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What Tribe Should These Antagonists Belong To?

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  • What Tribe Should These Antagonists Belong To?

    I'm gearing up to run a game of Werewolf set in the Gulf Coast in the 1960s. There's going to be a big "Southern Gothic"/"Dirty South"/"Swamps and Mansions" sort of feel to it. One group of antagonists the pack is set to encounter is a pack of Garou that have taken over a small town in rural Louisiana. “If you ever find yourself down in Henderson, Louisiana," the rumor says, "do yourself a favor and steer clear of those Robicheau boys. That whole rotten family's been cavorting with all manner of unwholesome things in that swamp since before the Civil War.”

    Everyone in town knows about "those damn Robicheau boys" and "their no-good pappy," and most folks with a lick of sense know to give them a wide berth. They've turned the community into their own hunting grounds and are as corrupt and rotten and nasty as they come; if you've listened to the podcast "S-Town," that's basically what they've done to the place.

    My question is, what Tribe should these backwater despots belong to? I don't want them to be Spiral Dancers, that's too obvious and makes the conflict too straightforward. The other "obvious" choices would probably be Silver Fangs (to put a spin on the "decaying Southern aristocracy" part), Shadow Lords (to go with the whole "tainted heroes who will do ANYTHING to fight the Wyrm" feel of their Tribe), or even Uktena (because the "unwholesome things" they're "cavorting with" in the swamp are definitely spirits and other Shifters, which the Uktena are all up on).

    Any thoughts on what Tribe a bunch of scary swamp-werewolves who run their own little fiefdom near the Atchafalaya Basin should belong to?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Well, if you want creepy, inbred hillbilly rednecks, the Bone Gnawers always come to mind.

    You could also switch things up a bit. Maybe the family is Fianna and they have an alliance with some kind of nightmarish Fey creature (so it's not actually a Wyrm spirit). Hell, maybe the Fey Nightmare is actually keeping a powerful and evil Wyrm spirit bound deeper below ground (or claims it is). If it gets too weak the Wyrm-beast will awaken and go on a rampage. The Wyrm-beast is some kind of terrible creature and a lot of people and family members would end up dying if it wakes up.

    So the Fianna have been mucking around getting their claws dirty to try and provide more power to the Nightmare, to keep the Wyrm-beast from waking up. They've ended up doing some pretty terrible things and getting a really bad reputation, and it's possible that in their quest to serve the "greater good" they've become corrupted. It's also possible the Nightmare is full of crap. Maybe it's actually siphoning power from the Wyrm-beast. Or maybe it really is the Wyrm-beast (or at least it's psyche).

    But I don't know what you have planned for your game.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
      Well, if you want creepy, inbred hillbilly rednecks, the Bone Gnawers always come to mind.

      You could also switch things up a bit. Maybe the family is Fianna and they have an alliance with some kind of nightmarish Fey creature (so it's not actually a Wyrm spirit). Hell, maybe the Fey Nightmare is actually keeping a powerful and evil Wyrm spirit bound deeper below ground (or claims it is). If it gets too weak the Wyrm-beast will awaken and go on a rampage. The Wyrm-beast is some kind of terrible creature and a lot of people and family members would end up dying if it wakes up.

      So the Fianna have been mucking around getting their claws dirty to try and provide more power to the Nightmare, to keep the Wyrm-beast from waking up. They've ended up doing some pretty terrible things and getting a really bad reputation, and it's possible that in their quest to serve the "greater good" they've become corrupted.

      But I don't know what you have planned for your game.
      Really cool ideas. I think it could be interesting if the Robicheaus aren't actually corrupted, but the slumbering Nightmare gathers strength from mortal dreams and if the town were to grow, it might get free no matter what the Garou did. In order to combat it, the local werewolves make Henderson supremely unwelcoming. Much of the town might be kinfolk at this point, and their surly, insular dispositions are further darkened as they are all dimly aware of the threat that slumbers amid the slime and fossilizing crawdad husks. The occasional night terror that bedevils those who sleep within a mile or so of the town might go a long way of making the place feel tainted or cursed, a supernatural element of dread that transcends the bad-tempered locals.

      Antagonists are good, but rivals who are actually keeping a great evil at bay might be more fun. If your players do decide to go chainsaw claws on the Henderson Fianna without learning the whole story, they might find out about the Nightmare the hard way...
      Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 04-06-2017, 02:41 PM.

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      • #4
        @AnubisXy: I know next to nothing about Changeling or how the various fey work in that system, but I do like the idea of there being some kind of nightmare (or capital-N Nightmare) living beneath the swamp that the Robicheaus are actually cultivating. Perhaps there's a powerful node or caern or Other Unspecified Source of Mojo (TM) under the swamp, and by cultivating a palpable sense of dread around the place, those damn Robicheau boys are hoping to scare interlopers away. (Yes, it's a Scooby Doo plot writ large, and yes, I'm 100% okay with that in a tabletop RPG.) One of my favorite elements from Werewolf: the Forsaken is the idea of the "Lodge of the Hook Hand," which actively cultivates urban legends so its members will have a leg up on enemies, trespassers, and prey who think they'll be safe as long as they follow the rules; maybe this could be like that.

        As for the Fianna, that's something I hadn't considered. I've always thought of their influence as mainly being in Appalachia in the U.S. I'll give it some thought. I don't think Bone Gnawers really works as a Tribe, though, because they've got too much money and resources. Anyway, thanks!

        @The Laughing Stranger: I absolutely don't want "those damn Robicheau boys" to actually be Wyrm-tainted or "corrupted" beyond them being werewolves who are neck-deep in small town politics. I agree that "rivals who are actually keeping a great evil at bay" will be more fun, and that's been my plan from the start. I'm still calling them antagonists, because, well, they're going to be antagonistic; they don't take kindly to strangers coming into their land, Litany or not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by count_cholmondeley View Post
          I know next to nothing about Changeling or how the various fey work in that system, but I do like the idea of there being some kind of nightmare (or capital-N Nightmare) living beneath the swamp that the Robicheaus are actually cultivating. Perhaps there's a powerful node or caern or Other Unspecified Source of Mojo (TM) under the swamp, and by cultivating a palpable sense of dread around the place, those damn Robicheau boys are hoping to scare interlopers away. (Yes, it's a Scooby Doo plot writ large, and yes, I'm 100% okay with that in a tabletop RPG.) One of my favorite elements from Werewolf: the Forsaken is the idea of the "Lodge of the Hook Hand," which actively cultivates urban legends so its members will have a leg up on enemies, trespassers, and prey who think they'll be safe as long as they follow the rules; maybe this could be like that.
          I like the idea of a nightmarish fey spirit, but I wouldn't necessarily go for a strong crossover with Changeling. Unspecified (TM) mysterious threats are often the best. Maybe even the Robicheaus don't have a clear picture of the creature/entity/mind virus they are guarding, and that in turn gives rise to more myths and rituals. I think all the superstition might easily feed into the urban legend/modern folklore concept you mentioned from WtF, which sounds like a fantastic idea to borrow from.

          Originally posted by count_cholmondeley View Post
          As for the Fianna, that's something I hadn't considered. I've always thought of their influence as mainly being in Appalachia in the U.S. I'll give it some thought. I don't think Bone Gnawers really works as a Tribe, though, because they've got too much money and resources.
          There certainly are Fianna strongholds in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Adirondacks, but the Fianna were among the most aggressive proponents of westward expansion during the 1800s. If your group of Garou have been kicking around since before the Civil War, Fianna would be a great fit. The Fianna also carry a strong connection to the Fey and the realm of dreams. Given these proclivities and their historically close ties with their kin (they can be as tight-knit and insular as you want!) Stag's kids might be more appropriate than just about any other tribe...

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          • #6
            Fianna would be my choice. Robicheau's are obviously from French stock, and France was originally Gaul. Bone Gnawers might be a little too hillbilly, and Silver Fangs too elite. Fianna are a good tribe for a wide variety of social levels and concepts. And being French descended Fianna makes sense, but isn't stereotypical.

            Fianna also have some neat tribal Gifts that would work for this concept like Faerie Light and Howl of the Banshee. Perhaps they even have Faerie Kin gift to call some nightmarish Chimera spirits or even Unseelie changelings.

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            • #7
              No tribe. Make them Ronin following a random spirit/bane of the area. Maybe some Uktena died and the Bane he was tending called out to these lost souls who now follow him. I have a write up somewhere for a whole new wyrm tribe based on this concept.

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