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Werewolves are a lesser servitor race of shapeshifters, part man, part wolf, and part spirit. They primarily serve Gaia, the mother goddess, but some serve the Wyrm. Excepting certain foul and noxious rituals, the only way to become a shapeshifter is to be born as one. The ability tends to manifest in late puberty. Before that, they are almost entirely normal. A bit angrier, a bit hairier, and able to heal from almost any wound.
A very short version of the werewolf origin, according to their own legends, is the following:
- The Firstborn were children of Father Wolf and Mother Luna. Werewolves in turn were offspring of the firstborn and normal humans or wolves. They assisted their parents and grandparents in taking care of the world and its inhabitants, culling the human herds like good shepherds.
- Eventually, Father Wolf grew frail and could no longer fulfill his duties, but his existence effectively hindered everyone else from doing them for him. The ancestors of the Forsaken tribes did the simple and logical thing-they conspired with his wife Mother Luna, killed him, and took his power for their own. Thus began the conflict between the Forsaken and the Pure, who remained true to Father Wolf.
Interesting as legends go, it probably holds at least some truth. Werewolves are partially spirits, which squares with the legend.
When all are accounted for, there are less than half a million werewolves in the world. That is quite a bit less than the number of vampires, but much more than the number of mages. If they could unite for even a moment, the werewolves would be a very powerful faction.
The first time a werewolf shifts form is always a traumatic experience. Almost without exception, the first change is during a full moon, after some real or imagined provocation, and into Rage form. The first rage is uncontrollable, and multiple fatalities are the norm. The kind of fatalities where the CSI people have to collect remains in lots of small plastic bags.
The only way to identify a werewolf before first change is to wound him severely and see if he heals, as they usually get Fast Healing a few years earlier.
The birth form of a werewolf is one of the most important things that forms his personality. Growing up among humans or among wolves provide radically different experiences, and give quite different outlooks on life. This divide was once the primary source of werewolf conflict. However, the virtual extinction of wild wolves over most of the world has eliminated this problem—the few remaining wolf-born have no choice but to adapt to their homid kin.
The Wolf-born: Werewolves that were born as wolves can only start with the special wolf occupation. They cannot read, write, or even speak a human language without getting the proper skills. They need to take the Grok Tech feat to understand and operate modern equipment, such as cars and computers.
Until they have learned these skills and feats, they are limited in what classes they can take. Their first two levels are always werewolf hit dice.
Each werewolf is born under an auspice of the moon goddess Luna, the mate of Father Wolf. One's auspice defines one's role in society among the Forsaken. The spirits recognize this, and provide special auspice gifts.
The Pure reject Luna, and her auspices as well.
Werewolves are intensely social creatures, but unlike humans they don't extend their social units beyond a dozen or so. Furthermore, they are driven by their rage to eternal conflict—without a credible external threat they will fight among themselves.
The most basic unit of werewolf society is the pack. A typical pack has between four and ten members, and is led by the alpha male—usually the hardest and meanest of the bunch. Most packs are very tightly knit, and do everything but procreation together.
Most werewolves have little choice when it comes to their pack. Chances are there's only one pack in the area, or at least only one willing to accept new members. Membership is subject to approval by the pack alpha, but other pack members might. Once in, it is very rare for someone to be kicked out—any grievances are kept in the pack and hidden from outsiders.
A werewolf without a pack is a lone wolf, without place in werewolf society. Usually they also lack a tribe, having either rejected all trappings of werewolf society, or never joined in the first place. To be a lone wolf, is to be as nothing.
A sept is one or more packs, united in defense and use of the same caern.
Werewolf tribes are not like tribes among primitive humans. They aren’t tied together by blood, although blood ties within tribes are common. A particular tribe doesn’t claim a particular patch of land as a tribal home, nor do its members roam as a group across the steppe in search of fertile resources. Werewolf tribes have neither acknowledged chieftains nor strong political structures — they don’t seem to need them.
Two characteristics define werewolf tribes. First, all members of a tribe follow the same one of eight powerful Incarnae, said to be the spirit children of Father Wolf. These totems, called the Firstborn, look over modern werewolf tribes as elder siblings.
Secondly each tribal totem has a unique ban just as all spirits do. The totem’s ban informs its outlook and way of life, and it’s frequently reflected in the vow that binds it to its tribe, and its tribe members to one another.
Long ago, in the mythic age, it was decided that Father Wolf needed to die. The Forsaken are spiritually descended from the go-getters that did the deed.
When Father Wolf was killed, some werewolves were horrified and outraged, or simply to chicken to do it themselves. They swore eternal revenge, and their Pure descendants are still at it. The Pure are defined by their hate of the Forsaken, a hate that has lasted millennia and is recreated anew with each generation.
Werewolves that serve the Wyrm are called Bale Hounds or Mad Dogs. Somehow corrupted, they have joined the winning side, and do their best to spread malevolence. Most keep their favour secret, and remain members of their previous tribe.
Those that have gathered together with others of the same bent prefer to call themselves the Black Spiral Dancers, as a reference to their holiest place, the wyrm spiral in the Umbra. They are more numerous than any Forsaken tribe, but every other tribe regards them as mortal enemies. Against the Black Spiral Dancers, the Forsaken and the Pure will join forces.
A ghost wolf is a werewolf without a tribe. Almost all are lone wolves, having rejected or been rejected by the rest of werewolf society. Some failed the initiation rites for all tribes they could stomach joining.
Each tribe has a number of “lodges”, which are societies within the tribe that are dedicated to a particular facet of the tribe’s totem and activities. Lodges have associated spirits, but no totems of their own. Membership in a lodge comes with additional responsibilities that membership in a tribe doesn’t include. At the very least, lodgemates owe one another more loyalty and assistance than tribemates do.
Each lodge has specific requirements for entry, which always includes being recommended by a member.
Werewolf is not a true template, in that it can only be added to humans or wolves that are were-kin, and then only if that individual was already destined to become a full were. A werewolf uses either the character's or the wolf's statistics and special abilities in addition to those described below.
Type: Human (shapechanger, spirit).
Ability Modifiers: Werewolves have +2 Strength and +2 Constitution. This is further modified by their auspice:
Rahu (full moon): +2 Strength.
Cahalith (gibbous moon): +2 Intelligence.
Elodoth (half moon): +2 Charisma.
Ithaeur (crescent moon): +2 Wisdom.
Irraka (new moon): +2 Dexterity.
Attacks: As for the current form. A werewolf in hybrid form can use weapons, as long they're not too fiddly. Fiddly things tend to drive them into rage.
Allegiances: A werewolf typically has allegiance to Gaia.
A werewolf retains all the special qualities of the character and gains the additional special qualities listed below.
Alternate Form (Su): The werewolf can change form. Changing form is a standard action. There are three exceptions to this:
- A slain werewolf reverts to its birth form, although it remains dead.
- A werewolf can shift to its birth form as a free action, except when in Rage.
- When starting a Rage or frenzy, the werewolf always assumes Rage form as a free action.
The different forms are:
- Human form. Available to every werewolf.
- Hybrid or Rage form, a large murderous bundle of teeth and claws.
- Wolf form. Available to every werewolf.
Until the werewolf has at least one level of the primal urge class, change is involuntary, and often partial in mind or body.
Eating Flesh (Ex): If you spend a full round flat-footed ripping a freshly killed foe open and eating his entrails (mainly the heart and liver), you get an immediate free Second Wind. You must still be below half hit points, and you cannot have used a Second Wind previously in the same encounter.
This is considered a reprehensible and depraved act, and can get you in significant trouble with your pack and sept.
Hardiness (Ex): Your metabolism is enhanced, so that you are immune to normal poison and disease. You are still affected by magical disease and poisons.
Low-Light Vision (Ex): You ignore concealment (but not total concealment) from darkness.
Wolf Empathy (Ex): You can communicate and empathize with normal or dire wolves. You can reroll any checks made to influence the attitude of such creatures. This also allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as "friend," "foe," "flee," and "attack."
A werewolf has the following weaknesses.
Vulnerable to Silver (Ex): A werewolf not in her birth form takes +2d6 damage from all attacks made with silver weapons.
- Needs a system.
Werewolf (Power Class)
Werewolves learn to control and enhance their abilities by taking levels in this class. A werewolf has no control over the change until he has at least one level. This is also the starting class for the wolf-born.
Hit Die: 1d8.
Defenses: Fortitude +4, Reflex +2.
|1||+1||+½||Basic Quality, Wolf Abilities, Bite, Scent|
|2||+2||+1||1||Basic Quality, Trip|
|3||+3||+1½||+1 Str, Basic Quality, Bonus Feat|
|6||+6||+3||1||+1 Con, Bonus Feat|
|9||+9||+4½||+1 Str, Bonus Feat|
Upon taking a level in the Werewolf class, you gain the following abilities of the wolf:
- A +2 bonus to natural armor in all forms but human.
- You gain a skill point in either Perception or Survival.
- In wolf and dire wolf form, your speed changes to 50 feet.
You gain a bite attack in all forms except human. The bite is a natural weapon that deals 1d6 + your Strength modifier points of damage. In hybrid form, you can only bite opponents that you are grappling.
You gain the scent ability in all forms.
If you hit with a bite attack while in wolf or dire wolf form, you can attempt to trip the opponent as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip you.
At 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level, the werewolf acquires special qualities chosen from this list. Each quality can be taken only once unless specifically noted otherwise. All these qualities are considered Su (supernatural) unless otherwise indicated.
The only abilities that can be active before first change are Fast Healing and Improved Bite.
Claws: You gain a claw attack, doing 1d6 + your Strength modifier damage.
Damage Reduction I: You gain damage reduction 5/silver. You have no Damage Reduction while in your birth form.
Fast Healing: You can heal half your class levels (rounded up) in hit points per round, as long as you have at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 hit points, you are disabled much like other creatures.
Improved Bite: The damage from your bite attacks improve as if you increased a size category.
Rage Form: Werewolves are driven by their rage, a primal force from which they gain power. You can voluntarily enter rage form once per encounter. Entering a rage takes no time itself, but you can do it only during your action, not in response to someone else's action. During the nights of the full moon you can rage an additional time, but never more than once per encounter.
While in rage, you take on your rage form. It is midway between the hybrid and the dire wolf, but larger and with a bite and two claw attacks (base damage 1d6). It has a base move of 40, and is completely murderous with rage.
In a rage, you gain a +2 rage bonus to melee attack rolls and melee damage rolls. You only require 2 swift actions to move one space upwards on the condition track, rather than 3.
While raging, you must either attack or move towards the closest group of enemies. You cannot use any feats, skills, or abilities that require patience, concentration, or eloquence. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier. You may prematurely end your rage. At the end of the rage, you lose the rage modifiers and restrictions and change to hybrid or dire wolf form.
At 4th, 5th, and 7th level, you acquire special qualities from this list. You do not have to take the basic version of a quality before getting the intermediate version, and can choose to acquire an additional basic quality instead of an intermediate one. Each quality can be taken only once unless specifically noted otherwise. All these qualities are considered Su (supernatural).
Damage Reduction II: You gain damage reduction 5/silver. This stacks with Damage Reduction I. You have no Damage Reduction while in your birth form.
Improved Claws: The damage from your claw attacks improve as if you increased a size category.
Unnatural Impact: Your attacks in wolf and hybrid form may push the target back, as per the bull rush maneuver, but without provoking an attack of opportunity and without requiring the initial move into the target’s square.
Stepping Sideways: You gain the ability to enter the shadow world (Umbra) when close to a node. During the night, as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you stare into any nearby reflecting surface. You then pass the gauntlet into or out of the near umbra. During the daytime, or when stepping sideways without a mirror, it requires a full-round action.
At 8th and 10th level, you acquire special qualities chosen from this list. You do not have to take the basic and/or intermediate versions of a quality before getting the advanced version, and can choose to take an additional basic or intermediate quality instead of an advanced one. Each quality can be taken only once unless specifically noted otherwise. All these qualities are considered Su (supernatural).
Aura of Fear: You radiate an intimidating aura while in wolf and hybrid form. Creatures within 30 feet of you must make a Will save, DC 10 + your Charisma modifier + half your class level (rounded up), to avoid becoming shaken. Those who resist cannot be affected by your aura for 24 hours; others must save again if they move out of range and then back in again.
- Need better mechanics -- should perhaps become inherent, as the Delirium/Lunacy.
Large: Your rage form, and your wolf form should you desire it, becomes Large size. Your Space/Reach change to 10 ft./5 ft as wolf and 10 ft./10 ft in rage form. All natural attacks increase in damage as normal for a size increase.
Seeing the Unseen: You can see auras, magical emanations, and invisible and ethereal creatures as clearly as physical objects.
Soul Eating: You can absorb random memories from the brains of his victims, if you eat the brain completely. You must make an Intelligence check, DC 18; if it succeeds, you absorb 1d6 simple sentences’ worth of memory, plus an additional sentence for each 3 points by which you made the check. One of the sentences will always be related to the victim’s last day alive, and the second (if you get more than one) will always be from the victim’s very early life. Each of the others will be associated with a different one of the victim’s skills or feats, chosen at random. You retain these memories when returning to human form even if you have the Amnesia weakness, simply not knowing how you came to have someone else’s memories in your head.
At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, you get a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and you must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it.
Combat Reflexes, Frightful Presence, Improved Damage Threshold, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Natural Healing, Iron Will, Pack Tactics, Powerful Charge, Run, Running Attack, Toughness, and Trackless.
- Werewolf the Apocalypse, and its untold number of supplements.
- Werewolf the Forsaken, and its untold number of supplements.
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