- The Mechanism and the Pull Bag
Like Skills, backgrounds have been left deliberately vague. Werewolf is not a game of concrete values or material wealth, although individual characters may treasure such things. Backgrounds are rarely used during games (with the possible exception to Past Life), but both help define a character and may help accomplish goals.
Everyone has some influence over those they know or work with. Characters with a Profession automatically have a limited influence over those in the same company or working in the same field which will grow as they pursue their career (although few Garou choose to do so). The Influence background indicates additional influence in the same area or another. You may take many different influences but no one area of influence can exceed the Greater level. Laws of the Wild suggests some areas, but you may also suggest your own to the ST.
One character's Influence will only obtain or change things on a personal level - information, personal records, small decisions, limited access. Greater level allows you to change things on a larger scale - secret records, changing rotas, hiring and firing, access to some restricted areas; it also allows you to affect but not direct major decisions. For true control over a situation, it is necessary to make alliances with others with Influence holders.
The relationship between Garou and their kinfolk (human or wolf family) is variable: many Garou view their weaker relatives as valuable allies, others as charges needing to be protected and some see them as nothing more than breeding stock or useful tools. Kinfolk are required to keep producing Garou for the Apocalypse to come.
The basic level gives a handful of competent kinfolk who will do you a favour if given the right motivation (typically something in return). The advanced level gives a larger mass of competent kinfolk and a couple of very prominent ones; these may be at the top of their profession, or they may be less skilled but more dedicated to the Garou cause (and hence are much more willing to help). The actual effect is left depends on the individual PC and his storyteller. However, typical advantages of kinfolk are:
Past Life (Ancestors)
The Garou can channel the spirits of ancestors. Most of the time they are happy to help and provide their knowledge to help the Garou. Occasionally, one may actually take over the body of their descendent. Those with the greater Past Life background frequently have conversations with their ancestors and know many of them by name.
To use the abilities of an ancestor, name a Skill and meditate for 10 minutes: Pull 1 (or 2 if you have the Greater level) - success gives you the named Skill has a Hobby for the rest of the day. You may alternatively gain a point of Lore of one Auspice for the rest of the day. You may only meditate on Past Life once per day.
Garou acknowledge the purity of blood. Historically, the Garou were ruled by those of purer breed. Now only the Silver Fangs reliably hang on to their purity, in most cases at the cost of their sanity, and the Bone Gnawers have no pure breed left. Garou will automatically register the presence of pure breeding in their presence: characters with Pure Breed ought to carry a label reading "Aura of Ancient Blood".
Provides a moderate income (e.g. that of a steady job); Greater Resources includes an estate and a lavish lifestyle. Historically, Silver Fangs have owned great estates while Glass Walkers may have large investments in stocks and shares. Some consider wealth a sign of the Weaver.
Totems are powerful spirits that lend their aid to groups of Garou. All the 13 tribes have tribal totems, but most packs have their own Pack Totem. The pack Totem tends to be a Jaggling who supports the pack on a daily basis. A pack's choice of totem affects the way that other Garou view them.
The Totem background makes the pack Totem more powerful. The greater Totem background may mean that the character has a weak totem even when without a pack (at Storyteller's discretion).
All new material ©copyright 2002 Aidan Bowes. All rights reserved.
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