I realize that not everyone has access to the Beast Book, which is where a lot of the information about crossover chronicles are. Because Sineater 2E isn’t out yet and Vampire 2E came out earlier, I thought it made sense to put the general theme of Beasts as well as the themes of how they might interact as a quick primer.
I figure we’re leaving act I of the story now and it’s increasingly important (IMO) that we know the narrative themes we’re working with. If you want to actually read more about it, I think the pdf is available on the document page.
In any crossover game, a Beast’s primary role should be to subvert, challenge, and otherwise change the narrative. That’s not to say that Beasts should be hogging the spotlight or dragging the story off the rails to follow their own whims; rather, just as a straight Beast chronicle challenges the classic “hero slays the monster” narrative, the introduction of the Children into other chronicles should look at the themes and expectations of, for example, “a vampire story” and cast new light on them. Just as the best monsters of fable tell us something about ourselves, the best crossovers tell us something about our other monsters.
With its themes of hunger, monstrosity, and the slow descent from human into something else, Vampire is perhaps the most natural fit for a crossover game with Beast. Kindred and Children behold a twisted mirror of themselves in each other. But where vampires struggle to hold onto their Humanity in the face of their unquenchable thirst, Beasts can only hope to embrace their place in the Primordial Dream. Bring Beasts into your Vampire chronicle when you want to show what it looks like when a monster gives into its nature and truly recognizes its place in the world. Vampires sometimes speak of a semi-mythical state called Golconda, in which the vampire achieves transcendent balance between his human soul and his monstrous nature. A vampire seeking Golconda might see a Beast as a potential guru, whether the Beast is interested in serving as a bodhisattva or not. On the other hand, Beasts can serve as a cautionary tale: a monster at peace with itself is still a monster. Kindred struggling to keep their Humanity intact see in the Children an image of what they stand to become, and what they stand to lose.
While they have very different origins, the Bound and the Children find common ground in the unique dual nature of their souls. Both must struggle to reconcile their living, human identity with the monstrous Other, be it powerful ghost or primal Horror. In the Beast, a Sin-Eater sees the chance of reconciliation and union with her geist, a state beyond Synergy wherein life and death are in perfect balance. In the Bound, the Beast sees the representation of a kindred spirit: not an archetype of fear, but an archetype of death. And fear and death, after all, are two ticks of the same clock.
From a Beast’s perspective, mages are the one child in a family who went to college; she comes to family gatherings with her mind on experiences she can’t share and vocabulary her kin can’t understand. Her family feels threatened, and she feels alienated by their reaction. A Beast who takes the time to explore his Kinship with the Awakened finds they have more in common than they think — a shared fascination with primal symbolism, the human soul, and a burning ever-present hunger. A mage’s addiction to Mystery is just as potent as a Beast’s own Hunger, and both Beast and mage grow more powerful by experiencing the strange and uncanny — the Beast incorporating it into his Lair and the mage adding it to the symbolic knowledge making up her Gnosis.