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Building a Werewolf

Page history last edited by TC STs 1 month ago

These instructions, to be followed in no particular order, describe how you can build a new werewolf for play. Different instructions are used for kinfolk and other kinds. This list modifies, updates, extends, and clarifies the instructions found on pages 64-112 of Laws of the Wild



  1. Come up with a concept. Choose a name. Double-check your concept is not a banned archetype.
  2. Choose Nature and Demeanor, Breed, Auspice, Tribe, and Rank.
  3. Assign Rage, Gnosis and Willpower according to Breed, Auspice and Tribe.
  4. Choose Physical, Social and Mental Traits: seven in one category, five in another and three in the last.
  5. Choose zero to five Negative Traits.
  6. Choose five Abilities.
  7. Choose five Backgrounds.
  8. Record your pertinent Tribal features, if any.
  9. Choose a basic Gift for each of your Tribe, Breed and Auspice.
  10. Choose Merits -- up to seven points' worth.
  11. Choose Flaws -- up to seven points' worth.
  12. Spend 20 Freebie Traits.
  13. Spend any Experience Points you have received (by ST backstory award, or from a previous character).
  14. Check your math: your Freebie Traits, Flaws, Negative Traits and Experience must pay for all Merits and additional purchases.
  15. Give a paper copy of your werewolf to the bookkeeper, or e-mail it to the XP list at TCGarouXP@gmail.com.
  16. Backstory for additional build xp 
  17. The three-game rule: You can adjust your werewolf between games for your first three games of play (and prior to the fourth). 


Consider your Concept

Consider the kind of werewolf you'd like to play. If you're a new player, check out this page for advice on the kind of person that becomes a werewolf.


Notes: The Twin Cities Last Stand staff will not allow "Race-Bending" of character concepts without showing proper research of the culture you want to play.


You should always discuss your concept with the Storytellers first, as you will need their approval to have your werewolf enter play.


Choose a Name

A human-born werewolf will have an ordinary human name; a wolf-born werewolf won't; a metis might. Almost all werewolves who are full members of the Garou Nation also have a "deed name," a name that describes something about their wise or mighty deeds. A fearsome warrior might be called "Hammer-Claw"; a secretive mystic might be called "Dives-Deep-Seeking"; a historian might be "Keeps the Books."


Choose a Nature and Demeanor

Your Nature is who you truly are, the essence of your self. Your Demeanor is how you present yourself to others. Read the full descriptions of these archetypes if you like, then choose one to be your Nature and one to be your Demeanor.


Architect Autist Autocrat Avant-Garde Bon Vivant Bravo Caregiver Child
Competitor Confidant Conformist Conniver Critic Curmudgeon Deviant Director
Fanatic Gallant Jester Jobsworth Judge Loner Martyr Masochist
Optimist Penitent Perfectionist Poltroon Rebel Scientist Survivor Sycophant
Tactics Traditionalist Visionary          







Choose a Breed

Your Breed describes your origins as a werewolf. 

  • Homid: You were born human and lived a human childhood. New players must choose this breed.
  • Lupus: You were born a wolf. This breed is restricted as rare. Check with the Storytellers first.
  • Metis: You were born of a forbidden pairing between two werewolves. Outcast and deformed, you've always been Garou.
    • If you are Metis, choose the deformity you've endured all your life.


Choose an Auspice

Your Auspice determines what role you will play in Garou society.

  • Ragabash: Born beneath the new moon, you are a trickster, a scout and a spy.
  • Theurge: Born beneath the crescent moon, you are a shaman, a bridge between spirit and flesh.
  • Philodox: Born beneath the half-moon, you are a thinker, a judge between good and evil.
  • Galliard: Born beneath the gibbous moon, you are a storyteller, a musician, a lorekeeper.
  • Ahroun: Born beneath the full moon, you are a mighty warrior, destined to lead.


If this is not your first werewolf in our game, the Auspice you choose must differ from that of your prior one.


Choose a Tribe

If you're a "cub" who has just discovered you're a werewolf, you don't have a Tribe yet. Otherwise, you belong to one of thirteen tribes:

  • Black Furies: All-female defenders of sacred places.
  • Bone Gnawers: Homeless scrappers, just trying to get by.
  • Children of Gaia: A peace-loving tribe who believe in unity.
  • Fianna: Passionate Celtic bards and brawlers.
  • Get of Fenris: Nordic warriors to whom strength is the highest virtue.
  • Glass Walkers: Urban werewolves, business professionals and gunslingers.
  • Red Talons: All wolf-born, a tribe that hates humanity. This tribe is restricted as rare. Check with the Storytellers first. 
  • Shadow Lords: Political power-brokers and assassins.
  • Silent Striders: Nomadic messengers of the Middle East.
  • Silver Fangs: Royalty among Garou, the noblest of leaders.
  • Stargazers: Contemplative Eastern Garou in search of balance. This tribe is restricted as rare. Check with the Storytellers first.
  • Uktena: Mystics tied to indigenous peoples around the world.
  • Wendigo: A fierce, traditionalist Native American tribe.
  • Croatan: A newly re-awakened tribe of the indigenous people (Needs CBC approval) 


If this werewolf is not your first in our game, the Tribe you choose must be differ from that of your prior one.


Choose your Rank

Your Rank is your standing within the Garou Nation, according to the notable deeds you have done. Higher ranks than these three may only be earned in play.

  • Cub: You have recently Changed. You have a lot to learn. This Rank is helpful to new players who don't know the setting well.
  • Cliath: You're a young adult in the Garou Nation. You know the basics of your job but you have yet to make a name for yourself. This is the standard starting Rank.
  • Fostern: You have a few notable deeds under your belt, and are accorded a bit more than the minimum of respect. Entering play with this Rank is restricted to players who know the game well. Discuss with the Storytellers.


Record your Rage, Gnosis and Willpower

Rage is your supernatural capacity for violence. It is determined by the Auspice you chose.

  • Ragabash get one Rage.
  • Theurge get two Rage.
  • Philodox get three Rage.
  • Galliard get four Rage.
  • Ahroun get five Rage.


Gnosis is your spiritual connection to Gaia, the Mother Earth. It is determined by your Breed.

  • Homids get one Gnosis.
  • Metis get three Gnosis.
  • Lupus get five Gnosis.


Willpower is your drive to accomplish your goals. It is determined by your Tribe.

  • Bone Gnawers, Children of Gaia, Croatan and Wendigo are all uniquely focused. They each start with four Willpower. 
  • Everyone else -- including cubs who have no Tribe yet -- begins with three Willpower.


Choose Physical, Social and Mental Traits

Physical, Social, and Mental are three categories of Traits that describe your werewolf.

  • Choose one of these categories to be Primary -- your best area. You will choose seven Traits in that category.
  • Choose another to be Secondary. That category gets five Traits.
  • The last category is Tertiary, your worst area. That category gets three Traits.


The categories of Traits are these:

  • Physical Traits: Quick, Strong, and Tough.
  • Social Traits: Charismatic, Impressive and Manipulative.
  • Mental Traits: Intelligent, Perceptive and Wily. 


(If you choose to make your Social Traits primary, for example, you'd take seven Traits from the three listed above: Charismatic x4, Impressive x2 and Manipulative x1, or some other mix.)


You may choose alternate synonyms for these Traits, but these rules use the above names as the standard.


Choose Negative Traits

This is an optional step. You may choose up to five Negative Traits for your werewolf, each in the Physical, Social, or Mental categories. These traits can be used against you in Challenges, but they also earn you more points to spend on your werewolf in the beginning.


You may choose to have multiples of any given Negative Trait: taking Callous means you're insensitive to others' feelings, while taking Callous x2 indicates you're a sociopath.

  • Negative Physical Traits: Clumsy, Cowardly, Decrepit, Delicate, Docile, Flabby, Lame, Lethargic, Puny, Sickly
  • Negative Social Traits: Bestial, Callous, Condescending, Dull, Feral, Naïve, Obnoxious, Repugnant, Shy, Tactless, Untrustworthy
  • Negative Mental Traits: Forgetful, Gullible, Ignorant, Impatient, Oblivious, Predictable, Shortsighted, Submissive, Violent, Witless


Choose Abilities

Ability traits describe your skills. Choose five from the list below or from the complete list. You may have multiple levels in an Ability.


You may focus the Abilities Academics, Crafts, Lore, Performance, and Science into specific areas of expertise (as is reflected in the listing of "Lore: Garou" and "Lore: Spirit" above).


Each level of Linguistics is another language you speak.


Animal Ken
Empathy Etiquette
Lore: Garou Lore: Spirit
Occult Performance
Primal Urge
Rituals Science
Scrounge Stealth Streetwise Subterfuge Survival      







Choose Backgrounds

Backgrounds describe advantages your werewolf has as they enter play. Choose five. You may have multiple levels in a Background. Your Tribe may restrict or dictate some of your choices in this area.


  • Allies: Useful human friends, aides and underlings. Forbidden to Shadow Lords.
  • Ancestors: A spiritual connection to the Garou who have come before you. Forbidden to Bone Gnawers, Glass Walkers and Silent Striders.
  • Contacts: Sources of reliable information. Forbidden to Get of Fenris and Wendigo.
  • Fetish: A spirit-imbued talisman of power. Consult the Storytellers for specific possibilities. Forbidden to Stargazers.
  • Influence: Sway over the institutions of human society in any number of areas. Choose from the specific Influences available. Starting influence at levels higher than two is restricted by the Storytellers.
  • Kinfolk: Human or wolf relatives who are not werewolves.
  • Mentor: An older or more experienced Garou instructor or patron. Forbidden to Glass Walkers and Shadow Lords.
  • Pack Tactics: You have experience fighting as one mind with a pack.
  • Pure Breed: Your lineage and pedigree. Forbidden to Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers. At least three levels are required for Silver Fangs. Pure Breed at levels higher than three is currently restricted by the Storytellers -- talk to them if you want an exception.
  • Resources: Material wealth and access to readily available cash. Forbidden to Bone Gnawers, Silent Striders, and Wendigo.
  • Rites: A number of sacred rituals you know how to perform. Choose twice from the lists of Basic Rites for each point you have in the Background.
  • Totem: Devotion to a spirit patron that may guide you or your pack.


Record Tribe Features

All Tribes provide different bonuses and flaws to the werewolf; these are explained in the full descriptions of the Tribes. Some of these affect your sheet. Record them now:

  • Children of Gaia should award themselves two bonus Social Traits of their choice. These can go above normal Social Trait maximums.
  • Fianna get two free Abilities from this list: Brawl, Expression, Melee and/or Performance.
  • Get of Fenris gain an additional "Healthy" Health Level. They also have a tribal intolerance against some kind of weakness -- record that weakness now.
  • Glass Walkers start with a free Influence background of their choosing.
  • Red Talons start with a free additional Rage Trait, which can take them above the normal maximum.
  • Silver Fangs start with a "quirk." Choose one from the list of Derangements.
  • Stargazers start with 1 free level of the "Enigmas" Ability and 2 free levels of the "Meditation" Ability.
  • Wendigo have different bonuses (and drawbacks) according to the season. Don't record these yet. The bookkeeper will place them on your sheet for you.


Choose Basic Gifts

Unless you are a cub, choose three basic Gifts: one for your Breed, one for your Auspice, and one for your Tribe. Basic Gifts are too numerous to list in this summary, so choose from the master list of Gifts.


If you are a cub, you don't start with any Gifts. Once you have entered play and you been taught about Gifts, you can learn a basic Breed Gift and Auspice gift for free. You will not have access to Tribe gifts until you succeed at a Rite of Passage, but once you do, you can learn one basic Tribe gift for free as well.


Choose Rites

For each level of the Rites Background you took, choose two Basic Rites you know from the master list of Rites. You may also substitute two Minor Rites for one Basic.


Choose Merits

Choose up to seven points' worth of Merits. You will have to account for the cost of these Merits with Freebie Points, Negative Traits and Flaws at the "Spend Freebie Points" step, below.


Choose Flaws

Choose up to seven points' worth of Flaws. Technically, you can choose more than seven points' worth, but that's all you'll get credit for later.


Spend Freebie Points

You have 20 Freebie Points to spend. You also gain one Freebie Point from each Negative Trait you took (up to five). You also get Freebie Points equal to the value of the Flaws you took (up to seven).


You may purchase the following with Freebie Points:

  • Merits -- you must account for the costs of any any Merits you took, above, out of your Freebie Point total now.
  • More Renown costs 1 Freebie Point each. Check with the Storytellers before you do this. If you're starting at Fostern rank you must account for the additional required Renown this way.
  • More Physical, Social and Mental Traits cost 1 Freebie Point each. Your total in each category is limited by your Rank: 10 for cubs, 11 for Cliath and 12 for Fostern.
  • More Rage and Willpower Traits cost 1 Freebie Point each. Your total is limited by your Rank: 5 for cubs and Cliath, 6 for Fostern.
  • More Gnosis Traits cost 2 Freebie Points each. Your total is limited by your Rank: 5 for cubs and Cliath, 6 for Fostern.
  • More Ability Traits and Backgrounds cost 1 Freebie Point each. You may not have more than 5 in any Ability or Background, with the exception of the Totem background.
  • Ability Specializations can be purchased for any Ability in which you have at least three levels. These cost 1 Freebie point each.



Filling the role XP

The Staff is willing to award five xp for players who are willing to play a tribe or an auspice the game need


Backstory for additional XP

We do allow players to submit backstories for up to 15 additional XP for building a character. 


You might wonder what the staff is looking for. Here's a helpful list:

  • Important NPCs
  • Merits and Flaws - what helped them develop or caused the problems?
  • Backgrounds - Where did they get them and why?
  • 0-2 Plot Hooks (Optional!)
  • What do they want to do next?
  • What do they fear or fear happening?


Spend Experience Points

If this is your next werewolf after a prior one died or was permanently shelved, you may transfer any unspent XP up to the 60 point cap per the new character generation rules. You may also submit a backstory to the Storytellers, who may or may not choose to award you additional XP for it. If your character is a Cliath or a Fostern, you've already gained a point or two of background XP in the form of your starting Lores.


The total of all unspent XP from a prior character and backstory awards may not exceed total 60 build XP. 


Spend Experience Points received in this way according to the standard Experience Point costs.


File a Copy of the Sheet

Either turn in a paper copy of the sheet at your first game or send it through Haller .


The Three-Game Rule

During your first three games -- and prior to your fourth -- you may adjust your sheet according to these instructions to better fit the feel of your werewolf as it develops on the game floor. But once the fourth game begins, your sheet is locked in -- future changes can be made only by spending experience.

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