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Explaining the Siskur-Dah to new players

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  • Explaining the Siskur-Dah to new players

    I am going to be starting my very first game of 2nd Ed Werewolf in about 2 weeks and I am having a hard time explaining how exactly the Siskur-Dah is important. These are new players so to them, simply going out and hunting down something to them is seen as the same thing. So when would they invoke the Siskur-Dah versus just systematically hunting down a wayward spirit causing mischief?

  • #2
    Siskur-Dah isn't just used to target spirits, for one (though it's a ritual spirits understand, so it's a way to get Gifts).

    Forsaken aren't really native to the real world and shadow world, though they manage because they're survivors. Because they aren't native, they operate by some different systems. Sustaining themselves isn't just a matter of getting calories in. They need to feed their hunter-half. But that's not something this world, or the Shadow, is made for. So they have to do the ritual to prep things for their hunter part.

    A bit more in depth (the characters likely wouldn't know this specific stuff), they were made for this place called Pangaea, which is the hunter's paradise. Any hunt there counted as a sacred hunt, because it was part of the way that world worked. But it's gone. Since Uratha are adaptable, they can survive in the 'real' world, they just need some extra steps. And the spirit world kinda defers to it, as it's a world of abstract perception, symbolism, and belief, where spirits have long ago been bound to certain structures.
    Last edited by nofather; 10-29-2018, 04:48 PM.


    • #3
      Also, if all else fails, remind them that this is a major way to gain a lot of Essence and cool temporary dice bonuses and supernatural powers to help you out on the hunt.

      Plus, I haven't played, but i think the scene where you let the players collectively role play out the epic, highly symbolic and personalized ritual that begins the Siskur-dah, whether it's a Tribal classic, a secret, gruesome Lodge sacrifice or even something unique to your pack's symbolism is a really cool way to build tension for a climactic Scene of either pitched battle or awesome hunting battles of wits

      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"


      • #4
        The siskur dah is an ancient instinct, not only a ritual. It's the essence of Werewolf the Forsaken. Without the hunt, werewolves don't have reason to exist.
        The sacred hunt is builded around the predator, hunter instinct. The wolf MUST hunt because is in his bones, in his blood. The Hunt is the main reason of Werewolf the Forsaken.
        Vampires need blood, sucking blood make them vampires: therefore they builded a society around it, with phylosophies, politics and so on.
        Werewolves need to hunt.
        To hunt is to be a werewolf, therefore the Siskur Dah is most sacred of all rites: even the most reluctant ghost wolf needs to hunt and kill.
        Also, ancient spirits are the proof of Father Wolf legacy, not only the uratha, not only the Lunes: there are a lot of evidences about Iduth, Urfarah and the sins of the forsaken, and about their sacred duty.
        The uratha know: this story is true.

        Werewolf has deep religious/shamanic themes, and it's a game of savage fury: violence, gangs, harmony instead of morality, werewolves are not humans.
        Throw your players into the pit of Werewolf, show them the various horrors: terrorist-pure, sharta that eat children in their bed, spirits that decide to influence violence, pain, sorrow, spirits that claim loved ones and make them suffer , humans that want you and your children dead and skinned by silver.

        Your nature is to hunt, your duty is to do your father work, and those two things can be done together: everything, everything is about the hunt.
        From your nature to your mission, even your tribal choice will give you a reason to hunt.

        To play a werewolf need a lot of imagination and concentration. Soon or later the players should end up total gangster in a way or another if they want to survive.
        Last edited by Helur; 10-29-2018, 06:45 PM.

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


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply! I guess my worry is all 3 players are brand new to tabletop so it may be a bit much for them paired with all of the other terminology and stuff that goes into Werewolf. I may be over-complicating things for myself, but all of your responses are great to see and read!


          • #6
            Simplest way is to say that they all have a diverse but provably effective religion and starting the Siskur-Dah is ensuring that the forces that rule the Hunt, such as their Totems, bless their efforts

            A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"


            • #7
              Every werewolf is a hunt junkie. They need the Siskur-Dah to satisfy the deep craving in their souls. If they don’t get it often enough — determined by their Primal Urge — they go into withdrawals and weaken until they do.

              This is an addiction they can never overcome. It’s who they are. Just hunting something doesn’t satisfy the craving, it needs to be the Saced Hunt.

              And you get a bunch of bonuses that help you hunt as well. Why not do it?

              Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum


              • #8
                I would separate two things - Primal Urge instinctive need to Hunt and Siskur-Dah itself. Instinct to Hunt is left over from the Father/Mother Wolf - Uratha need to Hunt, it's in their blood - and if they do not do this, they start to lose Harmony.

                Siskur-Dah rite, on the other hand, is solution to sate need for the Hunt itself in modern times. In Pangea, every Hunt was Sacred - werewolves were in tune with world and Pangea, as domain of boundaries and rapacity, was sanctifying, enhancing their role as Heirs of Wolf in the Hunt. Now, in world after Pangea, each proper Hunt must be 'blessed' by Shadow Realm. Hance the Siskur-Dah rite.

                Uratha can 'hunt' all they time need - but just going over and killing nearby alley cat or even human will not sustain their Hunt instinct coming from Primal Urge. Because Uratha need not simply to kill things - they crave Sacred Hunts that fulfill their role as Heirs of Wolf. It's spiritual thing, but it's in-build in to their being as Uratha race. Hopes that clarifies enough.

                Beside, Siskur-Dah rite gives you nice bonuses, so why to let them waste when you can employ more powers?
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 10-30-2018, 06:01 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sanaelar View Post
                  Thanks for the reply! I guess my worry is all 3 players are brand new to tabletop so it may be a bit much for them paired with all of the other terminology and stuff that goes into Werewolf. I may be over-complicating things for myself, but all of your responses are great to see and read!

                  A more generalized follow up:

                  YMMV, as always, but I think that W:tF is a really silly game to play if you treat it as "a plucky gang of problem-solvers who happen to turn into wolves sometimes".
                  When guiding your players through character creation,make sure their werewolf nature is front-and-center. You have never been human, and on some level you've always known it. You've always had the urge to run, to breathe deeply of the wind that carries the scent of the prey, to kill and rip and rend, to be the first to eat from the steaming corpse. You might have sublimated these urges into socially-acceptable venues- perhaps you were a teacher who treated their students like a pack of cubs- or a herd of prey. You might have been a local politician who never blinked an eye at exposing the dirty secrets of your opponents, and revelled in their domination. But you've always been a hunter, body, mind, and spirit.

                  If you can drive that home early on, not just as an idea, but as a feeling, the rest will come more naturally.
                  Last edited by robothedino; 10-30-2018, 09:31 AM.