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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







Chapter 2 Part 2: Food, Incarnation, and Heroes

Roughly halfway through the chapter we have this big text dump.

Which is the another bit of "Beasts are actually lying to themselves" story but it doesn't seem like enough in the light of Heroes still being portrayed as unredeemable and universally wrong, and becoming a Beast being this weird combination of a choice, birthright, and affliction.

Food & Drink

quote:

Everyone’s been hungry.
Beasts are hungrier.
Hoard, Power, Prey, Punishment, Ruin: such simple words for such monstrous needs. Hunger is a word that suggests eating, but the Hunger of a Beast isn’t so base as appetite. Hunger is the stuff of legends. It inspires epics of the wars fought against it, of the empires it breaks, and of the people who die at its feet. When a Beast hungers, humanity does not sit idle.
This is the smuggest crap.
Mother's Milk

quote:

The Dark Mother hungered, too. Hunger was her greatest gift to her Children, a mythic drive to explore her world and carve out a piece of it. She left no true record of what her Hunger was, of course, but she left many legends.
Though this is a strong competition for the title of "smuggest crap".

Beasts "Honor" the mother by feeding but they also force their hunger to have nuance. Beasts say that the world has grown "too loud" for them to hear the wisdom of the primordial dream, so they should teach through their feeding. Beasts "feed" in one of two situations, when their victim(and they do use victim) realizes that it's over and let out that sigh of relief that comes with the morning light, the "Catharsis"... or when they die. The Horror doesn't care about teaching lessons, it just wants to feed in the most brutal efficient way possible and that's by killing things. Beasts don't "shame" eachother for feeding their Horrors. Since the occasional indulgence is liberating, but without moderation they either fall into slumber or attract Heroes. And if they're overt enough then their kin might just run them out of town.


Feast

quote:

The audience is unwilling, but the choice is out of their hands.
Five-foot-two, bespectacled, and groomed within an inch of his life, Sin-you is a clashing color on the palette of the 24-hour greasy spoon. His eyes are posing questions no one wants answered.

What does he know?

Did he see me do it?

A trucker lumbers out of his booth and settles up. Sin-you knows what comes next. He smelled it in the man’s dime-store deodorant, and he sees it in the exact change he counts out over the cash register. Not a nickel over the bill. The hostess forces a smile as she drops a receipt like a piece of garbage.

Sin-you’s smile stretches like a stab wound.

Miles away, the trucker’s mind is wandering up the interstate. The waitress he pinched. The waiter he called a human being. The call girl with the bloody lip. They’re crawling over the walls of his cabin, tearing out soft pieces of his body and screaming obscenities he can’t hear but understands in the pit of his belly. He pulls his rig onto a side road before it slams into a concrete barrier.

“Guilty,” whispers Sin-you. It’s the most obvious thing in the world. An ivory spike, notched like a horn, drags down the trucker’s cheek, and Sin-you gorges on judgment. The trucker isn’t sure if he’s still dreaming, but his heart is beating so fast he can barely breathe. He doesn’t see Sin-You. No one ever does. He remembers, though.

He remembers how he treated the people he met on the road. Maybe next time he’ll remember they are travelers, just like him.

Sin-You slips out of the back of the truck and waits for his broodmate to arrive.
We've arrived folks, the Beast who punishes bad tippers.

Of course the game isn't done, it's time to wax about hunger in a way that borders on the sexual. "Hunger is pleasure. Anticipation is primal, an emotion that was branded into brains before brains learned to make thoughts. It’s the flood of endorphins as the fork passes the lips. It’s the relish of grilling filet mignon so rare it bleeds blue. It’s the thrill of stalking a wounded deer and its stuttering trail through the woods." So what I'm getting here is that Capital-H Hunger is to hunger as a Werewolf's Rage is to Anger.

quote:

Whatever call the Dark Mother heeded, Beasts hear its echo. Hidden deep in every instinct, she whispers, chiding her Children to grow up just like her. That whisper is the reason a Beast gets up in the morning, or carries on when her brood is slain and an ax-happy Hero prepares his coup de grâce. Only a Beast gets to decide when she’s cut off. For every hurt, for every disappointment, for every loved one who walks away, she remembers her Hunger — that which fed her when the world was fallow.

Living with Hunger is dangerous, yes, but a dragon’s gold is never a burden. The Hero might call it profane, but in his heart of hearts, he envies its glory. He’d be lucky to have such a light to guide his way. Instead, he’s left with the solipsism of vendetta; Hunger is a lodestar, not an addiction as the Heroes claim. As if a Beast could detox off instinct. Grendel wars on Heorot because killing Danes is the only way he keeps his sanity stapled together. He savors the blood spattering on his skin, and the bones crumbling in his fists, but that’s all empty calories. Hunger drowns out doubt. If it didn’t, he’d throw himself on their spears.

What book am I reading again? What happened to teaching lessons? This sounds like Old Beast, the whole "gently caress You Got Mine" incarnate mindset and utter moral superiority over Heroes, combined with revenge fantasy.

Abundance
When a beast is well fed, their Horror grows content and slothful, allowing the Beast to steal away some of it's power to make Nightmares. And... I'm just going to quote the next few paragraphs cause this stuff is horrific.

quote:

A sated Beast knows how to break out her prey’s best terrors. She knows how her victim obsesses over his looks, as well as his nagging suspicion that if they fade, he will too. She knows all about his dreams of limbs melting like wax and of a fast, anonymous decay into old age. She knows how to make fear fact. Now, whenever a chill hits the air, his bones ache and his hands tremble; whenever he looks in his mirror, he sees what he’ll become.

A sated Beast can tear away mental blocks. Drugs, therapy, and money went into repressing his hit-and-run, but the Beast makes sure her victim still dreams of the homeless woman he killed, dying as her blood leaks memories into shattered glass. The slurs of pedestrians. The agonies of withdrawal. He sees her in every beggar downtown and in his own shadow as he turns out the lights.

A sated Beast takes the pain that threw her victim’s life into a spiral of self-hatred and sorrow and says I can do better. She tortures the world until it feeds her again.

Yeah, forcing people to relive childhood horrors, succumb to their addictions, and relive their worst pains over and over again so that they can squeeze that last bit of blood out of the stone.

How are these guys supposed to be "the good guys" again?

That said, a full Horror is exacting, no mere gold coin will suit them, they need bullion stolen from fort knox, there is no need for temperance when gluttony is a virtue. But if they push themselves too far, if they fill up completely, then the Horror falls into a complete slumber, leaving the Beast as weak and normal as any human can be. And his enemies are probably quite angry at whatever hellish fuckery they unleashed that manged to top them off.

Famine

quote:

A man snores beneath the cracked lights of a bus shelter. Through winter rain, the ticking of his Rolex synchs with Ana’s heart. She needs that watch more than anything she’s ever needed.

She thought she could get by on scraps. The cops are watching all her haunts: the subway, the tourist traps, even the loving library. She hasn’t had a real meal in weeks, and the night her neighbors woke up screaming about deep, dark oceans, she knew cold turkey wouldn’t work.

Watch-guy’s not going to be sleeping on that bench tomorrow. He’s not going to be there in five minutes. That’s the message Ana’s Horror is thrashing into her on typhoons of stomach acid. Her bones chill as if it’s dragging her back to the sea, but really, it’s just dragging her to him.

She finds her hand on his wrist before she can think the desire to put it there. Her goose bumps brush against his as she hesitates.

He wakes.

Not just from sleep, but from the polite fiction that Ana is anything but a monster. He grabs a handful of hair and slams her into the bench. The rain twists around him, robbing him of balance. He tries to club her head with his briefcase, but she swings her leg further than a human knee allows, smashing him through the shelter’s cheap glass.

Her goose bumps grip his skin like suckers as she crushes his chest and rips the watch from his arm.

Somewhere in the space between the rain, the ticking, and Ana’s heart, her Horror roars.

This is another reason I hate the "Beasts are the good guys" narrative, if they go hungry for too long people start dying. And if a Beast isn't smart, if they leave too much evidence of their passing, leave too many broken people and bodies then they'll attract the police. They'll need to lie low, the hunger will come and it will burn.

Scarcity
As a Horror gets hungry it starts paying closer attention to what the Beast is doing, Atavisms get stronger as the Horror rubs closer to the skin, offering power in exchange for promised meals. But the Horror hates being hungry, if it isn't sated then it will start trying to do it on it's own. Roaming the Primordial Dream and feeding on it's own in nightmares.

quote:

Reward comes with risk, however. If a Beast expends her reserves or goes without a meal too long, her Horror goes feral. It has no logic to understand poor feeding prospects, nor the motives that might put its Beast on a diet. It has needs that outweigh consequence. It shatters the confines of the Lair and hunts through human nightmares. Like any predator, it revisits the same hunting grounds over and over again. A single nightmare feeding leaves a person bleary and edgy the next morning, but one a night for a week makes the victim sick, depressed, and spiritually weakened. Worse yet, so much activity in the Primordial Dream attracts Heroes.
Yes the worst part of that exchange is that it will summon Heroes. Shut the gently caress up.

I'd apologize for all the giant quote blocks but this half of the chapter is particularly quotable, both in the sheer amount of on display, and the fact that there's giant piles of fiction interspersed in the last 10 pages. Particularly now because the book decides to provide us five examples of how beasts get hungry! Why? BECAUSE gently caress ME! I'll only torture you with three of them.

quote:

Luka’s a Predator, the kind who uses every part, from skin to sinew. Zie thinks other carnivores are the best prey, and being hunted in return gives hir a special sort of thrill. Normally zie’d describe hirself as a conservationist, but sometimes the bleeding hearts go too far. The new laws mean a lot more rangers snooping around the woods looking for poachers. If they catch hir with a bloody bowie knife and a bear carcass, zie’ll have to answer uncomfortable questions. Luka’s Horror is hunting on its own now, and it’s acquiring brand new tastes. Ugly ones.
Oh.. So apparently there was another genderqueer character. And not a flattering one. Also "You're a horrible torture murderer but can you deal with the horrors of bureaucracy before you're forced to murder something you didn't want to murder?" sounds like a loving parody.

quote:

They say that internal affairs is for slimeballs, and that describes Hollis well. He’s always had a strong sense of right and wrong, as well as an unerring eye able to exploit that quality for his own edification. Woe to the cop who comes across his desk, because whether or not she’s right, she’ll always be wrong. Playing that game can be delicate, though, and now he’s faltered. He’s been suspended for all kinds of violations (if only they knew), and the review board’s going to throw the book at him. Starving outside his red tape empire, it’s time for Hollis to make good on his rolodex of spite. Time to show these cops what justice really is.
So a Noir hero that also secretly supernaturally feeds by slandering good cops? I love how all the beast characters so far have either been completely unredeemable shitbags, or compelling characters somehow made worse by making them Beasts.

quote:

He has always needed to burn. As a kid, Levin played with matches and brought fiery doom on ant hills, so when the salamander in his dreams turned out to be him, everything clicked. Now the local news calls him the Eastside Pyro. Despite the disappointing nickname, his Legend grows in the warmth of the media’s attention. Or rather, it did. The concrete walls of the county jail make poor kindling. Now his Horror’s torching every dream it can, and rumor has it that his fellow inmates plan on snuffing out his light for good.
"Don't you see I wasn't a pyromaniac I was actually serving a purpose and now you've ruined everything noooo..."

If You Are Lukewarm
So why doesn't a beast just sit at middle Satiety? Because the Horror gets bored. No seriously. It wants to either be angry cause it's hungry, or happy cause it's almost asleep, it doesn't like to be in the middle. This bored contentment also leaves a Beast open to Anathema, because it's not paying close attention. A hero can come in and take control over the narrative and force the Beast to act as he expects him to.

Lessons

I don't want to do this anymore.

The primordial dream teaches a very simple lesson, Survival. Fear of the unknown is what kept early humans alive. Fear doesn't grant knowledge though, it grants WISDOM. Pain and Terror show a person that they do not want to experience something again. There's a fine line to be drawn between negative reinforcement (Teaching a behavior by associating it with the stopping of something unpleasant) and punishment(Teaching to avoid a behavior by following it with something unpleasant) but beasts aren't Psychologists and they don't like to split hairs. The primordial dream isn't a psychologist either because now you're covered in spiders WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! LEARN THE WISDOM!

quote:

The modern world’s relationship with fear has become strange and muddled. People fear occurrences that have virtually no chance of ever actually happening, while ignoring the dangers right in front of them. The sheer number of people alive at any given time means that a sea of strangers surrounds an average human being, resulting in generalized anxiety about the world and the people in it. Meanwhile, the visceral, blood-and-bones wisdom of the Primordial Dream has to be filtered through so much noise that it has the wrong effect. People fear each other but ignore supernatural danger. They fear terrorism but rationalize hatred. They fear a disease that will almost certainly never touch them but disbelieve the slow death of their planet.
...yeah no sorry you don't get to be preachy at this point, Beast: The Primordial. You've spent all your goodwill capita with me around the cabbie who drops people off in the bad part of town then locks the doors.

Now Beasts don't need to teach lessons, and they can't require it from others. How could they, who would police that and how? Instead they do what family does, nag them until they succumb to the cultural expectations of the group. Beasts are helicopter parents.
And then they follow that up with this sidebar.


Choosing a Lesson
Beasts sometimes speak of instinctively knowing the lesson that they "must" teach after coming out of their Devouring, but the book flatly admits that the lessons Beasts want to teach probably come out of their own prejudices and no small amount of revenge. Also some Hungers and Families are better suited to teaching certain lessons than others.

Example Lessons
Not every lesson is benign or even helpful. Some Beasts take "Teaching Them A Lesson" in the colloquial 'beat the living poo poo out of them' sense. But others take their jobs as seriously as being a dream-torturer can be taken.

And they give about two pages of example lessons here, I'm just going to quote the more choice ones wholesale.

quote:

Humility: A common lesson of Anakim, Tyrants, and Ravagers, humility shows the victim that some things are simply beyond his control. The victim might be a very powerful, rich person, or just someone who tries to exert control over others in his life. The Beast might display this lesson by destroying something important to the victim, physically or social dominating him, or simply showing him a nightmare vista in which he is a subjugated, whipped slave.
That has some connotations there... it also doesn't seem very helpful to teach the lesson.

quote:

Acceptance: Acceptance is an especially harsh lesson. Predators, Ravagers, and Namtaru are its most common proponents. For a victim to learn this lesson, he must be brought low, losing friends, family, home, shelter, even himself. A beneficent Beast teaching this lesson (if such a thing exists) does it in a dream, where loss and death evaporate with sunrise. Beasts find this lesson an especially difficult one to teach, though; people don’t give up easily and they instinctively rail against horror and injustice. The lesson that “this is just how things are” is rarely one that they appreciate.
Demon run dream support groups? This is just depressing.

quote:

Passion: One of the effects of the modern world is that people have instant access to beauty, art, humor, and whatever else they might wish to experience. Feeling becomes difficult as people become jaded. Even people who work to better others suffer from dulled emotions; stress, compassion fatigue, and burnout numb the better angels of our natures. The Begotten have a good fix for that: mortal terror. The pure, elemental nature of fear stirs the heart and the mind. Collectors teach this lesson by stripping away items of comfort, while Ravagers do so by calling down fire and wind to change a person’s perspective. The Makara, adept at stirring the emotions of humanity, also favor the lesson of passion.
So... we're playing Changeling now? A very violent game of Changeling?

quote:

Tradition: Traditions become traditions for a reason. People tell stories as cautionary tales, but also as reminders and out of reverence. Then again, traditions can also outlive their usefulness. Years after a practice is no longer relevant, people stick to it because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” The lesson of tradition can therefore be either to uphold or reject the old ways, depending on the proclivities of the Beast in question. Makara, Tyrants, and, of course, Nemeses favor this lesson, whether to support or subvert.
...I.. have issues with this. Particularly since this doesn't seem much like a lesson and more like "Beasts use fear to shape the world around them and then convince themselves that they're teaching lessons". Like there's a Beast who really hates religion, so they use their powers to scare people away from the church and from faith. As far as they're concerned they're teaching lessons, and from their point of view they're helping. But that seems like a really lovely thing to do. Also not a very compelling character.

Delving in Darkness
Some Beasts occasionally dabble in more Esoteric pursuits. The World of the Chronicles of Darkness is riddled with Occult lore, most of which have at least some vein of truth to them. So many creatures in the world, both supernatural and not, create chambers in the Dream, and few if any have the capability to do anything with them. A Beast who learns of such things can expand their lair through little personal effort capitalizing on the suffering of others.

And if you're saying "This sounds a little harsh" then you're right, because this section was mostly left unaltered from the KS Draft.

Home
Beasts search out places in the world that resonate with the metaphysics of their Lair and pull impressions of those places out of the material to expand them. Failing that they force the issue, finding an unfortunate victim and pushing them to the brink of sanity to create enough of a psychic impression to make a nightmare. "Every place and broken person is another candle burning off fog in the Primordial Dream." Yikes.

quote:

The Collector poaches devil birds, whose calls portend death for those unfortunate enough to hear them. She keeps her pets in a special habitat and offers admission for a small fee. With each new nest in her collection and every new guest, her hunting grounds grow outward in a storm of shrieking.
That's not too bad, just a little bit weird and

quote:

The Nemesis has a riddle. She offers it to whomever she meets, but never the same way twice. Never the same tense, never the same words, never even the same punctuation, and never adding up to anything. Her unsolvable puzzle plagues countless sages and philosophers. For each life it envelops, she finds new ways to twist her Lair into a labyrinth of dead ends.
What? No that's actively destructive and I don't think

quote:

The Predator explores the back alleys of Skid Row, patronizing godforsaken drug dens or any other places where time slows and the world falls away. Her Lair is a sea of illusions set against an endless city, drawing prey in with the promise of fantasy and vice. She stalks them, hiding behind fever dream walls, and strikes them down with fears wrought large.
No game! Pull up! Pull up!

quote:

Pompeii, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima. These are the Ravager’s fantasy getaways: anywhere the restless dead are anchored by disaster. The Ravager’s not interested in helping them, though. He wants to revel in mass destruction, to make his Lair an instrument of entropy. No better way to learn of death than from those who can’t escape it.
What the loving hell?! There's one more paragraph about a Tyrant who created a torture cult and feeds off of their worship and expands their lair every time a new cell starts up but we can leave that be for now. Because now there's a character who actively exploits the restless dead of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. I don't think we've actually seen a positive character yet in the game but I think this is amongst the most tasteless. It's also a giant tonal swerve from "Beasts teach lessons to stave off their own perceptions of their monstrosity." and we'll be swerving right back in less than a page.

Hearth
Sometimes entire Broods get into the secret finding business.. and now it's time to just get.. even weirder. Because I have no idea what these are going for.

quote:

The Corporation: When a secret is unearthed, it becomes a commodity, and Beasts often form cartels to capitalize on their pools of lore. The Predators in one brood study the bizarre agendas of shadow owls, trading insider information with paranoid vampires. Ravagers in another group study the effects of hauntings on dreams, and trade their results to Sin-Eaters in exchange for unique services.
"Oh right, we need to give the other splats a reason to interact with Beasts."

quote:

The Detective Agency: Occult mysteries attract Beasts like moths to flames, but these broods take that pull and give it structure. Each member brings a special skill: occult forensics, parapsychological profiling, or just plain blood-spatter analysis. Investigatory broods often run into cabals of mages with similar agendas. At best, the two groups share resources and collaborate. At worst, it’s akin to a loner P.I. running afoul of city hall.
We've got the Beasty Doo Detective Agency less than 500 words away from "I make the ghost of Hiroshima tell me what it was like to die."

quote:

The Institution: Sometimes broods settle down. They find a mystery to their liking and milk it for all it’s worth. Perhaps rooms at the old asylum randomly open into the Primordial Dream, or a cabin out in the woods saps the essence of supernatural creatures. These mysterious places can be sources of power for years, and the broods that guard them will do so with their lives.
I'd like to add now that the book never really gives hard and fast rules for long term feeding like this. Or the fact that "Secrets" Don't really fit the hunger theme for anyone except Collectors. What's the Anakim Tyrant doing for food while everyone else is exploring the spooky mansion?

quote:

The Mystery Religion: The Begotten are scions of a primal goddess. Their divine heritage can bloom into a full-fledged religion, or at least cults. These broods task their adherents with sacred quests, either to help them better understand the Dark Mother’s world or to see if religious fervor can better regulate the needs of Hunger.
And yeah like I said this stuff is completely unaltered from the KS Copy so there's no mention or even lipservice spent tending to the "Teaching of Lessons". But I'm sure somewhere out there there's a Beast who's really angry that everyone else is making him look bad.

Family Secrets
Here we get some more Crossover information. And ideas for how to interact with other splats. Most of them are... not really in keeping with the game's themes anymore. I'll only quote a few.

quote:

The vampire spreads madness. Shunned by mortals and Kindred alike, she’s going to fall into a deep slumber if she keeps going hungry. Asklepian wants to help and offers her shelter for service. The little starving vampire can crack sanity with her bite the way he crushes ribcages with his coils, and every brain she breaks for him becomes a ward in the madhouse of his Lair.
...The guy running a literal nightmare sanitarium is named Asklepian? And he's teamed up with what sounds like a literal monster of a Vampire? Great.

quote:

Changelings live and breathe fate, just as the Norn does. In exchange for her help in hiding from their mad gods, they re-craft her Hero’s destiny. With his Legend untwined from hers, the fae show her new and subtle ways to flip narratives in her favor.
"Hey you know the defining narrative of your gameline? That's dumb."

quote:

Mr. Void steals the Hero’s soul. Wendigo doesn’t mind, though. He likes to watch skins change hands. He can learn so much as the demon’s mask crumbles with his new, despicable obligations, and even more when tungsten angels come to drag him back into service.
"Ha ha gently caress you Demon."
Myth & Legend
The Book now touches on the Astral Realms. For some reason. The Oneiros is the realm of an individual soul. When a beast gives a person nightmares their Horror lurks in their Oneiros for a short time. The Temenos is the collective soul of mankind, containing a copy of every story, god, and idea that has ever passed between two people. The Anima Mundi is the soul of the universe. Why this is here in a game where we already have the Primordial Dream?

Here be Monsters

quote:

She is born in blood again and again. The dream used to scare her; now she looks forward to it. The waking world is unreal. Only this forest matters.

The autumn chill whips over black fur. The wine-scent of rotting vegetation fills the air as she hurtles through the night after her prey. There, at last! It is her. Still a child trying to flee the monster, her feet slip-sliding on a ground cloaked in leaves.

She feels nothing for her younger self, neither rage nor pity. She feels nothing whatsoever until she pounces — effortlessly — and bears the child to the ground. Little bones snap like twigs. Flesh is rent to bone. She kills, she dies, and is reborn.

She wants this to continue forever.
Because apparently the Primordial Dream lies between the Temenos and the Anima Mundi. There's honestly a lot of text here that's can mostly be inferred or has been spoken clearly earlier. A Lair is sort of like an Oneiros, it starts small but it grows by adding chambers. Chambers within a lair (either a single beasts or a brood hive) connect with burrows, sturdy burrows that are part of the lair and share it's traits. Chambers under an Apex are connected with Primordial Pathways, weaker connections but still something a Horror can trod if they get hungry.

The larger a Lair the more influence a Beast can have on humanity's collective psyche. The more areas fall under their sway and are subject to their nightmare, which is why Beasts are more likely to become an area's Apex. They're actively working in the realm in which the Apex is determined. "That's also why the Hero must ultimately pursue the Beast to her Lair. Where else can you kill fear itself?" Well, i mean, if you're killing the horror yeah, Beasts can die in the real world pretty easily.

If a Lair is destroyed, however, the Horror is forced to flee into the Beast, causing something far more monstrous.

Nightmares & Dreamscapes
When beasts are hungry their horrors run amok. If they address the issue quickly then a few visits from the Horror aren't going to cause lasting damage. If they don't then the people near them are going to start recognizing the Beast as the "Other", the thing at the edge of the firelight stalking them in their dreams. It's this instinctive revulsion that helps the Hero track down their target.


Inherit the Earth
Inheritance is the only "End Game" that beast has, if you win or you lose, Inheritance is how you go out.
Rampant

quote:

Imani stands before a cave. Nothing here is beautiful, but even the rot infecting the rocks — the fungus and the beetles and the corpses — even the rot is saying, “Welcome home, Imani.” But the trees that frame the entrance are begging Imani to STAY OUT because they know she’ll never leave, she’ll never come out again, because the oaks look like mom and dad and they love Imani, but she goes in anyway because it’s the only thing she’s ever needed in her life and she doesn’t need mom and dad or a LIFE when the walls collapse and the moss tries to touch her and choke her and STOP HER but she pulls back she chokes the moss she chokes the cave and SMASHES the rocks into dust because she knows that this is how she WINS this is how the world ends not with a bang but with HER and she can hear a voice it’s calling out it says her name again and again and AGAIN and she is in a room.

She stands before a giant. Imani’s flesh is its food, and her blood is its drink. There’s nothing to hide that now.

The giant crawls from the ruins of the cave. She smashes the trees and whittles them into clubs.
Sometimes a Beast looks at their life, at the constant razors edge of Hunger and Humanity, at the game of cat and mouse with Heroes, and says "gently caress this noise." They cast aside their humanity and become that which Heroes say they are. "Mythology tells us that becoming a monster is the ultimate depravity. One who transforms into a monster is surely cursed. But then, that's what mythology says; mythology was written by heroes." If a Beast's lair is destroyed, either willingly or by a Hero or some other force, a Beast undergoes the Merger and becomes a monster of flesh, bone, and hunger in the waking world.

Unfettered

quote:

Helena breathes in salt air. She leaves paw prints in wet, cerulean sand, and little black crabs made of onyx dart through the shadow of her wing, into other shadows many miles away. Her mane is tangling on the wind, but the water has no waves. It’s a mirror for the sun and moon to dance on.

The men are running. More a dash, Helena thinks. Nothing as dignified as running. They’ve been hurtling at her since they were dots on the crooked horizon, kicking up blue sand with the frantic lope of dogs. She doesn’t fight when they shoot her. She doesn’t try to dodge or take cover. She doesn’t bite when they run out of bullets and beat her with their guns.

Helena lies down in the sand. Golden blood tangles her mane, matting it in glittering chains of life. One of the men collects her life in a bucket so he can sell it. When she’s hollowed out, they throw her in the water, and her brass bones drag her to the bottom. But then, she floats. She’s not
a Beast anymore, just a woman with curling red hair and a dead smile.

A griffin swims. It leaves Helena without a thought because Helena is gone, a half-remembered fragment of a dream. She doesn’t matter. Only revenge.

If a Beast dies while their Horror is slumbering, sometimes the Horror goes free. Usually it's an accident, a stupid death while they were unprepared. But sometimes a Beast intentionally does this when they no longer want to live the way they are. "Even the most tormented beast doesn't want to see the Hero win, or anyone else who shunned her for what she was. She wants the legend to carry on, even if she's incapable of carrying it on herself." Oh drat it game, you were so close to doing something meaningful.

Incarnate

quote:

“I think this is bullshit,” says Arnold. He would say that.

“Trust me,” I say. “It’s here.” We walk down the old, slick, stone steps, and I find the door. “Here.”

“Access door,” says Arnold, and Mira nods. She looks scared, though.

I chuckle. “Dude, you haven’t seen anything yet.” I shoulder the door open, and lead them into the Underground.

An hour later, Arnold still won’t shut up about how cool it all is. He’s taking pictures like crazy, planning to do a full shoot down here, and he still hasn’t apologized for all the poo poo he gave me. That’s when I realize….

“Arnold?”

“Yeah?”

“Where’s your sister?” He looks around, whipping his flashlight around.

“Holy poo poo. Mira?” He calls out, but nothing comes back but echoes. I called out her name, too, but nothing.

Nothing at first. But then….

“What if she never came back?” The voice is low. I can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman. I shine my light at where it came from, but all I see is something dart away before I can really catch a glimpse. “What if she’s lost down here, forever, along with all the other ghosts?”

“Where the gently caress is my sister?” Arnold’s screaming now. My heart pounds. I reach for my phone, but then Arnold’s light goes out.

“What if your last thought was that you should have heeded the signs?” The voice is behind me now. Something touches my neck and my legs go numb. I collapse. “What if?”

“I don’t know,” I whisper. “Please.”

“Do something for me,” says the voice. Its breath is in my ear. It smells like dust and red wine. “Tell someone else about this, once a day, for 10 days.”

So that’s why I’m telling you.

I’m sorry.

Or the Beast can rewrite the story, the one who wrests their life from the Heroes hands and merges with their Horror without either one of them dying. They are flesh and dream and nightmare. They're so steeped in their legend that they know all the twists and turns before they come up. They look at the loom of fate and rip their threads out of it. He betrays Gilgamesh. He devours Saint George. He burns every piece of Osiris until only ash and Isis' tears remain.

Beloved Enemies

quote:

He’s smashing the door with a crowbar. Chunks of plywood burst like flak, and a piece of doorframe shoots through his swinging arm. He grits through the pain as the next swing squeezes the splinter deep into his shoulder, lodging it between bones.

Mara watches from her bedroom window, waiting for him to realize that a tank couldn’t knock that door down.

Eventually, he sniffs out the basement window and thinks himself clever for it. He loses a few inches of skin to broken glass as he shoves his body through the opening, and tracks bloody, trampled daisies as he limps up the stairs. His moment is coming.

Mara wants him to have it. She wants to see triumph in his face before she strips it of dignity and flesh. They both have their roles in this game, and playing that out won’t sour her victory. Not when she demolishes his self-worth with that crowbar.
The Cycle of Violence
A Hero feels the primordial dream, a fact which most Beasts are loathe to admit. They don't experience it the same way Beast's do, mind you. Beast's dream deep, Heroes dream Broad. They see everything, including the effect that Beasts have on the collective unconscious of humanity. They can see the damage being inflicted and try to instinctively cut it out.

quote:

That by itself is understandable. The problem is that Heroes aren’t really doing it because they want to put down a monster. Heroes feel that they should loom large over humanity’s dreams. People shouldn’t be having nightmares of monsters, but dreaming of feverish adulation. The Hero longs to enter a Beast’s Lair, cut out its Horror’s heart, and substitute his smiling, bloodied face in the dreams of all whom the Beast
would have victimized.
Oh... oh... Yeah Heroes are just egomaniacs who want to murder Beasts. "Murder is his only end, regardless of bystanders. He'll bloviate about the innocents he saves, but at the best of times, protecting the innocent is incidental."

Not So Different, You and I

quote:

To a degree, the Begotten understand the Heroic drive. Whether it’s for piles of gold or slaughtered prey, Beasts are equally slaves to instinct. The difference between a Beast’s Hunger and a Hero’s obsession is self-awareness. A Beast knows what she is. She learns to live with it or she suffers. Justifications miss the point of having a Hunger in the first place. A Hero, on the other hand, twists his brain to rationalize his hatred. Becoming a Hero is just a matter of experiencing the Primordial Dream without context or depth.
Apparently they missed the part where they as much as admitted that teaching lessons is a justification.

quote:

Is the Hero to blame for what he does? Beasts debate the question. Heroes seem to be operating on instinct as much as the Begotten. Just as the Begotten can minimize the harm they cause, though, or at least give it some context by using their Hunger to teach lessons, Heroes can discriminate in how they apply their murderous abilities, and they are capable of prioritizing a Beast that does real, reckless harm to people over one that does not. In addition, they can ignore their urges. If they focus on their own lives, if they ignore the hunt, if they develop some humility and stop trying to be the Hero, the urges diminish and stop. Few Heroes manage this, however. They have a lifetime of experience telling them that the Beast must die.
The good hero ignores the need to hunt and just stops being a Hero. The Good Beast can't do that, so the Good Beast is allowed to do whatever the gently caress they want. That's not a 'dark mirror' game, that's false equivalency. And with the change to Heroes being born the way they are it's blaming people for not being special enough to be Beasts.

Monomyths
gently caress there's a lot of fiction in this chapter, and would you believe me that they actually cut it down?

quote:

This isn’t how it was supposed to go down.

The judge is sitting like some goddamn magistrate, lording over the court as if he’s important. As if any part of this show trial matters.

“…racist…”
“…hate crime…”
“…Neo-Nazi…”

Oh, these newspeak platitudes. This isn’t how a man’s treated. I didn’t target her because she’s black. I targeted her because she’s a monster.

She’s sitting all solemn, little crocodile tears blotting her mascara. If I look hard enough, though, if I look past the skin suit, I see it hiding. I see its coils sucking the life out of the room. You don’t fool me, bitch. I got your friends. I burned them all.

It doesn’t take long.
“…the jury, find the defendant…”

She smiles. A smile for me. Mistake.

“Die, bitch!” I rip my cuffs off and jump the table. The bailiff unloads a round into me, but I don’t care about pain anymore. The only thing I care about is choking her with the chains she put me in.

She smiles.

I scream in her face. I scream at these stupid fuckers to see what she really is!

She smiles.

I choke harder.

She. Keeps. Smiling! Smiling even when her eyes bulge and her face turns blue. The bailiff hesitates because he can’t get a shot in without it going through her. Do us both a favor, pal.

Then, I feel my heart explode.

The coils are wrapped around me. In me.

Her smile falls as I drop.

“You burned them,” she whispers. “My brothers. My sister. You burned them. They weren’t like me.” She has tears in her eyes, again, but this time I believe them.

I try to say something, but honestly, I can’t think of anything.
This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go down.
There's something morally reprehensible about how the game co-opts the language of real life bigots and hate groups to describe their Heroes, both in and out of character, but never really goes out of their way to correct them. Like in this case, the hero is right, she is a monster. Her race has absolutely nothing to do with it. But she's still hiding behind her race to drum up the show trial to the point where he is driven to kill her, so she can kill him and still look like the better person. Yes this is making Heroes look worse but at the expense of making real life hate groups look better. Because Heroes are right and they literally do not have a say in the way that they feel.

There's a lot of talking about the Heroes Journey and the Monomyth. I'm pretty sure you've heard this song and dance before.

Subversion

quote:

“This doesn’t end here.”

We’re standing in the middle of LaGuardia, just a girl and her stalker. My hero. He doesn’t have a weapon, though. I guess he’s not crazy enough to bring one to an airport, but I bet it killed him not to.

“I’ve got a flight to catch, Frank. I’m not coming back,” I say.

“You need to listen—”

“I’ve heard everything. Every bullet,” I say, hoping no one else can hear this. I can’t afford a fight, especially not with Homeland Security.

“I’ll find you, Elisabeth,” he says, like saying my name will give him control. But his heart’s pounding right along with mine, and the flop sweat’s starting to crawl up his shirt. For anyone else, I’d feel sorry.

“You don’t have money for the bus, let alone a plane,” I say, trying to shove past him.

“Because you ruined my life!” he shouts, pulling the gaze of sleepy commuters. The edge in his voice isn’t violent, though. He’s a child who didn’t get his favorite blanket.

I snap. “If you want this, you do it here. The big kill, in front of everyone. Go ahead. They’ll chain you up and toss you away, where all you’ll have is the satisfaction of knowing the world thinks you’re another broken vet who slipped through the cracks and went postal.”

A tinny voice warbles. My flight. I wait for him to make a move. Gods know he’s desperate enough to—

“Why didn’t you kill me?”

Because if I killed a hateful, sad, old man, I’d be everything he thinks I am.

“I’m better than you,” I lie.

I grab my carry-on. He steps into the crowd and out of my life.
That's.. just sad.

The Hero has expecations, they know the story is supposed to be about them. It's not the Beast who taught them how the tale is told. It's the media, it's video games, it's every movie they've ever watch. Sometimes the Hero isn't perfect, but the story is always about him.

Except that's the lie. The Hero needs to react to something. And Beasts know it. The Hero needs the Beasts to be Beasts for their lives to have meaning. But no matter what the Beast does, the hero can feel the ripples in the dream, and they act. Decisively. To the Hero this is important. If they waste time with things like "identifying the problem" and "seeing if they're a real threat" then the monster 'wins'.

Deconstruction

quote:

I’ve seen them at my shows a few times, watching me with the same foregone conclusion they always have drilled into their dumb eyes. They’re the kind of guys who haven’t met a collar they haven’t popped.
They follow me after my gig, and I walk them into the crappy park downtown that city council never bothered naming. They’re carrying — I poo poo you not — golf clubs. One of them is packing a Glock! My kind of night.

“Jesus, boys. Is this, like, a rumble?”

They don’t bother verbalizing their battle cry into English, just grunts and slurs they imagine scare me. I let their leader take a few swings with his nine iron to get my blood pumping. I call him a piece of poo poo, and that’s when the night starts to sizzle.

Glock-bro draws his piece, but he’s not pointing it at me.

The boy I called out starts convulsing and they know exactly what he is. The half-crazed, mean motherfucker they all are on the inside. Covered in boils, seeping pus, and hate. And maggots. Lots and lots of maggots. The Hero ascendant.

That’s what he looks like to them, at least.

“You’ve got the wrong monster, men!” I shout at the others, bending them to my cause. Without a thought, Glock-bro shoots him in the stomach. He screams; they swarm. He begs; they break his legs. His skull cracks on pavement as I walk on.
You ever think that this game might not be giving Heroes a fair shake? The examples we've been given so far include a Racist, a destitute shell of a man, and a gang banger.

"Heroes are more than the instruments of death they fashion themselves to be. They’re the world’s antibodies, a nagging reminder that the Begotten don’t belong. The Hero’s best weapon is alienation. If he can learn how to wield it, he’s already won."
Behold, the closes the game gets to admitting that Beasts are the bad guys. Relish it, because the game then states that Heroes aren't social animals and don't really have use for loved ones. Even though they do have Loved Ones. They save their spite for fellow Heroes. They might join up against a greater evil, but a smart hero always keeps a spare knife handy in case his allies decide that honor is for chumps. No Hero actually wants to share the glory of the kill. They want fawning lackeys, not allies.

But Heroes find lackeys. They can infect the dreams of others just like Beasts can, but they're much more subtle about it. They become the idol, the heroic champion that the community can rally around. In the past they were the village shaman. Interpreting the dreams they could see in the Primordial and informing the people of the message. But there are too many people now. They can no longer be Joeseph, speaking truth to power. They can only be David, spinning the sling. But people still listen to them. They follow them, and believe the 'truth' that the monsters are out there. But no matter how many torches and pitchforks the villagers raise, they aren't there to get the deathblow. They're there to be picked off, one by one until the job is done.

But Beasts? Beasts are family! Not like those terrible Heroes. They care for each other, even though they fight cause families fight! Even if they sin. "But the brood accepts all sins. It fights for the Beast’s right to sin again."

quote:

There’s a halo forming around the vision in Raul’s left eye. The baseball bat almost detached his retina, but that’s the least of his worries. This guy means business. Concussion grenades business. Scooping out guts and dancing in entrails business. Raul hadn’t foreseen his Legend ending in an alley behind a boarded-up Blockbuster, but here he is.

“What the gently caress are you doing to him?”

The halo’s turned into haze, but Raul can see two shadows enter the alley.

“This doesn’t concern you,” the Hero snarls.

“Get off him, or I’ll kill you,” says a man.

“And I’ll eat you,” says a woman.

“I told you this doesn’t—”

The woman leaps. The man howls, and then he gets bigger.

The Hero doesn’t hesitate to run — smart guy — but he’s already dead. The woman lands on the other side of him with a knife through his spine. As she tears out viscera, her companion turns his ribcage inside out. It only takes seconds.

“Raul?” says the woman.

“Thanks…for being…so prompt.”

“Don’t be an rear end in a top hat,” says the man, once more the size of one. One of the werewolves swings Raul over a shoulder as the other calls an ambulance. Raul passes out thinking that friendship is a strange thing.
That's.. how the chapter ends.

Just like that. Don't worry though, cause we still have to go over what was different in the Kickstarter.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 13:54 on May 24, 2016

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012







Chapter 2: Kickstarter Edition

So what's different?

A whole loving lot, and not enough.

Like I mentioned before. In the original Kickstarter treatment, you were born a Beast, sure you had some placeholder human soul kicking around in your body for a few years. But eventually your Soul decides it's time to move back in, and you have your Homecoming.

No seriously that's what they called it.

The section talking about the Tenemos used to be much longer... let's play a game. Guess why this was cut

quote:

A symbol can be far more potent. Symbols are universal and timeless; they wear whatever form the culture bestows on them. How many people have heard of Jack the Ripper? Millions? Compare that to the scope of his crimes. Only five women’s deaths have been conclusively laid at his feet. Horrific as they were, they pale compared to the number of people who died from coal smoke and disease in Victorian London. Jack the Ripper is a nobody, just another maladjusted murderer, and yet he has become synonymous with evil.

For millennia, lepers were reviled as harbingers of plague and corruption, both moral as well as physical. Homosexuals became the lepers of the AIDS generation and were victimized by the same moralist hysteria. Immigrants, Muslims, transgender, and impoverished people have all been vilified in the modern era, turned into scapegoats by bigoted “crusaders” with narrow minds and selfish agendas. The next pandemic or culture shift will produce its own outcasts and they, too, will be blamed for their plight.

Humans are mythmakers. Symbols provide the seeds for stories, the grain around which forms the pearl. Some serve as warnings; others make sense of the inexplicable. Introduce an unknown or shocking element — a mystery, a nightmare, or a monster — and people instinctively build a legend around it.

Legend cuts both ways in the Astral Realms. An ordinary madman like Jack the Ripper can be elevated to a mythic monster, taking his place in the Temenos and casting a long shadow over human history, but a Beast can become the stuff of legends just by growing in power and holding sway over a greater part of the collective unconscious.

That was a bit too on the nose to survive untouched. Thankfully he realized it.

As far as Heroes...

For starters, the section that's titled "Beloved Enemies" in the final book is called "You Brought This On Yourself" here. And it's far more unflattering..

quote:

Take a high school bully, mate him with a rabid dog, and a Hero is born. The saying goes that fanatics redouble their efforts when they lose sight of their aims; if so, Heroes are an exceptional breed of fanatic. Their efforts leave no room to be redoubled, and their aims are barely coherent to begin with.

Strip down the layers of a Hero’s ego, and all one finds is murder. Murder is his only end, regardless of bystanders. He’ll bloviate about the little girls and puppies he saves, but at the best of times, protecting the innocent is incidental. He pursues the Beast because she dares to live and breathe and occupy the same world he does, not because some fool needs rescuing. It’s an imperative a serial killer might understand.

The man at the butcher shop remembers when his neighborhood was safe to walk at night. It’s the coddled kids, he mutters. Whelps raised up without the belt, like the punk who comes in and mouths off about the quality of his cuts. She’s the problem. All the little shits like her. He sees that clearly in his nightmares, in the eyes of the spider wrapping its webs over town. He’ll spread his own webs soon, made from cotton twine and clear, sterile plastic.

She’s the richest woman in town, a woman whose generosity knows no bounds. The local activists know a crook when they see one. They know her philanthropy is a front for…something. The specifics aren’t important. The further they dig, the more her secrets consume their lives. Most of them haven’t been to their real jobs in weeks. The walls of their offices are plastered with tax forms and stationary stained with garbage water. Beneath soiled pizza boxes, a blueprint of her house is marked up, and a bomb diagram is pasted over a barrel of gasoline.

Her boyfriend’s got a musk that only she can smell, like his core is rotten with worms. Like it’s leaking discharge through his skin. She could scrub down to bone and never get that stench out. It’s all she can talk about. That’s why nobody likes her anymore. She can’t stop droning on and on and on about how he’s weighing her down. He’s the reason she wasn’t promoted! He’s the reason her best friend dumped her! He’s the reason she’s a failure. One night, she wakes up and understands what the smell really is. The gun in the dresser could cleanse him, she thinks.
Remember that he was still directly associating Heroes to MRA's and Gamergate at this point in time. Also at this point in time Heroes were still created by the excesses of Beasts. These are people who literally did not have a choice in the matter being demonized.

Also Beasts in the KS Treatment were almost giddy about loving with Heroes.

quote:

The Collector promises the Hero a fight for the ages, but he has to play her game first. Otherwise, she’ll go to ground and never come back up. She sends him a list of objects, a fetch quest with an endpoint in her Lair. The items are both junky and occult, from literal trash to rare spices available only through import. He gathers them and expends every resource he has. On completion, the Collector makes good. He finds her stooped over an effigy, fashioned from refuse and smelling of magic. Before he can run, she lights it with her breath, and his skin bubbles off.
And making them look incompetent

quote:

The Nemesis lives up to her name. She finds the Hero’s phone number and records long, rambling messages listing every infraction he’s guilty of over the course of a single day. Then she hacks his email and distributes screeds he’s written about his bosses. Then she calls his wife and claims to be his mistress. Then she calls his mistress and claims to be his wife. By the time he seeks revenge, no one will care if he lives or dies.
And ruining their lives

quote:

The Predator burns for the hunt. His mind is overwhelmed with designs for weapons and traps. He’s been sick for prey that fights back and he doesn’t want to disappoint his self-appointed enemy. He rents a cabin off the grid so they’ll have a little privacy, so the Hero will know that he’s poured his heart into this. That she’s a special kind of prey. Not that he’s going to fight fair, of course — fair fights are for humans.
And cheating.

quote:

The Ravager goes to war. Wrecked the Hero’s car? Check. Burnt his house down? Check. Frozen his accounts? Trickier, but check. She’ll shred the Hero’s life until all that’s left is his fight with her.
And just generally being dicks.

quote:

Resource management isn’t just a knack, it’s the Tyrant’s ideology. When the Hero and his gang invade her compound, they’re outflanked by her legions. While snipers slaughter his men, the Hero manages to dash inside. He only loses a finger to the Rottweilers, but the mercenaries are more generous with the pieces they cut off. When they drag him before her throne, she barely needs to finish him off. But she will.
I seriously do not have any idea how anyone thought that people would agree with Beasts being the good guys.

There is one sad note, the change to the whole Beast/Hero dynamic did mean we lost this treasure.

quote:

[BEGIN HANDWRITTEN DOCUMENT]
Beloved,
I treasure our last time. If I were prone to romance, I would commission a mural. I would expend the whole of my wealth in payment for the sort of grand artists it would require. I have never broken a thing in the way I crushed your knee. All that lovely bone escaping, pouring over the ground. So clean and white, as if I were spreading lilies. Do you know what Fabergé eggs are? They shatter brilliantly. Destroying your knee was akin to breaking art. If I could have snapped it off, my joy would have been complete. I would have prized it as the jewel of my collection, regardless of whether it matched the set or not.

But I am not prone to romance. And I could not have you forgetting the lesson. In a strange way (silly, mercurial me) I wish I could have spared you. I did not see it then, but you were right! Your knives belonged in my heart, and if I had known how I would ache for them now, I might have let you finish your “quest.” Your successors are petty juveniles pretending at a fraction of your strength. They do not even taste like you.

I almost knocked on your door the last time I came into the country! Why do you live so far away? Is the air refreshing? Regenerative? Forgive me for not inviting myself in. Too difficult to see you as you are now.
Reminds me of old times. Battles unwaged. I hope the girls sleep well. They must be so beautiful, all grown up. I hope they take after their mother.


I would so love to see them again.

Lovingly,

Your dragon
[END HANDWRITTEN DOCUMENT]


But that's all for Chapter 2.

Up Next: "When Beasty Isn't Around, the other characters should be going 'Where's Beasty?' Also everyone should love Beasty all the time."

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 07:58 on May 24, 2016

Tricky Dick Nixon
Jul 26, 2010

by Nyc_Tattoo


Kurieg posted:

There is one sad note, the change to the whole Beast/Hero dynamic did mean we lost this treasure.



tbh this is what I thought Beast was going to be about when it was announced and what I was hoping to see more of, the Hero/Beast thing being center focus and mostly even handed and transferring back and forth, and I would unironically play the heck out of a game about being legendary monsters that deserve to have heroes beat them, and crave to be fought and eventually taken down.

Nah, better make it a clumsy at best queer metaphor and an abuse apologia at worst.

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.

....The gently caress, gently caress beast.
Also did he compare homosexuality to potentially transferable and deadly diseases? I mean sure leprosy was a broad category back in the day but...people didn't know if yours would kill or was contagious.


Also That letter is actually a loving treasure.

WhitemageofDOOM fucked around with this message at 10:29 on May 24, 2016

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


The thing is, say a Hero is only in it for the accolades. The thing is, what they're doing is at least actually good for other people! They're killing a loving monster that feeds on misery and death at huge risk to themselves. If I had to pick between two cynical fuckers, I'd take the cynical fucker who's all like 'Haha, I'm going to destroy this terrible threat to everyone, so they'll be impressed with me' over 'I'm going to torturemurder you.'

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


I can't help but think that The Onyx Path has been trolling us the entire time

"'Hey, we understand all the things that were wrong with the old World of Darkness stuff and we'll do are best to avoid them.'

....okay they've let their guard downs, get Brucato to write up some rape-monsters."

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



I honestly cannot understand Beast.

I'm not saying that as a joke or anything, I'm just utterly baffled by the whole thing. Like, I don't get what the point of any of it is.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Tricky Dick Nixon posted:

tbh this is what I thought Beast was going to be about when it was announced and what I was hoping to see more of, the Hero/Beast thing being center focus and mostly even handed and transferring back and forth, and I would unironically play the heck out of a game about being legendary monsters that deserve to have heroes beat them, and crave to be fought and eventually taken down.

I've talked about this idea before, and I think it's a good, compelling tragedy: you have vast supernatural powers, powers enough to be worthy of legend. You are heir to Typhon, Tiamat, and countless other mythological monsters. Your purpose is to torment humanity, and to teach them fear... and also, ultimately, to be defeated. To make it very explicit that even if you try to fight the horror and hunger, you are going to slip up and heroes will arrive to destroy you as they drat well should, playing out the same inevitable mythological cycle as your ancestors did.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Night10194 posted:

The thing is, say a Hero is only in it for the accolades. The thing is, what they're doing is at least actually good for other people! They're killing a loving monster that feeds on misery and death at huge risk to themselves. If I had to pick between two cynical fuckers, I'd take the cynical fucker who's all like 'Haha, I'm going to destroy this terrible threat to everyone, so they'll be impressed with me' over 'I'm going to torturemurder you.'

The thing that makes it worse for me is the fact that they co-opt the language of real life bigots and hate gruops to shore up the smear campaign against Heroes. I've added some more words to the Review in that regard, but I omitted them originally since I didn't know if I was going to have room to fit in the KS changes at the end (and I ended up not having the room anyway, as it stands it's less than 900 characters away from max size).

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


SirPhoebos posted:

I can't help but think that The Onyx Path has been trolling us the entire time

"'Hey, we understand all the things that were wrong with the old World of Darkness stuff and we'll do are best to avoid them.'

....okay they've let their guard downs, get Brucato to write up some rape-monsters."

White Wolf never really dies.

Honestly, I think it'd be a bolder and more original take to have had the monsters actually be monsters.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




It was written by the kind of 90s edgelord who wrote lousy knockoffs of White Wolf games, complete with fantasies about what a badass monster you'd be, how cool all the other edgy monsters will think you are, and how you're going to get revenge on Wayne in your trig class.

Except this one's actually published by White Wolf's successor.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




My feelings are that the slow return of old White Wolf started somewhere around Geist or Mummy, but that's all just my completely irrational feelings.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Evil Mastermind posted:

I honestly cannot understand Beast.

I'm not saying that as a joke or anything, I'm just utterly baffled by the whole thing. Like, I don't get what the point of any of it is.

Weird revenge fantasy about assholes doing terrible things, but it's all justified because lessons? Also all those oppressed minorities are actually monsters? This book is making my head hurt.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 16:29 on May 24, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


theironjef posted:



It's my first ever roleplaying game on today's System Mastery! Jon's too actually, though it's hard to get excited about that.

It's Rifts: Part 1!

I always find it interesting that Rifts was an entry game for a lot of folks, since it A) explicitly says it isn't, and B) has one of the worst GM sections even for a Palladium book. I mean, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the first game I bought, and I was amazed I ever made heads or tails out of that.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


In six months, Onyx Path completes this prank and reveals you're actually Fomori spearheading the Wyrm's assault into God-Machine territory. 'Cause this is kind of what it is starting to feel like. Except there is no catharsis of garou packs descending like the wrath of god on Beasts to rip them limb from limb.

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!




Part 10: The God Machine

quote:

11th August 2012
Dear Gina,
Listen, it’s important I do this by hand. It’s weird, isn’t it, that at some point we found that the only way we could really be certain of the privacy of our written word is to make it just that: written, by hand, with pen, on paper. Sure, things can be copied
and scanned but you have to find them first, you have to find the artefact. When you type something on a machine, or phone, or whatever, it becomes so easy to find, so easy to copy.I want to keep what I’m thinking away from machines.

That sounds so weird. Just reading it on the page like that, in my own handwriting. I expect it’ll turn out that I’ve gone mental or something, in the end. I think that even if all this has some sort of explanation, I’ve probably lost some of my marbles. Listen, though, while you’re away I want you to be careful, and I want you to know that I love you. I love you, Gina. You’re the woman I want to marry. I never said that, and I didn’t intend to say it like that, but there it is. Sometimes I don’t think that I will get a chance to say to you face to face. I promise I’ll ask you properly when I see you again, bended knee and an engagement ring in a box and everything.

But until then, I want you to do something for me, Gina. I just want you to be careful. It’s important.
Gina, I’m scared. I’m scared of using the phone, and I’m scared of the Internet, and
most of all I’m scared for you. I’m scared someone might hurt you.

I really hope that I am going mental, because the alternative is almost too horrible
to imagine.

Gina, I love you. I know this is going to worry you, but it’s important, Gina. It’s important. I keep telling myself that it will be all right in the end. It’s the best I can do.

Stay safe, Gina.
Jon


A spooky picture

At Box's suggestion I checked the God Machine Chronicles book and looks like almost all of this was cut from the Chronicles book, which is a shame. So this section details the first part of the God Machine Chronicles book.

Here we introduce what could be explained as the primary antagonist within the plot of Chronicles of Darkness, though that description is still incomplete or inadequate. Even though it’s not omniscient, nor is it omnipotent, it’s knowledge and power make all human achievement look like infants fumbling in the dark. There’s the old adage that if a butterfly flaps it’s wings at the right place at the right time it can cause a hurricane. Well the God Machine knows, it knows the butterfly, it knows the location and it knows the time and will manipulate events to make sure that all those happen how it wants. The God Machine’s ability to predict the cause and effect of events is far, far beyond human understanding. At times it may seem like a machine of absolute precision, engineering events with such accuracy that numerous deaths might be written off as simple coincidence. Other times it looks like the gears grind against one another and it seems as though it’s agents are working at cross purposes. Trying to comprehend it’s plans is a surefire way to waste time, health, sanity and possibly a life. But sometimes you don’t have a choice. There are a few things we can speculate about it though.

It cannot, or does not, directly act upon the world, instead using intermediaries or Agents to act on it’s behalf.

It wants certain situations to take place and will manipulate events with sometimes maddening subtlety and foresight to make sure they happen.

It is fallible. It’s agents can fail, it’s plans might be flawed in ways even it did not foresee, there are any number of ways it might be thwarted, at least temporarily.

It seems to want to keep a low profile. It keeps it’s operations hidden, it’s agents ignorant and will cover its tracks whenever possible.

It doesn’t care, as far as we can tell. It doesn’t feel sympathy or hate or love or sadness. To it everyone and everything is a tool to be used and discarded as it sees fit.

When it needs an agent that will act without question or hesitation, and subtlety is either guaranteed or a secondary concern, it will send an Angel. These are creatures of metal, cables and gears only vaguely resembling their cherubic namesake, and they do not gently caress around.


It’s entirely possible your character has brushed up against the Machine, it’s Agents or the Infrastructure beneath and not realized it. For most, when they hear a strange and unsettling noise in the night it’s much easier and safer to ignore it and walk faster, hoping for the best. If you see something absolutely inexplicable it’s much easier to try and forget about it than to let it haunt you. If you opened the wrong door at an office building and saw a stairway extending hundreds of feet into darkness it’s much easier to just close the door and convince yourself it was just a trick of the light, or maybe they have a bomb shelter, or any number of explanations. There’s also laziness, not as a vice, but as a method of maintaining the control you have in your life. A person working at a clothing store might find it strange that someone came in and bought every single size 8 shoe they had, even the stock in the back, but they won’t follow them home to see what they’re doing with them. And who would believe you if you saw something strange? If a terrible creature of flesh and fur attacked you in the night people would blame a coyote or mountain lion, even if you saw it running on two legs, something animals generally don’t do.

quote:

A group of spelunking hobbyists take a wrong turn in a well-mapped cave system. They discover a cavern the size of a football stadium. Inexplicably, it is filled with millions upon millions of identical 2 inch carpentry nails. A smaller chamber adjacent to it overflows with ¾ “ steel nuts. None show signs of corrosion or wear. They eventually find their way back to familiar caves, but no one has any idea what they’re talking about. Thousands of spelunkers visit that cave every year, and no one has ever reported such a thing.

An occupant of a motel at the edge of town orders a pizza from a specific pizza shop every Thursday at exactly 10:37 p.m. with instructions to deliver it to the front office of the motel. One night, no one is in the front office, so the driver tries the motel room. A man with the head of a fly answers the door; the smell of rotten food emanates from the room. The driver sees piles of uneaten pizza crawling with maggots the size of cats. The fly man shoves money into her hand, pulls the pizza from her numb fingers, and slams the door in her face

Maybe it tips well?

The Machine itself doesn’t act directly on the world, instead relying on Agents to act upon its orders. By and large these are humans, your average Jane or Joe going about their lives. It’s entirely possible they don’t even realize they’re part of a much larger scheme. Those that do might serve it for a variety of reasons, after all the God Machine can give you what you want. It can change elections, it can make sure you get that raise you want, it can give you insights into the world other scientists would only dream of. It knows the what it can use for leverage and utilizes this to get people to act on it’s instructions. It doesn’t have to follow through on it’s promises of course, but seems to prefer it’s agents are loyal. After all it’s understanding of human nature almost total and it would prefer any unplanned actions worked in it’s favor, not to it’s detriment. Even if an agent fails it it’s probably not going to kill them, it isn’t vengeful. Unless of course they know too much, or their death would further it’s plans. If the Agent is valuable enough it might even get a second chance but. as far as people know, no one has gotten a third.

quote:

There’s an ATM in a lonely part of town — one of the older sort with deposit envelopes. It will accept anyone’s ATM or credit card, as long as the PIN is valid, but only the Deposit button works. If you put a lock of someone’s hair into the ATM, it will spit out a single $20 bill, but it has to be someone whose hair it doesn’t already have. Maybe it will accept other forms of deposit, but all the homeless in the city know about the hair trick.

Some junk mail is worth opening. If you get a letter from “Uncle Gerald’s Sweepstakes “ and do exactly what it says, no matter how strange, you’ll win the next game of chance you play. That compulsive gambler who sold everything he owned and bet it all on a spin of red or black? He knew what he was doing.

Of course with all this power it has worshippers. Sometimes they’re a cult that springs up overnight and disappears just as quickly. Other times it might be a family that has been faithfully serving it for generations. When presented with a being as vast, knowledgeable and powerful as the God Machine it’s easy to see why someone might follow it with religious devotion. Some see it as an extension of God’s will, others see it as divine in of itself. Of course some also believe it to be some sort of Divine adversary like Satan, or a manmade god created from the collective consciousness present on the internet. Just because a cult believes in and follows the God Machine doesn’t mean it finds them useful. No matter how zealous their devotion, how many acts of contrition they perform, or how many people they sacrifice, if they aren’t useful to it they are beneath the God Machine’s notice.

quote:

I come from a family of stubborn cusses, but I love them, and I don’t want them to go to Hell because they refuse to accept Christ into their lives. I was praying for them when an angel of God appeared to me and told me I could atone for their sins by doing little favors for Him in this world. I’ve saved Mom and Dad, already, but my kid brother has always been a troublemaker, and the angel tells me I’m going to have to do something big to spare him from Hell.

The followers of the God Machine often need some motivation for their work. If you aren’t a fanatical follower you’ll likely want something in exchange for your effort, and the God Machine is more than capable of providing.

Material Wealth: Briefcases of cash, sacks of gold bullion or a very generous gift are all easy to wrap your head around and for many that’s all they need. Of course this money has to come from somewhere, and if the Agent fails they might quickly realize their reward was taken from a Drug Lord, or that the Gold was stolen in a bank heist.

Health: It has the power to cure any human ailment. ANY. Rumor has it that it can even raise the dead. Of course on the other hand it can also inflict these diseases and then some, not only on the Agents but also their loved ones.

Good Fortune: Being a follower means things work out well for you. The lights are almost always green. The lotto tickets might not be jackpots but are almost always good for a few hundred.

Powers: It or it’s angels can grant supernatural abilities to it’s followers if needed or desired. Likewise it can take these, and other abilities they may have, away. A thought which has some rather unsettling implications.

Sanctuary: People can’t find you, bounty hunters hit dead end after dead end, the money trail suddenly dries up without a trace, it can keep you safe.

Altruism: Sometimes it merely has to convince people that what they do is what’s best for everyone. If an angel appeared and told you that you could save the lives of thousands of people you might find it hard to say no.

And then there are those who fight the God Machine. They saw it, or part of it, and realized they did not want it interfering with their lives. Maybe it’s the idea that this thing might be taking away their free will. Maybe it’s the way it will casually dispense death and suffering to innocent people to further it’s goals. Sometimes it’s personal. They may have lost someone or something important to them and know that this thing is responsible. They also have an uphill battle ahead of them. Because of the way it operates the God Machine's actions and agendas are difficult to identify. It’s possible to focus on the wrong aspect of them and miss important clues. It’s entirely possible it simply won’t have any other operations in the area leaving the slighted party with anger and little else. And of course even if you figure out what the plan is, stopping it is another matter entirely.

quote:

Each of the God-Machine’s projects is like a ten-pound weight dropped from a great height. If you catch it early, it’s easy to prevent it from reaching its destination. But if you catch it at the end, after it’s fallen 10,000 feet, there’s really nothing you can do to stop it. The God-Machine’s projects are most vulnerable to disruption at the beginning, but this is also the time when they are least obvious.

Stopping it is something of a misnomer. If you decide to fight this thing your goal is generally stopping a single project, one that’s likely going to affect you or the people you love. You do this not to stop it, but instead to buy some time, or hope it chooses another, less detrimental, means of achieving it’s plans. Unless your potential actions have already been taken into account. It’s hard to say just how much it can predict and plan for events and behavior. In fact, there are times where it seems to be actively opposing it’s own plans. There’s a rather well known account involving two angels who raised cults against each other and waged war till one finally killed the other. Why? Who knows.

quote:

Mark my words: something is deeply wrong with that opera house. For one, this town is way too small to support opera. We don’t even have a community theater, for God’s sake! And have you seen the performers? Shifty eyes, practically grey skin, and they all talk in funny accents. The murders, the disappearing pets, the huge bats, the strange noises in the basement — it all adds up, and everything points to that opera house. Dress rehearsal is Tuesday night — and I really mean at like two in the morning. I’ve got forty empty beer bottles, ten gallons of gasoline, and a bunch of old t-shirts. I say we end this once and for all. Are you in?

And finally there are those who want to study it. They see this new thing, unexplained by science, and they desperately want to know more about it. They realize there is this intelligence operating on earth that mankind didn’t create and wish to communicate with it, or understand it. Unfortunately this information is sporadic and unreliable at best. Those researching it, either intentionally or accidentally, aren’t likely to talk to each other. They probably don’t even realize they’re researching the same thing. And of course there’s the endgame in all this. The more you understand about the God Machine and it’s capabilities the more you might see it’s actions everywhere you look. Every coincidence, every action, every meeting, might have been carefully engineered to achieve a specific purpose. It’s enough to drive someone mad.

What is the God Machine?

quote:

About a century ago an alien spacecraft crashed on Earth. What we know as the God-Machine is that ship’s self-repair system. You see, the Earth lacks certain critical materials necessary to make these repairs. Using alien technology, the system is opening gateways to other worlds to exploit them for these absent materials. This is all easily proven by my colleagues, but my interest is in the fate of the alien crew, as well as what interest drew these extraterrestrials to our planet in the first place.

This relic predates even the dinosaurs, although I disagree with those who think its origin is local and not extraterrestrial. It appears to have something to do with regulating Earth’s climate — possibly to allow life to evolve on our planet or perhaps to make it habitable by the alien race that created the God-Machine. A direct hit from a meteor damaged it, so it hasn’t able to consistently regulate planetary temperature for thousands, if not millions, of years. The God-Machine is using us to restore the planet’s intended climate. Climate change deniers aren’t idiots who don’t understand science. They are simply the servants of the God-Machine making sure no one touches the thermostat.

What does it want with people?

quote:

Humans are test subjects and the God-Machine is the proctor, administering the tests on behalf of…something else more powerful and alien than itself. That’s why it tries to keep its presence hidden from mortals. If we all knew we were being tested, it would skew the results. Why we’re being tested is anybody’s guess. Could be we’re on the cusp of being invited to join some sort of space federation, and if we pass the aliens will come down with unlimited energy and help us establish a perfect society. Might be the God-Machine is testing our viability as an object for conquest, though. It’s even possible that it’s just testing us out of scientific curiosity.

Humans used to have an interstellar empire. They built the God-Machine to handle the logistics of their civilization. Of course, something happened that caused that civilization to collapse. Maybe it was a civil war, or maybe they ran into something bigger and meaner than they were. One way or another, they died off, mostly, and any people left off-world can’t get back to Earth. It will be an interesting day if we ever make contact with them again. It must be said that the God-Machine probably hasn’t seen much maintenance in the last several millennia, so maybe that’s why it’s breaking apart the layers of the world and the gaps in between are filling like blisters.

What role do supernatural creatures play?

quote:

The God-Machine’s calculations can’t predict the behavior of supernatural creatures like vampires and werewolves. Not that it doesn’t try, but the margin for error is so huge that it might as well be consulting a Magic 8-Ball. They can all see the, you know, the gears, and those so-called monsters thwart it at every turn to protect their turf. If it weren’t for them, the GodMachine would have completely taken over the planet by now. So it has started rounding them up, dissecting them, and shipping the parts God-knows-where

The God-Machine was created by ancient wizards to unlock the secret rules of the Universe. Once it completed its analysis there would be no limit to the feats the wizards could perform using that information. That’s why it’s called the God-Machine — not because it is a god that is also a machine but that it is a machine that makes people gods. Fortunately for the rest of the world, the wizards died out millennia before they accomplished this ultimate act of hubris, but their creation hasn’t stopped collecting data. The God-Machine might have figured it all out by now, and if someone could access what it knows, they might achieve what those wizards did not. So tell me: have you seen any gears in places they don’t belong?

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


After all the nausea-inducing horribleness of that last Beast post, the story of the rudest flyman is a soothing balm on the wound.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Alien Rope Burn posted:

I always find it interesting that Rifts was an entry game for a lot of folks, since it A) explicitly says it isn't, and B) has one of the worst GM sections even for a Palladium book. I mean, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the first game I bought, and I was amazed I ever made heads or tails out of that.



I never bought or played Rifts as a kid because they were kind enough to warn me not to play their game.

These ads appeared in a ton of Marvel comics, though. I imagine it was a successful ad campaign with middle-to-high-school boys.

MonsieurChoc posted:

My feelings are that the slow return of old White Wolf started somewhere around Geist or Mummy, but that's all just my completely irrational feelings.
I haven't read either book, but from what I've heard, Sin-Eaters are overpowered goth superheroes who don't really have it bad, and Mummy suffers from too many clunky extra stats. Both those things are oWoD as gently caress.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Sin-Eaters are not particularly out-of-place in the nWoD. Their only fault is that the state of being a Sin-Eater is seriously lacking in built-in plot hooks--you can basically opt out of being involved in anything supernatural if you feel like it, unlike everybody else.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Rand Brittain posted:

Sin-Eaters are not particularly out-of-place in the nWoD. Their only fault is that the state of being a Sin-Eater is seriously lacking in built-in plot hooks--you can basically opt out of being involved in anything supernatural if you feel like it, unlike everybody else.

The storyteller chapter in Beast has similar problems. They're almost pathologically averted to actually using the standard Heroic narrative despite the fact that they literally named their antagonists Heroes. And instead suggest just running slice-of-life stories interspersed with feeding and the occasional drama when someone does something stupid and attracts a Hero. But you can't hate them, cause they're family, everyone hugs and then descends upon the Hero like a swarm of angry locusts.

That or they suggest running a Kishotenketsu story, or loving Rashoman, just have the players set their charaters aside and play as vampires for 3 weeks, don't worry guys we'll all tie it together at the end. It seems like far too complex a structure for anyone who isn't intimately familiar with the setting and it's quirks to run, and definitely not as a first game in the system. Even in a game with the most monstrous Vampires, people can have goals and motivations related to their condition. Beast just seems to be a game about playing normal people who chose to have axe murderers living inside them.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Well Savage Worlds: Rifts is a thing, and in two weeks I'll get my PDF of it.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Y'know, the whole slice-of-life-but-secretly-monster idea is something I kicked around in my head. But the better conflict in my eyes for that situation is having the monsters just be really bad at being human because they just don't instinctively get how to be human. You can still have situations in that scenario where you hurt people, inflict property damage or are a huge poo poo with the underlying drive being it was the quickest, most direct solution but failed to account for how other people would feel about it. Not, you know, because you're a monstrous abuser who exalts in making others suffer just because.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Tasoth posted:

Y'know, the whole slice-of-life-but-secretly-monster idea is something I kicked around in my head. But the better conflict in my eyes for that situation is having the monsters just be really bad at being human because they just don't instinctively get how to be human. You can still have situations in that scenario where you hurt people, inflict property damage or are a huge poo poo with the underlying drive being it was the quickest, most direct solution but failed to account for how other people would feel about it. Not, you know, because you're a monstrous abuser who exalts in making others suffer just because.

I liked the idea someone put forth where you are physically a tremendously weird or mythic beast but people just can't see it, unless you act too out of character. So you're this big, lumbering dragon trying to work a sanitation supervisor's job without letting on to people that you are, in fact, a dragon because if you do the Georges will come and then poo poo goes crazy and everything's on fire again.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Coming this year to Steam Greenlight: Dracodad.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I'd take surrealist monster comedy over the poo poo we got is what I'm saying.

Also, the idea of big mythic monsters being hapless is inherently funny.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Werewolf has a theme of clinging to your humanity because there are actual mechanics for doing so. You need to keep your human and spirit lives in balance because if one goes too far you're going to have a bad time. And since the Siskur'dah counts as a spirit touchstone you're probably going to need to focus on the human downtime, but that's not always the case.

Vampire has humanity as a stat, you need to use it to stave off your monstrosity. Being a terrible person causes breakpoints and makes it harder to keep from being the monster that you know you are deep down inside.

Beasts need to act human because if they don't then the mean old MRAs will come and try and kill them. Acting as human as possible removes you from the primary external conflict of the game, beyond that it's nothing but maintaining your satiety and policing other Beasts who aren't as good as you.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 19:24 on May 24, 2016

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




I'm glad that at the same time we're beholding the horror that is Beast, we get the God-Machine Chronicle.

My favourite thing about the God-Machine is how material it is (it's not some spirit entity residing on an astral plane, it's a vast distributed computer that needs materials to maintain it) and how pervasive it is. Maybe the God-Machine owns the Dunkin' Donuts down the street. No occult hijinx involved, it was just a good business investment.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


You know, I've always wondered what Harris thinks of my WGA write ups. Now I have an idea.

Malcolm Harris posted:

The Geeksiah Speaks-
Letters from the dark side.

Posting the "Nerco-Dad" letters for you guys to read (and read them you have) has been a lot of fun... I like entertaining you guys with the positive side of my writing and its small fandom. IAnd I must say 90-95% of my fandom is very positive. But for if there is a light side. there is a dark side.

I do receive negative letters accusing me of everything from a liberal agenda to being racist to being misandrist. My games have been compared to Fatal and various lies and truths exist online about my literary past.

When you rock the boat, people don't like it,

I've been confronted at conventions by people who don't like my work (Confronted till they realize I will break them). I have friends who can attest to people literally standing at my convention both telling me how they can do a better job at me in my own universes. Sometimes I listen to their twisted rants (and people they do get twisted) other times I get a little angry.

Why am I writing this? Because I feel that all the positiveness and love I have for my fans needs to be put into perspective. Yes, I get funny and awesome letters, but I get the other side of that too and I don't like posting negative things about my small fandom becuause, let's face it, that would just suck.

Also, for other creators new to this, You know you've made it when someone hates you and what you do.

"Haters hate me cuz they ain't me. Also, I break people who disagree with me." Okay, buddy.

Also, not quite sure how I feel about the people who went up to this guy at a convention and tried to fight him.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



There's a lot of dumb angry fans, but I suspect he might exaggerate how aggressive people are to him.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Adnachiel posted:

You know, I've always wondered what Harris thinks of my WGA write ups. Now I have an idea.


"Haters hate me cuz they ain't me. Also, I break people who disagree with me." Okay, buddy.

Also, not quite sure how I feel about the people who went up to this guy at a convention and tried to fight him.

"Someone was saying my game sucks but a Marine came and punched him out."

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



SirPhoebos posted:

"Someone was saying my game sucks but a Marine came and punched him out."

And then that marine, who was Albert Einstein, transformed him into a cigar and smoked him to death.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


WhitemageofDOOM posted:

....The gently caress, gently caress beast.
Also did he compare homosexuality to potentially transferable and deadly diseases? I mean sure leprosy was a broad category back in the day but...people didn't know if yours would kill or was contagious.


Also That letter is actually a loving treasure.

He also claimed hating the poor, transgendered, homosexuals, and racial minorities was new. And that the diseased aren't still discriminated against.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


SirPhoebos posted:

"Someone was saying my game sucks but a Marine came and punched him out."

Actually, according to a comment, he just stands up and the naysayers run away in fear.

Some guy posted:

I picture some little guy ranting and raving at your booth until you stand up and look at him irritated, then they feel about an inch tall and cower back.

Malcolm Harris posted:

That's usually how it works.

No mention of everyone around the booth clapping and cheering though.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






I read through the rest of the Beast Fiction anthology since we're doing a review of Beast and it's sundry leavings this weekend. And I have to say that there are some pretty well written stories that show precisely why no one would willingly associate themselves with Beasts, and that anyone who wants to be a Beast is a horrible person.

The Promethean story and the story about the Ribbon Wolf in particular are dark as gently caress.

LongDarkNight
Oct 25, 2010

It's like watching the collapse of Western civilization in fast forward.

Oven Wrangler

Adnachiel posted:

Actually, according to a comment, he just stands up and the naysayers run away in fear.

quote:

Some guy posted:
I picture some little guy ranting and raving at your booth until you stand up and look at him irritated, then they feel about an inch tall and cower back.

Malcolm Harris posted:
That's usually how it works.
No mention of everyone around the booth clapping and cheering though.

Shrinking fetish, it checks out.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Evil Mastermind posted:

I honestly cannot understand Beast.

I'm not saying that as a joke or anything, I'm just utterly baffled by the whole thing. Like, I don't get what the point of any of it is.
Somebody left their carton of revenge fantasy out on the counter overnight and it went rancid.

EDIT: Or maybe a bottle of raw milk is a better base for the analogy, it wasn't a good idea in the first place and then it went really bad.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

I still can't believe they cast Spock as me. Spock! Can you imagine?

Of course, he was missing a few things.





Tasoth posted:

In six months, Onyx Path completes this prank and reveals you're actually Fomori spearheading the Wyrm's assault into God-Machine territory. 'Cause this is kind of what it is starting to feel like. Except there is no catharsis of garou packs descending like the wrath of god on Beasts to rip them limb from limb.
Doing a Beast game for a few sessions that transitioned into revealing that you were actually Fomori and the Garou are on yo rear end sounds like some high concept art.

I mean hell, why would they tell fomori exactly what happened to them?

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Rand Brittain posted:

Sin-Eaters are not particularly out-of-place in the nWoD. Their only fault is that the state of being a Sin-Eater is seriously lacking in built-in plot hooks--you can basically opt out of being involved in anything supernatural if you feel like it, unlike everybody else.

They're supposed to be motivated by their Geist. A Sin-Eater's Synergy is the most important thing about them, and the more they ignore the duties their Geist wants them to perform or denies their Geist its obsessions (and they all have some weird obsessions, they're powerful ghosts who are also part spirit) the worse off that relationship gets. And they really don't want to be wrestling with their other half all the time.

So a Sin-Eeater might investigate and put to rest the ghosts of certain murders that resonate with his Geist, because he's bound to Sam, The Private Eye. His keystone might be Sam's beloved 1911. Another might face down gangs while arguing with his super racist ride along because he's bound to Sir Allister, The Crusader.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



It'd be great if that were mechanically relevant in any way to Geist.

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Mr.Morgenstern
Sep 14, 2012



It feels like Beast is less like playing as an ancient primeval horror and more like playing Stepmother: the Wicked. None of these sample characters seem like terrors of the night and more like plain assholes. I mean, if the ancient myths were written like the sample stories, the story of St. George and the Dragon would have the Dragon be some dude who kidnaps (sheepnaps?) people's sheep just so they can feel the anguish of loss. Not some great and mighty monster whose claws rend the heavens. And then when St. George comes to stop the Dragon, the Dragon's like "BUT YOU AND ME ARE THE SAME, HERO!" and George is like "omg you're right, my life is meaningless". Then Dracula and the Dragon tag team George because all supernatural creatures like the Beasts, right?

What I'm saying is that Beast doesn't really fit the material it's supposed to be based off of.

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