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  • Septs sharing pups

    The low birth rate of garou has been beaten to death. With a level 1-3 sept often having only 8-15 garou total, there can’t possibly be more than 1-2 garou born a year, leading to 1-2 first changes a year. Three years to form a pack seems way too long.

    I’m considering a pact between 3 or so small septs to send their first changes together to form a pack each year, with their home sept being set in advance. For example, this year Sept A gets them, then Sept B next year, C the year after and then back to A.

    This would still provide a new pack to each sept every 3 years. Not only does this help the players justify a pack of mixed tribes, It also adds some interesting space to work from for the ST.

    The largest sept would be sending the most but getting the same out of it as the others. This could lead to conflict.

    It could start diluting bloodlines, any pure bloods may take issue.

    Maybe a sept didn’t send a very young cub to keep them for next year when they are the receiving sept.

    Do you have any other thoughts on it? Do you see this as something that any tribes might agree to? Is there some major reason this would never work that I’m missing?

  • #2
    1-3 have 8-15 garou? I was thinking level 1 caerns had septs of, like, one or two garou, maybe a little more, and some kinfolk to pad things out.

    I think a problem you're having is that you're assuming packs begin when a bunch of claith are lumped together, which is a convenience for players. It's more likely that claith, after their rites of passage, will be filling in the gaps of packs generally made up of r2's and r3's with perhaps a higher rank in there if they don't have anything more suicidal to do. So you don't really need '3 years to form a pack'

    However, moving packs between septs is fine. Realistically, there are going to be high-powered caerns that are virtually never threatened, and there are going to be struggling septs always begging for more manpower or an away team or something or such.. You can almost pretend the high powered Caen's going to have one of those JRPG taverns with mile-long quest boards, littered with various requests for help.


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    • #3
      I think your ideas are good. In my own chronicles, I often have small septs - that would have low numbers of cubs - send their cubs to a larger sept to complete their training and prepare for their Rite of Passage. So your idea is very similar. And I haven't had any players raise objections.

      I tend to have small septs of one tribe send their cubs to a larger mono-tribal sept that serves as a "center" for these other septs. But other arrangements make sense. Your idea of smaller septs within the same region alternating as the location for cubs to come together and do their rite of passage together works just as well. You just need to make sure that the tribes which control those septs and cooperate together are ones that would work with each other. If there are tribes that would normally have conflicts with each other, you'd need to explain how this developed in the first place. But you don't need to put too much work into it. Ultimately, all you need is a local concolation of these septs that agreed to do so for whatever reason made sense at the time, and tradition continues.

      The game has the concept of anruth packs that travel from sept to sept, so the game completely supports packs of young Garou wandering and visiting septs to perform needed work.

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      • #4
        My memory is on revised edition level, no idea about W20 sept definitions. I read "sept level" in several topics and assume it is something that came with a W20 supplement, just like caern spirits being reworked as sept totems.

        "Guardians of the Caerns" stated, that one should design a sept by filling all sept positions and as one deems appropriate, then count the garou necessary, divide the number by 2, shove all the duties of positions now vacant on the shoulders of those garou still present.

        That said, there was only one sept position really corresponding with the caern level and that was the number of guardians. 5 per caern level. Other offices were, iirc, only for larger septs, but no hard rule was established what the number of garou should be, for a given office to be represented. Only the Gatekeeper obviously has no reason to exist if the sept has no path stone aligned with their caern. Also, certain septs might have traditions that make a den parent unnecessary. The Fianna mentor/student relationship for example might make the office non-existent in small to medium Fianna septs.

        -------

        Back to topic. I guess a pack like that could exist, but there has to be a lot of consideration.

        Fist, not all cubs who undergo the Rite of Passage would want to form a pack of their own. It is the way packs are formed, true, but there are generation packs and some cubs might join with older garou and enter the packs their cousins, siblings or parents were already members of (if they still live, they might become their packmates).

        Second, there is a certain level of obligation, that one must be willing to submit to. "The next pack formed by cubs will strengthen our great Silver Fang house, but for you had your first change this year, it is your duty to live with the 'Sept downwind of the sewer plant'. The pact is for the good of all." I think the Silver Fang parents wouldn't be amused. Likewise: "What, go to the Silver Fangs to be dissed all day and then end up as cannon fodder or bait in one of the elaborate Silver Fang battle plans like by brother. No, thanks, I go an live with Mother Larissa instead."

        If all septs were the same tribe, or all completely mixed tribes, this would work better of course.


        Honestly I think the main question would be how eventful a year in garou life is. PCs oven race from adventure to adventure and rise in rank like nothing. But if you assume there is lots of downtime, uneventful guardian duty, lengthy investigation and infiltration (possibly by kinfolk) then the number of live and death battles is not that high and the numbers of garou and packs any sept needs to replenish is relatively low.
        In any case, there is obviously peer pressure for a cub to stay with the sept that raised him, especially if he isn't a lost cub but his family (kinfolk and garou) live there. But just as easily a garou or pack of young cliaths can decide to wander around for a bit before finding a place to stay (or return home).
        Also, in the tribe novels, we learn that some septs still uphold, or revived, the tradition of fostering. Meaning that Fostern garou would leave their sept (and pack if they have one already) to live with another sept (possibly even tribe) and be part of a pack their. Most might return home after a prolonged time abroad, other might not.

        All in all, I would think a pact like the one described would be a pretty unique thing - but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

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        • #5
          I believe it's possible. The only thing is how many septs you want to create such pact.. Take for example "Rage Across NY and Rite of Passage. The pack example from the latter one is a mixed pack created by cubs from different septs scattered through the state (considering onlythe closest ones). They are send to the Wendigo sept to Canada for their Rite of Passage because of an agreement that Sept of the Green would send their cubs to the north and in turn Wendigo would send theirs to the city. Once me and my buddies created "alternative reality" where septs from the entire world are united and trade their cubs to form "specialized packs" (I mentioned that in another thread). I also think that you underestimate the "First Change rate". You seem to forgot that there are garou who are not part of the sept and/or lost cubs. Assuming year of release is the year of the actual adventure and using all the ideas (even the optional ones) Sept of the Green could have 4 more members in the first year (Black Fury cub from Toronto ZOO and Wendigo girl in love with one of the characters from Rite of Passage plus a cub just before his First Change and a garou kept by two fae from RANY). Add Malafaxus trilogy from WW Magazine (don't remember the title) and you could also get 2 Uktena. So this pact could be unnecessary.
          Last edited by Nail Eater; 02-20-2021, 09:35 PM.


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          • #6
            I like the idea of the pact you came up with.

            I do also think you may have underestimated with only 1-2 First Changes a year for a sept. The traditional way that Garou run their Rites of Passage, cubs can easily die during the challenge. They could also potentially die during their First Change, especially if they're a lost cub. Then cubs spend 6 months to a couple years training before the Rite itself. But then, the rate of First Changes is really up to you for your campaign -- deciding how fast the Garou population is shrinking and how tiny and understaffed the average sept is.


            She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
            My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Erinys View Post
              The traditional way that Garou run their Rites of Passage, cubs can easily die during the challenge.
              Depending on tribe and tradition. 'Rite of Passage' named traditions for each tribe, but some are kinda incompatible with the setting at large. I mean, if any Black Fury cub finds a lost caern for her rite of passage, how many caerns need the Black Furies to instantly forget about?
              Also, the whole 1st Edition TB Children of Gaia, iirc, is basically a cub answering the questions of ranking garou as an oral exam that his the Rite of Passage. Not that dangerous.

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              • #8
                Yeah, it definitely depends on the tribe.

                The Uktena Revised tribebook has the character essentially touring the septs of the world, and then answering a difficult spiritual mystery for her Rite of Passage. However, if she had failed to solve the mystery she would have been eaten.

                The Black Furies finding lost caerns is presumably something they used to do which isn't possible anymore.

                But lots of tribes, from Get of Fenris to Silent Striders, generally require the cubs to go kill some challenging Wyrm-monster.
                Last edited by Erinys; 02-24-2021, 08:03 PM.


                She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                • #9
                  True.

                  Our LARP's standard approach to Rites of Passages goes like this:
                  1. Den Parent tells the sept during moot that cub or cubs are ready. If no objections are raised we proceed to step two.
                  2. Ritemaster uses 'Rite of Weeping for a Vision' if any current or future event is suitable for a Rite of Passage. If so, proceed to step 3.
                  3. The cub or cubs are given the information the sept has and are send to investigate and conduct themselves as Cliaths would. No external help by other garou is allowed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                    Depending on tribe and tradition. 'Rite of Passage' named traditions for each tribe, but some are kinda incompatible with the setting at large. I mean, if any Black Fury cub finds a lost caern for her rite of passage, how many caerns need the Black Furies to instantly forget about?
                    Rite of Passage is an extremely early sourcebook for the game. I think it was the first sourcebook after the corebook. As a result, it's like a rough draft of the game and should be taken as such. It has some interesting ideas, but many things would not make sense later on as the game developed. And some things were obviously not thought through. I think you've mentioned a lot of them in this thread or others. One can tell they were still brainstorming a lot of ideas.

                    One reason all the World of Darkness games have so many revisions and retcons is that all the games were a work in progress, especially the first edition. Some ideas quickly became the standard. Others were revised in subsequent sourcebooks. And some ideas were forgotten and never mentioned again. The sourcebooks should be seen as sources of inspirations, not shackles that show what is possible and what is not.

                    Anyone who thinks about these things will need to draw their own conclusions and determines what works best for them, much like your LARP group did.

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                    • #11
                      True. I just like to bring it up, because it is a good example of who the game changed some aspects of the game world as the game became more refined.
                      And, as with the Flaw limit in W20 it sometimes is a good idea to reread older material to find different aspects that might suit the personal play style better.

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                      • #12
                        I completely agree.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                          Rite of Passage is an extremely early sourcebook for the game. I think it was the first sourcebook after the corebook. As a result, it's like a rough draft of the game and should be taken as such. It has some interesting ideas, but many things would not make sense later on as the game developed. And some things were obviously not thought through. I think you've mentioned a lot of them in this thread or others.
                          O course. That's because I liked many of the ideas from 1st ed. For example various Background points for tribes or renown system. I still like to use them. Once with my friend we were trying to invent a way to retcon the changes between the editions. We agreed that after the Shadow Courtain was raised there was a great moot to decide what to do about it (thus the changes in Backgrounds and renown). On the other hand I can agree with you that some things weren't considered. For example none of the cubs from pack example had Sense Wyrm. So when my friend run this story for new players using those cubs they ended as BSD. One of the spirals approached them at Kroder's Pass and offered help. As they can sense he was a garou (the Philodox had Sense the true form gift) they agreed to go with him. And after that they fell into a trap.


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

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                          • #14
                            Regarding birthrate; I assumed garou and kinfolk would hold about to one birth every 2 years. With 10% of garou-kinfolk offspring being Garou. That means for a sept of 10 they get on average 1 garou every 2 years. Even if the kinfolk provide the same number through raw birthdate, that’s still only 1 per year.

                            This whole idea was build from a mentality that “if we only get one garou a year, we can’t add new packs. How could this be fixed?” I don’t see sharing as a common solution, but it could happen, and would be some fertile grounds for a story while being itself a reminder of the low replacement rate of garou. I would like to think that encourages less reckless attacks by the PCs because it will take years for anyone to take their place.

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                            • #15
                              A Sept with only 10-12 Garou seems to me like one that's dying. I expect a healthy sept to have at least 20-25 adult Garou plus cubs, even for a low-level caern.


                              She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                              My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                              Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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