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[W:TA] The House Canon Thread - What's True at your Table?

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  • [W:TA] The House Canon Thread - What's True at your Table?

    What the title says.

    Everybody changes stuff about Werewolf canon for their games. They adjust the rules, adjust the tribal lore, and generally play around with the characters as well as storylines. So, share what's different at your tables and why.

    Maybe some of us will make adjustments to our own.

  • #2
    CTPhipps changes


    * Evan "Heals the Past" is a Child of Gaia because the Wendigo wouldn't accept a Caucasian child raised outside Native American culture. He fits in better there both in-universe and out of universe. Had be been born in Canada, there might have been more wiggle room but he's far from the only Caucasian Wendigo of the lineage around who was rejected by them.

    * Samuel Haight does exist as a werewolf serial killer scare legend and the first Skinwalker. Most of the stories about him being anything other than that is Nuwisha and Ragbash stories.

    The Garou Nation

    * Garou cultural posturing is something which is a major issue of the society and just about everyone is guilty of lying, embellishment, propagandizing, or more regarding their history. This is something which seriously impacts anyone who wants to know the truth of Garou history.

    * The War of Rage wasn't caused by anything in particular but is the result of many grievances spreading to other packs before everyone was avenging someone else. Even those who sided with Fera got murdered by other Fera because they weren't guiltless either. A lot of Past Lives also egged their inheritors on.

    * Garou reincarnate despite what newer editions say.

    * Garou have an elaborate Braid system for styling their fur to let people know of their deeds. Ditto Tattoos.


    * The Swords of Heimdall still exist in my games but are not Nazis as the Get find them a bunch of poseurs who lost their war. Instead, they're a group of Get of Fenris supremacists who believe they should rule the Garou Nation and are obsessed with the pure breed of their kinfolk. Rather than being horrified by this, the majority of Garou just think of them as Get of Fenris acting like wannabe Silver Fangs.

    * Shadow Lords are generally more popular than Silver Fangs as pack/sept leaders and work as politicians versus Medieval Lords. They don't rule the Garou nation because popularity is not how things are determined.

    * Bone Gnawers are considered honorless because they have no real code of ethics in how they achieve victory and are the best assassins among the Garou. They also have been known to make deals with vampires, use human weapons, break oaths, and generally do whatever it takes to survive--which has worked well for them.

    * The Bone Gnawers are originally casteless werewolves born from kinfolk breeding outside of accepted lineages. It worked out for them as well.

    * The Silent Striders killed Set and bound his spirit underneath Egypt. They're, thus, the first supernatural group to have killed an Antediluvian.

    * The Garou claim to have killed Baba Yaga themselves, whether it's true or not.


    * Spirits are fundamentally somewhat alien and shaped by the perception of the viewer so their answers can never quite be trusted. A spirit viewed by a Glass Walker, Silver Fang, and Bone Gnawer of different cultures will often have very different appearances as well as answers. They also lie and play to their summoners' prejudices very often.

    * Garou have met Judeo-Christian-Islam demons ala Demon: The Fallen and both sides completely confuse the other before leading to fights (which the demons tend to lose but not badly as Garou spirit magic doesn't work on them well).


    * The scary thing about Pentex is that a long time ago, a lot of their executives realized they didn't have to do ANYTHING but carry out business as usual to please their masters. As such, Pentex really runs like normal conglomerates for the most part with the occasional baby sacrifice or banes to gain specific boons or demonic investments. Sometimes, regular human businessmen exceed them in evil (and thus get recruited).

    * Endron Oil ceased operations in 2001 to coincide with the RL company of Enron's collapse. This was done with the help of Monkeywrenchers, Virtual Adepts, and (of all people) the Syndicate. Pentex has a number of small energy companies but it was a serious blow in their control over the world economy.

    * The Syndicate has purified itself of its Special Operations Division but ironically ended up allying itself with the Weaver's Shinzui Industries. This was done during the Housing Market Collapse and resulted in the New World Order putting a crimp on Syndicate plans. Pentex has since retaliated and are benefiting greatly from the current administration's polices.


    * Territory disputes between Garou and vampires are more common in my universe. Garou often send a younger cub to go in, track down a vampire, and murder him as a rite of passage. Vampires often retaliate and try to identify Garou to eliminate. There's been more than a few wars over the years with a few genuine hot zones where Garou treat vampires as kill-on-sight like Mexico City and Milwaukee.

    Both sides know a good deal more about the other than in canon but neither really wants war and local truces often exist. At least in the context of, "I'll kill you guys last. I have wyrmspawn to deal with."

    * The Sabbat pretty much fund themselves entirely from their section of Pentex because they can't afford anything else and don't spend any time managing their funds. Their ghoul families involved thus have more loyalty to Pentex than they do their masters, blood bonds be damned. Ironically, euro for euro, the Camarilla owns a far bigger share of Pentex businesses than the Sabbat does but only invested from afar as Pentex is an incredible stable set of conglomerates.

    The Pentex board keeps the Camarilla away because it's legitimately one of the organizations which could destroy them/take them over along with an uncorrupted syndicate.

    Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-07-2017, 11:34 AM.


    • #3
      -World in general-

      WoD is not a nice place, less because the setting is dark, and more because centuries of supernatural influence have molded it to go into different routes than our world. However, this isn't all bad. Nature is much more vibrant and much more plentiful in WoD, thanks to garou and kinfolk efforts. Of course, the average joe won't get to experience this beauty as any plot of land that can be salvaged for territory by garou or any other changer, is guarded.

      There is no Pentex. Rather, the Wyrm's corruption can appear anywhere where corners were cut and where cheap labour was used. While there are stores that are tainted, there is no greater conspiracy behind it.

      The tribes

      Black Furies are dealing with a lot of questions on the nature of their chosen gender. While the tribe has always been open for transwomen, some of the tribe have argued that they must still defend womanity as Gaia defined it. Not helping is that there is a constant push and pull between the witches or the tribe, and those who don't want women put under such stereotypes.

      Bone Gnawers are survialists, they are the ones that on purpose take the hardest lands and the toughest kinfolk and live where others rarely dare to tread. Their take on survival still makes other tribes scoff, as Bone Gnawers rarely bother with grand displays of honour.

      Children of Gaia Elders have to try and figure out what to do about their youths, who lack the proper education and tribal unity to really even understand the Litany proper. They also have to push back a faction in their tribe that wants to rule the garou nation under the banner of one tribe.

      Fenrir generally stay the same, but I have tried to make sure each one mimics their native country better. Finnish fenrir are less norse and more animistic, American fenrir are trying to figure out their heritage vs their nationality HARD these days.

      Fianna still keep their metis mostly unrited and in servant positions in various wooded areas of their Caerns. But Unicorn and Stag have started conversations on fixing this, as family should not leave family to suffer.

      Glass Walkers have more lupus, thanks to people owning wolfdogs more. Of course this means that their lupus run around with only 3-4 Gnosis, and are housebroken, but they now have the wolf voice among them. Walkers also are enjoying the current trends of building things, cooking and such, yourself. Not to mention, new technology makes it easier to fight for Gaia now.

      Red Talons deal with humans suddenly giving wolves more land, more urbanized wolves and just general relaxing of the wolf-hate in some areas with bafflement. Especially when a lot of their cliath have grown more used to humans or have positive experiences of them. The Whelp's Compromise is now more openly accepted.

      Silver Fangs function like the houses of Westeros, barely noticing the other tribes in their constant inner bickerings. Things have gotten silly, though, as they can no longer recruit other tribes to their causes, much to their annoyance.

      My gallery.


      • #4
        As they are both Urban tribes, there is a lot of movement between the Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers. A Bone Gnawer cub with a knack for electronics may decide to Follow Cockroach and a Glasswalker cub who has trouble accepting authority may decided to join the Tribe of the streets. These interconnects keep relations between the two tribes amiable.

        I run Rite of Passage differently. Instead of a cub partitioning a particular totem, the Den Parent summons all the totems of the Garou Nation. The Sept Alpha sends the cub on a task needed by the Sept and appropriate to the cub's auspice. The Totems observe the cub completing the task. When the cub returns to the Caern, the tribal totems who will accept the cub are waiting. Sometimes the totem the cub wants to join is not present. The Cub then chooses which tribe they will join.

        Unicorn, Rat, and Cockroach are picker than most Garou think. Unicorn will not accept an closed minded Garou. Rat will not accept a proud and materialist cub and Cockroach despises stupidity. However, at least one of these totems will accept a cub.

        Get of Fenrir is a sexist tribe, but they don't condone rape. Stories of Garou fighting over kinfolk women are true, but arrangements are made before the challenge occurs. The Garou who wishes to mate with the kinfolk approaches a male Garou relative of the kinfolk. He challenges the relative for the right to mate with the kinfolk. The relative will talk to the kinfolk to make sure the Garou is acceptable to the kin. Then the two garou fight. If the challenging Garou does not put up a good fight, then the relative will tell him to come back when he is worthy of his sister/cousin/etc. If the challenger wins, then he is now mated. If a female kinfolk does not have any living relatives, she is in a bad situation. She can only hope the Sept Alpha will stand for her and protect her from Garou not of her choosing. Now the Fenrir have female Garou among their numbers, the tribe hasn't solidified the traditions for them. Some septs have the male kinfolk fight a male kinfolk relative for the right to mate with the Female Garou. Others have the male Kinfolk fight the Garou he wishes to make with to prove himself to her.

        Hi, guys!


        • #5
          I generally have challenges using mundane weapons (rather than natural weapons or magical weapons) or occurring in breed form unless it is to death. Death challenges only occur when Garou kill Kinfolk or when Garou are accused of given assistance to the Wyrm. Kinfolk may challenge Garou over points of honor and obtain Renown based off the difficulty of the challenge (an unarmed Kinfolk against unarmed Garou in breed form produces less than Renown than an unarmed Kinfolk against an armed Garou in Crinos form).


          • #6
            There are no Black Furies. Instead there is an all-male tribe called the White Stallions.

            OK, not really.

            PENTEX is a much quieter and subtle entity, and it's Board of Directors is only seven people, who indirectly represent the Seven Deadly Sins. One is Samuel Haight, the disgruntled Kinfolk turned werewolf killer, who is not a pseudo-garou or anything else. He is, however, an action movie level badass (imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator with the mind of Alan Rickman in Die Hard) and does have magic that lets him take on a Crinos form. He represents Envy. Wrath is a rogue Silver Fang kinfolk broodmare who murdered her family and turned their wealth to destroying the Garou. Sloth is the great-grandson of the Pentex holding company's original founder, who just doesn't care about all the moral quagmires.

            Each facet of the Triat has it's fallen tribe. The Black Spiral Dancers, the Ivory Claws, and the Proteans (who no longer have any sort of fixed shape).

            And when I'm running Werewolf: The Dark Ages, the abuses of the Silver Crown occurred in the early 12th century, and now European Garou society is in a three-way civil war between the followers of the Falcon Banner, the Army of Thunder, and the Unicorn Crusade over who will be the new leaders of the Garou Nation.

            The shifters of North America used to have their own equivalent to the Ahadi or the Beast Courts. But that mostly fell apart during the North American War of Rage, though a number of folks fight the uphill struggle to reform it.

            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
              I usually tone Pentex waay down / make it less powerful, if I use it as a major antagonist at all. It is a little bit too "Captain Planet Villain" as written for my tastes.

              The impression I get from the official writing is that the taboos & traditions of the Garou Nation are bad/outdated. I usually apply Chesterton's fence to this, and if PCs attempt to transgress a taboo without figuring out why it came about in the first place, I have it blow up in their faces. Not just because it makes stodgy irrational traditionalists angry, but because the taboo keeps some aspect of the Wyrm at bay or breaking it otherwise has negative unintended (by the PCs, but foreseen long ago by elders) consequences.

              The Ananasi were not quite as successful in the Insect Wars as they would like to believe. Not that the insect fera are a going concern, but there may be one or two frozen in amber somewhere around the world.

              I allow players to spend Gauntlet rating minus Rank Gnosis (minimum 1) points to step sideways (as long as they have a reflective surface). Doing so takes about 30 seconds, or the equivalent of two successes on a Gnosis roll.

              I'm a pretty flexible about what spirits teach what gifts, as long as it remains thematically appropriate.

              The Swords of Heimdall are kind of cringy Brow Scare stereotypes, so I run them not unlike how CTPhipps above does. They are still concerned about the fate of Nordic/German, and by some extension other European peoples, but no more than an average Uktena or Wendigo is concerned about Native Americans.

              Somewhat related to the above, of the Old World Garou, the Get of Fenris and the Silent Striders are the only tribes that actively worship the same gods/spirits as their typical Kinfolk human populations. Most tribes prefer to follow the more platonic Incarna. For example, Irish Garou might revere Horse, but consider Epona to be at best a flawed human interpretation of Horse.

              Last edited by Formosus; 06-10-2017, 10:46 AM.

              My W20 Play-by-Post Game


              • #8

                * One thing I do to differentiate Pentex from Captain Planet villains is the fact that Pentex is scary competent and amazingly effective at its job while also being something incredibly self-centered as well as short-sighted. About 1% of Pentex's executives are corrupted by the Wyrm and maybe 5% total believing in the supernatural period but they are capable of manipulating entire nations as well as making massive constructions happen over night. In our New York game, they had the US government put their PMC and Magadon drugs as part of the relief effort. They fix elections and start wars while waking up the profits.

                And....yet, still, a large portion of the executives KNOW they're going to destroy the world and selling out humanity.

                They just assume it isn't their problem, they'll be dead when it happens, or who cares about THEN when NOW is the issue. Garou, vampires, and even the Technocracy keep asusming there's some kind of deep hidden meaning to Pentex. But no, it's really it's a juggernaut based on short term gains and immense greed with all the metaphysical oomph of a rampaging rhino.

                * Pentex's ludicrous success is because it's actually the Eater of Souls. Specifically, it is the remnant Bane which survived the Croaton's sacrifice and eventually devoured the Weaver spirit of Merchantalism to become Capitalism. There's a much smaller pair of Glass Walker spirits in Trade and Prosperity not corrupted by it but they are in hiding. Capitalism notably devoured and killed the Weaver spirit of Communism with Pentex's help.

                It eventually plans to kill the Weaver and absorb it, which goes to show how all consuming its hunger is and it is powerful enough to might become the new Eater of Souls in the Umbra....if it hasn't always. To destroy this spirit would cause Pentex's supernatural gifts to all collapse and the company to spiral into dozens of simultaneous bankrupticies.
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-10-2017, 02:52 PM.


                • #9
                  For Pentex for myself I was influenced by 2 big things that found its way into my game:

                  Wolfram and Heart: I figured here a lot of the evil in Pentex is them being a very successful company, run sure by some wyrm minions like Francisco but also in part by a lot of the employees making tainted pacts to ensure personal fortune and success. In this way some of their unsavory products or traditions occur to keep those patrons happy, but the employees themselves aren't screaming "DAMN I'M EVIL". I think more along the line of Lindsey McDonald, they just want the good life, and the evil done to keep their patrons happy are not their problem. These high tear wyrm influences are just other customers to keep happy. I hope I explain it right, but its similar to the sentiment that Pentex was too Captain Planet, but at the same time I did like the idea of a supernatural evil company.

                  Tim Burton's Batman: I thought the idea of products that create Fomori was a little weird, so I and would reduce your customer base too quickly. I also thought it could be too easily figured out and traced. So instead I took the idea that there was an "unknown" combination of products that would result in Fomor kinda like how Joker was killing people with his assorted "Smylex" in Tim Burton's Batman.

                  On another note, years ago I found this odd d6 version of WtA. Not sure if it was official or anything but it was a soft cover physical book. It didn't have gifts but each of the tribes had an advantage to them. I thought the advantages were kinda neat (though most of them were lvl 1 gifts, and not all were equal), and my players liked them too so we kept those.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CeltSPZ View Post
                    On another note, years ago I found this odd d6 version of WtA. Not sure if it was official or anything but it was a soft cover physical book. It didn't have gifts but each of the tribes had an advantage to them. I thought the advantages were kinda neat (though most of them were lvl 1 gifts, and not all were equal), and my players liked them too so we kept those.
                    Care to elaborate on what sort of advantages they had? Also wondering if this was a GURPS book?


                    • #11
                      I don't think it was a GURPS book, I remember it had a lot of known WtA art in it (like Ron Spencers) and could have sworn the copy looked like the revised book......not the GURP I always think of...but I could be wrong. A lot of them were basically lvl 1 gifts so I'll just list them off (even then its a bonus gift which is neat). My players have fun with it, so I keep it:

                      Bone Gnawers: Blissful Ignorance
                      Black Furies: Heightened Senses
                      Children of Gaia: Mother's Touch
                      Fianna: Resist Toxin
                      Fenrir: Razor Claws
                      Glass Walkers: Control Simple Machine
                      Red Talons: Beast Speech
                      Shadow Lords: Damage inflicted by them are at a +1 diff to soak
                      Silent Striders: They redo a scene once per game, and it is explained away as having some sort of vison. I.e. a party member (or the player itself) dies and you restart the scene from the top, but you are stuck with the restart (no one ever plays Striders in my games for some odd reason despite this ability. They'll ask for Strider NPC's but never actually play one. As I said, not all of these are balanced but again, if my players are having fun....)
                      Silver Fangs: -1 diff to all sword/klaive based melee rolls
                      Star Gazers: Falling Touch
                      Uktena: Sense Magic
                      Wendigo: Call the Breeze and -1 diff to soak in the winter/cold climate (similar to their tribal flaw)

                      Note: I tend to allow Fera in my games because I do like the changing breeds...and I feel guilty telling players "no" when it comes to character types. To bribe my players into playing Garou I tend to use these tribal advantages and not lean so much onto the tribal flaws.
                      Last edited by CeltSPZ; 06-10-2017, 04:17 PM.


                      • #12
                        That sounds like one of those free demo versions that used to get made from time to time, maybe?

                        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)


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          * One thing I do to differentiate Pentex from Captain Planet villains
                          You know, in a lot of ways, I think Captain Planet was one of the worst things to ever happen to environmentalism, as it tried to teach a generation of kids that pollution happens because evil people just enjoy doing it for shits and giggles.

                          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)


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                            You know, in a lot of ways, I think Captain Planet was one of the worst things to ever happen to environmentalism, as it tried to teach a generation of kids that pollution happens because evil people just enjoy doing it for shits and giggles.
                            The reason for that is actually pretty sad. The villains were so cartoony, because the writers didn't want kids whose parents worked in factories and such to feel afraid or bad about their parents. So they made these villains cartoony. When they shouldn't have sidelined the questions and instead embraced the moral grayness.

                            My gallery.


                            • #15
                              Kinfolk: As I've noted before in a few places, my Kinfolk sometimes come in a Kinfolk+ version. The Wolf-Blooded are prone to physical mutations which can lead to enhanced physical abilities, heightened senses, and increased predatory instincts. (In counterpart, there are Ape-Blooded wolf kin who have heightened reasoning ability, situational awareness and deviousness.) The Moon-Touched are prone to spiritual influences which can lead to shamanic talents, psychic abilities and insanity.

                              Bastet: The Cealican are still alive and kicking, just because I kind of like them as a modern day Puss in Boots meets James Bond type thing.

                              Gurahl: They have their own Auspices based on the seasons; Spring (Healers), Summer (Defenders), Autumn (Teachers), Winter (Priests), and lodges that don't depend on what type of bear they are or (for the most part) were they live, such as the Lodge of the Sky Mother (astronomers and prophets), Lodge of the Sleeping King (protectors of slumbering ancient Gurahl), and Lodge of the Cave Bear (all-ursine primitives who keep contact with the Red Talons). Also, the Okuma still exist as part of the Beast Courts, just because I like their role in Japanese and Korean folklore. And the Indian Gurahl are referred to as Jambavan. And there may or may not be Nandi in Africa. (It's never come up.)

                              Rokea: They have long established human kinfolk lines in a handful of places, most notably Japan and various Polynesian cultures.

                              Ratkin: I don't really use any of the existing plagues, or much of the Freak aspects. Instead, their little hordes are Tunnel/Sewer Rats (urban "standard" types), Swamp Rats (redneck hillbilly Deliverance types), Sea/River Rats (pirates and smugglers), Desert Rats (doomsday survivalists), Lab Rats (mad scientists and hackers), Plague Rats (disease cultists), and Pack Rats (collectors and thieves). And the Nezumi/Yao Shu as part of the Beast Courts include almost all of the above.

                              Mokole: Only have five auspices, based on the castes from Exalted, just to simplify things.

                              Nuwisha: Have no auspices or anything still, but do have Roads they follow, based on various "tricky" or "wise" animals. Those on the Raccoon Road are compulsive thieves, while followers of the Weasel Road are notorious for their violence and bloodlust, and ones on the Rattlesnake Road are delvers into often dangerous spiritual matters. There's maybe a dozen others. And one may jump from one road to another when they feel it's time to change.

                              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)