Welcome to My Nightmare [Beast: The Primordial]

Beast: The Primordial, Open Development

Still from Deep Rising (1998, dir. Stephen Sommers)

Still from Deep Rising (1998, dir. Stephen Sommers)

Eve loosened the hoodie. She had pulled it tight around her face, trying to screen out the world, for all the good it had done. The cafeteria was too loud, and the sounds too diverse. Boys thumping on tables, high-pitched laughter from girls, the hum of the microphone that the lunch lady used, in vain, to get them to shut up. Eve stared down into her juice, and thought of water, the silent, cool, Boundless Deeps. She felt the cold on her skin, and she was home, if only in her mind.

Something slammed into her back and pitched her forward. One of the boys — Antonio — was playing catch using a wadded up piece of paper and had slipped. Eve stood up, wiping juice and the remnants of her lunch from her hoodie. She turned to face him.

“My bad,” said Antonio. Eve said nothing. Antonio didn’t wait for acknowledgement, he just turned and went back to his game.

Eve reached out and grabbed him by the hair. She pulled, using only a fraction of her true strength, and yanked him backwards into her arms. If we were in the ocean, she thought, I could crush him. I could eat his skin and liquefy his flesh in my mouth, and drink him slowly. The thought appealed, and started to call her home.

Seawater trickled into the room from the corners. No one noticed. The students chanted “Fight! Fight!” Someone ran to get the principal.

Eve let him go. Antonio turned, and curled his hands into a fist. And then he glanced at his forearm, and stopped.

A row of angry, circular wounds had appeared across his arms. Eve hadn’t touched him there. He looked at her in horror, and she pulled the hoodie strings tight again. “Don’t touch me,” she said.

Antonio could only nod.

In Beast: The Primordial, you play one of the Children, a human being with the Soul of one of the great monsters of legend: dragons, gryphons, giants, kraken, and worse. All your life you’ve had the same nightmare, one of the classics so common to human nature. Hunted by a relentless predator. Dragged into the murky depths. Dropped from great heights. Held under the thumb of something huge and powerful. Or simply the knowledge that some nameless, shapeless thing out there in the dark was stalking you.  Nothing human beings haven’t suffered since the dawn of civilization, except you weren’t content to remain the victim, and so one night you didn’t run.

You embraced the nightmare, and became the monster. And in doing so, you realized: the Beast is what you have always been.

Discovering one’s true Family can be traumatic, but for many of the Begotten, it’s a profound relief, because they finally understand the reason for the Hunger that’s been driving them for their whole lives. A drive so strong they would do most anything to satisfy it, even if it costs friends, family, fame, or fortune in the process. That insatiable need to dominate, to possess, to devour, to punish, to destroy. It all makes sense now.

A Beast’s existence is not defined simply by her Hunger. Young Beasts often gather in broods of their own kind, forming communal Lairs to fight off threats and competition alike. In the absence of other Beasts (or other compatible Beasts), it’s not uncommon for one of the Children to fall in with other supernatural beings, drawing on their common ancestry to join their culture and run with them like one of their own.

Regardless of the company they keep, Beasts must work to keep their Souls sated, which means spreading nightmares and ensuring that they indulge their Hunger as needed. At the same time, Beasts must tread carefully — feeding too much or too little encourages the rise of Heroes, mortals driven to destroy the Beast at all costs. Not to mention the toll that sowing nightmares can take what remains of a Beast’s human side.

This is the life of the Children: Preying on humanity while living within it, walking the mortal world and the worlds beyond as they fulfill the needs of their Soul, tending their Lair as they guard their territory, moving freely between mortal society and supernatural cultures as legends in both. Humans might think they know how a monster’s story ends, but Beasts refuse to accept the role they’re given. They write their own stories, and let no human — or Hero — dictate how it ends.

Stay tuned for more about Beast: The Primordial.

  76 comments for “Welcome to My Nightmare [Beast: The Primordial]

  1. Wrequis
    April 12, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Amazing! Can’t wait for more!:D

  2. Wrequis
    April 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Amazing! I can’t wait for more!

    Well written as well!

  3. Aiden
    April 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    It begins.

    I hope we get more within the week, but either way I’m longing to hear more about this.

    Actually the longing just means I want to hear about it even sooner.

  4. Peter Boddy
    April 12, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Oooh, this only whets the appetite!

    • Dataweaver
      April 13, 2015 at 12:30 am

      I’m assuming your Hunger is to possess? Mine is.

  5. MagisterCrow
    April 12, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    I just nerded. All over. It was messy.

  6. Unsilent Majority
    April 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    WOW. Just…WOW.

    I’m ready.

  7. Full Time GM
    April 12, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Sweet! I have a bunch of players who really want something like this, one in particular.

  8. Valismedsen
    April 12, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Very interested! Thanks for this compelling preview!

  9. Doug
    April 12, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Love it! Reminds me of the aftermath of the squid attack in the 1950s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” film.

  10. Afro Luigi
    April 13, 2015 at 12:19 am

    I have but one question that I expect will be answered in a future teaser but I must ask now.

    I have a concept for a Methuselah who has spent 1000s of years collecting knowledge. So my question is:

    Are beasts immortal? If so I’m totally going to switch the Methuselah into being a very old Beast. =D

  11. paradoxicalGentleman
    April 13, 2015 at 1:54 am

    I am going to be honest here: that piece of fiction was sort of terrible. It’s basically a teenager’s power fantasy, complete with hoodies and revenge on the bully.

    I am still interested in Beast, but between this and the insistence on “Heroes are assholes and that is all there is to say on the matter” I am growing increasingly worried.

    • April 13, 2015 at 6:38 am

      Sorry you didn’t like it; I wrote it. Wasn’t meant to be a power fantasy, just a Beast having a rough day (based in part on my experiences working in a school with a similarly chaotic cafeteria, though I never saw any giant squid).

      Heroes are assholes. That’s not necessarily all there is to say on the matter, but don’t look for them to be portrayed sympathetically. You have lots of other games for that.

      • Murder_of_Craws
        April 13, 2015 at 3:11 pm

        I liked it. I’ve had those days, sans the manifestations of seawater and circular wounds. The pressure to maintain control must be intense.

      • paradoxicalGentleman
        April 14, 2015 at 11:02 am

        I am sorry if I was blunt in the way I expressed myself; OPP has produced a bunch if great stuff up until now, and I wush for that pattern to continue.

        I am not objecting because I feel like being an asshole, but because I’d love for Beast to be as good a product as possible, and the only way I can do that is point out what I consider to be problems.

        • April 15, 2015 at 8:34 am

          That’s fair. Please keep in mind that you haven’t seen much of the product yet.

    • Unsilent Majority
      April 13, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Gentleman? LOL.

      • BlitzKitty
        April 13, 2015 at 11:56 am

        Gonna be honest, it seems like the guy she went after wasn’t really a jerk. Just blaise and uncaring, as many people are. Sure accidents happen, it was embarrassing, but it doesn’t come off as, “Revenge on the bully” as much as, “Snapping at an honest yet embarrassing accident.”

        • Aiden
          April 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

          These things happen. People lash out when they’re having a bad day – it’s just that in her case she has more ways to lash out than most.

          It says a lot about her that she ended it there when she did rather than continue.

  12. J-Frog
    April 13, 2015 at 2:53 am

    *Swoon*

    Seriously, this short fiction and blurb calls out to my soul on a level that may rival C:tL.

  13. Nomad
    April 13, 2015 at 3:57 am

    I don’t necessarily have any problem with this, but I find it interesting that Heroes are the antagonists to Beasts. Are we confined to always be playing some kind of “bad guy”, yet at the same time pretending that our characters have an ounce of humanity? I’m not sure where the balance is because the Hero-Beast dynamic makes for a fairly black and white scenario. I don’t want to judge a book by its teaser, so I’ll withhold judgement until more details are released.

    • April 13, 2015 at 8:57 am

      I think a “Hero” is in the eye of a current context. Any of the splats might be a Hero in the eyes of their peers. Heck, even a vampire might save a family from a murderer, and be called “Hero”. But in WoD it’s all shade’s of grey, hunting the things that prey on humanity doesn’t make you good, being a “monster” doesn’t make you bad.

      it’s kind of like this, in D&D you find an orc tribe and kill them all because they’re orc’s and in your way. In D&D you’re the Hero, but in the eye’s of the Orc’s you’re the A-hole and the villain.

      I like WoD because it is not so shallow to paint either side as being the truly moral.

      • Nomad
        April 13, 2015 at 10:09 am

        I feel like you’re bending the definition quite a lot with your examples, however, it is a bit early to say for sure what Matt means by “Hero”.

        My impression is that if you are too much of a monster, an enemy NPC will rise up to defend the area from your wicked evilness. While sure, a Vampire may very well see the personal gain in doing such a thing, the feeling I got from the teaser is: “You’re a dragon, be too much of a dragon and a knight will come slay you”. I’m exaggerating a little, but you get my meaning.

        Anyway, the bottom line is this is just a teaser, and to be honest I’m very much looking forward to what comes next, despite my skepticism.

        • Eolirin
          April 13, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          Think of it like this, from the Cyclops’s perspective Odysseus is a massive, psychotically violent, jerk. You’re playing the Cyclops and you get to see all the motivation and nuance that gets whitewashed when the story is from the hero’s perspective, and in that context the hero is going to seem even more psychotic because the hero never has nuance; always they slay the monster because it’s evil and for no other reason. But who gets to say what evil means?

    • Arcane
      April 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Strictly speaking as advertised, Hero-Beast Cycle strips away the pre-notioned idea that Heroes are Good Guys and Beasts are Bad Guys and seeks to bring some real humanity as well as monstrosity.

      Both are sides that are compelled to great and terrible things, and given the right sort of insight and hubris to damn the consequences.

      We as a species have celebrated as many acts of barbarism as we have damned. Beasts ask what marks the difference, asks if one type of monstrosity can cross over into a type of heroism, and if indeed there’s a point to any of it-or if it’s all just atrocity under the stories we dress it up with.

      Think laterally.

  14. Firanai
    April 13, 2015 at 8:58 am

    The idea intrigues me but there are things that don’t convince me. In the other lines you have the chance to be a heroic monster, it could be hard yes but the opportunity to go beyond your monstrous nature is there. I really don’t see any redeeming quality in the beasts, they are the very definition of a Monster. Pure selfishness, greed, gluttony and cruelty. Even vampires, the quintessential supernatural predator, look more sympathetic and complex compared to them.I just don’t like a game that states so clearly that you are the bad guy. Since this is a tiny extract from the game I’m going to wait till I see more to give my final verdict. The basic idea is interesting but I hope it will be a bit more deep.

    • Vedic
      April 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      I don’t see that myself. In the fiction the guy who set off Eve wasn’t a bully; he was oblivious but not malicious. Eve struggled with some dark urges but showed restaint and let him go. That speaks to me more of an internal struggle; from that and the rest of Matt’s piece do the Beasts have to inflict nightmares t survive? It seems so and in that case the Beasts also either are human or have a human identity so it becomes an internal struggle. The end also states they try to write their own end which speaks to the theme of a monster is determined by what they do not what they are. Do they seem rather dark? Yes (which is good for me; I like dark) but and although its too early to do more than assume I see quite a bit of depth and possibilities already.

    • Murder_of_Craws
      April 13, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      “What is better — to be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?”

      • Jonathan
        April 26, 2015 at 4:08 am

        so said the wise Paarthurnax — and the answer would be “to overcome your evil nature through great effort” that would be an interesting theme for the game.

  15. Tiresias
    April 13, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I swear if I ever to get into a Beast game I will go out of my way to murder heroes like I’m playing a horrific genetic experiment spliced from the DNA of Hannibal Lecter and Jigsaw and post the Actual Plays in 72 point italicized bright red Comic Sans just to troll people.

    Fuck the heroes. It’s not about them, it was never about them and it’ll never be about them.

    • Aiden
      April 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Much as I am tired of all the ‘but what about Heroes?!” sentiment I think we should try to keep this civil.

      • Doug
        April 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        I don’t think it’s possible to be uncivil towards a fictional character…

        • Aiden
          April 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm

          It sounded like he was trying to troll other people outside of the game, not the Heroes themselves.

  16. Eolirin
    April 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Can we get s Breast sub forum put up soon? We’re going to have a lot to talk about I think.

    • Eolirin
      April 13, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Oh, god, that’s what I get for trying to write posts on mobile devices. Can we get a *Beast* sub-forum up.

  17. Dan Sos
    April 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Oooh lawd. This is not just my cup of tea, it is my full English. I am so excited for Beast and all the wonderful things it brings forth in my imagination. Thank you Matt for being so forthcoming with your brainchild here, and on other fora!

  18. Bibliomancer
    April 13, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Oooh, I like this game! The concept reads like a Joe Hill novel. Please tell me there will be a cool point-buy system for Lairs…

    I leave you with some ironically appropriate music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh0QZvHdSKo

  19. Kage
    April 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    It’s pointless for me to type this, since I’m not inclined to purchase this product in the first place, but I felt the need to speak up amidst the excited cheers, because despite the individuals anticipating this product, I don’t think Beast is going to be successful and I certainly don’t think it’s going to match any previous gameline in quality or depth. I think a lot of people are simply ignoring it for that reason and not pointing out the obvious because OP has other things on offer that interest them.

    To actually get to my point, the Beast/Hero dichotomy presently looks like absolute nonsense. People keep hinting at this, but no one is being blunt enough about it. You keep saying Heroes are assholes, but every single detail you’ve asserted about them makes them come off as victims of circumstance, since Beasts appear to exist to fuck with people and Heroes are directly created as a result of the Beasts themselves. Beasts are the aggressor, the attacker, and somehow the victim, and while these traits aren’t mutually exclusive (as with many Centimani, for example), in this case they simply don’t mesh at all.

    I find one of the stated excuses, “Heroes are assholes because this isn’t their story,” to be inane, honestly. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t their story. Vampire is about assholes who intentionally feed on and fuck with normal people who have no control over it (doesn’t that sound familiar?), but we’re not just blindly casting vampires as wholly victims of circumstance and the people who destroy them as wholly antagonistic, even when plenty of the Kindred didn’t choose to become leeches. Yes, some vampires certainly are victims, but all vampires are also attackers of the innocent and uninvolved, just as Beasts are.

    From everything I’ve read, the Hero descends upon a Beast specifically because the Beast is, well, being a detriment to society through their natural urges/behavior, and is spurred to this role by the Beast’s presence in the first place. So this comes off as “we can’t come up with a reason why Heroes are assholes, but subversion and stuff lol.” I usually like such subversion (the story of Medea, for instance), but in this case it’s horribly unsatisfying when they’re not only compelled to do what they do, but are at least partially justified. This is a tragic dilemma for both parties that has trapped them even as its empowered them. It’s ripe with potential for drama, but all I hear coming from the devs is “Heroes are assholes” or “Heroes are Gaston” or even Matt implicitly comparing Heroes to MRAs and I’m just sitting there going… why? This allegory does not make a lick of sense and seems to be involving heavy-handed personal politics to the liability of the setting.

    Given how lacking in nuance this core conflict seems to be in spite of its obvious potential, I’d like to say “this isn’t the WoD I know,” but then, to be honest, it does remind me of the WoD in a fashion. It reminds me of Gypsies. An attempt to be inclusive, yes, but an incredibly clumsy, unintentionally distasteful one.

    Forgive me if I’m reading too much into this, but the allegory of the Children is one where they awaken to their “true nature” or “true identity” – much like a queer individual might. Going by DTD (which also has an obvious focus on identity), the expressed politics of many major OP writers, and likewise by posts regarding Beast’s theme across the OP forums and RPG.net, this doesn’t seem to be a farfetched connection to make. This is presumably the source of the idea “Heroes are persecuting Beasts” which is the justification for why “Heroes are irredeemable assholes.” But the existence of a Beast is necessarily one where they’re preying on others and, y’know, being themselves an asshole to satiate their urges, which they cannot escape.

    The implication of this allegory is cringe-inducing. This isn’t exciting at all. This is depressing. It’s like we’re going backwards to when the writers felt the need to make a political point above writing a good story, but their political point was unintentionally offensive to the very people it was trying to support. I see this cropping up more and more in nWoD 2e, and it’s pushing me away from it, frankly.

    • April 13, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Bummer. Well, hopefully as more information comes out, you’ll find something you like. If not, no hard feelings.

      • Thor
        April 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        Matt, I do have a question that is somewhat related to the criticism from this post. Are we supposed to see Eve as a sympathetic figure in this situation or is she meant to be unsympathetic?

        I’ve been following the threads on Beast both on the OP forum and on the RPG.net forum and I still cannot figure out if we’re supposed to be cheering for the beasts over heroes because they are the sympathetic ones in the relationship or because we’re playing them.

        Because I agree with others in this thread. Eve comes across as a bully more than anything else, and I can’t tell if that was the intention. If the beasts are bullies…why do we hate heroes?

        • April 13, 2015 at 3:19 pm

          I see Eve as sympathetic. She lashes out, sure, but after being struck, and while she’s in a situation that’s overwhelming and stressful for her. (And for the record, Antonio isn’t a Hero or anything, he’s just a guy.)

          Beasts are the protagonists. Whether they’re sympathetic is kinda up to the players, but you can literally say that about any other WoD protagonist.

  20. Count
    April 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Apologies if this is a repost, but I can’t see my own post and I wanted to read any responses people had to it. I think something went wrong when I closed my laptop while the post was awaiting moderation, so here’s a second try.

    The more I hear about this line, the more excited I get for Hero: the Fantasy. There have been a few lines, notably one I can’t quite remember the wording of, that went something like “Heroes gain powers to fill the story”. As a primarily Vampire and Hunter player, I immediately started to think of Heroes in terms of Hunters, and I liked what I saw. I can imagine Heroes as a kind of dark mirror to Hunters, and that’s fantastic.

    Hunters know all too well what kind of monsters lurk in the darkness and prepare themselves for it. They build weaponry and augment themselves and do whatever it takes to face the awful reality. Heroes, on the other hand, know that what they see isn’t real. They know that their terrible dreams and visions aren’t true. They “know” that there aren’t monsters waiting in dark alleys or under beds, but the visions won’t go away. Antonio can’t stop seeing the wounds on his arms even after they’ve healed. He can’t stop having dreams about a great monster in the deep killing–not him, after all, that wouldn’t be “heroic”, it wouldn’t fit the “Story”–but others, killing people he cared about, or even strangers, and he’s the only one who can see it. Maybe he sees a counselor and gets turned away. Maybe he keeps it to himself, saying that they’ll go away. Maybe he medicates (legal or otherwise) just to get the visions to stop. But they don’t. And they never will.

    So he gives in. He becomes the Hero. He does as the Story wills, against his will, and fights the Beast. He does terrible things like all ancient heroes, and eventually, he loses himself. He becomes the Hero, and even if he wins, his story doesn’t have a happy ending.

    That sounds like some really good World of Darkness to me.

    • Leliel
      April 13, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Question: Why aren’t you playing a hunter, then?

      Because what you’ve described…is a hunter. Not a Hero.

      A Hero? A Hero is the monster a hunter is afraid of becoming. They might be pitiable in a distant sense, but really? They’re just monsters that appear to be on humanity’s side at first glance. The rot they represent though-the belief that all problems can be solved through violence, that punishment is more important than compassion, that the ends always justify the means-is far more damaging because of that.

      • Thor
        April 13, 2015 at 11:40 pm

        I’m pretty sure what you described is called a “Slasher”

      • Count
        April 14, 2015 at 12:04 am

        I DO play Hunter. I said as much in my opening. But, well, they aren’t the same. Hunters are monsters, too, especially ones who have lost any ability to feel remorse. Does that make them more like a Hero than a Hunter?

        Of course not. Splats don’t dictate morality–this isn’t DnD where every Paladin has to start with an L, end with a D, and have awful goo in the middle. You could have a hunter or a mage or even a mortal more monstrous than a particular vampire or werewolf, after all. One of the glories of the world of Darkness is that it allows us to tell stories like that.

        To reiterate WHY I think that Hero is a different (and refreshingly new) take on the idea of a Hunter, yet still something that couldn’t be done playing Hunter, it’s the power of fantasy. We don’t know what Onyx Path is planning for Heroes yet, but the line that they gain powers as the story dictates really grabbed me. So many Heroes of legend had powers beyond normal comprehension, from Odysseus to Achilles to Herakles. Do Heroes gain powers like Heroes of legend when the story dictates that they require them? What, exactly, decides that? I find these questions incredibly interesting and, as such, enjoy the idea of Beast and Hero interacting.

      • Kage
        April 14, 2015 at 12:34 am

        Probably because Hunters aren’t quite as existentially fucked as a Hero is through little fault of their own. Count’s perspective seems to be based on the fact that Heroes are only led to become what they because of the deleterious effects of the Beasts themselves. Further, it goes without saying the devs aren’t demanding that Hunters be seen only as absolute villains since they’ve got their own gameline, too.

        Heroes, by comparison, are supposed to be automatically hated and reviled despite their circumstances, which are actually quite understandable, especially since the Beast themselves created them. It feels hypocritical that we’re supposed to have compassion for the Beasts, who are terrorizing people (even if to satiate a dire need), but feel perfectly at home casting Heroes as absolute villains who we should be okay with killing. Both of them are self-righteous in their own ways and to favor one over the other is to favor one side of the same coin. Ironically, in attempting to turn the roles of the hero and monster archetypes on their heads to look at it from the latter’s perspective (ala Grendel), they’ve ended up casting the monster in the careless, selfish role many heroes of yore used to be in, hilariously enough.

        Spurred on by Count, the more I think about the relationship between Beasts and Heroes, the more I think that it pretty much should be Beast’s core conflict. Let’s be honest with ourselves – Beasts have pretty much no thematic niches to themselves that other splats don’t already do (and better, because they were developed with these concepts foremost in mind and aren’t just a stapled together chimera of things that were done already). It doesn’t matter if they’re meant to link the other splats in terms of crossover games, and especially if this gameline tries to edge in on the histories of the others and provide quaint little explanations for them, it’s simply not gonna work.

        Beasts have to stand on their own, and what’s their actual external conflict all to themselves? Heroes. But I’ve read elsewhere the little blurb about a Beast unmasking a Hero and going “Who are you?” and was thinking… Is this supposed to be the sole connection, here? It’s something of a thematic statement, but… it’s also a huge missed opportunity and it trivializes what’s supposed be the splat’s nemesis. If I were to ever run this game, I would definitely play up the shackles that bind Beasts and Heroes together, and while giving into the “Story” can exalt them, it also binds them to their fates. And what if the Beast and the Hero used to be friends? What if they’re lovers? Then the conflict isn’t just a fight against each other, but a struggle against their very natures and the narrative that binds them even as it empowers them.

        That’s a lot more compelling to me than the base conceit. Thank you, Count, for inspiring me like this.

        • Paradim
          April 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm

          Some minor speculation here, but I think it’s been mentioned that the greatest risk of triggering the rising of a Hero is when a Beast is at the middle point of their Satiety. This could mean that it’s when a Beast is deliberately trying to rein in their Hunger, to only eat when they need to, to only hurt people when they absolutely must to percent from going really hungry, that is when Heroes have a greater chance of rising.

          This could lead to the perception for a Beast that, when they TRY to exercise control of their hunger, so they’re not a plague upon their community, then this Hero comes in and deliberately “messes everything up”. This presents Heroes less as well, heroic in that a monster that had settled with a status quo has now had its equilibrium upset, and if the Beast lives they’re very likely very Hungry and have to feed all the more now.

          This might evoke the stories such as Dragonslayer where the Hero’s first encounter with the Dragon’s Lair involved killing its babies, upon which the Dragon went on a rampage. The village mightve been very upset with the Hero for “antagonizing the monster”.

          Which seems kind of what the purpose of a Hero is to a Beast.

          To this (hypothetical, until we learn more) perspective, the Beast really would consider the Hero to be an asshole. I’m sure the Dragon thought Galen was.

          • Count
            April 14, 2015 at 11:47 pm

            Oh, at no point was I trying to make Heroes sound, well, heroic. They’re definitely not good people, and if it is settling into a ‘routine’ or ‘middle ground’ of feeding that creates a Hero, to me that sounds like there’s something (or someone) out there preventing Beasts from growing complacent. That sounds cool! I’ve mentioned it before, but I really like the idea of Beasts and Heroes being trapped in a circle, wrapped up by the whims of Fate to play a role.

            Something my play group mentioned is, if this is the case, maybe this is how Beasts reproduce? Vampires can Embrace a mortal, Werewolves can sire a child, Hunters can train someone in their ways… maybe Beasts have to create heroes who, in turn, create Beasts to hunt? Maybe there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of these cycles of Beast and Hero and Beast again operating in the world. Neat.

          • April 15, 2015 at 8:30 am

            Oh, hell, that’s actually kind of an interesting idea. Hmm.

          • April 15, 2015 at 8:33 am

            Actually, you’re more likely to trigger Heroes at low Satiety.

  21. Warhol
    April 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    This looks cool, some overlap with vampire/werewolf, but I’m digging it so far. Everybody, just remember this is one early piece of fiction, so chill with accusations and snap judgments. My only regret so far is that this line wasn’t available for the dark ages book, but so it goes with timing. I’m really excited, and will be plugging the dev posts to my group!

  22. Fenixink
    April 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Is the concept really that difficult to understand?

    “It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”
    ? George Eliot, Middlemarch

    Now while this dichotomy is no grand departure from other NWoD series, it is quite simply about perspective. While it’s being implied that “Heroes are Assholes,” it’s also implied that not all the Children are monsters. This whole premise comes down to simple language, hero and monster are the same thing in almost ever human confrontation ever, they are just two sides of the confrontation. Unless none of your players chooses to play a monster that cares about losing their humanity, this setting should play fine. With a group of PCs who want to keep humanity they will struggle to keep the truth hidden from would be heroes. If one person decides to keep their humanity and the rest dive into being monsters it becomes a story of how that one monster is trying to survive not only the threat of humans, but the threat of exposure from other monsters.

    Just like you and I, Monsters are supposed to be conflicted and heroes will also likely be conflicted. This means there will be monsters who hunt their prey with no humanity and there will be heroes who do the same. The question is are you going to be the good monster who gets killed by a “Hero” who is trying to protect people from you or will you become a true monster simply trying to survive.

  23. Brian Goubeaux
    April 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    This is a fascinating start. From the fiction, I would think that it was somewhat Lovecraftian where it tells the story of a girl that’s also a Deep One. The struggle to keep their Hungers on the down low remind me of the constant struggle that a Kindred might have in trying to keep the Masquerade up and her Beast (no relation) at bay.

    A question that I hope gets discussed about is what type of Beast would be willing to create relations with what supernatural race. In the case of the discussion of Changeling, perhaps the Beast type is something that the nigh-onmipotent Gentry fear the most. What Beast type would work with Hunters, whose sole purpose is to destroy dark creatures like the Begotten, as if they were a Hero race?

    Can’t wait for the meat on Begotten society and powers.

  24. hoodedclaw
    April 13, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I keep trying to swear off new lines – stoopidly thinking myself too old and ugly for it – and my itch is once again pricked like mildew in a thighwound.

    The “Heros are awesome” schtick is incredibly missing the point. I know we should shut up, but if only the inane are allowed to bark, the night clamours with dumbidity. The cultural holes and darknesses explored in this line sound rich and troubling. If people can’t grok the potency in the anti-hero – or the richness in any troubling protagonist – then good luck: continue playing games where genocide is permitted to the handsome straight white guy. Hope he gets the girl too.

    hoodedclaw

    • Count
      April 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      I feel like this is responding to my points, if not to me directly, and since I posted here looking for discussion, I’d like to respond even if it isn’t.

      Your insinuation that Heroes shouldn’t be “awesome” is, to use your word, full of dumbidity. There’s no reason Heroes shouldn’t be awesome in the old sense of the word–awe inspiring. Good antagonists should be scary. What would the Joker be if all he did was kick puppies and spray paint walls? He wouldn’t be a foil for Batman. He wouldn’t push Batman to do more and be better. To use a WoD example, what would a hunter be if the night wasn’t dark and full of terrors? Would there even be a hunter if that was the case? So yes, Heroes SHOULD be “awesome”. Good? No. Heroic? Hell no. I’m a vampire player, and even the nicest and most upright of vampires will probably stab you in the back if the price is right, or they have someone else threatening them to do it. This is the world of darkness. No one is really a good person at the end of the day. The Vampire who drinks blood and views humans as cattle is as tainted as the beast who terrorizes dreams to feed on fear. The Hero who starts seeing other humans as merely pawns in their story is as much a villain as the Hunter who sees civilian casualties as acceptable losses.

      So yes, we’re all here on these forums, playing the world of darkness, because we like our anti-heroes. We like our murky morality. We like that not everything is as cut and dry and that sometimes we make choices we wish we could take back in game.

      I want to see what happens with both Beast AND Hero. From what I can tell, they’re inseparable. What is a beast without a Hero? They feast, for sure, but the feasting generates a Hero. They can’t get away from that. What is a Hero without a beast? There aren’t many stories of heroes who don’t overcome some great challenge, and the stories that remain–Hercules, Odysseus, Sigurd, King Arthur–are the heroes who have consistently overcome their challenges.

      Does that make the beasts evil? No. Does it make the Heroes good? No. I think you’re conflating calling them Heroes and making them some kind of moral judge. They aren’t. They’re people playing a part, wrapped up in the whims and games of fate. A Beast needs a Hero to contend with, to fight, to grow stronger from feasting on their bones. And a Hero needs a beast to hunt, to force them to give up any hope of normality, of staying in the world of light, and to step into the fantasy and become what the story dictates.

    • Kage
      April 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      So, I ctrl+f’d the comment section for ‘Hero’ and… I can’t seem to find anyone who is just going “Heroes are awesome” without acknowledging their totally screwed situation. Actually, most people are discussing their skepticism with the very black and white “Heroes are (primarily) assholes” approach or otherwise embracing the power fantasy of being allowed to be a dick with no personal responsibility (because Heroes are assholes just persecuting the Beasts innocently tormenting people, after all).

      The only post that seems to be celebrating Heroes in particular is Count’s post above, and his post is actually… very interesting. There’s nothing whitewashed or excused about it. The Hero is intrinsically fucked, but it’s an interesting, cool story, so it’s appealing. Are you calling that post inane? Because that’s exactly the potency of the anti-hero and richness of a troubled protagonist you’re championing.

      By comparison, Eve just had her meditation on being a kraken interrupted by a sincere accident and proceeded to have a conniption. Yeah, she’s under intense pressure to contain her violent urges, but I don’t think it was the best presentation of the splat we could have gotten, especially when so many people are already showing concern regarding whether Beasts don’t “deserve” to have a Hero come down on them, since they’re the ones initiating the trouble, whether they can help it or not. The truth is, it seems to me that neither Beasts nor Heroes can help themselves once this narrative impulse has taken hold. They’re caught in this destructive cycle together and, personally, that relationship seems like it has WAY WAY WAY more potential than all the things Beast is cribbing off of other splats.

      It’s also funny to me that Count’s is the one post around which fits your criteria and the end to your post is “continue playing games where genocide is permitted to the handsome straight white guy” when he actually used Antonio, presumably a boy of Latino descent, from the fiction as an example of a burgeoning hero.

  25. hoodedclaw
    April 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Argh. Shouldn’t have opened the cakehole.

    You may have points: you sound pretty cool n’all; let the game flex its shoulders in the sun, go on.

  26. Arcane
    April 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    In regards to the “Beasts are douches, so how can this game be redeeming”, and without outing anyone, I’ve heard of one playtester whose Beast is sating their Hunger on abusive and otherwise violent people found in their territory. Is there something wrong with that? Yes. Is there something right with that? Yes. Which is more important? Good question.

    Cut your leg tendons and see some different perspectives, as Strangeness in the Proportion might admonish.

  27. crawlkill
    April 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    the Beasts sound a little too grimdark for me. I’ve known too many people who thought playing Black Spiral Dancers for all that way provocative rape and cannibalism stuff was just super cool and edgy to be readily comfortable with “spread ye nightmares” splats. but hey, who knows. too early to have a real opinion.

    • April 13, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      There are some fairly significant differences between Beasts and BSDs. FWIW, too, while Beasts can be predatory, we pretty deliberately avoided sexual predation. Anyone who wants to add that element can go on ahead (not at my table, please), but it’s not necessary.

  28. Sean
    April 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I’m really liking the vibe I’m getting from this game. I’m getting the sense that Beasts are the unleaded, primal versions of the other supernaturals, with some extra tentacles and feathers. I have a feeling that, should a Beast have the right Embodiment (that’s the X-splat, right?) and Hunger combo, they could come off really close to an established supernatural, and make those supernaturals feel all sorts of weird repulsion/kinship feelings.

    A walking cadaver who embodies the fear of darkness, who has an insatiable thirst for blood… the Gangrel admires the Beasts distilled perfection, but the Gangrel’s the evolved, sleeker model- right?

    A hulking predator born from the amydalas worst nightmares, who hunts and hunts and just won’t stop… the Blood Talon Cahalith can’t decide if he’s terrified or enamored.

    A lurking, swooping thing that sees all, knows all, who weaves a web of secrets and knowledge so large that it rules the world, and who always hunger for more information, for knowledge is Power… sure, the nice young Mysterium Mastigos would love to browse the Beast’s archives, but she’s not that callous- is she?

    • Aiden
      April 13, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      The splats are, based on the RPG.net teasers, Family and Hunger.

      • Sean
        April 13, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Thank you! I haven’t taken a look at the RPG.net forum in a while, so I can’t remember what’s been said about the Families. I remember that they are based on primal fears- fear of unstoppable forces, fear of being watched, fear of disease/decay, fear of darkness/death, and one more, I think.

        • Aiden
          April 13, 2015 at 9:56 pm

          Drowning is the one you’re thinking of.

  29. Eric Crabtree
    April 14, 2015 at 12:40 am

    The Chimera in me can’t wait for this.

  30. Nazfool
    April 14, 2015 at 12:44 am

    This is the first NWoD game line I’ve been *really* excited about!
    Love what we’re seeing!!
    Thanks for the peek ^_^ .

  31. Possessed
    April 14, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Each such announcement that reminds us that the Beast is closing in is enough to brighten my day.

    Loved the fiction here and can’t wait to get my hands on the actual book.

  32. thecosmicgoose
    April 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    soooo….its Otherkin: the hipstering?

  33. Cornelius
    April 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I like it.
    I hope that the Heroes will get their own chapter; what makes/is a Hero? Why does one become a Hero? What do they have at their disposal to deal with the Beast?

  34. Discobutcher
    April 15, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Hi !
    Please add a section on the confrontation of Beasts with Changelings.
    When Beast feed by spreading Nightmares this will bring up all the Changelings dream walking through the area.
    How does oneiromancy affect the beast’s nightmares etc. ?

    • April 15, 2015 at 8:29 am

      That’s a little more specific than we get in the core book (plus Changeling 2nd Ed is still being written, so I don’t want to commit to mechanics that might shift), but that’s on my radar for a future book!

      • Discobutcher
        April 16, 2015 at 2:57 am

        That would be great – I am a big fan of crossovers so I love every bit of official info on confrontations and synergy of different splats.

  35. Andrew Thomas
    April 19, 2015 at 5:37 am

    After reading this excerpt, I’m curious. Are these Manifestations going to be much similar to Promethean Disquiet or Wasteland? And will the raw power level of a given Hero be tied to a Beast’s Power Stat?

  36. Douglas
    April 20, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    “Begotten” that feed on concepts and flesh.
    Were you guys reading the Misbegotten Mythos by Brian Hodge?

  37. Sam
    April 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    At first glance it seems awefully similar to changeling, by feeding off nightmares and stuff like that. But after reading the fiction I think I’m starting to understand it.

  38. Taiko
    April 22, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    This really, really piques my interest for a number of reasons. One of them is that, at least in part, this is something that humans are basically doing to themselves rather than being chosen for them. That is to say, humans here seem to choose to become the Beast, accepting a part of themselves rather than fearing it, rather than being sired by a vampire without consent, being born as a vampire, dying and bonding to a Geist, being taken by the True Fae, having your soul imposed over by a wayward Demon or awakening as a Mummy. Mages have a choice in this matter, as far as I know, but for a Beast…it’s different, and I rather like that.

    Another thing that piques my interest is the way that Beasts interact deliberately with other supernaturals, and it makes me think already of how a joint game between something like a Beast and a Sin Eater would turn out – the Macabre and the Nightmare, dancing together through life, dreams and death. It’s fascinating to ponder on whether a Beast would have effects on ghosts, or whether they could enter the Hedge without negative consequences…or at least lesser consequences. Could a Beast interact well with a Changeling, beings bound to dreams and nightmares, one reveling in them while the other is tormented by their past demons? Could a Lair function effectively as a Haunt as well, or as a place that a Promethean could settle within for a time? What if a Beast were to take in a Mummy, defending them during their resting until they wake again?

    Finally, I wonder how much free reign there is for a Beast to really sate their hunger safely, and whether that satiation can done in a relatively constructive way…

    So many questions, and not enough answers that can be posted until the game is released. Can’t wait~

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