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  • Can a normal human become a Garou?

    So, this is something that I've been wondering; can a normal, non-kinfolk person become a Garou?

    Now, small foreword of clarity; I don't have any of the WoD books. I've only really been a part of the WoD fandom for a few months, been trying to get a collection, but there's a few issues; namely, Covid and the weather keep conspiring against me, the closest store that sells tabletop stuff is well over an hour's drive away, the only WoD book they do have is a Vampire: The Masquerade book, and it's well out of my price range, cause I'm trying to keep my money on a tight lid. I've been researching the lore however I can otherwise, mostly using Google, Reddit, and such, but it's not the best. As a result, I hope you'll forgive me if my knowledge has a few holes.

    The main reason I brought this up was because of the "spiritual sequel" series, Werewolf: the Forsaken, apparently actually allowed normal humans to become werewolves; apparently, a regular average joe could be sufficiently "affected" by a werewolf encounter and be subsequently adopted by Luna. That got me thinking; is there anything like that for Apocalypse?

    Going back to the question; I'm mostly just interested, from a lore point, if it would be possible for a normal average joe to turn into the next big bad wolf. I think I might have found a way for it to be possible, actually, though it is VERY far-fetched; a human first becomes a kinfolk via the Children of Gaia's Rite of Parted Veil, and then performs the Skin Dancer's Rite of Sacred Rebirth to become a full werewolf. Before anyone starts saying anything; I'm well aware of how "out-there" this whole idea is, especially in regards to how evil that second rite is. I'm also not even sure if it's possible; I'm not sure if the kinfolk created by the Parted Veil would actually "count" as a kinfolk needed for the Sacred Rebirth, and I also heard of some reports that the kinfolk needs to be "genetically compatible" for the rite to work in the first place according to some of the random posts I've found.

    So, ignoring the hairbrained scheme above; is there a way for a normal person to become a Garou? I've actually asked around on Reddit beforehand, but, well... it's Reddit. Not sure of the accuracy on that site, among other things. One thing to keep in mind; I am willing to accept answers if they have to involve the other game lines (Masquerade, Ascension, Fallen, et.) for the idea to work. The primary question is over Werewolf, but if the other lines have to get involved, then that's alright; this isn't necessarily a serious question about making a serious game character, this is just an exercise in seeing if it's possible in the WoD's lore. Anyone got any ideas? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Garou are always Garou. They aren't kinfolk or human. Pre-change Garou are still Garou even if they may not be detected as such. It is determined at birth.

    Garou can have Garou, kinfolk, or human parents though (though not both parents being human). It just means there's a lot less chance the further on down the line you go. So parents who are 1 kinfolk and 1 human have an extremely slight chance to give birth to Garou, but it can still happen. There's probably a not insignificant number of Garou who now are born to parents who are unknowing kinfolk and/or human. Also, some Garou don't change when they should. They are known as Lunatics, as the failure to change is a result of them repressing the Beast, and in lieu of changing they often suffer psychological trauma.

    I don't believe there is any canonical way for someone not born Garou to become Garou other than kinfolk using the Skin Dancer's Rite. But that does not mean you can't create some unusual method for your own chronicles with its own justifications.

    If you just want to be able to turn into a wolf, there are magics that can do that. Mages can shapechange, and Sorcerers have a Shapechanging Path, and there were a group of Sorcerers called the Fenians (not to be confused with the Fianna) who were known wolf shapechangers. But they weren't Garou and didn't follow Werewolf: the Apocalypse mechanics. To anyone other than the Garou and Fera, that would make them werewolves.

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    • #3
      There's that one rite in CoG Revised to turn non-Kin into Kin, but that's CoG Revised and its setting-undermining material for you. There's also a way for normal humans to produce Garou, in the form of that one Apis Gift that ups the chances of a child being born a changer; when Garou use it (on the off, very rare chance that they know a secret from dead Fera that their ancestors personally killed), they can only up the chances of Garou birth, but that's what they're likely going for.

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      • #4
        If you're looking for the various Werewolf books, check out Drivethrupg.com and StorytellersVault. The latter includes community content for the various World of Darkness games. Drivethrurpg has PDFs of many World of Darkness books as well as POD options for some of the books.

        https://www.drivethrurpg.com/

        https://www.storytellersvault.com/in...src=sistersite

        As for Mage: The Ascension, while mages can alter reality at many levels, they cannot change one type of being into another type of being that has a major line (splats as they are known colloquially--see page 61 of M20: Gods and Monsters). So, a mage cannot make a wolf a Garou or a human a Garou. Now, if that wolf or human were Kinfolk, the mage could possibly bless them to be more likely to produce Garou offspring because the birth of Garou is both a physical process (two things that can make a Garou biologically mate) and a spiritual process (a spirit takes what would be a human or wolf and accepts them as Garou so that they will become Garou).

        The short answer is: Werewolf the Apocalypse shapechangers (werewolves and what are called Fera) are born as shapechangers. They just don't manifest all their shapes until after birth.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by baakyocalder View Post
          As for Mage: The Ascension, while mages can alter reality at many levels, they cannot change one type of being into another type of being that has a major line (splats as they are known colloquially--see page 61 of M20: Gods and Monsters). So, a mage cannot make a wolf a Garou or a human a Garou.
          I definitively remember creating a new Fera species as an example of powers of an archmage in Mage revised. "Masters of the Art" sourcebook I guess.

          And, the cult of Isis consisted of mages and sorcerers and they turned humans (and at least one garou) into Mummies, so they can create splats of major game lines, depending on the definition of "major"...

          I think it makes sense to limit the powers of Mages in that regard within M20. But revised lore might be different from 20th anniversary lore.

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          • #6
            An extremely powerful mage could set you up, yeah. It might come with some complications, but a mage could do it.

            Of relevance, OP, are the Mockery breeds. Pentex has created were-frogs, were-apes, were-cockroaches, and really angry, flesh eating wolves/rhinos that have rage and can transform into crinos. Of these, they're flawed and incomplete. The Apes are, i'd say, the most successful, as they have access to gifts, rage and gnosis and transmit their curse with a rite, and they can step sideways, but only have homid and crinos transformations (They might've had a glabro equivelent, i can't remember). The cockroaches have severe personality problems and fear bright light but have a full range of forms and have the potential for gifts.

            in the material world, You're more likely to get some mockery-level transformation than 'true' changing breed transformation.


            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
            There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
              I definitively remember creating a new Fera species as an example of powers of an archmage in Mage revised. "Masters of the Art" sourcebook I guess.

              And, the cult of Isis consisted of mages and sorcerers and they turned humans (and at least one garou) into Mummies, so they can create splats of major game lines, depending on the definition of "major"...

              I think it makes sense to limit the powers of Mages in that regard within M20. But revised lore might be different from 20th anniversary lore.
              An individual Storyteller and group could find an exception to the rule--it is buried in one book of several M20 books, and not the main book.

              Mages with high ranks in Life and Spirit can do some serious transformations and heal and harm other supernaturals, so they could emulate a Garou.

              Though in general it's best to say that each splat is each splat and you can't make someone another splat permanently.

              Unless it's an official game, consider RAW to be 'best practices' rather than an ironclad way you must play.

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              • #8
                To Saur Ops Specialist: That rite you mentioned is actually the Rite of Parted Veil that I mentioned in the original post; as a side-note, bit of a shame that it's a part of the CoG Revised book, but at least it brought some interesting ideas to the table despite its flaws, and it's still better written than the Changing Breeds supplement for W:tF.

                To baakyocalder: Thanks for the recommendation on the books; I'll check the site out, see what options I have.

                To MyWifeIsScary: I've done some looking at the Mockery Breeds; from what I've seen, the "wolf" Mockeries only have Lupus and Garou forms; no Homid. That being said, I might have missed something, so feel free to correct me.

                To Black Fox, baakyocalder, heinrich, and MyWifeIsScary: Thanks for the tips on the Mage line; I'll give them a look at. One thing I wanted to bring up; I've also heard of the Gangrel line from V: tM. More specifically, that line allows you to, via Protean 3, to change into the form of a wolf and other animals, though I'm unsure if there is the option to have a "Crinos" form in there.

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                • #9
                  Protean to turn into a Crinos form is on a level beyond 5, so it is reserved to vampires of a Generation lower than the ones usually possible for PCs (except they drink all the blood of a lower generation vampire, which is a severe crime in most cases).
                  It is beyond the levels a Ghoul can ever hope to master and therefore not for humans.

                  EDIT:
                  The Rite of the Parted Veil is around since the 1st Edition Tribebook. It is, iirc, a more gentle version of a Rite that Garou use to punish humans, that also takes away the Veil, forcing them to remember what happened to them in Delirium...
                  Last edited by heinrich; 02-21-2021, 04:51 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                    Protean to turn into a Crinos form is on a level beyond 5, so it is reserved to vampires of a Generation lower than the ones usually possible for PCs (except they drink all the blood of a lower generation vampire, which is a severe crime in most cases).
                    It is beyond the levels a Ghoul can ever hope to master and therefore not for humans.

                    EDIT:
                    The Rite of the Parted Veil is around since the 1st Edition Tribebook.

                    Alright, thanks for the info and corrections.

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                    • #11
                      I'd say no. That's the route where Samuel Haight lies, and in general it's rather counter to the themes and ideas of the whole setting. Keep in mind that the skindancing rite requires you to kill and skin 5 other Werewolves and taints you forever with Wyrm taint.

                      Much more in line with the setting would be to go with someone who is a Lost Cub - someone who is unaware that they are actually part of the bloodline, or someone who is lost to his family. That person could easily have a First Change at a late time in life, making them a Werewolf much later in life, and at a point that's dramatically appropriate for the Storyteller.


                      What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

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                      • #12
                        I’m not here to yuck any yums but I’d suggest that if you wanted to incorporate that make it a chronicle-wide plot point. Theoretically Wolf, Gaia, and/or Luna could turn any human or wolf into a Garou but this hasn’t been done in millennia; though it could happen again if you really wanted to do so as an ST but that’s really something I strongly advise only doing for an athro+ rank chronicle with the chosen human as a huge focus. A living one ring level deal.

                        Anyway there’s also the Sk*nwalker Rite which requires five Garou pelts to perform or the PENTEX War Wolves (although these are wolves turned into shapeshifters, not humans) but those are only more possible in a relative sense, they’re both incredibly rare.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                          I'd say no. That's the route where Samuel Haight lies, and in general it's rather counter to the themes and ideas of the whole setting. Keep in mind that the skindancing rite requires you to kill and skin 5 other Werewolves and taints you forever with Wyrm taint.

                          Much more in line with the setting would be to go with someone who is a Lost Cub - someone who is unaware that they are actually part of the bloodline, or someone who is lost to his family. That person could easily have a First Change at a late time in life, making them a Werewolf much later in life, and at a point that's dramatically appropriate for the Storyteller.
                          There was that stipulation about Garou willingly giving up their lives to avoid the Wyrm taint (which would likely be from Garou who are following the Suffer Not the People to Tend Thy Sickness tenet to an extreme), but given that the knowledge of the RoSR is usually kept by thoroughly unsavory folk and the rite has such a justifiably terrible reputation, it's an unlikely occurrence.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Warden View Post
                            To MyWifeIsScary: I've done some looking at the Mockery Breeds; from what I've seen, the "wolf" Mockeries only have Lupus and Garou forms; no Homid. That being said, I might have missed something, so feel free to correct me.
                            Indeed, but the idea of scientists trying to crack the secrets of magic shapeshifting monsters, gathered around a glowing experiment tank or surrounded by formalin failures, or somehow more realistically achieving magic with "SCIENCE" is a fun one. The mockery breeds not only work on their own, but as a template of what you could do; perhaps progress with these mockery breeds continues, and more successful variants are born, perhaps even perfect or near-perfect copies of natural changing breeds. You could just be someone who volunteered to test medicine for money and BOOM, first change (Plus, insert story over how everyone goes to war for the research group that successfully made the technology to create new werewolves/Fera)


                            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                            There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                            • #15
                              I was once thinking about that (even started a thread once) trying to create a character who can become vitrually anyone. I ended with a human, Kinfolk, with some Romanian blood (I know, I know, but still it was long time ago, I was younger and fascinated with all the ideas). As a human, he could also become a Sorcerer, Psychic or both. As a Kinfolk he could meet the Skindancers and become Garou. He could be Embraced, became a Wraith (for obvious reasons) or Kuei-Jin (I don't limit them only for Asian people). He could also become a Mage (after the science convention in Chicago in 1988, mentioned in Technomancer Toybox), become a pigment user (if you like Orpheus Group), a host for a Messenger (thus becoming Hunter), or being inhabited by Demon. Theoretically the Sacred Rebirth could be used to become other types of shapeshifters, but I'd rather not allow that (either because the way they breed, like Corax or Ratkin or because they are too few to get 5 skins easily, like Gurahl). I even should have necessary stats for that one somewhere. Not to mention he could also became a ghoul, fomori or be enchanted

                              As for the Rite of the Parted Veil it doesn't create a Kinfolk (after all it's a Punishement rite). CoG only overcame functional fixedness for this rite. It allows an ordinary human to become a part of Garou Nation (as some kind of reward) not to create Kinfolks.


                              Warrior of the Rainbow
                              Saint among the sinners
                              Pure among the dirt
                              Loser among winners

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