werewolves change sequentially through five forms. A homid or lupus can shift reflexibly into his birth form. Any form can be assumed automatically by spending a point of Rage.
Homid: Human form. No trait adjustments. Can handle silver without pain but cannot regenerate.
Glabro: "Mr. Hyde." Str+2, Stm+2, App-1, Man -1.
Crinos: Wolf-man war form. Str+4, Dex+1, Stm+3, Man-3, App0. Fangs and Claws cause aggravated damage. Inspires full Delirium in humans. Wolf senses.
Hispo: Dire wolf. Str+3, Dex+2, Stm+3, Man-3. Claws and fangs cause aggravated damage. wolf senses.
Lupus: Wolf form. Str+1, Dex+2, Stm+2, Man-3. Can handle silver without pain but cannot regenerate. Wolf senses.
Garou are absurdly hardy. They can soak most forms of damage, and heal at a rate of one wound level per round of rest, or they can heal all normal damage instantly by spending a point of Rage. Garou may attempt to soak most sources of Aggravated Damage, such as fire and the fangs of other garou. They cannot soak silver or certain magical attacks or phenomena, such as balefire. Aggravated Damage is healed at a rate of one level per day, though this can be increased with Rage. By spending one Rage, a level is healed after one hour. By spending three, a level is healed instantly, but visits a Battle Scar on the werewolf. A werewolf can only be slain by an aggravated wound; all other damage visited upon an unconscious garou causes Battle Scars.
Garou are one third man, one third wolf, and one third spirit. As such, they can enter the spirit world freely, though the more controlled an environment is, the harder it is to cross the Gauntlet. A reflective surface always helps. While in the spirit world, physical dice pools consist solely of a werewolf's Rage (strength), Willpower (Dexterity), and Gnosis (Stamina). This differs from mages and other travelers who bring along their physical bodies.
Garou and most other changers are gifted and cursed with Rage, a supernaturally strong anger which motivates them and pushes them beyond their limmits. The most common application of Rage is speed: a garou gains one additional action in a turn per point of Rage spent. It is also used in healing, shapeshifting, and gifts. A garou can at maximum use half of his permanent Rage (round up) in one turn. If a turn ends with your character possessing no temporary Rage, he reverts to his birth form and cannot change shape until more is gained. Rage cannot be used in the same turn as Gnosis, unless a Gift calls for both. Rage is regained several ways: One point upon seeing the moon rise, all points if it is your birth moon, one point if damaged, two if damaged by silver, one point for being severely taunted, and one point for witnessing an affront to Gaia. PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM GOING TO BE WAY STINGIER THIS TIME WITH RAGE POINTS. Also, any time Rage is regained there is a good chance that the garou will enter a frenzy of animalistic violence. There is a second side effect to Rage called the Curse. In short, any time a werewolf's temporary Rage exceeds his temporary Willpower other creatures (humans and wolves included) instinctually recognize his violent nature and avoid him out of fear.
Werewolves also possess a spirit energy called Gnosis which is used mostly for powering Gifts. Gnosis is regained in the following ways: one point per hour spent meditating in a caern, point per point siphoned off of a discorporating spirit, and all for ritually slaying and eating an Engling (Gnosis spirit) after a moot.
Garou can learn a variety of magical effects from spirits. These Gifts come at a price paid to the spirit, called "chiminage". This could be a token gift of food, a task, a contest, a routine of prayers, or even a lifelong promise, such as never again wearing a certain color.
Garou perform a system of magical rituals, in accordance to ancient spirit pacts and tribal needs. One of the most common rituals is the Rite of Talisman Dedication, by which a number of personal affects become bound to the werewolf, allowing items to enter the spirit world and for clothes to change or disappear when he shifts form.
Owing to the garou's orchestration of the Impurgium in formative times, mankind can no longer bare to look upon a werewolf. This effect, called the Delirium, causes humans to view Glabro and Hispo as natural (if big and ugly) humans and wolves, and they totally break down upon seeing a Crinos. They either blindly run, blindly attack, or fall catatonic. Afterwards, most forget or rationalize it away (halucinogens, escaped gorilla) but some retain clarity backed by primordial fear. The exception to all this are the close human relations of the garou, who see them without undue fear.
With the exception of the Silent Striders, who suffer from an ancient curse, all garou can cultivate a connection to their past relations, who visit knowledge and strength upon their decendants.
Most packs of adult garou venerate a totem spirit who aids and advises them.
Garou and other changers possess an animal magnitism, an intimidating primal force which instills a target with a strong sexual desire. Animal Magnitism has no social effect beyond attracting mates, though.
Spirits can be ritually bound into an object temporarilly, creating a one use magical item called a talen, or bound permanently into a power object called a fetish. Creating a fetish is not done lightly, as most spirits require significant chiminage before handing over their freedom. Spirits could be forced, but this is antithetical to the garou's devine purpose. One of the most treasured and symbolic types of fetishes is the garou klaive: a silver shortsword capable of causing aggravated damage to any enemy. These swords symbolize glory, leadership, and duty.
As an aboriginal society, the Garou Nation relies on a prolific oral tradition and recognizes social rank in a serries of rites of passage. Garou gauge one another through tales and songs of their deeds, and a renowned garou can challenge a tribal superior for a higher rank. The virtues by which garou judge one another are Glory (defending Gaia and slaying the servants of the Wyrm), Honor (keeping pacts, dutiful service, mediating disputes, mating, and good conduct), and Wisdom (wise council, learning gifts and rituals, solving enigmas, and knowledge of the spirit world).
Werewolves congregate at natural places of power called caerns and form social heirarchies called septs in order to defend them. Each caern is dedicated to a totem spirit, and any garou who pays the chiminage due to both the sept and the totem may use the spirit's power. For example, the Caern of the Great White Mouse bestows increased fertility and an increased chance of breeding a garou cub. Septs are led by a Grand Elder, his advisors, and a number of permanent and temporary sept officers.
Garou organize themselves in packs of closely ranked werewolves, led by an alpha; their wolf nature dictates this. At certain times the social heirarchy, the alpha, or other rivals may be challenged. This usually takes the form of a staredown, a ritual duel, a game, a riddle contest, an ordeal, or any number of other challenges, but the former options are the most common.