I've always had an issue with the Wyrm in WoD. I love Werewolf, but I hate the main antagonist for several reasons. First of all, obviously, is that it is too "hand puppet of evil." Having some cosmic badguy who likes to kill puppies and rape kittens just is a bit too trite and over the top for my taste. Second, is that it ignores the true antagonists in the game: Other Werewolves. And third, is that becoming "wyrmy" is way too childish and poorly thought out. So here are my thoughts on how to fix it and how I'd run the wyrm were I to run another werewolf game in the future. The Nature Wyrm and the Spirit World
I think White Wolf made a huge mistake having banes be created out of factories of evil in various realms. Honestly, I think it made a mistake with how it handled banes in general. However, to get at why that is, I'll need to address what I think the nature of the Wyrm really should be.
No one is born evil. No one wakes up one morning and, without cause or provocation, decides to kill puppies all day long. Something has to happen and usually it starts small. Turning evil involves a long journey of desensitization and often of hurt. Things gradually don't seem that bad because either you have done bad things already or, more likely, you see bad things happening all over all the time. ("Enh, what is the big deal if I steal a candy bar? Enron steals millions, not to mention the thousands of people dying around the world because of poor foriegn policy." or even "What's the big deal if I steal this guy's car? He is a biggotted asshole and deserves it.") Eventually you do things that are morally wrong for one reason or another. Then it becomes easier to take that next step and do something more drastic, and so on. That's the Wyrm. Another path could be via bitterness. I suspect that very few people have never done something nasty in response to being hurt. You are subject to a cruel breakup so you lash out at the opposite sex, for example. Something like that. It is a natural reaction to being hurt, the want to get a pound of flesh. That, also, is the Wyrm. The nature of the Wyrm, I would argue, isn't some great cosmic evil with Dukes of Buggery and whatnot. Instead it is individual actions that lend themselves to the overall degredation of society over time. Not an organized beast, but rather separate people who happen to all be driving towards the same end even if they don't know it. And that brings us to banes.
I'm not super fond of the Spirit World in Werewolf, and if I had my druthers I'd axe it, but since it is there it needs to be addressed. I would argue that spirits, like everything else with a mind, are capable of having the same reactions as human beings. So a bane isn't something created from the Exxon Valdez spill. Instead, it is the water spirit who has become bitter and outraged by what has happened to it as a result of negligence and has decided to get a pound of flesh in response. Wyrm Pits aren't places where the great cosmic evil has found a portal straight to malfeas. Instead, they are Caerns where the Caern's Spirit has become angry at how it is being treated (or perhaps it has become wicked because of its increasingly brutal forms of protection against incursion). See where I'm going with this? No Triat. No Great Gaping Maw of Evil. Just individual choices. That's much more horrific than having to deal with a cartoon monster.Black Spiral Dancers( Collapse )Formori( Collapse )Pentex( Collapse )
You get the drift... what do you think?