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Fera Breeds: Pick Six

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  • Fera Breeds: Pick Six

    As a hypothetical, lets say you've been put in character of a new edition of Werewolf. However, word has come down from on high that there are too many non-werewolf shifters and that the new version can only have six.

    So, which six would you go with?

    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)

  • #2
    Mokole, Corax, Gurahl, Bastet, Rokea and Nuwisha are what I would keep. I might cheat and roll the Ajaba in with the Bastet. Biologically it makes little sense, but I think them being part of the Ahadi spices things up. Maybe toss out a line about a near-mythical breed of Nuwisha that live in Asia and are rumored to have nine tails, but I wouldn't bother expending rule space on the Kitsune.

    Most of the other breeds are extinct. Ratkin and Ananasi could be treated purely as mockery breeds, adversarial 'false shifters' too tainted to be saved.
    Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 04-04-2017, 04:39 PM.


    • #3
      Basted for beeing quite diverse in terms of forms and tribes.
      Ananasi for beeing unique.
      Corax for beeing awesome.
      I like the Kitsune, but would rather have them not limited to just Japan.
      Also Nagah, because they are good for surprises and Ratkin for beeing the most badass of them all.

      All the others are kind of not my thing. Either too limited in terms of regions (playing mostly european centric games of WoD) or just plain useless (Rokea, srsly they're just seamonsters as described in the W20 rulebook).


      • #4

        Guralh: Bear shifters are a thing, and they fill their role as healers well.
        Kitsune- Expanded: Unlike coyotes, foxes have a much larger range of spread, cannot breed with wolves and have a widespread reputation as tricksters. If we take away the asia-only part, they are a great trickster breed.
        Corax: Wolves and crows, best buddies.
        Bastet-limited number: Khan, Simba, Balam, Qualmi and Bagheera. I like cheetahs, but I think Bastet being limited to mostly big cats helps to keep track of them easier. Also, Qualmi in Europe too, please?
        Camazotz: Night and day scouts for the win, plus bats have a good spread around the world.

        I think those five are enough for me.


        Why some others did not make the cut;

        Ajaba: Hyenas are awesome, but they are redundant to garou (as jackals can stand as wolves).
        Ananansi: The issue with these guys is, that there is not -a- spider type, there are multiple. To match real life spider variation, these guys should have tribes like the Bastet.
        Nuwisha: Only found on american soil, so the legends about them aren't as widespread. As well, they can breed with wolves, so there is confusion which the cub will be.
        Mokeole: Again, too wide a specie spread.
        Nagah: One fan put it best "They'd make poor assassins, since they have to hibernate the winter and move slowler than wolves". Plus, as with the spiders, snakes are way too varied to have one changing breed type to them. A black mamba is not a python is not an adder.
        Last edited by Ana Mizuki; 04-04-2017, 05:13 PM.

        My gallery.


        • #5
          Why fewer?
          I had rather like some more.


          • #6
            Because I'm curious which would make the cut if forced to choose. And I say that as someone who rather likes all of them.

            I'd sort of be leaning toward the Nagah, Kitsune, Bastet*, Camazotz, Rokea**, and a sixth to be named later.

            *with the caveat that their number of tribes would be reduced, likely getting rid of all the "small cat" ones leaving the Simba, Khan, Balam and Baghera
            **​giving them a more sizable homid presence among bloodlines in Polynesia, Japan (Samebito), Greece/Mediterranean (Akheilos), Pacific Northwest, and a few other places
            Last edited by No One of Consequence; 04-04-2017, 07:27 PM.

            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)


            • #7
              Well I like: Ratkin, Nagah, Kitsune, Rokea, Ananasi, Gurahl and the others too.

              But also: Owls, Elephants, and Donkeys.


              • #8
                Bastet. They are where the wolves aren't. I would let the Ceilican and Bubasti die, but it would be ritually (or at least intentionally) in order to be reborn as existing 'small cat' breeds in Europe, Africa, and starting into Asia.

                Corax for their awesome mobility.

                I wouldn't keep the Anasasi, but I would make a 'formor' breed out of them.
                Last edited by EvilTyger; 04-04-2017, 09:59 PM. Reason: I sometimes hate autocorrect.


                • #9
                  Ananasi, Bastet, Corax, Mokole, Ratkin, and Kitsune (though I'd probably combine the Kitsune and Nuwisha into one species of Shifters).


                  • #10
                    Gurahl, Ratkin, Bastet, Rokea, Mokole and Corax.

                    Though more shifters, not less would be my preference.


                    • #11
                      Hm, I agree that I would prefer more Fera, but I would choose Bastet, Corax, Gurahl, Kitsune, Mokole, and Rokea. I think we could get away with making the Nuwisha the first 'lost' Tribe of Garou though, since coyotes and wolves are just subspecies of the Canis.


                      • #12
                        Mokole- I'm big on reptiles and its fun playing a species so vast and versatile. From what I've played in RPG's the Mokole stand out as far as reptilian creatures go due to the ability to design your own battle form, and having multiple animals to pull from. I also like the idea of being a living memory, it paints them in the light of being a source of wisdom, which again is also rare as most reptile based creatures I've seen in rpg's (I maybe missing out on some games though, so please fill me in if you know of any others with great reptile based creatures outside of the Palladium TMNT, and I'm not counting your basic dragon either).

                        Nagah- Again...weak spot for herps, and I think the idea of well...watching the watchmen is fun. I just would like them to be more integrable.

                        Corax- I like the concept of eyes in the sky and the birds. I think for the most part they are rather designed well, they could maybe use a few more tweeks (I never liked the will roll over shinny objects, I've just ignored that rule and had my players use it as a quark but not a system based thing)

                        Nuwisha- I like the idea of wise fools and cosmic pranksters, it falls in well with the storytelling genra

                        Gurahl- I liked how they were built differently. Its easy to look at all that strength and see a bear and assume battle monkey, but they were built to be far more then that. If you want to only play a huge combat monster Gurahl, you maybe missing the point. I also like the idea of being the tragic older brother who just can't stop violent little brother from killing him (not necessarily out of ability but due to a lack of the same ruthlessness and too much love for the little monster).

                        Bastet- Its just hard to think of a lot of werecritters and not have the cats...and they are great foils to the Garou


                        • #13
                          Here is how I would put them into the book,

                          Allied Breeds - these breeds are common allies you can run into
                          Corax - as protagonist they are some of the most useful and bring an oddity to the game
                          Gurahl - due to their storyline and locations they are a growing part of the core story
                          Nuwisha - due to the location in North America and the setting of most of the books the fit in well

                          Dark Breeds - breeds that rarely come up but when they do their loyalties may not be inline with your own.
                          Ananasi - something different to show diversity among shifters
                          Nagah - because people love assassins and hidden cults inside hidden worlds
                          Ratkin - being the darkest breed out there would work as a protagonist or antagonist. Showing the reader that some breeds are almost to the point of no return.

                          I excluded the other breeds not because they are not useful or common but because they need to placed in future books to draw interest for new sales.
                          Last edited by Rahod; 04-05-2017, 09:56 PM.

                          Like the Sun I am relentless even in death...


                          • #14
                            Here would be my six picks. To get them I think one really needs to go through triage process and concentrate first on the actual real world inspiration and not so much fantasy works. In descending order of how important they are to be retained.

                            1) Bastet - It seems almost every cultural region has its version of "man turns into an animal and eats people and/or their livestock." In areas where it is not a wolf, it is almost always some kind of large cat. They have to be included.

                            2) Gurahl - Werebears don't seem to be actually present in real world folklore, but there are close antecedents. Vikings had Berserkers, but more importantly Bear Worship seems to have been widespread across the world. There was a paleolithic bear cult that seemed everywhere, and in times closer to us there were bear cults in Japan (especially among the Ainu), pagan Europe, and in the Americas. It's not hard to go from shamans worshipping bears to werebears.

                            3) Rokea - Polynesia doesn't have wolves of big cats, but it has its own stories of terrible shark men that eat people. This is a real universal fear in humanity, and we need something for this part of the world. Plus they are so different from the land based werecreatures they provide some interesting perspective.

                            4) Ajaba - Hyenas aren't felines so they can't be associated with Bastet, and African stories of werehyenas are well established. They have to be included. Their rang extends all over Africa to the Middle East and India, so they won't be pigeonholed in a small area. Stories of ghuls also strongly tie into hyenas.

                            5) Kitsune - Again real world mythology and folklore must take precedence. East Asia has a strong folklore traditional of foxes disguising themselves as people. But even Europe has stories of Reynard the Fox. And worldwide foxes are omnipresent in folktales and legends because of their cunning and trickery. It would work well as the kind of trickster figure that the Nuwisha became, but more worldwide.

                            6) Nagah - Some kind of werereptile is needed, and I think weresnakes are much stronger than were-dinosaurs. If Mokole were just were-crocodiles I could tolerate them easily, but the whole dinosaur thing I find ridiculous. Plus snake worship is fairly universal, and like the bear cult, it is easy to see how aspects of shamanism cross over into actual shapechanging.

                            I like the Corax a lot, but stories of people turning into ravens just isn't as strong. And unlike the other animals associated with werecreatures, there is no cultural fear of being killed and eaten. Nuwisha would be a strong contender, but the Garou already take the canine spot and foxes are more omnipresent if you need a trickster race. Mokole are out because of the dinosaur aspect. Ananasi are cool, but there simply aren't significant legends of people turning into spiders or worshiping spiders. Same thing for Ratkin. To be honest, I think some kind of werespider or wererats are much better suited to a kind of fomori.

                            I think Bastet are very good as they've already been developed, but if we're limited to just six than the others would need substantial revision to make them more playable in a setting where all the others Fera are gone.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                              2) Gurahl - Werebears don't seem to be actually present in real world folklore, but there are close antecedents. Vikings had Berserkers, but more importantly Bear Worship seems to have been widespread across the world. There was a paleolithic bear cult that seemed everywhere, and in times closer to us there were bear cults in Japan (especially among the Ainu)
                              The Ainu share that in common with the Nivkhs, too, though their ceremonies seem to have different purposes (the Nivkh apparently are prompted to perform bear ceremonies when deaths in the family occur, which seems to differ from Ainu rituals). Of course, preserving a connection of the Gurahl to anyone would require not writing them out of most of the region.