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  • #46
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    If you go by early portrayal, you have much greater flexibility in Garou/Lupines dealing with vampires. While the default scenario of most tribes (rural/wilderness based) is to kill them, there have always been noticeable exceptions.

    First, the Bone Gnawers. I will say that you can justify almost any kind of relationship with Bone Gnawers. The tribe, as a whole, no longer follows the Litany in a way recognizable to the other tribes. The tribe has an ongoing relationship with the Nosferatu clan where they trade information. A large part of the tribe is also de facto allies with the Sabbat (!) probably because of the needs of the Central Park Caern in Sabbat held New York. Using that as an example, it would not be surprising if Bone Gnawers elsewhere had similar dealings with local vampires.

    Second, Glass Walkers. This tribe would be more antagonistic to vampires, but more prone to making deals of convenience. They don't like it, and don't trust vampires, but the environment where they work in practically requires it. Otherwise they'd be sucked into ongoing vampire wars and couldn't get anything else done.

    Third, Shadow Lords. Individual Lords might make any number of deals with vampires if it suits their purposes. The game even created the Bringers of Light camp in order to explain why this happens.

    Fourth, the Uktena and Wendigo, through their kinfolk, have some dealings with the Sabbat - which I assume are Loyalist Packs made up of Native Americans vampires. This is probably a dark secret of the tribes and are the least described in the sourcebooks, but it's been there since the early days.

    The other tribes are much more circumspect. Very rare dealings with compromised individuals or packs with most being extremely hostile. But the above tribes' activities with vampires are much more documented.

    In the Revised era, this and many other examples of Garou dealings with Wyrm minions or Wyrmish activities were jettisoned. So pick what you want.

    Personally, I like the early editions a little bit better in their portrayal of the Garou as an exhausted people prone to moral compromises. I particularly liked the cynical and pragmatic nature of the Bone Gnawers as a tribe which would do a lot of questionable activities.
    Wait why would the Bone Gnawers make deals with the Sabbat? The Sabbat are every thing the Bone Gnawers hate about vampires being rich, assholes that prey on the poor

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
      Wait why would the Bone Gnawers make deals with the Sabbat? The Sabbat are every thing the Bone Gnawers hate about vampires being rich, assholes that prey on the poor
      Bone Gnawers making deals with Sabbat has been canon since day one. It's been there since the first corebook. I can give you the established and presumed reasons why they do, but it's important I comment first about how the portrayal of the Bone Gnawers has changed.

      In first and second edition, the Bone Gnawers are a very cynical, demoralized, and pragmatic tribe just wanting to survive. They don't care about the Litany as they see it mainly as a tool of the other tribes to oppress them. They tolerate lots of Wyrm activity in their own ranks - the Man Eaters camp is known and tolerated as long as they're not open about it. Half the tribe - the Rabble - is only "Bone Gnawer" in the sense they had the Rite of Passage performed on them, but it's a joke since they literally don't do anything to "earn" it and don't involve themselves in tribal or Garou affairs. And the Rat Finks camp has extensive dealings with the Nosferatu in exchanging information. This is done because both the clan and tribe are looked down upon by their greater society. So the actual number of Bone Gnawers who truly work towards helping Gaia and the Garou Nation are actually quite few in number. (And even these likely don't compare well to other tribes, see the Caern of Awakening's Litany interpretation of "Fight the Wyrm unless you're going to get killed.") They're an active minority within the tribe and not typical. The typical member of the tribe likely has no problem making deals with vampires, even Sabbat ones, if it is in their interest to do so, even if they don't trust them.

      This isn't out of place for Garou in the first years of the game. All tribes had at least one "Wyrmism" camp, and there was a lot of inter-sept and inter-tribal conflict. So it isn't very surprising how compromised the Bone Gnawers were presented in early material. Lots of tribes come out bad in some way (the Silver Fangs really come across as power hungry aristocracy that have failed their people).

      In contrast, Revised moved the game to a more explicitly heroic mold. They purged all the Wyrmish camps from the tribes, made everyone very earnest and sincere about fighting the Wyrm, and ran a metaplot that wouldn't be out of place in epic high fantasy games like D&D. So the Bone Gnawers, instead of being this oppressed, resentful, demoralized tribe willing to make deals for survival, are now a group of superheroes who merely look like bums. They're just as hardworking, forthright, and dedicated as all the other tribes and completely dedicated to helping the oppressed. Golly, gee whiz, aren't they swell! Part of this was also players of that tribe wanting to be seen as just as Gaian as the other tribes, so over time the negative aspects of the tribe were simply ignored.

      It was very far removed from its more gothic horror origins of early Werewolf material, and its portrayal of Garou as people just as prone to corruption and compromise as any others. But people coming into the game at this point would only know this later depiction which make the tribe, and Garou in general, much more heroic. Not the original depiction of the tribe.

      So let's look at some things in first and second edition, primarily the Central Park Sept.

      First, the city is controlled by the Sabbat. So the Bone Gnawers make deals with them in order to keep the peace. The Gnawers completely understand the Sabbat is Wyrm tainted and cannot be trusted. Nevertheless, they need some kind of deal in order to establish some sort of peace, otherwise the sept will only be consumed in fending off vampires. Likewise, they want to avoid an all out war between the Sabbat and Camarilla in the city, since it could potentially endanger the Veil. So they cooperate with the Sabbat to maintain the status quo. This truce/alliance has been in place since around the 1930s/1940s and lasted until the 1990s - whether it continued to last depended on the ST of the chronicle at that point. In return for being left alone (Sabbat don't enter the park), the Gnawers promised to destroy any Camarilla vampires who may enter the park as well (especially those fleeing from Sabbat attacks). Rage Across New York states that the 300 years before that was spent in fruitless wars against the vampires that in the end didn't seem to change anything, so it's not hard to see the value in some kind of truce.

      Second, the Bone Gnawers know their control of the Central Park caern is under threat by other tribes. There is a conspiracy inside the sept of non-Bone Gnawers who intend to overthrow Mother Larissa. The Glass Walkers might try to take control as well if their internal conflict is ever resolved. Both the Silver Fangs and Silent Striders (! - but there is a reason) have motivation that could see them attack at any time when it is convenient for them. So the tribe needs allies outside the Garou if it is to retain their control of the caern. Having the Sabbat be friendly to you can be useful to help you retain control, even if only as a warning to the other tribes to not stir up trouble.

      Third, the tribe has a long standing alliance with the Nosferatu clan as they share information with each other. And in New York, most of the Nosferatu are going to be Sabbat Nosferatu. Rage Across New York even says that certain Bone Gnawers serve potent Nosferatu like faithful dogs! (This goes unexplained, but perhaps indicates the Gnawers get some real benefit out of this, or perhaps is subtle reference to being Blood Bonded). This is likely one of the reasons why the original STs Guide to the Sabbat mentions the Bone Gnawers are known to help certain packs of the Sabbat. This is actually likely individual Gnawers and Gnawer packs making deals with individual Sabbat vampires or packs for specific reasons of their own, not the tribe as a whole.

      While this is just the Bone Gnawers of the Central Park sept, there is likely similar deals made in other cities where the tribe and Sabbat coexist, but with different details reflecting the unique circumstances of that city.

      Furthermore, the Central Park caern is kind of the de facto Bone Gnawer "capital" in North America. The tribe controls very little septs, and the Central Park one is somewhat prestigious because of its role as the site of North America's only Imperial Moot and it being formerly controlled by Silver Fangs. We can expect the Bone Gnawers elsewhere look to them for guidance and as a role model. So if they deal with Sabbat...

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      • #48
        What? Their original tribe book had the narrator say that the man eaters are to be killed and says they invented a rite to detect it.

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        • #49
          In Rage Across New York, there is an NPC Bone Juice who eats people. But instead of taking action against him, the book merely says the tribe is horrified and sworn to take a hard line if he continues. Nevertheless, he is slowly organizing a group of Bone Gnawers to do so. He's just quiet about it. And since he's now "silent", the tribe doesn't bother to do anything about him. (It's clearly left as a hook for the ST to develop so a group of PCs can do something.)

          I'm very unimpressed that the tribe in New York when they discovered this, basically wagged their finger and said "bad, dog" while promising they'll do something about it in the future if he continues. While this guy is left alone so he can recruit in secret. And the Central Park caern is supposed to be the showcase of Gnawers being in charge.

          So it's not that the Bone Gnawers approve of this man eating. But they're clearly lackadaisical about it. To the extent that after discovering one of their tribe members who eat people, they basically did nothing except say, "Wait until your father comes home...".

          One of the things about the tribebooks is that they are written in character, and any section really only applies to that character's beliefs. You can choose to accept things at face value, or read the text critically. The same original tribebook talks about how the Nosferatu may be one of the members of the Ring of Shadow which is a de facto central authority of the tribe, and just accepts the tribe works with that clan of vampires. So how seriously do you think this tribe treats and enforces the Litany?

          Again, as the game went on, the tribe (and indeed all the tribes) were depicted as increasingly heroic and just as serious about the Litany as any of the other tribes. By the end of Revised, it's almost incompatible with how things were presented in first edition.

          I use Rage Across New York as the example of the original vision of the game because it was the first Rage book, and it's fairly detailed. In that book, it states clearly that Garou don't like vampires and general reject any overtures of alliance. Yet... the Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers have a truce/alliance with the Sabbat. Individual Bone Gnawers serve potent Nosferatu faithfully. Shadow Lords have infiltrators in the criminal underworld, and the tribe have an under the table agreement with the Giovanni clan vampires as part of it. Some Fianna reached an agreement with high humanity Toreador vampires in the city's art district. So of course the Garou would never, ever make any deals with the Wyrm minion Leeches at all! Except, you know, for all these secret deals we just told you about. So as a reader, when I get contradictory information, I have to read the text critically.

          Again, it's not that this is typical Garou behavior. Garou based in the wilderness, clearly don't do this... as often. Very, very rare. It's just that there is significant difference between how the Garou act in public, and what some members actually do. Especially in the city. There is a significant discrepancy here when so many Garou are clearly violating the "don't deal with Leeches, they're all Wyrm corrupted" standard.

          So when I see all of this and realize there is gap between Garou rhetoric and reality, and that this is especially so with the Bone Gnawers, I tend to think the Bone Gnawers (as a whole) actually don't bother to do lots of things. So when I read something like, "We would never tolerate man eaters in this tribe!" and then told there is an entire camp of man eaters and have the example of Bone Juice in New York, at the most prestigious Gnawer sept, it makes me question the official story. Maybe you don't.

          It's not that individual Bone Gnawers don't care. Or that there isn't a group of them. There definitely are Bone Gnawers who will kill Man Eaters and try to purge them from the tribe. But at least by first/second edition standard, such active Gnawers are clearly a minority and aren't present everywhere. Much more likely most Gnawers simply don't care enough to deal with it. Either because they've become completely demoralized, or have other things that concern them.

          Once you eliminate the Rabble, the Man Eaters, and possibly other compromised camps like the Rat Finks, how many Bone Gnawers really care about the Litany and apply it strenuously? By my estimate, it's probably around a quarter to a third. That has to be more than the Man Eaters alone, but it is still a fairly small number overall.

          Again, by the Revised era this is completely jettisoned. Anything that isn't Lawful Good is dumped, and we see the game make statements about wholesale purges of all these Wyrmish camps and anything else that doesn't fit with the Metaplot Railroad. Personally, I think it made the setting less interesting. I like the earlier depiction because as an ST and PC, it gives me more options.

          You pays your money so you take your choices. So if you prefer later material and want to ignore earlier canon, you can do that. And if I prefer earlier material and ignore later canon, I can do that. But there's plenty of evidence that the Bone Gnawers tolerate lots of things they shouldn't in the earlier editions. So it is perfectly appropriate for an ST to pull from that, and still say its supported by the source books.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Koronus View Post
            That is still only in Vampire so it whas V20 and VTM Revised.
            Right. So no redemption for W20.

            Besides that I largely agree with Black Fox's analysis of the tribe and how depiction of garou and certain septs changed especially from 2nd to 2nd revised Edition.

            Besides that, it wasn't always clear, what information in what book was for STs and what was considered common knowledge amongst the npcs. Unlike come D&D or The Dark Eye adventure modules, White Wolf sourcebooks seemed to be describing sandboxes to play with. Even the adventures somewhat seemed that way, despite having a time line and intended plot.

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            • #51
              Hard to fathom why they’d deal with sabbat rather then Camarilla. Boggles my mind.

              Good plot points to work with.

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              • #52
                It was because the Sabbat had more power and was dominant in New York. Therefore, they could cause a lot more trouble for the sept than the Camarilla could. All of this is mere convenience, not any kind of sympathy. It's why democratic Sweden in WWII, though neutral, cooperated with Nazi Germany more than it did the Western Allies. It was completely surrounded, and the Allies were farther away. Not because its sympathies were with Hitler. It was the circumstances at the time.

                Plus, as I said, if we assume the Nosferatu the Bone Gnawers mostly dealt with in NYC were Nosferatu antitribu, they'd be more likely to deal with those Nosferatu's allies than with their enemies.

                I'm sure in Camarilla cities, the Gnawers are more likely to placate the Camarilla if it is needed. It's not that they take sides.

                Though given how important the Central Park sept is to the Gnawers (it's one of the few they control, and possibly the most prestigious they have in North America), the Gnawer's dealings with the Sabbat is probably a precedent emulated elsewhere. And once you have individual relationships built, it is easy for those personal networks to grow. I'm sure certain Gnawer packs that are anruth and go from city to city probably have well developed deals with various Sabbat in various cities. Though not all of course. The Sabbat is varied enough that not all of them are as Wyrm ridden as others. Maybe these ties are limited to mainly Nosferatu anti-tribu. Or perhaps certain Loyalist packs. Or certain individual Sabbat who are personal allies of the NYC Priscus (which is listed in RANY as a 12th generation Brujah anti-tribu less than thirty years old).

                Think of it less as the Gnawers have relations with the "Sabbat" as it is with certain individuals or factions within the Sabbat.

                And of course, this can all change. Even in Rage Across New York, it is mentioned that the 50 year truce is fraying, and that some Sabbat want to end it. If you are in a chronicle where the ST says the Sabbat packs renounce the truce and attack the Gnawers in the park, then this collapses, and it becomes unknown what will happen once everyone is exhaustion and the battles end.

                Its less "the Gnawers and Sabbat are allies" and more "the Gnawers are willing to make deals with the Sabbat.... and pretty much anyone else if it serves their needs." The Gnawers are cynical and pragmatic overall so they act very differently than other Garou. This is just one aspect of that.
                Last edited by Black Fox; 07-22-2020, 03:51 PM.

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                • #53
                  The first edition of Werewolf sounds a lot more interesting than revised. Well, to me, that is. Revised and forward always struck me as terribly cut-and-dried.

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                  • #54
                    Agreed. More drama to work with. I might change it up knowing that now.

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                    • #55
                      I feel like the number one or two cause of death for werewolves is -other werewolves- and I don't mean spirals, and that's the ideal for drama

                      Rough order of leading causes of Garou death:

                      1-Sanctioned violence (duels and punishment rites)
                      2-Spirits and umbral accidents
                      3-Hail of silver bullets (mundane or near-mundane shooters)
                      4-Suicide (not by duel or punishment rite)
                      5 Black spirals
                      6-Unsanctioned Garou violence (Murder, tribal conflict)
                      7 Formor
                      8-Fera
                      9-Rites of passage
                      10-natural causes
                      11-Vampires
                      12-mundane accidents


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

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        The very idea of Garou hatered against vampsseems stupid. I'm all to downgrade it to the level of Mates and/or Changelings.

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                        • #57
                          But Vampires and Werewolves are in many ways polar opposites. Ying and yang, pale and vibrant,; one takes all tge time in the world, the other spectacullarly burn out. one fears their anger and the other revels in their rage. One group are society's past and future elite, the other group pines for better days. One builds, the other destroys.

                          They're going to hate eachother. Their goals are at almost complete odds. They just don't war because total war would screw them both and neither side are selfless or confident in an overwhelming victory.


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

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            But Vampires and Werewolves are in many ways polar opposites. Ying and yang, pale and vibrant,; one takes all tge time in the world, the other spectacullarly burn out. one fears their anger and the other revels in their rage. One group are society's past and future elite, the other group pines for better days. One builds, the other destroys.

                            They're going to hate eachother. Their goals are at almost complete odds. They just don't war because total war would screw them both and neither side are selfless or confident in an overwhelming victory.
                            And one group always be beloved while other - hated.
                            People still call Garou out for their 'bigotry'
                            While MOST of vampires doesn't have anything with the Triat issues.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              So a thing with vampires that was vividly described in midnight seige:

                              Vampires benefit greatly from society going to shit. On the casual level:
                              corruption makes things easier to work with for vampires
                              poverty provides rich feeding grounds
                              marginalized groups don't speak up much
                              distrust in police, law and politics makes it easier for vampires to get away with abusing their herds.
                              crumbling infrastructure (faulty street lights) make it easier to hunt (also vampires want tax cuts so there's that)
                              rampant drug use adds spice to the blood supply.
                              Vampires try to increase urbanization so that there are more vessels moving in their domains and the dreaded lupine countryside is pushed further back.

                              on the 'next level' stuff
                              -elders influence zoning laws and building design to build higher so that there is more shadow to hide beneath in the day.
                              -elders want an increase in sunlight obscuring smog for the 'just-in-case' day scenario. Also maybe they want warmer nights.

                              I mean, those things could also be explained away ad just symptoms of vampires being elite capitalists.

                              But also vampires literally steal from people to live and frequently rack up body counts so... hating them isn't unreasonable.


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

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                                I feel like the number one or two cause of death for werewolves is -other werewolves- and I don't mean spirals, and that's the ideal for drama

                                Rough order of leading causes of Garou death:

                                1-Sanctioned violence (duels and punishment rites)
                                2-Spirits and umbral accidents
                                3-Hail of silver bullets (mundane or near-mundane shooters)
                                4-Suicide (not by duel or punishment rite)
                                5 Black spirals
                                6-Unsanctioned Garou violence (Murder, tribal conflict)
                                7 Formor
                                8-Fera
                                9-Rites of passage
                                10-natural causes
                                11-Vampires
                                12-mundane accidents
                                How d'you come to these numbers? Specifically, number one? From the things I did read, the impression I got was the leading causes for Garou death were Random Monsters, followed by Spirals, folllowed by everything else. Are their rites really that lethal?

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