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Kinfolk - Clear Consensus on what that means?

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  • Kinfolk - Clear Consensus on what that means?

    I'm trying to figure out specifically what defines a kinfolk and, as a natural follow up, how to detect/find them (also, are they innately supernatural or only if they have gifts/gnosis).

    Part of the confusion comes from the source book Kinfolk Unsung Heroes (Werewolf The Apocalypse Year of the Ally)

    On page 13 of the aforementioned book (quoting in part), "So what makes somebody kin?

    The most important deciding factor in whether someone is kin or not is her response to the Delirium? . . . A bona fide Kinfolk might be afraid, but no Veil shadows her memory of witnessing werewolves in their true form. . . .

    The second vital component in determining whether a wolf or human is Kin involves genetics. Is he descended from a line of werewolves? Do other members of his pack bear Gaia's favor? Has he sired Garou pups? If so, he's almost assuredly Kinfolk. Genetics isn't an exact science, but the mating of werewolves and Kinfolk produces roughly 90 percent Kinfolk and 10 percent Garou offspring. The mating of two Kinfolk changes the number to 50 percent Kinfolk and 1 percent Garou, with the remainder of children being plain folks. . . .

    The more nebulous determinants of Kinfolk status are mindset, spirtuality and acculturation. (this is all the duty/lore stuff relating to Gaia)

    SO, even after all that, there's not a definitive answer. Even the supernatural ones with gnosis/gifts don't seem to register differently under Auspex per a strict reading of the Vampire Rules. I also haven't found a Werewolf Gift or Rite to determine it. Blood Magic, particularly BioThaumaturgy, has led to some possible ways to determine it with blood but even that isn't expressly stated in the rules....

    Can anyone help? Thanks.

  • #2
    Yes, there is no definitive answer.

    It is not totally genetics, there is a supernatural component to it, and possibly this can be dormant. W20 Kinfolk also divides between kinfolk who are in the fold and those who are not. Lastly, to make terminology even more vague, Corax consider their biological parents kinfolk, or at least might, even though they don't necessarily have any relation to any other Corax.

    'Scent of the true Form', at a high difficulty, can discern kinfolk from humans (or wolves, I guess) - but it isn't stated if that is for garou kin or any kin.

    So, it is totally possible, that there is a genetic marker or dormant supernatural quality, that is within a certain amount of the population that is representative for the chance of being or becoming kinfolk. However, only those with actual supernatural powers should be the only ones that can be discerned, imo.

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    • #3
      My half-serious suggestion? Make friends with a ronin or Black Spiral Dancer who can use ‘scent the true form.’

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      • #4
        Originally posted by heinrich View Post
        Yes, there is no definitive answer.

        It is not totally genetics, there is a supernatural component to it, and possibly this can be dormant. W20 Kinfolk also divides between kinfolk who are in the fold and those who are not. Lastly, to make terminology even more vague, Corax consider their biological parents kinfolk, or at least might, even though they don't necessarily have any relation to any other Corax.

        'Scent of the true Form', at a high difficulty, can discern kinfolk from humans (or wolves, I guess) - but it isn't stated if that is for garou kin or any kin.

        So, it is totally possible, that there is a genetic marker or dormant supernatural quality, that is within a certain amount of the population that is representative for the chance of being or becoming kinfolk. However, only those with actual supernatural powers should be the only ones that can be discerned, imo.
        Good points. I'll have to check out W20 Kinfolk (didn't realize it was a thing). I tend to agree with you, especially the way that kinfolk genetics are explained per the book as mentioned above, that it is some genetic marker (almost like a recessive gene). In the strictest sense, genetic kinfolk would likely be more identifiable than dudes that, honestly, are just allies and in the know.

        Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
        My half-serious suggestion? Make friends with a ronin or Black Spiral Dancer who can use ‘scent the true form.’
        There are a handful of Vampire powers/rituals that allow you to SEE true form but since kinfolk would have no alternate viewed form, it does seem that scent would be superior here. Also, I suspect a good lore reason to explain that is Gaia protecting garou kinfolk from vampires and the Auspex discipline is a clan discipline for at least three core clans.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mrobviousjosh View Post
          There are a handful of Vampire powers/rituals that allow you to SEE true form but since kinfolk would have no alternate viewed form, it does seem that scent would be superior here. Also, I suspect a good lore reason to explain that is Gaia protecting garou kinfolk from vampires and the Auspex discipline is a clan discipline for at least three core clans.
          My question is: From what a hack should a vampire know that they should look for a Kinfolk, who is, by basic Vamp powers, undistinguishable from normal humans. (Except when you drink from them, the muffs hit you HARD.)

          About what is a Kinfolk:
          It's not in the genetical & or in the spiritual makeup. It's in both. There could be genetical markers found what increases the chance that a human is Kinfolk, but you couldn't be sure. (There is even one Ritual what can make a human Kinfolk, but I don't think that it will rewrite the genom.).

          About the werewolf ancestors: Everyone, but the ones in most remote regions, have Garou ancestors. They interbred with humans for thousands of years. But not everyone is a Kinfolk. It's like a recessive gene what vanishes after a certain time, if the bloodline is not cultivated.

          Also Garou-birth is not a clear marker. Normal humans if mate with a werewolf have a slim chance to sire one. BUT the rest will be Kinfolk. So if you have a Garou parent, but you never changed, you are a Kinfolk (or take too many anger-supressant Pentex made medicine).

          The birth rates: The Kinfolk Pure Breed Background can vary it considerably.

          About the mindset: There are tons of Kinflok, who live normal life without any knowledge about the suprenatural.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
            Also Garou-birth is not a clear marker. Normal humans if mate with a werewolf have a slim chance to sire one. BUT the rest will be Kinfolk. So if you have a Garou parent, but you never changed, you are a Kinfolk (or take too many anger-supressant Pentex made medicine).
            Will bei most likely kinfolk. It could be possible, that the child in question is totally human, meaning despite being a 1-grade relative to a garou, the child might not exhibit the resistance to the Curse or the immunity to Delirium and Veil.
            There are no explicit mechanics given, but for dramatic effect, I'd keep that option.

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            • #7
              Had an idea? Think Garou who find a cub on the verge of a firsting has been institutionalized, probaly happens enough they have a procedure for it.


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              • #8
                'Scent of the True Form',

                Rank 1 Philodox Gift
                This Gift allows the Garou to determine the true nature of a person. This information is conveyed as an olfactory sensation — it is actually a scent of the target’s natural form. Any spirit servant of Gaia can teach this Gift.
                System: The Garou can tell automatically when someone is a werewolf; anything else requires a Perception + Primal-Urge roll. It takes two successes to detect vampires, faeries or other shapeshifters as such, and it takes four to detect fomori or mages.

                Unless W20 is different?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                  'Scent of the True Form',

                  Rank 1 Philodox Gift
                  This Gift allows the Garou to determine the true nature of a person. This information is conveyed as an olfactory sensation — it is actually a scent of the target’s natural form. Any spirit servant of Gaia can teach this Gift.
                  System: The Garou can tell automatically when someone is a werewolf; anything else requires a Perception + Primal-Urge roll. It takes two successes to detect vampires, faeries or other shapeshifters as such, and it takes four to detect fomori or mages.

                  Unless W20 is different?
                  Yeah, W20 Scent of the True Form allows for kinfolk to be detected automatically, in addition to other Garou.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post

                    My question is: From what a hack should a vampire know that they should look for a Kinfolk, who is, by basic Vamp powers, undistinguishable from normal humans. (Except when you drink from them, the muffs hit you HARD.)
                    There's a lot of Vampire lore that supports a handful of vampires knowing about werewolves. Supernatural Ally (werewolf) merit gives a RP reason to know lupine/garou lore, which is a recognized secondary knowledge, the Supernatural Kinfolk merit mentioned above as well (if vampire were selected as opposed to say wraith or something), and then there are ronin who are easily corrupted and could divulge secrets, Auspex which at higher levels allows telepathy so something could be gleamed from it (hell, even something like people's journals and family memoirs could give away what being a kinfolk is), and then there are abominations/black spiral dancers/etc. that could all be sources of such information. It's not outside the realm of possibility, just uncommon (much like how old school werewolves most didn't have silver tolerance but some chose to select the merit, expensive as it was).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                      My half-serious suggestion? Make friends with a ronin or Black Spiral Dancer who can use ‘scent the true form.’
                      Talk about living dangerously. Some of the other changing breeds have it as well, and are probably less risky than trying to haggle with a Black Spiral Dancer. Corvid Corax can get Scent of the True Form as a starting gift, and all Mokole can get Sight of the True Form as a starting gift (slightly different name but it's the same ability). I think a few other Fera have it too.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                        Yeah, W20 Scent of the True Form allows for kinfolk to be detected automatically, in addition to other Garou.
                        Iirc, it states pre-change garou aren't detected anymore. This is a huge change, for it shakes up the whole kin/garou dynamic.

                        Previously, one could determine shortly afer birth, if a chid is bred true or not. If the cub wasn't raised as a human in secrecy or for some other reason, but was raised knowing within a sept and among kinfolk, then the child always know of the high hopes the family has in him and so on, while kin-sibings always knew, they were only 2nd to their true bred relatives. The whole Samuel Haight inferiority complex stems from this fact.
                        Now, in W20, it is presented, as if garou were never able to tell pre-change garou and kin apart, meaning that every kin person could potentially be a garou, who for some reason hasn't changed yet. It makes the whole social dynamic between garou and kin totally different.

                        Also, could a pre-change garou and a gaou now mate and not produce a metis? What if the change happens during pregnancy, it the child then transformed into a metis or does it stay homid/lupus?
                        Really, I have now idea what they were thinking when they decided to change this concept within WtA, except
                        "Hey, wouldn't it be coll if we could shift the majority of starting characters to Lost Cubs"
                        - "But garou can detect if a child is garou or not, it's even in the revised Edition FAQs'
                        "So, let's change that.'
                        - "We should think that through, though. There might be more to that than just one gift."
                        "Ah, people who buy W20 won't play it, they buy the Heavy Metal Edition to keep it behind glass. So don't worry"

                        The way I remember it, unlike the open development on W20 Chaning Breeds, the W20 Core didn't really incorporate the suggestions made in the Forums.

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                        • #13
                          Ok! I have a profoundly stupid way of detecting Kinfolk for vampires. Find a Ventrue who's feeding restriction is kinfolk, see who he can eat!

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                          • #14
                            I guess any Mage could use Prime to check for a sympatic connection that makes a person kin. But given the rule, that kin unless they have supernatural powers are basically human/wolf, the difficulty might be high or a lot successes might be needed to find the supernatural "kin marker".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lian View Post
                              Ok! I have a profoundly stupid way of detecting Kinfolk for vampires. Find a Ventrue who's feeding restriction is kinfolk, see who he can eat!
                              With the merit that lets you smell who your feeding restriction is!

                              heinrich It might take a combination of Prime, Spirit and Life to sense the minute differences. Or a bit of Time to look forward and see if they change

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