Werewolf: the Forsaken
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Werewolf: The Forsaken or 'WTF' is the re-imagined werewolf themed venue for the New World of Darkness or nWoD, receiving mixed reviews from the furry fandom at large for its apparent anti-anthro tone and concepts. Werewolf: the Forsaken focuses on, instead of a Macbeth-style tragedy of cosmic entropy, a combination of the soldier's story in Richard the Fifth and the moody personal introspection of becoming a monster. Aspects of neo-tribalism and deeper questions of what defines good and evil in a society which does not reflect traditional moral or ethical concerns are approached as well, in such a way as to present players with the difficult choice between assuming power over their own existence and compromising their personal beliefs.
An Auspice is a mystical prohibition, a role which a werewolf sworn to the Oath of the Moon after changing under Luna. Unlike Apocalypse, wherein this duty was like a divine writ, auspice represents a special excellence which in turn the werewolf may act upon in any fashion he or she chooses.
- Irakka - New moon stealth specialists and experts in cunning warfare, the Irakka is far more of a pathfinder than the trickster Ragabash.
- Ithaeur - Crescent moon lore keepers and witches, the Ithaeur are wise but their wisdom is also given to a trouble-making aspect of biting off more than they can chew as an Ithaeur must deal with a much more predatory spirit world.
- Eldoloth - The Half Moon now as in old world remains the judge and diplomat. However, instead of focusing on internal politics of the pack, the primary influence of the Eldoloth is in spiritual negotiation whereas Ithaeur tend to operate by spirit blackmail.
- Cahalith - The Cahalith of the gibbous moon is the glory-singer and rally cry of a given pack. Less the Galliard bard and more the logistical expert, Cahalith serves to remind the other pack-mates that there are still things worth fighting for, and remembers the lost and fallen.
- Rahu - The Rahu of the full moon is still a war beast. However, unlike the old world, the Rahu covers the whole gamut of warrior behavior, but is still best at serving as a front-line combatant.
The Tribes of Werewolf: The Forsaken cover the gamut of werewolf behaviors, but tend to take concepts from old world tribes and combine them in new ways. As with Auspice there are no hard and fast rules about how a given tribe may be represented locally or regionally. Only the language of spirits and instinct ties werewolves together and makes their divisions universal. Even beneath the same patron, two wolves may be as different as night and day.
- Blood Talons (Suthar Anzuth) - "Offer no surrender that you would not accept" - The Blood Talons perceive themselves not only as apex predators as all werewolves are, but as perfect soldiers. This combination of the Get of Fenris, Black Furies, and the Wendigo concepts of the old world presents werewolves who seek to become the best of the best and use their physical and warrior's perfection to defend and avenge their kin.
- Bone Shadows (Hirfathra Hissu) - "Pay each spirit in kind" - The Bone Shadows combine the very best elements of the old world Uktena, Children of Gaia, and Stargazers to create a tribe of morbid spirit chasing necromancers. And the Bone Shadows themselves don't have any problem with that.
- Hunters in Darkness (Menina) - "Let no sacred place in your territory be violated" - The Hunters in Darkness are a hodgepodge of Stargazer, Black Fury, Wendigo, and Red Talon concepts. Whereas the Blood Talons are the soldiers among a race of soldiers, the Hunters in Darkness are hunters among a race of hunters. The constant defenders of what they deem to be sacred, these werewolves are the bogeymen of many enemies, striking from darkness with silent assurance.
- Iron Masters (Farsil Luhal) - "Honor your territory in all things" - Iron Masters are a Glass Walker redux writ large. However, while the Glass Walkers were social manipulators trying to steal the fire of vampires, Iron Masters have a bit of the Bone Gnawer urban tribalist gutter trash concept influencing their behavior. While it is fully possible to be the predator CEO, far more Iron Masters favor a plug-headed technophiles idea.
- Storm Lords (Iminir) - "Let none witness or tend to your weakness" - Storm Lords represent the very best in both old world Silver Fangs and Shadow Lords, combining the lordly virtues of the former with the domineering tendencies of the latter and a real sense of sacrifice. In their effort to lead a passionate and violent people, they have become in many ways outcast martyrs by design.
- Ghost Wolves (Thihirtha Numea) - "I'm getting too old for this #$%@!" - Ghost Wolves are those who take no tribe onto themselves. Some of them accept the Oath of the Moon, but others do not so in essence they come to rely either on pack or personal ideology as their guide. It is a road many times harder than even that of the Forsaken, but those who survive it for an extended period may come to gain respect.
- Blood of the Wolf centers on the physiological and psychological changes that werewolves undergo after the change, expanding on very basic rules about physiognomy provided in the core book. Some attention is likewise given to how werewolves interact with society, how different wolves may adapt to their new form and responsibilities by finding outlets for their in-born primal fury.
- Lore of the Forsaken does for Forsaken society what Blood of the Wolf does for physiology. The first section of the book describes different tribal spirit patrons, how those tribes interact with their chosen demi-deity, and the most esoteric enemy of the Forsaken; the sin spirits called the Maelijin. The second half expands on Auspices, or the duties given to a particular forsaken upon their first change if they are not somehow prevented from receiving lunar censure. The last section is expanded rules for how to create Fetishes, the metaphysical magical weapons and tools of The Forsaken.
- Predators is, to WTF, what a Monster Manual is to Dungeons and Dragons plus more. Divided into three parts, first it describes a multitude of spiritual opponents that cover the full range from openly combative and antagonistic to subtle and deceptive in three forms: the spirit itself, a 'spirit urged', or someone under spiritual influence, and a spirit-claimed or someone physically melding with a spirit entity. The second section describes shapeshifter like enemies, the ratlike Beshilhu Host and spidery Azlu Host, in detail both in their mechanical aspects and storytelling hints. The last section deals with the heretics of Forsaken society: Bale Hounds. Perceptive players will notice that spirit claimed and the Hosts divide elements of the old world Formori, and Bale Hounds correspond to a new and more callous version of the Black Spiral Dancers.
- Blasphemies in turn provides an additional how-to on the firm start of Predators. Blasphemies describes both alternate views on Forsaken history and spiritual understanding, as well as how the spirits, hosts, and bale hounds operate in public and private society.
- Territories introduces new mechanical advantages and describes how werewolves use the world around them. Similar to the vampire supplement Damnation City, Territories places the emphasis of a forsaken chronicle on the pack lifestyle and the benefits as well as responsibilities it entails.
- The Rage performs for Forsaken what the Players Guide to Garou served in the Old World by expanding on the tribes, weapons, and ritual concerns of the Forsaken. Likewise The Rage brings back the concept of grander politics with a bestial focus by introducing The Clutch, regional organizations of werewolves combined for mutual defense.
- War Against the Pure subsequently enhances this by going into how these tools are used in violent action against the enemies of the Forsaken. As the oppressed minority pushed against the wall, the Forsaken use a combination of weapons, tactics, and underhanded schemes to keep what is theirs. And when there is no other option that diplomacy cannot solve, the Forsaken can call on their most powerful weapon: The Silver Crusade. War Against the Pure also contains a section called Wayward Sons, shape changers who do not conform in any way to the natural progression of life.
- The Pure presents the purview of how the other side lives. As the principal antagonist of the Forsaken, The Pure outnumber their hated enemy three to one, and this book serves to explain why including the option of playing one of the Pure themselves. Like the Forsaken, The Pure Tribes are a combination of old world concepts in a new skin. The Fire Touched combine the Uktenka and Red Talons with hyper religiosity and insanity, the Ivory Claws are the nepotism and callous bloodline obsessed cruelty of the Silver Claws, Get of Fenris, and black Furies, while the Predator Kings take the monstrosity of the werewolf to the extreme by painting the Wendigo, Red Talon, and Fianna very darkly.
- Tribes of The Moon concentrates entirely on the different tribes, including tribal rites, words, concepts, and ideologies, and how they differ from their fellows.
- Lodges: The Faithful and Lodges: The Splintered presents multitudes of entries on the next step in the tribal organization, joining a lodge. Lodges form a core component in tribal life that describe how a given werewolf thinks, acts, and what aspects of his hunt are important to him. Character concepts abound.
- Signs of the Moon acts as a book end to both Lore of the Forsaken and Tribes of the Moon by focusing still greater attention on auspice and its role in the daily werewolf existence, including new Lodges, Gift tracks, and the introduction of Aspects, supernatural expressions of the Auspice that increase over time.
- The Forsaken Chronicler's Guide is similar to another New World of Darkness accessory, Vampire: The Requiem Danse Macabre in that it focuses on both expanding the werewolf world and new ways to run a chronicle. In particular the text includes a new means of spirit predation, lone-wolf chronicles, and both ancient Mesopotamian and modern interpretations of the application of a werewolf chronicle.
- Night Horrors: Wolfsbane is a Werewolf: The Forsaken specific antagonist book, another monster manual, but whereas Predators was about how to build antagonists, "Wolfsbane" presents a suite of ready made antagonists to show the kind of enemies even Werewolves fear. It also includes rules for a sexually transmitted werewolf disease, two new spirit Hosts, and other minutia.
- Changing Breeds is not a Werewolf: The Forsaken book, but constitutes an expansion to the game in many ways. Whereas the Forsaken claim a powerful deistic ancestry and have a cohesive if combative culture, the Ferals have no single culture but all of nature's cornucopia and fury.
- Skinchangers is a world of darkness text released early and strongly implied to be a Werewolf: The Forsaken antagonist book that describes humans whom murder animals and wear their skins to assume shape changing abilities.
- The Book of Spirits enhances Werewolf: The Forsaken by giving insight into not only how the spirit world sees itself, but how other supernaturals see the spirit world, without the overtone and influence of Forsaken ideology.
- World of Darkness: Mirrors is another main line World of Darkness accessory that enhances Werewolf: The Forsaken by discussing new ways to handle in-game combat and presentations of the World of Darkness which allow the player and ST to make their game more or less like the Old World.