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    And not the Uratha kind, either.

    This uses some parts of my GMC Skin-Thieves update, mostly in the realms of Aspect costs.


    Imitate Gift, Restricted Change, and Spirit Affinity are no longer a thing. They are replaced by:

    Totemic Animal (•): This aspect is reserved for Skin-Thieves with a closer relation to the Spirit World; their connection to their totem animal is usually more metaphorical than that of their counterparts. A Skin-Thief with this aspect gains the benefits of the Omen Sensitivity merit regardless of their form, with the "omens" all being related to their totem animal in some way; a wolf Skin-Thief might smell fear on the wind, while a shark Skin-Thief might taste blood in the water from their faucet. In addition, the Skin-Thief has an Honorary Rank of 1 as long as they are in their other shape; if any of their Numina have an effect or limit based off of their Rank, use their Honorary Rank instead.

    Beast Numen (••): [Requires Totemic Animal] This Aspect grants the Skin-Thief knowledge of a single Numen whenever they are in their other form; Numina must be tied to their animal in some way, either literally or metaphorically. A shark Skin-Thief might gain the ability to smell blood from a mile away (the Seek Numen), while a cat Skin-Thief might gain the ability to eat someone's breath (the Drain Numen). This Aspect may be selected multiple times, gaining a different Numen each time.

    Skin Thieves gain access to the unique Circle of Life Numen.

    Circle of Life: By spending 1 Essence, a Skin Thief may treat one creature they killed as if it were their Totem Animal; the only restriction is that this only applies to animals they kill while in their animal form. If the animal in question is the natural prey of their totem animal, the Skin Thief may activate this Numen without paying the cost. This Numen is a Reflexive action to activate, and does not require a roll.
    Spiritual Den (••): [Requires Totemic Animal] A Skin-Thief with this Aspect may regain Essence while in an area Resonant with their totem animal; they must be in their animal form to regain Essence this way. Regardless, they can only gain 1 Essence for each full day they spend inside the Resonant area.

    Ban (- ••): A Skin-Thief with this Aspect gains a Ban as if they were a Rank 1 Ephemeral Being; usually, this Ban in some way restricts or forces their shape-changing. A Skin-Thief with this Aspect can be Researched as if they were a Spirit.

    Bane (- ••): A Skin-Thief with this Aspect gains a Bane as if they were a Rank 1 Ephemeral Being; this Bane is usually thematically linked to their totem animal in some way, shape, or form. A Skin-Thief with this Aspect can be Researched as if they were a Spirit.

    Dread Power (•+): The Skin-Thief gains a dot of Dread Powers related to their totem animal for each dot placed in this aspect; they have access to these Dread Powers regardless of their current form.

    Rejuvenating Change and Skillful Change are also tweaked:

    Rejuvenating Change (•• or ••••): Some Skin-Thieves have learned how to leverage their shapeshifting capabilities to help themselves heal; a Skin-Thief with 2 dots in this Aspect may downgrade a Health Level of Lethal damage to Bashing damage, or instantly heal one Bashing damage, as part of the change into either animal form or human form (chosen upon taking this Aspect). If they have the 4 dot version of this aspect, they may apply this benefit whenever they change into either of their forms.

    Skillful Change (•) only allows you to shapeshift as a Reflexive action once per turn.

    Additionally, Skin-Thieves get a dot of Potency instead of generic Supernatural Resistance; each type of Potency is specified as part of that Skin-Thief's "template". Regardless of the specifics of their Potency, Skin-Thieves increase their Essence pool by one for each dot of Potency they have past the first; this does not increase the amount of Essence they can spend in one Turn.

    And, of course, they also get the free 3 dots of Merits for being Supernatural.

    Skin Thieves and Integrity:
    Due to the different fluff of Integrity vs. Morality, there has to be a little tweak here. Namely, Skin-Thieves in their animal form gain a +1 bonus on Breaking Point rolls if the Breaking Point was in line with how their totem animal behaves; however, they take a -1 penalty on all other Breaking Points, and treat acting "out of character" for their totem animal as a Breaking Point with a -1 to -3 modifier, depending on how grossly their "acting out" is.

    It also requires a slight thematic expansion, but to be honest, I don't care that much

    Sometimes, people get power through research and study; they might get it as a gift, or at the end of toil and hardship.

    Others get it torn into them through violence and pain.

    The lycanthropic condition is passed on through many different means, but all of them require some exchange of bodily fluids. Regardless of how they gained the disease in the first place, victims always suffer a Breaking Point at a -2 penalty the first time they change; the event is deeply and personally traumatic, calling in to question who you are.

    Unlike wolves, werewolves tend to be solitary; most simply want to be left alone so they don't hurt anyone else. If they do form connections to other werewolves, they are usually in the form of either familial bonds (you can't pick your family) or support groups, where victims attempt to come to grips with their changes so they can move on with their lives.

    There are rumours that the government is working on a cure for lycanthropy; the more cynical of these gossips tend to follow that up with "yeah, a silver bullet to the head". Because, like it or not, it is rather difficult to keep a werewolf down once they've changed into their more bestial forms.


    The Werewolf Template
    Werewolves are Skin-Thieves based around wolves; they gain the following Aspects:

    Wolfblood: A werewolf adds their number of dots in Wolfblood to any rolls related to hearing or smell, as well as to all Animal Ken rolls concerning canids.

    Thieving Aspect
    Hunter/Killer (0): Werewolves don't find most of their changes to be particularly stressful; however, their first change tends to be a night of blood and pain, which tends to be a strain on the soul.

    Talisman Aspect
    No Talisman (4): Werewolves don't have trinkets or capes that help them change their shape. They just... can.

    Skinchanger Aspects (Positive)
    Animal Speech (1) OR Bare Necessities (1) OR Twisted Tongue (1): There seems to be several different "strains" of the Werewolf Condition, which each grant slightly different traits; depending on their "strain", they can either speak to wolves regardless of their current form, don't shred their clothing as part of their skinchanging, or can speak like a human in wolf form. This is referred to as the werewolf's "variable Aspect".

    Beast Numen (2): Each "type" of werewolf also gains some small measure of mystical power, which varies from victim to victim. The werewolf selects one of the following: Beast Eyes (Canids only), Circle of Life, Pathfinder, Regenerate, Seek, Stalwart.

    Fast Healing (2): Wounds tend not to "stick" to werewolves in their wolf form; they tend to be quick healers. A werewolf in wolf form heals damage at twice the normal rate.

    Rejuvenating Change (2): A werewolf's two shapes are somewhat distinct; as such, some of the harm they take doesn't carry over. A werewolf's version of Rejuvenating Change applies when they shift from wolf form to human form.

    Scentless Transformation (1): They smell like the wolves they are; as such, they are not subject to the same rules regarding to scent as a normal Skin-Thief.

    Skillful Change (1): To a werewolf, changing shape is like flexing a muscle; it takes minimal time and effort. As such, they can change form as a Reflexive action.

    Static Beast Shape (0): A werewolf always changes into the same wolf form, which ages and grows old at the same rate as their human form.

    Totemic Animal (1): There are some signs that the werewolf "disease" might have a spiritual cause

    Skinchanger Aspects (Negative)
    Ban (-2): It might seem like a cliche, but werewolves must change into their wolf form after moonrise on a night with the full moon, and cannot change back into their human form until sunrise. They also gain the Bestial condition on the night of the full moon.

    Bane (-2): Monkshood is repulsive to werewolves, and ruins their flesh with its terribly poisonous touch.

    Tell (-1): Werewolves do not have a single, universal "tell"; however, it is usually obvious that they aren't natural. Their human form tends to develop more body-hair, curved fingernails, and a unibrow, while their wolf form tends to have human eyes and, in some cases, no tail.


    Werewolves may purchase additional dots of Wolfblood for 5xp, and the following Aspects for 2xp per Dot:

    Beast Numen (2): A werewolf may purchase any of the following Numina:
    Awful Presence (Beaten Down), Beast Eyes (Canids only), Circle of Life, Pathfinder, Regenerate, Seek, Stalwart
    Dread Power (1+): Werewolves may purchase dots of the following Dread Powers:
    Beastly Command (Canids only), Beastly Summons (Canids only), Dead Flesh, Enhanced Senses, Flicker and Flash
    Extraordinary Subject (1): The werewolf gains an additional dot of Size and Strength while in their wolf form.

    Increased Essence (2)

    Resilient Form (1+)

    Rejuvenating Change (+2)

    Sense of Self (2): Sometimes, a particular werewolf gains a certain amount of inner balance with regards to their condition; they do not suffer the penalty to Breaking Point rolls due to being in wolf form, and reduce the penalty to Breaking Point rolls due to acting out of character by 1.

    Spiritual Den (2): Werewolves consider places that resonate with "Wolf" to be an appropriate Resonance for this Aspect.

    Strong Instincts (1): Some werewolves give in to their animal side when they become a wolf; they replace all of their Attributes except Intelligence with those of a wolf, and replace their Athletics, Brawl, Intimidation, Stealth, and Survival ratings with those of a wolf (including the wolf's specialities). They may spend 1 Willpower reflexively to instead use the better of their own Attribute and Skill ratings and those of the wolf; doing so means they have access to both their normal specialities and those of a wolf for the duration of the change.

    They cannot choose to spend Willpower on this Aspect on nights they are forced to change due to their Ban.

    Lycanthropy: The Werewolf Disease
    Lycanthropy functions as a normal disease; the number of successful rolls to beat Lycanthropy is equal to the Wolfblood of the werewolf that infected them (referred to as their infector). Failed rolls against Lycanthropy do not cause damage; instead, the victim gains the Bestial condition if they don't already have it (this can circumvent the normal limits on how often a character can gain the Bestial condition). If the victim is still suffering from the Bestial condition on the night of the full moon, they gain the werewolf template and are forced to change as per the werewolf Ban.

    On this first night, a werewolf lacks dots in Wolfblood, and lacks a Beast Numen and their variable Aspect; once the night is over, and they've turned back into a human, they gain 1 dot of Wolfblood and their infector's variable Aspect. Within the next few nights, they develop one of their infector's Numina as their Beast Numen, and both of their forms develop their tells.

    I felt like doing this, OK? I might do Vampires as Blood-Bathers next, I dunno.
    Last edited by amechra; 10-26-2014, 04:46 AM.

    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

  • #2
    Reserved for an example Werewolf; probably going to be Vicky again.

    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


    • #3
      I take it this wasn't a very good idea?

      They're there for more "Hollywood" werewolves that wouldn't be too out of place in a minor templates game.

      I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

      So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


      • #4
        I really like it, both the Werewolf and the houserules.

        One of my players plays a Skin-Thief (a Spirit Skinner to be exact) and it is always nice to see new Skin-Thief concepts.


        • #5
          Love it.




          • #6
            I think this is great.


            • #7
              Thanks everyone.

              Are there any tweaks you can think of? Any extra Numina or appropriate Dread Powers (I only have Hunter core and Mortal Remains; are there any appropriate powers in, say, Spirit Slayers?)

              I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

              So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


              • #8
                I tweaked the list of Numina slightly to include one that I made.

                I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


                • #9
                  For what it's worth, I got the impression from DaveB that Aspects for supernaturals have been done away with for the sake of simplifying it to Dread Powers. So you may want to fiddle around with things and just make some particular Dread Powers for these guys.

                  I am no longer participating in the community. Please do not contact me about my previous work.


                  • #10
                    Technically, Dread Powers and Aspects fulfill the same role and also have similar XP costs (just like amechra, I spitballed Aspects at 2 xp per dot, which is also the cost of Dread Powers according to Mortal Remains). So instead of saying that Aspects have been done away with, you could also argue that Aspects has been renamed to Dread Powers.

                    Dread Powers are not necesarily more simple that Aspects.


                    • #11
                      Penta, I think he/she/it/they mean that the Devs seem to be simplifying stuff from Aspects/Dread Powers, so there are less distinct types of powers that do the exact same thing.

                      To be perfectly honest, I had found out about that after I wrote all this up.

                      I've been thinking of rewriting them so you don't need Skinchangers to use them; that would just involve going through the template itself and making explicit what all the parts do, and then rewriting some of the Aspects as unique Dread Powers.

                      Some would, to be honest, have to be bumped up, benefit-wise (I'd have each dot of Resilient Form give two extra Health levels.)

                      I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                      So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


                      • #12
                        Yeah, that was what I meant.

                        I am no longer participating in the community. Please do not contact me about my previous work.


                        • #13
                          I'm doing some necromancy to say I love this.

                          I also like the idea it isn't a disease so much as infectious, instinctual knowledge. I know that probably isn't implied, but I like the idea it's more magical than biological (whereas Versipellitis from Wolfsbane is the opposite, even if it has spiritual traits).

                          Also, I was wondering if you made an update to skinthieves somewhere. The whole Loss of Intelligence thing never sat right with me. Yes, I get the idea a less sane thief would have more in common with their totems than humanity...I just don't see why it can't be like actual werewolves or vampires, where their restraint is shaky instead of their raw logic (which animals generally possess, even if they don't rely on it as much. Rats have puzzle-solving skills, for crying out loud).
                          Last edited by Leliel; 11-29-2014, 11:24 PM.


                          • #14
                            Geez, now I need to translate my barely coherent mental notes into rules for other people so you can play your updated Skinthief.

                            You know what, I accept the challenge! I'm going to be doing a raw mechanics dump - I can add the lovely niceties later.


                            The Skin-Thief minor template is a toolkit for building a shapeshifter based, however loosely, on skinwalker stories. They have the following basic traits:

                            The Other Shape
                            All Skin-Thieves have another form they can change into, referred to as their Other Shape. Upon first building the character's particular Skin-Thief template, choose a single narrow, non-Supernatural category of living creatures, which is referred to as their Totem - "dogs", "lobsters", and "human children" are all valid Totems, while "Mages", "Werewolves", or "Canids" are not. A Skin-Thieves' rituals all require the Skin-Thief to have harmed or skinned a specific instance of this category; this particular, poor creature will be referred to as their Skin.

                            A character may enter or leave their Other Shape as an Instant action, and may stay in their other shape indefinitely. While in their Other Shape, they are subject to the following benefits and drawbacks:
                            • They replace their Species Factor, Size, and Physical Attributes with those of their Skin. Recalculate any derived Traits.
                            • They lose the ability to speak any languages they could normally, though they retain the ability to understand them.
                            • They gain the ability to speak any languages their Skin could (see Sidebar - The Language of Trout).
                            • They are physically indistinguishable from their Skin in all ways except their smell (see Sidebar - Your Skin Rots).
                            • They redefine their baseline capabilities based off of their Skin's capabilities; an Owl Skin-Thief would gain the power of flight and powerful night vision, but would logically lack opposable thumbs.
                            • The only object on their body that changes shape with them is their talisman; otherwise, a Skin-Thief returning from their Other Shape is left naked.
                            The character retains their Health and Willpower track across shapes; this can result in death when shifting from a particularly injured form.
                            Sidebar - Your Skin Rots
                            Sadly, a Skin doesn't last forever. Unless you choose an Aspect that removes this limitation, a Skin usually lasts 3 Intervals - by default, an Interval is one week, since curing or pickling ruins the delicate magic of the Skin. At the end of the third Interval, the Talisman disintegrates, rendering it useless.
                            As another point, a Skin-Thief smells like death - while they are in their Other Shape, any character or creature with a particularly sharp sense of smell gets a +1 bonus to any Perception roll to pick them out or track them by scent. This may also apply a -1 penalty to rolls against such character where smelling faintly of death would be a hindrance.
                            After the first Interval ends, the bonus to tracking or picking the character out by smell increases to +2; in addition, the penalty can apply when interacting with any other character, not only those with a potent sense of smell.
                            After the second Interval ends, the bonus increases to +3 and the penalty increases to -2 as they positively reek like a butcher's shop.

                            Sidebar - The Language of Trout
                            What if your Skin is an animal, and therefore doesn't possess a language? The answer is simple: we cheat, and pretend that they do. For example, a dog is considered to "speak" Dog, which covers all the different social instincts that a dog possesses.
                            A Skin-Thief's Integrity mostly maps to that of a mundane human being - they still have problems witnessing death and pain, after all. The core differences are as follows:
                            • Skin-Thieves do not suffer Breaking Points for witnessing the Supernatural - like it or not, they are part of that world now.
                            • However, Skin-Thieves suffer an inherent discomfort in their original shape; whenever they go a day without changing into their Other Shape, they suffer a Breaking Point at a -1 penalty. Similarly, going a week prompts a Breaking Point at -2, a month prompts one at -3, a year prompts one at -4, and a decade prompts one at -5.
                            • Additionally, creating or renewing a talisman is a heinous act, prompting a Breaking Point at -3.
                            • While in their Other Shape, a Skin-Thief can gain a +1 bonus on Breaking Point rolls by acting in character for their Skin; conversely, acting out-of-character for their Skin provokes a Breaking Point with a penalty anywhere between -1 and -3.
                            • A starting Skin-Thief is assumed to have failed the Breaking Point for creating their first talisman; as such, their starting Integrity is 6.
                            In addition, a starting Skin-Thief replaces the question "What has your character forgotten?" with "Why did your character steal their first Skin?"

                            Sidebar - The Importance of Being Ernest
                            A character's Integrity measures their general grasp on their identities, and if there's one thing Skin-Thieves tend not to have, it's a good grasp on themselves. As such, in addition to the normal effects of low Integrity, a Skin-Thief applies the penalties to Breaking Point rolls for low Integrity to all non-Perception Composure rolls. If their Integrity is 4 or lower, they may choose to take a Beat to downgrade a successful non-Perception Composure roll to a Failure.
                            All Skin-Thieves have some form of Potency, a Supernatural Tolerance trait that runs from 1 to 5. This confers the following benefits:
                            • They gain an Essence pool that holds [2 + Potency] points of Essence; regardless of how high their Potency rises, they cannot spend more than one Essence per turn.
                            • They may add their Potency to certain thematically appropriate rolls, decided upon when designing the Skin-Thief's template.
                            • If their Totem possesses any Attributes greater than 5, a Skin-Thief with Potency 4 or greater increases their Attribute cap for those Attributes to 6.
                            All Skin-Thieves possess a pool of Essence, which they may spend on any of the following:
                            • They may spend 1 Essence to enter or leave their Other Shape as a Reflexive action.
                            • They may reflexively spend 1 Essence to downgrade a HL of Lethal damage to Bashing, or to immediately heal a single HL of Bashing damage.
                            • They may spend Essence to fuel any Aspects or Numina that require Essence.
                            However, unlike Ephemera or Werewolves, a Skin-Thief only has three natural means of recovering Essence:
                            • Whenever they kill an instance of their Totem in a ritual manner, they regain 3 Essence.
                            • They may draw Essence directly from a Locus.
                            A starting Skin-Thief has 10 Merit dots to spend due to their Supernatural nature. In addition, if a Skin-Thief's Totem is a type of animal, they gain the two-dot version of Animal Empathy for that type of animal free of cost (despite the fact that they cannot normally purchase Human-only Supernatural merits).
                            As normal, a Skin-Thief may spend 5 Merit dots to increase their Supernatural Tolerance by one dot.
                            All Skin-Thieves have access to 9 dots worth of Aspects, supernatural traits that describe their Other Form and other miscellaneous details of their particular rituals. They must choose exactly one Thieving Aspect, and exactly one Talisman Aspect, but they may purchase any number of General Aspects. Some Aspects are worth a negative number of dots; they increase the number of dots a character may spend on Aspects.
                            Sidebar - Talismans
                            Most Skin-Thieves rely on a talisman crafted from their Skin; while traditionally a simple pelt is used, everything from a gris-gris bag filled with teeth to a locket trapping their Skin's shadow. A Skin-Thief who relies on a talisman needs to have their talisman on their person to change their shape, though they retain access to all other benefits and drawbacks of this template.
                            Creating a talisman from scratch is a task of some difficulty - it requires perverse research and heinous acts; it also costs a dot of permanent Willpower. Refreshing a talisman is relatively simple; all it requires is a few moments of work, access to their current talisman, a new Skin, and a Willpower point. Therefore, losing a talisman or having one break is an event that Skin-Thieves try to avoid as hard as possible.
                            Skin-Thieves and XP
                            A Skin-Thief may purchase additional Aspects for 2xp per dot, and may purchase additional dots of Potency for 5 dots. When designing the Skin-Thief's template, decide which Aspects are appropriate for that particular Skin-Thief; what's available for purchase should, at the end of the day, be internally consistent.
                            Otherwise, they follow the mortal rules for XP expenditure.
                            Last edited by amechra; 12-03-2014, 11:10 PM.

                            I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                            So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.


                            • #15
                              I'll stick the updated Aspects here when I'm done with them.

                              I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                              So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.