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Bull-Headed: 2e Rules for the Gudthabak Bull Shifters.

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  • Bull-Headed: 2e Rules for the Gudthabak Bull Shifters.

    Right, so, I can't remember whether I've posted this onto the forum yet but, with the advent of Shunned by the Moon, I thought I'd dust off some older drafts of material to share as well. Sadly we didn't have space to fit the Baal Hadad/gudthabak rules into Dark Eras' Sundered World chapter, but I batted some rough ideas together and recently had reason to nail them into something more coherent.

    As such, here's a first draft of 2e rules for the gudthabak. As ever these are, of course, unofficial and obviously need a lot of tidying up, but they're squarely in the direction I would have implemented them had there been the space in DE1, and more generally the approach to non-Uratha shifters in the 2e paradigm. For now, the main thing they're lacking is probably a couple more things to spend Essence on. Let me know what you think!


    The gudthabak, also called the Baal Hadad, are shapeshifters once born from the legacy of Bull and now brought under the fiery wing of Helios’ patronage. A gudthabak possesses the following traits; note that they use Integrity rather than Harmony, and do not provoke Lunacy.

    Bane: A gudthabak who does not have an idol upon their person suffers aggravated damage if wounded with gold. The mere touch of gold itself does not harm them.

    Essence: A gudthabak regains one point of Essence each day when they first see the sun in the sky. They can sense the presence of a Locus much like a werewolf can, and can draw Essence from Loci, but unless its resonance is aligned with life, cattle, strength, fire, or the sun, a gudthabak only gains one point of Essence per three drawn from the Locus. Finally, once per week a gudthaback gains points of Essence equal to the highest Composure rating of a human in a crowd of at least a dozen people worshipping the gudthabak, offering obeisance, or otherwise showing respect and subservience to the gudthabak as their master or ruler.

    Primal Urge: Like a werewolf, the gudthabak have a Primal Urge rating which determines their Essence pool and rate of regeneration. However, gudthabak do not suffer the hunting requirements or dietary limitations that affect Uratha.

    Rage: A gudthabak does not suffer from Death Rage as a werewolf does, but can fall into a modified form of soft rage. The first time in a scene that they are faced with provocation that challenges the shapeshifter’s dominance or insults their prowess, the gudthabak must succeed on a dice pool of Resolve + Composure + number of herdmates present or enter soft rage for a number of rounds equal to their Primal Urge; the aggression of the rage must be directed at whoever instigated it, or at anyone or anything getting between the gudthabak and the target.

    Rite of Molech: Gudthabak create more of their kind by inflicting a terrible rite upon Wolf-Blooded captives. The rite requires at least three gudthabak, costs each shapeshifter a point of Essence and of Willpower, and must be performed beneath a visible sun. Should the Wolf-Blooded attempt to resist, the lead ritualist rolls Strength + Resolve versus the Wolf-Blooded’s Stamina + Composure; if uncontested, or if the gudthabak is successful, the Wolf-Blooded loses their Tell and is transformed into a new gudthabak.

    Shadow: Gudthabak can only enter the Shadow through a Locus that is currently being bathed in bright sunlight, and must always spend a point of Essence to initiate the translocation. They may leave through any Locus or other such crossing-point, and do not need to spend Essence to begin reaching in this manner. Gudthabak cannot perceive spirits in Twilight.

    Many Forms: As a shapeshifter, a gudthabak can change from one form to another as an Instant action, or Reflexively by spending a point of Essence.

    In human form, a gudthabak gains +2 Stamina and gains a +2 bonus to perception rolls in bright sunlight. They gain the 8-again trait on any dice pools involving Stamina to endure harsh conditions or travel long distances.

    In hybrid form, a gudthabak gains +3 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +4 Stamina, +2 Presence, +2 Size, and gains 1 point of armor. They can attempt to gore with their horns as a +1L weapon. Whenever the gudthabak suffers lethal or aggravated damage, they gain +2 Strength until the end of their following turn. Humans exposed to the hybrid form must succeed at a roll of Resolve + Composure – the gudthabak’s Presence or suffer the Awestruck Condition.

    In bull form, a gudthabak gains +2 Strength, +4 Stamina, +1 Presence, and +1 Size; they also increase the species factor of their Speed by an additional +2. They can attempt to gore with their horns as a +2L weapon. They gain the 8-again quality on any dice pools using their Strength to move, shove, deal damage to structures, or otherwise overcome obstacles.

    Arrogance: Gudthabak inflict their Primal Urge as a penalty to successes rolled on any attempt to mentally influence them, with failures automatically becoming dramatic failures. A gudthabak can never gain Essence or Willpower from the beneficial efforts of another, such as a character using the Inspiring Merit on them.

    Condemnation: A gudthabak can spend one point of Essence when touching another character to roll their Strength + Presence + Primal Urge versus the target’s Composure + Primal Urge; success inflicts a searing brand upon the victim, dealing a point of aggravated damage. This can be weaponized via an unarmed attack but a victim cannot bear more than one brand at a time; further attempts will not inflict additional aggravated damage. Until the damage heals, whenever the victim acts in a way that would award them with Willpower for indulging their Vice, they suffer an additional point of aggravated damage. This has no effect on targets who do not possess a normal Vice.

    Endurance: As an Instant action, a gudthabak may spend a point of Essence to give themselves a number of additional health levels equal to their Primal Urge. These health levels last for the remainder of the scene and are filled with damage first. When the scene ends, the additional health levels and any damage marked in them vanish.

    Idols and Totems: A gudthabak feels an instinctive urge to carve a small idol—an impressionistic or idealized form of a gudthabak, an external representation of its inner divinity. This idol is created from the gudthabak’s own horns, shed or broken while in an appropriate form then used as a base material. The virtues and strengths that the gudthabak encodes into their carving of the idol renders it a source of affirmation; once per day, the gudthabak may spend a scene in contemplation or communion with the idol and restore a single Willpower point. Contact with the idol also holds back the bane of gold that now hangs over the gudthabak.

    Additionally, gudthabak can form something like a werewolf pack, creating herds that can take a helion as a totem spirit. Gudthabak can learn and lead pack rites for their herd.

    Unstoppable Souls: Any attempt to directly influence, attack, or tamper with the soul of a gudthabak is a deeply unwise proposition. Even attempting to do so via supernatural means inflicts aggravated damage on the character equal to the gudthabak’s Primal Urge, and continues to do so each scene that any such tampering or influence remains in place; the gudthabak also instinctively initiates a Clash of Wills against such effects each scene.

    - Chris Allen, Aberrant Line Developer, Freelance Writer

    ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

  • #2
    This is pretty cool. I feel like their Gifts would have a different theme though, unless I'm misunderstanding the philosophy behind 2e Shifters.

    Two questions I guess:

    1) why do they want to create more Gudthabak? If they all want to be the chief and dominate, doesn't making more Gudthabak just make more competition for followers and supplicants?

    2)Can you get around Arrogance with ritualized ways of defining the gift as a sort of tithe or offering?

    3) How many times can you use Endurance per scene and do activations stack?

    A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"


    • #3
      Dang, that's certainly a package that lives up to the motif.

      Do they roll Integrity to Reach in either direction, or is it an unrolled process?

      Resident Lore-Hound
      Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


      • #4
        God I love these things.

        Chris H | Patreon| He/His | Currently Writing: Daughters of Hera (Scion, Nexus) | God Companion (Scion, OPP)

        CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf


        • #5
          I was wondering if we would see these haughty bastards again, glad to know it was sooner than I expected lol.