Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Lupus are not hard to play- a counterargument on perspective

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lupus are not hard to play- a counterargument on perspective

    One of the most common things in WtA circles you end up hearing is that 'lupus are too hard for people to play' or 'they need an experienced player.' While the latter is sort of true, it needs to be said that the arguments stated seem to always circle around one issue.

    Playing a wolf and not a human is hard.

    However, to that, I want to note that many adults have played intelligent wolves in mature stories successfully. They just haven't played them around WtA players, which makes sense. Most of these RPs take place in Deviantart. Despite the cartoony styles the wolves are drawn, these stories can be quite mature and dark indeed. I offer two examples and then go to why I feel these showcase that lupus can be played just fine.

    Defeated Warrior- A tortured warrior and a healer discuss feeling useless at the eve of war.

    Ceremonial Meal- A blood cult member teacher her daughter how to make a hallucinogenic meal.

    Now, one might argue that these wolves are fantasy wolves and are very humanized. That is indeed the point, these are humanized wolves who do not have Rage or homid form but still have a culture and traditions. They aren't shapeshifters, they do not have the Umbra, they still live in the wilds. Yet the players dig up deep stories from them regardless.

    This is the level of play I expect from a lupus character. Not the player playing a realistic wolf, but a humanized wolf that still has culture and ability to reason. Add to this Umbra, Rage and shapeshifting and you got a decent lupus character. Just like homids are not merely people who take wolf forms but lupinized humans, lupus are the opposite.

    If you ST is asking you to be even more true to life, then they want you to play a wolf-kin and not a lupus

  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Different tribes have different willpower scores, yet no one really seems to care about CoGs 4 to other tribes' 3. I get that Gnosis is important and homids get 1 to lupus 5, but I feel this 'balancing' at some point gets a bit too far. Especially as in the end, you can cheese any breed, auspice or tribe. Yeah, lupus have 5 gnosis (which I don't agree with still), but in the end how correct one plays the lupus is a very tiny thing in the grand scheme of things. WoD is about the story, and the player who wants to cheese a lupus will not be a very good player in the long run.

    In any case, the point of this thread was still to encourage people that playing a lupus is not that hard, as you don't need to be 100% realistic with them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    The damage by Breed stuff is kind of a wash across the Breeds rather than any sort of balancing factor. Though it's mostly just small complications that are frequently ignored because people forget about them. Also it means training Homids and Metis in how to fight as wolves is insanely dangerous.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by Wilson View Post
    Don't forget that homids and metis deal aggravated damage with their claws while in lupus form, which lupus don't. That alone, in my opinion, is something like a 1-point flaw.
    I did forget this. I think it's quite silly though, but those are the rules. I don't think lupus form should do aggravated damage regardless of breed. It's a strange distinction to make in the game. But it certainly affects balancing game mechanics between breeds.

    Also, lupus characters in homid form will get burned with aggravated damage for simply touching silver, so be careful not to shake hands with anyone wearing a silver ring, and rue the day you get invited to dinner and they give you silverwear to eat with.
    True, but I think mostly irrelevant and easily compensated by not receiving aggravated damage from silver in wolf form. There are certain things one accepts by selecting the breed of their character, and this has to be one of them. I don't believe it is significant enough that it is a game mechanics balance issue.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    I wonder if some kind of simple mechanical change could help. Like make the distribution 1/2/3, and then say the lupus PC needs to take some kind of appropriate 2 point flaw associated with their animal nature. It might be something like Pack Mentality or Territorial, or a supernatural flaw that simulates pop culture visions of the werewolf like Banned Transformation (in vicinity of wolfsbane), Forced Transformation, Mark of the Predator, or Sign of the Wolf. The lupus essentially gets two free Freebies for having 2 extra Gnosis, but pays for it with a flaw. It is an easy house rule to remember, isn't punishing for the lupus PC, and allows the possibility of the PC later paying it off through appropriate roleplay as the lupus learns more about himself and Garou/human society.

    That would eliminate power gamers from gravitating to the lupus breed, leaving that option only to people who want to truly play a lupus.
    I think if you're going to adjust the rules, starting gnosis at 2/3/4 is a better idea than forcing a 2-point flaw to "correct" the perceived imbalance. Don't forget that homids and metis deal aggravated damage with their claws while in lupus form, which lupus don't. That alone, in my opinion, is something like a 1-point flaw. Also, lupus characters in homid form will get burned with aggravated damage for simply touching silver, so be careful not to shake hands with anyone wearing a silver ring, and rue the day you get invited to dinner and they give you silverwear to eat with.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    Well, it supposedly has been that way since the lupus got frustrated about the end of the Impergium...

    Question is, what behaviour or adjectives one would describe to a human, rather than a wolf ?
    Impulsive vs. planning, aggressive vs. peaceful, diplomatic vs. direct. All human characteristics basically.
    Even "instinct-driven" is something that one describes to a human.
    I'm not quite sure what you're saying. Are you asking what the temperamental differences are between a typical wolf and a typical human?

    We should also keep in mind that spending time in the lupus form will rearrange a homid's perspective in surprising ways and perhaps change their personality to some degree. Smelling the world with a canine nose would be as big an explosion of experience for a homid as thinking about the world with a human mind would be for a lupus. The increased range of hearing and better low light vision would be interesting too. The predatory instinct in wolves is much stronger than it is in humans, at least in wild wolves vs. in domesticated humans. Food probably tastes different, depending on which form you're in. And this of course doesn't even address how stepping sideways will rearrange your perspective, as well as having to deal with true Garou rage, but that's true for all breeds.

    Leave a comment:


  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Wilson View Post
    Big thumbs up for this conversation, but I think y'all haven't yet considered the elephant in the room. What if the real problem isn't that lupus PCs are too human, but that homid PCs are too human? In truth, all Garou are literally half wolf and half human, not a human with a little bit of wolf in her, or a wolf with a little bit of human in her. When a lupus garou goes through her first change, she's suddenly half human; likewise, when a homid garou goes through her first change, she's suddenly half wolf. Blow your players' minds with that!
    Well, it supposedly has been that way since the lupus got frustrated about the end of the Impergium...

    Question is, what behaviour or adjectives one would describe to a human, rather than a wolf ?
    Impulsive vs. planning, aggressive vs. peaceful, diplomatic vs. direct. All human characteristics basically.
    Even "instinct-driven" is something that one describes to a human.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wilson
    replied
    We should also keep in mind how quickly human toddlers learn human language: once they start picking it up, it's dozens of words a week, and in the span of a year or so they can go from not speaking at all to speaking in full sentences to parents asking "Where did you learn that word?" I see no reason why a lupus garou shouldn't be on a similar learning curve. For lupus PCs, learning big words, misunderstanding jargon and figures of speech, and trying to learn to read, can add some fun roleplaying opportunities for the pack to chew on. Another fun challenge: how do you teach a lupus garou what an hour is? It's probably not all that different from how you'd teach a kindergartener, or if math is too advanced for a young lupus still trying to develop his language skills, maybe you can teach him by analogy: the daytime is like a pizza, the nighttime is like another pizza, and an hour is like a slice of pizza. It won't get him to the train station on time, but it at least gives him a rough concept to work with in a relatively human-centric world. Days, moons, seasons, and years, of course, are natural, concrete units of time that a lupus would have no trouble understanding. We should also keep in mind that wolves are among the most socially intelligent creatures on earth. It's no coincidence that domesticating wolves gave us "man's best friend." By age 30, a lupus garou should have no more trouble blending into human society than a homid garou does.

    Big thumbs up for this conversation, but I think y'all haven't yet considered the elephant in the room. What if the real problem isn't that lupus PCs are too human, but that homid PCs are too human? In truth, all Garou are literally half wolf and half human, not a human with a little bit of wolf in her, or a wolf with a little bit of human in her. When a lupus garou goes through her first change, she's suddenly half human; likewise, when a homid garou goes through her first change, she's suddenly half wolf. Blow your players' minds with that!
    Last edited by Wilson; 08-13-2019, 01:49 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    I think this is a good point. If the PC can develop a half dozen (or more) character tics or quirks that showcase their lupus nature, I think it would go a long way of reminding other PCs and the ST of their character's lupus nature. Brainstorm with the ST and your fellow PCs, and you can come up with a strong list of things that are not disruptive to the game, but provide strong flavor.
    Indeed, it is really fun and isn't putting a burden on the lupus player or the other players.

    One thing that is fun but surprisingly distrupting; Dog ownership. You won't believe how many players get REALLY offended that the lupus character considers ALL dogs weavery wolves and those owning them not good garou.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
    One thing I often do to showcase inhumanity in my characters, is the eating of cats. Though not typical wolf prey, it can help to portray that the character does not see the animal as a companion like a homid would.
    I think this is a good point. If the PC can develop a half dozen (or more) character tics or quirks that showcase their lupus nature, I think it would go a long way of reminding other PCs and the ST of their character's lupus nature. Brainstorm with the ST and your fellow PCs, and you can come up with a strong list of things that are not disruptive to the game, but provide strong flavor.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

    I agree that people lose sight of "act like a lupus," by being too literal about "act like a wolf," instead of keeping in mind a character's upbringing as you would for any other character.
    This is what I meant, this is the very crux of why I made this thread. Gnosis 5 or not, in this thread alone we are arguing over language learning skills. Which wouldn't be an issue with any other breed. Heck, look at some fera. No one is expecting a feral born nagah to still slither about, for example.

    One thing I often do to showcase inhumanity in my characters, is the eating of cats. Though not typical wolf prey, it can help to portray that the character does not see the animal as a companion like a homid would.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I wouldn't say that. Some of those characters were "fresh out of the woods," and some weren't. It's just that there's more to adapting to an urban game than being born human (of course Metis are really even worse in an urban focused game unless you're very careful with deformities).

    I agree that people lose sight of "act like a lupus," by being too literal about "act like a wolf," instead of keeping in mind a character's upbringing as you would for any other character.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    I'm not sure Breed without Auspice or Tribe can really be viewed in a vacuum. The Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers have Lupus despite their city focus. I've seen very successful Lupus concepts that work in urban settings out of the Children of Gaia, Silent Striders, Silver Fangs, and Uktena; particularly Ragabash and Philodox.
    Aaand we circle back to the 'lupus characters are not fresh from the change' point. I think it is very interesting how people say lupus should act like lupus but what they mean is act like wolf-kinfolk at times.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I'm not sure Breed without Auspice or Tribe can really be viewed in a vacuum. The Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers have Lupus despite their city focus. I've seen very successful Lupus concepts that work in urban settings out of the Children of Gaia, Silent Striders, Silver Fangs, and Uktena; particularly Ragabash and Philodox.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
    At that point, I'd ask the ST why they didn't put their foot down about there being 3 lupus in a city based game? ST is the arbiter of themes after all.
    Exactly. They would decline it, just like they decline any player playing a lupus. I am not saying an ST would allow multiple lupus PCs and then scratch their head trying to think of something to do. I am saying this is a (real, but not directly expressed) reason why some (many?) STs discourage any PC being a lupus. They just don't want to deal with it because it does change a game, and they may not want to deal with it.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X