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  • I need help with my Wyld West Chronicle

    I, a humble neophyte Storyteller, request advice and tips to better ST a Werewolf The Wyld West Chronicle.
    1,Prior to the chronicle's beginning my players characters have all completed their Rites of Passage but have not yet become a Pack. Is there a precedent for this and is it common? 2, The first part of my Chronicle is the reopening of a caern thought lost, are there any rules for Caern/Sept Building? 3, Do Werewolf games, especially Wyld West chronicles, have precedent for months of in game downtime? 4, are there any links to documentaries or articles on life in the early to mid 1800s to better edify my players? I thank you for any and all advice given.

  • #2
    Are you and your group Americans? The Western genre is so embedded into American culture, I would be surprised anyone needs to learn more unless they are going for historical accuracy as opposed to genre tropes.

    1) I think most chronicles probably begin with pack creation done before the first game, so Backgrounds like Totem are already in play, the players all agree on the same totem, etc. But it is perfectly fine if you want to do a totem quest as a story in game, or if you want the PCs to have one or more game sessions before they do the pack creation. In character, Garou can join and leave packs at any time. Belonging to multiple packs over one's lifetime is not unusual. So they don't join a pack until after their Rite of Passage, and may not become packmates with those Garou who underwent the same Rite of Passage for them.

    2) There are rules for creating caerns in the Guardians of the Caerns rulebook, but I'm actually not fond of their caern creation rules. It states all forces of the Wyrm sense it and seek to attack it, but I don't think that should be a general rule. In terms of how a sept is organized and the various sept roles and moot roles, you can find that in multiple supplements.

    3) You can run your chronicle however you like. So you can have downtime, and have each one last however long you want. Personally, I like having downtime because of the passage of time, and I think it is more realistic that Garou are not constantly engaged in drama or fighting. However, I think a lot of chronicles are run without much downtime, but the PCs doing one thing after another. I'd talk with your players to find out what they'd like in terms of that. As long as they can accomplish their goals and can make appropriate progress, I think you'll be fine.

    4) The Old West is a well documented period. Lots of documentaries, books, movies, and TV shows. Too many to list. You should search yourself. If you are looking for facts, Time-Life Books put out a series of books called the Old West. It is a 26 volume set broken down by subject. They are an easy read, lavishly illustrated, and should be found in most US libraries, or can be obtained by inter-library loan. A bit outdated, but should cover the essential facts. You likely would only need one or a few books.

    If you are looking for inspiration, I recommend the TV shows Deadwood and Lonesome Dove. For movies I'd pick Tombstone, Silverado, The Wild Bunch, The Searchers, Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly, Unforgiven, and Red River. If you want something more centered around American Indians, I'd suggest Fort Apache, Dances with Wolves, A Man Called Horse, Jeremiah Johnson, and Geronimo. You don't need to watch all of them, but you can probably find a few that fit whatever it is that you want. Just remember these are fictional movies (even the ones based on real people and real event), so don't go looking for historical accuracy, just inspiration.

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    • #3
      Watch the Horror movie Bone Tomahawk. Also Ken Burns (civil war documentary guy) did a series called The West. It covers just about anything and everything.


      Are you on the square?
      Are you on the level?

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      • #4
        Black Fox provides a lot of the solid info you could need, but for a bit more...

        1. While some septs will go so far as to group cubs undergoing rites of passage to have a ready made pack good-to-go, having a bunch of druftless newly minted cliaths being brought together is entirely valid. All they need is to group together and for a sponsor to conduct the Rite of the Totem (or some such, can't recall exact term) and send them out on a Totem Quest. If they succeed and are claimed by a totem, their pack totem spiritually connects them for as long as the pack abides by their agreements towards the totem and each other. Another note is that iirc the Sixth Sign of the Phoenix (Apocalyptic garou prophesy) states that in the end times, all pack's shall have a sacred guiding mission, which may be something to consider, but YMMV.

        2. The book should have a fairly advanced rite called Rite of Caern Opening which lays out the process and the beginning of chapter 7 (The Umbra) lays out further information on the nature of caerns. Numerous sourcebooks have further information, but for W20 the greatest resources is probably the sept/caern opening chapter of W20 Rage Across The World.

        3. That depends entirely upon the desires of you and your players. Time skips are an age old element of storytelling but garou are also physically robust enough to keep rolling without issue for a long time, even only slightly delayed relatively by horrific aggravated wounds, so to each their own.

        4. I'm not familiar with any myself but Wikipedia is a good place to start research fact-wise and TV Tropes has a surprising amount of quality information under its useful notes section as well as having more flavor to it then the average wiki article.

        Anyway, hope some of that helped and good luck to you and your players!

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        • #5
          First off; I would like to thank you all for your advice. It is actually helpful. I posted this question to the r/WhiteWolfRPG subreddit, the world of darkness general on /tg/, and then here.

          You guys helped the most. I was ignored on /tg/ while they got into a cross splat dick measuring contest in between lusting after hypothetical vampire dick, and got a "rite of caern opening" and nothing else on the subreddit.

          Thank you. I'm also attempting to write a sort of "Player's Guide" like the one's Pathfinder has for it's adventures so my players have a better idea of the things to expect/chargen restrictions. I think I'll focus the first part of the chronicle on finding the lost caern, after the Pack comes together and gets their Pack Totem. Figured it'd also allow them to meet some semi-regular NPCS I got cooked up. The town of Bright Hope (yes it's cribbed form Bone Tomahawk, it's a good town name and i'm the only one to have seen it in my gaming group) is an uncharacteristically cosmopolitan place. Especially in 1855 Texas. Aside from the usual Chinese, Mexicans, Old Country Europeans, and of course local Native Americans who have stuck around or come in to trade, there is a handful of Japanese (A lesser noblewoman of the Shimazu clan, her retainers, and various other servants and laborers that came with them). Although as I write this; how would the Pack come together proper (i.e with the whole Rite of The Totem) without a Caern. Is it really as simple as knowing the Rite?

          Side Question; Vampire Kinfolk as a recurring antagonist? Y/N?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BrotherMouse View Post
            Although as I write this; how would the Pack come together proper (i.e with the whole Rite of The Totem) without a Caern. Is it really as simple as knowing the Rite?
            The Rite of the Totem is a Mystic Rite that does not need to be performed at a caern. As a level 3 rite at difficulty 7, it is probably not a rite that a Cliath can perform, or at least not have a good chance of performing correctly. I encourage you to have an NPC who can be a mentor to the PCs and who can successfully perform the rite on their behalf. The mentor could either be part of the back story of the PCs who has gotten them together and assisting them in starting their quest, or someone they meet early on who they could learn to trust and go to help. It would probably be easiest to introduce the character as part of their backstory.

            Garou don't necessarily need to belong to a sept. Some packs, especially those that comprised of new Garou, are anruth. Anruth are packs that visit sept to sept, looking to perform quests in order to gain renown. Visiting varied septs also allows them to meet other Garou and learn more about Garou culture. So one option would be to populate the area around the lost caern with existing caerns and septs. Not too many, but enough to establish background for the area. And you can populate each caern with perhaps just one tribe, so you can get into Garou politics between the septs.

            Side Question; Vampire Kinfolk as a recurring antagonist? Y/N?
            That is up to you. However, lone vampires generally aren't adversaries that can last long in combat against a pack of Garou, so you'll need to give thought as to how he might survive long enough to be recurring.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              That is up to you. However, lone vampires generally aren't adversaries that can last long in combat against a pack of Garou, so you'll need to give thought as to how he might survive long enough to be recurring.
              My plan was for him to be a low generation vamp with a bunch of dead hard bandidos and having a gnosis pool of his own to REALLY fuck with the party. Basing him on Jericho Cross from Darkwatch (great game btb).

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              • #8
                That is not your typical vampire, but won't be a problem unless your players are obsessed with game mechanics as writen. You may want to have some special justification for a vampire having Gnosis. But there's any number of creative flavor text you can use.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  That is not your typical vampire, but won't be a problem unless your players are obsessed with game mechanics as writen. You may want to have some special justification for a vampire having Gnosis. But there's any number of creative flavor text you can use.
                  My justification was that he was embraced in a rather unconventional way (I'm thinking something involving being Embraced while channeling a Gift) and had a Gnosis pool of his own when he was mortal.

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                  • #10
                    It probably okay if a vampire uses Werewolf mechanics when appearing in a Werewolf game. The Leech is using Wyrm magic because of course he is!

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