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Humanity, Dreams, and Nightmares: A look at one of the unexplored themes of Beast

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  • Humanity, Dreams, and Nightmares: A look at one of the unexplored themes of Beast

    Although it is understandable to focus more on the relationship Beasts have with the waking world over those of the Dream Realms in the Core Book (Sadly the only book to cover that is Astral Realms, and that's a Mage supplement), I feel there is a rich theme to be explored regarding how the world Beast's live in directly effects and shapes not just their own being, but also that of their would be slayers and more stranger beings that reside within dreams.

    For instance, while Beasts often familiarize themselves with the personal dreams of others (Oneiros), and are bared from entering the Bright Dream of humanity (Temenos) with the exception of the very boarder between where man becomes beast (Primordial Dream), then what is their relationship with the cosmic World Dream (Anima Mundi) where all things that exist dream and creature the foundations of the Soul? What happens when a Beast goes for a stroll trough the World Dream? Will they suffer the same hazards as a Mage would from the Ecstacy Winds? Is the World Dream the final frontier for Incarnant Beasts who no longer have a place in the waking world? (If none of this is making any sense then you see why I'm frustrated one needs a Mage supplement to learn more about the realms the Children are connected to. :/)

    My reason for posting this is thus: Has anyone else tried exploring the themes of dreams, nightmares, and humanity's impact upon them with the Beast: the Primordial game? And if so, how did it go and what did you explore?

  • #2
    We started something like this, but ours in based in Changeling: the Lost in regards to dreams. First, know that I tweaked the rules on dreaming in Changeling to make the first clause of the Contracts of Dreams – the ability to see what's on the other side of door into the Hedge – into an innate ability, and the ability to enter dreams (an innate power in rules as written) into the first clause of the Contracts of Dream. Uh... this all makes sense if you know Changeling, or rather, my reason for explaining it makes sense. Regardless, know that for my troupe, entering and manipulating dreams is all under one set of powers. So, on to our explorations!

    The story we're currently in the midst of concerns a crazed Apex Beast who has been trapped in a torpid state (think stalled on the cusp of finding her Inheritance and knocked cold whilst locked in her Lair), and there are a number of keys needed to unlock her gaol. The keys are not all dreams, but every one of them has a dream aspect to it. The player characters (a motley crew of changelings, a vampire, and a very oddly gifted mortal) stumbled across this mess after some strange occurrences, like ya' get in the Chronicles of Darkness, yeah? Anyway, the changelings found omens and 'big green arrows' in their own dreams, and the vampire – a Mekhet with a knack for Auspex – managed to enter those dreams too. However, when the vampire entered the dreamscape known to the changelings, it dropped them into something unexpected. They brushed against the Primordial Dream. That caught the attention of the Begotten, one of whom became the newest member of their little group.

    ...Now, I'm still figuring out HOW all of this works, but I like the notion in Beast: the Primordial where we read that the Begotten see the Lost as siblings, as proper family rather than 'cousins' like vampires, the Created, and Sin-Eaters are. The connexion between the Temenos – which is where I've decided changelings play in the dreams of mortals, but which may not match what someone more familiar than I with Mage: the Awakening would do – and the Primordial Dream is not as simple as the line between 'dream' and 'nightmare', and THAT is what makes the exploration so much fun.

    Some assumptions I work under – please note that NONE of these may be supported by 'canon' or rules, AND that I use them as guiding principles rather than hard-and-fast rules:

    1. A Beast sees dreams as an element of every being's 'self' regardless of who it is that experiences a dream, whereas a changeling sees dreams as describable tools, playgrounds, and an objective part of what it is to be human. That is, one of the Begotten knows that their connexion to mortal dreams is part of what it is to be both flesh and the Primordial Dream, whilst changelings see dreams as something that they maybe lost along with the majority of their souls, something that Lost cling to as a lifeline to humanity. Using rules for dreams found in Changeling supplements, I tend to think of dreams as a realm (or set of realms, as it may be) as something that exists like other 'reams' (e.g. the Underworld, the Supernal Realms, the Shadow), but that doesn't mean EVERYONE in the game world(s) see it the same way.

    2. Humanity's access to all of the dream realms – limited as it may be compared to the Awakened of Mage or the Children of the Dark Mother or the fae – is what makes humanity so vital to the continuum of the dream realms. That is, there are at least three supernatural 'splats' that see TRUTHS (intentionally writ big) of dreams, but those same truths can and DO blind those 'in the know' to real magic that mundane mortals find within dreams. As the 'wise idiots', naively bumbling through dreams, mortals give all dream realms the magic that feeds those who can actually tinker with dreams... Kinda how a mechanic wouldn't have anything to do if not for all of us driving cars without a care, I guess? Again, it's a work in progress.

    3. Where humanity and the supernatural converge is where the real exploration happens, which is to say, that's where my troupe's game happen!


    B.I.G. Bird spreads the word: Anybody with a heart votes love

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    • #3
      Phaolan,

      I was kinda hoping for a more by the book exploration of Dreams in Beast since so little is actually in the Core book, but that being said I absolutely love what you've done with them in your own Chronicles.

      Changeling the Lost was my first introduction to the World of Darkness and still remains my favorite of the gamelines, and exploring what dreams represent amongst the different gamelines is an idea that I haven't though of trying out. Will certainly add that to the list of themes to explore when writing my next Chronicle.

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      • #4
        Beasts are affected by the Ecstatic Winds like most other people are.

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        • #5
          Xenorath,

          But would they really? The Ecstasy Winds scours the soul of those caught in it's otherworldly gale. Next to Prometheans, who still have the proto-souls of the Azoth, and God Machine Demons, and let's not even begin to thing about the quantum-existential bullshit that comes along with that and the dream realms, the Begotten are one of the few creatures in the Chronicles of Darkness who decisively have no souls. Instead the Horror itself takes the place of the mortals Soul, so would it be effected by the winds?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dusksage View Post
            Xenorath,

            But would they really? The Ecstasy Winds scours the soul of those caught in it's otherworldly gale. Next to Prometheans, who still have the proto-souls of the Azoth, and God Machine Demons, and let's not even begin to thing about the quantum-existential bullshit that comes along with that and the dream realms, the Begotten are one of the few creatures in the Chronicles of Darkness who decisively have no souls. Instead the Horror itself takes the place of the mortals Soul, so would it be effected by the winds?
            DaveB has posted on it before.

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            • #7
              Oooooooh, nvm then. That definitively answers one question then. Thanks Xenorath.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dusksage View Post
                Xenorath,

                But would they really? The Ecstasy Winds scours the soul of those caught in it's otherworldly gale. Next to Prometheans, who still have the proto-souls of the Azoth, and God Machine Demons, and let's not even begin to thing about the quantum-existential bullshit that comes along with that and the dream realms, the Begotten are one of the few creatures in the Chronicles of Darkness who decisively have no souls. Instead the Horror itself takes the place of the mortals Soul, so would it be effected by the winds?
                Being disrespectful and ignoring Dave's post for the sake of academic inquiry, are normal goetia affected by the Winds? If so, then a Horror ought to be ass well, given that they are essentially just a weird goetic. At least that's my theory. Actually, come to think of it, the Astral Realms are mostly reached (by mages at least) by journeying 'down' into one's soul. Beast treats them more like an actual different realm, one in which the Beast is in human form and leaves the Horror behind in the Lair. If that is true, then a Beast in the Anima Mundi wouldn't have a soul to affect, unless I've got myself completely mixed up.


                Is it presumptuous of me to ask for alternating male/female pronouns?

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                • #9
                  afj115,

                  That was my exact thought process before the revelation of Dave's post confirming Beasts being effected by the winds.

                  I firmly believe that Beasts are from the same Goetic family as a lot of astral entities mentioned in Astral Realms and Summoners, the most interesting line of reasoning being that the entity they most have commonality with being the daemon of all things. Perhaps this line of thinking should be explored a bit more?
                  Last edited by Dusksage; 10-14-2016, 04:45 AM. Reason: Spellcheck

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                  • #10
                    Thing is, they're from what's essentially the Temenos. They're a piece of the collective human soul detached from the greater whole and cast adrift amid an uncaring world-soul if they go into the Anima Mundi. With that in mind I would, in fact, rule that Goetia that aren't native to the Anima Mundi are in fact vulnerable to the Ecstatic Winds. I'll also concede the rules say nothing about this, but it makes the most sense to me.


                    Revlid wrote:
                    Yes, hollowing out your humanity to become an utterly utilitarian asura is the exact suggestion I would expect from you, Aiden.

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                    • #11
                      The last Neanderthal in the Anima Mundi was originally from the Temenos but left once all the Neanderthals died out because it felt sapience was a cruel gift and it didn't belong anymore. On the whole I agree that Temenos entities probably can't survive in the Anima Mundi though.

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