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Ferrinus
Jun 19, 2003

adrift on a wind,
immaculate and unseen


What're you gonna do, gaslight me?
-quote from mom gaslit

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Oh wait, Gaslighting, and murdering, with the help of her older, sexy Beast boyfriend.

This is the worst kind of poo poo.

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Kurieg posted:

Well, since I hate myself, and I'm sort of obligated to, I got the Beast fiction anthology.

The first story is an Eshmaki Nemesis gaslighting her abusive mother that she hasn't seen in fifteen years.

Really off to a great start.

Kurieg posted:

Oh wait, Gaslighting, and murdering, with the help of her older, sexy Beast boyfriend.

This is the worst kind of poo poo.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Kurieg posted:

Well, since I hate myself, and I'm sort of obligated to, I got the Beast fiction anthology.

The first story is an Eshmaki Nemesis gaslighting her abusive mother that she hasn't seen in fifteen years.

Really off to a great start.

Spoiler waitin' for you in this book, as I recall: the return of World of Darkness: Changing Breeds.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



Riddle me this, thread: There's apparently some pretty decent fluff for bronze age Demon. How does that work? Cuz the whole tradecraft milieu doesn't seem like it'd make a ton of sense outside the era of the nation state

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






quote:

“So you really think that after fifteen years of having absolutely no contact with her, I suddenly decided one day to go back and... carve a message in her mirror? What the hell does that accomplish?”
“Maybe you wanted to go back home.”
“Home? That house, that was never home. The tiny two-bedroom place we stayed in for a while right after she took the house and half your paycheck in alimony? That was more my home than that house ever was.”
“She didn’t take—”
Impatient and not sure how much longer she could mask her giddiness with anger, Clara interrupted him.
“I don’t know how thick those rose-colored glasses you have on are that you’d actually entertain this idea, but I don’t gave two shits what happens to that woman, good or bad.”
“She’s your mother, Clara; you can respect her a little bit.”
“She lost that right around when I stopped having a name and turned into ‘that thing’ or ‘the demon child’. No, I really can’t.”
He sighed and leaned back in his chair, tired out already.
“So you don’t know anything about it.”
“I know she’s a psychopath who still manages to blame me for everything from her therapy bills to her hangnails. And, you know, the divorce. The number of times I heard ‘we were happy before you came along’...”
There was a quiet defeat to her father now, and he nodded silently.
“I just...had to make sure.”
She fell back in her chair now, the initial glee of the impact fading in light of her mother’s suspicion. Either she’d somehow gone too far last night and left an impression of her true nature on her mother’s mind, or the woman still was just willing to blame her for any misfortune after fifteen years of silence.

quote:

He seized her by the neck and threw her into the darkness of the living room. It was easy enough for him to see through, and she landed on the relative safety of the couch. The two Beasts stepped into the room after her, shared a look between them, and suddenly the world shifted slightly. Even if their victim couldn’t see it, she could feel it happening. The darkness lifted just enough, and instead of the man and woman that had been torturing her, there were two unspeakable things, one enormous, hulking, musclebound humanoid, and next to it simply a void. It roiled with motion at the edges, but beyond that was simply a dark place, its shape and size ever-shifting. The only constant about it were to two gleaming pricks of light deep in the shapeless horror, focused intently on one thing. The words, cold and poisoned, reached her somehow, though if she was hearing them or simply knowing they were intended was unclear.
Hello, mother.
With that, she was screaming again, running out of the room, tripping on stairs she wasn’t used to; they weren’t in her home anymore. The void took chase, streaking after her and into the Burrow just outside the living room door. It was a narrow hall, with only one door on the opposite end, and without looking over her shoulder or ceasing to scream, her mother plunged through it. She entered a vast library on the other side; the shelves uncomfortably close together and difficult to traverse quickly. The moment she paused, she could feel it behind her, the whispering void with her daughter’s voice, and so she plunged on, the hulking giant forgotten for the moment as she tried to navigate the shelves.
You were right, you know. Right all along.
She tried to stifle her shriek and continue to press on, hoping she could escape the cramped room and find a way out. No matter where she looked or where she went, the dark cloud was always at the edge of her vision, seemingly inescapable. The smoky form could easily navigate the thin spaces between the shelves, and when she stepped
into an intersection it was there, filling up any other venue of escape.
You were so sure I was a monster, mother. I just wanted to let you see the truth, at least once.
There was a roar from behind them, and heavy footsteps. Bookshelves began to go flying as Aiden joined the chase.
Are you happy you were right?


The second story is better but not by much. It involves one Beast finding out that one of his violin students is being threatened by her convict father (Lots of broken families in this book) and oh look said father is actually a beast (who somehow managed to survive prison without creating a hero or attracting attention?) and has been leaving a trail of death, fire, and destruction across the country as he tries to find his daughter.. and the POV character still tries the whole "We're family just let me show you how to do your thing in a slightly less openly murderous way" thing.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Can't believe I'm saying this, but it sounds like Beast has reached WoD: Gypsies level of badness. The major difference is that White Wolf later apologized for the latter.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




I Am Just a Box posted:

Spoiler waitin' for you in this book, as I recall: the return of World of Darkness: Changing Breeds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kKXvDaJIzQ

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Holy gently caress.

quote:

“Your kind are fueled by the basic fears of humanity.” He drawled. “What do
you call it? ‘The Primordial Dream’? All the nightmares hidden beneath civilization,
culture, and story. Najat here,” the mage nodded to their hostess, “doesn’t
have a human soul. She’s got what some people call a Nahual instead.”
“I’m a cat,” Najat said.
“You’ve got an animal’s soul? Like I have my Horror?”
“Deep in the human soul,” explained Hal “there’s a barrier, a boundary between
humanity and the soul of the world, the animals, even the stars. Your
Primordial Dream clusters around that boundary like… like rock pools after the
tide’s gone out. The animal parts of the human race, where the monsters live.
What you’re sensing is that Najat lacks that boundary. She’s a daughter of nature,
in harmony with her animal nature. You’d find, if you tried, that your Nightmares
slide right off her. And that’s how we’re going to bait him into our trap.”
I just did a Ctrl+F for Nahual, I didn't actually think there would be anything

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.

At some point it has to be impossible for White Wolf to pretend not to understand what they've made here.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Chomsky Boi

Holy loving poo poo this sounds absolutely absurdly bad.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





Basic Chunnel posted:

Riddle me this, thread: There's apparently some pretty decent fluff for bronze age Demon. How does that work? Cuz the whole tradecraft milieu doesn't seem like it'd make a ton of sense outside the era of the nation state

I'm... wow. I'm trying to wrap my head around that. But you had stuff like the Assyrians and all those empires setting up shop, and there's be plenty of spying going on with that I guess...? All hanging out with the Indus civilization maybe?

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest!
The rightest!


One of the bronze era demon things is built around, essentially, a bronze era that perhaps never was. Assyria is ALL VAMPIRES, the werewolves are nomadic hunters and travellers, and there' s a single unnamed mythical city that the God-Machine controls. The Demons in this case are literally the first to ever rebel or fall, and they want to destroy the city before the God-Machine completes whatever it's sinister plan was.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



Ahhh that makes a lot more sense. I was trying to think up how psychopomps were supposed to accrue and nove tonnage of rare earth elements for infrastructure before large--scale international trade or the invention of industrial mechanization came along. Assuming that the projects alluded to in the books were comparable to those from ancient history.

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell


Presumably at that point they're meant to make the first stirring movements that create the eventual possibility that another angel can, thousands of years later, create a Node that required those rare earth elements to be built.

MalcolmSheppard
Jun 24, 2012
MATTHEW 7:20


Kurieg posted:

Holy gently caress.

I just did a Ctrl+F for Nahual, I didn't actually think there would be anything

The funny thing I've discovered about game fiction is that if you try to not do these expository scenes where you explain the game, people who never needed these scenes in the first place are the ones who get mad.

Ferrinus
Jun 19, 2003

adrift on a wind,
immaculate and unseen


MalcolmSheppard posted:

The funny thing I've discovered about game fiction is that if you try to not do these expository scenes where you explain the game, people who never needed these scenes in the first place are the ones who get mad.

I think it's any kind of fiction about a pre-existing property. It's like, fans get mad on behalf of non-fans who they were really hoping would be educated/initiated on top of entertained.

JohnnyCanuck
May 28, 2004

Strong And/Or Free


Kurieg posted:

Holy gently caress.

quote:

“Your kind are fueled by the basic fears of humanity.” He drawled. “What do
you call it? ‘The Primordial Dream’? All the nightmares hidden beneath civilization,
culture, and story. Najat here,” the mage nodded to their hostess, “doesn’t
have a human soul. She’s got what some people call a Nahual instead.”
“I’m a cat,” Najat said.
“You’ve got an animal’s soul? Like I have my Horror?”
“Deep in the human soul,” explained Hal “there’s a barrier, a boundary between
humanity and the soul of the world, the animals, even the stars. Your
Primordial Dream clusters around that boundary like… like rock pools after the
tide’s gone out. The animal parts of the human race, where the monsters live.
What you’re sensing is that Najat lacks that boundary. She’s a daughter of nature,
in harmony with her animal nature. You’d find, if you tried, that your Nightmares
slide right off her. And that’s how we’re going to bait him into our trap.”
I just did a Ctrl+F for Nahual, I didn't actually think there would be anything

NO

STOP

BAD

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Basic Chunnel posted:

Ahhh that makes a lot more sense. I was trying to think up how psychopomps were supposed to accrue and nove tonnage of rare earth elements for infrastructure before large--scale international trade or the invention of industrial mechanization came along. Assuming that the projects alluded to in the books were comparable to those from ancient history.

Same way they do in the modern era. Demons and angels are technologically stagnant - just, very advanced stagnancy. That said, since the God-Machine doesn't have human technology to hide among, they look a hell of a lot more alien.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






MalcolmSheppard posted:

The funny thing I've discovered about game fiction is that if you try to not do these expository scenes where you explain the game, people who never needed these scenes in the first place are the ones who get mad.

That wasn't my complaint at all. Intro fiction is so entwined with White Wolf books nowadays that their absence would be noticeable, my complaints are when such fiction is at odds with the actual themes of the game as written. Also this is the fiction anthology so if it didn't have any game fiction that would be really weird.

My complaint with the book is it's content. The problem with the Beast the Primordial book is that the stated goals in chapter 1 of "teaching mankind forgotten lessons" is constantly at odds with all of the in character and out of character bits from the remaining 90% of the book. I was hoping that the fiction anthology would provide a decent example of a Beast trying to reconcile the teaching of lessons with their feeding habits in a way that wasn't "Leave the corpse somewhere as an example to others". But the first two pieces of intro fiction is a woman killing her abusive mother for being afraid of her as a kid (also implying that the beast was born the way she is which is another giant beast fiction red flag) and a Beast killing another beast not because he's a murderer, but because he was planning on murdering people that the pov character liked. I did a Ctrl+F for "Teach" and other than the 2nd story where the Beast is literally a music teacher, there are only two stories that reference what is supposedly the central tenet of the Game. One in which the beast kills the hunt target anyway and his brood admonishes him since "You can't teach the dead", and the last story written by Dave Brookshaw that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.

I was hoping that this would actually give good examples on how to salvage the tone of the game, not more Adolescent Murder Revenge Fantasy.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets



Ah, the satisfaction where something I wrote six months ago has the desired effect.

Yes, it was me who decided to raid the big backlog of obscure, unloved CofD creatures and settled on Changing Breeds. And I'd do it again, I tell you.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I just want to say I'm dying here.

But in an okay way.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


Kurieg posted:

That wasn't my complaint at all. Intro fiction is so entwined with White Wolf books nowadays that their absence would be noticeable, my complaints are when such fiction is at odds with the actual themes of the game as written. Also this is the fiction anthology so if it didn't have any game fiction that would be really weird.

My complaint with the book is it's content. The problem with the Beast the Primordial book is that the stated goals in chapter 1 of "teaching mankind forgotten lessons" is constantly at odds with all of the in character and out of character bits from the remaining 90% of the book. I was hoping that the fiction anthology would provide a decent example of a Beast trying to reconcile the teaching of lessons with their feeding habits in a way that wasn't "Leave the corpse somewhere as an example to others". But the first two pieces of intro fiction is a woman killing her abusive mother for being afraid of her as a kid (also implying that the beast was born the way she is which is another giant beast fiction red flag) and a Beast killing another beast not because he's a murderer, but because he was planning on murdering people that the pov character liked. I did a Ctrl+F for "Teach" and other than the 2nd story where the Beast is literally a music teacher, there are only two stories that reference what is supposedly the central tenet of the Game. One in which the beast kills the hunt target anyway and his brood admonishes him since "You can't teach the dead", and the last story written by Dave Brookshaw that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.

I was hoping that this would actually give good examples on how to salvage the tone of the game, not more Adolescent Murder Revenge Fantasy.

Well, mine's about a Beast who does believe in the "lessons" thing (mostly clinging to it as a justification for making life harder on herself than it needs to be) deciding to kill another Beast who rejects it in favor of just killing everyone he feeds from (no Heroes that way!). With the assistance of her Mastigos ex-boyfriend who finds Beast culture ridiculous, and a Bastet. Because I could.

The focal character wrestles out loud with trying to satisfy her Horror while having her prey survive.

My take on Beast is that the Begotten's thin justifications are... Thin justifications, to make themselves feel better about victimising other people to survive. Beasts act like every bad stereotype of a Mage player without the broad knowledge-base to back it up, dance the knife-edge between being worse than vampires and the Horror feeding by itself leaving Heroes in its wake, and generally have a pretty lovely time of it if they're not willing to leave a lot of collateral damage.

Like vampires, there'll always be a question of "why don't you just kill yourself", but let's face it, not many would.

So - your soul has been replaced by a nightmare-monster that demands you humble the arrogant by making them feel weak. If you don't, it'll invade people's dreams and potentially create a super-powered assassin who'll try to hunt you as an after-effect. What do you do?.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Play a better game.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


Kai Tave posted:

Play a better game.

Mage will hopefully be out soon!

I kid, mostly.

What I'm saying is, the CofD games have a strong line of non-aspirational characters. Characters are either awful people searching for justifications (Vampire, Mage, Hunter, Beast) or loving up because they lack knowledge the player has (Mummy, Promethean). The games where you can say the characters are almost entirely sympathetic bar a few bad apples don't interest me as much. It's why I've never been as big a fan of Changeling as other people.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Dave Brookshaw posted:

Mage will hopefully be out soon!

I kid, mostly.

What I'm saying is, the CofD games have a strong line of non-aspirational characters.

The argument surrounding Beast doesn't really have anything to do with "Beasts are non-aspirational characters" though, and I suspect you know that.

e; also characterizing Hunter as a game about "awful people in search of justification" is pretty weird too unless we're exclusively talking about Ashwood Abbey.

Kai Tave fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Apr 28, 2016

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Yes, but generally speaking, characters are both less petulant than Beast and also are less self-righteously self-justifying than Beast.

Or at least their self-justifications tend to ring less hollow and self-congratulatory..

Ferrinus
Jun 19, 2003

adrift on a wind,
immaculate and unseen


OMG, your soul is a dragon? That's cool, mine is a cat! Nyaa~

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets


Ferrinus posted:

OMG, your soul is a dragon? That's cool, mine is a cat! Nyaa~

And unlike the dragon, she can actually turn into one.

(/trollface)

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Dave Brookshaw posted:

Well, mine's about a Beast who does believe in the "lessons" thing (mostly clinging to it as a justification for making life harder on herself than it needs to be) deciding to kill another Beast who rejects it in favor of just killing everyone he feeds from (no Heroes that way!). With the assistance of her Mastigos ex-boyfriend who finds Beast culture ridiculous, and a Bastet. Because I could.

The focal character wrestles out loud with trying to satisfy her Horror while having her prey survive.

My take on Beast is that the Begotten's thin justifications are... Thin justifications, to make themselves feel better about victimising other people to survive. Beasts act like every bad stereotype of a Mage player without the broad knowledge-base to back it up, dance the knife-edge between being worse than vampires and the Horror feeding by itself leaving Heroes in its wake, and generally have a pretty lovely time of it if they're not willing to leave a lot of collateral damage.

Like vampires, there'll always be a question of "why don't you just kill yourself", but let's face it, not many would.

So - your soul has been replaced by a nightmare-monster that demands you humble the arrogant by making them feel weak. If you don't, it'll invade people's dreams and potentially create a super-powered assassin who'll try to hunt you as an after-effect. What do you do?.

Given the statement of "Beast is a thing that exists and you can't say it doesn't exist." Your story is probably the best representation of them that I've read so far. The thing that bothers me is that Beasts aren't meant to be an aspirational splat but they're still something that your character chose to be. The only other splat that's potentially like that is Vampire, and you go into that with a fairly obvious "You live forever but you do so at the suffering of others."

Vampire also does that in a fairly standard and knowable way, short of feeding on someone with a clotting disorder you know what you're doing and what the results will be. But Beasts feed by inflicting psychological trauma and everyone reacts to that differently, on an exceptional success or failure something terrible is going to happen and you don't really have control over that (Well yes you do but I'm speaking from an in character standpoint). Your Naga might be bringing the haughty low but She goes too far on one premed student and now they can't get a job but they're still shoulder deep in debt.

I don't see a Beast character wanting to off themselves. But I also don't see a lot of people wanting to play Beasts as written.

Ferrinus posted:

OMG, your soul is a dragon? That's cool, mine is a cat! Nyaa~

Technically the catgirl doesn't have a soul. Which is a nice wrinkle to use if you're going to shove Shifters at Begotten.

Ferrinus
Jun 19, 2003

adrift on a wind,
immaculate and unseen


Dave Brookshaw posted:

And unlike the dragon, she can actually turn into one.

(/trollface)

It's really the perfect cameo.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Dave Brookshaw posted:

So - your soul has been replaced by a nightmare-monster that demands you humble the arrogant by making them feel weak. If you don't, it'll invade people's dreams and potentially create a super-powered assassin who'll try to hunt you as an after-effect. What do you do?.
Nothing because I'm dead and gone and something else is wearing my body now?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Zereth posted:

Nothing because I'm dead and gone and something else is wearing my body now?

Do keep in mind that the soul in nWoD is not the seat of self but something like a necessary metaphysical organ.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

WOD souls are interchangeable parts that aren't really what we think of when we think of souls. You're still you without your soul (Though you're in bad shape.) IF you lose your soul you're fine once you replace it with something relatively equivalent.

Ferrinus
Jun 19, 2003

adrift on a wind,
immaculate and unseen


So in the Beast fiction anthology, are there any beasts who are wasting away to death because no one finds them scary?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Ferrinus posted:

So in the Beast fiction anthology, are there any beasts who are wasting away to death because no one finds them scary?

No, cause if they reach that point their horror goes out and makes a hero for them to fight.

Ferrinus
Jun 19, 2003

adrift on a wind,
immaculate and unseen


Isn't it now the case that plenty of Heroes aren't even particularly bad?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Supposedly yes. But a sidebar says that good heroes are uninteresting and to not use them.

So we're told there are good heroes but see zero of them. Just like we've told beasts are good but see nothing of it.

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Attorney at Funk
Jun 3, 2008

...the person who says honestly that he despairs is closer to being cured than all those who are not regarded as despairing by themselves or others.

It seems like Beast is now basically within parameters for how awful WoD monsters are. They just aren't very compelling at all, so instead of the tension between the allure and the evil that exists in Vampire or Mage you just have something that is both unappealing AND unpleasant.

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