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  • Laughing Hyena
    started a topic W20: Shattered Dreams and Changing Ways

    W20: Shattered Dreams and Changing Ways

    WTA – Shattered Dreams: Presents the wars between the Garou and Fera, as well as the time before that. Invaluable for owners of Changing Breeds as well as W20. 264 pages. PDF/PoD/Possible Deluxe Edition.
    WTA – Changing Ways: Explores the psychology of Garou as archetypal hunter and religious fanatic, the mindset of a character that wasn’t born among humans, and the strange and sometimes disturbing powers that our protagonists derive from the spirit world. 160 pages. PDF/PoD.
    Source: Classic World of Darkness: Jan-Aug 2015

    Thoughts?
    As someone that's part of the Rage CCG Forums, I'm looking the most forward to Shattered Dreams (Since the card game involves a Combat deck). In addition to outlining wars between Garou and Fera, I'm hoping the book talks about how each group and faction wages war against other opponents (Human, Wyrm, Weaver, Wyld, Vampire, Mage, Garou vs Garou, mass etc.), war tactics, and combat moves. Not to mention more details on the very first War of Rage and other wars throughout history.

    As for Changing Ways, it sounds like a part of it is Ways of the Wolf 2.0 and/or how Metis see things. And how to get into the role of being a Garou.

  • Traveller
    replied
    Just on the topic of wild wolves--in my chronicles I've felt a need to lean pretty hard in the direction of "there are a lot, even if mainly in protected semi-sanctuaries", and in many regions a lot more than in the real world. This includes ones that the public is aware of, not just secret ones. It gives the Garou something worth protecting, it keeps the world a target-rich environment for their enemies, it keeps humans afraid of the wilderness (because why is it scary if it's tamed)... and it makes the demographics make more sense.

    I have a lot of trouble squaring Lupus Garou populations, even low as they are, with the wild wolf populations unless the wild wolves are pretty numerous. And if most of the Lupus originate from sheltered preserves of just a couple square miles... well, they are going to be seriously mentally damaged, stripped of instinct and Wyld. As much as a wolf sanctuary goes out of its way to make things natural, have real prey to hunt, that kind of thing, it's still managed to the point where it approaches the fringes of domestication. The smell of man is an omnipresent part of those wolves' lives. Yes, there's surely a lot of Lupus who really are from that kind of background and have the damage that such an upbringing provides, but it shouldn't be a majority! It's pretty hard to argue that Lupus deserve their high Gnosis if a lot of them are pinned down to such a small area, without real freedom to roam. And given that pre-change Lupus ought to be a bit smarter than their kin, they're going to understand that something's up. They'd flip.

    Anyway, I can't see most Lupus post-change migrating too far from the kind of climate and landscape where they were born. That means your Lupus population in septs is going to be extremely low-to-none in regions without wolf populations in at least a few hundred miles, even septs that are far from cities. You need enough distinct wild-ish wolf populations to support at least, oh, ten of the tribes (gnawers, walkers, coggies can make do I'm sure) without the Pure Breed getting too muddy. You need enough NON-kinfolk wolves that the well meaning biologists aren't going to figure out what's going on...seriously, I know that Garou will do everything in their power to find and rescue Lupus lost cubs before they change, but even in the WoD there's going to be enough scientific research that non-supernatural non-clued scientists will have /some/ wolves, and if even one of them hits that lucky 1% kin-kin mating jackpot (remember the size and frequency of litters plus higher viability of garou offspring) and then has a first change while being monitored, it'll be very very hard to clean up. "Wolf kills researcher, animals too dangerous even to study"--not a headline you want, and you better damn hope that no lost cub has a tracking chip and a team of humans oohing and aahing over its footprints. So yeah: Enough wolf kinfolk to support a lot of tribes, that are wild enough not to be instinctually stunted, and enough non-kinfolk wolves to not be statistically ridiculous. That's a LOT of wolves. The alternative is saying "okay, the Silver Fangs have exactly zero Lupus Garou born in North America" or something.

    This interpretation might not be backed up by the books, but the alternative doesn't make any sense to me.
    Last edited by Traveller; 08-25-2014, 05:29 PM.

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  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
    The Mokole picture may not be as good as they think, but you'll have to wait for BotW20 or Stew to allow spoilers to find out why.
    The old material already has an awful lot about why, given the Wars of Rage, the Corruptor's minions within the Memory, and other factors that so damage its credibility that one wonders why Mnesis was even kept in the first place. Piling on more is in overkill territory.

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  • nikink
    replied
    The Mokole picture has always bemused me due to their insular natures.

    "Day in the sun 3465. Some cloud, quickly passed. Yawn. Slightly peckish. Praise Gaia."

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  • Bunyip
    replied
    The Mokole picture may not be as good as they think, but you'll have to wait for BotW20 or Stew to allow spoilers to find out why.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lian
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
    The difference between human oral traditions and the Changing Breeds are (a) immortal spirit allies, some of whom were present for the ancient history, and (b) Mokole, with access to the Mnesis. Both can give a consistency and accuracy that would be otherwise impossible. (Spirits could skew accuracy somewhat for their own purposes.)
    Immortal spirit allies are why I don't question them having a concept of history dating back to prehistoric times. But the way Garou pass history should be a much more extreme Great Men view(since Galliard tales are generally about indviduals/packs vs broad swaths). IT should be a confusing mess with huge holes in it. It should be clear that certain spirits and thus tribes consider certain actions much more important so they'd pick those things... Plus it you know predates dating.


    Mokole should have a better picture but they aren't talking much to to the Garou nation, of course by this logic the Emerald Courts probably have the best grasp of history.

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  • Uniform Two Six
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    It might not justify it, but it makes it understandable. But then, given how dogs are treated as incidentally living property and abandoned in modern times, bred in puppy mills, abused by humans because they have little in the way of rights and no one other than a few modern internet vigilantes are going to investigate their deaths, perhaps it might justify it, too.
    Wait. Justify it in the modern age if the werewolves were to start a second Impergium or something, or justify the original Impergium? The puppy mills and other modern-age stuff, I mean.

    Originally posted by Lian View Post
    Are you guys seriously arguing over the specifics of a history that has only been handed down via oral tradition?
    Why, yes we are -- and not just an oral history, but an oral history of a fantasy setting. And on a related note: Han Solo totally shot first, thus justifying Vader's use of torture.

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  • Bunyip
    replied
    The difference between human oral traditions and the Changing Breeds are (a) immortal spirit allies, some of whom were present for the ancient history, and (b) Mokole, with access to the Mnesis. Both can give a consistency and accuracy that would be otherwise impossible. (Spirits could skew accuracy somewhat for their own purposes.)

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  • Lian
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
    As someone who is very likely to be one of the writers for Shattered Dreams, I am enjoying the back-and-forth. I'm not taking sides, and I don't want the discussion to fall into an argument, but I am paying close attention to the considered points from both posters. Thank you both.

    Not dismissing what Lian says - there does tend to be an inherent loss of accuracy in oral traditions, especially spread through so many lineages that concentrate on what they each consider to be the important points.
    Its one point of that shatters my suspension of disbelief is how much information supernaturals have about their history, hell the way Garou and other changers pass down their history it should be a constant stream of indviduals vs vast social changes with some backdating of the social changes onto the individualized history.

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  • Laughing Hyena
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    The books seesaw back and forth on this. For instance, while wolves have been dead in Japan for a long time, the WoD has packs of them hidden from prying eyes due to Hakken machinations. Of course, the Hakken also aren't a part of the Garou Nation, so who knows. I swear that "secret wolves" have popped up in other places in W:TA material, but it could very well be just a feeling. It's supposed to have a lot fewer small towns and more spooky wilderness.
    Not a feeling at all. Here to back you up is Caerns: Places of Power, which has a Caern in California maintained by Children of Gaia and Uktena. Immortal Eyes 1: The Toybox, L.A. By Night, San Fransisco By Night, and even a small fiction part in Apocalypse mention Garou being in California. The last wolf confirmed in Cailfornia was in 1924. With any wolves existing in the state after that from zoos or centers only.
    It has only been recently (2011) that sightings of wild wolves have been made by wolves that have crossed the border between states. There has been a lot of debate within the state with protecting any wolves that decide to stay due to ranchers and hunters.

    The same goes for Gurahl from the Mountain Guardians tribe. Grizzly Bears went extinct in California in 1922. However, if they recover and expand in the North Cascades, they might return to California as well.

    Edit: Because of these real world facts, I know the exact media source/inspiration White Wolf used for the "idea" of werewolves being in California. Before I got into Rage and then W:tA in 1995, I was in a Werewolf phase during '93/94 and was reading a lot of books. One of the movies was even the source for the Bunyip tribe: The Howling...
    A more recent werewolf book with the same location, 'Sharp Teeth', uses "weredogs" instead.
    Last edited by Laughing Hyena; 08-24-2014, 04:07 PM.

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  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Uniform Two Six View Post
    Okay. I get what you're saying there. I still think that the intimate relationship between the Gurahl, the Apis, and the humans would have plausibly changed the course of events had the Garou not interfered. However, you make good points, and you're right that I can't have my cake and eat it too with regard to using real world anecdotes in a WoD setting. Therefore, I reverse my earlier statement and concede the point that left to their own devices, the humans are largely responsible (even in a moral sense) for the state of affairs in the WoD -- in the physical plane. Ecological damage, extinction of species (with the exception of wolves -- which I still hold is more complicated an issue in the WoD), criminality, greed, etcetera; these they hold the lion's share of blame. These are not the same thing as Wyrm-Taint. That's something purely spiritual in nature. So I would make the following claims:

    1. Wyrm-Taint. Being purely spiritual in nature, the humans are largely absolved of responsibility even if the Wyrm feeds off much of their activities. When the Garou terrorized the humans during the Impergium and later deprived them of their spirit-guides in the form of the Gurahl and the Apis, they effectively cut them off from having any meaningful interaction with -- even knowledge of -- the spirit world. In this case, ignorance is an excuse. The Garou could have no right to expect the humans to avoid doing things that aided and fed the Wyrm in a spiritual sense if the Garou deprived them of having any concept of what that meant (reinforced to an extent by the Veil, incidentally). The only responsibility that the humans would have would be actions that had a direct cause-effect relationship in the physical plane -- and even then much of that would be dependent upon prevailing cultural norms of the time.
    Okay.

    2. Fate of wolves in the WoD. The humans would be partly to blame for the sad state of affairs regarding wild wolves in the WoD, since wolves have experienced a sharp decline in the real world. However, it has been repeated multiple times that the status of the wild wolf is one of the areas where the real world and the World of Darkness differ drastically. In the real world, the wolf (Gray Wolf, that is) is listed as threatened. In the World of Darkness, it's teetering on the brink of extinction. In our world the wolf is making a slow but steady comeback in select areas due to widespread environmental concern, and governmental action -- not perfect, but it's something. In the WoD, none of that ever materialized, and humans almost universally view wolves as dangerous and evil. The Garou are, if not entirely at fault, they are largely at fault. There's simply no way that the Impergium didn't play a pretty major role there.
    The books seesaw back and forth on this. For instance, while wolves have been dead in Japan for a long time, the WoD has packs of them hidden from prying eyes due to Hakken machinations. Of course, the Hakken also aren't a part of the Garou Nation, so who knows. I swear that "secret wolves" have popped up in other places in W:TA material, but it could very well be just a feeling. It's supposed to have a lot fewer small towns and more spooky wilderness.

    3. Vampires. In the real world (once upon a time at least) humans really did believe in vampires. Not just crazy people -- everybody. Moreover, they were not viewed in anything resembling a positive light. Vampires were monsters. So in the World of Darkness, where vampires are more than mere superstition, what could have caused the vampires to achieve a toehold in human cultures that at the time were highly superstitious (and as the real world has shown, in the absence of werewolves and their Impergium and whatnot, would have been feared, hated and hunted with religious zeal)? I contend that in the WoD, the vampires (particularly with their penchant for encouraging human population growth and technological development), actually provided a sort of symbiotic function in that they were actually a credible defense against werewolves to a degree. Thusly, I contend that the rise of the Vampires is something that the werewolves are partly to largely responsible for. That's a contention that is doubly damning given how Wyrm-Tainted the Vampires tend to be -- particularly according to the Garou.
    Vampires would have done what they did anyway, and good will toward the werebeasts probably wouldn't have prevented it. Garou and Fera have, largely, Rage, which tends to drive others away from them even before it, and have easier access to mind control powers to dig in and turn the tide of opinions their way. Changers might have been resistant to those powers, but the humans sure aren't, and wouldn't have been. Of course, it'd be difficult to place when vampires even came onto the scene, because their histories aren't exactly known for being reliable, either, vampires being lying liars that lie and all.

    Question: I know we've been over this, but for clarification, is it your meaning that the Garou were justified in starting the Impergium? If so, how do you square that with the fact that humans hadn't actually done anything yet, and any meaningful ecological damage would, in any event, not be even within the humans' power for thousands and thousands of years? Moreover, even with spirits (like Phoenix) giving them a window on the future, how could they ever be justified in taking vengeance against defenseless peasants who would be thousands of years removed from the humans who would ultimately become responsible? Can someone seriously be responsible for the actions of another person who hasn't even been conceived yet?
    The huge numbers of humans coming in are a sin in and of themselves due to how much space they stole from other organisms. It was the road to crushing biodiversity and replacing it with a bunch of human settlements where there are, largely, only humans and the organisms that can feed off of them. So it was a shame that the Garou did not aid the Ratkin in the proper way, which was what I said.

    Okay, the Garou (particularly the Lupus -- and especially the Red Talons) were "wigged-out" by the domestication of the dog, and taken by surprise at how quickly it happened.

    Does that make it something that justified the Garou going nuts over and slaughtering thousands of otherwise innocent people, especially since it was probably less something that the humans set out to do, and more something that just sort of happened?
    It might not justify it, but it makes it understandable. But then, given how dogs are treated as incidentally living property and abandoned in modern times, bred in puppy mills, abused by humans because they have little in the way of rights and no one other than a few modern internet vigilantes are going to investigate their deaths, perhaps it might justify it, too.

    The rise (and demise) of the First City is generally held to be about contemporary with the close of the Impergium and is generally seen as a sort of "last hurrah" for the Garou who advocated the Impergium. The humans have just started to crawl out from under the vicious bloodletting of the werewolves, the Veil has yet to fully settle in, and they're madly doing anything and everything in their power to amass supernatural allies and magical power, and you seriously feel that fear of the werewolves isn't at play here? You don't find the timing of all this just the slightest bit suspicious? It's the tail end of the Impergium (and the War of Rage which also probably wasn't particularly pleasant for the humans), but it has to be humans simply being dicks to each other? Come on. Really?
    Already answered. Vampires can successively mind control people into submission and make them in awe, and don't have Rage driving people away. Whenever this "First City" came up or if it actually existed as a singular thing or non-allegory is also a perplexing mystery. As Lian noted, it's not the kind of thing that gets preserved very well, and to top it off, it's leaning heavily on trusting the accounts of Noddist vampires, who are double vampires when it comes to lying and getting listeners to believe it. If anything, it's not the fear of werewolves that humans held, but the lack of Fera allies that helped out here, since a unified front would have been better able to keep tabs on human settlements and smoke out vampires before they took root in communities.

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  • Bunyip
    replied
    As someone who is very likely to be one of the writers for Shattered Dreams, I am enjoying the back-and-forth. I'm not taking sides, and I don't want the discussion to fall into an argument, but I am paying close attention to the considered points from both posters. Thank you both.

    Not dismissing what Lian says - there does tend to be an inherent loss of accuracy in oral traditions, especially spread through so many lineages that concentrate on what they each consider to be the important points.

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  • Lian
    replied
    Are you guys seriously arguing over the specifics of a history that has only been handed down via oral tradition? Of course its going to be a confusing mess with each tribe having its own "real truth"

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  • Uniform Two Six
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    No, the goings-on of the real world are the only reason that W:TA even existed in the first place - people being angry about the bad shit that goes on and venting in the form of a fictional setting... One of the main points of an essay in the 2nd edition player's guide was that the Wyrm doesn't make anyone do anything evil, because it doesn't need to. It then cites real world events to back this point up. The nature of humans in the WoD is the same as in the real world. Hence, the humans are not blameless in this struggle... What's more, you keep bringing up points that undermine various "speculative" parts of the W:TA narrative yourself. If you don't want to have to deal with real world details, don't try to use them in your argument.
    Okay. I get what you're saying there. I still think that the intimate relationship between the Gurahl, the Apis, and the humans would have plausibly changed the course of events had the Garou not interfered. However, you make good points, and you're right that I can't have my cake and eat it too with regard to using real world anecdotes in a WoD setting. Therefore, I reverse my earlier statement and concede the point that left to their own devices, the humans are largely responsible (even in a moral sense) for the state of affairs in the WoD -- in the physical plane. Ecological damage, extinction of species (with the exception of wolves -- which I still hold is more complicated an issue in the WoD), criminality, greed, etcetera; these they hold the lion's share of blame. These are not the same thing as Wyrm-Taint. That's something purely spiritual in nature. So I would make the following claims:

    1. Wyrm-Taint. Being purely spiritual in nature, the humans are largely absolved of responsibility even if the Wyrm feeds off much of their activities. When the Garou terrorized the humans during the Impergium and later deprived them of their spirit-guides in the form of the Gurahl and the Apis, they effectively cut them off from having any meaningful interaction with -- even knowledge of -- the spirit world. In this case, ignorance is an excuse. The Garou could have no right to expect the humans to avoid doing things that aided and fed the Wyrm in a spiritual sense if the Garou deprived them of having any concept of what that meant (reinforced to an extent by the Veil, incidentally). The only responsibility that the humans would have would be actions that had a direct cause-effect relationship in the physical plane -- and even then much of that would be dependent upon prevailing cultural norms of the time.

    2. Fate of wolves in the WoD. The humans would be partly to blame for the sad state of affairs regarding wild wolves in the WoD, since wolves have experienced a sharp decline in the real world. However, it has been repeated multiple times that the status of the wild wolf is one of the areas where the real world and the World of Darkness differ drastically. In the real world, the wolf (Gray Wolf, that is) is listed as threatened. In the World of Darkness, it's teetering on the brink of extinction. In our world the wolf is making a slow but steady comeback in select areas due to widespread environmental concern, and governmental action -- not perfect, but it's something. In the WoD, none of that ever materialized, and humans almost universally view wolves as dangerous and evil. The Garou are, if not entirely at fault, they are largely at fault. There's simply no way that the Impergium didn't play a pretty major role there.

    3. Vampires. In the real world (once upon a time at least) humans really did believe in vampires. Not just crazy people -- everybody. Moreover, they were not viewed in anything resembling a positive light. Vampires were monsters. So in the World of Darkness, where vampires are more than mere superstition, what could have caused the vampires to achieve a toehold in human cultures that at the time were highly superstitious (and as the real world has shown, in the absence of werewolves and their Impergium and whatnot, would have been feared, hated and hunted with religious zeal)? I contend that in the WoD, the vampires (particularly with their penchant for encouraging human population growth and technological development), actually provided a sort of symbiotic function in that they were actually a credible defense against werewolves to a degree. Thusly, I contend that the rise of the Vampires is something that the werewolves are partly to largely responsible for. That's a contention that is doubly damning given how Wyrm-Tainted the Vampires tend to be -- particularly according to the Garou.


    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    Humans were causing trouble before the Impergium. That's why the Impergium started. The Red Talons wanted to kill all humans right then and there, and they would have been right to rouse up the Ratkin to clamp down harder.
    Question: I know we've been over this, but for clarification, is it your meaning that the Garou were justified in starting the Impergium? If so, how do you square that with the fact that humans hadn't actually done anything yet, and any meaningful ecological damage would, in any event, not be even within the humans' power for thousands and thousands of years? Moreover, even with spirits (like Phoenix) giving them a window on the future, how could they ever be justified in taking vengeance against defenseless peasants who would be thousands of years removed from the humans who would ultimately become responsible? Can someone seriously be responsible for the actions of another person who hasn't even been conceived yet?
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    I already mentioned Garou being wigged out by domestication. Domestication makes it impossible for a wolf to be a werewolf. It also happens on a time scale where the Garou might not have realized what was going on until it happened, thus adding to the impact of the shock.
    Okay, the Garou (particularly the Lupus -- and especially the Red Talons) were "wigged-out" by the domestication of the dog, and taken by surprise at how quickly it happened.

    Does that make it something that justified the Garou going nuts over and slaughtering thousands of otherwise innocent people, especially since it was probably less something that the humans set out to do, and more something that just sort of happened?
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    Because they thought that they could use them to their advantage? Not even against Garou. People in cities don't drop their rivalries and hatreds against each other by any means. Even without a fear of werewolves, there's still the possibility of trying to get the bloodsuckers to eat people you don't like in exchange for service, or to steal their power so that you can eat people you don't like and lord over everyone. And it's not like the leadership of early cities would have been composed of pleasant people, either. Their positions in society were built on the wealth of those under them.
    The rise (and demise) of the First City is generally held to be about contemporary with the close of the Impergium and is generally seen as a sort of "last hurrah" for the Garou who advocated the Impergium. The humans have just started to crawl out from under the vicious bloodletting of the werewolves, the Veil has yet to fully settle in, and they're madly doing anything and everything in their power to amass supernatural allies and magical power, and you seriously feel that fear of the werewolves isn't at play here? You don't find the timing of all this just the slightest bit suspicious? It's the tail end of the Impergium (and the War of Rage which also probably wasn't particularly pleasant for the humans), but it has to be humans simply being dicks to each other? Come on. Really?
    Last edited by Uniform Two Six; 08-24-2014, 04:20 AM.

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  • rderekp
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

    If only one could get a wolf into a functional MRI to compare with the dog results.
    There is a lot of pretty good observational and experimental research out there. More on wolves than dogs, really.

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