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[2E] Grokking the Blood Talon Vow

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  • [2E] Grokking the Blood Talon Vow

    I've been playing WtF nearly weekly for over 3 years in what has been a generational game spanning the edition change. My current character is a born fighter, a rising star in MMA who had her future stolen from her by the first change. After being a shit Uratha for the better part of 5 years, taking a tribe because it was more or less thrust upon her, but never really figuring out what it means. Events have conspired to leading her to take the role of Alpha and after several close call fights, her vow (and lack of thought toward it) has become a major focus.

    As I sit back, trying to figure out what it means for the character, I myself am having a hard time coming up with an interpretation that feels right for the character - which mirrors the character's own uncertainties. She has talk with several other Talons in the area, but their terms didn't resonate.

    So, I'm crowd sourcing. What are different ways to look the vow of Fenris-Ur ("Offer no surrender you would not accept")? If you think you have a specific suggestion for the character, I'm game for that too. If you think you have an elegant or different way to break the vow down, I'm open to that too. Mostly searching for the thing that 'feels' right, but also isn't going to drag the game down or force the pack into constant do-or-die situations.

  • #2
    How does your character view it so far?

    I mean, being raised as a MMA fighter, she's used to some rules and structure, no? It's not as if, when her opponent gave up, she would keep pounding them until they were dead. Alternatively, if she was being attacked by an overwhelming force, is there no point she would hold up a hand and ask for the attack to cease?

    Is there some transgression against werewolf society she understands, perhaps having done herself? So that she might be willing to let someone surrender if she was hunting them over it? Or something she sees as so vehement she would never offer surrender to those who commit it? And alternatively never, under any circumstances, ask for it in turn?
    Last edited by nofather; 08-15-2017, 03:55 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nofather View Post
      How does your character view it so far?

      I mean, being raised as a MMA fighter, she's used to some rules and structure, no? It's not as if, when her opponent gave up, she would keep pounding them until they were dead. Alternatively, if she was being attacked by an overwhelming force, is there no point she would hold up a hand and ask for the attack to cease?

      As an MMA fighter, she was damn good - kitted to take a beating and a really good grappler. That said, if an opponent tapped, she laid off and she has been pretty sporting in the non-lethal fights we've been in. As for an overwhelming opponent, everyone we have been up against, its more or less been a fight to the death, which might be a part of the problem. The few fights were surrender started looking like a viable option (she is currently stuck in Dalu due to Agg), we were up against opponents whose intent was/seemed to be 'kill them.'

      Since we are still getting used to the new, system, maybe a chunk of my issue is us not using the "announce intent" part of combat super well.

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      • #4
        A lot of people take the Blood Talon vow as "never surrender", but that interpretation only works if you would never accept surrender, which is pretty silly if you ask me. Rather, my interpretation is that the Blood Talon vow is about accepting defeat gracefully when you must. Surrender only under terms you yourself would find reasonable if the tables were turned.


        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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        • #5
          I really like Charlaquin's version.

          I tend to run with a version of "Don't give up easily." When the going gets tough, you grit your teeth and push through it until there's nothing left to give. Once you've exhausted your other options, then start looking at surrendering. After all, you live to fight another day right?

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          • #6
            I always interpreted as being fair in terms of surrender and challenge, both if you are the challenger or the challenged. In a sense, only accept or give terms that are fair and just.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Aynie View Post
              I really like Charlaquin's version.

              I tend to run with a version of "Don't give up easily." When the going gets tough, you grit your teeth and push through it until there's nothing left to give. Once you've exhausted your other options, then start looking at surrendering. After all, you live to fight another day right?
              Sportsmanship wise, the Talon vow can be seen as "always give 100%".

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              • #8
                To me, the big question is: What constitutes surrender? Is it surrender if you're planning to backstab them? Is it surrender if it's just a ceasefire? Is it surrender to die rather than submit, or is it surrender to submit rather than die? Is a surrender about the terms of the deal, or is it about the change in status? Is it surrender if you ultimately come out on top? What are you really giving up?

                The primary Renown for Blood Talons is Glory, and Glory is about being remembered. How do you want to be remembered? As someone who prioritized honor over pack? As someone who cared more about killing the enemy than ending the threat? Some will remember you and say, "That was someone who never surrendered." Others will look at you and say, "That person was a pushover." They'll be talking about the same person, the same choices, the same deeds: them's the breaks.

                What does it mean to surrender? Does it mean, "I fought as hard as I could, but I know now that you're better than me. The Low Honor the High: I concede the match."? Does it mean doing as the Oath says, or does it mean allowing it to be violated? Would you surrender, if your enemy's totem has a Ban where they must accept such?

                Does it mean anything to surrender to a spirit, which operates on different-but-not-entirely-different rules? To a human, or Wolf-Blooded, who shouldn't be able to keep up with you? What if they were a pack member?

                What is your idea of a surrender? When would you surrender? Don't insult your enemy by offering a surrender that you yourself are above accepting. Being willing to accept a surrender isn't the same as knowing how to offer the same; it's not always easy to do so, and you often don't even have the chance. You could always just keep fighting: let them beg to surrender. The vow says nothing about that. Easy way out.


                I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
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                • #9
                  That's a good way to narrow a character's feelings down.
                  Last edited by nofather; 08-17-2017, 02:50 AM.

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