Nature of the Wolf

Garou walk a long path, fret with threats of both Wyrm and Weaver. Sometimes, they move at a crawl, fighting for everything they hold dear, while other times, they sprint, clear from one threat and intent to find and end the next. These werewolves never fight alone, however. They have the Sept, their pack, and even their tribes with them wherever they go.


Garou are both natural and unnatural, a human or wolf with a mythic beast trapped inside, thrashing to get out at every turn. Each werewolf has three anchors that ground her in the reality of the World of Darkness. In addition to helping define her mortal and mythic lives, anchors serve as a source of Willpower. Werewolves do not cling to the mortal concepts of Virtue and Vice, as their existence threatens the primitive lives of humans with every action. Their Mortals, Mythics, and Pillars fill the void created by the distance caused after their First Change.

Each anchor has two conditions that give Willpower recovery. The easier recovers a single Willpower point. The harsher refreshes all Willpower. A character may only refresh all her Willpower using an anchor once per chapter. For the single Willpower point option, err on the side of allowing the point. For the full refresh, use risk of true death, breaking points, and markedly dramatic scenes as benchmarks for qualifying moments.

Like Aspirations, anchors are not supernatural traits. They’re a narrative mechanic that helps us portray the Garou psychology.


Mortal is the bearing that Garou present to the human world. It’s the façade, the lie done in defense of the sensitive human psyche. It’s the excuse for why he can’t stay for dinner at night, the reason she gives the cab driver for dropping her off near an abandoned warehouse at odd hours. It’s his excuse for ravenously eating his dinner without a second thought.

The ninth tenant of the Litany states “The Veil Shall NOT be lifted.” Garou take this concept seriously, and extend it beyond the purview of their supernatural existences. Revealing oneself is a form of vulnerability. Vulnerability is a quick route to death, and to stopping their hard work to stop the Wyrm’s corruption.

The wolf inside, however, hungers and thrashes for every scrap of meat, fights at every indiscretion. But they sometimes do so at the expense of their human persona, their Mortal. Every time she overcomes a hurdle that helps defend her Mortal, she gains a point of Willpower. When committing the violence and savagery sometimes necessary in fighting the pervasive corruption in the world, and risks her own Mortal in the process, she regains all her spent Willpower points.


The Mythic is the beast under the sheep’s clothing. It’s the werewolf’s true self; it’s who he is when the humans are gone and when he’s surrounded only by others of the Nation or their enemies. It’s his feral nature. It’s his craving to the cause he’s dedicated his life to, and his need to be around brothers and kin.

A Mythic gives the Garou a sense of identity. After all, her very existence betrays what most believe is unreal. Within the Nation, truth is a figment that covers what is truly going on in the world. For most Garou, their auspice role dictates most actions they take, both in the mortal life and in their Garou lives. Acting through this role in everything helps maintain their perspective in the war they wage.

Any time a werewolf withdraws from his mortal life in defense of his truer self, she gains a point of Willpower. When committing violent and terrible acts in defense of his personal identity, he regains all his spent Willpower points.

Mortal and Mythic Archetypes

Here are multiple archetypes for your characters’ Mortal and Mythic. Feel free to take from this list, or come up with your own. Each includes a brief description, and sample actions that could recover Willpower for each.

Note that the risks and costs listed should always be meaningful. They should have value in the story, to count as Willpower conditions.