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I'm too scared to shift

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  • I'm too scared to shift

    Some background first. I am ST a Werewolf The Wild West game, set in 1880. The Pack is 5 Players, with one with experience with WoD, and a second that has played VtM some. The other three Players are new to WoD. Now when I started the game, it's been running for almost 6 months once a week, I decided it would be better to have a single Tribe Sept/Caern. I let the Players decide what Tribe, which they decided Uktena. The Pack has one member for each Auspice. While making the characters I let them use Merits and Flaws. The experienced player decided that his character has the Flaws of Insane Ancestor, and Derangement: Multiple Personality. Now here is the point of this post----this player decided that his non Homid forms is tied with Insane Ancestor and Multiple Personality......when he goes Lupus or Hispo his Insane Ancestor screams in horror in his head due to his Ancestor being killed by a wolf. And his Glabro form triggers his second Personality. With these things, that player refuses to have his character shift into any other form. And yes, he hasn't utilitized the benefits of Ancestors so far either. To be honest, these flaws really haven't been brought up in the 6 months of gaming, only that he refuses to shift. Now, the heart of the post......In Game, what ramifications would a Garou who refuses to shift face from the Sept, the Elders? I will admit....in my decade plus experience for ST Werewolf, this situation is a new one for me and I am not sure who to handle it. The Pack has gotten the Renown that they are bout ready to gain Rank Two ....but I am feeling that a Garou who refuses to shift would denied further advancement simply because he hasn't gained the insight for utilizing the Blessing that Gaia and Luna have bestowed on him.....but I am hoping for further or different thoughts on this topic and a good route to deal with it

  • #2
    Someone who would be afraid to even shift wouldn't even be considered part of any Tribe in the first place IIRC. They'd still be considered just a pup who don't have what it takes to pass the Rite of Passage. He might as well as be a Kinfolk.


    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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    • #3
      Isn't there a part of the litany about not dealing with the sick, either physically or mentally? Why wasn't the pc culled?

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      • #4
        Well tbh, I dropped the ball on that. I started the game after the Rite of Passage, and didn't bother role playing the Rite. Which that in itself isn't that big of a deal. Where i dropped the ball was when I didn't thoroughly looked over and discussed the characters with the players, and the Flaws of the Player wasn't brought to my attention till over a month of play. And I went ahead and let it slide due to how long the game had been going. So now I am looking for a in game way to deal with it.

        One way I am thinking bout dealing with it is that the Pack as whole, will not be allowed to Rank up till they have resolved that issue in game....aka Umbra Quest to Tribelands to resolve the issue with the Insane Ancestor....peacefully or violently....

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        • #5
          Also the character itself doesn't make sense. How could his ancestor be killed by a common wolf so easily? Was it a Lupus-born in actuality? Because the latter would make much more sense entirely. Or is this ancestor just some common human or a Kinfolk? If any of those I sincerely doubt those two types of beings would still be around, coherent, or able to project inside your player's head when ever he shifts. It doesn't make sense to me.


          Jade Kingdom Warrior

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          • #6
            Sadly repeat that i dropped the ball with this. The player knows enough bout werewolf to make a character, but it is becoming apparent that he doesn't know the intricate details. Living in a small town (5k pop) that is 3hrs to any major city, has gotten me wanting to try to work this character out and smooth it up and not loosing a player....due to the rarity of players in the area lol. I will admit that he hasn't hash out the details bout all that...the flaws...but I am waiting for him to clarify them. I hate to say it but I might have to trash the Chronicle and start from scratch. Which now that I think bout it, wouldn't be that bad. It would give the inexperience players to make a character that is more to there liking since they have become familiar with the Werewolf. Just hate to drop the story I am going through lol

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            • #7
              Don't drop the story, just go with your original hook and have the pack go into the Middle-Umbra to try and resolve the ancestor of the "crazy" PC so he can shift without fear anymore. Though if it really is that bad and you can't reconcile the error of that particular PC and want to "trash" the Chronicle altogether, just have early Pentex (Premium Oil as this Chronicle is set in 1880 as you say) begin to have interest where the Caern of the Tribe is at due to some surveyors realizing a huge oil reservoir is there. Have the Premium Oil Agents backed with OP Fomori, Banes, silver bulletry just wipe out the entire Tribe. Make sure all your PCs die heroic deaths trying to stave off the brutal and ugly manifest destiny of Premium Oil to the last Uktena.
              Last edited by Shakanaka; 09-26-2020, 05:42 PM.


              Jade Kingdom Warrior

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              • #8
                Lol surprisingly that Premium Oil hook could work due to me setting the Chronicle in SouthEastern Oklahoma, right at Red River. There has been oil rigs here in S.E. Okla and N.E. Tex.....

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                • #9
                  Well, as far as I read it, the Crinos form is still an option, right?
                  So,his pack isn't supposed to suffer his sickness, or something, so he is kind of save if his unwillingness to shift doesn't inconvenience the rest of the pack, community and so on. But, there are Rites of other circumstances, where he has to shift, and in this cases he might have to suck it up...
                  I mean, screams in the head are possibly a rais in difficulty for some actions, but not that much of a problem, if the character really needs to be a wold or hispo....


                  In any case, the concept is kind of unrealistic....

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                  • #10
                    This player refuses for his character to shift, even to Crinos. I had a situation where the Pack was blown up with dynamite, and the Insane Ancestor Player got in a huff because he is Homid and he can't regenerate while in Breed form. And the Pack had to travel 15 miles to a location but couldn't use horses....and the other night the Pack encountered a Golem. The Insane Ancestor is designed to be a knife fighter, and when he struck the Golem with his knife it really didn't anything....so he decided he was useless for the fight. The worst part the Pack enables his behavior due to them being new to Werewolf

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                    • #11
                      It's not a crime not to shift. But refusal to shift at all indicates either the character is ashamed of being a werewolf, or has some other major problem. It also means he has abandoned a major way he can defend the sept if it is attacked. These would all likely be Renown hits in Honor (and in some cases, perhaps Wisdom or Glory). And it would probably provoke the Garou in the sept to put assign Rank challenges that would require him to shift. And since he won't, he'll fail them and stay the Rank he is (or eventually lose so much Honor he'll go down one if he's already above Cliath). And over time, the rest of the Garou will increasingly treat him with contempt, making him the effective sept omega. That can be brutal.

                      I'd simply have the player suffer the consequences of his decisions. When the PCs had enough, he can start acting differently and perhaps go on that quest you've developed to deal with his Insane Ancestor.

                      So my advice is to stop seeing this as a problem, and more of an opportunity for roleplay and to explore Garou society. Just be up front with the Player (not his PC) that you'll start having the NPCs react this way, and if he wants that to change, then his PC needs to start developing a different attitude. But once the PC is ready, you're prepared to help him. Who knows, perhaps he wants to see the sept and other Garou treat him badly as a result because of the RP opportunities it presents, or enjoy the challenges not shifting represents for him.

                      So have a brief out-of-character discussion with him so you can level set, and then proceed. You'll know either to proceed with your plot up front, or to hold that in reserve until the Player is ready for it.

                      (And maybe an initial solution isn't that the insane ancestor is purged and he can shift all the time; but that he is somehow able to shift into one form initially. And the other forms require other quests. Or some combination. Be prepared to be flexible.)

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                      • #12
                        I think it might be worth talking to this play about the actual mechanics of the Flaws in question.

                        For example, he doesn't get to say specifically when the Flaw kicks in, you do. It's not automatic that he gets to define it as "shifting to X forms," and then every time he shifts, it happens. Esp. since there's a roll attached even if you decide it should kick in.

                        The Derangement can be suppressed for by spending 1 WP.

                        This character can be made functional, if the player is actually going to abide by the rules instead of playing the Flaws in question as far more punitive than they actually are. If necessary, there are Rites and Gifts that can heal Derangements if you just want to get rid of that by a higher Ranking Garou stepping in and doing it. Swap the Flaw to owning a favor.

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                        • #13
                          Looking through the books that I have access too, and I will admit that I haven't found any Rites or Gifts to deal with Derangements. I figured there would be, but I don't know anything bout them. Y'all mind pointing me in the right direction where I might can find them?


                          Edit: btw I have been toying with the idea of having a Choctaw Medicine Folk (Aka Dreamspeaker, coz the Pack and Sept are Choctaw Uktena) with Knowledge in Mind Sphere to abolish the Derangement. That's more of a "last straw" type idea
                          Last edited by Mahjemm01; 09-26-2020, 05:54 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Yep, Awakened with spheres in Mind can definitely help him. I'd say it'll need to be someone with atleast Mind 4 or 5 to aid with that though. After that the shaman would have to gather at least as much Arete successes as that PC's willpower. Another alternative route would to have that shaman just convene with that ancestor (or even maybe just a Theurge that isn't a Mage, they can speak with spirits too) use the Spirit Sphere and try and fix its "pain".
                            Last edited by Shakanaka; 09-26-2020, 07:38 PM.


                            Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                            • #15
                              When I was talking bout the Medicine Folk I was strictly talking bout purging the Player Garou of his Derangement: Multiple Personality.....Coz besides having a Insane Past Life that screams at him he also has Multiple Personalities on top of the Insane Past Life....

                              And since the Shaman would be a NPC, there is no reason why it wouldn't have Mind of at least 4 along with Spirit dots.

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