Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Specialised packs

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

  • Specialised packs

    Once I had a discussion with my friend about easily spotted packs. He tried to prove that average pack, if walking together in a city, will have a big neon over their heads saying "we're Garou (or at least strange), kill us". He based this assuption after he had seen a pack example in "Rite of Passage" (a big bad wolf, female metalhead, female hippie, hairless Native American and a yuppie). After that we tried to create an alternative reality where septs are less competitive and more cooperative and are trading the cubs to create less visible packs. And of course we create packs like that. Here are two examples:

    Heavy metal band:
    Ahroun - he has biggest lungs so he is a lead singer
    Gaillard - most musically educated, rhythm guitar
    Philodox - as most ballanced character he was a drummer
    Theurge - moody, gloomy guy, a bassist
    Ragabash - master of improvisation, a lead guitar

    Fireteam:
    Ahroun - heavy weapons/demolitions expert
    Gaillard - communications specialist
    Philodox - team leader/tactician
    Theurge - medic
    Ragabash - scout/close combat specialist

    I ask you if you have other ideas like that, either with or without tribes.
    Last edited by Nail Eater; 07-19-2020, 12:33 PM.


    Warrior of the Rainbow
    Saint among the sinners
    Pure among the dirt
    Loser among winners

  • #2
    With the Curse average humans will react to garou on sight and act accordingly, which is badly defined in WtA and can from the STs decision very well include spontaneous manic flight or duck and cover in panic. With those rules any pack is discernable in a populated city.

    That said, adventures tend to have predefined characters that differ to suit player needs for different styles and roles and don't make too much sense together as a group. That said, cubs on a Rite of Passage (especially from a kinda mixed sept like the sept of the Green) aren't Garou who found each other and created a pack around similar interests or something, but really just garou who happen to have their first change and resulting education in the same time window.

    That said, I can't remember if I ever designed a pack so specifically that the members had certain roles. But there were packs that had human identities that kind of matched so they would make sense together. Like the "House of Rightful Justice" having a pack in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) that were all a crew of construction workers. With some associated kinfolk and contacts in city government, they could seemingly legit block roads and ward areas of, before they attacked wyrm nests there.

    Also, the guardians of a caern all being part of a security firm, granting them legit looking security uniforms and authority to keep strolling humans at bay.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by heinrich View Post
      With the Curse average humans will react to garou on sight and act accordingly, which is badly defined in WtA and can from the STs decision very well include spontaneous manic flight or duck and cover in panic. With those rules any pack is discernable in a populated city.
      I wasn't thinking about the Curse. I was thinking about fomori/Black Spiral Dancers walking in the streets. Groups like an average pack can easily be spotted. Then BSD can use 2 first level gifts to determine if it's a Garou group and on which side they are. I think the only more stupid thing to do is to paint your race/auspice/tribe glyphs on your clothes or yourself.

      I don't know anything about House of the Rightful Justice but I like the idea of a pack of construction workers. Does this come from Die Stadt, Das Blut, Der Tod: Frankfurt bei Nacht or is it some LARP? Security workers are less my type.


      Warrior of the Rainbow
      Saint among the sinners
      Pure among the dirt
      Loser among winners

      Comment


      • #4
        Packs are supposed to have some kind of pack quest or purpose. So I suspect that your kind of "specialized" packs are actually closer to the norm (in terms of looking like they could be together as opposed to random people who don't look compatible). Especially as the pack ages with experience and its members gel together into a unit.

        Perhaps not as specialized as a human job function like "band" or "fireteam" or "survey crew" or "medical unit", but most Garou packs would never need to perform any human work functions, or at least not highly specialized ones. Wilderness/rural tribes would rarely go into the city. And the Curse prevents most of that. Packs would be specialized according to the needs of their pack quests. However, more urban based Garou, especially Glass Walkers, may indeed have packs like that especially in cities that had a lot of Garou.

        Your friend's comment on packs I think is based less on the setting, than on typical PC character creation. It is very easy for a player to decide on a character concept and show up to game, and then the PCs try to figure out what kind of pack can accommodate all these disparate PC concepts. In other words, at many PC game tables, it is Out-Of-Character (OOC) considerations that determines the make up of a pack.

        In contrast, in "real life" or among NPCs, it would be solely In-Character (IC) considerations that determines the make up of a pack. And those IC considerations would take into account a unifying pack quest, members who are attracted to fulfilling that quest, pack members that already fit with each other, etc. A character that doesn't fit in with the other pack members, might be let in under probation to determine if they can make it work, or simply told they won't be let in. And I imagine that there are networks between local septs (or allied septs) that allow a lone Garou looking for a pack, but who doesn't fit in locally, will visit these septs until he finds a pack he is interested in and fits into. Worst case scenario he eventually finds a sept like the Central Park caern run by an eccentric Bone Gnawer where all the other misfits show up, and they can... Hey...

        So I think most of the problem your friend has is less a result of the setting, than of players simply doing their own thing, and the pack formed at the table a result purely of OOC considerations like - hey, we're all hear to play the game and need to be in one pack. What's the least common denominator we can do? Every RPG has some struggles like that. And to be honest, I don't think your more specialized packs are more realistic than a random group. What are the odds you're going to find Garou of each auspice who are musically trained, all like the same kind of music, and are otherwise compatible? If the other group was too random, this group seems very artificial - too specialized. So while its members do blend together, I don't think it's more realistic. And while it is possible for any one pack to be so specialized, it isn't to expect every pack or most packs to be like that.


        When I run or play into a chronicle now, before we do character creation, I bring the players together together and ask them to think of a pack concept first in order to make sure there is a legitimate IC reason the PCs could be together. That eliminates the most contradictory concepts. Or if something is really offputting, but the player is passionate about the concept, we can figure out a reason why that PC has joined this pack and work into the background. But as ST, I'm know for pushing pack quests, pack culture, active involvement of the pack totem as an NPC, and similar things that help bind a pack together.

        If I'm not being the ST, I often find the PCs and pack cohesion to be a bit of a mess for IC reasons. But I'm the kind of player who wants to create a PC that fits the group concept, and I am open to creating many different kind of characters so I don't mind jettisoning one concept and going with another. I can usually find some common bond with the other PCs. I understand some players are very interested in only playing that ONE concept in their head right now, or that one type they always play. In those cases, you just have to deal with it and move on. But if that is the case, why punish your players at all in the way you are talking about? Just better to handwave things, or if it is really important to you, push back on players in the very beginning to have a pack that makes more sense.


        But for any reason, let's say we have a group that doesn't look like they should be together. First, knowing they do look strange together, probably one of the first things they do is figure out a way to blend in if they are together in public. It's not hard to change your clothes. Second, the pack isn't always together so if they have separate lives where the yuppie does his yuppie thing, and the heavy metal teenager does her, and the hippie does whatever she does, they can do so. And when they show up wherever to plan their actual pack activities, they can wear clothing that looks more appropriate as a group that meets together. Third, over time those hard edges tend to wear off. That Big Bad Wolf learns enough about humans to not stick out too much, and to defer to his homid companions when interacting with people, that teenage metalhead grows up and becomes mature even if her musical tastes don't change much, and the nerd/yuppie and hippie find common ground as a result of their pack activities. They make it work. Or one or more of the pack members leave when they finally find a more suitable pack.

        And let's not forget that the Character Examples in question are only for the purpose of completing their rite of passage. Nothing says this is a typical pack. The pack could very well split up after they are done, and each member go their own individual way. But it would not be surprising for some of the more compatible characters to form a new pack with others, or join another pack together.


        I think anruth packs - packs that visit sept to sept - have the most motivation to have some kind of "cover" that explains why they travel together. It could be a band on tour. Or a family touring the country. Or a group of friends visiting the national parks to hike. Or a group of IT specialists (or another work skill) travelling for work on specialized projects. Or if it is an urban based pack, they likely belong to a large enough sept that a pack devoted to one particular thing, like a heavy metal band, doesn't detract from the sept as a whole getting things done. I imagine most rural/wilderness based septs don't have packs that conform to a human work group.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
          I wasn't thinking about the Curse. I was thinking about fomori/Black Spiral Dancers walking in the streets. Groups like an average pack can easily be spotted. Then BSD can use 2 first level gifts to determine if it's a Garou group and on which side they are. I think the only more stupid thing to do is to paint your race/auspice/tribe glyphs on your clothes or yourself.
          Actually, no.
          "Scent of the true form" is automatic on garou and therefore could reveal a pack, but it is a roll for everything else - including the possibility of botches that could lead to false positives or what ever the ST dreams of was a good botch resolving outcome, like the gift now working for a day without the user knowing. Also, it requires actual scent, so other scents and wind will influence the distance the gift works over or if it is useable at all. Windy City, anyone?

          With Sense Wyrm there is a similar problem, for it might be kinda useless in cities. Storyteller Handbook revised talks about the limitation of this gift in a sidebar.

          Bone Gnawers have a gift, "On Patrol" that allows them to bypass some of these short comings, but only while walking around their own 'hood' (or playing street music and beg).

          Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
          I don't know anything about House of the Rightful Justice but I like the idea of a pack of construction workers. Does this come from Die Stadt, Das Blut, Der Tod: Frankfurt bei Nacht or is it some LARP? Security workers are less my type.
          It is from our LARP game.

          Comment


          • #6
            @Black Fox: mostly I agree with you, about changing clothes or even a pack. It was a purely intelectual exercise, how creative we could be. I put it here for the same reason: curiosity (as always). As for troubles with finding 5 garou with different auspices, all musically oriented and (mostly) the same kind of music it's not so hard. Using templates from various sourcebooks you could form a pack of musicians, hard rock/metal oriented and with great potential. Ok, they all would be Galliards and there's no drummer but, as it was written in old Player's Guide, drums are very popular among Garou so I think it could be assumed that most templates with Performance could play drums. Besides, for situations like that we invented our own way for character generation and using them required character will have Performance for 2 dots. As for pack from Rite of Passage my friend proved that it's one of the most stupid pregenerated group I've ever seen. He got a few of new players, introduced them separately to the world and the characters they will be playing, ask me to be his first mate and started the show. During the game, before any help from NY or Billy the Bear could reach them (they went straight to the village at Kroder's Pass) one of the Spirals came to them, saying that he's a Wendigo Ragabash who didn't agree with his Elders and that he could help them. They could of course sense that he's a Garou but could not smell the Wyrm or check if he's telling the truth before it was too late. 3 of them ended dead, other 2 became BSD.


            Warrior of the Rainbow
            Saint among the sinners
            Pure among the dirt
            Loser among winners

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
              Actually, no.
              "Scent of the true form" is automatic on garou and therefore could reveal a pack, but it is a roll for everything else - including the possibility of botches that could lead to false positives or what ever the ST dreams of was a good botch resolving outcome, like the gift now working for a day without the user knowing. Also, it requires actual scent, so other scents and wind will influence the distance the gift works over or if it is useable at all. Windy City, anyone?

              With Sense Wyrm there is a similar problem, for it might be kinda useless in cities. Storyteller Handbook revised talks about the limitation of this gift in a sidebar.
              Ok, maybe you're right. When we started this discussion we had only those books which were printed in Poland: core rulebook, Player's and Storyteller's Guides, Rite of Passage, Storyteller's Screen and Under A Blood Red Moon (all for second or conversed from first edition). And if I remember correctly (about Sense Wyrm, in Storyteller's Guide) it's not about smell per se but rather some thing like mystical aura surrounding wyrmish creatures.


              Warrior of the Rainbow
              Saint among the sinners
              Pure among the dirt
              Loser among winners

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                Ok, maybe you're right. When we started this discussion we had only those books which were printed in Poland: core rulebook, Player's and Storyteller's Guides, Rite of Passage, Storyteller's Screen and Under A Blood Red Moon (all for second or conversed from first edition). And if I remember correctly (about Sense Wyrm, in Storyteller's Guide) it's not about smell per se but rather some thing like mystical aura surrounding wyrmish creatures.
                True - sense wyrm is not an actual scent. Gift users often describe the sensation as smell-like and paraphrase stuff like "the stench of the wyrm is uopn him" but it isn't olfactory.

                That said, a fomori having the power "gift" that grants a power that works like a gift, could go for the Mokolé gift "Sight of the true form", which is mechanically identical to "Scent of the true form" but is not hindered by other scents contaminating the scene.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The protagonist groups from The Breakfast Club (1985), St. Elmo's Fire (1985), Return of the Living Dead (1985), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 or 2003), Boyz in the Hood (1991), Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Scooby Doo (and its various knock offs), That 70s Show, and a lot of slice-of-life school club anime.


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Similar to No One of Consequences above posts, certain TV Tropes articles could be useful such as...

                    •The Five Man Band
                    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FiveManBand

                    •Four Temperment Ensemble
                    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...ramentEnsemble

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X