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So early in my chronicle I mentioned that a certain local bar (which is a 90% outside bar and very dog friendly) is a werewolf hangout. When the group decided they were going to all play werewolf (instead of the crazy multi game we were playing) they also decided that they had been gifted said bar when they got the territory. None of the players have taken any dots in resources, or anything else. Is there anything in the books that would suggest this level of gift with territory?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

In the words of my current Storyteller, running a WtF game... "Hahaha! No."

To elaborate, there are circumstances that would allow someone to own said bar, but most of those circumstances would require spending merit dots or something along those lines at the very least. One possible circumstance is having it granted due to connections, but again that should be reflected in some sort of dot purchase somewhere or at the very least with some heavy RP. Even if the People who had the territory previously (assuming there were Werewolves in charge of it prior to your players obtaining it) did have some sort of influence or even ownership over the bar, it should not be granted to the players from the get-go without some sort of investment. If say the bar's owner has some sort of agreement with the People, then this agreement should be reforged via RP early on. If the players are desiring direct ownership over the bar, they need to purchase it off the last owner or have some way of owning it reflected on their character sheets.

Even the local spirits might take severe offense to a pack of Uratha running the bar. They have made it their home long before these mangy mutts did, why should they let them stay? Even if they do earn the ownership of the bar through point purchases or through roleplay, make them earn the right to be there with the Spirits. After all, it's the task of the Forsaken to parlay with or dominate Spirits in an effort to maintain the balance.

Should the players get too wrapped up in owning this bar (whether or not they come up with a way to reflect it on their collective character sheets), there are many people and creatures that might not agree with this. To quote my Storyteller again, "I take your nice things!" Even for casual players who are not interested in the dark and horrifying world the World of Darkness presents, a good lesson to teach them is that the World of Darkness is NOT a nice place. You CAN die, and in fact, the mood of a Werewolf game is that you WILL die. When a wolf gets old and slow (or just plain stupid or unlucky), and can no longer protect its territory and provide for its pack, it will die. It is not a question of 'if', it is a question of 'when'. Uratha who become too attached to something are more likely to lose it, be it their lives, their friends, their family, their home, their hangout, their possessions, or even their packmates. The World of Darkness is not kind, and everyone is out to kill the People.

A side note regarding overriding players and exerting "Rule 0" in a game. It's much more entertaining to let them think they've won and later take their nice things. Plus it makes them re-evaluate how important the nice things were to them, and potentially teach them a valuable lesson about protecting their nice things or not getting too attached to them. They might also (if they're smart) realize it's the GM/Storyteller's subtle way of saying "No". In the end, if it isn't reflected on the sheet, you don't even have to feel guilty about taking it away from them. Employing Rule 0 should really only be reserved for when it has reached the point where no amount of in-game maneuvering will get the point across.

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hmm... gives me an idea, yeah they gave it to you, because it's burning money, and about to be foreclosed on, enjoy your debt... they're already going to have to deal with spirit problems, because I made them run off to New Mexico. So things weren't gonna be pretty when they got back. – xenoterracide Aug 12 '14 at 12:48

The Territories book exactly answers your question. You can "purchase" area advantages with merit dots. These territory advantages then offer bonuses to skills or discounts to purchasing skills, like a gym giving a 1xp discount to purchasing dots in strength, brawl or weaponry.

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No, just as the don't own the Hairdresser or the corner store in the territory.

However, if the players want to play a game about owning a bar, and you are happy to tell a story about a pack of werewolves who own a bar, then go for it.

Give them a bar, they own it. Why not?
You don't need mechanics to signify owning a business You might like to tie there resource merit dots to the current success of the bar. Eg if it gets shut down for a week they might be temporarily reduced to 0 resources

Owning a bar throws up tons of sweet plot hooks. Everything from the mob wants protection money, to the cops finding a patron dead outside, to a wandering Uratha heard about the place and decided to drop in.

What ever you decide, you should make it really clear with the players, As soon as possible (idealy before they finish char-genning),

While the WoD might not be a nice place, your game table is. Work with your players, don't let them labour under a misapprehension that won't be fun for anyone.

As an aside, if all your players have 0 dots of resources, you are in for a interesting time, whether or not they own a bar. You might want to do something about that, because if you don't the characters are very poor. (Though werewolves can handle that better than most.) See this question for what people can do with 0 resources. You might wish to either encourage them to redistribute there starting dots, or give them each a dot of resources for free (Its not unfair if you give it to everyone.) Or let them be super poor, but again, make sure they understand this.

They can be super poor bar-owners, if everyone thinks that would be fun. Infact reality tells us that most new bar owners go broke very quickly.

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Probably Not

I'm not a huge WoD gamer, and my primary experience is with VtM, but the way that territory works doesn't imply that you literally own everything in the territory. Even a hangout isn't necessarily "yours". You might have some say over who gets to go there (for instance, vampires consider territory to be theirs and claim feeding rights on its inhabitants), at least within the werewolf community, but you'd be unlikely to get the literal ownership of any of the properties, even if they are owned by a community member.

If nothing else, you're the GM (right?), and you should feel comfortable in your prerogative to say "Actually, they didn't give you the bar."–this is one of those classic cases where players decide to believe something without any justification, and you can call them out on it.

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Oh, and even if the rules suggest that they might get it, feel free to override them. You're the final arbitrator on this subject, and if the players jump to conclusions before the judgment is in that's too bad for them. – Kyle Willey Aug 12 '14 at 1:40
yeah I know I get final say, I'm just trying to find out if anything might suggest this. I'm pretty sure not. – xenoterracide Aug 12 '14 at 1:42
At least if it's the same as in Vampire the Masquerade, then no. Though some of that is dependent on the masquerade, the fact of the matter is that the supernatural community and the business community don't really interact, and it's generally in the best interest of both parties for this not to happen: supernatural drama tends to get in the way of business. – Kyle Willey Aug 12 '14 at 1:45

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