Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Bone Gnawers and lower class among wolves

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bone Gnawers and lower class among wolves

    (Disclaimer; This needs to be underlined heavily. I come from a pretty well off family, only now having to deal with saving money to eat. If I get something wrong here or am ignorant/ableist, PLEASE note me about it!)
    It is strange how your tastes change over the years. When I was 14 and had first gotten WTA revised core, I considered Silent Striders and Bone Gnawers my two favorite tribes. These days, Striders are still there, but Gnawers have lost their shine for me a lot. More as I’ve begun to be more socially aware.

    To get everyone up to speed on the Gnawers, they are a tribe of garou (werewolves) who are the least. They are the omega wolves, runts of the litter, and the homeless who live in filth and take anyone into their tribe who is desperate enough. They get insulted and kicked about, often called not true garou by other tribes. Bone Gnawers are also heavily based on American pop culture and other very American traditions.
    To my issues on them, first of all, the omega wolf is a myth. While garou society is similar the captive packs, or the Druid pack in Yellowstone by culture, the idea that some wolves are lesser and need to be the punching bags is not related to how wolves act in the wild. Wolves who are not liked simply leave to find new packs. Even the runts of the litter, if they survive that long. And why would a pack have a member whose sole purpose was to be abused and lesser? That is wasted time and wasted food they don’t have.

    Second, the parts of being homeless and moochers are rather strange when most non-Glass Walker garou ARE in fact homeless and moochers. Because Rage makes it hard to hold jobs for most of them, and they have kinfolk to get money and shelter if they need it. The idea that Bone Gnawers are the lesser because they don’t have money is pretty hilarious in that context.

    Indeed, one of the biggest issues I have in regards to Bone Gnawers is the way the setting, and especially the revised tribe book, treats their kinfolk and potential members. The book states that most of Bone Gnawers come from poor homes, and have no hope to reach anything but the tribe and homelessness. And on top of that, any money they receive they splurge away instantly and mooch so much their friends grow tired of them.

    For me, the idea that Bone Gnawers are of the tribe because they are worthless for anything else is rather classist, not to mention defeats the point of them being a tribe, to begin with. If the garou are truly worthless, shouldn’t they be ronin rather than members of a tribe? Tribes survive by pleasing their totem and earning rank, so Gnawers are hardly worthless if they have remained a tribe so long. It also puts the poor state of the character’s life on them, because they could not have amounted to anything else.

    The money thing is also a bit suspect, as Gnawers receive no stat decreases and such that would prevent them from being able to manage finances. It also, again, essentially puts the blame for the character’s homelessness and low station on them.
    In general, as much as the book has a lot of cool art and ideas, it also doesn’t really do the Gnawers justice and assumes homelessness is genetic and self-caused. World of Darkness or not, but that is pretty bad.

    Then there is the America focus, so much so that the tribe book doesn’t even have an ‘around the world’ section. And the history section says that most just left for America from Europe, anyway. Given Bone Gnawers are portrayed as the 'poor’ tribe, this ignores so many interesting cultural variations they could have.
    To continue on the homelessness topic, as stated above, most tribes don’t really have 9-5 jobs, either. In fact, tribes like Stargazers and Silent Striders don’t have many possessions either. That combined with the fact that actual wolf packs don’t have omegas and Gnawers seem rather weird. And then, there is the fact that Gnawers exist in the same setting as Children of Gaia. A tribe that also takes many weaker garou in and also pushes community among the garou. Why aren’t the Bone Gnawers members of that tribe, then?

    For me, the answer is simple. Bone Gnawers -choose- to stalk the streets, they choose to protect the weak and make their Caerns in places where no one else would. They risk themselves in the worst places in the world, braving taint and death by their foes. They take kin from those who dare as much as they do, with as little. Essentially, rather than portray the tribe as fated to be low, I rather they chose this path and life. Because Glass Walkers can be so blind to the horrors in the city and no one else cares. That, and with the growing generation of college-educated young adults who none the less are left starving, I’d say the tribe could get more members focused on its democracy and politics rather than mere survival.
    Rats survive and thrive where others cannot, after all.
    Last edited by Ana Mizuki; 02-04-2017, 11:38 AM. Reason: EDIT: Fixed the paragraph breaks.


    My gallery.

  • #2
    When reading the Bone Gnawer revised Tribebook I feel something that explains a lot about them is this, they have just as many true and noble heroes as the other tribes do, but they also have a large amount of subpar Garou who joined because they have a lack of ambition and are not the best examples. So you can have the best of both worlds with the Children of Rat, they do have heroes but also a precedent for accepting schmucks so they don't loose them flat out to being Ronin.

    Also Bonegnawers aren't universally American, they very greatly with the Region. Those from the ex Soviet regions have strong communist traditions and have even cultivated individuals with basic incomes and jobs, China has had a lot of them for a long time, and effictively have their own subtribe there much like the Boulizhouze, and Africa/Middle East has long tradition of Bone Gnawers tied to both the poor and travelers.


    It is a time for great deeds!

    Comment


    • #3
      I always saw Bone Gnawers as the anti-materialist tribe. Of course I'm coming at this as a Nosferatu player who has been college student (Oh, shit I thought I had a few more days to pay the power bill) poor.

      Also, I head canon that tribal totems aren't as picky as they were in the past. So every tribe has a few non heroic Garou laying around.


      Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

      The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
        I always saw Bone Gnawers as the anti-materialist tribe. Of course I'm coming at this as a Nosferatu player who has been college student (Oh, shit I thought I had a few more days to pay the power bill) poor.

        Also, I head canon that tribal totems aren't as picky as they were in the past. So every tribe has a few non heroic Garou laying around.
        That is my intrepentation as well. Plus, with us poor college students, the idea of homelessness has changed.

        The rabble is in general a good idea, yeah. The issue I have is that the reason Gnawers are Gnawers is that they could not be anything else. Rather than, they are Gnawers because they might feel the tribe fits them or that their family has always chosen struggle over comfort.


        My gallery.

        Comment


        • #5
          I always thought Children of Gaia were the "tribe who will take anyone", but stereotypes don't always follow reality. I can see rat rejecting someone because they are too attached to ... stuff.

          I did have a character concept for a lost cub Glasswalker who turned out to have Bone Gnawer family. Both Tribes agreed he was a better fit for cockroach, as the cub was hacking ATMs and programming cable descramblers at 16. The Glasswalker hacker never thought anything of his family history until he casually mentioned his Bone Gnawer cousin. The Pure Breed bastards he was running with gave him a lot of shit about it.


          Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

          The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've always found certain aspects of Bone Gnawers hard to accept as well. "Runts of the litter" that have to gnaw the bones practically cleaned of meat by larger packmates is what I go to for inspiration. I figure the tribe's origins are in Garou who, for whatever reasons, could not be accepted by totems in other tribe's Rite of Passages, and they finally petitioned Rat and were accepted. These were the Garou not strong enough to be Get of Fenris. Some of males born among Black Furies. Perhaps those not born Pure Breed in a time when almost every tribal Garou had Pure Breed. Garou that had some kind of deformity or defect. So the tribe has always been welcoming of everyone and accept a lot of ronin and lost cubs.

            The perpetual poverty is harder to accept as it is possible now (in ways that were not true centuries earlier) for people to go from poverty to financial success, especially in a few generations. However, I chock that up to a lot of chiminage being done with Bone Gnawers swearing themselves (or their kinfolk) to poverty to gain Rat's favor. Clearly the tribe has picked the poor, the disadvantaged, and the outcast as their protectorate.

            One thing I don't follow is the idea that the Bone Gnawers are the most populated tribe. That never made sense to me for an urban tribe. So in my head I said that's because 1) there are still a lot of rural Bone Gnawers out there, and 2) other Garou confuse a rise in ronin, lost cubs, and other non-tribal Garou in their numbers (who make up a lot of "the rabble").

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, Bone Gnawers are no longer forbidden Resources in W20, they are just discouraged from getting Resources (meaning that they cannot buy Resources with Background Points, but that they can buy Resources with freebie points). You could have a Bone Gnawer with Resources 5, they would just end up supplying the local members of the Tribe.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ninjaed while distracted.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In addition to the stereotype of "the homeless people tribe" I've always had a bit of a gripe with the Bone Gnawer stereotype as "the redneck tribe." Its a personal bit of gristle, but as someone from Appalachia it rubs me the wrong way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                    Well, Bone Gnawers are no longer forbidden Resources in W20, they are just discouraged from getting Resources (meaning that they cannot buy Resources with Background Points, but that they can buy Resources with freebie points). You could have a Bone Gnawer with Resources 5, they would just end up supplying the local members of the Tribe.
                    And here's another lovely reason the revised TB really rubs me the wrong way. The text in the resources section states how a Gnawer will always spend it all quickly and mooch from their friends until they get tired of them.

                    Now, if the text had stated that they spend too much because things you need are expensive, okay. But the implication is that the Gnawer spends it all fast because they are just bad with money. Which again goes into the implication of being homeless is ones own fault. And it is not given any stat minuses to reflect this, either.

                    And yeah, given a Gnawer could easily be a math genius or just someone who knows how to wheel and deal, they could get money. Illegal or otherwise.


                    My gallery.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, I think the Fianna or Get of Fenris are much more represented in Appalachia myself because of the Celtic and Germanic bloodlines. Bone Gnawers should originally be the urban North African and West Asian Tribe (with the Silent Strides originally being the rural North African and West Asian Tribe). The negative associations against the Tribe would arise from traditional European racism against non-European during the early 15th through early 20th centuries, and they were mistreated by the European Garou in America and Europe much like Europeans in America and Europe mistreated North African and West Asian immigrants during the same period (and anyone who denies racism from that period should just read the books written by authors of that period).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I can see a Bone Gnawer going through a lot of cash because they gave it all away to freinds, family, charitable organizations, etc. Not because they misspent it.

                        If you give ten grand to someone with little money, they will spend it quickly on delayed necessities. If you give ten grand to someone with a lot of money, they will probably save it or invest it.


                        Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

                        The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Which is fine because Resources 4-5 allows you to be very generous because you are exceptionally wealthy (so much so that I would never let Werewolf characters have Resources 4-5 because they would draw too much attention). With Resources 4, 'You have serious financial power, and are one of the richest people in your country'. With Resource 5, 'You're one of the richest people on Earth'. When you look at the top 400 people in the USA, you are talking about having assets of a minimum of $1 billion and earnings of a minimum of $50 million per year after taxes, so that would be the wealth of Resources 4. When you look at the top 100 people on Earth, you are talking about having assets of a minimum of $10 billion and earnings of a minimum of $500 million per year after taxes, so that would be the wealth of Resources 5.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post

                            For me, the answer is simple. Bone Gnawers -choose- to stalk the streets, they choose to protect the weak and make their Caerns in places where no one else would. They risk themselves in the worst places in the world, braving taint and death by their foes. They take kin from those who dare as much as they do, with as little. Essentially, rather than portray the tribe as fated to be low, I rather they chose this path and life. Because Glass Walkers can be so blind to the horrors in the city and no one else cares.
                            In my opinion, this is exactly right. Bone Gnawers choose to play their role much like the Shadow Lords. Cities ("scabs") are the front lines in the war against both the Wyrm and the Weaver, and no other tribe understands this better. The Glass Walkers, like you said, are often blind to certain parts of the city, in part because they are as willing to get their hands dirty. Getting their hands dirty is what Bone Gnawers are all about, and they know that part of that is literal. They intentionally live on the outskirts of society, the bottom dregs, to find and fight the things that skulk in those alleys, corruption that festers and grows. Most garou don't even spend time in cities unless they have a damn good reason to get personally involved. They protect those who are most vulnerable and taken advantage of, but they are also willing to cull them, and even their own, if they become corrupted, because you can't afford not to or that rot will spread more. They know its a dangerous game. Their duty to survive is part of a strategy to play the long game and not leave this front unguarded. If they fall, its not like another tribe will take their place. They aren't weak or cowards. They know what they are doing, and probably have a more defined sense of purpose than most other tribes.

                            Its thankless, disgusting work, and they do it while getting shit on by other garou. But, make no mistake, playing the fool and the vagabond has its advantages. No one expects much of them, so they can focus on their own agenda. No one sees them as a threat, so they see and hear and learn things that they otherwise wouldn't. It's an interesting relationship because at the same time that they are despised, other tribes who are smart realize how vital the Bone Gnawers are, and thats part of why they resent them in the first place. They have information no one else has, and they are experienced and equipped to clean up messes no one else can. Silver Fangs can sneer and spit on them all they want, but a good Bone Gnawer knows how to make themself too valuable to totally discount and discard, and that can give them an upper hand in social encounters during rare times that they actually play that card.

                            The tribe books aren't great, especially the original, which is just downright awful. Most people stereotype them as filthy, rabble-rousing murder hobos, and that is sometimes an accurate picture. But I'd argue its an image they craft purposefully, not because they like living like that, but because it gives them the social camouflage and vantage point to do work that someone has to do.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Garou pack / military squad / police recruit class / street gangs/ college frats and sororities ....they all share one thing in common that transcends class and race etc......

                              They harass, bully, and posture against the "lowest percieved or the mentally or physically weakest member(s)". This serves to strengthen and bond the group .

                              Im not saying its the way the world should be , but it's the way the world is. That being said , in the world of darkness it should be even worse.

                              Deserved or undeserved it matters little to humans and some animals , I can only imagine what it would be like for Garou in the WoD.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X