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Gaia Garou

     Lupus Training and Skills 
  • The idea that lupus are completely unaware how to do anything other than be a wolf when they start play. The biggest headscratch is that even some books assume lupus just go through their rite of passage right after their shift without being taught anything but the bare basics. Don't most tribes spent YEARS teaching the cubs and waiting until they are ready for their Rite? Hence why you basic homid shifts at 14, but starts play at 16-17. Also, the rules state that lupus CAN buy stats like etiquette and computer with freebies, so it can be assumed they get some basic education. Besides, aside from Talons, the Nation would not let a potential veil breach join a tribe unless they were sure it could fake it.
    • The whole mess of Lupus Garou not to mention tons of psychological knowledge in the real world about how children raised as feral or by animals fit into human society (spoilers:not very damn well) is probably why this aspect was rightfully excised in the New World of Darkness. They could have side-stepped this issue, I think, by simply stating that wolves in the Old World of Darkness were actually sentient and linguistic creatures who had been hiding their nature from humans (think Wolf's Rain) but they didn't.
      • Um, it is stated that Lupus Garou are always ahead of the curve compared to their non-Garou kin, so it's essential a wizard did it.
      • My issue wasn't about wether or not they should be smart, it's that given it takes years to teach homid kids, we can assume lupus get the same treatment. Yet they are most often assumed to know nothing, while the rules state they CAN.
      • This could be explained through any number of things. And using Freebie points to learn some of these skills won't turn them into an expert.
    • The fact that all Lupus have human beings somewhere in their family tree will never stop being horrifying.
    • The Red Talons would like to have a word with you, being that they make a point of violently murdering any Talon who even attempts to mate with a Homid. This is the tribe that went through the effort of making a rite just to purify human flesh and is stated as being the tribe with the lowest population one can surmise that they do not allow any new joiners if they can't prove that their family tree is entirely lupus.
      • The thing about The Red Talons is that they are basically the KKK of the werewolves. Just substitute non-whites with non-wolves so yeah they would be like that.
      • Lupus are wolfweres. They have as much in common with regular wolves as Harkon Lukas.
    • While the rules were always a bit messed up in and of themselves, wolves HAVE been shown to have their own language (which all Garou can understand, and which is what "Garou" is based mostly upon, and to be intelligent in their own basic way. It isn't that they're stupid, it's that they see the world differently than humans do (naturally), and don't understand human things very well. Lupus Garou, as stated above, are of higher intelligence from the get-go, though of course they have to be taught what human things are really all about, how to speak any human language, and how to do technological things from scratch. However, the year or two of mentoring by a Homid aunt or uncle should take care of the training and cultural acclimation aspect. Yes, a lupus CAN learn how to drive a car if he's interested enough, he'll just be learning how later than most humans and Homid Garou might (in tribes or septs that include them), simply because they have more basic catching up to do during that mentoring period - such as learning their AB Cs and numbers, as well as Garou culture and history. Inclination is also a big factor as to whether or not a Lupus _wants_ to learn to drive - a Glass Walker or Bone Gnawer Lupus would be more inclined to want to do so than most other Lupus, even non-Talons.

     Garou As Parents 
  • Garou are expected to take a (preferrably kinfolk) mate and breed at some point in their lives. How on earth could a Garou be a halfway decent parent? Their rage means that they would lash out at their offspring when faced with the normal frustrations of parenting. Many Garou are so busy fighting the Wyrm that little time is available for raising a family. To boot, some homid Garou live on the fringes of human society, so without jobs, how could they even afford to raise children?
    • Generally speaking? I doubt they are supposed to be great parents as such. For anyone with a poor Willpower/Rage ratio, being an absentee mother/father who sends home money or gets his baby-mama (or baby-daddy, esp. insofar as the Furies are concerned) to move to a sept compound is the best case scenario. Even under optimal situations the closest comparison would be the dependents of someone in SOCOM (Special Forces Soldiers).
      • The most common solution is that the Garou gives up their child to a kin family who raises the child and provides for them, with the Garou playing the role of an Aunt or Uncle who visits every once in awhile. As for the homid Garou on the fringe, they would be living with a sept, who would help out.
      • Garou are neither human nor wolf, not truly. They are Gaia's warriors, and cannot be expected to abide by either wolf or human conventions completely, for practical reasons. Female Garou tend to foster their children out, and males tend to have a love them and leave them attitude, as both sexes have always been needed for fighting (with the need for every hand that they can get becoming more pressing over time.) This is where they are kind of hypocritical towards the Bastet, though the Garou, due to their lupine nature, are more inclined to prefer a single, if off-and-on, mate. Often, they will encourage open relationahips, however, or prod their mates to other men/women to parent their children.
      • Judging by their write-up it's not so much "sending money" and more "bully into moving to sept and supporting this burden until they grow into proper cannon fodder, oh, and being grateful all the way".

     Black Furies and Mistreated Female Kinfolk 
  • Kinfolk states that some homid Garou men mistreat their kinfolk wives, subjecting them to forced breeding and domestic abuse. However, the Black Fury tribe is conspicuously passive about this problem, despite treating their own female kinfolk well. Since the Black Furies' tribal laws forbid them from turning a blind eye to violence against women, aren't they bound by duty to protect these women and avenge their mistreatment?
    • IIRC, more than a few do call out fellow Garou over outright abuse and spirit off mistreated Kinfolk, however in terms of the Breed For The Sake Of Gaia part the Furies hold to that themselves.
    • Since their defining characteristic is being a Straw Feminist, it's entirely in character to ignore the plights of the ones they have no vested interest in (like their Kinfolk) when the offending party cannot be simply bullied into submission (unlike puny humans).

    Genetic bottlenecks 
Several Garou tribes are picky about their breeding partners, choosing mates from very small pools of humans. For example, the Silver Fangs only breed with humans of royal blood. The Get of Fenris, Uktena, and Wendigo only breed with people from certain racial and ethnic groups.

Some tribes have extremely small gene pools of Garou and kinfolk. The Stargazers only have a few hundred Garou members worldwide. The Red Talons are a small tribe due to habitat loss and an ever-shrinking pool of wolves with whom they can breed.

Other tribes have small gene pools because they are very selective about which Garou stay in the tribe. For example, the Get of Fenris exclude members who aren't strong enough to meet their standards (and, they send cubs through brutal Rites of Passage that result in high numbers of cub deaths). The Black Furies send their Garou sons to other tribes.

How on earth do these tribes remain genetically viable? The lack of genetic diversity in these tribes should create founder effects and concentrate genetic defects in their offspring. Shouldn't the aforementioned tribes be massively inbred by now?

  • They are and it's why the Silver Fangs are failing. Indeed, all of the tribes are failing but the Black Spiral Dancers due to the excessive amount of in-breeding, stupid practices, and constant violence. The only reason they've lasted as long as they have is Kinfolk marry regular humans all the time.



     Garou/Fera Offspring 
  • We know that the mating of a Garou and their kinfolk partner results in either kinfolk or Garou offspring. We know that the mating of two Garou results in metis offspring. What happens if a Garou reproduces with one of the Fera? Is the resulting offspring kinfolk of both breeds? Or some kind of hybrid creature, such as a were-wolfraven or were-wolfrat? If so, do the Garou tribes and Fera have any membership protocol for mixed kinfolk or mixed race supernatural creatures?
    • There is no such thing as shifter hybrids. If the mother is a Lupus-breed Garou or the equivalent for other changing breeds, the offspring is always that changing breed or kinfolk. If the mother is Homid, it can go either way, with the scale tipping towards whoever has higher Pure Breed. But the kid is always a shifter or kinfolk of one breed or the other.
      • Indeed - Gaia doesn't burden her children with two tasks, she only asks one. And what breed one is would mostly be spiritual, just as it was for the Bunyip.
    • Some books flirt with the idea of mixed breed beings. For example, Oisin Mac Gaelach's story in Garou Saga describes a man of both Garou and Corax ancestry. The first edition Nuwisha breedbook notes that wolf and coyote breeding produced red wolves, so it's plausible that mixed Garou/Nuwisha kinfolk exist in the World of Darkness.
      • It really isn't. The rules for what happens actually exist in one of the Players Guides. You basically just get the usual X change of being a shifter of one breed or the other, just as though it was a shifter-human pairing. If the mother is a lupus or equivalent, the child will always be her breed if it ends up being a shifter at all. There are no hybrids.

     Nuwisha packs 
  • In the wild, coyotes live in small family packs. In older editions of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Nuwisha do not organize themselves into packs, but rather operate independently. Since the other changing breeds reflect the behaviors of their animal cousins, why don't the Nuwisha operate in packs like the Garou?
    • Because Coyote thought it was funny.
    • Also writers operating on old, out of date information/beliefs, one of which was that coyotes are solitary animals, as opposed to wolves (who were once believed to run in ridiculously large packs.)
    • The answer is given in their Breed Book. It has nothing to do with whether or not coyotes run in packs. The reason Nuwisha don't is because even they find each other to be unbearably annoying to be around for any length of time. Besides, their entire purpose is to teach lessons to the other breeds, hence the rather powerful mid-rank Gifts that let them hide among the others undetected.

     Ananasa's opal prison 

  • How is it that ancient Garou were able to crack the opal containment cell holding Ananasa? Neither Ananasa nor the Wyrm were able to break the opal open, so if two powerful deities couldn't damage it, how could a group of Garou?
    • Also, when the Garou cracked the opal, it allowed Ananasa to communicate with distant Ananasi. However, the Wyrm's corrupution still can't seep into the opal. How is it that Ananasa's power can escape the opal, but the energy of a much more powerful deity can't breach it?
      • The Wyrm doesn't realise that there is a crack in the Opal and thus doesn't try to seep into it. In the Annasi Apocalypse scenario the Wyrm does become aware of the crack and rather quickly exploits it, leading to the Annasi's fall.
    • It's more a matter of scale. Because both of them operate on such a massive scale they lack the finesse and perspective that lesser beings have. Think of it as the difference between a dog and an ant getting through a door; the dog is limited to physically breaking it but the ant break in easier by virtue of being smaller and only needing to make a smaller hole that would be almost invisible to the dog.

     Culling the human herd 

The Ratkin and Ajaba were tasked with keeping the human population in check, which they do through diseases and murdering the weak, respectively. However, the human population numbers in the billions and is growing exponentially, meaning that the Ratkin and Ajaba can't hope to reduce the human population through murder. Why haven't the Ratkin and Ajaba realized this? For that matter, why haven't they tried to reduce the human population through more effective means, such as gifts and rites that cause mass sterility, or social engineering meant to reduce births?

  • Because the Ratkin are batshit insane and the Ajaba are nearly extinct. Neither breed really has the resources for anything on that kind of scale.
  • Because "culling the herd" is just an excuse?



I was discussing the game with a friend of mine and, at one point, jokingly mentioned the possibility of a breed of Wereelephants/mammoths. Eventually, this lead to the question: what is, exactly, the criterion? I mean, why only certain animals have Ferae/Werebeasts counterparts? Are they based on mythology? Possibly not, I don't remember seeing Weregoats / Satyrs or Werehorses (Centaurs). I'd say carnivorous animals only, but the presence of the extint Apis clan (Werebulls) rules that out. I'm personally fine with the given werebeasts (while I'd prefer for the Wereboars to be still around), but I need a valid point for justifying the fact that only those are races of werebeasts.

  • Doylist explanation is that animal species are innumerable, and writers had to choose something they thought would be cooler than the rest. Proper solution would be to make the rules for generic shapeshifters... and they tried it in the Forsaken, but, unfortunately, this was done by Phil "Goatfucker" Brucato.

Wyrm Servants

     Why Do Black Spiral Dancers Have Lunar Auspices? 
  • Black Spiral Dancer Garou have lunar auspices like their Gaian counterparts. Luna is Gaia's sister and ally, so why does she still exert her influence over Garou who serve the Wyrm? One would think that Luna would withhold her blessing from a faction of Garou who are waging war on Gaia.
    • To boot, Luna withholds her blessing from the Nuwisha out of pique over an ancient insult. Why would she withhold her blessing from the Nuwisha, who serve Gaia, but still exert influence over the Wyrm-tainted Black Spiral Dancers?
      • Probably because Luna doesn't have the power to distinquish between the two, but can for the Nuwisha since they're a different changing breed.
      • Also, the Wyrm might block Luna from removing that power from its servants, since it definitely outranks her.

     How Do Hives Stay Hidden? 
  • How do Black Spiral Dancer hives stay hidden from humans and Gaia Garou? Aren't observers going to notice a lot of scary-looking people and wolves coming out of a cavern entrance? Aren't they going to notice said scary-looking people transporting food, weapons, and other supplies to a cavern entrance? Wouldn't balefire and strange noises coming from hives make observers suspicious? Even if hive entrances are tucked away in remote locations, someone is going to notice all this.
    • Spirals may be insane but they're not stupid enough to avoid such simple measures as investing in acoustics to stop humans from investigating and discrete entrances so nobody notices the supplies (weapons being irrelevant since they're already nine-feet-tall mobile death machines), the same way Gaian Garou hide urban caerns. A hive in a city is going to have its entrance hidden in places humans don't frequent or inside buildings, so even if your average human sees someone moving boxes into a building he's not going to think twice about what's going on in there compared to another other building in the city, and sound is going to have a hard time escaping to street-level anyway. For a rural Hive, it's far enough away from any population centre that your average human who gets close is going to be on their own and easy to grab and take back as that night's dinner/soul-raped into getting a Bane and sent off to fight for the Wyrm. As for Gaian Garou, they are constantly outnumbered by the Spirals who have no issue with Metis and any Gaian Garou who get too close will get ambushed and either get killed, converted or turned into Brood Mares to make more Metis to further advance their numbers advantage. And that's assuming they can locate the general area of the hive from the Wyrm's efforts to spread its corruption everywhere.
    • Just think about cartel compounds in bad neighborhoods, or fundamentalist militia men out in the woods. We have those in the real world, and they get away with a lot. Add in crappier normals and scarier bad guys, and it's easy to see. Both these groups usually get away with what they do by being just scary enough that people worry what MIGHT happen if they confront them, but not so obviously scary that people know what's going to happen (since then, they would call the authorities).
    • As for scary-looking, any Black Spiral that is mentally competent enough to do a normal-looking job amongst normals probably isn't going to look very abnormal, either. Also keep in mind modern sensibilities will probably make most people think twice, and ignore any initial gut feeling they might have had.

     Wyrm servants are okay with a massive Veil breach? 
  • Chronicles of the Black Labyrinth was compiled by Frater I.I. and published for public consumption in-universe. The book contains a wealth of information on the Black Spiral Dancers and Seventh Generation, who normally do their utmost to stay hidden. Why haven't the Black Spiral Dancers torn Frater I.I. to shreds for such a massive Veil breach? For that matter, why hasn't the Seventh Generation punished Frater I.I. for releasing information about their history and rites?
    • You can't kill someone you can't find. With enough preparations he could keep himself hidden from all but the most dedicated hunters. As for the Seventh Generation, they had much more pressing issues at the time in the form of Jonas Albrecht and company looking to rip them to shreds.

    Why does the Wyrm prefer human lieutenants? 

  • The upper echelon of Malfeas is dominated by former humans. With the exception of Number Two (a former Black Spiral Dancer) and the Elemental Maeljin (evil spirits), nearly all of the Maeljin Incarna are former humans. In the physical realm, most fomori are bane-possessed humans. Black Spirals notwithstanding, why does the Wyrm recruit so many human servants? Is it because humans are the most plentiful sentient beings? Are humans uniquely vulnerable to Wyrm corruption?
    • I dare say they are. Humans are the only creatures that destroy by choice. Animals simply act based on their nature.
    • It has to do with the intertwined nature of Weaver and Wyrm. The Weaver is actually the Wyrm's real target, and Gaia is kind of a casualty in this (and of course, it's misinterpreted by the common Garou as the Wyrm attacking Gaia, with the Weaver as an incidental victim/sometimes minor problem. Book of the Weaver was not meant to alter the common knowledge of Garou, as it was written by three scholars that no one pays much attention to for being .. oddballs.) And because the Wyrm is trapped in webs of the Weaver's own devise, it's easier for him to act through/attack the Weaver's most important and cherished agents themselves - humans, the adopted children of the Weaver. To corrupt the Weaver's own minions and use them against Her (as well as Gaia or anyone else who opposes him) is just icing on the revenge-madness cake.
    • It's also just a numbers game; the Black Spirals are a few thousand to the human millions and most spirits have a hard time getting out of the Umbra.

    No radiation sickness for Zhyzhak 

  • Caerns: Places of Power describes the Trinity Hive Caern, a holy site for the Black Spiral Dancers. Both Grammaw (the colossal thunderwyrm who nests underneath the Trinity impact site) and land around the hive are radioactive. As a result, many of the Black Spiral Dancers who reside in or near Grammaw have mild radiation sickness, with symptoms such as hair loss, pale skin, and in Palefish's case, fatigue and poor muscle tone. However, Zhyzhak spends most of her time in or near Grammaw, in keeping with her duties as warder, but she has none of these symptoms. Why hasn't Zhyzhak showed signs of radiation sickness like many of her hive-mates?
    • To put it simply, Zhyzhak is special.
    • Spirits may be preventing her from getting radiation sickness to keep her at her strongest.

    Just shoot Zhyzhak! 

  • Why does King Albrecht seek to defeat Zhyzhak in hand-to-hand combat, at which she excels? Why not arrange for a Gaia Garou sniper to shoot Zhyzhak from a safe distance with a silver bullet? It would result in far fewer Gaia Garou casualties than traditional combat.
    • Because that would be dishonourable. Sure the pragmatic route would be the better one but the Garou all throughout history have repeatedly fallen into the trap of taking the honourable action (by their perspective) rather than the pragmatic one.
    • Also might very well not work, given the destiny twisting happening around Zhyzhak.

    Zhyzhak's "leadership" 

  • Zhyzhak's write-up in Apocalypse: Time of Judgment gives her a Leadership rating of 5. Other materials indicate that her "leadership" consists of yelling, demanding obedience, and killing people who cross her. How did she get such a high Leadership rating when she clearly knows nothing about effective leadership?
    • Assuming that's not a writer's error ("She's high-ranking in an organization, so she must have high Leadership, right?") it could just be that bullying is the best way to control Dancers.

    How Did the Fallen Garou Get So Powerful? 

  • Apocalypse: Time of Judgment contains several scenarios in which a Gaia Garou tribe falls to the Wyrm. In several scenarios, these Wyrm-tainted Garou pull off amazing feats of death and destruction. For example, the Widows (formerly the Black Furies) attack technology hubs, hurling the world back into a circa-1900 level of technological development. The Plague Rats (formerly the Bone Gnawers) trigger deadly epidemics across the globe. The Red Talons manage to locate, communicate with, and unleash buried methane-spirits that throw the biosphere into chaos. None of these tribes had anywhere near the power or numbers to pull off similar large-scale feats when they served Gaia, so how did they suddenly become so powerful after falling to the Wyrm? The Wyrm's patronage alone can't explain it, since the Black Spiral Dancers had more substantial numbers and served the Wyrm for far longer than any of the fallen tribes, but never demonstrated such levels of power.
    • Because ruining the world is easy and fixing it is hard.

    No metis with rickets? 

  • The Black Spiral Dancers raise their metis children in underground hives. Metis children generally do not venture out to the surface (and get exposure to sunlight) until after their first change. Shouldn't all those Black Spiral metis children have rickets from being raised in a dark environment?
    • Maybe. Who'd notice? Or care?

     Mages, Sorcerers, and Wyrm Cultists 

  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension are part of the same Old World of Darkness continuity. Do human Wyrm cultists from the Seventh Generation and Pretanic Order count as sorcerers? They've sworn allegiance to a powerful being in exchange for magical power, their Wyrm gifts are akin to static magic, but they lack the reality-shaping powers and the enlightened awareness of mages.

The Triat

     Why Does the Wyrm Focus on Gaia? 
  • Write-ups on the planetary Incarna suggest that (with the exception of Rorg's realm) the Wyrm has largely left the other planets alone. Why has the Wyrm focuses so much of its efforts on Gaia while ignoring the other planets? It can't be soley because of Gaia's richness of life, because Tambiyah's realm (Venus) is lush and verdant in the Umbra, for instance.
    • Maybe it doesn't want to fight a war on multiple fronts?
    • First off; Gaia is not the planetary Incarna of Earth, Eshtarra is (the exact relationship between Gaia and Eshtarra is complicated). But basically Gaia is the absolute top of the totem pole, the Wyrm cannot suceed so long as Gaia is still alive. Leaving Gaia/Eshtarra to attack anyone else would mean losing your foothold on Earth and push the Wyrm's victory further back.
      • The Umbral version of Venus is basically an idealization based on what could-have-been and human imagination of what they thought Venus was, before the Russian landers. Earth is the planet with actual life on it at the moment. Also keep in mind that most Garou are NOT scholars, whether initially raised as humans or not, and in their simple, tribal, myth-loving minds, Gaia basically is the classic Earth Mother (with an emphasis on the Life aspect, as well as representing the planet as a physical object.)

     Why Is the Wyld Doing the Wyrm's Work? 
  • The Wyld is the primal force of creation and change, whereas the Wyrm was the force of destruction and death (at least before it went insane). Why then do so many Wyld-aligned races focus on death and destruction? For example, the Red Talons are ruthless killers, and some of the more hardline Talons would like to see humanity wiped out. The Rokea are also reknown as killers. The Ratkin's original purpose was to kill excess humans. Why do Wyld-oriented creatures have such an affinity for death and destruction, which is technically part of the the Wyrm's portfolio?
    • The Wyld is the creative and changing force of the Triat, but it's also reflected in and tied with untamed nature, which tends to be pretty violent itself. And the destructive allies of the Wyld tend to be more destructive in a "natural" sense of predation, population control, etc. than the "maintaining the cosmic balance and destroying that which is flawed and has no place" sense that the Wyrm once presided over or the "wanton cruelty, torture, and random acts of violence" of the modern Wyrm. Granted, Red Talons at least have been descending more and more into the latter, but it's explicitly stated that they're in danger of falling to the Wyrm because of this. On top of that, humanity — particularly post-industrial, Technocracy-influenced humanity — spreads the influence of the Weaver, which the Wyld has a vested interest in stopping, even if it means stepping outside its intended role.

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