Beast Player’s Guide Preview [Beast: The Primordial]


Here’s a selection from the recently-released Beast Player’s Guide.

Beyond the Nightmares a Beast can learn from her kin or by exploring the Primordial Dream, other members of the supernatural community spread their own brands of terror. As she spends time with other creatures, and especially if she creates Family Ties with others, her Horror begins to reflect the company she keeps. A Beast among a coterie of vampires learns precisely how to sow seeds of betrayal and mistrust to feed her Ravager Horror. A Whisper learns from the same group how far the power of silence goes to keep others talking, and just how much people will reveal to avoid silence. As the Beast learns from her companions and witnesses them using their own power, she expands her understanding of what fear truly is, drawing her closer to her Horror and the other members of her supernatural family.


This section presents a plethora of new Kinship Nightmares, followed by a discussion of how a Beast can use Family Ties to a supernatural being to create custom Nightmares.

Kinship Nightmares

The Kinship Nightmares presented below include more possible examples of the sort of abilities a Beast may develop with Family Ties.

Checking It Twice (Wizened Changeling)

You know that you assembled it perfectly. This is absolutely the way to put this together, but you still feel like something could have gone wrong. What if something came loose while your back was turned? What if somebody ruined your masterpiece? You just need to check it to be sure. Just one more time.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim becomes consumed with the need to perfect her craft. The victim gains the Obsession Condition for an object they can toy with, repair, or are even planning to create in the future.

High Satiety: The victim is consumed with the need to double check her work to make sure it’s absolutely immaculate. Any action the victim takes other than rechecking what she’s previously done requires a reflexive Resolve + Composure roll. If this roll fails, the victim can’t do anything as she goes back to just making sure everything was running smoothly. In combat, the victim loses her Defense for the turn she fails her roll.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim knows something is wrong and she needs to fix it right now because if she doesn’t do it, nobody will. The character becomes utterly monomaniacal in her focus on the object of her perfectionism. The Obsession Condition remains even after the Nightmare expires. The victim can only cure herself of the Obsession by finally perfecting the object or being forcibly separated from her project. The Beast can cure the Condition with a touch as well.

Exceptional Success: The victim gains a +2 bonus to any roll that furthers their obsession, but a –2 on all rolls to notice or focus on anything else.

Everything You Know Is a Lie (Mage)

Your eyes have been opened to the profound truth. Nothing you have ever experienced is true. This world is a simulation and others are just pawns in some cosmic play. How can you love if you don’t know what love truly is? How can you eat if you’ve never felt true hunger?

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim comes to the terrible realization that his life experience is based off a false paradigm or incorrect assumptions. The victim loses access to Specialties and 10-again for the duration of the Nightmare.

High Satiety: The character is plagued by doubt — every action feels false and guided by some principle that simply doesn’t apply to the situation. While the Nightmare is active, the victim’s player must reroll any dice that come up successes when using any Skill in which the victim has a Specialty. The victim keeps the results of this reroll.

Satiety Expenditure: The Beast chooses a Skill category (Mental, Social, or Physical). Within that category, the victim treats all Skills as untrained (meaning the character loses access to any dots in that Skill and suffers a –1 or –3 penalty as appropriate). If this would affect a supernatural being using a power or ability, it provokes a Clash of Wills.

Exceptional Success: The victim’s threshold for exceptional success in any Skill that lost a Specialty is raised to seven successes. For Storyteller characters, who might not have Specialties, the player can specify one Skill that suffers from this effect.

Evil Doll (Unfleshed Promethean)

You just saw it. Somewhere out of the corner of your eye you saw it, with those mechanical hands and blank, beady eyes. You saw that monstrosity somewhere right when you got into the room, but now you can’t find it. That monster is hiding from you, waiting for you to look away long enough to get you.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim becomes convinced that some inanimate object in the room is actually a monster in disguise, just waiting for her to lower her guard. As long as the object remains in the room the character has the Spooked Condition, unless they prove without a shadow of a doubt that the object actually isn’t alive (perhaps by burning it).

High Satiety: If the victim destroys the object, she believes that another object in the room has become possessed by the same malevolent force.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim lets her guard down for just a moment and is attacked by the creature in a flurry of motion, biting her leg or lodging a steak knife in her shin as it skitters by. In reality, the only damage dealt to the victim is caused by their nervous handling of the object causing it to go off, fall, or otherwise cause injury. The victim suffers the object’s equipment bonus in lethal damage. This deals a minimum of one damage; even with the most harmless objects the victim finds a way to stumble into a suitably horrible accident.

Exceptional Success: As long as the victim has the Spooked Condition, she may not perform extended actions or other time-consuming activities that might let the monster get the drop on her.

Family is Forever (Vampire)

You know what they say about blood being thicker than water. You also know that just because you have to be polite doesn’t mean you have to particularly like this asshole. Something about them drives you up the wall but you can’t just put them out.

Dice Pool: Manipulation + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim becomes convinced that they’re in some way distantly related to the Beast. No matter how vague the details are, the victim’s subconscious fills in the gaps to make the cover story seem true. The victim gains the Leveraged Condition.

High Satiety: The Beast gains access to a number of the victim’s Social Merit dots equal to the Beast’s Satiety at the activation of the Nightmare. She cannot partially access flat-rate Social Merits (such as True Friend) if she doesn’t have the requisite number of dots, but may partially access scaling Merits like Resources. For example, a Beast with 7 Satiety using the Nightmare on a victim with Contacts 5, Resources 4, and True Friend could gain access to Contacts 5 and use the remaining dots to access two of the victim’s Resources, but not True Friend. She could, however, use Contacts 2, Resources 2, and True Friend.

Satiety Expenditure: The Beast may make requests of her “family” that would normally require blackmail or weeks of cajoling. The Beast may spend multiple points of Satiety while this Nightmare is active — for every point of Satiety spent, open one additional Door against the victim.

Exceptional Success: The victim may be irritated by the distant “family” member, or even hate them, but them but turning them away seems unthinkable. The victim gains the Guilty Condition if they refuse a request of the Beast.

The Water Won’t Last Forever (Hunter in Darkness Werewolf)

You can’t help but think about it. How long has it been since it’s rained? Aren’t those earthquakes just a little too frequent for this part of the world? Sure, the government has done a good job of keeping it covered up, but the truth is obvious. This world is dying and you’re not going let it take you with it.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim is “clued in” to an impending environmental or economic apocalypse that he’s certain will happen in the immediate future. The victim gains the Paranoid Condition, feeling compelled to hoard material resources to ensure his own survival from the impending end of all things.

High Satiety: The victim only respects the rule of might and all other law is just a weakness of society. As long as the victim is under the effect of the Nightmare, he is treated as hostile for all Social Maneuvering actions short of hard leverage. Attempting to bargain for resources instead of just taking them for himself fails outright without a roll.

Satiety Expenditure: In a world without law, only survival of the fittest matters. The Beast may spend multiple Satiety on this effect. For each Satiety spent, the Nightmare persists for another day. Additionally, the Beast may indicate one object in these Nightmares that the victim simply can’t be without if they have any hope of surviving. The victim gains the Obsessed Condition for acquiring this object.

Exceptional Success: The Paranoid Condition persists for a day after the end of the Nightmare.

You Have Foreseen This (Acanthus Mage)

There’s no chance they’re going to stop it in time. You already know exactly how it’s going to happen and how much they’re going to suffer, but nobody will believe you. So all you can do is watch it play out exactly as you saw it coming.

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim falls under the delusion they are in some way able to foresee or plan for all future outcomes. The victim gains the Delusional Condition (the Beast outlines the delusion in general terms), and any attempt to stray from the vision of the future the Beast left in their head requires a reflexive Resolve + Composure roll. The Beast may resolve the Delusional Condition prematurely by touching the victim of the Nightmare.

High Satiety: The player may select a number of rolls equal to the successes rolled on the Nightmare activation roll that the victim knows are destined to fail. No matter how many successes the victim’s player achieves, these rolls are treated as though they only show one success.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim walks through the world a helpless tool of capricious destiny. As long as the victim has the Delusional Condition, her threshold for exceptional successes is three successes instead of five — as long as she follows the vision’s narrative. When the Delusional Condition is resolved, the Beast regains one Willpower for each exceptional success that the victim achieved. After the Delusional Condition is resolved, the victim loses 10-again for the scene.

Exceptional Success: If the Delusional Condition is resolved by the victim during the duration of the Nightmare, it counts as fulfilling the Beast’s Hunger.

You Should Fade Away (Silent Sin-Eater)

You’re so tired but you don’t want to impose on anyone. What kind of needy and desperate thing would you be if you couldn’t take care of yourself in this situation? You’re an adult. Surely you can get through this yourself instead of bothering somebody else with your problems. Maybe someone will just notice you when they have the time to spare.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim seeks to avoid being a problem for those around him, subconsciously aware that his needs are a drain and annoyance on those around them. The victim must make a Resolve + Composure roll to ask somebody else for something he needs, even if his life is at stake.

High Satiety: The victim is grateful for any attention. He gains the Swooning Condition with whomever chooses to directly address him.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim becomes part of the background noise of the environment, a barely noticeable footnote on the occurrences of daily life. To try and get someone’s attention, the victim rolls Presence + Resolve if human, or Presence + Supernatural Tolerance if not. Success for the victim means the observer doesn’t even notice there was anyone there at all.

Exceptional Success: The victim’s body grows heavy and the will to continue to participate in the world with others bleeds away. The victim gains the Lethargic Condition.

Breaking Down a Character

Creating a Kinship Nightmare based on another character can be difficult for both player and Storyteller characters. A neonate vampire, originally a faceless pawn sent to hunt the brood, is unexpectedly adopted after the Beasts take a liking to him. A werewolf whose original concept was a remorseless berserker has a change of heart after several stories, embracing a different way of life before a Beast gets around to creating a Kinship Nightmare. Here are a few ways to break down a character into that essential fear needed to create Nightmares. Remember there is no one right answer to what makes a member of the supernatural community terrifying, as long as the table agrees it makes for an interesting part of the story.

  • Describe the character to someone else at the table without bringing up their supernatural species, profession, or affiliation with a supernatural order. What traits most strongly define them? What most differentiates them from the presumptions of the setting?
  • Discuss with the character’s player or the Storyteller a single defining event that happened, either at the table or in the character’s backstory. How did it alter them? What was the worst possible outcome of that event? Why is it terrifying?
  • Define a single area where the character has unparalleled power. What is the worst possible thing they could do with that control? What is the character most afraid of becoming with that sort of control?
  • Consider what sort of predation the character is capable of that would cause a Chamber to form. How does that Chamber resonate with the Legend of the Beast? How did they perform such an act? What sort of Lair Traits tie the two together?


3 responses to “Beast Player’s Guide Preview [Beast: The Primordial]”

  1. Allan Avatar

    I’m not one to point the errors of the other but… why is this with the sin-eater news?

    1. Ian A. A. Watson Avatar
      Ian A. A. Watson

      The article’s about Nightmares a Beast can gain based on their kinship to other supernaturals. One of the options listed is for the Sin Eaters’ Silent.

      1. Allan Avatar

        Oops, sorry thanks for the answer. I hope the sin-eater book will get out soon. I love this kind of character son much.