Werewolf the Apocalypse Combat Primer

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Apocalypse Combat Primer
by Dan Hartstein and the Apocalypse NST staff, with some elements of Masquerade Combat Primer by Todd Branch, Kevin Millard, and Ree Soesbee.

Introduction

This guide is intended to clarify the combat process and unique systems used in the Camarilla Fan Club’s “Apocalypse” genre.

Turns, Actions, and Challenges

Challenge – Any time a character does something in combat, it takes a Challenge.

Action – After everyone involved in the combat has completed their 1st Challenges, an Action is completed. The 1st Action is called the “Everyman Action”. If people have spent rage for extra Challenges, there are multiple Actions. Additional Actions are called “1st rage Action”, 2nd rage Action” etc.

Turn/Round – All references to a Turn or Round are interchangeable. After all Challenges and Actions are finished, a turn is completed. A turn lasts approximately 4 seconds.

Types of Challenges

There are three types of tests that can be used to resolve Challenges:

  • Contested Challenges
  • Static Tests (or Challenges)
  • Simple Tests (or Challenges)

Contested Challenges

A person can be targeted by 5 physical challenges, 1 social challenge, and 1 mental challenge in the Everyman action. A person can be targeted by 5 physical challenges during each rage action. Non-Physical contested challenges may not be initiated in rage actions. If a power does not specify, for purposes of targeting: (gnosis = social) and (willpower = mental). An ST has final call on whether a challenge is legitimate or an attempt to protect someone by abusing the rules. If this occurs, the target is treated as if they have not been targeted yet. (EX. Wulfgar and his pack are engaging some BSD’s. He uses Visage of Fenris to target all of his packmates with a social challenge. The ST notes this and makes the ruling that Visage of Fenris has no negative impact on the targets and is an attempt to abuse the rules. Wulfgar receives a warning from the ST, and his packmates may still be targeted with a social challenge.)

When you attempt a contested challenge, you are directly challenging another character in a way that allows them to resist. For example, let’s say that you are going to punch your opponent:

For a Contested Challenge, you must declare your target, bid an initial trait, and then define the Challenge you intend (your victory condition) “Punch Joey in the face.” Your opponent, Joey, will then bid a trait of his own to defend himself. Once you’ve both bid, you throw RPS to see who is successful. The winner’s condition happens, and the loser’s condition does not happen. If you tie the RPS, you must compare traits. The character with the most traits wins. If you both have equal traits neither condition occurs (usually to the advantage of the defender), and both are considered failed challenges. If the final result of the challenge, after all applicable retests are resolved, is a failed challenge, the character loses any traits that were bid in the challenge.

Mass Challenges

Powers or Items that affect an entire area do not target. In a challenge against more than one defender, only 1 initial trait is required to bid. Challenges may be thrown all at once or individually, ST discretion.

Contested Mental / Social Challenges

  • The target of a Mental or Social challenge may spend a point of Willpower to get a retest. The character initiating the challenge may not.
  • If you target another character with a mental or social challenge and fail you must wait at least five real-time minutes before repeating the same challenge. If your challenge is successful but the target resists in some other way this limitation doesn’t apply.

Bidding Traits

When bidding traits in a challenge of any sort, the first trait you bid determines the type of challenge you are attempting, as well as what powers and merits you may use during the challenge. If you bid more than one trait in a challenge, only the first trait matters for these purposes.

There are no rank-based advantages for Crinos form. Rather, in Challenges where a Garou’s opponent has a strength-based or speed-based power that allows them to ‘Win All Ties’ instead of comparing Traits, the opponent instead gains 10 bonus Physical Traits for comparison of ties and overbidding.

If an aggressor does not have enough traits to declare the desired challenge then they cannot complete the challenge. If a defender does not have enough traits to bid in response to a challenge, they must relent. Remember willpower may be spent for each trait category once a night to refresh lost traits.

Static Tests

Static Tests are used when you are trying to perform a challenge that isn’t targeting another character, or when you are performing a challenge that is not actively resisted (note that another player automatically has active resistance; you can’t sneak up and static test them in the face). Static tests are assigned a difficulty rating in traits by the ST. A low-difficulty challenge will probably have very few traits, while a more demanding challenge will have a greater number of traits. When making a Static test, bid a trait and RPS against the ST or a nearby player. If you win, you are successful in your challenge. If you tie, you must compare your traits to the challenge difficulty. If you have more traits that the challenge is difficult, you succeed.

Simple Tests

When making a Simple test, you don’t need to bid a trait, and your challenge will succeed if you win or tie – no matter how many traits you have. You may not retest if you lose a Simple Test.

By default, you succeed in a Simple Test on a win or a tie; however, some specific mechanics require you to win (not tie) a Simple Test in order to succeed.

Retests

When involved in a contested challenge, either party may retest after the initial throw with an appropriate category. Each of these retests are resolved one at a time, although retests may be “blocked” by canceling with an opposing retest from the same category; in this case, no new test is thrown for the challenge.

A character who initiates a Static Test may retest with an applicable Ability Trait. Static Tests do not receive defensive retests against you but the ST may choose to overbid if applicable.

It is not possible to retest a Simple Test.

Example: After failing his initial attack challenge, Billy tries to retest with the Melee ability. Jeff decides to cancel with one of his Dodge abilities.

In a given challenge you may call on one retest from each applicable category.

Retest Categories

  • Ability
  • Power
  • Item
  • Rite
  • Merit
  • Tribal

Note that some retests (such as the Silver Fang tribal advantage) specify that they are the last retest used in a challenge. After you use that retest, you may not use other retests, even if you have not yet attempted other applicable categories or overbids.

Example: After having his Melee retest canceled Billy may not attempt to retest with another ability, but he may use the ‘Desperate Strength’ Power retest.

Miscellaneous Retests

Unlike other categories of retests, you may use any number of miscellaneous retests as long as they’re applicable. For example, a single challenge may benefit from both an Overbid and a Willpower retest.

  • Darkness: The Darkness retest isn’t resolved like a normal retest. If you attempt a physical challenge against a target that you can’t see, resolve the test normally. If you win the challenge you must make one more test (a Darkness retest). You may expend one level of the Blindfighting Ability to negate this forced retest. If both you and your target are equally affected by the darkness, you may use your opponents forced retest to cancel your own.
  • Overbid: To use the Overbid retest you must bid an additional trait and ask your opponent if you may overbid. If you have twice as many traits as your opponent (or more) you may retest. If you don’t, your attempt to Overbid fails. You may also attempt to overbid the Static Test’s difficulty rating (as it is given in traits). You may not overbid a Simple test.
  • Willpower: You may spend a point of Willpower to retest any time you’re targeted with a Mental or Social Challenge. Only the defender may use Willpower to retest. You may not use Willpower to retest a Static or Simple test.
  • Surprise: You gain a surprise retest when performing a challenge your opponent is unaware of or is unable to respond to. For more information see below.

Surprise

If you physically attack your opponent and he doesn’t respond in a reasonable amount of time he is considered to be surprised. Some effects also allow someone to be surprised while already in combat (Examples include Bridge walker, attacking from invisibility, and sniping). If you’ve surprised your opponent you get a free retest to affect him (a miscellaneous retest).

Example: Mike attacks Adam from a distance with a sniper rifle. Mike may use Surprise as a miscellaneous retest. In the next Action Adam uses Bridge Walker to move behind Mike and attack. Mike is considered surprised by the attack and Adam may use Surprise as a miscellaneous retest.

Taking Actions

On your initiative you may do all of the following:

  • Activate one power or item that does not require a contested challenge (only on normal everyman action.)
  • Take up to the number of steps allowed by your current form (roughly 1 yard per step)
  • Attempt one contested challenge.
  • Perform a task that does not require a challenge.
  • Spend Rage (may be spent anytime, and only if you do not spend gnosis.)
  • Spend Gnosis (May only be spent during the everyman Action, and only if you do not spend rage.)
  • Spend Willpower (May be spent at anytime.)

Challenges

On your initiative, you may attempt to actively participate in a challenge, whether that challenge is Contested, Simple, or Static. If another character requires you to make a challenge during their action, it doesn’t count towards your challenge limit. It is possible to passively participate in several challenges as long as only one comes from an action you’re attempting.

Example: Frank is trying to punch Billy on his turn. Billy may choose to passively defend himself by attempting to dodge or soak (or relent). This does not take Billy’s Action. Billy will be able to initiate a challenge of his own later in the round.

Relenting

Anytime you are targeted with a challenge you can choose to relent. If you relent you don’t have to bid a trait and your opponent automatically wins (inflicting his victory condition). If you target a character with a contested Challenge and he relents you’ve still used your Challenge for the turn. The fact that your target isn’t resisting does not allow you to take another contested Challenge.

Multiple Tests

When a character’s declared attack would require multiple challenges, it doesn’t necessarily take multiple actions. For example, a wyrm minion may need to make a willpower Challenge to defeat someone’s Wrath of Gaia before they can punch them. Even though this attack will require two challenges (one willpower challenge to defeat his Wrath of Gaia, and one Physical challenge to perform the punch) doing so will only require one action. Similarly, powers that require you to touch your opponent before using them often involve two challenges; one to touch your opponent, and one to activate the power. These do not take multiple actions to perform, unless you are attempting to get more than one benefit. For example, if you try to touch someone in order to use Falling Touch you could attempt both the touch and the gift as a single attack. If instead you try to grapple someone and Falling Touch it would require two Actions, one to Grapple and one to use the gift.

Miscellaneous Challenges

On your initiative, you may perform one task that doesn’t require a contested challenge, and one activation of a power or item, so long as you can spend everything that is necessary. Powers and items sometimes require rage, gnosis or willpower while mundane tasks often require a free hand. Remember that you cannot spend rage and gnosis in the same turn.

Example: Sam wishes to punch his opponent, draw a gun, and activate Master of Fire. “Punching his opponent” requires a contested challenge. The others (drawing a gun and activating Master of Fire) can be performed in the same Action so long as Sam has the following: a free hand to draw his gun; a point of gnosis to activate Master of Fire; and the ability to spend a gnosis. Sam will not be able to spend rage this turn.

Movement

  • Homid – 3 steps
  • Glabro – 3 steps
  • Crinos – 4 steps
  • Hispo – 5 steps
  • Lupus – 6 steps

On your initiative, you may take steps allowed by your form. If you aren’t attempting a contested Challenge you may take double the amount of steps allowed by your form. If you move (or intend to move) more than one step, you are down one trait in all Physical Challenges during that Action. Standing up from a prone position uses up 3 steps of movement during your action. If a character chooses not to stand up, they may only crawl one step, regardless of form.

Movement Powers

Instead of taking steps, you may use a power that allows you to move (Ex: Bridge walker, Gate to the moon). Any movement effect that doubles movement instead grants +2 steps in combat and doubles movement out of combat (but not to exit combat).

Full Turn Challenges

If a power says it takes a full turn (or more) to perform, it may not be sped up and occurs at the end of the turn. When using a power that requires your full turn, you cannot move, talk, or complete any tasks that require the use of your hands, if they don’t involve the power in use. If you choose to do so, the power is wasted. Examples: Razor Claws, Luna’s Armor, Fatal Flaw, Call the Cannibal Spirit.

Order of Challenges – Determining Initiative order

Challenges happen in initiative order. Your initiative is based on the trait category that corresponds to the type of challenge you’re performing.

When determining who goes first, compare a character’s base traits + their current form. With the exception of Spirit of the Fray, traits gained from powers, specialties, merits, maneuvers or weapons do not add to the initiative total. If two characters have the same number of traits, their Challenges happen simultaneously, and the ST must choose which one resolves first. It does not matter if your challenge is a Contested or Static; only the number of traits being bid in that challenge matter. For purposes of initiative only: a Rage challenge is based off of physical traits, a Gnosis challenge is based off social traits, and a willpower challenge is based off of mental traits. If you do not require a challenge during the action, your initiative is based on your Physical Traits.

The player who can declare the highest number of traits in the challenge goes first, followed by the next highest and so on. Remember – on your turn you may perform one contested challenge, activate one power or item that does not require a contested challenge (as long as you have the resources), move your steps based on form, and perform one task that doesn’t require a challenge.

Example: Jimmy wants to attack Frank and activate Master of Fire. Frank wants to use Mastery on Jimmy. Jimmy is bidding 9 physical traits for this Challenge, plus 4 from his weapon. Frank is bidding 10 Social traits, plus 3 for having pure breed. Because weapons and pure breed do not matter for the purpose of initiative, Frank’s 10 base traits beat Jimmy’s 9 base traits, and Frank’s Mastery challenge will resolve first. On initiative 9 Jimmy will be able to attack Frank (assuming he’s resisted Frank’s Mastery), take his steps, and activate Master of Fire. Jimmy may resolve these Challenges in any order he wishes.

Initiative Exceptions

Some powers, items, or maneuvers say they can be used (or activated) “Immediately” or “At any time”. These can be used anytime you wish (even before your initiative). Others have specific qualifiers telling you when they can be used like “When performing another Challenge”. If it isn’t immediate and doesn’t specify when it happens, resolve it on your initiative.

Some Challenges always happen at the end of the turn. These Challenges are resolved after everyone’s initiative at the end of the everyman Action, before rage Actions.

A Counterattack is another exception to the Initiative rules. This doesn’t allow you to take extra Challenges out of turn but does give an option of opposing a physical attack against you by attempting a counterattack of your own (see Counterattack below).

Holding your Initiative

There will be times when your character will not want to act right away. You may choose to lower yourself in the Initiative order for the turn.

Rage Actions

At the end of the Everyman Action, after everyone has resolved all normal Challenges, you may choose to act in “Rage” Actions, by spending rage to take additional actions (if you have not spent gnosis this turn). Rage Actions follow the same rules of initiative as above, with some exceptions.

When you take a rage Action you may move up to the steps granted by your form and perform one physical Challenge (or double steps if you don’t make a challenge). You may not activate powers or items using a rage action (you may only take physical Challenges). Once Challenges are completed in the 1st rage Action, you may choose to spend another rage for an additional action (if you have the resources). Once you stop spending rage to take further actions you may not start again in further rage Actions, though you may spend rage to counterattack as normal. Remember you cannot spend more rage then ½ your base physical traits in a turn. Continue “rage” Actions until no one has a further rage action to take.

Example: Dana and Petra have 3 rage. After the Everyman Action, Dana and Petra each spend 1 rage to take an extra action. After the 1st rage Action, Dana chooses to spend a 2nd rage to take another extra action in the 2nd rage Action. Petra chooses not to. Dana then chooses to spend a 3rd rage to take ANOTHER physical Challenge in the 3rd rage Action. Petra, who chose not to spend a rage on the 2nd rage action, may not do so at this time to take an extra action. Dana is now out of rage. Petra has 2 rage left but has saved them. The ST moves on to a new turn.

Counterattack

When a character is physically attacked, instead of passively defending themselves, they may choose to attack back in a contested challenge. The challenge is run normally, and whoever wins the challenge succeeds in their attack. This may only be done if the defender has not used their contested Challenge yet, or if they have a rage to spend. If the defender had not taken their initiative yet, it is considered that their contested Challenge has now been used. Any other non-contested Challenges they wish to perform are completed on their initiative. If a character is attacked more than once, he may choose to counterattack each time, provided he can spend rage to make the attack. This is an exception to the rule that extra actions are used during “Rage Actions”. Any counterattacks taken with a rage action still follow the Rage action rule of not activating a power or item.

Note: When counterattacking, you may only attack the person who is attacking you. You cannot for example counterattack with a gun and choose the “spray” option.

Example: Mark goes on Initiative 9, while Joe goes on 3. Mark draws a sword and attempts to hit Joe. Joe has a gun in hand and chooses to counterattack by shooting back at Mark. Whoever wins the opposed challenge damages the other. Joe’s attack is handled on initiative 9 with Mark. On initiative 3, Joe may take the rest of his action, but his contested Challenge is already used.

Example 2: On the next turn during the Everyman Action, Mark and his two friends Fred and Bob all want to attack Joe. Joe only has 1 rage left. Mark attacks Joe, and Joe counterattacks (using up his everyman challenge). Fred then attacks Joe – Joe spends a rage and counterattacks Fred this time (using up his last rage). Bob then attacks Joe – Joe doesn’t have any rage left, but he can still defend himself normally by attempting to dodge or soak.

Grappling

Instead of doing damage with a physical attack, you can choose to grapple your opponent. By making a Physical Challenge, you grab hold of your victim. If successful, the victim becomes incapable of physically attacking anyone but you, and may not move away from you until the grapple is broken. Your grapple is broken if you let go, move away, take a physical Challenge targeting anyone but the character you’re grappling, or if your victim beats you in a physical Challenge.

Example: Maria tries to grab Fred. If she wins, Maria won’t inflict damage, but she will grapple Fred and prevent him from escaping. On the following Action, Fred may try to punch Maria in the nose. If he succeeds, he’ll injure her and also escape from the grapple.

Dragging Opponents

If you have more Physical Traits than the character you are grappling, you may move one step per Action and drag him with you. If you are in a war form (Crinos or Hispo) you may drag him two steps per Action. If you have both, you may drag your victim a total of three steps per Action.

Stacking Effects in Combat

When using multiple powers that increase damage or add special effects to an attack things can get confusing.

Additional Damage

Powers or effects that cause additional damage can be stacked without restriction. For example, you may combine the effects of Razor Claws and Fatal Flaw to inflict two additional points of damage.

Note that some powers have their own restrictions. For example, Silver Claws inflicts an additional point of damage but only with claws, and only against a target vulnerable to silver. It will stack with Razor claws, but only against a valid target.

Attack Modification

Some powers modify an attack without increasing its damage (or in addition to increasing its damage). For example, once you’ve activated Silver Claws your claw attacks are aggravated damage, regardless of what form you are in (as long as you have claws).

You may stack multiple effects that modify an attack but you cannot benefit from two different effects that modify an attack in the same way. For example, you can stack a power that converts your hand to hand into aggravated damage and a power that causes the next person you hit to continue to bleed, but combining two powers that convert your hand to hand into aggravated damage has no additional effect.

Special Attacks

Some powers replace the normal attack rules with special mechanics. For example, Falling Touch causes a negative effect when you touch an opponent. You may not combine a special attack with a normal attack unless the power in questions specifically says it can. For example, you may not punch someone for damage and use Falling Touch at the same time.

Multiple Tests

When an attack requires multiple challenges its type is determined by the challenge that causes an effect. Example: it may require a willpower challenge to hit a character using Icy Chill of Despair but the Challenge’s type isn’t determined by your target’s defensive power. It’s determined by what you’re trying to accomplish. Attempting to punch someone who is using Icy Chill of Despair will require a willpower challenge but the type of challenge is still a physical one, since the effect will be coming from the punch and not the willpower test.

System – Frenzy

When something causes you to make a test for Frenzy, make a static test of your willpower vs. your current or permanent rage total, whichever is greater. Since this is a static test, you must have more willpower then your rage to win on a tie. Willpower may be used as a retest. If you fail, you enter frenzy (either a Berserk or Fox frenzy, whichever fits the situation more appropriately).

When a character enters frenzy, they must immediately make 2 more simple tests. If both tests fail, they enter a special frenzy called “the Thrall of the Wyrm” (see below).

Rules of Frenzy

  • You suffer no wound penalties, and do not have to bid a mental or social trait in defense.
  • You may not relent to any social or mental challenges.
  • You regain a rage at the beginning of each turn, as long as the source of your frenzy is still present.
  • You may not activate gifts or fetishes, and may not step sideways.
  • You may spend a willpower to control yourself for 1 turn.
  • If you are not in control, you may only claw or bite (berserk frenzy) or run (fox frenzy). You may not counterattack. You must spend all available rage for extra actions.
  • At the beginning of the 2nd turn (or later) of Frenzy you may spend a willpower and forsake all actions for the turn to remove yourself from frenzy. If you take any action before the next turn, the willpower is wasted.
  • At the beginning of the 2nd turn (or later), if the reason for the frenzy is no longer present, you may test to come out of frenzy.

Berserk frenzy

You automatically shift to either Crinos or Hispo (your choice). If your permanent gnosis is greater than your permanent rage, you may choose not to attack a packmate, and if the source of your frenzy is within reach you will attack it first. If your permanent gnosis is less than your permanent rage, you will attack the nearest living thing to you, regardless of reason.

Fox frenzy

You automatically shift to Lupus and run as fast you can away from the source. If someone attempts to stop you, you will attack them only long enough to get away. Continue until you find a place to hide and the frenzy passes.

Thrall of the Wyrm

You enter a Berserk frenzy with some differences. You may no longer spend willpower to control yourself or come out of frenzy, and your packmates are not protected from you. Witnesses who observe you and possess Garou lore of 2 (or greater) will recognize that you have entered this state.

  • Homid – After you have incapacitated or killed a target, you will attempt to eat it on the next action.
  • Metis – After you have incapacitated or killed a target, you will attempt to defile it on the next action.
  • Lupus – After you have incapacitated or killed a target, you will attempt to rip it to pieces on the next action.

Loss of Renown due to Frenzy

If there are witnesses to a Frenzy, it is likely to be a loss or renown. Here is a sample of recommended renown loss.

  • Berserk Frenzy – Loss of 1-3 wisdom, depending on if someone was hurt.
  • Fox Frenzy – Loss of 1 glory and 1-3 wisdom depending on if they abandoned their pack in time of need.
  • Thrall of the Wyrm – Loss of 4 wisdom. An additional loss of 6 honor if they are not stopped from violating a victim.

Silver

Garou have an allergy to Silver. Any unprotected contact with silver for a turn will cause an aggravated damage. Likewise any damage from a silver weapon is aggravated to a Garou. In addition, without the protection of certain gifts, Silver damage cannot be soaked (cannot be resisted with a stamina trait).

Healing

Non-Metis heal 1 bashing or lethal at the beginning of each turn, when outside their breed form. Metis heal in every form. It takes 1 day to heal an aggravated damage, regardless of form.

Once per scene a Garou who has been reduced to Incapacitated or Mortally Wounded may attempt to stay active. Make a static test of your rage (current or permanent, whichever is greater) vs. a varying amount based on the phase of the moon. Subtract 1 from the difficulty if the character is in Crinos or if the moon matches the characters auspice (not both). Primal-urge may be used as a retest.

  • New Moon – 8 traits
  • Crescent Moon – 7 traits
  • Half Moon – 6 traits
  • Gibbous Moon – 5 traits
  • Full Moon – 4 traits

If successful, the character may choose to “Rage Heal” or “Death Rage”.

Rage Heal

All health levels below the 1st wounded level are healed. The character immediately enters a berserk frenzy and gains a battle scar that may not be healed (ST choice).

Death Rage

All current health levels on the character are healed. The character immediately enters a berserk frenzy. If the character has not already died by the end of the frenzy (or the scene, whichever comes first), all previous wounds reappear as the character dies. Any further healing (magical or otherwise) or other attempt to save the characters life fail.

Gurahl use the Rage Healing rules for all shifters as noted in Garou (not the Remaining Active rule in Changing Breeds 2, page 53).

Battle Scars

Any aggravated injury, if not healed in time (within an hour) can leave a battle scar. At the end of that time, check your health levels. If your last bruised level is an aggravated wound, then you will receive a superficial scar. If your last wounded level is an aggravated wound, then you will receive a deep scar instead. When you cheat death, there is always a price. If you successfully rage healed, the Storyteller will select one of the battle scars on the chart (page 191-192) to inflict upon the character, as appropriate to the attack that caused the scar, and it may not be healed (even by Mother’s touch).

Rage

Rage is gained in multiple ways. Here are a few examples, but the ST may grant rage at their discretion.

  • First damage in a combat
  • Losing in a particular stressful, humiliating, or spectacular fashion
  • Looking at the moon for the first time
  • While in Frenzy

Losing the Wolf

At the beginning of the turn (after any rage is gained), if you have no remaining current rage, you have “lost the wolf”. You immediately shift to your breed form, and may not shift forms until you regain at least 1 temporary rage. This does not apply to those in a form using a power (such as Thousand Forms or Gift of the Spriggan).

Special Abilities and Maneuvers

Special abilities such as Kailindo, Klaviscar, and Iskakku are rare and unique. Each has their own set of rules, requirements and approvals. No character may ever have more than one “Fighting Style”.

Kailindo

This is a form of Garou martial arts practiced by the Stargazer tribe. Because of the level of mastery this art requires it is seldom taught outside of the tribe.

Special: To use any Maneuvers requires the Kailindo Ability and Stargazer Lore x3. Learning times for this ability are at VST discretion, though it is suggested at least one month between ability purchases. No teacher may teach more levels of Kailindo then they possess. Each Maneuver costs 1xp to master. No more than 2 maneuvers may be purchased a month. This represents the great deal of time and discipline it takes to master.

Approval Level: High Approval with a PC teacher, Top Approval for an NPC teacher.

Kailindo masters are masters not only of the physical aspects of martial arts but are adept at using the fluidity of their shapeshifting to increase their abilities. Whenever a Maneuver is used that requires a change of form, the difficulty of the test to change form is reduced by 1 for each rank in Kailindo to a minimum test vs. 3 traits. This shift is part of the maneuver, and does not take an additional Challenge. In addition, while performing a Kailindo Maneuver that requires a shift thru multiple forms, the Kani may ignore the rules for only shifting one form per turn, though they may only do this once per turn. As normal, you may choose not to make a shifting test by spending a rage or primal urge to shift automatically (or use other powers or items that allow fast shifting).

An appropriate trait must be bid for any Maneuver that requires a challenge. All maneuvers are retested using the ability Kailindo. Opponents may retest with an appropriate defensive ability. Some Maneuvers have restrictions on how often they may be used. You may not attempt a Maneuver you do not possess. No Maneuver may be used more than once in a turn.

The default damage of Kailindo maneuvers is Lethal, though the user may choose to deal bashing. On non-grapple Maneuvers, the Kani may deal aggravated damage if the form permits. When inflicting damage with a maneuver, if in Crinos, you may deal 2 base damage with your hands and feet (regardless if you are using claws or not).

Kailindo Brawl Maneuvers


Binding Wind: By catching his opponent’s wrist at just the right moment, the Kani immobilizes his foe by forcing the opponent down and around. This initiates a grapple.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed.
Effect: Target is grappled and knocked prone, and subject to the grapple rules, however the Kani gains a +2 trait bonus to maintain the grapple. If the opponent breaks the grapple, The Kani is not negatively affected when the grapple breaks. Neither the Kani nor their opponent may use Rage for additional actions while this grapple is in effect.

Example: Fred may choose to punch Maria in the nose to break the grapple. If Fred succeeds, the grapple breaks, but Maria takes no damage from the punch, and does not lose a trait.


Deceptive Wind: By leaping towards her opponent the Kani first feints a kick to the front, but instead passes her opponent and strikes from the side or the back while passing.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed.
Effect: The opponent is considered surprised, allowing the Kani to get a surprise retest. You may use this on the target once per scene, though it may be used on multiple targets in the same scene.


Falling Tempest: The Kani attempts to catch the opponent’s throat with her limbs while launching herself directly towards the target, driving him to the ground and choking.

Damage: 1 stamina trait per turn.
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed.
Effect: Target is grappled, and subject to the grapple rules, however the Kani gains a +2 trait bonus to maintain the grapple, and if the opponent breaks the grapple, The Kani is not negatively affected when the grapple breaks. In addition, both subjects are considered prone. Neither the Kani nor their opponent may use Rage for additional actions while this grapple is in effect. At the beginning of the turn, if the opponent is still grappled, they lose 1 stamina related physical trait. When the last stamina trait is lost, if the hold is maintained, the damage becomes a lethal per turn. Otherwise, they are rendered unconscious and revert to breed form. The character will remain unconscious for the rest of the scene or an hour, unless attacked or deliberately woken up.


Fading Breeze: The Kani changes from a smaller to a larger form as she slowly retreats while hurling a punch kick or slash towards the opponent.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Yes, Final form must be Hispo or Crinos.
Effect: Gain a 2 trait bonus on the attack. You may use this on the target once per scene, though it may be used on multiple targets in the same scene.


Forceful Wind: The Kani makes a running leap towards the target, and attempts to knock him to the ground or backwards with a kick to the head or torso.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed, but must take at least 3 steps.
Effect: The Kani may choose to knock the opponent prone or backwards (Homid 2-steps, Glabro 4-steps, Crinos 6-steps). If an opponent is knocked back into a solid surface before completing the full amount of steps, they take half the distance remaining in damage, round up (type based on surface hit).


Growing Tempest: By grabbing and grappling her opponent while changing into a strong form, the Kani can use her increasing strength to crush him while changing.

Damage: Normal and see below
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in a smaller form and end in Glabro, Crinos, or Hispo.
Effect: This initiates a grapple. As an exception to the grapple rules, you may deal damage on the initial grapple. If the Kani chooses to take an action to maintain this grapple for damage, they deal an additional level of damage.


Hurricane: The Kani changes into Crinos as she is about to throw an opponent, adding the foothold and force of the battle-form to their attack.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical, target must already be grappled.
Shift: Must begin in a different form and end in Crinos.
Effect: Opponent is thrown 3 paces away and is knocked prone.


Little Cyclone: The Kani drops to a spinning crouch with her leg extended, attempting to sweep the legs from underneath her opponent(s).

Damage: 1 level (regardless of form)
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed.
Effect: Your opponent(s) are knocked prone. May affect up to 4 opponents with this one attack (each challenge handled separately). The Kani must decide who they are targeting at the beginning of the attack, and is at a cumulative -1 on each other attack beyond the first.


Mountaintop: The Kani roots himself to the spot by sinking his centre and sending his energy downward.

Damage: None
Test: None
Shift: May be in any form. No shift is needed.
Effect: For the rest of the turn, cannot be moved or knocked down. Even the gift: Falling touch fails against you. In addition, the Kani gains an additional 2 traits on defensive physical ties. If the Kani chooses to initiate a Challenge, any effects of this maneuver are lost, and the maneuver is ended.


Storm Dance: This maneuver is not an attack, but rather an intimidation technique used to dishearten opponents. The Kani launches into a flurry of maneuvers, coupled with postures of threatening body language.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Social, Retest with Kailindo (Intimidation for opponents)
Shift: May be in any form. No shift is needed.
Effect: Success puts the Kani 1 trait up against that opponent for the scene on any Physical or Intimidation based challenges (including staredowns). This Maneuver is not cumulative.


Tornado Kick: The Kani spins around once like a tornado with incredible speed, adding momentum to the force of his kick.

Damage: Normal +1
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed.
Effect: The damage of the attack is increased by one.


Uncoiling Snake: The Kani throws a kick or punch, but shifts to a large form at the last moment, surprising an opponent with more reach on the blow.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in a smaller form and end in Glabro or Crinos.
Effect: The opponent is considered surprised, allowing the Kani to get a surprise retest. You may use this on the target once per scene, though it may be used on multiple targets in the same scene.


Striking the Wind: The Kani takes a hit, but changes into a larger form and strikes with a counterattack.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in a different form and end in Crinos.
Effect: After the Kani is struck in close combat, whether they take damage or not, they may reflexively spend a Rage Trait in order to make a counter attack against their attacker. This attack is made immediately after, regardless of initiative, and does not take into account (or count against) how many times their opponent has been attacked this Action. The Kani’s opponent may not use the Counterattack option on this attack.


Subtle Draft: The Kani performs a charging tackle on her opponent while in lupus. As the opponent falls, the Kani changes into a larger form and gains the upper hand in the fight.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical
Shift: Must begin in Lupus and end in Hispo or Crinos.
Effect: Knocks target prone and off balance. The opponent must use six steps of movement to stand up. If the opponent does not have enough movement to stand, they may use their movement in the next action to finish standing, until they meet the six steps (and are considered prone until then).

Dodge Maneuvers


Catch the Wind: The Kani can catch or deflect missiles fired at her, from rocks to darts to arrows. Bullets and other high-speed projectiles may not be affected by this Maneuver.

Damage: None
Test: Static Physical with a 1 trait penalty.
Shift: May not be in Hispo or Lupus. No shift is needed.
Effect: Prevent Damage from any small ranged missile (non-Firearms) attack. This does not prevent any secondary effects (such as from an explosive). Must have a free hand and may only be used once per Action.


Melting Wind: By changing to a smaller form while being held or grappled, the Kani can ease her way out of her opponent’s grip.

Damage: None
Test: None and see below
Shift: Must start in a larger form, and final form must be Homid or Lupus
Effect: Must currently be grappled. Automatically breaks a normal grapple. The Kani must still challenge as normal if grappled by a Kailindo Maneuver (Falling Tempest, Growing Tempest and Binding Wind) or by the gift Clenched Jaw, but receives a +2 bonus to do so.


Moving Breeze: During a dodge, the Kani assumes a smaller form.

Damage: None
Test: None
Shift: Must start in a larger form, and shift to Homid, Glabro, or Lupus.
Effect: Grants a retest on a dodge attempt. This is considered an ability retest but does not expend any ability. Maneuver must be declared when the decision is made to dodge, and the shift occurs regardless of success or use of the retest.


Rollaway: Whenever the Kani is toppled or brought to the ground, she can switch to a 4-legged form and instantly regain their footing.

Damage: None
Test: None
Shift: Must start in a bipedal form and end in Hispo or Lupus
Effect: Instantly recover from being knocked Prone (and does not lose any movement).


Sudden Flurry: By changing to a larger form while being held, the Kani takes advantage of the situation by throwing her opponent to the ground.

Damage: None
Test: Standard
Shift: Must start in a different form, and end in Crinos or Hispo.
Effect: Must currently be grappled. If the Kani successfully breaks the grapple, in addition to the normal attack, the holder is thrown away by 3 steps. If the opponent is using the Maneuver Falling Tempest or Binding Wind, they are not damaged, but are still thrown.


Whirlwind: This defensive technique involves weaving one’s arms before oneself like swirling winds.

Damage: None
Test: Standard
Shift: Must begin in Homid-Crinos. No shift is needed.
Effect: Grants an extra retest on all attempts to physically defend themselves so long as all the Kani does is defense this turn. This retest is in addition to any other retests that may be used.

Iskakku – The way of the staff

This is a form of fighting with a quarterstaff that is practiced almost exclusively by the Child of Gaia tribe. Because of the level of mastery this art requires it is seldom taught outside of the tribe. The quarter staff (or Bo, if you prefer) is one of the simplest yet profound weapons known. It is nothing more than a pole with no sharp edges or points, yet its use relies on all the fundamental techniques for all major weapons. Additionally, although the staff incorporates these techniques, it does not inherit their deadly force. In this sense, it is the perfect weapon for the Children of Gaia as it allows for a widely varied range of fighting options but focuses on the immobilization and disabling of opponents.

Special: To use any Maneuvers requires the Iskakku Ability and Child of Gaia Lore x3. Learning times for this ability are at VST discretion, though it is suggested at least one month between ability purchases. No teacher may teach more levels of Iskakku then they possess. Each Maneuver costs 1xp to master. No more than 2 maneuvers may be purchased a month. This represents the great deal of time and discipline it takes to master.

Approval Level: High Approval with a PC teacher, Top Approval for an NPC teacher.

An appropriate trait must be bid for any Maneuver that requires a challenge. All maneuvers require the user to be wielding a staff, and are retested using the ability Iskakku. Opponents may retest with an appropriate defensive ability. Some Maneuvers have restrictions on how often they may be used. No Maneuver may be used more than once in a turn. Each maneuver has a requirement in ranks of the Iskakku ability before it may be attempted.


Iskakku One

Attack and Block This Maneuver is considered always active once purchased. You may use Iskakku as well as Melee to retest when using a staff in combat. Maneuvers must still be retested with Iskakku. In addition, you may attempt to defensively parry any brawl or melee attack.


Iskakku Two

Tammabukku Istu Kur (Dragon Emerges from Mountain) – You strike from surprise dealing a painful blow to the face.

Damage: Normal +1
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: The damage on the attack is increased by one.


Tabalu Kur (Take Away the Land) – By Sweeping your staff, you can knock your opponent to the ground.

Damage: Normal -1
Test: Opposed Physical
Effect: Opponent is knocked prone, and stunned. They lose their next action.


Iskakku Three

Mahasu Qatu (Hand Smite) – You may dislocate your attacker’s wrist rendering it useless.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: The hand may not be used until healed. Any object held by the hand is released.


Isten Kima Ummanate (One as an Army) – The staff can be wielded in such a way that both ends may be used to attack in quick succession.

Damage: Normal -1
Test: Contested Physical – must challenge and bid a trait against each target.
Effect: May attack two separate targets with your staff using 1 action. You may not combine this Maneuver with another.


Iskakku Four

Sepu Istu An (Foot from Heaven) - In order to use this Maneuver, you must be at least three steps away from your target before moving. You use your staff to vault yourself through the air, landing and delivering a powerful kick that knocks your opponent prone.

Damage: Normal +1
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: The damage on the attack is increased by one, and the opponent is knocked prone.


Sepsu Sepu (Powerful Foot) – A more advanced form of Isten Kima Ummanate, you may make three attacks. In addition, you may now use your staff or your feet with the attacks.

Damage: Normal -1
Test: Contested Physical – must challenge and bid a trait against each target.
Effect: May attack three separate targets with your staff or your feet, using 1 action. You may not combine this Maneuver with another.


Iskakku Five

Adannu Lukur Daku (Appointed Time of the Enemy’s Demise) – Your Mastery of Iskakku has taught you the true art of peacefully neutralizing your enemy. Through a well-timed blow to the head, you can render your enemies unconscious.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: When an opponent fails an attack against you due to a successful dodge or parry on your part, you may strike the opponent on the back of the head with your staff. You must choose to do this as your next contested challenge, and it must be done in the same Action. If successful, your opponent is knocked unconscious and reverts to breed form. The character will remain unconscious for the rest of the scene or an hour, unless attacked or deliberately woken up.

Klaviskar

The ancient art of dueling takes on an entirely new aspect in Garou society. Many challenges are resolved through gamesmanship, puzzles, quests or other methods. But the most serious contests and the bitterest feuds are almost always settled with Klaives. Ownership of a Klaive is a sacred responsibility and it is considered a mark of the seriousness with which you take the fight for Gaia. Failure to respect the Klaive or the spirits within it is often grounds for honor duels or removal of the Klaive by the Elders.

Challenging someone to Klaviskar is tantamount to a death threat as almost all Klaive duels end in death. It is therefore considered dishonorable (but not unheard of) to challenge someone to Klaviskar when they do not own a Klaive.

Special: To use any Maneuvers requires the Klaive Dueling Ability and Garou Lore x3. Learning times for this ability are at VST discretion, though it is suggested at least one month between ability purchases. No teacher may teach more levels of Klaive Dueling then they possess. Each Maneuver costs 1xp to master. No more than 2 maneuvers may be purchased a month. This represents the great deal of time and discipline it takes to master.

Approval Level: High Approval with a PC teacher, Top Approval with an NPC teacher.

Klaviskar was taken to new heights in the courts of the Silver fang Kings and the ritual itself has gained not only many followers but has developed into a specialized fighting style all its own.

An appropriate trait must be bid for any Maneuver that requires a challenge. All maneuvers require the user to be wielding a Klaive, and are retested using the ability Klaive Dueling. Opponents may retest with an appropriate defensive ability. Some Maneuvers have restrictions on how and when they may be used. You may not attempt a Maneuver you do not possess. No Maneuver may be used more than once in a turn.

Alternate rules for Klaive dueling – When two people are involved specifically in a Klaive Duel, the ST is encouraged to use these alternate rules for combat. For ease of use, it is recommended that each combatant have a set of cards with the various Maneuvers he has access to. Every combatant, even those without Klaive Dueling, has access to the basic Maneuvers. Each player chooses the Maneuver card that they wish to perform. Before cards are revealed, the individual with the higher initiative may choose whether he wants his actions to resolve first or to hold and react to his opponent. The chosen Maneuvers are then revealed. The challenges are resolved in order, and all other non-contested challenges that are normally allowed during an action may still occur. Either combatant may attempt to change their contested Challenge once per turn by spending a willpower and making a static mental test against their opponent.

Basic Maneuvers

  • Attack – You make a normal attack against your opponent.
  • Dodge/Soak – You choose to not take an action against your opponent, and only defend yourself.
  • Gift/item – You activate a gift/item against your opponent.
  • Run – Discretion is the better part of valor, and you move far away from your opponent.

Special Maneuvers:

'Bind:' The duelist attempts to entrap his opponent’s blade with his own.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: If successful your opponent cannot make further attacks with the entrapped weapon until you either attack with your Klaive or release the bind. You gain a +2 trait bonus to maintain the bind and are not negatively affected if the grapple breaks. You may attempt a Disarm or Prise D’Argent Maneuver while the Bind is in effect.


Blind: Garou bleed profusely from any wound inflicted by a Klaive. Some sneaky duelists attempt to take advantage of this to blind their opponents. A single swipe to the forehead can send blood pouring into the opponent’s eyes for the rest of the fight.

Damage: Normal -1
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: All physical challenges made by your opponent are at -1 trait until the damage is healed. This Maneuver is not cumulative.


Disarm: The duelist attempts to twist his opponent’s weapon out of their hands.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: Opponent loses their weapon and it lands 3 steps away. The Bind Maneuver must be successfully performed before this maneuver.


Feint: The duelist pretends to be attacking in one direction, and then dodges any attempt to block, aiming to hit elsewhere on his opponent’s body.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Mental
Effect: Grants a surprise retest on your next physical attack against your opponent.


Fleche: The maneuver sees the duelist lose all subtlety in an all-out attack on his opponent, launching himself like an arrow, blade first. After the strike, the duelist comes to a halt some distance behind his opponent, and is vulnerable for a deadly few seconds while he is regaining his balance.

Damage: +2 levels
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: Take your normal movement, and you must end within 2 steps behind your opponent. You must take an Action to refocus before you can attack again.


Probe: A probe is a quick jab to test the opponent’s defenses and speed of reaction.

Damage: Normal -2 levels
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: Opponent must bid his maximum traits on any ties.


Parry: The parry is a simple move to block the opponent’s blade with the duelist’s own.

Damage: None
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: Allows the character to parry his opponents attack. If successful, they may make a free immediate Riposte Maneuver (if possessed). In addition, the character is up 2 traits on initiative until the end of the next turn.


Riposte: The duelist makes a swift attack at his exposed opponent.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: This attack is resolved immediately regardless of what current Action it occurs. This maneuver may only be used directly after a Parry Maneuver. This Maneuver may be resisted with the Parry Maneuver.


Prise d’ Argent: Literally “pressing of the silver,” this maneuver, much favored by Silver Fang duelists, uses the opponent’s blade as a guide for an attack. The duelist slides his Klaive along his opponent’s blade and drives it into her body. This Maneuver can only be done on the next action, after a successful Riposte or Bind Maneuver has been performed.

Damage: Normal
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: The duelist receives +2 traits on the attempt.


Silver Shield: The duelist uses his speed and the bulk of the Klaive to create a “shield of silver” in front of him as he swings the blade in a defensive pattern.

Damage: None
Test: None
Effect: Until another Challenge is taken grants the user +2 traits to physical defense.


Swinging Slash: The duelist commits his whole effort into a single, massive swipe at his opponent, exposing himself, but hoping to do enough damage to make that irrelevant.

Damage: Normal +2
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: All other Challenges the user makes this turn are at -2 traits.


Stop Hit: A duelist who has the initiative advantage can choose to defer their attack until after their opponent acts. If the opponent attempts to attack, the duelist steps inside his guard and deliver a fast, accurate, and deadly blow that stops him in his tracks, using their own forward momentum to make the blow more deadly. This risky gambit opens the user to his opponents attack if they don’t succeed in stopping them.

Damage: Normal +1
Test: Contested Physical
Effect: In order to use this Maneuver, you must be higher in the Initiative then your opponent and chosen to hold your initiative. Should your opponent declare an attack against you this Action you may interrupt his attack by making one of your own (this attack is resolved first). Your opponent cannot attempt to dodge, parry, or counterattack (if they have no other way to resist the attack, they relent.) Whether the attack succeeds or fails, if your opponent is not disabled afterwards, you must relent to his attack.


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