Savage Worlds of Darkness
Werewolf Rules Changes and Additions
When you receive an advancement you may do the following things:
• Gain a new Edge.
• Increase a skill that is equal to or greater than its linked attribute by one die type.
• Increase two skills that are lower than their linked attributes by one die type each.
• Buy a new skill at d4.
• Increase one attribute by a die type (only once per Rank).
• Increase a Renown by one die type (no Renown can be increased past the character’s highest primary Renown).
Bite and Claw Attacks
Claw and Bite attacks can be made in Gauru and Urshul forms (or in Hishu form if the werewolf has used Partial Change). A claw attack does your Strength die +1d6 damage. A bite attack in Gauru form can be made if you first successfully grapple your opponent. In Urshul form, no grapple check is necessary. A bite attack does your Strength die +1d8 in damage.
Death Rage, or Kuruth, is the werewolf at his most savage — ignoring mortal danger, desiring nothing but to feel his prey tear apart under his fangs and claws. The phrase “Death Rage” means many things to werewolves. It is a reminder of the death of Father Wolf and a warning of the death that follows in an enraged Uratha’s wake. The truest meaning, however, is that succumbing to Kuruth is a loss of self akin to death — and that it courts the possibility of dying like a rabid beast instead of as a warrior or hunter. Each Death Rage could be a werewolf’s last.
A werewolf can enter the Death Rage in one of three ways:
• The Uratha receives a Wound from a silver weapon, or another source that counts as a silver weapon (such as a mage’s supernatural attack).
• When you receive damage that is more than double your current Toughness.
• Finally (and perhaps most horrifically) Death Rage can surface even outside of combat. For example, a werewolf can be driven into Death Rage by discovering that her boyfriend has been cheating on her, only to come to her senses covered in his blood and torn flesh.
When one of these situations arises the character must roll a Spirit roll at -2 (with the normal wound penalty as well) in order to resist the sweet temptation of giving in to his animal side. If successful, the werewolf resists Kuruth and manages to keep his self-control.
If the roll fails the werewolf enters the Death Rage and automatically assumes Gauru form as a free action (if he’s not already in Gauru). The usual Vigor die time limit on the number of turns spent in Gauru form is ignored. The character remains in Gauru for as long as the Death Rage lasts, which is normally for the duration of the scene.
While in the grip of Kuruth, a werewolf can’t perceive other beings as anything other than moving shapes that his instincts guide him to attack. He attempts to destroy any potential target he can see, friend or foe. The Uratha cannot attempt any complex mental or social tasks and can’t use tools, invoke Gifts, or use fetishes. In addition to the normal benefits of Gauru form, the character also ignores any wound penalties although he/she still becomes Incapacitated as normal. After the Death Rage subsides characters once again suffer from Wound penalties as well as a level of Fatigue which can only be removed by at least 12 hours of sleep.
Loci are wellsprings of spiritual energy called Essence. A locus is formed when energy from the Shadow finds its way across the Gauntlet and pools in a physical location. This does not cause a hole or tear in the Gauntlet, but forms a gateway or portal through which spirits (and Uratha) can pass. Many beings covet loci for the Essence they generate and the ability to pass back and forth through the Gauntlet easily.
Each locus has a rating, from 1 through 5. Each point of a locus’s rating means that it can generate 2 Essence per day. A werewolf or spirit can absorb Essence from a locus at a rate of 1 per round. A werewolf can also attempt to “step sideways” which means open a portal into the Shadow at the location of the locus. The werewolf makes a Spirit roll and spends 5 minutes concentrating. If the roll succeeds, the werewolf opens a gateway into the Shadow and can step through. Packs often enter the Shadow together and can assist each other in crossing. If a whole pack is trying to step sideways, each member gets +1 on their roll and only a majority of the members need to succeed on their rolls to open the door.
Human beings have long recognized the power of the moon to inspire them, to cause them to become contemplative…and to drive them mad. The Uratha benefit from a concentrated form of this power derived from their alleged spiritual mother, Luna. This power wraps around a werewolf like a cloak, infecting human observers with the same sort of insanity that causes them to become more violent under the full moon, to forget what the night led them to do. This madness — which humans vaguely recognize, as evidenced by their use of the words “lunatic” and “moonstruck” — is a weapon and a mask that Uratha use to conceal themselves.
Lunacy has the potential to affect any humans who witness a werewolf in its hybrid Gauru form. This isn’t a power that werewolves turn on and off — it is constantly active while werewolves are in those forms. Indeed, it may be a weakness that lies within humans rather than a power that werewolves actively project. Nobody can truly say. Those affected by Lunacy are possessed by irrational fears. Most are likely to block out the memories of events — presuming they survive.
When a human sees an Uratha in Gauru form she must make a Spirit roll at -4. If the roll fails Lunacy affects them as fear affects herd animals. Onlookers are likely to flee in abject terror and have no real control over their actions or curl up in a ball and go catatonic. In extreme cases, or when dealing with people with medical conditions or the elderly a heart attack is possible. If the roll succeeds the human retains control of herself but takes a -2 penalty on any tasks she attempts for the remainder of the scene. If the human gets a raise on her roll not only does she resist the effects of Lunacy, but does not take any penalties to her actions as her willpower or experience with the supernatural (or perhaps sheer, blind luck) shields her from the Lunacy.
Lunacy affects memory in humans as well, causing them to forget details about their encounter with the Forsaken. If the Spirit roll is failed a human remembers very little of the encounter, save for perhaps a flash of fangs or smell of wet fur. A successful roll indicates that the human remembers much of what happened to her, although she is likely to rationalize the event away. A raise on the roll means that the human remembers almost everything about the encounter, and is able to recount in detail the sights, sounds, etc. of the event. This can be most inconvenient, especially if such an account found its way into the media or the police got wind of it.
Werewolves are capable of absorbing huge amounts of physical punishment without dying. Their bodies quickly rebuild, with even deep gashes and broken bones healing in minutes, leaving no lasting indication. While werewolves can be killed by conventional means, it’s much more likely that an assailant simply sees an Uratha slump over and change to human form… and then is unpleasantly surprised when the werewolf flies into frenzy again a moment later. Only silver provides a reasonably foolproof method of slaying werewolves.
Normally, every five days, Wounded or Incapacitated characters may make Vigor rolls. Wild Cards remove one wound level (or their Incapacitated status) with a success, or improve two steps with a raise. Werewolves on the other hand make such rolls EVERY DAY. They also cannot critically fail this Vigor roll.
Renown represents a code of conduct for Uratha society. Most packs are distrustful of other werewolves and their motives. Also since there is no centralized way of determining an Uratha’s status, trustworthiness, or general strength it became necessary to develop a system for determining the deference that you give another of the People.
This system, known as Renown, is derived partially from the different focuses that a werewolf’s Auspice brings. Each Auspice values a different quality and code of conduct in accordance with the many faces and aspect of Luna. The Pure follow their own unusual code of Renown, but it is linked to the services they perform for their ancestral spirit totems.
There are five types of Renown just as there are five Auspices. Each Auspice reveres one Renown over the others and grants Gifts that are linked to that Renown more easily. The five Renown and their linked Auspices are described below. Each tribe also has an affinity for a specific Renown as each tribe supports certain philosophical points of view and values.
Purity (Full Moon/Rahu)
Purity is a measure of a werewolf’s relationship with his savage nature. Being half-spirit means that the Uratha are subject to unusual whims and conduct. Placating this spiritual side gives a werewolf knowledge and brings her closer to self-knowledge. Purity is governed by the Ralunim the warrior aspect of Luna. The problem with Purity arises from the fact that by being in tune with their spiritual side means courting a savage and dangerous wolf within. A werewolf too devoted to Purity is a soulless monster who lives purely on instinct and revels in the hunt and the death it brings to lesser creatures.
Glory (Gibbous Moon/Cahalith)
The Cahalith auspice are the oral historians of the Uratha and they have kept the legends of Father Wolf and the lore of the People alive for untold numbers of years. They have done this to not only keep knowledge alive but also out of respect for the Glory those werewolves earned. Glory encompasses those actions which are memorable in Uratha history. Each werewolf seeks to gain power but some want to be remembered for their noble deeds, new knowledge, or legendary bravery. The Cahalunim expect those who follow the path of Glory to face each new day with courage, honor the wolves of the past, and look forward to the future with a discerning eye.
Honor (Half Moon/Elodoth)
While territory is held and guarded by strength a pack also relies on the alliances and contracts it makes with other packs and spirits. Honor is a measure of a werewolf’s fairness, trustworthiness, and willingness to abide by his word. The overriding tenant of this Renown is honesty. The Elunim expect that a werewolf should tell the truth, be forthright when making agreements, let no falsehood stand, and admit guilt when at fault. These directives might seem unusually strict but the Elunim realize that often times an Uratha must be cunning, deceive or trick people (especially humans), or use technicalities to escape agreements or exploit weaknesses. They accept that part of a werewolf’s life but honor those who avoid having to make such choices.
Wisdom (Crescent Moon/Ithauer)
Wisdom surpasses knowledge. You can know facts without having the wit to realize the truth behind them. The Ithalunim teach their children to apply the knowledge they gain in practical ways. A werewolf who follows Wisdom is expected to temper rage with calmness, not jump to conclusions, use logic to solve problems, and learn from mistakes (both her own and other’s). This Wisdom is also to be shared with other Uratha. An Uratha who follows this path is expected to impart the things she has learned to others, although it is up to those others to accept the gift or not.
Cunning (New Moon/Irraka)
The life of a werewolf naturally involves deception of one kind or another. Keeping humans from discovering the truth about the People, tricking a rival pack into thinking you are stronger than you are, and making a subtly worded bargain with a spirit (in your favor of course) are all examples of Cunning. The Irralunim govern this Renown and encourage outside of the box thinking and originality. They don’t support breaking any oaths or outright lying but they do expect an Uratha to not accept things at face value, be prepared for the unknown, and break with tradition when the need arises.
Renown governs the various Gifts that a werewolf has access to. Each Gift has a prerequisite rating in a particular Renown with more powerful Gifts obviously requiring higher ranks of a Renown. Some very unique Gifts even require minimum ratings in more than one Renown, making them difficult to learn. When attempting to activate a Gift a player rolls the Renown associated with that Gift. When a Gift has requirements in more than one Renown the player rolls whichever Renown is listed first. You cannot increase any Renown higher than your character’s primary Renown.
At character creation you get a d4 in whichever Renown is primary for your auspice. In addition you gain 3 points with which you can buy Renown on a 1 for 1 basis. At character creation you cannot raise a Renown above a d6.
When meeting other werewolves for the first time each character rolls his/her highest primary Renown. If successful, the other werewolf has heard of the character by his accomplishments. A raise indicates the other Uratha is somewhat in awe (or at least very impressed with) your character. In that event you get a +1 bonus to any Persuasion or Intimidate roll made against that Uratha for the remainder of the scene.
The defining facet of the Uratha is their ability to change forms. All werewolves are capable of assuming three different forms, each of which has different strengths and provides different modifiers to a character’s traits. To change shape, an Uratha draws on the supernatural power that infuses his body, making his form protean like quicksilver, forcing muscle and sinew into the desired shape. While most werewolves consider the three forms each Uratha inherits sufficient, some delve into the possibility of assuming other forms. Such Uratha can hail from any tribe, and are often found conversing with Lunes, trying to attain the true freedom of shapechanging said to be the province of Mother Luna.
There are two ways in which an Uratha can shift shapes. The first is simply to spend an Essence and assume the form of your choice. This counts as an action and imposes a -2 on any additional actions this turn. The other way is to make a Renown roll using your highest Renown. A success means that a character has shifted forms. This is also considered an action. If you get a raise on the roll, the shift happened almost instantaneously and you can take our normal action without penalty in the turn you shifted. If you fail the roll you can still spend the Essence point to shift into your desired form. You can still act, although you take the normal -2 multi-action penalty.
You can shift back to Hishu form with no roll but it requires your entire turn to do so. Claw and Bite attacks made in Gauru or Urshul forms are Fighting rolls.
Legend holds that when Luna heard of the death of Father Wolf, she flew into a rage and cursed every one of her wolf-sired children for the deed. Silver, the metal most sacred to Luna, began to burn her werewolf descendants with a touch. Though her Lunes have since brought a message of partial forgiveness to the Forsaken, the great curse spoken long ago cannot be lifted entirely.
Silver doesn’t inflict damage by simple contact. It’s said that once even touching silver could injure an Uratha, but that the intercession of Luna and the gift of auspices has lessened the curse. Yet it’s also rumored that the Pure Tribes, who didn’t demand absolution from Luna, confident that they don’t need it, didn’t receive a lessening of the curse. Some Cahalith claim that the Pure are still burned by the very touch of silver, even when it’s not in the form of a weapon. Though it’s uncertain how true these rumors are, it seems odd that the Pure never bring silver weapons on their hunting parties against the Forsaken.
A weapon or bullet made out of silver is especially harmful to an Uratha. Such weapons do an additional 1d8 of damage and have AP 3 against any armor that an Uratha gets from her current form. The armor piercing does not affect things like body armor however, because silver is not the best metal to make weapons with.