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  • Black Fox
    started a topic Pegasus and Fenris

    Pegasus and Fenris

    In the game setting, the Pegasus Incarna has a problem with the Get of Fenris. In every edition of the corebook, the Pegasus pack totem explicitly will not accept any Get of Fenris as a pack member. And the two tribes have a long history of antagonism towards another.

    However, simply because two tribes do not get along does not mean the Incarna are quarreling. Both Uktena and Wendigo will accept pack members from the Eurasian tribes. Falcon has no issue with adopting Shadow Lords. The only similar issue is Griffin's blanket refusal to accept homids which is really tied into the nature of the Griffin Incarna as developed by the game.

    So what is the reason for Pegasus being so unhappy with Fenris and/or the Get of Fenris?

    Now I think the OOC issue is that originally the Get of Fenris were supposed to be discriminatory against women, not seeing female Garou as equal. In that context, it makes sense Pegasus, the patron of the Black Furies and messenger of Artemis, wouldn't like the Get of Fenris.

    But I don't think that depiction was really kept going forward. Even by second edition that was changing. People wanted the Get to be presented more positively and attractive for players. The tribe was depicted as more egalitarian in a merit based approach (such merit being how physically powerful and brutal you can be in combat). As long as a female Garou was able to meet the Get's martial standards, the female Get were accepted. That seems to be the depiction of the tribe now. So discrimination against women is not something intrinsic to the tribe anymore if it ever was.

    But that leaves us with figuring out why Pegasus won't accept a Get of Fenris as one of her children.

    Now, I can still see the Black Furies not liking the Get of Fenris. Both see themselves as elite warriors, and there is a fierce rivalry as to who is better. And even a more egalitarian Get should have an imbalanced ratio of the sexes. Both humans and wolves are sexually dimorphic. Females of those species tend to be physically smaller and weaker than the males overall. I can easily imagine that a large amount of female Garou born to the Get simply don't have the upper body strength to pass the high physical standards of the Get. Those aren't allowed into the tribe, and have to find some other tribe who will accept them. (This isn't an issue with PCs who can easily assign enough dots in the Strength trait to qualify. But realistically many female NPCs may only have Strength 1. That's not a dealbreaker for other tribes, but I can easily see that as leading to failure in the training prior to and during the Rites of Passage for the Get. There will be males who only have Strength 1 and fail the tests as well, but nobody cares about them.)

    Yet I don't think someone raised within the Get culture would seek to join the normal tribes for those who aren't accepted by their normal tribe, the Children of Gaia and the Bone Gnawers. They probably enter the Black Furies, and some would have a lot of resentment of not being accepted by the Get. And even other Black Furies may consider the Get's standards to not be needed and still be warriors and dislike them on principal. Of course, there should be plenty of female Garou who can pass the Get's tests and do get accepted. And once they do, they don't seem to be discriminated against for being women. They may lose out on leadership positions by not having the physical strength of the strongest males of the tribe (primarily ahrouns), but that is a different issue.

    So while I can see the tribal culture of the Black Furies for multiple reasons not liking the Get, I don't see why Pegasus would discriminate against the Get of Fenris. After all, he won't even allow female Get to join.

    I think one solution would probably be to accept that Pegasus' ban on the Get is an artifact of the early game that is no longer supported and get rid of it. Just add one more retcon to the table. However, I'm curious if it is possible to construct a reasonable rationale that explains Pegasus not accepting the Get.

    Is there something about the totems that might explain this? That would make the issue one between Pegasus and Fenris. Although it would be one sided – Fenris doesn't have any objection about accepting Black Furies as a pack totem. Fenris after all is a very brutal Incarna. But even Unicorn accepts Get of Fenris theoretically.

    Could it be some offense the tribe made against Pegasus in the early days of the Garou that so offended Pegasus that only an incredible chiminage by the tribe to Chiminage could end the ban? I think this may be our best option, but I am unable to imagine what kind of action could result in such anger against the entire tribe. This probably needs a lot of brainstorming.

    Or is there something else that could explain this?

    Interested in your comments and ideas.

  • monteparnas
    replied
    Ana Mizuki in my experience since the late 90's it isn't as much the books influencing the players in the Furies case.

    The tribe had ups and downs as all others through the years, and many of them had an apex of BS in their 2nd ed Tribe Books. As the game went on all the tribes got more nuanced representations through supplements and NPCs, and the Furies aren't an exception to that rule. As most other, their best depiction came at the Revised Tribe Book.

    But while the player base mostly accompanied those developments with every other tribe, many obstinately refused to go any further than making the most stereotyped, even cartoonish reading possible of the tribe. And in many cases those readings aren't even based on the 2nd ed Tribe Book, as many I asked about literally refused to read it.

    Furies' depiction was basically, for so many groups I knew about, a cultural artifact passed from player to player based on their own notions of what a tribe of warrior women can be: crazy man-hating bitches. To the point that if you point to them later books with any other information, they flat out say that they "don't use it because it doesn't make sense and was just the WW kneeling to the feminists, but goes against the setting" or something to that effect.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    That's the most important point here. It is clearly an artifact of 1st edition and the simplest way to correct the inconsistency is to get rid of it.

    But that can be said of almost everything about the totems. This is fiction, so new explanations and iterations can be created. This happened several times to make the other totems work, this already happened to Pegasus itself to justify it being the Furies' totem. In-character Pegasus was created as a check over the Furies, not even their ally, but has changed by its experience with Bellerophon and decided that by championing people frequently downtrodden the Furies deserved its blessings. It isn't even really that invested in feminism in particular. OoC? Pegasus was just the next thing to a unicorn in Greek Mythology, so why not give it to a tribe of Amazons? The above story would only appear later.
    Funny thing is, while not an element of mythology, the pegasus much like the gryphon, comes from greek writers accounts of natural history, so giving the ladies unicorns would have been perfectly valid.

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  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    I don't disagree with your readings at all. If I have an issue with the 2nd ed info, it is -how- it is presented. This might be due to my extensive online experience of different people and their takes on tribes, but reading the 2nd ed tribal description matched the views of these people perfectly.


    Basically, the aspect of the Furies being anything other than avenging misandrist was lessened and the focus was more on the 'man-hate' and violence. While that is a big part of the Furies, it isn't -all- they are. Yet, this was a view most people I played with in the 2010s had of them. The 1st edition's text came as a surprise to me, after being so used to the man-hate aspect being the only aspect of Furies that was focused on.

    It is just an interesting thing, to me, how different aspects were focused on and how it then affected the players in turn.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    I think we'll just have to agree to disagree since my interpretation runs counter to you. I think at most, 2e material simply makes certain thinks explicit that were previously implicit.

    (Overall, I don't see 1e/2e to really be different editions in White Wolf. Early 2e simply developed what was bare bones in 1e. In so far that 2e develops differently, it is in its late stages just before Revised comes out after the original Developers at White Wolf leave and new ones take over the game lines.)

    The 1e corebook tells us the Furies “due to their unrelenting defense of the Wyld areas, have long been appointed the punishers and avengers of the Garou”. We're told their protectorate puts them as “the overseers of all humanity when other tribes will not of cannot do their duty” and that they organize “surgical strikes against individuals and societies who violate the order of Gaia.”

    This is very basic, but then again the 1e corebook only gives us half a page for the entire tribe. Nevertheless we get the impression that the Furies are a very martial tribe, very fierce, and there's lot of euphemisms for targeted murder of humans.

    We get some more details on the three page write up on the 1e Players Guide. There we learn that the Furies were “instrumental to the Impergium,” that they caused the “death of many adventurers, slavers, and missionaries” in Asia, Africa, and South America, and that they once “euthanize[d] male children” of their tribe (though don't do it anymore). In the description for the Amazons of Diana camp, we're told that they are “dedicated to protecting women from the Wyrm and from depraved men.” They swear an oath that “They swear an oath that men will never again rule their lives...”

    So the Players Guide, the first document we have that really gives us details on the tribe, pretty much establishes that the Furies have no compunction about killing humans in general and males in particular. Now I'll grant that many players tend to overemphasize the Amazons of Diana camp as the stereotypical Black Furies as opposed to other kinds, but that is not a fault of the books. And historically regardless of the camp, the Furies were both one of the staunch promoters of the Impergium (although they later defected from this viewpoint) and practiced male infanticide on their own Garou children. (The original tribebook would add more camps to the original three of the Players Guide giving the Furies more variety, but out of the four they provided only one of them played up the man-killers angle. The other three are more nuanced. So heading into the 2e era, it's not like that is the only perspective we're given.)

    We see this dichotomy play out in NPCs in Rage Across New York. We're shown the compassionate Alani Astarte (we're told she helped moderate the Black Furies' wrath against human women (!) whom the tribe considered too weak and docile). We're also provided her most likely successful, Kula Wiseblood who is a fierce Ahroun who believes the solution to every human causing a problem is to kill them, refusing to believe such humans can be healed or even become allies.

    So in the first two years of the game, there's a lot of statements that the Furies kill humans and that an entire camp targets male humans in particular (though not exclusively). The idea that they're only “chill and spiritual” isn't supported. Sure, some are, but not all. And we're given strong examples of those who aren't in 1e. If you don't get that impression, that's OK. But I don't think I'm unreasonable if I do.
    Last edited by Black Fox; 11-22-2021, 05:04 PM.

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  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    I disagree with the idea that the Black Furies became more aggressive or angrier over time. Even in 1e they were described as practicing human sacrifice and outright murdering men at times. They always had two sides - the kumbaya "Mother loves you" as well as the ecstatic Maenads ripping people to shreds. If anything, the Black Furies went down the same route as all the other tribes that their hard edges and murderous rampages were muted down in order to portray the Garou as more heroic and more good.
    I went through all possible core and info books for the Furies (sans TBs because of time and such), and there definitely is a stark difference between the 1st ed and the 2nd ed descriptions. For one, the 1st ed focuses on their connection to the wyld and protection of sacred spaces. Meanwhile, 2nd ed goes full-on 'they hate MEN' when 1st ed did not say much on that.

    In general, 2nd ed doubled down in that part of the tribe more than the spiritualism.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    The Garou got more heroic with time and the tribes also got more nuance, and also got internal movements to hunt down their own extremists, and this is something both the Furies and Fenris have.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by LordPyrus25 View Post
    So, feel free to verbally clock me over the head if I'm being a little over-sensitive, but it feels a bit weird to me that over time the all-female tribe got angrier and more aggressive, while the masculine-centric and war-like tribe became more tolerant.
    I disagree with the idea that the Black Furies became more aggressive or angrier over time. Even in 1e they were described as practicing human sacrifice and outright murdering men at times. They always had two sides - the kumbaya "Mother loves you" as well as the ecstatic Maenads ripping people to shreds. If anything, the Black Furies went down the same route as all the other tribes that their hard edges and murderous rampages were muted down in order to portray the Garou as more heroic and more good.

    Originally posted by LordPyrus25 View Post
    (btw were male metis always allowed into the Black Furies or was that added by one of the tribebooks? I sort of understand in-universe why the Furies keep some of their male metis, but if that was an added element why was it added? Maybe so that players who didn't want to play characters of different genders had some way to be part of the Black Furies? idk)
    Black Fury male metis have existed since 1e. They're mentioned in the first edition corebook and Players Guide. They pop up in various sourcebooks as NPCs.

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  • LordPyrus25
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms
    That said, I think you can make a case for keeping it if inclined based on the Revised Black Fury Tribebook. With how Pegasus is presented there (which is a lot more info than the short blurbs in the core), how the Fenrir approach egalitarianism would be extremely bad in Pegasus's views. The Fenrir exalt the strong, and in their culture might makes right. Pegasus would abhor that. Pegasus considers it vital to protect the weak from the strong, as the strong are inclined to abuse their power. This is even more true regarding the Fenrir's militaristic bend and Pegasus's own history with being defeated by a warrior and made a servant.
    That really works as an explanation, Pegasus' beliefs in how strength should be used are fundamentally at odds with the Fenrir's and so they are not allowed in Pegasus packs. Meanwhile, Fenris doesn't flat ban any other tribe from being in one of his packs because if they're tough and brave enough he doesn't care if they're a Black Fury, Child of Gaia, etc. Of course, that ban is still clearly an artifact of 1st ed, but it makes some sense if you think about it that way

    Originally posted by Ana Mizuki
    But to the topic; I agree it is very much a leftover from older editions. Though Furies only became the extreme types in the second edition, in the first they were pretty chill and spiritual. In the first edition core, the reason is listed as the feud between tribes.
    So, feel free to verbally clock me over the head if I'm being a little over-sensitive, but it feels a bit weird to me that over time the all-female tribe got angrier and more aggressive, while the masculine-centric and war-like tribe became more tolerant. Maybe it's just a result of the second clan/tribe/etc books always presenting a different perspective from the first one, like how the revised gangrel clanbook outright said a lot of the stuff from the first one was kind of bull. It just feels slightly questionable that those tribes sort of exchanged places or got closer to each other on the "extremism" graph. I'm probably reading way too much into this but that's kind of what we're here for right? Over thinking minor details in RPG books.

    (btw were male metis always allowed into the Black Furies or was that added by one of the tribebooks? I sort of understand in-universe why the Furies keep some of their male metis, but if that was an added element why was it added? Maybe so that players who didn't want to play characters of different genders had some way to be part of the Black Furies? idk)

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  • Prince of the Night
    replied
    I Think either a shadow lord pledging to falcon or a silver fang pledging to grandfather thunder will be seen as "Different " From most of their tribe likely getting some suspician from their tribe mates.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    I definitely think this is an option. But I also think if a compelling reason can be found to explain Pegasus excluding the Get of Fenris, that that can provide additional drama in the setting that some STs may like.
    That's the most important point here. It is clearly an artifact of 1st edition and the simplest way to correct the inconsistency is to get rid of it.

    But that can be said of almost everything about the totems. This is fiction, so new explanations and iterations can be created. This happened several times to make the other totems work, this already happened to Pegasus itself to justify it being the Furies' totem. In-character Pegasus was created as a check over the Furies, not even their ally, but has changed by its experience with Bellerophon and decided that by championing people frequently downtrodden the Furies deserved its blessings. It isn't even really that invested in feminism in particular. OoC? Pegasus was just the next thing to a unicorn in Greek Mythology, so why not give it to a tribe of Amazons? The above story would only appear later.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    Well, that's an artifact of every player using the same character creation rules.
    And it's worth to say that although they define a starting character, so one yet inexperienced in the main dealings of the game, this system creates an above average person. extremely above average if you remember that an average person should have, for example, a 3/3/3 distribution on Attributes, and maybe 10 dots scattered through Abilites.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    And if they did, I think it would be correct for an ST to say, "No, I'm not going to allow it.
    I wouldn't go as far, but would ask the player why their character is so outside expectations and how they managed to become a Get. The player may come up with an interesting story and, again, PCs aren't average people, so by all means they can be the weird exceptional cases.

    On the same vein, I wouldn't be totally against a PC that won't follow the tribe mentality, because cultures aren't monoliths. No one here is a prime example of our own respective cultures. And as described, tribe is culture first among Garou. The Fenrir don't look for prospective cubs around, they accept them if they come. But their basic stock is their own children and kinfolk, in-character, for most members of most tribes it was as much a choice as nationality is. And as such, there are cultural pressures, but also deviations.

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  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    Every tribe obviously has some sort of minimum standard that must be achieved before they rule their cubs are ready for their Rite of Passage, even if this is something handwaved during character creation. The Fenrir rites are supposed to be so brutal that cubs can die. While I think later editions downplayed that (possibly because earlier editions showed far more Garou than would be justified in later editions), that still happens. So I think the Get must have some level of physical standards that cause people to wash out. They may still respect a Get of Fenris who only has a physical Strength of 2 and minimum Brawl skills because they have useful skills in other areas, but I don't think they accept physical weaklings. Even Ragabashes, Theurges, and the like are expected to be warriors first, much like how every Marine is a Rifleman. That's how I run the Get at least.
    Oh yes, they absolutely do weed out those who can't hack it. It has actually been a minor issue in a game I'm helping to run, people making Fenrir and then not wanting to play the tribal mentality.

    What I meant is that the Fenrir generally look for someone who can tolerate their tough initiation rites and still come swinging. They might not be the physically strongest, but they absolutely are mentally strong enough to not give up even after being treated like shit for their whole cubhood.

    That is actually the reason a lot of Furies dislike the Fenrir; The initiation times are so hellish and DO include misogynic insults, that the female garou who cannot handle it go to the Furies. The Fenrir are often confused by the hate, as -everyone- gets treated like shit as a cub. I guess this is why Fenris does not limits Furies while Pegasus limits Fenrir.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    This of course is paradoxical, since Get of Fenris start characters have the same dots to spread over their character sheet than any other cliath from any other tribe. They aren't better, stronger, or something, than other characters from other tribes. Still, there is a certain mindset to the Get of Fenris...
    Well, that's an artifact of every player using the same character creation rules. Those are just for PCs. It's not that every Garou ever born has the exact same theoretical number of "build points" which is a meaningless concept outside a game. All PCs get the same build points for character creation. People aren't equal in the natural talents born to them, how well they've developed them, or how ambitious they are in improving themselves or the opportunities presented to them, and therefore neither are the Garou as characters. NPCs don't need to be made according to character creation guidelines.

    If you take the setting seriously, the Get weed out a lot of Garou from joining their ranks. And because they've been doing this for thousands or years and actively maintain strong relations with their kinfolk and take in new kinfolk who share those qualities, their stock of new Garou have a more likely chance of qualifying than say Garou in another tribe who doesn't try to cultivate those qualities at all.

    In practice, I think players creating characters instinctively choose to build their characters in a way that justifies those characters being in those tribes and passing their Rite of Passage. A person wanting to play a Get likely doesn't keep their Strength at 1 or take no Brawl or other combat skills. And if they did, I think it would be correct for an ST to say, "No, I'm not going to allow it. You'd never survive the Rite of Passage or be accepted by Fenris." But such a strange character (for a PC playing an RPG game where combat is assumed will play a major role) could easily be accepted at another tribe (at least if it wasn't for the Ahroun auspice).

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
    Fenrir don't really care if you are physically weak, as long as you are strong in SOME way, you are accepted.
    Every tribe obviously has some sort of minimum standard that must be achieved before they rule their cubs are ready for their Rite of Passage, even if this is something handwaved during character creation. The Fenrir rites are supposed to be so brutal that cubs can die. While I think later editions downplayed that (possibly because earlier editions showed far more Garou than would be justified in later editions), that still happens. So I think the Get must have some level of physical standards that cause people to wash out. They may still respect a Get of Fenris who only has a physical Strength of 2 and minimum Brawl skills because they have useful skills in other areas, but I don't think they accept physical weaklings. Even Ragabashes, Theurges, and the like are expected to be warriors first, much like how every Marine is a Rifleman. That's how I run the Get at least.

    Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
    Personally, I'd say it is something that SHOULD be removed, because it only makes pegasus look petty.
    I definitely think this is an option. But I also think if a compelling reason can be found to explain Pegasus excluding the Get of Fenris, that that can provide additional drama in the setting that some STs may like.
    Last edited by Black Fox; 09-17-2021, 09:16 PM.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I agree that it's probably a hold over and doesn't need to be there. Even if you remove it, Pegasus's pack ban is going to be hard on most Fenrir anyway as it would rankled their Tribal culture a lot.

    That said, I think you can make a case for keeping it if inclined based on the Revised Black Fury Tribebook. With how Pegasus is presented there (which is a lot more info than the short blurbs in the core), how the Fenrir approach egalitarianism would be extremely bad in Pegasus's views. The Fenrir exalt the strong, and in their culture might makes right. Pegasus would abhor that. Pegasus considers it vital to protect the weak from the strong, as the strong are inclined to abuse their power. This is even more true regarding the Fenrir's militaristic bend and Pegasus's own history with being defeated by a warrior and made a servant.

    It's still tenuous, but I think it's enough for Pegasus to consider joining the Fenrir as sign that a Garou rejects Pegasus's desire for putting defending those that suffer under the strong over fighting to prove your strength. From there, not allowing them in has some sense to it.

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