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[2e Update] Dead Wolves

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  • [2e Update] Dead Wolves

    Earlier this week, while the moon was full, I entered some sort of late-night trance and created an outline for a 2e update of the Dead Wolves from Shadows of Mexico. I've been refining it since, and this is what I came up with. No drawing this time; if I did a drawing for all of these I'd probably never post them!


    Nickname: Barghests, Bloody Wolves
    Clan: Gangrel
    Bloodline Bane [The Moonlit Curse]: In addition to the Gangrel clan bane, Dead Wolves treat their Humanity as two lower for purposes of resisting frenzy on nights of their Insight moon. Worse, they must resist frenzy whenever they take damage from silver, and can be sent into frenzy by werewolf powers that affect Kuruth. Because of this, whenever they Frenzy, they count as a werewolf in Basu-Im, and can spread Kuruth to packmates accordingly.
    Favored Attributes: Wits or Stamina
    Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience, Sublunario
    Upon induction into the bloodline, all Dead Wolves gain two dots of Unnatural Affinity, applying to werewolves and spirits. Dead Wolves who had previously purchased the Merit for either werewolves or spirits are refunded Experiences spent. Additionally they gain a Tell if they were not wolf-blooded in life.

    Bloodline Gift: Insight
    Upon induction into the bloodline, all Dead Wolves gain an Insight, an echo of the Auspice denied by their Embrace. This determines when they are most prone to frenzy, as well as what Hunter’s Aspect they may inflict using Sublunario. If they were not wolf-blooded before their induction in the bloodline, they usually gain the Insight of their avus.
    The Insights and their Hunter’s Aspects are as follows:
    • Stalking Insight [New Moon] - Blissful Aspect
    • Whispered Insight [Crescent Moon] - Mystic Aspect
    • Boundary Insight [Half Moon] - Isolating Aspect
    • Visionary Insight [Gibbous Moon] - Monstrous Aspect
    • Warrior Insight [Full Moon] - Dominant Aspect
    Every Dead Wolf bears the blood of Mother Wolf and Father Luna. Their Tells mark them as kin to wolves, and with Sublunario, they can seize that legacy. The Beast howls with something untamed in the vampire’s breast, just as he howls and hunts with wolves.
    Cost: None or 1 Vitae per active effect
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None [for persistent effects] or Reflexive [for active effects]
    Duration: Permanent [for persistent effects] or one turn [for active effects]
    Like other physical Disciplines, Sublunario has two kinds of effects: persistent and active. Persistent effects are always on, and have no cost. Active effects are reflexive, and cost one Vitae per effect.
    Persistent Add the Barghest’s dots in Sublunario to all attempts to ride the wave. Additionally, she may benefit from the Siskur-Dah and perceive spirits in Twilight as if she were an Uratha.
    Active: By spending Vitae, the Barghest calls upon her savage inheritance to cow and panic others. For each point of Vitae spent, choose one effect from the following list. A Dead Wolf may spend additional Vitae to invoke multiple effects simultaneously, but no effect of Sublunario may be used more than once per turn.
    • Inflict her Hunter’s Aspect Condition when lashing out instead of the usual Condition, substituting her Sublunario dots for any applicable Renown. The Condition fades without resolving after a number of nights equal to the Dead Wolf’s Blood Potency. Lashing out this way against other Kindred does not cost Willpower.
    • Subtract her Sublunario dots from her opponent’s Defense for the turn. This only applies to her attacks, other combatants must contend with his full Defense. Channeling this primal fear is tiring, and a Bloody Wolf can only do so a number of times each scene equal to her dots in Sublunario.
    • Ride the wave while his Insight moon is in the sky. This is instead of spending Willpower for the turn, and a Barghest can decide whether or not to spend Vitae in lieu of Willpower on subsequent rolls.

    Infectious Purpose [Animalism 4, Sublunario 3, Dead Wolf]
    An ember of primeval fury sputters in a Barghest’s breast, but unlike her werewolf cousins, she may direct it, riding the wave of frenzy. Through the Blood she can grant her packmates tenuous control over their own rage, as long as hers lasts. Of course, for every Dead Wolf that uses this power to prevent a massacre, another uses it to turn her pack into a tactical nuke pointed directly at her enemies.
    Cost: 1 Vitae per affected packmate
    Requirement: The Barghest successfully rides the wave while packmates fall to Kuruth
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Reflexive
    Duration: Until the frenzy ends
    The Bloody Wolf co-opts the pack bond, her Blood snaking down mystic connections and granting her packmates the barest control over their own rage. As long as she continues to ride the wave, any affected packmates may pursue the Beast’s desire and target [if any] before turning their aimless fury toward others.
    This Devotion costs 3 Experiences to learn.

    Quicksilver Insight [Protean 2, Sublunario 2, Dead Wolf]
    The Bloody Wolves’ Insights are denied lunar possibilities expressed in Blood. But the Savages’ souls are quicksilver, and with a blood tithe to the moon, Luna’s dead children may embrace a different path… for a time.
    Cost: 3 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Instant
    By sleeping for a full day in her Unmarked Grave, the Dead Wolf changes her Insight moon to match the current moon phase. For the next lunar month, her Hunter’s Aspect and bane shift accordingly. After the month has passed, her Insight moon, bane, and Hunter’s Aspect return to normal. She cannot voluntarily end this effect; if she wants to shift her Insight again, she must wait for the month to end.
    This Devotion costs 2 Experiences to learn.

    Savage Form [Protean 4, Sublunario 2]
    The Dead Wolf’s body swells and groans, until she adopts a twisted shape, part-way between man and beast. However, as she does so, dread rage takes her, threatening the safety of everyone around her.
    Cost: 2 Vitae or 1 Vitae if the Dead Wolf is already frenzying
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Reflexive
    The Barghest becomes a savage wolf-man for the rest of the scene, and must attempt to ride the wave or immediately fly into a berserk frenzy, attacking everything that is not a werewolf in Kuruth. If she activates the Savage Form while already frenzying, she cannot attempt to ride the wave.
    In this form, she has the wolf senses of an Uratha, and adds 2 dice to all Perception rolls. Her Size is 6, and she forces Down and Dirty combat upon all lesser enemies. Her teeth and claws have a +2 weapon modifier, which deals lethal damage even to other vampires.
    This Devotion costs 3 Experiences to learn.

    So, when I first wrote my outline, Sublunario was going to be a style merit, similar to Psychognosis or some of the None More Dark bloodline updates, and the Barghests' 4th Discipline was going to be Vigor. However, as I worked through my ideas for the various dots, I felt like a Physical Discipline would be more appropriate. So I finally cracked open the source material, saw that it already was basically a weird Physical Discipline, and adapted what I liked and axed what I thought was strange or unnecessary, like the Insight Skills.

    What I arrived at was something that builds on the Dead Wolves' role as a bridge between Kindred and Uratha, while weaving in a greater emphasis on rage/frenzy. It felt like an appropriate way to make them feel like Gangrel wolf-blooded vampires, rather than just wolf-blooded vampires. And while I'm not entirely satisfied with the persistent effect of Sublunario [it might over-encourage riding the wave], I do like how it gives them a distinct role as "rage-guru" in a werewolf pack. Definitely an update that skews heavily toward playing a vampire in a werewolf game or mixed group.

    Anyway, hope you like it, and let me know what you think!
    Last edited by SomethingFishy; 08-17-2020, 05:21 PM. Reason: Tweaked Quicksilver Insight

    Consistently Inconsistent