One Pack, Many Prey

Open Development, Werewolf: The Forsaken

Oh, that’s where you are! Why didn’t you say so? You did? Sorry, I was up past my ears in stuff for… well, other books being announced at GenCon right now. Anyway, the others are all there and I’ve got keys to the blog. David Hill’s around here somewhere, and he has comitted bloggeration, but that was in another timezone, and besides, the draft is red.

Yes, that’s the Jew of Malta in the opening paragraph. I don’t get out much.

Let’s start with some news. As revealed at GenCon today, the Idigam Chronicle is no more. It’s now Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition. I’m really quite excited about that. It’s the same great book I’ve been telling you about, but now the title’s not going to confuse anyone.

When last we left the blog, I’d asked you to ask me questions, as I was rapidly running out of things to say. Fortunately, you’ve given me plenty of ideas. Let’s see if I can’t bounce a few around and give some concrete answers.

Bale Hounds

Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition (hee!) is a huge goddamn book. It has to be: it’s focusing and condensing everything that’s been said before about Werewolf: The Forsaken into a single book, and changing and rationalising things to give the game its own voice. For all that Werewolf got fewer books than some other lines, we worked hard to make them dense tomes. Some things don’t work if they’re too condensed, though. In my experience, the Bale Hounds are one of them.

I love the Bale Hounds. They’re brilliant foils for the Forsaken and Pure both. At the same time, they need a strong presentation, like they had in Blasphemies, rather than being generic “infiltrators for bad things.” Thus, they’re not in the book. We need space to explain them, to demonstrate why they might do what they do, and even with a full write-up like the other kinds of prey, that’d be a stretch. When the book’s out, I’ll get updated Bale Hound mechanics posted up here for everyone to enjoy.

I know where the Bale Hounds will show up in the line. I know how they’ll show up. I don’t want to change them too much from Blasphemies, that book is the Bale Hound thesis statement. At the same time, they have new ways they can work, new ways to work their evil. I can’t wait to update them. If you’ve got Blasphemies? Great! Keep using it. But you’ll have more Bale Hounds soon enough.

The Pure

The question on quite a few people’s lips was about how we’re handling the Pure. They’re presented in the book as both predators and prey, like the Forsaken but forever apart. As such, they’re present in the chapter on antagonists. We don’t focus on their hunts, but on what happens when they hunt Forsaken. We show them as things that hunt, and as things for the characters to hunt. As such, we don’t detail whether the Pure Tribes have a chosen prey for their hunt. Some packs think they do, others think the Pure all hunt the Forsaken, while others think that the chosen prey are part of the Forsaken’s burden of Father Wolf’s duty, leaving the Pure unfettered to pursue the Siskur-Dah against whatever they choose.

The Pure Tribes appear in Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition (what a great name). They have a writeup in the Prey section—how could we leave the Blood Talons without the Pure to hunt? They also show up in the Hunting Grounds, often as antagonists but sometimes with other roles to play. Ultimately, they get about the same level of detail as they did in the first edition corebook. At the same time, we’ve held on to the more developed and nuanced Pure Tribes from The Pure.

Again, this boils down to a matter of space. I would dearly like to include more detail on the Pure, but doing so would mean leaving something else out, or leaving other Prey with even less detail. Each tribe has their Prey, and they have similar amounts of detail.

As with the Bale Hounds, The Pure is still a very useful book. Some of the Gifts will need converted to the new system, which we might be able to do as a web enhancement. And I know when we’ll be getting a much closer look at the Pure Tribes down the line.

The Shadow

Dave Brookshaw has managed to condense the systems for spirits and the Shadow to fit in to Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition (typing that never gets old). He’s also written the section on the Shadow, showing the World of Spirit as it contrasts to the World of Flesh. Not entirely sold on the capitals, we’ll see what it looks like in editing.

That World of Spirit/World of Flesh terminology is a deliberate choice, by the way. Werewolves are native creatures to both worlds. One has them surrounded by creatures of flesh and meat, the stink of sweat and the sound of pumping blood. The other is the world of spirits, where the denizens sound and smell of their true nature.

One thing we are adding to the Shadow is places-that-arent. Sometimes, the Spirit and the Flesh don’t match up. A warehouse used by a serial killer (or Slasher) in the Flesh is Resonant with blood and fear and pain and death. It might even become a locus of those energies. In the Shadow, the warehouse isn’t big enough to contain all of that power. It’s half a mile across, a nightmarish torture-chamber strung with rusting chains that end in wicked meat-hooks. The floor’s streaked with clotting blood. Spirits rattle the chains high above the ground.

Places-that-aren’t gives us a chance to show that the geography of the World of Spirit reflects the resonance of the World of Flesh. It’s not just the spirits that change, but the landscape warps to accommodate it.

For this entry’s tune, have the Waterboys’ Whole of the Moon. It’s strangely appropriate for taking on the whole “second edition” mantle.

As we did last time, please leave questions and topics in the comments. Don’t feel limited to broad topics about Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition (moo hoo ha ha ha!), I’m happy to get into specifics.

  40 comments for “One Pack, Many Prey

  1. Eric Crabtree
    August 17, 2014 at 5:57 am

    So will the Idigam still be present in 2nd ed?

    • atamajakki
      August 17, 2014 at 6:07 am

      The material in 2e books isn’t changing. It’s literally just a new name.

      Can we get some info on Totems, please? I also wouldn’t mind having some more Hunting Grounds be spoiled.

    • Stew
      August 18, 2014 at 7:00 am

      It’s a change in title, not in content. I’m not about to have my writers re-do about 200,000 words because the name changed.

  2. Danny James
    August 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I’d be interested in hearing more about the Blood Talons hunting the Pure – there was some talk in W:tF about how much of a sin it was for Forsaken to kill another werewolf, and this included the Pure. How does that pan out in Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition if they are the specific prey of a tribe?

    Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition

    Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition

    Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition


  3. Stupid Loserman
    August 17, 2014 at 6:31 am

    I read this post and the mention of the Bale Hounds got my mind running, and I got to thinking. Little mentions have been dropped here and there that the Maeljin and the Wounds that allow them access into the world are associated with Hell, a la World of Darkness: Inferno. Will there be material that bridges that thematic gap with the influence of the Maeljin and their Wounds — not necessarily strong crossover material with Inferno, but flavor that might explore how werewolves are relevant to the idea of Hell on Earth, and conversely, Hell on Earth is relevant to werewolves? I see a lot of potential to explore old myths that conflate werewolves with witches and Satanists here.

    Failing that, would wherever the Bale Hounds crop up again explore the Wounds and the Maeljin in general, if you’ve got some other take on them? The Bale Hounds are a really strong, cool concept, and I look forward to seeing a fresh take on them, but I feel there’s room to make the phenomena they associate themselves with more interesting in their own right.

  4. Christian A
    August 17, 2014 at 6:40 am

    How will the Werewolf: the Forsaken line continue after the corebook?

    • Stew
      August 18, 2014 at 7:01 am

      This, unfortunately, I can’t talk about. I can only go on what’s been revealed of the schedule so far. Everything else may be changed, cancelled, or otherwise not happen the way I say it will at this point.

  5. inkpenavenger
    August 17, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Personally, I’d like to hear more detail about Harmony and its breaking points. (I’m planning to lift the system for a homebrew GMC update for Geist)

  6. Michael
    August 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

    On Bale Hounds in Blasphemies
    I’ll be plain. I didn’t like how Blasphemies handled Bale Hounds.
    The opening paragraphs were very promising. Intoning how the Bale Hounds are not evil for evil sake. That they have motives and goals and depth. Then the book preceded to depict Bale Hounds as evil for evil’s sake. Without much depth or goals or motives beyond evil madness.

    But I haven’t read that section in a while, perhaps I need to look at it anew.

  7. Urfei Neunschweif
    August 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Will Werewolf: The Forsaken Second Edition (you’re right, sounds great) get a full-color treatment, like the Strix Chronicles?

    • Stew
      August 18, 2014 at 7:02 am

      I believe so. Vampire: The Requiem Second Edition (formerly known as Blood & Smoke) is our model for the 2nd edition books as far as I am aware.

  8. Ephsy
    August 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Nice. I was expecting as much, really. Now…

    Can we get some info on totems, next time?

    (Peeps, vote on this one by replying to it with a +1 or something.)

    • Wildeyes
      August 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      I would love to see some totem love. I’m really curious as to how totem creation and advancement works.

      • Leliel
        August 18, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        This dude is wise. I will vote with the dude.

    • wyrdhamster
      August 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Concur that Totems should be next. Looking for changes in this animistic part of Pack, especially with all the changes making Packs more secret churches, amoral biker gangs and all that sweet stuff.

      So *Totems +1* 🙂

    • Patrick Regan
      August 18, 2014 at 11:03 am


    • fishmalk
      August 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm


  9. David
    August 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Unless you want to go with Spirit World and Flesh World, I would lose the capital ‘W’ making it world of Spirit and world of Flesh. The only reason to capitalize Spirit and Flesh is because they are supposed to have special meaning. A world is a world, nothing special there. That is my $0.02 for what it’s worth. It does look a bit off to me as written as well.

    • Calrabjohns
      August 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I’m thinking they’re capitalized (emphasis)because(emphasis) they are viewed as distinct worlds. Werewolves interact differently with each aspect and in a divided way. If you’re talking about where Flesh and Spirit intersect, maybe then you should drop the capped world. When it’s not capped, I think of the world as presented mundane. I’m not well versed though with these books practically. This is strictly a gut reading from this blog post. Hopefully this makes sense :\

  10. Foo
    August 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Will the Unclean still exist?

  11. Dessembrae
    August 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    A couple of things I would dearly love to know is if there are expanded rules and places in Werewolf Second Edition for places in the shadow such as Glades, Wounds, Shoals, Etc.

    Another question that I have been dying to ask is can we get any specifics about totem mechanics? It always felt like a lost opportunity.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      August 18, 2014 at 11:11 am

      I don’t know about “expanded,” but I put mechanics for all of them in.

  12. Arcane
    August 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    1)What was the full name of the Idigam Chronicle before we got the Second Edition back?

    2)Tell us about Primal Urge!

    • Arcane
      September 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      Also, tell us about Lunacy!

  13. Blackheart
    August 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Primal Urge please and since you do not mind getting into specifics can we get a look in the final versions of the forms?

    Also what made you exclude the option, either as a facet or as a merit, for werewolves to deal aggravated damage completely?

    • Chris Allen
      August 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Well, I can partly answer the second question – in that, I’ve said that there are no Facets that deal aggravated damage directly, and that’s all I’ve said 😉

      So, my reasoning behind this has various threads, but they include:
      – It seriously impinges on the thematic of silver as the Bane of werewolves if there are Facets that deal Aggravated damage.
      – Remember, we no longer have Shadow Gifts that are ranked 1 to 5, which means any ‘Deal Aggravated damage’ Facet would be one that a starting character can immediately take; other combat Facets would have serious problems competing against it for choice. It would be a no-brainer pick.
      – If Aggravated damage is easily available in such a manner, it is deleterious to the notion of werewolves as strong regenerators.
      – For me, straight ‘do Aggravated damage’ powers are dull as fuck. Use silver if you want to do Agg – it’s part of the flavour and theme of Werewolf. I *have* put in a supernatural method of dealing Aggravated damage as well, but it’s not easy and it comes with a meaningful cost. I don’t consider ‘Pay X Essence’ to be a meaningful cost for Agg damage.
      – You’ll note the dialling back of what used to be the main Agg damage source in Vampire from Protean. I’m following in the design footsteps that Blood & Smoke laid down.

      • Blackheart
        August 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        Thanks for the answer!!
        I saw your post in the develpoment thread and just got curious about the whole thing.

        Generally this is a change I wanted to happen (the reduction of sources that cause aggravated damage to the absolutely minimum across all splats).

        • tau neutrino
          August 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

          Demon went the opposite direction.

          • Ephsy
            August 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

            I know, right?

          • Manu
            August 23, 2014 at 2:29 am

            Demons are also pretty weak, combat-wise, versus the other splats so far.

  14. Tori
    August 18, 2014 at 3:45 am

    Can I also put in a plea for mr info on totems?

    • Ephsy
      August 18, 2014 at 10:59 am

      Go vote on my bold comment above.

  15. Rindel
    August 19, 2014 at 3:56 am

    I have all the books for 1st edition, will they all still be useful for 2nd edition or will you be bringing out update versions of each 1st edition book?

  16. August 20, 2014 at 8:36 am

    So I’ve had problems understanding spirits (as opposed to ghosts/angels)

    for example, in these locations that no longer exist… or never existed… when werewolves cross over they can visit them? good example, the twin towers would certainly have some kind of mark, could you be up on the 20th floor of the towers even today if you visited the shadow world? if so is it possible a locus could develop up there? what happens if they try to exit into thin air, or perhaps a wall?

    as my other question was sort of a follow up, someone suggested my players “consult the spirits” to find their packmate who’s stuck on a mountain in the middle of pure territory. What spirits would know that? from any kind of distance anyways? I get that if they got to where he was some might. I’m just confused about how to bring in “on the fly spirits”, spirits which have no reason to exist other than to provide flavor (like a store clerk), perhaps more examples of these could be provided in the appendix?

    • August 20, 2014 at 8:44 am

      are the places that don’t exist like the tardis? they’re bigger on the inside, but fundamentally any exit of them will occupy a certain space in the physical world. (seems plausible)

    • Ephsy
      August 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      “When werewolves cross over they can visit them?”


      “the twin towers would certainly have some kind of mark”.

      The location where the Twin Towers stood are, more than likely, a huge, infected Wound. It’ll be unlikely that they stay erected as nothing but a smoking post-apocalyptic monument to humanity’s worst displays of Violence, an exaltation of Therifuge.

      “if so is it possible a locus could develop up there? what happens if they try to exit into thin air, or perhaps a wall?”

      No, Loci are, by definition a link between both worlds. So, the thing that links them should be featured in both of them.

      “as my other question was sort of a follow up, someone suggested my players “consult the spirits” to find their packmate who’s stuck on a mountain in the middle of pure territory. What spirits would know that? from any kind of distance anyways? I get that if they got to where he was some might. ”

      A wind spirit, some kind of bird spirit, etc.

      “I’m just confused about how to bring in “on the fly spirits”, spirits which have no reason to exist other than to provide flavor (like a store clerk), perhaps more examples of these could be provided in the appendix?”

      First, there won’t be any ‘clerk’ spirits unless they are the representation of say, oppressive minimum wage slavery. Humans don’t cast spirits in the shadow. Their feelings, or other concepts do.

      I’d check the Forsaken Forum for further questions you may have.

  17. ThomasM
    August 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    How will Werewolf: the Forsaken Second Edition’s world of Spirit match up with Mage: the Awakening Second Edition’s concept of the same?

  18. shkspr1048
    September 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Will there be any information on Lodges in WtF 2e (wow, that IS fun to write!), or, as with Bloodlines in Blood & Smoke, will they be left to a future supplement?

  19. MetalHeroDamien
    September 17, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Any chance for better integration of the non-wolf werecreatures? *hides*

Comments are closed.