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  • #16
    Originally posted by ElvesofZion View Post
    I mean, I'd say it could with enough of Project, but why? From an out of game perspective, what is the goal? Is this a player werewolf pack? do the players want to be controlled by an angel? Do the wolfs think they took the time to build it up but it actually happened all at once? is that the story? Cause otherwise what is actually happening that it would matter?
    That's another thing to keep in mind, Caedus. The totem isn't generally just a storyteller pawn. It's usually designed by the players from the start, and can be played by them. While I could see a group wanting it if they were particularly enamored of another gameline, or if the Storyteller floated the idea past them and they accepted, just dropping a, 'ah hah, your totem is actually an angel and you've all been its unwitting pawns this whole game,' is a lame move. There's much better ways to pull that kind of thing off.

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    • #17
      I might be able to provide some insight on this, as I wrote the Other section of The Pack.

      How supernatural creatures integrate into the pack depends on what the werewolves need them for. Some packs use supernatural beings pretty much the same way they do humans: you might have a vampire in the pack who conducts espionage for you, but you keep her at an arm's length; she knows she's part of a weird cult, but not specifically that werewolves are pulling her strings. However, most supernatural creatures who end up in werewolf packs -- which is rare in its own right -- are roughly on par with Wolf-Blooded. Most monsters can put two and two together if they look hard enough. In very, very rare circumstances, these creatures get to go hunting with werewolves.

      This assumes, of course, that the pack cares about distinctions. Some packs are much more fluid and, aside from tasks that really only werewolves can accomplish, every member might be on the same footing in the Totem's eyes.

      How that affects things mechanically is dependent on what your needs are. Generally, supernatural creatures are human for the purposes of buying Totem; i.e., they can't (correct me if I'm wrong; I'm normally not a Werewolf guy). But, there are Merits in The Pack that give access to pack benefits for non-Uratha, and I don't think there's any reason to restrict that from other monsters, if that suits your game.

      As for the Stranger Bedfellows sidebar, that really is down to the story. If I'd had another couple thousand words, I'd have loved to go into detail on the odder denizens. I did throw in an example of a changeling-as-totem, but that's pretty out there.



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      • #18
        wait how could a changeling be a totem.... explain yourself!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Caedus View Post
          wait how could a changeling be a totem.... explain yourself!
          Watsonian answer: The changeling pledges on its Wyrd to forge a connection with the pack. They can't really do the Siskur-Dah anymore, but they can hunt things other werewolves never even dream of...

          Doylist answer: BECAUSE THEY CAN.




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          • #20
            Originally posted by nofather View Post

            It could be designed to present an enticing offer to them, to be something they might all want, but I don't believe it could just start with Influence: 4 Black Moon eXtreme. Angels are designed but not perfectly. If it could just be created to mind control a pack indefinitely, then it wouldn't need to pretend to be the totem and could just do so.

            It really seems like they have to be spirits, but exceptions can be made. Lycaon, for instance, acts as a totem for his 'pack.' Apollo, who I believe is or was a Pangaean, may at least not be a spirit. Certain creatures can sort of become spirits, a strix through synthesis or a powerful mage through a legacy, even werewolves. Since these are fringe concepts they're not really covered well in the books, but as you can tell there are strange things in the world of darkness and the published books don't contain all of them.

            Most of the abilities are not directed. They check everything around it, providing the totem was nearby, in some cases just within their territory, it would force a spoof. It's not about werewolf players constantly checking on their totem, which would be silly unless it started seeming wrong. It's always possible that for whatever reason a pack might not have any of those abilities.


            I'm unsure on their ephemeral heritage. They do seem like spirits, though.
            I agree, they are fringe concepts. Those fringe concepts is where we can draw great, unique antagonists from. It is better they are left undefined. A mage who becomes a spirit who becomes a totem, and it influences a pack of werewolves/mages to form a wolf based cult to an abyssal god and DESTROY THE WORLD.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Yossarian View Post

              Watsonian answer: The changeling pledges on its Wyrd to forge a connection with the pack. They can't really do the Siskur-Dah anymore, but they can hunt things other werewolves never even dream of...

              Doylist answer: BECAUSE THEY CAN.


              A pack of Fae Werewolves who weird out even Bale Hounds and the Pure.

              I think the most likely none spirits to take on the Totem role would be Gulmoths (Spirit like beings of the Abyss) and well Totems, the Supernal Entities of the Spirit Arcana, although they might just create a spirit clone of themselves and have them do it.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Omegaphallic View Post


                A pack of Fae Werewolves who weird out even Bale Hounds and the Pure.

                I think the most likely none spirits to take on the Totem role would be Gulmoths (Spirit like beings of the Abyss) and well Totems, the Supernal Entities of the Spirit Arcana, although they might just create a spirit clone of themselves and have them do it.
                Nah. Totem totems are must. "Yo, Dawgz. We heard you like totems, so we picked a Totem as our totem, so it can use Spirit against spirits".
                Last edited by Vent0; 09-21-2016, 03:05 PM.


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Yossarian View Post

                  Watsonian answer: The changeling pledges on its Wyrd to forge a connection with the pack. They can't really do the Siskur-Dah anymore, but they can hunt things other werewolves never even dream of...

                  Doylist answer: BECAUSE THEY CAN.



                  Mega necrothread here I know, but I might actually have to run this Changeling as a totem game and I wanted to ask if you think rites would still work even if they do the Wild Hunt rather than the Siskur-Dah <3 ? Just for the sake of ease when dealing with mechanics and stuff.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Caedus View Post



                    Mega necrothread here I know, but I might actually have to run this Changeling as a totem game and I wanted to ask if you think rites would still work even if they do the Wild Hunt rather than the Siskur-Dah <3 ? Just for the sake of ease when dealing with mechanics and stuff.
                    To continue on a theme:

                    Watsonian answer: The pledges of the fae are similar enough to the pacts of spirits for rites under a changeling totem to work functionally the same way, even though they're different phenomena. An Ithaeur or Bone Shadow would recognize that something's off, but apart from certain, uh, aesthetics, they're functionally the same.

                    Doylist answer: Yup.

                    (I'd be very interested to see what a Wild Hunt Condition looks like, incidentally.)



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                    • #25
                      Excellent . What my preliminary mechanical thoughts for how this would work:

                      Changeling Totem: Gets influences like a spirit equal to their wyrd at first and can spend xp to increase them. Develops two frailties to reflect the ban and bane of a spirit. Has all the standard abilities of a totem= sensing the pack, spawning the pack link and so on. Maybe they can also develop Numina too...not sure about this last bit. But i want to have the theme that the bargain + rite combo that makes this pack, changes both the Changeling Totem and the Uratha + other members of the pack. As the fae nature of the changeling gets mixed in with spirit nature of the uratha and the rite magic.

                      Uratha: Develops a connection to the hedge rather than the shadow, they can open hedgeways/step sideways into the Hedge now. Rites works through pacts made with various fae entities,so this pack is likely to develop some rather craycray wolf and pack rites. Gifts still stump me, as I am not sure if they could learn new Shadow Gifts. Moon and Wolf Gifts are not a problem there as they don't require direct spiritual intervention beyond learning the initial moon gift. I was thinking that either to handwavium let the Uratha learn something similar to Shadow Gifts from hedge denizens, or do the less lazy option and have them be able to learn Arcadian Contracts through their totem's connection to the pacts of the Faerie. Since they through the totem are a sort of pseudo fae now, maybe that would be the right approach.

                      I am working on the Wild Hunt Condition <3
                      Last edited by Caedus; 09-17-2020, 06:59 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Aren't the Strix already used as Totems in Japan, under the guise of the Tengu? I could've sworn I remembered that being a thing.

                        EDIT: Didn't notice this was a super-old thread lmao, woops.
                        Last edited by Voytek; 09-17-2020, 04:34 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Yossarian View Post

                          To continue on a theme:

                          Watsonian answer: The pledges of the fae are similar enough to the pacts of spirits for rites under a changeling totem to work functionally the same way, even though they're different phenomena. An Ithaeur or Bone Shadow would recognize that something's off, but apart from certain, uh, aesthetics, they're functionally the same.

                          Doylist answer: Yup.

                          (I'd be very interested to see what a Wild Hunt Condition looks like, incidentally.)
                          power


                          My first attempt and codifying the benefits and drawbacks of this whole changeover. I designed the Wild Hunt condition to give more spectacular benefits than the more subtle Siskur Dah condition, as I imagine the more mythic and wonderous nature of the Faerie would lend itself more to that.

                          Benefits for the Totem: Draws power from the pack, they passively feed on glamour by just being in proximity to their pack like a spirit totem, gains numina and influences as the spiritual bond changes the totem, gets more power from having a stronger totem connection ala how all the other totems do with the totem merit. Pack experience can be used to strengthen them((buying contracts is the one thing they don't get to have bought with this.)) + you know all the social benefits of having a cult dedicated to you..the leaders of which are hunter death machines.

                          Drawbacks for the Totem: They develop two frailties that represent their "ban and bane" as it were. The pack vs non-pack mentality of the pack bond makes it harder for them to relate to changelings that are not in the pack. The bond has forever changed the changeling so if the pack disappears they lose their special abilities(Numina and Influences), but they keep the two permanent frailties. They also take clarity damage from this loss and will forever have a yearning to establish a new pack bond.

                          Benefits for the Uratha/the Pack: The Changeling Totem provides all the standard pack benefits, Uratha affected by this bond can open hedgeways like changelings, and learn contracts in the exact same way as fae touched...with the same limitations in regards to which contracts they can learn, how they work, and in what way they can learn contracts. They substitute glamour with essence in all of these cases. They can witness sealings, and swear oaths to changelings, as their new nature makes it so that bargains sworn after they join this pack, no longer gives the changeling in question the benefit of concealment. In place of Loci's and eating spirits after a hunt, they can use hallows and eat slain creatures of the faerie to regain essence.

                          Drawbacks for the Uratha/the Pack: The Uratha loses their connection to the Shadow and as such they do not have the ability to enter the Hisil innately, nor do they have the power to extend their senses across the gauntlet. The wyrd infecting the pack bond has forever changed the Uratha of the pack, so even if their totem dies, the changes to their nature remain permanent. Wolf Gifts and Moon Gifts function as normal, but it is naturally almost impossible to learn new shadow gift after they have been changed in this way. Werewolves also have to invent/learn rites from pacts that the pack make with faerie creatures and the wyrd, they are mechanically the same as the rites the rest of the people use, but they are not the same form of magic anymore. Lastly, the Uratha can no longer benefit from the bond between the firstborn and their tribes, nor join lodges anymore. They can substitute this by joining a court in the same way fae touch can join a court/mantle organization, but they are not able to join a group that is not the same as the one of their totem. They may also never again go on the Siskur Dah, instead, they substitute it with the Wild Hunt and the Wild Hunt condition. Lunes no longer provide the renown for the Uratha, the hedge ghosts have that role in their place...and they usually do not even know it.

                          Wild Hunt Condition:

                          You are on the Wild Hunt, rather than drawing on the primordial and divine nature of the Uratha, you instead frame the wolf's need to hunt through the Beautiful Madness of the Faerie. Stories and mysteries shroud your hunt in their enticing mist, rather than making it sacred it is now purely a wild thing, pity those that get in the way of a pack undergoing the Wild Hunt. As you emulate legends in the process of satisfying your eternal desire to hunt. Instead of gaining benefit from the ritemaster's tribe as they do not have any, you instead gain a benefit based on your totem's seeming.

                          Beast: Beasts are creatures of instinct and just as they are made for that, so can they inspire their children to have a deeper connection to their hunter nature. You gain a +3 dice bonus to all pack tactic rolls, as the connection between the beasts and their pack makes them even better at acting in tandem, and you get the same bonus to all tracking rolls.

                          Darkling: The Darkling faerie knows all about the advantages of becoming insubstantial, and while they cannot impart their own blessing to their pack. They can teach them to fight back against those who would employ such powers against their children. The character has the ability to touch and attack insubstantial characters for as long as they have this condition, entities in twilight do not count for this blessing.

                          Elemental: Like the totems who grant this blessing, it is simple but titanic in it's power. The character is immune to the direct negative effects of their totem's element for the duration of this condition. A fire elemental's pack can shrug of fires that do nothing more than lightly scorch their fur, but a rock heated up by fire before it is thrown at them will still hurt. This blessing only extends to the one element that defines the Elemental at their very core, and no other element than that one.

                          Fairest: Fairest are at their core social creatures, they are excellent and inspiring their comrades to greater feats as they put parts of themselves into it. Uratha on the hunt with a Fairest totem can imitate that selflessness, as they can spend essence to aid their comrades in healing for as long as they perceive the packmate in question. The limitation of this blessing is that it is capped at the level of their natural regeneration, their fellow Uratha regenerate at the same pace as if they had spent the essence, and packmates without Primal Urge are granted regeneration for each turn essence is spent like a werewolf with primal urge 1.

                          Ogre: Ogres have enormous brutal strength at their command, but there is little they can teach their little Uratha about pure physical might, the Uratha are built for destruction after all and can unleash extreme devastation upon others with consummate ease. No what Ogres can grant their packmates on the Wild Hunt, is their nature as shields. For as long as the character can perceive their packmates, they can spend 1 essence to shield their packmate from incoming harm with their own body. They can interrupt an attack that happens before their turn in the combat to do this as well, with the knowledge that it would forgo their action, they also may not attempt to dodge/prevent the attack in any way once the process has begun.

                          Wizened: The Wizened are the craftspeople of the Faerie, and while you cannot transmute materials like your totem, you can imitate their mastery over inert matter. For as long as the Character carries this blessing, any attempts to use man-made items to hinder them loses the 10-again quality. And the Uratha is instantly aware of the attempt, even if they do not know exactly what has been done to try to stop them.

                          Source: The Wild Hunt Rite

                          Resolution: The prey being brought down, or the pack allowing someone to come between them and their prey unpunished, or if the pack makes any meaningful action that is towards ends other than the hunt.

                          Beat: Your Character manages to embody a classic werewolf story trope in a perfect manner.

                          Any thoughts to how I could improve this...anyone?

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