House Rules for
WoD: Changing Breeds


Favors vs, Aspects Reinterpreted

Favors and Aspects (Revised)

Favors and Aspects (New)

New Breed: The Little Monsters

Favors vs. Aspects Reinterpreted

Inborn aspects of a creature's breed, Favors reflect the inherent characteristics of that breed. Certain World of Darkness books refer to these inborn abilities as "Innate Aspects." In game terms, though, they work differently from other Aspects. Each Species starts off with a few Favors (generally three). Any other "Favors" or "Aspects" that would be inherent abilities of the animal associated with the character's Species qualify as Favors. Gaining these abilities after character creation reflect your character's further attunement to the nature of their breed and species.

Anything that would be odd to unusual for that animal to possess is an Aspect. Obviously supernatural or mystical abilities are Aspects. Any animal features that are blatantly not part of the animal associated with the character's Species simply cannot be taken.

Example: A player is creating a Vagahuir and is looking at what abilities to add to what they start with. A Vagahuir turns into a bat. In addition to Echolocation, Speed 10 and Wings, which they start with, they are considering a purely physical monster bat character ... primeval even.

Having a little experience points to spend, they consider their options for now and future expenditures with the Storyteller (some items have had their category changed by animal form consideration):

Clamber (favor), Darksight (favor), Fang and Claw (Bite, Claws) 1 (favor), Keen Sense (hearing; favor), Size 6 (aspect), Swarm/Flock Form (aspect), Swift Wing (favor), Unnerving Cry (aspect), Unspeakable (aspect)

Favors and Aspects (Revised)

Extra Limbs ( for first limb, per set of two afterward)

(second paragraph) For a single dot, a character in combat, with multiple limbs can spend a point of Willpower to get one extra action that can be performed with that limb only (no movement or dodging, for example).

At two dots or more, a character with multiple limbs can get one extra action for each pair of limbs added to the first (from Extra Limbs). For example, an octopus ...

Fang and Claw ( to )

Note: This may be how it is supposed to work in the book, but as I could not tell for sure, I rewrote Fang and Claw to make sense to myself and my players.

Sharp talons, claws, teeth, horns, hooves, antlers, stingers or other "primary weapons" allow this creature to inflict lethal damage with her hand-to-hand attacks. The amount of that damage depends on the nature of the Favor: When this trait is considered a free breed Favor, it is for the first dot only, unless otherwise stated.

For , you have sharp natural weapons that allow you to inflict lethal damage with your hand-to-hand attacks. Claws and teeth add one extra die to hand-to-hand attacks. Horns and antlers add two dice.

For each additional , add one of the following:

  • An additional die to the attack.
  • Buy an attack your animal doesn't usually get free.
  • Allow the character to use her claws in Man-Guise as well.
  • Allow the character to sheathe her claws even if her animal species cannot normally do so.

Hybrid Forms ( or )

Most ferals have only three shapes: Man-Guise, War-Beast and Primal Beast, while others possess a different combination of advantages. This Aspect grants access to one of the remaining additional forms: the Throwback, War-Beast, Dire-Beast and Primal-Beast. The four dot version provides two of them. All ferals possess the Man-Guise. See "Hybrid Forms," pg. 110-11, for details about these manifestations of the Changing Gift.

The Hybrid Forms aspect in WoD: Changing Breeds assumes that you are playing a species that has War-beast as the default mid-form. Therefore they do not provide bonuses for a War-Beast form in the aspect. In addition, Throwback and War-Beast form are based on Human-Guise which includes none of the uniquenesses of the animal form. The aspects are meant to carry this, but size is still a huge modifier to how a Throwback form should be reflected.

Throwback

Human-Size and Smaller-Breed Beasts

Traits: (based on human form) Strength +1, Dexterity +1, Stamina +1, Manipulation -2, Health +1, Speed +1, +2 to perception rolls; Strength inflicts lethal damage

Large-Breed Beasts (tigers, elephants, bears, oxen, etc.)

Traits: (based on human form) Strength +2, Stamina +2, Manipulation -3, Size +1, Health +3, Speed +3, +1 to perception rolls, Fang and Claw Favor; Strength inflicts lethal damage

War-Beast

Human-Size and Smaller-Breed Beasts

Traits: (based on human form) Strength +2, Dexterity +2, Stamina +2, Manipulation -4, Size +1, Health +3, Speed +2, +2 to perception rolls; Strength inflicts lethal damage

Large-Breed Beasts (tigers, elephants, bears, oxen, etc.)

Traits: (based on human form) Strength +3, Dexterity +1, Stamina +2, Manipulation 0, Size +2, Health +4, Speed +3, +1 to perception rolls; Strength inflicts lethal damage

Dire-Beast

Human-Size and Smaller-Breed Beasts

Traits: (based on Primal form) Strength +1, Stamina +1, Size +2 (minimum 5), Health +2, Speed +2

Large-Breed Beasts (tigers, elephants, bears, oxen, etc.)

Traits: (based on Primal form) Strength +1, Stamina +1, Size +1, Health +2, Speed +2

Primal-Beast

Traits: For those that do not have a Primal Form, the player and storyteller should decide what would be appropriate for the type of animal they turn into (generally an idealized or giant version of the animal or possibly Swarm Form).

Mercy's Touch ( to )

Note: This Aspect works exactly as it is worded in WoD: Changing Breeds with the following modification.

This Aspect normally does nothing to heal aggravated damage; the Aspect can, however, heal damage...

The four-dot version can heal bashing without the need to spend Essence.

Possessing Durga's Blessing and Mercy's Touch allows the healing of Aggravated damage the same as Lethal except for taking twice the time (for Aggravated damage caused by poison or disease takes four times the normal amount of time).

Mindmap ()

The only change to this Favor/Aspect is the cost.

Musk

See Poof! for weasel/skunk or urine spray effect; see Flaws for Animal Musk)

Size ( to )

Note: This Favor/Aspect works exactly as it is worded in WoD: Changing Breeds with the following modification.

The base Size for a character's species is free. Upgrading one additional level above the base Size costs , a second level at . This trait cannot be raised further.

Swarm/Flock Form Revised ()

In a hideous spill of legs and bodies, the feral breaks apart into dozens or hundreds of tiny bats, rats or, worst of all, insects. . . In game terms, this explosion of little ferals shares a hive mind and a common Health trait. An attack that can hit most or all of the tiny creatures still affects the feral normally. Trouble, is, it's almost impossible to hit all of them at once with anything less than an explosion, flood or collapse. By instinct, the swarm or flock scatters, each taking a little bit of the whole being with it.

This Aspect requires a Composure + Feral Heart roll to employ, and is almost instantaneous indeed, scattering just before an attack hits is a hallmark of this sort of creature. It costs a point of Essence to scatter, another to re-form; if the shapechanger has too little Essence left to re-form, she's trapped in that scattered state until she can recover enough to do so.

The swarm offers no defense against mental or spiritual assaults, but most people are too startled by this trick to do anything until the tiny beasts have run. Normal humans or animals suffer the Delusion, with a -2 penalty to the Resolve + Composure dice pool. Supernatural characters must roll their Composure + the appropriate mystical defense trait; otherwise, even they get rattled and cannot act until after the next turn. With this trick, though, familiarity breeds contempt its startling power works only once on a given victim.

Favors and Aspects (New)

Aura of Confidence ()

When a feral moves through crowds or combat, others instinctively move out of the way to allow them to move through the area. The use of this gift causes people to subconsciously avoid the shapechanger, giving them moving space.

With a successful Presence + Socialize (or Athletics in combat) + Ferocity or Passion (whichever is greater) a feral can navigate a crowd of people unhindered. To resist, those who come within 10 feet of the werebeast must make a Composure roll. If they cancel the successes of the aura, then they need not move out of the way of the feral.

Loose Skin ()

Many animals have tough, loose skin that makes it more difficult for an attacker to find and injure something vital.

When in physical contact with an opponent, the feral can spend an essence point to be able to twist around within her own skin, cancelling any penalties resulting from being pinned or grappled, and increasing defense by +2.

Poof! ( to )

Similar to skunks and polecats, certain ferals can spray clouds or blasts of revolting musk or urine. All characters within the vicinity of such foulness must make Stamina rolls or suffer dizziness and nausea almost immediately. (Ferals use Stamina + Feral Heart to combat the effects, while other supernatural creatures use their usual Resistance trait for physical attacks.) The player rolls Dexterity + Feral Heart to activate this favor and must spend an Essence point to activate this power.

Whether a cloud or spray is created, those in the center of the effect take a -3 penalty to the Composure roll, and become carriers for the musk's effects (meaning that anyone coming in physical contact with them also stinks). Anyone within the area of the effect who fails the Composure roll suffers a -2 penalty to physical dice pools, and -1 to their perception rolls, Defense, and Initiative. Be careful as this can affect allies as well, but will never affect the feral themselves. The most serious effects last for one combat, but the stench lingers for a number of days equal to the werebeast's Feral Heart (-1 to Persuasion rolls unless the other person has no sense of smell).

For two dots, an invisible cloud radiates out from the feral. Anyone within 5 feet is considered the target. The number of successes determines the number of characters within 15 feet of the feral that are caught in the cloud. Regardless of successes rolled, potential targets must all be standing within the cloud area to be affected.

For three dots, the feral character can instead spray a stream with this sickening attack. The player rolls Dexterity + Feral Heart, targeting an individual or an area on the ground up to 30 feet away; the number of successes is the number of targets within a 20 foot radius area hit by the spray. Regardless of successes rolled, potential targets must all be standing within the cloud area to be affected.

For four dots, a feral has both abilities (cloud and spray) and may choose which one is used each time. In addition their musk is particularly potent and inflicts a -3 penalty to physical die pools instead of a -2.

Weasel War Dance ()

Many species of weasel use the "Weasel War Dance" as a means of confusing and disorienting predators and prey alike. It consists of a frenzied series of sideways and backwards hops, often accompanied by an arched back, hissing noises, and a frizzy tail. This visual display is perplexing and mesmerizes those observing it. In the case of a small weasel or ferret this can look cute while watching a Dire Beast badger or wolverine is likely to inspire a deer-in-the-headlights look and a puddle between the shoes.

Many other animals use erratic behavior as a distraction or to convince a predator that this is not a worthy, or even safe, meal.

The feral chooses a target and makes a Presence + Athletics roll to mesmerize them. With an exceptional success, anyone else who happens to notice has the potential to be effected as well. To resist, the target must cancel the feral's roll with a Wits + Composure roll. Others who witness an exceptional success must make the same roll, but are +2 to the roll since they are not the target. Each person or animal that fails the roll is -2 to their next action.

If this ability is used to start combat, then the weasel gets a surprise attack against the target and a +2 to the attack roll if the target fails to resist the weasel war dance.

If the weasel finishes the dance by collapsing and playing dead, then the target must instead resist with a Wits + Medicine roll to determine what happened to the weasel. If they fail they believe the weasel to be unconscious or dead.

This ability may be used in any form other than Homid.