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  • ArcaneArts
    started a topic Arcane and Cinder Reread The Beast Corebook

    Arcane and Cinder Reread The Beast Corebook

    So recently Cinder posited that they were gonna reread the Beast books, starting of course with the core. And I thought to myself "Hey, even though I have three books I've been chomping at the bit to read, that sounds like a cool idea, it's been a while since we've read the corebook all the way through" and then I mentally corrected my self and change my royal pronoun to my personal one-and then stopped and said, "Hey, you know what could be cool? Swapping our notes from our reread with each other." And then I thought "You know what would be even better? Sharing those notes in a public forum." So I hit up Cinder and tossed the idea to them, and they were for it, so here we are.

    With that said, two points of quick clarification, being 1) So how is this gonna work, and 2) Wait, who the fuck are y'all?

    As to the former, well, it's gonna be informal and unorganized, I'll be honest. We're not, like, setting goals to have it all read by so and so time (though I did briefly consider doing that and pitching meetings to try and make a mini-podcast out of ths), it's just read, toss in our notes when we're done. One of us may get ahead of the other, one of us may have really scattered notes, so on and so forth. What probably will happen is that, while we'll undoubtedly respond to people chatting in the thread, you'll probably get a reall sense of what some of the conversations between me and CInder are like, how we check on each other's train of thought.

    And this leads to our latter question. You're probably asking this if you're not familiar with this neck of the woods, so I'd like to say Hello, Welcome to the Beast: the Primordial threads, I hope you've had a good time in the forums overall. Cinder and I are both probably the biggest fanboys of Beast active in the forums, and we're also active freelancers who take jobs for Onyx Path when they come along. Cinder is The Beast Guy, and I've drunk a lot of whiskey and gin while putting text down about this game. We aspire to one day have a batch of books to pitch to Richard Thomas for the line, but in the mean time we spend an inordinate amount of time speaking to what we think Beast does well and where it can do better. It would be presumptuous to suggest we are the foremost experts and voices of authority in this forum, but it's not for lack of trying. Point is, we're professionals who are passionate fans of this game even as we're critical of it, and we have some history suggesting people like to listen to us talk about the subject, hence the thread.

    Now, ground rules for discussion (and naturally, Cinder and I will be abiding by these rules).

    1) If yer gonna chat in this thread, you should probably re-read the corebook right along with us-or read it, if you haven't read it before.
    2) Criticisms of and problems with the game are welcome, but we expect these things to be handled in good faith. Give the benefit of the doubt to people making counter arguments, be willing to consider that you might be wrong, and work conversation to either help you better understand the game or at least determine it's not for you. Be willing to let something go if you or the other party just seems to be dedicated to going around in circles. If you come in here to just rag on the game, or worse to make people feel bad for enjoying or even just contemplating the game, you will not be welcomed, you will be reported.
    3) This is not a discussion about Matthew McFarland or the things he did. Period. Don't try to make it one.
    4) The authors of this work are real people with real lives, real problems, and real emotions. Many had Beast as their first set of jobs, and as such some of Beast's roughness stems from this fact. This is further exacerbated by a very wonky and confusing production cycle. It is one thing to be critical of the writing and the design, but that it should not overlap into attacks on the authors. If you are asked to lighten up or back off, please do so. Be critical of the work and respectful of the authors.
    5) Yes, Beast went through a hasty rewrite in the middle of it's Kickstarter. I have various stages of Beast prior to those rewrites in my folders. We are not talking about about any Beast corebook beyond the finished copy that you could now get from DriveThruRPG. While we can accept that some concepts from earlier can factor into the reading (looking at you, Homecoming), please keep commentary on earlier versions to a minimum and focus primarily on the final product.
    6) By contrast, you can bring up how later books affect the information in the core book, including cases where it replaces or supercedes this previous information. Also, feel free to discuss how text in other gamelines, so long as it's relevant, similarly matters to Beast.
    7)Though, no, let's not labor the point that Changeling: the Lost Second Edition looked different from the time Beast was written to how it is now, nor how Hunter, Geist and Mummy were all still in first edition states and Deviant wasn't public at the time.
    8) In general, even if something gets into an argument, try to be polite and keep it fun.

    If you push too hard on points 2,3,4,5, and 7, you will not be welcome, you will get reported.

    So, with that, said, let's have fun, starting with!

    Oh my god, the intro is sooooo bad.

    (Actual notes require me to read, I just looked at those first two lines and remembered I never really liked the intro.)
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 02-03-2021, 02:57 AM.

  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    I'm at work, so this'll have to be later, but we should probably talk about Transgression, Compassion, Fatalism, Fearfulness, Mythicality, and Introspection.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    So, Themes:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Okay, picking up with Themes.

    I suppose before digging into this, I should briefly layout my current thoughts on themes as actually matters to Beast. So, Hunger & Kinship, which carries Self/Individual and ...Sort of Service/Community Definitely is the first one I think has to be mentioned, because Beast is all about that tension between the extent of a Beast's family and being there for others versus being there for yourself and who and how you are-the games humanity/monstrosity scale REALLY relies on which sort of people are attracted to the Beast in question. Acceptance & Defiance, which TvTropes would define as Harmony versus discipline, to accomodate the complicated themes around fatalism, nihilism, and absurdism-this is where the horror becomes really deep-seated and mind-fucky. I'm lolling Individuality & Archetypalism around on my tongue as a third set, because while it's kind of subset of Hunger and Kinship, but it is an overt statement of the surrender to symbolism (and stereotyping) or to the rejection of existence beyond the self (so in to be all the more Yourself). I don't wanna rest on No Neat Little Boxes anymore, but...well, hey, the first theme it talks about.

    No Neat Little Boxes is a good theme in general, and a particularly good one for Beast. It encapsulates both a real and sincere fact of life, and also the reality of the Chronicles universe. The entirity of this mystery-driven universe is fucking messy even with the collision of stratification between various gamelines, but for a lot of us older gamers who remember directly what first edition was like where Blue Book Books were a lot more common, there's this real and deep space where nothing actually...makes sense? It it solvable, but it will never wholly connect, and it's just fucking weird and discordant and YET it BELONGS because IT EXISTS. Beast is one of the three big gamelines that can really rediscover and dive into that messy, weird world where things just ARE regardless of the predisposed point of view(the other two being Mage and Demon, in my estimation, also why the fuck are these all high end power tier shit[duh, position Past Kelly]).

    But also, Beast is just really messy, and (despite being simple) hard point of view to think about. Beast rejects a world of logic and reason and linear conception in favor of emotion, psychology, dreams, zeitgeistal feel. It's not about simpler morality's and more about the infinite individual moments of questions about who and how to be, and it takes a VERY TOUGH position to handle all of that from, because it takes the position of people who have difficult shit to deal with-difficult shit to BE. The entire point of Beast, and Chronicles on the whole, is to be cathartic and sort of, at it's deep level, demon-banishing. Chronicles is place where we can be a lot of things we need to be as well as want to be, but it is place to really get with and confront both who we want to be and who we DON'T want to be. It is a game for dealing with, naming, and properly understanding what our demons are-hell, I'm a fucking genderfluid girl(yes, aware of the contradiction) of spiritual omniglotism now because I had this space to learn and grow and confront who I was, as the BASEST level of realization of who I am and who I could be, and that's the SIMPLEST of layers of being confrontation Beast handles, because Beast dives Deep and Dark and Black and still asks for Humanity.

    But Leaving it at No Neat Little Boxes feels like a cheap trick, both for Beast and in that larger conception of what Chronicles works to say and explore. It implies that Beasts are, paradoxically, ABOVE it, that they KNOW better. And there's way, in universe, they sort of can-but to dwell on that is to ignore the way that they HAVE their own bias, that they have their own diametric point of view on reality and their own interests. They are as IGNORANTLY EXPLOITATIVE as they are CONNECTIVELY UNDERSTANDING-they understand EVERYONE on an INTUITIVE level, but in the ABSTRACT and IMPERSONAL. By Contrast, they understand people on the SYMPATHETIC and EMPATHETIC level, but not neccesarily on the MORAL and ETHICAL level. There's...

    If I would retranslate this concept into a Second Edition form, I would address it as Reality & Conception-because we all need to draw our borders and close in the wagons to handle things as they happen, but that very essential act has it's own problem in that it recognizes we always are never gonna have the whole picture JUST BECAUSE we need to draw a line to handle that reality before it overwhelms us, and that dealing with life means both having to draw lines and also not being willing to die for them, but also realizing we have our own horizons and journey that cannot acknowledge the whole. Living is learning, and you'll never know the whole.

    On record, I'm basically listening to the Achievement Hunter Turnaround Videos, videos from the last year where AH basically decided to take a hard stance and fucking hard turn to be who they want to be and condemn who they were, if yer wondering about the tenor.

    ANYWAYS, where are we?

    You Don't Choose Your Family.

    ohhhhhh fuuuucking god.

    fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

    I should Read This before I respond.

    Okay. So.

    There's no way I can address this part without addressing my real world relationship to the theme.This one is controversial.

    So, my middle brother and I. The equal and opposite near-twins.

    I won't bore you with the full details of just HOW near it can be perceived, but my brother and I have always been the closest persons in each other's lives, even when we listed apart. If there is a person who's opinion I know I should hear even when I don't wanna hear it, my middle brother is it. If there is someone I could just undress myself and pretend to be, I could walk onto military bases as my middle brother. If there is one person I could trust to pretend to be me for a day, even if I wouldn't like the results of it, my middle brother is that person. I would describe no one else as being the closest person to me.

    He is also on the list of people I'd like to personally kill. Because We are the same person UNTIL we diverge. And then we're not. By wide margins.

    My brother believes a lot of actively harmful and hateful things. He ACTS on them. He always has. He's always been exploitative and maipulative and selfishly malicious. He's the reason I'm not openly genderfluid. The rest of my family is recalcitrant, but could come to terms with it, but he won't. He's a racist, a sexist, a classist, a bigot of all the stripes you'd expect from the worst that America can be. And I am kind of ALWYAS ANGRY about that. I am so FURIOUS someone in my family is like that.

    And here's where the realistic, the honest and idealistic should, would, will, and MUST say: you should stop caring about that. Leave him behind, stop caring, treat him as he is. And I know I should.

    But he is my brother. I have other siblings, but this is the guy I faced the world with, when no one else, and sometimes LITERALLY no one else, was by my side, and for what can be called no other reason than because he's my brother. And I've done the same.

    I could kill him. I would also shield him from anyone trying to kill him.

    He's...my brother. He's complicated and extreme and anyone interacting with my brother after dealing with me is going to have a myriad of reactions.

    And that-that is what Beast needs to really communicate about Kinship. Kinship is about people you love and people you hate and people who are completely one in the same, and it is you making excuses for people who don't deserve it and explaing the reasons behind people who do deserve it and those two things not being unrelated from each other and people just being people and the human family being the fucking human family.

    It's about how the only right person to defend and kill a person is a sibling to the person in question. It's about how the only people who can defend or kill a person is someone who is NOT a sibling to the person in question. It's about how no ONE ANSWER can ever be the right answer, but sometimes, that ONE ANSWER is what needs to be acted on.

    Beasts see everyone as family. It doesn't make things easy. it doesn't make things PEACEFUL. It makes them feel like they're the only ones who can act-and it often demonstrates both how right and wrong they are.

    It's about being personal and intimate, the way it can't HELP but be that way, and the way that can ABSOLUTELY fuck everything up.

    (Also, heh, look, another reason Beasts and Demons are twain despite the twixt)

    Beasts seeing everyone else as family not everyone else's problem, it's theirs. Whatever you might think is an obvious solution requires a second thought from a Beast. What might be a forgivable slip is an unforgiveable slight to a Beast. EVERYTHING is Heightened. EVERYTHING is reflective. EVERYTHING is personal. Nothing is simple ,everything is emotional.

    So, final one...

    To Thine Own Self Be True.

    So, fun and unrelated fact, a tradition in the Mormon Church is that one of the many accessories you must obtain before going on a Mormon Mission is a ring related to the Church's values. My mom has forgotten this story, but we went to go buy my ring, and she wanted me to buy one of the other trite statements that Mormons claim as their own, like Choose the Right, or some shit about the temple, or whatever.

    The ONLY quote I would allow was To Thine Own Self Be True, and apparently this was such a soft-but-drawn-out conflict we left without buying a ring, because she apparently didn't agree with my logic. Also tangentially funny, my middle brother LOVES THIS NOTION, and so do I.

    For Beast, it is an....interesting one, becuase it is very core to Beast's conflict(s), but it doesn't really capture it AS conflict. Because the core Beast, where all horror and tragedy derives from, is the claimancy and ownership of being a monster versus WHAT THAT MEANS and just at what point in that claimancy/ownership do you start drawing lines who and what you will be, who and what you'll allow yourself to be...who and what the world and circumstance demand you to be.

    There's a point where Beasts are who they are, a point they can't back way from, a point many of them won't even try to pretend to-but that point can exist in a lot of different ways, and the readiance or reluctance towards those many points should be the point of interest, which drives them towards conflict (or alliance) with Heroes and the Insatiable. It's about,however and how much you define the place and difference in position in a community you have, you HAVE a place and relationship and differential postion to/from to that community. It's about where that lines exists, and what's worth the cost of that relationship.

    So after this, it's influences and all that other jazz. I should address the Six Moods at some point, and I should address Inspirations and Sources I suppose....But Chapter 1 is calling. We've been in the intro WAY too long.

    We'll see.

    PS: BTW, I write these things in Notepad and sometimes I edit them aftewards. Othertimes, I go to sleep.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 06-12-2021, 03:36 AM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Need to pick up with this, but on an unrelated note to self, Branches. Grandpa's in the attic, there are serpents in the trees.

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  • HelmsDerp
    replied
    Speaking of inspirational material, I did catch that Wreck It Ralph quote slipped in a couple pages back

    Anyway, Heroes. There's so much to say on the topic. I know we're technically just on the short segment in the introduction, but the disjointed approach to Heroes permeates Beast and of all the places the splat could improve I think Heroes are second only to Lessons. Beast has a tricky line to walk here: In a game about playing the villains (by societal designation, at least) you need to have clear reasons why those are more interesting characters to explore than the Heroes.

    The problem with that is that swapping perspective doesn't change the fact that to make an interesting story protagonists need interesting antagonists. Well, that's not strictly true, protagonists need to be confronted with interesting problems, which don't need to be caused by antagonists but often are. Beast mucked this up in its first outing by painting Heroes as shallow, one note glory hounds and then failing to sell other, more interesting problems in their stead. Seriously, how many of the story snippets are a nameless Hero trying to kill a Beast and getting killed instead, with next to no broader context? That's possibly the most boring kind of interaction from a social or metaphysical standpoint, and given the power disparity it would be a struggle to keep such encounters menacing beyond the first tier of play. Yes, I know Heroes can be played much more interesting than random back alley attackers; Conquering Heroes gives us plenty of examples. The core, however, doesn't do enough to showcase it. There's so much of it that it can seem like the game is mainly about these randos trying to kill you because you're a monster, but you kill them in self defense instead. As subversions go that's... pretty shallow and limited. Mechanically it doubles down, with Gifts that are almost exclusively useful for killing Beasts and are only ever acquired through... killing Beasts. That does a good job reinforcing how monomaniacal Heroes can be, but it also reinforces the perception that encounters mostly start with an attempted murder and end with a successful one.

    Actually, the Wreck It Ralph reference is relevant here because it's a good example of an interesting problem that doesn't involve a homicidal antagonist. Ralph's desire for recognition isn't supported by any of his existing acquaintances and his skill set isn't particularly conducive to achieving recognition elsewhere. Not all Beasts are going to care about being a good guy in spite of social perceptions and a tool kit much better suited to breaking things and terrorizing people, but it's certainly one of the compelling narrative options the game can offer.

    Sidenote, I very much like the idea of Heroes facing, and rejecting, a Devouring of their own. Would this necessitate killing the larval Horror, or just driving it away? Beast decided to not codify the precise means by which Heroes arise, which was better than the original version, but it intuitively makes a lot of sense to me that if s Beast is created by a Horror devouring and replacing a soul then aborting that process partway through would likely mean a damaged soul with nothing to fill the void. Which would give Heroes something in common with Deviants.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Any way you could... Um... Give any indication what things from the book any of that corresponds to?
    1) I only ever promised stream of consciousness.
    2) ....buuuut it's Introduction, Heroes through Inheritances. Next notes'll start on Themes.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 04-07-2021, 02:24 PM.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Any way you could... Um... Give any indication what things from the book any of that corresponds to?

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Continuing.
    Picking up with Heroes in the Introduction

    You know, the square jawed, divinely chosen champion icon is more a matter of modern imagery rather than actuality. It's not that there weren't strong men and warriors, but even Hercules frequently displayed moments of cunning and genius, and in cultures around the world, the prominence of warrior heroes is dependent on the contexts they were told in. Odysseus may be an "antihero" by Greek standards, but Anansi is a favored culture hero/god.

    I dig the idea of Heroes feeding on fear in a different way, but I would rather give them a Satiety trait then leave it allegorical. I also feel like we need to get to the roots of the issue-sure, it's fun to raz Heroes for needing all the world to wrap around them in Lair-like fashion, but I would again go to the heart of the matter and make it clear where some people learn to accept and embrace fear as part of who they are, some people get close to the Devouring...and reject the idea that they're afraid at all. I feel like the rest of this second paragraph hinges so much better on this notion.

    Also, I'm all for giving Heroes Lair and Satiety. Fuck it, make it so Heroes are Beasts who turned the Devouring into the Conquering ala Inversion. I'd have them operate very differently from Beasts, but let's bring them all the hell in. And yes, I have ideas for exactly how they should operate.

    Anyways, how that's relevant is that it spins this thing about finding someone to hate and someone to lead around the centerpole and jabs it straight forward. This doesn't preclude Oracles either, but the mechanics of that evolution would have to be reconsidered.

    Note to Self: also, explore the Devouring in depth. It may not be like the Awakening, but lots of things can happen instead of the Final Devouring.

    The Dreaming(Bright and Primordial Dreams, and the Mother's Land and individual dreams as well) are Contagion. or perhaps simply contagion. Point is that Heroes and Beasts should be susceptible to warping, and being warping influences as well(Heroic Lair, anyone). The same applies to the Insatiable, but they're here to eat humanity's arrogance, so maybe it takes more work on them.

    If there is a splat I'm okay with going "Maybe people are stupid and need someone to step in and take charge", it's mages. And demons. And mummies. and-look, point is I'm also comfortable with Heroes being those assholes.

    Again, we have this notion of Astral splats sliding around people's dreams and drawing the warning clues from there. I realize we have this in Heroic Stalking, but we could make it so much weirder.

    Note to self, finish writing up that roots of Families and Heroes thing. It's good shit.

    The lack of actual oppositional cornerstone is felt. But yes, one problem with Heroes, in-game, that Beasts have to reconcile with is that some (not all) of them kinda have a point there.

    See, it's the diving into Lair/Legend building aspects of Heroes that misses the point. It feels like the book is actively leaping from "kinda have a point" to "megalomaniacal asshat" without understanding what's between, and what drives one from the other. "Some people can't handle being people who can be afraid" spirals outward and connects the two.

    So by this reading, Heroes are the US Court systems. Good to know.

    Beasts also kinda have a point. There's no breaking the circle.

    Again, that lack of self reflection has to be textually earned.

    The Victorious, the Bright/Enlightened, the Plain, the Immortal, the Armored, the Priest, the Libertine.

    Anyways, Nightmares.

    Specifics to Archetypes. Individuality and Archetypalism continue to beat a drum. Need to incentivize Beasts to conflict with seeing Harry who works long nights to get through collect vs seeing Gas Station Attendant. Chew on it.

    Hmm, maybe high end Beasts need some of their own talespinning blended in with Nightmares. At the least, Nightmares should probably stop relying on humanity as the sole vector-maybe some of those adjustment Nightmares need to be refigured. Need to toy around with this possibility. I wouldn't worry about it low end.

    Somewhere between Werewolf and Mage, particularly for the violent imagery.

    the monsters are you, you are the monsters, self is a lie and all the demons are out to play.

    The tree metaphor for Beast society remains apt, and appropriate for it's similarity to the Dreaming. On the street level, it's all about the brood. At the top of the pyramid and base of the tree, the Dark Mother looks down/up in love and conspiracy, and Grandparents in the Attic slither around and manipulate family drama to their ends. After all, they are you and you them, after all. Still need to write Kneel Before the Maw Part 2: Endmaw.

    (Mastigos horror is heavy and strong in Beast)

    Fuck, what was that bridge to the Apex?

    It's like a patchwork blanket of terrible things gnawing your jaw off. "Chains, not walls."

    Inheritance is suicide.

    God fucking damnit Incarnates and the Power Scale question.

    Supergirl's coming up in a bit, seems like a good place to call it, whaz next?

    OH, yeah, themes and inspirational material. Definitely calling here.

    Relevant to some of the points here:
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 04-06-2021, 09:57 PM.

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  • Cinder
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    I currently am....still in the Intro, at the beginning of Heroes.

    Dunno where Cinder is at.
    I'm there too.

    Also, I wanted to say this when covering the inspirational material, but since it's been discussed and Arc mentioned her notion of "Beast as celebrities" (which I also share and often use to tackle the game), in recent years I've read more of The Wicked + The Divine, a rather famous comic about a group of people who awaken as gods and live the subsequent divinity as the superpowered combination of music/superstars/huge influencers. The authors intentionally depict it that way and, while Scion lists it as an obvious inspiration, there's plenty in there (especially spoiler sensitive stuff) which tracks even better to Beast.

    It's a good one and really useful for Beast, even more than it looks at first sight. I also have other examples of famous media I think are relevant to Beast, but that's a big topic and I need this energy to cover my daily wordcount. We'll get there.

    For now, if you're curious, those media include Black Sails (a lot, to the point I'd add it to the book along the aforementioned The Wicked + The Divine), The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad & Better Call Saul, Bojack Horseman, and more. If you notice a common thread in that list, it's because it's there.

    EDIT: My other comic inspiration aren't relevant to this reply, but I feel bad whenever I cut them out, so let's mention the obvious Hellboy & Sandman, plus Monstress, I Kill Giants and Harrow County.
    Last edited by Cinder; 03-31-2021, 05:12 AM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
    Roughly where are we in the core book now? I seem to have lost the thread on the discussion.
    I currently am....still in the Intro, at the beginning of Heroes.

    Dunno where Cinder is at.

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  • nalak42
    replied
    Roughly where are we in the core book now? I seem to have lost the thread on the discussion.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
    Can I please ask that both of you drop it? It’s clear that you’re not going to find common ground. I’m not going to ascribe intent on either side, and I believe the frustration is real, but it’s not helping anyone who wants to follow Cinder and Arcan’s re-read.

    So please, can it stop without anyone needing to get just one last word here and let us enjoy the re-read insights?

    Edit: Noting the crosspost with Arcane.
    Please ask mods to drop things.

    But yes, agreed, both of them should drop it.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
    I don't get the sense, from reading B:tP, that the typical PCs are characters like that, standing for an archetype and possessed by a grand purpose. They're ... petty. Small. Look at the examples given for gaining Satiety. The way Kinship works has the Beast being a hanger-on in another monster's story - a minor character at best. The game doesn't much support grand villainy, which was what it ought to have done.
    Maybe this is a difference of definitions, but…

    No gameline-PC monster-type is minor enough to warrant description as "henchmen," least of all the one whose universal toolkit includes having a safehouse, being specifically persuasive to monsters, and having the ability to enhance any supernatural power.

    The way Kinship works is more than the barest engagement of Family Dinner. The way Hunger works makes it easier to feed with petty activities if you stay hungry all the time, but feeding is expressly more effective if you're angling the effort toward your Aspirations, burning Satiety in the pursuit makes it work better (and, as the Player's Guide points out, if you want to become Gorged without relying on Family Dinner then your best bet is to spend down to 5 before the roll), and carrying out a feeding attempt inside your Lair also works better.

    The narrative pressures on a Gorged Beast encourage them to hang back while their Kin handle the heavy lifting, sure, but Mother's Kiss, consistent access to specific Chambers of a Lair, and the Beat criteria for Family Ties do not paint the picture of Beastly involvement with another monster as henchmanning — point me at someone who strengthens another monster's powers, is empowered by that monster's sating its appetites, shelters it, and develops tailor-made psychic proxy demonstrations of Why That Monster Is Scary through their connections, and I will tell you that you have identified a media producer.

    The principal struggle of being Gorged or Slumbering is keeping active enough that your lifeline don't abandon you for being little more than a mortal in the know, just as being Starving or Ravenous push you to hurt the people close to you and either drive them away, destroy them, or otherwise render the relationship fraught. That's what keeps them in the dragon's seat when they aren't the Demon Lord proper — an involved Beast upsets the apple cart of a locale personally or by their support of someone else.

    Like, sure, Beast characters can scrape by on petty theft and vandalism. You can also play a game of Demon where you stay as far away from Infrastructure as you can and collect your free Cover Beat at the end of each chapter instead of pursuing the Cipher or adhering to an Agenda, but just as that doesn't make Descent not support being a revolutionary in a cold war for reality, the ability to feed humbly doesn't constitute lack of support for "grand" villainy.

    The Horror is easy to leverage as resonant imagery, but it principally wants to eat. Supreme ambition is a personal pursuit that widens the scope of that hunger; for all that the localization process has adapted them out of easily surviving in the world-soul, the Temenos is not the native layer of the Astral for the Primordial Self — even before we drill down and remember that the Temenos deals in heavier fare than casual rumormongering, a Horror originates from a place where the minds of animals and geography dwell, and its influence on the world skews toward the real and the palpable, with the abstract and cerebral stuff of Nightmares requiring effort and/or cooperation.

    Just because Family Dinner doesn't require you to do anything more than be present for the feeding doesn't mean helping doesn't help.

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  • Bunyip
    replied
    Can I please ask that both of you drop it? It’s clear that you’re not going to find common ground. I’m not going to ascribe intent on either side, and I believe the frustration is real, but it’s not helping anyone who wants to follow Cinder and Arcan’s re-read.

    So please, can it stop without anyone needing to get just one last word here and let us enjoy the re-read insights?

    Edit: Noting the crosspost with Arcane.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    I'm going to make it plain that I would rather you both stop this exchange entirely.

    Beast is controversial enough.

    Leave a comment:

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