Actual Play – Werewolf: The Apocalypse (11/16/2008)

System: Werewolf: The Apocalypse

We had most of the group, minus Worm at the game last night. The game started with plenty of leads, but a new one showed up that was more pressing so we followed than, and of course, mayhem ensued. Yay, the game I can commit random violent and antisocial acts and be rewarded for it. I love Werewolf.

Dick, still thinking of a concept, I recommended Douche bag, or maybe Rich douche bag, but he’s thinking on it.
who mercilessly tortured my character by her proximity to her old fling. Francois, jealous… never.
JaverThe inspector who had to go outside the law to see justice done.
Races with the Wind The Monster Hunter who finally saw eye to eye with Francois as they beat the crap out of some Black Spiral Dancer, Office Space style.
Bobbi the stoner werewolf, who nearly had a grenade dropped in his lap.
And of course Francois, the piece of shit.

What rocked:

The storyteller gave my character his first piece of “borg-ware”, borg like fashion that Francois is calling Deus ex Machina. A black leather long sleeve shirt with enough metal apparatus to make a dentist cringe. This served as armor and may eventually be a weapon as well. I don’t care much about the mechanical advantage though, I’m just always happy when Storytellers say yes to player created story elements.

The character interaction was great, as usual. Francois was very jealous of Javer for driving with Yvette, meanwhile all the other werewolves kept reminding him of the litany (werewolves are supposed to get humpty dumpty with each other). It was good stuff. Javer portrayed the burnt out jaded inspector very well. Races with Wind got to pull off the righteous monster killer, which is something I know the player loves.

Combat was gory, descriptive and visceral. My character effectively curb stomped some Famori (wyrm-tainted human) on a billiards table and teeth went flying as his scull caved in. In other parts of the chaos, some poor driver was disemboweled by wolf jaws, good stuff all around. From that my character may have his Werewolf name “Stomps the Curb” or just “Curb Stomper”.

What could have been improved:

I’ve noticed a in a lot of games that sometimes one character get stuck with a negative trait and it becomes the defining feature that everyone else focuses on, almost to the exclusion of all the character’s other aspects. I’ve started to notice this a little with Francois, because he’s a Bone Gnawer (and because he’s French) he rarely bathes, only owns one set of clothes and often eats out of a dumpster. Yeah, he stinks, yeah he’s gross, but that is not all he is. Sometimes I feel like he just becomes “the stinky guy” and that is really a disservice to the character (and the group for that matter). However, Francois isn’t the one I was worried about last night, it was Bobbi. We all (me included) harped throughout the night on his activities in the last session (he spend the whole time humping a shoe). The thing is, the player wasn’t even present in the previous session; that was just something the storyteller narrated to keep the character busy. If it isn’t bad enough to come back to the game to find out your character has been humping a shoe for an entire session, its even worse that the other players pigeon hole your character as the shoe-humper. I’m going to actively work against that kind of one-dimensional characterization in future games. I think it leads to players feeling trapped with a character concept they didn’t want, especially if it is because of actions the storyteller portrayed their character as doing.

Combat, though colorful was still slow. It didn’t bother me much because I was reading the Burning Wheel core book (I know, bad player) but there were some pretty long gaps between turns. 6 players + a bunch of goons + a big bad = long fight. I wish combat was a fun as social interactions. It’s key to the game, and it’s what werewolves are about, but frankly, I’d be so much happier with a system like Wushu or even PTA. The only part of combat that matters to me is the description: gritty, fantastic, wire-fu, whatever, that is the meat of it. For this game, however, it is what it is.


  1. Yeah, hopefully the shoe humping thing will die down. Definitely not my intention when I narrated it

    • Agreed, and I know you didn’t intend for it to become a defining characteristic. As long as were aware of it, I think we can curb that (and other caricatures) before they build up too much momentum.

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