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Social aspects of the game

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  • Social aspects of the game

    Do these werewolves also have a strong sense of being a pack. I have a hard time seeing it with the tribes all being so individualistic

  • #2
    For Garou a pack is pretty much essential. Every Garou for himself only fulfills one of the five duties, only has one aspect that should be represented in each pack. That's the Auspice.
    Also, the bigger Organization, the Sept, is very important, as it provides the backup, intelligence, maybe the Caern each pack needs. Most times the players will not play Sept-leaders but a pack that is governed by older, more experienced Garou.
    Also, there's the whole Renown thing which is a very important hierarchy. Pack totems, tribal totems.

    The fact that all the tribes don't really like each other is one of the main obstacles that PCs have to deal with ingame.


    • #3
      Lots of septs (and by extension, packs) are made up of a single tribe. Player character packs tend to be more motley than is typical: these packs are often created with a specific purpose that transcends tribal allegiance. This gives players an opportunity to play what they want, and the differences in tribal philosophy create interesting points of tension.

      Garou instincts are strong and the spiritual bonds of the pack totem also help to keep a pack together and 'on task.'


      • #4
        So while each tribe may dislike each other, as individual packs they are very much a group of true companions? Do they also have abilities like in forsaken that reflect this


        • #5
          Packs are supposed to be like family where the pack totem is the parent, and the pack's Garou are that spirit's children. So there is a strong sense of family among Garou in a pack, especially since Garou are rarely a biological family so this is the next best thing. Of course, like all families, this does not mean they live in harmony with each other. Packs likely have the same negative dynamics like sibling rivalries, tyrannical or neglectful parents, disrespectful children, etc. But in most families, this is constrained and there is a strong sense of belonging, if not love.

          The pack bond can be broken as a member leaves or the pack splits (not all pack quests/purposes are ongoing), but I imagine that is usually more like an adult child leaving home to start his own family/life rather than a bitter divorce from a spouse.

          I imagine septs and inter-sept relations to be similar to the relations and rivalries between the city states of legendary and classical of the Bronze and Iron Ages. They are like Athens, Thebes, Corinth, Sparta, Argos, and Mycenae. The septs quarrel and even fight one another, but they are quick to come together when they need to fight the Trojans, Persians, or other invading barbarians.

          I think the tribes are like both large scale cultic organizations based around worship of their totem, and extended family based on descent from their common spiritual ancestor (also their totem). As such tribal membership conciliates individual members to each other. They aren't suppose to fight each other since they have a common ancestor and practice the same sacred mysteries. Tribes can also be sources of some political allegiances (Silver Fangs have their royal houses, Get have jarls, all tribes have secret camps), but usually a Garou's political loyalties are first to their pack and sept because their pack totem and caern totem are more active in their lives and in their community.

          Garou also see all Garou as part of a single people (the Garou Nation) with a common law (the Litany). They can come together in Concords and Concolations, and vaguely recognize charismatic, higher authorities among the Silver Fangs or some other great hero whose exploits are famous. So they are a common people, just politically divided with weak central authorities as the most important decisions are made at the pack and sept level, with greater decisions made only at rarely held concolations.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
            So while each tribe may dislike each other, as individual packs they are very much a group of true companions? Do they also have abilities like in forsaken that reflect this
            Tribes and packs simply aren't this black and white.

            A pack of Garou can be anything from a collection of young werewolves that haven't found a long standing pack yet, none of whom like each other at best, into a temporary pack to fulfill a specific mission (very common among Cubs on a mission to earn their initiation, and Cliaths in smaller Septs that don't necessarily have the numbers to form long standing ideal packs), all the way to life long companions with fire-forged friendships, and everything in between.

            Tribes color preconceptions, but ultimately the Garou's communal drive is stronger than Tribal indoctrination for most individuals. Even the most sexist Fenrir and emasculation happy Fury will begrudgingly feel the urge to put that aside when the chips are down.


            • #7
              Yes werewolves have very deep and strong social urges, inherited both from their human and their wolf ancestry. It might be even harder for a wolf to live in solitude than for a human to be a hermit. That's much of why being a Ronin is such a terrible fate.

              I agree with the consensus above that the pack and sept tend to have stronger and more direct social influence on individuals than their tribal identity, but tribal identity is still relevant. The majority of most tribes probably believe all the other tribes are doing things wrong, and should learn the "right" way to do things, but with experience and exposure to members of other tribes, those prejudices can be softened and a wise character will learn to appreciate the values that other tribes embody. Over time, personal bonding will develop with the people you live and fight with, and those bonds tend to matter more than your allegiance to the righ or the jarl who lives 1000 miles away.