Author Topic: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy  (Read 1092 times)

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Offline Marc (Admin)

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Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« on: July 31, 2013, 05:46:14 pm »
It seems as though the following items are top-docket to be resolved.  There is contradictory material all over the place, even within the covers of Laws of the Wild.

  • Gaining/Regaining Rage
  • Raging Back
  • Frenzy

I think these are related enough that they can all be talked about in one thread.  Giving it a shot, anyway...  Now, on to the published material (I highlighted some key areas, but I'm sure not ALL the important bits):

LotW pg 108-109, "Rage"
   All Garou have Rage, an inner beast that is slave to everything from the moon phases to annoying individuals. It encompasses the inherent feral cunning and ferocity that compels werewolves, as well as savage bloodlust and mindless carnage. Rage is both a blessing and a curse, as it aides Garou in shifting to their warrior forms and bestows other supernatural gifts while retaining its banelike existence that throws them into fits of wild and oftentimes uncontrollable emotion.
    Rage Traits do not have adjectives. Rather each Trait simply represents the amount of rage within a werewolf. You have both permanent Rage - the total number of Rage you possess - and temporary Rage Traits, which you gain and lose throughout a story.
    Rage Traits can be represented with cards. When a character gains Rage Traits by moon phase or other acceptable means, ask a Narrator or Storyteller for a card. Likewise when Rage Traits are spent, give the card to a Narrator or Storyteller.
    Your beginning Rage Trait total is determined by your auspice. The only way to increase this total is by purchasing them with Free Traits or gaining them temporarily when you are in an especially infuriating situation.
Rage replenishes when the moon phase is in your auspice, which not only refills completely but also often has adverse effects (see below). Rage Traits must be spent at the beginning of a turn in the declaration stage.
    You can expend Rage Traits for a variety of functions:
        You can spend Rage to gain extra actions in a turn; however, you cannot spend more Rage Traits in a turn than half of your Physical Traits.
        Spend one Rage Trait to change instantly to any form you desire, without the standard test to shift forms.
        When you fall below the Incapacitated health level, you may opt to spend a Rage Trait and make a Rage Challenge with the Storyteller. If you succeed, you regain health levels up to Wounded. This effect may only be attempted once in a scene.
    Returning from near death doesn’t come cheap, though. Every time you attempt to cheat death in this manner, you suffer a battle scar (see page 191).


LotW pg 109, "Regaining Rage"
   As noted earlier, there are many ways in which you can gain Rage. The means often illustrate how Rage is both curse and blessing.
    The first time you see the moon at night, the Beast inside stirs and Rage floods back into you. Under a new moon, you get back one Trait; under a crescent moon, two Traits; under a half moon, three Traits; and under a full moon you gain four Traits. But if the moon phase corresponds with your auspice, you regain all of your Rage Traits. This phenomenon occurs only with the first sighting of the moon each night.
    When you lose a test in a particularly stressful situation, such as during life-or-death situations, the Storyteller may allow you to gain a Rage Trait to reflect your building frustration and near-frenzied state.
    The Storyteller may award you a Rage Trait when you fall into a humiliating situation, such as an inferior opponent knocking you down.
    Should you spend your last Rage Trait, you automatically revert back to your breed form as your inner beast has temporarily lost its fire and ability to take your warrior form. This is known as “losing the wolf,” and you may not change forms until you regain at least one Trait of Rage.


LotW pg 110, "Willpower"
    You can spend a Willpower Trait to try to control yourself briefly while in frenzy. You are able to act normally for one turn when you spend a Willpower in this fashion, though you otherwise keep all the other stipulations of frenzy - ignoring wound penalties and so on. You do not actually regain control so much as you fight mightily to direct yourself for a few moments in the face of overwhelming rage or terror; roleplay your actions appropriately.

LotW pg 185, "States of Mind and Soul - Frenzy"
    Sometimes Garou live up perfectly to the folklore image of werewolves as snarling uncontrollable beasts. Every Garou carries Rage in his heart, and sometimes it erupts to overwhelm the Garou’s judgment and perceptions. Anytime a character makes a Rage challenge, follow it with a Frenzy Challenge, a Static Willpower Challenge against the character’s permanent Rage total. If Willpower wins, the character retains control; otherwise the character enters frenzy and can only abort the frenzy by spending a Willpower Trait and forfeiting any remaining actions for the rest of the turn.  Garou with fewer than four permanent Rage Traits frenzy only in really extreme circumstances. When current Rage exceeds permanent Rage, use the current total
instead. There are two types of frenzy. The character enters whichever best suits the situation at hand.

    Berserk frenzy reduces the Garou to seeing the world in blood-drenched monochrome, aware of motion but not of details and driven to make everything moving bleed until it stops. Berserk Garou shift into Crinos or Hispo (at the player’s choice) and attack.. . something. Garou with permanent Gnosis higher than permanent Rage do not attack packmates except in the Thrall of the Wyrm (see below), though they do attack everything else moving in the area. Garou with less permanent Gnosis than permanent Rage don’t make an exception for packmates. A Berserk Garou can spend one Willpower Trait for a modicum of control - the Storyteller directs the character to one of the actually hostile targets nearby. Berserk Garou retain no memory of what happens in frenzy and usually collapse from exhaustion when it ends.
    Fox frenzy reduces the Garou to pure terror and a drive to flee. Fox-frenzying Garou shift to Lupus form and run as fast as possible away from the threat that induced frenzy. They attack anything that gets in their way, but only to make it get out of the way. They seek out some safe hiding place and stay there until the frenzy passes.
    Both forms of frenzy prohibit the use of special maneuvers and pack tactics. The character can bite, claw or run, and that’s all. The character can spend for extra actions but cannot engage in complex actions, use Gifts, step sideways and so on. Frenzying Garou ignore all wound penalties until the frenzy passes. Frenzy ends with the triggering situation. Once it passes, make a Static Willpower Challenge against permanent Rage to recover. Repeat this challenge each turn until its succeeds.


LotW pg 185-186, "States of Mind and Soul - Rage"
   Many situations sometimes motivate Garou to tap into their Rage for assistance in battle and related challenges. Common triggers include embarrassment and humiliation, strong emotions, extreme hunger, confinement and helplessness, enemies’ taunts, the threat of large quantities of silver and being wounded or seeing a packmate wounded. Storytellers may sometimes require a Rage Challenge even without the player’s desire for it, and Garou can decide to spend Rage on their own initiative.
    The difficulty of a Rage challenge depends on the phase of the moon:
        Moon Phase - Difficulty
        New - 8 Traits
        Crescent - 7 Traits
        Half - 6 Traits
        Gibbous - 5 Traits
        Full - 4 Traits
    Subtract one Trait if the current phase is the character's auspice moon, or if the character is in Crinos. (Apply only one of these modifiers; they're not cumulative.)


House Rule, "Losing the Wolf"
   Werewolf: the Apocalypse (tabletop) says that a Garou "loses the wolf" when they are completely out of temporary Rage and Willpower.  Laws of the Wild Revised says that a Garou "loses the wolf" when they are completely out of temporary Rage.  The Rage Across the Cape staff believe that the Laws of the Wild Revised text is a typo, and chooses to use the tabletop interpretation.

House Rule, "Raging Back"
   The procedure for Raging Back in RAtC follows that outlined on page 108-109 of Laws of the Wild.  When a character takes a number of Damage that puts her below Incapacitated, she is dead, with the opportunity to spend a Rage trait, and make a Rage Challenge with the staff (Simple Test, Retest: Rage, by default).  Upon success, Health levels through Wounded are regained and the character is in Frenzy, with the type of Frenzy to be determined by the applicable staff.  Successfully Raging Back will also result in a permanent Battle Scar that is appropriate to the Damage taken.
    Remember, the SPLAT! Rule also applies here, for scenarios where too much damage is taken too quickly to make Raging Back a viable option.


House Rule, "Tempers (Rage, Gnosis, Willpower)"
   Challenges involving the Tempers of Rage, Gnosis and Willpower may be one of two varieties:
        [-1-] Against another character/environment.
        [-2-] Simple test (success on a win or a tie).
    In cases where a particular mechanic does not specify whom or what a Temper challenge is against, a Simple Test will be used.  The applicable retest for a Temper challenge is always that Temper, unless specified otherwise.


House Rule, "Willpower, Uses of"
   [-1-] You CAN spend a Willpower to CANCEL a social challenge.
    [-2-] You CANNOT spend a Willpower to CANCEL against the effects of a social gift.
    [-3-] You CAN spend a Willpower for a RETEST against the effects of a social gift.
    [-4-] Willpower Traits refresh at the start of each game session.  As far as the use of Willpower over downtime and on the forums, you should not expect to have access to more than your Permanent Willpower over downtime.  Full Willpower Traits at the start of every game session and at the start of each downtime period is more than fair.  Don't press your luck.
    [-5-] If you FAIL a frenzy chop, you CAN spend a Willpower to "try to control yourself briefly while in frenzy" (one turn).
    As it is explained in the Laws of the Wild section on Willpower, when you have exhausted all of your retests and failed a frenzy test, your character enters frenzy, with the option to spend one Willpower to act normally for one turn.  The two key points noted above are:  "You are able to act normally for one turn when you spend a Willpower in this fashion, though you otherwise keep all the other stipulations of frenzy - ignoring wound penalties and so on." and: "You do not actually regain control so much as you fight mightily to direct yourself for a few moments in the face of overwhelming rage or terror..."
    If you are already on the verge of frenzy (spending one Willpower per turn to avoid fully succumbing to it), then you can continue to spend Willpower each turn to maintain control, but you WILL fully enter frenzy as soon as you run out of Willpower, or stop spending it.  Again, once you are already about to pop (spending Willpower), further provocation will usually not result in any additional frenzy tests, as you are already technically in frenzy with Willpower allowing you to act normally for the turn.  With all of your concentration going toward suppressing your rage, most further frenzy provocations may not even get through.  At Storyteller discretion, if you are already about to pop and are faced with particularly nasty further provocations, you may be given additional frenzy tests, which if failed will require you to begin spending two Willpower per turn, in order to continue to act normally, and so on.


So there you go.  Have at it, folks! :)

//Marc
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 05:48:07 pm by Administrator »
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Offline Seven Mountains

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 11:57:05 pm »
I would like to inquire about some intent here before commenting.

Is the LotW book the defacto authority for RAtC and should be interpreted as a stand alone volume OR is LotW an extension for LARP of the Core Werewolf Tabletop book (TT) and in turn intent should be judged based on the TT book?

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Offline Justin Northwood

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 07:13:12 am »
I have always believed that the Laws books stand as the defacto standard for OWbN, along with any supplemental material revised for MET.  TT books, while still valid resources, must be reinterpreted through an MET/Laws colored lens.  This, of course, does nothing to address inconsistencies or the things widely regarded as typos, paste errors, or other mistakes.

Laws, then (along with other MET material) would be RAtC's standard, with adjustments where necessary.  For example: "Losing the Wolf" on depletion of temporary Rage and Willpower, vs. on depletion of temporary Rage alone.

This is just my two cents.
Marc Berman

Offline Jerry Castillo

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 08:04:08 am »
Of note: it seems to be a common perception that a Garou who Frenzies immediately performs a Rage-dump, spending the maximum amount of Rage every turn until they run out. That's not mentioned anywhere in these rules, and in fact seems to be contradicted by the line, "The character can spend for extra actions but cannot engage in complex actions, use Gifts, step sideways and so on." This implies that a character is still in control of their Rage expenditures.
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Offline Justin Northwood

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 08:49:22 am »
On the surface, pages 110 and 185 seem contradictory, however upon re-reading, I notice they appear to address separate things, if not in a somewhat contradictory way.

Pg 110 talks about how you can spend a Willpower Trait to control yourself "while in Frenzy".  I interpret this to be the source for the common "recognize friend vs. foe" scenario by spending a Willpower Trait.

Pg 185 talks about Rage challenges in general and how they should always be followed-up with a Frenzy challenge, stating further that upon failure of the Frenzy challenge, "the character enters frenzy and can only abort the frenzy by spending a Willpower Trait and forfeiting any remaining actions for the rest of the turn."  I interpret this to be the source of the common "forfeit your declared rage actions" scenario while in Frenzy.  unfortunately it is contradictory in that it states a Willpower can abort the Frenzy once entered (in contrast to pg 110, which states that a willpower spend after the onset of Frenzy only allows a modicum of direction/control).  Additionally, this section goes on to indicate that Rage actions may continue, but puts the stipulation in place that "the character can bite, claw or run, and that's all" and specifically states that the character "cannot engage in complex actions, use Gifts, step sideways and so on."

Based on the information provided, I would reconcile this as follows:
  • Upon failure of a Frenzy challenge, you can spend a Willpower to abort the Frenzy.
  • Failing that, else upon otherwise having entered Frenzy, you can spend a Willpower to direct the character's remaining actions (if any, on a per-turn basis) toward a foe or other desired target (or lack of target) for biting, clawing, or running purposes only.
  • If a Willpower is not spent to "maintain control" once in Frenzy, then biting, clawing, and running are played out indiscriminately for any remaining Rage actions.

This would notably not be a forced dump of all available Rage, but rather a forcing of any already declared Rage actions to be boiled down to some kind of basic clawing, biting or running at/to/from someone or something.  Somewhere, it seems, there came about the notion that a character who continues to be in a Frenzy state must by necessity keep spending all Rage, until depleted, as fuel for their continued biting, clawing, running.
Marc Berman

Offline Mike

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 10:27:43 am »
Quote
Should you spend your last Rage Trait, you automatically revert back to your breed form as your inner beast has temporarily lost its fire and ability to take your warrior form. This is known as “losing the wolf,” and you may not change forms until you regain at least one Trait of Rage.

This is different then I have seen in this game numerous times.  I've been told Rage and something else need to be zero to lose the wolf.

Offline Justin Northwood

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 10:32:09 am »
Yes, it is Rage and Willpower.
That's why I included and highlighted both that bit from LotW, and our House Rule on it in the first post of this thread. :)

Quote
Should you spend your last Rage Trait, you automatically revert back to your breed form as your inner beast has temporarily lost its fire and ability to take your warrior form. This is known as “losing the wolf,” and you may not change forms until you regain at least one Trait of Rage.

This is different then I have seen in this game numerous times.  I've been told Rage and something else need to be zero to lose the wolf.
Marc Berman

Offline Mike

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 10:38:27 am »
Your wall of text has too many traits and is above the allowable traits you can spend in a turn.

Offline Gabriel

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 10:45:57 am »
We should also make sure it's clear on how you regain the wolf - during the attack on the BSDs after the hive raid, Peri lost the wolf, but was allowed to regain a Rage and shift again. With the lean in our house rules towards the TT rules for this, is that correct, or should someone who has lost the wolf be unable to regain Rage until they regain at least one WP?
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Offline Justin Northwood

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Re: Discussion: Rage and Frenzy
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 11:20:58 am »
I would say that per the rules we have currently, it should be expected that a gain of either one Rage or one Willpower Trait (at least) would be enough to "regain the wolf."

Since it is much easier and faster to gain Rage than Willpower, I imagine that is the usual path of least resistance.

I think than an expectation of gaining one Willpower Trait in addition to one Rage is a bit much, since this could take significantly longer and seems unrealistic.
Marc Berman