[Beast]Hungers

Beast: The Primordial

Still from Ravenous (1999, dir. Antonia Bird)

Still from Ravenous (1999, dir. Antonia Bird)

Every Beast has cravings.

Beasts’ bodies are human, they need food and water and so on just like any other living thing. But the Soul of a Beast is a primordial monster. Its needs stem from the nightmares that formed it. The Beast’s Soul – and therefore the Beast herself – require spiritual sustenance. If the Soul isn’t fed, it goes roaming through the Primordial Dream, inflicting nightmares on sleeping humans, taking what it needs without regard for the consequences.

It behooves the Children, then, to make sure they feast regularly. But what does a monster eat?

Beast details first primal Hungers. These determine how the Beast increases her Satiety, and inform her approach and personality. The Hungers are:

  • The Hunger for Power (Tyrants): Tyrants are Beasts who crave power, feeding off the act of besting someone and proving their own superiority. They bask in the fear, respect, and trembling worship of those beneath them, whether the Beast is standing at the top of the pyramid or controlling things from the shadows while their subjects tremble at the thought of their unseen king. A Beast is always more than merely human, and a Tyrant thrills in reminding those below him just how powerless tiny mortals really are against the stuff of nightmares. Should a Tyrant fail to find proper subjects during his waking hours, his Soul stalks through the dreamscape and bring them subjugation while they slumber. Concept: Ari drives a cab, and he goes to the parts of the city that the other cabbies won’t. He knows every bit of the city — the poor neighborhoods where everyone looks out for each other and the rich neighborhoods where everyone’s a stranger. When he feels his Hunger, he picks someone up and drops them in a place they’ve never seen before, a place where just walking down the street will get them arrested or jumped. He never lets anyone die, though. He just wants each little fish to know how far from its home pond it has strayed.
  • Hunger for the Hoard (Collectors): The image of the dragon perched upon her hoard of precious gems and gold has been written into stories for thousands of years. Kingdoms have fallen trying to appease such Beasts with an endless train of gifts, only to have her sights turn to their grand castles and priceless crown jewels once everything else is gone. Nothing is ever enough, and every Hero fallen to her claws only adds to her collection. Even hundreds of years after all survivors have fled her domain, the stories of legendary riches and their fearsome guardian spread far and wide on desperate, greedy whispers, keeping such a Collector well fed for centuries to come. Concept: Anya owns an orchard. She grows apples, and each trees has a ribbon tied around the top. Some of them are red, some are yellow, some are green, and most people who visit the orchard and buy her apples assume the ribbons correspond to the specific type of apple the tree bears. But that isn’t it. Anya goes out into the orchard at night and checks the ribbons, reminiscing about the day each tree was planted. The ribbons don’t match the apples. They remind Anya what she buried when she planted the tree. Red for something stained with blood, yellow for something stolen, green for something never touched or tasted. Anya only buries things that will nourish her trees, though.
  • Hunger for Prey (Predators): Humans think that they’re on top of the food chain, preying on animals that are bigger and stronger than they are. But some part of them remembers a time before they were the ultimate hunters, and knows more fearsome creatures see them nothing more than their next meal. Predators remind the world’s self-declared alpha predators that when you catch one of them alone at night, they’re nothing more than helpless, hairless monkeys. Some Predators are subtle, lurking and waiting in the shadows until their victims get close, while others prefer to chase their prey openly at a dead run until their victims collapse. Others still use their beauty and charm to lure victims away from the herd, all sweet songs and handsome smiles until it’s too late for their prey to escape. Concept: Vanessa likes blood. Her forearms cause deep gouges, as though they had serrated blades, and anyone caught in her embrace will bleed. Vanessa doesn’t necessarily drink the blood — she’s been known to, but just feeling it running down her body is enough. Her favorite “bleeders” are the disinterested, the people who are aloof and disdainful of their fellow humans. In her embrace, she knows they feel. Everyone wins.
  • Hunger for Punishment (Nemeses): Children understand this law instinctively, hiding under the blankets to keep themselves safe. Adults forget their instincts as they grow older, assuming they can get away with infractions so long as no one is watching, but one glimpse of the monsters in the dark soon makes them wish they had remembered to hide. Nemeses feed by punishing the guilty, or those they perceive to be guilty. They might tear someone to pieces right after the act, or they might wait for years before finally revealing what they know and making their victim pay. The Nemeses keep the guilty conscious of humankind on edge, and keep the transgressors looking over their shoulders even when they should know, rationally, that they’ll never get caught. Concept: Ogre got his nickname wrestling in high school. The funny thing is that he’s met real ogres since then, creatures who were forced to be brutes and workhorses in the far-off Faerie realms. He’s made friends with several such changelings — and he’s the one they call in when someone breaks an oath. Ogre can’t stand betrayal. If you want to fight, kill, maim, that’s fine, he thinks, but don’t say you have someone’s back and the stab it. And then Ogre cracks his knuckles and everyone steps back, because they know he’s about to hit something.
  • Hunger for Ruin (Ravagers): A Ravager must destroy to feed, and he must destroy something that others value. It’s not exactly the act of violence that he feeds from, it’s the change it causes in the humans that notice. When someone witnesses the destruction caused by a Ravager, or its results, they are suddenly aware of how fragile they are and start to wonder just exactly what will be destroyed next. That state of uncertainty and fear is what satiates a Ravager, leaving those in the wake of his rampage wondering what could have caused so much damage and when it might be back. Concept: Lester loves the sound of glass breaking. Human beings forget how flimsy windows are — they are enough to keep out the rain, yes, but not enough to keep out bricks, branches, or a determined intruder. Lester smashes the windows in the homes of the rich in the dead of night, and watches the security come running. Sometimes he writes his message on a wall or a mirror: YOU ARE NOT SAFE.

  25 comments for “[Beast]Hungers

  1. MagisterCrow
    April 20, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Liking this so far. I’m looking forward to finding out how the Hunger mechanics will work, in particular what happens when your soul starts to wander around causing nightmares.

    Seriously looking forward to this game!

  2. malonkey1
    April 20, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Yep. Definitely making Batman as an Ugallu/Nemesis when this leaves the presses.

    • paradoxicalGentleman
      April 20, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      Would that make the Joker an hero?
      I guess not since he doesn’t want to kill Batman.

  3. Aiden
    April 20, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Man, now I want to play a Makara Tyrant suborning or starting their own cult.

    I’a Dagon.

  4. SunlessNick
    April 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I love how the example expressions of these Hungers. Vanessa and Ari in particular.

  5. April 20, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Fans Hunger for Text (Consumers)

    awesome, that is all

  6. Robert Small
    April 20, 2015 at 11:37 am

    So when does the Kick Starter begin?

    • Aiden
      April 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

      From what I recall, the middle of May at the earliest.

  7. Tiresias
    April 20, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Is there a Hunger for Hungers? Because as things stand, I really can’t decide. At most, I could maybe narrow it down to Power and Hoard.

    Can you tell us if Beasts have a Merit equivalent to Multiple Agendas that allows them to have multiple Hungers?

  8. paradoxicalGentleman
    April 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Oh man, now this is I like. Lots of potential for interesting and messed up characters in her; I can just imagine the dark temptations of these hungers biting away at the Beast’s conscience.

  9. Douglas
    April 20, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Growing increasingly impressed.

  10. Sean L
    April 20, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    The mermaid/merman who hungers for Prey: a swimmer who hangs out around the pool late at night because it reminds him/her of his/her Lair, the Grotto, and invites/seduces anybody around to take a swim with him/her…

  11. Firanai
    April 20, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Matt I don’t know if you will read this but I have to say that now I regret my words in the first post even more. This game is everything but simple and the beasts have such a huge diversity of roles and ways of doing things. It’s turning out to be a great game, can’t way to see what else you have for us. 🙂

    • April 21, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Thanks! We’ll be talking about Nightmares later this week. 🙂

  12. Theeds
    April 20, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Liking very much so far. Definitely enjoying the crossover potential. I’m curious how Beasts view Demons though. Unlike some of the bump in the nighters, Demons are built for a specific purpose, which they then reject for some reason. It’s kind of hard to claim a shared heritage in that respect.

    • Aiden
      April 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      According to comments from the writers on RPG.net, Demons are the only playable monster splat that Beasts don’t claim kinship to.

      The phrase ‘pod people’ was thrown around.

      • Firanai
        April 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm

        What about mages? geists? mummies? and prometheans? I don´t see their link to the beasts.

        • MagisterCrow
          April 20, 2015 at 10:15 pm

          Mages have that whole dragon motif, I can see Geist as having that “lurking shadowy threat” going, and Prometheus are reviled like Gorgons. Mummies are a bit trickier, but they are connected to some nightmarish force, so I can see them being seen as kindred spirits…particularly the deceived, oddly…

  13. Austin Loomis
    April 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    What about mages?

    Anakim/Tyrant. Abyssal entities are Makara/Ravagers.

    geists?

    {Eshmaki;Ugallu}/{Predator;Nemesis}. Kerberoi are Anakim/Nemeses.

    mummies?

    Makara/Collector.

    and prometheans?

    Namtaru/Ravager.

    I don´t see their link to the beasts.

    You’re welcome.

    • Sean
      April 20, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      Honestly, I think Mages could correspond to Anakim/Makara Tyrants/Collectors, since Mages are beings with both incredible power and knowledge, and often seek to influence society or increase their arcane knowledge.

      I think every previous supernatural could be seen as corresponding to a couple Families and a couple Hungers.

      • Eolirin
        April 21, 2015 at 1:18 am

        Depending on the Mage in question, it’s not that hard to associate with any of the Hungers, though mapping Predator results in a pretty sociopathic Mage I think; Scelsti, in general, map to Ravager pretty well, Banishers are easy to map to Nemesis, Seers map to Tyrant, everyone maps to Collector if we apply that to knowledge.

  14. Cycil
    April 20, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Well I’m certainly intrigued enough to buy the book. Though I’m especially curious about what kind of society a host of ancient monsters could form.

    Heh Eshmaki with nemesis hunger.

    Celia works for the police. Not as an officer mind you but as a clerk. Quiet and efficient you’d barely even know she was there flitting about between the dim lit shelves of the cold case archives. The cops hate the place. All those unclosed cases where they just couldn’t get enough evidence to make a conviction stick. A monument to failure. Celia on the other hand treats the place as an all you eat buffet plucking a file from the shelf any time she feels the hunger rising.

  15. Brian Goubeaux
    April 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I had to laugh a bit at some of these.

    Collectors: Next on Hoarders…

    Nemeses: Pick your superhero.

    Ravagers: “Threw It On The Ground” by Adam Samburg.

    Given to what I see, Nemeses can totally conquer the Superhero/Villain trope for their hunger.

    • Aiden
      April 21, 2015 at 11:08 pm

      Tyrants make great villains, cult leaders, or unconventional anti-heroes if you put your mind to it.

      • Sean
        April 22, 2015 at 9:57 am

        “I know the convenience store on 4th and Liberty got rolled last night. And I know it was you and your friends. You scum think you run this town because the Mayor goes easy on criminals like you, but I have news for you. You are not the alpha predators around here. I am. Tell your friends that if you ever act up again, I’ll be picking my teeth with your femurs.

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