Werewolf Supernatural Merits
Direwolf (•• or ••••)
Prerequisites: Primal Urge must be 2+ dots higher than Harmony. This Merit ceases to function if Primal Urge ceases to be two or more dots above Harmony.
Effect: The power of your Feral Wolf is such that when you take the shape of a wolf, it is not a typical wolf. Instead, the beast you become is a prehistoric monstrosity, about half-again the mass of a man, and standing chest-high to most people. You gain the following benefits, which replace the benefits of normal Wolf Shape:
- Clothing is destroyed by the change, if the werewolf is clothed when it happens.
- Attributes: Strength +2, Dexterity +2, Stamina +2, Manipulation -3
- Advantages: Size +1, Initiative +2, Speed +7, +3 to perception rolls.
- Bite Attack: +2 Lethal unarmed attack. A wolf's bite attack can be used as a grappling attack. Instigating the grapple successfully inflicts 2 lethal damage.
- Shadow Sight: When in wolf form, a werewolf can see into Shadow if they are at the site of a Locus of some kind. Many werewolves are not aware of this ability, until they slip into a place of power in their wolf-skin, and the entire world turns animistically topsy-turvy.
At the two-dot version, the direwolf form entirely subsumes the wolf shape - if the werewolf wishes to shift into a lupine form, it is always the direwolf. At four dots, the werewolf can choose between assuming his direwolf form or his normal wolf form, and shapeshifting between those forms requires only two successes on a Shapeshifting roll or the simple expenditure of a Willpower point.
First Tongue (Style, • to •••••)
Prerequisites: Ability to use Essence
Effect: You have learned the secrets of the First Tongue, the ancient ur-language spoken by spirits. The number of dots you possess in this Merit determines to what degree you have mastered it.
- Incomplete Comprehension (•): You cannot speak the First Tongue, though you can somewhat understand it when it is spoken. Make a Wits + Occult test at a penalty equal to the Rank of the speaker (or their rating in the First Tongue Merit, if they are not a spirit). Success indicates a basic understanding of what is being communicated.
- Basic Speech (••): You can understand most of what is said in the First Tongue, although the many-faceted communications of truly powerful spirits (Rank 6+) may still be beyond you. You can mimic its sounds poorly, though, requiring a Presence + Occult test to make yourself understood for a scene.
- Skilled Speech (•••): You can both understand and communicate with those using the First Tongue. You may even be able to pick out the multi-layered communications inherent in the First Tongue, achieving strange understandings as you do so. If you spend a scene in communication with a spirit of Rank 3 or higher, regain a Willpower at the end of that scene.
- Absolute Fluency (••••): You can communicate multiple concepts simultaneously through the use of the First Tongue for those with ears to hear it. You speak the First Tongue as a native: You gain the 9-Agains trait on Social-based rolls for dealing with spirits of Nations you are part of or Allied to.
- Ancient Understandings (•••••): You have tapped into the most potent mysteries of the First Tongue, understanding it for its unspeakable truths. You gain the 9-Agains trait on Social-based rolls for dealing with all spirits. Additionally, gain a Primal Beat when you gain an exceptional success on a Social roll dealing with a Spirit of Rank 3 or higher.
Shadow Sight (•• or •••)
Prerequisites: Primal Urge •, Occult ••
Effect: Werewolves in their wolf forms are very sensitive to the emanations of the spirit world, allowing them to peer into Shadow at the site of a locus or into Twilight elsewhere. With this Merit, you need not be in wolf form to do so. At two dots, this allows you to use such vision at a locus while in any non-human form (hybrid, or in alpha form if you possess that form). At three dots, you are able to see into Shadow at a locus (or Twilight elsewhere) even in human form. This happens automatically upon arriving at a locus, but requires "shifting vision" to peer into Twilight. You may shift your vision and focus exclusively on one or the other realm with a Wits + Occult roll, at a penalty equal to that inflicted by the local Gauntlet.
Drawback: As usual, focusing between the world of men and Shadow is disorienting, inflicting a -2 penalty to all Perception rolls, as well as any Wits-based rolls. You may spend 1 Essence to ignore this penalty for one scene.
Pack Totem (••)
Prerequisites: Pack •••••, Pack Territory (Territory Locus ••)
Effect: Your spiritual presence is strong enough to have attracted a minor spirit who acts as the spiritual guardian and patron of your pack. It feeds on the particular resonance of your pack, and tends to be associated with lupine or lunar themes, although packs with distinctively strong themes or goals may attract spirits appropriate to those elements. This is a Rank 2 spirit.
Rites (• to •••••)
Prerequisites: Primal Urge •
Effect: You can perform Rites, those acts of magical interaction with the spirit world that creatures of Essence can learn to master. Your rating in this Merit determines the maximum rank of Rite you can perform. Each dot gives you knowledge of a single Rite of that level.
War Form (•••)
Prerequisites: Primal Urge •••, Alpha Condition
Effect: You can assume the terrifying alpha form that only potent alphas can manifest. See Shapeshifting for details on this form.
Prerequisites: Primal Urge •, must be taken at character creation
Effect: Rather than being Bitten, you received your Feral Wolf by being born into a lineage cursed with lycanthropy. You begin with a Harmony •. You can also pass the curse of lycanthropy on by your bite, though you must spend a point of Willpower on the night of the full moon to do this.