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  • Advice for a first-time storyteller with first-time players

    I've been trying to set up a W20 chronicle with some friends from school. I'm fairly excited about it, but I'm kind of nervous since none of us have played before. We've tried other RPGs without much progress, but I haven't ever run a game. I'm trying to keep things on the simple side (only playing Garou) and go for a familiar setting (modern day, United States), but besides that and a few houserules, things are up in the air.

    With that in mind, is there anything I'll need to know?
    Last edited by VVifvvolf; 07-05-2018, 03:40 PM.

  • #2
    The advice in the storyteller chapter of W20 is very good and I suggest you follow it if you want to be true to the setting. Aside from that, just don't forget that this a horror game and Werewolves are monsters. Yes, they are monsters with a purpose, but they can still flip out at any moment and hurt their loved ones. When a werewolf frenzies, try not to fall into the trope of allowing all of his packmates to dogpile onto him until he calms down. Frenzy should not just be an opportunity to "hulk up." Bad stuff can and should happen. Also, don't forget or downplay "The Curse." By that, I mean the fact that human beings with Willpower scores less than a Werewolf's current Rage score (which is to say, MOST people), are made subconsciously uncomfortable by the character and will try to avoid him or her. Don't let your players off the hook with this. Werewolves aren't just furry superheroes.

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    • #3
      I strongly suggest that you have each player complete the "questionnaire" in the character creation chapter. Doing so will give you and them a very good understanding of their characters.

      Don't be afraid to deny character concepts that don't work for the game you want to run. Trying to fit in a bizarre character is allot of work for a storyteller.

      Take the time to detail the local Garou. A list of packs with names and short descriptions is incredibly helpful and will allow you to better portray those characters when needed.

      Remember that its not you versus them. Work with your players to create a game that's fun for everyone (and do have fun - this is a great game).


      What questions have come up that we can answer for you?

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      • #4
        As a story teller the most important thing you’re going to need to know is how to be flexible. The rest comes with it. Understanding how to do quick dice pools for random npcs is good. It’s good to flesh the world but your players are going to do what players do. Learn to roll with it.


        WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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        • #5
          Introduce the world slowly, focus each session or two on a particular concept. Like "This session is at the set in the Sept" you can introduce npcs. Let them ask questions about Garou society both in and out of character etc. Let them try some challenges.. maybe have someone summon a spirit so they get used to that. Then later let them go into the umbra.

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          • #6
            A bit belated, but as someone who has seen plenty of WtA arguments over the nature of the garou, please ask what level of anthromorphism is ok to your players. Because WtA is a game about wolves and humans and talking spirit animals and trees,etc. Are they ok with the lupus breed, what about the metis breed?


            My gallery.

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            • #7
              They’re playing a werewolf game, how hard is it to accept the norms of the world for people?


              WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lyrics Of War View Post
                They’re playing a werewolf game, how hard is it to accept the norms of the world for people?
                You'd be very surprised. Some players are MEGA uncomfortable about lupus, purebreed and such.


                My gallery.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post

                  You'd be very surprised. Some players are MEGA uncomfortable about lupus, purebreed and such.
                  I feel like this is more a sign of people becoming more mundane in their pursuit of being politically correct. There was a time when we used to marvel at completely different and shocking things.

                  People should read some 1920’s adventure stories and get their child like imagination back.


                  WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lyrics Of War View Post

                    I feel like this is more a sign of people becoming more mundane in their pursuit of being politically correct. There was a time when we used to marvel at completely different and shocking things.

                    People should read some 1920’s adventure stories and get their child like imagination back.
                    This isn't a new thing, actually. I've read a lot of stuff far back how people saw the existence of lupus character as shock jockeying (since for them it implied zoophilia), there is the good ol' 'eww furry' issue and Purebreed being basically eugenics. Aside from the spirit world being hokey.

                    It is just a very real thing that can crop up when you least expect it. Better explain these things existing in the setting before it comes through in play and starts an argument.


                    My gallery.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lyrics Of War View Post

                      I feel like this is more a sign of people becoming more mundane in their pursuit of being politically correct. There was a time when we used to marvel at completely different and shocking things.

                      People should read some 1920’s adventure stories and get their child like imagination back.

                      *Reads Shadows of Insmouth... *OOOOH MY GOD I HAVE IRISH BLOOD.. NOOOOOOOO THE HORROR!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post

                        This isn't a new thing, actually. I've read a lot of stuff far back how people saw the existence of lupus character as shock jockeying (since for them it implied zoophilia)
                        Intresting, we never had any issue with that stuff. It's always intresting to portray a homid, who is expected to inpregnate a bunch of wolves, but have no drive, a homid, who starts to get sexualy intrested in a wolf, a lupus, who starts a relationship with a human woman, or a lupus, who have the same issues with human breeding stock as homid with wolves.

                        What people forget that their characters are not human. New drives, urges, feelings kick in after the First Change. I'll advise a ST to describe a good & healthy wolf to describe sexualy attractive even if the player doesn't like it. One can't control her emotions.


                        Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
                        , there is the good ol' 'eww furry' issue
                        There can have multiple "intresting" encounters in this game, not just furry, but scaly, featherly, etc. If somebody have problem with Crinos-lover, read the Savage Genitalia fomor power description. He will run back to the furry-mommy.


                        Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
                        Purebreed being basically eugenics. Aside from the spirit world being hokey.
                        It's not eugenics, because it's not clearly determined by countable genetic factors. Eugenics doesn't work with the Garou.
                        I know, that it's politicaly totaly incorrect, but I must mention: Eugenics works. Not the "I'm German, so I'm better" style, but multiple genetic disorders are inherited / can be inherited to the children. If you remove the flawled gene pool, you remove (random mutation doesn't taken into account) the disorder. This can seriously decrease medical expenses and the suffering of the descendants. (Some of the genetical diseases are quite nasty. Google cystic fibrosis.)
                        On the other hand it seriously violates human rights & causes stigma and pain in the current generation.

                        My logical side support eugenics. My emotional side turn away with horror. I write this with a medical MSc degree in my pocket.

                        But what would a Shadow Lord or a Silver Fang think about it? Our games doesn't violate laws, cause suffering in people. We can and we should explore the forbidden during our plays. I *think* this is one of the greatest merits of the RPG. (But don't force it!)


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                        • #13

                          Setting up a game of werewolf requires answering questions, such as:

                          Which tribes have a strong local presence in your game? Who are the major high-ranking Garou? What is the name/spirits/physical layout of the local sept? Are there fera living nearby, and if so, how do they see the local Garou? Who are the plot-defining foes in the area?

                          The other funny little detail about WtA that I would embrace is smell. Smell is important to werewolves, but you don't have to go overboard. When describing a scene, toss in a couple evocative smells. If you encounter funny smells in your life, feel free to sneak them in (smells are very experiential). Take ponderosa pine trees, for example; pine is a common enough scent, but up close, between the cracks in the bark, the living trees smell like sweet vanilla.

                          Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post

                          Intresting, we never had any issue with that stuff. It's always intresting to portray a homid, who is expected to inpregnate a bunch of wolves, but have no drive, a homid, who starts to get sexualy intrested in a wolf, a lupus, who starts a relationship with a human woman, or a lupus, who have the same issues with human breeding stock as homid with wolves.

                          What people forget that their characters are not human. New drives, urges, feelings kick in after the First Change. I'll advise a ST to describe a good & healthy wolf to describe sexualy attractive even if the player doesn't like it. One can't control her emotions.


                          This reads like all the wrong stereotypes about WtA.

                          This is terrible advice for how a new storyteller and new players ought to conduct their game. My group has been playing for years and are pretty comfortable with the world, but zoophilia is not something any of us are interested in exploring. At all. Had I included the urge to copulate with wolves in the way you are describing, I highly doubt I would still be running my game.

                          Frankly, I find the entire concept of describing canines as sexy (regardless of player preference) to be revolting. Kinks are fine, but not when people don't want to participate in them. That ain't cool.



                          Not gonna discuss how terrible purebreed is. The mechanics are poor and the concept is muddled at best.


                          Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 07-19-2018, 04:13 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                            My group has been playing for years and are pretty comfortable with the world, but zoophilia is not something any of us are interested in exploring. At all.
                            Just to mention: We're not hard core furry lovers who describe the encounters, but I *think* worthly to play the metamorphosys from human to Garou. And in my viewpoint it comes with thinks a human wouldn't like.

                            based on the fluff, if a Tribe loses the wolf kin, they will die out. Currently homids are in much higher numbers than lupus, who are dieing out. They are loosing habitat, hunted down, collected for Pentex research, etc.
                            There is a viable solution to mantain the lines...

                            Even a homid have a wolf "nature", if you forget & ignopre it, the system officialy hit you with minus Renown.

                            By the way: I don't think that the above should concern a homid most, but Rage. It isolates, kills, drives you. But it's a kevl superpower, so it's ok.


                            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                            Had I included the urge to copulate with wolves in the way you are describing, I highly doubt I would still be running my game.
                            I'm a malleable, dear ST. If somebody informs me that something deeply upset her, I don't force the topic, but if the players sign up to play Garou, it's a 2 sided coin.


                            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                            Frankly, I find the entire concept of describing canines as sexy (regardless of player preference) to be revolting.
                            For you, because you are a human. And it should you, because zoophilie & bestiality are not nice things. Bat Garou are not human. They are not wolves. They can't commit bestiality. They can't be zoopilic. The human component is missing.

                            A wolf in estrus could kick in something even in a homid, who is not a man anymore. I always enjoyed my lover's scent. Turn into a wolf, make that stimuli 1000 times stronger.

                            (A personal note: I don't feel urges towards animals, except to eat them.)

                            A player could avoid to get into situations where thinks like this comes into play. They can play GW/BG, Garou in city Septs, they can have families, they can be wedded. There are thousands of reasons why homid-wolf relationship doesn't comes into play, but I *think* if you treat this topic as a taboo, you won't play Garou anymore.

                            But there are multiple play styles, and I don't thing any of them superior or inferior than the others. Just have fun.
                            Last edited by Lachdanan; 07-19-2018, 05:19 AM.


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                            • #15
                              I feel like you lot have simply taken it too far. Ones born of wolves, so their family is wolves, ones born of humans so family is humans, and one is a freak that shouldn’t exist (I’m kidding.......... maybe).

                              Y’all act like that means there should be sexual relations which isn’t at all what I’ve read werewolf to be about (beyond the black spiral game I ran). That’s more down time than anything else, and I dunno how much free time garou have to be bumping uglies.

                              Pretty sure it’s 99% a non issue.


                              WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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