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  • Your advice for a new WtF 2e Storyteller

    I will be starting a Forsaken campaign next month. This will be my first time running a Werewolf game. I do have previous experience running a 1st edition Mage the Awakening game.

    So what's your advice to someone new to running Wtf? Anything I need to pay special attention to? Any pit falls I need to watch out for? What can I do to really sell the experience?

  • #2
    The spirit world is a dynamic thing. It's alive, and any amount of phenomenons can throw it into disarray. Mages address spirit ranks by names such as squires and knights. It couldn't be further from the truth. What a mage would call a spirit squire seldom is pledged to another spirit in a bond of nobility; but it's more often than not taunted and cajoled by it's betters into falling in line or be devoured.

    Nowhere is the Darwinian nightmare of the Shadow more evident than with the pack's totem. Every time they eat something, they add something to their nature. In a way, that's part of spiritual immortality. Whatever spirit could masquerade as what we'd call a deity has very little to do with what that deity could stand for, it is usually just conning cultists for free essence.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
      I will be starting a Forsaken campaign next month. This will be my first time running a Werewolf game. I do have previous experience running a 1st edition Mage the Awakening game.

      So what's your advice to someone new to running Wtf? Anything I need to pay special attention to? Any pit falls I need to watch out for? What can I do to really sell the experience?
      This is all personal so dont take it as gospel but its my experience with the game so far.

      1) Spirits. Always ALWAYS plan what the ban and bane of a spirit is because normally the Ithaeur first action upon encountering one is "i use my power to see its ban/bane" and having to think of those on the spot is a kick in the nuts. And you will have to do that often, PC will see a location and might just want to go to the spirit side and check things out. So you gonna have to wing spirits a LOT.

      This is personal thoughs but i find the spirit world as Darwinian nightmare to be rather unidimensional, if all spirits are selfish, only thinking on survival and hating on the Uratha then it lacks any complexity. I try to give them lots of personality and desires besides "get me more essence and be hostile to Uratha". In a way i found more inspiration from Apocalypse in that regard in which spirits were more complex they wanted to help or not but also needed negotiations to do so. Its wasnt a constant eat or be eaten mentality to them.

      2) There are things the book is very unclear about in the name of "not restraining your creativity". For example, there is no explanation on how an Uratha gains renown. There is an explanation of what they gotta do to earn renown but now how they actually gain it by talking to a Lune to granting it or just WoW light from the sky and "level up", in 1st there was a rite to gain renown but its missing from 2nd. So choose a method and be consistent, i recommend the whole visiting the lunes because it emphasises the role of the Lunes in Forsaken culture. But thats just me, just be consistent.

      3) The hunt can break the flow of a game if you are not careful with pacing. Basically some abilities of the Uratha depend on them being under a sacred hunt rite, meaning that they gotta stop what they are doing to cast a 10+ minute ritual before they can continue. So things like changing of enemies mid conflict can feel weird in the context of a hunt, or them just jumping in a situation not knowing what they are looking for.

      4) This game has a lot of moving parts. There is a resume of the main abilities that an Uratha have (not counting gifts and rites) that is almost 20+ pages. So its a lot to process.

      5) If you players are the types to not read the book and/or you are the kind of dm, that like me, dont let them have any say in the setting they are playing in dont use the chargen as written. Just start them as tribeless and with 1 point of renown and gift. Otherwise their idea of what a tribe is could clash heavily to what it actually is in the game and you can introduce all the abilities of the Uratha slowly. And thinking a totem in chargen never works out for me, the most memorable totems of my players are those they have gained in-game.

      For example any Uratha aside from their Gifts (powers) and rite also have 5 forms and a special ability for each, an auspice power that their can use once every......X number of sessions (its not very clear), a hunter aspect their can inflict on their prey. The ability to flare renown and a special effect depending on which renown. Senses that they can switch on/off, harmony that affects how they can cross over (low and high enough and they can cross without a locus from one direction), renown that defines their spiritual rank and Primal urge that determines healing, Death Rage duration, Lunacy and tracking.

      Basically the cornerstone from which most of the inner abilities of an Uratha branch out from are Primal Urge (Essence, Hard Rage duration, Lunacy and wolf senses), Renown (Flaring brands, buying Gifts and spirtual rank) and Harmony (Death rage triggers, shapeshifting, Crossing to the spirit world, control in soft rage)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post

        This is personal thoughs but i find the spirit world as Darwinian nightmare to be rather unidimensional, if all spirits are selfish, only thinking on survival and hating on the Uratha then it lacks any complexity.
        You're correlating the fact that all spirit are in fact cannibalistic predators of their own breed with a lack in proper motivation, which I believe is a mistake. A spirit of a cunning avian predatory knows it can't face an Uratha in battle: so it cheats them. It's in his nature. Just like a mountain spirit won't give two flying fucks about whatever a spirit halfbreed with the lifespan of a mosquito would require of it.

        Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
        I try to give them lots of personality and desires besides "get me more essence and be hostile to Uratha".
        Spirits are junkies. You have the desperate kind which would do anything for their fix, not bothered by the quandaries of morality such as mind-raping people for it, and you have your Hollywood producer junky which only needs to call his dealer to throw a party with blackjack and hookers and every spectrum in between (Except their fix is different to all of them), all the way up to the iluminati level of power that act like biblical plagues if unleashed.

        Take a spirit of death. What kind of death does it likes the most? is it death by drowning? where does it hangs out that it can feed? is it death by accident? natural disaster? how does it shapes it's hunting ground? what sort of spirits hang out with it to feed on it's wake too? Is there metaphors that can be inferred as it's ban and bane?

        Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
        4) This game has a lot of moving parts. There is a resume of the main abilities that an Uratha have (not counting gifts and rites) that is almost 20+ pages. So its a lot to process.
        This isn't advice, this is starting to look more and more like a rant.

        Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
        5) If you players are the types to not read the book and/or you are the kind of dm, that like me, dont let them have any say in the setting they are playing in dont use the chargen as written. Just start them as tribeless and with 1 point of renown and gift. Otherwise their idea of what a tribe is could clash heavily to what it actually is in the game and you can introduce all the abilities of the Uratha slowly. And thinking a totem in chargen never works out for me, the most memorable totems of my players are those they have gained in-game.
        Rant tone again.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
          So what's your advice to someone new to running Wtf? Anything I need to pay special attention to? Any pit falls I need to watch out for? What can I do to really sell the experience?
          Some general Storytelling advice. Having a few lists of things can really help speed things up when you're taken off guard or need to pad something out. A list of names, brief descriptions, not quite a random encounter table but if you need some background characters or NPCs these things can come in handy to fill in blanks the players might ask for. Condition cards (or just scraps of paper you can write a Condition out on and pass over) are pretty useful. You have access to the character sheets of your players, keep this in mind so you can know their capabilities and wants. Aspirations are basically 'Storyteller I'd like to do this in the game,' and when someone puts a bunch of dots in a certain Skill you have good reason to factor it in somehow (and alternatively if no one has any dots in certain Skills you might want to avoid or at least not focus a lot on that). A lot of this can be figured out in an introduction session, so you know what the players want out of the game and they know what you want out of it.

          And some Werewolf specific advice. Werewolves are combat monsters, and are very good at it, without having to try very hard, keep this in mind, for the most part when you see things like 'humans are dangerous' it's not talking about an individual or even a group who, if engaged in combat, will likely be torn to shreds. The Hisil is a busy and nightmarish place, but not everything in there is immediately 'aggro' to werewolves, so exploring it may be on their priority list and something you might want to think about. It can be ignored, but it's usually a big part of the game and might require some work to flesh out (having a list of kinds of spirits common to the area might help, similar to above). It's probably the biggest thing separating werewolf from the other games, as you can drop most gamelines into the city that you live in or look at tourism sites, but as a reflection of the world and what's happened there, the Hisil is pretty abstract. That said, you can have a lot of fun with it. Doubling down the 'know the players capabilities,' keep in mind werewolves have really good physical senses, and their Gifts are about arming them for hunts, so these are things you can play up as well or know what to avoid (locked doors are not a barrier for werewolves with All Locked Doors).

          Oh, and fetishes and talens. They aren't based on Merits so feel free to let them liberally get into PC hands without charging them Experience for it. Talens are a good prize or tithe from spirits, fetishes can have entire plots built around them. Also first edition books are, for the most part, a great resource. A lot of the mechanics wouldn't cross over easily, but the monsters and spirits you would find in things like Night Horrors: Wolfsbane or one of the most useful ones, Predators, are fairly easy to adapt.

          Here's some links from one of our writers, who has been putting up various plot hooks, fluff and mechanical doodads as a Wintertime gift.

          Twelve Lords a Bowing, about an insular pack of Storm Lords, their strange idol, and enemies.
          Eleven Shaman Blessings, with a bunch of 'tricks' that can be pulled off in the form of rites for the most part, tending towards the higher end of the power scale.
          Ten Spirits Binded, featuring some strange Numina powers spirit nobility might have access to.
          Nine Heads a Flying, with nine unique fetishes in the form of severed heads.
          Eight Pure a Weeping, about the Mourners, a Pure Lodge plagued by guilt and spreading it.
          Seven War-Song Howlings has a bunch of warsong related abilities, including Merits, rites and fetishes.
          Six Pups-a-Changing offers some alternative First Changes, and options for unique victims of the First Change.
          And Five Pounds of Flesh, which currently only has an antagonist and their minions but they're a good one.

          The forum isn't the busiest but the writers and players tend towards the helpful side and most of the common rules questions can probably be found asked or answered around here.
          Last edited by nofather; 01-23-2018, 07:13 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Malus View Post
            Spirits are junkies. You have the desperate kind which would do anything for their fix, not bothered by the quandaries of morality such as mind-raping people for it, and you have your Hollywood producer junky which only needs to call his dealer to throw a party with blackjack and hookers and every spectrum in between (Except their fix is different to all of them), all the way up to the iluminati level of power that act like biblical plagues if unleashed.
            And i think that kinda boring and unidimentional. Best spirit write up i read are those that not always about getting their "fix.


            Originally posted by Malus View Post
            This isn't advice, this is starting to look more and more like a rant.
            Uh no, i mean is a fact the game does have a lot of moving parts and its the game of the big 3 with more inherent abilities from their splat (not counting their main power like Disciplines, Gifts and arcanums). But thinking them as a tree braching out from 3 cores (Harmony, Renown and Primal Urge) is a good way to keep track of them.

            Originally posted by Malus View Post
            Rant tone again.
            Good thing i dont care what you think

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            • #7
              Spirits and their ilk. I find them the most delightful thing in Werewolf games, because the way they’re portrayed is quite different from those of other fiction. All of them are predatory by nature, thanks to a dark consequence of Animism. (You’re alive, so you need to eat. But if everything else is just as alive and sentient as you are...)

              Yes, spirits are junkies. (They have it even worse, because at least junkies don’t usually fade away from existence and die like spirits deprived of Essence do). Yes, spirits are more than one-dimensional junkies. The two are not mutually exclusive. Older and stronger spirits who can carry more Essence with them, and have set up local infrastructure to support their hunger, can afford to pursue other things than Essence. See also that hierarchy of desires thing (forgot official name) in psychology. The fun starts when that base they’ve secured falls down. What then, will the spirit do?

              Back to the original topic. As Werewolf 2E heavily emphasizes the Uratha as hunters, you’ll want to think of what prey you can throw at them, just like how in Mage 2E you throw Mysteries your mages can Obsess over at them. Spirits, Claimed, Hosts, other Uratha, even normal humans, and the dreaded idigam are all expected to be prey sooner or later. Of course, being prey doesn’t mean they are weak. Often, they’re anything but weak, and too often the hunters become the hunted.


              MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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              • #8
                Know Your Genre
                Obviously this is actually kind of general advice to keep, but it's always the most important, so it's worth re-iterating. A slice of life game is gonna be very different from a personal horror dive, which will be different from a high-octane action game, and putting some thought in what you want to evoke using Werewolf in each is gonna go a long way toward's making that game that players go nuts over. Clearly, this does involve a little feeling out of the group and how they go at it, but always be working for that cohesive feeling.

                Werewolves are Scapels, not Hammers
                Werewolves can wreck shop, but the name of the game is Splinter Cell, not Ragnarok. The game is at it's most rewarding when the game becomes about controlling and exploiting the terrain, both physical, spiritual, and psychological, and taking their vicious power and sliding it in with overpowering precision. It also rewards players for developing their intimacy with their territory, knowing what window to burst through or which teacher to encourage to upset the kids of the prey, etc, etc.

                Dominance is More Than Scratch Marks
                Werewolves offer a hell of a thrill physically speaking, and sure-you should indulge in the flesh and the senses and the power of being faster and stronger and so damn near unkillable. That said, Forsaken is a game of dominance, and they aren't slouches in being intellectual and social dominators. They are as much tides of information and sheer carnal presence as they are surging flesh, and while other games play around with earning it, losing it, and being in the tumult of it all, a Werewolf should indulge in how binary their state of dominance is-either they're over you, or you're over them.

                We All Eat Somehow
                As relates to the spirit conversation going on right now, the important thing to remember is that all the prey need to eat, much like any animal does-and with that mind, start looking at the world and all the ways we earn our food, and twist them around and pervert them for your prey. Know who the lords of the watering holes are, be they the supermarkets, corner bars, or temple-clubs at the vault of the sky, and know how the scraps flow from predator to prey to scavenger.

                Just some light points. I might add more later.


                Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post
                  Good thing i dont care what you think
                  It doesn't matter if you use a cute emoticon, this is disrespecting another forum user and against the ToU. You seem to have an issue with this kind of behavior, this is your final warning, next offense is a permaban.


                  Onyx Path Forum Administrator
                  Posts in this color are moderator posts
                  Posts in this color mean a Great Old One has driven me mad.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darksider View Post

                    It doesn't matter if you use a cute emoticon, this is disrespecting another forum user and against the ToU. You seem to have an issue with this kind of behavior, this is your final warning, next offense is a permaban.
                    Excuse me but dismissing my experience, which i put as that my experience the start of my post as rant isnt disrespecting me?

                    And is not insulting that i dont care what mallus think my experiences. Bear in mind i report it twice and no answer.
                    Last edited by LokiRavenSpeak; 01-23-2018, 09:28 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post

                      Excuse me but dismissing my experience, which i put as that my experience the start of my post as rant isnt disrespecting me?

                      And is not insulting that i dont care what mallus think my experiences. Bear in mind i report it twice and no answer.
                      The comment in question is less conducive to helping out the purpose of the thread than many others-even Malus commenting on your rantier bits is a means of clarifying that the opinion is, at least, possibly somewhat faulty and something the OP wants to consider carefully before following it.

                      EDIT: Also, repeat offenders get more attention than non-repeat offenders.


                      Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                      Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                      Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post

                        Excuse me but dismissing my experience, which i put as that my experience the start of my post as rant isnt disrespecting me?

                        And is not insulting that i dont care what mallus think my experiences. Bear in mind i report it twice and no answer.
                        But you are right a snarky emoti is not enough, i have seen the deficient moderation of this forum. Mallus my man/woman you are a fanboy whose selfworth reside in this game being "perfect" when it isnt.

                        You are sad, you are the kind of deficient fanboy that the moderation of this forum breed, the sick echo chamber that make a opp a shadow of it former self.

                        So as good bye nofather you are awesome to discuss hope to see you in a better forum and mallus you are a fanboy. And RichT you are a unprofessional for letting that madman brucatto ruin M20!

                        Bye bitches

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                        • #13
                          Seek the Imbalance

                          Territories are always places where something has gone out of balance-harmony is not a long occuring state in nature, and that goes double for Forsaken. A good playgroup is going to have a vision for how they shape their territory, but even if that isn't the case, Forsaken is a game where small actions are always changing the ecology and therefore creating plot points. Think about how changing one thing will change at least three other things and you'll have story hooks for weeks.


                          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                          Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                          Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LokiRavenSpeak View Post

                            But you are right a snarky emoti is not enough, i have seen the deficient moderation of this forum. Mallus my man/woman you are a fanboy whose selfworth reside in this game being "perfect" when it isnt.

                            You are sad, you are the kind of deficient fanboy that the moderation of this forum breed, the sick echo chamber that make a opp a shadow of it former self.

                            So as good bye nofather you are awesome to discuss hope to see you in a better forum and mallus you are a fanboy. And RichT you are a unprofessional for letting that madman brucatto ruin M20!

                            Bye bitches
                            And that folks is how you get a permaban. Can't say you weren't warned.


                            Onyx Path Forum Administrator
                            Posts in this color are moderator posts
                            Posts in this color mean a Great Old One has driven me mad.
                            Forum Terms of Use
                            the Contact Us link.

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                            • #15
                              The Will to Kill is Shared

                              Kuruth, arguably the scariest thing personally for a werewolf, is something that starts in the players hands, because of course that killing instinct is something a player should willfully engage-but don't be afraid to pull it out yourself. You don't have to full on push out Kuruth, but that killing instinct is something you are allowed to underline statements with and drop in as a backlight. It is very much your tool, and you should always be ready to keep the character on edge by reminding them that the will to murder is a thing that is not firmly in their hands.


                              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                              Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                              Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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