Hunting Grounds

The Hunting Grounds Background typically represents a large stretch of wilderness in which a Garou (or pack) can freely hunt and breed. This wilderness generally contains no humans, though the Garou might choose to have a few living therein. (These humans might be Kinfolk, allies, contacts or just ordinary humans who happen to live in the area.) If the player prefers, the Hunting Grounds may represent part of a city, though typically such is the case only among urrah. Hunting grounds in a city aren't empty of human habitation. Quite the contrary, they are as populous as any other part of town. The influence of the Wyrm and Weaver is kept at a minimum in such areas, however, as the very territorial Garou are quick to burn out any such infestation in their homes. This Background differs from the vampires' Domain Background in a few respects, but the most important of them is that the Garou do not rule their hunting grounds. They protect and nurture the land. They might hunt for food within them, but they do not despoil them. The Garou are almost never the 'official' rulers of their hunting grounds. They are the caretakers, but they let the human nobility think that it rules the place while it passes laws regarding it and so on. The Silver Fangs and Shadow Lords are the only exceptions, and most of the time, even they don't formally rule over humans in their territory. Hunting Grounds is probably the best choice for an Anchor Background for A Background pool. Any people living within the hunting grounds might then be represented as Allies, Contacts or Kinfolk.
A single pack rarely, if ever, controls a caern, so a pack's hunting grounds probably won't contain one. If the pack manages to successfully perform the Rite of Caern Building (p. 147) and open a new caern, it will likely become the ruling body of the caern, but other members of their tribes will arrive in short order to help with the maintenance of the caern. Just as dots in Domain can be used to increase the area's size or security, a player (or troupe) may allocate dots of Hunting Grounds for any of the following: • Reduce the Gauntlet within the grounds by one (to a minimum of 4). • Make the area more amenable to human (and Garou) survival: Reduce the difficulty of Survival rolls by one. (This can be bought only three times.) • Make the beasts of the area more amenable to the Garou: Reduce the difficulty of Animal Ken rolls by one. (This can be bought only three times.) • Make the flora of the area more useful: Reduce the difficulty of rolls involving plants (including Medicine and Hearth Wisdom rolls to employ them for healing) by one. (This can be bought only three times.) • The troupe might also decide to increase the difficulties of the preceding rolls, in order to gain points toward their Hunting Grounds rating. For example, the Hunting Grounds might be located primarily in a rolling field that is almost completely devoid of healing or useful herbs. The troupe might decide to apply a +2 difficulty to any rolls to use these plants then add two points to the Hunting Grounds rating (which might then be applied to size or to a different modifier). Note that changes to the difficulty of Abilities apply throughout the hunting grounds, and they do not affect the difficulty of supernatural abilities within the area. Additionally, these modifiers cannot take a difficulty below 2 or above 9. Hunting Ground size: • An acre or so-space to run, perhaps a hiding place, but nothing to hunt except small game and that which is just passing through. • • A small wood, perhaps with a stream running through it. A few acres. • • • Several acres, with plenty of native wildlife. • • • • A broad swath of land. Dozens of acres. • • • • • A large and verdant wilderness, with a heart more than a day away from civilization.