Forsaken: The Edge of Everything
Welcome to the front page for , a series of short campaigns for the New World of Darkness.
Our first campaign is Werewolf: the Forsaken, and tells the story of five Uratha and their Kitsune legal counsel as they fight for the future of a small town
I’m your storyteller, Mike Foxman, and I’m available at any time to answer questions.
See you every other Sunday.
Storyteller Thought of the Day
Werewolves and violence
Part 1: That’s my werewolf, always killin’ on folk!
Werewolves are just as much wolf as man, so their moral views are not quite human. Never is this more apparent than the place of violence within the Uratha hierarchy of sin.
Wolves kill, and feel no guilt. To a human, a werewolf’s life might seem an endless cycle of gleeful carnage, but this is not accurate. While many Uratha do revel in bloodshed, the majority of werewolves see violence as necessary, but only when it is necessary.
If you are hungry, you hunt. If you are attacked, you defend yourself. If someone oversteps, you put them in their place. If fighting or even killing is what the situation demands, so be it.
Killing a human or wolf needlessly is a Rank 6 sin. That means the average or young Uratha who lashes out and takes a life experiences some guilt over it, but probably not enough to lose Harmony.
But the key word is needlessly, and what you need at any given moment can be very subjective.
Does a regenerating werewolf need to eviscerate a thug with an uzi? How dangerous is the crook in general?
Does a werewolf need to gun down a human who sees and remembers them transforming? Can you trust the witness not to spill the beans?
Do you need to rip a bum’s throat out for calling you names? Who saw him insult you?
If the argument can be soundly made that a killing was necessary, a werewolf can kill and not much care. You are a predator. Let the prey beware. But while some predators might kill for fun, you have the reasoning power and empathy of a human. So if you want to pursue Harmony, don’t be a butcher.
Of course, while necessary killing is relatively acceptable for werewolves, torture is not okay at all, precisely because it is never necessary, and completely unnatural. There is rarely anything personal in killing prey, and so to relish suffering is beneath a wolf or werewolf.
Men or dogs?
Matthias of Flanders asks:
What exactly should we be looking at when roleplaying werewolves? How much of our ‘humanity’ are we eschewing in favor of playing glorified animals? I thought that part of the struggle was to keep your humanity and fight off the Rage. If I’m wrong on that, let me know and I’ll adjust accordingly.
Short answer: You are NOT playing a glorified animal. You are playing a being that fuses human, animal, and spirit. How much you show of any of those is entirely up to you. Werewolves are a RACE. They are not people who share an ILLNESS, like Vampires, or shared backstory, like Changelings. You are basically playing badass Neanderthals – you are very close to human, but clearly different.
Long answer: I think your Harmony should determine how bestial you are. It is literally harmony. The higher, the more you fuse wolf and human behavior, the lower, the more one intrudes on the other to make you monstrous.
I’ll illustrate this the best way I know how – MOVIE REFERENCES!
A Harmony 8-9 Uratha probably seems like a very tough, confident, but balanced person who’s just in tune with his instincts. So, nice-guy Hugh Jackman Wolverine from X-2. He knows he’s part beast, but he internalizes and channels that part of him to be more effective.
A Harmony 5-7 Uratha is not quite at-ease with his nature and seems a bit off, but not terribly so. He might exhibit certain wolfish ticks or behaviors when emotional, such as growling when angry, or nuzzling or licking instead of kissing. Jack Nicholson in Wolf is a great example. He becomes more aggressive, pays more attention to scent, and asserts dominance by pissing on his rival’s shoes. A human CAN do these things and still seem human, just… off.
A harmony 3-4 Uratha growls as much as he talks, hunches, snarls, sees smiles as a threat (showing teeth), and is very aggressive. Sabertooth from the X-Men cartoons, or the Tyler Mane rendition from the movies. Heck, I’d put Liev Schreiber Sabertooth at Harmony 4.
Below that, and you’re just a psychotic beast. If it weren’t a lion in plate armor, the thing in Brotherhood of the Wolf is a good example.
The best werewolfy behaviors at your current level of Harmony are those that mix human and wolf without being too obtrusive. Such as:
- Buster and Brook waiting for the Alpha to act before acting themselves
- Devlin refusing to back down from a more powerful Alpha who won’t show him respect in front of his pack
- Walter rolling his eyes at werewolfy posturing and just getting to the meat of the matter
- Luc asserting himself by ignoring personal space
- Mudd not involving himself in alpha shenanigans
All these are good behaviors. You should be humans, who turn into wolves, and sometimes act enough like wolves to be unsettling. This isn’t Wolf’s Rain, where they’re just wolves who look human. You struggle with the Beast, but unlike a vampire, you have to find some synthesis with it, as opposed to keeping it suppressed.
To be absolutely clear: In a Werewolf game, you are attempting to find a flexible line between human and animal. That is what you roleplay. A human who acts like a wolf (or fox…) in some ways, and is influenced by certain wolfish behaviors.