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Red Talons, the throw-away tribe?

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  • Red Talons, the throw-away tribe?

    (Note, in this, I'm discussing the general things I've seen in online forum gaming and here. I know a lot of the veterans here DO use Talons well, so this is mostly speaking in general)

    One thing I've noticed a lot in online games and discussions, is that as far as Red Talons are considered, they tend to be strawmen(wolves?), fallen tribe for sure or non-existant entirely. Now, I understand in part this, lupus are hard to play, lupus who don't even want to understand humanity are harder.

    Yet, I feel they should be present and their opinions heard more in games. Because Glass Walkers, their opposite is very popular indeed. And I think that skews the games massively as most games are set in cities and often Talons are banned. While this is true in canon, it game terms it also makes them look stupid. And if a well played Talon comes in-game, its often seen as backwards or stupid.

    And I think that takes away what makes the Walker vs Talon conflict so interesting, the fact that -both- are extremes on the Garou. By having no Talons or strawman ones, their side is not heard. And I think it should, because Talons are a reminder of the wild in garou, untouched by human culture. They have a great tribebook about how they deal with the wilds and spirits and handle the changing world. Not well, but they are far from ignorant or stupid. And without that voice, only the Glass Walker one is heard and so their extremity to human side is harder to see.

    So, I ask those who rarely use the Red Talons, what would make them more playable or something to be used more?


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  • #2
    I think the biggest problem with the Red Talons is that while they are the Glasswalker's opposites in themes, lots of Tribes can fit the role they play without being inherently burdened by the whole anti-homid deal. A Wendigo or Get lupus can just as easily be the big bad wolf that has disdain for humanity. Pretty much any tribe besides the Glasswalkers can have a lupus that plays the "more in touch with nature" side of the argument.

    That's the problem with the Talons. They're extremists for a side that is exceedingly well represented in the Garou Nation as a whole. The Glasswalkers are extremists for the side that is under represented amongst the other Tribes. A good example would be that nobody gets a Renown knock for being more wolfish, but everyone except the Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers get a renown hit for being to Weaverish.

    The Red Talons need something more than being not Homid and pro-nature that isn't, "we're more angry about it and more readily violent about it than anyone else."

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    • #3
      I've started this thought experiment. I can't stand the Talons. I don't think I would ever play one unless the ST asked me to because s/he needed said role to be filled. With that said, how could they fit in? Are you looking for character concepts? Are you intending to run/play in city campaigns?

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      • #4
        Playing unorthodox Red Talon would be more interested, but canonically you should be treated like a near Ronin or defector for expressing opinion that humans have SOME merit. Someone treated like that would probably sooner indeed defect to a tribe to which said Garou is closer ideologically than suffer ostracism from peers.


        “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          I think the biggest problem with the Red Talons is that while they are the Glasswalker's opposites in themes, lots of Tribes can fit the role they play without being inherently burdened by the whole anti-homid deal. A Wendigo or Get lupus can just as easily be the big bad wolf that has disdain for humanity. Pretty much any tribe besides the Glasswalkers can have a lupus that plays the "more in touch with nature" side of the argument.

          That's the problem with the Talons. They're extremists for a side that is exceedingly well represented in the Garou Nation as a whole. The Glasswalkers are extremists for the side that is under represented amongst the other Tribes. A good example would be that nobody gets a Renown knock for being more wolfish, but everyone except the Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers get a renown hit for being to Weaverish.
          See, from what I've seen, the opposite is true. Most PCs even from non-urrah tribes have much more common with the Walkers than Talons. The Anti-human lupus are almost unheard of, if there even ARE any lupus. By play, the Glass Walker side is much more popular and represented, while the Talon side is barely there if at all.

          Originally posted by Rall Bashir View Post
          I've started this thought experiment. I can't stand the Talons. I don't think I would ever play one unless the ST asked me to because s/he needed said role to be filled. With that said, how could they fit in? Are you looking for character concepts? Are you intending to run/play in city campaigns?
          I'm just asking in general why they tend to be ignored so much and what could be done to fix the situation for them. Just a curiosity and a thought experiment. And also to consider if I ever put up a game.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            That's the problem with the Talons. They're extremists for a side that is exceedingly well represented in the Garou Nation as a whole. The Glasswalkers are extremists for the side that is under represented amongst the other Tribes. A good example would be that nobody gets a Renown knock for being more wolfish, but everyone except the Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers get a renown hit for being to Weaverish.

            The Red Talons need something more than being not Homid and pro-nature that isn't, "we're more angry about it and more readily violent about it than anyone else."
            That is....not my experience, to put it mildly. And I've played a few Talons, also used them as NPCs a lot.

            The notion that humans are wyrm tainted and should either be exterminated or at best brought back to "controllable" population levels is NOT something that is "exceedingly well represented in the Garou Nation as a whole". For starters, all the other Tribes have homid Kinfolk (usually more than lupus). This means a Get lupus CANNOT hold this position at all, since it basically means he wants to kill over half of his own Kinfolk, which would be.....odd at best.

            Originally posted by Kat
            Playing unorthodox Red Talon would be more interested, but canonically you should be treated like a near Ronin or defector for expressing opinion that humans have SOME merit. Someone treated like that would probably sooner indeed defect to a tribe to which said Garou is closer ideologically than suffer ostracism from peers.
            No, they wouldn't be treated as near-Ronin. They'd be treated the way the Whelp's compromise is (since that's what they would be), which is exactly like any other camp within the other tribes. Griffin himself clearly accepts these Garou as Red Talons, or they would simply not be, so they are nowhere near Ronin.


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            • #7
              Still treated with disdain by more radical tribeswolves most likely even if their tribe totem clearly is more reasonable than some of Red Talons.


              “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

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              • #8
                Where's the line before Griffin goes "GTFO!"?

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                • #9
                  Where's the line before Griffin goes "GTFO!"?
                  I think it's going full "reverse furry" and going all homid wannabee like otaku pretending they are Japanese. Certainly that would be crossing a line.


                  “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kat View Post

                    I think it's going full "reverse furry" and going all homid wannabee like otaku pretending they are Japanese. Certainly that would be crossing a line.
                    So, it would take a semi-special snowflake to be one in a city campaign? If said Talon was running around with a city pack and not fulfilling Griffin's obligations, would that Talon still be part of his tribe?

                    I find the Talons unusually boring. It's my opinion. However, if asked, or perhaps it may fit, I might play one. Perhaps some kind of cowed cub who, with Shadow Lord-like fervor, would be waiting and planning to overturn the pack's hierarchy. Hopefully such concept wouldn't be disruptive. Maybe a Talon Ragabash that does a lot of indecent, shocking things in homid form, such as flashing women in the park, scratch cars, set fire to... whatever. Just doing the thought experiment, here.

                    Edited to add: I'm sure someone out there has thought of a camp for Glass Walkers that mocks the Talons that has the totem of "Peter Griffin"?
                    Last edited by Rall Bashir; 11-02-2014, 10:41 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe a Talon Ragabash that does a lot of indecent, shocking things in homid form, such as flashing women in the park, scratch cars, set fire to... whatever. Just doing the thought experiment, here.
                      Please let us not verge into fishmalk territory. My perspective on Ragabash is that they contest traditions in actually meaningful way, in my opinion. I could imagine a Talon Ragabash who is still pretty distrustful of humans but maybe he sees some merit in humans or perceives that they can improve without excessive violence on part of Talons.


                      “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rall Bashir View Post
                        Where's the line before Griffin goes "GTFO!"?
                        Be homid. That's the sole criterion. Be homid.

                        As noted, philosophically, Griffin doesn't appear to care what a Talon thinks, he only cares what breed a Talon was born. Metis are rarely, and grudgingly, accepted. A Talon with some homid ancestry may not be liked by other Talons, depending on the sept, but they're still part of the tribe (it's a Merit in the Revised Tribebook). Actually being homid, however, is a no-go.


                        Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kat View Post

                          I think it's going full "reverse furry" and going all homid wannabee like otaku pretending they are Japanese. Certainly that would be crossing a line.

                          Originally posted by Rall Bashir View Post

                          So, it would take a semi-special snowflake to be one in a city campaign? If said Talon was running around with a city pack and not fulfilling Griffin's obligations, would that Talon still be part of his tribe?

                          I find the Talons unusually boring. It's my opinion. However, if asked, or perhaps it may fit, I might play one. Perhaps some kind of cowed cub who, with Shadow Lord-like fervor, would be waiting and planning to overturn the pack's hierarchy. Hopefully such concept wouldn't be disruptive. Maybe a Talon Ragabash that does a lot of indecent, shocking things in homid form, such as flashing women in the park, scratch cars, set fire to... whatever. Just doing the thought experiment, here.

                          Edited to add: I'm sure someone out there has thought of a camp for Glass Walkers that mocks the Talons that has the totem of "Peter Griffin"?
                          I think you both are thinking of the situation a bit too human based. The absence of humanity is not absence of morality, so to speak.

                          A Red Talon that doesn't see all humans as wyrm tainted and to be slaughtered would still possibly try to direct humanity towards mora natural way of life. That is, fear the wilds and try to live more in harmony with nature, even if that includes being killed by it.

                          They would also not try to overturn hieracy of the pack just because they disagree with the leader, a pack has to function well together and a Talon is far more likely to follow orders from the leader than many homid or metis just because the leader ordered. If they feel the leaders actions are damaging to the pack or Gaia, they would challenge the leader. Whether on the mound or simply in a combat, to see who is stronger and better.

                          As for the shock tactics, why would a lupus care for it? Why bother shocking the apes that can't even hear Gaia's voice, when a better way would be to show them their place as prey? Chasing the human around the city, leaving calling cards in their apartment and killing their pets is much stronger. It tells the human it is never safe and if the Talon chooses, prey. Even if the Talon never chooses to do anything, it is still a powerful message.

                          EDIT: Though, back to the main question of the thread; Why are the Talons boring, why are the wilds they live in boring? That in itself is part of WtA's world, yet it so easily gets pushed aside in favour of the cities.
                          Last edited by Ana Mizuki; 11-02-2014, 11:03 AM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post

                            As for the shock tactics, why would a lupus care for it? Why bother shocking the apes that can't even hear Gaia's voice, when a better way would be to show them their place as prey? Chasing the human around the city, leaving calling cards in their apartment and killing their pets is much stronger. It tells the human it is never safe and if the Talon chooses, prey. Even if the Talon never chooses to do anything, it is still a powerful message.
                            That's actually awesome, and should I ever play a Talon, I'll steal that idea. I don't deny my ignorance of this game.

                            Also "fishmalk"? Is that what we used to call "Teddybears", on account of whenever they came to play, they'd have a teddybear and go "Look at me, I'm a Malkavian! See? I have toys!"

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                            • #15
                              I think you both are thinking of the situation a bit too human based. The absence of humanity is not absence of morality, so to speak.
                              Basically my post was somewhat ironical rather than full on serious.

                              The absence of humanity is not absence of morality, so to speak.
                              Morality is subjective in the sense that what is moral to another may not be moral to other being.

                              Of course, if morality of somebody involves me getting slaughtered potentially, I will contest that and likely not feel bad about killing in self-defense while I won't decree my or anyone's morality as objective.

                              But if some of them were willing, you know, to sit down and have a talk between two different species without it ending in automatic bloodshed, I would be also more than willing to sit down too, listen to their warnings of supernatural evil being a threat to both species, and who knows, maybe I would even invite them to a homemade dinner that is ecologically friendly even according to strictest standards because my rabbits have plenty free space to go around and they eat only natural food. Just let's be good neighbors, though please don't kill those local members of hunter club because I prefer political means of cracking down on them. Probably any reasonable Garou PC would not get an Ally dot because of befriending me, because let's face, I have no political power, but sure, I can donate money to ecological organisation that is front for Garou or sign an initiative.

                              EDIT: I should probably make a thread what fun things you would with your Garou friends in spare time that would not be culturally insensitive.
                              Last edited by Kat; 11-02-2014, 11:25 AM.


                              “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

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