innocent_man: (cahalith)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Aw, yeah, baby.

I'm not going to do unrelated stuff before these posts anymore, because occasionally folks link to them and I'd rather not muddy them with my usual musings on religion, life in general, or pie. So, I'll just do the character. (Plus, today, I don't have a lot else to say, other than running Mage today was really awesome and I've got an idea for a Hunter game set in the trenches of WWI that I totally blame on [livejournal.com profile] dandelionclock).

The Game: Werewolf: The Forsaken
The publisher: White Wolf Game Studio.
Degree of familiarity: Very yes. I wrote part of the core book and I've worked on a bunch of the source material, though not as much, interestingly, as for Mage. Also ran a 2.5 year chronicle.
Books required: The Werewolf book and the World of Darkness Rulebook. I'm going to use some sourcebooks, too, I'm sure.



OK, so all of the new World of Darkness games have what are sometimes called "z-axis" splats. In Vampire it's bloodlines, in Mage it's Legacies, etc. It's not always possible to have a starting character be a member of one of these, just because of prerequisites. However, in Werewolf, they're called "lodges," and they're more social groups. They're tribe based (usually) and focus on an aspect of the tribe, they have a secondary spiritual totem, and so on. Prerequisites aren't always harsh, and so I'd like to make a character that begins as a lodge member. That means he's got some history as a werewolf already, so let's see how the system handles that challenge.

First hurdle: I have no ideas beyond that, so I need to skim the available lodges and see which ones even appeal to me. Hang on a sec.

OK, skimming through Lodges: The Splintered and Lodges: The Faithful, I find some stuff I like. The Lodge of the Fallen Idol appeals because they're werewolves out to destroy mankind's dependence on unprovable beliefs (you can see that would be up my alley), and I've always enjoyed the Lodge of Doors. But reading over the Lodge of Garm, I see a note about carving the names of one's defeated foes into one's flesh, and that's cool as hell. Plus, I haven't made a real badass combat character yet, and Werewolf is a good place to do it. So, sure. Let's go Blood Talon and Lodge of Garm. The prerequisites are pretty simple; Glory 2 and a fighty Skill at 4 or better, so I'll remember that for the relevant sections.

Step One: Concept

I figure my character probably was some kind of badass or other before the First Change. Special Forces is overdone, and I don't feel like making a cop. Hmm. My character was a bodyguard. He never worked for anyone really famous, but mostly worked defending rich people's kids. There was a spate of a few months where these kids liked to go into the inner city to get drugs and stir up trouble, and my character had his hands full. One night, his client walked down a blind alley after a woman...and it turned out the "woman" was some kind of demon. It tore the poor kid's face off and sucked out his eyes, and the bodyguard, horrified but still obligated, attacked. The creature (actually a really vicious Ridden) beat him, and the pack that found his bloodied body was composed of Blood Talons. He impressed them because he talked of nothing else but finding that monster and killing it. He refused to do anything else until that obligation was fulfilled.

Killing it, I think, require going into the Shadow after he slew its physical body, and the fight with the spirit nearly cost him his life. But he emerged victorious, and carved two runes into his body. One his left arm, the name of the spirit he'd destroyed. On the right, a symbol for failure - he'd let his charge die. He never wants that to happen again, so he joined the Lodge of Garm to learn to be a superlative warrior.

I've got a pretty good sense of this guy, so let's move on.

Step Two: Select Attributes

Physical first, duh. Social second - being a bodyguard meant talking drunk kids down. Mental last; something has to be.

Physical: I want this guy to be strong. He's a brawler. Three dots into Strength, and one each into Dexterity and Stamina.

Social: One dot across the board, and the extra one almost goes into Presence, but I think Composure will be more useful to him as a warrior.

Mental: One dot across the board.

Step Three: Select Skills

Again, Physical's first. I'll actually keep the same prioritization as for Attributes.

Physical: To meet the lodge's prerequisites, I need four dots in a combat Skill. I'll pick Brawl. I put two dots into Athletics, two into Drive, and one each into Firearms, Weaponry and Stealth.

Social: Obviously, Intimidation is a big one: Three dots. I'll put one into Persuasion and one into Empathy. I can't help it, but I keep thinking of the Rock in The Rundown - he was fairly charismatic, and didn't really want to hurt anyone (my character doesn't care about hurting people, but he does find it useful to make people think he doesn't want to hurt them). The last two go into Socialize and Streetwise.

Mental: One dot in Occult (gained since the Change, probably) and Computer (damn kids), and two into Investigation. He kept meaning to take first aid, but never got around to it.

Step Four: Select Skill Specialties

I'm tempted to take a Brawl Specialty, but I'm probably badass enough already, and I'd like to use these to flesh my character out some more. I'll take a Persuasion Specialty in "Talking Down", useful for people he doesn't really want to fight. I'll take a Stealth Specialty in Lurking; he's a big guy, but he can blend into the shadows. And, finally, I'll put one in Streetwise - "Drug Scene." He learned a lot looking after those punks, and it's served him well since. He hates spirits of addiction and drugs. They don't fight fair.

Step Five: Add Werewolf Template

OK, obviously his tribe is Blood Talons. I think that given his obsession with fulfilling his obligations, Elodoth is a good auspice. That gives me a free Specialty in Investigation, Empathy or Politics. I don't have Empathy or Politics, so I add an Investigation Specialty: "Fight Scenes." He's good at looking at the aftermath of a fight and figuring out what happened.

I start with one dot in Primal-Urge, and I have a feeling that's where it's staying. I'm going to want my Merits for this guy. That gives me an Essence pool of 10, and I can spend 1 per turn (balls).

I get three dots in Renown. One goes into Glory, because I'm a Blood Talon. One goes to Honor, because I'm an Elodoth. And, because I'm Lodge of Garm, I have to have Glory 2, so that's where my free pick goes.

Gifts. I get three picks. One has to be from my Elodoth lists, one from Blood Talons, and one from anywhere. Because I have Glory 2, I'm eligible for a level 2 Gift, but let's see if anything strikes my fancy. I might wind up picking a Gift from a sourcebook; I'll be honest, some of the Gifts in the core book aren't very well thought-out.

Actually, looking at them, there are some good choices for this character. For my Blood Talons pick, I'll take Mask of Rage, the first-level Rage Gift. That lets me induce Lunacy in human form, which will be nice for clearing the room of mundane assailants - great for figuring out who really needs my attention. Also, it doesn't require a roll, which I like.

For my Elodoth pick, I'd like Sense Malice. My dice pool kinda blows, but I really want the second-level Gift (Scent of Taint), so I'll suffer (besides, that's what Willpower's for). That takes care of my Gifts.

Step Six: Select Merits

Oh, so many choices. OK, I know I want to take a Triumph Rune (it's in Lodges: The Faithful) from killing that spirit. That's two dots. I'll put a point into Language (First Tongue) - for an Elodoth, a good command of spirit tongue is a must. I'm really tempted to take Giant, but it'll eat my remaining four points and I think I've got better ideas.

I'll put a point into Resources; he's still got money saved from when he was a bodyguard. I'll take a point of Contacts (Druggies); another side-effect of his work. Likewise, he doesn't get turned away from bars, so he's a Barfly. Finally, I pull out my books to see if there are any Fighting Styles that work. Police Tactics from Tales from the 13th Precinct is perfect, so I take the first dot.

That's it for Merits.

Step Seven: Determine Advantages

These differ across different forms, but in Hishu form, I've got: Size 5, Defense 2, Willpower 5, Health 7, Speed 11, Initiative 5. I fill in these different stats for his five forms, as well as my Attribute changes.

Virtue and Vice. I think he's a pretty obvious Justice, myself. I'd choose Wrath for Vice, but honestly he's fairly even-tempered, for a werewolf. I'll go with Pride - he doesn't like to lose fights, because he thinks he shouldn't. Jaws of Garm and all.

Step Eight: Spark of Life

I've got a pretty good sense of this guy, but I want to fill in a few more details, like, say, his name. I see him as a big guy, muscular, but not overly tall. He's thick and beefy, definitely a body builder. He's of North African descent - his father was Egyptian, but left he when was very young (which leaves him to wonder if Dad was Uratha, too). His American mother raised him in the States, so he grew up quite American; California, I'm thinking. His name is Osman Seif, but he goes by "Mani."

Mani's mother is still around, and he visits or calls as he can. He's a warrior now, though, and he's slowly losing touch with the human world. In a way, that's OK with him, because most of the people he's met have been pretty vapid. But on the other hand, the spirits and Claimed that he hunts tend to be involved in the drug culture somehow, and that's very much in the human world.

I like this guy - if I actually was going to play him, I'd probably arrange dots so that I could throw a point into Totem. But then again, you never know - he was pretty hyper-focused right after the Change, so my picks are probably sound.






And that's it! Tomorrow: The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men!

Date: 2008-07-13 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] matrexsvigil.livejournal.com
Hmm. It seems this actually makes me want to play W:tF. =)

-P.C.

--"Off the Pink."--

Date: 2008-07-17 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] innocent-man.livejournal.com
Now, what about this made you want to play WtF?

Date: 2008-07-13 06:49 am (UTC)
amokk: (WTF skull)
From: [personal profile] amokk
To keep it WtF, Police Tactics is reprinted in Tribes of the Moon, in the Blood Talon section (the section on the lodge of cops). ;)

Otherwise, though, I really like this character.

Date: 2008-07-13 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eolirin.livejournal.com
But EVERYONE likes pie!

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