In general, Kinfolk are human beings or animals who have shapeshifter ancestry, but are not themselves shapeshifters. This entry deals specifically with Garou Kinfolk, who are humans and wolves that have Garou ancestry, but are not themselves werewolves.
Kinfolk are immune to the Delirium, highly resistant to the Curse, and even if they are consistently in the presence of Garou whose Rage is higher than their Willpower they do not slowly go insane. This does not mean they are immune to a Garou's Rage; they will still be able to feel it, and when a Garou's Rage is higher than their Willpower they may experience nervousness and (depending on the level of disparity between Rage and Willpower) even anxiety. This is not the blind, primal fear that humans feel when confronted with Rage, but rather is simply a standard reaction to an unsafe situation.
The relationship of kinfolk with Garou varies from Tribe to Tribe, with some treating Kin as near-equals, and others treating them as chattel property. Kinfolk are usually seen as belonging to one particular tribe, especially if they are of one of the purer lineages of the Garou, but their blood can also be mixed. As could be expected, this can result in questions of divided loyalty depending on the Tribes involved.
Many of the more traditional Tribes expect every Garou to follow the dictates of the Tribal elder, and also expect that kinfolk will do the same. The history of the Hidden Walk is rife with tales of tragedy when a kinfolk fell in love with a Garou outside his or her tribe.
Garou are dependent on kinfolk in that kinfolk can interact normally with human society. They can hold jobs, obtain a proper education, and generally provide a solid link to humanity that, without them, the Garou would lack. Kinfolk who are well-placed in human society and hold key positions such as in law enforcement, the military, judicial branches, or human leadership are especially well-regarded, and often cultivated as Allies, Contacts, and mates.
Kinfolk are highly prized as mates, since the offspring of such a liaison has a 1 in 10 chance of being Garou (the rest of the offspring will be kinfolk). Metis will not result from a Garou and kinfolk couple. Kinfolk are also able to take the Pure Breed background, meaning that their progeny can be blessed with a particularly pure bloodline.
Wolf Kinfolk Edit
Sept Rules Edit
The Sept of the Hidden Walk has several standing rules regarding kinfolk, most notably that they may only be punished by the Elder of their Tribe and that they are not allowed to carry silver weapons. How well enforced these rules are varies with from Tribe to Tribe and by the current Sept Alpha.
GarouMUSH has two house rules that depart from White Wolf canon:
- The offspring of a kinfolk with the Pure Breed background are not more likely to be Garou.
- Kinfolk are not allowed Gnosis, or to perform rites or use gifts. Sorry.