I Got Your Questions Right Here [Werewolf: The Forsaken]

Werewolf: The Forsaken

Another two weeks (plus change), another batch of questions. Let’s go!

dog-soldiers

Taken from Dog Soldiers.

 

You mentioned in your blog post on wolf blooded that they are sometimes the result of two Uratha mating. How does this affect the Oat of the Moon? Is that particular law written out in the new edition, or are there other reasons for werewolf on werewolf action being taboo?

Uratha mating is no longer taboo according to the Oath; that section of the Oath specifically refers to becoming distant from humanity. Some hard-liners may take this as “don’t schtup other Uratha”, while many others see it was a more general thing about remaining in touch with the human world as a tie to the world of Flesh. As such, it’s the main drive for having non-supernatural pack members.

In regards to your comment about humans-as-prey, specifically mentioning cultists, terrorists and corrupt officials. One of the things I liked about 1e was that when it came to the Shadow and disruptions in it was that it was free of morality. “Good guys” could upset the Shadow as much as slashers, the big free-floating example being joy or happiness spirits gleefully leading people back into the arms of their abusers or neglect medical help as their body falls into illness or injury because “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Is that still the case? Or are the folks Werewolves hunting more set firmly into the “bad guy” range?

The folks that werewolves hunt, when they’re hunting normal humans, are “bad guys” in the eyes of werewolves. As such, they tend to be presented through that lens, demonstrating why they need hunted. For many of them, they’re not actually evil or bad from a human perspective. The city council wants to demolish a burned-out factory in order to make affordable social housing. Hell, one of the planned replacement buildings is a homeless shelter. Which is great, but it’s the pack’s main hideout. The councillors — and the police — think the building is being used as a gang hideout or a meth lab. The pack see them as worthy targets of the hunt, but they’re certainly not “bad” or “evil”.

If you had to pick a real life example as to the social importance of a werewolf’s tribe, what would you ? Are they like different denominations of the same religion? That’s one thing I have always had trouble with- the significance of tribe. I can’t find a frame of reference. If I find out that I’m a werewolf, presumably older werewolves will tell me that I have to pick a tribe. So, OK, I guess I’ll be a (insert tribe here). They aren’t tribes in a literal sense and they aren’t political organizations.

It’s probably easiest to go to religions, but they’re not as… I dunno, they just don’t have the right level of meaning. It’s more like different traditions of Freemasonry. They’re more secretive and more defining than a religious demonomination, with a similar focus on rules and tradition and shared favors. Different traditions (tribes) maintain links and assist one another (packs) and they’re all part of the overall tradition of Freemasonry (the Tribes of the Moon), but each one has things that don’t get shared with others and schisms over matters of dogma.

Going from that, Lodges are more like actual secret societies (like Yale’s Skull and Bones society).

The Facet that you mentioned that allows a werewolf to stay in Gauru without some of the benefits; do you think it’d be too hard to rule that a Werewolf starts with that Facet, and put in a system to go into a Fury which gives the rest (super Regen, et al) with the downside of normal Gauru (time before falling into Death Rage?) as a way to keep Gauru form used more? I supposed I would have to write a new Facet to replace it, however.

We include some Storytelling advice on wider use of this Facet, which covers almost everything you ask about here, including giving people the Facet to start and a way to “step up” into full Gauru. The only thing we don’t have is a replacement Facet, because we’ve only so many pages to go with.

Are you going to cover Aspects in the book in any capacity? Are they going to make a return? Are they going to be more core to the game, or is it still optional flavor?

No, we don’t have room. We offer different Faces of each Auspice, some of which are based on Aspects, in order to give people an idea of the breadth of the Auspice, but they don’t come with the Aspect mechanics. We didn’t have room for them, though the mechanics from Signs of the Moon should still work with a minimum of fuss.

Could you give us a few examples for Blood and Bone?

Sure. Here’s a couple:

Blood Archetypes

The Challenger – A Challenger never settles with second place. When things look bleak for the Challenger, he steps up his game. For Uratha, this means overwhelming force. Uratha dominate on the hunt, so the hunt is a tool in the Challenger’s pursuit of victory.

Your character recovers a point of Willpower when he ignores safety and reason to look superior. He recovers all Willpower points when he uses Kuruth or the hunt to dominate a rival.

The Monster – A Monster revels in the shadows, using terror and shock to cripple the victims of his hunts. It’s less important to overwhelm a victim by force than it is to
overwhelm them psychologically. By the time his jaws clamp down, the fight should already be over.

Your character recovers a point of Willpower when he resorts to disgusting or frightening someone into submission. He recovers all Willpower when using the hunt or Kuruth as terror weapons.

Bone Archetypes

Cub – The Cub hasn’t quite finished baking. She isn’t ready to take on a full responsibility for herself, and relies on the help of others to get by. Her own answers aren’t the best, so she leans on others’ answers to get by.

Your character recovers a point of Willpower when she ignores her own impulses in favor of another’s advice. She regains all Willpower when she puts life and limb completely into another’s hands, when she could alternatively use her own instincts to succeed.

Lone Wolf – The Lone Wolf knows that sometimes, the answer lies not with the pack, but with the individual. She’s not inherently bad at working with a team, but she’s much more willing to handle something herself if she feels it’s the best recourse.

Your character recovers a point of Willpower when she acts independently of her pack to solve a pack problem. She regains all Willpower when her pack is on the hunt, and she subverts their plans and solves the problem alone.

Does Essence regeneration work basically like in the first edition (touching magic rocks, etc.) or are there any interesting differences?

You still claim Essence from a Locus, but you can also gain essence by devouring spirits on the Siskur-Dah, destroying a Fetish, seeing your auspice moon, or eating the flesh of wolves and humans. We’re putting a bit more focus on that last option, as often werewolves need more essence than a locus can give, and don’t always have time to hunt spirits when the world’s full of Essence-containing Happy Meals on legs.

Do werewolfs have something similar to the pedratory aura of a vampire?

Yes, kinda. Each Auspice can inflict a hunter’s aspect, which applies to the Prey. This pings a vampire’s predatory aura but not in the same way as other vampires; they’re both tools used by specific predators.

Are there werewolves that started life as a wolf but can now take on human form? I read a long time ago that was one of the rumored origins for the Pure, I think

No. That was a rumored origin of one of the characters in Night Horrors: Wolfsbane and a myth told about some of the Pure, but all our werewolves start life as humans before they Change.

So when you say that the werewolf creation varies by region the region does that make the tribes (Pure and Forsaken) more prone to forming factions in which the Pure and Forsaken could unite against an outside invasion?

Yup. That’s certainly the case in a couple of the Hunting Grounds, but in very different ways. One location holds to the classic creation myth, but at the same time understands that ancient history is less important than current concerns.

Can low Primal Urge werewolves eat more than just meat, or will they suffer negative effects like Vampires? What about high Primal Urge werewolves?

Yeah. Keep your Primal Urge low, and you can eat what you like. At higher levels, you can still eat what you like, but you don’t get any nourishment from it. It’s only at Primal Urge 6 that you have to hold to a strict carnivorous diet. Each day that you don’t costs you Essence.

With the upcoming release of Werewolf 2nd Edition, what aspect of the 1st Edition did you find hardest to come to terms with either from an exclusion standpoint, or an inclusion standpoint?

For example, if you decided to cut something out, what do you feel was the hardest to make the choice with? With something you included, what do you feel gave you the most trouble either from a setting standpoint, a modification standpoint, or a balance standpoint?

I think the hardest choice was leaving Bale Hounds out of the core. They cropped up in a couple of places in first drafts, but we didn’t have the words to go into them fully, and I didn’t want to add a half-assed presentation. Werewolf 2e has to be a stand-alone book, and everything we include has to have enough information to be worth including. With Bale Hounds, we’d have had to cut something else entirely to have enough room for them, and we didn’t have anything else we could use.

I know when they’re coming back into the line, but they’ll get the same love that they go in Blasphemies. I fucking love them in that book.

What does silver do?

Silver weapons always deal aggravated damage to werewolves (so break it out against Gauru), and causes pain when it’s in normal physical contact. It doesn’t need to do anything else to be really fucking dangerous.

Thematically, are moon gifts the only ones meant to go 1–5, while all other gifts are faceted? Or would there be support for Shadow or Wolf gifts that go from 1–5?

No. The design space for Shadow and Wolf Gifts prevents 1–5 ratings. They each have one Facet per type of Renown. Something like the Renown-based Gifts in Signs of the Moon would translate as Moon Gifts in the new system.

Also, are there conceivably more moon gifts than those belonging to the standard five auspices? Just offhand in 1e we had Tainted Moon and Dreamer, Judge, Stalker, Warrior and Witch moons, as well as the Eclipse gifts, in addition to the auspices. In addition the later 1e books offered ‘rare’ auspices like Blood Moon and Solar/Lunar/Stellar Eclipse. Obviously (or at least, based on what we’ve been told so far) extraneous stuff like that won’t be in the 2e core but as developers would they be appropriate fits for the game and if so would the 1–5 moon gift be the way to go with them?

Things like Dreamer’s Moon, Witch’s Moon, and the like are alternate Moon Gifts (and we’ve already worked out the design space for extra Moon Gifts). We’ll work out other special cases (Eclipse/Tainted Moon) as they come up. They may become Shadow Gifts, or be a Moon Gift that fires off the character’s Auspice Renown no matter the auspice. The latter would only come as a result of some sort of ongoing, inherent corruption of the auspice. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

There is any advantage on book to lonely werewolfs? I know their social creatures and have pack mentality, but some times for the sake of a good roleplay a ghost wolf dont fit on a pack or a storm lord need to travel where he is most necessary.

There isn’t much support for lone werewolves, but also not a significant detriment. You can’t get much by way of a bonus from the totem, and spending time outside a pack is a breaking point (but sometimes, that breaking point’s a good thing).

Something that I’m really curious about, what type of coverage Wounds and the Maeljin get? Do you describe wounded spirits and how they differ from regular spirits?

They only get about a paragraph each in this book; in future books we’re going to be going in to a lot more detail. They do show up as possible Kuruth triggers.

Well, I’m down for hearing more about character generation and xp costs. We know a fair bit about things so hard to come up with stuff that’s not straight up “Just give us entire sections of the book.”

Oh yeah, tell us about Protectorates!

Character creation is much like in any other World of Darkness game, but we also have pack creation after that.

Protectorates are what happens when more than one pack looks at a situation and says “Y’know what? We can both do our own thing, but if we actually work together on occasion we can make both of our lives easier”. Other packs join in, and before you know if you’ve got this organisation. They’re organic groups; a pack can join if the others agree, while another can say “screw you guys, we’re going home”. Usually, one pack doesn’t have command over the others, it’s a more organic, cell-like structure where one pack faces a massive threat and asks the others for aid, and others respond based on the existing relationship.

Do Pure have a chosen prey? Do they do the Siskur-Dah? Would the Bale Hounds? Are the shartha full of hate for the Uratha? Or are some willing to deal? What about the big two, azlu and the beshilu? Are the wayward sons, the other changing breeds from the back of the War Against the Pure book still ‘canon?’ And with the revamped information on Helios, does it have an Uratha analog?

Okay, in order: Not stated but presumably, not stated but presumably, nobody knows, pretty much since Father Wolf is what caused the Shartha to begin with, possibly but they’d have to be very powerful to retain enough intelligence to attempt it, they’re full of hate, if you want them to be but we don’t mention any other shapeshifters, not sure what you mean by “Uratha analog”.

Unknown

The crew from BBC’s Hustle. Also, a decent model for a werewolf pack.

the first draft of the Cahalith show us some interesting faces (dreamer, lore keeper and war howler).

Will the elodoth have a more ‘‘physical’’ face (like the war howler could be for the cahalith) exept the classic ‘‘diplomat’’, or the rahu something more ‘‘social’’ or ‘mental’’ (like the old tactician of signs of the moon) ?

The Elodoth’s three faces are all rather more social and mental (one of them does boil down to “You’re Nate from Leverage), but the Judge can easily be a more Judge Dredd figure than just someone trusted to interpret the law. The Rahu does have an Oath-Keeper face, can get interesting when playing off the Elodoth’s Judge, and a Tactician Face.

I’m finding these Q&A sessions to be great fun. They also mean I don’t have to come up with a topic in advance. I’m not lazy, just really busy… Anyway. Let’s have a third session of Q&A. If the comments are closed by the time you come up with a question, stick it somewhere in the Werewolf: The Forsaken Forum and I’ll pick it up from there. Music-wise, let’s have some Goldie Lookin Chain showing off the exclusion that Ghost Wolves feel from other Forsaken.

  29 comments for “I Got Your Questions Right Here [Werewolf: The Forsaken]

  1. Illuminated
    November 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

    By Helios having a Uratha equivalent, I’m guessing they mean did Helios and, let’s say, the Great Shark Spirit get together and make half-flesh/half-spirit babies, too? Basically I think they want to know if there are any spirit/flesh hybrid beings that serve Helios like Uratha serve Luna.

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

    • wyrdhamster
      November 19, 2014 at 10:04 am

      A previous motto for the book was “Wolf Must Hunt”. And all changes to Forsaken game was made in this light – Uratha are made to be apex predators in 2 ed. 🙂

    • Atavist
      November 19, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Yeah.
      Uratha are to Luna
      as
      ______ are to Helios.
      Where blank is the analog to Uratha in the analogy.

      Anyways, thanks for answering the questions, that was great. It does seem like a shame we won’t be getting much outsider information in the book, but it’s clear that’s mostly because the book is going to be very dedicated to Uratha. It’s also nice to see that there’s interest in further fleshing out things.

  2. reseru
    November 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

    “No. That was a rumored origin of one of the characters in Night Horrors: Wolfsbane and a myth told about some of the Pure, but all our werewolves start life as humans before they Change.”

    Aw, I didn’t expect you to answer this. Thank you! ^_^

    • November 19, 2014 at 11:18 am

      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.

      • Christian A
        November 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm

        I suggest you read the Werewolf Translation Guide, where they’ve covered that sort of thing.

  3. Christian A
    November 19, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for answering questions!

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

  4. wyrdhamster
    November 19, 2014 at 10:26 am

    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?

    • Merkonan
      November 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      The Pure have Confederacies, which Protectorates would appear to be a smaller version of.

  5. Zooroos
    November 19, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Lovin’ it so far!

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

  6. Zooroos
    November 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I specially like that the taboo on uratha mating is not a thing anymore. The ghost-child thing was… unfortunate, to say the least.

    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?

    • Darksider
      November 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Auspice, renown, animistic spiritual reflection of the material world, Gifts,Maeljin etc. You say Tribes are the last big holdover?

      • Zooroos
        November 19, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        It’s not a holdover because it made the transition to this iteration of the game. It’s a holdover because it serves no other purpose than to keep the link between editions, without really providing a genuine support for the new setting’s concepts.

        • AnaMizuki
          November 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm

          In the first WtF edition, I’d agree with you on this. But in WtF2, tribes serve a purpose of focusing on a specific prey. While this it not ALL a tribe is, you can bet a Bone Shadow can hunt spirits well, or Hunter in the Darkness can hunt Azlu as well.

          Uratha are hunters and not warriors as garou are.

          If you mean the word tribe, well, I guess it could be seen as a holdover.

  7. Furry
    November 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Will here still be Milestone Gifts ?

  8. Andrew Thomas
    November 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    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 get likewise, but what about Uratha?

  9. Dessembrae
    November 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    My question concerns the Pure despite knowing they will not have a large portion in the upcoming Werewolf 2e book.

    Are they 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?

  10. Atavist
    November 19, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Oh, yes.

    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.

    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.

  11. AtlanteanSteel
    November 19, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    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?

    Really I’m feeling that this will encourage PCs to withdraw from humanity more and eradicate the subtle thematic elements of broken homes and large families from the game.

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

    • Zooroos
      November 20, 2014 at 5:45 am

      Ok, this is only my opinion, but I think the unihar were a trigger-subject. Losing a pregnancy is not something to be taken lightly, which is something the unihar touched in a certain way.

      YMMV, though.

      • Zooroos
        November 20, 2014 at 5:47 am

        I’m sorry, “miscarriage” is the word I should have used. Not a native English speaker, my apologies.

      • AtlanteanSteel
        November 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

        You know, I hadn’t thought of that viewpoint before. I had mostly seen them as a way to avoid some of the squicky elements involved with Metis in WTA while providing a great foil for the Uratha.

        I think that people should have a concept though that WoD games are mature games though and contain mature themes.

        Do unihar touch more on themes that a Changeling or Hunter game wouldn’t if a True Fae came and took someone’s child to Arcadia? What about the short story about bug eggs in tea in Urban Legends? What if my game is more inspired by Rosemary’s Baby than by Silver Bullet?

        This is a great example of why Storytellers and players need to have a clear cut sit-down talk before the game begins, and why Storytellers need to know their players. If I’m running a group of combat vets, I’m not likely to do a Dogs of War game set in WWII, just like if I’m running a group of people who just finished going inpatient for mental health concerns, I’m not likely to do a game inspired by One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

    • AtlanteanSteel
      November 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      You know, it just dawned on me you didn’t exclude unihar, you just said it’s no longer a sin for two werewolves to get it on.

      Considering that vamps, Mages, and all other supernaturals don’t have a penalty for such, that makes sense as it’s “fair” across the board.

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

      I mean, they’re half wolf-spirit, right? But also, they have souls, as some of the Idigam have shown by playing Mister Potato-head with them.

      So, spirits are, essentially (unless consumed), immortal via reincarnation. But things considered to have souls (humans, vamps) don’t have spirit reflections, but Uratha do have ancestor Spirits, but they have souls?

      Seriously, wracking my brain over this for the past two days.

  12. TtystonG33K
    November 20, 2014 at 9:44 am

    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?

  13. tau neutrino
    November 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    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.

  14. Thiago
    November 24, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Hey stew thanks for answer me man.

    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?

    Sorry for so many questiona and for the poor gramma.

    Keep the good work man thanks!

  15. Atavist
    November 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    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?

  16. wildeyes
    November 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

    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

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