Werewolf: The Apocalypse

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
When will you Rage?
Choose no life. Choose no career. Choose to live at the Caern. Choose a totem. Choose a fucking big klaive, choose breeder banes the size of washing machines, Black Spiral Dancers, weaver spiders and corrupted naturae spirits. Choose no sleep, high rage and mental instability. Choose between dedicating jeans or boots. Choose no friends. Choose challenging a Sept elder for your fucking right to exist. Choose the Umbra and wondering why the fuck you are slogging through arse deep Wyrm toxins on a sunny morning. Choose walking through a Scab looking at brain dead, spirit-stunted homids, fisting fucking junk food into their mouths. Choose being butchered to pieces at the end of it all, giving your last in some miserable Wyrmhole, nothing more than a legend to the selfish, fucked-up, weaver-ridden spawn replacing the beloved defenders of Gaia. Choose your future. Choose to Rage.

A Storytelling Game of Savage Horror.

The second tabletop roleplaying game in the Old World of Darkness line and the second or third most popular. Initially was supposed to exist in the same universe as its precedessor, Vampire: The Masquerade, but their vastly incompatible cosmologies, histories and themes were among major factors that forced authors to make crossovers between the Old World of Darkness games entirely optional. In the morally-gray area that was the Old World of Darkness, Werewolf's protagonist faction (the Garou Nation) was one of the more outright heroic (after all, fighting to save the world from the corrupted personification of entropy is difficult to put a negative spin on). Even so, they are far from perfect.

The big thematic difference between Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Vampire: The Masquerade is that while in the latter the main source of Angst and tragedy is your character's personal condition, in the former it is the condition of the world, choked by human evil and callous indifference and crumbling under unseen but relentless assault of an insane embodiment of destruction and corruption from the Spirit World named The Wyrm. As one of the Garou (as werewolves call themselves), you are among the few individuals chosen by the Earthspirit Gaia who have power to fight against the enemy that the mundane humans cannot even perceive. Except that it is already too late, your ancestors screwed up too badly, the enemy is too strong, you can't stop fighting with your allies, and the titular Apocalypse is inevitable. Only the heroes of mythic proportions can have any hope of limiting it to The End of the World as We Know It level, instead of annihilation of all existence. Your characters are supposed to become these heroes. Unless the game is played for angst and Failure Is the Only Option, of course.

Garou divide themselves into tribes, factions divided along social, political, and cultural lines. There are 14 still standing:]]

  • Black Furies: An Amazon Brigade styled after Greek mythology. Weakness: Easier time frenzying against men.
  • Bone Gnawers: Urban Garou who stick to the slums. "The Glass Walkers keep an ear to the streets; the Bone Gnawers are the streets." Weakness: Outcasts. Increased social difficulties with other Garou
  • Children Of Gaia: Peace-loving pacifists and/or Church Militants. Weakness: Pierced Veil. Muggles are more likely to remember their beast forms.
  • Fianna: Celtic bards with a love of beer and song. Weakness: Low Self Control, harder to maintain willpower.
  • Get of Fenris: Nordic Proud Warrior Race Guys. How the Garou see the Get tends to be how other supernaturals see the Garou: Loud and belligerent, but not to be crossed. Weakness: Intolerance against a specific type of person or concept.
  • Glass Walkers: Urban Garou with an affinity for high society, technology, business, and organized crime. As likely to use computers and guns in their war against the Wyrm as they are fangs and claws. Weakness: Weaver Affinity. Can't regain Gnosis in the wilderness.
    • The Boli Zouhisze are an Asian offshoot (or, depending on who you believe, the Western tribe is an offshoot of them), who often find themselves having to play go-between for the Western Garou and the Eastern Beast Courts.
  • Red Talons: An all-wolf tribe fanatically opposed to humans and civilization. Has an obviously dim view of the Glass Walkers. Weakness: Wyld Affinity. Can't regain Gnosis in cities.
  • Shadow Lords: European nobility with less-than-scrupulous methods. Weakness: Heavy social stigma against failure.
    • The Hakken are a Japanese sub-tribe that practices Bushido.
  • Silent Striders: Travellers and necromancers who resemble the Egyptian god Anubis. Usually come from African or Romany stock. Weakness: Haunted. Entering the Spirit World risks accosting by ghosts.
  • Silver Fangs: The traditional ruling tribe, based in Russia. High breeding is valued and incest is high. Weakness: With Great Power Comes Great Insanity (well, more like mild insanity but still).
  • Stargazers: Ascetic monks and astrologers from the Far East. Best known for developing Kailindo, a type of Supernatural Martial Arts that utilizes werewolves' shapeshifting and wind magic. Weakness: Obsession with puzzles.
  • Uktena: Mystics who delve for new secrets...sometimes from dubious sources. Originally just Magical Native Americans, but count Blacks, Latinos, and others among their ranks in modern nights. Weakness: Obsession with secrets.
  • Wendigo: Native American Proud Warrior Race Guys with a dim view of non-Natives. Weakness: Varies by season. Shapeshifting penalties in spring, easier time frenzying in summer, willpower penalties in fall, but higher damage resistance in winter.
  • Black Spiral Dancers: Evil Counterparts. Originally the proud White Howlers of Scotland, before becoming corrupted by the Wyrm. Normally not allowed as player-characters.
  • Finally, there are two extinct tribes, the Croatan of North America and the Bunyip of Australia (who were actually marsupials, not wolves, but were accepted into the Garou Nation; slaughtered along with their thylacine kin).

There are 11 other Changing Breeds, each with their own quirks, tribes, and auspice systems. Were-birds, were-bears, even were-sharks are crawling around out there.

An official GURPS adaptation of Werewolf, written by troper Looney Toons, was published by Steve Jackson Games in 1993.

Tropes used in Werewolf: The Apocalypse include:
  • Abnormal Ammo: Any kind of bullet or arrow that has a spirit bound into it. Also, Glass Walkers are particularly fond of creating weapon fetishes out of firearms, and some of the resulting weapons can shoot things like lightning bolts or clouds of shrapnel.
    • And naturally silver bullets come up a lot, though not usually for PCs.
  • Achilles' Heel: Every tribe has one, though they're generally neither combat-related, nor mechanically codified (unless the GM uses optional flaws) and more of a roleplaying challenge, such as the Uktena's curiosity and the Black Furies' intolerance of men. They're also based around one-dimensional tribal stereotypes, which isn't necessarily a good thing for roleplaying.
  • All There in the Manual: Curious example, as the series is mostly books. Do you want to play a Black Spiral Dancer? Do you wish to know their culture? Well, don't look at either tabletop Book of the Wyrm for it, instead, search for a Mind's Eye Theatre Book of the Wyrm. For some reason, it has more text and information on the tribe than both of the tabletop books combined.
  • Animorphism: Well duh!
  • Apocalypse How: Class 2 is the most likely outcome if werewolves win the Apocalypse. Class X-2 (the entire Universe is destroyed/turned into Hell) is the price of losing.
  • Arachnid Appearance and Attire: The Weaver.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: According to the semi-infamous revised Children of Gaia tribebook, the Get of Fenris outwardly scorn gay people but tend to engage in "violent homo-stuff."
  • As Long as There Is Evil: All forms of human evil and cruelty empower the Wyrm-spirits (appropriately called Banes), many of which feast upon negative emotions and encourage them in turn. Extreme forms of environmental destruction also allow Banes to grow and multiply. The Garou Nation has two general approaches of dealing with this in mind. The first (the default one) advocates protecting and enlightening humans to keep them morally healthy. The second calls for exterminating excess human population (only a few werewolves seriously consider it - although their number grows with the approach of the Apocalypse).
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Authority in Garou's society is either almost entirely based on personal prowess, or just mostly based on it. Being born into an influential tribe has its perks, but you still need to rise in rank by yourself, if you want any real power. There is a complicated system of formal challenges in place, to minimize casualties of constant struggle for dominance. This, of course, also means that Asskicking Equals Authority.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Croatan, a Native American tribe that disappeared without a trace along with a British colony in the Americas, was a Garou tribe who sacrificed themselves to defeat an aspect of the Wyrm.
    • A more outlandish example would be the Ananasi werespiders' claim that Monica Lewinsky is one, and seducing Bill Clinton was a ploy to reduce his credibility as President.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Possibly (emphasis on "possibly") Jonas Albrecht and Mari Cabrah (for those who don't buy into their Vitriolic Best Buds packmate dynamic).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Children of Gaia. Don't let that Granola Girl's bright smile, dragonfly tattoo, and healing powers fool you. She can still turn into an 8-foot clawed beast and tear you a new one if provoked. In fact, it is stated in several places that when the Children of Gaia do frenzy it can be even worse than some of the more warlike tribes because they've held their rage in for so long.
  • Big Badass Wolf: Every Garou, without exception.
  • Big Ham: The Get of Fenris in general.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Imagine this game as Warhammer 40,000 with werecreatures, instead of Space Marines, and you won't be too far off. While minions of the Wyrm are absolutely vile and the grand goal of their master is utter destruction of the entire Universe at best, werewolves themselves are very very far from politically correct heroes by the modern definition.
  • Captain Ethnic: When the tribes are portrayed stereotypically.
  • The Commandments: The Litany of the Garou Nation.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Pentex' subsidiaries, except for a handful of key corporations, are headed by people who have absolutely no idea what the Wyrm is or that there are supernatural things in the world. To them, Pentex is just an organization that is very good at covering their illegal and morally dubious business practices. And, of course, there is the board of directors of Pentex proper, that is corrupt in more than one sense of the word, consorts with the universal force of corruption and destruction, actively works to bring about The End of the World as We Know It, and hopes for a "controlled crash" scenario to get whatever remains of humanity under their thumbs.
    • The Corporate Wolves faction of the Glass Walkers are a heroic (in a Good Is Not Nice sense) version of this trope, as they use their corporate connections to secure funding for the tribe and to try and fight Pentex on its own ground.
  • Crapsack World: As with all WoD games. In this case we know why it's a crapsack; because of the Wyrm. Although the question of whether the Wyrm causes human evil or just feeds on it can become sort of a circular chicken and egg debate.
  • Crash Into Hello: The first meeting of signature characters Jonas Albrecht and Evan Heals-the-Past, sans the Meet Cute part.
  • Creepy Cockroach: The Cockroach is the totem of the urban-dwelling Glass Walkers. A discussion between the Glass Walker leadership on the spiritual powers of the cockroach devolves into discussing ways to keep cockroaches away without offending the tribe totem.
  • Demonic Possession: All types of spirits can merge with material beings (usually humans), but Wyrm-spirits do it most often, transforming their victims into deformed, deranged horrors called fomori, which serve as cannon fodder of the Wyrm in the material world. Sometimes the possession results from More Than Mind Control, sometimes it happens simply because many things in this world May Contain Evil (thanks to Pentex).
    • Supplemental materials reveal that spirits serving both the Weaver and Wyld could also do this to anyone, with the results just as horrific.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The Mokole were-reptiles are the keepers of racial memory all the way back to the time of dinosaurs, and when their first change comes they tap into this racial memory and dream of their battle-form. Mechanically speaking, this is represented by pulling a certain amount of traits off a menu. When doing so, it's very easy to come back with something distinctly draconic, rather than dinosaur-ish.
  • Divine Chessboard: The Wyrm, the Weaver, and the Wild are all manipulating characters to their own ends.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Wyrm, the spirit of destruction whose unchecked actions are destroying the world. Its peers in the Triat of the greatest spirits are just about as alien and uncaring, although much less immediately hostile. Unfortunately, all of them are absolutely integral to the very existence of the universe. Yes, this game is set in a World Half Empty.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: It is right there in the title.
  • Enemy Mine: Whooo boy. The Black Furies hate the Get of Fenris, the Shadow Lords hate the Silver Fangs, the Red Talons really hate the Glass Walkers, and the Wendigo hate everyone except the Uktena, but it's not uncommon to find members of opposing tribes in the same pack, where they put aside their differences for the greater good. Individual members can become friends even if they hold that other tribe's general views in low regard. Except the Red Talons, whose genocidal hatred of civilization makes them so difficult to work with, storytellers often forbid them as player characters and might even cast them as villains.
    • And everyone hates the Bone Gnawers, except the Glass Walkers and Children of Gaia. The Gnawers just shrug.
    • Even within tribes, the Uktena—who have long embraced oppressed minorities—have had to deal with young Garou from opposing gangs in the same pack.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Mokole can transform into dinosaurs. Or rather, dinosaur-themed Mix-and-Match Critters which might combine the size of a sauropod with the tail of an ankylosaur and the teeth of a tyrannosaur. And pretty feathers. And gills.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: The Rokea are weresharks, and they're very very dangerous. They stop aging after their first change, eat everything in sight, and have nothing resembling human morality. And they can turn into giant sharks or 12-foot tall hulking shark men with CLAWS AND RAZOR-SHARP SKIN.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Double subverted by the Gurahl werebears, who are known for their healing powers and generally retiring ways. Until you piss them off, that is, then you'd better run.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Fomori.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The amount of supernatural weirdness ordinary people are able to ignore gets a little extreme. Of course, the Delirium inflicting amnesia on humans helps out.
  • Fantastic Racism: The werewolves against most of the other werepeople, such as the spiders, hyenas, aurochs, cats, bats, boars, bears, snakes, crocodile/dinosaur/dragon hybrids, coyotes, and rats. Only the ravens, sharks, and foxes were unaffected. Several of the others were totally wiped out by werewolf genocide and as a result, there is much mutual distrust to be had. It's one of the reasons why the Apocalypse is approaching in the first place, because the various shapeshifters are supposed to be working together.
    • Ratkin (wererats) want to exterminate most of humanity, werewolves and everyone who objects; and for Ananasi werespiders and Nagah weresnakes "Better Than You" is not only their motto, but their way of life. Such sentiments exist all around, it's just that the non-wolf shifters lack the power to really act on them.
    • Even those non-wolf shifters who aren't pretty much automatically hostile to all or almost all outsiders still are often portrayed as major dicks, particularly towards werewolves.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Werewolves have a wealth of derogatory terms for their enemies and even their own breeds. "Leeches" for vampires is perhaps the most famous.
    • Inversion: "Bitch" is used in a totally non-derogatory way.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Being turned into a fomor (for humans) or forced into the Black Spiral Labyrinth (for werewolves) are just the most common examples. Werewolves that have walked the Black Spiral (willingly or no) can also be turned into a formor, for double the horror. B
  • Fictional Document: Chronicles of the Black Labyrinth. Like many other White Wolf examples, this was eventually defictionalised.
  • Five-Man Band: The ideal pack (one of each auspice), which tends to break down thusly:
  • For the Evulz: Upheld, in that this seems to be the primary motivation of most Wyrm-creatures, like Banes, Fomori, and Black Spiral Dancers. Subverted, in that this is NOT the primary motivation of the Wyrm itself. As its core, the Wyrm just wants to escape from the pain of being trapped forever in the webs of the insane Weaver.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: That's your characters (and werepeople in general). Bonus points since the chief spirit of the Earth (or the Universe, depending on interpretation) is actually named Gaia. The Black Furies in particular think of themselves as Gaia's Vengeance. Red Talons, too. Perhaps even more so. Their primary suggestion for defending the world is "kill and eat all of those fucking Earth-murdering idiot humans".
  • Genetic Memory: Expressed through the Garou's Past Life trait (whether it's Reincarnation or ancestral memories varies by edition), the Mokole werelizards' Mnesis (much more powerful ancestral memories), and—due to shapeshifters' past cullings of humans--Muggles' delirious reaction upon seeing werecreatures' war forms, often compared to baby mice running from a hawk's silhouette. They often forget what they see afterwards. Werecreatures call this effect the Delirium, and consider it very helpful in maintaining the Veil.
    • Retconned for werewolves in Revised. The "Past Life" background was changed to "Ancestors", and seems to involve more direct communication with literal ancestor spirits (which better explains the Bone Gnawers, Glass Walkers, and Silent Striders lacking access to the background; the former two are too modernist to care, the latter are cursed).
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Where to begin? The Black Spiral Dancers, the Wyrm, the Weaver...
  • Good Is Not Nice: The Garou Nation, in many respects, can be summed up thusly.
    • Gaia is good, but she ain't nice. She created said werewolves, and such things as pain spirits.
  • The Grotesque: Garou are forbidden from mating with each other. Whether that means any romantic involvement or just making babies depends on the tribe, but the products of such unions are known as Metis and are sterile and deformed wretches that usually rip through their mother's womb upon birth.
  • Hindu Mythology: The Wyld is the creating chaos, the Weaver molds the chaos into a form, and the Wyrm destroys what has to be destroyed. That may be based on three main Hindu gods - Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer. At least The Theme Park Version.
  • Hulk Speak: The Garou do this when in their Crinos form.
  • Humanity Ensues: Garou are just as likely to be wolves who turn into humans. They've become the minority in recent nights, however.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: And the werewolves are bastards too.[1] As well as almost everyone else. At least the approaching Apocalypse forced most shapeshifters to seriously rethink their behavior.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: There's a rule in the Litany (the werewolf code of laws) specifically forbidding Garou from eating people. However, falling too deep into frenzy may (if you're playing a human-born werewolf) result in your character sampling the long pig in the throes of your frenzy.
  • Internalized Categorism: In one of the official collections of shortstories, the hero goes through severe identity confusion and self-hatred as he discovers that he's actually a child of the evil werewolf clan, the Black Spiral Dancers. (He eventually snaps out of it and concludes that he doesn't have to be like his ancestors.)
  • Invisible to Normals: As about werewolves, see Genetic Memory above. Also, normal humans have no ability to perceive the Spirit World, which often makes them easy prey for evil spirits.
  • "It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It": Every shapeshifter has the power to inspire lust in a chosen onlooker. The intent is to help along reproduction, since werewolves are born, not made, but it's still essentially a free rape card. The only restrictions are that it can't alter a person's sexual orientation or sway them if taken and firmly monogamous, but these just play into the trope even more.
  • Kissing Cousins: The Silver Fangs are quite, quite inbred, prompting the predictable round of commentary from the other tribes. (Also, if you read the writeups for Yuri and Sophia Tvarivich—twins who were arguably the tribe's greatest heroes—they come off more as a passionate romantic couple than as staunchly loyal siblings.)
  • Kryptonite Factor: Guess. It's also worth noting that the Corax and Mokole are allergic to gold, and the latter have an additional weakness against silver. However, whereas Silver Bullets are inexplicably all over the place in the World Of Darkness, gold weapons are rare in the extreme.
  • Lawful Stupid: It is said that if someone has the slightest bit of Wyrmtaint or is the kindest Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, most Garou tend to claw it first and ask questions later. Except the Children of Gaia, who are sometimes Stupid Good and would sooner have tea with the monsters they're supposed to kill. The truth is more complex, of course, but these are stereotypes commonly held by outsiders to both werewolves as a whole and the Children of Gaia specifically.
  • Level Up At Intimacy 5: The "Rite of Clouds and Rain" involves Garou having sex in Crinos form to decrease their chances of frenzy. Since this directly breaks the Litany, its existence is the subject of considerable contention.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Wyld opposes the Wyrm and the Weaver. That does not make it safer to stick your nose in the Wyld than into a vat of acid. Werewolves that make this mistake seldom get a chance to make it twice. Even spending too much time near the Wyld is enough to permanently change you into a completely different person.
  • The Mafia: The Glass Walkers, drawing their roots from Italy, have deep ties with the mob. This branch, the Wise Guys, controlled the tribe for most of the 20th century before the Walkers shifted their focus to legit business and technology.
  • Magic Knight: The Uktena Garou and some Bastet are known for practicing sorcery. Their magic isn't as strong as the Tremere's Blood Magic or Mages' True Magick, but they still have all the physical advantages of werecreatures.
  • Mana: Here called "gnosis".
  • Mega Corp: One of the game's primary antagonists is Pentex, an enormous corporation run by minions of the Wyrm to carry out its dark schemes under the guise of big business. Pollution, manipulating Washington, hostile takeovers, you name it. Its subsidiaries often satirize real-world Megacorps, such as the fast-food chain O'Tolley's (three guesses about what it represents), which is rumored to brainwash its employees and customers, and sell the other white meat.
    • Funny side note, White Wolf's World of Darkness counterpart, Black Dog, is a Pentex subsidiary noted for degredating the human spirit with dark and violent RPGs.
  • Mind Rape: The Black Spiral Labyrinth of the Wyrm is Mind Rape Central.
  • Minmaxer's Delight: Three words universally loathed by Werewolf players: Lupus Stargazer Ahroun.
  • The Missing Faction: There are Apis [wereaurochs], Camazotz [werebats] and Grondr [wereboars] who were wiped out by the Garou [werewolves] during the War of Rage. Likewise, the Gurahl [werebears] were believed extinct since then, but resurfaced in modern times. Also, among the Garou themselves are the extinct Bunyip and Croatan tribes, as well as the Black Spiral Dancers who fell to the Wyrm.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: If a human child fails to become a wereraven (because their magical spirit egg was stolen before their first transformation) they tend to become autistic suddenly (despite autism spectrum disorders being congenital in real life).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The werewolves' mistakes and misjudgements helped to create many of the dooms that threaten the World of Darkness. The Impergium alienated humanity and afflicted humans with the Delirium, while the War of Rage created animosity between the Garou and other fera.
    • The Shadow Lords and other "darker" tribes content that stopping subjugation of humans might well be their biggest collective mistake.
  • Noble Savage: Native American werecreatures are known as The Pure Ones, and the Western Hemisphere was supposedly a perfect utopia where everyone lived in harmony before White people (known as "Wyrmcomers") showed up. While the White settlers certainly did subject the Natives to slavery, disease, rape, and genocide, the Native American tribes still had their fair share of wars, slaves, and concubines among themselves.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: A rather mild example is a wealthy Silver Fang Kinfolk family called the Rothchilds.
  • No Delays for the Wicked: One sourcebook claimed the Black Spiral Dancers invariably track down and kidnap those incredibly rare White Howler throwbacks born outside the tribe, using corrupted guardian spirits called Kin-Fetches who've stuck around for centuries just waiting to squelch Special Snowflake Syndrome. Meanwhile everyone else's uncorrupted Kin-Fetches, which are specifically assigned to each infant cub, are known to have trouble sticking around just for the years until the kid hits puberty.
  • No Indoor Voice: Zhyzhak.
  • Oireland: You did see the tribal description for the Fianna, right?
  • Old Shame: The Fianna again. In the Second Edition, a large part of the Fianna's internal tribe politics and background was tied up and interlinked with The Troubles. Come The Revised Edition (post 9/11) most of this was excised and glossed over, with an apology and admission that terrorism wasn't big and clever, mirroring the real life shift in attitude towards the troubles, due to the uncomfortable reminder about Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: As is traditional for pre-nWoD White Wolf games, Dexterity is better than any two other Attributes combined.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: One of the other groups of shapeshifters are Mokole werelizards, whose warforms combine traits of dragons and dinosaurs, with Asian Mokole being more draconic while the Western and Australian varieties are more saurian. Pound for pound, they are more powerful than the Garou but always lacked the pack mentality, hence their downfall.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: In addition to the titular werewolves, has 11 other breeds of shapeshifters, described in their own Splat books. Some examples include the Corax (wereravens), Gurahl (werebears) and Bastet (werecats), Rokea (weresharks), Simba (werelions), Ajaba (werehyenas), Mokole (werelizards), Kitsune (werefoxes), and Ananasi (werespiders).
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: Characters can shift at will into any form attributed to werewolves: hairy and slouching wolfman, 9-foot-tall lupine-headed wall of death, giant wolf, and normal wolf. Plus, their spiritual nature gives them a plethora of magical abilities. Being a werewolf has a lot to do with the moon, but full moon transformations are not the norm.
  • Partial Transformation: Aside from their three hybrid animal-human forms (only one or two hybrid forms for some werebeast species), werewolves can learn the rare ability of shapeshifting one body part at a time.
  • Rated "M" for Manly: The Get of Fenris. Ohsoverymuch. It's hard to create female characters from this tribe without wondering if they'd fit better with the Black Furies. The Get of Fenris do have their own all-female camp, the Valkyria of Freya though. And the tribe book does say that this is a result of the human norms affecting the tribe members, not the other way around.
  • Ravens and Crows: The Corax, obviously, although only the Ravens bit. Don't call them crows. Seriously.
    • The Shadow Lords' tribal totem, Grandfather Thunder, is served by spirits called Stormcrows. They also have a camp called the Children of Crow, whose members focus on being The Lancer - as long as The Hero is doing his job.
  • Recycled in Space!: Werewolf: THE WILD WEST!, Werewolf: THE DARK AGES!, and Hengeyokai: SHAPESHIFTERS OF THE EAST!
  • Science Marches On: Rage Across the Heavens deals with Garou astrology and assigns each of the 13 tribes and a patron spirit to the most significant planetary bodies in the Solar System. However, it relies on concepts that have been outdated for years. Namely, the Uktena's patron planet is Vulcan, a theoretical body on opposite end of Mercury's orbit, to explain how it revolves so fast, but it's been proven to not actually exist. The book also states the once-popular theory that the Asteroid Belt is the remnants of a destroyed planet, which we also know is not the case (Pluto gets a pass, since the Planetary Incarnae don't necessarily have to represent full planets). One could argue that the Garou zodiac system was set up centuries before modern astronomy, except you can actually visit Vulcan despite its nonexistence.
    • Then again, the concept of "exist" is rather different in this setting than in Real Life. Visiting the Hollow Earth is possible too, in spite of it being stated to no longer being a part of consensual reality. Yes, the earth was once hollow, and now it isn't. But you can still visit the hollow earth that no longer exists. Deal with it.
  • Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny: The book Possessed features an old man who spent many years standing with bible in hand at the collage gates, berating female students for their skimpy clothing. Turns out that his true motivation was that he enjoyed staring at beautiful young women and comment their bodies and clothing. The whole moral superiority thing was merely an excuse that he used to trick everyone (surely including himself) that his behavior was acceptable.
    • To make it worse, indulging his hatred of beautiful young women and his self-inflicted sexual frustration opened him up to what can be called demonic possession. Having turned into a Formori minion of the Wyrm, he ends up attacking a young beautiful female coed werewolf, making himself the first kill in her new career as a slayer of wyrm-tainted monsters.
  • The Social Darwinist: Shadow Lords and Get of Fenris sometimes fall into this, due to liking their Asskicking Equals Authority ways a bit too much. Black Spiral Dancers and other Wyrm-servants don't particularly bother with justifications like this.
    • The Silver Fangs who don't allow anyone with low breeding into their tribe.
  • Special Snowflake Syndrome: Modern-day White Howlers, anyone? However, what's worse is when a player wants to be a Bunyip in the Wild West setting since they were still alive back then, and gives a convoluted story of how an Indigenous Australian wound up in Texas in 1850. And then there are players wanting to play a werewolf who's also a ghoul, sorcerer, medium, and/or fae-blooded.
  • Spirit World: The Umbra. Besides a reflection of the material world, it features many, many fantastic (and often dangerous - the Wyrm and his chief servants reside in the Umbra) Umbral Realms, each with its own different set of laws, as well as strange, Lovecraftian deep regions.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Kitsune werefoxes. By far the physically weakest of the Changing Breeds, they're arguably the most powerful sorcerers.
  • Strength Equals Worthiness: Most War Spirits challenge Garou to honorable combat before teaching them gifts.
  • The Starscream: The Shadow Lords, whose Manipulative Bastard mindset has more in common with vampires than werewolves (though this can be an advantage), plus they've long despised the Silver Fangs' traditional leadership.
  • True Companions: Werewolf packs have a tighter bond than the parties in any other Old World of Darkness game. Whether or not they see each other as true friends or simply coworkers depends on the pack in question, but their tactics and totemic bond gives them an edge that others can't beat.
  • Unknown Rival: There are some elements of this in the relations between the Black Furies and the Get of Fenris. Stereotypically speaking, the Furies loathe the Fenrir for their intolerant ethos and their entrenched macho misogyny; their totem spirit, Pegasus, doesn't even allow Fenrir in the packs it patronizes. The Fenrir, meanwhile, think they've taken care of their sexism and racism issues (whether they actually have is another story) and wonder what their problem is.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Werewolves can attempt to shrug off fatal wounds at the cost of entering berserk frenzy and attacking everything in sight, except (usually) their packmates.
  • Values Dissonance: The source of many, many In-Universe conflicts. Some tribes are pretty much opposite to each other in every way, except for their general goal to protect Gaia, for example Glass Walkers/Red Talons or Silver Fangs/Bone Gnawers. Also can happen with players, as some tribes have pretty radical or even literally inhuman worldviews.
  • Vulnerable to Itself: In one of the published Apocalypse scenarios, the Wyrm has grown so powerful only its own weapons can harm it.
  • Wendigo: One of the tribes follows Wendigo as their totem, and named themselves after it. The Wendigo are not evil, in fact they're staunch advocates for Native American rights and culture, but they're warlike and isolationist in the extreme and the Apocalypse scenario where they're subverted by the Wyrm (there's one for every tribe) is disturbingly easy to imagine.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Rage is one of the most important combat stats for werewolves, but it is also rolled to enter frenzy. If you roll too much successes, very bad things can happen. Also, the Silver Fangs tribe as a whole suffers for this - after their ancestors tried to sit on both sides of the fence between Luna (spirit of the Moon) and Helios (spirit of the Sun), to cement their rule over the Garou Nation, they got slapped with a curse, which drives a sizeable percentage of them to insanity (for Silver Fang PCs being crazy is strictly optional).
  • World Half Empty: This is the Old World of Darkness, but the setting got increasingly depressing with each new edition. Then again, the Apocalypse book that finished the game line confirms that victory is possible.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: The Dark Ages and Wild West spin-offs border on that. Particularly the second iteration of the Dark Ages setting, which suggests the probability of the Apocalypse 800 years before the normal schedule.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: When a Garou and their kinfolk partner conceive, the likelihood that they will produce a Garou child is only 10%, compared to a 90% likelihood that they will produce a kinfolk child. That means that each Garou-kinfolk couple would have to have at least ten children to keep the Garou population stable!
  • Yakuza: Asian Glass Walkers are sometimes members, but in the Revised edition found the Yakuza to be unchanging and very different from the Italian mafia.
  1. though at least they care about the fate of the world, unlike humanity