not "loaned' to it by some obscure entity commonly called "God".

    So yeah, Hunter complicated thingas, but what else is new?

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    On the other hand, we should remember that Inoue Akio is the Apex of Tokyo- and I am preety sure that in order to be an Apex, you need to be a monster, while IIRC Inoue is basically a human (maybe a ghoul, I remember it was mentioned, but I can't find a reference for it in V:tR2e), even though that again, with the Hototogisu's ability to steal things from monsters, I won't be surprised if he somehow "stole" his position, maybe as a part of the "dream quest" mentioned in Beast.
    Inoue Akio is a ghoul.

    Now, as far as the Hunter Question...

    Okay, let's go through this list:

    NOT KIN: The Long Night, Ashwood Abbey, Loyalists of Thule, Null Mysteriis, Network Zero, The Union, SWORN, Division Six*, Keepers of the Source(Except the Upper Echelon), (Unsuccessful) The Promethean Brotherhood, THe Bear Lodge, The Talbot Group, (Low scale) The Illuminated Brotherhood, The Night Angels, The Barrett Commission, Maiden's Blood Sisterhood, The Hunt Club, Heritage House, Habibti Ma, Utopia Now, Yuri's Group, The Reckoning, Ama-san, The Bijin, The Gimu(Yes, I know they didn't end up in the book), The Scarlet Watch, Les Voyageurs, Keepers of the Weave, Protectors of the Light, Followers of the Mansa, Soldiers of the Forbidden Sun, Task Force Valkyrie, Ascending Ones, Aegis Kai Doru, The Cainite Heresy**

    KIN: 5-Dot Keepers of the Source, (Successful) The Promethean Brotherhood, 3-Dot and Higher Illuminated Brotherhood, Azusa Miko, Malleus Maleficarum***, the Lucifuge, Council of Bones, The Cheiron Group, VASCU, The Feast of Shulpae, The Knights of Saint Adrian, The Merrick Institute, The Hototogisu, The Otodo****

    DEBATABLE(See **): The Knights of Saint George, Les Mysteres*****

    On a personal note, the Fundamentally Human" category strikes me as completely unnecessary.

    *Okay, so one tier of their Status increases their Paradox penalty for Vigilant Witches and the Awakened, and I'll admit that's enough of a grey space on whether that's enough to go Kin or Not. I'd wager not, but.
    **One of the big issues about the Kin/Not Kin division is a question the is under the issue of "Merely using supernatural powers without it being incorporated into their being", which is that there's plenty of instances where in simply knowing how to commit supernatural acts is enough to restructure a person into being a metaphysically significant entity, ie, a monster that qualifies as Kin. Where Hunter gets fuzzy is that, being written from their point of view, it's hard to note where knowing an Endowment is enough to change you versus just simply using. I bring this up for the Cainite Heresy because it's actually a clear post-core example where it's not a case of this-their blood sorcery is entirely dependent on things around them(The specialized vials and the entirely external rituals for their blood sorcery).
    ***It was debateable in 1st Edition, but 2nd Edition's presentation of the Malleus needing to receive a blessing from the Pope to get a hotline to heaven smacks a little too much of planting the divine (the supernatural) into the hunter in order to cast Benedictions, and that's enough for me to suggest the Hammer have been altered into being Kin, barring evidence that the "God" providing the blessings is not apart in the same way the God-Machine and the Abyss is and might be (again, text is a problem).
    ****I know Conspiracies take up a lot of space, but how is Fallen Blossoms the only Hunter Dark Era to offer up Conspiracies, seriously.
    *****On the one hand, nothing says the Rites de Cheval change them at all. On the other hand, I have trouble wrapping my head around how you can keep reverse-possessing spirits and not having that change you over time-that and Status seems to have an almost Spirit Rank-like effect when it comes to fighting off possession from powerful spirits.

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  • Jacob
    replied
    IMO, it's okay that the game texts are all slightly contradictory. Each game has the advantage and disadvantage of the particular point of view of its protagonist group. It'd be a little too neat and tidy if, for example, Beasts and Mages had the same view of how the Astral Realms work. Some things should remain mysteries in the larger milieu of the game universe.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Supernatural Merits absolutely makes you Kin. Psychics and mediums (both represented as Supernatural Merits) are Kin on the same level as mages, slashers and ghosts.
    If I had just read the description of Kinship and not the HtV crossover text I would've naturally assumed that Thaumatechnology and other imbued supernatural Endowments (aka no magic items anyone could learn to activate) would be enough to make a hunter Kin, because they're now "fundamentally human but still wield supernatural power".
    I find the two texts somewhat conflicting. I assume that either most Endowments doesn't count because they change the hunter; they just add something on top; or that hunters are subject to a stricter definition to preserve themes or something. Considering the "he who hunts monsters" trope the former is probably intentended.

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  • LostLight
    replied
    I think that the main reason that hunters were stated to not be Kin is because they are generally being Endowed with their abilities (hence the name). If something supernatural about you can be taken away, it is not truly yours, and you are still foundmentially human. On the other hand, if your Endowment can not be "taken back", it does belong to you and is a part of you, hence you arwe a monster. Note that from Hunter's point of view, in 2e, we have what could be called a "reverse Kinship", where we have a definition for what does not counts as a "monster" (that is, Endowments and Supernatural merits, which are a part of being a human). Agai, cases such as the Lucifuge makes things murkier, which is exactly what they should be doing, so that's no problem.

    On the other hand, we should remember that Inoue Akio is the Apex of Tokyo- and I am preety sure that in order to be an Apex, you need to be a monster, while IIRC Inoue is basically a human (maybe a ghoul, I remember it was mentioned, but I can't find a reference for it in V:tR2e), even though that again, with the Hototogisu's ability to steal things from monsters, I won't be surprised if he somehow "stole" his position, maybe as a part of the "dream quest" mentioned in Beast.

    EDIT- also, in 2e, some of the Endowment processes seems to be "less reversible", making those huntes more likely to be counted as Kin- excluding the option of those Endowments being some form of Supernatural Merits, which again should not turn someone into a Kin as they are foundmentially a part of the mortal existence.
    Last edited by LostLight; 07-08-2020, 07:54 AM.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Another point about the Abyss and the Old Man is that they're reflected in the wrong part of the Astral. If monsters are Kin because they're reflected in the nightmares of Humanity, then anything not reflected in the Bright/Primordial Dreams (aka the Temenos) wouldn't register as Kin because only those parts of the Astral represents Humanity.

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  • FallenEco
    replied
    Look, anything that can qualify as a sleepwalker in M:tAw terms is Kin and it can include other things too.
    My earlier comment that hunters that are perceived as monsters by other hunters might count has more to do with the themes and mechanics of Vigil than a strict reading of Beast.
    Heck, I've had some games where stigmatics and VASCU hunters don't count because of the God-Machine. Teleinformics isn't even officially connected to the G-M! YMMV applies a lot with crossovers. I am okay with that, especially in Beast. Family is a personal matter after all.

    Furthermore, Building the Legend and the Beast Player's Guide do go into more detail on the Astral. I would like more, but there is enough there to subtly mind control an area or group by messing around with it's astral reflection/realm, dig up information, fight the literal embodiment of oppression and many more adventures. It is all there already.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    The Old Man is an Aeon. The other things to which that label is applied include, at their base, the beings who preside over categories describing almost everything in existence.

    Those beings also personal relationships have been compared to squabbling siblings, and, at last count, include multiple beings whose whose presented names have been shared by the Dark Mother, who is herself occasionally theorized to be an Aeon.

    The Dark Mother herself is the subject of some notional high-level branch-family drama by the fact that some of the Insatiable claim a usurpation was done to their Progenitor; here note the fact that one thing occasionally encountered in the Astral is beings claiming to be former Aeons, and that sufficiently dramatic changes in the psychic landscape of reality tend to alter the forms the Aeons prefer to take.

    On the other end of things, the admonition of the Nemean in The Unmurdered Man bears remembering re: the Abyss and Abyssal beings: do not confuse the baby with its caul. The Abyss is an inconstant "place" where mundane natural laws shift at whim and everything-and-its-opposite may be found, filled with every awful human passion and alien urge that exists in the bridge between the sacred and the mundane; Abyssal beings are consistent entities who exist despite their impossibility and do so by being in the Abyss, a place reached through profane and horrific means and imposing some fundamental wrongness on its denizens (which includes several products of divine mishap) as a mark of their errors.

    Much like the God-Machine and its angels (albeit in a different fashion), the Abyss is apart. Its denizens' agenda is the unmaking of the reality they exist on the Outside of, and the corruption of existing life and matter to their ends does not dissolve the barrier put between them and would-be Kin by an entity of such incomprehensible scale that it may as well not exist. No Ravager can quite approach the Ruin of cosmic-scale nihilism; no Gorgon can truly appreciate the soul-deep disgust that sustains a Paradoxical reality.

    The Dark Mother's line splits on the family world-tree relatively far up the chain, but there are things her lineage doesn't truck with, and it's not even terribly difficult to pick out the throughline: she's a creature of human fears — animal fears, more broadly, primordial fears if you want to be as all-encompassing as possible, but the important thing about the Dark Mother is that she is not a cosmic horror monster. She might, as much as Luna or any Aeon you care to name, have an eye on the big picture, but the thing that she is is not in the business of making reality Not Matter.

    Her Children may truck with the particulars of learning and teaching lessons, which may or may not occasionally include some variant of "[thing] is pointless" or "[facet] is unpredictable," but Mama Nightmare's place in the fiction has generally been to put forward some variant of You Have To Pay Attention. You Have To Care. You Have To Be Present. Either side of the conversation she's facilitating can do what they like with what they get out of that interaction, but experiences are being had and internalized from it, and as a creature of a certain stripe of Mystery she seems only too pleased to see people… y'know, Living With Fear.

    At least, that's my 2AM take on it.
    Well your take on it was a very good read. I had no idea Aeons may possibly change and usurped by new ones, and until now have not though the Abyss and its lack of connection to the Dark Mother as similar to the God Machine and the Dark Mother.

    I think you make a good point that even when it comes to fear, the Abyss brings about such a cosmic, eldritch fear that it just cant be like that of the human fears the Dark Mother lives to bring about. So, in short, thank you for the explanation. I really appreciate it

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    Also, I do think it's kinda weird the Abyss would never be Kin. They do have an astral reflection in the old man and the hut after all.
    The Old Man is an Aeon. The other things to which that label is applied include, at their base, the beings who preside over categories describing almost everything in existence.

    Those beings also personal relationships have been compared to squabbling siblings, and, at last count, include multiple beings whose whose presented names have been shared by the Dark Mother, who is herself occasionally theorized to be an Aeon.

    The Dark Mother herself is the subject of some notional high-level branch-family drama by the fact that some of the Insatiable claim a usurpation was done to their Progenitor; here note the fact that one thing occasionally encountered in the Astral is beings claiming to be former Aeons, and that sufficiently dramatic changes in the psychic landscape of reality tend to alter the forms the Aeons prefer to take.

    On the other end of things, the admonition of the Nemean in The Unmurdered Man bears remembering re: the Abyss and Abyssal beings: do not confuse the baby with its caul. The Abyss is an inconstant "place" where mundane natural laws shift at whim and everything-and-its-opposite may be found, filled with every awful human passion and alien urge that exists in the bridge between the sacred and the mundane; Abyssal beings are consistent entities who exist despite their impossibility and do so by being in the Abyss, a place reached through profane and horrific means and imposing some fundamental wrongness on its denizens (which includes several products of divine mishap) as a mark of their errors.

    Much like the God-Machine and its angels (albeit in a different fashion), the Abyss is apart. Its denizens' agenda is the unmaking of the reality they exist on the Outside of, and the corruption of existing life and matter to their ends does not dissolve the barrier put between them and would-be Kin by an entity of such incomprehensible scale that it may as well not exist. No Ravager can quite approach the Ruin of cosmic-scale nihilism; no Gorgon can truly appreciate the soul-deep disgust that sustains a Paradoxical reality.

    The Dark Mother's line splits on the family world-tree relatively far up the chain, but there are things her lineage doesn't truck with, and it's not even terribly difficult to pick out the throughline: she's a creature of human fears — animal fears, more broadly, primordial fears if you want to be as all-encompassing as possible, but the important thing about the Dark Mother is that she is not a cosmic horror monster. She might, as much as Luna or any Aeon you care to name, have an eye on the big picture, but the thing that she is is not in the business of making reality Not Matter.

    Her Children may truck with the particulars of learning and teaching lessons, which may or may not occasionally include some variant of "[thing] is pointless" or "[facet] is unpredictable," but Mama Nightmare's place in the fiction has generally been to put forward some variant of You Have To Pay Attention. You Have To Care. You Have To Be Present. Either side of the conversation she's facilitating can do what they like with what they get out of that interaction, but experiences are being had and internalized from it, and as a creature of a certain stripe of Mystery she seems only too pleased to see people… y'know, Living With Fear.

    At least, that's my 2AM take on it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    There's lot of wibblyness, and one of the places where a lot of actual work actually does have to be done with Beast is it's perspective on the Astral, and how that might affect all other portrayals of the Astral going forward.

    But in the same way that a singer can get on stage and inspire a lot of emotion spirits to be as near a walking wellspring as you can get and still not be a monster because there's no spiritual connectivity, a person who is a terrible human being to the degree still isn't going to connect until there's a supernatural vector*.

    What's likely to happen, though, from the Primordial/Astral point of view is that if a strong enough conception of humanity is at work, it might bleed spaces enough that the Astral idea of this person can then Possess or Claim that person, and then you have, well, a monster.

    *Now it must be noted that this deals with Beast as it is written now. I don't think Kinship as it exists is a good vector for discussing the relationship with humanity(not that it has to be, by itself), which is kind of important because being a Beast, a person with a World-Goetia-Incubated-Into-a-Humanity-Goetia, is not just a person but a symbol that applies to a certain amount of mass people-age. I've talked about this as the angle of Beast I want to see developed the most, since it has a lot of possibly really cool expressions(THe "Lore" trait from before ties into this) and helps to develop some of the individualist vs communalist and empathetic/trangressive/guidance themes of Beast, but putting it simply: I think there's room for a Human Kinship powerset that is seperate and distinct from Monstrous Kinship, that in particular keys off of Hunger and Family.

    Beasts not as a person but as a people is the edge of crazy I really want to play with into a sharpened set of teeth.
    Gotta say I agree with all this. I do think I know all I need to know about Beast as individuals (dont get me wrong, more is good, but they have a good amount) and I would love to see their relationship with the Astral more beyond the creation of Lairs. And their very unique relationship with humanity too. While flawed, many Beasts ARE trying to be at least a little benevolent in their Feedings eith Lessons, and humanity DOES tend to pick up on stuff whether the Beast meant for it or not (I've said this before, but my favorite view from without is the mummy one about beasts just desperately looking for a purpose in life. To see another view from without that contradicts this one would be cool). Admittedly the only thing I want to see further explored with Beasts as individuals is their relationship with Horrors, specifically Legendary Horrors and the fact that some can actually talk. I wonder what beasts who believe they and their horrors are one and the same think when they have a disagreement

    I'll admit, I believe this thread is done, but I do have one question for you Arcane. If given the chance to expand upon Beast the Primordial (I sure fucking hope you do), how do you plan to approach the theme of "no neat little boxes"? To me that theme is almost as important as Family in Beast, being the Lynchpin to the relationship of beasts and heroes and the overall feeling of just BEING a beast. Basically my overall question is how you would maintain that thematic since it also applies to the more concrete supernatural parts of beasts beyond just that of morality
    Last edited by Primordial newcomer; 07-08-2020, 01:43 AM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

    Despite being a beast fan, I am actually pretty uneducated on the Astral as a whole. So just because a human could be SEEN as a monster by the mass unconcious, it wouldnt be a powerful enough metaphysical change without something more tangibly monstrous about the person?

    Also, I do think it's kinda weird the Abyss would never be Kin. They do have an astral reflection in the old man and the hut after all. Then again, I would like more on Kinship regarding monsters that arent the playable ones.
    There's lot of wibblyness, and one of the places where a lot of actual work actually does have to be done with Beast is it's perspective on the Astral, and how that might affect all other portrayals of the Astral going forward.

    But in the same way that a singer can get on stage and inspire a lot of emotion spirits to be as near a walking wellspring as you can get and still not be a monster because there's no spiritual connectivity, a person who is a terrible human being to the degree still isn't going to connect until there's a supernatural vector*.

    What's likely to happen, though, from the Primordial/Astral point of view is that if a strong enough conception of humanity is at work, it might bleed spaces enough that the Astral idea of this person can then Possess or Claim that person, and then you have, well, a monster.

    *Now it must be noted that this deals with Beast as it is written now. I don't think Kinship as it exists is a good vector for discussing the relationship with humanity(not that it has to be, by itself), which is kind of important because being a Beast, a person with a World-Goetia-Incubated-Into-a-Humanity-Goetia, is not just a person but a symbol that applies to a certain amount of mass people-age. I've talked about this as the angle of Beast I want to see developed the most, since it has a lot of possibly really cool expressions(THe "Lore" trait from before ties into this) and helps to develop some of the individualist vs communalist and empathetic/trangressive/guidance themes of Beast, but putting it simply: I think there's room for a Human Kinship powerset that is seperate and distinct from Monstrous Kinship, that in particular keys off of Hunger and Family.

    Beasts not as a person but as a people is the edge of crazy I really want to play with into a sharpened set of teeth.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Beast the Primordial's sense of Kinship as dervied from the sympathetic connections it's built from depends on the differentiation from humanity in some metaphysical format-an person who is ideologically a monster isn't going to get connected. Unless Hitler's darkness flipped a switch to his humanity and was a Slasher the whole time, Hitler's not in the family.

    The only things that bear something supernatural to themselves that are not subject to Kinship are anything related to the God-Machine of this direct universe (jury's out how some of the resultants of the some of the strains of Contagion play on it, but for now I'm lingering on Kinship being more fun in those scenarios than not) and a not-textual point made by David Brookshaw where-in technically the Abyss and it's entities shouldn't count either, which is neither here nor there.

    (I think he has a point, but it's undermined by the text.)

    So literally the answer to Is It Kin is "Is it a plain jane vanilla human? Is it caused by G-M? If no to both, then it's Kin."
    Despite being a beast fan, I am actually pretty uneducated on the Astral as a whole. So just because a human could be SEEN as a monster by the mass unconcious, it wouldnt be a powerful enough metaphysical change without something more tangibly monstrous about the person?

    Also, I do think it's kinda weird the Abyss would never be Kin. They do have an astral reflection in the old man and the hut after all. Then again, I would like more on Kinship regarding monsters that arent the playable ones.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Beast the Primordial's sense of Kinship as dervied from the sympathetic connections it's built from depends on the differentiation from humanity in some metaphysical format-an person who is ideologically a monster isn't going to get connected. Unless Hitler's darkness flipped a switch to his humanity and was a Slasher the whole time, Hitler's not in the family.

    The only things that bear something supernatural to themselves that are not subject to Kinship are anything related to the God-Machine of this direct universe (jury's out how some of the resultants of the some of the strains of Contagion play on it, but for now I'm lingering on Kinship being more fun in those scenarios than not) and a not-textual point made by David Brookshaw where-in technically the Abyss and it's entities shouldn't count either, which is neither here nor there.

    (I think he has a point, but it's undermined by the text.)

    So literally the answer to Is It Kin is "Is it a plain jane vanilla human? Is it caused by G-M? If no to both, then it's Kin."

    Leave a comment:

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