Story and ThemeEdit
This story is true.
All Uratha are the children of Father Wolf and Mother Moon, and inherited both legacies readily and easily before the Betrayal. But Father Wolf was a cruel Alpha, and his children suffered under his rule. And so, the Firstborn – all of them – rose up and murdered their father. And so, the wrath of Mother Luna – to be burned by the touch of silver – was levied upon all the Firstborn.
After the Betrayal, the Firstborn sought to flee Mother Luna's wrath. They fled Hisil into the world of Man, and each of them found a proud, fierce warrior – a man or woman with the Essence of the Wolf within them – and they rode within them, hoping to pretend to be human. But upon the first moon-rise, Mother Luna looked down upon the world of Man, and she was not fooled.
“Foolish children”, She said, “do you seek to live forever within the bodies of men? Very well, then. Men you shall be, but my light will always know. I Forsake you to your fate, foolish little wolves. Seek the path of Harmony, and return to your birthplace, and you shall be forgiven.” And each of them was touched by the moon-madness, and rose up and slew their human kin.
Werewolves are a blend of wolf-spirit and human flesh. The blending is both hereditary and infectious – those born of Father Wolf tend to breed true, but the most common means by which new werewolves are created is the Bite.
A human being bitten by a werewolf is marked. If the werewolf gained any Essence from the attack, then the human soul has a wound in it – a small hole or pocket where the wolf-spirit can take hold. The human must roll Sanity, -1 per lethal wound inflicted by the werewolf. If they achieve no successes, Luna's curse begins to take hold. Such humans tend to feel feverish for a few days afterwards, as their souls slowly transform, until they step out into their first moonlit night and Change.
Forsaken and UrathaEdit
These fledgeling werewolves are not Uratha. Not yet. When the First Change comes, a human finds himself within the grip of Lunacy, and the full curse of Mother Luna descends upon him, marking him as one of the Forsaken. He instinctively changes to Dalu or Garu form, and enters the Death Rage unless he can achieve an exceptional success on a Resolve + Composure – Rage roll. From that night on, the sight of the moon after sundown will always require a roll to avoid Death Rage, until he finds his Harmony and balances the wolf and man within him.
A Forsaken regenerates damage as an Uratha, and may raise Rage and purchase any Rage Gifts, but he may not gain Renown, learn Rites or Auspice Gifts, or step into Hisil. He still follows Sanity, not Harmony, and so his effective Harmony score is 0. He must roll Resolve + Composure – Rage each moonrise or enter Death Rage until dawn.
Worse, the Forsaken's own sense of belonging - his essential human Spirit - has been replaced by something alien. A Forsaken has a Spirit of 0, and thus their Morale is merely equal to their Composure. To be Uratha, one needs a Pack. If a Forsaken spreads his Bite to his friends, and the whole group continues to stay together after their First Changes, they may bond closely enough for the wolf-spirit within each of them to recognize each other as Pack. More often, though, a lone Forsaken is approached by an existing Uratha pack, drawn in, and given the Rite of Harmony.
Each Forsaken that wishes to become Uratha must spend one dot of Morale under the moonlight, in the presence of their Pack. Once this Morale dot is spent, the Forsaken's Sanity trait is transformed into Harmony, they take on the Auspice of the moon under which the rite is performed, and they gain their first dot of Renown. This action may only be taken by a Forsaken who manages to maintain his composure when the moon rises; falling into Death Rage precludes accepting Mother Luna's forgiveness.
The Rite of Harmony is an initiation right developed by the Uratha to facilitate this process. The Rite of Harmony must be cast as the sun goes down, in the presence of the new Forsaken and a full pack of Uratha. So long as the Forsaken does not leave the circle, he automatically succeeds in his Resolve + Composure roll, and does not risk Death Rage. Thus, he may freely and consciously consent to raise his Pack trait and undergo the spiritual change from Forsaken into Uratha.
The Rite of HarmonyEdit
Here before you we bring a young pup, Forsaken by your light, ready to bed succor and forgiveness. She swears by her blood to follow Your vows laid before her.
Urum da Takus. The Wolf must Hunt.
Imru nu fir Imru. The People do not murder the People.
Sih sehe Mak, Mak ne Sih. The Low honor the High, the High respect the Low.
Nih Dah. Respect your Prey.
Uratha Safal Thil Lu’u. The Uratha shall cleave to Man.
Nu Hu Uzu Eren. Eat not the Kin-flesh.
Nu Bath Githul. The Herd must not know.
Main Page: Werewolf Template
Main Page: Auspice
Main Page: Tribe
Werewolf Powers and WeaknessesEdit
The Shapeshifting rules have been modified, as recommended in Armory Reloaded, to make the Gauru war-form more formidable. A Werewolf in Dalu, Garau or Urshul form may now instinctively spend Essence to increase their Physical Attributes, and gains 9-again or 8-again to all Strength rolls – including close combat strikes. Additionally, the healing rate of Gauru form has been significantly increased to make the war form more formidable.
- Hishu – normal human form, but note that Werewolves suffer a -1 penalty to all social dice pools for each point that their Rage exceeds their Harmony, when attempting to interact civilly with humans. In Hishu form, a Werewolf heals 1 bashing damage per minute, 1 lethal damage per scene or hour, and one point of aggravated damage per day, so long as the damage was not caused by silver.
- Dalu – Strength +1 and 9-again, Stamina +1, Size +1, Health +2, Speed +1, +2 to Perception rolls, -3 to Social rolls. An Uratha in Dalu may spend 2 Essence to increase one of their Physical Attributes by 1 dot for one turn. If their Rage is only 1, they must spend this Essence over the course of two turns, focussing their Essence in their muscles until they achieve the desired effect. An Uratha in Dalu may also spend 1 Essence to harden and sharpen his claws for one unarmed Brawl attack, dealing +0L damage. In Dalu form, a Werewolf with no lethal or aggravated damage heals 1 bashing damage per turn, and may spend 1 Essence to convert 1 lethal damage into a bashing damage. One point of lethal damage is healed naturally per minute.
- Gauru – Strength +3 and 8-again, Dexterity +1, Stamina +2, Size +2, Health +4, Initiative +1, Speed +4, Armor 1/1, natural weapons (+1L claw, +2L bite), +3 to Perception rolls, and ignore all wound penalties and unconsciousness checks, automatically fail most Mental and Social rolls. An Uratha in Gauru form may spend 1 Essence to increase one of their Physical Attributes by 1 dot for one turn. While in Gauru form, the character does not have access to any of his normal Numina or Fighting Styles, except for the Tooth and Claw Fighting Style, and Rage Numina (Gifts of Strength, Gifts of Rage, Gifts of Savagery, Gifts of Stalking, and Gifts of Father Wolf). In Gauru form, a Werewolf with no lethal damage heals an amount of bashing damage per turn equal to his Rage. A Werewolf in Gauru with lethal damage heals one point of lethal damage per turn, and may spend 1 Essence per additional lethal damage to heal more quickly.
- Death Rage – a Werewolf may automatically maintain their control in Gauru form for a number of turns equal to their human Stamina + Rage. After this, they must roll their Resolve + Composure each turn thereafter that they wish to remain in Gauru, with a -1 modifier for each dot their Rage exceeds their Harmony, and a -1 cumulative modifier for each further extra turn spent in Gauru; failure causes them to immediately enter Death Rage. If a Werewolf enters Death Rage for any other reason, they immediately shift into Gauru form, gaining all its benefits and drawbacks.
- Primal Form – (Only available through the Rage Gift “Primal Form”) Strength +5 and 8-again, Dexterity +3, Stamina +4, Size +3, Health +7, Initiative +3, Speed +11, natural weapon (+1L claw, +4L bite), +7 to Perception rolls, and ignore all wound penalties and unconsciousness checks, automatically fail most Mental and Social rolls. An Uratha in Primal Form may spend 1 Essence to increase one of their Physical Attributes by 1 dot for one turn. While in Primal Form, the character does not have access to any of his normal Numina or Fighting Styles, except for the Tooth and Claw Fighting Style, and Rage Numina (Gifts of Strength, Gifts of Rage, Gifts of Savagery, Gifts of Stalking, and Gifts of Father Wolf). In Primal Form, a Werewolf with no lethal damage heals an amount of bashing damage per turn equal to his Rage. A Werewolf in Primal Form with lethal damage heals one point of lethal damage per turn, and may spend 1 Essence per additional lethal damage to heal more quickly.
- Urshul – Strength +2 and 9-again, Dexterity +2, Stamina +2, Size +1, Health +3, Initiative +2, Speed +7, natural weapon (+2L bite), +4 to Perception rolls. An Uratha in Urshul form may spend 2 Essence to increase one of their Physical Attributes by 1 dot for one turn. If their Rage is only 1, they must spend this Essence over the course of two turns, focussing their Essence in their muscles until they achieve the desired effect. In Urshul form, a Werewolf with no lethal or aggravated damage heals 1 bashing damage per turn, and may spend 1 Essence to convert 1 lethal damage into a bashing damage. One point of lethal damage is healed naturally per minute.
- Urhan – Dexterity +2, Stamina +1, Size -1, Initiative +2, Speed +5, natural weapon (+0L bite), +4 to Perception rolls. In Urhan form, a Werewolf heals 1 bashing damage per minute, and 1 lethal damage per scene or hour.
Silver is Mother Luna's gift to the Uratha, and her curse to the Forsaken. Silver is the representation of a Werewolf's connection to the Spirit World, and a reminder of the blood of Luna that flows through their veins.
Silver always causes aggravated damage to all Forsaken. Silver weapons deal any lethal damage as aggravated damage instead, and the initial touch of any silver object always causes a single point of aggravated damage, as the skin beneath the metal hisses and smoulders. Silver weapons that normally inflict bashing damage deal half their damage (round up) as aggravated damage, in addition to their full normal bashing damage. Worse, each point of damage inflicted by silver costs the werewolf one essence, as their spirit is burned by the metal as readily as their flesh.
The Uratha may mitigate this damage somewhat, so long as their wolf and human spirits are in Harmony. An Uratha still receives lethal damage from silver weapons as aggravated damage, but the mere touch of silver does not damage them, and silver weapons that inflict bashing damage cause no more harm than they would to a human. Each point of aggravated damage inflicted by silver still costs the werewolf one essence.
Silver also has a secondary property. A werewolf's other form is always reflected by silver – a werewolf in Hishu casts the reflection of a wolf, while a werewolf in Urhan casts the reflection of a man. Dalu and Urshul are similarly inverted, but are often slightly blurred or translucent, as if they were made of smoke. A werewolf in Gauru or Primal Form casts only a thin, smoky reflection of their current form. These same effects occur when viewing a werewolf's aura or when viewing a werewolf through Twilight.
While many mirrors in the modern world use aluminum or other substances to cast their reflection, silver mirrors aren't entirely uncommon, so a werewolf must be cautious to avoid betraying their nature.
Stepping and Peering SidewaysEdit
An Uratha may use a silvered surface to reach or pass into Hisil, stepping into their own reflection as if the mirror were a gateway. Likewise, an Uratha that peers into a silver surface of any size sees the physical world, not the spirit world, reflected back. Using a silvered surface, or any reflection bathed only in moonlight, allows the Uratha to peer or step through automatically, with no roll and no expenditure of Essence.
Crossing the Gauntlet in other circumstances requires an extended Presence + Rage roll that costs 1 Essence per turn to attempt. The Uratha “crosses over” once he has achieved a number of successes equal to the local Gauntlet rating. While he is “in between worlds”, he is Immaterial, and cannot be harmed except by effects that can affect Immaterial beings. Staring into a reflective surface while “crossing over” provides a +2 dice bonus to each roll, as the Uratha “steps through” the mirror into the other side. Attempting the crossing in moonlight or complete darkness provides another +2 bonus, while attempting in sunlight levies a -2 penalty. Alternatively, a character may roll Wits + Empathy + Rage to “peer through” the Gauntlet into Hisil (or into the world of Man from Hisil). This roll gains the same bonuses and penalties as above, but may be performed as an Instant action.
Once the Uratha has crossed over into Hisil, he immediately enters Gauru form, but does not need to worry about Death Rage or failing Mental or Social rolls. Likewise, is an Uratha “reaches through” a reflective surface into Hisil, the limb that they extend into the spirit-world is automatically in Gauru form. In Hisil, Gauru is the Uratha's natural form, and he has his full mental faculties as well as his most powerful physical weapons. An Uratha within Hisil may only shift between Gauru and Primal Form, but may do so without rolling, and has access to all their normal Gifts. If he returns to the physical world, he returns in Hishu, leaving behind his ability to enter Gauru naturally.
Renown and NuminaEdit
Main Page: Renown Gifts are essentially spirit Numina that Uratha may learn. All Uratha Numina are now tied to one or more Renown, which itself is tied to Auspice. Individual Numina may be purchased at (new level x 2) XP, but may never be purchased at a level higher than the character's Rank in their governing Renown. A beginning Uratha gains 1 dots of their Auspice Renown, 1 dot of any Renown, and 6 dots worth of Numina. Father Wolf's Gifts are unique, in that they are tied directly to Rage rather than to any Renown or Auspice, and are hence limited directly by Rage rather than any given Renown rank.
Activating any Gift costs an amount of essence equal to the Gift's Rank, unless the Gift falls under one of the Uratha's Favored Auspices. Favored Gifts require one less dot of essence to activate, to a minimum of 1 essence. Most Gifts also have an activation roll; the essence must be paid before the roll is made, and the essence spent is lost with no effect if the activation roll fails.
Uratha shall not mate with Uratha. The reason for this is as pragmatic as it is horrifying: the result of such a spiritually incestuous union is called an Abomination, and all Uratha (save, perhaps, the Bale Hounds) agree that it is a bad thing.
An Abomination is born in Gauru, which is its natural form. It can maintain Hishu or Urhan form for a number of turns equal to its Stamina + Rage, after which it must roll Resolve + Composure each turn to avoid Death Rage. Even in Gauru, it must make a Resolve + Composure roll whenever it is confronted with potentially hostile stimulus, and automatically enters Death Rage whenever it must make a degeneration roll (whether it succeeds in this roll or not). Most Abominations are euthanized at birth, and both parents (assuming the mother survives the pregnancy, and the father can be identified) are cast out of their Pack.
Other Changing BreedsEdit
Other breeds of spirit-infused skin-changers stalk the night besides the Werewolves. Some breed true, and few spread by bite; most occur when a suitable human host is found and merged by an animal-spirit. Consider the Changing Breed template to be an optional template for Spirit-Claimed. They still use Rage and Harmony as their traits, and follow the same rules for changing from Sanity to Harmony as the Forsaken – save that non-social animals do not require a Pack, and replace the Pack Trait with Instinct.
Changing Breeds gain an Auspice and Renown, just like the Uratha, and may purchase Numina based on their Renown. Changing Breeds may not access Gifts of Father Wolf, replacing them with an appropriate set of Gifts for their own animal form.