Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Beast Setting Hacks

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Beast Setting Hacks

    The more I've thought about Beast, the more I've been been wondering, "What if they did it this way?" No other CoD game has evoked so much thought concerning fluff and mechanics, so I thought I would get my thoughts down on paper and share, because I'm an introvert and using people as a sounding board is how I process ideas. I don't mean for this to knock everybody who worked on Beast and be a "I could've done this better" rant. This is just a sort of mental exercise where I get ideas out of my head and onto a concrete medium.

    Alternate Origin: The Bargain
    "Flesh and Blood" couldn't seem to decide if Beasts are born or made. It flat out admitted it. Then I asked myself, "What if Beasts didn't get Devoured? What if they chose to become Beasts?" I believe there were ideas floated around early in design that presented this idea, but it's an idea that simply fascinates me. What could ever push somebody to want to choose to become a Beast?

    The Bargain is intended to be a fusion of the Homecoming origin that was presented in the draft version and the current Devouring origin. In the Bargain, a future Beast is in a bad situation: maybe they are in an abusive household or are trapped in a bad home life; maybe they are simply alone, and fear dying alone; maybe they feel completely overwhelmed by their current predicament; maybe they have a terrible secret, or suffer from crippling paranoia. Whatever the case, the problem makes the person a prime target for a Horror, which starts tormenting them in their dreams. Eventually, the Horror makes the person a deal in a dream: allow the Horror to consume their soul, and they will gain the power to overcome their fear and the situation that inspired it, to turn that fear against the world, and use it to fulfill their deepest, darkest desire. Accepting the Bargain turns the person into a Beast, a human with a Horror in place of a soul. The Beast accepts the Bargain out of fear, despair, and perhaps even anger, believing in that fateful moment that they have not hope of solving their own problems, and want to lash out at a world that they perceive as being against them. Thus, they become a Beast: their deepest fear becomes the basis for their Family, and their darkest urge becomes the basis for their Horror. The man who felt like another cog in the great corporate machine, fearing that he was incapable of improving his station becomes an Anakim Tyrant who uses his power to get to the top and screw over everybody else who they thought laughed as them. The woman who feared that she would die alone and walking home alone at night becomes an Eshmaki Collector who starts stealing guns from neighbors, so that they can know the fear she felt.

    But what if the person refuses the Bargain? What if they decide that they do have the strength to overcome their fear? Well, that's where this gets interesting: they become a Hero- with a twist.


    Hero Hack: Lineages and Longings
    With the Bargain origin in place, a Hero is a person who chooses to trust in themselves, and ultimately in their own humanity, rather than in the Horror. This acknowledgement of their own inner strength is a metaphysical affirmation of Hope, and that Hope transfigures the person into a Hero. With their transformation complete, the new Hero slays the Horror, or at least forces it back into the depths of the Primordial Dream. This hope is a mirror opposite of a Beast's fear: thus, if an Anakim represents the fear of powerlessness, then an opposing Hero represents the hope of strength. The Beast makes others think, "I can't win," the Hero makes others think, "I can beat this."

    Just as a Beast has a Family through their fear, a Hero has a Lineage through their hope.

    Beast Family
    ​Anakim: Fear of Powerlessness- They feared they were powerless, or feared forces of nature
    Eshmaki: Fear of Darkness and Solitude- They feared the darkness and/or that they were utterly alone
    ​Makara: Fear of Drowning (literally and figuratively)- They were either scared of either literally or figuratively drowning
    Namtaru: Fear of the Disgusting/Unclean (alternatively, Fear of Rejection)- They feared that they were somehow disgusting, or feared disgusting/dirty things
    Ungallu: Fear of Exposure- They feared that they were being watched, or in danger of having a secret revealed

    Hero Lineage (merely placeholder names)
    Herakles: Hope in Strength- They realized that they were strong enough to endure- physically or emotionally
    Mithra: Hope in Light and Companionship- They realized they were not truly alone or did not need others
    Ogma: Hope in Skill- They realized that they could learn to master their environment
    Astarte: Hope in Beauty- They found the beauty in themselves or others
    Minerva: Hope in Honesty/Pride- They decided to reveal themselves


    Similarly, Heroes have a Longing to complement a Beast's Hunger, an expression of how they wish to use their power.

    Beast Hunger
    Tyrants: Hunger for Power- Get on top and lord it over others, make them know they aren't in control
    Collectors: Hunger for the Hoard- They steal from humans and keep things for themselves
    Predators: Hunger for Prey- Humans are your food, in one form or another
    Nemeses: Hunger for Punishment- People need to be punished for their crimes or infraction, no matter how minor they may seem
    Ravagers: Hunger for Ruin- Wreck stuff to remind people who fragile life really is

    Hero Longing
    Stewards: Longing to Lead: People need guidance and leadership, and you can give it to them
    Benefactors: Longing to Give: Give what you can to those who need it
    Shepherds: Longing to Protect: People should be protected from harm
    Advocates: Longing to Pardon: People make mistakes, and should have to have a chance to learn from them
    Preservers: Longing to Restore: Time and effort can heal most wounds, and you can show people that


    Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

  • #2
    Those are very interesting ideas!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Geckopirateship View Post
      Those are very interesting ideas!
      Thanks! A lot of this came out of my dissatisfaction with the way heroes were presented- specifically, the fact that the writers already said that heroes would not get elaborated on. Even though I understand why that is, I can't help but wonder why, if Beasts and Heroes are so intertwined, why they don't compliment each other more.

      I also like the idea that Beasts are kind of the embodiment of the despair and fear in the World of Darkness, and that Heroes are the embodiment of hope in it. This, of course, doesn't mean that all Beasts are straight-up monsters, and not all Heroes are good guys. I have some thoughts on how one could turn Satiety into a traditional resource stat, and what a Beast "morality" stat would look like and how it would function.


      Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

      Comment


      • #4
        I was actually thinking about similar ideas: That the Hunger comes first and then turns somebody into a beast. But I took Heroes in a very different direction.

        Beasts would be the ultimate expression of individual over society. If you're a poor black guy from inner city becoming a Beast would let you stomp over all the written and unwritten rules that keep you in poverty and stop you from rising to the top. But just as plausibly a Beast could be a billionaire saying fuck noblesse oblige, I want another super yacht and I don't care how many poor people I have to screw over to get it.

        Heroes meanwhile would be an expression of society over individual. They'd say that no matter how bad poverty is that doesn't give you the right to rob banks. Depending on how you look at it (and the individual Beast/Hero) they're punishing society's victims for lashing out in justified anger or protecting defenceless civilians from a supernatural monster. Most of the time; both views are true.


        “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
        My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
        Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
          I was actually thinking about similar ideas: That the Hunger comes first and then turns somebody into a beast. But I took Heroes in a very different direction.

          Beasts would be the ultimate expression of individual over society. If you're a poor black guy from inner city becoming a Beast would let you stomp over all the written and unwritten rules that keep you in poverty and stop you from rising to the top. But just as plausibly a Beast could be a billionaire saying fuck noblesse oblige, I want another super yacht and I don't care how many poor people I have to screw over to get it.

          Heroes meanwhile would be an expression of society over individual. They'd say that no matter how bad poverty is that doesn't give you the right to rob banks. Depending on how you look at it (and the individual Beast/Hero) they're punishing society's victims for lashing out in justified anger or protecting defenceless civilians from a supernatural monster. Most of the time; both views are true.
          Part of me thought Beast was going to be the "villain" splat. A game where you're not angsting over your lost humanity, or trying to balance your human and spirit impulses; Beast, to me, was going to be the, "I'm a monster, and I love it" splat. Instead, we have a book that kind of is that, and kind of isn't. To me, where it fell apart was the way Heroes were presented as the villains. They corrected that a little for the final draft, but it's hard to see Heroes as being "in the wrong," especially when you consider the fact that Beasts often create Heroes.

          Your idea of Beasts representing the individual Id and Heroes the societal Superego rings true for me. But I think we have to agree that Beasts and Heroes have to be thematic opposites for the dynamic to work right.

          I think the creators got a little too influenced by Grendel. It was a decent story, but to me, post-modernist reinterpretations of "hero" and "monster" only work if you fully commit to it. And I'm not sure the writers did. To me, the dynamic between Beasts and Heroes is best represented with Daredevil: Matt is the stereotypical Hero because he fights to protect the innocent and uphold society's laws, and he believes in second chances, even for the bad guys. Elektra is the subversion of the Hero, because she's motivated as much by personal enjoyment of violence and love of killing as she is by any desire to do good. Fisk is the stereotypical Beast who is trying to bend society to his will and bring everything crashing down to rebuild it in his image: a Ravager if ever I saw one. Frank is a subversive Beast because, while he's breaking every law in the book, he's actually trying to enforce society's rules against people who break it: a pretty obvious Nemesis. Hence Matt's desire to bring Fisk to justice, and his desire to try and redeem Frank. Above all else, if I'm ever ST for a Beast game, I'm going to push that Heroes are absolutely free to go after Beasts at their own discretion, and can even work with them. And the way the public react similarly to both Daredevil and the Punisher illustrates the fact that, in the eyes of the public, both Beasts and Heroes can seem pretty monstrous.


          Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

          Comment


          • #6
            I think "beasts create heroes" was changed before publication. Beasts attract heroes, esp. at low satiety, sure, but they don't create them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Resplendent Fire View Post
              I think "beasts create heroes" was changed before publication. Beasts attract heroes, esp. at low satiety, sure, but they don't create them.
              Did the whole, "if your Horror goes on a rampage and you get a dramatic failure, you create a new hero" thing get changed? I could've sworn that was in the final cut, or maybe I'm getting the first draft and the print version mixed up.


              Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Haberdasher View Post

                Did the whole, "if your Horror goes on a rampage and you get a dramatic failure, you create a new hero" thing get changed? I could've sworn that was in the final cut, or maybe I'm getting the first draft and the print version mixed up.
                What it says now:

                Dramatic Failure: The Horror cannot penetrate the dreamer’s mind and howls in rage and pain. Any Heroes in the same region as the Beast can track her, as described on p. 206.
                It looks like instead of creating heroes, you just attract them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, I got it mixed up. The final version is much, much better, in my book.


                  Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I agree. Heroes exist for whatever reason, and occasionally a beast pings on their beast sense. What they do after that depends on their integrity, beliefs, etc. At least for those who've never been pinged before.

                    It does mean that an ST can make a note whenever someone botches the rolls that attract heroes, and have heroes attack when it makes sense/is dramatically appropriate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Haberdasher View Post
                      Minerva: Hope in Honesty/Pride- They decided to reveal themselves
                      I don't have much to say, but I wanted to say that the better direction for this might be transparency-advocacy types. "The truth will set you free, and I'll happily tell the truth for you."


                      I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                      An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                      Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
                        I don't have much to say, but I wanted to say that the better direction for this might be transparency-advocacy types. "The truth will set you free, and I'll happily tell the truth for you."
                        I like that much better. Like I said, the Hero Lineages aren't set in stone, and I was trying to figure out what hope would best contrast with the fear of exposure.

                        I am, however, rather partial to The Kings Raven's conception of Heroes, since it leaves the door open for Heroes to be mechanically similar to a given Family, but contrasted by differences in motivation.


                        Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is a bit of a different setting hack, but what about taking a page from Mirrors and instead having Beasts be in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace?

                          Think about it: so many of a Beast's lair traits can work in lieu of normal scifi gear. Disruption would allow them in certain conditions to prevent firefights from occurring, if not preventing wrecks that still have power from functioning; Mirages allow Beasts to become a hologram generator; Currents would let them push others about in extremely closed spaces, but it could also be used simply to move things around on a larger scale; Sealed Exits further allows them to prevent thefts, or even from preventing breaches at all. Further, most if not all of the Lair traits grant immunities that would be essential for space travel and the hazards therein, along with new colonies, hostile situations and such. That's also not getting into the practicality their Atavisms would grant them. A Beast is practically the ultimate asset for a company trying to cut costs, either for conserving power or not having to install it, if not to outright start a company themselves with little capital.

                          Of course, there's the whole "must feed on horror" aspect to them that could make such a cost saving measure have a pretty dubious moral standing. There are ways around that...but it's just a really interesting idea for me, particularly for something such as, say, a prison ship, or an escort...or even just a pleasure cruise that offers things like a Murder Mystery Night or just a horror area that is genuinely frightening but not life threatening.

                          Best of all, many of these approaches could even be explained away by custom/hidden technology, skill or even just luck, meaning a Beast doesn't have to out themselves.

                          As for Heroes, I'm not entirely sure; if employing Beasts this way is seen as unscrupulous (again, all this does require the occasional feeding) then Heroes could be seen as a way of keeping things "ethical", particularly if a Beast's lair functions across interplanetary boundaries. Heroes might even be seen as a great asset in that regard, given that Heroes do have the capability of forcing themselves into the Lair...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I really like both of these hacks. I can see the Bargain co-existing with the Devouring. I also noticed that maybe Lineages and Longings could be much more common among Heroes with high Integrity.

                            Do Heroes with Lineages and Longings get any special benefits? Perhaps bonus dice to resist/contest the powers of their corresponding Families?

                            By the way, do Heroes in this hack still use Life and Legend?


                            "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Hero hack is an interesting one. One thing that I'd consider, though, is replacing the Longing to Lead with something else. As it is, it seems very similar to the Hunger for Power, since both would want to be in charge. Perhaps a Longing for Inspiration, to drive individuals to pursue their own goals, could work?


                              Currently working on: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                              Projects I've contributed to: C20 Anthology of Dreams ("No Such Thing As Dragons")

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X