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What is it like to play opposite Auspice and Tribe?

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  • What is it like to play opposite Auspice and Tribe?

    Since doubling them seemed to be the norm, what is it like to have a character that Auspice and Tribe conflict? There're many combination but I am thinking about having a character that is Cahalith Meninna. There's a short paragraph in rulebook but I want clearer example.

    Cahalith is expressive in nature, loud and unsubtle in the hunt; but hunter in darkness is – well – opposite, their hunt is silent and secretive. Rulebook said "The Mennina are the fear of the night, and that means that their Cahalith are silent and terrifying," but how? It's seemed conflict with Cahalith's nature itself. How to portray such character?

  • #2
    You don't have to be loud to be expressive. The Cahalith of the Meninna are those shapes in the dark who scare the shit out of you so that you blindly run away in whatever open direction, only to find that you're now in the middle of unfamiliar streets and lightless walls. Then you hear the howls.


    MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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    • #3
      I don't really think of any of them as "opposite." And most people I've played with didn't "double" so... there's that.

      I'd use the movie Jaws as the iconic Meninna Cahalith in many ways. You don't see the shark well into the movie. And you start only with glimpses. Their prey is terrified because they've been left big obvious signs that a deadly hunter is nearby.

      Silence is horrifying as it speaks louder than any word to chill the prey to the bone if they know something is there, but they never hear it, never see it, until it's too late. Every sound turns into a jump scare as they lose all sense of what's dangerous and what's just normal sounds around them, as shadows grow longer and everything takes on a sinister edge, until drowning in their own fear, the Hunter in Darkness finally strikes the prey.

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      • #4
        Does not compute. Auspices and Tribes don't line up in such a way that they can be "doubled" or "opposite", at least not in 2e. Auspice is "how you Hunt" and Tribe is "what you Hunt." There's nothing about being The Visionary hunter that conflicts with having the hosts as your Sacred Prey. As others have pointed out, subtlety can be as expressive as overtness, if not more so. And while Hunters in Darkness have a reputation for being sneaky, there's really nothing about their Sacred Prey or tribal ban that requires it.


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        • #5
          Something to mentally masticate.

          One of the bigger subplots of the setting, unless 2e changed it when I wasn't looking, was that of Max Roman and Rachel Snow whom were having an ideological confrontation over multi-tribal innovative packs and mono-tribal traditional packs respectively. Max wanted to revolutionize how the Urdaga organized themselves and cooperated, Rachel wanted to keep things traditional and thought that mixing too readily bred weakness by creating codependent groups rife with internal conflicts. Being an Iron Master and a Storm Lord respectively it's understandable why they took the stances that they did.

          This implies that the mono-tribe pack was the go to model for a great bulk of history. In that light things like Cahalith Hunters in Darkness or Ithaeur Blood Talons or Rahu Bone Shadows translate easily into reality - these packs make ready use of those positions and it's not like those combinations don't exist in-universe. This is consistent from both a Watsonian and a Doylist position.

          I think that many players find themselves unknowingly following the Max Roman model which lends itself to 'doubling down' from a Doylist perspective on account of player agency since players naturally seek to occupy niches when forming a group that will be tackling a variety of problems. It's not an inherently bad thing, but you will notice it.

          Some fun can be had with creating seemingly at-odds combinations only to discover that oh yeah that's probably actually normal in-universe.

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          • #6
            Don't forget that the hunt is only part of a werewolf's life and role. A hunter in darkness is bound to protect "sacred places". And how does one know which place is sacred if not by studying and preserving the history of the land? And who would be better suited to do so than a Cahalith? Fighting hosts is a hopeless endeavour, even if you win a fight it takes just one spider escaping for your enemy to reform and all was in vain. You need someone to remind you of why you are fighting, to retell the stories of the few real victories which ended with the annihilation of a shard.

            As to how you play such a character on the hunt ...
            Everybody knows and fears him. Well sort of. He can walk through the streets without anyone noticing him. He can sit down in the bar and listen to people talk about him. The invisible hunter, who somehow managed to break in the well guarded villa of the president of the homeowners association who had been smothering the residential area with a web of contracts outlawing any hint of creativity and individuality. The HOA president had been torn to shreds in is office yet the door and the windows were unscathed. With every retelling the story changes. The coroner swears that it must have been a wolf who did the deed - but cannot explain how the wolf would have opened and closed the door. Others say he had owed money to a cartel who decided to make an example of him - but the surveillance cameras didn't show anyone entering. One guy says the presidents dog (who he kept in violation of his own rules) must have turned on him - but no one ever saw any dog. The hunter likes the irony of this version so much he pays the storyteller a drink.

            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
            Does not compute. Auspices and Tribes don't line up in such a way that they can be "doubled" or "opposite", at least not in 2e.
            Well at least "doubling" is literally possible by choosing tribe and auspice with the same renown.

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            • #7
              Roman's and Snow's conflict was specifically a Rockies thing, but it is quite clear that historically the trend has been towards tribally homogeneous packs, and that tribally heterogeneous packs are a more modern development. You can see it in Forsaken by Rome as well.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by MatthiasThalmann View Post
                Well at least "doubling" is literally possible by choosing tribe and auspice with the same renown.
                True, but most of the Auspice/Tribe combinations that are seen as doubling up don't actually have the same Primary Renown. They're mostly 1e holdovers from when Tribes were based on ideologies, instead of their ideologies arrising organically from their choice of Sacred Prey and Tribal Ban. For example, the Tribe that's generally seen as the counterpart to Rahu is the Blood Talons. That makes sense in 1e because Rahu were the Warrior Auspice and Blood Talons were the Soldier Tribe - their roles are literally synonymous. But their primary Renown are Purity and Glory, and in 2e Blood Talons' militancy is a consequence of their culture being focused on conflict with other werewolves, rather than being their entire raison d'etre. It makes as much sense to be an Irraka Blood Talon now, if nor more, what with their habit of analyzing how to murder their own packmates. And yet they're seen as the compliment to the Hunters in Darkness, despite the Hunters sharing a Primary Renown with Rahu. Because in 1e that was the sneaky tribe, and Irraka are the Stalkers.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Red 9 View Post
                  One of the bigger subplots of the setting, unless 2e changed it when I wasn't looking, was that of Max Roman and Rachel Snow whom were having an ideological confrontation over multi-tribal innovative packs and mono-tribal traditional packs respectively. Max wanted to revolutionize how the Urdaga organized themselves and cooperated, Rachel wanted to keep things traditional and thought that mixing too readily bred weakness by creating codependent groups rife with internal conflicts. Being an Iron Master and a Storm Lord respectively it's understandable why they took the stances that they did.

                  This implies that the mono-tribe pack was the go to model for a great bulk of history. In that light things like Cahalith Hunters in Darkness or Ithaeur Blood Talons or Rahu Bone Shadows translate easily into reality - these packs make ready use of those positions and it's not like those combinations don't exist in-universe. This is consistent from both a Watsonian and a Doylist position.

                  I think that many players find themselves unknowingly following the Max Roman model which lends itself to 'doubling down' from a Doylist perspective on account of player agency since players naturally seek to occupy niches when forming a group that will be tackling a variety of problems. It's not an inherently bad thing, but you will notice it.

                  Some fun can be had with creating seemingly at-odds combinations only to discover that oh yeah that's probably actually normal in-universe.
                  I think their argument was more about a prospective protectorates. Max Roman had seen an idigam destroy most packs in Colorado, after the Brethren War destroyed the rest. He wanted packs to be able to reach out to each other and have stronger alliances in case they needed help with something. In this way, if a weak pack discovered an idigam, it would not be destroyed or absorbed, instead they would be able to warn the other packs and someone could organize against it. Rachel Snow, as a Storm Lord, was more about individual strength. If said weak pack discovered a problem and never got past the 'call for help' stage, then they would never stop being a weak pack, and helping them out would become a disservice to them and the werewolf community at all.

                  I think this has shown itself in second edition in the expansion of what are now called protectorates. Max Roman was basically trying to set one up. Rachel Snow was basically showing why not to set one up. And the books we've seen in second edition have shown that they've occurred throughout Uratha history, for better or worse.

                  All that said, I don't believe 'doubling down' is the 'norm.' It may happen at some peoples tables, but as you can see in this thread it's not a universal thing. I've only seen it happen once. The book has examples of each auspice in each tribe, so playing them up doesn't start from nowhere. As explained, a Cahalith does not need to be loud to be terrifying, and with control over nature through the Hunter in Darkness' Nature Gifts they can be even scarier.
                  Last edited by nofather; 05-15-2017, 03:09 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nofather View Post

                    I think their argument was more about a prospective protectorates. Max Roman had seen an idigam destroy most packs in Colorado, after the Brethren War destroyed the rest. He wanted packs to be able to reach out to each other and have stronger alliances in case they needed help with something. In this way, if a weak pack discovered an idigam, it would not be destroyed or absorbed, instead they would be able to warn the other packs and someone could organize against it. Rachel Snow, as a Storm Lord, was more about individual strength. If said weak pack discovered a problem and never got past the 'call for help' stage, then they would never stop being a weak pack, and helping them out would become a disservice to them and the werewolf community at all.

                    I think this has shown itself in second edition in the expansion of what are now called protectorates. Max Roman was basically trying to set one up. Rachel Snow was basically showing why not to set one up. And the books we've seen in second edition have shown that they've occurred throughout Uratha history, for better or worse.
                    I think some of this is a little retroactively applied to it. If you look back at Huting Ground: the Rockies or the Manitou Springs jumpstart, the conflict described is very much about multi-tribal packs versus single-tribe packs. Roman was definitely trying to set up what is now called a protectorate, and Rachel was more in favor of every pack for themselves. But Roman was pushing for all of the packs in his protectorate to be twice-blessed, hence the failure of Jagged Sky's pack, which only worked together because they happened to have the right combination of Auspice and Tribe, despite clashing as people and as hunters. And Echoes of Thunder had allied packs, all of which were mono-tribal.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      I think some of this is a little retroactively applied to it. If you look back at Huting Ground: the Rockies or the Manitou Springs jumpstart, the conflict described is very much about multi-tribal packs versus single-tribe packs. Roman was definitely trying to set up what is now called a protectorate, and Rachel was more in favor of every pack for themselves. But Roman was pushing for all of the packs in his protectorate to be twice-blessed, hence the failure of Jagged Sky's pack, which only worked together because they happened to have the right combination of Auspice and Tribe, despite clashing as people and as hunters. And Echoes of Thunder had allied packs, all of which were mono-tribal.
                      I never did Manitou Springs so that may be the missing part for me. While I do appreciate Roman and Snow have different minds about multi-tribal or mono-tribal packs, I think that really fell to the wayside as the game went on, arguably before then as you see multi-tribal packs and no outrage over it in the Chicago book. Recommending mono-tribal packs is a huge and unnecessary gameplay limitation, even in first edition. It fits a certain setting, one where there isn't much travel, if people are all members of some family and don't have contact with other werewolves beyond their tribe, but even in situations like that another tribe can be introduced by someone passing by. Traveling merchants were a thing in the Neolithic, over 7000 years ago before the wheel was invented, it's something that can come into play in any game setting.

                      And while we can look back now and say Protectorate, even in Hunting Grounds, the 'why don't werewolves have a city/region-wide organization' similar to domains or consilium was a question.

                      Originally posted by Hunting Ground: Rockies p32
                      Instinct compels each pack toward independence — werewolves want to hold their territory, to be the ones to deal with their problems. But the recent struggles pointed out that sometimes packs cannot afford to simply defend their own borders. They must ally with other packs, to help in times of need when no single pack can face a challenge. Naturally, the werewolves’ nature makes it difficult to work together on a large scale. The need for dominance in relationships leads to squabbles for leadership, and fighting eventually breaks out. But in the long run, Uratha are better served with a social system where they can meet with other packs on neutral ground to trade information, forge alliances and solve disputes before they end in violence. As a practical matter, packs tend to make alliances of convenience or with few demands on either side. They might come to each other’s aid during a crisis or agree on a shared border, but they don’t hang out together once they’ve agreed to it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ben44 View Post
                        tr
                        Cahalith is expressive in nature, loud and unsubtle in the hunt; but hunter in darkness is – well – opposite, their hunt is silent and secretive. Rulebook said "The Mennina are the fear of the night, and that means that their Cahalith are silent and terrifying," but how? It's seemed conflict with Cahalith's nature itself. How to portray such character?
                        As said, Auspice is how, Tribe is what.

                        While Cahalith are unsubtle in the hunt, it could be subtle to the outside observer, but the Prey and the Cahalith know precisely what the hunt is going to comprise and how it will end, even if the Prey never sees the Cahalith even once. Especially if the Prey fears being chased by Nothing, in their worst nightmares and just generally spooked all the time by their own imagination.

                        Let's say the target is a newly occupied human Host who suffered from chronic paranoia in it's previous human life. The Cahalith Mennina will do what they can to grant an appropriate Hunt to honor the Prey and will likely do what they can to NOT be exposed. Since new Host tend to retain much of the original vessel's attributes, it can be assumed that it suffers from the same delusions, fears and potentials. These would begin to fade, but it will be up to the Cahalith to coordinate with the Elodoth to suss out what is the Host and what is the Shartha, isolate those fears and coordinate with the pack on how to exploit those internal death-prophecies.

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