Rage & Shifting Update 1.01

Please refer to +bbread 20/40 in-game for a thorough introduction to these changes. Each Fera will have a tweaked version of the following changes (if necessary at all). Don’t worry about the implications for Fera races. This is solely for werewolves. Not everything on this page is new. Much of what you’ll find below is reiterated from the W20 core book to help provide context. Many elements (such as gaining Rage triggers) were handled informally in the book as a ST’s prerogative but have now been systematized for consistency.

There will be a couple new (or modified) Gifts or Merits that will interact with one or two of the mechanics below in exciting ways, especially where Frenzy is concerned (such as the new Urrah’s Pride (1-pt Merit), which you can see in the Merit table.)

Innate Forms

  • Homid werewolves have access to ‘Homid’ form, ‘Crinos’ form and ‘Lupus’ forms.
    • As suchthere will no longer be a ‘Glabro’ form, and human-born characters can’t take Hispo form without the repurposed Metamorph (3-pt Merit).
  • Lupus werewolves have access to ‘Homid’ form, ‘Hispo’ form and ‘Lupus’ forms.
    • Hispo functions as the ‘war form’ for Lupus, instead. It also inflicts full instead of reduced Delirium. Wolf-born characters require the Metamorph Merit to shift into Crinos form.
  • Metis werewolves have access to ‘Homid’ form, ‘Crinos’ form and ‘Lupus’ forms.
    • Note that the Garou metis (Mee-teas) looks similar to, but has no linguistic relation to the Métis (may-TEE) indigenous peoples of Canada. This has been established by Werewolf canon since at least the mid-90s.
    • IC Reminder: W20, pg 285: “Though a Crinos werewolf can speak the Garou tongue, its surging Rage reduces most sentiments to kill, Kill, and KILL! […] Crinos is not a form for casual contact. Even the metis, who are born in this shape, bristle with murderous fury when this war-wolf manifests.”

Form Bonuses

  • Primal Senses: All werewolves in all forms add their Primal-Urge to all non-Gift sensory-related rolls such as spotting ambushes, hunting deer or tracking a quarry through a crowded city street (usually involving Perception or Alertness). Tasting a quarry’s blood may allow for supernatural feats of tracking that might not otherwise be possible, at the Storyteller’s discretion.
    • Homid form: for Urrah (city-born) werewolves only – enjoy a -1 difficulty modifier for tracking and pursuit rolls through inner city areas.
      • Movement: Walk (7 yards per turn); Jog (12 + Dexterity yards); Run (20 + [Dexterity * 3] yards)
      • Jumping: Vertical Jump (2 * successes feet); Horizontal Leap (4 * successes feet)
        • Note that this is already better than a normal human’s vertical and horizontal jumping modifiers (which are x 1, and x 3 respectively). Certain supernatural creatures, such as vampires, also share this innate bonus to verticality.
      • Combat: Even in Homid form, a werewolf tends to have strong jaws and sharpish incisors. They can bite for Strength -1 in Lethal damage. They can even bite without establishing a grapple first at difficulty 8.
    • Crinos form gives a -1 difficulty modifier to all Perception rolls, including Gifts.
      • Movement: Walk (10 yards per turn); Jog (15 + Dexterity yards); Run (25 + [Dexterity * 3] yards)
      • Jumping: Vertical Jump (4 * successes feet); Horizontal Leap (5 * successes feet)
      • Combat: Claw (difficulty 6) and bite (difficulty 5) for +1 Aggravated damage.
    • Hispo form gives a -1 difficulty modifier to all Perception rolls, including Gifts.
      • Movement: Walk (10 yards per turn); Jog (18 + Dexterity yards); Run (30 + [Dexterity * 3] yards)
      • Jumping: Vertical Jump (5 * successes); Horizontal Leap: (6 * successes)
      • Combat: Claw (difficulty 6) for Aggravated damage and bite (difficulty 5) for +2 Aggravated damage.
    • Lupus form gives a -2 difficulty modifier to all Perception rolls, including Gifts.
      • Movement: Walk (10 yards per turn); Jog (22 + Dexterity yards); Run (35 + [Dexterity * 3] yards)
      • Jumping: Vertical Jump (4 * successes); Horizontal Leap: (7 * successes)
      • Long Running: A character in Lupus form can ‘jog’ (roughly 16 mph) for as many hours as their Stamina rating, without rest.
      • Combat: ‘Claw’ (difficulty 6) for Bashing damage and bite (difficulty 5) for Lethal damage.

Shapeshifting

  • Shapeshifting (unless as a result of flying into a frenzy or certain Gifts) requires a Rage point spent, and is always reflexive – in the order of Initiative.
    • Cubs have a more erratic and difficult time with shapeshifting – the tribulations of which usually last right up until they embark on their Rite of Passage. Typically, they can only do so when feeling personally threatened. Overcoming this, and being able to shift on command, is one of the many qualities that separates a Cliath from a Cub.
    • Shifting into your Breed form does not cost Rage when done outside of combat.
    • There may be some tweaks to how Talisman Dedication works down the line. Then again, there might not.

Regeneration

  • All werewolves regenerate health and soak damage the same way, regardless of what breed they are or what form they are in.
    • This means, for example, that a werewolf can soak damage the same in Homid as they can in Crinos. It means they regenerate the same in Homid, as in Crinos. It also means that they are affected by silver the same way in all forms. There is no longer any Breed-based differences regarding which forms soak and heal which damage and when.
    • Werewolves heal one level of Bashing or Lethal per round, and one level of ‘normal’ Aggravated per day, unless supernaturally healed.
      • You still reflexively roll Stamina vs 8 to regenerate while undertaking a stressful activity (such as combat), same as ever.
        • Cubs always have to roll Stamina vs 8, whether in combat or out. Regeneration looks disgusting and is painful to boot, which means instinctively embracing its potential doesn’t come easily. Not to mention, just being a Cub is pretty stressful!
    • ‘Pure Silver’ Aggravated damage heals as Lethal does for mortals, unless supernaturally healed.
      • You cannot have more than one level of pure silver damage healed supernaturally per day, unless a Gift specifies otherwise (there will be some adjustments to certain Gifts and talens).
  • This is mostly a reminder of the base game mechanics plus a minor tweak to remaining active:
    • If a werewolf is sent to Incapacitated with Bashing damage, the rollover becomes Lethal. She then falls unconscious in her current form (for a minimum of one round), and regenerates as normal. She remains unconscious until she succeeds at a Stamina + Primal-Urge vs (4 + Bashing levels of damage) roll.
    • If a werewolf is sent to Incapacitated via Lethal (even if the same hit technically takes them beyond Incapacitated), they are knocked unconscious, revert to their breed form and collapse. It then works like recovering from Bashing damage, except you heal in increments of eight hours per level.
      • Alternatively, you can attempt to channel your Rage into remaining active (see below).
    • If a werewolf is sent to Incapacitated with Aggravated damage (even if sent over Incapacitated with a single blow), then she is close to death. She will die if she doesn’t channel her Rage to remain active.
    • Remaining Active: Once a scene, when a werewolf is brought to the brink of death, they can roll the highest of their temporary or permanent Rage against difficulty 8. Every success heals them up one level from Incapacitated (whether Lethal or Agg) and gives a gnarly battle scar.
      • If they achieve 1 or 2 successes, they rise in a Fox Frenzy that lasts the rest of the scene, then they collapse unconscious.
      • If they achieve 3+ successes, they rise in a Berserk Frenzy that lasts the rest of the combat, then they collapse unconscious.
      • If they botch, they rise in a Thrall of the Wyrm Frenzy, collapsing once everyone is dead or they are.

Gaining Rage

  • At the start of each new scene, a character’s Rage is reset to their permanent value. Rage generation is not dependent on seeing the moon, or what phase the moon is. Although it does affect Rage rolls (beware the Full Moon).
  • A character automatically gains one dot of Rage when the following happens for the first time each scene:
    • Social triggers:
      • Your character is insulted, challenged or threatened (Only your character’s opinion determines what is an insult or a credible threat – misunderstandings happen).
      • A loved one (Kinfolk mate, family, etc not merely a ‘good friend’) or packmate is deeply insulted, disrespectfully challenged or threatened in front of you.
      • You are negatively affected by a Flaw in a way that significantly harms or embarrasses you (plenty of First Changes have been triggered by schoolyard bullies).
    • Danger triggers:
      • You confront a creature that reeks of the Wyrm.
      • You confront a dangerous trespasser around your home or on the Bawn (all supernatural creatures are by default considered dangerous).
      • You confront an enemy or rival that has either slain a packmate or loved one in the past and/or greatly humiliated you (such as making you Fox Frenzy, etc).
      • You become ICly aware of another character using a supernatural power on you, and you don’t like it.
      • You, a packmate, or a loved one is threatened with a silver weapon (even hypothetically).
    • Combat triggers:
      • You take your Crinos or Hispo war form (This is an extremely painful ordeal as your bones break, skin tears and then re-knits. It takes practice and ferocity to embrace. This also includes when frenzy shifting – see below – and does not provoke a second Rage roll).
      • You inflict at least one level of damage with intent to kill.
      • You suffer at least one level of Lethal or Aggravated damage.
      • You suffer at least one level of damage from silver.
      • You botch a roll during life or death combat (whether yours or someone else’s).
      • You roll permanent Rage to remain active (see previous section) after being Incapacitated with Lethal or Aggravated damage.
      • A loved one or packmate suffers at least one level of damage in life or death combat.
      • A loved one or packmate is killed or mortally wounded in front of you. (Unlike the other triggers, there is no cap on receiving Rage from this event.)
    • Savagery triggers:
      • You taste an enemy’s blood for the first time in a scene.
      • You spend a round mutilating and devouring a fallen enemy in combat (this often happens during Thrall of the Wyrm and might be a Litany violation as well).
      • Other events may give Rage and/or provoke Rage rolls at the Storyteller’s discretion.

Frenzying

  • Whenever a character gains a dot of Rage for any reason, they must make a ‘Frenzy check‘. (This check occurs even if a character would gain a dot of Rage while at their maximum temporary Rage.)
    • Roll your characters current Rage dots against a Difficulty determined by the current phase of the moon, modified by your Rank: (Full: 5, Gibbous: 6, Half: 7, Crescent: 8, New: 9) -> (Cub: -1, Cliath: +0, Fostern: +0, Adren: +1, Athro: +1, Elder: +2)
      • If you score 3+ successes, your character flies into a Berserk Frenzy. (There may be special Gifts, Merits or pack tactics that play with this success threshold in or out of combat situations – The Inner Bawn of a Sept, if well maintained, raises this threshold to 4+ successes).
        • It lasts for as many rounds as rolled successes.
        • You can spend Willpower to resist it at the cost of doing nothing else for that entire duration (i.e., however many successes were rolled), as you fight to control yourself.
        • A werewolf with current Willpower or current Gnosis higher than their current Rage will instinctively prioritize enemies (and thus threats) over friends. Otherwise, a frenzying werewolf will attack whoever is directly attacking them or closest, unless you spend a Willpower point that round.
        • A werewolf in a Berserk Frenzy must take their Crinos or Hispo war form.
        • A werewolf in Berserk Frenzy adds their Primal-Urge to all attack or soak rolls, but may not use weapons or attempt any defensive actions. (It is rumored that there might be a Gift or Klaivaskar technique that affects the likelihood of dropping a Fetish weapon.)
        • A werewolf is immune to supernatural mind control in Berserk Frenzy, unless a power specifically states that it can affect Frenzying characters.
      • If you botch, then your character flies into a humiliating Fox Frenzy(Note that despite the potential IC rebukes, this event has little or nothing to do with your character being a coward and far more to do with their primeval animal-brain suddenly taking over and instinctively doing what most animals – especially wolves – do when upset or threatened; they retreat, angry and confused.)
        • You must take your Lupus form.
        • You flee the scene, although, werewolves whose current Rage is higher than either their current Willpower or current Gnosis may enter a Thrall of the Wyrm instead (see below) if the disturbance is related to a particularly traumatic experience or Flaw.
        • A veteran werewolf (Fostern and above) whose current Willpower is higher than their current Rage, may instead spend a Willpower and do nothing else for the round, unless a Flaw (such as a Phobia or a Derangement) is related to the disturbance.
        • A werewolf in Fox Frenzy adds their Primal-Urge to all rolls that would better enable them to escape, yet not to any offensive actions (even if forced to fight). This probably involves making a full dodge action each round.
      • If you score 6+ successes, then your character enters into a Thrall of the Wyrm Frenzy.
        • This is a bestial state. It is a Berserk Frenzy that lasts the entire scene or until the Storyteller judges that the initial stimulus is long gone.
          • You cannot spend Willpower to direct or restrain it. You may instead roll Willpower vs 8 to avoid attacking a packmate or loved one, yet that only spares them for the round and takes your turn. You must roll Wits vs 7 after killing an enemy to not spend a round mutilating and devouring the corpse.

Spending Rage

  • It requires a spent dot of Rage to assume a non-Breed form, unless as a result of frenzying.
  • You can spend half your Rage rounded up, each combat turn.
  • The benefits of spending Rage in combat depend on which form you are in, and may be spent on multiple bonuses in the same turn. For example: A Rage 5 werewolf in Homid form could spend 3 Rage to activate Savage Instinct, Feral Reflexes, and ignore wound penalties in the same round.
    • Homid Form:
      • Savage Instinct: Inflict Lethal instead of Bashing damage with unarmed or improvised attacks for the rest of the combat round; double your leap distance; gain your Primal-Urge as a bonus to Athletics and Armor (does not stack with mundane armor beyond Reinforced Clothing).
        • If the unarmed or improvised damage would already be Lethal (such as from a bite attack or from hitting someone’s head with a rock), then add your Primal-Urge dice to the damage roll.
        • The bonus to Athletics can alternatively be treated as a Strength bonus to lift, throw or break something for one round.
        • This can be activated reflexively in response to an attack.
      • Feral Reflexes: Gain your Primal-Urge as a bonus when splitting any physical pool to take at least two actions. (i.e., if you had Dexterity 4, Firearms 3 and Primal-Urge 3, your multiple actions will be split from a 10 dice pool, instead of a 7 dice pool).
        • Alternatively, it can be used to gain the benefit of having Aimed for a single round.
      • Ignore wound penalties for a round or shake off being Stunned.
        • Note: You still spend Rage in the order of Initiative, which could have big effect on when you shake off being Stunned.
    • Crinos & Hispo Forms:
      • You may spend Rage to take extra actions in combat (attack, defend, jump on a nexus crawler’s back, etc).
        • Note: It is largely up to the Storyteller judging the combat to decide what is ‘in combat’ or not. Rage actions in your war-form are not intended – thematically – to imitate something like Celerity in terms of running around or manipulating technology. It is intended to represent tearing your enemies apart in the midst of a bloody melee. If you want to run away, take Lupus and full dodge (see below), or sprint or charge as normal.
      • Rage Regeneration: In lieu of making a normal Stamina roll for regenerating in combat (or benefiting from the Combat Healing Gift), a werewolf may spend Rage to heal a number of Lethal or Bashing levels of damage equal to their Primal-Urge.
      • Ignore wound penalties for a round or shake off being Stunned.
    • Lupus Form:
      • Swift Predator: Double your leap distance and running speed for the rest of the combat round; gain your Primal-Urge as a bonus to Athletics, Elusion and Stealth rolls (especially when ambushing)
      • Blindside: Gain your Primal-Urge as an additional bonus to damage when making a rear or flank attack on your enemy.
      • Ignore wound penalties for a round or shake off being Stunned.