Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creating a character for Werewolf: the Apocalypse

I have Werewolf: the Apocalypse 2nd Edition and never have created a character for it. Actually I haven't played it either. It's only few years I've owned it. Forsaken I played but decided to buy Apocalypse as old World of Darkness suits my taste better.

Anyways. This will be both easy and challenging. Easy because it uses same basic mechanics of Vampire: the Masquerade I have used a lot but challenging because I am not familiar with all the differences like Renown, Rage, Gnosis and Tribes, Gifts and so on. So I have to do a little bit reading to make decisions on what I want. But let's get started.

Step One: Character Concept

First I have to choose Breed, Auspice and Tribe. I have no idea what they are so I have to start this with some inspection. Let's see...

Breed means what my parents are. Garou (werewolf in setting) are only allowed to breed with human or wolf but not with each other. Options are homid (human), metis (Garou to Garou love) or lupus (wolf). It states that metis characters have deformities and checking out that they are basically forsaken. Yeah. My character is metis.

Auspice is under what phase of the moon my character was born. Auspice is like astrological sing giving a hint of personality and also affects initial rage and gifts. I choose Ahroun: Full Moon; Warrior the slayer, mad man-wolf, Rage incarnate. Suits with my deformed body but still also some more philosophical loner would be cool. But this is my first time Werewolf character and I want to rip some butt! my Initial Rage is 5 and beginning Gifts are Razor Claws, Inspiration, The Falling Touch.

Tribe I choose from simplified list describing them narrowly at this point. I have a little idea what different tribes are so I won't read all 13 (times two pages or something) now. Bone Gnawers (vagrants of the streets of the city, well informed but universally despised) or Get Of Fenris (savage and blood thirsty largely of Norse descent and proud of it. They dominate rural towns). I have had my share of urban modern campaigns with Vampire: the Masquerade so I will choose Get Of Fenris.
From Tribe I get Initial Willpower 3 and Gifts Razor Claws and Resist Pain. I cannot get these backgrounds: Contacts or Mentor.

Step Two: Choosing Attributes

This is easy from Vampire: the Masquerade. There are three Attribute categories Physical, Social and Mental each containing three Attributes. I divide 7/5/3 points in them all starting with one dot.
Primary is Physical: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
Secondary is Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 1, Wits 3
Third is Social: Charisma 1, Manipulation 4, Appearance 1

Step Three: Choosing Abilities

Abilities are skills divided in three categories each containing ten abilities. I got to spend 13/9/5 points for them each starting at zero.
Primary are Skills: Animal Ken 3, Firearms 2, Melee 4, Leadership 1, Stealth 1, Survival 2
Secondary are Talents: Alertness 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Dodge 1, Intimidation 1, Primal-Urge 1
Third are Knowledges: Enigmas 1, Medicine 1, Rituals 3

Step Four: Advantages

I can choose Backgrounds with 5 dots and they are Fetish 2, Kinfolk 1 and Rites 2.
Gifts I get one each from Breed, Auspice and Tribe. My gifts are: Sense Wyrm, Razor Claws and Resist Pain.

Renown I start with three dots which I distribute as my auspice demands. Not sure if I do this right... But my Renown dots are: Glory 2, Honor 1, Wisdom 0 found in one chart. Good (or close) enough.

Step Five: Finishing Touches

Now I write down my Rage 5 from Auspice, Gnosis 3 from Breed, Willpower 3 from Tribe and my Rank 1 because it says so.

Last thing to do is spend freebie points. Each starting character has 15 of them I can distribute where ever I want but different things cost different amounts of them. I want more willpower, so my Willpower is now 8. I also want more Rage rising it to 8. Two remaining points I use to get Dodge to 2.

And because I am a metis I have to choose a deformity. Madness it is. I like the description and my character write up would be awesome!

Last thing I need to do is flesh up my character. Write background, motivations, determine my Fetish and Rites and other details. There are questions and answers to help this. Also the Pack can be determined with questions helping the job.

Final Thoughts

This wasn't that fun. I knew how to share points but character creation was hard because I haven't read the book. Well, I have read it from here and there but not completed it. Some things were not explained well and I needed to do some page shuffling to find out how they work or what they need. I also encountered one term I couldn't find from index! White Wolf has always been horrible with indexes but not finding metis there was just lame.

Also all the auspices, tribes, breeds, totems and so on added more complication in the process. Vampire: the Masquerade character is easier to create.

But this was my first time and I think the next time will be easier. Mongoose RuneQuest was a game I had never read before but character creation for it was kid's play. Have they fixed this organization problem with Werewolf rulebook in Revised? I don't know.

This was fun but not painless. I had to go back and forth all the time what was a bit difficult trying to write the process same time.


The Fat Hero said...

For the love of god, why did you have to choose a book I have that is covered in dust? Why?

I always saw the Werewolf index a lot less sparse and more organize than the Vampire ones.

I found the metis on page 301 of the index, but I just need to add you do yourself a disservice by not reading the book. If you are using the revise book, the metis is on page 309 of the index.

Be careful with rage as you can easily frenzy a storyteller can say you are under such a stressful that you roll for frenzy, and they just might make it a fox frenzy instead of the cool one. The fox frenzy make you cry like a puppy and run away.

Oh yeah, and you might be able to role six success on a rage roll and fall into the thrall of the wyrm. A Metis does naughty things to the body regardless of what is going on around you when in the thrall. Just typing that made me feel a little stupid, the stuff I liked as a kid.

Unknown said...

True to that, W:tA 2e books index looked way much better than Vampire revised. But it was not perfect.

And I know that creating a character for some games without having that much of a clue what the game is about and how it works is not great beginning. I mean there are more rules for Werewolf than Vampire. All the spirit stuff for example and different mechanics for "secondary characteristics".

I knew what I did with rage. My character is a wreck. Nuts, twisted, lost soul, and mentally fucked up. So frenzying by rules kinda adds to that. I could have made more playable or easier character but I wanted to create something crazy.

Thrall of the wyrm is new to me. I gotta check that out!