Saturday, 30 August 2014

#rpgaday Day 31 - Favourite Game of All time – Werewolf the Apocalypse

 

In the early to mid nineties, I ran a campaign in the world of Darkness, starting out with Vampire Dark ages and then moving on from there.  We started out with five players, at one point going up to eight players and ending up (six years later) with four players for the finale, the other players having either moved away or given up playing in general (I like to think not as a result of my GMing) when the world was finally brought to an end and I moved back to the grim north.


We started on Vampire, and through the time, we had a few people who wanted a mage, so we got the books for that, then somewhere in the middle of the game, we found out that there was another game called Werewolf...

At the time the book was on this edition with the claw strikes down the front of the book...


I was sold...

Werewolf was a revelation for me, I’ve always been attracted to the furry psychotics in one way or another, the idea that every person has an animal somewhere inside them has always resonated fairly well for me. 


Ask anyone who’s met me face to face, they’ll tell you all about it...

The thing here is that when you looked at other peoples takes on werewolves, they tended to be of the D&D “Kill them all” perspective, whereas here was a game that not only accepted werewolves, it encouraged people to get in touch with their inner Furry...

Not that kind of Furry, just so we’re clear in what I’m saying here...


So, looking through everything, I found that there were a number of breeds, tribes, and various different auspices that the characters could be born under, and all of it wound together into a compelling tale of a people on the brink of destruction who were doing all they could to find a way to fight back against the minions of the Wyrm, and for those that aren’t familiar, that’d be the bad guy personified...
  

So here’s me, Homid (Born Human), Fianna (Celtic types), and born under the auspice of the Galliard (that’d be the fighter who can also talk their way out of things), whereas my friend Jay was straight down the line with Lupus (Born furry), Get of Fenris (Norse Berserker), Ahroun (Warrior).  There was a combination for everyone, with the only common ground between everyone the fact that they were a member of the tribes.  There were already a number of sourcebooks out there and the World of Darkness movement was only starting to build.  Over the next few years we got most of the books, and so we were there when Hunter got introduced (quickly renamed Human: the Screaming), we raged through all the different countries, we walked the spiral, we walked (not danced) back up the other side, and we were there when the dark times fell, and it was all changed to be something that wasn’t the world that we’d been fighting for.


When the new edition came, and Werewolf went from the Apocalypse to the Forsaken, we felt as if we’d been forsaken as well.  That I’m given to understand, a whole bunch of research was done (that’d be books being sold rather than opinions on the net), and the mages were the ones outselling everything at the time, which is why Vampires, Werewolves, and Humans ended up at the bottom of the ladder and the mages went climbing up to their awakening.  This was not the world that we’d fought and died in, this was not what we had worked for, and so the adventure ended for us there.


We could always go back and play through the glory days, the times when we might indeed have made a difference, but the dice of history had been rolled, and whatever else we did in our chronicle, there was no way that we could change history, and so we played the last book, Apocalypse, and went down fighting, because to do anything else would have been showing dishonour to the characters that we’d played so fiercely.

I know that Werewolf: The Apocalypse is now being looked at for a regeneration of sorts, and in truth, a large part of me wanted to back it, but the problem for me was that the fight had been fought...

And we lost...


But this was a game that resonated for me at a time when I was all but a feral lunatic myself, and for that reason if nothing else, it remains my favourite game of all time.

And I'm a day early with this, I'm a day early because I found out earlier that it's Mark Rein-Hagens birthday today, so Happy Birthday Mark, and thank you

For everything...

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