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I Of The Storm-Test Case: Heroic Lair

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  • I Of The Storm-Test Case: Heroic Lair

    "It takes a strong man to deny what's in front of him. And if the truth is undeniable, you create your own. The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not:
    A hero."
    -Colonel John Konrad, Spec Ops: The Line

    "Can you not feel the world, turning in my direction already?"
    -Omadon, The Flight of Dragons


    *singing* No one's coming to save you. Swing that sword that you made, with the pain that they gave you, like the pain is gonna save you.

    Ahem, anyways.

    So the test cases show that we've got something workable for addressing the thematic role and narrative positioning of Heroes, which is good, because I by and large considered squaring the Hero circle the big that that Beast needs going forward. That said, while wrenching that direction for the narrative fixes up a lot of problems, it doesn't address one of the other bigger problems-a problem, admittedly, that seems to have been forgotten more as time has gone on-namely, Heroes are a little underpowered.

    To be fair, the larger problem was always Heroes relationship with the rest of the text, and back when the underpowered argument was really going on, it was often being made by people who had their axes to grind against Beast and this point was just a cherry on the top, and it was made without a real appreciation for just how potent Gifts and Anathema were, particularly when employed with the sort of tactics that an average player group would use if they were Heroes-but that said, there does feel like something is missing from Heroes, some particular oomph that take them from simply being effective killers of Beasts to something horrifying.

    And trying to create the answer for how to make Heroes terrifying has a particularly hard thread to needle, because part of the point is that Heroes do need to be underdogs compared to Beasts. I've talked about it before-twice, in fact-but the short hand version of it is that a Hero isn't terrifying because they're powerful, but rather because they bear an inevitability, that power doesn't matter versus someone who gets a world-written Win card-which is even harder to thread the needle on when your protagonists are also supposed to still be able to win against them. Finding a way to empower them that doesn't destroy some of their sense of weakness and their inevitability is an ask, to put it bluntly.

    There was also the question of where to draw such a fix from, because while Heroes aren't the most established creature in the Chronicles world, they have enough grounding that you can't just do something willy nilly with them. It's got to make sense that whatever addition comes with them.

    This is one of the reasons why making them a fully on Children of the Dark Mother is appealing-not only does it bring in the themes of Beast more strongly with them and create the sort of conflict space that makes sense, it allows a certain amount of introduction of universe-connected space to explore options to empower Heroes. I didn't want to give them Atavisms or Nightmares, but things like Lair and Satiety set the stage for things to improve, and the particulars of how Heroes are a different Children allows us to break the mold established by the Begotten and the Insatiable. Of those possible solutions, I find my answers with Saiteyt are really wibbly, and while I know how [REDACTED] works, I'm wibbly on what exactly the payoff should look like outside of the basics. By contrast, I have a pretty solid idea of what Heroic Lair looks like and does.

    But what do you actually do to solve the problem?

    Well, it probably helps to start at the beginning of the postulate.

    Slay Your Devils, Kill 'Em All-The Conquering of All Fears

    Heroes clearly never listened to Arsonist's Lullaby by Hozier. You can take that as a hard rule-whatever your Hero's backstory, they never listened to Arsonist's Lullaby.

    ANYWAYS, Heroes start their story the same as their siblings-they're born with a soul that connects to the Dreaming, deeply, meaningfully. They're often more in touch with the way things are or the way people think and act, their dreams are more portentious and truthful that others-loaded with symbols and their meanings still, but speaking universally as well as to the bounds of human comprehension. (Note: Deep Dreamer merit or B-splat template, do it) Theirs is a soul is big enough to be more than itself, that could instead act as half of another being.

    And so the Horror comes.

    A Conquering starts off no different from a Devouring. Night after night, sleep after sleep, the dreamer is tormented by a monster, and wakes up in fits of panicked breathing, cold sweats, and disturbing (but true) revelations. As this goes on, the dreamer begins to piece together sense from the dreams, begins to realize similarity and kinship, to see themselves in the monster that prevails against them.

    Where it goes different is that as this realization begins to form, a nascent Hero rejects it. As they begin to internalize the beginnings of the psychospiritual reconciliation, they turn those revelations instead into facts about the Horrors weaknesses, frailties, and failings. When the limits of dream and self and place begin to limit how much a Hero can choke a Horror on their own Lair, the Hero's consciousness of self slips beyond the bound of their selves, and they find themselves in Dreaming exploring that which magnifies the wound-to-be in the Horror. It's not easy-the Horror does still hunt the Hero down, leading to chaotic dreams of escape and capture, catch and release. But inevtiably, their moments of escape find the Bright Dream. They find that portion of the human soul that wishes to forget it's animal self.

    Above all, they find their way to the Realm of Heroism. Who knows why-but more on that in a bit. They find the world where all the pieces of their revelations and struggle and be brought together, can be forged into the answer they need-the weapon to slay the Horror. They fully form baby's first Anathema.

    At the point where a Beast would be coming to terms with themselves and actualize into the ouroboros of Devouring, a Hero has their final nightmare, armed with the Anathema of their rejection, their refusal. They forswear this thing that is them, they say they never were this. And then they set to conquering their Horror.

    The Dreaming is not a world where actions get to escape consequences. It's not a world where meaning behind actions is a suggestion. To slip this Anathema between the ribs of a Horror who is your own shadow, your own id-it is an act that defines who you are, for now. The Hero has claimed their Heart, but have done so by mutilating. The Lair of the Horror retches and reels, tears itself apart and pulls itself back together in the wake of this denial of self. The Anathema draws in all the world that a Hero sees in rejection of the Horror, and the mutitlated Heart poorly heals around that portion of the Bright Dream that was dragged in with the thrust of the Anathema. The Heart of a Hero is twilight exception to the form and structure of the Dreaming-simultaneously both in the Primordial and Bright Dreams.

    They wake up, changed, reticent to portion of the world, feeling a push to act against it, feeling a headache that points towards those places-those-people-those monsters-who would whispers lies of accepting a thing they know they can never accept. They feel the power to push against that, to shove stick and blade and soul against and through it. They wake up Heroes, and take to the world to fight the monsters they already slain inside themselves.

    Now you may be asking at this point-"Wait, Conquering is a mutilation that warps the Primordial and Bright Dreams, and this has been happening for how long? Doesn't that have consequences?"

    Yep!

    Can You Feel the Storm, Getting Closer Now?-The Hero Storm and The Storm Hero

    Those who study the Dreaming, and in particular the (nominally understood)Bright Dream Realm of Heroism, have to ask-how much of the way it is now the result of intervention, by the Dark Mother or by other entitites, and how much of it is just a matter of it having always been that way? Many Heroes who research the subject think that Heroism used to be a pure and unadulterated Bright Dream Realm until The Dark Mother (and possibly others) interfered with it. Other scholars posit that Heroism was always a twilight Realm, possibly as much a Chamber as a Realm, straddled in the Day (or the Dusk, if Heroes are discussing it), but that it's tumultuous state is a result of said interference. And others, often Beasts, think it was always like this.

    The possible answer doesn't matter much. Where other realms in the Bright Dream are, for the comparative purpose, stable, the Realm of Heroism, with it's open sores bleeding into the Primordial Dream is subject to the psychospiritual equivalent of thermal exchange between a cold and warm front, or some kind of pressure differential. The result is that Heroism is tempestuous, unstable and riotous, active unlike other Bright Dream Realms. Heroism is like a continual cutting motion, a wind, a current, a meme that blows through anything and everything. In game terms, It's always subject to Dreamquakes of varying magnitudes.

    In all honesty, only academics who've never been there and understand the world in neat little boxes call it Heroism. Anyone who's been there call Heroism the Eclipse Storm, or the Hero Storm. It's not an idle claim. Ser-*, They Who Are Heroism, doesn't identify themselves simply as Hero, Heroine, or other such things-they are the Storm Hero, and this hurricane of psychic presence is their domain, the Children who bear their title their Children-and the Dark Mother's claim in contradiction is not appreciated. Ser- refuses to answer why Children of the Dark Mother can become Heroes-though some wonder if it's less a matter of won't and more one of can't- just as much as they will not clarify what their relationship is, or was, with the Dark Mother-whether they were an entity equal, greater, or less than the Dark Mother, whether they were a willing consort of the Dark Mothers or if the story has a darker take to it, and if the ongoing "custody battle" with the Dark Mother over Heroes is the whole of their conflict with the Dark Mother, or if it started before that point. All that matters is that the Storm Hero pits themselves against the Dark Mother and all of her Children, and never pays too much attention that they and all things under their purview technically count.

    The Hero Storm is enough of a problem on it's own while anyone is there, but what becomes interesting-and troublesome-is that the winds of Heroism aren't confined to just related Astral Realm. Often, it's matter only Chidlren would notice-but some realms that are otherwise unconnected an going about their business can have a stream that started in Heroism blow through-and as all things psychospiritually act upon each other, be driven into action of flowing, defending, binding, and grasping. What might seem like a realm embodying all that it is is, in fact, taking on a new dimension because the influence of the Storm upon it. it sweeps Dreamborn along and out of their nativities into different realms-sometimes, even out of the ideal world and into the real world.

    Heroes themselves bear these psychopsiritual winds about them-given context by their individual self and their grasp of the world, it blows through the world, preceeding them as a sort of "coming around" the nature of the world, a Hero's perception becoming the way you think, the way you understand the world. A Hero reflects the realm they claimed as defintion-a the eye of a psychic storm that dares to make the world over in it's own image.

    The Bones of What You Believe-Okay, Basic Framework of Heroic Lair Time

    Okay, so the in-universe stuff is all well and fin, but what does Heroic Lair, in plain speak, do? Well, we'll get there, but first, let's lay out how it works on it' basics.

    Lair is a powerstat for Heroes as much as it is for Beasts, but even on this front it's a mistake to think it's the same. Heroes can gain Lair up to 5, but may temporarily raise it up by 4 points through the process of [REDACTED], even above the limit of 5**. Heroes can only raise their lair through the murder of Beasts, much like how they gain Gifts. The limit of Attributes doesn't interfere with how Gifts might provide Attributes, so if a gift raises a Hero's strength to 6, it's not stopped, but otherwise Heroes have a cap of 5 like humans. Heroes don't have Chambers or Lair Traits, though if they are ever in their Heart, they are not subject to the Lair Trait of it. Lair does effect a Hero's Satiety in the same way it would effect a Beast.

    Heroes are driven to build Lair in the same way a Beast does-having this as a moment of satisfying self-"actualization", the need to self-"transcend" becomes a need to meet, and this manifests with a Hero going forth to be the exemplar of their own world view that will bring others into their wisdom and understanding, and inevitably will bring their metaphysical weight to bear against beasts as the blatant antithesis of the Hero-even if , on all other counts, the Beast agrees with them, that a Beast has accepted their fear means they are fundamentally opposed to a Hero.

    Okay, so that's the basics covered? Okay.

    Let's get to bending the world.

    The World As Self, the Self As World-Heroic Lair Traits

    Heroic Lair primarily manifests in two ways-The Hero's Journey, or Waymaking, and Boons of the Goddess, or simply Boons.

    The Hero's Journey, or Waymaking, is easiest to understand as one part Talecrafting from Swords at Dawn (Changeling: the Lost First edition supplement) and one part Disquiet. At each level of Lair, the Hero gains a Trait that's expressed, primarily, as a trope or expectation-You'll Always Get the Girl in the End, Your Enemies Will Always Try to Poison You, stuff like that. Everyone who gets into the Hero's area of effect, or is there when a Hero dreams, as determined by the Lair Stat, will be subject to a roll for resisting it. Those who succeed go on as normal, but those who fail-find themselves starting to think along lines that will lead to them acting in accordance to the trait, as though it was just always the way it worked. A girl who fails to a Hero he believes they'll always get the girl in the end find themselves being attracted to the Hero, and coming up with reasons to be around them, making arguments that their current relationships need to be cast aside, might starting feeling like they were just lying to themselves if they have an orientation that the hero doesn't match until they thoroughly talk themselves out of being themselves, and indeed will work themselves up to such a point that, by the time the Hero kills a Beast, they hook up with them. Beasts who get caught up in the Lair of a Hero who believes everyone who will oppose them will inevitably try to poison them start to become convinced that their usual answers probably aren't going to work, that they need a sly and final way to deal with the hero, and inevitably the thoughts turn to poisoning.

    The first Trait a Hero has is always a reflection of their Forswearing, something like Heroes Always Win In the End or It's Simpler than You Think It Is.

    As Heroes start to hunt down Beasts and building up [REDACTED], The Heroes Journey is laid more and more out in front of them, everyone and everything acting in the way they expect it to, everything starting to work out for them as they always thought it would. It's not helped by the second major aspect of Heroic Lair.

    Boons of the Goddess, or Boons, allows a Hero to subconciously summon Dreamborn and apply Manifestations to them to allow them to act in benefit to the Hero. At low Lair, A Hero being strangled by a Beast might be "lucky" to always be able to find a find to clobber them in the head with-realistically summoning and manifesting an Astral Rock- or, if fleeing from a Beast, may be lucky to have a janitor open a door for them to dive through before closing it again and locking up-summoning a Dreamborn Janitor to let them in and then re-establishing the barrier. At High Lair, You get your embodying a zeitgeist or an ideal moment, those moments when a hero seems to be executing the will of the age or are in that moment where they can say "I AM JUSTICE!" Or "I AM VENGENANCE! I AM THE NIGHT!"-in reality, reverse-claiming a Rank 5 Dreamborn and rapidly increasing their attritubtes and employing their Influence, bearing the power of an Astral God to their own ends. In this way, a Hero never lacks for aid or tools in their moments of need.

    Boons often act in accordance to The Hero's Journey. If a Beast absolutely refuses to poison a Hero and tries to have a peaceful negotiation with them over drinks, the Hero who believes his enemies will always try to poison him will invariably find poison in their glass, Astrally manifested through their own belief. A Plain Hero finds that the shot his comrade was saying was difficult turns out to be pretty easy, as their Lair works on the world to remove the complications. A Victorious Hero, having failed so far to really wound the Beast, screws up their courage and takes one final shot-and everything "works out" to allow him to strike a killing blow at the last second, their Lair summoning the power to get that knife through the Beast's hide.

    This can also lead to the situation where Dreamborn don't always get back to the Dreaming, instead ending up trapped in the world until someone can get them back (usually one of the Children, but sometimes mages and demons and others)

    Hero's don't control these traits, per se-they are rolled when triggered, or added as a Hero develops their own legend and Lair, and spread as the Hero acts. A lot of Heroes don't ever learn they are the source of these effects. Those who do are often frustrated by their inability to make it go at their will, and it can often lead them to start questioning their Forswearing.

    Beasts, pretty thankfully, can be fairly resistant to these traits on their own (and I'm toying with them also being able to use Nightmares to explictly fight it, but I haven't nailed that down)....at first. As a Hero begins hunting them and developing [REDACTED] and a Beast's Lair starts to turn against, their presence is not enough keep Dreamborn from slipping in or from the Heroes forseen journey starting to seem like the only way things will go. As people more and more start to the Hero and and stand with how they see the world-and the worlds continues to bend against the Beast, it begins to seem like all the world is turning against the Begotten, and the only way this all ends is with the Hero's Anathema.

    Madness to the Method-So Why Do It This Way?

    As we mentioned, Heroes occupy a position, not of power, but of inevitability-but more importantly, what's terrifying about Heroes is their casual ability to impose on others. The short story that describes Anathema in the BPG is one of the most effective short form horror stories I've ever come across, and it captures how much Heroes make the world fit the way they understand it. I wanted to really tap into the horror of a person who the world will revolve around, the way it must feel hopeless to be someone in a fiction world, but not the protagonist, the way things can bend to their lives. I think it gets into the horror of how certain people can make decisions that will damn everyone else, force them to be something they're not.

    I also wanted to draw a line between Beasts and Heroes in that Beasts actually do offer people a microcosmic world. Sure, it's not the friendliest of places, but our own world is harsh too, and just like that world, Beasts give you a place where you can breath in their atmospehre, where you can work ground to yield plants, hide in caves to shelter from storms, so on and so forth. Heroes, by contrast, don't give you anything like that. They don't give you room to stand, a place to breath, a space to be safe in. Making it psychic influence (well, psychospiritual, but I'm sure some of you are tired of me saying that) that warps the world, makes of reality a Hero's Lair, struck me as a good way to do it.

    Heroes have never actually had anything to do with the Bright Dream before, but the inclusion of the Storm was a way to explain, at least in gaming layman, one big reason they're called Heroes, and allowed us to engage in the dialogue about the push and pull relationship of the Primordial Dream and the Bright Dream, of how the latter grew from the former and doesn't have to be opposed to it, but people often use many of the things that is the Bright Dream to reject the things that are the Primordial Dream, to deny the animal and emotional self and proclaim one's self a civilized being above all of that. Also it tapped really strongly in the chaoskampf themes and motifs that Cinder and I want to drive Beast with, and honestly I just think it's a cool setting detail that can be used to do a lot of neat stories with. I just like the idea of Heroism-as-Storm, and I'm oddly really fond of Ser-.

    Sooooo yeah. That's how I would do Heroic Lair. How do you think it works?

    *if the Deity that is Heroism has a name, it's this proto-Indo-European root for the word Hero to begin with, whose nature is to flow, to defend, to bind, and to grasp. Ser- might be kept distinct from other Astral gods who would identify by whatever word is used to describe what they are, in that they prefer this word over others-but if that's the case, it would only make it clear Ser- is not quite like, say, Sage, Trickster, or Hoard. Or in other words, we would only make a point of this because we think calling Heroism Ser- is really cool.

    **So a Hero with Lair 1 who has spun enough [REDACTED] would effectively be Lair 5 until the Beast was killed, and that means that the higher a Hero can be is Lair 9. Lair 10 Heroes exist, but it's appropriately the stuff of legend.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 09-06-2021, 01:33 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.

  • #2
    Interesting…

    And for some reason I’m thinking of Japanese light novel protagonists, Korean webnovel protagonists, and the fricking True Fae who model themselves as less old god and more the high human. (Note: probably biased from recent binge readings of the second category)


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    • #3
      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
      Interesting…

      And for some reason I’m thinking of Japanese light novel protagonists, Korean webnovel protagonists, and the fricking True Fae who model themselves as less old god and more the high human. (Note: probably biased from recent binge readings of the second category)
      If the True Fae regard Beasts as wild animals to be wary of, they probably see Heroes would-be rivals. One possibility I'd tease in a book is that the group that kicked out the Huntsmen and became Gentry might have been High Lair Heroes.

      And while I was not thinking about how so much of isekai annoys me in comparison to older portal fantasy narratives while thinking this up....there's a lot of Kirito in thinking about Heroes.


      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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      • #4
        Also noting that Waymaking and Boons kinda look like dhampir Twists of Fate; unintentional, and Thematic. Intriguing.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
          Also noting that Waymaking and Boons kinda look like dhampir Twists of Fate; unintentional, and Thematic. Intriguing.
          I've never read Half-Damned, so that'd be purely accidental.


          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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          • #6
            Not super jazzed about some of the nomenclature — "the Eclipse Storm" in particular reads first-draft-y as far as diegetic terms go — and I feel like Ser- and the Realm of Heroism are leaning into a style of Temenotic Realm that we've pretty much only seen in the Realm of Death in published books so far,* but the practical output is definitely a solid take.

            The metaphysics dweeb in me is pondering whether connecting to the disjunction between the Cave and the Omphalos as metaphysical dividers between the part of the human soul that has the Ecstatic Wind in it** and the part that doesn't might be worth exploring for metaphor-space, and Waymaking as a parallel ability to Nightmares is an easy comparison to make.

            * If anything, Heroes tending not to cooperate with each other well inclines me against their conceptual realm having a ruling archetype with a unified name, and the Storm described generously sounds like a mobile Realm (or a flailing and unstable Burrow/inter-realm connection, in less generous terms).
            ** There's bones to be made from the Big Three gamelines' having spiritual elements adjacent to the Anima Mundi that involve making other beings extensions of yourself that can probably be leaned into for Heroism's impact on the mortal populace, but that's spitballing on my part.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Satchel View Post
              Not super jazzed about some of the nomenclature — "the Eclipse Storm" in particular reads first-draft-y as far as diegetic terms go — and I feel like Ser- and the Realm of Heroism are leaning into a style of Temenotic Realm that we've pretty much only seen in the Realm of Death in published books so far,* but the practical output is definitely a solid take.

              The metaphysics dweeb in me is pondering whether connecting to the disjunction between the Cave and the Omphalos as metaphysical dividers between the part of the human soul that has the Ecstatic Wind in it** and the part that doesn't might be worth exploring for metaphor-space, and Waymaking as a parallel ability to Nightmares is an easy comparison to make.

              * If anything, Heroes tending not to cooperate with each other well inclines me against their conceptual realm having a ruling archetype with a unified name, and the Storm described generously sounds like a mobile Realm (or a flailing and unstable Burrow/inter-realm connection, in less generous terms).
              ** There's bones to be made from the Big Three gamelines' having spiritual elements adjacent to the Anima Mundi that involve making other beings extensions of yourself that can probably be leaned into for Heroism's impact on the mortal populace, but that's spitballing on my part.
              I'm not sold on some of the names either (though Ser- grabs me, as noted), so it's good to get that affirmed.

              Dealing with the part of humanity that still belongs to the world, aka has the Ecstatic Wind, is a thing I want a book with more space for Astral talk just to explore and ask questions about.


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

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              • #8
                No Chambers or Environmental Tilts? Fine by me; but at that point, is Lair an appropriate name for it anymore?

                Note: I'm strictly concerned about the name here; the idea that Heroes have a power stat that in some way mirrors a Beast's Lair is not an issue for me.

                I was also struck by a vague parallel between the Wayfaring that you describe here and the Fate-Binding that shows up in Scion. In both cases, there's a sense that there's a way that things “ought to be” and a tendency to draft innocent bystanders into your narrative. Beasts, by contrast, prefer a more clear-eyed approach where they strive to understand and teach “what is”.

                Hmm… maybe something like “Narrative” might work as the Heroic counterpart to a Beast's Lair? Or maybe not. I don't know.


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                • #9
                  On a slightly off-topic note: something in me is very pleased to see the Bright Dream, the Primordial Dream, and the Anima Mundi/Mother’s Land matching one-by-one to Heroes, Beasts, and Insatiables. Not an exact fit, but still. Makes me want to match Heralds to Oneiri.


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                  • #10
                    Boons as unconsciously summoned Dreamborn is a really neat idea. For some reason it immediately brings to mind for me the climactic scene of Fire Walk With Me (although if Laura Palmer is a Hero, well. . . she took a very different journey). Or actually, come to think of it, the freezer scene in The Shining, depending on how you feel about the argument re: its being the one truly supernatural event in the entire movie. It also brings to mind a Hero doing a sick guitar riff followed by a lightning strike and wolf howl.

                    I wonder how often Heroes call their Lair a Temple.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                      No Chambers or Environmental Tilts? Fine by me; but at that point, is Lair an appropriate name for it anymore?

                      Note: I'm strictly concerned about the name here; the idea that Heroes have a power stat that in some way mirrors a Beast's Lair is not an issue for me.

                      I was also struck by a vague parallel between the Wayfaring that you describe here and the Fate-Binding that shows up in Scion. In both cases, there's a sense that there's a way that things “ought to be” and a tendency to draft innocent bystanders into your narrative. Beasts, by contrast, prefer a more clear-eyed approach where they strive to understand and teach “what is”.

                      Hmm… maybe something like “Narrative” might work as the Heroic counterpart to a Beast's Lair? Or maybe not. I don't know.
                      I mean, I probably wouldn't for two big and inter-related reasons, but I'm not the Beast Dev yet, so.

                      Anyways, reason one is that one of the center poles of the hypothetical second edition this would all ultimately contribute to is that Beast is about Lair, about that presence in the psychospiritual landscape of humanity, the way these monsters dwell in the minds and cultures of people, make a home out of it. It's about reputation and individuation, and the game is geared towards Building Lair, Defining Lair, Losing Lair, Twisting Lair-the Insatiable see the Primordial and Bright Dreams as a lair they took to to be separate from the rest of the world. While something like Legend (the word I would go to if I wanted to rename Heroic Lair) might communicate that, Lair changes some of the way you think about it, and while it's not as intuitive, what it communicates is fundmanetally good for the tilt of thought about it. I wouldn't remove the throughline in almost situation-any time it comes to that portion of the game that deals with the concept of self-transcendance and it's costs, I would use the word Lair. It may have been an interesting choice to begin with, but at this point I would double down on it.

                      Reason two is that, while they are definitely a bickering, in-fighting bunch, one of the points this take hammers home is that Beasts, Heroes, and the Insatiable are all siblings-siblings whose mother sometimes seems to be really massively different people , but still-children to the same mom*. Keeping Lair reinforces the fact that, while a Hero might deny it (and have metaphysical consequences for that, like Kinship being unable to metaphysically form), they still are family with these other sets of monsters, and that means family drama can go anywhere from trying to murder each other to weeping as they try to figure out why they are like this. By keeping some of the terms consistent across the board, particularly the ones that are central ot the game like Lair, Satiety, and Hunger, it helps to reinforce the familiarity between the three, and thus push some of the questions Beast ask to a near-omnipresent forefront.

                      So yeah, while I wouldn't begrudge anyone else who started trying to get Beast up and running doing something similar but not keeping the name, I wouldn't change the name from Lair.

                      And Fatebinding did come into the picture of thinking this up. It wasn't there initially, but particularly as the notion of Beast being the Scion Darkly settled in, there was a quick and obvious parallel to draw.

                      *Fun fact, my and my three siblings are divided up roughly into two major temporal packets-there's a signficiant gap between the second and third child-and this problem actually came up. The time between the two sets allowed my mother to become both more assertive and to learn more about how to think about and raise kids, and so her parenting was very different between the two. The older generation has had to come to terms with that difference in raising and what that means for understanding me and the middle brother.


                      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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                      • #12
                        Hilariously enough, this was the exact kinda stuff I was hoping you were gonna give Heroes when you mentioned Lair long ago with them. Awesome quotes by the way.

                        Question though. As Lair going up also represents Beasts growing in the landscape of the primordial dream, do Heroes also solidify their place in the psycho spiritual landscape while ALSO putting beast in a negative light at the same time?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post
                          Boons as unconsciously summoned Dreamborn is a really neat idea. For some reason it immediately brings to mind for me the climactic scene of Fire Walk With Me (although if Laura Palmer is a Hero, well. . . she took a very different journey). Or actually, come to think of it, the freezer scene in The Shining, depending on how you feel about the argument re: its being the one truly supernatural event in the entire movie. It also brings to mind a Hero doing a sick guitar riff followed by a lightning strike and wolf howl.

                          I wonder how often Heroes call their Lair a Temple.
                          Again, they kind of have to be aware that they're doing it first. I imagine the more scholarly of Heroes who catch on would be inclined to call it their Presence or their Legend, and those who actually get to the Dreaming to explore Heroism might also call it their Storm. The really daring who consult with Beasts and Instaible would, of course, start to call it their Lair, but that's a way down the line.

                          Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
                          Hilariously enough, this was the exact kinda stuff I was hoping you were gonna give Heroes when you mentioned Lair long ago with them. Awesome quotes by the way.

                          Question though. As Lair going up also represents Beasts growing in the landscape of the primordial dream, do Heroes also solidify their place in the psycho spiritual landscape while ALSO putting beast in a negative light at the same time?
                          [REDACTED] more covers that angle. Heroes seem like they're not meant to keep Lair given they can get and lose up to four temporary dots of the stuff. It's not an accident that the only way they can build up their permanent Lair stat is through the murder of Beasts, though the exact why of that is the sort of thing I'd either like the BSG to discuss or leave as a dangling Tier 4 plot thread. For now, I would say the murder is also literally stealing and transmuting a Beast's Lair into their own.

                          EDIT: Possibly the most useless edit I've ever done, but


                          don't you look good in red?
                          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 09-06-2021, 08:50 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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                          • #14
                            Y'know, I think heroes once were compared to Gaston. They seem very Frollo now.
                            And that's all right

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                            • #15
                              Ok,just had to get the reference out of the way.
                              Do Beasts and Heroes sense each other?

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