Vargr Pack Structure

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RebornTheFallen
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Vargr Pack Structure

Postby RebornTheFallen » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:21 am

So I'm running a Vargr character, and I have encountered a small dilemma. My character has a very "ancient Norse" lifestyle. Go in to battle, kill, loot, pillage, be victorious against all odds. Return home, drink, eat, carouse with wenches!

Only recently he has found himself with a steady girlfriend (Yes, this is actually a question about roleplaying, not rules!). My question is this: Are Vargr families typical to natural wolf packs, with one alpha male and several females, or are they more humanized, as in one male and one female? If I am to roleplay him correctly, must I cease my womanizing, or may I continue without fear of being castrated?

Punchline: Are Vargr monogamous?

Opinions, packmates?
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Re: Vargr Pack Structure

Postby rust » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:22 am

RebornTheFallen wrote: Punchline: Are Vargr monogamous?
Human societies have all the variations one can imagine, and I would
think that Vargr society also does not follow one pattern only, especial-
ly since there is no powerful authority (like a church) to enforce such a
pattern. Just use what fits your idea of the specific setting and of your
character best.
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Postby barnest2 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:31 am

Are Vargr monogomaus... Well, are humans? I would argue no, and I would argue the same for any enlightened species, especially one from a canine psychology.
There will be Vargr who act monogamously, particularly when travelling... but the norm is probably a pack like behaviour.
As Rust says, do what you feel is comfortable, but a pack mentality could be really interesting for RP.
Is the girlfriend human or Vargr? this could severely change how you could act.
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:11 pm

Also, many wolfpacks are actually run by an Alpha FEMALE, not an Alpha Male, so just about anything is possible.

So, my answer is... which would be most interesting from a roleplaying point of view?

How about a society/pack that condones polygamy, but an individual who wants her wolfie to be exclusive?
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Postby barnest2 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:15 pm

Well if the girlie is human, it would be amusing to see her expectations of monogamy with the Vargr's expectations of pack behaviour...
I think I just said what Rust said :P
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Postby SSWarlock » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:44 pm

Also keep in mind that Vargr have almost hard-wired ideas regarding leadership. Jockeying for leadership is very much a part of their culture and a Vargr will feel compelled to take over the leadership of a group if no one else shows strong leadership.

Mixing two Alpha type personalities doesn't tend to foster a smooth relationship.
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Postby RebornTheFallen » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:46 pm

Hmmmm...that's a lot to think about. The girlfriend is Vargr, of course. Our GM sort of frowns upon cross-species relationships, though I don't see anything wrong with it, and it's incredibly rare to find a non-vargr female with a Vargr charisma high enough to interest my boy. We ARE aboard ship, so of course his woman would be the "alpha" female. But it seems that the answers are drifting more in the direction of she MIGHT not mind him having a fling at the local nightclub after a successful mission. Methinks it'll just come down to the GM rolling a reaction for her to get her opinion on the matter.
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Postby Jak Nazryth » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:58 pm

I know most wolves mate for life.
Not sure about Vargr's though.
My book comes in either tonight or tomorrow.
But what ever the racial norm, I generally let PC's play their characters how they want, within reason...
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Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:34 pm

RebornTheFallen wrote:Hmmmm...that's a lot to think about. The girlfriend is Vargr, of course. Our GM sort of frowns upon cross-species relationships, though I don't see anything wrong with it, and it's incredibly rare to find a non-vargr female with a Vargr charisma high enough to interest my boy. We ARE aboard ship, so of course his woman would be the "alpha" female. But it seems that the answers are drifting more in the direction of she MIGHT not mind him having a fling at the local nightclub after a successful mission. Methinks it'll just come down to the GM rolling a reaction for her to get her opinion on the matter.
Of course, if she is "on heat", and your boy is down the night club, then she might well carry on with whatever other Vargr alpha male is available!

Seriously, Vargr are well known for their variety of societies, so any of the above posts could apply, or none.

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Postby AdrianH » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:44 am

Assuming a polygamous society, I can see a few more angles.

The girlfriend might not merely permit your character to go to the nightclub, she might actively encourage it. She might not be very interested in a male who is so pathetic that he can't find any other female companionship. (Borrowed from one of E.E. "Doc" Smith's Skylark books, in which our heroes from Earth find a polygamous society, and a woman there expresses the opinion that she could not possibly be interested in a man who has only one mate.) She'll go to the nightclub with your character to see how he performs. What he won't overhear is the girl talk as she compares notes with his partners for the night. If she leaves the nightclub grinning, or worse giggling, be worried. :twisted:

On board ship, she's alpha female, especially if she's the only female aboard and therefore default alpha in a group of one. Dirtside she'll be looking to assert her dominance, which means she needs someone to assert it over. That means any females your character encounters in the nightclub. If she doesn't, maybe he needs to find a more respectable girlfriend...

If it's an egalitarian society then she won't object to your character going to the nightclub for carousing with the wenches provided he doesn't object to her doing the same with the blokes. ;)
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Postby Sevya » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:34 pm

Since it sounds like the girlfriend is an NPC, the biggest factor hasn't been addressed. What does your GM think? None of the excellent viewpoints expressed here will have any effect if the GM running the game doesn't agree with them, or even read them.

That said, the old Norse seem to have at least accepted some degree of open relationships. In Egil's Saga, Egil Skallagrimsson (the one from the saga rather than the one posting here :) ), there is a reference to Egil having a child with a concubine, with no indication that this was frowned upon. That's the only example I remember with enough clarity to quote, but I could find others if you'd like.

It's also possible that the girlfriend would go out for her own flirting while he's gone. From the characters' points of view, they would need to decide between themselves what was allowed in this particular relationship. One or the other violating this agreement could make for some interesting role playing...

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Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:36 pm

Sevya wrote:In Egil's Saga, Egil Skallagrimsson (the one from the saga rather than the one posting here :) )
Are you sure? :twisted:

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Postby Sevya » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:26 am

Egil Skallagrimsson wrote:
Sevya wrote:In Egil's Saga, Egil Skallagrimsson (the one from the saga rather than the one posting here :) )
Are you sure? :twisted:

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Postby Iron Guardian » Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:42 am

It just so happens, I am the GM of the campaign Reborn is in. I will say I do not frown on cross-species relationships within my campaign...the societies they come from on the other hand...they might be the ones frowning depending how liberal they view such things. I would say these relationships would be extremely rare given that each species will have their own standards regarding attractiveness and suitability for mating.

As for Vargr, I suppose that being uplifted could lead to all sorts of pack structures and mating customs like humans. Since they still retain the basic nature of wolves and pack structures, and from what I know of wolves...your basic pack will be lead by an alpha male and alpha female, mated for life, and subject to pack dynamics as to how long they remain alpha. This is pretty much my rule of thumb for those packs that consider themselves "Vargr Supremacists," and the more conservative-styled packs. Those that work and socialize more with other races will probably be more apt to utilize variations of pack structure.
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