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YMMV / Werewolf: The Forsaken

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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • When compared to Werewolf: The Apocalypse; Apocalypse was infamously decried for having most of the protagonist werewolf tribes be, by human standards, incredibly unlikable due to being corrupt, racist, genocidal supremacists and fundamentalists whose actions were making things even worse for the whole planet even though their role was to fix it (the Red Talons being possibly the worst offender). Tribes like this are still present in Forsaken... as the Pure, who are firmly established as villains, while the playable tribes, the titular Forsaken, are characterized as being more likable and actually trying to improve things despite still having some degree of Blue and Orange Morality.
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    • 1E had Werewolves being forbidden to mate with each other and having to rely on humans to breed, with the offspring of two Uratha resulting in a Foetus Terrible known as Unihar, which would kill its mother by bursting out of the womb and would take off to the Spirit World before returning to wreak havoc on its parents- a concept that was seen as uncomfortable and sexist by many, the writers included. Come 2E, Unihar were made Canon Discontinuity, and the rule stating Werewolves had to breed with humans only was retooled to instead be about the importance of socializing with humans to maintain the balance between your spirit and flesh sides.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Changing Breeds is hated for numerous reasons — the writing quality is poor, with rules that are easily exploitable or overpowered, and generally of lower quality compared to earlier splatbooks with similar rules, such as War Against the Pure. Furthermore, the book's fluff presents a very hamhanded take on a man vs. nature motif, outright encouraging players to be kill-happy sociopaths dedicated to the destruction of humanity and/or human civilisation. More than one negative reviewer has compared it to the worst elements of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. It has also been accused of pandering to the Furry Fandom.
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  • Fan Nickname: The Iron Masters have a sub-faction called the Lodge of Spires, which is dedicated to being the perfect urban predator, or to put it simply, mastering the geography of the city like your standard werewolf would master the forest. It didn't take long for this group to be called The Lodge of Batman or occasionally The Lodge of the Goddamn Batman.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • The four non-human forms of Multiform Balance are references to the most iconic werewolf forms in modern culture.
      • Urhan clearly owes its lineage to most forms of actual mythological depictions of the werewolf.
      • Dalu is based on the iconic "wolfman" form of film, first seen in Universal's The Wolf Man (1941).
      • Urshul arguably has some mythological basis, but can most easily be connected to the werewolf as depicted in An American Werewolf in London.
      • Finally, Gauru resembles the now-iconic "manwolf" that has become heavily associated with werewolves in modern culture and which can be arguably traced back to film via The Howling.
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    • Werewolf: The Forsaken is perhaps one of the first pieces of urban fantasy werewolf literature to actually address the implications of humans landing on the moon.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The whole concept of Unihar in 1E, something the writers themselves acknowledged when removing it for 2E:
"They have some really unfortunate implications that we want to move away from — penalising sex with the “wrong” people, casting Wolf-Blooded as breeding stock, punishing female characters far more than male, and a whole mess of problems around their impact on people who have lost pregnancies. I want to stress that nobody on the original design team intended any of this, but as we’re older and wiser we decided to drop a highly problematic element of the game. Ultimately, we removed Unihar because removing them removes a bunch of unintentional messages that people found very off-putting. They won’t be coming back."
  • Woobie Species: Three out of the five alternate shapeshifters from War Against The Pure have perfectly valid reasons for wanting to be fully human.
    • The Colony (cat people), besides being forced into becoming The Virus every tenth birthday, are literally forced into a Vigilante Man role in the world, having to kill people who don't meet Morality standards lest their own natures drive them insane. That would be bad, except that their mission doesn't give them a Detect Evil ability, so they have to guess which people are immoral enough to qualify... and if they guess wrong...
    • The Brine Born seem like they'd be the evil guys, being shameless Shout Outs to the Deep Ones... and even their own myths emphasize what a miserable, luckless people they are, with their own progenitor being kicked out by Mother Ocean when he failed to take over the world in her name. They suffer a race-wide case of what is implied to be Stockholm Syndrome for Mother Ocean, mainly because they can't live inland, but they can't live in her because of a species-wide phobia of the deep. Of course, they're were-fish, so they have to go in the water very frequently. And the icing on the cake? They can't even live in isolation from normal humans, since they need to interbreed with Muggles for a sane child. Even the intro emphasizes The Grotesque aspect of them: After an initial buildup that seems worthy of a Lovecraft novel, when a human woman gives birth to her Brine Born child, the entire message flips when the werewolves observing the event reveals they murdered the whole settlement, both human and Brine Born, and plan to dash the baby against a rock.
      • What's more, except for a few specific blood cults, the majority of Brine Born aren't even hostile or dangerous or anything. They are peaceful fishing communities who focus on their spiritual life. There's a good chance the Forsaken massacred that settlement for the crime of being Brine Born on a sunny day...
    • And then, there's the Unclean, the were-roaches. As said in the Big Creepy-Crawlies example, they're victims of The Virus that follows them around through no fault of their own, and add they can't actually live among humans anymore-light hurts their eyes. The book says that elders eventually become estranged from their humanity, but after what they go through, it seems like the ones who survive to that age used the logic of "You know what? Fuck you, I am a monster!"

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