Ephemera [Werewolf: The Forsaken]

Open Development, Werewolf: The Forsaken

Like the finest werewolves hunting Black Friday discounts, you get two for the price of one this week. I’ve got answers to questions from last time, but I’ve also got something to ask you.

Let’s do the last thing first. As some of you may know, much of the First Tongue in Werewolf: The Forsaken has an actual linguistic derivation: we take words that get the sense across in Sumerian, run them backwards through Grimm’s Law a couple of times to get what might be “proto-Sumerian”, and bam! That’s your First Tongue. It lends itself well to guttural, short words that sound like the kind of things that werewolves might say in their own tongue, while having a connection to a kind of pre-symbolic language. Ethan Skemp explained it better, along with some of the exceptions.

One of the exceptions is spirit names: “Descant”, “Gaffling”, “Jaggling”, “Incarna”, “Chiminage”, and “Celestine” aren’t in use anywhere else in the World of Darkness. “Choir” and “Mote” are English words used for some spirits as well. As a mix of fictional and English terms they don’t really fit as First Tongue, but as they’re not used in other games we can’t claim that they’re a general set of names.

Travis Stout came up with some potential replacement names:

Old New
Mote Muthrum/Muthra
Lesser Gaffling Hursih/Hursihim
Greater Gaffling Hursah/Hursahim
Lesser Jaggling Ensih/Ensihim
Greater Jaggling Ensah/Ensahim
Incarna Dihir/Dihim
Celestine Ilusah/Ilusahim
Chiminage Gathra
Choir Umia
Descant Ilthum


We could replace the spirit terms in the second edition. That would give us what are (to me) more evocative and more First Tongue-sounding names for various spirit terms. That does however break some backwards compatibility, as first edition books use the old terms. If we decide to use the new terms, then we’d need a sidebar translating them.

As I can see benefits to both arguments, I wanted to open it up to you, the players and fans, to decide which we go with. Click either one of the options in the poll below to vote.

The poll is now closed. While you can still vote, the results are in, and we will use the First Tongue terms in Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition. Thanks for participating!

New Terms or Old

I will be checking the results at 5pm GMT on the 6th of December. That’s this Saturday, noon EST. Please vote before then. I can’t hold off much later, as I want to get the text of the book over to layout so that you can get your hands on it.

Please remember to vote using the above poll widget. I will not track answers in the comments or on forums as I’m trying to spread this as wide as possible.

Now that you’ve voted, let’s get to the questions!220px-Boyz_n_the_hood_poster

First, a follow-up to one from last week that I didn’t get the right sense of.

Uratha are to Luna
[blank] are to Helios.

Helios doesn’t have anything quite like the Uratha that we’ve detailed. We’ll get to that, though. It won’t have its own shapeshifters, but something more appropriate for the god of the sun.

if you had to pick two words to sum up the Idigam Chronicle (like Blood & Smoke) what would they be?

The defining words of this edition are “the wolf must hunt”, but to boil it down to just two words? “Hunter & Hunted”. Our werewolves are both, no matter how much they may want to think they’re just the former.

I wish lupus could be an option in nWoD. I wanna play an animal that becomes human and is enthralled by technology. But at the same time I don’t wanna be ~weird~ and be the only lupus in the world.

I know this isn’t exactly a question, but I did want to cover this: the Werewolf Translation Gude provides systems and options for taking features of Werewolf: The Apocalypse and using them in Werewolf: The Forsaken (or vice versa). I can recommend that book (though I should note that I wrote it; I also posted some expanded material over on my blog which I will bring across here when I’ve got time). Though I make no promises, I might be able to update some parts here on the blog if people are interested.

Actually, to hell with it. Let’s update the Urhanu (Forsaken’s version of Lupus) from the Translation Guide right now.

An Urhanu cannot choose Mental Skills to be primary at character creation. Worse, any time an Urhanu character attempts an action that relies on a Mental Skill in which she has no dots, her roll is automatically reduced to a chance die even if she spends Willpower on the roll. This lack of book learning doesn’t affect rolls to activate Gifts or rites. On the positive side, Urhanu start with Harmony 6. They’re also able to focus on breaching the Gauntlet to the exclusion of pretty much anything else; when Reaching treat the Gauntlet strength as one step lower (so a small town uses the Gauntlet strength of the wilderness). Urhanu can spend a point of Essence to Reach into the Shadow when not at a Locus. She can extend this facility to other packmates but must spend an additional point of Essence per packmate.

What are your main literary sources of inspiration for Werewolf: the Forsaken?

Outside of werewolf-specific media, I think the biggest sources of inspiration are Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, The Shield, Queen and Country, and Boyz n the Hood.

About Protectorates: Do I get it right that they are werewolves analog to the vampires Domain or mages Consilium? I understood they are more loosely defined and don’t have proper “ruling group”? But are there chosen something like Alpha Pack in Protectorate? Also, could it be few Protectorates in very large metropolis, like for example New York, and each one of 2–3 Protectorates works mostly like Mafia family, competing with others? Do Pure have they analog struture, or all about their Tribe cults?

In order: They’re that sort of level, but nowhere near as ubiquitous (many areas don’t have them) and not organized the same. Yes. Some choose to work that way, others have representatives of each pack, others remain strictly informal without anyone “in charge”. Yes, the image of competing Mafia families is a really good image for competing Protectorates. The Pure have Confederacies, but we don’t go into them in the book.

Would you consider Max Roman’s dream a big Protectorate, or something more?

Max Roman’s dream would be a large Protectorate, yes.

Also, I still not like the term “Tribe” for the Y-social splats. It’s the last big holdover from Apocalypse, and I know there’s very little chance of seeing it going away, yet I still hope for a less confusing denomination. “Traditions” (as in ‘shamanic traditions’), “Great Lodges” (for that’s what they are, right?), “Brotherhood/Sisterhood”, “Choirs”, “Allegiances”, “Hunting Societies” (like ‘Medicine Societies, but with hunting), all of them are more suitable alternatives, IMO. Heck, even “Club” would do the trick!

Have you considered doing a poll regarding the permanence of this particular term in the game line?

No. I don’t believe that “tribe” is an inappropriate term for what the tribes are, I don’t believe it’s in any way a “holdover”. Our tribes are remaining tribes.

Will here still be Milestone Gifts ?

Not in the core book. I think that we do have some design space for them, so they may show up later.

Will there be a mechanical risk/reward for eating outside of your “station?” I mean, Demons got Pacting, Vampires, Diablerie, and I’m sure Prometheans will get revised Lacunae rules, and Mages may 200px-Homicidecoverget likewise, but what about Uratha?

No. Unlike the Hosts, werewolves don’t steal power from one another. They can get plenty of Essence by eating humans or wolves (enjoy your breaking points!) but cannot gain Primal Urge from eating other werewolves. Successfully hunting a more powerful pack of Uratha is a very good excuse for Renown awards, which have their own benefits.

Are [the Pure] still portrayed in the “we won’t stop until every Forsaken is dead” type of light, or have they been changed to be more in line of an opposing viewpoint that can be violent like all such Werewolves, yet occasionally open to peaceful(ish) dealings?

That very much depends on the Pure. The general portrayal is closer to that in The Pure, but some of the Hunting Grounds tell a different story.

The iconic or signature characters. Could we see one? Are they new? Are they old characters? Moriarty from 1e was verging on becoming a Bale Hound in his last piece of fiction. Or did Idigam Chronicles skip them? I’ve always found that characters like that tend to go a long way towards making a game presentable to people new to the game.

We haven’t included any of the existing characters as of this book. If the previous writers want to bring their own choices back in future books then I’m not about to stop them (just try to stop me using Steel Trap Mind), and I’m working out some more signature characters to go with the depictions in the book.

Also, in terms of antagonists, what does the book make available for us? Obviously some things have to be left out due to space and you’ve already told us things like the Bale Hounds should be in another book. But do the shartha get a write-up? I figure the claimed and ridden do, and the idigam of course.

We have specific antagonist write-ups of each of the tribes’ specific prey: the three Pure Tribes, antagonistic spirits, the shartha (just Azlu and Beshilu for now), humans and human institutions, and the Ridden (Urged and Claimed). We also have a large chunk on the idigam.

What???!!! No more unihar???!!!

What lead to that call? They were some of my favorite, nastiest villains to utilize. I also really loved how the social dynamic worked with packs and their wolf-blooded families, especially if it was strained by an in-pack romance that was doubly forbidden.

Was this done to re-emphasize the importance of the pack? Was it done to allow players that are couples to have characters that are couples?

They have some really unfortunate implications that we want to move away from — penalising sex with the “wrong” people, casting Wolf-Blooded as breeding stock, punishing female characters far more than male, and a whole mess of problems around their impact on people who have lost pregnancies. I want to stress that nobody on the original design team intended any of this, but a we’re older and wiser we decided to drop a highly problematic element of the game.

Ultimately, we removed Unihar because removing them removes a bunch of unintential messages that people found very off-putting. They won’t be coming back.

Have elements been implemented to keep Uratha social with humans outside of their pack (besides just the occasional NPC Wolf-blood or enemy)?

Less so outside the pack — human members of the pack are the way that most werewolves interpret Uratha Safal Thil Lu’u. And, y’know, you do have to deal with humans in general. Human and Wolf-Blooded packmates aren’t part of the Siskur-Dah, so you shouldn’t be using them when gathering information for the hunt.

Odd secondary question: what do Uratha believe happens to them when they die?

Depends on the werewolf. We haven’t said anything specific on that front, and we’re not going to. Are ancestor-spirits actual dead werewolves or the impression of legendary werewolves created from story and myth? Are the souls that an idigam can mix and match the same as human souls, or are they something else? Right now, we’d rather leave these as questions that the characters don’t know.

In the 1st edition, there is reference to Uratha needing to vent their rage every so often to keep from losing control, but I’m not aware of any mechanics that enforce that. With the coming changes to Death Rage, are there any rules that enforce their need to normal – rage every so often?

They don’t need to unleash their Rage per se, but depending on Primal Urge a werewolf has to engage in the Siskur-Dah more often.

How can humans take part in Hunts, with the Integrity rules? They would seem to ruin Hunts by becoming Shaken or Spooked, and soon degenerate into mindlessness.

Generally, they don’t. Human packmates don’t know about the hunt, and don’t take part in the Siskur-Dah. Humans cement a pack in the community — could be a street gang, could be the local Rotary Club. Wolf-Blooded tend to the pack when the Uratha are away, and help deal with spirits and the hunting ground. Only the Uratha hunt.

Of course, sometimes humans and Wolf-Blooded decide to take up the hunt themselves. That works about as well as you’d expect. They have no benefits

Well my next question its about the “alphas”, how urathas decide the alphas in second edition?

What os the benneficts to be a alpha? Any merits related to make the job more viable?

In first edition my last alpha player asserted its status roleplaying and with dominance gifts its feels the same way now? Be a alpha after harmony at all?

It all depends. Some packs have alphas, while others have more fluid structures. The idea of alpha/beta/omega is based on how wolves act in captivity, not the wild, so we’re moving away from it. Some packs have an alpha who is a bully (or an abusive parent), some have a dominant leader, some make all their decisions with all of the Uratha in the pack, and others work off each packmate’s instincts as to what the pack should do next.

What’s the highest spirit rank a werewolf can come, rules as written? Is it an honorary spirit rank, or ‘just’ an honest spirit rank from the spirit-half of their soul?

Werewolves don’t get “free” Rank, no matter how much a spirit may like them. With enough Renown, a werewolf acts as a Rank 5 spirit (whatever we end up calling them), including her natural weapons being a Bane of spirits two or more Ranks lower.

Something I’m curious about: how often can a werewolf be triggered into death frenzy? It seems like if your harmony is out of balance, you can wind up permanently frenzied all night every night for three or four nights in a row, depending on your auspice. I’m just really curious how a pervasive trigger like that interacts with your normal frenzy duration based on primal urge

Death Rage has no inherent limits on how often it can occur. The results of Death Rage will often trigger Breaking Points towards spirit, pushing more human werewolves towards a rarer Kuruth trigger. If she’s determined to maintain an extreme of Harmony (the passive triggers only hit at Harmony 10 or 0), then she falls into Death Rage as often as she encounters the trigger.

So one thing I’d like elucidated upon is how the new harmony system will actually work in practice. I know that touchstones will be involved somehow and that you can sin in either direction, but I’m a little concerned about it mechanically. I think my friend put it best when he jovially suggested that murdering a bunch of Pure with silver would be fine as long as he ate a baby afterward.

From what I’ve read so far, that might not be entirely inaccurate. I have no doubts it will produce a cornucopia of amusement and horror, but what other system(s) are in place to curb that kind of behavior?

Well… your friend isn’t entirely wrong. One breaks towards Flesh, the other breaks towards Spirit. On the other hand, you only move Harmony if you fail the breaking point roll. So if you’re more spirit than flesh and you use a silver weapon, you move towards balance only if you feel the imbalance in your soul. Likewise, if you go out to eat the flesh of a human being just because your Harmony’s too high, hope you fail.

The thing to remember is, Harmony measures your spiritual balance. It does not judge your actions. Other people (including your packmates and other werewolves) will judge you. You might feel more balanced for it, but many acts that cause a breaking point are violations of the Oath of the Moon. Even if your pack don’t give a toss, other werewolves will.

What kind of open design space is there for home brew content? By that, I mean, Vampire has devotions, where you can figure out unique powers from combining disciplines, demons have gadgets, it’s one of the really cool things I’ve liked from 2nd edition content so far that there are very useful guidelines for making your own cool powers. Gifts don’t seem to be very conducive to homebrew, because you have to come up with a whole gift wholecloth, rather than a single distinct power. Do you have any space in the template for distinct powers with useful examples that would help players make their own?

Rites exist for players to make their own, with much more flexibility and guidelines on making things tailored to your group than before. Fetishes likewise offer plenty of options for customization. Gifts maybe less so, but I know Chris Allen has shared his thinking on the topic several times (and it’s a lot more in-depth than my old “have a cup of tea and a fag and a look out of the window” method).

This week’s soundtrack comes from The Runaways, recently re-popularized by the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. I’ll do another round of Q&A from the comments (or the forums), but I really need you to vote in the poll above before you do.

  51 comments for “Ephemera [Werewolf: The Forsaken]

  1. Chris Shaffer
    December 2, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Just for the record, while I voted for using the new terms, I’d be cool with a couple of protectorates using the 1e terms for some reason or another. Maybe it could be a weird Lodge thing.

    And regarding humans and packs, if I could offer an example for folks who might have trouble grasping that… For those who don’t know, I’m the same ‘Chris Shaffer’ who wrote the story “Legacy” in the Idigam Chronicle Anthology. One of the things that got sacrificed to the Dihir of Word Count was a more detailed version of how the Wrong Alley pack works. (For those who haven’t read the story, the pack is mostly Iron Masters and runs a bar in a city’s clubbing district.)

    As has been presented before in the blogs, packs operate in three not-quite-tiers: You’ve got your Uratha, your Wolf-Blooded, and your humans.

    So in the Wrong Alley, at the top you have the five werewolves who run the club. Their leader pretty much owns it on paper, and the others are her business partners and take turns in the management position (though the pack’s Rahu spends more time bouncing than managing).

    Then you’ve got the Wolf-Blooded. In this particular case, a pair of Wolf-Blooded siblings who are in the know. One’s a bouncer and the other’s a bartender. They know what’s going on, they’re familiar with the Uratha, they understand what everything means. The bouncer is engaged to the boss, incidentally.

    And then there are the human members of the pack, aka ‘the other employees.’ Basically, the other bartenders and bouncers — at least, anyone who lasts more than a few months without being fired or driven away by weirdness. These folks are completely mundane humans. They know nothing of werewolves or spirits or the Hunt. They’re exposed to a handful of little pack-oriented rituals and such (initiations, for instance), but said rituals are low-key enough that the human employees write it off as eccentric superstitions that in the end aren’t any weirder than those warm-up meetings at Walmart with the dancing and the chanting. But for all intents and purposes they’re part of the pack, at least as much as a mundane human can be.

    Would you say that’s about right, Stew? (And if so, feel free to swipe it and repost it later as an example and an excuse to plug the Anthology. 😉 )

  2. Bunyip
    December 2, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Great idea for changing the names (I voted ‘yes’). If you’re looking for signature characters, I’ve a few suggestions from the Hunting Grounds and Idigam Anthology 😉

  3. AnaMizuki
    December 2, 2014 at 7:58 am

    First of all, thank you for updating Urhanu to GMC rules. Even though I’d prolly never get to use them, its still cool ^^

    As for the Unihar, they were a pretty clear carry over from metis in WtA to me. Only, Forsaken society isn’t garou society, and unihars never got the chance to grow up like metis. That, and the points you raised, WBs treated like kinfolk is rather bothersome to me.

    But, yeah, to me its good that Forsaken is moving away from it. Gives it more difference to WtA in a good way ^^

  4. Dave Brookshaw
    December 2, 2014 at 8:05 am

    About the spirit rank names – Travis discussed this with me as well, and my feeling is that if Forsaken switches entirely to First Tongue, then Awakening will probably switch entirely to the then-vacated “Gaffling”, “Jaggling”, “Celestine”, etc. *No one* uses the Mage-specific Rank titles (Baron, Knight, etc) and we can just drop them entirely.

    • B
      December 2, 2014 at 8:54 am

      I like the new names. I think you should use them and just have a little translation sidebar. I also immediately thought that the old names sounded more like Mage terminology.

    • Felipe
      December 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I think it’s a pretty good idea

    • Stew
      December 2, 2014 at 10:04 am

      That’d work for me; if people are cool with Forsaken moving to First Tongue then the other terms are all yours.

      • IanW
        December 2, 2014 at 10:31 am

        All these terms are yours except Europa.

        • NateD
          December 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm


        • Yossarian
          December 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

          My God—it’s full of spirits!

    • Thorbes
      December 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Sounds like a good idea. You probably should mention it in the next Mage blog post just in case so everybody knows too.

  5. Beard
    December 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I dunno I find the new first tongue incredibly difficult to remember or use, to the point where it took away from my desire to run or play Forsaken, but clearly I’m outvoted.

    Kind of worried about the increased focus on cannibalism, mostly because I’m not a fan of 2E’s “you need to suffer major breaking points just to function.” philosophy.

    That said, really into your non-werewolf inspirations because I’m super into WtF’s “werewolves=spirit cops” take and I was worried we were losing some of that in 2E. Digging protectorates too.

    • December 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

      “I’m not a fan of 2E’s “you need to suffer major breaking points just to function.””

      Could you expand on that?

      • Beard
        December 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm


        It seems to me like there is a definite push in the way breaking points work to get players down to about a 5-4 level instead of a 7-6 that was normal for relatively sane, moral parties. Admittedly I have more experience with Humanity than Integrity but let me look up what I mean.

        Humanity 7: Surviving something that would hospitalize a human, Injuring someone over blood (So basically any feeding if we’re being strict here.)
        Humanity 6: Experiencing any extreme physical trauma. (Just about any serious fight scene.)
        Humanity 5: Joining a covenant to the point of gaining status for it.

        Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except maybe for “roll to degenerate every time you feed” at Humanity 7, something you’re encouraged to play out often. As a GM I feel like even though these are suggestions, the act of regaining your basic power mechanic is penalized, which means my PCs degenerate at a faster pace than I’ve planned, and for less dramatic reasons than I’d prefer. Its a gameplay style issue, and 90% of the time it is as simple as, “Okay I’m going to play the game this way instead.”

        My worry with Werewolf’s primary Essence regaining mechanic being “eating a person” is that its hard to wave that away as something that’s not worth a degeneration roll-similar to how Mage has a lot of Wisdom hits for just casting spells or functioning in a typical session. Now I don’t know how low down on the Harmony chart it is, or really the mechanics of how you guys are changing Harmony, it just feels like something I prefer to have control of as a GM is now in the hands of a system.

        To put it another way, I’m not saying, “The new 2E direction is bad and you should all feel ashamed!” or anything, it’s just a reflexive “eeeh” about mechanics I admittedly do not have access to yet. Its not like I can’t Rule 0 stuff to fit my playstyle, but this is an open dev post and all.

        On a positive note, I really do like how, feel wise, you guys are trying to make the Uratha feel more like mythological werewolves while not losing the cool garou-people innovations from the gameline. Which, yeah, includes eating people so I guess I’m a bit of a hypocrite there.

        • Stew
          December 2, 2014 at 4:39 pm

          The primary Essence regenerating mechanics are “hunting spirits in a ritual” and “seeing auspice moon in the sky”; we’re assuming you’re not blowing through lots of Essence each and every day. The cannibalism aspect is one that’s there because it’s easy, not because it’s good. I’m trying to put it in a bit more focus because it never ever came up in any of the Forsaken games I ran or talked to other players about, it was always this great “only an idiot would do that” stigma attached to it.

          Which, when you think about fictional werewolves, doesn’t really gel.

          Instead, eating people (or wolves) is what happens when you haven’t planned, you’re almost out of Essence and something’s going to kill you soon. You don’t have time for a rite, you sucked the Essence out of your last fetish three hours ago, It’s a position of understandable desperation.

          Harmony now isn’t really comparable with Humanity or Wisdom or any of the integrity/morality traits in 1e or 2e because we’re balancing around 5. If you don’t mind, I’ll boil that down into an answer in the next blog post.

          • Andrew Thomas
            December 2, 2014 at 11:34 pm

            While you kind of answered my question in this post, this comment is more where I was going with that question (the Diablerie question). I guess what I was really asking was, in the spirit hunt ritual, will the kind of spirit you hunt have an effect on your character, beyond the Essence gain, like Breaking points if the spirit is out of line with the Uratha’s role in the spirit ecology (i.e.: hunting wolf spirits, appropriate prey spirits, or spirits related to the hunt vs. choosing more convenient or unusual spirits, like knocking over the local Pain or Addiction Spirit that’s throwing off the Resonance of the Protectorate’s territory, or hunting a Lust spirit for the challenge)?

          • Beard
            December 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm

            Yeah, thematically I get that. You want werewolves to feel like mythical werewolves and that’s awesome. I was just worried that cannibalism was going to be the main thing instead of a nice, juicy temptation. That I am absolutely fine with.

            I appreciate the answer! I was just grumbling, I didn’t expect you guys to reply, thanks for your time.

        • Eolirin
          December 2, 2014 at 5:06 pm

          I think part of the disconnect is that none of the devs seem to view sliding down the relevant Integrity stat to be in any way a penalty (I’d say rightfully so too). And that the gap between 7 and 6 isn’t meant to be so big as to require a big meaningful change. The scale is tuned toward a more gradual slide downward rather than these big jumps, though there are kind of thresholds for some of them. Being above 3-4 Humanity is very different than being below it, but there’s not that huge of a difference from 7 to 5.

          • Jaerys
            December 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

            To be fair, the drop from Humanity 7 to 5 (or even 6) also activates the Clan Bane.

  6. Pamela
    December 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Thank you for officially removing the Unihar. For all the reasons you already stated. In my own games I had already been ignoring it anyway but it’s nice to see it be official too.

  7. Full Time GM
    December 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    My players never really leanred the old spirit names anyway, bring on the new ones.

  8. blackheartz
    December 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the new set of answers mr Wilson. I agree that the new names feel more appropriate and in-line with the rest of the Werewolf terminology.

    What are the chances of seeing the first version of the pdf mid holidays? Nothing better than a Christmas Uratha tale.

  9. wyrdhamster
    December 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    My question is this: Do the ancestor-spirits finally become something more like “we summon an idolized Fury of Black Paws Uratha, your grandfather” than “those are demonic skeletons that symbolize your whole bloodline”? In other words – can Ancestors-Spirits be more like “werewolves ghosts” than weird beings not having largely connection to the Uratha family members?

    Glad I got proper handle on Protectorates and you asses mine questions. 🙂

    Great for new Spirit Rank titles, even if I do not get well with First Tounge. But I’m a bit torn on taking old terms as for Mage – will ponder on it before Dave B will put a poll for 2ed Awakening.

    I love Urhanu! <3 Finally I can from some time to time break typical characters with werewolf that was a wolf whole his life. Cheers for the Devs Team! 🙂

  10. Matt
    December 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I like the new names. Actually, I’m generally in favor of anything that further separates nWoD Werewolf from the old. I just feel like a lot of the terminology was borrowed from the old so as to feel familiar and therefore, more likely to resonate with fans of the old lines. I don’t mean that as a condemnation of the writers and developers of nWoD. I own and enjoy all of the nWoD lines. But, Stew, if you were doing this thing from scratch, would you call the Storm Lords the Storm Lords or the Blood Talons the Blood Talons?

  11. Christian A
    December 2, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Using too many First Tongue terms is a bad idea in my personal opinion. The accessibility of the game takes a hit, which isn’t really what we want.

    • Stew
      December 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Is “Jaggling” really more accessible than “Ensih” to people who haven’t played before?

      I’m looking at accessibility from a new-player point of view here, not someone coming in from cWoD.

      • amaterasu
        December 3, 2014 at 4:16 am

        Having played and run games in WTA, WTF, WOD, and such for years; I don’t even use “gaffling” and “jaggling” and never understood why there were multiple terms for the same thing. I just use spirit. Spirit summoning, call spirit, bind spirit, “look out, it’s a spirit!”

        Some people will use the terms, some will just use the generic English words. I think WtF should be unified and use similar First Tongue words for things if it’s not a basic English word, such as the spirit list examples (why *would* they use gaffling or jaggling if there’s a first tongue word for these things?)

      • Beard
        December 3, 2014 at 12:17 pm

        For me at least, its easier to remember. It sticks in my head more, while I seem to have a linguistic disconnect with the Sumerian roots you used for First Tongue. Not sure why, but the stuff just falls out of my head like water.

  12. Red 9
    December 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I’m still concerned that the only way to realign yourself is to essentially to balance your sins rather than seek any kind of actual internal harmony.

    Since Harmony has been taken off the same rail as other integrity/humanity systems, the only thing keeping peeps in check are survival and the social framework provided by the Oath.

    I predict this is going to produce a lot of goofy behavior from players.

    • Handriel
      December 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      I 100% agree with your statement and its one of the main concerns that I have as well.

  13. crawlkill
    December 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I know at least one online game got rid of Unihar (well, Metis) a long while ago because werewolves were fucking in private rooms and just denying it in a kind of out of character-ish way, so it only punished the honest people, which seemed backward. some of the other nasty implications I hadn’t even considered.

    broadly, I’m not all about the monstersex, but I think it’s a lot more sensible to say “people are doing it anyway, let’s evaluate whether it serves a purpose.” vampires boning is super gross, but since people want their vampiresex, there’s not much point to insisting vampires aren’t into sex like back in Masquerade.

    even if I did always think the idea of a cramped, desiccated and uncomfortable corpse leaking blood from every orifice in an attempt to simulate excitement and stimulate a partner was wonderfully hideous. oh, Masquerade.

    • AtlanteanSteel
      December 4, 2014 at 1:54 am

      Yeah, I think this levels the playing field a bit as far as that goes across the three major games. And it’s not that hard to substitute in other spirits in their place.

      I do wonder how this will affect the wolf-blooded though. Maybe we’ll see them take on a role similar to ghouls? There’s been a lot of crossover between kindred and Uratha it seems; I’m still catching up on these posts.

  14. Dessembrae
    December 2, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Stew, In regards to the Siskur Dah or nightly hunting in general, are there methods to take care of them in an expedited fashion? I am a bit concerned that with such a large focus, each game session is going to break down into a monster of the week theme rather than allowing the players to enjoy all that the world has to offer.

  15. tau neutrino
    December 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Can experience still be spent on Harmony?

  16. Furry
    December 3, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Thanks so much for the response ^_^

  17. Brian Goubeaux
    December 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I personally got more confused with the pronounciation with the “new” terms. It sounded like Onyx Path stole words out of a Quran or something. Plus, it makes me think that all werewolves originated from the Middle East or something. I’ll keep on using the old terms, thank you very much. 🙁

  18. AtlanteanSteel
    December 4, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Any chance of seeing more of a variety is Forsaken shirts anytime soon? Especially auspice or tribe symbols?

    Also, I can’t remember if this has been asked, but will Uratha get any kind of special experience like Mages and a couple others do? Like, Primal Experience?

    Also, were on earth does the word chiminage come from? I’ve tried googling it and found nothing.

    Also, but certainly not least, thank you guys so much for doing this! This is actually the *coolest* thing that you guys are answering these questions.

    • AtlanteanSteel
      December 4, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Where, not were.. Well, yes were, but… Nevermind, you get it.

  19. Nicias
    December 4, 2014 at 4:19 am

    How much work would it be for a storyteller to include a wolfblooded player character in a party of werewolves? How hard is it for them to join in on a hunt?

  20. Epharim
    December 4, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Thanks for a fantastic post with great answers to many a question.

    I also voted yes for the new terms. They seem like a great way to localize how Uratha communicate about spirits. also a great way to keep players more in game by using words that are Uratha specific. I will use this in our “wolfblooded turning Werewolf soonish” chronicle. no matter the outcome.

    Also great stuff on Protectorates and Confederacies.

    And thanks for updating the Urhanu.
    The “wolf-born” will feature in our stories.
    This also opens up for Wolf “wolf-blooded”.

    Every time I read these posts im getting more exited for the book.

  21. Thiago
    December 5, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Hi stew!

    My next question is a bit of crossover!

    How urathas will interact with the strix ?

    Their will be treated as spirits for gift and rites mechanics?

    The pack will be able to ser them ?

    A bone shadow or storm lord can consider a strix their prey?

    Thanks stew!

    • blackheartz
      December 5, 2014 at 10:07 am

      I think that one of the devs has said that the Strix are not spirits and will not be treated as such. Now should your pack encounter one, nothing can stop you from hunting it although I believe that the sacred hunt will not work on them.

      • Thiago
        December 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm

        Oh i see , i hope sacred hunt work on them because their can act pretty much like a claimed.

    • Chris Allen
      December 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Just to give an answer on this one after checking my copy of B&S…

      Strix aren’t spirits – B&S is explicit about that. They don’t exist in Twilight, so various Uratha tools for taking down Twilight entities won’t help. There is a specific Death Facet that I think I’d *probably* allow to also work against Strix, but in general they wouldn’t count as spirits for Gifts and Rites.

      You can certainly call a Sacred Hunt against a Strix – you can call the hunt against pretty much any prey, but depending on what that prey *is* and what Tribe the ritemaster is of, the Sacred Hunt may or may not be much help. Bone Shadows and Storm Lords alike are likely to be interested in Strix as prey, because Strix are spirit-*like* and associated with death, one of the Bone Shadows’ traditional areas of expertise; they also engage in possession, and the Storm Lords tend to look at things that blend the Flesh with spirit-like power as breaking the laws of the Great Predator in keeping the two worlds apart. Depending on what a Strix is doing, the Storm Lord Sacred Hunt in particular may be rather useful in tracking the prey down.

      • Thiago
        December 8, 2014 at 7:19 am

        Wow thanks to clarify my question man,it seems the strix will be a real challenge even to a full pack, now i wondering about the new weather gifts can you guys give us a sample of one facet of weather?

  22. Sean
    December 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Personally, I’m glad that the unihar were removed. It definitely raised some unfortunate implications. Me and my gaming group were always hesitant to ever bring up unihar in our games. And there were other topics that unihar raised that you didn’t touch on. What about two male or two female Uratha? Would they have an unihar, too? Or would they suffer something else?

    I also like the change of Wolf-Blooded being members of a pack. Wolf-Blooded felt passive in 1e, more like resources to compete for than friends and allies with personal agency. I’m glad that the rules have been changed to encourage the latter view. Will it be possible for the Wolf-Blooded characters that the players create to turn on the pack or die, or are they mechanically identical to the Friend merit?

  23. Aly
    December 9, 2014 at 10:12 am

    If we are making the effort to change most of what didn’t fit within the First Tongue, I must ask this:

    Why not change Locus/Locii?

    It was never a “First Tongue” word, as far as I remember, and a name for it in First Tongue was never presented, or did it?

    • Aly
      December 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Also, as a friend of mine pointed out, maybe it would feel better to officially name the tribes in First Tongue only, and have several translations to what the name means.

      For example, depending on where you are, Imir could be called by different interpretations of that word: “Storm Lords”, “Dukes of Thunder”, “Frozen Fangs”, or anything that fits within what Werewolves can understand of the word “Imir” and what means to be an Imir on that particular area.

    • Sean
      December 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Might not be a bad idea. Considering the role Loci play in the game, it would probably be appropriate to name them something based on the Sumerian words for “spirit”/”essence” and “well.”

      About official and regional tribal names: my understanding is that the First Tongue is understood on at least some level by all Uratha, no? So why would different areas have different translations of the tribe names?

      My solution is something perhaps similar to “Blood and Smoke” handled regional variants of the main covenants. Remember how the Ministry of Silence in Beijing was basically the Invictus with a different spin? Maybe all members of a tribe acknowledge a common translation of their tribe’s name, but depending on the area, the members of the tribes have regional names to emphasize the culture of the tribe in that region, and to distinguish known members of the tribe from “outsider” members.

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