Saturday, February 20, 2010

Werewolf: the F***ed-over [Past Lives]

So, during a monster discussion on rpg.net, the inestimable Jon Chung pointed out that Werewolves actually rank pretty low on the combat totem pole.  For his part, he mostly meant that other creatures lack the absurd flexibility of supernaturals like Mages, Changelings or Geists.  Nobody can really compete with a mage's ability to kill you from half-way across the world, for example.

Still, Matt McFarland, White-Wolf developer, pointed out that in his games, he's often found Werewolves to be "too weak," and Armory Reloaded contains some options to fix that (the one I like the most is the 9-again for strength rolls in Gauru form).

After I posted my thoughts on why Werewolves were too weak, another poster suggested that you buff Gauru form 1 attribute dot per rank of Primal Urge.  While I think this is interesting, it gave me an idea.

In oWoD, Werewolves could have Past Lives.  In Rage, this Past Lives manifested as actual characters, and your character was the embodiment of this great hero.  I liked that idea, and thought it was a shame that it never actually worked that way in the game.

But what if it could?  At Gnosis 3, 5 and 7 (I believe), Mages gain access to "Legacies."  Werewolves have Lodges (which suck), but what if they also had access to a Past Life?  You define your character's past life, and he has a skill requirement, and a weakness associated with him, like a Ban.  When you hit Primal Urge 3, you can take this past life: If the required skill is at five, you raise that skill to 6. Furthermore, the Past Life has Attributes associated with it: that attribute is increased by +1 for either the near-man or near-wolf form (also defined by the past life), and +2 for the Gauru form.

I think that might be a way to give that guy's special little rule some serious flavor.  What do you think?
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