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[2E] What social group allows another supernaturals?

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  • [2E] What social group allows another supernaturals?

    Greetings,

    I am not sure if "social group" is the right word, but with that I refer to Packs, Cabals, Krewes, etc. I have a limited number of books but my understanding is that Packs, Krewes, Mystery Cults and Mummy Cults, allow diverse types of creatures to join.

    I don't have the Contagion Chronicle, so maybe these questions are answered there, please give me some pointers if so.

    My questions are:
    1. What is the complete list of multi-creature groups?
    2. Can those groups be merged? i.e. a Pack that is a Krewe, or a Mummy Cult that is a Pack, etc.
    3. If 2 is true, do benefits accrue or nullify each other?
    I might post other questions here depending on the answers to the previous ones.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by lbeaumanior; 11-25-2021, 09:09 AM.

  • #2
    BtP: Brood
    CtL: Motley
    DtD: Ring
    DtR: Cohort
    GtSE: Krewe
    HtV: Cell
    MtA: Cabal
    MtC: Meret
    PtC: Throng
    VtR: Coterie
    WtF: Pack

    The companion booklet for CC goes into this.
    It's basically:
    Choose your own name for the mixed group.
    Any Merits that grants access to locations or resources are generally allowed to be taken by all members.
    Benefits for location based Merits stack, but you still need to buy into the required Merits to get any advantages. There's also a few suggestions to make splat-specific advantages beneficial for others (such as a Cenote possibly generating other fuel traits).


    Bloodline: The Stygians
    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lbeaumanior View Post
      What is the complete list of multi-creature groups?
      In Vampire: the Requiem, a coterie is a small group of allied Kindred. By strict definition that means a group with non-vampires in it isn't a coterie, but nothing stops other monsters from allying with Kindred. A colony (see Guide to the Night) is a group of vampires whose Beasts have adapted to each other and merged to form a sort of gestalt; obviously this isn't going to happen with things that don't have a Beast, but weird circumstances might produce something similar between vampires and other predatory monsters.

      In Werewolf: the Forsaken, a pack is a group of werewolves and their other (mostly Wolf-Blooded and human) compatriots, primarily serving as a hunting party and its supporting social network, connected by the shared bond through its totem; this shared connection has a small influence on Social Maneuvering by packmates and non-packmates. Discussion of spirits, wolves, and other supernatural creatures joining a pack exists (see The Pack), and there are Gift Facets for temporarily adding a target to the pack for the purposes of mechanics that work through the pack bond. A lodge is a mystery cult dedicated to some particular facet of the hunt and bound by a totem of its own, which may be an ally or something the group keeps imprisoned and contained as part of its larger ethos; outside of the context of the Contagion Chronicle (which, it should be noted, concerns an extinction-level event as exacerbating circumstances), lodges explicitly never have non-werewolf members.

      In Mage: the Awakening, a cabal (or column, to the Council of Free Assemblies, or pylon, to the Seers of the Throne) is a group of mages united to share resources and bargaining power and possibly coordinate symbolism for magical purposes. There is basically nothing stopping non-mages from joining a cabal besides the nomenclatural technicality shared by coteries, though pylons are integrated into the structure of the Seers' Iron Pyramid and thus may face more scrutiny.

      In Promethean: the Created, a throng is a group of Prometheans, sometimes bonded by an alchemical pact through the highest Distillation of an Alembic unique to the Refinement of Lead; bonded Prometheans gain benefits specific to the Promethean condition, and by definition a throng of Prometheans makes up a significant percentage of the global population of Created in the world unless you're messing with the population dynamics for your setting. The latter definition of a throng is Promethean-exclusive unless you wish to adapt the benefits to apply to other monsters as well, while the former definition only has the same nomenclatural restriction as coteries and cabals.

      In Changeling: the Lost, a motley is a small group of changelings, sometimes bound together by a pledge; as usual, the former definition is exclusive solely by nomenclature, while the latter involves swearing an oath, which is a form of pledge that can only be sworn between changelings, fae-touched, and certain types of antagonist fae. A court is a changeling support group also bound by oath, though fae-touched and fetches aware of what they are can possess Court Goodwill which conveys some of the status of membership in a court.

      In Hunter: the Vigil, a cell is a group of hunters united by a shared Vigil, a compact is a usually-regional alliance of cells that share notes and resources (organized from the bottom up), and a conspiracy is a usually-global organization (organized from the top down) that coordinates hunters toward the ends of a particular agenda and typically has access to some type of Endowment (often, but not always, some form of supernatural power). The difficulties of incorporating monsters into a group dedicated to hunting monsters is covered amply across the line, and there is nothing strictly preventing a monster from claiming membership in a cell, compact, or conspiracy.

      In Geist: the Sin-Eaters, a krewe is a group of (primarily) Bound, ghosts, and mortals of varying supernatural talents cultivating a mystery religion/bloc of influence as they approach the problem of the restless dead in their vicinity. The benefits of krewe membership are applicable to basically anyone through its Mystery Cult Initiation Merit, and Geist's take on the organization rules does not rely on Sin-Eater specific rules. (In fact, there's a sidebar talking about using them for non-krewe organizations whose changes in nomenclature lines up with Deviant's conspiracy mechanics.)

      In Mummy: the Curse, a meret is a group of mummies, specifically contrasted against a mixed group of Deathless and mortals; what little mechanical role meret plays is specific to the Arisen, so you're not going to be part of a meret if you're not a mummy. A cult is a group of mortals that has formed a bond with a mummy, represented by the Scorpion Cult Initiation Merit (a variation on Mystery Cult Initiation with additional connotations), and the prospect of incorporating other supernatural beings (besides sorcerers and immortals) is discussed in Mummy itself. The main quirk is that Arisen cults use a slightly different form of the organization rules than the other games do (using a two-stat system for the organization's rolls rather than the usual three-stat spread of Power, Finesse, and Resistance), which is mostly an obstacle to merging cults and krewes wholesale. (I'll get into this more when I answer the relevant question.)

      In Demon: the Descent, a ring is a small group of demons working together and looking out for each other. As with cabals and coteries, there's no significant mechanics to this grouping. Ditto for Agencies, the rarer organizations demons form to coordinate on some problem or project. A squad and an association are cross-ring groups of lower formality than Agencies, between Saboteurs and Tempters, respectively, and this specificity means they have slightly more nomenclatural weight to them than a ring, but there's still nothing stopping non-demons from using the terms.

      In Beast: the Primordial, a brood is a group of Beasts who've banded together and formed a shared Lair; given the way Beasts work, even if this nomenclature was firm, it's often mechanically grouped together with "character with the Family Ties Condition," i.e. if you're a monster, you're probably fine calling yourself a member of the brood you're attached to. A Primordial cult is a group of mortals who help a Beast feed her Hunger; the recruitment process starts similarly to letting the Horror inflict nightmares to build the inner circle but can proceed mundanely from there, so strictly speaking anyone can be a member of a Primordial cult, but Family Ties makes claiming membership in a brood more likely for anyone who can't pass as human and/or whose dreams don't touch the Primordial Dream.

      In Deviant: the Renegades, a cohort is a group of Deviants and their Loyalty Touchstones. This is inclusive and flexible enough that you can probably call yourself part of a cohort through sufficiently close association with one or more Deviants and their crew. A conspiracy is an antagonist group of mostly Baselines and deviants hidden in some part of society; while the game is built for the assumption of Deviant's near-the-bottom-of-the-ladder tier of power, like in Hunter, nothing stops you from being a member of a conspiracy if you're a monster.

      Can those groups be merged? i.e. a Pack that is a Krewe, or a Mummy Cult that is a Pack, etc.
      Pretty much everything that doesn't have hard mechanics to it and/or is an informal structure can likely be safely merged without much more trouble than figuring out what to call it. Stuff that relies on monster-specific states like oathbound motleys or alchemically-bonded throngs can't without changing what stuff does or requires.

      Packs, krewes, Scorpion Cults, and conspiracies have mechanical complications to combining them.

      A good chunk of the crossover material in The Pack has werewolves putting a non-spirit in the totem role in an informal capacity; this almost certainly won't convey the benefits provided by Totem Merit points, and I'm not sure if it would convey the other unifying effects of pack membership, though the latter doesn't break anything too badly if you allow it. This obviously isn't an issue when dealing with a pack that has an actual spirit serving as a totem.

      Conspiracies from the Web of Pain are not currently built to work as player-managed organizations and run on different advancement mechanics than krewes and cults; this may change with information from The Devoted Companion, but for now their only common ground with the other organization rules is the basic framework of their stats.

      A krewe's Esotery is advanced by pursuing its Doctrines, resolving its Regalia Conditions, its members coming back from the dead or completing tasks set as punishment by Kerberoi, rolling exceptional successes on Ceremony rolls, and some more esoteric sources of Krewe Beats. Its advancement represents its teachings' ability to convey mystical understanding of the cycle of life and death, as well as an increasing definition of what the group stands for and what its principles are, with most krewes never rocking the boat by going above Esotery 5 — hitting Esotery 10 generally marks the point where you either try to change the Underworld itself or crash and burn. Raising your krewe's Esotery and defining its tenets is the main shared goal Geist provides for its characters who otherwise have a number of personal projects to pursue.

      A Scorpion Cult's Dominance is advanced solely by pursuing its Doctrines, of which one is either a directive from their mummy's Judge or a Descent trigger for that mummy if they have the full set of three. Its advancement serves the same general role as Guild Status did in 1e, and it otherwise just makes the cult better at autonomous action in general (when Reach and Grasp already give Scorpion Cults fewer rabbits to chase than krewes or conspiracies). Its advancement represents the cult's temporal and supernatural resources, with most cults not having the time and attention to push their Dominance above 5, but the only risk of a higher rating is the same cost of redefining Doctrines and the chance of a Judge manifesting whenever someone breaks its Doctrine. Raising your cult's Dominance is a secondary concern for a Mummy game where you are playing one of the loyal Arisen, who seldom have time for goals other than those they're summoned for, though those goals can certainly include advancing the placement of your cult in society.

      Krewes and Scorpion Cults also operate on different assumptions of common magic — Ceremonies are usable by anyone, but krewe membership conveys knowledge of any ceremony at or below a member's Mystery Cult Initiation (and the krewe's Mystery Cult Initiation is itself capped by its Esotery), while knowledge of sorcerous rites is decoupled entirely from Scorpion Cult Initiation and uses a different structure from ceremonies (Open Rites, including the Call that wakes a mummy for a purpose, can be used by non-sorcerers, while Closed Rites cannot).

      It goes without saying, of course, that a Scorpion Cult is designed under the premise that it serves a mummy, while a krewe can technically be formed without any Sin-Eaters at all — the Bound have innate knowledge of the Krewe Binding ceremony, but other people can learn it, too, such that a krewe can theoretically outlive its Bound membership.

      In addition to having different Attribute spreads, Doctrine limits, purposes, leadership structures, advancement mechanisms, krewes and Scorpion Cults resolve mutinies in slightly different ways — krewes gain a Condition in addition to losing an Attribute dot, while mummies with high Memory can heal less damage to avoid losing Attributes at all.

      If 2 is true, do benefits accrue or nullify each other?
      Binding the members of a krewe or Scorpion Cult to a spirit totem doesn't seem likely to intrinsically break anything, although the Aspiration and Ban may lead to directives pulling in opposite directions if you want to keep all the benefits.

      As discussed above, a krewe and a Scorpion Cult are just flatly different types of organization, and while they might cooperate, they're going to have to be managed as separate groups or you're going to have to treat the group like the sidebar in Geist on non-krewe organizations and muddle out how the magic works.


      Resident Lore-Hound
      Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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      • #4
        outside of the context of the Contagion Chronicle (which, it should be noted, concerns an extinction-level event as exacerbating circumstances), lodges explicitly never have non-werewolf members.
        So... that's not wholly accurate. Outside those contexts, they CAN have wolf-blooded members. The Lodge of the Shield is explicitly composed of more wolf-blooded than Uratha (and even has some who outrank the Uratha), and the implication of their segment is that there are other lodges with small wolf-blood populations.

        The reason this is significant is because of the new ruling on multiple templates - even outside the CC context, the new rules are a design choice moving forward that the games are no longer assuming one template per character. It can be overruled at a given table, but this opens the door for wolf-blooded with other templates joining a Lodge. Some won't make sense, nor will all benefits be useful to a non-werewolf, but you could see other supernaturals slide into the Lodges for additional benefits.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EndlessKng View Post
          So... that's not wholly accurate. Outside those contexts, they CAN have wolf-blooded members. The Lodge of the Shield is explicitly composed of more wolf-blooded than Uratha (and even has some who outrank the Uratha), and the implication of their segment is that there are other lodges with small wolf-blood populations.
          I am going off of the section on Lodges in The Pack, which is explicit and more detailed than the generalized treatment in Werewolf 2e Core.


          Resident Lore-Hound
          Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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          • #6
            I think it bears to consider that language usage is likely to be more fluid in practice. Whatever the constituents of the group are, they are likely to identify to other supernaturals by whatever name is more appropriate at the moment. A Pack with even a single Vampire member, if at any moment dealing with other vampires, is likely to be referred as their Coterie.

            This applies even to groupings where specific rules may apply, depending on context. While non-Changelings can't strictly be part of a Motley, probably no one will stop them from declaring themselves as such once their presence is accepted, there's just no reason to be so strict with semantics here. But other groups or certain contexts may change this.


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            • #7
              Obligatory mention that the Contagion Chronicle, which is of course built for crossover, refers to the overall collection of monsters factions, with individual groups rooted in the factions being called things like bureaus, sects, chapters, agoras/scrums, unit's, divisions/branches, rings/crews, the army.

              When it comes to the nomenclature, it probably pays to refer to the group in the context they're gathered for.

              As for mechanics, that's a longer conversation.


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              • #8
                What about Circle of the Crone? At least in first edition, I thought that was described as potentially having non-vampire members - basically anyone interested in blood magic and/or the moon cult. Kind of bigger than coterie but, because Circle wasn’t very monolothic, not quite the scale of a worldwide faction.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SpoonR View Post
                  What about Circle of the Crone? At least in first edition, I thought that was described as potentially having non-vampire members - basically anyone interested in blood magic and/or the moon cult. Kind of bigger than coterie but, because Circle wasn’t very monolothic, not quite the scale of a worldwide faction.
                  There's no reason for any of the Covenants to not have some non-Kindred members, although it is unlikely that they'll benefit from the specific features from each one.

                  You won't have Crúac, unless the ST decides to house rule you do, but you are otherwise a member and participates in ceremonies and politics. It may be unlikely that other supernaturals join the Covenants, some more than others, but not impossible.

                  Indeed, if you decide that a given supernatural is a strong presence in local Covenants, they may have developed by themselves their own benefits for doing so, according to their own systems.


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