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  • #16
    There are some crimes that go beyond the ability of the Rite of Contrition (which I generally allow to be used only in the case of insults and accidental wrongdoing). The deliberate murder of Kinfolk, even if done because of mistaken identity, is severe enough for the capital punishments like the Rite of the Hunt. The only question is what can the pack offer the Bone Gnawers to prevent them from performing the Rite of the Hunt.

    If you think that is too harsh, imagine what a Silver Fang king would do if the pack murdered his Kinfolk wife or Kinfolk children. If the pack had killed eight Kinfolk members of a Silver Fang sept, their hides would already be decorative rugs, and the only question would be how many rooms do the Silver Fangs want to decorate before they give the pack the mercy of death. We should not expect the Bone Gnawers to value their Kinfolk any less, though they would probably not be as cruel as the Silver Fangs in their punishments.

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    • #17

      Lots of interesting stuff, people! I value all your input parsing this situation. I like examining this sort of moral murkiness in my games... I just got a bit in over my head this time, hah.


      I think that the mitigating factor of the taint is enough to warrant the Bone Gnawers not instantly trying to kill the pack over the slain kinfolk... the fact that the taint was a false positive is what makes it a crime. if the taint had been legitimate, the killing might have been justified. The Gnawer leaders realize that that while some mutual enemy may be at work framing their kin, the Talons were the ones willing to capitalize on it and use it as an excuse to murder. The Gnawers (rightly) doubt that Talons would have bothered speaking to the humans or exploring any avenue other than violence. The Coyote pack had plenty of opportunity to dig deeper, especially considering their history with this particular brand of Wyrm-taint. Given these circumstances, I think one could draw parallels to the PCs committing aggravated manslaughter in the eyes of the Gnawers... it isn't murder, but what they did is definitely worse than accidental killing.

      Originally posted by BurritoMage View Post

      Oh I imagine the elders would be pissed, but even tempered enough to know that killing the pack would not resolve the situation. If I was to run the scene I would keep the tension thick and probably have at least one elder walk out before they can frenzy.

      Then have the wyrm foe politely tell them in a lazy Texas drawl that they have dug themselves quite the hole and that not only will they be known as kin slayers but they have till the (30day lunar cycle) to get to the bottom of things lest the swarm come looking for them.
      I think something like this is pretty reasonable. I want to strike a balance; just paying off the Swarm for the inconvenience seems a bit too laissez-faire, but using lethal rites seems a bit too much. I think if the pack wandered into the Rat's Nest caern they might die as Gnawers frenzied and tore up their family's killers, but that would be more of an accidental consequence of their actions than a formal rite.

      For now, they are going to be counted among the enemies of the Bone Gnawer sept, their names associated with nasty titles as their infamy among the whispering spirits increases. The pack might be able to improve their relationship with the Swarm later, once Rat's spawn have vented their ire on their Lupus neighbors.

      The players' actions have drawn optimistic curiosity from the Red Talons- their willingness to kill tainted apes with hardly any hesitation is a point in their favor among the Children of Griffin.
      Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 03-18-2017, 02:45 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
        For now, they are going to be counted among the enemies of the Bone Gnawer sept, their names associated with nasty titles as their infamy among the whispering spirits increases. The pack might be able to improve their relationship with the Swarm later, once Rat's spawn have vented their ire on their Lupus neighbors.
        Having them listed as enemies of the sept is a bit much imo, maybe more persona non grata on top of all the negative status. They are after all still garou at the end of the day.

        I do like how you are portraying the Talons, they are a very black and white tribe and this whole "well if the children of rat want war we can have war" mentality is them to a T.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by BurritoMage View Post

          Having them listed as enemies of the sept is a bit much imo, maybe more persona non grata on top of all the negative status. They are after all still garou at the end of the day.
          Well, the way I envisioned it was if there was going to be inter-sept warfare, that the Gnawers would view the pack as solidly on the side of the Red Talons. I doubt the soon-to-be embattled Swarm is going to hunt them down... but if they are foolish enough to pop up during the carnage they are going to be treated as allies of the Talons, and thus, enemies of the Swarm.

          I do like how you are portraying the Talons, they are a very black and white tribe and this whole "well if the children of rat want war we can have war" mentality is them to a T.
          Thanks! I am certainly trying to make them out to be 'black and white' rather than 'stupid savages,' but most of them have little empathy and even less patience. Their own kin have been shot and poisoned for years while merely serving their purpose in Gaia's plan... the Bone Gnawers cared little then. Now the Talons culled a few of the numberless humans (kin or not) that had the gall to violate their clearly marked territory while stinking of Wyrm-shit. To the Talons this is simple and straightforward, and they are surprised and angered that the Gnawers are only now howling their outrage. Then again, maybe it isn't that surprising- the Gnawers have abandoned their wolf-spirits in favor of scraping among the diseased open sewers of man. If the Swarm wants to fight, the Talons are confident they will be able to kill these intruders too.
          Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 03-18-2017, 03:10 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
            There are some crimes that go beyond the ability of the Rite of Contrition (which I generally allow to be used only in the case of insults and accidental wrongdoing). The deliberate murder of Kinfolk, even if done because of mistaken identity, is severe enough for the capital punishments like the Rite of the Hunt. The only question is what can the pack offer the Bone Gnawers to prevent them from performing the Rite of the Hunt.
            Okay, again...this sort of thing is completely within the purpose of Rite of Contrition (and again, as a start if the PC pack wanted to try and make ammends). It's right there is the writeup for the Rite (that was a fun annoying sentence).
            And Rite of the Hunt would be idiotic for the Gnawers to even try and attempt. You don't perform Rite of the Hunt on a pack of outsider Garou. Just from a numbers perspective that is going to end up with the Gnawer Sept losing a few members. Which would then leave them weaker if they were to attempt to go directly against other actual Sept (the Talons), assuming they have the power to do so (we don't actually know the populations of each Sept).
            Rite of the Hunt is best used to punish a single member of one's own Sept who committed a grievous crime, but still retains their honor.

            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
            If you think that is too harsh, imagine what a Silver Fang king would do if the pack murdered his Kinfolk wife or Kinfolk children. If the pack had killed eight Kinfolk members of a Silver Fang sept, their hides would already be decorative rugs, and the only question would be how many rooms do the Silver Fangs want to decorate before they give the pack the mercy of death. We should not expect the Bone Gnawers to value their Kinfolk any less, though they would probably not be as cruel as the Silver Fangs in their punishments.
            There are so many things wrong with this line of logic that I will choose to just ignore it entirely.

            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
            Lots of interesting stuff, people! I value all your input parsing this situation. I like examining this sort of moral murkiness in my games... I just got a bit in over my head this time, hah.
            You seem to have this more or less in control. It sounds like an awesome setup to play though honestly, and a good way to highlight consequences for player's actions without completely steamrolling them.

            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
            I think that the mitigating factor of the taint is enough to warrant the Bone Gnawers not instantly trying to kill the pack over the slain kinfolk... the fact that the taint was a false positive is what makes it a crime. if the taint had been legitimate, the killing might have been justified. The Gnawer leaders realize that that while some mutual enemy may be at work framing their kin, the Talons were the ones willing to capitalize on it and use it as an excuse to murder.The Gnawers (rightly) doubt that Talons would have bothered speaking to the humans or exploring any avenue other than violence. The Coyote pack had plenty of opportunity to dig deeper, especially considering their history with this particular brand of Wyrm-taint. Given these circumstances, I think one could draw parallels to the PCs committing aggravated manslaughter in the eyes of the Gnawers... it isn't murder, but what they did is definitely worse than accidental killing.
            So has you pack decided if or how they will approach the Bone Gnawer Sept? I'm curious where in the timeline of this series of events your game actually is atm.

            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
            I think something like this is pretty reasonable. I want to strike a balance; just paying off the Swarm for the inconvenience seems a bit too laissez-faire, but using lethal rites seems a bit too much. I think if the pack wandered into the Rat's Nest caern they might die as Gnawers frenzied and tore up their family's killers, but that would be more of an accidental consequence of their actions than a formal rite.

            For now, they are going to be counted among the enemies of the Bone Gnawer sept, their names associated with nasty titles as their infamy among the whispering spirits increases. The pack might be able to improve their relationship with the Swarm later, once Rat's spawn have vented their ire on their Lupus neighbors.
            This sounds completely reasonable from both in game and ST goal perspectives.

            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
            Well, the way I envisioned it was if there was going to be inter-sept warfare, that the Gnawers would view the pack as solidly on the side of the Red Talons. I doubt the soon-to-be embattled Swarm is going to hunt them down... but if they are foolish enough to pop up during the carnage they are going to be treated as allies of the Talons, and thus, enemies of the Swarm.
            Makes sense. Also, depending on how many Garou are in the pack, that viewed alliance might be enough to make the Gnawers rethink strategies. A pack of outsider Garou might very well be enough to tip the balance of an inter-Sept war and will have to be taken into account. If it comes to it the Gnawers might even have to try and deal with the pack (the smaller threat) beforehand, either diplomatically or violently, to tips the scales in their favor against the Talons. They (the Gnawers; even if not the representative of the whole Sept, there could be an individual or 2) could always try and guilt the pack out of the conflict by reminding the pack of what they did to the kinfolk.

            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
            Thanks! I am certainly trying to make them out to be 'black and white' rather than 'stupid savages,' but most of them have little empathy and even less patience. Their own kin have been shot and poisoned for years while merely serving their purpose in Gaia's plan... the Bone Gnawers cared little then. Now the Talons culled a few of the numberless humans (kin or not) that had the gall to violate their clearly marked territory while stinking of Wyrm-shit. To the Talons this is simple and straightforward, and they are surprised and angered that the Gnawers are only now howling their outrage. Then again, maybe it isn't that surprising- the Gnawers have abandoned their wolf-spirits in favor of scraping among the diseased open sewers of man. If the Swarm wants to fight, the Talons are confident they will be able to kill these intruders too.
            I also hate when I see Talons represented as simple. They should be direct and blunt, which is very different. The reasonings from all sides in this conflict are understandable and even sympathetic. That makes for the best sort of stories when there isn't really a right-and-wrong side.
            Obviously the players did wrong in the one scene. But the overall background setup doesn't have a good guys/bad guys side to it.

            If you're willing, I look forward to reading about how this all plays out.
            Last edited by idpersona; 03-18-2017, 10:24 AM.


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            • #21
              Why would the Bone Gnawers really be worried about the Red Talons? They might make up 1% of the Garou Nation (they are the smallest of the twelve Tribes) while the Bone Gnawers might make up 16% of the Garou Nation (they are the largest of the twelve Tribes). The Red Talons should be worried about the wrath of the Bone Gnawers because the Bone Grawers might decide to just take their Caern from them in compensation for the death of their Kinfolk, and there is little that the Red Talons could do to prevent the Bone Gnawers from succeeding.

              There is a difference between Mortals killing Kinfolk and Garou killing Kinfolk, the former is treated as a rabid dog and put down while the latter is a capital crime. In my games, every suspicious Kinfolk death is investigated by the local Garou and, if they were murdered, the guilty party is put down like a rabid dog, regardless of their nature (Garou are allowed to go to Erebus instead to have the sin of kinslayer purged from their souls). Kinfolk are different from baseline humans or baseline wolves because Kinfolk are chosen by Gaia to support the Garou (not every child of Kinfolk become Kinfolk unless they breed with the Garou) and because they are protected by the Litany, so every Garou should value every Kinfolk (of course, the practice is different than the ideal).

              I find the idea that the Garou would value Wolf Kinfolk more than Human Kinfolk to be odd. While they need the Wolf Kinfolk to retain their connection to the natural world, they also need their Human Kinfolk to retain their connection to the human world, and the majority of Garou are born in the human world (Homid Garou outnumber Lupus Garou 8:1). I doubt that any Garou would tolerate the killing of Wolf Kinfolk, so why should any Garou tolerate the killing of Human Kinfolk?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                Why would the Bone Gnawers really be worried about the Red Talons? They might make up 1% of the Garou Nation (they are the smallest of the twelve Tribes) while the Bone Gnawers might make up 16% of the Garou Nation (they are the largest of the twelve Tribes). The Red Talons should be worried about the wrath of the Bone Gnawers because the Bone Grawers might decide to just take their Caern from them in compensation for the death of their Kinfolk, and there is little that the Red Talons could do to prevent the Bone Gnawers from succeeding.
                Worldwide populations don't matter. Not even a little bit. Like I said, we don't know the Sept populations in play here. If the number of Garou at each Sept is even close to equal then neither has an easy victory and so war is unlikely to happen without dire consequences for both Septs. And in a setup like that, a pack of 5 outsider Garou can make a huge difference.

                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                There is a difference between Mortals killing Kinfolk and Garou killing Kinfolk, the former is treated as a rabid dog and put down while the latter is a capital crime. In my games, every suspicious Kinfolk death is investigated by the local Garou and, if they were murdered, the guilty party is put down like a rabid dog, regardless of their nature (Garou are allowed to go to Erebus instead to have the sin of kinslayer purged from their souls). Kinfolk are different from baseline humans or baseline wolves because Kinfolk are chosen by Gaia to support the Garou (not every child of Kinfolk become Kinfolk unless they breed with the Garou) and because they are protected by the Litany, so every Garou should value every Kinfolk (of course, the practice is different than the ideal).
                As if the local Garou have the numbers to investigate every suspicious death personally. That aside, I think you use Erebus too liberally anyway (but that is also not pertinent to this conversation). It isn't an easy place to get to or to send someone. In a perfect world Erebus would be a more utilized resource for rehabilitation. But the WoD as written is far from that world.

                I think BurritoMage's solution is both fun and appropriate from a ST point of view. It refocuses the players on a path to fixing the situation while keeping some very real social consequences for their short sighted actions.

                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                I find the idea that the Garou would value Wolf Kinfolk more than Human Kinfolk to be odd. While they need the Wolf Kinfolk to retain their connection to the natural world, they also need their Human Kinfolk to retain their connection to the human world, and the majority of Garou are born in the human world (Homid Garou outnumber Lupus Garou 8:1). I doubt that any Garou would tolerate the killing of Wolf Kinfolk, so why should any Garou tolerate the killing of Human Kinfolk?
                I don't think anyone said or implied that wolf kinfolk are valued more than human kinfolk so I'm not sure where this line of thought is even coming from. And the 7:1 or 8:1 numbers (from different books) are for the modern nights. I'm kind of assumed with the mention of wagon trains and settlers that this is a Wild West game (I could be wrong). The Lupus-born ratio isn't so off by that point in history.
                And no one is saying that the deaths of a dozen+ kinfolk should be ignored or swept under the rug. Just that that event doesn't necessarily have to end with the deaths of the players. That's boring. And stupid from a ST perspective. There has to be more nuance to the situation for the game to continue. The Gnawers are going to be pissed that their family members were killed (this is a given). That doesn't mean that with time and effort the PCs might be forgiven enough to be ignored. Or that their paths down the road won't cross with them being allies. Especially if the story has the PCs come across whoever set up the Gnawer's kinfolk in the first place.



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                • #23

                  Originally posted by idpersona
                  I don't think anyone said or implied that wolf kinfolk are valued more than human kinfolk so I'm not sure where this line of thought is even coming from. And the 7:1 or 8:1 numbers (from different books) are for the modern nights. I'm kind of assumed with the mention of wagon trains and settlers that this is a Wild West game (I could be wrong). The Lupus-born ratio isn't so off by that point in history.
                  Yeah, early Wild West, spring of 1841 to be exact. I am really not concerned about ratios. There can be a lot of werewolves relative to the modern era (because they haven't died off yet), and then there might be only a few because all the Texas Moonbridges failed back in the 1700s and reinforcements have been scant. I can justify whatever numbers I need to get the job done.

                  Aya Tari I am not pitting all Gnawers versus all Talons. Two neighboring septs have come to blows, and while the Swarm outnumber the Talons, the lupus Garou have some very powerful spirit allies. If violence escalates beyond low-level skirmishes, it is going to be a frenzied rabble of Gnawers against Talons with the home field advantage... and given the tenuous strength of the Gauntlet in the wild places, there is a good chance that Griffin jagglings and wyldlings are going to join the fray.

                  I think part of the difference between you and I is that you seem to keep approaching the 'Garou' as a monolith. In my game the Garou Nation (Wyrmbringers) are quite culturally distinct from the Pure, and the Red Talons stand apart from both. The vast majority of the Red Talons at this sept feel like the decision to breed with humans in the first place was a terrible mistake. If the soulless apes decide to despoil the Talon's territory, whether some Garou decided to fuck them matters not a whit to the feral werewolves. If the humans are Wyrm-tainted, it vindicates what the Talons have thought for eons.

                  It doesn't help that the Lupus do not see time the same way homids do. The Impergium is in the past... but hey, so is last winter. What was could be again, and many of the Talons want to make it so. As the North American west is brought to heel by hunters, ranchers and soldiers, the Talons are once again being put on the defensive after enjoying years of seclusion in the wilderness.

                  Also, many of the Bone Gnawers are not actually thrilled about all the lupus kinfolk ranging around out of the hills. The majority of them are human-born, and their kin are folks who have little they can afford to lose. Subsistence farmers, sodbusters and slaves can't afford to have their animals (or children!) eaten or injured by marauding wolves. The Swarm isn't out there killing lupus kin, but if some of the locals take measures to protect their own, the hardscrabble Gnawers can certainly understand why.

                  And no one is getting sent to Erebus over this. I have already done that in my game for another character, and I think inter-sept conflict offers a lot more meat... I hadn't really planned on this happening, but the more I dwell on it, the more I like it.
                  Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 03-18-2017, 01:15 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                    ...
                    I can justify whatever numbers I need to get the job done.
                    ...
                    and I think inter-sept conflict offers a lot more meat... I hadn't really planned on this happening, but the more I dwell on it, the more I like it.
                    Lots of good stuff. Those lines in particular.

                    For something you didn't plan out, the situation is really interesting and has tons of potential story seeds and paths.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by idpersona View Post
                      Lots of good stuff. Those lines in particular.

                      For something you didn't plan out, the situation is really interesting and has tons of potential story seeds and paths.
                      Aw, thanks. Given the pack's prior history with the Wyrm-tainted items, they knew such taint could be faked... I expected them to talk to the people driving the wagons in some capacity, but they decided that the Talon's kill 'em all approach was better. They set up a really brutal ambush and the pack Galliard, the Bone Gnawer, whipped up a bomb out of animal manure, black powder and some odds and ends. I was kinda blindsided, actually.

                      I do know my NPCs motivations pretty well, but I was still struggling with how to come up with a believable political response, if you will. This thread has helped me sort through that.

                      I have written many, many pages of material for this game... but it is really only half a story. A bunch of places, people, schemes with giant holes built in so I can react to whatever craziness my players engage in. It seems to be working so far, and it lets them feel like they have a stake in the world, their actions having consequences both good and bad.

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                      • #26
                        Please let us know how it all works out.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post

                          Aw, thanks. Given the pack's prior history with the Wyrm-tainted items, they knew such taint could be faked... I expected them to talk to the people driving the wagons in some capacity, but they decided that the Talon's kill 'em all approach was better. They set up a really brutal ambush and the pack Galliard, the Bone Gnawer, whipped up a bomb out of animal manure, black powder and some odds and ends. I was kinda blindsided, actually.

                          I do know my NPCs motivations pretty well, but I was still struggling with how to come up with a believable political response, if you will. This thread has helped me sort through that.

                          I have written many, many pages of material for this game... but it is really only half a story. A bunch of places, people, schemes with giant holes built in so I can react to whatever craziness my players engage in. It seems to be working so far, and it lets them feel like they have a stake in the world, their actions having consequences both good and bad.
                          Then it is not your fault, and your players should expect that their actions have consequences. This would be a really horrific scenario for my games, as the players would be facing a death penalty for the murder of innocent Kinfolk. At a minimum, the Red Talons would lose their Caern for their part of the murder of the Kinfolk and the players would be given an epic quest to make up for the murder of the Kinfolk.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                            Then it is not your fault, and your players should expect that their actions have consequences. This would be a really horrific scenario for my games, as the players would be facing a death penalty for the murder of innocent Kinfolk.
                            At that Caern/Sept/in that region. Especially on the frontier, a Sept's area of influence is probably pretty limited. If they head to a different area, the Kinslayer title may follow them (it should to reinforce the idea of Renown and consequences), but other Septs aren't necessarily going to want them dead.

                            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                            At a minimum, the Red Talons would lose their Caern for their part of the murder of the Kinfolk
                            So given that there isn't a Garou government to appeal to, who exactly do you think is going to take the Talon's Caern? Like, this logic really makes no sense to me. I suppose the Gnawers could attempt it (though their motivation would be revenge, not punishing the Talons by taking their Caern), but would probably lose more than a few Garou trying and be left with too few Garou to hold 2 Caerns. And at that point, the enemy that set this all up is likely to step in and kill any remaining survivors.

                            This is also a fairly uninteresting route from a ST point of view (imo) since it takes agency away from the players.

                            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                            and the players would be given an epic quest to make up for the murder of the Kinfolk.
                            That is still a possibility. Even if the players wait for tempers to calm down and then approach the Gnawers and offer Contrition and jump through every necessary hoop, this outcome (a quest, the world "epic" is optional) would still be a possibility to move passed this mistake.


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