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How much do the Bone Gnawers factor into vampire behaviors?

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  • How much do the Bone Gnawers factor into vampire behaviors?

    Do vampires have some sort of understanding that the homeless population is off the menu? Do they consider sections of the city with large amounts of homeless people to be a de facto part of the forest? Does anyone, even the Nos and Gangrel, ever claim domain over areas that include clusters of homeless people?

  • Mizu
    replied
    About as much as they should worry about it turning out that the person they are trying to snack on is going to turn out to be a mage and start throwing fireballs at them? Its pretty unlikely unless a player goes out of their way to look for one/has really annoyed the ST.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    Originally posted by Random Goblin View Post
    For me the question is how much do I want them to factor into vampire situations in my game? It makes sense that the canonical answer is at best ambiguous--you can run a Vampire game without involving Werewolves at all if you want, and I think that's right and should be an option. But if you want them? The potential existence of Bone Gnawers, Glass Walkers, and Black Spiral Dancers in urban environments means you have more to play with that's a little bit outside of the box. You don't have to be running a crossover game to have a Bone Gnawer sept or a pack of Glass Walkers rubbing up against whatever your Vampire PCs are doing. You don't even really have to use the words "Bone Gnawers." But if you want them in your game you have a great template for potential allies, adversaries, competition, or obstacles in your city's landscape, with their own set of wants and needs that open up interesting avenues of gameplay.

    Are you talking about V5? If you are talking about V20 or revised, getting your players to butt heads with werewolves is a sure way to end the game prematurely by TPK.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    All this problems are inherently tied to the metaplot as a whole so short of going the way requiem did and getting rid of it altogether, I would only use the core book for whatever gameline I plan to run (a single gameline, you couldn't pay me enough to try and run an oWoD multisplat game) and ignore the rest, the campaign is set in New York? Fuck it, unless the core says otherwise then vampires/werewolves/whatever are the majority and the others are non existent or present in such small numbers to be insignificant.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I don't think anyone here really disagrees with the idea that the games "should" provide a level of ambiguity that allows multiple approaches without running afoul of individual table desires as much as possible. Running VtM with zero input from WtA, to full crossover chronicles, should in theory be a fully supported spectrum for the WoD.

    The issue at hand though, is that it's really easy to make the case that the WoD is structured very poorly (both in setting and mechanics) to facilitate that spectrum.

    Leave a comment:


  • Random Goblin
    replied
    For me the question is how much do I want them to factor into vampire situations in my game? It makes sense that the canonical answer is at best ambiguous--you can run a Vampire game without involving Werewolves at all if you want, and I think that's right and should be an option. But if you want them? The potential existence of Bone Gnawers, Glass Walkers, and Black Spiral Dancers in urban environments means you have more to play with that's a little bit outside of the box. You don't have to be running a crossover game to have a Bone Gnawer sept or a pack of Glass Walkers rubbing up against whatever your Vampire PCs are doing. You don't even really have to use the words "Bone Gnawers." But if you want them in your game you have a great template for potential allies, adversaries, competition, or obstacles in your city's landscape, with their own set of wants and needs that open up interesting avenues of gameplay.

    Leave a comment:


  • Devidramoth
    replied
    Having run VtM, i read the w20 book with certain expectations of what does and doesn't t-off garou.

    Having read W20, Umbra, World of Rage and Kinfolk, it seems as though, for most garou, most of the time, killing low level leeches is maybe a good way to earn some temporary renown and other than that there are bigger fish to fry.

    Older or higher ranked Garou have more reason to live and let live because they know what a pain in the butt it can be to get caught up in a long term contest with wyrm-creatures that can have such long and specific grudges. Exceptions abound where it turns out that garou are pretty good at long term grudges themselves, see Silent Striders and Shadow Lords

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  • Lysander
    replied
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
    Do vampires have some sort of understanding that the homeless population is off the menu? Do they consider sections of the city with large amounts of homeless people to be a de facto part of the forest? Does anyone, even the Nos and Gangrel, ever claim domain over areas that include clusters of homeless people?

    I doubt that most kindred have any clue about who the Bone Gnawers are among the lupine society. They don't hang out sipping tea and eating biscuits and most high clans would view the homeless as belonging to the Nosferatu.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    Bone Gnawers aren't everywhere.
    There's a lot of Gnawers by the books, and they have one of the largest kin populations on top of that. There might not be any Garou in Stony Point, but I find it a tough case to make that there's zero Gnawer kin, and none of them are kenning, and thus they couldn't give their big city cousins a call for some back up if they needed it. The Garou are capable of traveling very quickly in a large number of ways. Getting to a town an hour north of the city to deal with some young punk leeches is something a pack of Gnawers could handle in less than a day with ease (and it's not like some powerful Elders are going to be causing that sort of trouble).

    2) Bone Gnawer numbers are overstated. A large number - perhaps up to half - are "Rabble" - meaning werewolves who are absent from any involvement in the tribe or Garou Nation. They're basically Ronin who've been given the tribal Rite of Passage because the tribe doesn't care. While supposedly the Rabble would come a running if the tribe needed help, we have no evidence at that. The actual number of Bone Gnawers are much smaller than is nominally accepted.

    3) There is a fair number of non-Rabble Bone Gnawers that basically don't fight for Gaia. There's an entire camp of Man Eaters. Others are just looking out for themselves and their own interests. They have no real protectorates.
    I don't think these apply to the situation at handle.

    The whole reason the Tribe keeps the Rabble in, is to count on them for precisely this sort of situation: defending their turf. If the Rabble don't want to suffer getting turned into Ronin by the Bone Gnawers - and lets face it that's going to end poorly if people found out you couldn't cut it with the omega wolves - this sort of situation is exactly when they have to do some work for the Tribe. They don't get a free pass because the Gnawers are just swell folks. The Gnawers recognize that the Garou Nation chases off Garou that can still be useful, and keeps those Garou around with the understanding that the Rabble don't have to deal with the Nation, but they have to put in the work to make safe territories for the Tribe if they want to share in have a safe place to rest their heads.

    The "evidence" standard here is a bit ridiculous. If we did that for everything the games "tell" instead of "show" we'd be tossing out 75% of the setting as only "supposedly" being the case.

    The Man Eaters are almost entirely in Egypt as this point, and were kicked out of the Tribe; making that a very location specific issue where the rest of the Gnawer camps aren't disconnected like you're implying. Yes even the Gnawers will kick you out of the Tribe if you cross certain lines.

    And the Gnawers that are "just looking out for themselves and their own interests," are still ones that are going to have a problem with vampires eating their people. They might not care about killing vampires because Gaia said the Wyrm is bad and leeches smell Wyrmy. But they're definitely going to care if some kindred are munching on their family, trying to take over/evict their businesses, and so on.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    The way the setting was written implies there is generally little conflict between vampires and the Bone Gnawers. We do know there is some limited interaction.

    1) Early material stated there was some connection between Nosferatu and the Bone Gnawers. Both were somewhat socially looked down upon or discriminated by their peers, and both possessed information networks. So there was some common ground.

    2) Some Bone Gnawers were allies of the Sabbat. New York's Sept of the Green had a truce and some collaboration with the New York Sabbat for decades at least until the early nineties (Rage Across New York stated that the truce was fraying, but left it up to the STs to decide what would happen). And the STs Guide to Sabbat listed the Bone Gnawers as among the sect's limited allies. I would suggest this is more of tactical nature with limited packs, and possibly just limited to the Sept of the Green and its allies among the Garou.


    But otherwise, we're given little information that suggests there is much conflict. These would be the reasons I would give for that.

    1) Bone Gnawers aren't everywhere. They shouldn't be found in every city. Even as the "largest" tribe (and I'll comment on that later on), they simply don't have the numbers to occupy every city with sufficient numbers. In truth, there are probably many cities where there are no Garou at all (Glass Walkers, Bone Gnawers, or assorted others). Not every city is going to have a caern or established presence of the tribe. For all we know, the canonical septs of the Green (New York) and Awakening (DC) might be the only Bone Gnawers septs on the whole Eastern Seaboard.

    2) Bone Gnawer numbers are overstated. A large number - perhaps up to half - are "Rabble" - meaning werewolves who are absent from any involvement in the tribe or Garou Nation. They're basically Ronin who've been given the tribal Rite of Passage because the tribe doesn't care. While supposedly the Rabble would come a running if the tribe needed help, we have no evidence at that. The actual number of Bone Gnawers are much smaller than is nominally accepted.

    3) There is a fair number of non-Rabble Bone Gnawers that basically don't fight for Gaia. There's an entire camp of Man Eaters. Others are just looking out for themselves and their own interests. They have no real protectorates.

    4) Then there are Bone Gnawers who do fight for Gaia, but they aren't placed to do anything about vampire predation in the city. The Hillfolk are out in the rural areas, and the Deserters are exploring the Umbra.

    5) There's probably an overemphasis on the connection between the Bone Gnawers and the homeless. It's more like the downtrodden or poor. Camps like the Frankweilers and Hood would intersect with the homeless a lot, but they'd also spend a lot of time with the working poor. And there's a big difference between people who are temporarily homeless because of some issue beyond their control who need a helping hand to get back on their feet, and long term homeless due to severe mental illness and/or drug addiction. Which groups are Bone Gnawers more likely to interact with? They don't have unlimited time or resources. They're going to concentrate their efforts, and that will be different in each city the Bone Gnawers are at.

    So the situation probably isn't that vampires who prey on the homeless are tripping over Bone Gnawers. In some cities, the vampires don't have to watch out at all because there aren't any Bone Gnawers there. In other cities where there is some interplay, it's probably more like a division of territory - hey don't feed in this section of town because vampires who have get attacked or disappeared, but these other sections of town are OK. The Bone Gnawers likely defend a very specific territory and drive away other predators, but they can't be everywhere. And these territories would likely be long established and well known by both sides. Only in cases where one group or the other newly arrives in a city once held by one group alone would there be any kind of conflict, and that would only last until both sides came to some informal understanding of the territorial lines.

    If we look at New York City, it's basically the second scenario presented in Rage Across New York. The Sabbat leave Central Park and Manhattan mostly alone in exchange for the Bone Gnawers killing any Camarilla vampire that disturbs the peace. In return, the Bone Gnawers there basically have abandoned all the other boroughs. Any homeless in the Bronx or Brooklyn can be eaten by the Sabbat without any trouble. (If you closely read the original descriptions of the Sept of the Green in the first two corebooks and Rage Across New York, the Bone Gnawers do not come out well as sterling examples of the Garou.)

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  • Reasor
    replied
    I just remembered that "Clanbook: Nosferatu Revised" actually mentions the Black Spiral Dancers as a tribe to watch out for, because they're supposedly rivals for the same territory according to our narrator who heard it from a guy who heard it from another guy. This telephone game urban legend could have feasibly have started with an encounter with some Gnawers instead of the BSDs.

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  • Ventrue Busboy
    replied
    As I have it, this is a good example of urban lore---the kind of knowledge which is passed down from sire to childe, or more rarely by surviving a harrowing experience. "Picking off a stray wino is one thing, but avoid bum camps unless you're desperate...." Licks eking out a marginal existence who don't know where their next meal might come from, such as young Anarchs and Caitiff, Gangrel and Nosferatu, prize such knowledge. Dealing with lupines (as well as the Restless Dead or Stranger Things) is all part of knowing how to survive, whether in the vast dark between the cities or a filthy backalley behind the Prince's tower. Scions of the High Clans typically are far less aware of just how closely they rub shoulders with the lupine menace, even if that corpo lawyer or angel investor they cultivated at a party is in reality one of the Corporate Wolves.
    Last edited by Ventrue Busboy; 04-25-2022, 09:54 PM.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Generally my take on the subject is that Bone Gnawers aren't numerous enough and there's so many homeless that this is just chalked up to, "Random Lupine encounter."

    It probably happens often enough that vampires probably know Lupines EXIST in large part because of them (as they'd otherwise just avoid the outdoors) but not so much they've ever put together a coherent, "Attacks on the homeless=werewolves."

    Presumably most vampire encounters are with Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    The "each game line is independently written" thing is well meaning official position and all, but really not functional.

    First off, we've had lots of official crossover books. Not a vampire book about lupines and how to use them. Books where VtM vampires and WtA werewolves are both present as they officially exist in their own "independent" worlds. "Bone Gnawers don't exist in VtM, just Lupines," doesn't work when there are VtM books with Garou and their Tribes in them. The Silent Striders do not have unspecified Egypt themed leeches as their ancestral enemies. The have the VtM Clan of the Followers of Set/Ministry as their ancestral enemies. The books have never actually been written this way. They've been written in a weird limbo of sometimes being independent game-worlds, and sometimes being one overarching game world, and trying to have it both ways has never been committed too strongly enough to do it right.

    Second, the way the societies in the games are structured, that limbo is untenable. The WoD hasn't been written with a eye towards making sure there's space in the setting so the different supernaturals don't trip over each other. You can't have official setting material for, say, New York, in most of the game lines and then try to say that the different supernaturals just pass each other in the night because everyone's so rare. For that to be functional, supernaturals need to be narratively rare (not just rare because some number in a book about how many of them there are is printed, because the authors and players will ignore the hell out of that number). It needs to be explicit that there are major cities with no vampire societies in them because vampires are rare enough that sometimes that they can't actually occupy every city. Most cities don't have more than a few lone vampires, if any at all. And the same needs to be true of everything else. Each "independent" setting needs to be written to make it believable that no vampire in a given city has ever run into a Bone Gnawer because it's believable that there's no Gnawers in that city, and vice versa.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    Bone gnawers should factor into a vampire game in the same way any other werewolf would which is nothing at all, each gameline in oWoD is independently written and most of the times they don't even pretend they give a shit about world building coherency so trying to think about a canon answer too much is a recipe for disaster. To make matters more simple, if you are running a werewolf game then the bonegnawers (and the glasswalker, and the children of gaia, and any other werewolf that lives in a city for one reason or another) will be an ever present concern for the local kindred population who will limit their predation to anything but your players territory, if you are running a vampire game then werewolves live out of the city and as long as they stick in urban areas, they will be fine.

    For a more direct answer to your question, my personal take is that, since bonegnawers are not omniscient, they are not going to notice the effects of your normal vampire feeding on the local homeless since they usually don't look much healthy in the first place so short of catching a vampire in the act, they just won't be aware of them.

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