Ultimate WoD‎ > ‎Venues‎ > ‎

Werewolf

The Premise

Before there was anything... well, there were three things: the Wyld, the Weaver, and the Wyrm. The Triat. From these three greatest spirits – respectively the forces of growth and change, of stability and form, and renewal and balance – sprung (and springs) everything. For unknown reasons, the Weaver went mad and wove a cocoon around the Wyrm, driving it mad as well and changing it into a force of corruption and decay. Entropy came into being, and the path to utter dissolution of the universe –  the Apocalypse – was set.

Gaia, greatest of the Incarnae and perhaps second only to the Triat in power, chose to defend herself. She created beings of half-spirit who would be able to protect her: the shapechanging Fera, the greatest of whom were the Garou – werewolves. Charged with the task of tending to their Mother and to the tribes of  pre-agrarian humans, the Garou defended and culled the human herds, maintaining their populations for so long that humans still retain their terror of that Impergium in genetic memory.

Some Garou lost sight of their real war against the Wyrm. They tried to dominate the other Fera and each other, and when the humans themselves were able to join this War of Rage, Gaia's champions realized things had gone too far. They reached a Concord: humans and Garou would live separately, and the werewolves would continue their battle out of sight of human society. They would still walk amongst them to reproduce – Garou blood is too potent for them to interbreed, so they have to dilute it by mating with wolves and humans – but they would otherwise keep to their purpose outside the bounds of civilization. And so they have.

One day in a moment of terrible trauma, the strange feelings you've felt for years come to a head: you Change. If you're lucky, another Garou shows up, stops the savage frenzy you're surely in, and tells you what you are and what you're for: saving the world. The Apocalypse is drawing near – the Red Star Anthelios is visible in the sky and "harbinger" is practically written on it – and the Garou need all the help they can get. Maybe there's no hope of winning this war, but there's you. Maybe you'll be enough.

A Good Idea

Read up on Werewolf: The Apocalypse, preferably the revised second edition. I've made some significant changes to Garou society and metaphysics, but the lore of the game is all there in black and white.

Traits

Breed

Werewolves come in three primary flavors: homids are born from a Garou and a human; lupus are whelped from a Garou and a wolf, and metis are the deformed offspring of two Garou. In UWoD: Werewolf, I focus only on homid Garou, though I've got ideas for the other breeds and I might bring them out one day.

Auspice

Your patron Luna probably has a role for you to play among the Garou (kind of like your Destiny). Depending on the phase of the moon under which you were born, you could be:
  • Ragabash New Moon.Sly tricksters and devil's advocates, Ragabash challenge accepted wisdom and attempt to instill a flexibility in Garou society.
  • Theurge Crescent Moon. Wise in the spirit ways, Theurges are ritemasters and Umbral guides, keeping their brethren connected to the spirit world.
  • Philodox Half Moon. Born in half light and half darkness, Philodox are the judges of the Garou, seeing both sides of an issue and making fair decisions.
  • Galliard Gibbous Moon. Galliards are song-singers and storytellers who remember Garou lore and keep alive the wisdom of their history.
  • Ahroun Full Moon. Ahroun are the warriors and and defenders of the Garou, leading his allies into the fray against the Wyrm.
It may be the case, however, that you have no Auspice at all. These Inauspicious are mistrusted by many and even shunned by some shortsighted tribes and septs (imposing a +2 difficulty penalty on all Social rolls with Garou outside their pack), but they're tolerated – their numbers are growing, and Mother Gaia needs all the Garou she can get.

Tribe

Wolves, like humans, are social animals, and the Garou are no different. There are nine remaining tribes in the Garou Nation, each carrying the banner of a powerful guiding totem spirit, and almost every living werewolf belongs to one. See Tribes for more information.

Gifts

Garou can channel their Rage into supernatural powers.  Expressions of their half-spirit nature, these spirit Gifts make the Garou even more formidable.

Instead of cherry-picking Gifts, you learn them in paths. Each path more or less correlates to the theme of a breed (Waxing Moon for lupus, Waning for homid, and Changing for metis) or an Auspice. All paths and the Gifts therein are learnable by any Garou of any Rank. Gifts of the same path as your Auspice cost 5 freebie points, while all other Gifts cost 7; if you're Inauspicious, all Gifts cost 6. See Gifts and Totems for more information.

Rage

The power of Luna's blessing, Rage is the Garou's reaction to the depredations of the Wyrm. Werewolves use their Rage to fuel all their supernatural abilities, both innate powers and Gifts.

At character creation, Rage begins at •••. Ratings represent a Garou's control over her Rage, not her quantity of it.

Forms

Werewolves have five forms between which they can shift. All but their Homid form grant them addition abilities in the form of trait alterations.
  • Homid Human form. Defined by your normal traits.
  • Glabro The near-man. You grow, gain something in the way of fur and extended nails, and look fearsome and menacing. +2 to Physical Attributes, -1 to Social Attributes.
  • Crinos The wolf-man. You're a huge snarling engine of death. In your war form, you have +4 on Physical Attributes and 0 on Social Attributes.
  • Hispo The near-wolf.  A gigantic quadrupedal dire wolf. +3 to Physical Attributes, 0 on Social Attributes, +1 to Perception, +3 to Speed, and +1 to bite damage.
  • Lupus Wolf form. +1 to Physical Attributes, 0 for Social Attributes, +2 to Perception, and X2 Speed.
Note that penalties to Social Attributes don't apply to wolves or other Garou, or to rolls involving intimidation.

Werewolves in Homid, Glabro, Crinos, and Hispo can speak the Garou Tongue, the innate language of the Garou, with little difficulty.

Health

You're tougher than the average person – you can soak lethal damage with your Stamina – but you've got to contend with aggravated damage. For werewolves, it comes from silver: any damage you take from a silver weapon is aggravated. Mark it in your Health as a star (*). Aggravated damage can't soaked or be healed with magic – it heals only naturally, at the same rate as lethal damage.

Experience

Here's the augmented Experience table.
TraitCost
New Ability4
New Gift8
New Merit3
AttributeCurrent Rating X 5
AbilityCurrent Rating X 3
GiftCurrent Rating X 7 (5 if Auspice path);  X 6 if you're Inauspicious
MeritCurrent Rating X 2
RageCurrent Rating X 6
HumanityCurrent Rating
WillpowerCurrent Rating

Being Garou

Rage

When you use your Rage, roll your rating as a dicepool. If you botch, you frenzy (see below). If you're carrying silver or the moon's current phase matches your Auspice, you make Rage rolls at +1 difficulty (+2 difficulty if both apply).

If your Rage is ever greater than your Humanity, the difficulty for all social interactions (even with other Garou) rises by the difference – Garou refer to this phenomenon as the Curse – and the difficulty of Humanity rolls increases by one. You also lose access to your Animal Attraction Merit, if you have it.

You roll Rage to use your supernatural abilities: shapeshifting, activating Gifts, healing yourself.

When you roll Rage to use a supernatural ability (but not to resist being provoked into frenzy), you may give up a speck of Humanity to lower the difficulty of the Rage roll by 1, to a minimum of 0. This represents a voluntary degeneration of your human side as you give in to your Garou nature.

Shifting

You can change forms at will – that is, you don't need a full moon in order to change – by making a Rage roll, the difficulty of which is the number of forms you move into or through, including your starting form. For example, changing from Glabro to Hispo is difficulty 3: one to start the change, one to shift through Chrinos, and one to complete the shift into Hispo. If you don't have enough successes, your shift only takes you as far as it can (e.g. rolling only two successes in the previous example would mean that you end up in Crinos).

You can also shift without rolling by spending a number of full turns equal to the shifting roll's difficulty (so the above Glabro-to-Hispo example would take three full turns).

Gifts

Silver on the screen

Storytellers who want a more magical, cinematic game may allow players to roll (Rage + Gift) when activating a Gift. This counts as a Rage roll.
Assuming no resistance, activating a Gift requires a Rage roll at difficulty equal to the Gift's rating (e.g. activating Waxing Moon ••• would be difficulty 3). If you don't score enough successes, you fail – you don't get to choose to activate a lower-level Gift just because you have the successes for it. See Gifts and Totems for more information.

Healing With Rage

Garou are tough to put down, thanks in part to their healing. Unless you're in your breed form, you regenerate a single bashing or lethal level of damage every turn; if you're engaged in strenuous or stressful activity (like combat), this requires a reflexive Rage roll. You can turn off your automatic regeneration if you want – you may not want to spontaneously heal in front of normal humans – but you may resume it at will (though doing so in combat probably requires that Rage roll).

Frenzy

You enter frenzy when you botch a Rage roll or are provoked by strong emotions – embarrassment or humiliation, confinement, helplessness, being taunted by an enemy, seeing a friend wounded – and fail a Willpower roll to resist. You can postpone a frenzy induced by a botched Rage roll until the beginning of the next scene by making a reflexive Willpower roll at the same difficulty as the Rage roll you failed or botched (or the number of 1s you rolled, whichever is greater). If you botch this Willpower roll, you enter the Thrall of the Wyrm.

With the Storyteller's help, decide whether you go into berserk frenzy or fox frenzy.  In berserk frenzy, you reflexively shift into Crinos or Hispo (your choice) and attack, though you won't attack your allies unless you're in the Thrall of the Wyrm. In fox frenzy, you reflexively shift to Lupus and run until you reach a safe hiding place, though you'll attack anything that gets in your way for as long as it continues to prevent your flight.

When in frenzy, your capability is limited to claws, bites, and running. You ignore wound penalties (including Incapacitated) until the frenzy subsides, but you can't take multiple actions, you can't make Rage rolls – it controls you – and executing special maneuvers or tactics is impossible.

Frenzy ends when the situation that triggered it (or the scene in which it was triggered) ends. After turns equal to your Rage, you may attempt to end your frenzy early with a Willpower roll, difficulty 3.

Thrall of the Wyrm

When you botch your Willpower roll to postpone frenzy, you enter a berserk frenzy and are said to be in the Thrall of the Wyrm. The frenzy follows normal tendencies with regards to attacks and duration but includes a special horror for each different breed of Garou, brought to you by the Triatic Wrym.
  • Eater-of-Souls forces homid Garou in Thrall to fall cannibalistically upon opponents she kills or incapacitates, feasting for a turn.
  • The Defiler Wyrm causes metis Garou in Thrall to spend a turn slaking unholy lust upon opponents she kills or incapacitates, regardless of their gender.
  • Beast-of-War compels lupus Garou in Thrall to spend a turn savaging opponents she kills or incapacitates, mercilessly rending the flesh of their bodies.

The Delirium

When humans see a werewolf in Crinos form, they flip out. Due to their genetic memories of the Impergium, they experience a primal fear that will usually cause them to cower and later forget their experience or rationalize it away. The human rolls Willpower, difficulty 5. Success indicates that they've mastered their fear and may react normally. Failing this roll causes the aforementioned cringing, amnesia, and rationalization. Botches can indicate panicked flight, catatonic fear, or (for terrible multiple-botches) derangement.

Kinfolk – the human siblings of Garou – are immune to the Delirium, as are spirits and the dead (like vampires and ghosts).
Comments