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The myth of the Alphas

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  • The myth of the Alphas

    The concept of the alpha ( and beta) in a wolf pack goes back to the 60', when David Mech published his studies after years following a pack. The problem is, such wolves were living in captivity and had no ties between themselves, so the conclusions were wrong. Sadly, when he tried to rectify his mistake the myth had already spreaded and popularized, being applied even to interactions in human social groups.
    Werewolf of course, incorporated such concept to the game, being integral to pack dynamics. So the question is, should it be modified?

  • #2
    It's already been rectified. The 2e core rulebook specifically notes that many packs do not organize themselves according to the "alpha" model, and The Pack has a sidebar literally titled "The Myth of the Alpha" that discusses this exact thing.

    It also notes that while it's true the alpha/beta dynamic is not seen in wild wolves, most werewolf packs are actually more like those captive wolf packs Mech studied than wild wolves - a bunch of relative strangers forced together by circumstance. Also that hierarchical human social conditioning + limited resources + Rage = competition.

    Basically, while the alpha/beta/omega dynamic doesn't hold for either humans or wolves, it actually makes sense for werewolves. And even then many packs follow more egalitarian ideals.

    e: or less egalitarian, for that matter


    • #3
      I thought you were commenting on the 'Myth of the Alpha' section. You should read it, its in the Pack.


      • #4
        Oopps... I guess I missed that part. Thanks, everyone.


        • #5
          Adam Ruins Everything team made video exactly over this very topic.

          Which is a bit clashing with Mating/Romance rules in Forsaken Chronicler's Guide - where with each Renown you get specific bonus to get your sexual mate.

          My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
          LGBT+ in CoD games


          • #6
            Alpha Adam....

            In the real world, we call those people "douche bags"


            • #7
              Roles in the pack are essential to me.
              Wolves and humans are social animals. Werewolves are hal human/half beasts, and in every human organization there is someone who naturally emerge as the leader.
              A pack of werewolves with pure werewolves near their therritory, spiritual stuff to take care about and preys for all over the places...actually need a leader.
              Every gang on this planet need a leader.
              And werewolves are actually organized in gangs. There will be always a natural born leader or at least a werewolf who knows how to fix up bad situations, and one enough wise to lead the way.
              It actually happen in every kind of group of human, from political organization to street gangs.
              And also, an alpha-macho like werewolf is not wrong for their kind of culture, expecially if they are militaristic blood talons or savage predator kings. They are not humans. They are primordial hunters.

              -'' We are the unsullied.
              We are the inheritors.
              We are the Pure ''-

              I'm the guy who draws werewolves.


              • #8
                Thing is, different situations will demand different leaders, is not one size fits all, that's where the Alpha idea falls flat. In a Werewolf Pack, each time one of the memebers gets to call the shots, when his specialty is the objective, not only Tribe wise, but also as far a Ausice goes.

                I'm So Meta Even This Acronym


                • #9
                  All 2e material makes it clear that the structure of werewolf packs is incredibly diverse. They might be modeled after families, corporations, cults, gangs, armies, schools, clans, nobility, police, hospital staff. They may have a single leader, or they might make decisions by consensus. If they do have a leader, the position might be formal or informal. It might be awarded by vote, by divination, by challenge, by totem. It might be fluid and change from day to day or it might be permanent, lost only in death. The leader might be all-powerful, or the pack might squabble and fight over every decision she tries to make. It all depends on the culture and subculture, both human and werewolf, as well as the individual personalities of the pack members. A pack of hardscrabble Chinese manual laborers are not going to fit themselves into the same patterns as a noble bloodline stalking the halls of Saudi royal palaces, or even those of another pack of Chinese laborers with slightly different philosophical leanings.