War Gifts

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War Gifts
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War Against the Pure.jpg
War Against the Pure p. 46
Auspice, Lodges & Tribes
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These Gifts focus on the most important commodity in war: information. Skill in battle and powerful weapons are valuable, but knowledge is king. Because so many spirits operate on a personal, local level, it can be exceedingly difficult to find those that teach War Gifts. Moreover, because large-scale, organized war is so faint in werewolves’ memories, few know these Gifts exist or think to seek them out.

Most commonly, a werewolf can learn these Gifts from the military-spirits that hover about military bases. Regimented creatures, usually insects such as army ants or wasp colonies, also have a nature that would allow their spirits to teach a War Gift or two. Some famous battle-sites, such as Gettysburg, Waterloo or Normandy Beach have powerful spirits that linger still and might share their secrets. Finally, hot combat zones spawn hundreds of the active (but short-lived) war- and battle-spirits that know these Gifts, if a werewolf can only get close before they dissipate.


Gift List

Find Conflict (•)

In the middle of a massive battle, a general can easily lose track of his troops. With this Gift, a war leader can instantly locate the hottest fighting and focus his efforts there, or he can detect incoming enemy action before the scouts reach him.

Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The power fails, and the werewolf cannot activate any War Gifts for one hour.
  • Failure: The werewolf does not learn the location of any battles.
  • Success: The werewolf becomes aware of the fiercest and most escalated conflict within one mile, plus one mile per success. In calm areas, this Gift can pick up something as innocent as a heated argument. When there are multiple conflicts underway within the Gift’s range, the werewolf always pinpoints the more dangerous. A conflict with weapons bared always trumps one that is not, and open violence always has precedence over a situation without exchanged blows. If two battles are at about the same level of escalation, the one with more participants wins.
  • Exceptional Success: In addition to learning the location of the most violent conflict, the werewolf gains a rough estimate of how many are fighting on each side.

Notice Defeat (••)

When several groups of Forsaken soldiers are fighting the enemy, knowing when one requires reinforcements or other assistance is important. Using this Gift allows a war leader to know when any werewolf or pack under her command is losing a battle.

Once she has learned this Gift, a character never activates it consciously. Instead, any time a soldier or company (usually a werewolf or pack) under the werewolf’s effective command is in battle against the joint enemy and in need of support, something tickles at the back of her mind. By reflexively spending a Willpower point, the werewolf turns that irritation into solid information on which she can act. Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The werewolf misinterprets the information, making it dangerously nonsensical and contradictory. She becomes temporarily dizzy, losing one die from all physical actions. She also becomes unable to use any War Gifts for one hour.
  • Failure: Despite the werewolf’s attention, the vague unease fades without revealing anything.
  • Success: The werewolf learns which of her units is in trouble, based on its most common appellation (the name of the werewolf or pack, the title of her special task force, etc.). More successes reveal more information: three successes means the leader learns approximately where the subjects are (within about one square mile). With five successes, the werewolf also knows what sort of the support the troubled unit most desires (which is not always the best support to give).
  • Exceptional Success: Increased knowledge (as described above) becomes known to the werewolf.
Suggested Modifiers
Modifier Situation
–1 More than 1 mile away
–2 More than 10 miles away
–3 More than 100 miles away

Whispers on the Wind (•••)

Possessing good intelligence is not the same as being able to use it. Before knowledge can become action, a general must command his troops. Using this Gift allows a werewolf to direct the action from afar, remaining central to an engagement while ensuring that his subordinates hear his instructions.

Activating this Gift lets the werewolf speak directly into the wind, which carries his words as much as three miles to people he commands. He can convey as much as three short or two longer sentences before the effect ends, and the werewolf can target an individual, select group or indiscriminately let the words reach all who serve under him. Targets of the Gift hear the statements about one minute later. They all recognize the source of the commands as their superior, but they are in no way compelled to obey any instructions given.

Echoes of Opposing Brilliance (••••)

Every military commander in history has wanted to know what her enemy counterparts are doing. This Gift steals the words of opposing commanders and carries them to the werewolf. Being able to hear their orders gives the war leader a definite edge.

Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: Unable to discern useful from dross, the wind-spirits whisper hundreds of babbled words in the werewolf’s ear. She suffers a –2 dice penalty to all Perception rolls relating to hearing and a –1 die penalty to anything that requires concentration for the scene.
  • Failure: The werewolf fails to eavesdrop on her enemies.
  • Success: The werewolf hears words spoken by her enemy commanders, carried to her by fleet spirits. She does not hear everything they say, but she usually gets enough to construct an overall picture of the tactics they employ. In most cases, the Storyteller should give the werewolf an idea of what her opponents plan and allow her to counter their strategies. When a battle is being played out more abstractly with dice rolls, the werewolf gains a +2 bonus on all tactical rolls.
  • Exceptional Success: Wind-spirits are particularly thorough. Nearly every word the opposing commanders utter, the werewolf hears. With this much information, she should be able to construct a nearly unbeatable counter-tactic. In dice terms, she gets a +3 dice bonus to relevant rolls.

Shared Battle Mind (•••••)

Many wars suffer because the general is too far removed from his rank-and-file soldiers. They cannot see the plans he has made because they’re too close to the action. This Gift gives a small portion of the war leader’s awareness to all his werewolf allies, keeping a battle moving in the right direction.

Roll Results

  • Dramatic Failure: The werewolf’s attempt to infuse his allies with a portion of his strategy ends catastrophically. Instead of receiving a subconscious understanding of the battle, they develop false ideas about what they should do. For 10 minutes until the confusion clears, all werewolves targeted with the Gift suffer a –1 die penalty to all actions as they charge enemies who are somewhere else and expect reinforcements that are miles away.
  • Failure: No successes accumulate.
  • Success: Successes accumulate. When the werewolf achieves a number of successes equal to the number of targeted werewolves plus five, he manages to imbue those allies with a small piece of his knowledge. It manifests as a subtle instinct to head in a certain direction, stand fast, recover the wounded or other broad and immediate tactics. These instincts depend on the Gift-user’s tactics, so a war leader with out-of-date information can still lead his soldiers astray. Shared Battle Mind conveys no clear information. This Gift does not replace Whispers on the Wind or having runners in battle to carry orders and information back and forth. There is only an itch in the back of the head, a gut feeling that this is the right thing to do at the moment, and nothing compels a werewolf to obey. It is often hard for werewolves to obey, since it is a quieter instinct than chase and kill! and less stirring; war leaders must keep their urges under control to wisely manage a battle. Battles commanded with the help of this Gift typically run much more smoothly, as the war leader’s followers know better what he needs them to do and do it. The Storyteller should help make this happen when a players’ character is running the war. Mechanically, werewolves affected by the Gift may make Composure + Empathy to sense what the Gift-user desires. Penalties on the roll come from distraction or competing instincts. Success indicates that the werewolf gets a general idea (“stay where you are,” “rout them!” “help another pack”); exceptional success provides somewhat more detailed information (“stay in place to protect supplies,” “finish off that Hallowed Jungle pack,” “be reinforcements to your west”).
  • Exceptional Success: More successes accumulate. If the werewolf ends the Gift exceeding the necessary number of successes by five or more, the subconscious directions become stronger. Werewolves roll Composure + Empathy + Primal Urge to feel out their Gift-given instincts.
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