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Test Case: The Anakim and the Victorious.

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  • #16
    I like the dynamic of Embracing vs Conquering. That's pretty slick and produces completely opposing viewpoints that are just going to naturally clash. That's just built in conflict from the outset even before introducing any supernatural shenanigans as to why Heroes find Beasts intolerable.

    Regarding sobriquets... Was "The Pure" considered for "The Priest"/"The Holy"? It still lets you lean into "Holy" or "Priest" vibes without being front-loaded with a religious bent. Also a Hero focused on being "Pure" would have ample room still for how that can go terribly wrong and awful without invoking religion specifically. Like... That can be done if people wish, but that seems like a useful thing for people to opt into rather than have text make explicit.

    ...I'll admit, I don't really get the "Immortal" sobriquet.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Paradim View Post
      ...I'll admit, I don't really get the "Immortal" sobriquet.
      I haven't been privy to Arc and Cinder's conversations, but the first thing that comes to mind is that the human response of revulsion to a phenomenon tends to relate to those things being poisonous, disease-carrying, or otherwise quietly deadly/deleterious — as the social media exchange cuts directly to, a really obvious evolutionary reason the Uncanny Valley exists is because corpses look like people and are bad to be around.


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

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
        I haven't been privy to Arc and Cinder's conversations, but the first thing that comes to mind is that the human response of revulsion to a phenomenon tends to relate to those things being poisonous, disease-carrying, or otherwise quietly deadly/deleterious — as the social media exchange cuts directly to, a really obvious evolutionary reason the Uncanny Valley exists is because corpses look like people and are bad to be around.

        ...Yeah, I can see that making sense. Was a weird jump from "Repulsive" and "Ugly" to "Immortal" or "Undying". But I guess it looks deeper at what might be causes of something being considered "ugly" or "repulsive", and what kind of a reaction you get out of it...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
          Uh. Bug me and Cinder to finish up our pitches to Paradox for Beast products, and otherwise help generate interest in Beast?
          Make Beast stuff on the Vault. Buy Beast stuff on the Vault. Try to get Chronicles trending on Twitter?


          Patreon | He/His Pronouns | Currently writing: Tome of the Pentacle (OPP), The Hedge (OPP)

          CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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          • #20
            Okay, I've actually had time to read and process the thread now. I REALLY like the dichotomy between Beasts embracing fears and Heroes rejecting it, but I also really like how this opens up some room to make lessons feel more natural. The idea of embracing that you can't change everything, but you CAN change this thing, right here in front of you, that you can chip away at the system, that is okay if you fail... those all feel like things that good educators embrace. Might be that my pedagogical throughline in my classrooms has always been "making mistakes is alright, because that's how you learn," but this portrayal of the Anakim deeply resonates with me.


            Patreon | He/His Pronouns | Currently writing: Tome of the Pentacle (OPP), The Hedge (OPP)

            CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
              Okay, I've actually had time to read and process the thread now. I REALLY like the dichotomy between Beasts embracing fears and Heroes rejecting it, but I also really like how this opens up some room to make lessons feel more natural. The idea of embracing that you can't change everything, but you CAN change this thing, right here in front of you, that you can chip away at the system, that is okay if you fail... those all feel like things that good educators embrace. Might be that my pedagogical throughline in my classrooms has always been "making mistakes is alright, because that's how you learn," but this portrayal of the Anakim deeply resonates with me.
              One of the big goals in thinking about Families (and Hunger, to a lesser extent, though that has to balance out more with the transgressive elements of the game) is that Beasts, as much as they are monsters who inflict these things, are also people who have been there and get it. Hell, they still are afraid of the core nightmares of their Families-it's just affirmational as well as frightening. I want to really dig into the Kinship aspect of Families, make it clear that they are really as likely to sit down and go "Ya wanna talk about it?" as they are to go "Ooga Booga!"

              I also do feel like it does make some of the lesson culture (however much of it remains when I'm done shifting it into mythmaking) much more organic, something a Beast has more personal feeling and connection to it. And it also does make the familial conflict between Beasts and Heroes much more pronounced and on point.

              Beast is still a game about having fun as a bad guy doing cathartically trangressive things-but it's very clear people had trouble connecting to the heart of the game, and by exploring those fears, what they mean, and how they can help a person blossom, we can make it so people find the better balance in writing about it. Just because you're a bad guy doesn't mean you're always a bad guy.


              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
                This does look like a fruitful direction to take things. But you might have a difficulty down the line:

                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                The Anakim=The Victorious
                The Eshmaki=The Bright/The Enlightened
                The Makara=The Plain
                The Namtaru=The Immortal/The Undying
                The Ugallu=The Armored
                The Inguma=The Priest
                The Talasii=The Libertine
                Namely, I'm not sure that you can find a viable concept for the Makara or the Talasii. The Makara are specifically nightmares of the Ocean, and I don't think there is a general fear connected with oceans that isn't already covered by the Eshmaki (fears of the unknown) or the Anakim. (The Heroic counterpart reinforces that, as "Plain" suggests absolutely nothing to me.) Similarly, the Talasii (fear of restriction) are only a limited type of Anakim as you've rewritten them, since imprisonment is just a source of hopelessness.

                On the other hand, the Ingumi are a totally distinct type, not covered by any of the original five - so you could promote them to a core Family, drop the Makara and Talasii, and transfer their Atavisms to other Families.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
                  This does look like a fruitful direction to take things. But you might have a difficulty down the line:



                  Namely, I'm not sure that you can find a viable concept for the Makara or the Talasii. The Makara are specifically nightmares of the Ocean, and I don't think there is a general fear connected with oceans that isn't already covered by the Eshmaki (fears of the unknown) or the Anakim. (The Heroic counterpart reinforces that, as "Plain" suggests absolutely nothing to me.) Similarly, the Talasii (fear of restriction) are only a limited type of Anakim as you've rewritten them, since imprisonment is just a source of hopelessness.

                  On the other hand, the Ingumi are a totally distinct type, not covered by any of the original five - so you could promote them to a core Family, drop the Makara and Talasii, and transfer their Atavisms to other Families.
                  A certain amount of overlap is expected, and I don't mind when one thing looks like another-This was somethat came up with the Eshamki and the Inguma, for instance. The key is finding what makes each unique.

                  But as for the Forsworn of the Depths and of Confinement, don't worry, I'm actually ahead on this, and the Makara are the third full write up I have. And while I am quite proud of my conception of the Victorious and the Enlightened, I took a real pleasure in writing up the Plain. These are folk who'll drown you in the shallow end.


                  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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                  • #24
                    If anything Makara is the easiest one, Makara is the fear of depthness, swimming is three dimensional, walking on land is two dimensional.

                    There couldn't be a better choice than "Plain".

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by DreadQueen View Post
                      If anything Makara is the easiest one, Makara is the fear of depthness, swimming is three dimensional, walking on land is two dimensional.

                      There couldn't be a better choice than "Plain".
                      Definitely on the right track there-and yes, part of the benefits to the name is evoking the great, broad, empty, flat plains-the sort of place a Makara could never hope to navigate.


                      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


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                        Cinder and I spent for fucking ever trying to come up with a justifiable answer of...not why Heroes were the bad guys, but was wrong with Heroes**. It involved shifting the goal posts and playing field a lot (which led to a LOT of deeper understanding about this game), but eventually hit on the fact that is a horror game, and at that moment, one of us asked (i forget who) "What if they just refuse to recognize they're in a horror game?" at which one of us circled around with how shallow was that way but then all of sudden it clicked.

                        Beasts arrive at their Devouring by embracing fear.
                        Heroes arrive at their Conquering by rejecting fear.

                        This isn't a moral or ethical argument*-it's an emotional one, a personal one, an issue with how you're supposed to look at yourself and the world and how you're supposed to deal with it-and they both have really viable points, but one answer sort of inherently rejects the other, even when you try to balance them.

                        This was the amoral battleground we could stake beastdom and heroism on. This was where our main characters could perch on the Dark Gray Line and glare at each other.

                        It is, to this day, one of the two key elements I consider to understanding how to make Heroes click, and pointed the way forward on how to really start getting Beast to gel with itself.
                        First off, I want to say I really like this approach and would be highly satisfied if a hypothetical second edition ran with it.

                        Secondly, it's tricky for me to judge your essays as they are now. Had you written them the same way you would write for a book, I could asess them as such, but they're more like brainstorming notes. I can't just say someone is vibing wrong, so all I can do is throw my thoughts out there, and hope they're useful. Also, it's been a while since I've written my thoughts in an organized manner, so if you feel the need to diss me, please make sure it's for something I really meant.

                        My main concern is that I don't think your write-ups (from Anakim to Makara) live up to the assumptions in the quote obove. The writing seems much more favorable of the Families than it is towards Heroes. If they're to be equal opposites across an amoral line, I'm certain they need the same capacity for growth or being right. If a Hero goes all in on their epiphany, to the point they dismiss anything contary to their beliefs, Beasts should be depicted as equaly capable of making such mistakes. At the same time, if Beasts can learn (through painful experience) when their mindset is applicable, and when it isn't, Heroes should be able to do the same. At the same time, if a Beastly world-view if written as convincingly as possible, the Heroic one needs to receive the same courtesy.

                        Now, there's the question of: "Is the text intended to be objective or subjective". It doesn't matter now, but it would be vital for the book. A philosophically inclined Beast could reasonably write the same things you did. However, any in-character opinions would have to explicitly be marked as such. Not only that, I'd expect to read an Heroic point of view right after, so a potential reader can compare them and see that they're meant to be taken with a grain of salt. No tucking the other away in the Appendix.


                        ~

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                          First off, I want to say I really like this approach and would be highly satisfied if a hypothetical second edition ran with it.

                          Secondly, it's tricky for me to judge your essays as they are now. Had you written them the same way you would write for a book, I could asess them as such, but they're more like brainstorming notes. I can't just say someone is vibing wrong, so all I can do is throw my thoughts out there, and hope they're useful. Also, it's been a while since I've written my thoughts in an organized manner, so if you feel the need to diss me, please make sure it's for something I really meant.

                          My main concern is that I don't think your write-ups (from Anakim to Makara) live up to the assumptions in the quote obove. The writing seems much more favorable of the Families than it is towards Heroes. If they're to be equal opposites across an amoral line, I'm certain they need the same capacity for growth or being right. If a Hero goes all in on their epiphany, to the point they dismiss anything contary to their beliefs, Beasts should be depicted as equaly capable of making such mistakes. At the same time, if Beasts can learn (through painful experience) when their mindset is applicable, and when it isn't, Heroes should be able to do the same. At the same time, if a Beastly world-view if written as convincingly as possible, the Heroic one needs to receive the same courtesy.

                          Now, there's the question of: "Is the text intended to be objective or subjective". It doesn't matter now, but it would be vital for the book. A philosophically inclined Beast could reasonably write the same things you did. However, any in-character opinions would have to explicitly be marked as such. Not only that, I'd expect to read an Heroic point of view right after, so a potential reader can compare them and see that they're meant to be taken with a grain of salt. No tucking the other away in the Appendix.
                          I think the possible issue with that ultimately the book is focused on the Beast. It should be punctual on what Heroes get wrong since they embody tropes we all consider virtuous.

                          But overall I agree it does seem to make Heroes out to be anti wrong in their mindset

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                            First off, I want to say I really like this approach and would be highly satisfied if a hypothetical second edition ran with it.

                            Secondly, it's tricky for me to judge your essays as they are now. Had you written them the same way you would write for a book, I could asess them as such, but they're more like brainstorming notes. I can't just say someone is vibing wrong, so all I can do is throw my thoughts out there, and hope they're useful. Also, it's been a while since I've written my thoughts in an organized manner, so if you feel the need to diss me, please make sure it's for something I really meant.

                            My main concern is that I don't think your write-ups (from Anakim to Makara) live up to the assumptions in the quote obove. The writing seems much more favorable of the Families than it is towards Heroes. If they're to be equal opposites across an amoral line, I'm certain they need the same capacity for growth or being right. If a Hero goes all in on their epiphany, to the point they dismiss anything contary to their beliefs, Beasts should be depicted as equaly capable of making such mistakes. At the same time, if Beasts can learn (through painful experience) when their mindset is applicable, and when it isn't, Heroes should be able to do the same. At the same time, if a Beastly world-view if written as convincingly as possible, the Heroic one needs to receive the same courtesy.

                            Now, there's the question of: "Is the text intended to be objective or subjective". It doesn't matter now, but it would be vital for the book. A philosophically inclined Beast could reasonably write the same things you did. However, any in-character opinions would have to explicitly be marked as such. Not only that, I'd expect to read an Heroic point of view right after, so a potential reader can compare them and see that they're meant to be taken with a grain of salt. No tucking the other away in the Appendix.
                            Yeah, again this is proto-bible stuff, stuff I wrote to help get a balance on how I wanted to think about things-and by necessity with a lot of Beast's reputation and where a good amount of that is earned through the negligence of the first edition's development, some that means starting from the counter-balanced point of view.

                            In the vein of tying both the Families and the Forsworn to each other, the primary factors in regards to bigger picture is "Beasts come off as abusive and excessively monstrous, ergo how can we make exploring the Fear Element that defines them appreciable, speaking towards to common concepts of Kinship?" and "If we are using Beasts as a way to communicate the value of fear in the lives of people (and arguably in the defense of the horror genre), can we demonstrably make a case that rejecting fear can lead to a verisimilitudinous set of toxic worldviews and consequential action?" We needed to make sure that Family spoke to the Kinship side of the Kinship & Hunger theme that we place as the foremost of themes that Beast conflicts with, and likewise by tying Heroes to this notion, we had to make sure that this was a firm and understandable enough wedge, with plenty of room for clear commentary on the criticism of the typical heroic mythology that Beast wants to have but wasn't willing, or couldn't due to the circumstances of it's development, commit to.

                            We also kind of needed them to affirm and clarify on their equal and oppositional directives-by affirming the virtues of fear, it also caresses the shape of, you know, why it's terrifying and possibly easy to abuse-and likewise, we needed the obvious "Wait, but what about [x]]?" to clearly rise up from the negative take of Heroes. The Anakim are terrifying and monstrous because when they act, they with a surety that matches their action, the fullness of their will above yours clearly the inevitability reality will reach. The Eshamki are terrifying because of their potentiality and swiftness to be, seemingly omnipresent and completely at ease at out-violencing others the instant they even start to indicate it. The Makara are terrifying for their willingness to confound, disorient, and play on the minds and emotions of their victims as they drown them. Likewise, the Plain at their best show their value by keeping the picture on the here and now and the plain simple truth, as well as for acting as the hearth heroes and tradition keepers of any community. The Bright are scientists, explorers, and researchers at their best, questioners who race to edge of knowledge and push as far and hard as they can. And listen, as much as I love the paradox of Hope and particularly the exploration of the notion of the Sin of Hope (hi Devil Bargains), I'm too much right along with Red from Overly Sarcastic Productions and Terry Pratchett to ever make a singular case that Hope is a bad thing. Also, who doesn't like a Shonen protagonist**?

                            What mitigates both are the twain* factors of a) Beast is a game that has a lot necessity and value for keeping it's protagonist and primary antagonist on the same Dark Gray Line of moral/ethical consideration as the human/monstrous argument goes, because Beast is first and foremost a game about Empathy, and b) a clear argument that there are degrees to which both are needed for a full picture, and even more complicated that those degrees can change depending on what you're dealing with (and even who and how you are when dealing with those circumstances).

                            Further complicating that is that Beast doesn't make the argument "This is the way you have to think and be" on the whole of it's text, so much as "This is a way of thinking you've probably neglected, and giving it some exploration will you give you a fuller and deeper comprehension of how think about things."

                            All of which is to say-I needed to start at these extremes if I'm gonna make the final product bite like it needs to. Heroes in particular are an extremely lacking element for a lot of reasons, and I need a way people can think of them as an antagonist before I can come back around and get to why you should think of them as people***. Similarly, I needed to understand how other people could see Beasts as family they'd want to have before I made them those cousins and uncles who definitely killed someone in a drug deal.

                            *Jesus fuck, I just realized how much I like saying twixt and twain recently.
                            **Me, but it has nothing to do with the hope argument, and more to do with formula-and I understand I'm a decade out of date on that argument.
                            ***I had a writing teacher tell me once "I do not care how much I am supposed to disagree or hate a character by the end of the story if I do not like them off the bat at the beginning of a story." I figure it logically follows that it doesn't matter what the virtues of an antagonist are at the end of a story if no one can understand why we fight them at the start of a story. Like how Requiem starts off with blood-slicked cool and ends with "Shit, fuck did I sign up for?" over it's telling, Beast needs to sell a convincing and interesting opposition to play before it can reconcile it's halves into a new form of self.
                            Last edited by ArcaneArts; 06-16-2021, 12:19 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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                            • #29
                              So, appropo of nothing but some drunken rereadings of some other stuff, a thiiiing:

                              So, when I sit down and write Beast stuff, more so than other gamelines where it's already a non-consideration, I don't think about fangames in writing, but in the case of the conception of Heroes, I did, way back when, note an idle benefit for that subject, which is (rewritten):

                              Heroes also get to keep a contrast with Princesses, because where Princesses Fight Fear in a pursuance of Hope, Heroes more toxically pretend towards Hope out as a cover for their rejection of fear(yes, obviously the Victorious, but the others aren't free from it either). Or put it more directly, Princesses have the room to have a healthier relationship with fear than Heroes do (or at least a lot more dynamic relationships), and the ways that's mostly true and sometimes isn't is fascinating ground for games. Princesses maintain a protagonist role Heroes still can't wholly occupy, in the spectrum of things. Pursuit of positive versus rejection of a (neutral) and all that.

                              Idle benefits, but benefits none the less.


                              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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