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YMMV: Werewolf: The Apocalypse
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Are the Garou and Fera noble warriors who serve as the last, best hope against the Wyrm, or childish thugs who waste so much time fighting among themselves that they neglect their common enemy? Are they atoners who are coping with the consequences of their ancestors' bloody mistakes, or potential tyrants who failed to learn from history and who would dominate humanity again if given the chance?
    • Are the Nuwisha a race of trickster mentors who teach important lessons to the Garou and Fera, or lazy troublemakers who would rather sit back and let the Garou do the heavy lifting in the war against the Wyrm?
    • Are the Ratkin and Ajaba vital tools of Gaia who keep the human population in check, or murderers from a barbaric era that has long passed?
    • Are the Ananasi the only faction who can see the big picture, or callous manipulators blindly obeying their goddess?
  • Anvilicious: Civilization and all its fruits are EVIL!
    • Discussed within Book of the Weaver where the designers point out that no, they don't go around preaching how we'd be better off living in caves - they're merely telling a story in which two of the three most powerful supernatural entities have gone mad (and the third was never all that sane to begin with) and a self-destructive civilization is one of the results. To create a Crapsack World setting, of course they're going to focus on the bad stuff.
    • Played straight in the Pentex splat where it has been stated that there's quite a few things in the book that are barely exaggerated and merely given a spiritual background for the real-world corruption that already exists in the name of the Bottom Line.
    • The Gaia-aligned factions in the game don't necessarily agree on whether human civilization is positive, neutral, or negative. For example, the Red Talon Garou and Ratkin blame human civilization for everything that's wrong with the world. The Glass Walkers, Bone Gnawers, and other city-dwelling shape-changers embrace a more positive outlook on civilization.
      • Book of the City is ambiguous on the subject. Several Gaia Garou describe cities as snares, "hellish dead places", and playgrounds for the Weaver and Wyrm. One Uktena even describes them as "scabs on the Mother's body made by the parasite Man whom the Wyrm infects". Other Garou depict cities in a more neutral light, likening them to battlefields, obstacle courses, and magnifiers of whatever is in humans' hearts. Some Gaia Garou describe them in glowing terms, describing them as living systems, collections of tools, or beautiful and ever-evolving abodes.
  • Broken Aesop: The overall messages of the game — that people should protect the natural world and question the more destructive aspects of civilization — are noble. However, in-game history indicates that ancient humans lived meagre lives and suffered oppression under the Garou before they cultivated civilization. To boot, human life isn't intrinsically valuable to some Gaia-aligned factions, or arguably to Gaia herself, so abandoning civilization and getting back to Gaia might not be a good things for WTA humanity.
    • The game is intended to raise awareness about environmental harm, corporate corruption, and other social issues. In-game, however, these problems spring from a mad triat and cosmic imbalances that the characters are unlikely to impact. In other words, the game's backstory suggests that taking any action against such problems will only have a small impact at best, and that large-scale change is impossible.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Several books are considered this for one reason or another, but the revised Children of Gaia Tribebook especially. The revised Black Fury tribebook, for instance, abandoned many of the feminist themes of the original tribebook — in other words, throwing out what made the Black Furies appealing in the first place.
    • Your mileage may SERIOUSLY vary on that account. The first Black Fury tribebook painted most, if not all of the tribe as blatantly Straw Feminist:

      "We have every reason to hate Man. The catalogue of his outrages against us would fill the Abyss. Across the world in recent years, Man's fear of our rising power has led us into open war with him. But even if Man were faithful to the Goddess, he would still have no place with us. Our way is the way of Artemis, the Virgin huntress, and her purity is our own. We shun Man for his weakness, his place in Gaia's shadow, not for his crimes."

      "Man can be kind, gentle, respectful and understanding. Like a dog, he may be a faighful companion, but will bite, and bite hard, if he feels himself wronged. Sadly, his confidence is so fragile that any hint of his weakness is often enough to bring him to homicidal rage. Man makes a good lap-dog, but far too often he has rabies, and must be put down for his own good. In the end, the choice is yours. Man is not evil by nature. The Wyrm, however, is only footsteps away from his heart.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Granted, it is appropriate, but the Changing Breeds supplement has one such moment. A werehyena (who are at war with the werelions) stating that they should get back to what matters—"killing Simba".
  • Ho Yay: According to the writeups in the tribebooks and sourcebooks, there is quite a bit (albeit of the "don't ask don't tell" variety) among the Get of Fenris, and more openly among the Black Furies. (Also some among the Fianna, who are known for, having had a few (by Garou standards), being indiscriminate with their choice of sexual partners.) And according to the novel Breathe Deeply, Shadow Lords do it in secret rituals.
    • Also, read the Galliard chapter of Book of Auspices. The debate between Samir the Jackal and Malcolm Night-Smile is thick with Ho Yay.
    • And it doesn't stop there. The narrator of the Ahroun chapter (a Get of Fenris writing it just after World War II, no less) takes a look at all the various romantic possibilities for high-Rage Garou and admits that same-sex loving between two Garou is probably the best option one can get while technically not breaking the Litany.
    • They still don't hold a candle to the Nuwisha, who have a high level gift called "Teasing Mate", which their Tribe book specifically says is for attracting lovers of the same gender. That's right, they have an actual Gift for getting some gay lovin'.
  • Old Shame: The Fianna again. In the Second Edition, a large part of the Fianna's internal tribe politics and background was tied up and interlinked with The Troubles. Come The Revised Edition (post 9/11) most of this was excised and glossed over, with an apology and admission that terrorism wasn't big and clever, mirroring the real life shift in attitude towards the troubles, due to the uncomfortable reminder about Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters.
  • Shout-Out: In the Gurahl breed book, a Wyrm-corrupted Werebear attacks two campers: one wearing a UCLA jacket and a Chicago Bears sweatshirt. The other is wearing a Prophecy: The Horror Movie shirt. Prophecy is about a pollution-mutated bear attacking people in the wilderness.
    • A narrator/character in the Black Fury book tries explaining its Hecate Sisters-styled caste system through the use of the Norse dieties Urd, Verthandi, and Skaldi. The narrator/character is surprised that the person being educated knows of them—and how.
    "Mother, maiden, and Crone. Ah, you're familiar with the concept; yes, it's like Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, or if you prefer, Urd, Skuld, and Verdanda. I'm glad they still teach the classics in public schools—eh? A comic book? Well, I'll be."
    • A Nuwisha offers the following line when asked of the Rokea (were-sharks) in the 20th Anniversary-edition book:
    • In the revised Black Fury tribebook, one of the character templates is a middle-aged philodox holding a labyrs axe. She bears an uncanny resemblance to feminist author Mary Daly, who wields a labyrs on the cover of her 1999 book Quintessence.
    • Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth mentions that some of the Wyrm-taint found amongst Black Spiral Dancer Kinfolk infiltrated the British royal line... especially manifesting in a noble named Edmund of Black Adder, whose line eventually terminated in World War I.
  • Tear Jerker: In a game rife with cosmic tragedy and horror, sometimes it's the little personal tragedies that hit the hardest. One of the sample characters in the 2nd Ed. Red Talons tribebook is a metis with the Hairless deformity. The character's one-and-only listed possession is a nature magazine full of photos of wolves with beautiful, glossy coats.
  • Wangst: Subverted. Oh, werewolves (and others werepeople) have ample reasons for sorrow and despair, but they're certainly not supposed to spend their time Wangsting when the world burns around them. In fact, losing one's will to act and succumbing to Wangst is an actual werewolf-specific psychical disorder in this game (and a pretty serious one).

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