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Garou Control over Kinfolk - a discussion (warning: triggering subject matter)

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  • Garou Control over Kinfolk - a discussion (warning: triggering subject matter)

    How much control do Garou exercise over their kinfolk in your chronicles?

    It's not something I see much discussed. Obviously, there are differences between tribes, and the extent of control over some kinfolk (like immediate family) is different from others (you know there is a settlement of kinfolk of your tribe several hours away that belongs to your tribe, but you don't know them well and out of sight is out of mind). But I think certain general rules can be determined and any exceptions noted.

    And by control, I mean just that - Garou telling kinfolk what to do. Who to marry, whether to mate with a Garou - even if it means being unfaithful to a spouse; how many resources to make available to the Garou, pack, sept, or the cause; career decisions because the Garou need a kinfolk at certain places of employment or skills; or any other major decision or action the Garou may want. And of course, the Garou want their kinfolk to be very loyal - so I suspect there is a lot of influence provided in terms of "educating" kinfolk, particularly children, in the appropriate Garou values, loyalty, and secrecy just like a cult does. And cults exercise a LOT of control over their members. And the Litany applies to Kinfolk too, so besides the human law authorities, kinfolk could be brought up to trial by Garou for something they've done.

    The Kinfolk background itself implies a level of control over that number of Kinfolk. And while at low levels this can be used to describe family and friends, once it is 20 or 50 kinfolk that's a very different scenario. And while a common scenario is that a Garou controls the kinfolk that "belong" to him as his family, it might also be kinfolk friends and neighbors without family relations.

    And what about kinfolk that isn't tied to a specific Garou? Can the local tribal or sept leader exercise such control over that "protectorate" in lieu of any specific Garou that does have such immediate ties? And if so, is that authority more limited than say it was a Garou who was a son or sister or nephew or cousin or grandmother? I think this is something the local Litany has to address.

    I think this is something often overlooked in games. PCs only look after the specific Kinfolk as indicated on their background, and they typically describe their relationship in ways that are sympathetic. And in online games that have a lot of Kinfolk PCs, those Kinfolk PCs are almost always enthusiastic collaborators to the Garou because those players are looking to Play House with a Garou mate, or be otherwise useful in game since its fun to do stuff. But those aren't typical NPCs. The typical NPC Kinfolk of a tribe does not have any immediate Garou relative, and probably wants to get on with their life with as little trouble as possible - even if they don't mind donating some cash just like people do their church or favored charity or political party. But those groups don't have the power to stop by and issue them instructions or make decisions for them.

    I think this is an issue that makes players uncomfortable. That's both understandable and weird. Understandable because it brings up lots of ethical issues. But also weird because vampire players don't have that issue with Ghouls and Retainers, and the Kinfolk background is basically a variation of that.

    So I'm prepared to hear lots of dissenting views on this.

    Moderator Edit: I've added a trigger warning due to the later discussion of sexual assault and rape in the discussion before shutting it down.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-17-2020, 06:00 AM.

  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    I'm looking for a "standard" with the understanding that some tribes and septs will deviate from it.
    Of course.
    My statement meant to convey, that I don't see this scenario within the "standard", deviations from septs of certain tribes not withstanding.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    My view of Garou society is that they are, for the most part, an extremely traditional people. So while things like arranged marriages are no longer the norm in Western countries, they were the norm historically there and are still the norm in many non-Western societies. So many rural septs and attached kinfolk settlements are still like that at least with kenning kinfolk. More integrated communities are much less so.
    True. And I see that families, kin and garou alike, make these arranged marriages and force them on the next generation. Meaning the adult generation, force their decisions on the adolescent generation by instilling a sense of duty in them or call it romantic, or plain force them.
    And most likely garou have a higher standing within the family as a whole and therefore more say in the matter. Also they can argue with signs/vision, granted by the spirits, and political implications the kinfolk family elders aren't aware of, but in the end, for the most part, the family "elder" make make the decision and enforce it.
    I mean, these arranged marriages are for garou, too.
    "Yes, boy, you are my second son, but you are born garou, and you have to marry the the eldest age-appropriate daughter of the Riversinde sept's Jarl, because that is the deal we made. I might just be kin, but your grandfather, may his spirit dwell in the homeland happily, made that deal and you have to respect your Elder, even if he's dead now. So, suck it up."

    And sure, if a family doesn't have any true born garou with appropriate standing, the kin-family matriarch can petition the sept Elder to back an arranged marriage for her true born granddaughter, because of politics.

    In any case, I see that one generation forces their decisions on the next, and possibly on members of their own generation, if there are unwed or widowed siblings. But I don't see garou claiming kinfolk as property. Someone calling out that a marriage was arranged and agreed upon and therefore the kin has to deliver, sure. But making a claim, without any pre-existing circumstances, like an arranged marriage, I would find untypical for garou. For kinfolk, just like anything else, aren't just up for grabs.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    And using that as the basis means Garou can often claim things without "consent" because the culture of those communities still acknowledge such authority as legitimate. Other kinfolk communities wouldn't acknowledge it as legitimate, and with those it can't be done. Some communities are in a period of transition, and they still happen but provoke conflict.
    I agree, my thoughts above not withstanding.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    Again, I think this is something that has a wide range depending on tribes and septs. It's important to determine in what cultures such Garou claims and controls have legitimacy among the kinfolk. And I think besides the kind of claims that can be made, there is also the issue of what limits exist to those claims and what absolute rights kinfolk have. I made an earlier post on this thread about how many resources can be taken in this way, and what has to be left alone. There is also the issue of how much wealth and power is seen as residing in the individual versus community claims. As such, I think when speaking of Garou culture, while it is legitimate for a kinfolk to talk about "unfounded claims" and "respect" and such. I also think the Garou claimant can make counter arguments using the Litany.
    By what tenant of the Litany?
    - My wealth, as kinfolk family head, is not a share of the kill, it is my territory, however.
    - I might be, right now childless and unmarried, but my wealth should be the resources of my future true born child or grandchild.
    - My riches are the spoils of my labour, and if I decide that I spend it, that is my right. You might want that I bribe the county clerk to declare your packs hunting grounds a natural protection site, but the 'Sweet water' Packs hunting grounds are right next to my farm and their hunting grounds would profit from such bribery just the same.

    I think that any claim for mastery over an adult kinfolk, and basically robbing that person of their rights, would need to have a foundation that makes sense. Having dominion over an under-aged kinfolk, or some kinfolk who's reckless or undisclosed actions posed a threat to the sept in the past, or something like that, yes, that makes sense. But without that the claim is without honour and for the sept to allow it would be unwise.

    That's not withstanding any tradition to, for example, include a widow(er) or otherwise single-kinfolk person into the own family, taking a position with rights and obligations normal for kinfolk families in that sept/tribes culture.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    And many of these claims may need to be couched in certain terms in order to get legitimacy to them. For example, in order to assuage the concerns of a kinfolk that a Garou may be claiming them in order to get a hold of resources that kinfolk wants to reserve for his family, I potentially see something like the sept agreeing with the kinfolk in general, but since he has an unmarried daughter, that they've decided the best solution is for that Garou to marry/mate with that daughter so that the kinfolk's concerns and the Garou's claims are met. That may not be the intended outcome of the kinfolk, but I can see it as a potential "solution" the sept leadership provides. Not necessarily so. But it is an option.
    True. That is a scenario that I find makes sense in garou society.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    I think kinfolk occupy a special place. In one sense, I do think the Garou see them as livestock and pets. They're economic resources and beloved companions, but not "people". But in another sense, human kinfolk are obviously not animals and therefore enjoy certain rights. But I don't think kinfolk are "equal" to Garou in terms of Garou law, and Garou see themselves above them in the same sense adults are above children in human society. This thread is to help me and others figure out what sweet spot they want for their chronicles. I don't think everyone will come to the same decision, but I do hope this thread can help them figure that out. So thanks for making these points. I think they help everyone clarify things in their own heads.
    I agree that garou see them above kinfolk as adults see them above children. It also is what 'Kinfolk: Unsung Heros' has as it's default relationship. And, as a lost cub, you obviously don't have personal relationships to the sept's kinfolk to begin with. They aren't the parents who taught you and raised you, growing up. They aren't the siblings and childhood friends who were the centre of your daily life until the first change. They are just groupies, who pay for the sept's holdings and do all the stuff that is boring, while you are the gaia-chosen warrior saving the world.
    That is, if the sept doesn't have a Nana (a kinfolk Den Parent) - which according to W20 Kinfolk doesn't exist - and said Nana brought you up to speed on all things garou before you were send on your Rite of Passage.
    But for all the other garou, that are born garou raised by kenning kinfolk or (as of W20) were kenning kinfolk themselves before they had their first change? It's hard to argue that they see their direct relatives as pets and livestock.
    "The Millers, down the street, sure, they are just there to make fun of and take whatever they have if you want - not because they are kinfolk, but because they are Bone Gnawer kin...."

    With the garou septs and the kenning kinkolk living interwoven life there are a lot of personal relationships and with the kinfolk usually having the majority of the young non-lost-cub upbringing as time to make an impression, I find such a mindset, strange. Even in medieval times, with more lupus garou in the mix, adding their world-view on kinfolk to sept's baseline, I wouldn't get a "livestock and pets" as a sept's common routine. That a single garou leader, especially a follower of Grandfather Thunder, would adopt this point of view, sure, but such a person has a totally different baseline on what power means, who minions are (everyone) and what one is entitled to (everything).

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    Regarding the first scenario: I don't see most septs, depending on tribe, would allow a garou to stand up before the community and proclaim "this kinfolk is mine, and I control him/her like my property". While proclamations of protection, and/or integration into the extended family and of course marriage-like pairings are imo more in tune with how garou handle such matters. And, I'd assume, such proclamations are consented to by the kinfolk, if an adult.
    That doesn't mean that a garou can't believe and try to force that in such cases the kinfolk are then theirs to control, but kinfolk communities and other garou might object to such behaviour and mindsets.
    I'm looking for a "standard" with the understanding that some tribes and septs will deviate from it.

    My view of Garou society is that they are, for the most part, an extremely traditional people. So while things like arranged marriages are no longer the norm in Western countries, they were the norm historically there and are still the norm in many non-Western societies. So many rural septs and attached kinfolk settlements are still like that at least with kenning kinfolk. More integrated communities are much less so.

    And using that as the basis means Garou can often claim things without "consent" because the culture of those communities still acknowledge such authority as legitimate. Other kinfolk communities wouldn't acknowledge it as legitimate, and with those it can't be done. Some communities are in a period of transition, and they still happen but provoke conflict.

    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    About the second scenario: "Well, see, this garou I don't know and have no family relationship with wants proclaims that I am now his to be controlled. All he wants is my family fortune, that my ancestors, garou and kin alike, and myself have build with hard work and protected with cunning, wisdom and compassion against the minions of the wyrm. I'm not a garou, I am beneath you, but how is making such unfounded claims showing respect for me and my relatives, living and dead. We are all of Gaia, aren't we?"
    Hey, who wouldn't be flattered, if two young athletic girls would sink teeth and claws into each other, preferably in a mud wrestling contest, just to determine who I'm allowed to fuck later. And while I some garou see their partners as their property, I think number of garou who do so is not that much higher as the ratio amongst humans who see their partners in that way.
    Again, I think this is something that has a wide range depending on tribes and septs. It's important to determine in what cultures such Garou claims and controls have legitimacy among the kinfolk. And I think besides the kind of claims that can be made, there is also the issue of what limits exist to those claims and what absolute rights kinfolk have. I made an earlier post on this thread about how many resources can be taken in this way, and what has to be left alone. There is also the issue of how much wealth and power is seen as residing in the individual versus community claims. As such, I think when speaking of Garou culture, while it is legitimate for a kinfolk to talk about "unfounded claims" and "respect" and such. I also think the Garou claimant can make counter arguments using the Litany.

    And many of these claims may need to be couched in certain terms in order to get legitimacy to them. For example, in order to assuage the concerns of a kinfolk that a Garou may be claiming them in order to get a hold of resources that kinfolk wants to reserve for his family, I potentially see something like the sept agreeing with the kinfolk in general, but since he has an unmarried daughter, that they've decided the best solution is for that Garou to marry/mate with that daughter so that the kinfolk's concerns and the Garou's claims are met. That may not be the intended outcome of the kinfolk, but I can see it as a potential "solution" the sept leadership provides. Not necessarily so. But it is an option.

    I think kinfolk occupy a special place. In one sense, I do think the Garou see them as livestock and pets. They're economic resources and beloved companions, but not "people". But in another sense, human kinfolk are obviously not animals and therefore enjoy certain rights. But I don't think kinfolk are "equal" to Garou in terms of Garou law, and Garou see themselves above them in the same sense adults are above children in human society. This thread is to help me and others figure out what sweet spot they want for their chronicles. I don't think everyone will come to the same decision, but I do hope this thread can help them figure that out. So thanks for making these points. I think they help everyone clarify things in their own heads.
    Last edited by Black Fox; 07-07-2020, 04:52 AM. Reason: fixed some typos

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  • heinrich
    replied
    I can see that some septs, with high numbers of associated kinfolk, would appoint a garou or pack as point of contact and possibly also task him with the overall well-being and concern for the kinfolk community. Also, in cases where a sept reforms itself after a mass-casualties battle or years of neglect there might be a need for the garou to task some pack with locating and re-integrating kinfolk into the sept structures.
    Since kinfolk start out as the families and relatives of a sept's garou there might be some effort needed it these garou have fallen and therefore the kinfolk family lost connection with the rest of the sept. That is, if the kinfolf families weren't intertwined to begin with.

    Regarding the first scenario: I don't see most septs, depending on tribe, would allow a garou to stand up before the community and proclaim "this kinfolk is mine, and I control him/her like my property". While proclamations of protection, and/or integration into the extended family and of course marriage-like pairings are imo more in tune with how garou handle such matters. And, I'd assume, such proclamations are consented to by the kinfolk, if an adult.
    That doesn't mean that a garou can't believe and try to force that in such cases the kinfolk are then theirs to control, but kinfolk communities and other garou might object to such behaviour and mindsets.

    About the second scenario: "Well, see, this garou I don't know and have no family relationship with wants proclaims that I am now his to be controlled. All he wants is my family fortune, that my ancestors, garou and kin alike, and myself have build with hard work and protected with cunning, wisdom and compassion against the minions of the wyrm. I'm not a garou, I am beneath you, but how is making such unfounded claims showing respect for me and my relatives, living and dead. We are all of Gaia, aren't we?"
    Hey, who wouldn't be flattered, if two young athletic girls would sink teeth and claws into each other, preferably in a mud wrestling contest, just to determine who I'm allowed to fuck later. And while I some garou see their partners as their property, I think number of garou who do so is not that much higher as the ratio amongst humans who see their partners in that way.

    I totally get scenario three. Garou and senior kinfolk alike have hopes and dreams and plans on how who their sons/daughters marry and how their septs should look like and who deserves what - and they may take action (or deny action of others) to shape their septs that way.

    Scenario four sounds like a garou and a kinfolk SC need a reason to stick together, so the NPCs make them. But sure, someone has to keep an eye out for a troublemaker and if you do not have senior kinfolk members to do so, a young garou might be the influencer you need to assign to the job.

    I also get scenario five. I totally can see that kinfolk would want to involve themselves with certain garou for reasons they believe to be beneficial for them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Fox
    replied
    So the next point I'd like to discuss is the idea of Garou "guardians" being appointed over kinfolk. Previous posters have posted something like this, and I've seen this used in various online games. I think there are different terms that can be used, but I think the concept is more or less the same.

    I think this is an important issue for a couple of reasons.

    First, this is essentially an issue of a Garou claiming control over kinfolk. So this is something most Garou will do in order to get a mate. Or perhaps adopt kinfolk into their family. It can also be used for less noble reasons like really wanting to control the financial resources of a kinfolk owned business or other feudal or exploitative scenario about controlling resources.

    Second, this involves potential conflict with other Garou. Either because it means moving onto another Garou's territory (I want to marry a sister of that other Garou; she wants to, but the Garou doesn't. So there are rival claims. Let's challenge it out.), or because two or more Garou want the same kinfolk (for mating, to access the family fortune, etc.) So there is good conflict here for STs.

    Third, it also involves a general claim against the sept in general which is already providing some measure of indirect (or direct) control over that "asset." What is the Sept Council doesn't see that individual Garou as being trustworthy to control someone that vital to the sept? They think the Garou may botch it up. Or they are "holding" that kinfolk for some other Garou to return or come of age, or whatever. In other words, there may be greater issues involved for that particular kinfolk that the sept leadership would intervene when they wouldn't for the majority of kinfolk.

    Fourth, there may be instances a Garou doesn't want to be responsible for that kinfolk, but the sept or tribe assigns them anyway. Maybe the kinfolk is a troublemaker, a screw up, or has some sordid past. The sept or tribe has decided somehow needs to look out for that kinfolk (either temporarily or permanently), and someone needs to get stuck with the job.

    Fifth, there is the issue that maybe it is the kinfolk who is appealing for a guardian, and how does the sept or other Garou react to that? Maybe someone knows that a Garou will claim them as a mate, and they don't want that so they try to get another Garou involved in their lives pre-emptively. Or maybe they hope it'll lead to romantic affection down the line. Or they just really like that Garou and trust that Garou to do what is right for them. Or fear their business may one day come under attack of a vampire rival or other supernatural enemy, and they want an ally who can defend them.

    I'm sure there are other issues involved in this scenario that I'm just not thinking of. So feel free to add more buckets or considerations.

    So I think there's lots of potential here for STs to use in their chronicles. And all of this involves Garou law and Kinfolk rights. So we need to determine a set of general principles and general rights in order to figure out how they apply to any one situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    The margin of error was the imminent flaw of the "Scent of the true form" gift pre-W20. Two simple sentences like "Although the gift works automatic on detecting garou, it is known to be flawed occasionally when used on pre-First Change garou children. So, some kids aren't detected as garou and don't receive the Baptism of Fire, but most are." would have left enough room for Lost Cubs, but still allow for all the other background stories.
    I prefer this kind of style too, and it's one of the house rule changes to W20 I made. The way I run it is if you fail, you don't detect pre-change Garou as Garou. You think they are kinfolk. Or you think a kinfolk is a pre-Change Garou. If you botch it, somehow it fails that for everyone until at some point post-puberty it resets. There's not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship there. I just want to avoid "shotgunning" situations where people could theoretically keep testing until they get it right. The "botch" simply means something has gone wrong. And there are simply anomalous cases (ST fiat) where it's never going to work. Or that the difficulty to detect is higher than normal.

    I want detection to work most of the time, but not that it is infallible.

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  • Gryffon15
    replied
    I've been away from my computer a lot this week because of irl stuff but coming back to it (and these forums) I do have to say that I am fascinated by a lot of the stuff you've been suggesting Black Fox and I do feel that 'Folk Horror' is a very good term to describe a great deal of the Garou Nation with perhaps the Glass Walkers & Red Talons being the few exceptions and more then making up for it with their own Techno-Horror and Primal Horror elements.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Edit; I agree. Being able to tell which kinfolk would change or not (with some room for error) is more interesting and makes more sense than being completely blind.
    The margin of error was the imminent flaw of the "Scent of the true form" gift pre-W20. Two simple sentences like "Although the gift works automatic on detecting garou, it is known to be flawed occasionally when used on pre-First Change garou children. So, some kids aren't detected as garou and don't receive the Baptism of Fire, but most are." would have left enough room for Lost Cubs, but still allow for all the other background stories.

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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Sorry, wrong thread

    Edit; I agree. Being able to tell which kinfolk would change or not (with some room for error) is more interesting and makes more sense than being completely blind.
    Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 06-26-2020, 05:22 AM.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    It's a bit like this novel, that didn't breed the intended series, with "That Proganitor's Military Academy for Gene-Manipulated Were-Youngsters, Because Crossover" - Call to battle.

    In our LARP world, we actually established a Silver Fang Boarding School that is magically protected and has a fairly high ranking garou staff, because it doubles as the seat of the Gleaming Eye's inquisitor.

    ----

    On the Kinfolk/Garou topic there are a lot of things written here, that I agree with. In general I'd like to point out, that before W20 Kinfolk (which I only quickly browsed through) there was the Player's Guide to Garou with the only out-of-character description about Kinfolk life. It was about a child of gaia, but anyway, it always is my reference point when discussing Kinfolk/Garou relationships and power hierarchy.

    "Unsung Heroes" is a bit critical, a some multi-page discussions here in the forums a while back show. For, the story part is mentioning a girl that sees her little brothers first change and is struck by the need to protect something as magnificent as a werewolf crinos form. And I can totally see that, plus it's her little brother. But the back of the book, with the Kinfolk of note, describes victims of garou society or single garou and delivers one, far to memorable, counter-point that doesn't do justice to majority of kinfolk-garou-relationships.

    And, while I can see, that exploitation and rape happen in real life and are part of the WoD, where dark plot points are part of an more mature approach to role-playing, I find it difficult to generalise garou in an abusive position over kinfolk. Especially since the source material describes this, and counterpoints, bit all to often, these counterpoints are ignored. Like "Unsung Heroes" goes into detail how garou tend to belittle kinfolk, as a means to protect and shield them from the dangers of the world around them. And mentions, when kinfolk come to listen to the latest exploits of the garou and cheer for them, when the tales are told in the moot and renown is ritually awarded/fixed.

    And, I think the already mentioned part, that is most relevant is, that the Kinfolk are the direct families of the garou, or sometimes extended families, but still, cousins and confidants, not servants, although in a Silver Fang or Shadow Lords sept, servant might be the job they have.

    With W20 this might have changed. W20 tells us garou aren't discernable from kinfolk until the first change (breaking with revised rulings). And since this isn't a new development, but a retcon, it in my eyes changes the whole dynamic, because, you can't bully or mistreat a kinfolk any more, without the risk that next summer said kinfolk will have a fist change, and be a revengeful opponent fostern the summer after that. With the whole possibility that any kinfolk could change at any time, the whole background of Samuel Haight makes so much less sense.
    Also, did I retroactively breach the litany, if the other parent of my child has a first change later? I really thing W20 dropped the ball here.

    From the elements of W20 Kinfolk that I saw I wasn't amazed either. Gifts and Rites to Kinfolk sure seem to make them more accessible as PCs but still, a garou/kin-combned troupe doesn't make too much sense, especially since garou should make an effort to go into harms way, but leave the kinfolk apart from danger as good as possible. I can see, how it can make sense to have a werewolf game where all Players have a secondary kinfolk character (possibly tied to another PC), so that the parts of stories or scenes that garou normally wouldn't engage in (especially due to the Curse) can be played, too.
    But, the game is werewolf, for the most part, and should be played by werewolves. If one runs a kinfolk game, the whole dynamic is different and it can be it's own worthwhile game, but one decides to go that route, one doesn't need Gifts/Rites for that isn't, in my opinion, fitting the moot of the game.

    ----

    Regarding rape as a game element. Well, it is a difficult matter and it is hard to know how to incorporate as an element into the game.
    A while back, there was a plot in the TV show "Switched at Birth", where drunken sex happened. And for the woman this was a shameful, drunken mistake until another woman heard the story and named the incident rape. Based on the fact, that the male in the relationship should have known that the woman was too drunk to remember in the morning what lead to the sex. And while no criminal charges become part of the story in the TV show, there is a loss of scholarship and associating the male's name to rape because of google.
    And I think this shows to some extend, how broadly the perception of what rape is can vary. That is, if there isn't consent, it is rape - sure. But if the consent is due to bilateral intoxication, well, I wouldn't want to be a judge or college disciplinary board member to rule on that.

    And with garou/kinfolk communities and their possibly jaded or non-normal views towards duties and role-models I can totally see Albrechts Mother to feel like another child was her duty, or garou and kin to have intercourse because some rite named them a good match, or because she was the maiden of the spring festival and he won all the festivals challenges - and so on. If consent springs from an education that is not what we perceive as normal, it is still consent, or isn't it?

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  • Alqamar Alaswad
    replied
    Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
    Anywhere that kinfolk or Garou are concentrated is a target, but a boarding school or something similar has advantages. One thing is that it is respectable. The FBI aren’t going to raid a boarding school, or if they do it’s going to require a lot more use of political clout to get them to do it. A boarding school can have security and in fact is a good central location that can be guarded by Garou or spirits. If the boarding school gets attacked, the attackers will be investigated by the police, not the boarding school itself. The staff can keep a close eye on the kid’s to notice a first change and minimize the associated risks.

    It’s likely safer than an off the grid compound, maybe even more secret than one too. It’s also probably safer than just letting kinfolk kids live integrated with normal human kids.

    I can see it now - Professor Albrecht’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
    Hey, that would be absolutely AWESOME!

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Kinfolk are certainly part of a conspiracy - to keep the existence of Garou a secret and to aid them when necessary.

    However, what separates them from those kind of conspiracy theories is their comparative lack of power to other conspiracies that do have that influence! That would include vampires and their servants, the Technocracy, and various Wyrm minions like PENTEX, the Seventh Generation, and others. The Kinfolk simply do not control that amount of resources and influence. They likely have less collective influence than graduates of the top tier of the Ivy League.

    But down at the local level, there probably is a perception in some places that there is a hidden network people find it hard to place. That may happen at some Kinfolk/Garou owned or converged businesses, local government in rural, low population counties, and other institutions that are open but have a significant Kinfolk presence and they have an agenda (say within the FBI or CDC - organizations they can never control, but which are too important not to have spies in).

    I've compared Kinfolk before to the feel of Folk Horror stories. Certainly from the perspective of a mundane human encountering a Kinfolk community, their introduction to that community and their slowly learning of hidden secrets being kept is a well established trope in horror literature.

    I think that can lead to interesting setting and good stories. Kinfolk want to eliminate those kind of dangers before the Garou intervene because once the Garou intervene, there are going to be corpses. So Kinfolk will either try to make that mundane human an ally and win them over, or remove/expel them from the community before they learn too much.

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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Odd thought : Kinfolk looking out for eachother and getting eachother into important possitions in society (not to mention garou mysteriously removing wyrmish rivals) creates reactionary conspiracy theories of secret ruling classes akin to stonemasons or "the jews" or lizard people, whilst left wing onlookers see nepotism and ruling bloodlines. These sentiments arent universal and it isn't always obvious, but there tends to be pushback against kinfolk sproradically, especially when someone fans the flames. Often creating an 'us vs them' environment.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Something to add to level of overall sept control over general Kinfolk population: it is probably the Sept Council that makes decisions like they feel it would be very useful to have someone work in the phone company as an installer of equipment, or that they want someone to enter law practice and eventually become a judge, or that they want someone to attempt to join the FBI, or some other big career decision in order to help out the sept. An individual Garou could do that as well, but an individual attempting to do so is likely trying to build a power base. The Sept Council is more likely to do so for a genuine need and their decision offers a legitimacy to it.

    It may be something that originates within the sept itself, or is discussed at some concolation, and the septs who attended try to implement that on the local level.

    I don't think the sept picks some kinfolk and tells them what to do specifically. Instead, I think the sept may call for volunteers among the kinfolk population. These kinds of worthwhile positions often require special training, long term commitment, and are highly competitive. Not just any kinfolk can do it. So they call for volunteers and offer compensation for succeeding. So the kinfolk who have the right talents and disposition are encouraged to select themselves and go about it. Perhaps supported by any necessary local "scholarships" or other support so it can be provided. In doing so, such kinfolk likely get a Garou "patron" or "control" that ends up being a guardian. So we'll talk more about that later.

    They may also gain other benefits and privileges like claiming mates as if they were Garou, being awarded actual Renown if they achieve that goal, and being groomed for additional leadership among the Kinfolk with Garou support. ("We're going to make Bob the next mayor because he proved so useful as a lawyer these past ten years. Let everyone know he's supposed to win with 55-60% of the vote next election.")

    But what if they don't get volunteers? Or the people who try fail? I think the Sept Council will re-evaluate. Maybe they give up for a while, knowing they can't force these things. But sometimes the need may be so great, they do start putting immense pressure on people they think could do, but aren't stepping up to the plate. I think these social pressures can be intense. And the Garou also have Gifts that can help "convince" people. If the need is "local", they may pass word to allied/friendly septs that they need some Kinfolk with X skill or talent, and offer an incentive for kinfolk to move to town to help out.

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  • Penelope
    replied
    Ana Mizuki exactly. You said what I was thinking very eloquently.

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