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Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.






Grimey Drawer

quote:

Jo doesn’t tower over her prey — she’s short, but she’s all muscle. She enjoys letting other people challenge her, especially men. The challenge isn’t always or even usually physical. Sometimes they try to test her knowledge on topics they think she shouldn’t understand, or try to explain things to her that it’s obvious she knows. She destroys them; she knows what they know and she pokes holes in their beliefs and their facts, showing them sides of the topic they never considered.

"Everyone was terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug."

"What did he do?"

"He used sarcasm. He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire."

(On top of this, this is literally a punisher of mansplainers. What's next, a Beast that preys on guys who spread their legs on the bus?)

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LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Maxwell Lord posted:

(On top of this, this is literally a punisher of mansplainers. What's next, a Beast that preys on guys who spread their legs on the bus?)

It appears to have been cut from the final edition, but the original draft did have the Beast that preyed on people who didn't tip.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


LatwPIAT posted:

It appears to have been cut from the final edition, but the original draft did have the Beast that preyed on people who didn't tip.

Sin-You is still in the book, she's in one of the interstitial fiction stories in chapter 2, she wasn't a sample hunger character.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010



There just... isn't a compelling story hook for Beasts, is there? You're all terrible abusive people, and you aren't even terrible people in interesting ways. The book doesn't portray any kind of inner conflict, it's just "You're a beast! You do awful things to people, and that's great! You are 100% okay with that, because it's for their own good." There's nothing about any of this that makes me want to play a Beast at all. I mean, the idea of one of the character being one of these great monstrous, well, monsters, that's neat! Except that they aren't even that, they're people with a voice in their heads and some supernatural abilities.

What a goddamn waste.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





The Uldholm Commentaries

I feel I haven't been doing this game justice, partly that's because we haven't gotten to the really neat and fun mechanics, but I feel like I've shortsheeted the lore. So, consider this an addendum to the last post about Uldholm where I share more of my thoughts and feelings about that bit of the setting.

One thing I love is how they book will throw terms at you and they won't explain them yet, or never explain them. The world is explicitly built with large holes in the lore for GMs to fill in as they please, and what is there is just to spark some inspiration.



First off, look at that loving map! Now, as a navigational aid it is barely adequate, but as a map to give your party, it's loving amazing. Just in this map we have the concepts of:
  • Talking Frogs! But it's important you never listen to what they say. Why? Do they speak misleading prophecies? Give really bad advice? Just flat lie about everything? Maybe they're giant vicious monsters and if you ignore them they attack, so you have to engage them in polite conversation but they're so vapid and dumb they just say useless drivel?
  • A loving LIVING LAKE. Is it some sort of magic water-elemental? is the area Demon-Possessed? Maybe the lake is actually a giant ameoba-like creature. Is it sentient? can it talk? What sort of things live on a living lake? Or in it?
  • Ruled by Changeling Boy. It's important to note, this is literally the only mention of Changelings in the entire book. They never tell you what a changeling IS, so, what does that mean? And isn't Uldholm a pseudo-democracy? Why is that mountainous area ruled by a Changeling? What even IS a changeling?

Plus all those little other notes that hint at bandit strongholds, greedy merchant cities, a place of proposals you cannot refuse and other such fun events. Every setting bit will get a map like this, and they're great.

Now as to Uldholm itself: This really does feel like the PC Starting Area, which is actually very nice. It's set up to be the perfect place for a good Rags to Riches story, the Guilds give neat definite character concepts, an easy-to-understand political system ripe for player manipulation and interferance. Want a war story? Uldholm borders two expansionist military powers and has a lack of dedicated top-flight soldierguys. Or, you could be in charge of one of the frontier towns out in the Truil Wastes. Uld has a definite police-system in the Soldier's Guild so it fits right in for playing a Night's Watch-esque fantasy Police Procedural. Uldholm is also home to two schools of magic that are actual... schools. Most magic in this game is... very unusual, but both the Stormtongues and Flame Dancers run actual dedicated academies of magic, and all the fun that comes from having two possibly rival magical tradeschools in your nation.

Uldholm is essentially built to be a nice fairly easy to understand place for PC's to start out in which is literally designed to reward and allow the sort of independent daredevil actions PCs love to do, and while the lands themselves are not crazy, Uldholm is essentially climatewise central European, temperate and never hitting serious extremes at any particular time of the year, it is next to some very interested and fun places. That Lightless Jungle will be explained later, but it's exactly the sort of hideous death-trap place full of potential riches beyond belief that PCs loving flock to like moths to a golden spike encrusted light.

Oh, and a note about Uldholm: The Uld are explicitly black. Like, African-featured, very dark skinned, with tones describes as "earth colored". Just changing that, making the Uld black can suddenly change completely what images go through your head, yeah?

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




No Thank You, Evil! (3)

Equipment
Equipment is usually purchased from shops with Coins. It's mentioned that it's rare to find equipment around on be given it. Every character starts with 1 Coin, and getting more is entirely up to the Guide, and here's what you can buy:

Best Princess Dress Ever (3): Does absolutely nothing. Doesn't even give a bonus to Awesome. The text says you should consider "get all the colors.. or get one for your pretty pony!". Is this a way to training young girls to be cynical?

Dangerous Dress (5): Or you could wear something that looks just outright terrifying, although they have at least managed to avoid making it look like something from a BDSM shop. Your dress has spines which do 3 points of damage to anything they touch.. but there are no rules for when they touch something. The text says you can "just run into the bad guys" so is that an action? Or an attack? What about if they hit you in melee? Well, who knows? And, yes, this is explicitly a dress and there's no equivalent for guys.

Shining Armor (7): It's really strong and really light. If you have Hustle, you get Armor too; if you have Armor, you get Hustle too. These should not both be the same price.

Catarang (6): It's not a cat you throw like a boomerang. It's a cat you use as a machine gun that shoots out stuffed rats (!) that do 3 points of damage. It "smells like cheese when it overheats". When does it overheat? Who knows.

Tickle Lotion (1): prevents the wearer from being tickled, accidentally or on purpose. Note that it stops them being tickled, not from laughing when they are. Which could be a bit surreal.

Bag of Scolding (5): a bit like your Gotcha Back Pack, but can taunt your enemies for you. Which doesn't do anything. 5 coins.

Air Guitar (3): Doesn't do anything and doesn't exist.

Wind Guitar (6): Creates a blast of wind when you play it that does 3 points of damage to all living things In Range. So, yea, stay away from your buddies or practice the Total Distortion song..

Dingbat (6): A baseball bat with wings that shouts "Ding!" whenever you hit someone with it. The wings.. apparently do nothing. But it does do 3 points of damage. just like everything else here.

King of Swords (6): Oh look. It costs 6 and it's a weapon that does 3 points of damage.

Candy Camouflage (2): A cellophane wrapper that hides you from anyone who doesn't like candy. The text says "maybe this isn't such a good idea". Well, is it a waste of 2 coins or isn't it?

Map Turtle (4): Comes with a treasure map on its shell which is certain to lead to a real treasure. Nice adventure hook, but do you have to kill or deface the turtle when you've found the loot?

That Dern Helm (3): Um, what? Whenever you are angry or sad, the helmet turns invisible. When it reappears, you can tell it what you want it to look like, and it'll probably look like that, depending how it feels. So it does nothing and can screw you over randomly. Kids, meet Uncle Monte!

Third Arm (4): Lets you carry extra things or "scratch your bum without anyone seeing". There is no carry limit, so..

Third Arm Glue (1): Sometimes your third arm falls off and has to be glued back on. This contains enough glue for a lifetime, but since the Third Arm still doesn't do anything and there's no way you'd want it without this, this feels like filler.

Bunny Bomb (1): Attach it to a weapon and the first time it hits, it goes off and turns the target into a bunny.

Weedrobe (2): A robe made of weeds which provides camouflage in natural areas. Still no bonus to anything, though.

Vile Vial (2): A vial full of nasty things which smells really bad when you open it.

Tyrannosaurus Axe (4): An Axe with a T-rex head on the end which bites whoever you swing it at. How much damage does it do? If you said 3 points, have a cookie. Note that this is the cheapest 3 damage item and is therefore outright better than the King of Swords.

Letter Bomb (6): Pick the letter it has written on it. When you throw the bomb it turns into anything you like which starts with that letter. Fair enough.

Ampersand (2): Another very specific item. You can use it to link two letter bombs together to make something with an adjective - for example, tie an A and a T together with an ampersand and throw it to make an Apple Tree. See, if you wanted to make a spelling based RPG, that could have been the theme for an entire game, but instead we've got this kind of awkward partial thing.

So, lots and lots of flavor but very little effect. "But surely that doesn't matter in a kids' game!" Well, I'm pretty sure it does, because a novice Guide is going to have all kinds of problems keeping the equipment balanced when some of it has a clear mechanical effect and some of it doesn't.

The Setting

And here things get pretty neat. As I mentioned, NTYE doesn't go for children's fantasy (ie, dumbed down D&D); it goes for the Roald Dahl surreal feeling, although a bit sillier. The setting is Storia, where stories come from, and it has four regions: Behind the Bookshelf, Under the Bed, Out the Window, and Into the Closet. If you're a kid who's been chosen to help save the world from evil, you can get to any of these regions by going through a portal in the appropriate location in your bedroom. The portal only works for you, so there's no risk of any monsters following you back.

Behind The Bookshelf is where everything that's in books or written stories is found. Which, in Monte Cook terms, means a whole bunch of stuff you won't recognize from any book, ever (other than possibly this one). There you can find:

  • Big Blue, a family of talking trees who keep all of Storia's history written on their leaves. They can read bits of it to you or you can read it yourself. At the very top of the tallest tree is a treehouse called the Nuthouse, and two gangs of squirrels (the Tough Nuts and the Bushy Tails) are fighting over who gets to live there - led by brothers, Hat and Tat.

    The squirrel gang members are level 3 opponents and Tat and Hat are level 4. Now, let's talk about level for a moment, because it's time for another annoying Cypher problem. By default, if you fight an NPC, their level is what you need to roll at base on a d6 to hit them, and what you need to roll at base on a d6 to dodge them. Remember that lowering the to-hit value will cost resources - scarce stat points, or friends' Awesome points. So getting into a fight with a level 4 character is a pretty risky business. But surely the PCs aren't supposed to fight these guys, right? Well, maybe not, but they might well ask for their help. There's no rules for NPC-on-NPC combat. So what we are left with is that fairly random characters can potentially trounce the PCs in a fight, yet there's no way for them to use that strength to help the PCs or to just fight the bad guys themselves.

  • Snow's Cones, an ice cream store run by an animated cherry popsicle with cybernetic arms. She'll make any ice cream you like, and even supplies tongue extenders if you want one so tall you can't see over it. Again, she's level 4.

  • Muttropolis is a city of dogs. There are humans in the city, but they lie around all day and play fetch and tag. Every dog must have at least one pet human, and if a regular human wants to enter they need to get a pass to indicate they're not a lost pet. (Robots and creatures and so on are OK, though.) Also, if you can't speak Woof, they'll give you a translator device to put around your neck. So, as it's a children's story, the humans in the city are unusual ones with the mindset of dogs, right? Well.. no. One of the adventure hooks is that a human wandered into Muttropolis without a pass and was forced to become a dog's pet. So all the other humans there are.. um.. that's.. a bit dark. Also, for no reason at all, the mayors of Muttropolis are named Cat 1 and Cat 2. They are actually dogs (black labradors), just with really confusing names.

  • The Monster Museum is an exhibit devoted to teaching about all the creatures of Storia (not just monstrous ones). It has books, friendly creatures to talk to, and recordings. There's also a device called the Creature Teacher, which will tell you one fact about any creature provided you pretend to be that creature as a Goal 4 check. It's run by a blue-skinned man named Zubbub who wanted to learn all about the world, but is forgetful, so he had everything written down and stored in a museum instead. He has a pet dragon called Boomer who is an rear end in a top hat (he likes playing tricks on Bill and takes advantage of his poor memory to pull the same trick over and over again) If you want him to not be an rear end in a top hat, good luck - he and Zubbub are both level 5.

  • Castle Karaoke is a magically hidden castle which you can only get to if you sing. The king is jolly and friendly as long as music is playing. There are two bands of knights in two of the towers - the Rock Tower and the Roll Tower - and they have a Battle of the Bands every week. Also, the King has a second mouth in his forehead so he can sing with himself. That's just a weird image. One of the hooks suggest that the players could take part in a Battle of the Bands, but since all the Knights are level 5 for anything to do with singing, they probably shouldn't bother.

  • The House of Miss Terry is a funhouse and we don't get any other description of it, apart from the fact that it costs 2 coins to enter, or if you prefer you can perform a "feat of derring-do" by rolling a Goal 4 challenge on any of the three main stats.

  • Good Buys is a shop with practically everything, but they don't accept coins - you have to trade items for items. The exchange rate is one item for one item of the same type. So I guess there is a reason to buy a Princess Dress now - to immediately trade it for Shining Armor.

  • KO Corral is the big jail where Sheriff Lucy Lawful holds all the criminals she has caught. As well as the jail, there's an office with lots of WANTED posters and a gallery of recovered treasures. If the players think they want to help Lucy catch a criminal, they are going to be out of luck, because there are still no rules for NPCs attacking or acting against other NPCs. Head-desk.

  • The Brain Train runs on a circle line between the Monster Museum and the House Of Miss Terry. But if you ask the driver, The Main Brain, he'll ask you a riddle; if you get the riddle right, he'll take you anywhere you like in the region.

  • Eye See You is a giant mountain with an eye at the top. There's a very brief list of things that are underground inside the mountain: a hospital, a dentist and drill shop, a firecracker store, and a sweet shop. There's also a gang called the BlackBacks who steal Gotcha Back Packs and suck the colour out of them, turning them black, then wear them. The more black Packs they wear, the higher their rank in the gang. If they have at least 40 packs, they act as level 8. Translation: to have even a 1/6 chance of defending against their attack, the group must spend a net of 2 stat points.. but the attack would have done 2 points anyway. (Oh, and their attack is to "spit sharp rainbows", which sounds like something from Axe Cop.)

And that's Behind the Bookshelf. Sadly, there is absolutely no discussion of the nature of a land based on books, given the ability of humans to write or change books, or the existence of books in Behind the Bookshelf, and so on.

Into the Closet is a fairy-tale land of queens, witches, dragons, green woods, magic books, and a whole bunch of other things which have obviously never been in a book, ever.

  • The Hive is where the Bee Queen of Into The Closet, Woodlynn, lives. She and her workers greet everyone who enters, and it's also the terminus for beemobiles which can take you to different places in the region. Also, Woodlynn is level 5, so presumably just stamps on anything evil that shows up here, so the PCs are never needed. Oops.

  • The Beanstalk is.. well, that Beanstalk.. except that it's been dug out into an apartment block where people live. The giant, Joe, lives on the top five floors. Jack and Jill live on the first floor running a magic shop specializing in beans. A princess (we never find out of where) called Lettuce lives on the 50th floor and can lower her hair down as far as the 1st floor for people to climb up, and she isn't just called Rapunzel because.. um, I don't know, something to do with Disney, maybe? On the 11th floor, there's a "troll who plays video games, but nobody wants to play with him". Hmm. So, this is kind of interesting and atmospheric and ought to be in Behind the Bookshelf because it's blatantly a combination of books. Oh, and Joe the Giant is level 8 with 20 health. Being level 8 means he never fails at anything. We never find out if he's evil or good, but basically, whichever side he's on wins.

  • Mirror Mirror is a castle made of mirrors. Queen Me lives there - which gives us two queens in Into the Closet, but it turns out Queen Me doesn't really count because all she does is wander around the castle looking at herself. She turned all the servants in the castle invisible so she can always see herself, and the only way to talk to her is to walk towards her while holding a mirror, in which case she'll - quote - "think she is talking to one of her personalities". Holy crap, so she's full-on insane? We never find anything more about that, though. We do find that she has three daughters who are trapped by gargoyles in a tiny garden behind Mirror Mirror. Their names are Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle and they are definitely not from books. Oddly, although Queen Me is blatantly evil, she doesn't have a full stat block. She's level 4, so the PCs could potentially kick her head in with some effort. Or could you write a book about the princesses to make them warp into Behind the Bookshelf? Well, we could think of doing that if they'd bothered putting any logic in the setting..

  • DragonSnot Falls is a formerly living dragon who was turned into stone, and now has two giant waterfalls running out of his nose. There's only one bridge, and there's things living inside the nose tunnels. We don't really find much about it in the setting section, although one of the sample adventures pretty much defines exactly what's in there.

  • The Howl House and the Oink House are the homes of three wolf brothers and three pig brothers respectively. The three wolf brothers are named Big Bad Wolf, Medium Bad Wolf, and Not So Bad Wolf. The Pig Brothers.. don't get names, but we're told they want to make friends with the wolves, and are trying to convince them to make friends by planting glitter bombs (which the wolves hate) in their yard. Oh-kay.

  • The Whispering Woods is a forest of trees that constantly whisper stories, such as "Alice and the Mad Hatter" and "Beauty and the Beast" which apparently are not boo- oh sod it. You can tell them stories, which they'll add to the ones they tell. Also, Mother Goose wanders around here collecting stories and nursery rhymes.

  • Hex Kitchen is a bakery run by the Kitchen Witch, who looks a bit scary but is actually quite friendly. Unfortunately, she tends to drop dough from her baking on the floor, where it assembles itself into Gingerbread Boys who run out of the kitchen and set traps in the surrounding woods to catch anyone coming to see the witch.

And that's the Closet, which has a lot of good ideas, but it's pretty clear that by putting "everything from books" in one region the authors basically shot themselves in the foot with an elephant gun. Plus, the high levels of everything basically make alliances with NPCs either impossible or an instant solution to everything, although that second might not be so bad when playing with kids.

Next time, the other two regions.

hyphz fucked around with this message at 22:56 on Apr 26, 2016

Keiya
Aug 22, 2009

Come with me if you want to not die.


LatwPIAT posted:

It appears to have been cut from the final edition, but the original draft did have the Beast that preyed on people who didn't tip.

That must be hilarious to people not used to America's hosed up sub-living wage minimum wage obsession.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Well, this was an excellent point to catch up with this thread

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


SirPhoebos posted:

Well, this was an excellent point to catch up with this thread

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9270u0MkI2w

It only gets worse, I'm afraid.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Beast reminds me of the second volume of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, in which several of Dream's favorite nightmares have broken loose into the waking world and one of them - the Corinthian - has decided to follow his lifelong ambition of becoming the world's greatest serial killer. The Corinthian - in Dream's design, humanity's darkest fears about itself, a sort of cinaedus to the collective unconscious - becomes a legend and a boogeyman, preying mainly on American gay men by luring them into trysts, then murdering them and devouring their eyeballs. At the height of his reign of terror, the Corinthian attends a convention for fellow "connoisseurs", and it plays out like a really twisted, hosed-up Comic-Con.

Then Dream shows up, gets really embarrassed about how loving juvenile his "masterpiece" is, and erases the Corinthian like a penciled sketch so he can start over from first principles. Then he uses his mojo as one of the Endless to impress upon the other serial killers that they're a bunch of gross, delusional manchildren, and tells them to just go home already.

Beast reads like the Corinthian's self-insert fanfic to the larger work of The Sandman.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
I AM A BIG FAT STUPID FUCKER WHO SHOULD STAY THE FUCK OUT OF CSPAM


Late to the party but it feels like, in your game about literal monsters, monsters that even with good intents are pretty much always abusers/cruel/whatever, using an image that looks a lot like one of those Indian lady vigilantes that wears pink and beats the poo poo out of abusive spouses/rapists/etc when the cops won't help is a bit...wrongheaded. Like, of all the vigilantes to pull the 'but aren't they just the monster in someone else's story' thing, are we really gonna do it to the people who's first rule is 'go to the cops, and if (when) they ignore violence against women like usual, then we'll club a dude'?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Wrongheaded misappropriation? Sure sounds like classic White Wolf writing to me. Ugh.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
I AM A BIG FAT STUPID FUCKER WHO SHOULD STAY THE FUCK OUT OF CSPAM

Bieeardo posted:

Wrongheaded misappropriation? Sure sounds like classic White Wolf writing to me. Ugh.

I dunno these ladies sound pretty monstery to me

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulabi_Gang

quote:

Satbodh saindata was founded the Gulabi Gang, Sampat Pal Devi, a mother of five and former government health worker (as well as a former child bride) first started the group after having been beaten by an abusive husband. Since then, women have joined intending to punish oppressive and abusive men. The women scold men who abuse their wives and even publicly humiliate them if they needed to do so.[5] In some cases, they even go further and threaten the abusive husbands of beating them with laathis (sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives.[1][6] This has earned them the title of "vigilantes".

quote:

The Gulabi gang is not an actual gang, but rather a team of women working towards justice for oppressed and abused women.[5] The women wear uniform pink saris symbolizing strength, and carry around bamboo sticks that can be used as weapons if needed.[5] Most of the women are from a poor background and are of the lowest caste, the Dalit.[5]

Corporate partnerships of the Gulabi Gang include Vitalect, a technology and services company that works with non-profit organizations to assist them with their technological needs, and Social Solution India (SSI), a non-profit company that promotes NGO stability.[5]

There is no discrimination based on gender because the gang not only focuses on male jurisdiction over women, but also on human rights and male oppression.[7] Community service efforts of the gang include food and grain distribution to villagers in rural areas, pension to widows who do not have the means to support themselves in their old age, and helping prevent the abuse of women and children.[5] Dowry, dowry beatings, dowry death, rape, child marriages, domestic abuse, desertion, depriving of education, child molestation, and sexual harassment are all watched for and punished by the gang.[5]

Basically the living concept of bestial vengeance right here

sexpig by night fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Apr 27, 2016

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.






Grimey Drawer

Tatum Girlparts posted:

Late to the party but it feels like, in your game about literal monsters, monsters that even with good intents are pretty much always abusers/cruel/whatever, using an image that looks a lot like one of those Indian lady vigilantes that wears pink and beats the poo poo out of abusive spouses/rapists/etc when the cops won't help is a bit...wrongheaded. Like, of all the vigilantes to pull the 'but aren't they just the monster in someone else's story' thing, are we really gonna do it to the people who's first rule is 'go to the cops, and if (when) they ignore violence against women like usual, then we'll club a dude'?

And this is the core of it- offensive or not, the game can't make up its mind whether these are righteous teachers of lessons or horrible abusers. They want to have it both ways, AND they want to make Heroes the Absolute Worst despite the fact that they may be on to something.

Valatar
Sep 26, 2011

A remarkable example of a pathetic species.


Lipstick Apathy

The sad thing is, I can see room for an actual fun, albeit dark setup for Beasts being supernatural Dexter. So you have a monster in you, one may perhaps refer to it as a dark rider or something similar, and it wants to eat people. But you don't want to eat innocent people, so you have rules, perhaps a code of some sort. Or maybe the monster just has exotic tastes and won't eat just any random schmuck, it only wants to eat pimps or Redditors. And because you're a supernatural, person-eating monster, there are understandably a fair number of people out there trying to kill you, maybe for revenge or maybe just because civilized society doesn't stand for eating people, regardless of how bad they are.

Boom, done, collect paycheck from White Wolf. It's not loving hard. It's not even original! Lots of people back in the day had vampires/werewolves/whatever with the character concept of 'well sure, Goth McBlackEyeliner does suck all of the blood out of people on a nightly basis, but he only drinks bad people so it's cool', and Beast could've just rolled with that and turned out fine. All they had to do was refrain from writing a book based around social activist buzzwords with random conservatives as the antagonists, and write it with some degree of internal consistency, but both of those hurdles were apparently too high.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Valatar posted:

The sad thing is, I can see room for an actual fun, albeit dark setup for Beasts being supernatural Dexter. So you have a monster in you, one may perhaps refer to it as a dark rider or something similar, and it wants to eat people. But you don't want to eat innocent people, so you have rules, perhaps a code of some sort. Or maybe the monster just has exotic tastes and won't eat just any random schmuck, it only wants to eat pimps or Redditors. And because you're a supernatural, person-eating monster, there are understandably a fair number of people out there trying to kill you, maybe for revenge or maybe just because civilized society doesn't stand for eating people, regardless of how bad they are.

Boom, done, collect paycheck from White Wolf. It's not loving hard. It's not even original! Lots of people back in the day had vampires/werewolves/whatever with the character concept of 'well sure, Goth McBlackEyeliner does suck all of the blood out of people on a nightly basis, but he only drinks bad people so it's cool', and Beast could've just rolled with that and turned out fine. All they had to do was refrain from writing a book based around social activist buzzwords with random conservatives as the antagonists, and write it with some degree of internal consistency, but both of those hurdles were apparently too high.

Except Slasher already exists is the problem.

And that really is the fundamental problem with Beast, even if you strip away the absolutely gross strawman/noble abusers/Beasts as persecuted minorities who get to abuse strawmen/etc. garbage, even if you jettison all of that into the sun, what you're left with is the question "What does Beast do, what themes does it bring to the table or avenue to explore humanity does it wander down, that you can't get anywhere else from another World of Darkness game?" And the answer is there isn't any. I think it's pretty telling that there have been dozens upon dozens of attempts at "I can see Beast being good if [THING]" both here and in the WoD/White Wolf thread and the problem they all run into is that no matter how people try to finesse it, the best that you can really do with Beast is turn it into something that resembles some other WoD line instead of its own thing. You can't even go for shallow "rule of cool" factor because nothing about Beast is cool, you aren't playing a literal medusa or Godzilla in the modern day, you're just some guy with a ~monstrous soul~, who gives a poo poo about that when you can be an actual for-real vampire or werewolf or biomechanical fallen angel? It really is a pointless game.

Godna
Feb 4, 2013


The more I hear...the more I think maybe the heroes are more interesting. Tell me that a struggle against a foe that is super naturally liked and powerful in a world that WILL tell you that you are wrong...and should you win...all that follows is the realization that there are so much more to fight...doesn't fit world of darkness better then.

Monster: Abandoning the pretext

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Cythereal posted:

I've got some Hunters on line one, mister Beast, they say you're full of poo poo and they're far past mere students of the lessons you purport to teach.

"They say they've got a lesson ready for you though. It's about fire."

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


Wapole Languray posted:

Oh, and a note about Uldholm: The Uld are explicitly black. Like, African-featured, very dark skinned, with tones describes as "earth colored". Just changing that, making the Uld black can suddenly change completely what images go through your head, yeah?
Pursuant to this, I'm not sure if you mentioned it previously but there are no non-human cultures in REIGN, and all but one are explicitly non-white. It's actually kind of refreshing and is one of the game's more unique aspects in the context of most other fantasy roleplaying games.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



I think the Truile are white (really white, comes from living in the Sunless Waste). Dindavarans are golden-brown, Ulds are very dark and Imperials are a mishmash?

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.

There's two white groups actually; the Truils and the Ob-lobs.

(Notably both are marginalized groups that have bad reputations with outsiders.)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Both also spend most of their lives in dark places (Truil lands are always night, and Ob-lobs mostly live on boats in the floating seas, at weird angles from the sun.)

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Kai Tave posted:

And that really is the fundamental problem with Beast, even if you strip away the absolutely gross strawman/noble abusers/Beasts as persecuted minorities who get to abuse strawmen/etc. garbage, even if you jettison all of that into the sun, what you're left with is the question "What does Beast do, what themes does it bring to the table or avenue to explore humanity does it wander down, that you can't get anywhere else from another World of Darkness game?" And the answer is there isn't any. I think it's pretty telling that there have been dozens upon dozens of attempts at "I can see Beast being good if [THING]" both here and in the WoD/White Wolf thread and the problem they all run into is that no matter how people try to finesse it, the best that you can really do with Beast is turn it into something that resembles some other WoD line instead of its own thing. You can't even go for shallow "rule of cool" factor because nothing about Beast is cool, you aren't playing a literal medusa or Godzilla in the modern day, you're just some guy with a ~monstrous soul~, who gives a poo poo about that when you can be an actual for-real vampire or werewolf or biomechanical fallen angel? It really is a pointless game.

A friend of mine (speaking on the topic of a theme the Leviathan fansplat had chosen not to explore) suggested a novel niche that I think Beast could fill, and could be interesting to explore as a metaphor; as a Beast, you play someone who strongly believes that because of their birth they are special and are owed reverence, worship, respect, or an elevated status, and comes face-to-face with a world that does not give a rats rear end that you're the reincarnation of Medusa. To them, you're an ordinary human and they're not going to give you special treatment just because you think you're special and better than them. It would be a game about coming to terms with the fact that you're not any better than other people, and your brand of specialness doesn't actually matter to them.

It'd be an artsy game about exploring a concept, and it would not be one that lends itself to the kind of wish-fulfilment power-fantasy Beast wants to be, and it probably wouldn't end up a very popular game.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




LatwPIAT posted:

A friend of mine (speaking on the topic of a theme the Leviathan fansplat had chosen not to explore) suggested a novel niche that I think Beast could fill, and could be interesting to explore as a metaphor; as a Beast, you play someone who strongly believes that because of their birth they are special and are owed reverence, worship, respect, or an elevated status, and comes face-to-face with a world that does not give a rats rear end that you're the reincarnation of Medusa. To them, you're an ordinary human and they're not going to give you special treatment just because you think you're special and better than them. It would be a game about coming to terms with the fact that you're not any better than other people, and your brand of specialness doesn't actually matter to them.

So Otherkin, the game?

Doodmons
Jan 17, 2009


unseenlibrarian posted:

There's two white groups actually; the Truils and the Ob-lobs.

(Notably both are marginalized groups that have bad reputations with outsiders.)

The Lightless Jungle natives are also white, and I'm semi-sure that the Sunless Plains natives and the people from the Wincu desert are, if not white, at least a few shades lighter than the rest of the world. I like that it makes total sense that black people are the symbol of civilisation and white people are savages in Reign - all the white people are white because they live in perpetual darkness and can't do agriculture or anything. It's proper worldbuilding instead of just an inversion for the hell of it. Same with the gender equality thing: the fact that only women can ride horses, the fact that magic exists and is independent of body size and the fact that the most powerful empire in the world has always exclusively been ruled by women means that there's just no stigma attached to gender. Women have nothing to prove.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Besides, everyone knows that men become sterile if they ride horses astride the saddle. I mean, that's just science.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



hyphz posted:

So Otherkin, the game?

AKA oChangeling.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


LatwPIAT posted:

A friend of mine (speaking on the topic of a theme the Leviathan fansplat had chosen not to explore) suggested a novel niche that I think Beast could fill, and could be interesting to explore as a metaphor; as a Beast, you play someone who strongly believes that because of their birth they are special and are owed reverence, worship, respect, or an elevated status, and comes face-to-face with a world that does not give a rats rear end that you're the reincarnation of Medusa. To them, you're an ordinary human and they're not going to give you special treatment just because you think you're special and better than them. It would be a game about coming to terms with the fact that you're not any better than other people, and your brand of specialness doesn't actually matter to them.

It'd be an artsy game about exploring a concept, and it would not be one that lends itself to the kind of wish-fulfilment power-fantasy Beast wants to be, and it probably wouldn't end up a very popular game.

Having people be born the way they are kind of goes against the grain of the CofD. Werewolf is pretty clear on the fact that Luna's just doing whatever the gently caress she wants, and Mage states that anyone can awaken it just requires the correct kind of push.

So let's do some more brainstorming, given as fact that "This game needs a Crossover Focus" and "Beasts need to do horrible things to survive" while also keeping "Beasts have to be compelling to play" and "Beasts aren't born the way they are."

You don't choose to become a Beast, hell your Horror didn't even really choose you. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and now you've got some unknowable horror where your soul used to be. Horror doesn't particularly care about you, you're some unwanted chunk of meat and sentience that it is stuck to, you dying would probably be the best thing that ever happened to it. But if you don't feed it, it starts to get stronger, it starts to rattle the bars of it's prison, clawing at the walls, screaming loud enough for Heroes and other Horrors to hear. Or it makes a hero, slipping away while you sleep to create its own worst enemy in hopes that it will either drive you to give in, or kill you. So you give in, in little ways. You direct the hatred and violence towards more constructive ends, because you aren't a monster. And hopefully in some way you can either direct your Horror towards some better purpose, or end it entirely.

So how does this bring into the crossover angle? They're your support group. They're the monsters who are out in the world and doing what they can to make it a better place, or at least survive without turning it into a complete shithole. They're your friends who can help you when your Horror calls in backup, they're the ones who can call you back from the brink if your Horror gets too strong. They're the ones who are going to get you out of this mess alive.


But that's a completely different game and would need an utter overhaul of the mechanics and morality system.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Werewolves are to an extent born werewolves - werewolf genetics certainly plays some kind of role. But it's a role no one understands, and it's not an exclusive one, since any wolf-blood can theoretically become a full werewolf under the right trigger conditions, and any human can become wolf-blooded after a particularly weird encounter with a spirit or werewolf.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

Having people be born the way they are kind of goes against the grain of the CofD. Werewolf is pretty clear on the fact that Luna's just doing whatever the gently caress she wants, and Mage states that anyone can awaken it just requires the correct kind of push.

So let's do some more brainstorming, given as fact that "This game needs a Crossover Focus" and "Beasts need to do horrible things to survive" while also keeping "Beasts have to be compelling to play" and "Beasts aren't born the way they are."

You don't choose to become a Beast, hell your Horror didn't even really choose you. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and now you've got some unknowable horror where your soul used to be. Horror doesn't particularly care about you, you're some unwanted chunk of meat and sentience that it is stuck to, you dying would probably be the best thing that ever happened to it. But if you don't feed it, it starts to get stronger, it starts to rattle the bars of it's prison, clawing at the walls, screaming loud enough for Heroes and other Horrors to hear. Or it makes a hero, slipping away while you sleep to create its own worst enemy in hopes that it will either drive you to give in, or kill you. So you give in, in little ways. You direct the hatred and violence towards more constructive ends, because you aren't a monster. And hopefully in some way you can either direct your Horror towards some better purpose, or end it entirely.

So how does this bring into the crossover angle? They're your support group. They're the monsters who are out in the world and doing what they can to make it a better place, or at least survive without turning it into a complete shithole. They're your friends who can help you when your Horror calls in backup, they're the ones who can call you back from the brink if your Horror gets too strong. They're the ones who are going to get you out of this mess alive.


But that's a completely different game and would need an utter overhaul of the mechanics and morality system.
Also, while you're overhauling the mechanics and morality system to support the new premise of "placating accidental eldritch horror inside," you've basically written yourself 90% of the way to a new edition of Geist, a system that already has antagonists (ghosts! Underworld stuff!) potentially built into it. Even when being rebuilt Beast would find trouble justifying itself in the face of existing content.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Mors Rattus posted:

Werewolves are to an extent born werewolves - werewolf genetics certainly plays some kind of role. But it's a role no one understands, and it's not an exclusive one, since any wolf-blood can theoretically become a full werewolf under the right trigger conditions, and any human can become wolf-blooded after a particularly weird encounter with a spirit or werewolf.

My fan theory, considering human genetic bottlenecks, is that pretty much everyone is Wolf-Blooded, it's just a matter of degree and bringing that to the fore.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012


Kavak posted:

My fan theory, considering human genetic bottlenecks, is that pretty much everyone is Wolf-Blooded, it's just a matter of degree and bringing that to the fore.

Yeah, .5% of the world's population can claim direct patrilinear descent from Genghis Khan, and that's not including anyone descended from his daughters, grand daughters, etc (Since we can't track that as easily as a single SRY phenotype). One werewolf a long time ago can have a whole bunch of great^n Grandkids.


And yes I am a big fan of the new wolf-blooded rules as well, though I sort of wish they still allowed for the weirder physical ones to be included for Lunacy blooded just to emphasize the utter strangeness of it all.

"Honey I have no idea what happened last night and I swear I have no idea where that wolf pelt came from. Now hand me that hamburger, he's hungry."

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Well, there's no particular reason you can't just run it that way, at least.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


I came up with an idea for a WoD game and posted it on that thread, but I thought I'd also post it here since I came up with it from reading all the chat here.

SirPhoebos posted:

...you play as aliens fleeing their homeworld after it got shitfucked by WoD shenanigans, only to come to Earth and find it engulfed by those same forces. With not enough supplies to go with any alternative, they now have to adopt to their new home, and figure out how to defeat the darkness and whether or not the Earthlings are acceptable collateral damage.

Each of the splats represents the different WoD lines in alien form, but they each look like movie aliens. Or rather, movie aliens look like the real deal. So instead of vampires you have Mr. Spock that feeds on rational thought, and instead of werewolves you have Giger Xenomorphs.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


If you were to go back and gut the entire book, Beast could be an interesting basis for a game about free-will. You become a Beast, either by choice or accident, and then you struggle against the dark urges the nightmare in you is calling up. The conflict in the book is between your humanity and the thing inside you. You fight against Heroes who are targeting anyone they find abhorrent, Beasts that have just given up and let the nightmare win, and whatever else you hunt to keep your poo poo together. Even the Dark Mother aspect can be saved by keeping her plans completely unknown but establishing that all the Beasts she is creating are firebombs and monkey wrenches hurled at the God-Machine and anything else trying to dominate baseline humanity. The setup could create tension on so many different levels: keeping people free but using immoral activities to do it, having to choose whether the control another monster is exerting is better than letting the people make up their own minds, do you give in or keep resisting the monster inside you, etc. That could even be used to explain the hostility a chunk of the Beasts feel towards Demons.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


SirPhoebos posted:

I came up with an idea for a WoD game and posted it on that thread, but I thought I'd also post it here since I came up with it from reading all the chat here.

This is just a perfect way to include Transformers into the WoD.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

SirPhoebos posted:

I came up with an idea for a WoD game and posted it on that thread, but I thought I'd also post it here since I came up with it from reading all the chat here.

Hmm... but one of the key elements of WoD is that your monster-dudes can pass as ordinary people while secretly eating dreams or whatever. How do they hide? Do they use weird super-technology to disguise themselves? For that matter, is superscience their magic-equivalent? I guess one of their struggles would be finding the supplies needed to jury-rig their tech. In theory, you could take the idea of Genius's wonders, reign them in, and standardize them; turning tropes from alien abduction b-movies into powers for your splats that you literally assemble from junk, though eventually they'd fall apart (which is how you'd balance them to keep a Genius-style death ray or cloning machine from breaking the game like an egg). I'm picturing a power-set build on improvisation and urgency; your powers are actually blueprints (or equivalents) you can use during combat/downtime to whip up something useful, but they're prone to fail at dramatically appropriate moments.

Tasoth posted:

If you were to go back and gut the entire book, Beast could be an interesting basis for a game about free-will. You become a Beast, either by choice or accident, and then you struggle against the dark urges the nightmare in you is calling up. The conflict in the book is between your humanity and the thing inside you. You fight against Heroes who are targeting anyone they find abhorrent, Beasts that have just given up and let the nightmare win, and whatever else you hunt to keep your poo poo together. Even the Dark Mother aspect can be saved by keeping her plans completely unknown but establishing that all the Beasts she is creating are firebombs and monkey wrenches hurled at the God-Machine and anything else trying to dominate baseline humanity. The setup could create tension on so many different levels: keeping people free but using immoral activities to do it, having to choose whether the control another monster is exerting is better than letting the people make up their own minds, do you give in or keep resisting the monster inside you, etc. That could even be used to explain the hostility a chunk of the Beasts feel towards Demons.

For that matter, you could spin this a little for the alien thing. instead of being turned into beasts, you get abducted by aliens and turned into one of them so they can keep their numbers up. You struggle to choose between empathizing with humanity and following the inhuman call of your alien creators (morality stat!), fight against the WoD bullshit that followed your creators here, replace the Dark Mother with said creators fused with Talsoth's idea and have them setting loose you and your comrades to throw up a smokescreen of destruction and shenanigans they can hide behind, etc, etc, etc.

Also, Leviathan from earlier in the thread. I agree that it looks cool and a lot more structurally coherent, but, uh, there's a lot of in the current documentation. Like, breeding . I know a lot of that sort of thing comes with the territory here, but they barely bother avoiding it.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Falconier111 posted:

For that matter, you could spin this a little for the alien thing. instead of being turned into beasts, you get abducted by aliens and turned into one of them so they can keep their numbers up. You struggle to choose between empathizing with humanity and following the inhuman call of your alien creators (morality stat!), fight against the WoD bullshit that followed your creators here, replace the Dark Mother with said creators fused with Talsoth's idea and have them setting loose you and your comrades to throw up a smokescreen of destruction and shenanigans they can hide behind, etc, etc, etc.

Or you make it like in Parasyte where the alien entity that was supposed to take over your body failed in doing so and is now forced to join you in some jolly co-operation.

But since this is the WoD, the co-operation will probably not be all that jolly.

Poltergrift
Feb 16, 2014



"When I grow up, I'm gonna be a proper swordsman. One with clothes."


Doresh posted:

Or you make it like in Parasyte where the alien entity that was supposed to take over your body failed in doing so and is now forced to join you in some jolly co-operation.

But since this is the WoD, the co-operation will probably not be all that jolly.

Was working on a concept semi-similar to this a while back -- except the parasites/foreign entities didn't fail to take over humans' bodies; in fact, they basically replaced the immune systems and important internal organs of the infected. But the parasites had a limited understanding of human society, so they'd retain the human's original consciousness to use to fit in with the herd, etc.; if that consciousness became a threat or useless to the parasite, it would just pare it down until the brain was compliant and barely sentient (which was how the Humanity-equivalent worked).

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LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Doresh posted:

Or you make it like in Parasyte where the alien entity that was supposed to take over your body failed in doing so and is now forced to join you in some jolly co-operation.

But since this is the WoD, the co-operation will probably not be all that jolly.

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to make the game hard to play by invoking my favourite World of Darkness system; Shadowguides!

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