I'm working on a character concept involving a Garou born to a Get of Fenris father and Silent Strider kinfolk, with backstory reaching to the Nazi Germany "scout" camps for German girls ("League of German Maidens") where girls were encouraged to get pregnant to give "sons for the Fatherland."

I understand that usually it's the case of following your parents, so a child of a Glass Walker would be Glass Walker, etc., but what happens when a young Garou never knew his origins, parents were from different tribes (which doesn't necessary brands him as metis — let's say Garou and kinfolk from different tribe and even rarely two kinfolk can give birth to true Garou), or she didn't want to join the same tribe?

I know that some tribes accept everyone (Children of Gaia, Bone Gnawers) or almost anyone (Black Furies would accept any female and I believe Red Talons would accept any Lupus), but what about others? It's hard for me to imagine that someone could join royal Silver Fangs — unless her name is Kate Middleton ;) — but what about a Get of Fenris? Could an outsider be accepted after passing some sort of trial? For a Get, I guess, it would be some show of martial power… And even more interesting would be the case of Silent Striders. Would an outsider share their curse (unable to stay in one place for long, risk of being haunted, etc.)?


4 Answers 4


Garou don't choose a tribe; the tribe is genetic. Take the Silver Fang's tribal properties - they're primarily on account of inbreeding, due to attempts to keep the bloodline "pure". A person cannot actively choose to be inbred, that's well... a function of breeding.

They do choose a pack. Some packs are made up from a single tribal background, but many others are not.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Garou CAN change his tribe - he can be i.e. exiled from Silver Fangs and accepted by Bone Gnawers (or Black Spiral Dancers if he'd choose to bow to the Wyrm). I don't believe its "genetic" (since you can't change your genes) but something more akin to "place where spirits welcome you" \$\endgroup\$
    – Yasskier
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a political entity, sure... but his bloodline, his genetics don't change. He can't pick different gifts; he is what he is. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer is incorrect. The canon is rife with examples of tribes taking metis and other unwanted kids from other tribes, and usages of language like "accept members of so and so background" in several parts strongly suggest that this isn't only a genetic thing. While Silver Fangs may only accept Pure Breed members, that doesn't mean a Silver Fang's kid will be a silver fang - nor that a Red Talon's pup with Pure Breed 4 can't become a Silver Fang. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Jun 1, 2021 at 12:09

Choosing a tribe is something you do at character creation, so often it's not kind of a big deal. You choose your tribe and it's kind of part of your character concept.

But you do want to go another way. That's perfectly fine. It's part genetics, part tribe politics and part tribe totem's will.
Let me elaborate:
a) If you have someone with "pure blood" as background, he will look like a hero of old of a specific tribe. A pure blooded Fury will look like an amazon from the days of Ulisses or Troy. A pure blooded Fang will have beautiful golden hair and will look like some hero of old tales.
But why does this help you? Has your character pure blood or any of his ancestors? Gotcha. That might be a ticket to the tribe you wish for.
(The Fangs have a tight grip on their kinfolk to keep the Blood pure.)
b) Tribe politics. This is kind of a no brainer: No humanborn Red Talon, no male Black Fury and so on. So if your character has some characteristics that can be ticked of a list of no-gos, he cannot get into that particular tribe.
c) The will of the totem spirit. You see, there is a reason why the Furies do not have male Garou within the tribe (except the metis ones): Pegasus told them to (why now doesn't matter). So a male cannot be accepted because Pegasus told them to.

So as you see for choosing the tribe there are (at least) three things that are to be considered. So can you choose your tribe ingame at your own leisure? Yes and No. I haven't found any rule as written, but you get the gist once you familiarize yourself with the tribes.
My take would be the following:

  • Fangs - unless you have purest of pure blood you won't be able to get a foot in that one.
  • Furies - don't be a (non-metis) male, and then you can be a Fury.
  • Bone Gnawers - don't be an arrogant prick and poor.
  • Children of Gaia - I think they take everyone, but not everyone wants to be part of them.
  • Fianna - well that one's tricky. I'd guess that if you have a heart of passion and can drink way more than ony other of them you could be part of them. (Helps to be on good terms with Stag, but well that helps with every other tribe as well.)
  • Fenris - show your battle prowess, perhaps best one or two of them in a fair fight (and get Fenris himself on your side).
  • Glasswalker - show that you're way better with the computer, gadgets or machines than one of their other cubs and they might consider. (And since they - like the Bone Gnawers - don't have pure blood that might be your only chance (if you don't know your ancestors))
  • Red Talons - don't be born as anything other than lupus
  • Stargazers - if you can keep up with their constant philosophical musings and like to live your life in austerity, they'll welcome you with open arms.

Shadow Lords, Uktena and Wendigo are tribes where I'm at a loss, since I don't know them that well.

Tl;dr: Get the tribes totem spirit on your side and impress the tribe with your will to join them and excel in their virtues and they'll welcome you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The Uktena and Wendigo can be a little xenophobic due to their Native American roots, and I seem to recall the Shadow Lords being very specific about who they choose. It's not always about bloodlines like the Silver Fangs, but there needs to be a fair amount of individual reputation to be accepted. \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Commented Jun 30, 2017 at 10:25

What you wrote seems to have the spirit of the rules as they are written.

A PC from a past oWoD game of mine was an orphan and later became a member of a Fianna camp (despite being courted by other tribes).

I decided that (at least for that game since another character was an edge-case) tribal curses would become apparent during initiation via a Rite of Passage (though some characters manifest them earlier).

Her parents/family turned out to be Fianna kinfolk humans who were captured by Black Spiral Dancers and forced into a skinwalker ritual, so she never considered herself a blood-born member of any tribe, but the Fianna curse definitely suited her.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Tribal curses are a concept that was very ill received and entirely optional - and only mentioned in a single edition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 23, 2017 at 0:04

In my experience, the Tribe finds the pup. If the Garou parent is actively in the pup's life, and raising them then it already serves as a sort of staked claim. A tribe has to be willing to accept the fledgling Garou and perform a Rite to properly accept them, as well as begin teaching them the ways of their gifts. A common way to become an "orphan" is to simply be abandoned by the Tribe, which can (in theory) happen at any point in the Garou's life.


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