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YMMV / Beast: The Primordial

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The general premise of Beast being "you're a living nightmare who feeds on the horror of other people, whether you want to or not" may be off-putting to potential players in its own right. The addition of things like the "teach them through fear" angle from the corebook has also led to outbursts.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the huge Broken Base below, the Kickstarter has entered revisions to give the Beasts more of a society of their own and remove the Heroes' leather pants (ironically by giving them more of a sympathetic side).
    • After complaints about Heroes being portrayed as one-dimensional strawmen, the final version of the book got a small paragraph establishing that yes, good Heroes who actually listen to reason, hunt down only malevolent supernaturals and help humanity in an actually productive way do exist- they just rarely cross paths with Beasts because they resist the urge to hunt them down, and as such aren't mentioned here. One of the sample Heroes, Sleeping Beauty, even was slightly retooled to make it clear she wasn't a sociopath. Conquering Heroes then came up, and provided multiple sample Heroes with more varied shades of grey, including ones with decent levels of Integrity.
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    • The Insatiable from Conquering Heroes were probably introduced as an attempt to give new antagonists (there were previously only the Heroes as real obstacles) who genuinely were eviler than the Begotten, in response to the complaints about Heroes being the only opponents offered in the book and being too sympathetic. They also bring some diversity and additional lore to satisfy those complained about the book having too little variety in its antagonists and a lore too small to stand of its own.
    • Similarly, in answer to the lack of lore to stand of its own in the corebook, the Beast Player's Guide focuses on fleshing out the Beasts themselves and their culture, dedicating several sections to describe Beast society, their relationship to the Dark Mother, their various factions, and things to do in their campaign other than feeding and avoiding Heroes.
  • Broken Base: The game earned a lot of controversy, even back when only the playtest versions and developmental teasers were revealed:
    • The Begotten's mythical background and claiming other monsters as their kin has led to either praising for opening tons of potential for crossovers, or complaints of their personal mythology lacking personal identity and being a bit overbearing. This was partially addressed with the rework since the early editions.
    • A very vocal complaint accusing the designers of shoehorning a hamhanded "minorities vs. oppressors" and/or "intolerance is morally wrong" motif into the game design via the Beast/Hero conflict repeatedly makes the rounds.
      • Often made worse by observations that, if this is the case, it's a fundamentally Broken Aesop, since Beasts are monsters and do terrorize people just by existing. Although it should be noted that Heroes are created by — and find it easier to locate — Beasts with consistently low Satiety. I.e. the ones who have done less to victimize people in order to feed and have held off feeding for so long that they have starved their Soul and forced it to go hunting on its own. Beasts who indulge in their hunger, on the other hand, are less likely to trip the Hero's radar.
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    • Early versions of the backer draft seemed to focus heavily on Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?, with many people reading Beasts as an allegory for the LGBT community... which many readers felt lead to Unfortunate Implications given the intensely harmful and destructive nature of Beasts. The authors revised it to remove this implication (among other changes), saying it was unintentional, but in general the changes lead to a further multi-way Broken Base between people who felt the changes adequately addressed the initial complaints, people who felt it didn't go far enough, people who felt the changes were unnecessary in the first place, and people who felt the changes entirely missed the point.
    • One Broken Base was started because some people had bought into Beast specifically because they saw it as relevant to such issues, which the rework seemed to have toned down. Where previously a human became a Beast by accepting the Beastly Soul they always had, coming into touch with their true nature, now they agree to have their souls devoured and replaced by a Beastly Horror. The game proper has a middle-ground however; it's not unheard of for Beasts to find their Horror as their true selves without guidance, and In-Universe Beasts debate whether they were always that way or not. Players are free to choose either approach.
    • Then there's the argument of whether Beasts' new cultural belief that their purpose is to teach wisdom through fear is a great way to make them relatively productive members of society while feeding their Hunger, or just gives them a new mandate to hurt people. The argument tends to skirt around the fact that Beasts can get feed their Hunger by simply watching another supernatural feed their own "hunger", such as a Changeling gathering Glamour from someone, and that other supernaturals (such as vampires and werewolves) can be far more lethal in feeding their own Horror Hunger. This actually gets discussed in-universe with The Union blurb comparing this to mundane abusers "teaching" in the same way.
  • Critical Backlash: Judging by how violent some people are toward this game and the hatedom it has assembled, you'd be forgiven if you assume it was the worst gameline ever. In truth, there are actually fans who acknowledge the game has creative ideas and is enjoyable, or even enjoy it and admit many of its flaws can easily be mended, ignored or otherwise fixed by a competent storyteller.
  • Designated Hero: While most games in Chronicles of Darkness have in general been about playing monsters with various shades of Villain Protagonists, Beast rubbed many fans the wrong way in how some of the titular creatures have a pretense of being a positive force to humanity by "teaching lessons" through fear, which many perceived as them merely giving themselves an excuse to justify the harm they cause.
  • Draco in Leather Pants / Ron the Death Eater: Heroes and Beasts have both received both treatments from fans already, though it tends to be more likely to be Hero = Draco and Beast = Ron. Many readers also accuse the game itself of giving Beasts a Draco in Leather Pants treatment, and (to a lesser extent) Heroes a Ron the Death Eater treatment. Beasts especially get the Ron the Death Eater treatmant to an insane level: many fans seem absolutely convinced that the entire species is made of Fully Embraced Fiends who revel in their cruelty and are the most evil species in Chronicles of Darkness. While some Beasts do fit this description, their personalities and moralities are just as varied as anyone else (this is in fact reflected by one of the game's themes being "no neat little boxes"), the books provide plenty of example being Reluctant Monsters who seek less harmful ways to feed, and they are no less prone to evil than any of the other supernatural critters in the setting.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Nemeses seem to be the most popular Hunger among fans, seeing how it's the easiest to channel in a positive way.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Beasts have an entire set of rules specifically designed to cooperate with other supernaturals in order to encourage crossovers, which can be fun to try adapting to fan-supplements. After all, wouldn't you be interested to think about how Beasts would interact with Geniuses, Princesses or Leviathans?
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the Hunter: The Vigil splatbook for Beast, a Hunter explicitly compares Beasts' attitude that their need to feed is perfectly natural and that they're doing their victims a favor anyway to an elementary school teacher who had molested him as a child, possibly echoing concerns of real life detractors about the Unfortunate Implications surrounding the game line. Beast's head writer Matt McFarland was later fired by Onyx Path and RPGnet in the wake of child molestation charges.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Beasts and Heroes. To wit:
    • Beasts are a race of mythical monsters in human skin, and even from birth have the urge to dominate, destroy, and devour. That instinct comes packaged with a human conscience, and even after Devouring and their imminent acceptance they've never been really human, it remains. To make it worse, following their urges actually is the best option, as if they don't feed, their Horror will take the initiative and Mind Rape humans in their dreams, whether the Beasts themselves want it or not. Quite simply, they're what happens when an Always Chaotic Evil species is aware of what they are, and hate it.
    • Heroes are (usually) psychotic (always) narcissists who will cheerfully ignore logic, reality, and common sense if it means they were always right all along. They got this way because, frankly, being a Hero is all they have; before they picked up the quest, they were fundamentally broken individuals who were so desperate to have a self-identity that "killing monsters that look like people" was about the only thing that could let them not be themselves. Some Heroes are genuine villains and entitled brats with guns, but the majority, as mentioned by the Storytelling chapter, should come with an incredible dose of ambivalence for this person who has no lines he won't cross, and yet desperately needs you (you being a Beast, who likely created him) to feel some sense of worth.
  • Never Live It Down: Many of the criticisms this game gets were actually aimed at the earlier preview, and were either removed or toned down in the final version of the book, yet fans still complain about them when listing the reasons they dislike this game. Most notably:
    • Heroes being Beasts' victims who got transformed by the abuse they suffered has long been dropped in favor of making them people with a sensitivity to the disturbances of the Primordial Dream, and they no longer are all narcissistic irredeemable sociopaths with low Integrity; in fact, Conquering Heroes features several of them with high Integrity and who never got abused by Beasts before they got their abilities. Yet detractors still usually think of their earlier version when they complained about them being Strawmen and Designated Villains.
    • While the infamous "teaching Lessons" was added later through rewriting, the final version of the book makes it clear not all Beasts adhere to this way of thinking, that some of them just use it as an excuse and that it doesn't necessarily make them in the right (one of the texts in the book involves a Mummy questioning whether humans even still need to learn these lessons at this point and suggest Beasts are just Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life).
    • In general, Beasts being Designated Heroes. The final draft of the book admits that while the book is focused on their perspective, and as such tries to portray them as sympathetic, they can sometimes really be evil, and neither them nor Heroes are necessarly right— at the end of the day, it's up to the players if they want to play their characters as straight villains or Reluctant Monsters.
  • Older Than They Think: The infamous "Teach them through fear" concept which caused so much fan outcry actually already was present in Vampire: The Requiem in one of the playable Covenants, the Lancea Sanctum. Admittedly, the concept was less focused on than in Beast, but still, there never were any similar backlash toward the Sanctum.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Anyone around a Beast can potentially become a Hero, including relatives and loved ones. Both the main rulebook and Conquering Heroes provide multiple examples of Beasts whose best friends, lovers, or family members turned Heroes and almost immediately tried to kill them on the spot, no matter how good their relationships previously were: Marian Jones immediately went from loving, perfect Housewife to trying to murder her son the moment her transformation happened, and Daniel Greene immediately killed his beloved boyfriend upon his.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After complains about Heroes being too one-dimensional and Unintentionally Sympathetic, the final version of the book retooled them to clarify not all of them were self-imbued sociopaths, and Conquering Heroes explored a bit more what makes them, giving them more depth and complex sample characters in the process. Many fans are starting to feel their concept has officially been redeemed compared to earlier drafts.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Some fans dislike the "Family Dinner" for allowing Beasts to feed through watching other supernatural beings (without any consent or awarness needed), which they feel is broken in gamelines where gaining points of their "fuel" stat is meant to take effort and entail risk. This isn't an universal opinion, though; some fans feel it gives a good alternative to feeding through hurting people, and argue the input in Satiety is minimal compared to actual feeding, not to mention only useful in crossover chronicles.

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