Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Savage GMing: Werewolves

First of all I would like to acknowledge that yes the Horror Companion for Savage Worlds does in fact have a template for werewolves, however I'm not a fan.  The template provided leaves characters with the same stats and abilities in both wolf and human form with the only difference being that the wolf form isn't a GM controlled monster.  In my opinion a werewolf isn't just two sides of the same characters with one side happening to be out of control.  Yes, I do think even in human form someone that has been cursed to live as a werewolf should be different than someone who isn't, but when the wolf comes out the game should completely change.  The wolf should be tougher, stronger, and all around a more dangerous hunting machine.

In game play to me this makes adventures around hunting down a werewolf much more dynamic as catching them in human form is much easier, however being in human form provides the "wolf in sheep's clothing" of unless you know for a fact someone is a werewolf than you don't know if you're attacking a supernatural beast or just an innocent human.  Alternatively, for players that might become infected it adds a completely different level of threat.  Yes a hero character in the hands of a GM is already a dangerous thing, but that's just puppet or other mind control.  When a player becomes a werewolf even they get tougher.  Leaving the party to have to make a truly difficult choice of how to deal with such an issue.

The template below has two forms.  The first being what an infected character gains in their human form.  This is useful both for players that might be infected of for adventures where your players are clever enough to catch a werewolf in its human form.  The second is everything the character gains in wolf form.  As a GM there is no need for your players to ever see the second template as in wolf form even player characters are usually under the GM's control.  I say usually because it is entirely possible to craft an entire campaign around your heroes questing for a way for an infected friend to control the beast.  I will say this should not be an easy task and defiantly something worth earning as this will turn almost any character into a machine of destruction during a full moon.  Also I would suggest that any werewolf should be a wildcard unless you're running a super high action game where fighting droves of them may be the norm.  However, in such a game I would suggest using the standard werewolf stats from the Deluxe book for any non wild card enemies in wolf form.

Human Form:
  • The character gains Low-Light Vision & Keen Senses (Smell) providing +2 Notice
  • The character gains supernatural reflexes providing +1 Parry
  • Fast Healing (all healing checks are made 5 times faster, natural healing rolls are made daily)
  • The character will crave a new diet to feed the beast within causing them to consume double the normal human intake of meat.
  • Aversion to Silver (Each round a character is in contact with silver they take a point of fatigue, if this fatigue results in Incapacitation the character falls into a coma until all points are healed.  This fatigue is healed one point every hour starting once the silver is removed)
  • Alpha Personality: The character gains the Berserk Edge as well as the Arrogant & Vengeful (Major) Hindrances
  • Full Moon Madness: Additionally all werewolves are subjected to "Full Moon Madness" where during a full moon the body transforms into a hybrid wolf beast under the control of the GM.

Wolf Form

  • Monsterous Form: The character gain +1 to their size (including the increase in Toughness) as well as +1 to the dice of their Strength
  • Invulnerability: When in this form damage from anything except silver weapons cause points of fatigue rather than wounds.  A werewolf also can take 3 points of fatigue before falling unconscious.
  • Regeneration: At the start of a werewolf's turn they automatically recover from one fatigue.  IF a werewolf is currently unconscious due to fatigue they regain consciousness after regaining all of their fatigue.
  • Preditory Senses: A werewolf gains infravision and Keen Senses (Smell), additionally a werewolf can use their sense of smell in place of tracking rolls.
  • Natural Weapons: Claws (Str+d8) and Bite (Str+d4)
  • Silver Weakness (Silver inflicts +1d10 damage attacked with a weapon and any silver on the creature for more than one round inflicts a point of fatigue.  Fatigue gained in this way cannot be healed until the silver is removed.)
  • Frightful Presence: Those that see a transformed werewolf must make a fear roll at minus -2 this penalty is also applied to the creatures Charisma.  If another character withnesses the actual transformation the penalty increases to -4

*It is rumored that some werewolves eventually learn to control their transformations even outside of a full moon; however such creatures are rare and powerful.

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