Initial character generation
Use standard Werewolf – the Apocalypse character generation:
- Attributes: 7 \ 5 \ 3
- Abilities: 13 \ 9 \ 5
- Secondary Abilities: 2 dots per 1 ability points**
- Gifts: 1 each per breed, auspice, and tribe
- Starting Rage: Per auspice
- Starting Gnosis: Per breed
- Starting Willpower: Per tribe
- Backgrounds: 5 (selection restricted per tribe)
- Freebie points: 15
- No ability higher than 3 prior to freebie point expenditure
- No more than 7 freebie points refunded by flaws
Freebie point costs * Attributes — 5 per dot
- Abilities — 2 per dot
- Secondary Abilities — 1 per dot*
- Background — 1 per dot
- Gifts — 7 per Gift (Level 1 Gifts only)
- Rage — 1 per dot
- Gnosis — 2 per dot
- Willpower — 1 per dot
Rituals and Rites
The Rituals Knowledge and the Rites Background are interrelated. The Rituals Knowledge controls the maximum level of Rite that you can possibly know, while the Rites Background determines how many total levels of rites you actually possess. So for example, a character with Rituals 3 can know up to level 3 rites, but without spending points in the Rites Background he knows the theory but not any specific rites he can perform. If he has 1 dot in Rites, he knows a single level 1 rite; with 3 dots he could know a single level 3 rite, a level 2 and a level 1 rite, or three level 1 rites.
In The Skinner, this system is boosted a bit. For each dot in the Rituals knowledge a character automatically gains an equivalent number of dots in the Rites background. This means that a character who has a dot in Rites automatically knows a single level 1 rite (equivalent to 1 dot in the Rites background) without spending any points. When that character gains its second point in Rituals, he knows a level 2 and a level 1 rite.
If players wish to know additional rites they still need to spend points in the Rites background as usual.
Merits and Flaws
Merits and flaws can be found in various tribe books and the player’s guide. All merits and flaws are available with storyteller approval. There is no restriction on the total number of merits that can be purchased; there is also no restriction on the total number of flaws to be purchased but note that they will only refund a maximum of 7 freebie points.
*Secondary abilities are more specific talents, skills, and knowledges than those included on the primary sheet. They can be find primarily in the player’s guide. All secondary abilities are available with storyteller approval. Because these abilities are more situational, the creation point and freebie point cost per dot is halved over normal abilities. Kailindo, Klaive Dueling, and other Garou-specific combat Abilities do not follow this reduced cost; see the section outlining these below.
Expanded character creation guidelines
All characters will start as adren Garou (rank 3). Ragabash will begin play with 15 total renown; all other auspices will begin play with 12 total renown. Non-Ragabash should allot the minimum necessary renown to be at least adren and then can spend the remaining 2 renown points as they see fit. I will allow for fostern (rank 2) Garou if a player wants an extra challenge but will want to discuss this first.
Adren – Renown requirements by auspice
- Ragabash: Any 13 renown
- Theurge: Glory 2, Honor 1, Wisdom 7
- Philodox: Glory 2, Honor 6, Wisdom 2
- Galliard: Glory 4, Honor 2, Wisdom 4
- Ahroun: Glory 6, Honor 3, Wisdom 1
All characters will have 85 experience points to spend; this effectively equates to 3 XP per session for 24 sessions and an additional 5 XP per story awarded for three completed story arcs.
- Attribute — current rating x 4
- Ability — current rating x 2
- New Ability — 3
- Gift — Level of Gift x 3
- Gift from other breed/auspice/tribe — Level of Gift x 5
- Rage — current rating
- Gnosis — current rating x 2
- Willpower — current rating
Backgrounds, Merits, and Flaws
All characters will receive an extra 8 background points to reflect the various background benefits that the character will have received during their character’s previous stories.
Additionally, each character can take up to 5 additional points in flaws that have been earned through the character’s life up to the point of play. These can either be spent point-for-point for additional merits earned during earlier stories, or they can be used as extra background points.
Kailindo, Klaive Dueling, and other Garou-specific secondary combat Abilities
The Garou have a number of species-specific fighting styles. These are purchased as secondary Abilities but at normal freebie\XP\Ability point cost. In other words, a player who wishes to be skilled in Kailindo must pay 1 ability point or 2 freebie points to purchase a single dot in the ability.
Additionally, before the player may purchase points in these more advanced fighting styles, they must have at least three points in the ‘related’ ability (Brawl for Kailindo or hand-to-hand Garou fighting styles, Melee for Klaive Dueling or melee-weapon based fighting styles).
At one and two dots, the Garou may use any maneuver within the particular style that is a difficulty 6 or lower. At three and four points in the ability, the Garou may use any maneuver that is difficulty 7 or lower. In order to use difficulty 8 maneuvers the Garou must have five dots in the requisite ability.
Note that any combat maneuver that relies on shapeshifting requires a roll separate from the maneuver check itself to successfully shapeshift, at the standard difficulty for shifting from the current form to the required form for the maneuver (or the expenditure of Rage to shift automatically).
Additional details and pack experience
All characters should expect to be members of the Sept of the Green, at the Central Park Caern in New York City. All characters will also be part of the same pack. We will come up with a rough back-story for the pack during the initial game session, and hold some light flashback role-playing so that the characters can get acquainted with each other.
In addition to the above character-specific points, I am giving each player the chance to earn a number of “pack experience”. This pack experience can be spent in a few areas:
- Background: Totem (2 point per background dot in Totem; stacks with individual points spent in Totem)
- New background: Pack talens (1 point per background dot in Fetish to be spent on talens for general pack use)
- New background: Anchor (1 point per background dot in the Anchor background, as detailed in the 20th Anniversary Edition rulebook – reflects a primary background type that is held by the pack as a whole)
- New Background: Pack Fame (1 point per background dot; this functions as the Fame background, but for the pack as a whole)
- Pack tactics (1 point per practiced pack tactic, per the Pack Tactics section in the 20th Anniversary Edition rulebook)
To earn these pack points, the players will need to go ‘above and beyond’ in creation of their character. The awards will be as follows:
- 3 point per page of character background story, to a maximum of 12 points
- 1 point for finding a unique and appropriate photo to represent your character (2 points for drawing your own)
- 1 point for choosing a unique character theme song
- 1 point for providing at least 3 MP3s (digital copy or links) to be used as game-appropriate background\mood music for play
- 3 points per character for creating a unique ‘barebones’ (description and basic attributes\abilities) NPC to be a member of the sept, to a maximum of 12 points
- Variable points rewarded by storyteller for interesting character interactions and shared backgrounds developed during the initial play session
- 10 points for volunteering to run a Werewolf game (in which I can play!) sometime in the next 6 months. >.<