btp-alley_flamer-final-v2 copy


Heya, Matt here.

So, first of all, I want to thank all (as of this writing) 1149 folks who have backed Beast. Your support means everything to the project, not just in the form of your hard-earned cash, but also in the form of the comments and discussion here. It’s been a real pleasure to watch people talk about Beast, analyze it in terms of media, discuss what Dark Eras would be cool, and plan out the characters they want to make.

But not all Beast discussion has been quite so positive, and I want to talk about that. Stay with me a minute.

With Beast, we tried doing a bunch of things differently. Some of those things were purely mechanical; the game doesn’t have a “fuel trait” the way our other games do, for instance, nor does its Integrity analogue function the way that other such traits do. Moreover, it was always our intention to take a light touch with Beast “society;” I didn’t want the same kind of structure that, say, Vampire or Changeling uses. The Hero/Beast dynamic, too, came out differently than I was intending.

The result of that is the game has some issues. If you’ve followed discussion of the game on various online forums, you’ve probably seen it. I’m not going to repeat every point, here, mostly in the interests of time (I’ve got a development pass to get started on!), but here’s the gist: We hear you. There are problems with the game as it stands. Some of those problems come from the fact that we did try and break some new ground on the game, and that always carries a chance of something coming out different that one planned. Some of it just the nature of game development; at this stage of the process, things are getting tweaked. The difference is that it’s more public than it’s ever been. And some of it is that, honestly, when you’re as close to the material as I and the other writers have been, it’s easy to lose perspective.

Of course, the game hasn’t been received wholly negatively. I’ve had the pleasure of watching folks who really like the game talk about their inspirations, their character ideas, and the mechanical innovations we’ve made. We’ve heard those voices, too, and as we move forward, we’re listening to the positive feedback as well as the criticism.

What all that means is this: I’m doing another development pass on Beast. I’m going to add about 15,000 words of text (give or take), and do some heavy revision on parts of the game. My plan is to have that done by next Friday, June 19, but if that changes during the week, I’ll let you know. As I revise chapters, I’m going to give them to Rose to link from the Kickstarter, and I’ll be putting them up on Google Drive and doing posts on the Onyx Path blog so you can see what we’re doing.

Here’s a quick list of the overarching things we’re addressing. Note that I’m enumerating specific changes here (that is, I’m saying what we’re changing but not how), because I’m still compiling my notes and making a plan.

  • Resolving the “are you born a Beast or not?” question.
  • Defining Beast culture; we’re not adding social splats, but we are giving Beast society some structure and giving Storytellers something more to work with (this is where a lot of the extra word count is going)
  • Further definition of the Primordial Dream, its relationship to Beasts and Heroes, and what you can do with it in play (this is where a lot of the rest of the word count is going)
  • Hand in hand with that point, we’re underlining Beast-on-Beast conflict more
  • Redefining the Beast/Hero relationship, and (more to the point), revising how the text treats Heroes
  • Looking at the crossover sections and making sure they reflect the other game lines well, and that they get across our intent with making Beast crossover friendly
  • Making sure that in-character opinions are clearly reflected as such; all of the World of Darkness games include unreliable narrators, but it’s important (especially for a new game) that the reader understands what the game assumes to be true and what a character within the game assumes to be true
  • Giving Beasts something specific to do. That was definitely the most exciting part of the meeting that we had last night. I think you’ll like it. It addresses one of the biggest points of criticism we’ve had, which is that a Beast sating its Hunger is pretty much just cruel and abusive for the sake of it. I want characters in my game to be monstrous; they’re Beasts, after all. But I want there to be a point.

There are other, minor revisions that’ll happen, too, most of them logical outgrowths of the list above. Stay tuned, watch this space, and thank you for all your feedback. This is going to make for an intense week for me, but I’m excited to do the work.

Watch this space (regardless of what space you’re seeing this on, it’ll at least get linked) for more information, and again, thank you for your support and your feedback. Criticism stings, but it teaches a lesson.

And that’s an appropriate note to end on, I think.

91 thoughts on “[Beast]Revisions”

  1. I for one am glad about this.

    I read the preview and did not become a backer. I liked several parts of it, but also felt very uncomfortable with other chapters.

    So just for that, thanks for listening to the criticism and the praise in equal measure.

    I’d love for Beast to be polished so I can back it without any regret.

  2. This is a solid response to the community. You listened to people’s complaints and you’re using them to make a better product. It’s rare enough to actually see this in any development cycle that it deserves kudos.

    Nice job, Matt. I look forward to seeing what you and your team create.

  3. I’m one of those people who read the book and didn’t really find anything wrong with it. I love it like it already is, for the most part. But I’m not going to complain about getting more material, having some things made more explicit for the benefit of others, and just generally having more Beast to roll around in.

    So, thank you for this.

  4. My response echoes Aiden. I read it, enjoyed it, and backed it. I understand it’s a game, and really didn’t find any of the faults that some others did with it.

    I actually found some of their responses more disturbing than what was actually in the book.

    The book is called Beast. I want to play a monster. For the same reasons why I enjoy playing a member of the Dark Brotherhood in Elder Scrolls, or Caesar’s Legion in Fallout: New Vegas. It’s a game. It’s fun, fresh, and exciting.

    We’re getting MORE of Beast, and I honestly couldn’t be happier.

  5. Hope that the Homecoming will more clear, doesn’t feel as clear as the first change is in WtF 2e or the embrace in VtR 2e. it seems like “and one day you realize you are the monster” and something about “you’re the soul’s first victim” and I’m like “huh?”

  6. Personally I can say that this gives me hope. Many of my friends online and in the meatspace were very, very worried about the entire splat becoming too mary sue to work from a storytelling point, as well as too much of a “not really a monster” feel. It lacked that point of solidity. No fangs, no fur, no fae mask and faerie mien, no rubber suit that goes over an obsidian machine, and no truth to show to the world. It felt, just from the impressions I got, that you weren’t playing a monster, just someone with good tricks to call themselves one. I really hope this changes, because in the end, it really is a part that I think it needs.

    • Yes, I wished the rules for “Adapt the beast shape” on p. 341 ff. would apply to the Beast in its lair from the beginning. As people actually can enter the lair and heros may fight the beast there, why not allow for the Beast’s soul form to be more fleshed out, more defined ? Presently, there are only some more or less significant modifications to attributes and health leves for a beast in its lair (see p. 119 f., The Sould Itself). Not very satisfying if this soul actually represents a mythological nightmare beast. This was one of the points I found very disappointing.

    • I dont really agre to that, the game is really based around hidden fears and monsters, and bringing the monster more into the daylight i feel would combat the very idea of hidden fears and such. Beasts are supposed to be hidden behind a thin veil, while vampires and werewolves are those who truly take the monster form in the flesh.

      • A beast in its lair is by no means “hidden behind a thin veil”, as far as I understand it. In the lair, it has the full monster form and is even supposed to fight against heroes. Why not provide a Gorgon with a Gorgon’s gaze IN HER LAIR ?

  7. Oh and could you please ensure the “Quick Reference” includes all the counts? one thing that annoys me about the quick reference for Demons is that the amounts of “Demonic Form” bits you get is buried in the Demonic form section not mentioned or referenced in the quick reference. I noticed this problem exists in this beast Text with Atavisms, forgetting if it’s also a problem for Nightmares.

    • The projected lifespan of a normal human, plus an extra 20 years for every dot of Lair above 5. For those who achieve an Inheritance, not sure what the limit is, or even if a limit exist.

  8. I hope the nature of Heroes aren’t changed too much, so many people seem to want them to somehow be the protagonists which, as I’ve stated before, just seems to be a visceral reaction to the name, Hero. I still think if they’d been called something with more of a negative connotation, say Inquisitors as an example, there would be nearly no controversy regarding them. Matt, I really enjoyed the first draft and I hope you haven’t let all these complainers get you down.

  9. I’m looking forward to seeing the revisions. Depending on how they turn out, I may end up rethinking my decision to forego the Kickstarter.

  10. I hope “Family” gets a lot more definition.
    Right now it doesn’t feel like Beasts are part of a large family at all, just that they have a generic suite of ‘detect and enhance other supernaturals’ powers.

    As long as ‘family’ has such nebulous and vast criteria it doesn’t feel like one at all. Beast needs a far more specific and limited group of beings that count as family, not just all supernaturals. Family needs a bigger, well defined ‘non-family’ to contrast against.
    Demons being the only non-kin also makes the NWoD feel more mundane and small. The God-Machine should not be the weirdest and most ‘out-there’ thing in the setting. There should be unnumerable, unknown hordes of vastly more strange things out there many of whom leave Beasts just as baffled as Demons.

    Also, how do all Beasts know about the Dark Mother, why do all share this interpretation of their supernatural sense as a ‘family sense’? Where do they get that if there is no world spanning society of Beasts enforcing a singular world view on even the most newly awakened Beast?

  11. The basic concept of Beast is great.

    ‘The mugger waves his gun in front of your face: “Your money, motherf**ker!”. You close your eyes, merge with your soul and you are vast, swimming through the depths of a dark ocean. You open you eyes, and that wannabe standing in front of you suddenly feels an echo of what your soul is, tumbling back in fear’.

    This feels very WoD and I would like to congratulate the people on the design team to come up with this great idea for a game line. A lot of the concepts are innovative and refreshing.

    However, like some others, I have my issues with the game as presented in the Kickstarter draft. Thus I am really looking forward to the revisions.

  12. I think a lot of people are thinking the wrong way when it comes to Heroes. Rather than being troubled by them seeming to have no true agency of their own, maybe ask just who (or what) is it that’s got the power to rob people of their free will and turn them into nothing more but tools to hunt Beasts.

    And why.

    • Honestly, the heroes are a very interesting thing, and I think they may either be an unintentional byproduct of being a beast, a part of the beast’s inner humanity trying to find a release from its existence with the beast on an unconscious level, or a way for the dark mother to weed out weakness in her children, to show who is worthy of being beast incarnate since becoming such requires the death of a hero in a very specific way. In addition remember that heroes and beasts “Taste similar” to vampires in terms of blood.

  13. Hey Matt, I think you guys absolutely hit it out of the park. I only have one concern, and it’s been shown by other people I know that have looked at it.

    Atavisms are…strangely uninspiring because they’re invisible effects, and for the people who CAN see the effects, it’s only that of an aura rather than its true effects.

    This is all towards effects such as the kraken’s ability to make a grapple explosion of sorts and the Eshmaki(whom I love) ability to make their close combat attacks more deadly.

    For me, It would feel amazing to sprout claws out of my hands gangrel style. For my friend who loves sea monsters in general he wants to be a bit more monstrous, wants people to horrifyingly watch those tentacles, in reality and not just an aura, come out and grab someone.

    It does help keep the “masquerade” of sorts up, yes, but it’s just our concerns. Some of us like to feel more attuned with our monsters =)

    • Lure them into your lair in the primordial dream. There you can show them some claws and/or tentacles.

      And as a long term goal, aspire to become the Beast Incarnate. Then you can manifest those aspects in the ‘real’ world, too.

        • Please, the Mad King was Aerys Targaryen, not Aegon.

          Check out the rules for Primordial Pathways on p. 117 ff. of the draft:

          ‘When opened (in a resonant location), the Pathway causes the Chamber and the external location to “overlap.” This causes Beasts to merge with their Souls. Anyone in the external location attempting to leave while the Pathway is active instead
          finds themselves transitioning to another Chamber through one of the Lair’s Burrows.’

          And the example:

          ‘He leads his pursuers into the school and opens the Primordial Pathway. For a few seconds, the interior of the school becomes both in the material world and the Chamber in his Lair, and the Anakim immediately merges with his Soul. Faced by the hulking monster where their target once stood, the hunters panic. Two gird themselves and fight, and the third attempts to flee the school, but while the Pathway is still open she instead transitions through a Burrow into another Chamber. Killing one of the other hunters, the Anakim closes the Pathway — the school returns to normal, the Beast appears to transform back into his
          mortal body as he separates from his Soul again.’

  14. Really looking forward to see more detailed information about the Primordial Dream, but i really hope the essence of the current document is kept as i really enjoy the thought and idea of hidden fears and monsters. Hopefully we wont be able to sprout claws and tentacles outside of our lairs, for we are Beasts, not ordinary monsters.

    Want to play a clawed monster? then i think the other roleplaying games in the World of Darkness might be better suited, In beast you are no ordinary monter, you are ancient and hidden, behind a thin veil of flesh. You cannot stretch beyond this veil, not visibly, but! You can certainly delve into the psyche, the shadows.

    I feel that is what Beast is all about the mind of others, not going full monster in the flesh, but tormenting others and bringing them the invisible pain of psychosis. I´d just like to say that i Loved the kickstarter draft and the conceptual levels it plays with when it comes to what is hidden, dreams and nightmares.

    Beast presents a few very different ways to roleplay, its more about tending to your hunger, however you might have set that up. Say that you might be a team of top notch lawyers, or detectives fueled by justice. And you do these jobs, not because its right, but because it feeds your hunger.

  15. Matt you are awesome!! And I already tought Beast was awesome, so what do you call something that is awesome, that got more awesome on top of it?

  16. I would very much hope that that purpose stuff has something to do with the way that the myth and folklore stuff that Beasts are rooted in stand as cautionary tales about how to behave and act. There’s a rich field to mine about how humanity needs its monsters to bring people together and make the community strong, and about how fear and trauma can be necessary to healing and growth.

    I also really like the Beast as the dark manifestation of something that is otherwise built from very normal human concern, the way Hunger is derived from very human impulses, and the way Family is derived from very human insecurities. I like the way that the Heroes reject the validity of those things existing in themselves and project their ills onto others, and the way that the Beast doesn’t, embracing them instead. I hope that all stays.

  17. Mine points that game should change:
    1. Eshmaki should ceases to be “Nightmare of Destrutcion”, rather should be “Nighmares of Stalking”. They are all about “you are always watched” than about “destroying the city”.

    2. Ephemera section should be about Astral beings, not God Machine Angels.

    3. Beast’s Soul should be her Dream Form in all Astral, most of time. Maybe Satiety expenditure to change it to human body and send a Soul to Lair for the rest of journey?

    • I agree. I’m not exactly sure why they are named Nightmares of Destruction, there isn’t much destruction involved in their description really, just a feeling of foreboding there is something out there…

  18. So far I like it, though I feel it lacks some of the texture and depth of 2e Vampire and Werewolf. I like Touchstones in those, and feel like Beast would benefit if something like that could be worked in.

    Also, Heroes as presented aren’t a compelling threat. They’re deluded, solitary, and fixate on individuals. They don’t “usually” pose a catastrophic danger the way Idigam or the God-Machine might, and Beasts don’t have an in-splat enemy faction to worry about.

  19. Granted I was only about 100 pages or so in but I was pretty satisfied with what I saw. It was a bit rough but I figured it was a 1st draft anyway and would tighten up in revisions. However I think that the planned improvements above will make for an even better game.

    I am concerned about the lack of menace to Heroes that continues to come up. I haven’t reached a part of the book that talks about them in greater detail but so far I’m not really getting a Gilgamesh or Perseus vibe. However I will reserve judgement for when I get to that section of the book.

    I haven’t put my cash down but I’m about 90% convinced that I will ultimately back it. I am in love with the concept and my group tends to be pretty loose on rules so whatever mechanical crunch is missing can be filled in with story telling consequences and incentives.

  20. I’m still concerned about the crossover aspect. There’s a perception I’m hearing that Beast is about joining another group of splats and being better at everything. While from the draft it isn’t completely one-sided, a Beast is still pretty destabilizing in my opinion.

  21. I just saw some of the revisions in the Kickstarter update. As someone who very much likes what Beast is already, I do not enjoy the revisions.

    The Devouring is something I do not like. I prefer that Beasts have their Homecoming, not that they are Devoured by another Beast that make them into something like them.

    • I kind of have to second Aiden’s opinion here. My first thoughts when I skimmed the changes were “why not reveal these things in a Book Of The Deceived style supplement instead”, but now that I’m reading it in detail…

      The more I read into this the more it makes Beast The Primordial sound like an /entirely different game/, with justifications where there didn’t need to be any, and a trade off to humans that are the victism of the Beast where there didn’t need to be one, and a slew of new implications I don’t like and I don’t really associate with “monsters representing primordial fears of mankind who take flesh to feed their dark hungers endlessly among them”.

      And I hate to be cross to Matt and the team after encouraging them and telling them I was looking forward to the revisions… but these changes(?) seem like an awful move (besides being one I don’t appreciate, even if mine’s just one opinion amongst many).

      I don’t think this is going to fix anything. I think this might make the rift in the community over Beast BIGGER. I think this is going to split the people interested in Beast even further, and make those who really liked the idea as it was originally presented and the 99% text reel back for a multitude of reasons.

      I know it’s making /me/ take a step back.

      • It is not a different game at all. We are making more obvious what choices PCs have as to what Beasts can do as Beasts in the setting. There should be nothing in this new text stopping you from playing exactly the idea that you first got into after reading the original text. But a lot of readers didn’t get that, they were blocked from finding that character they could relate to by the way the info was presented. There is more info on the Primordial Dream and why it does what it does, but that is all material that was always in the background and wasn’t communicated clearly or at all – with the intention of adding it in later in a supplement. But we saw clearly that we couldn’t wait that long. To take your quote as my quote: “monsters representing primordial fears of mankind who take flesh to feed their dark hungers endlessly among them”, you now have more info on what these primordial fears are, why those monsters take flesh to feed, and that the dark in dark hungers can go from kind of dark to pitch black. And if that’s too much info for you, now, after already getting the direction, can you accept that overtly showing the range of what Beasts are and do doesn’t actually take away from the choices you had before, but does necessarily demonstrate to those folks who didn’t see _any_ way to get into Beast, and were in fact actively repelled by it, that they too have a way to play?

        • I can accept that it makes Beast more accessible for the people who didn’t “get it”, sure.

          But it’s just made it… different for me. Let me try to explain, now that I’ve calmed down from my kneejerk reaction.

          The kickstarter preview even says “justifying Hunger misses the point”. And that brings me to the question I have to ask about this information that’s being revealed. Why justify Hunger? Why justify terror? I can understand and even get behind the concept of fear as a lesson. It’s a cool thing that builds on the importance of Beasts and the Primordial Dream itself to the world. But I don’t think that should justify them, and in the text originally in the kickstarter it didn’t. It also makes me ask, “why do the Horrors care?”

          The Horrors that dwell in the Primordial Dream don’t seem to have any real reason to be invested. Unless I’m misunderstanding something very fundamental, they’re a natural byproduct of the wisdom taught by fear, and they’re that lesson itself in what they represent as primordial nightmares. But what that lesson means to the people that receive it shouldn’t be of any consequence to them. That is not what this draft feels like it’s trying to say, especially in the details of the Devouring, and it seems to be contradicting itself in taht way.

          It should be the prerogrative of the Begotten who possess the souls of these Horrors to consider the matter, and /that/ should be what drives their moderation. The fact that they understand that’s what they are and what their souls represent, but their Horrors themselves /don’t care/.

          (Unless the paragraph above IS what the writers are going for, in which case you might want to make it much clearer in the final version.)

          I can understand this approach, and now that I’ve cooled down I can consider that… maybe it /does/ lessen troublesome aspects of Beast The Primordial that feedback was bringing up, and it /is/ more nuanced in a way (even if the alleged lack of nuance before didn’t bother me).

          But I don’t particularly like that the Devouring is a choice, I don’t think some of its implications work very well in comparison to the Homecoming, and I think the text right now needs some very careful rewording and rephrasing to work as well as it did before.

          • As I understand it, the Horrors don’t care. They want to feed. It is a function or an instinct, or whatever terms Matt settles on, of the Primordial Dream to send out nightmares and Beasts to foster fear through humanity; the Horrors are the dark aspects of the PD, inchoate spirits is I think what Matt called them, that hunger. So the Horrors are invested in feeding, that’s their thing.

    • So that’s like three paragraphs. You’re saying that an elder Beast who guides you to understanding what you are instead of it just happening completely changes the tone of this game for you? Or am I not getting what is bothering you?

      • A mentor figure does not bother me. The Devouring as a concept bothers me, because it is more than that. I prefer the Homecoming, and feel the Devouring invalidates Beast as I was sold it. It feels too much like a Vampire giving you the Embrace, and not enough like becoming the monster you always were from the beginning.

        Perhaps I didn’t read something correctly? Is that not the impression the introduction was meant to give?

        • Then is it this that bothers you: “The potential to slide back into the first darkness and join the ranks of humanity’s nightmares made flesh dwells within every human heart.” Or that the Horror comes into you?

          • Okay, here are the parts I do not like:

            “The Monsters offered you a chance to become one of them, to guide humanity to hard-fought wisdom. You accepted, an that night, you were Devoured. When you awoke the nxt morning, you were no longer human… but oh, the lessons you have to teach.”

            “In Beast: the Primordial, you play one of the Children, a human being whose soul has been replaced by one of the great monsters of legend: dragons, gryphons, kraken, and worse. You became one of the Children when another Beast entered your dreams and Devoured your soul, and in that moment of oblivion, your soul became the monster. Beasts are not born, but reborn, Begotten in a moment of terror by one of the Children of the Dark Mother.”

            These feel very different from the initial premise, to me.

          • How would you describe the initial premise? You can quote the parts that really worked for you, or just paraphrase in your own words- either way, I’m very interested in getting to the fine detail on this because to me there are very similar conceptual details here that are more pivotal than just not liking that you get to choose being a Beast.

          • I think Aiden’s point, boiled down, is that becoming a Beast is a choice on the Beasts part. Red pill versus blue pill. A Beast has a choice in the matter, and the trade-off isn’t convincing: “You want to be the shadow that teaches mortals to fear? Great! Now I just have to eat your soul and shit into the opening!”

            Homecoming takes away the choice, but it’s a more visceral connection. The Beast meets her birth mother, and finally understands those traits that forever set her apart from the family that raised her. The adoptive family is still true and dear, but the “biological” family is a lost reality coming into focus.

            You don’t choose family.

            Maybe it treads too closely Werewolf, though?

          • In fact, thinking about it, I would find it odd for Beasts to all have the same origin story/only come about one way.

          • It’s difficult to put into words, but I’m going to do my best.

            Basically, if a Beast was never human to begin with, awakening to that truth is genuinely liberating. It justifies those feelings of alienation, that sense of always being the outsider, of never being wholly at home in your own life. One imagines a person who, all her life has been asking the question, “What’s wrong with me?” who finally has an answer. “You’ve been trying to live a normal human life with the soul of a monster.”

            In that context, it totally makes sense why they would go from that to trying to build communities of monsters, even trying to convince other types of supernatural monsters that they are relatives. You have family you never realized you had. You didn’t choose it, and maybe you wouldn’t have chosen it if you’d had the choice, but you have Family. You are *begotten*. A Child of the Mother. You can’t help what you are and who your family is; that which you are, you are. But knowing that you are a literal monster, you also do not have to be a figurative one. You have free will even as a monster.

            But with the Devouring, all of that goes out the window. Instead of having had this profound moment of self-discovery, this incredible epiphany where I realized who and what I’ve always been, I’m just another victim who might not even realize it. I was human, and none of those feelings described above were justified. I’m just some poor schmuck who is now trying to make the best of a TERRIBLE Faustian bargain I made. I volunteered to have my SOUL devoured because some monster fed me a nonsense line about ‘teaching lessons from terror,’ which makes me an intensely stupid victim, but a victim nonetheless. It is intensely disempowering, and intensely disappointing.

          • Sorry, I’ve been remiss in responding to comments here.

            The notion of “Beasts are born Beasts” is not going away. Chapters 1 and 2 should be up soon, and you’ll see what I mean. I still don’t understand where this “Faustian” idea came from, because even as presented in the revised Intro it doesn’t remotely say that to me, but then, I wrote it, so I knew what I meant.

            I posted this on the KS comments yesterday:

            “In this moment of epiphany, she sees the face of the Dark Mother. She joins her new Family, a word rich with bittersweet connotations. For the first time, the Beast knows what she is and where the dreams came from. She is not a defective human being. She is not insane. She is a creature of legend.

            The Beast’s eyes snap open. She and the nightmare are one.”

            #amwriting #wip #Beast

          • Okay, to me the initial premise was that Beasts are fundamentally inhuman except for their flesh. Their soul is The Soul, from day one, fresh out of the womb. They were not devoured by anything that turned them into something else. They always were the Beast, they just didn’t realize it yet. I bought into this premise for some time before the actual Kickstarter preview. The idea that for someone becoming a Beast, they were coming home at last.

            In this revision the impression I get is that you’re… not that from the start. Something external to yourself makes you into the Beast. It is not something innate to you, it is something inflicted on you; whether it is something you accepted or not is irrelevant, and not particularly something I’m concerned with.

            The Vampire in this case is simply the fact that an external party came along and facilitated you going from Human to Not Human. I preferred it when Beast was a case of ‘you were always Not Human’.

          • I agree with a lot of the posters, it just seems strange that a monster gives you a choice in the matter instead of them just jumping in and devouring your soul. The Devouring just seems stupid, because it echoes Vampire and Geist. The Homecoming resonates with a lot with me and a lot of people in the Onyx press and RPG net forums. The idea that your soul itself is inhuman adds an alienation factor to it. I think it feels more natural, instead of choosing. It has rubbed a large amount of people the wrong way having your soul being devoured by an alien astral entity and having it replaced, instead of you just being the monster. I really would consider you guys keeping the Homecoming in as opposed to the Devouring. Other than that, most of the stuff looks good.

            I just have been excited about this game since it was announced, and me and my player group saw the new revision and the Homecoming was key to our characters we created, so not only did the Devouring destroy our characters it even destroyed our drive for playing the actual game.

  22. I’ll hold any major criticisms for the final product, but I’m leaning towards liking the original draft a little better.

    I’m also on the fence about ‘Devouring’ vs. ‘Homecoming’. While I vastly enjoy the descriptor of Devouring, the concept feels too much like a Vampire’s Embrace with a choice on the part of the proto-Beast.

    I’m a bigger fan of the ‘Horror’ Devouring the Soul with little say of the Devoured. As a PC, I signed up to play as a Beast, I don’t need a choice in the matter.

    • I also liked the Homecoming much better. At least to me, there was an aura of majesty and mystery associated with the homecoming.

      A Beast offering me a choice and sending me on a mission to teach lessons doesn’t send a shiver down my spine like the homecoming did.

      In one of the other comment sections, I imagined a Beast that thought of itself as Apophis reborn. The Devouring seems to take away this interpretion. Now you are just a fledgling serpent instead of an ancient mythological being from the primordial dream.

      Perhaps the text should just be ambigious here. Are you an ancient horror reborn ? Are you a human who confronted and conquered her nightmares ? Those questions could be worked into the text and both concepts offered as a possible interpretation of what a Beast is. This would allow for a variety of playstyles. Finding the answer to these questions could be the theme of a chronicle by itself.

  23. The Primordial Dream is the well of human experiences? Yes good.
    Heroes explained better? Good good.
    Devouring instead of Homecoming? No.

    Homecoming is what sold me on this game in the first place. Changing it in this way changes the entire game, and not in a good way.

    Why I prefer Homecoming:
    You were always the monster. You knew it through your nightmares, but it wasn’t until your Homecoming that you understood. One could argue that this theme remains with the Devouring, but it’s fundamentally changed.

    You still accept the Beast within you, but now instead of embracing your true self, it’s become some awkward death/rebirth analogy. The Beast is not who you always were, it’s now just some monster lurking in the back of your mind, asking to be fed. That’s not really you anymore, is it?

    Before, it felt like Beast was based more on classic mythology. The dragons raze fields and steal treasure and are hated for it, but that’s simply what dragons do. Heroes came along to slay dragon for the crime of acting according to its nature.

    The dragon now still razes fields and steals treasure, but it’s for the humans’ benefit now?

    Beasts are beasts, nightmares are nightmares… If they must have a purpose… let’s see… The description of the Beast’s nightmares before Devouring were good. Nightmares as warnings makes sense given what we know about them irl, but irl, nightmares are also incredibly personal. There are common themes, utilized in the Nightmares section, but different people find them scary for different reasons. Maybe in their “teaching”, a Beast must find someone receptive to the particular lesson they’re willing to teach, or maybe they have to figure out how to tailor their Nightmares/lessons to their target. Unfocused fear, as I saw someone point out elsewhere, serves no one, except perhaps in feeding the Horror.

    Ah, it seems like I got distracted, but this ties in to my original problem. The purpose of Devouring was to give them a purpose, yes? Personalizing the Nightmares, being choosey about targets, a Beast could come to their own conclusions on what their purpose as a living nightmare is. I guess that was the problem people were having though, wasn’t it? Too much personal choice…

    In the original, you were a monster, that wasn’t a choice. But what you did with your life after realizing that was entirely up to you. It was about the freedom to choose your own destiny and antagonists who could only see one destiny for you. I don’t see how this premise is flawed. Elaborate on Heroes, make them make more sense, make them more obviously villainous, whatever it takes. But why did the Beasts need to change this much?

    I apologize for this being rambly and all over the place, sorry.

    • I’m almost sure that a way to do “Devouring vs Homecoming as need for purpose on character” is to get back to the Homecoming idea and make Older Sibling more as “helping” in the last phase of it by inducing Nightmres or Atavisms on protoBeast, but also leaving place for those protoBeasts that made self-realization on their own. No “death/rebirth” thing, only that your Older Siblings HELP’S YOU UNDERSTAND.

      Also, I’m very found on the “lessons” angle the Beast ARE PUTTTING ON ANIMALISTIC HUNGER of Horrors – the Lessons is what PCs CHOOSE to do with their Hunger, Horror only want to be Fed.

    • A Dragon razing a field and devouring live stock may be both doing it for its hunger and by accident teaching lessons about getting too comfortable I suppose. However in my mind it would make more sense for the idea of teaching through adversity being how the part that is sort of human can tell itself it is doing a benefit. Alternatively there’s another path I find compelling that I don’t find expressed in what parts of the text I’ve read so far: the creation that comes from destruction. The farmer may not directly benefit from the dragon, but perhaps society learns to set a watch and work with their neighbors to have some farmers working in each other’s fields while another is looking towards the horizon. The watcher sounds the alarm and the fields are flooded and the cattle brought under cover. Humanity has been strengthened by the dragon’s selfish hunger and perhaps some part of the dragon must feel a margin of pride that a lesser species has been elevated by it, although that is a small comfort for its empty belly.

  24. There were some interesting thoughts on powers and the Inheritance that I really liked, especially the Primordial Dream. However, Devouring left me confused a bit and Heroes made me wonder where the real threat is.

    First the good: I loved the Inheritance because it reminds me of the Golcanda mechanic for Masquerade. The fact that the Beast can achieve a Nirvana of sorts, but not without some cost, makes me feal that it’s a goal of all Beasts to achieve Incarnate status. The Nightmares and Atavisms can help the Beast gage how far they can bring the lesson’s point home without breaking the “student” in question.

    Now the bad: When I saw that the X-Splat was Family, I imagined the trope of the ancient and uber-rich family being paragons of society, but worship the Dark Mother secretly in hidden chapels and have rituals to induct their offspring into the belief. The Horror is more than just a creature, it’s their Birthright. It’s like how Werewolves and the Wolf-Blooded are treated in Forsaken.
    With how the Devouring is set up, it resembles more like Sin-Eater, but more shallow. I’m saying this because for every Dreamer that agrees to be Devoured to teach the ageless wisdom of the Dark Mother, there will be a hundred of them who would agree to be Devoured because of stupid teen angst. It lessens the purpose as a whole.

    I also didn’t see the Heroes as a Great Threat as well. To a clever and prepared Beast, Heroes are seen nothing more than a nuisance that comes up rarely because of a faux-pas on their part. To put it in perspective, Heroes, as written, are like VII in Requiem. There can be some cause for alarm when they’re around, yet encounters with them are rare enough that the Kindred felt that the politics of the All Night Society held more weight.
    That changed when you introduced the Strix in Second Edition. Here was a creature that sought to destroy the delicate Masquerade that Kindred have established from the beginning and parade them as the monsters that they are, by using proxies from corpses, to living humans, then to their fellow Kindred. And the only way to keep them from unravelling Kindred society was to subject the possessing Strix to the two very things that Kindred fear themselves: Fire and Sunlight. The fear of the Strix and what they entail finally woke the Kindred to the barbarians at their gate.

    I’m hoping that a similar experience would happen to the Begotten. I picture that sometime in the future, something attacks the Dark Mother, nearly killing her. All around the world, Beasts everywhere pause with a sense of fearful dread that they only saw in the eyes of their victims. Their Horrors retreat deep within their Lairs like a scared dog hiding in their doghouse. Who would be powerful enough to overcome the Dark Mother? Hunting will have to wait.

    That’s something to worry about. I hope that Onyx Path will bring that into consideration.

    And as an afterthought, I wonder how the Dark Mother and the Begotten in general will be seen as in the other game lines, since Beast is crossover friendly.

  25. I have pondered how an Integrity trait could be integrated into Beast without taking away the premise that the Beast itself does not care about “morality”.

    The Beast being able to kill and torture indiscriminately without consequences was one of the things that bothers me about this game. I understand that a Beast does not need to do this and can choose to take a different approach, but there is also nothing preventing the beast from taking the darkest path possible.

    In this regard, it also bothered me that even if spawned by such a brutal, uncaring nightmare monsters who just violate people, Heroes would be the just the unsympathetic, selfish persons as discribed in the hero chapters.

    These two issues gave me the idea of “Justifaction” (or however you would call it). Each time the Beast kills, tortures or commits another serious atrocity, the storyteller (or the player) makes a Justifaction roll. A failure does not affect the Beast itself in any way, it can do as it pleases.

    However, a failure on a Justifaction roll means that a hero opposing the Beast grows in power and even may turn into a true paladin of mankind. The hero becomes more ‘justified’ in his quest against the Beast (from the perspective of humanity). His abilities and his resolve increase. After he has accumulated a certain number of points from Justifaction, his story changes. No longer does he represent a broken person who just fills his emptiness with hate. Fate turns a formerly broken person into a true saviour. He even starts getting bonus die on social rolls because other people subconsciously accept him as one that is out there to protect them. Such a paragon is a much more dangerous foe to Beasts. Thus, a wise Beast knows and understands that if you declare unconditional war on humanity, one day a TRUE champion might come knocking on your door.

  26. I’m a backer on the kickstarter and I was sold on the game’s premise from the very beginning by the evocative starting point of Beast: The Primordial regarding the Beast’s Soul always being a part of them from the very beginning and the Homecoming is the Beast coming to terms with that. I loved that starting premise.

    I feel like that has been stripped out from the game now and replaced with a starting premise that is completely different from what I was sold on, what I was told Beast: The Primordial would be and what I was excited to play as.

    The game no longer reads as you being a monster, to me. Instead it reads as you being a soulless human that willingly agreed to let a monster sit inside, where there is no fundamental connection between the monster and the human. And that’s disappointing to me.

    • Homecoming is what convinced me to back as Twin Beasts. I absolutely love the concept/theme.

      The chapter Homecoming in the draft version speaks volumes. Especially this piece:

      A single baleful eye opened, as large as a house, and it was the same strange blue-gray shade as his own. In the light of its dim glow Ben looked on the shape of his Soul as it flowed around him, enveloping him, embracing him, and tears of joy mixed with the salt of the deep. He finally understood. It wasn’t drowning him.
      It was calling him home.

      That’s just the most awesome concept I have ever seen. The Beast is not some monster, It’s who you are. Homecoming to me is finding yourself, walking your own path to become the person you really are.

      I hope that the revised version will have the Homecoming as an alternative way of playing the game. (perhaps an appendix?)

      • This describes very well the reason I backed the project in the first place.

        For me I was hooked because of the Homecoming everything else was gravy.

        The Homecoming seemed to be about finding yourself and accepting yourself. The rest of the game became dealing with the implications of what that meant.

        The change to the Devouring seems to wipe all that away. It was no longer about that self realization it was (As other people described it) now a Red Pill or Blue Pill situation given by an outside force and this made things feel more distasteful.

        Giving the Beast the stated purpose of being The “Teachers” via fear now gives it the feel of there being a Right and a Wrong way to be a Beast. Before it seemed to be more about the character finding their way and trying to decide the right and wrong for themselves. This left a lot of room for complete bastards but that’s part of the experience. While nothing about the new version prevents a character from doing that searching out meaning and purpose for themselves thing, by having an in game Person or even vision of the Dark Mother inform a character that this is their purpose changes the tone of the game too much for me and my friends. The Beasts didn’t need a “Right or Wrong” way to be a Beast and the Dark Mother didn’t need to be providing them with a job. Living is often enough work as it is.

    • Exactly, I feel like this is a bait and switch. I don’t mind the other stuff it’s just the Devouring is just too Vampire for me. I’d like the Homecoming, and if they don’t accept the Beast soul inside them, they become a Hero.

  27. Just had a read and I guess while I’m not offended by the changes, I find them a little bland as I feared I might. It isn’t that the change is bad, but it feels like the game is toned down, having some of its unique perspective removed and replaced with what feels like Lancea et Sanctum; the Horrible Guides.

    This isn’t bad, but I feel tonally I can already play a Beast that wants to teach mankind fear by playing a devout Lancea character in Requiem.

  28. Okay after several readings, I have to say, I love most changes. I love the new purpose of the Primordial Dream, the new Beast and Hero dinamic, the purpose of Beasts, but I didn’t like the Devouring. I really really loved the Homecoming, the moment you realized what you really were, of all the things that could use change for me this wasn’t one. Also I think the introduction tries too much to appease the people who didn’t like the game and push too strong the idea of Beasts teaching through fear as the general atitude. I would prefer if it was instead one of the many philosophies of the Beasts, one that the Pcs would proably take but not the norm.

  29. First, I’d like to give shoutouts to all the work that has been done. The product it evolving through effort and that shows. Thanks so much for producing amazing products and stunning works of horrific fiction! I’d also like to give a big thumbs up for letting us be so close to your creative process; this must take great humility, wisdom, and patience to deal with.

    So much of criticism is about saying what one did not like, so for this I want to talk about (or at least focus on) what I do/did like about Beast in the wake of the Update to the preview on Jun 13. I’d like to talk about what made Beast work for me, and what, therefore, might make it work better.

    I’d first like to directly tackle the change of Soul to Horror and Homecoming to Devouring. I can’t own the idea of being a Beast anymore. If it’s not my soul, but rather a Horror with whom I merge, then I begin the game with a major choice already behind me. It also loosens the experience of getting to deal with the realities of being a Beast. It wasn’t thrust upon me, but I chose it. The idea of the Homecoming, rather than the Devouring, also supports the idea of Family and wholeness for the Beast, but it only lays out the first step of that process of “coming to find your home, or your place in the world.” The remainder of a Beast game could be about the exploration of finding your true place in the world, synthesizing your Life and Legend, your human mind and the Hunger of your Soul.

    In this game, when I originally read it, I wanted to play a monster who had a Hunger in the back of her head. More than in her head, the Hunger was deep down in her Soul. The urge ,whatever it was, was dark and probably tended towards causing suffering. But, in the moment of the Homecoming, that urge was undeniably hers, then and forever. In some ways, that Hunger feels to her as right as breathing. The human mind sitting atop the Soul would likely still have moral choices with which to deal (something I am /glad/ doesn’t have a mechanic in this game). What I liked was the idea that Beasts weren’t good. With human minds, they remembered what ‘good’ was like, but they didn’t necessarily have to choose to be good anymore. In the narrative, I prefer the Beasts to not be apart of teaching humanity a lesson (perhaps as a background element, but more on that later). I would prefer it to not be a choice about teaching the wisdom of fear because I prefer the world where the road to do good is hard. To be a Beast that pities the Hero or restrains her hunger was a very personal choice, not one to be dictated by Societies of Beasts or by her cosmic place. Choosing good in Beast was her choice; she was a little light in the World of Darkness as so many other PCs are.

    The revision’s treatment of Heroes works perfectly, however. Perhaps, cosmically, Beasts do represent fear and a way to refine humanity and perhaps Heroes are the broken reflections of figures that used to represent humanity coalescing around a lesson that fear taught. But I don’t think either side should know this. To leave them in the dark, or even better to leave them speculating, increases the drama for the stories that can be told. I favor the idea of that shared purpose for Heroes and Beasts simply being one philosophy in a big world of Begotten that doesn’t fully know. The Dark Mother is /bigger/ than all of that, and she isn’t telling. Many people voiced complaints about the fact that Heroes are just broken individuals who get pulled into a narrative of violence, but I think that this cosmological view of teaching lessons really allows for that. Humans will either become /more/ (perhaps by shrugging off fear or becoming magical or something), be entirely broken, or fall into Heroism as a reaction to both others sides pulling at them.

    This brings me to what I would like to see in the game. I favor the model of the Homecoming, but there are some places where the game can grow. I see four main themes that really sell the game to me. Fear, Hunger, Exploration, and Family.

    All a Beast’s life is about fear. They grew up having nightmares. Then, in their Homecoming, they realize what they were. There is visceral horror in knowing that you /are/ the fear. If I chose to become the fear, I have much less horror. I am justified, perhaps inherently, if I choose to become a Beast by knowing that I am part of the plan to make humanity stronger and wiser. So, for the theme of Fear, I would like to see more clarity on how the Primordial Dream touches humanity. More clarity or better access to allowing the PD to overlap on the real world, creating incursions of fear in the mundane world. Imposing Lair traits or overlapping the Chambers onto reality with Primordial Pathways is great! Nightmares also support this theme. Either more mechanical or narrative focus on things like that really drives Fear home for me. Perhaps let mortals notice Atavisms in their dreams, later /seeing/ the Beast that harmed someone instead of the fleshy person who appeared to be assaulting someone. Perhaps that can /also/ be a generating point for a Hero? And perhaps some nascent Beasts started to manifest the signs of Nightmares and Atavisms before realizing what they were; the dread powers that define them bleed into their lives before they understand.

    Every Beast has one. It’s not a choice (at least I hope it’s not a choice in the end product). It’s not even cerebral. It is a bone deep need as much as eating or breathing for a human. The Hunger isn’t a purpose, it simply /is/. We all have urges and needs, so this allows drama around urges that aren’t so savory. To Kill or Hoard is a gnawing /need/ for a Beast. However, the use of inherent Hungers (which, while ever present, could change as the Beast grows, I suppose) highlights the need for a Beast to have purpose. The purpose they choose has a lot to do with Exploration and Family. The Hunger needs to be fed, but PC Beasts aren’t /only/ their Hungers, or they would end up quickly as one of the Rampant or Unfettered. So the Hunger is a contrast to their humanity, which doesn’t have a mechanic other than the Life trait. This is great! It allows a Beast to explore exactly how they want to be human, if at all. Perhaps some are just plain /evil/ by our definitions. Some struggle, but I prefer it as a player choice that is fluid and without mechanic. As I like to think in terms of real results, perhaps delving into the Life trait a bit more would work. Or perhaps in the fiction merely spotlight the fact that Beasts can make any choice about being a monster or not, with little consequence to them other than distance from humanity. The road to good is hard.

    After the Homecoming, a Beast isn’t finished. They have to journey to feed the Hunger. They can find solace in making or finding a sense of Family. They can even journey towards an Inheritance. If a Beast makes a choice to become a Beast, rather than experiencing the Homecoming, they have a great deal of their Bestial journey behind them. Most importantly, a Beast undergoing the Devouring already has an established place in the world. In some ways, even if they are shunned, they are truly at “home.” If they start where they should be, then their journey has little to show them about their place in the world or what they really are. My proposal for keeping the material in the revision while keeping the theme is this: Allow Beasts to come to believe they have a cosmological place in the world to spread the wisdom of fear (maybe they do, maybe they don’t), but don’t let it be inherent knowledge. Play up the idea that a Beast is /going/ towards something. Those Hungers generate lots of beats and that drives them towards being stronger, gaining an Inheritance, or even carving out a place for their Family to explore Kinship with their cousins of the World of Darkness.

    I saved this for last because it is simultaneously all around the Beast, and something that I feel a Beast is constantly seeking. In fact, it seems to be a good goal for the journey of the Beast. Family dinner and Kinship powers make forging those connections worthwhile. Family is the Beast’s main splat, but family is something they gain and lose. They likely have to run from their relatives after their Homecoming, to keep them from dwindling away or being hurt by the nightmares around them, or even to keep them from becoming Heroes. Heroes, themselves, form a sort of pitiable family. We can, as Beasts, turn to our supernatural cousins for solace and to make sating our Hungers easier. Even Inheritance contains familial language and tones as you become part of a different family of monsters. The Homecoming is a moment of clarity where the Beast accepts herself, but it is not the end of the journey. The whole rest of their journey towards a sense Family or Inheritance is about echoing the Homecoming; it is about learning to accept the reality of being a Beast. They started with Family, with knowing that they are, but Family is also where you feel at home. In a way, between their Lair, and Family, and Heroes, and Kinship, Beast feels like a game about trying to find /home/. (In contrast to Prometheans trying to find humanity, a Beast wants a place to /be/.)

    … Other thoughts:
    I would love to see the content in the revision regarding the origin and purpose of Beast be used, not as a definite thing that Beasts know, but as a potential path on their understanding of purpose beyond Hunger. Perhaps becoming Incarnate could also be achieved by realizing your place in the world of Primordial fears, instead of simply by making a Hero a footnote in your story. Perhaps the Incarnate can /cause/ a Devouring as an alternate origin to a Beast (adopting people into the family), as the preview already mentions the idea that the Incarnate could give the Unfettered or Rampant a new lease on life. They could transfer a Soul to Devour a human who already has a connection to the Primordial Dream.

    In short, I /love/ the work that has been done and all the attention that Matt, Rose, and Rich have been giving this game. It has pleased me, as a consumer, avid gamer, and lover of the fiction of the WoD in particular. I look forward to seeing more, and thanks for reading!

    • You have said it well, hopefully with the amount of people saying they like the Homecoming better, they’ll change it back. Joining a family doesn’t seem like a family. Facing what you really are and finding out you have a family sounds more adventurous to me.

  30. I like a lot of what’s here, but if the change from Homecoming to Devouring sticks, I’m probably going to ignore it. I preferred Beasts that were simple always Beasts. A few people have said it on the forums, but I fee it bears reiterating when I say that where the Homecoming conveys a sort of relief, and acceptance of who you are, the Devouring is akin to suicide, allowing something to destroy your soul and replace it with something else entirely. Instead of growing up and accepting your legacy as part of the family you never knew, you’re basically married into some whacked-out backwoods cult-family, and that takes away a lot of the theme of family for me.

    I’m also not a big fan of Beast-as-teacher, mostly because it doesn’tseem to jive with everything we’ve seen to this point. Obviously, that could change, but I liked Beasts when they weren’t expected to teach anything.

    • I’m in agreement. I was really disappointed with the Beasts as Teachers bit. I liked my Beast being just that, a Beast. Vampires must feed, Werewolves must hunt, beasts must… teach? It just didn’t feel right. Overall I like some of the updates that were put into the revision, but as a whole product I’d rather use the original document instead of watering down the beast and elevating the “heroes”.

  31. In the Devouring / Homecoming debate, I’m on the side off the Homecomers. However, I agree that the Devouring answered the question of how the Beast a made in the first place…

    Keeping in mind that A) in the nWoD the soul is not the same thing as the “personality” of a person (as Mage and the Soulless Condition can attest) and B) this is OUR game (as the “This is YOUR game” rule clearly states!), I think I found a way to have both the Devouring and the Homecoming.

    When the Horror Devour a soul, he must rest and enter a Slumber that can takes years to shake off. The personality change, the Nightmare haunts the proto-Beast, and he’s becoming… alienated from humanity. In adult, it may seems that the character suffered a breakdown (and maybe a personality shift.)

    But the Horror ca also Devour a child. In fact, it may be easier for them (less baggage..) And that child will grow up with the feeling that he’s different.

    The Homecoming then is the moment when both the Horror is awake (and Hungry) and when the Beast understand what he is, and make the choice to accept the truth about himself. He finally understand what he is, and once he accept it, he’s now a Begotten (and he can’t go back…)

  32. If a Horror can Devour and “birth” other Beast, does that mean that my character can accidently create another Beast?

  33. ( i have trouble writing in English but this topic is one that I felt strong enough about to try, so bear with me)

    I want to start off saying that I think yall are doing an awesome job with Beast. I enjoyed the kickstarter release so much I had to back it and get a copy. The only part I wasn’t that into were how the heroes were handled, The revisions helped with that. Though the change to the Devouring bothered me. A lot of others have already pretty much describe how I feel about, I just want to add my feelings. The idea that your soul is/has always been a monster means more to me.Also that your Hunger is yours instead of some other creature’s that lives inside you.

  34. I’ve coughed up some money for this one and so far I rather enjoy the draft. Even thinking about how best to insert a collector into my mage game.

    That said I do think that more direction for the monsterous beast is a wonderful idea either in the form of a society to navigate or a mission in life beyond keeping their bellies full.

    Evil for the sake of evil does get a little dull after a while.

    It would also be good to see more examples of feeding hunger that, while sinister, did not result in bloodshed and torture against defenceless humans.

    I worry it will be like vampires feeding. Sure you play it out a couple of times but it quickly becomes a bit repedative and you move it to the background for the most part while you get on with the courtly intrigue and betrayal.

    I am far more interested in a Tyrant beast who collects black mail evidence on powerful people, not for money mind you, just so he can give them a call and lets them know that someone knows and savour the fear as it rolls in.

    Anyway I don’t want to sound like a ingrate even if I got the book now as is it would be worth the money but I am hopeful the revisions will give us something we can get more millage out of.

    • in the tyrant family examples there is just the Anakimthat is physically hurting anyone, and she usually just does mental challenges. the ugallu is climbing the corporate ladder and the Adrain king character takes over business(I think).

      This isn’t to you Thatguy. I think that the Hunger provides enough of something to do. It feels more natural then being a lesson teacher.

  35. On the Homecoming/Devouring change, I’m thinking a mix between the two might be a possibility.

    Consider: You’ve had nightmares all your life, and one night, the monstrous thing you’ve been catching faint glimpses of, finally appears to you and explains that you are one of it’s Family, finally Awakening into a new incarnation. You have one last dream of being prey, before becoming the Horror.

  36. A caveat, I am trying not to spoil myself till the final draft too, so I’m going by the summary here and on the YMMV page on TV Tropes.

    Keep the Homecoming. The purpose of fear is a fantastic theme. But it is founded on the deeper question of what exactly choice IS in the face of instinct. Who are we after everyone and EVERYTHING that came before us? Take the ambiguity of those questions for both Beasts and Heroes and play it to the hilt. Given the amount of discussion generated already, it has proven mileage.

    ‘No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.’

    Like I said, I get a real Jungian vibe here and I like it.

  37. For the devouring part (if it stays). Will there also be comments to that in the rules section (in case someone wants to try to get a NPC to become a beast)? Or is it planed to be only as a fluff of sorts?

    Also for the whole homecoming / devouring discussion: From what I read from all the comments it looks to me there is some confusion in what regards those that become beasts are different from normal people. If they are “protobeasts” already their whole life (thus their soul is compatible enough to be devoured and the gap is replaced by the horrror) or if the difference to normal people is just that they dream deeper.

  38. Due to the successful effort to remind us that Onyx Path us not a monolithic robot that churns out books, I will say for the record that I prefer Homecoming by a big margin, am uncomfortable with Beasts as teachers but I don’t think that the revised version I’d objectively bad. I would still play the revised version. I prefer my Beasts to be just a bit more ambiguous and left to find their own reason to exist and to have always been a sleeping dragon. Perhaps the other revisions will muddy the moral waters a bit and shed some light on how murky the Beasts own understanding of their ecological niche is. There is a lot more content and I will withhold speculation about the tone of the game until there is more to go on.

  39. The whole “Devouring” concept feels off to me: If being “Devoured” wasn’t a choice, the name would make more sense. This would be a lot like the “Hollows” from the anime Bleach; people (or ghosts) who have had an essential part of their being, their “Soul” consumed by a monster, then BECOME the same kind of monster. (Cycle of abuse metaphor) Great for generating some horrifying, yet somewhat sympathetic antagonists for that series, (or for Geist) but not what I think the Devs had in mind for Beast. Choosing to be “Devoured” feels, as Malonkey1 said above, like a form of suicide. “Homecoming” on the other hand, reminds me of CWoD’s Changeling the Dreaming, and that makes Beasts a lot more interesting not only to me, but my Troupe.

  40. I really wish I could say that this revision leaves me more excited for Beast: The Primordial than before, but if I’m honest, it doesn’t.
    I feel like Homecoming had significantly more emotional heft to it than Devouring does. I much prefer Homecoming to Devouring.
    Furthermore, the opening fiction preceding the Introduction makes far less sense, if the Devouring was something accepted later in life, rather than Ben having been a Beast all along.
    Thinking about it, I think that what you’re experimenting with in Beast may be the root of some of the difficulties.
    Personally, I don’t think a Beast’s Hungers are any worse than, say, a Vampire’s need to feed on blood. I’m not sure why people find Hungers so objectionable but not feeding on blood. I, personally, have no objection to the lack of an Integrity/Humanity analogue, but I feel like without it, the people who find Hungers objectionable see a vampire with the brakes torn out.
    I can’t say I’m all that excited for the new angle in a Beast’s purpose. I realize Beast is supposed to be a game without social splats/a social splat axis (forgive me if I’m not using the right terminology here), but its introduction leaves me feeling a little like in lieu of that, we’ve been given just one social splat for the whole gameline, leaving out even the choice Masquerade Vampires had between Camarilla, Sabbat, and the Anarchs.
    If I have more specific thoughts about Heroes and the Primordial Dream as I digest the Introduction, I’ll add my thoughts.

  41. I can work with most of the changes, although I would have been fine with Beast as it was before.

    That being said, I find that Devouring is a terrible idea, far to close to the vampiric embrace, robbing Beast(s) of a very singular and powerful concept that was far better served by the Homecoming.

    At this point, my dislike is mostly an emotional reaction; to much control in the “birth” of a beast; more Green Lantern gifted with power than Grendel being born with it.

  42. I read over the pdf that is linked and reading over it. I had the same reaction I did to mummy and Demon… As I read I get pumped that this is a new interesting supernatural, and how it seems that the Beast is going to be this powerful creature that is going to be on the same level as other supernatural creatures in the new world of darkness. But as with Mummy and Demon before it, I get to the powers these creatures have and there are so few… and they are kind of lack luster at best. And that makes me rather sad. There is nothing her that makes me think they will be a challenge to the other supernatural creatures in the world, and if I Hunger for Punishment, sometimes that punishment is going to be another supernatural, and I just don’t see the Beast standing much of a chance against them. I really like the idea and concept, I just wish they had the power I think they should have.

    • You’re kidding. A starting character can flood an are with acid, do aggravated damage, literally tear someone limb from limb, remove a target’s soul, have Cyclopean Strength, etc. I’d be worried about the other supernaturals standing up to them.

  43. Just wanted to say that although I’m still supporting the project on kickstarter, the change from Homecoming to Devouring is incredibly disappointing, and removes one of the most compelling things about becoming a Beast – the realization that it is what you always were. I vastly prefer the self-discovery of the Homecoming to the weirdly hamfisted “blue pill vs red pill” situation of the Devouring. It’s just… thematically weird.

    I like that some Beasts have come to believe they are actually helping humanity. Culling the herd. Teaching the lessons of fear. Making it stronger through conflict. It’s total self-serving nonsense, but it’s precisely the sort of thing a monster might say to justify its hunger. Not so sure about it flat out being the reason Beasts exist, but I like it as an in-universe explanation that some believe.

  44. The one thing I want to know wasn’t in the original version anyway… namely, whether Beasts have the same problem with Offspring as they do with their Demonic parents. On the one hand, Offspring (and Latents and Fractals) are fundamentally human, just with Limited Demonic Powers. But on the other hand, these powers make them a prime target of interest for and give them direct ties to the God-Machine, which the Dark Mother seems to despise with every fiber of her being. So… in this brave new world, which hath such creatures in it, where do the half-breeds fit?


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