The Wolf Must Hunt

Today’s the nine-year anniversary of Werewolf: The Forsaken. Nine years of trying to be a tenth of what Urfarah was. Nine years of hunting spirits, humans, and weirder things besides. Nine years of learning how to hunt — from games about werewolves, but also hunters and vampires and demons and everything else.
Time to take what we’ve got and pare it right down. Cut the meat. Clean the bone. Get our teeth into the spirit of the game. This book is the Idigam Chronicle and it has a single focus: making Werewolf the best game it can be.

We’re coming on the heels of Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle for Vampire. It’s a big target, but I’m confident we can hit it. So far, the Idigam Chronicle is just called that. The title is less important for now than the thesis statement. People might have seen us talking about this elsewhere, but let me be quite clear: it applies to every single word in this book.

The Wolf Must Hunt.

Baked into the outline and the Idigam Bible, The Wolf Must Hunt is a four-word descriptor of what Werewolf is.

I’m in quite a lucky position here: I’m developing both the classic and new Werewolf games. I’ve got a really strong idea of what each game should be. I’ve also got a sense of who came before me: on both games, I’ve got to live up to Ethan Skemp’s absolutely stellar run as line developer. Forsaken adds Matt McFarland and Chuck Wendig to that list, while Apocalypse was the brainchild of Bill Bridges. Nae pressure.

I can spill lots of words about the difference between the games in theme and leitmotif and so much more, but frankly I’m not sure how illuminating that will be. I still don’t know if I captured it in the Idigam setting bible. So let’s boil it down to the simple truth: music.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse is Metallica’s Of Wolf and Man

Werewolf: The Forsaken is Florence and the Machine’s Howl

As with Blood & Smoke, the Idigam Chronicle will be developed in part here on the blog. I’m going to try to have something new every Friday to see what people think of the changes we’re implementing. This is different to how I’ve done open development for Apocalypse so hopefully I won’t fuck it up too badly.
One thing I will do: At the end of each entry, we’ll have a wee vote to see what shows up next week. So don’t just comment if you like (or dislike) a change, comment because you’re interested in what I might talk about next week.

Next Week: Harmony or Kuruth? The fate of the blog is in your hands.

62 thoughts on “The Wolf Must Hunt”

  1. I’m most interested in hearing more about Harmony. The way that Blood and Smoke’s version of Humanity worked was a great improvement, and I love that a lot of it directly dealt with being a vampire and your Touchstones. Will other supers have things to keep them tied with human society, like Touchstones?

  2. Harmony’s got a very strong showing at the start.

    I’ll tie either choice in to a CHVRCH?S song if at all possible, just because. 🙂

  3. Good luck, Stew. 😀
    With all of the love that Apoc has been given recently, I hope that the fans of Forsaken can feel that same love with the updates to their game as well. 🙂

  4. Almost a coin-toss for me but… Harmony. What it affected was nested into a few areas previously, so changes here take precedence over Kuruth.

  5. This blog is a pleasant surprise. I know nothing about the Idigam Chronicle, but I’m curious about it how different it will be from the existing W:tF line. Being a hardcore Apocalypse fan, I was stoked for a nWoD game about werewolves, but found the Forsaken corebook disappointing because of the narrow scope it seemed to have. Being a spirit cop for a couple city blocks who also happened to be a werewolf just didn’t appeal to me, so I’m wondering if Idigam will be in the same vein, or something new. Is there anything critical to know for those that want to give the game a new shot?

    Gonna have to vote for Harmony as well, it always seemed important.

    • The Idigam Chronicle is still Werewolf: The Forsaken at it’s core, like how Blood & Smoke is still Vampire: The Requiem.

      That said, we’re going for an approach very close to B&S: we’re focusing on what the Forsaken are and what they do, rather than subconsciously defining them in contrast to Apocalypse.

  6. Harmony.

    I play mostly online through MUSHes and it is probably the single biggest complaint I’ve heard about the Werewolf game through multiple MUSHes and many, many players. Changes need to be made.

  7. 1)Voice of Dissent, Kuruth. Harmony will say a lot about themes, but the Death Rage is probably the element that separates Werewolf from its’ fellows in the World of Darkness the most between the two, and the one thing that marks werewolves apart from every other shapeshifter there is.

    I mean, I’m good either way? But even in a game about the hunt, The Rage is critical. Still, probably gonna lose the vote, and that’s fine.

    2)Holy shit,I use Howl to describe Forsaken too! This pleases me.

  8. Harmony seems pretty unanimous. 🙂

    Cannot wait to dig into the details. W:tF is me and my groups favorite WoD setting and are on the edge of our seats about it. 🙂

  9. Werewolf has consistently been my favorite line ever since I started playing WoD a few years ago. I’ll be following this blog with renewed vigor now that details concerning the Idigam Chronicle will be trickling out.

    I’m throwing another vote on the Harmony pile. The Blood & Smoke update to Humanity was a step forward from Requiem and there’s really no comparison between Blood & Smoke and Integrity in GMC (no offense but our entire group hates it for one reason or another).

    On a side note, it sounds like the book is still going by a working title. Following the trend of Vampire’s Blood (Kindred/Vitae) & Smoke (sort of Strix), something like “Essence & Ephemera” might fit (though a touch cliche even to me). “Tooth and Claw” promotes The Wolf Must Hunt aspect as well as sticks to Forsaken’s “Game of Savage Fury” tagline (though, it’s also cliche).

  10. I’m gonna vote for Kuruth. Mostly for dissenting purposes, but also because Humanity actually went through quite a few iterations in *Blood and Smoke*. I feel that addressing Kuruth satisfactorily would be easier in one blog post; where we’ll have plenty of time for multiple, week-long discussions about Harmony.

    • I agree. I’m very excited to hear about Harmony, because I have this pet theory that the Werewolf splat might be getting two scales of Morality which would help make it distinct (like how Demon has multiple Covers, for example) and, more importantly, reinforce their binary nature.

      Yet, I don’t want to get shorted out on an in-depth discussion of Harmony so early on. Kuruth I have no idea what they might be doing with it, so I’d like to see that first.

      Also, devil’s advocate for Kuruth

  11. Glad to se Harmony doing so well. Count me as one more vote for it as well. The teaser we got about it having a “too human” end as well as a “too spirit” end has got me dying to know how that’s going to work!

  12. I’m just really pleased Forsaken is getting an update. I love the game as is but acknowledge the problems with it, and hope this makes it a bit more popular, smoother to run and fun.

  13. Kuruth; not like I think we’ll win this vote. Still, any update is a good update.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this, Stew!

  14. Music-wise, Florence’s song does nothing to me, while yes indeed, Of Wolf And Man was THE WtA song. WtF for me is WtA’s darker, creepier, dirtier cousin. It’s Type 0 Negative’s “Wolf Moon (Zoanthropic Paranoia)”, if only the obvious lyrics could be interpreted directly through lycanthropic / Hisil filter, instead / beside of what they are actually about.

    Both the slower and heavier parts of the music, Peter’s voice (come on, the man was running around in Glabro / Dalu 24/7! :D), the different disturbing backgrounds (gregorian chants overlapping the gigantic heils from the ubiquitous III Reich documentary!) which so well show off Hisil’s vibe – it all just ‘clicks’ with Forsaken for me.

  15. I’m curious about both, so curious… however, I think I’m going to plug for Harmony also. So excited for updates either way, thanks Stew!

  16. Yet another vote for Harmony.

    The new way the Integrity traits are handled help a lot defining the underlaying themes of the games, so I cannot be anything but curious about how Uratha balance themselves out.

  17. Harmony. I want to know if Werewolves are more monstrous this time around– it sounds like it– with more complicated drives. The biggest problem the game line has had– besides wonky rules– is being seen as “superheros” or “good guys,” if you ask me. Vampire drives the player into conflicts with the Beast & frenzy & feeding; what does Werewolf do?

  18. As a sidenote, and regarding what another fan posted above, I think it’s pretty obvious what the book subtitle should be:

    The Wolf Must Hunt

    You could not go wrong with this. 🙂

  19. Harmony.

    Really Interested to see how this is going to work. Hoping it is very much focused on the dual nature. Thanks for the update Stu

  20. I’m hardly doing much except shouting in the storm with this, but I’d like to see Harmony because it was always one of the odder takes on the Morality track. I’d certainly like to see it get a kick in the pants.

    I’ve got an observation, and a question: to me, WtF has one of the strongest antagonist lineups in the old or new World of Darkness. We’ve got the Shadow and spirits in general, the Hosts, the Bale Hounds and Maeljin, the Pure, and the Idigam, and none of them really get the short end of the stick in terms of threat and ability to hook into a story. While I’m very interested to see how a bigger focus on the Idigam and their primordial, ur-spiritual sort of horror is gonna work out, I’d hope that some of the other baddies at the Forsaken’s doors get a good once-over.

    The question may be a bit niche, but ever since Apocalypse in the 90s, Werewolf social dynamics have operated on the whole alpha/beta/omega model of wolf behavior. The issue here is that model’s been pretty thoroughly trashed in the past few decades as an unnatural social structure only observed in small groups of unrelated wolves kept in captivity, and actual social structures in wild packs are more complicated and generally based on family ties. Is the whole Alpha thing going to be addressed in the Idigam chronicle, or modified/dropped?

    • To your last point, I actually think the alpha-omega concepts work fine still in Wta and WtF packs. Why? Because unless you are using the ‘everything you want’ hack, Uratha cannot breed with one another and therefore the actual pack family unit doesn’t form.

      Plus, young adults banding together to protect themselves= VERY similar to a captivity pack.

      White Wolf was pretty nicely ahead with that, as in revised WtA books had a lot of times text saying ‘Real wolf packs are families’.

  21. Here another vote for Harmony, but Kuruth follows second

    Btw I’m reading now Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf trilogy.

    What do you think of it? Could be of some ispiration for the Hunt? (If so if The Stryx chronicle was Sexmurder this would become F**kkilleat? Mmm. Just rambling…)

    At last, my inner werewokf fanboy was waiting for the Idingam Chronicle!

  22. I vote for Harmony. It’s been there for the Morality splat of the game since the beginning and changing it to another would be counter-intuitive at this point. Hell, changing it to Kuruth would be like changing the name Humanity, in Vampire, to Golcanda.

    Plus, what the hell is Kuruth? Sounds like an alcoholic beverage. It’s like how everyone was pumped up to calling the werewolves Garou again, and then got momentarily confused when the name came up to Uratha instead.

    Still, I’ll try to get it later to understand the changes. Hopefully, the info clarified everything.

    • I think you misunderstand – the vote is not for what to call Harmony in the new book. Harmony is called Harmony. The vote is for what people want to see the blog cover next week – whether they want to see Harmony in the Idigam Chronicle delved into, or whether they’d like some info about Kuruth and any changes that it is undergoing. Kuruth is Death Rage.


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