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Mokole - the garou mashers

Mokole - the garou mashers

Giant were-dinosaurs and were-dragons who’s simplest memories go back to the beginnings of human history, and who’s greatest elders can remember the times of the first dinosaurs, the Mokole are the ultimate big guys of the old World of Darkness Werewolf pantheon.

And of course, they hate the werewolves.

The books they were published in were so over the top that they could have been their own sub-game called “Mokole: the garou mashers” or something similar. I used two Mokole to great effect in my New Orleans Vampire the Masquerade chronicle – one fallen to the wyrm and one lost in dreams, remembering the days when they were kin. But the big trick was to never, ever, mess with them in combat. There’s nothing uglier than a big nasty dragon raging on your ass.

This will be my first “advanced” character for the blog. Instead of making a starting Mokole, I’m going all out and making a rank 3 mokole with 100 experience points – something nasty enough to survive the depradations of the local undead community that it will be forced to deal with. And I’m going to have him fall to the wyrm, so out comes Freak Legion for some bonus points.

For all White Wolf games, the first step in character creation is the concept. I’m going for a bayou witch-doctor here who is a big scary man with old natty dreadlocks who knows a lot but is consumed by his hatred for the garou who destroyed his kin to the point where he even works with the vampires against them.

His breed will be Suchid (so he started life as an alligator before undergoing his first transformation) of the Mokole-mbembe stream (the mokole descended from Africa). As a suchid, he has a deed name, not a normal human name. Tailbiter Stands Against the Wolf. Sounds way too big and over the top, I like it. He’ll obviously need to use a more human name when dealing with the Vampires in town, so he also uses the alias of Marley, Keeper of the Swamp, which he got from some local Brujah about 20 years ago in reference to his Bob Marley like hair. Beign a suchid gives him a starting Gnosis (connection to the spirit world) of 4. As an American Alligator, he is of the “Halpatee” varna which gives him 4 starting Rage, and provids the statistics for his Suchid form (and a scary as hell bite).

Next we pick his “Auspice” – which is what sun he was born under (clouded sun, setting sun, and so on). This determines a lot of his personality, identity, and what gifts he can access later. It also determines what grants him “sun dice” – bonus dice on his rolls when he performs certain actions. I’m looking at “the Midnight Sun” who are born when the sun is down and the Setting Sun who are defenders as they were born watching the sun set and darkness begin to take over the world. I like the feel of a fallen Wader – so afraid of the darkness that he has been consumed by it. He gets +1 die on all rolls when defending others, retreating or following specific orders. I don’t see him following many orders in the chronicle, but he thinks that what he is doing is defending his people against the garou, yet for some reason he doesn’t often get the blessing of the sun while doing so. Perfect. This gives him a starting Willpower of 3.

Now we come to actual attributes. Since he’ll be able to transform at will into a mother of all bad-asses, physical stats don’t actually come up that high in his priorities. For that scary witch-doctor vibe, he needs high social stats. So I’m going with Social primary (giving him 7 points to spend), Physical secondary (5 points – he still needs to be able to deal with those uppity vampires and werewolves) and Mental last (3 points – expecting to bring up a few stats with XP later). Going for intimidating, I’ll put his Manipulation and Appearance higher than his Charisma. For his physical stats, Stamina is his specialty – aiming for that everlasting and enduring motif that belies his failure to actually endure in his heart. And his mental stats all start at two, with the goal being to increase his Perception with experience.

Next we come to abilities, which have to be prioritized between Talents, Skills and Knowledges. I’ll go with Talents first, then Knowledges and finally Skills. Intimidation is a talent and I take it as high as I can with starting points (level 3), and spread the rest around with some emphasis on brawling (he is an alligator after all) and primal urge. His only skill above level 1 is survival (again with the alligator background) and his primary knowledges are enigmas and investigation (which is how he found the wyrm in his quest to avenge his lost wallow upon the garou).

As with most world of darkness characters, he gets 5 points to spend on backgrounds. There is one background unique to the mokole – mnesis – the racial memory that stretches back to the time of the Dinosaur kings. Tailbiter has three dots of mnesis which reminds him of the beginnings of human civilization, so he can remember the war of rage clearly and the destruction of his kin by the garou. His other two points go into and two dots of kinfolk (human family who are immune to the delirium and know that he is a shifter).

Gifts are the spiritual superpowers of the changing breeds. As a starting character he gets one level 1 generic Mokole gift and one level 1 gift from his Auspice. He’ll take the Fatal Flaw gift (with one success it allows him to deal extra damage to the target, more successes let him know more of the target’s flaws), and the Resist Pain gift (which allows him to ignore wound penalties).

To finish off his starting stats he gets 15 freebie points to spend, and gets to do any merits and flaws as needed. Obviously he has the Dark Secret flaw (tainted by the wyrm), and spends that extra point on one dot of resources (a shack in the bayou that he uses when pretending to be human). He also has a driving goal to exact revenge on the garou for the war of rage. Since he’ll be dealing with vampires regularly, Iron Will (a 5 point merit) protects him from Domination and similar mind control. As a final flaw, his wyrm taint has prevented his ability to change forms without spending a Rage point (except to transform back to his suchid form). With his remaining 16 freebie points, he grabs four more points each of gnosis, rage and willpower.

Finally, with his starting Gnosis at 8, I get to develop his Archid form. The Archid form is the form between his alligator and human forms, and unlike most changing breeds, every Mokole has a different Archid form, attributes of which are determined in a dream-state as he comes of age. With the 8 gnosis, he gets to pick 8 traits for his Archid form.

So I grab the following for his Archid Form:

  • Armor (+2 soak dice) (1 point)
  • Sacral Plexus (second brain with +2 brawl, can get one additional brawl attack in each round for free with 5 dice) (2 points)
  • Constricting Coils (+3 dice to immobilize foes, captured foes take 1 unsoakable damage per turn) (1 point)
  • Huge Size x 4 (+4 Stamina, +4 health levels, +8 dice on slam and overbear attacks) (4 points)

And here we have our starting version of Tailbiter, prior to gaining rank 3 and his wyrm taint. Tomorrow I’ll post the upgrade to the rank 3, wyrm-tainted version of Tailbiter Stands Against The Wolf.

Name: Tailbiter Stands Against the Wolf
Concept: Intimidating Witch Doctor
Breed: Suchid
Stream: Mokole-mbembe
Auspice: Warding (Setting Sun)
Varna: Halpatee (American Alligator)

Physical (Homid / Archid / Suchid)
Strength: 2 / 6 / 4
Dexterity: 2 / 1 / 1
Stamina: 4 / 12 / 7

Charisma: 2
Manipulation: 4
Appearance: 4

Perception: 2
Intelligence: 2
Wits: 2

Alertness – 1
Brawl – 3
Empathy – 2
Intimidation – 3
Primal Urge – 2
Streetwise – 1
Subterfuge – 1

Animal Ken – 1
Leadership – 1
Stealth – 1
Survival – 2

Enigmas – 3
Investigation – 2
Linguistics – 1
Medicine – 1
Occult – 1
Rituals – 1

Gnosis: 8
Willpower: 7
Rage: 8

Rank: 1
Glory: 1
Honor: 1
Wisdom: 1

Mnesis – 3
Resources – 1
Kinfolk – 2

Merits & Flaws
Banned Transformation (spend a rage point) – 3 pt flaw
Dark Secret (tainted by the wyrm) – 1 pt flaw
Driving Goal (destroy the garou) – 3 pt flaw
Iron Will (immune to dominate) – 5 pt merit

Gifts – Level 1
Fatal Flaw – Concentrate for 1 turn and roll Perception + Empathy (Dif = target’s Wits + Subterfuge). 1 Success = +1 damage die in combat. Every additional success learns one of target’s flaws. 5 successes learns all of target’s flaws.
Resist Pain – Spend 1 WP, ignore all wound penalties for the scene.

Sun Dice: +1 die when defending others, retreating or following specific orders

Archid Form
Huge snake-like dragon, 90′ long.
Strength: 6, Dexterity: 1, Stamina: 12
+2 soak (armor)
Sacral Plexus provides +2 brawl and a free brawl attack each round at 5 dice.