Reductio Ad Absurdum (inevitability) wrote in roleplayers,
Reductio Ad Absurdum

The Wyrm (my thoughts on it)

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
This should NOT be a tribe. Not in the traditional sense. Also, the Black Spiral should NOT be a physical thing. BSD's should be normal werewolves who eventually turn evil one way or another (bitterness against leadership, hatred of another tribe, cruel battle tactics, etc) and get cast out of the tribe. A wolf alone does not live long and most likely kill themselves (as turning evil should definitely come with a big serving of depression) but some are picked up by those of a like mind. Eventually, they band together and form little cells fighting their war their way (whatever it may be). They don't need to be insane. They don't need to be inbred. They don't need to worship evil. They just need to be something that the Tribes disapprove of. They just need to have a common goal within each pack that unites them. This would drag it away from the "OMFG THERE IS AN EVIL TRIBE OUT THERE THAT BEAT KITTENS TO DEATH WITH THE CORPSES OF PUPPIES!" and instead make it more of "There is an enemy within us and anyone can turn to them at any time." Again, much more horrific.

Alright, so we've addressed how spirits could turn evil. What if a few (and in my opinion Formori should be very rare and capable of individually pulling down packs... I hate cannon fodder formori) spirits decided to play the Devil and grant wishes to a few particularly angry individuals who happened to want the same things the spirits wanted? It would easily lend itself to the mythos of the Deal with the Devil (ie Faust). What if an angry gradeschool teacher has finally had enough of dealing with kids and wants some revenge and his hate (and wicked actions) have caught the attention of a tree spirit who has turned bitter after a child set it on fire for fun? The Tree Spirit could bestow various gifts upon the school teacher making him strong, resiliant, and powerful enough to give even a pack of garou trouble. Wouldn't that be more dramatic than a frankenstein monster made by Pentex that is dispatched with two claw swipes?

Do I even need to address this? It's pretty obvious how this fits in. Individual choices lead to corporate action. Pentex isn't lead by the wyrm. Pentex is just a company that has forgotten morality in the face of greed and corporate competition.

You get the drift... what do you think?
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