[Let’s Study Beast: the Primordial] Part 6: Heroes

Posted: June 16, 2016 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Beast: the Primordial, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness
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If the player characters take on the role of the monsters in Beast: the Primordial, then it only stands to reason that their opponents should be Heroes.

Heroes are similar to the Beasts in the sense that they too experienced the Nightmares of the Primordial Dream. But instead of surrender and The Devouring, the Heroes acknowledge these as opponents, things to confront, defeat or destroy.

This manifests as an obsession. Heroes are flawed in the sense that to a normal bystander, they’re obsessive psychopaths hell bent on the murder of their chosen target. While the Beast hides in the guise of people, the Hero sees through the illusion, and is driven to put an end to the monster.

THE MAKINGS OF A HERO

Heroes in Beast are not normal people, and this is reflected in turn with a few intresting advantages.

Hard to Kill

Heroes are surprisingly hardy against damage, and do not suffer the Beaten Down Tilt and never Surrender to a Beast unless they can turn that around as a chance to kill the Beast.

Heroes are immune to mundane illnesses and never require medical attention for injuries. When injured, a Hero heals at accelerated rates.

Legend and Life

Heroes have a Legend and Life trait, like Beasts do. A Hero’s Life regains 1 Willpower when they put themselves or their mission at risk to break with the narrative of a Hero and act in accordance of what is humane.

A Hero’s Legend on the other hand gains 1 Willpower by acting like a Hero. They regain all Willpower by pursuing a Beast into a risky or unfamiliar situation where are at a disadvantage.

Heroic Tracking & Stalking

Given their targets, Heroes have a knack for being able to find and follow their chosen foes. Heroes zone in on Beast activity and given time, a Hero can track down the Beast and eventually start gathering information on it.

Anathema

Heroes triumph by identifying the bane of a Beast, secret weaknesses that can enable a Hero to stop a beast more powerful than them. System-wise, a Hero is able to apply an Anathema to a beast, in the form of a condition. This will only work on a Sated beast, one that isn’t too hungry or too full.

These Anathema can take multiple forms from a Bane, to Entrancement, Phobias, Rage, Weak Spots or even weaknesses to a specific weapon.

Gifts

In addition to all of the above, Heroes can also gain Gifts, which are specialized means to enhance themselves. These range from being able to discover a powerful weapon meant to slay a beast, or some means to follow a beast through to their Lairs.

I know the Heroes are meant to be the nemesis of the Beasts. Their very nature compels them to hunt down the characters and obsess over killing them for the good of mankind. It’s a classic role and subverting it by making them broken people trying to commit murder adds a particularly nasty twist to it.

At the same time, you know that the ugly truth is that the Heroes, however driven to take on questionable methods, aren’t completely wrong. While at the same time they’re not right in their methods too.

It’s an ugly struggle that has been the narrative of many, many stories over and over again. And that’s probably what makes it tragic. I would probably play up Heroes as otherwise normal people who slowly lose themselves in their obsession. But I am a little worried that my players won’t appreciate the tragic nature of these opponents.


Interested in checking out Beast: the Primordial? You can grab a PDF for only $19.99 over at DriveThruRPG!

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Comments
  1. I’d have to agree with you. i’ve been following an in nomine blog that actually highlights this issue as a “smokescreen” problem. while showing abusive urges can definitely highlight a cultural issue the real problem is that gm’s that have trouble “reclaiming the problematic elements” end up using the behavior instead of showing it’s consequences. i have a friend named Mo Holkar that is writing an essay on disarming oppression in rpgs this august and my friend christiania stiles has a friend working on kids content issues in rpgs as well. i think waiting for better authors to adress the dark themes i’m looking for is better than using a book that has “too many chefs” issues in its metaphorical horror framework.

  2. I’m afraid I don’t quite understand which part you’re referring to. Was it something I typed? @_@ English isn’t my primary language (I’ve lived all my life in the Philippines) so I could very well be wrong somewhere.

    • i meant to post on the concluding review, but it somehow ended up here. the overall beast system is good at modelling a cycle of violence & abuse, but the problem is actually the lack of forethought on what the mechanics mean. the article i was referencing is an education on the difference between confronting the problem through gaming it out and using the “tools” provided by the problem (using nemesis to teach about unjust punishment vs. punishing someone in the game because nemesis needs to be feed, just as an example). the article doesn’t talk about beast specificlly but the point it gets across is the same, legitimate violence without legitimate consequences is the same as just letting the prejudice grow without speaking out against it.

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