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Arcane and Cinder Reread The Beast Corebook

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  • #61
    Yes, my point though is that paragraph preceding that statement is a bad thing to have in mind when revising Beast. I know it's not your personal position, but it's one you put forward as something to consider. I don't think it should be considered at all in what to do with the game moving forward.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      Yes, my point though is that paragraph preceding that statement is a bad thing to have in mind when revising Beast. I know it's not your personal position, but it's one you put forward as something to consider. I don't think it should be considered at all in what to do with the game moving forward.
      Then I suggest you not resort to knee jerk, overly defensive language like this:

      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      Beast shouldn't be revised to try to bring the haters on board. It should be revised to address the flaws in the game that aren't just people coming up with reasons to justify their dislike without any deep examination. The whole point of this thread is people that are huge fans of the game doing that examination.

      The Integrity thing is a bad faith critique of the system, because Integrity and it's equivalents are all over the place in what sorts of behaviors they encourage.
      Moving on.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
        Then I suggest you not resort to knee jerk, overly defensive language like this:
        If someone points to Beast not having an Integrity track that is negatively affected by their actions as an indicator that Beasts are Bad despite this not being unique to Beast, they are engaging in bad faith, presumably because they don't like the game. They have made up their mind and are interpreting neutral information to suit their narrative. That's not knee-jerk or overly defensive when we have six years of people complaining about a line they didn't read charitably or completely to back it up.

        The "Beasts are the worst, why should I play as them?" mentality is ingrained. It will wear out with time and better material in the spotlight, neither of which requires making changes specifically to address peripheral elements of a criticism founded on poor initial execution.

        Anyway.


        On the subject of Human Kinship, it feels germane to mention Primordial Cults and Heralds, and from there the firmer push Chronicles 2e has made toward integrating groups of mortals into monster societies probably bears carrying over to a subsequent edition of Beast; I've observed in other threads that Beast in particular would benefit greatly from having access to core systems for 1) resonance as a general phenomenon and 2) ways to handle large groups of people with merely-proximal relation to each other (i.e. it helps a lot of Beast's conceptual happenstance if you can chart about how widespread a rumor is or how much of a given neighborhood your nightmares touch non-geographically).

        Even without getting into stuff like becoming a slasher making someone Kin, there's bones to be made in bringing up the scions of the Mother's Land's spiritual potency and its impact on the mortal mind and frame — even at its most mundane, Kinship with a Beast should definitely still bear the seeds of monstrosity in its manifestation, and a less neat-little-boxes approach to stuff like Claiming and Supernatural Merit development would probably help with that.


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

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        • #64
          Satiety is INCREDIBLY an Integrity-equivalent if you care about Beats.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
            If someone points to Beast not having an Integrity track that is negatively affected by their actions as an indicator that Beasts are Bad despite this not being unique to Beast, they are engaging in bad faith, presumably because they don't like the game.
            And you can get that across without using loaded language.

            Going to move on from this. Anything else on that front, I'm hitting the report button.

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            • #66
              I'm going to cite the "Give other posters the benefit for the doubt" rule as a quick reminder. I don't think anyone in this conversation so far is going out of their way to be a jerk, even if some of the contextualization can be read this way.

              EDIT: Expounding on the roots of this, handling "Beast critics", which I assume is meant to be lumped in with "non-Beast fans", is something of a mixed bag. I don't want to assume there's nothing of value to be considered there, because Beast is at a point where it can own fuck ups, and there's a lot of valid criticism of Beast out there.

              ON THE OTHER HAND, Beast hate in general is sort of a spiralling memetic of its' own, and that's without accounting for a lot of the bad faith, poor read commentary mixed up in it.

              As it matters to this thread and my own brainstorming of Beast, the end result of that is I do think about those criticisms, but I don't think about how to make Beast for that audience. I'm interested in digging up the Beast that appealed to me and making it shiny, chrome, and coherent. Some of that involves absolutely dealing with those hard issues and considering how to pull out those burs. Some of that involves thinking about how to bend, shape, and sharpen those points into a better form. and some of it just tightening up the script and logic and scraping away the shit.

              So no, I don't need to make for that audience, but that doesn't mean they don't say things that aren't valuable for consideration.

              And more on point, I don't think anyone in this thread (minus anyone I have blocked or has been excused from the thread) is the sort of audience I have to worry about.
              Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-29-2021, 02:44 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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              • #67
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                On the subject of Human Kinship, it feels germane to mention Primordial Cults and Heralds, and from there the firmer push Chronicles 2e has made toward integrating groups of mortals into monster societies probably bears carrying over to a subsequent edition of Beast; I've observed in other threads that Beast in particular would benefit greatly from having access to core systems for 1) resonance as a general phenomenon and 2) ways to handle large groups of people with merely-proximal relation to each other (i.e. it helps a lot of Beast's conceptual happenstance if you can chart about how widespread a rumor is or how much of a given neighborhood your nightmares touch non-geographically).

                Even without getting into stuff like becoming a slasher making someone Kin, there's bones to be made in bringing up the scions of the Mother's Land's spiritual potency and its impact on the mortal mind and frame — even at its most mundane, Kinship with a Beast should definitely still bear the seeds of monstrosity in its manifestation, and a less neat-little-boxes approach to stuff like Claiming and Supernatural Merit development would probably help with that.
                Oh yeah, particularly on the bolded. Not for nothing is one of the foremost Human Kinship things on my mind "Manifest most appropriate Atavism a Beast has when acting on Familial Fear or Hunger."


                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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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                  Satiety is INCREDIBLY an Integrity-equivalent if you care about Beats.
                  To elaborate on this, if you’re the kind of shameless level grinder like me who rarely passes up a dramatic failure and makes sure your Aspirations always have a good spread of anticipated times to completion then Satiety Conditions mean being constantly on the lookout for

                  * Feeding opportunities, the more trouble-making for yourself the better.

                  * Excuses to use your powers, the more trivial or gratuitous the better.

                  It’s up there with Conviction/Loyalty as a behavior driver. Heck, if anything the lack of a built-in deterrent factor like most other splats have only further encourages you to get into the kind of “My nature keeps complicating my life” situations that a good Integrity-equivalent is supposed to create.

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                  • #69
                    Would it be fair to say that Beasts ought to be supervillains, but as the game stands they seldom get above the level of henchmen?

                    And if the game's idea is "shape your legend into something you can live as, or others will shape it for you", it very much needs systems to keep track of what the public thinks you are, and ways for enemies to attack your reputation. Indeed, you might drop the idea of adding Chambers to the Lair, and instead let a rising power stat add more tropes to the Beast's myth. Each trope creates more situations where the Beast's power can manifest, but also makes him vulnerable, because they come from the Beast's reputation, which he doesn't really control.

                    That is, the Beast is driven not just to be a monster, but to be known as a monster, and grows in power by being known more widely and in greater detail.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
                      Would it be fair to say that Beasts ought to be supervillains, but as the game stands they seldom get above the level of henchmen?
                      No this is not a fair statement at all.

                      I'm not entirely sure what "Beasts ought to be supervillains" means, but in the context of power as compared to henchmen, they're well within the very vague bounds of what supervillain means considering the range of Joker to Darkseid.

                      As the game stands, while very fresh Beasts might get taken out by a Hero if they're unlucky, any starting level Beast has more than enough tricks already to beyond being a hench. They're unlikely to be the top dog in the area unless they find a quiet spot where there's not a lot of competition that's still stable for their feeding style, but they can toss around some pretty impressive stuff.

                      Beast, even by the standards of the CofD is one of the more flexible games in how you build your character, so there's a lot of range in how good they're going to be based on things like how focused you make an individual character, and how much you build to specific strengths and strategies (aka high Satiety and heavy use of Nightmares, or low Satiety and reliance on Atavisms). So there's a range here, but Beasts are by no means push overs.

                      Indeed, you might drop the idea of adding Chambers to the Lair, and instead let a rising power stat add more tropes to the Beast's myth. Each trope creates more situations where the Beast's power can manifest, but also makes him vulnerable, because they come from the Beast's reputation, which he doesn't really control.
                      It's worth remembering that adding Chambers isn't automatic. Creating a new Chamber requires finding a spot with an emotional resonance. This is already a place where you are either at the whims of other people's actions as you make a Chamber from the impressions other people have left in the Dream, or you purposefully do things in a spot to make sure it fits what you want it to be as a Chamber.

                      I think there needs to be care with making the mechanics around building a legend not be too literal. Beasts are creatures of the Primordial Dream, they don't have to operate in a direct fashion. Their legend might need to be known, but it doesn't need to be known consciously, or necessarily directly connected to them as an individual. Esp. important is to remember that this is still a game meant to be played with a group. Growing a legend being tied to directly to individual character traits runs the risk of detracting the ability for Broods to cooperate on building up each other's legends or having a collective one.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                        So no, I don't need to make for that audience, but that doesn't mean they don't say things that aren't valuable for consideration.
                        Yeah this is what I meant.

                        No, I don't care either for appealing to people who have already made up their minds and aren't going to touch the game. But conversely, no I also don't think nothing they say has merit and that any of the criticisms they bring up are something to ignore.

                        Ultimately, I would rather Beast's presentation to be cleaned up and made more approachable for the sole purpose of bringing in new players and STs to the gameline, not just keep an insular group that never grows.

                        (even then that's not saying much. for instance, there's still a lot of people who think Mage 1e's direction of shoving Atlantis in everything is still omnipresent despite 2e going out of its way to de-emphasize it)

                        More thoughts later re: "Satiety is Beast's Integrity Trait"

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post

                          Yeah this is what I meant.

                          No, I don't care either for appealing to people who have already made up their minds and aren't going to touch the game. But conversely, no I also don't think nothing they say has merit and that any of the criticisms they bring up are something to ignore.

                          Ultimately, I would rather Beast's presentation to be cleaned up and made more approachable for the sole purpose of bringing in new players and STs to the gameline, not just keep an insular group that never grows.

                          (even then that's not saying much. for instance, there's still a lot of people who think Mage 1e's direction of shoving Atlantis in everything is still omnipresent despite 2e going out of its way to de-emphasize it)

                          More thoughts later re: "Satiety is Beast's Integrity Trait"
                          I figured.


                          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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                          • #73
                            Trust me when I say Arc and I talk a lot about that point and have strong feelings on the matter. Feelings, I'm glad to say, we fully agree on.


                            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                            I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                            This is what I'm working on

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                              But conversely, no I also don't think nothing they say has merit and that any of the criticisms they bring up are something to ignore.
                              And here I thought we were moving on or something.

                              I never said this. I said a specific critique was bad. Please, do try to be polite to the mods as you make good on your threat to report anyone besides yourself that wants to have a say in what I said.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
                                Would it be fair to say that Beasts ought to be supervillains, but as the game stands they seldom get above the level of henchmen?

                                That is, the Beast is driven not just to be a monster, but to be known as a monster, and grows in power by being known more widely and in greater detail.
                                I'll handle the middle part latter when I'm not binging Otherside Picnic, but as a quick address on these two parts:

                                I wouldn't apply the word super to Beasts-as-villains, since I don't wanna get too comic-booky here (not to say there isn't room for that- if Mage, game of occult secrets and accured identity, can have a comic book variation, Beast sure as fuck can), but I think it's known that a long time argument of mine that Beasts differ from other splats as not just being monsters, but villains.

                                If I am honest now, that's a take I would divert more to the background of Beast-I can see it as a valuable undercurrent to the conversation of Beast, but I no longer feel like Keeping Beast-as-Villain-Protagonist as one of the foremost takes to consider for the series. But yeah, villainy is still a subject-as-lens to apply to Beast.

                                Do I think Beast end up more as henchmen? Not really. If anything, Beast's do fine as main stay villains as well as (heh) dragons or lieutenants. It's a very versatile splat, and they have an advantage that is the hallmark of a lot of the great villains like David Xanatos or Lex Luthor (or, for that matter, Castlevania Dracula), in that while they can be individually powerful, the thing that really makes them scary is networking. In a setting where people are often confined to their little corner of the universe by nature of being, Beasts basically always have sideways options for pretty much anything, and provide incentives to pretty much anything to play along with them if they aren't fucking incompetent. Against any person going against a Beast in full villain mode, it ironically pretty much takes a Contagion faction to really respond to a Beast who is playing the full board, because their fucking board is dodecahedronal chess.

                                There IS some argument about thematic power level, but honestly that's a rant I wanna have when I get to the Incarnates, because the razor edge of questions lies between them, High Lair Beasts, and the tangle of thematics surrounding that border.

                                As for being known as a monster-well, it's as much an over-simplification as saying Promethean as about adolescence and Mummy is about old age, but if if you had to apply the same absurd reductivism to Beast.....Then yeah, Beasts are celebrities. I can't even deny that celebrity life and culture is one of those things I use often as a lens for Beast.
                                Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-29-2021, 07:16 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.

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