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  • How do werewolves amass political influence

    I want to use some werewolves in a vampire LARP, I would like to use the werewolves as an entrenched group who are capable of being a threat to an entire (newly established) vampiric court of Camarilla and Anarch Vampires.

    These werewolves must not be brute force "Lupines" as Vampire often depicts them. They must be tech savy, cunning, patient and politically influential people who will not reveal themselves or strike directly if it's too risky.

    In short, I want good political antagonists but for reasons not under my control, the Sabbat and other groups of vampires are not necessarily available at this time.

    Thus I need a (natural) enemy to the vampires that will present a lasting, intimidating and difficult to pin down threat to their security. I have considered other options such as mortal hunters but am inclined to use werewolves.

    Can anyone provide me with information on how werewolves amass political influence and would use their resources in a shadow war against the Vampires?

    I know this is not normal werewolf behaviour so I'm thinking the local Garou population is either Shadow Lord or Glass Walker based, possibly a mix of both and some other Uratha (urban werewolves).
    Last edited by Zennis; 04-14-2017, 07:21 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Zennis View Post
    Thus I need a (natural) enemy to the vampires that will present a lasting, intimidating and difficult to pin down threat to their security. I have considered other options such as mortal hunters but am inclined to use werewolves.

    Can anyone provide me with information on how werewolves amass political influence and would use their resources in a shadow war against the Vampires?

    I know this is not normal werewolf behaviour so I'm thinking the local Garou population is either Shadow Lord or Glass Walker based, possibly a mix of both and some other Uratha (urban werewolves).
    Glasswalkers seem to exactly the sort of thing you are looking for. Their Tribebook should have a lot of information to build up whatever you need. Since I don't know the specifics of what you are going for it's hard to give more exact advice.

    It is also odd to me to hear what others think "normal" werewolf behavior is like. I find I rarely agree. But either way, you listed at least 2 Tribes that fit pretty well with what you want. If you need more diversity, throw in some Bone Gnawers. The Glasswalkers are definitely a better fit all around since you seem to want the antagonists to be proficient from a tech side as well.

    Resources-wise, Garou can rely heavily on spirits for scouting and defense which is something most Vampires have no way around. Even the ones that do have knowledge of spirits are (generally) going to have inferior ways to interact with them. So Glasswalkers can eavesdrop on phone conversations without the use of mundane tech, or use spiritual GPS systems to find and track kindred. Generally, anything you need for them to accomplish as antagonists can be done within story by employing spirits or the Umbra. Obviously don't go overboard with it. Garou should be unbeatable just because. But whatever you need for your story can be explained away usually.


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    • #3
      Vampires amass influence primarily by their Dominate and Presence abilities to mind control people plus the Blood Bond and ghouling. In some circumstances their physical powers and violence are either an adjunct to that to threaten people, or to serve as a means to gather influence in areas where outright violence and physical threats work.

      Werewolves don't have any of that. Some Gifts are available, but they are much less effective. Besides their overall ability to control people is handicapped by the Curse. However, they do have other means.
      • Kinfolk is the primary one. A sept of werewolves probably has a good number of kinfolk they would be loyal to the werewolves either out of a sense of duty or fear.
      • Garou can also do well when outright physical domination can be used as a means of influence - primarily on the Street or Underground (since you are using LARP). The ability to generate fear and be physical terrors can be useful in organized crime and street gangs where it isn't in the banking or business community.
      • Low Rage werewolves (primarily Ragabash) might be able to hold actual jobs and run organizations.
      • Theurges and their spiritual abilities can sometimes do things that allow something very much like Influence to occur. You don't need an inside mole to gain access to someone's secret bank account information and financial records if a Glass Walker can summon some kind of Net spirit to do the same.
      Furthermore, werewolves generally aren't interested in building influence like a vampire does. A vampire is trying to make sure their ability to live forever is maintained - something in doubt if you explode in flame because you were exposed to sunlight because cops arrive at your apartment during the day with a search warrant, or you get evicted from your home because you can't hold a day job to pay the mortgage. Werewolves mainly just want to kill things for Gaia.

      Overall the ability of werewolves to balance vampires in terms of Influence is very limited, which is why the core Werewolf game doesn't have that background. However, there are a few areas where Werewolves could equal or even surpass the ability of vampires to do the same.
      • A small town in rural areas could be completely controlled by werewolves because the entire town, or most of it, is Kinfolk. Likewise, perhaps the most powerful local family owned business is the same.
      • A single pack is interested in a very narrow area of influence that they end up dominating and can use their superior physical powers to exclude others from doing so.
      My suggestion is to focus your attention of one aspect in your LARP chronicle that is Werewolf dominated, yet can affect other areas of the city whenever their interests are threatened. A prominent local bank of business which is a leader of the local community, donates money to many charitable organizations, and has political influence would be a good idea. That organization is simply owned by kinfolk, and much of its management is kinfolk loyal to a nearby sept. Perhaps some Garou are officially on the payroll, but with nebulous job descriptions to serve as the sept's eyes and ears, or at least watch out over for it against supernatural intruders.

      You can then use it behind the scenes to do things you want. However, it won't be obvious that the business is responsible for it. They'll see these other organizations at first. Then if the vampires pierce that level to see who in the organizations are particularly responsible, they'll get different names. Then if they research those different individuals, they won't at first see any connections between them. Only after a long time of research might they realize all have some kind of tie back to the same private business or families who are owners. Of course, before that happens, they might get attacked by packs of werewolves "randomly".

      If you do it right, it will be a long time before the LARP players learn about this "blocking" influence on them. It wouldn't be all powerful, but it would be persistent. And most of the influence should be projected into a specific geographic area (because the werewolves want to keep the vampires out) but with only sporadic conflicts outside that area. I think that would be you best bet.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
        Vampires amass influence primarily by their Dominate and Presence abilities to mind control people plus the Blood Bond and ghouling. In some circumstances their physical powers and violence are either an adjunct to that to threaten people, or to serve as a means to gather influence in areas where outright violence and physical threats work.

        Werewolves don't have any of that. Some Gifts are available, but they are much less effective. Besides their overall ability to control people is handicapped by the Curse. However, they do have other means.
        • Kinfolk is the primary one. A sept of werewolves probably has a good number of kinfolk they would be loyal to the werewolves either out of a sense of duty or fear.
        • Garou can also do well when outright physical domination can be used as a means of influence - primarily on the Street or Underground (since you are using LARP). The ability to generate fear and be physical terrors can be useful in organized crime and street gangs where it isn't in the banking or business community.
        • Low Rage werewolves (primarily Ragabash) might be able to hold actual jobs and run organizations.
        • Theurges and their spiritual abilities can sometimes do things that allow something very much like Influence to occur. You don't need an inside mole to gain access to someone's secret bank account information and financial records if a Glass Walker can summon some kind of Net spirit to do the same.
        Furthermore, werewolves generally aren't interested in building influence like a vampire does. A vampire is trying to make sure their ability to live forever is maintained - something in doubt if you explode in flame because you were exposed to sunlight because cops arrive at your apartment during the day with a search warrant, or you get evicted from your home because you can't hold a day job to pay the mortgage. Werewolves mainly just want to kill things for Gaia.

        Overall the ability of werewolves to balance vampires in terms of Influence is very limited, which is why the core Werewolf game doesn't have that background. However, there are a few areas where Werewolves could equal or even surpass the ability of vampires to do the same.
        • A small town in rural areas could be completely controlled by werewolves because the entire town, or most of it, is Kinfolk. Likewise, perhaps the most powerful local family owned business is the same.
        • A single pack is interested in a very narrow area of influence that they end up dominating and can use their superior physical powers to exclude others from doing so.
        My suggestion is to focus your attention of one aspect in your LARP chronicle that is Werewolf dominated, yet can affect other areas of the city whenever their interests are threatened. A prominent local bank of business which is a leader of the local community, donates money to many charitable organizations, and has political influence would be a good idea. That organization is simply owned by kinfolk, and much of its management is kinfolk loyal to a nearby sept. Perhaps some Garou are officially on the payroll, but with nebulous job descriptions to serve as the sept's eyes and ears, or at least watch out over for it against supernatural intruders.

        You can then use it behind the scenes to do things you want. However, it won't be obvious that the business is responsible for it. They'll see these other organizations at first. Then if the vampires pierce that level to see who in the organizations are particularly responsible, they'll get different names. Then if they research those different individuals, they won't at first see any connections between them. Only after a long time of research might they realize all have some kind of tie back to the same private business or families who are owners. Of course, before that happens, they might get attacked by packs of werewolves "randomly".

        If you do it right, it will be a long time before the LARP players learn about this "blocking" influence on them. It wouldn't be all powerful, but it would be persistent. And most of the influence should be projected into a specific geographic area (because the werewolves want to keep the vampires out) but with only sporadic conflicts outside that area. I think that would be you best bet.
        This chronicle must take place in the city we are playing in, this city has a population of about two and a half million in the metro area. That is the setting

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
          . Werewolves mainly just want to kill things for Gaia.
          A struggle which has taken on new dimensions requiring influence among humans!

          Some other potential avenues of influence:

          - Using Animal Attraction to make compromising material on someone to strongarm them. It doesn't have to go fully all the way; AA can make people carouse overly much now.
          - Doppleganger, a Gift among high-ranking Glass Walkers, allows a werewolf to copy someone's likeness. With enough familiarity, they can slide in and take advantage of an official's position for a brief time. Signal Rider can also help to get said doppleganger in position. Nosferatu might exert control over the sewers to move furtively, but anywhere someone can get a cell phone signal is any place that a Glass Walker can fatally compromise for their own purposes. This is above and beyond their capability to take over your electronic systems for their own purposes. Assume that no matter how well-secured a vampire's holdings are, one Walker or another will be able to find a way in, even without Net-spiders.
          - Sabotage is extremely easy for werewolves, as they have no small number of Gifts and fetishes facilitating it in ways that vampires would be hard pressed to pin on what they assume to be bestial rage-monsters.
          - Geas, though another trick from the "for high-rank only", can flat-out force others to do a werewolf's bidding so long as it doesn't cut against their nature, much as with Dominate, but without a dot-grading that slowly improves the character's capability in the area. Shadow Lords have another Gift that can push harder on targets, though.
          - Speaking of Shadow Lords, Fatal Flaw reveals nebulous weaknesses in a target, which is a slight help in combat but seems to hint at being of greater value out of it. This is basically just the ground floor of how Thunder's tribe can get in your head and push your buttons to their own benefit.

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