The Changing Breeds

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The Changing Breeds

Post by Frost in His Hair on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:38 pm

I recently took a look through the Changing Breeds books out of curiosity (and because I know there are some non-Garou in the Ohio/PA area).

I noticed that some of the breeds have distinct advantages and disadvantages, but that these things are super unbalanced with the books not making any real attempts to balance them.

For instance: Bastet can't step sideways (without an Advanced gift or gaining a Den-Realm, a rare thing), they also have the lowest starting Rage/Gnosis/Willpower of anything that possesses those abilities (With the exception of Homids starting with 2 Gnosis). The advantage is that you can maybe, with ST discretion, maybe, maybe, learn Hedge Magic, but you pay out the butt for it. They are also supposed to rank incredibly slowly.

Ratkin, Gurahl, Rokea, Naga and a few others have innate "racial" abilities (and in the case of Garou tribal, and Rokea get breed and auspice), but it looks like Bastet get the short end of the stick. Even Bastet totems (Jamak) don't grant totem benefits, they grant "favors" that have to be negotiated for and are one-shot uses (then you have to renegotiate) and favors are things like a Trait or an Ability to use.

My big question is, what's the advantage to playing a Bastet? Their gifts are no more awesome than any other gifts (and a bunch are pretty much for flavor) and they have not distinct "racial edge". All Bastet are balanced among each other, but as far as Changing Breeds go, it looks like they get no edge or leg up anywhere.

Also, none of the Changing Breeds like Trait caps, by rank or otherwise.

Are you supposed to follow the Garou standard? Why is a Rank 1 Bear/Shark (Bear Shark?) physically as strong as a Rank 1 Garou when both are in Homid? (In TT this the form traits matter because you roll different things, but in MET Traits are Traits).

(Discussions are fun.)
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Makes-Insides-Outside on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:47 pm

The advantage is they are catgirls!! Nyaa! Nyaa! Gamer girls love kitty RP!
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Grip on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:19 pm

What I want to know is, if the Bastet suck so much, why are they the second-largest group of shifters left over from the War of Rage?

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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by James Stein on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:56 pm

Let's not forget that Ratkin and Corax have a default "totem if no other totem takes you" situation. While Corax don't really do packs, Ratkin do, and all of their totems are boss compared to Garou totems. Even their default totem gives them like five willpower or some craziness.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Dresden St. Andrews on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:55 am

I think this is more a case of bad MET conversion than Bastet sucking overall. Then again I could be wrong, I haven't looked at them in TT that much.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Frost in His Hair on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:58 am

I'm not saying Bastet suck. I think they have a great and colorful story. It's just that mechanically they don't stack up for much more than RP value (which is awesome - but we are in the Org, so... you know.)

Hell, I'd take them being more available to play as a good balance in the Org. It would be boss to play a Khan.

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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Griffin Defoe on Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:25 am

I could powergame any of the Bastet tribes. *flex* I just don't want to play one.

They're loners by nature, and going against the grain on that by attending a LARP with other changer PCs is anti-genre.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by HST Justin on Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:50 am

...

You could totally flip that car on your own, you just don't wanna?

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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Silver Howl on Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:48 am

^ This.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Frost in His Hair on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:46 pm

Loner is different than "never goes around others ever". If they were completely against ever being around others, I don't believe White Wolf would have published books on them. They actually have gifts dedicated to "Making good impressions". The entire Org is anti-genre in the worst ways. I think a Bastet occasionally speaking with Garou is one of the least offensive things I've heard of in years.

That aside - the Org allows them to be played with varying degrees of rarity based on region, but the breed is nothing spectacular in and of itself, especially compared to something like Gurahl. You can powergame anything, but there is nothing OP about them by nature. Why are they so restricted? With the current R&U standards you can only play what exists in your region even though the book supports many of the tribes taking up traveling (especially do to immigrant populations).

I'm looking for - "What did I miss in the books that make them so OP that they need such tight restrictions?"


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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Makes-Insides-Outside on Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Mokole and Rokea?! Don't even bring up the idea of playing one!
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by HST Justin on Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:07 pm

ASURA'S BANE.

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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Virgil Vikos on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:39 pm

Actually, Jason, Ratkin are the largest Changing Breed next to Garou. They hide their numbers, but they outnumber the wolves like 2 to 1. For every Caern near a major city, there's probably at least 3 or 4 Nests. I mentioned on the Rage Across 3 Rivers board how they get a pretty short end of the stick in terms of raw power, but they're just really fun to roleplay. At least for me.

As for Bastet, they bore me for the most part. The "loner" type of nature they exude, at least in regards to their own kind and most other supernaturals, just makes them sound not very fun to play. Ratkin actually have a term and guidelines for one of their number that spends time around other supernaturals. They're called a Consort. The Bastet's Secrets background is cool, but really open ended and pretty much a flaw at high levels. The only breed I ever really liked was the Swara. Possibly due to a mental connection to Cheetor from Beast Wars.

Even the learning other groups Gifts sounds uninteresting, because that's not cool powers of theirs, just the ability to stack other people's cool powers. Saying all that, however, I agree that one that occasionally came around Garou isn't too much of an oddity to be ridiculous, especially in the Org. There are some unique roleplaying opportunities I'm more than willing to stretch the usual common sense a little to accommodate. I like the idea a lot better than all the Fae and Hunters we've had around. No offense to the players of said PC's. It just feels to me a little more like getting your ketchup in my peanut butter. Two great tastes that do not taste great together, in my opinion.

And yes James, that's true. 5 Willpower per story. And two levels of Survival, as well as a few other little benefits.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Griffin Defoe on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:07 pm

{hashmirshashmir}Oh, you are saying what I am saying in a different way.{/hashmirshashmir}

PCs are, unsurprisingly, played with some frequency. Players tend to play their one character. A Bastet who hangs around the local Garou caern every two weeks is doing it wrong. There might be exceptions, some sort of very peculiar reason for cats and dogs to play in the same sandbox -- and the natural gauge for whether or not that exception doesn't overly offend the greater spectrum of genre is a Council vote.

It's not about being 'OP.' It's about being rarely seen. I think ten times out of ten, a Bastet will make a better NPC than a PC. That seems even more accurate in the context of the org.

I also think Rats are great. Is it time for a Ratkin chronicle yet?
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by James Stein on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:35 pm

The boys in Massachussetts have had a Ratkin troupe game going for a while now, it took a hiatus due to real life problems(and its ST sort of became a TN) but it's back in action, from what I understand. They might be propping to the Org soon enough.

They called it Mass Trauma, and it's more than appropriate. PC death rate was 1-2 per game when I played in it.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Makes-Insides-Outside on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:10 am

*Bites Tongue*

Hmm thats a new sensation for me on a tuesday night. Normally I can't help but say whats on my mind this time of the week.. Must be that damn sobriety.
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Re: The Changing Breeds

Post by Silver Howl on Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:54 am

Not all Bastet are as reclusive as others. Bagheera travel all over. Yes, certain tribes would be highly unlikely to be found. But, a Ceilican masking as a different tribe? A Bagheera? A Pumonca, since we're in North America? These are all very possible. And a cat shifter appearing once every two weeks to find out what the slobbering dogs are up to? To listen into the gossip going around, and the news from other septs? That is perfectly feasible.

Now, a Bastet hanging around on the boards? Unlikely to be found. But pigeonholing the cats is selling them short. And missing out on fun chances to open up a different sort of interaction. After all, the Eyes of Seline see far.
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