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Which animal features do you usually pick when playing a Gangrel?

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  • Which animal features do you usually pick when playing a Gangrel?

    What features did you pick when playing a Gangrel who has frenzied?

  • #2
    I go all over the place, they just need to be features of indigenous predators. Broad definition of both those terms though. Omnivores and insectivores are predators too. Wolves and bears are still indigenous to an area where they went extinct in relatively recent history. I remember an NPC who as permanent features had rat claws and tail, patches of toad skin and 8 spider eyes. The clanbook said that Gangrel who only exhibit the features of a single species are rare. A guide-line that I like, makes them more monstrous and unnatural.
    I guess I haven't focused much on mental features cause I'm scared it'll just get silly.

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    • #3
      My gaming group and I only picked features of one animal with the notion in our minds that eventually the vampire would turn into that animal if she had enough frenzies over the centuries. It was always a wolf although I think we all would have been fine if someone picked another animal that was iconic to vampires. A bat would probably have been fine - based on the costume makeup of the man-bat hybrid of Gary Oldman in '92's Dracula. Rats could also have been accepted. But I only remember wolves. If a character would have been from a homeland that did not have wolves, but had some other major predator species - like a leopard or jaguar - we would have accepted that. If someone had ever suggested another animal, I think we would have discussed it first to make sure everyone thought it was "appropriate." We were a fairly traditional group in our tastes.

      The first features were always something noticeable, but not too noticeable so we could operate while leaving the Masquerade intact. That usually meant tufts of fur somewhere on the hair line, or at wrists or elbows. Fingernails and toenails that turned into claws. Teeth that turned into wolf fangs. The type of things that one could draw on a profile picture and still made it look "cool". After those slots were filled, we typically started picking things that could be covered up and not usually noticed - changes regarding our torso, the start of any possible tail at the bottom of our spine, feet/legs that gradually turned digitirade, large discoloration of skin, etc. At some point someone always picked having wolf eyes.

      The main question we had is how significant the changes had to be, and the answer was always as long as it seemed to match the decline in Appearance mechanically after so many frenzies, it was whatever we wanted. Other than aesthetics, it wasn't going to affect the character or game.

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      • #4
        Pointed ears, eyes that shine in bright light to start. I don't go for the chimera thing...

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        • #5
          Random. Based on common species in the region. Quoll fur. Spiders eyes. Snakes toungue. Crocodile scales. Flying fox pelt. Goanna claws.

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          • #6
            In my opinion, the pointy ears and bright eyes are excessively comfortable. My reference to an elder who has changed during long centuries is Enkidu, who is more chimera or animal than man. In the long term, the Gangrel became monsters, as the Nosferatu. Anyway, there is room for all kind of players and interpretations. If I would roleplay a Gangrel, I would have monkey features.

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            • #7
              I think you're supposed to not have a say. You are not supposed to turn into your spirit animal, you're supposed to turn into a chimerical monster. Turning into an animal you like cheapens that.


              Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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              • #8
                Cat ears ^_^ or owl feathers (this is what I would choose, I never actually ran a Gangrel PC)


                “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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                • #9
                  I have a short list I try to get ST approval on. Some editions do say “player chooses” so I try to keep as much control over my character’s fate as possible.

                  spots, stripes, pelt/fur, alopecia and/or scales on head, chest, abdomen, back, arms, and/or legs (feathers aren't my thing, but possibly)
                  elongated vertebrae
                  elongated forearms and/or shins
                  black lips and/or gums
                  involuntary growling during stress
                  mane (lion)
                  mane (horse)
                  licking things and/or people I like
                  ridgeback
                  enlarged irises
                  constant sniffing
                  moist nose
                  tufted ears
                  nictitating membranes
                  additional nipples along abdomen
                  scuffing/stamping feet in doorways or when agitated
                  the ability to shed hair (voluntary or not)
                  webbed toes and/or fingers
                  impulsive/compulsive chewing of objects
                  pointed teeth
                  prominent canines
                  luminescent eyes
                  claws
                  dew claws/four toed feet

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                  • #10
                    I had a Gangrel that developed lupine hind legs. He walked on toes/ball of foot, with ankle up in the air, making his legs look disjointed. He had no problem walking normally, but was a giant masquerade breach. The special boots that he had made for him imposed a dex penalty for running, but kept him blending in.

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                    • #11
                      I tend to give them a vague "wild look", a feral glint in the eyes, a tendency to bare their teeth, threatening body language - something I have a lot of Kindred do, they just tend to do it a bit more.


                      Craig Oxbrow
                      The Trinity Continuum freelancer

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                      • #12
                        I usually keep them to a single animal that the character has some sort of connection with on some level or another. Usually starting with the adaption of certain animalistic behaviors, changes to eyes and teeth, then nails, hair, ears, nose, patches of skin. This usually works out to at least a dozen steps, sometimes more.


                        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                          I think you're supposed to not have a say. You are not supposed to turn into your spirit animal, you're supposed to turn into a chimerical monster. Turning into an animal you like cheapens that.
                          I think you have a point with that, but on the other hand, NPCs seem not to follow the same logic at times. Odin the All-High is positively ancient, for example, but he doesn't look like he gained a lot of animal traits. Which makes even less sense since he keeps eating Garou whenever he's awake and that alone should make him a quivering rageball.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Konigheim Horror View Post
                            Odin the All-High is positively ancient, for example, but he doesn't look like he gained a lot of animal traits.
                            I think this is mostly a case of the writers not bothering to think about consequences. It's like how many NPCs's Humanity ratings don't seem to reflect their descriptions. Or how a werewolf's Rage and the associated Curse don't reflect their involvement with ordinary people. Not giving thought to the Gangrel weakness is one of those - except for a few characters where the writer emphasized that trait.

                            At some point you just go, "OK, the writer doesn't know what he's doing. Here's what I'm going to do..."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                              I think this is mostly a case of the writers not bothering to think about consequences. It's like how many NPCs's Humanity ratings don't seem to reflect their descriptions. Or how a werewolf's Rage and the associated Curse don't reflect their involvement with ordinary people. Not giving thought to the Gangrel weakness is one of those - except for a few characters where the writer emphasized that trait.

                              At some point you just go, "OK, the writer doesn't know what he's doing. Here's what I'm going to do..."
                              Yeah, sounds about right.

                              I've come across at least one Storyteller who took the decision away from his players. Said he was tired of them picking "cool" features, like cat eyes, wolf ears and so forth. Instead, he took pleasure in handing out things like pig tails and donkey teeth. Not sure I really liked the approach.

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