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  • #91
    I would personally love to see this Changing Breed 2E. The book was cool ideas, but messy execution.

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    • #92
      I think one issue with changeing breeds 2e, is "what does it bring to the table that War Against the Pure's shapechanger rules or one of the various other rulesets didn't already cover?". Like, it needs a proper flavour of it's own rather than just "build a shapeshifter", since there are so many ways you can already make changing breeds style characters without ever opening the book.

      But if you do that, then you potentially need to cut out bits of incompatible or unnecessary flavour from changing breeds which some people might want to see in a 2e version of the book. In my own (very slow progress) changing breeds 2e book "Rakshasa; the Kingdom (featuring the Extinction Chronicles)", I needed put a 500~ word section at the start of chapter 2 saying "yeah these things aren't really part of changing breeds 2e anymore, but you can still do x aspect of changing breeds with this option or that option, etc." simply to deal with the fact that if you focus the flavour then some stuff is lost.
      Last edited by milo v3; 11-02-2017, 03:36 AM.


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      • #93
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

        Hexmeister Vic, I would gladly help you on things you need - just post the topics you need to write now.
        Short term: Predatory Aspects for the Herbivores/Scavengers, and further reworking breed differences.
        Long term: Backstory and tons of it.


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        • #94
          Originally posted by Hexmeister Vic View Post
          Short term: Predatory Aspects for the Herbivores/Scavengers, and further reworking breed differences.
          What are those Predatory Aspects?


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          • #95
            Originally posted by Hexmeister Vic View Post
            Short term: Predatory Aspects for the Herbivores/Scavengers, and further reworking breed differences.
            Long term: Backstory and tons of it.

            What's the backstory type you want... I might be able to contribute some here if you give me an idea of what you want.


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            • #96
              If people want to write things for Breeds, they could write up some breeds for my 2.0 Changing Breeds - Rakshasa: the Kingdom. I still haven't written up a fluff-paragraph for Ursara, Windrunners, and Wingfolk.


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              • #97
                Anyone know where I can find a write up on Changing Breeds?

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                • #98
                  Honestly it's not been done in any kind of complete fashion for 2e. There are some limited stabs at it that are specific to reimagining the ideas, and you can read through the thread for that.

                  While I'd love to do a full revision, I've just not had the time. Here, however, are some salient points that you could use yourself to kitbash something for a player.

                  1. Any non-wolf shapeshifter should be a hunting predator, and thus can be considered to be a kind of bastard child of Mother Wolf--as for pangaeans the idea of gender and form is ... a individualistic matter. So there may be firstborn entities out that who embody non-wolf creatures yet are still... wolf. --ish. The rest of the points will build on this theory of, ehem, change.

                  2. 2e WtF introduced the core mantra for Wolves: "the Wolf Must Hunt", which defines their interaction with the world and the nature of the sacred hunt. All else narrows that mantra toward specific ends. Thus, if non-wolf children of Mother Wolf inherit her nature, then they need a subsidiary mantra. For cats my headcanon uses "the Cat Must Know".

                  3. Auspice should be more limited. For example, again with the cats, I've considered Day, Dawn, Dusk and Midnight auspices--four to wolves' five.

                  4. Obviously there would be no automatic Wolf Gifts accessible. Instead there would be something appropriate to the creature type.

                  5. Tribes for wolves are mostly a matter of political division. For changing breeds I suggest that the tribe slot be used to define typing more precisely. So cat gets Lion Clan, Tiger Clan, Jaguar Clan, etc. Birds might have the Corvid Flight, Hawk Flight, etc.

                  6. Define a mythology. What the breed tells themselves about themselves. And what they tell others about themselves. This should include their firstborn ancestors, at least.


                  That's about it. You'd want to understand how they interact with each other, with wolves and with spirits. Wolves are undoubtedly the top dogs around, so other bastard children of Mother Wolf (wolf perspective) would need to find ways to fit around them and probably stay off the radar. But their relationships with spirits might be much better, on par with or better than that of the Pure tribes.

                  --Khanwulf

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                    1. Any non-wolf shapeshifter should be a hunting predator, and thus can be considered to be a kind of bastard child of Mother Wolf--as for pangaeans, the idea of gender and form is ... an individualistic matter. So there may be firstborn entities out that who embody non-wolf creatures yet are still... wolf. --ish. The rest of the points will build on this theory of, ahem, change.
                    Alright, so I'm definitely kinda ignorant. Why can't non-predators work any longer? Since they would still have a non-wolf understanding what exactly cancels out their existence? Not gonna, the best part of the changing breeds since Apocalypse was how much it covered in a diversity of different types.

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                    • May take on Khanwulf's points on Changing Breeds 2E. I may disagree with him. Note; Pangeans are Ancient Animal Gods from before Sundering. They are described in Sundered World Dark Era.

                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      1. Any non-wolf shapeshifter should be a hunting predator, and thus can be considered to be a kind of bastard child of Mother Wolf--as for pangaeans the idea of gender and form is ... a individualistic matter. So there may be firstborn entities out that who embody non-wolf creatures yet are still... wolf. --ish. The rest of the points will build on this theory of, ehem, change.
                      First, Urfarah ( Wolf Mother/Father ) was Pangean of Hunt, Boundaries ( that's he lorded over Border Marshes ) and Wolves. If we assume other shapeshifters have similar creatures / Royal Avatars for other animals of the same god/dess - it would be based on Hunt and Boundries aspect, with change to different animal instead of Wolves. If they are really different gods or Urfarah’s different aspects is only moot point.


                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      2. 2e WtF introduced the core mantra for Wolves: "the Wolf Must Hunt", which defines their interaction with the world and the nature of the sacred hunt. All else narrows that mantra toward specific ends. Thus, if non-wolf children of Mother Wolf inherit her nature, then they need a subsidiary mantra. For cats my headcanon uses "the Cat Must Know".
                      I’m Monarchies of Mau Storyteller also, for Cats ‘Oaths of Moon’ ( so to speak ) I would look over it Percepts of Mau in it:
                      • Always trust your instincts
                      • Always pounce upon the minions of the Unseen
                      • Always reward loyalty
                      • Always respect an honest duel
                      ‘Always pounce’ or ‘Trust your instincts’ sounds as something core for cats identity. But then it’s not something allegorical to ‘Wolf Must Hunt’. Maybe ‘Cat Must Know’ is really better here?

                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      3. Auspice should be more limited. For example, again with the cats, I've considered Day, Dawn, Dusk and Midnight auspices--four to wolves' five.
                      I do not see why Auspices of other animals are need to be limited. Especially, as they can also be children of Luna – that’s answering shapeshifting ability.


                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      5. Tribes for wolves are mostly a matter of political division. For changing breeds I suggest that the tribe slot be used to define typing more precisely. So cat gets Lion Clan, Tiger Clan, Jaguar Clan, etc. Birds might have the Corvid Flight, Hawk Flight, etc.
                      Agreed. Tribes for them would simply be Breeds from 1E Changing Breeds book. It solves all the problems with conceptual update.
                      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-08-2019, 03:36 AM.


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                      • Originally posted by Spectre9924 View Post
                        Alright, so I'm definitely kinda ignorant. Why can't non-predators work any longer? Since they would still have a non-wolf understanding what exactly cancels out their existence? Not gonna, the best part of the changing breeds since Apocalypse was how much it covered in a diversity of different types.
                        Mostly because if you have children of Wolf, then they're going to be predators. Note that this flows from a theory that could make doing 2e changing breeds easier, which is that they are "all wolves" for integration into the rules and lore.

                        If you want to detail out how your horse pangaean has half-material/half-spirit offspring with Luna, go for it. My point is simply "do the least work needed for the concept". Keep in mind however that in Pangaea and the Hisil everything is carnivorous and cannibalistic. Everything.

                        wyrdhamster as well...

                        On my approach--YMMV: Since we're talking about homebrew, there either needs to be a portable template that can be stamped down over another creature to define how it differs from wolves, or you're doing a big, big book. That's... a lot of work that no one has had time for yet. Also, mostly games won't need a zoo of different shapeshifters: WtF 2e wolves are *tight* in design. They cover all the necessary bases, unlike WtA's werewolves, who were mostly eco-terrorists with a bad habit of losing and a penchant for the spirit-world.

                        2e wolves suck all the design air out of the system. They are complete by themselves, which both explains why they are on top and makes it hard to fit anything complementary with them. That means any other shapeshifter must by necessity be more specialized--to a role, activity or region (physical or spiritual). Specialization in nature occurs because of environmental and predatory pressures that drive adaptation into a niche the creature is safer within.

                        So half-human whatsits lurking in the shadows of wolves may spin tales about the days when their ancestor god cowed Wolf and danced with Luna, but that age is long, long past and they logically must be super-careful around the predators of the current age, lest they turn and devour them--literally--as if they were some kind of spirit-claimed.

                        Similarly, from a mechanical standpoint, changing breeds need to fit perfectly within the structures created for wolves. This means auspices, tribe, gifts, shapeshift forms, role mantra and etc. These can be different from what wolves get, different in stats and quantity--even more powerful pound-for-pound in a specific application, but ultimately the breed must be less flexible in comparison to a wolf and a wolf pack in particular.

                        Otherwise, why is the world not overrun by them instead of wolves?

                        Let's take cats, again. (I like cats. Too much, probably.) Cats are not, with one notable exception, pack creatures. Most are ambush predators; solo hunters who, pound-for-pound, might be more physically powerful than a wolf. They're good at getting away, and hiding, but can be cornered and run down by a group. They are sub-optimal to wolves as predator kings, but happily coexist in the same environments because their approach to the world is vastly different.

                        For a VERY INCOMPLETE WtF 2e treatment, cat shapeshifters need the themes applied to their core mechanics levers adjusted to match the attitudes of cat-ness, so to speak. This means mapping auspices onto what is important to cats (time of day, chosen in this case), replacing Wolf Gifts with Cat Gifts (don't know what this would, except for one: "Box is My Fortress"), tweaking form stats, mapping tribes onto cat morphology, and a few other things. The mantra "The Cat Must Know" is a narrowing of "The Wolf Must Hunt", focusing on the curiosity aspect of cats and how they "hunt" for understanding of a thing. A wolf could sacred hunt for information or understanding too. But the cat is driven by its essence to do so.

                        And yes, cats would have a different Oath of the Moon. In my imagining the actually venerate the Emperor Sun, Helios, and do so by laying around in daylight as much as cat-ly possible, doing nothing but soaking up the rays. (Mechanically they may not gain essence from eating meat, or not as much, and instead absorb it by sunbathing. I'm unsure.) It's under the eye of Luna that they step out to hunt, cautiously.

                        One last point: Wyrd is correct, the mythological origins are a little moot as to whether a progenitor patron is a Royal Avatar of Wolf, a Firstborn of her, or whatever. However we know Wolf was an exceptionally powerful Pangaean covering aspects of boundaries and hunting. If you want to pick a non-Wolf origin (product of Luna and Horse, say), then you have more work to do to map out what the key aspects of Horse were. Keep in mind, however, that we don't even know that the werewolf myths are "True" (capital T): they're what the wolves tell themselves and each other, and there is enough truth in there for the mythology to hold together well. The exact details lie in the shadows--mysteries to be explored.


                        --Khanwulf

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                        • Another reason for limiting the other shifters relative to werewolves is the simple fact that they're minor additions to the setting while werewolves get a full gameline all about them. Especially considering that Gifts needs to be reworked/replaced since they are the expression of Uratha's innate werewolfness shining through spiritual Facets. They do not work with most other shifters as-is because they're both unfitting for non-werewolves/predators/border guards and shouldn't work the same by the setting's internal rules. It might not be a bad idea to come up with a new set of powers altogether considering how much needs reworking. That way it's easier to mess around with the Renowns (or remove them from shifters who have no focus on such things, replacing Gifts with dot-rated powers like 1e Gifts or VtR's Disciplines).

                          Also a small nitpick: Pangaeans weren't all animal gods. Some were based on objects (such as the Pangaean known as Mountain) and others could very well be more abstract like the semi-official Harvest and the Perspective. But when updating Changing Breeds I suppose only the animal themed Pangaeans would be relevant, if you wish to explicitly tie them to Pangaeans at all.
                          Last edited by Tessie; 01-08-2019, 01:08 PM.


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                          • If it's not too egotistical of me, I'd like to add to Khanwulf's discussion some of the ideas that went into my design of weresquids a few years ago (and which have been on my mind again as my eyes turn to the Storyteller's Vault and some of the possibilities it offers).

                            Morphologically, I based the Kun-shulor on the Humboldt squid specifically because, from my amateur teuthologist's understanding, their behaviors draw interesting parallels with wolves: Both are quick, cunning predators that hunt in groups. This allows for the possibility that the weresquids are, essentially, sea-wolves, stewarding parts of the world normally inaccessible to the Uratha. That said, there are a number of divergences revolving around the main theme I was going for: alienation. A new adage that seems to be growing in popularity is that sea life is the closest humanity has come to encountering beings from another realm, and to human perceptions, cephalopods are very weird indeed. They have very decentralized nervous systems compared to mammals, meaning that parts of their bodies can act on their own accord without input from the brain (and also most likely why they can camouflage themselves with the surrounding environment despite being effectively colorblind). They also overturn many of the assumptions we make about animal intelligence, being quite clever for invertebrates. Add to this the pseudoscientific theory of Panspermia and certain pop cultural referents that connect cephalopods with both extraterrestrials and psychic powers, and a picture begins to form for where the Kun-shulor come from and how they behave.

                            In their current incarnation, weresquids don't have Tribes like werewolves do because their mythological founder, the Deep Maker, isn't a distant deity, but rather a half-heard, mainly-felt instinct in their collective brain stem, closer almost to another progenitor-god with matching initials than to Luna (though this is purely coincidental). The Kun-shulor don't have to form social groups based on carrying out their duty because the Deep Maker is always telling them what to do, or, at least, making their bodies do what it wants them to do. (This is actually something I'm revisiting in my writings currently, for, while I find the concept of supernatural alien limb syndrome to be interesting and worth preserving, I never quite hammered out what the DM's endgame is, or why the things it makes its children do are meaningful.) Instead, most disagreement in weresquid mythology centers on what exactly the Deep Maker is, and whether its agenda is malevolent, benign, or completely incomprehensible. Here I've left various loose threads that hint at any number of origins: The Deep Maker could be another Pangaean, or an aspect of Luna connected to the movements of the tides. It could even be an idigam, who employs its Essence Shaping powers to create betentacled mockeries of the Uratha.

                            The influence of mind flayers from D&D is also, obviously present, an aspect that I may need to sand down a bit if I do end up attempting to publish my creation in the Vault. They're the closest thing to an iconic monster the weresquids resemble, though, and I kind of want to play with that, in the same way that all the World/Chronicles of Darkness game lines take a creature of the night from classic literature, movies, and lore and reexamine the underlying tropes to cast them as protagonists in their own stories.

                            The mechanics of the Kun-shulor follow a lot from these themes; they have Squid Gifts that enhance their, well, squidness (alongside the Flayer's Gift, a direct homage to Gygax's illithids). They lack Glory Renown because they're meant to be subtler than werewolves; they don't howl in the night for their prey, they don't brag about their deeds, they do what the DM makes them do, and then leave--theoretically in any case. Instead of a Bone Anchor, they have Brain, representing both the fact that squids are boneless, and also the Kun-shulor's collective desire to plan out their hunts in advance rather than leave everything to the imposed instinct of the DM (and, on reflection, I might emphasize this further by changing Blood to something like Nerve or Arm). Rage is replaced with Hunger, to represent the awe-and-fear-inspiring feeding frenzies of a Humboldt squid swarm, and also to show once more the alienation the weresquids feel with their own bodies, as they begin to shovel things into their beaks against their own will.

                            Those are my main thoughts on the process of creating a different species of shapeshifter that fits into the Werewolf setting. As I've gone back over my notes, I think quite a number of elements need revision, refinement, and expansion (for example, although they still lack tribes, I've been working more on a Y-Axis archetype, tentatively called "Mythoi," so they feel a bit more player-friendly). I think the tighter design of 2nd edition Werewolf makes creating other species both easier and more difficult: As Khanwulf states, werewolves now "are complete by themselves" and so the idea of, say, weresquids running around willy-nilly makes less sense, but at the same time, the shift in focus from You're part wolf to You're a hunting predator opens up more possibilities as to what the Uratha themselves could be. I should also add that the majority of my design inspiration for the Kun-shulor comes from War Against the Pure rather than Changing Breeds, so basing creatures off that latter book may require a different way of thinking about things (it's been stated before, but technically it is a blue book rather than a Werewolf supplement).

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                            • Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                              This means mapping auspices onto what is important to cats (time of day, chosen in this case), replacing Wolf Gifts with Cat Gifts (don't know what this would, except for one: "Box is My Fortress"), tweaking form stats, mapping tribes onto cat morphology, and a few other things.
                              Small nitpick - I find basing Cats Auspices on Day times as VERY strange. As a cat owner myself and Mau Guide, I say Cats are even more night time driven animals than wolves. Cats sleep for 16 till 20 hours a day. They are crepuscular, that is, they are active during dawn and dusk far more than at other times, and when they are active they tend to use up a great deal of energy - they are vigorous hunters, even if it’s only playing with their catnip toy mouse. So it makes sense that they should conserve their energy for those very active times. Even so, they spend much of their sleeping time in light sleep, so they can leap into action if the situation calls for it. All this contrasts strongly with animals that live on vegetable matter, in that they need to be active for more hours of the day to get the energy intake that they need.

                              Being connected to Helios only, then, is really strange to them. More they should strife between Luna and Helios then more. So if werewolves can have two Great Spirits parents ( that also each have both sexes ) -
                              Maybe Cats are children of THREE Spirits - Urfaraha/Cats Equivalent, Luna AND Helios, each fighting for their blessing? Fighting for the favor of three parents will certainly be tiring for Cats.


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                              • Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                                Small nitpick - I find basing Cats Auspices on Day times as VERY strange. As a cat owner myself and Mau Guide, I say Cats are even more night time driven animals than wolves. Cats sleep for 16 till 20 hours a day. They are crepuscular, that is, they are active during dawn and dusk far more than at other times, and when they are active they tend to use up a great deal of energy - they are vigorous hunters, even if it’s only playing with their catnip toy mouse. So it makes sense that they should conserve their energy for those very active times. Even so, they spend much of their sleeping time in light sleep, so they can leap into action if the situation calls for it. All this contrasts strongly with animals that live on vegetable matter, in that they need to be active for more hours of the day to get the energy intake that they need.

                                Being connected to Helios only, then, is really strange to them. More they should strife between Luna and Helios then more. So if werewolves can have two Great Spirits parents ( that also each have both sexes ) -
                                Maybe Cats are children of THREE Spirits - Urfaraha/Cats Equivalent, Luna AND Helios, each fighting for their blessing? Fighting for the favor of three parents will certainly be tiring for Cats.
                                Is basing Auspice on lunar phase any less strange? It ties into the legends of the moon phases influencing behavior, sure, but assigns massively more influence to them.

                                So since we're making circumstances of birth important to how a character interacts with the spirit world (Auspice ties to Renown and Renown is how the spirit world relates to shapeshifters), the logic of using time of day goes back to exactly your point: (house)cats and their bigger cousins, tigers, (and jaguars) are active in twilight. However, lions are active during day and night, and housecats in particular will adjust their behavior.

                                Since Auspice maps onto Renown, you can map the phases of the day onto them (I haven't done this yet) to come up with a suitable representation. So far I suggest four phases. You could do three, but that means cutting two types of Renown. You could, for cats, do even two: "times I'm f'off sleeping" and "times I'm murdering stuff". (Full disclosure: I'm also owned by cats.)

                                So back to werewolves: they don't only hunt under Luna's light, but when they do it's more significant to them. Similarly, Cats patrol the boundaries of Helios' gaze, when his eye is opening and closing and creatures are seeking shadows in which to do their work out of view.

                                Just as a side note, I'd not vary the rage issues, silver vulnerabilities and the like for any changing breed, regardless of whom they say they're associated with. Everyone can just wonder what that means when a werecat who doesn't give a flip about Luna takes damage from her sacred metal. (This is at once a harmony point with CB 1e, self-defense against having to come up with so many banes, and a pointer back to Wolf--or at least a meddling Luna!)

                                --Khanwulf



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