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When does a werewolf count as a werewolf?

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  • When does a werewolf count as a werewolf?

    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    Werewolves are half human, half wolf spirits, thinking they are human before First Change.
    Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
    Interesting, then why do they have Integrity before the First Change instead of Harmony if no transforming act takes place? Wouldn't the change in the fundamental way they operate indicate that they were not in fact already werewolves, in the same sense caterpillars are not already butterflies?

    I don't think werewolves are any more werewolves before the change than a human is already a vampire before the embrace, and the mechanics support that view.

    Also since in 2nd edition you can become wolf blood by being exposed to Lunacy, the 1st edition ties of werewolf to genetic lineage is not as it was.
    Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
    Well, there's your answer. Caterpillars are the same animal as butterflies, but they don't actually look like butterflies at all. If you didn't know from the start that butterflies grow from caterpillars, you wouldn't know the two were the same animal, because of how dramatic the metamorphosis is, and you/d probably consider a caterpillar to be more like a grub or worm. The First Change is a metaphysical metamorphosis, as the Werewolf's spiritual side asserting itself. Untill they change, they have no "Spirit" side yet developed to lean toward, so at low Integrity/Harmony, they just lean toward "nothing." Technically, they have Harmony, but since their Spirit side isn't grown in yet, decaying toward Spirit looks pretty much the same as a human decaying toward Zero Integrity. Since it looks pretty much the same, it makes more sense to represent it as the same.
    This entire exchange has underlying questions about genetic/metaphysical predestination, identity, and the nature of the people who will and/or could become werewolves before their first change, the answers to the former helping to shape the answers to the latter.

    Questions:

    If a werewolf was always a werewolf, but merely thought they were human, does that mean there is a population of beings which think they human but are unable to be Embraced(Since you can't embrace a werewolf)?

    What magnitude of change of definable qualities is needed before something or someone is no longer considered the same class of thing or being? Does the First Change qualify for that degree of magnitude?

    Since humans can become wolf-blooded via Lunacy, and wolf-blooded are more likely to undergo the First Change, what does that mean in relation to the nature of being a werewolf?

    I expect people to disagree on this topic, what I'd like is clear interpretations to cluster the consequences of their lines of reasoning so that they can be compared and contrasted on how they'd affect play.


    “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
    "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

  • #2
    It's not actually not being human that prevents werewolves being embraced. Mages can't be embraced either, and they're completely human on a physical level.

    What seems to actually prevent it is having their supernatural tolerance trait ignite. Before this happens, they're human enough to change splat. You can see this in reverse with ghouls. They're considered to have blood potency 0 and can't go through the first change or awaken or anything else.

    Not sure how this works with the merit from Hurt Locker, mind you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
      If a werewolf was always a werewolf, but merely thought they were human, does that mean there is a population of beings which think they human but are unable to be Embraced(Since you can't embrace a werewolf)?
      As Elfive pointed out, thinking they're human has nothing to do with their capability to be Embraced. Though he associates it with the Supernatural trait, I'd link it more to the soul.

      Also werewolves hadn't always been werewolves. Some may have been destined to change but they aren't a werewolf before the First Change. Even if their Wolf-Blooded Tell lets them change form.

      What magnitude of change of definable qualities is needed before something or someone is no longer considered the same class of thing or being? Does the First Change qualify for that degree of magnitude?
      Depends on how strict you're going to be when considering things 'the same class of thing.' Some people think the catepillar dies in the coccoon, the butterfly genetics being an entirely new being.

      I'd suggest most people wouldn't think Wolf-Blooded are human. And while many people would think werewolves are human, because their human disguise is so good, they are not human either.

      Since humans can become wolf-blooded via Lunacy, and wolf-blooded are more likely to undergo the First Change, what does that mean in relation to the nature of being a werewolf?
      Little. Anyone you might change via your Lunacy could have just been 'earmarked' by the powers that be from their conception, or even further ago.

      I expect people to disagree on this topic, what I'd like is clear interpretations to cluster the consequences of their lines of reasoning so that they can be compared and contrasted on how they'd affect play.

      You're asking some pretty ephemeral questions.

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      • #4
        It depends on how you define werewolf, really. All werewolves First Change from Wolf-Blooded, and excluding Lunacy-induced adoptions, Wolf-Bloodedness is hereditary. So, it could be argued that a person who was born without a Tell, acquired a Tell in adolescence, and First Changed in adulthood was "born a werewolf" and the process of gaining a Tell and First Changing is simply a normal part of a werewolf's developmental process. Or you could argue that they were human, then they became Wolf-Blooded, then they became a werewolf, like a caterpillar becomes a pupa and then becomes a butterfly. I don't think either is wrong.
        Last edited by Charlaquin; 03-03-2017, 03:18 PM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
          All werewolves First Change from Wolf-Blooded,
          Whoa, question:

          Would you kindly cite source on that assertion? That doesn't sound like something in 2nd Edition, but maybe I missed it. Book and page number would be very appreciated.


          “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
          "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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          • #6
            Werewolf the Forsaken second edition, p296,

            'Where do Werewolves come from? Not in the grand scheme, but in the immediate, visceral, bodily sense?
            Short and sweet, they come from Wolf-Blooded. Though “how” is rarely sweet, and the pangs of it are only so short as the lives of those involved. If werewolves are half-spirits tied to the earth and the spirit, then Wolf-Blooded are three-quarter-humans tied to the earth and yearning for the spirit.'

            It's worth reading the rest of the section, as wolf-blooded are not predictable and do not conform to any normal statistical pattern. And there's no stipulation on how long one must be a wolf-blooded so the turn over could be a matter of moments. There's also this, from one of the writers.

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            • #7
              What nofather said.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator

              My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nofather View Post
                Werewolf the Forsaken second edition, p296,


                'Where do Werewolves come from? Not in the grand scheme, but in the immediate, visceral, bodily sense?
                Short and sweet, they come from Wolf-Blooded. Though “how” is rarely sweet, and the pangs of it are only so short as the lives of those involved. If werewolves are half-spirits tied to the earth and the spirit, then Wolf-Blooded are three-quarter-humans tied to the earth and yearning for the spirit.'

                It's worth reading the rest of the section, as wolf-blooded are not predictable and do not conform to any normal statistical pattern. And there's no stipulation on how long one must be a wolf-blooded so the turn over could be a matter of moments. There's also this, from one of the writers.
                Awesome, thank you nofather


                “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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