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Metis' role in the 5th edition?

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  • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    That's not really a divergence from me at all. That's near exact what I believe: The players have the option to try to be the light raging in the darkness. Or they can have fun clowning around as eco-fascists.

    The issue though, is that the darkness needs to be present. As werewolf editions have gone on, they have become sanatized, nice, kind: What battles can you have when the war is already won?
    The only ones that think that they've won and become self-indulgent are the Dancers. Meanwhile, there's a giant pile of antagonists and existentially-threatening situations for most of W:tA, and it's only been growing as the years go on. W20 added in a bunch of nasty new fomori and banes, and that trend would probably continue. Maybe W5 will make a call back to the Cataclysm in SF or some other old thread of impending doom.

    There are too many authors trying to make werewolf nice because that's what they would want or maybe even because that's what their character achieved in their own games but.. Who wants a nice setting in a game about Rage? It's a selfish act of setting sabbotage to deny the struggle. I wanna get mad at stuff and hulk out.

    There's just something horrible about removing all the bad stuff about the Garou and making the game a sanitized, politically correct corperate product, preaching to a chior with all the power of a wet blanket.
    How the hell does the setting come across as nice after a read-through of W20 BotW? That could make one forget that W20 opened with the Eighth Sign of the Phoenix. But you know, even if you can work to defeat your enemies, that work doesn't just happen. It still has everything from stacked against it.

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    • Maybe I’m not seeing your argument, but I feel as though we’re no longer arguing the same point MyWifeIsScary.

      I’ve mentioned on this forum a few times my two general schools of thought above the kinds of game there are, Gothic style and Punk style. So I apologize if I was in accurate about our views diverging with regard to the importance of punk style gameplay.

      To your other points though, I was very explicitly not arguing for any sort of sanitation of the setting. My argument, and the argument of others, has been that the term ‘m*tis’ is both unnecessary and actively harmful to the game and by extension it’s setting. I very clearly illustrated that I believe the setting narrative of prejudice against the Garou-born by culturally orthodox Garou is something I believe to be important and useful to the punkish nature of the setting. I also agree that solving too many problems via metaplot can cheat the players out of a chance to solve these problems themselves - that’s always been a concern regarding the metaplot in general.

      Where you and I seem to differ is what is necessary for the game and it’s themes to be effective. I don’t believe that the game needs to use a slur aimed at real world groups facing discrimination to be effective. It can accomplish its narrative goals very well without using the slur which, you know, many players would not be comfortable playing with - particularly if it has ever effected them or anyone close to them personally.

      I’ll leave the debate over ‘political correctness’ aside for now, although I will personally say that I strongly disagree with its use as a dirty phrase or criticism.

      What I will ultimately say is that I have been very clear about what I find objectionable and unnecessary. I don’t take issue with the narrative, I take issue with the term harnessed by the narrative, because it is harmful to the effectiveness of the product.

      Taking issue with one element of a setting, particularly one that involves the use of a real world slur, is not the same as advocating for anything resembling the ‘sanitization’ of a setting - it’s advocating for making the setting more accessible and thus with greater potential for success and growth.

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      • At the core of the issue discussed here, is this; No matter how dark the setting is, no matter what themes it has- the Setting should never turn around and tell you 'oh, you are not welcome here. We may use things from your culture here, but -you- as a person are not welcome to engage in this setting.' Especially in a game as socially aware as WtA.


        My gallery.

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        • Look, you've all driven in decent points about the word metis, but is there a good way to reconcile an inoffensive solution with a toxic Garou culture?

          I had this funny (not funny) exhange in my head

          "Ok, more than half the nation have agreed; we're not allowed to call you freaks metis anymore, it's insulting to a marginalized people some of us have ties to, and therefore a slur of the wyrm; What do you want to be called instead? Bastards, freaks, inbred, monstrosities, mistakes?"


          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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          • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            That's what the books ask every Metis person that picks them up. That's why lots of us have spent decades advocating it get changed in some fashion. You're calling it an overblown non-issue because it doesn't make you put down the book and dismiss WtA in disgust. I actually lost players with Native backgrounds from an online Mage game just by mentioning I was a WtA fan in the late 90s.
            That is imo overly sensitive to borderline idiotic behaviour.

            But, as I employ my google fu it seems that the term is only used for the Métis people today, and not an actively used term in the frensh language. Also, to relate it to the greek Mêtis seems wrong within the meaning of the word within the in-game universe - for while the Titaness Mêtis was kind of a double-edged sword situation for Zeus, the word also corresponds to 'wisdom' and that doesn't make sense as name for a breed.

            That said, if the 5th edition would simply use "Mule" as a term within the rules sections and descriptive texts and add an entry to the "garou words" section mentioning that the term "Metis" has fallen into disuse, especially with the rise of homids with political-correctness in mind.
            If W5 is to bridge a decade like V5 did, such a change would be believable, while not retconning the use of the word in the past.
            It still might not satisfy all Metis People, but unless someone emplys a TARDIS, it seems to me like a sensible approach. Then again, I'm not offended by the term.

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            • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
              Look, you've all driven in decent points about the word metis, but is there a good way to reconcile an inoffensive solution with a toxic Garou culture?
              Yes. Plenty have been provided during the 8 pages of this. The thing is... most of us don't care about any sort of in-universe explanation for the change. Retconing it is fine. We don't need any sort of silly metaplot event that you seem to constantly harp on as a distraction from the issue.

              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
              That is imo overly sensitive to borderline idiotic behaviour.
              As you say, it's not a term that's being used that's insulting to you. It takes the most minimal application of empathy to understand why marginalized groups don't want to deal with casual racist language in their games and don't want to deal with gaming groups that accept such language in their gaming books.

              ...and that doesn't make sense as name for a breed.
              That depends highly on what you think the point of having the Breed is (or at least was originally).

              That said, if the 5th edition would simply use "Mule" as a term within the rules sections and descriptive texts and add an entry to the "garou words" section mentioning that the term "Metis" has fallen into disuse, especially with the rise of homids with political-correctness in mind.
              It would be bullshit, as has been explained, repeatedly. It's not an in-universe problem that needs an in-universe solution. It's a problem with the writing of the game, and that's were it needs to be solved and acknowledged.

              Would it satisfy everyone? Of course not. But there's a lot you can do for goodwill by actually fixing and acknowledge why they needed fixed than worrying about retcons.

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              • This whole discussion is tiring because what I and Heavy Arms are saying is to make sure the PLAYERS will not feel attacked/offended about the material. Nothing about the in-universe treatment of metis. Just retiring one word and replacing it with maybe something from Latin like homid/lupus are?


                My gallery.

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                • Instead of arguing ad nauseum, let's brainstorm new words.
                  • Mule, runt, wastrel, and maybe bastard are words Garou would use. Wiktionary tells me that abhaicín is Irish for 'runt', and lists nákʼeeshchąąʼí as the Navajo translation of 'runt'. It also gives lots of translations for bastard.
                  • Crinos is a word I could see the mules calling themselves to insist they deserve equality with homid and lupus, and to highlight their relation to all Garou, who all have a Crinos form.
                  • For Grondr, crinos works.
                  • Ratkin can't use runt, since that has a specific meaning for them already, and even mule might be a word only homids think to use. I like wastrel as a Ratkin term, abecause theirs are sickly and less likey to survive the Birthing Plague. Nvm, Wiktionary says 'wastrel' doesn't mean sickly.
                  • Kumo admire their in-between children, because they alone get to enjoy the fun of eating their mothers alive from the inside out. So... shinju ('pure') works for them. But does anyone know how to say "devourer" in Chinese or Japanese or Korean?

                  What about the children of other Changing-Breeds? Does anyone know any African, South Asian, or Native American words that might be used by Bastet and Ajaba? Bastet admire their sterile children but for a less squick reason: because of the amazingly awesome Gifts they have (seriously, they are the most kickass in the Bastet Gifts list). I doubt Ajaba would call their mules 'runt' because for them, that would imply 'sickly animal that needs to be culled'.
                  Last edited by Erinys; 08-11-2020, 12:04 PM.


                  I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                  Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                  • Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                    That is imo overly sensitive to borderline idiotic behaviour.
                    Don't talk to other posters this way.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      Don't talk to other posters this way.
                      I didn't.
                      If you read correctly I commented on behaviour by people another poster experienced years ago.

                      I very much respect Heavy Arms and his take on many topics in these forums.

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                      • Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                        I didn't.
                        If you read correctly I commented on behaviour by people another poster experienced years ago.

                        I very much respect Heavy Arms and his take on many topics in these forums.
                        Don't argue with mods.


                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                        • I don't want this to be the hill I die on, but I will point out that Métis is pronounced /meɪˈtiː(s) (ei is like "Ay") whilst I've never heard a player use anything other than me'tis "(e being like the e in 'men') ; They're pronounced very differently, and I do wonder if Native Americans and Métis peoples would actually draw the conclusion that werewolves that were the result of what is essentially inbreeding having a similar spelling to Métis is a targeted attack towards a group of people that were the product of racial mixing, the very opposite thing to inbreeding. I do wonder if this is a bit patronizing. There are many things natives might object to concerning WTA (The Wendigo, the Wendigo, The Wendigo* and I suppose the Uktena might seem a little off if you're not taking into account how off the european tribes are) but I think the issue of the word metis would be a lesser one were it not for other egregious examples..
                          (of course, if it has to go it has to go; But I'd prefer hearing that from Metis people than some white folk enraged on their behalf)

                          (I do think the wendigo could be recontextualized appropriately without losing their tribal identity)


                          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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                          • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            I do wonder if Native Americans and Métis peoples would actually draw the conclusion...
                            Do you think Heavy Arms was lying when he said First Nations people abandoned his MtA game when they found out he was a Werewolf fan?


                            He/him

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                            • It's also worth noting that:

                              - The early WW books tended to not include pronunciation guides, making it less clear what the intention was in certain regards.

                              - The name Wendigo tends to cause less friction IME, because many of the Tribal Totems are monsters, ill-omens, or similarly bad things from the human cultural perspectives associated with those Tribes. Rats and cockroaches are vermin associated with disease. Owls and dark storm clouds are associated with negative omens. Most of the Tribal Totems are mythological creatures that range from outright antagonistic reactions to humans, to wanted to be left alone by them (Unicorn might have a very nice image today, but not a nice creature in mythology). Stag and Falcon are pretty much the only "good" Totems from a human mythological perspective.

                              - Again, IME, what things are linked to matters. What pissed people off about the Wendigo far more than the name was that they're presented as the worst mix of the Noble Savage tropes, shoehorned into being the "warrior" Tribe for the Pure Lands (though that's another one that did not sit well) when the Uktena were given a much deeper cultural outlook, and being obsessed with being angry at Europeans.

                              - Just for the sake of clarity, I was vague about the tribal identifies of the players I lost because it wasn't as simple as them all being full members of First Nations peoples. All of them did, however, have least a relative as close as a grandparent who was. I don't think it's valuable to get into all of the little distinctions here, just recognizing that I was vague because it's complicated.

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                              • Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                                Do you think Heavy Arms was lying when he said First Nations people abandoned his MtA game when they found out he was a Werewolf fan?
                                Did you see him specify what exactly turned them off?


                                Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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