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  • I'm just going to Like Heavy Arms post here and leave a simple comment about how easy and nice Garou life is. This is my favourite illustration in Werewolf as it really underscores how messed up being one is, and how close you are to doing something utterly unspeakable.



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

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    • I'm also reminded of the time the WtA authors admitted, in one of the books, that they wanted to make Pentex more like Captain Planet villains, but the reality of what some companies were doing already was so over-the-top at the time that there was no way to make it more so.

      It's extremely potent of a statement on multiple levels. One of which is that WtA purposefully uses fantasy and simplified narratives to try to address extremely complex real world problems (yes, that's also what a cartoon for kids did too, but that's how stories work), and sometimes there's just no way but to face those problems head on without that layer of fantasy to help you out.

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      • Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
        I'm just going to Like Heavy Arms post here and leave a simple comment about how easy and nice Garou life is. This is my favourite illustration in Werewolf as it really underscores how messed up being one is, and how close you are to doing something utterly unspeakable.

        I also feel it should be noted, uratha don't have to deal with this. Even the most angry Rahu Blood Talon can go to their work, not worry about scaring everyone around them, go home and have dinner with their spouse. They do not have to fear tearing apart their spouse because they did not do the dishes. To garou, this is a legit concern. There is a reason why some refuse to stay long with their mates, they fear what might happen.

        Mind uratha being able to hold a human life is not a bad thing, as I've seen many people who want to give their ahroun military background or job. Forsaken is just a better game for that.


        My gallery.

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        • Evidently I tripped a few nerves. Apologies. I didn’t intend to sound like I was making a value judgment about WtA as a game, but to help the conversation by sharing my perspective on why it’s presentation of werewolves fails to feel properly “werewolfy” to some (as it indisputably does).

          To try and clarify: WtA is not a game focused on personal horror and is not trying to be. My point is that this has the consequence of downplaying concepts many consider quintessentially werewolf, in favor of concepts more unique to the game and its setting. This is only a failing insofar as the fact that no one game can do everything. But is forgivable for someone looking for a “werewolf game” to find that Apocalypse doesn’t quite fit their expectations.

          I did go too far downplaying Garou drawbacks; I meant to illustrate that they just don’t quite fit the fantasy of being a werewolf that I have in my head, not that they don’t exist. Upon reflection, they compliment the intended mood of Apocalypse remarkably well.


          The longer I study science the more I am convinced that it is functionally indistinguishable from what our ancestors would refer to as sorcery. And I would know, being both scientist and sorcerer.

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          • Originally posted by Scriptorian View Post
            Evidently I tripped a few nerves. Apologies. I didn’t intend to sound like I was making a value judgment about WtA as a game, but to help the conversation by sharing my perspective on why it’s presentation of werewolves fails to feel properly “werewolfy” to some (as it indisputably does).

            To try and clarify: WtA is not a game focused on personal horror and is not trying to be. My point is that this has the consequence of downplaying concepts many consider quintessentially werewolf, in favor of concepts more unique to the game and its setting. This is only a failing insofar as the fact that no one game can do everything. But is forgivable for someone looking for a “werewolf game” to find that Apocalypse doesn’t quite fit their expectations.

            I did go too far downplaying Garou drawbacks; I meant to illustrate that they just don’t quite fit the fantasy of being a werewolf that I have in my head, not that they don’t exist. Upon reflection, they compliment the intended mood of Apocalypse remarkably well.
            I dont like WtA either. But I understand people that do

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            • Originally posted by Scriptorian View Post
              My point is that this has the consequence of downplaying concepts many consider quintessentially werewolf, in favor of concepts more unique to the game and its setting.
              The problem, and the reason why this kind of argument seems lacking to others, is that those things some think to be quintessential to the concept just aren't so to others, while the concepts you think as unique to the game aren't really, and are found in other werewolf stories, to the point that some of them are quintessential to other people.

              Put in another way, there was not a single idea of what is a werewolf in pop culture, there was several and frequently contradicting, so your personal concept of what's a werewolf (or mine, or anyone's) necessarily contradicts that of another person. What to do in this case?

              WtA is something for werewolves no other line managed to be for their monsters: the Trope Codifier. Not because it is a perfect werewolf game, but because there was no single werewolf trope before. So much so that even Forsaken is far more similar to Apocalypse than it is to any other particular legend, story, movie, game, you name it, except those that also follow Apocalypse closely.

              You don't have to like it, it has problems, Forsaken is a better game for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. It is just that the precise argument that WtA isn't "werewolfy", albeit common, literally means nothing except lack of knowledge about the setting and the many sources about werewolves in some form or another.


              #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
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              • To give an example:

                The "hulking brute" Crinos form (that Forsaken copied) is basically a pop-culture invention from 1981 with The Howling, coupling with the special effects advances shown in An American Werewolf in London, where this specific giant man-wolf hybrid thing suddenly became what werewolves "looked like." The 1941 Wolf Man more Glabro style werewolf was much more common in pop culture (if for no other reason than a lack of special effects and make up to do much else than a really hairy person with pointy teeth), or just turning into normal wolves. Pop-culture didn't even have giant wolves like An American Werewolf in London much.

                So, now, the giant hulking werewolf hybrid murder form is a staple that's been around for a few generations of horror enthusiasts (41 years will do that), but when WtA first came out it was just over a decade old, and Lon Chaney Jr. with a lot of facial hair added was what most people thought of if you said "werewolf."

                The Crinos form also isn't really part of the folklore/mythology record. Most older stories are normal wolves, maybe particularly large wolves capable of some odd things like walking on their hind legs like humans while still having lupine bodies, or more visually strange things like a human body with a wolf head on it.

                So, yes, modern audiences are completely used to the idea of a human turning into a 9-foot tall wall of muscle, fangs, and claws... but go back 50 years and that was groundbreaking/not proper werewolf at all. That's kind of how pop culture works, a specific framework of what a concept is gets set as what things are "supposed" to be and that last for some amount of time (maybe a few decades, maybe hundreds of years) before some other idea displaces it.

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                • Yeah, Forsaken mostly shifted the focus on which parts of the werewolf it was looking at. In Apocalypse you're a barely contained ball of rage taught to direct it at the corporation's harming the environment, whereas in Forsaken it all comes back to family.

                  I mean that, I honestly think family is a stronger theme for Forsaken than hunting is. Uratha have a duty because of what their ancestors did thousands of years ago, these ancestors help them by serving as tribal totems, they form packs, they treat their Wolf-blooded friends and family with respect (although mixed with condensation), and they will rip your arm off if you don't show their sibling some fucking respect. The lack of trouble interacting with humans, and 2e's abandonment of 'don't stick tab A in slot B', mainly serves to support this.

                  But Apocalypse is as much werewolfy as Changeling: the Lost is changelingy. A lot of it's changes have to do with playability rather than not being a werewolf, because turning into a rampaging monster every 28 days is fine when you're not supposed to be controlling the character at that point, but Apocalypse (and Forsaken) want you playing at that point.
                  Last edited by TwoDSix; 07-02-2022, 12:13 PM.


                  Blue is sarcasm.

                  If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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                  • Another set of examples of how those tropes weren't codified before.

                    How many people already complained that Apocalypse is about magical shamans instead of werewolves? There are arguably as much or even more legends about werewolves as shamans than not. In some werewolves are shamans that learn to shapeshift, in others the shepeshift into a wolf and shamanic powers are a part of the same package. In some the beginning of a shaman's life as such is an astral projection as an animal spirit, wolf being a very common one. For a lot of people the idea of werewolves dissociated from spirit powers is just Hollywood shenanigans (some of those can be involuntary, others cannot).

                    Werewolves as defenders of wild spaces? There are a lot of legends about creatures that defend the sanctity of wild spaces around the world, from far before environmental concerns became a thing. On one hand a lot of people have always had religious experiences with such places, and in the other wild places are dangerous, and for eons we developed legends about supernatural powers being behind such dangers, fairies, elves, ghosts, and yes, werewolves that were either wild entities that assumed human form to communicate with a warning, people blessed with wolf form for their connection with such places, or people cursed for desecrating them.

                    Even the other WoD splats carry a bit of older werewolf legends and pop-culture references. Werewolf as a vampire, wizard, shaman or fairy that turns into wolf form are all older tropes. As wolves that are/become vampires, fairies or wizards too, by the way. For some the quintessential Werewolf is like the Gangrel, and for others is like the Pooka, while others still identify with one Tradition or another more than with anything else.

                    Lineages of werewolves? At the very least older than the Greek Alphabet. Werewolves as poets and musicians? Ascribing those arts to wolf howls in legend isn't new, either. Werewolves as exotic tribes, as the hidden power of a secret cabal within society, as cunning tricksters before hunger/rage send them to a frenzy, as sexual predators (Little Red Riding Hood, anyone?), you name it, it was either a thing everyone now considers a werewolf trope or it is far older than Apocalypse. And which of those are more ingrained in pop culture? None. Where you live and what kind of media and stories you like is far more defining of what tropes you'll come across among those.

                    It is easy to talk about pop-culture based only on your own experience with it, but when it comes to werewolves there's a lot more too it.


                    #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
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                    • Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      Another set of examples of how those tropes weren't codified before.

                      How many people already complained that Apocalypse is about magical shamans instead of werewolves? There are arguably as much or even more legends about werewolves as shamans than not. In some werewolves are shamans that learn to shapeshift, in others the shepeshift into a wolf and shamanic powers are a part of the same package. In some the beginning of a shaman's life as such is an astral projection as an animal spirit, wolf being a very common one. For a lot of people the idea of werewolves dissociated from spirit powers is just Hollywood shenanigans (some of those can be involuntary, others cannot).
                      This is actually untrue.

                      Werewolves before the advent of Catholicism, as in people who shapeshift into wolves specifically and not general shapeshifters, have been either a curse by the gods(king Lycan, heroditus's Neupoi), a very limited magic trick(, a roman soldier in petronius's satyrecon) or 1 family in ireland that got it as a power from a hero-ancestor. The only account even similar to what you described is moeris from virgil's eclogues, who is Said to have been able to turn into a wolf, raise the dead, and steal corn from the fields, but I don't believe that he does any of that in the poem proper.

                      After the rise of Catholicism, belief in "pagan" magic actually being able to work became heresy(because their god was the only Real god), so werewolves were re-codified(Largely by Bishop Augestine of Hippo as seen in the book "City of God") as a kind of mass hallucination. Werewolves in this interpretation where one person would hallucinate(if awake) or fever dream(if asleep) So Hard that it would make other's nearby hallucine as well. This is the origin of people steeping and projecting animals, it had nothing to do with animal spirits, but everything to do with the catholic church trying to re-write folklore to convert people to their religion(something they're infamous for).

                      Werewolves consorting with spirits Also originates from a little after this era, because the belief wasn't that they were consorting with nature, it was that they were consorting with The Devil. This was the same time Heinrich Kramer wrote the Maleus Maleficarum, a book written for the specific purpose of saying the pagan magic was Real because came from the devil and that women were evil witches that needed killing. This in-turn catalyzed the belief that werewolves Also got their powers from the devil(and in reaction to this we got the benedanti, werewolves of the christian god who fought witches, protected harvests and went into hell to find things/people that demons stole).

                      Werewolves as a type of magical being that transforms at will into physical animals and communes with spirits of nature is 100% pop-culture.

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                      • Originally posted by Prometheas View Post

                        This is actually untrue...
                        You do realise, you're focusing on christianity's influence on europe and skipping the skinwalkers, kurtadam, nagual, taltos or any of a number of other myths mixing mysticism with shapeshifting and wolf men. Even with the fact that your blanket statement is partially true, there are quite a few paganic cultures and myths speaking of heroic werewolves blessed by god or rising from the magicmen of Europe.

                        Sure you've just given context to the Werewolf Trials, but not the actual myths and appearances in different cultures. Heck, even in relation with the Werewolf trials, Thiess of Kaltenbrun is all about people becoming werewolves to fight wicked witches and satan's spawn in faraway realms and even hell itself, if that's not folklore, what is?



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

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                        • Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                          You do realise, you're focusing on christianity's influence on europe and skipping the skinwalkers, kurtadam, nagual, taltos or any of a number of other myths mixing mysticism with shapeshifting and wolf men. Even with the fact that your blanket statement is partially true, there are quite a few paganic cultures and myths speaking of heroic werewolves blessed by god or rising from the magicmen of Europe.
                          It would be a massive stretch to call the things you listed werewolves.

                          Skinwalkers weren't shapeshifters, they were shamans that wore animals skins. They're more like Norse Berserks(bear-shirts) than werewolves.

                          Nagual is not a shifter, they're a guardian spirt that possesses an animal. They don't traditionally take human form and are closer to the european concept of a witches familiar than a werewolf.

                          Taltos are straight up vanilla shamans. They aren't closely associated with wolves anymore than any other animal, so they're more like mages than werewolves.

                          I'll admit that I've never heard of "Kurtadam" before, but looking it up only gives me a a number of sources that say it's the turkish Work for werewolf with no context and a single un-cited wikipedia entry that talks about turkish shamans. Trying to find turkish "Kurtadam" shamans has given me nothing. Closest thing I could find to werewolves with an actual citation was something called the "Itbarak/dog-headed men"(which might just be a racial slur) mentioned in a poem publish in an ecyclopedia of turkish mythology by a Bahaeddin Ögel.

                          "Heroic" werewolves did exist(I mention as much with the benedanti, but others like Demaenetus the boxer[Pliny's natural histories] and the werewolf knight [Bisclavret by Marie de France], but they weren't closely associated with shamanism is my point.

                          In fact the "Kurtadam" might be the Only werewolf associated with shamanism that I've seen, If that doesn't turn out to be Citogenesis.(I've already wasted days trying to find a myth talking about capricon as a time-traveling goat-fish while researching the origins of astrology, only for it to turn out to originate from a tumbler post. Please don't put me through that again.)

                          Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                          Sure you've just given context to the Werewolf Trials, but not the actual myths and appearances in different cultures. Heck, even in relation with the Werewolf trials, Thiess of Kaltenbrun is all about people becoming werewolves to fight wicked witches and satan's spawn in faraway realms and even hell itself, if that's not folklore, what is?
                          I'm not sure what that has to do with shamanism, animism, and nature spirits?

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                          • You're trying to draw bright line distinctions between things that didn't have those. "A shaman that turns into a wolf," is just as much a part of what informs pop-culture werewolves as, "a human cursed by the gods to become a wolf," is. Again, pop culture vampires are a blender of different source material, some of which intrudes on "witches" or whatever other broad categories people use that have extremely fuzzy edges. It's like complaining that VtM includes a way for vampires to be repelled by crosses, because Dracula is repelled by crucifixes, even though that's not part of 99% of mythology and folklore that is in the vague conceptual body of "vampire" sources.

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                            • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              You're trying to draw bright line distinctions between things that didn't have those. "A shaman that turns into a wolf," is just as much a part of what informs pop-culture werewolves as, "a human cursed by the gods to become a wolf," is. Again, pop culture vampires are a blender of different source material, some of which intrudes on "witches" or whatever other broad categories people use that have extremely fuzzy edges. It's like complaining that VtM includes a way for vampires to be repelled by crosses, because Dracula is repelled by crucifixes, even though that's not part of 99% of mythology and folklore that is in the vague conceptual body of "vampire" sources.
                              I'm not complaining about WTA being shamanist or that pop culture werewolves are tied to animism. That's the best part of the setting and folkloric werewolves are kind of bland as is.

                              My initial comment is a response to someone claiming that there are more folkloric shaman werewolves than not, which is blatantly untrue.

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                              • And my objection is still that you're trying to claim a bright line between "shaman that turns into a wolf," and other things that inspire pop culture werewolves as if one is a "werewolf" and one isn't. You're basically just saying, "this doesn't fit my personal definition of folklore werewolf, therefore it doesn't count, therefore other people are wrong." Or, in other words, you're claiming people are factually incorrect with no evidence other than your opinions.

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