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[Moonshunned] Hybrids, Chimerae, Wolf-Spiders, Rat-Dogs

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  • [Moonshunned] Hybrids, Chimerae, Wolf-Spiders, Rat-Dogs

    Another idea I've been working on. It probably needs a few more passes for flavor and consistency. I think this phenom would work great in a game where the question of the relationship between werewolves and the Hosts (cf the Red Minister) has already been raised. It also needs a better name.

    Magath are spirits whose Essence has transformed over time through inimical influence. They are chaotic and dangerous, as they struggle to reconcile wildly contradictory natures of love and lightning, fire and Fresno.

    The Uratha, being creatures of half-spirit, are equally at half-risk of existential corruption. It’s a rare event, requiring a perfect storm of circumstances, but werewolves without the bond of a Firstborn totem might find that consuming the flesh of Pangaean progeny leads to changes in both their body and nature. New hungers well up inside them. The wolf must hunt begins to mingle with new, alien prerogatives.

    Consider the Azlu, for instance: Say that, in the midst of Rage, an already spiritually imbalanced Ghost Wolf takes a bite out of one of the Spider Hosts and swallows down a gulletful of ichor and tainted Essence. With no spiritual connections to help fend off foreign influence, the Uratha’s own Essence begins to react as it incorporates this shard of the Spinner Hag into the hapless shapeshifter’s being. A craving develops in the back of the werewolf’s mind to track down more Azlu and devour them as well, alongside a newfound unease in places where the Gauntlet wears thin. Over time, if this craving is pursued, the Uratha’s forms begin to change, displaying an increasing number of arachnid features. To some, this process is horrifying; to others, it just means a suite of new capabilities for hunting their new favorite prey.

    • Unbalanced Loners: In order to become a Chimera, an Uratha must be a Ghost Wolf with Harmony 4 or less. These prerequisites are not permanent, however; a Hybrid can later join a Tribe if he so chooses, though few are accepted by either fellow werewolf or Totem.
    • Conjoined Strength: A Hybrid gains a Dread Power appropriate to their Host side, plus another for every second dot of Primal Urge. The Uratha’s Gauru form has access to all Dread Powers, while Dalu and Urshul have access to two, and Urhan one. This distribution is chosen by the player, and can be reallocated by spending 3 Essence over the course of a scene of paralyzed metamorphosis. A Chimera with the Quicksilver Flesh Facet may activate it to manifest a Dread Power in a different form for a scene.
    • Mingled Essence: The Hybrid can gain Essence from eating the flesh of their Host species; a bite attack steals a number of points of Essence equal to damage inflicted, and managing to consume an entire Host grants the Hybrid the creature’s entire Essence pool. Doing so constitutes a Breaking Point toward Spirit. Going a full month without fulfilling the instincts of the Host causes a Breaking Point toward Flesh. Hybrids are considered both Uratha and Hosts for the purposes of supernatural powers.
    • Entwined Menace: Hybrids add half their Primal Urge (rounded up) to rolls to track Hosts; Hosts add the same amount to rolls to track Hybrids.

    Anna Eight

    The Meninna of Saskatoon have long held themselves apart from the other Forsaken Tribes with their exclusionary aura, and any werewolf who desires to join their ranks must first participate in a ritual hunt against their sacred prey. The recently changed Half-Moon Anna Ochoa felt that the Hunter in Darkness ethos resonated with a crucial part of her soul, and so found herself prowling with a testing pack on the trail of a dangerous Azlu quarry. Facing down a monster as terrifying and majestic as the Latrodectic Magister filled Anna to the brim with a Rage like she had never felt in her life, and in the ensuing battle, the young Uratha clamped down on the arachnoid’s sleek hide, swallowing gobbet after gobbet of spider-meat. The days after the hunt were a haze of pain and horror.

    Perhaps surprisingly, Anna was still inducted into the Hunters in Darkness, even after her metamorphosis. Her pack’s party line, if asked, is that their newest member’s unique abilities are a godsend for hunting their sacred prey, though they prefer to keep Anna Eight’s true nature a secret; thus, the Hybrid spends the majority of her time in Hishu, running support for the rest of the pack.

    Of course, one reason for the pack to take Anna on is tied to a bit of mutual blackmail: The Urazlu has a gift for ferreting out things others would prefer to remain hidden, and Anna’s Hybrid status might be the least of the pack’s closet-skeletons. In return, the pack is happy to keep mum about why Anna’s Harmony seemed to fall so quickly in the aftermath of her First Change.

    Auspice: Elodoth

    Tribe: Hunters in Darkness

    Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 2; Strength 2 (3/5/4/2), Dexterity 4 (4/5/6/6), Stamina 2 (3/4/4/3); Presence 2, Manipulation 4, Composure 3

    Skills: Computer 1, Crafts 3, Investigation 2, Occult (Hosts) 3, Politics 1; Athletics (Spidery) 3, Brawl (Gauru) 2, Drive 2, Larceny 3, Stealth 3, Weaponry 2; Empathy 3, Persuasion 2, Socialize 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 4

    Merits: Danger Sense, Fast Reflexes 1, Interdisciplinary Specialty (Hosts), Patient, Sleight of Hand, Tactical Shifting 1

    Primal Urge: 4

    Willpower: 5

    Harmony: 5

    Essence: 13

    Health: 7 (9/11/10/7)

    Initiative: 8 (8/9/10/10)

    Defense: 7

    Speed: 11 (12/15/18/16)

    Size: 5 (6/7/6/4)

    Renown: Cunning 3, Honor 3, Purity 2, Wisdom 1

    Gifts: Half Moon 3; (Evasion) Deny Everything, (Insight) Prey on Weakness, Echo Dream, Scent the Unnatural, (Knowledge) Needle, Know Thy Prey, (Warding) Boundary Ward

    Dread Powers: Gauntlet Webs (Dalu, Gauru), Toxic Bite 1 (Gauru, Urshul), Wall Climb (Dalu, Gauru, Urshul, Urhan)

    Walking-Forest Huang

    Huang Lei was a relatively average Chinese student when he was downcountried to the jungles of Hainan in ‘69 as a member of a woodclearing unit. The nusuzul had no inkling of his hidden heritage, and the spirits of the forest, ill-disposed to these new human intruders, felt no need to share information either with him or any of the local packs. And so one mad night of the full moon, the trees bore witness to a chaotic slaughtering of terrified youth, leaving Lei to wake the next morning blood-spattered, alone, and confused. Wandering through the jungle, Huang Lei felt a type of forlorn madness setting in over the course of the week, brought on partly from isolation, partly from the malign whispers of spirits, until he finally snapped, lashing out at phantoms and lianas, chewing through bark and flower and twisting vines, completely unaware that he was in the heart of a cluster of Kudzu Hosts. At the end of his rage, his belly full of the shartha’s seeds and sap, Huang Lei began his Second Change in so brief a period.

    These days, Walking-Forest Huang—as he’s known in the legends that have spread about him throughout the province in the ensuing decades—spends the majority of his time in Gauru form, a shambling, verdant, lycanthropic morass of twisting vines, thorny claws, and gnashing teeth. In Dalu, fortified creepers climb around his limbs and torso. He continues to stalk the ever-shrinking jungle, uprooting strangler shards wherever he finds them, growing stronger and stranger still. To this day, he still only has vague notions of Uratha society, or that there’s anything off about his current condition.

    Auspice: Rahu

    Tribe: Ghost Wolves

    Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 3; Strength 3 (6/8/7/5), Dexterity 4 (6/8/8/8), Stamina 6 (8/10/9/8); Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 6

    Skills: Medicine 1, Occult 1, Science 2; Athletics 3, Brawl (Vines) 5, Stealth 4, Survival (Jungle) 6; Animal Ken 2, Intimidate 1, Persuasion 1

    Merits: Dedicated Locus 3, Fading, Favored Form (Gauru) 5 (Survival, Dexterity, Nature’s Lure, Stamina, Brawl) (Hishu: Strength -2, Dexterity -2, Stamina -1)

    Primal Urge: 8

    Willpower: 9

    Harmony: 3

    Essence: 30

    Health: 11 (14/17/15/12)

    Initiative: 10 (12/14/14/14)

    Defense: 6

    Speed: 12 (17/21/23/21)

    Size: 5 (6/7/6/4)

    Armor: 1

    Renown: Cunning 2, Purity 3

    Gifts: Full Moon 3; (Hunger) Wolf-Hunger; (Nature) Nature’s Lure, (Strength) Unchained, Primal Strength; (Change) The Father’s Form, (Hunting) Honed Senses

    Dread Powers: Armored Hide 1 (Dalu, Gauru, Urshul), Gauntlet Vines* (Gauru), Home Ground (Hainan Jungle) (Gauru, Urshul), Snare (Dalu, Gauru), Wood Elemental* (Gauru, Urhan)

    Gauntlet Vines: By spending 1 Essence and remaining planted in the same area for an entire day, the Gheshdhilu can infest a Locus with its offshoots. This increases the effective dot rating of the Locus by one, but causes an area surrounding the Locus (10 x dot rating) yards in diameter to become a Barren in the Shadow. Every day that any Gheshdhilu draws Essence from the overgrown Locus, the affected area spreads in diameter by one yard. If this Barren comes to encompass another Locus, that Locus is immediately affected by Gauntlet Vines at no cost; whenever this happens, creeping lianas crawl back through into the world of Flesh to begin infesting the physical location as well. The Barren shrinks at a rate of 10 yards per week that no entity partakes of the Locus’s Essence.

    Wood Elemental: The creature no longer needs food for sustenance, so long as it receives adequate water and sunlight each day. For every (10 - Stamina) hours the creature remains unmoving and planted in fertile soil, it regains 1 Essence. By spending 1 Essence and rolling Strength + Presence, the creature can inflict the Undergrowth Tilt in an area of (10 x Successes) yards, as roots, vines, and other bits of greenery suddenly burst forth. The creature, as well as anyone else with the Wood Elemental Dread Power, is immune to the Tilt. The creature must be standing on solid ground to use this ability, but it works even if the earth is covered in concrete, linoleum, or other infertile surfaces; the floor cracks and warps as life bursts forth.

  • #2
    I would say that this could be a simple Su’ur, and wouldn’t need any particular special rules beyond Empty Wolf stuff that Incorporates Shartha Dread Powers. In fact if you read the first ed book that’s about Denver/ The Rockies there is an example of a Werewolf who is part Azlu.

    That said, this is a pretty interesting idea and has a lot of really cool and weird applications for antagonists/ tragic bystanders!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Korogra View Post
      I would say that this could be a simple Su’ur, and wouldn’t need any particular special rules beyond Empty Wolf stuff that Incorporates Shartha Dread Powers. In fact if you read the first ed book that’s about Denver/ The Rockies there is an example of a Werewolf who is part Azlu.

      That said, this is a pretty interesting idea and has a lot of really cool and weird applications for antagonists/ tragic bystanders!
      That's an interesting idea. I had actually kind of forgotten about the Empty Wolves. I'll need to look into them a bit, though I had envisaged this sort of phenomenon occurring independently of the Idigam.

      I've never actually read Hunting Grounds: The Rockies. Maybe I should check it out though. Would you say, setting-wise, the material is compatible with Second Edition? My understanding is that one of the main flashpoints is Max Roman attempting to establish a Protectorate, yes?


      • #4
        And that’s a fine thing to do!

        I’d say all of it is compatible, you just have to reframe it to Second ed conventions. So yeah, you can have Max Roman trying to build a Protectorate, while still having his ambitious plan to try to build a true Uratha Nation


        • #5
          Oh inspired by that wasp host nuzulul plot hook in the book yeah?


          • #6
            Now that is a pretty good hook, not gonna lie.