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Ana Mizuki

Weres but not wolves?

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Hokay, first off, I like werewolf, both games. I love playing a werewolf and what it adds up to. But I am beginning to notice something very wrong in the published material of Forsaken.

Simply to put, werewolf is about balance between man and wolf, of flesh and spirit. Yet, from the book NPCs, and from the way things are presented, it doesn't feel there IS any wolf aspect to the characters. The game is set more about people in jobs that would make things hard for uratha, the human appearance is noted, but not the wolf. Infact, the more I read of them, the more it feels like it is more about Spirit versus flesh than balance between animal and human.

I fully admit being a big fan of the non-human breeds in apocalypse, and their loss does sadden me in forsaken, but I figured now everyone is just as wolf. But no.

Thoughts on the lack of wolf in the werewolf,anybody?

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There's a bit of a double-standard here, Blood of the Wolf goes into a *lot* of detail about wolf physiology and stuff like that, but there's very little information about what it's like to be a wolf, to act like a wolf.... because they don't really care anymore. You arn't a wolf pack, you're a werewolf pack. and werewolves act in a very peculiar way that is not the way wolves act.

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Things that I remember off the top of my head;

The face of Mother Luna effects them. A lot. The wise one, crescent? Makes them think a lot, Cahalith or Irraka werewolves would have visions that make them wiser or just outright mind fuck them. Happens to some Ithaeur too. Luna's full face makes us more hostile, angry. The urge to hunt as a normal animal is something we feel too, your werewolf side might want to lunge and grab fleeing "prey" by the throat as soon as they show any sign of running away to end the "hunt" swiftly and skillfully. We also feel an urge to transform and roam in that skin. There are songs, sung by howling to the moon, that other werewolves have made. It's also a sin against harmony to not hunt and be sustained by human means for more than 3 days.

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Things that I remember off the top of my head;

The face of Mother Luna effects them. A lot. The wise one, crescent? Makes them think a lot, Cahalith or Irraka werewolves would have visions that make them wiser or just outright mind fuck them. Happens to some Ithaeur too. Luna's full face makes us more hostile, angry. The urge to hunt as a normal animal is something we feel too, your werewolf side might want to lunge and grab fleeing "prey" by the throat as soon as they show any sign of running away to end the "hunt" swiftly and skillfully. We also feel an urge to transform and roam in that skin. There are songs, sung by howling to the moon, that other werewolves have made. It's also a sin against harmony to not hunt and be sustained by human means for more than 3 days.

See, this, this isn't my problem. I LIKE that the mechanics focus on the wolf side and require you to hunt and stuff.

My problem is how human some NPCs were presented and how their jobs/situations were those of humans, not really werewolves or wolves. I know this doesn't count technically, but I've seen ads to play WtF in a prison setting x.x

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Oh, I misunderstood you then~ Idk why some NPCs are shown like that~ Only thing I can think of is that they are Iron Masters~~doubt all of them were~

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Oh, I misunderstood you then~ Idk why some NPCs are shown like that~ Only thing I can think of is that they are Iron Masters~~doubt all of them were~

Nah, some are definetly not Iran Masters. It's easy to miss it, but the -way- they are presented is less 'this guy is a werewolf' and more 'this guy is a human with abilities and an inhuman bent on things'. No space is wasted on the wolf-form looks, hell any or all wolf aspects are quite easily forgotten. A character is a ex-soldier/hacker/flowershop owner and that weights in much more than what they are to Luna and uratha. Oh, some leave the human life, but then they feel like they excist in a vacuum.

Also,in a lodge book, african urath are told to not take the shape of a wolf, but a cape dog or a spotted hyena O.o Thus, basically saying the friggin' wolf aspect of the character matters SO little that it can be replaced with another animal and everybody is none the wiser.

Mind, not ALL material is like this, but those that are do bother me.

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Nah, some are definetly not Iran Masters. It's easy to miss it, but the -way- they are presented is less 'this guy is a werewolf' and more 'this guy is a human with abilities and an inhuman bent on things'. No space is wasted on the wolf-form looks, hell any or all wolf aspects are quite easily forgotten. A character is a ex-soldier/hacker/flowershop owner and that weights in much more than what they are to Luna and uratha. Oh, some leave the human life, but then they feel like they excist in a vacuum.

Also,in a lodge book, african urath are told to not take the shape of a wolf, but a cape dog or a spotted hyena O.o Thus, basically saying the friggin' wolf aspect of the character matters SO little that it can be replaced with another animal and everybody is none the wiser.

Mind, not ALL material is like this, but those that are do bother me.

I have similar feelings. Principally, I like WtF very much; the power level, the mythology, the animist angle all are appealing to me. But when CHANGING BREEDS came out, I immediately liked it even more, because this book goes to some lengths to present shapechangers as really half human, half animal. They are, for example, able to procreate in animal guise as well as in human guise.

Now, I know quite well that CHANGING BREEDS gets some flak (to say the least) because of mechanical inconsistencies, which do not matter at all to me, and even because of exactly that: the animal take on things, up to and including the "shit speak".

What really makes my day with CHANGING BREEDS is that it includes honest-to-goodness real half-breeds of human and animal, not of spirit and flesh.

A feral character in one of my groups has married another lion changer, and they really are planning to take their honeymoon as lions in the African savannah. Isn't that absolutely cool?

(Follow posters: please, please stick to Ana's thread theme and do not start bashing the crap out of CB or my love for it.)

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Ok, first on Changing Breeds, I liked it too but I also understand what was lacking with it and to be honest it was in many ways simply a retelling of the oWoD especially all this nature against man crap. And there is of course the inconsistencies among the stuff itself, e.g. the Vargrs stats did not add up with their description (they would look like mutated deerhounds) or the Qualmani shifting into bobcats, pumas and maine coon cats, or the size of the Rajan rat form (size 3 is the size of a coyote). But I plan to change that in my fan book.

Now to the Uratha:

I noticed what you said too . But I never had a problem with it because the Uratha aren't actually like real wolves anyway, to be true much of the stuff about wolf-behaviour was even wrong. However the Uratha are not actual amalgamations of wolves and men like the three werewolf species from Changing Breeds but they are, according to their legends, the offspring of the moonspirit and a wolf-spirit. Now this wolf spirit was also a war spirit and considered that their mother was known for her fickle temperament well than the state of the Uratha seems pretty "logical". However, Uratha usually don't have wolf-borns among them (there was one character in Wolfsbane but that one wasn't much different). That Uratah make such a fuss about wolf-borns is actually a sort of joke in my Changing Breeds book. Anyway, all Uratha are practically human-born and were mostly raised as humans, therefore it is in my eyes only logical that they filter everything from a human perspective and therefore are presented as rather human than wolf. I don't know why but White Wolf seems to have left the beast aspect out of nWoD.

What I agree on is that it is actually weird that african Uratha change into African Wild Dogs or are somewhat shaped like spotted hyenas (according to Skinchangers). There is also this from The Rage:

Many Forsaken from Central America tend to have coyote-like coloration, while some in South

America sport the distinctive fox-like coloration of the maned wolf. Black is a common coat color among

those born in the region.

No explanation was ever given for that and its simply weird.

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I don't know why but White Wolf seems to have left the beast aspect out of nWoD.

What I agree on is that it is actually weird that african Uratha change into African Wild Dogs or are somewhat shaped like spotted hyenas (according to Skinchangers). There is also this from The Rage:

No explanation was ever given for that and its simply weird.

See, I always assumed that since the feral breeds were gone, all uratha were as wild as a counter-balance. And in some books this is presented VERY well, noting that uratha are both, not just one. But then there are books which ignore the wolf-half.

And then there are those things, coyotes, hyenas... to me these are not uratha, there are two splats FOR them (three actually) and they are called changing breeds. Maned wolves and spotted hyena are so different FROM the classical wolf that the uratha would need stat changes. To assume you can just willy nilly replace the wolf half without effects feels shoddy.

Also, absolutely brilliant to re-kindle the 'black colour is COOL, despite it being detrimental for animals in hot climates' argument poor Striders had XD

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I guess all these non-wolf shapes were an attempt to explain how there can be Uratha in non-wolf lands (dogs are obviously not cool enough to give their shapes to Uratha) without thinking much. The nWoD is very US-American in my eyes with the same flaw that it doesn't really think about other parts of the earth (no offense intended).

Not really thought through. Actually there are even more flaws where they actively break rules from the corebook (e.g. an Uratha who changed as a kid).

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I guess all these non-wolf shapes were an attempt to explain how there can be Uratha in non-wolf lands (dogs are obviously not cool enough to give their shapes to Uratha) without thinking much. The nWoD is very US-American in my eyes with the same flaw that it doesn't really think about other parts of the earth (no offense intended).

Not really thought through. Actually there are even more flaws where they actively break rules from the corebook (e.g. an Uratha who changed as a kid).

I believe part of the issue W:tF has is it's a game of savage and personal horror. You're a wolf in lamb's clothing, but you're not really a wolf at all -- you're something far more deadly and vicious. You're not half-animal at all as one of the Uratha; you're half-spirit. And from what I can pick up about Father Wolf, that spirit-half of yours is descended from a brutal spirit of the Hunt (personal theory, here). The only connection you've got with wolves is that Father Wolf took on that shape and it was passed on to you via the bloodlines.

Forsaken deals with the human and spirit parts moreso than the wolf part because that's what the focus on the gameline is about. Though, as a Storyteller, I'm more than happy when my players use their heightening primal urge as a yardstick for how much the beastial-spirit half of them is influencing them

I actually don't mind Changing Breeds, it gives the potential for Werewolves who are actually half-man, half-wolf, and for them -- I'd so abuse the behaviors of a wolf for a character, while lessening the impact of the Spirit World on them. Two different gamelines focusing on two different aspects of the same monster-splat.

~~

Uratha don't take the shape of dogs because they're not dogs -- or really wolves. I'd even go as far as saying Uratha are an evolved form of Host, really.

As for nWoD being North American focused, it's probably because the company's situation here and the bigest chunk of their playerbase is the average North American schmuck. It's easier to connect with your playerbase when your themes, conflicts, and story ideas all stem from close to home. The wider and more general you try to aim, you risk watering down your product to make it matter to a broader consumer base.

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