Shifter Behaviour Tutorial

Shifter Behaviour Tutorial

Establishing Dominance

Dominance Part One

It's a day, any day and they, the pard, are relaxing about. Nothing special. Maria is lounging about the couch.
Sofi arrives late to the day and moves into the room, glancing at the couch and moving to join Maria on it. She nudges at Maria's legs, demanding room.

That is telling Maria that Sofi thinks she is dominant. I can take your space and your seat. Maria either has to accept that, or tell Sofi that she is wrong about that.

Maria growls out, not moving her feet. And besides the growl Maria pays no other attention to Sofi, not even looking at her.

So that's Maria saying she's dominant and Sofi doesn't have a chance.

Sofi moves her feet, pushing at Maria's legs, issuing her own soft growl, giving hte other woman a steady stare.

The push says actually, I am. As does the returned growl and the stare.

Maria sighs out and finally relents, letting Sofi sit. However Maria changes her position and as soon as Sofi gets comfortable Maria lays her legs back on the woman.

Maria just told her that she is humouring the submissive but is dominant.

Sofi settles but glances at Maria, looking at the other's face and then dropping her gaze, leaving the legs where they are, and looking away.

The drop of the gaze submits.//

Dominance Part Two

It is a day, any day and the cats are relaxing. Maria lays on the couch comfortably.

Sofi arrives late to the day and moves into the room, glancing at the couch and moving to join Maria on it. She nudges at Maria's legs, demanding room.

This time, the dominance goes the other way - Sofi is dominant. Dominance extends to all parts of life - in the books raena had her wolves doing violent porn because she is dominant and they couldn't refuse until someone stronger protected them.

Maria growls low, unaccepting at first, but relents when she turns her gaze up to Sofi. The woman moving her legs and turning her position complete to accomdate the woman

Sofi meets that gaze steadily and then takes the space, spreading herself out to fill it comfortably. She reaches into her bag, drawing out a bag of

Several things there - Maria's gaze acknowledged Sofi's dominance, so she gave in. Sofi took the space and more than she needed to make her point. Then she ate first without sharing and then let Maria have some. Dominants get first choice of food.

Maria sniffs at the air, smelling the cookies. The sweet aroma playing over her tongue. Maria whimpers a little, to get Sofi's attention. And moves in her smaller space to invade Sofi's a little, though she doesn't touch the woman, waiting for acceptance of touch first.

Sofi glances at Maria, finishing her cookie before she leans casually into the other woman, reaching an arm around her to hug her before offering a cookie

That is an appeal for a cookie, for food but if Maria wanted protection, she would have touched Sofi first, and if Sofi touched her back, she is extending her protection.

Maria relaxes into the protective touch and takes the cookie gratefully. "Thank you," rubbing her cheek against the woman's shoulder to punctuate her words.

The cheek rub is a greeting that is more casual. Either between equals or just as a sign of affection. If Sofi pushed it, Maria would have to either lick her lower lip or bare her throat.

Dominance Part Three

It's a day, like any other day where a cat is annoyed at the rain. Maria sits on the only chair outside on the porch and watches the sky opening onto the field.

Louise comes out and gives Maria a steady look and a nudge to move her from the chair. "Are you cooking?" She makes the comment with her gaze steadily on the other's face.

Maria huffs out a bit not giving Louise any real acknowledgement, even turning in her chair so that her back is to the snowleopard. "No, I'm not hungry."

So she is rejecting your dominance. You need to either push, and make it clear, or accept hers.

Louise growls low and gives a little shove both with her hand and her energy "Well I am. Now get.

An outright demand for dominance.

Maria felt that shove at her shoulder and looked back over for just a moment. "Well I don't care." She slinks up out of the chair and moves towards the other end of the porch, away from the door.

At this point either Louise has to accept that, or force her dominance and end with a physical fight.

Dominance Part Four

Sitting in the cottage, Sofi is settled on the couch, eating popcorn, her legs up on the seats.

Maria moves into the room, looking for somewhere to sit. She waves a hand for Sofi to move her feet so that Maria can sit.

There is a nice dominance demand. Maria is assuming she can order Sofi to move. Either Sofi moves and is submissive, or she challenges that assumed dominance.

First submissive then dominant response.

Sofi looks up, moving her legs to the side to allow the other to sit, offering her the bowl of popcorn.
Sofi looks up, lifting an eyebrow and returning the look steadily before she begins to eat her popcorn.

Going with the submissive response

Maria sits down in the available spot, raising her hand to ward off the popcorn with a shake of her head. The hand then moves further to stroke at Sofi's hair.

Going with the dominant response.
Maria sits down in the available sit, pushing into Sofi's comfort zone to leave extra space where it's not needed. Maria takes the bowl of popcorn for herself and leans up against Sofi.

This is an aggressive Dominate. Perhaps Sofi isn't trusted or the line between Dom and Sub has to be strengthened.

Maria moves into a room seeing Sofi. She moves to the girl and places a protective hand upon her shoulder.

That can either be Maria offering protection, or being just outright nice

Maria 's body shrinks back a little a the pointed glare and growl. She pushed too far and the girl takes a seat on the floor instead, nosing her face up under Sofi's hand in apology.

Maria lets out a growl of her own and sits right now on top of Sofi's legs.

//So is moving feet to allow another to sit common courtesy, not a dominance challenge? Can you move your feet without admitting dominance? Can you ask for someone to move their feet, or for some of their popcorn without being dominant?"

The answer is: It depends. Who are you dealing with? What are the circumstances? But the main difference is that you could be asking for popcorn or space, where as a dominant making a point is demanding it.


Lina the new wolf in town comes to make her presence known to the Ulfric. She arrives at his domain.

George gives Lina a steady look, weight in his gaze as he takes her in and his power flexes, warm and controlled. He waits in silence, his eyes on her face.

George is waiting for her to greet him. He is Ulfric, a position worthy of respect, and dominant to all wolves in the area, so he expects a submissive greeting.

Maria licks her lips unsteadily, carefully coming closer to him. She knows that he's the Ulfric and she doesn't want to cross him. She moves closer and kneels down, pressing her cheek to his thigh.

That is a very submissive greeting.

John the wolf, who is a strong man, greets his Ulfric. He stands tall as he moves to George and offers him a handshake, since they are out in public. However this handshake is closer than normal, space invading for a normal human and John's head is tilted to offer his neck.

He is submitting but not weakly and he is making it discreet.

Greeting a Stranger

Maria enters a room and sees a cat that she's never seen before. The woman sniffs at the air and brushes her power up against the Leopard to feel her out.

Here she's trying to determine what type of animal the unknown is and sensing her power level.

The cat flexes her power in reply as she stands, tilting her head and giving Maria a considering look, her eyes steady on the other woman's face.

A not submissive greeting - testing the waters. Here it would depend on power between the two, and one would likely step down. This can go a couple ways, and it's dependant on your character personality. You can keep it at the unknown, you can try to assert dominance…so forth.

Maria notes that they are nearly equal in power, but inwardly Maria knows that power isn't all that matters. She sniffs the air again and cautiously moves forward. The woman presses up her cheek against the woman's a quick and brisk rub then pulls back.

Equal and they will spend some time working out who is dominant with little things. This is untrusting, not submitting, not Dominating but showing that Maria isn't submissive either. And therein lies the difference - with this pair, who gets the coffee, moves their legs from the seat and so on - that would matter.

The new cat looks away from Maria's face, smirking.

Maria takes that as a submissive gesture but she sees the smile. Maria might, since the neck is exposed, attempt to bite the other female to show her ill tolerance and distrust.

//That would likely start a fight however and the smirk made distrust almost inevitable.

Faking Submission

You can fake submission, if perhaps you want to be underestimated. But it does mean accepting dominance even if you are faking it. You can gain trust that way, oe gain the ear of a superior. But if you're FAKING, then you better be ready to accept the dominance as well. Also, if you're new to an area, you might fake submission you don't really feel because you're the new guy.

Acceptance of Greetings

Accepting a greeting varies. If its an equal one, you return the brush of the cheek. A nod accepts a greeting from a submissive or if you don't trust them, you bite the neck they offer. Acceptance of a Dominant to a Submissive usually infers touch. The submissive always offers the greeting, the dominant accepts. So Kevin offers up, George accepts. Refusing to offer greeting is a challenge of that authority.

Not offering a greeting is one way to start challenging your way up the ranks. If the Dom doesn't accept the submissive's greeting, It's another sign of distrust.

Not moving your legs when the next person up the hierarchy wants to sit down is a challenge. Looking them in the eye, too. Demanding something. And then they either try and put you in your place, or accept that you've taken their place.

What about when you enter a room and there are already several shifters present? What would be an acceptable range of greetings without moving through the whole room?

If it's public meeting and they are ALL shifters, and they are ALL above you, you can simply bow, lower yourself. If things are feeling formal and tense, greeting people might be a plan. If everyone's lounging around, you can get away with doing less.

If its a formal meeting, you greet and you do it properly and in order, from the top down.

Petition for Protection

Maria is scared, there are tons of unknown shifters around. She trembles a little and looks around with wide eyes. One hand moves to grip at her Alpha or Ulfric or Raj or Better (higher int he pecking order)

To petition, you touch a dominant. If they return your touch in an obvious way, you have their protection. Coming with protection is acceptance that they are dominant to you, basically saying that you can't protect yourself.

George the Alpha glances at Maria, lightly dropping an arm around her shoulders, a casual movement as he talks to his friend.

There, he gave her protection in a way that works in a public place.

A big brute of a wolf comes to flip up Maria's hair in an aggressively wanting manner.
Maria shys back into George's arms.
George moves her behind him, stepping up to the wolf, giving him a heavy stare.

She was given protection, therefore he must now protect her. However, george can abuse her himself because she is now his. A whole animal group can come under the protection of another - for example if Forest asked George for help against a new pard moving into town, that would make pard submissive to the pack. So it works on a scale from individual right up to group.

Maria is scared, there are all types of shifters around that she doesn't know in this new place. Some are leering at her suggestively. She reaches up to grip George's arm.
George glances at her, turning away to speak to his friend, ignoring the wolf.

Petition denied, she is on her own.

Maria is taken!

What it means if someone doesn't petition for aid, but gets it anyway. Is that a more neutral interaction?

If you offer aid without being asked, its an assumption that the person getting the aid can't cope. You are saying they are weaker and need it. If they accept, they are submissive. If they don't agree and you continue anyway, it can be seen as an insult.

What about protection within a group?

Protection within a group works until the person who is protecting you faces someone bigger and tougher. Say, that Kevin offers protection to Jane after she asks for it. He cannot protect her from George, because George is a bigger, badder wolf than him and his Ulfric.

To offer protection against George, kevin would have to challenge him.


George moves out of his office, his energy biting across the skin of those in the room, as his gaze seeks out the young wolf. His gaze rests on them and he stares, waiting

Clearly angry. No violence.

Maria sees the look and huffs out, rolling her eyes and turning away from the Ulfric.
Obvious, flat out dismissal.

Maria sees the look that the Ulfric is giving her and she looks frightened. What did she do wrong. Immediately she moves over to offer her neck, even opening up her arms to bare her belly, even though she doesn't know what she did wrong. "Please explain…"


Maria lowers her gaze, moving to the pissed off Ulfric. She rolls over on her belly and offers him everything. She might even lick his hand, his shoe, but damn if she isn't going to show him every submissive fiber in her body to get him to accept the apology.

Basically an apology is showing that you're submissive to the pissed off person. It can be as little or as big as you feel…just remember that the other player's reactions will be based on that.

Written by Grace & Robert

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