Eclipse d20 – The Loup-Garou

   “Werewolves” are always popular. When you come right down to it, people like wolves and dogs, they like the notion of personal power, and they rather like the idea of being free of almost all social restrictions. Of course, real wolves are nothing like that – but what are role-playing games about if not a bit of fantasy? Ergo, by special request, here we have another Eclipse d20 interpretation of the idea. This version is designed for the Federation-Apocalypse game, but doesn’t use any special rules from it. It is pretty heavily optimized however, as well as using the cheesy shapeshifting approach to getting large physical attribute bonuses, so it should only be used in other games with great caution.

   The Loup-Garou are wolf-spirits – but not wolf-spirits like the spirits of real wolves. They are wolf-spirits as men fearfully imagined wolf-spirits to be. They are wolves given human attributes, predatory guardians of the wilderness, cunning and deadly. They are able to communicate with both spirits and beasts, and can pass among both wolves and men, concealed by a superficial veil of flesh and illusion. They are wild and terrible – and bear little resemblance to real wolves, which aren’t basically very different from dogs.

   Normally the Loup-Garou and related spirit beasts inhabit their own realms, deep in the realms of myths and archetypes – but in a few shadowy places such spiritual realms overlap the more solid realms of men, and those of other myths and tales – and there there is conflict. The Loup-Garou do not easily give way to those who despoil or intrude upon the places they consider theirs.

   Loup-Garou Racial Modifiers (+1 ECL):

  • Bestial Form (9 CP)/Shapeshift, with Attribute Modifiers, Hybrid Form with Clear Speech, and Dire Form, Specialized and Corrupted/wolf-forms only, cannot actually change forms; is locked into hybrid form.
    • Shape of Death and Incorporeal Forms (6 CP), Specialized/only to add frightening deathly features to forms (this does not count as a use, given that it really has no game effect; Loup-Garou are already terrifying) and to assume spirit-form.
      • Some worlds allow Loup-Garou in spirit form to possess normal humans, and manifest through them under some conditions – but the mental conflict inherent is such a situation normally leads to the Loup-Garou becoming even more savage and bestial than it already is.
    • +4 Bonus Uses of Shapeshifting (3 CP), Specialized, only to allow assuming incorporeal form.
    • Net Modifiers: Str +6, Dex +6, Con +4, Low-Light Vision, Scent, +20 Ground Movement, +3 natural armor, 1d8 natural weapons, +4 bonus when tracking by scent, monstrous appearance.
  • Inherent Toughness (32 CP): +6d4 Hit Dice (needed to qualify for Dire Wolf form at level zero), Corrupted/damage from silver weapons bypasses all hit points derived from these dice.
  • Adaptive Shift (15 CP total): Thanks to instinctive low-level shapeshifting, Loup-Garou can use their strength to help absorb damage, as well as to enhance their flexibility, agility, and precision.
    • Augmented Bonus/Adds Str Mod to Con Mod for HP, Specialized/only for base racial and level one through level three hit dice (9 CP).
    • Augmented Bonus/Adds Str Mod to Dex-Based Skills, Specialized/only while in Hybrid and Dire Wolf forms, makes the use of heavy armor impractical (3 CP)
    • Augmented Bonus, Adds Dex Mod to Str-Based Skills, Specialized/only while in Hybrid and Dire Wolf forms, makes the use of heavy armor impractical (3 CP).
  • Regeneration (8 CP): Grant of Aid with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for Double Effect (2d8+10)/restores hit point damage only, Corrupted/will not work against damage caused acid, fire, amputation, or other tissue-destroying (rather than mangling) effects.
  • Nature’s Wrath (6 CP): Imbuement/Enhanced Natural Weapons. Loup-Garou claws and fangs start off as the equivalent of magical weapons, and will later improve even more.
  • Inner Rage/Berserker (4 CP). Loup-Garou normally use the standard berserker package. It is, however, Corrupted/if taunted, provoked, or seriously injured, a DC 15 Will check is required to avoid flying into a rage and attacking the cause. This does not, however, count as a use of the Berserker ability.
  • Thick Fur/Immunity/natural weather conditions (Common, Minor, Trivial, 3 CP). Loup-Garou are resistant to normal extremes of temperature and weather, and can survive them unprotected with ease.
  • Skill Bonus (18 CP): Loup-Garou have a +3 racial bonus to Survival, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot. In conjunction with the Wiles of the Beast effect (below) this provides a +6 bonus on each of those skills.
  • Languages (3 CP): The Loup-Garou instinctively speak the tongues of the fey, of nature spirits, and of canines (even if that is an extremely limited “language”).
  • Innate Enchantment (16 CP total):
    • Veil of Flesh: An effect resembling a lesser version of Alter Self which only works on hybrid forms: the user may opt to look fully human – losing their natural weapons and armor, but gaining a +2 bonus on charisma-related skill checks – or to look like a full animal, losing their manipulative hands and ability to use most equipment while gaining a +2 bonus on perception-related checks and +10′ ground movement (Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for use-activated unlimited use x .7 for personal-only = 1400 GP).
    • Void Sheathe: Clothing and equipment not suited to the user’s current form is automatically shunted into an extradimensional pocket (Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for use-activated unlimited use x .7 for personal-only = 1400 GP).
    • Speak with Animals (Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for use-activated unlimited use = 2000 GP).
    • Gift of the Wolf: +2 Wisdom (Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for use-activated unlimited use x .7 for personal-only = 1400 GP).
    • Wrath: +2 Str, +2 Con, +1 Will, -2 AC when in use. (Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for use-activated unlimited use x .7 for personal-only = 1400 GP).
    • Wiles of the Beast: Provides a +3 Competence Bonus to Survival, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot (Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for use-activated unlimited use x .7 for personal-only = 1400 GP).
      • Immunity/Stacking limits when combining innate enchantment effects with external effects (Common, Minor, Trivial – only covers L1 effects, 2 CP).
      • Privilege/Gift of the Wolf and Wiles of the Beast are considered Extraordinary Powers rather than Enchantments (3 CP)
      • Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover initial racial abilities, 1 CP).
    • Privilege (3 CP): The Loup-Garou have access to a selection of twelve-point package deals of their own, passed on through their bloodlines and from various totems.

   All that adds up to 126 CP – quite a bit. Of course, for good or ill, the Loup-Garou package comes with some serious problems:

  • They have bestial minds, and are incapable of purchasing magic levels in any spell progression or of using rune magic, thaumaturgy, dweomer, or theurgy, and can only take mystic artist, channeling, or path of the dragon abilities with special permission from the game master. If they want magic, they usually have to rely on favors, witchcraft, rituals, and innate abilities.
  • As nature spirits, they are considered fey creatures, and are affected by effects which target the fey or nature spirits, as well as by those which target shapeshifters.
  • They have powerful canine instincts, which they must sometimes make (DC GMO) Will checks to avoid giving in to.
  • As guardians of nature, they are primary targets for the undead, aberrant horrors, pseudonatural opponents, and similar creatures – and usually return the favor by hating such things quite unreasonably.
  • They have a predatory aura, which tends to frighten normal creatures (-3 to all social checks) even when they’re disguised as humans or normal animals. In their true form they tend to provoke terror in normal folks, defiance and attacks from adventurers, and panic animals.
  • They must regularly consume large amounts of raw meat and (preferably) the vital energies of live prey.
  • They regard themselves as guardians of the natural world, and can’t get points for taking duties or other disadvantages that overlap with those responsibilities.

   Overall, that’s enough to make the entire package Specialized – reducing the cost to +1 ECL instead of the +3 ECL that would normally amount to. Of course, that also lets them in for enormous amounts of trouble, which is why they get a price break in the first place.

3 Responses

  1. I’m a bit confused by the Loup-Garou’s use of Privilege regarding its Innate Enchantments; that seems like it goes beyond the definition of what the Privilege ability can do in Eclipse – is making two of its Innate Enchantments be extraordinary a “special legal or social advantage”?

    If that is an allowable use of the ability, for only 3 CP, then I have to ask if the cost of it scales somehow in regards to how many/what level the Innate Enchantments are, because as it is this is far less expensive than buying Immunity/Dispelling and Antimagic, and is more advantageous (e.g. not registering to detect magic).

    • That really should have had an explanatory note shouldn’t it?

      In this case the player wanted some of his innate enchantments to represent the subtle aid of helpful nature spirits. Ergo, a social privilege – even if a weird one. Of course, in the Manifold setting, restricting those boosts to universes where helpful nature spirits actually existed really did effectively limit the power to a particular area, which also fit.

      For a comparison I used the cost of turning a Talent (from The Practical Enchanter) into a supernatural (or possibly even extraordinary) ability – basically doubling the cost. Thus, for a total of 2800 GP worth of Innate Enchantments, +3 CP. Ergo, up to 3000 GP worth is 3 CP, up to 6000 GP worth is 6 CP – and there the sequence stops, thus keeping this maneuver under control.

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