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Forms and Shapeshifting

Page history last edited by TC STs 9 years, 9 months ago Saved with comment

If the Garou are known for anything, it is for this: the gift of shape-changing, granted to them by Luna, the moon. These are the rules covering shapeshifting and the capabilities of each form a werewolf can take.


The Five Forms

Garou can shift into five different forms. Each form exists for a particular set of purposes:

  • Homid (the human): The form Garou take to blend in with human civilization.
  • Glabro (the near-man): Garou use this frightening shape when they need to combine the size and manual dexterity of a human with the strength of their predator heritage. Stockier and more muscular than merely human, the Glabro looks rather neanderthal, its hair profuse and thick like fur. Its teeth and nails lengthen and thicken just short of becoming real fangs and claws.
  • Crinos (the wolf-man): The Crinos body is a fearsome engine of war, fully optimized for combat. It stands nine feet tall, sports a thick fur-covered hide, and has a fully lupine head and toothy jaws. Arms and legs bulge with muscle. Deadly claws on massive hands can rip a foe to shreds in seconds.
  • Hispo (the near-wolf): Like a prehistoric dire wolf, built for running down massive prey, the Hispo shape is a wolf the size of a horse.
  • Lupus (the wolf): The form Garou take to blend in with wolf packs.


Breed Form

A Garou's Breed Form is the shape they were born in, and spend most of their lives in -- Homid shape for the Homid breed of Garou, Crinos shape for the Metis breed of Garou, and Lupus shape for the Lupus breed of Garou.


The War Forms

The two deadliest shapes, Crinos and Hispo, can both be called the "War Forms" of a Garou. When Garou enter Frenzy, their bodies automatically take one of these forms -- typically Crinos, but some Lupus take Hispo instead.


Gaia gives a Garou in their War Forms certain blessings by virtue of their Rank. Read the description of your character's current Rank to see what those bonuses are.



The experience of shapeshifting takes effort, like flexing a muscle -- albeit a muscle that involves the grinding of bones, the pull of stretching skin, and a twist like Luna's own hand in your gut rearranging your internal organs. Garou get used to the feeling, but it's not a smooth transition.


Garou may shift slowly through the forms at will. As a standard action, you may change to an adjacent shape on the continuum from human to wolf. Changing this way, it takes four rounds for a Garou starting in Homid to reach their Lupus shape: one round to become Glabro, one to become Crinos, one to become Hispo and one to become Lupus.


You can make this process faster by spending a point of Rage or a level of the Primal-Urge Ability to force your body into any of the five forms instantly. You'll be sore in the morning, but sometimes you just don't have time to take it slow.


As an instant action at any time, Garou may revert their bodies to their Breed Forms. This is the shape they've spent most of their lives in, so their bodies naturally want to return to it. It's just like releasing the muscle. When a Garou sleeps or gets knocked unconscious, their bodies automatically revert to their Breed Forms.


Using the Five Forms

Adjust your character as follows when taking each form.


Homid: The Human

  • Physical Traits Gained: None
  • Negative Social Traits Gained: None
  • Movement in Combat: Three steps
  • Unarmed Damage: One Bashing (fists or feet)
  • Description: This is normal human form. Garou of Lupus and Metis breeds possess regenerative powers and are allergic to silver in this form; Homid Garou don't and aren't.


Glabro: The Near-Man

  • Physical Traits Gained: Strong x2, Tough x2
  • Negative Social Traits Gained: Bestial, Feral, Repugnant
  • Movement in Combat: Three steps
  • Unarmed Damage: One Bashing. While this shape has wicked nails and teeth, they're not quite claws or fangs.
  • Description: Glabro weighs twice the Homid form, a gain entirely from muscle. They stand from six inches to a foot taller than their human shape, and hair tends to be longer, thicker and more profuse. Glabro speak with a gutteral rasp. It's a frightening and memorable form, but useful when the Garou need to increase their strength and stamina and still perform human tasks.
  • Visual Cue: There's no sign for Glabro, but you can indicate it with growling speech and broad gestures.


Crinos: The Wolf-Man

  • Physical Traits Gained: Quick, Strong x4, Tough x3
  • Negative Social Traits Gained: Bestial x 2, Feral x 2, Repugnant x 2
  • Movement in Combat: Four steps
  • Unarmed Damage: Two Aggravated (bite or claw)
  • War-Form: Bonuses by Rank.
  • Description: Crinos form is Gaia's perfect warrior. Half again as tall as Glabro, doubling or even tripling in weight, a Crinos werewolf stands around nine feet tall and weighs anywhere from 600 to 1000 pounds. Its head is fully lupine, writ large, jaws packed with deadly fangs; its claws are fearsome weapons on long, powerful arms. Equally capable of running on all fours or on two legs, this form gains a tail for balance. Crinos Garou can speak the Garou High Tongue perfectly, but can communicate only crudely with wolves and humans; in the latter case, they're limited to short, snarled imperatives like "Kill!" To deliver a whole sentence in English or other human tongue, spend a point of Willpower.
  • Visual Cue: Raise both hands over your head, curling your fingers into claws.


Hispo: The Near-Wolf

  • Physical Traits Gained: Quick x2, Strong x3, Tough x3
  • Negative Social Traits Gained: Bestial x 2, Feral
  • Movement in Combat: Five steps
  • Unarmed Damage: Two Aggravated (bite or claw)
  • War-Form: Bonuses are by Rank.
  • Description: The Hispo shape inspires nightmares of being chased down like prey and devoured.  It's an enormous wolf -- equal in weight to Crinos at 600 to 1000 lbs., but built low for speed and wolf tactics. Most comfortable on all fours, Hispo shape operates on two in a pinch. Its sharp ears and nose gives a one-Trait bonus to all Perceptive challenges. This form, however, has paws, not hands: it can only carry objects as a wolf would, between its teeth. Hispo communicates easily with other Garou and with wolves, but even a few syllables in human speech require the expenditure of a Willpower Trait.
  • Visual Cue: Lean forward, lowering the clawed hands of the Crinos cue.


Lupus: The Wolf

  • Physical Traits Gained: Quick x2, Strong, Tough x2
  • Negative Social Traits Gained: Bestial x 2, Feral x2
  • Movement in Combat: Six steps
  • Unarmed Damage: One Lethal (bite)
  • Description: The shape of canis lupus, the wolf, is instantly recognizable as one of nature's most renowned hunters. Weighing slightly less than a human, the Lupus form is twice as swift. Its ears and olfactory senses grant this form a two-Trait bonus to all Perceptive challenges. Garou of homid and metis breeds possess regenerative powers and are allergic to silver in this form; lupus Garou don't and aren't.
  • Visual Cue: Hold up your hands in front of your chest with fingers pointing downward, like animal paws.


Note that the Negative Social Traits Gained by being in other forms cannot be called by other Garou. 

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