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I'm the secondary storyteller for a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game.

Our group is made out of mostly urban figures - specially Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawlers - playing out a very finance-oriented pack that is trying to do their part in saving Gaia by playing the Corporate Game/Stock Market and using their money and influence to change the world.

Yes, I have a weird group. Anyway!

A new player is scheduled to join the ranks of our pack. They want to play as a Metis, but of a non-standard type: a Ratkin/Garou hybrid Metis.

While mechanically this is easy to achieve - just put them to play by Garou rules and add a few appropriate Merits/Flaws - I have no idea if this is actually something that can be achieved lore-wise.

Is it possible to have a Metis born of parents of different Changing Breeds? If so, what happens? Is the Metis an hybrid, or does it take the after only one parent?

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No. Just No.

You can not be a Metis that is of two different Changing breeds. That's simply not allowed at all. You are either a Metis Garou or a Metis Ratkin. You are not a Hybrid.

Coupling between two different Changing Breeds does not result in Metis. If you read through the W20 Changing Breeds, we got a complete list of what makes a metis (including who doesn't even have Metis to begin with):

  • Metis: Matings between two Ajaba...
  • No metis Ananasi are known to exist...
  • Metis: Metis Bastet (the offspring of two Bastet mating)
  • Gurahl have only two breeds — homid and ursine...
  • Shinju: The shinju are metis Kitsune. Among the Kitsune, metis birth is not considered a curse. They do not have deformities, but if a Fox-Fox pairing produces a child there is only a ten percent chance they will produce a shinju shifter; most such offspring are normal foxes or humans.
  • Mokolé only have two breeds: homid and suchid (reptilian).
  • Ahi: Ahi are not deformed or stigmatized. Instead, Nagah particularly prize and cherish the children of two of their breed,...
  • (Ratkin) Metis: These creatures are deformed, sterile, and a source of shame to their parents. The nest’s elders expose metis to the Birthing Plague soon after their birth.
  • There are two breeds of Rokea, squamous and homid.

No cross-species coupling even is allowed. And even if there could be Ratkin-Garou Metis, the Ratkin would subject the child to the Birthing Plague, which kills the kid.

Excluded from the list are Corax, who are special: they propagate via a rite. Two Corax can have as many offspring as they want, those will never be Corax, so there are no metis. The rite won't work on those. Yes, they don't even make Homid and Corvid offspring the normal way... any baby could be made into a Corax that isn't supernatural to begin with.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your quick input! So, in this case, this character concept isn't viable lore-wise. Hm! I'll have to send this player back to the drawing board! \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Jun 1 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ As far as I recall Anansi metis exists, but are "born" only as angry spirits that haunt their parents in Umbra. Can't find source, sadly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 1 at 19:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot Hengeyokai had the Ananasi Metis. Kumo. But that is Revied rules, not W20. What you refer to are the Mokolé metis, which are... optional \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jun 1 at 20:23
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Mechanically, no. In-universe, possibly.

So, there are no rules for belonging to two different Changing Breeds - but just because you won't be both a wererat and a werewolf simultaneously doesn't mean that it's impossible for a wererat and a werewolf to have kids together. It just means that they'd be either a werewolf or a wererat - and given that the results of werewolf-werewolf pairings and wererat-wererat pairings are both born with deformities, it's plausible that the result of a werewolf-wererat pairing might have deformities that echo the breed of the other parent. Maybe they're a werewolf with buck teeth and a bald tail, or a wererat with a furry tail and fangs.

Of course, their parents would have to deal with the resulting social ostracism (and it's plausible that the wererat side of the family might try to kill the kid), but there are enough werewolves that are desperate for more werewolves to join the fight that it's plausible that a werewolf with rat-like deformities might survive to adulthood. If they overcome the challenges that their particular nature might cause for them, they might even be able to claim Renown for it!

(Also, as a side note, the term "metis" has a lot of racial baggage that the authors of the original Werewolf game back in the 90s were unaware of, and I believe that W5 is going to move away from the use of that term as a result. I'm not sure what term is going to replace it for were-were pairings, but it might be a topic that you might want to discuss with your players.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi! Thanks for your answer! We play in Portuguese and use another word for it ("impuro"), but when dealing with rules we have to deal with the standard lingo. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Jun 2 at 17:27

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