Sorry to hijack the thread, but....it was 5 for werewolves, 4 for vampires, so werewolves it is. Vote if you want me to finish it.
Howling Tales – Stories of the Silver Pack
I hate the smell of darkness. It is overpowering, these days, curling over the land, choking me with its stench. Places that were once clean and untouched are spoiled, now, dumping grounds for the refuse for the ever-swelling, ever-bloating population of MEN.
Men, whose apathy and stupidity do not even allow them to realize that we exist. Part of it is the fault of our ancestors, I am sure, for what they did, but a larger part of it is that they simply don’t care. They are destroying the earth around them, and they simply don’t care.
The forces of madness and destruction are coming together. How such mad creatures can be so organized is beyond me. While we, who are supposed to be sane, are quarreling with each other over leadership and the right path to take, they are stealing our children in the night, making them their own. They are poisoning humans, turning them into monsters. They are polluting the earth, our Mother.
It is far past time that something was done. I see it in the stars at night. The final battle is too close, and we are unprepared.
The stars tell me this, too, that they will come. Whether they will be our saviors, no one can know…I await them, watching for signs of their arrival with decreasing patience.
It must happen soon.
History of the Tribes, as told by Speaks-in-Tongues, Uktena Theurge:
“Before Time, the three ultimate beings were in perfect balance. The Wyld was the force of creation. The Weaver, the force of evolution. The Wyrm completed the circle, as the force of destruction.
“In time, things changed. The Weaver became jealous of the Wyld’s power of creation, and sought to overtake all, and create creatures of her own. She spun a web that encased the world, and the Wyrm was caught in this web. The more the Wyrm struggled, the tighter he was held, and soon, he went mad, seeking to destroy all. He swallowed Gaia, the earth, when she was young and new, and few had the courage or ability to save her. After many failed, a wolf fought the darkness back and saved Gaia, dying in the process, like the ones that had come before.
“Saved from certain demise, Gaia rewarded all that had come to aid her, giving them new life. She made the bears her healers, the cats her eyes, the dragons her memories. The birds contest that she made them her eyes, as well, but those who know them think them her mouths, instead. The coyotes she made her laughter; the secret snakes, she made her assassins; the gentle bulls, she made her matchmakers; and the valiant wolves, she made her warriors.
“Her gifts were soon taken for granted, however, and the creatures she’d made grew to hate the Men that hunted them. The Impergium began, and Men were slaughtered en masse. The bloodlust did not end there, though. When the bears begged for the slaughter to end, the wolves turned upon them, and rent their throats. When the cats hissed for succor, they, too, were killed. The wolves had gone mad, and only when they stood alone, did they realize and regret their mistake.
“Some had hidden, and been saved from the bloodshed, but the damage was done. The Men held an innate fear of the ones that had slain their cousins, though they grew to forget. The cats had survived, a few, but the bulls had been eradicated, as had the dark bats, whose memory no longer exists. Even Gaia no longer remembers what her gift to them was. Of the bears and the snakes and the dragons, there have been reports anew of their existence, but I have not yet seen them with my eyes.
“One would think that after such atrocities, the bloodlust would have been quelled. Not so, youngling. It pains my heart to speak of, but when this was done, the wolves began to quarrel amongst themselves. Instead of one people, they fractured, and became many, the ancestors of the Tribes you see before you today. Once, there were more. The White Howlers, the purest of the peoples, fell to the madness of the Wyrm, to a man. They are what we now know as the Black Spiral Dancers, for they have trodden the insane path of destruction, and their minds are shattered for it. The Bunyip, the thyalicines of Australia, were slaughtered, all, in a conflict. And the Croatan…Dear littlest brothers of our own people, disappeared. They are all gone. The Stargazers have left our Accord, to join the ranks of those in the east, and so, we are numbered Twelve.”
What’s the game about?
To put it simply: werewolves.
If you want more information than that, the game is about a prophecised group of individuals that will come together to form a special pack, to fight against the Bad Guys and keep everything from Going To Hell.
Quick Guide to Terminology:
Caern – The holy places of the Garou, where spiritual energy gathers. Caerns are heavily guarded.
Crinos – The half-man, half-wolf form of a werewolf. This is their strongest form, and claws and teeth do Aggrivated damage that takes a rather long time to heal.
Delirium – The strange effect that the Crinos form has on humans, due to genetic memory from the Impergium. The reaction of a human depends on their willpower. Debilitating fear, immediate fleeing, and rationalization are a few effects of Delirium.
Garou – Werewolves.
Gift – Werewolf “magic,” Gifts are abilities taught to a Garou by spirits. Many Gifts take Rage or Gnosis to activate.
Gnosis – The essence of the spiritual power of Gaia.
Hispo – The dire-wolf form of a werewolf. Larger than a normal wolf, this form is a throwback to the ancient ancestors of wolves.
Homid – The human form of a werewolf.
Impergium – The term for the culling off of prehistoric humans.
Kinfolk – Relatives of Garou that do not possess the power to shift. Garou breed with these people to beget new Garou.
Lupis – The wolf form of a werewolf. For all intents and purposes, a normal wolf.
Metis – The byproduct of a mating between two werewolves. Metis are born in Crinos form, each with a deformity, and are raised out of the view of humans, saturated in the politics of the Garou, unlike most Homid or Lupus-born Garou.
Rage – The primal power that gives the Garou their ability to shift forms.
Rank – There are five ranks in Garou society attainable in life. In order, they are Cliath, Fostern, Adren, Athro, and Elder. There is a Legendary sixth rank, but the only Garou that have known that rank have achieved it posthumously. Garou with no rank are called “Cubs.”
War of Rage – A dark time in Garou history, when the werewolves turned against the other changing breeds and slaughtered them.
Umbra – The spiritual world, a dark mirror of our own earth, which werewolves can enter, though it be treacherous.
Veil – The existence of the Garou is hidden from the rest of the world. This is called the Veil. The Delirium does much to protect the Veil, but it is not a fail-safe.
Things to Know about Werewolves:
Lycanthropy is genetic. It is not a transmittable disease.
Pure silver does aggravated damage. Sterling silver causes light burns, but no serious damage.
Werewolves regenerate when not in their breed form, but they cannot regenerate Aggrivated wounds, such as those caused by silver, or the claws or teeth of another shifting animal.
So, what’s the deal?
Players will start as newly-changed Cubs, their change brought on by puberty or stress, gathered together to learn the ways of the Garou. This will enable new players to learn of the game concepts through the eyes of their characters. Players will take their characters through the Right of Passage, after which, the pack will be sent on missions.
How do I play?
You’ll have to fill out a sheet. This will be a diceless game, but I am using a modified form of the Werewolf sheet (As such, some of the dice rules have been left in the text, to give an idea of what the weaknesses mean). You will be required to fill this out. Instructions follow, in a step-by-step format.
STEP 1: Tribe
You must choose your tribe from this list. Note that two choices given are unavailable for player characters. Please do not choose them. The tribes are as follows, with a brief stereotype, and their weakness.
Black Furies – A nearly all-female tribe of Garou who remember their origins in Greece, they despise men, and preface their deed names with the names of women they admire. Black Furies are easily angered when their opponents are males. (-1 Frenzy difficulty against men)
Bone Gnawers – The dirty denizens of the city, most Bone Gnawers live in junkyards and eat trash. In their wolf forms, they resemble mangy dogs. Bone Gnawers are looked down upon, and find it difficult to interact with the other tribes. (+1 difficulty to inter-tribal relations)
Children of Gaia – This tribe is an amalgamation of all the unwanted of the other tribes. The Children support alliances and peace above all else. Children of Gaia, peaceable as they are, did not take part in the Impergium. Therefore, their Veil is weaker than the other tribes. (Witnesses are at +5 on Delerium chart)
Fianna – Hailing from the Isles, these Garou love a good tale, and love even more a good drink. Fianna lack self control. (+1 difficulty for Willpower checks)
Get of Fenris – Descended from mighty Nordic warriors, the Get of Fenris are perhaps the most warlike of the tribes. Get of Fenris are notoriously intolerant. (Pick one to be intolerant toward: Cowards, Compromise, Lower Animals, Peaceniks, Weakness, Weaver Stuff)
Glass Walkers – The most technologically inclined of all of the tribes, the Glass Walkers make their homes in the jungles of the city, fighting the Weaver on its own territory. Glass Walkers cannot regain Gnosis in wild areas, only in cities.
Red Talons (NOT available for player characters) – An all-wolf tribe that rarely exits the still-wild places, Red Talons HATE humans with a passion. They regularly kill any of the apes that happen into their territory.
Shadow Lords – Hailing from the purest of Eastern European blood, the Shadow Lords prefer to do just as their name implies: rule from the shadows. Many think them corrupt, as they keep many secrets, but the Shadow Lords follow know that the End does, indeed, justify the means. Shadow Lords despise failure. When they fail at a task, they lose spiritual renown. (-1 Renown for failure)
Silent Striders – Travelers ousted from Egypt, they become restless if kept in one spot for too long. They, more often than not, have engaging tales to tell, and it is said they know the secrets beyond Death. If a Strider does not concentrate when she is entering the umbra, she will attract the restless dead to her. (Botches on Stepping Sideways attract ghosts.)
Silver Fangs – The nobility of the Garou, originally hailing from Russia, the Silver Fangs are the victims of pride and interbreeding, and there have been whispers that they are no longer fit to rule because of their mental states, though the reclaiming of the throne by King Albrecht, and his possession of the Silver Crown has lain many of those whispers to rest. Silver Fangs must start the game with one Derangement.
Stargazers (NOT available for player characters) – The bulk of the asian tribe no longer holds to the Accord, instead allying with the Green Courts of the East. A few of the riddle-speaking sky-obsessed Garou have opted to stay with the kingdom of the west, though, as observers and guides.
Uktena – One of the two Native American tribes, the Uktena are secret-keepers, guards of artifacts and dormant beings of evil. Uktena are horribly curious, and cannot resist trying to learn a secret.
Wendigo – The second of the Native American tribes, the Wendigo are arguably the second-most warlike of the tribes. They hate the White Man with a passion, seeking to keep their bloodlines true and clean of the taint of the Wyrmbringers. The Wendigo tribal weakness changes with the seasons of the year: in the spring, their willpower suffers (+1 difficulty to Willpower rolls), in the summer the heat affects their tempers. (-1 difficulty to Frenzy rolls), in the fall, they find it hard to shift between their many forms (+1 difficulty to change forms), in the winter, they find it harder to shrug off attacks (-1 difficulty to soak rolls).
STEP 2: Auspice
A werewolf’s job in life is set by the phase of moon they were born under. This also affects the amount of starting Rage.
New Moon – Ragabash – 1 Rage
The Ragabash is the trickster of the Garou, the jester, and the jokester. They are clever rogues, and usually prefer to use tactics rather than a straightforward attack.
Crescent Moon – Theurge – 2 Rage
Theurges are the mystics of the Garou, those who speak with the spirits, read the signs in the stars, and heal the wounds their comrades suffer.
Half Moon – Philodox – 3 Rage
Philodoxes are the judges of the Nation, the level-headed individuals that hear both sides of an argument and rule fairly.
Gibbous Moon – Galliard – 4 Rage
Galliards are the bards of the Garou, the warrior poets. They are the keepers of History, as well as those who spin new tales of the battles they have participated in and witnessed.
Full Moon – Ahroun – 5 Rage
Ahrouns are the bloodthirsty warriors of the Garou Nation, the mainstay of the “army,” as it were. Bristling with rage, they are the front lines.
MORE GUIDE HERE (The rest of the character sheet guide will be here if the idea gets voted in. I’m loathe to do ALL the work before I know if it will even be well-received.)
Rank: 0 (All characters will start at 0)
Animal Ken 00000
Gnosis: XX00000000 (This is pre-set for Homid characters. If you’ve gone through the rigamarole of assuring me that you’re able to play a lupus or a metis, I will inform you of your new starting Gnosis.)
Appearance: (Make it match with your Appearance rating. App 4 is model-like, and 2 is average. Remember that.)
Equipment: (Don’t go nuts. You’re mostly young adults that have been snatched away from your “real” lives.)
Other Notes: (You may wish to put your tribal weakness here for easy reference.)
Merits & Flaws: (I realize that I haven’t listed any merits and flaws. They are purely optional. If enough players unfamiliar with the game wish to have some, I will write up a condensed list.)
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