Injury and the Shifting Form

Under most circumstances, a werewolf, despite the fact that they still age, will stave off damage and injury, regenerating naturally from all but the most grievous wounds. Without a connection to a place of power or a place to dwell and meditate, however, they fall to their beasts, becoming more feral than useful and becoming lashed to the seductive Wyrm.

Werewolves still take lethal damage from weapons, but immediately regenerate 1 bashing every turn (1 lethal if Gnosis is spent that turn, see p. XX). While the Garou physique is much more hardy than that of humans, the body still contains and relies on organs and muscles to function properly; a bullet penetrates their body the way it would a human’s. A mortal whose viscera splay across a city street is most certainly doomed, but the regeneration capabilities of the Garou allow them to only take a moment before they are ready and back in the fray.

On Garou bodies, bashing and lethal wounds look the way one might expect the same injuries to the bodies of a human. Gashes, contusions, and lacerations all still happen, but bruises and small cuts tend to disappear very shortly after being inflicted as the body’s shapeshifting capabilities knit the flesh back together. They still bleed like a human, in sometimes more so if the wound is large enough, but the bleeding, unless it’s supernaturally inflicted, automatically stops within minutes if not seconds.

Battle Scars

Garou can heal from most wounds without ill effect. A human whose fingers are bitten off by a wolf will need surgery, and will lose some function in those fingers (if she doesn’t lose the fingers entirely). A werewolf can grow the missing tissue and nerve connections back, even regrowing his fingers if they cannot be reattached.

Some injuries, especially those caused by other Garou, can cause a werewolf lasting damage. These wounds occur when a character channels her Rage to remain active in the face of death. A werewolf can also acquire a battle scar as a result of a particularly brutal attack, or from torture.

Example: Red-Green-Blue, a Lupus Glass Walker, has suffered at the hands of a group of Cyber Dogs. He’s had experimental fetish technology implanted into his body to try to make him something better. Though he escaped and has had the devices spliced into his body removed, Red-Green-Blue has been through two complex operations that needed silver surgical tools. The Storyteller rules that, because of the grievous aggravated wounds, his body is covered with ugly scars that will not heal, granting him a Battle Scar.

Battle Scars range in effect from cosmetic effects, like Red-Green-Blue’s web of scar tissue, to missing limbs and brain damage. Any Battle Scar gives an award of one Legend Beat noted with each scar; healing a Battle Scar through Gifts or other means causes a loss of a Legend Beat. Some tribes, especially the Children of Gaia and the Glass Walkers, may recognize the Wisdom in healing a Battle Scar, negating the loss of a Legend Beat if the action was appropriate to the setting and tribal mindset.

This section includes a list of sample Battle Scars, along with the Glory awarded for each one. When assigning a Battle Scar, the Storyteller should work with the player to choose one that makes sense. A character who suffers repeated blows to the head won’t end up gelded, but could suffer brain damage.

Battle Scars exist as Persistent Conditions, normally a physical manifestation of an unhealed injury due to a significant amount of aggravated damage keeping the body from being able to regenerate from the trauma. See the Appendix for an inexhaustive list of Conditions related to Battle Scars, marked with (Persistent, Battle Scar). The Storyteller should feel free to come up with her own interpretations of massive trauma. When assigning Legend Beat awards, remember that more visible scars tend to carry larger rewards.