How to Create a Successful Werewolf: The Apocalypse Pack

June 14, 2015 at 2:11 am (Uncategorized)

#6 in my Werewolf, the Apocalypse Guides.

Packs are a major part of the Werewolf theme. Yet they can be challenging to put together. Players come and go. Login times aren’t always convenient for everyone. And then there’s just finding characters you get along with well enough to make it happen.

Note that joining a pack is expected of most Garou, and those that don’t join one face some social stigma. The Renown Cap for characters who are not in packs is only 7; those who are in packs enjoy a monthly renown cap of 8.

Hopefully this guide will make it easier.

Don’t stress over pack purpose.

A lot of people get stuck trying to figure out what kind of pack purpose they should have. In truth, “fight the Wyrm” is as good of a default pack purpose as any. Later, you might find out what your pack is good at as a pack, and you could go ahead and refine your purpose then. Note that it is okay for multiple packs to have the same purpose, though it can be good to have different packs with different purposes at a Sept.

Here are some common purposes.

  • Scouting packs: they find all of the intel so that heavy hitter packs can go in.
  • Spiritual packs: they explore the Umbra and right spiritual wrongs.
  • Gathering packs: they find resources for the sept, including lost fetishes.
  • War packs: heavy hitter strike forces and shock troops.
  • Guardian packs: stay close to home and devote themselves to the defense of bawn and sept.
  • Monkeywrenchers: saboteurs whose only goal is to get in, mess things up for the Wyrm, and get out fast.
  • Lawbringer packs: not all members are Philodox, but they all exist to track down and judge lawbreakers.

People first, then totems.

A big mistake I see a lot of people making is that they get fixated on a totem. “I only want to pack under Stag,” or “I only want to pack under Flea,” or even, “I only want to pack under a totem of Wisdom.”

The problem is that the chances of finding even 2 other people who are that laser focused on the one totem or who even like the totem as much as you do are very slim. Instead, think about finding the people you’d love to pack up with first. You can push your favorite totem once you’ve gotten people excited about joining a pack. They’ll be more receptive then.

If you want a totem of Wisdom float a Wisdom based purpose, then suggest the totems you want. Stay open minded, however. Choosing the pack totem should be a group discussion, because everyone’s going to have to live with it, and the benefits of your favorite totem might not apply very well to the character builds you’re working with. You’re going to spend a lot more time interacting with your packmates than you are with your totem, who is just an NPC with some stat bonuses attached. Some packs play for months without ever once RPing through an interaction with their totem.

When you pick your totem you also want to be careful about choosing exclusive totems, like Mule or Themis, because this will make it harder for you to add new packmates when new players join the MUSH later.

You also won’t really be able to properly pick your totem until you know for sure how many totem points the group will have to contribute. If you’ve just 3 members and all of you have Totem 1 then your choices will be severely limited, and you will probably have to use XP to buy more totem points to buy any totem at all.

Try to create a character that is open to other tribes. The stereotypical arrogant Silver Fang who thinks everyone is beneath him, or the Black Fury who hates all males everywhere, is going to have great difficulty joining or making a pack.

Temp packs are your friend.

It’s hard to know whether you’ll work well with any given group of PCs until you…well…work with them. Joining a temp pack is a great way to make this happen. Nearly any Philodox on the game has the Rite. This will allow you to roll pack initiative and use pack tactics, though your renown cap will not increase and you won’t get any totem benefits. If you feel a good synergy with your temp pack mates then you can go to a theurge or a philodox to help you make the bond permanent. Just make sure all of you have at least 1 dot in Totem…you cannot join a pack without at least one dot in the background.

You’ll probably have to ask in person.

I have never seen anyone create a successful pack by posting on the BBs. Every single pack was created when people went to one another both ICly and OOCly, had conversations, and made ovetures. A potential packmate might turn you down, and that’s okay. It’s more likely that they’re floundering in the attempt to find a pack for themselves as well, and they’ll appreciate the invitation to at least join a temporary pack.

Fostering Pack RP

Once you have the pack together it’s good to RP as a pack. Sign up for events together. Take turns running pack-only events that speak to the pack’s purpose. You could even start a rivalry with another PC pack whose characters all have ranks similar to yours, if you take the time to have some OOC discussions with them about how that might go! Use the plot board to see if you can get T2+ characters to run stuff for you as well. Take the time to do some social RP…packs also spend time together and have fun together. The more you can strengthen the bond and enrich the story the more you reduce the chances that your packmates will simply disappear into the sunset because they go and leave the MUSH.

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2 Comments

  1. FiL said,

    These guides are really useful. I’m not playing a MUSH, but I will point my tabletop players this way. Thanks for the posts.

    • ladyrane said,

      I’m glad they helped! Truth be told, I’m not MU*ing much these days either. Thinking about turning the entire blog into a site that could be a resource for just about any medium of roleplay as a result.

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