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Werewolf House Rules
Lethality


Werewolf is a game about savage hunters and killers waging a war against an entity that wants to destroy the world. Their most famous heroes are those men and women (and wolves and whatever the hell Metis are) that have stood in the face of death... and sometimes not made it out alive.

To reflect this, combat situations in Werewolf are going to be lethal; what this means is that if your character is in a fight, he stands the chance of not making it out alive. This does not mean that death is a guarantee; it might not even be probable. But it is a possibility.

This applies only to combat within the werewolf game; if your Garou gets involved in a fight with someone else's vampire or something, regular site rules reflecting such things apply, rather than werewolf-specific lethality. However, if you decide to get your vampire involved in a werewolf plot (...why?) this risk will affect that character as well.

This does not apply to PC-on-PC conflict, unless it is moderated by an ST; if you can't get such moderation, then the worst that happens is incapacitated. In this way I hope to make it so that things like combat challenges and frenzy are still risky, without allowing for "rogue" players to go around trying to kill off other characters.

Rage and Frenzy


Frenzy follows all the rules outlined in the book. However there are a few notes and clarifications.

- A character with Rage below 4 can still frenzy. If the situation is dire or personal enough (ST's call) they may roll their Rage, at normal difficulties; if the character gets even one success, they frenzy, due to the extenuating circumstances. If they botch the roll, they fall into Thrall of the Wyrm, again because of how extreme the situation is.

- Under most circumstances, Permanent Rage is what is rolled for frenzy checks, However if for some reason you have temporary Rage currently higher than your permanent (such as having Wendigo as a totem) then you roll your temporary score.

- The Curse does not apply to Kinfolk unless the Werewolf has more Rage than the kinfolk's Willpower. Even then, it doesn't cause outright fear unless the Werewolf's rage is double or more than the Kinfolk's Willpower. So a Kinfolk with Willpower 3 is fine with that new Philodox, a bit uneasy with the new Galliard and Ahroun, and downright creeped out by that angry Red Talon with Rage 6.

- In Werewolf, Rage can be used to reduce the effects of wound penalties; a point of Rage can move you back to the next-lowest wound penalty (So if you're at -5 from Crippled, you can spend a point of Rage to put yourself at -2). This effect lasts for a single round, and only one Rage may be spent in this way per turn. (This is in addition to the site-wide use of Willpower to negate wound penalties; the Garou are tough bastards)

- Increasing Rage with Experience represents the Garou becoming more brutal and jaded, more emotionally scarred, and more aware of the suffering of Gaia (or more open to the agony of the Wyrm, according to some...) Suffering a major loss, being a victim of regular injustice, or fulfilling a quest for vengeance can be a trigger to increase Rage, as can suffering Wyrm-corruption or giving yourself over to the savage brutality of the Garou condition.

Gnosis and the umbra


- The Gauntlet for most of Los Angeles is 7, raising to 8 in places like Downtown, or lowering to 6 in places like Chino Hills or Malibu. Some spots may be dramatically higher (Disneyland) or lower (Rat Alleys), at the ST's discretion.

- Umbral quests take time. You can't "Go to the Battleground for the afternoon." If your character decides to travel the umbra, they may be gone for days, weeks, even months, depending on where they are going.

- Gnosis may not be spent to allow the Garou to instantly step sideways. That is a 2nd edition rule that has been discarded with Revised.

- Much like Rage, if for some reason you have more temporary Gnosis than you do Permanent, roll the temporary score.

- Keep in mind that Gnosis can be difficult to regain. Many Garou lack the patience or time to meditate for hours at a time, and engling hunts can be few and far-between.

- Increasing Gnosis with experience is a representation of the Garou growing more "in-tune" with their spiritual selves and Gaia as a whole. Completing spirit quests in the umbra, fulfilling prophecy, the birth of a first child, or a significant victory over corruption can spur such a connection.

Willpower


- Willpower may be spent for Automatic successes as usual. However, please do this in moderation; Spending Willpower for success represents your character exerting so much effort that it burns away a portion of his own resilience. Willpower for successes is meant to be something of an act of desperation. The Storyteller may forbid you this option if they deem it proper; if you have already spent five willpower in a scene, for instance, or if you're spending it on a difficulty 3 roll or something.

- Unlike Gnosis and Rage, Willpower rolls will always use your permanent rating, regardless of what your temporary pool is.

- Characters regain willpower when they achieve some personal victory, or successfully act in accordance with their Nature or Auspice. They do not get a Willpower point upon waking each day, unless they are currently involved in plot where "restful sleep" is meaningful. At the start of every month, you may refill your character's Willpower to full; this is our version of "at the end of the Story"

- Spending Experience to gain Willpower represents your character gaining more control over themselves and building their self-confidence. It is spurred by major triumphs and victories such as gaining a major Sept position, fulfilling your Auspice roles in a major way (A Gallaird learning a major portion of the Silver Record, a Ragabash saving a caern though deceit, a Philodox ending a war between septs, etc) or by surviving and overcoming extreme hardship.

Combat


Combat is covered thoroughly in the books and several other portions of the City of Angels site. I'm just going to reiterate a few things here and make some notes.

- Many Martial Arts were not designed to be used in the inhuman forms. While those forms which possess two arms, two legs and a basic humanoid shape may operate without penalty while using martial arts, those who take completely inhuman shapes may not. Such characters (such as Archid form Mokole, various forms of the Ananasi or almost all of the animal forms associated with the Fera) may not use Advanced or Expert Maneuvers at all, nor may they make use of Techniques. Simply put, if you can use a gun, drive a car, or use a computer in Crinos, you can use your disciplined training. That said, some Martial Arts are less appropriate probably, particularly those requiring greater thought and calm in the midst of battle; Crinos DO get a -1 diffculty modifier to frenzies for a reason, after all. Use your best judgement, and remember that in many cases it's just more effective to claw and bite.

- A character's movement is affected by how grievously they are injured, as per the chart on page 129 of the revised core book. Here are the levels in brief:

Injured: Movement is mildly inhibited (one half max. running speed)

Wounded: Character may walk, not run, and may not move and then attack, losing dice during any turn when both moving and attacking.

Mauled: Character may hobble three yards per turn.

Crippled: Character may crawl one yard per turn.

Incapacitated: Character is incapable of movement and likely (but NOT necessarily) unconscious).

- There are no "negative" health levels. If your character is at crippled, and takes four more damage, then he is not "three below incapacitated," he is simply "below incapacitated." What this means is that if your character falls below incapacitated and rolls Rage to stay active, he does not need to heal three health levels before reaching Incapacitated.

- Garou may soak Bashing and lethal damage at difficulty 6 in all forms. Homids and lupus soak aggravated damage at difficulty 8 in their breed forms. Metis soak all damage at difficulty 6 in all forms.

- Kinfolk may soak lethal damage at difficulty 8, but may not soak aggravated damage.

- Garou, and most other shifters, are capable of incredible feats of regeneration; this is how one can be struck by a car and thrown into a ditch and be up and growling within minutes. This incredible healing does have limits, of course; truly major wounds, particularly when caused by sources such as fire, toxic waste, and silver, are likely to leave some marks behind, and Battle Scars are examples of that incredible regenerative power being pushed to the brink and not fully able to compensate. Still, no other group in the World of Darkness heals the way Garou and other shifters do. This very fact can be both terrifying to foes and a definite potential Veil breach, particularly with Metis and Lupus, who regenerate in homid.

- In order to naturally heal Aggravated damage, you must be in a form other than your breed form, and spend a day doing nothing but resting and recuperating per health level healed.

- Some attacks are too traumatic for the Garou body to fully cope with, such as limb removal. Extremities such as fingers or feet can generally be grown back, as if they were five levels of aggravated damage, but a fully removed limb will generally heal over as a stump - maybe a longer stump than the Garou was left with, but still a stump. if the severed limb can be somehow reattached before the healing is complete, it will heal properly, with a relevant battle Scar. Certain Gifts may also allow limb regeneration.

- Combat in the umbra works exactly like combat in the material world. The 2nd edition rules like using Gnosis to soak damage in the umbra no longer apply.

- On pages 193 and 194 it discusses the use of Rage and Splitting Dice for multiple actions. The example HINTS that they are not compatible, but it never outright says so. My predecessor took a literal interpretation of this and decided they are not. I am going to follow that line, as it frankly streamlines combat by avoiding people regularly tossing down 5-6 actions a round. This goes for Desperate/Full Defense and Rage actions, to avoid abuse of this ability. This also makes Rage that much more valuable.

Breeding


I'll make this really simple; if you want your character to have a kid, go ahead. Really, no rolls, no formulae, no systems. It's not that big of a deal and is truthfully not a very integral part of the game. The only roll needed is to see if the kid is a Garou or not; Leave this roll to the ST. Formulas for pure breed, sex, eye color, whatever... again all irrelevant. It's very unlikely that, in the scope of the City of Angels game any of that will matter.

You will only get a relevant renown award for your first child. And if all your Garou does is lay back and crank out babies, well, they might very well end up with renown penalties; the next generation is important, but fighting to make sure that the universe exists for them to grow up in is vastly more important.

Death


Nobody likes losing a character, and I imagine no ST likes seeing a character die on their watch. However, sooner or later it's bound to happen. So here's the deal to help make up for the problem of losing a character you've put lots of work into developing and building. If your character dies, then you will be permitted to make another character with one rank below the deceased character, using the "experienced" character creations charts found in the Storyteller's guide. Be assured that if your character dies, you will not be told "tough cookies, start from scratch!" of course, if you want to start from scratch, that's fine; just that you have the option.

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