Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fixing Werewolf

Recently on the forums, the balance issues of the New World Of Darkness have become a pretty hot topic, especially vis a vis how poorly Uratha handle in relation to Mages and Sin-Eaters. I had this to say:

"I was thinking about this one earlier too. Now admittedly, W:tF was the last core book I bought for WoD, and I've read it the least, so I might be screwing up details or making in-accurate statements. Feel free to knee me in the crotch if I am.

A werewolf pack with their minds set on something should be a horrific force of nature. If the pack knows what they're up against, then whatever it is should not simply lose. It should be absolutely eviscerated. These guys are meant to be the combat monster splat for WoD. If that mage didn't prepare for a werewolf pack busting down his door, he should be dead meat. If a Sin-Eater walks the wrong streets without his krewe, he should be expecting to have another near-death experience.

But I do think that the above should only really apply to packs. A lone werewolf should still be absolute terror and fury on fluffy, fanged wheels, but he shouldn't be a great threat to anyone who knows what they're doing. So I think that there should be bonuses for hunting in a pack. And not simply everyone hitting harder. An Irraka is that much quieter, an Elodoth that much wiser, and an Ithauer is never more aware of the spirits than when he's with the boys. And they all hit harder.

Also, Gifts should be rethought. Werewolf Gifts currently use the same kind of system that Kindred Disciplines use (get nyar dots in this power, and get nyar abilities). This works pretty good for Vampire, Changeling and Promethean. But it can be observed that the powers have always been the most interesting when this shit gets shaken up.

I'm going to be dipping into fan-games here, but I think the point still stands. Leviathan Vestiges are always on, and in their basic form, are pretty small potatoes. But as a Leviathan changes to more monstrous forms, he gets access to better Vestige powers. Then there's the Sin-Eaters, with the way Keys work with Manifestations. So where does this leave Werewolves?

With the Gifts, they should all have an ability that at least partially relates to hunting something down and killing it to death. Take the Knowledge Gifts. Until the fifth dot, there's not really much martial use in them. But if we add abilities related to, ah, I dunno...let's say that maybe they open up the werewolf's mind, to allow him to better understand the weaknesses of his foes and their plans, that would be pretty cool. And hey, to drive in pack activity, let's make it so that Knowledge Gifts get a whole bunch of combat avenues available to them, but only when the character is operating with one or more members of his pack.

Now, I wish to state again that I'm not particularly learned about W:tF, and everything I've said just now might be completely missing the point or just be flat out wrong. But if we're looking at ways to improve Uratha in relation to other splats, then I think these are the things we should be looking at.

TL;DR: Make the buggers stronger.

Oh, and do some of the stuff people came up with for Death Rage and whatnot, that stuff was cool."


  1. While playing around with "who would beat who in a fight?" is a fun exercise, it's not really the point of WoD. Werewolves are considered badasses because you can give Poindexter Nerdstrom the template and he will outperform Poindexter Nerdstrom the Vampire. Put Poindexter Nerdstrom the Werewolf up against Steven Seagal the Vampire and it will be a different story.

  2. Yeah, this thing about relative power shouldn't matter much in a werewolf chronicle (well, unless your GM sucks). Regardless, I still find Gifts to be a little lame.