How to Play a Successful Ragabash

June 14, 2015 at 1:58 am (Uncategorized)

I believe Pegasus of Phoenix Rising wrote this one. Either way, it’s the fourth in the WTA series.

Initial Character Build

Ragabash can be, and do, just about anything. They even have thematic leeway for it. There is no “typical” build for a Ragabash because they are rather atypical. Trying to force a Ragabash to conform is an exercise in futility. That said, the Garou as a whole do adhere to a rather rigid society, and even this most flexible of auspices has expectations associated with it that will probably drive some of the stats.
A physically oriented Ragabash might be an athlete or assassin, a socially oriented one may well be charming and will integrate with human society very well on account of low Rage (supposing you keep it low: 3 or less), and a mental-primary Ragabash will be quick-witted and have knowledge at her fingertips. Anything goes.
In regards to Abilities, Ragabash are expected to be scouts. Stealth, Alertness will be key; that’s so you can get around unseen and notice stuff. Investigation or Enigmas will help a Ragabash understand and decode what she’s seeing. A Ragabash in possession of Empathy, Etiquette and Streetwise will be in a position to notice others’ emotions and interact with various communities. Some Ragabash are thieves and spies, so Larceny and Technology would be required (in addition to Stealth). Ragabash are often (in)famously capable of talking their way out of hot water, and Subterfuge is necessary for being charming, double-talking, and otherwise tricking others.
Your Ragabash does not need to possess all of the above Abilities. The suggestions are provided as conceptual starting points.

Your Role, as Seen by the Sept

In a hierarchical society such as the Nation, Ragabash tend to fulfill the role of omegas. Their renown path is a slow one (reflected by greater number of permanent points required): they aren’t considered glorious, they’re not even really expected to be honorable, and while you think that’d leave them wisdom as their bailiwick, they’re called “Fools” (in the same vein as a court jester). Note, however, that “omega” does not necessarily, or even commonly, equate to “doormat.”
A Ragabash often serves as a pressure valve for Garou with higher Rage. They excel at finding the right thing to say to drain tension or offer distraction. More than any other auspice, they invite play, and that can help drag a Theurge back to reality, a Philodox out of his guilt, a Galliard away from his artist’s block, and an Ahroun out of her violence. Because Ragabash are seldom dominant in the prideful way typically associated with the other auspices (and Ahroun in particular), other Garou can be at ease around them; they aren’t a threat.
Relatively speaking.
It is also the Ragabash’s duty to challenge the status quo and keep others in tip top shape. Because they were born under no moon, they see things others miss. The character flaw that they see causing harm? It needs to go. Ragabash will find a way to get the message across. Sometimes it’s a gentle lesson; sometimes not. Along with Galliards, Ragabash can be very snarky and innovative when it comes to satire. The best insult comics have nothing on Ragabash.
If some policy or social more exists for “no good reason,” Ragabash will do the initial nitpicking and question the ways. Some will do this with a child-like “Why?” for everything, some will use hyperbole, some will use sarcasm and irony. Some will fling themselves into a certain behavior and fail terribly, publicly, to highlight the issue. They do this not to spit on each and every rule, but to make sure that the rule is a good one that truly benefits Gaia and the Garou Nation. Once they find the flaw, theurges can examine the spiritual aspect, Philodox debate and decide upon the legalities, Galliards can research or compose new stories about it, and the Ahroun can enforce whatever ruling is made.
When it comes to actual missions – because the Garou still have a job to do as Gaia’s Claws and Fangs – Ragabash are typically scouts and support characters. No other auspice can claim the sheer number of infiltration Gifts, and the pack without a Ragabash is at a severe disadvantage when it comes to reconnaissance. It is the duty of the Ragabash to keep a head count and report. When combat breaks out, a Ragabash’s stealth often allows for “attacks of opportunity.” They are also renowned for using distraction or taunting, hit-and-run tactics, and usually know the best way to beat a retreat if it comes to that. Nobody expects Ragabash to hit the hardest or get the most kills, but they have free rein to use underhanded tactics many other Garou might avoid.

Character Contributions & RP Ideas

Most Ragabash are dynamic, innovative characters. They exist to “question the ways” and are also called tricksters or contraries — or revolutionaries.

  • Ragabash often have great comedic timing. Telling tall tales, cracking jokes, making puns and generally aiming to get a laugh out of people, even at your own expense, can be worthwhile.
  • Because humans don’t freak out around the average Ragabash, you can easily justify Allies/Contacts or local ties.
  • Ragabash can also hold a job better than other Garou can, so you can probably justify Resources if your tribe stats allow it. Professions that require a creative or inquisitive nature allow Ragabash to shine. Some examples include journalist, hacker, stand-up comic, cartoonist, satirist, actor, teacher, lawyer, entertainer, investigator, thief…
  • See if a ST/GM will allow you to snoop around to get the lay of the land, or, if social-aspected, chat up locals. With some subterfuge and charisma, information can be charmed, rather than intimidated, out of people.
  • Report! Galliards might have an edge when it comes to Gifts regarding performance or communication, but both New Moons and Moon Dancers are called to speak up.
  • Keep it cool. While Ragabash are known for stirring up trouble, it’s typically only when things are already calm and peaceful, not in the middle of an already volatile situation.
  • Ask questions. However much you might OOCly know about the tribes, breeds, auspices, spirits, other supernaturals or what have you, no character knows everything. Even the highest ranking NPCs on the game may only have had extensive contact with a limited number of tribes. Galliards might be the ones called to record stories for the sake of posterity, but Ragabash just want to know things.
  • Teach stuff. People can generally trust that a Ragabash won’t fly off the handle at them, and a teacher with a sense of humor is always appreciated.
  • Scout ahead. If a +Event is planned rather than an ad-lib “everyone manages to show up at the same time!” ask if your Ragabash character can get a look ahead of time. You might be able to give useful information to others. Be sure to plan enough time to RP the reporting and resultant re-planning.
  • Turn things on their heads. Certain tribe+auspice combinations seem atypical and it makes for an interesting dynamic. The Silver Fangs are so rigid… how does a Ragabash function among them? What about the Get of Fenris? The Wendigo are a pretty dour lot, but Amerind traditions respect contraries. Since Black Furies and Bone Gnawers already thumb their noses at many societal norms, does that mean a Ragabash among these tribes might be ultra conservative? Feel free to experiment. Ragabash do that. Just be careful you don’t lose the flavor of the tribe, auspice, and breed.
  • “The Fool” is a moot role tailor-made for Ragabash, and virtually no other auspice dares to step into it. The role of the Fool is to question the precepts of The Litany – which was created by Garou, not Gaia Herself. The Fool argues that the law isn’t right in some way. This gives the Garou of the Sept a chance to reaffirm their ideals and unite in “defeating” the Fool.
  • Be a force for change. Ragabash are creative, inventive creatures. Static, stagnant existence or mindset is anathema to them. Shake things up. You don’t need to be violent or belligerent to do it (although you might be…); many real-world dissenters or revolutionaries would have been considered Ragabash, or at least Ragabash-like.

Pitfalls

Perhaps the most common pitfall is falling into the trap of playing comic relief. Ragabash should have a purpose to their antics. Having a quip for everything, or throwing yourself into body humor, can get old fast. Timing is everything, and remember it’s a MUSH: a shared environment. Your character isn’t the only one present. Remember that kid that was the class clown? Wasn’t he annoying much of the time? Yeah.
Some Ragabash players erroneously assume that since Ragabash can do anything, they should: they start acting like every other auspice, doing what the others can. That defeats the purpose of auspices in the first place. Let the Ahroun be the Ahroun. Let the Theurge be the Theurge. You may be able to sniff out a liar (they say it takes one to know one), but that does not make you a Philodox. This is not a “way” that you should question. Question what is questionable, not what Luna has ordained.

Combat Tips

In combat, depend upon sneak attacks; it tends to give you at least one “free” shot or at least a lowered difficulty. Certain Gift combinations can allow for sniping, if you have a ranged weapon. If you have a completely social build with little combat ability, use harrying tactics and taunting/distracting maneuvers.
Since most Ragabash have low Rage, use it wisely. Work with a team (which is to say, a pack) to optimize.
You are a rogue. Get to it.

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