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  • First Change and Tribeless

    I am playing a fast and loose game of Chronicles to introduce the system. One PC just became a vampire, and to both introduce more than one game line and keep power somewhat equal, the other PC is going to become a werewolf. Yes, I am aware that crossover should be handled with more care than this; I like to live dangerously. XD

    What I a scanning the book to find, but cannot, is what it means to be a member of a tribe or join it in-world. Vampires need to be introduced to the covenants and election to join them; same with with the Mages. I've gotten the impression that there is more to the tribes; that they are more inherent in some way. How would I join a First Change to a tribe without a pack; or should I just use the Ghost Wolf?

  • #2
    Being introduced to a tribe by your pack or nearby werewolves is the most common method, as is having a Ghost Wolf if you don’t have anyone around to explain the tribe(s). However, these aren’t the only ways. Various spirits are aligned with different tribes and may notice the new Uratha and make contact. Similarly, lunes or servants of the Firstborn may appear to guide the new werewolf into a tribe, especially if the character displays key characteristics that the tribe resonates with.


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    • #3
      Tribes is also something you need to be introduced to (most often by other werewolves, but it could happen through spirit messengers or avatars of the firstborn). Being in a Pack makes it a lot easier to find someone who can introduce them to the Tribe, but it's not necessary as long as they meet someone who can induct them or refer them to someone who can. I don't know how the joining process looks like, though.
      Being a member of a Tribe means the character starts with an additional dot of Renown and more Shadow Gifts to choose starting Facets from. Since the werewolf would join a Tribe after the start of the game they would only receive a free dot of Renown associated with that Tribe.
      Being a Ghost Wolf means the character is more at risk of getting weird. A werewolf is a shapeshifting hybrid of spirit and flesh, and thus quite mutable. Each of the three spiritual bonds (Pack, Lodge, and Tribe) stabilises a werewolf. However, there's no real system for tracking how that happens and the only material regarding it is in Shunned by the Moon and is intended for antagonists, so I would just outright ignore all of that.

      In short, it's possible to join a Tribe without being in a Pack, but it's also possible to just play a Ghost Wolf. I think that would be preferable, especially if the Vampire hasn't joined a Covenant. Then they'd mirror each other in being outsiders from their respective splats.


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      • #4
        I think the tribe thing is also partly biological. Like, if your father or mother is a Storm Lord, you’ll probably be one too when you go through your First Change. Or is that W:tA?


        “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Penelope View Post
          I think the tribe thing is also partly biological. Like, if your father or mother is a Storm Lord, you’ll probably be one too when you go through your First Change. Or is that W:tA?
          Tribe is not biological at all; nothing in the First Change cements what tribe you'll join. If your parent is a Storm Lord, you may end up joining the Storm Lords yourself from family expectations, peer pressure, or the like, but you won't 'automatically' be a Storm Lord by default - you still have to go through initiation etc to join.


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          • #6
            Tribes in WtF are like Religion. Or, much accurate, Hunting Cults. You have your Divine Patron - Firstborn - you have your Sacred Prey and Tribes dogma. But also, if you really want, you can change Tribe. Being raised by two Storm Lords - Uratha or Wolf-Blooded - makes you much higher chance to be Storm Lord, the same same way that being raised Catholic or Methodists makes you to join religion of your parents. The only real legacy of Tribe by the blood or family - beside being risen in pack or clan like this - are Wolf-Blooded Tribal Affiliate Merits ( WtF 2E, p. 304 ) that marks yours family favor by particular Firstborn. However, there were ancient Roman 'clans' of Saturi ( Ivory Claws ), Marisi ( Iron Masters ) and Peon ( Fire-Touched ) in Forsaken by Rome chapter in Dark Eras Companion.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
              Tribe is not biological at all; nothing in the First Change cements what tribe you'll join. If your parent is a Storm Lord, you may end up joining the Storm Lords yourself from family expectations, peer pressure, or the like, but you won't 'automatically' be a Storm Lord by default - you still have to go through initiation etc to join.
              What about Auspices? They're obviously tied to the phases of the moon, i.e. the time of your First Change, but can family members be predisposed to have their First Change during the same moon phase as their parents and/or grandparents?


              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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              • #8
                Then is it Werewolf: the Apocalypse where the tribes are like bloodlines - (usually) you’re whichever tribe your Garou parent is?


                “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                  Various spirits are aligned with different tribes and may notice the new Uratha and make contact. Similarly, lunes or servants of the Firstborn may appear to guide the new werewolf into a tribe, especially if the character displays key characteristics that the tribe resonates with.
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  ...it's also possible to just play a Ghost Wolf. I think that would be preferable, especially if the Vampire hasn't joined a Covenant. Then they'd mirror each other in being outsiders from their respective splats.
                  Okay, I like that I have two options here. Having spirits do the introductions would be a handy way to demonstrate that 'spirits are bad' is not true, so I like that too.

                  I might meld them a little, letting the spirit act as a friendly face beyond the gauntlet, while keeping a pack and society of wolves at bay so the vamp and wolf share a commonality.

                  Is there any stories put out that detail the first change or even a trend with a walk through? What would you do, and in what order, if you were guiding someone through the first change?

                  (don't worry about the vamp; she was separated from the others when she was embraced and we are flowing back in time to see what the wolf did, so the change can be quite personal.)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tabanese View Post
                    Is there any stories put out that detail the first change or even a trend with a walk through? What would you do, and in what order, if you were guiding someone through the first change?
                    There's a section on running a first change chronicle in the second edition core book. It has a lot of information scattered across first edition but I think the lions share is in Blood of the Wolf, which also has advice for a first change chronicle.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tabanese View Post
                      Is there any stories put out that detail the first change or even a trend with a walk through? What would you do, and in what order, if you were guiding someone through the first change?
                      It depends what you and the player want. It’s a good idea that the player understands that the First Change tends to be a messy, violent, and guilt-ridden affair. The character will have very little control over it, and at times will have none. The player may have some control, but ultimately you want them to be onboard with the idea that if their First Change happens when surrounded by family and friends, it’s going to end up with a lot less family and friends surviving around the characters.

                      That said, take a look at The First Change Story in 2e Werewolf: The Forsaken, pages 291-292, specifically the Tension Pool. That should give you an idea of how you can build the anticipation - and tension - around if and when the change might happen. As I believe this character already exists, ignore the Wolf-Blooded and Tells aspects. They’re not vital and they’ll disappear with the change anyway.

                      In the build up to the First Change, introduce some weirdness and paranoia. The character’s senses are increasing and he feels like everyone is looking at him. Spirit activity is increasing as they sense the imminent Change and follow the new pup around, giddy on the complex Resonances the pre-werewolf stirs up, and influencing things around him to further enhance their preferred resonances over others.

                      As the Storyteller, present the scene in ways that heighten the character. If your vampire player is on board, get them involved too. When the pre-First Change character talks to others, they always seem combative, stubborn, and confrontational. A simple hello seems to be greeted with attitude and dismissal. Small slights are deliberate insults, and actual insults are challenges to fight. The character’s sense of smell sharpens and starts retiring what is good and what isn’t. The character begins to notice any trace of blood anywhere nearby, feeling compelled to sniff it out - even if this is socially awkward. Scents that humans usually find unpleasant - such as shit or rotting meat - become rich troves of information. The character may still not love the smell, but he starts to get so much more from them. What was the persona eating, are they healthy, is there an undetected illness etc.

                      Eventually, the character is going to snap and probably Death Rage against everything - and everyone - around him. When this happens, I’d recommend fading to black (pp. 103-104) and having the character wake up in human form some time later, when it’s all over. Then lead the story through the character trying to work out what happened and what he actually did. There’s going to be a lot of blood on his hands, and some of it may belong to family or friends. He’s probably going to carry some guilt, and depending on circumstances, may have attracted all the wrong kinds of attention. Certainly spirits are going to know he’s around, and any supernatural creatures in the vicinity will soon learn of what happened, even if they don’t know who did it.

                      If there are any packs in the area, this is the time where they’ll try to find the freshly changed Uratha to explain what’s what.


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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bunyip View Post
                        That said, take a look at The First Change Story in 2e Werewolf: The Forsaken, pages 291-292,
                        Originally posted by nofather View Post
                        There's a section on running a first change chronicle in the second edition core book..
                        I really need to learn to read these books completely, instead of just skimming what I think I need. XD

                        Thank you for the advice and heads up.

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