An Elder's Guide to the Garou

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Princes of Darkness (PoD) is a total conversion mod and uses a lot of mechanics which are either repurposed from vanilla CK3 mechanics or entirely new. To give a general idea how to play a werewolf (also called Garou) in PoD this guide will introduce the mechanics and in italic there are tips from either me or other community members we want to give new players to start your successful werewolf game. There will be a lot of information in the guide below and it is fine to not directly understand some of the mechanics as some of these information may be helpful after 1, 2 or 10 games played.

Tip: Clicking on links lead you directly to the wiki page with a lot more Information or the correlating paragraph in this guide.

Werewolf Introduction

Kinfolk and Garou

Kinfolk are werewolves who haven't had or will never have their first change. They are second-class citizens in a tribe and usually don't have access to gifts and werewolf buildings.

Garou are the shapeshifting warriors who are sworn to defend Gaia. They have access to her gifts and lead their tribes.

Tribal Rank

Tribal Rank is the trait path of the werewolf trait which represents the werewolf's standing in his tribe.

To gain experience a werewolf needs to fulfil certain tasks depending on his auspice. After achieving the thresholds of 19, 39, 59 ,79 and 99, you can advance to the next rank using a major decision.

The Tasks are:

  • Wisdom: Hostile Schemes against werewolves of the opposite faith (Gaia or Wyrm) and doing spirit quests
  • Glory: Killing and defeating werewolves of the opposite faith as the attacker (Gaia or Wyrm) in wars.
  • Honor: Building Caerns and defeating werewolves of the opposite faith as the defender (Gaia or Wyrm) in wars.

Tip: The exact ways to gain experience is also detailed in the advance rank decision.

Rage and Gnosis Bar

Gnosis

Gnosis is the mystical power source of the Garou. A few kinfolk get access to it as well.

Gnosis is used for shapeshifting, activating some gifts and entering the Umbra.

Influence of (high) Gnosis:

  • Increased monthly lifestyle experience for werewolf lifestyle trees
  • Increased learning

Gnosis is gained passively.

Rage

Rage is a combat power given by Luna to increase a Garous combat abilities.

Rage is used for some gifts.

Influence of (high) rage:

  • Increase of dread, prowess and a health
  • Higher stress gain
  • Reduced diplomacy and intrigue

Rage is gained passively.

Tip: By hovering over the bars you gain a detailled explanation of your Gnosis and Rage gains.

Shapeshifting

A Garou can naturally change between 5 different shapes. Each with their own benefits and downsides. There are gifts and other abilities to increase the number of forms a Garou can shift to.

  • Homid: Indistinguishable from a normal human (except for the Curse).
  • Glabro: Roughly resembles a human, but has too many bestial features to be one.
  • Crinos: The "War-Form", a terrifying hybrid of human and wolf with superior strength. Resembles the typical "Hollywood werewolf".
  • Hispo: A prehistoric dire wolf.
  • Lupus: Indistinguishable from a normal wolf, but with superior speed.

Tip: For war, changing into a more combat focused shape can be very helpful.

Spiritual Quests

This is a decision a Garou can take to gain a debuff in exchange for experience.

Tip: There is no downside to use that decision on cooldown.

Journeys-hud.png

Journeys and Coteries

Journeys are a new mechanic and is based on the travel system of CK3. Coteries (called packs by Garou) work together with journeys and allow a character to get support from members of their coterie (in form of stats).

The screen for Journeys and Coteries is accessible through its button on the right side below the royal court button.

Here you can start a new journey, see your already planned journeys and the current status of the journey you are currently on.

On the other tab you have access to your coterie and see the stats the coterie has. To invite someone, your coterie can't be full (max 5 members: the player and 4 other), must be part of your realm and have at least 50 opinion of you. You can invite someone as a character interaction.

A journey has a planning and a travel phase. The planning phase is a scheme and takes a certain amount depending of the abilities of the coterie. The travel phase is a CK3 travel to the location of your journey.

Journeys:

  • Learn new Ability: This journey allows the pack to gain a new power.
  • Train with your Pack: This journey has a wide verity of benefits from lifestyle experience to development reduction.

Very Important Tip: Reducing development is important as most Garou need low development for their buildings.

Succession

As a Homid you have the vanilla succession with marring another character and having a child. Every child is born as a kinfolk and after their first change (if that happens) they become a werewolf.

As a Lupus you are reliant on an event which sends Lupus Garous regularly to your tribe.

As a Kinfolk you have the same succession as a Homid.

Tip: As a Homid you gain an event in which you can test your children to see if they will become werewolfs.

Tribes

The Werewolves are living in tribes which themselves are part of the Garou Nation. Each tribe has its own strength and weakness as well as a unique playstyle. This is represented in PoD with unique objectives, legacies and lifestyle trees for each tribe.

Black Furies

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The Black Furies, the Matriarchs of the Garou, the Warrior Women of Gaia sworn to protect women of both humanity and wolf from the exploitation of patriarchal societies.

Legacies: Amazon Men-at-Arms and huge prowess bonuses

Gifts: Archer and archer cavalry buffs as well as general combat modifier.

Triat: Mainly Wyld

Bone Gnawers

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The Bone Gnawers, the Scavengers and Survivors, the downtrodden of the Garou. The Bone Gnawers live wherever their kin live in squalor, and wait for when they may rise as underdogs.

Legacies: Bonus to animal Men-at-Arms

Gifts: Bonuses to diplomacy and new diplomatic character interactions

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Children of Gaia

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The Children of Gaia, the Peacekeepers and Diplomats, the tribe who hope to unify the Garou and all humanity against the Wyrm through cooperation and understanding.

Legacies: Bonuses for family management and Men-at-Arms bonuses

Gifts: Spirit Men-at-Arms, stress management and diplomacy bonuses

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Fianna

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The Fianna, the Werewolves of the Celtic World, the Tribe of Bards and Druids, the Lore Keepers, one of the spiritual hearts of the Garou.

Legacies: Opinion Bonuses

Gifts: Combat bonuses and new shapeshift forms

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Get of Fenris

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The Get of Fenris, the Warriors of the Garou. As the Warriors of a Warrior People, few can match a Get in combat, for their rage knows few bounds.

Legacies: Prowess and combat bonuses

Gifts: Combat and dread bonuses

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Red Talons

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The Red Talons, the Wolves of the Werewolves, a tribe of only Lupus, who see humanity as a plague and vector for the Wyrm, an upstart that must be culled.

Legacies: Combat bonuses

Gifts: Knight and combat bonuses

Triat: Mainly Wyld

Shadow Lords

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The Shadow Lords, the Manipulators and Chess Masters, the enemies of the Tzimisce, the Garou that pull strings and control the shadows to win the war for Gaia.

Legacies: Dread and intrigue bonuses

Gifts: Scheme bonuses

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Silent Striders

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The Silent Striders, the Garou of North Africa, exiled from their homeland in Egypt, the Couriers, who hope to one day end the curse the Vampire Set thrust upon them.

Legacies: Opinion bonuses

Gifts: Combat and army movement bonuses

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Silver Fangs

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The Silver Fangs, the Lords of the Garou, Werewolves of Noble Birth and bearing, great wolf kings charged with leading the Garou to glory.

Legacies: Reign bonuses

Gifts: Combat and vassal management bonuses

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Warders of Men

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The Warders of Men, the Garou who see the best in humanity, and want to foster their rise and growth, so humanity may join them side by side in the war against the Wyrm.

Legacies: Development bonuses

Gifts: Realm management bonuses

Triat: Mainly Weaver

Stargazers

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The Stargazers, the thoughtful Garou, to the far East, seeking contemplation and understanding, and greater spiritual enlightenment.

Legacies: Stress management bonuses

Gifts: Stress management and stat bonuses

Triat: Mainly Balanced

Black Spiral Dancer

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The Black Spiral Dancer, the lost tribe of Garou, were corrupted by the wyrm and now fight in his name against all other Garou.

Legacies: High stress bonuses

Gifts: Spirit Men-at-Arms and combat bonuses

Triat: Mainly Wyrm

Auspice and Breeds

Auspice

Auspice is the sign of the Moon a Garou is born under. Luna is very connected to the Garou, and the face she wore determines their duty to their pack and their people, the greatest height of their spirituality. This is deeper than any human caste system, as an Auspice is a Garou's spiritual face, and how they fight for Gaia.

In PoD they give a monthly bonus to their corelating lifestyle experience and each of them has their own lifestyle tree as well.

Ragabash

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The Ragabash is the Trickster, the Garou that tests the laws, and thrives in Intrigue.

In PoD they gain bonuses to success chance and a verity of new schemes. They increase monthly intrigue experience.

They can fulfil Wisdom, Glory and Honor tasks to advance their ranks.

Theurge

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The Theurge is the Mystic, the Garou that explores the spiritual world, and excels in Learning.

In PoD they gain bonuses to scheme resistance and a variety of spirit Men-at-Arms. They increase monthly learning experience.

They can only fulfil Wisdom tasks to advance their ranks.

Philodox

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The Philodox is the Judge, the Garou that mediates and calls upon judgement for Garou, and masters Stewardship.

In PoD they gain bonuses to realm/vassal management and the "Judge of the Land" minor decision. They increase monthly stewardship experience.

They can fulfil Wisdom and Honor tasks to advance their ranks.

Galliard

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The Galliard is the Keeper, the Garou that masters both lore and song, and pioneers Diplomacy.

In PoD they gain bonuses to defence (scheme and combat) and the "Primal Song" minor decision. They increase monthly diplomacy experience.

They can fulfil Wisdom and Glory tasks to advance their ranks.

Ahroun

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The Ahroun is the Warrior, the Garou most attuned to war and battle, and the masters of Marshal.

In PoD they gain bonuses for combat and the "Inspire" minor decision. They increase monthly martial experience.

They can fulfil Glory and Honor tasks to advance their ranks.

Tip:

  • There is a decision to change your Auspice.
  • This should be done if there is an Auspice more compatible with your current situation.

Breeds

Breeds are traits which represent how a werewolf was born. Typically, members of a Breed will only have children with their breed. Most Garou are homid however, and most lupus in Princes of Darkness will be among the Red Talons. As a lupus, you will occasionally have your pups that changed come forward and join your family, while as a homid, you must fare the night and find human Kinfolk to keep your line going.

Homid:

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A Homid is born to humans.

In PoD their perks give mainly opinion and artifact bonuses.

Lupus:

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A Lupus is born to wolves.

In PoD their perks give mainly combat related bonuses.

Tip: Beyond Human (Homid) is a very powerful perk and could be something to focus on early.

Gifts

Tribe

These are gifts which support the recommended playstyle of their tribe with powerful buffs.

Auspice

These are gifts which support short term (1 life usually) goals with specific buffs.

Breed

These are basic but powerful gifts for the early-game.

Legendary

These are very powerful late-game insurances and should be focuses if the resources and time allows.

Planetary

These are very powerful gifts but have the inherent danger of requiring good umbra knowledge and abilities to cross it.

Military

Knights

Werewolves usually have strong knights as they naturally are strong fighters and with the Crinos form are deadly combatants. With the benefits of the Werewolf Buildings they can rival century old vampires.

Men-at-Arms

Werewolves have access to a wide verity of Men-at-Arms. Each Clan has a unique Men-at-Arms type in their legacy and with access to the umbra they can recruit all kind of Men-at-Arms from there.

The Werewolf buildings also massively boost their Men-at-Arms with stats, numbers and cost reduction.

Buildings

Development

Most buildings require low development in their countries as most Garou are in conflict with humanity. This can only be done through a journey.

Wonder

All starting character (except sister worm) start with a powerful Caern which gives huge benefits. These are required to fulfil the tribe objectives.

Caern

These are duchies buildings which always give monthly lifestyle experience, levies and renown. Depending on the type of Caern they give specific bonuses as well.

Kinfolk

These are buildings that are quickly built and relative cheap to gain basic resources monthly.

Werewolf

These are the main military buildings. They increase knight and Men-at-Arms numbers and effectiveness.

Umbra

The Umbra and more specific the Spirit Wilds which is the main part of the Umbra a Garou has access to and uses. The Spirit Wilds are very helpful as they give a lot of different benefits to Garou who by far benefit the most of it.

Expeditions

These are very important as they are needed for the Legendary Gifts and "The Black Tortoise" Legacy.

Homelands

The homelands are a location in the Umbra. Each tribe has its own one. Having an explorer stationed in your homeland gives you positive events. These can give stress loss, artifacts and stat increases.

Planetary Gifts

These are gifts of the Incarna to the Garou. They are represented as lifestyles and can be gained through studying at their courts. After finishing the lifestyle the Incarna gifts a powerful artifact as well.

The Triat

These are powerful spirits and are located in the deep umbra. After studying them a werewolf can allow them to be possessed by them for more abilities.

  • Kami: The werewolf gets possessed by a gaian spirit. A werewolf can be possessed in the Shard Realm of Prime. Tip: They have a perk to increase life expectancy by 700 years.
  • Fomori: The werewolf gets possessed by a wyrm spirit. A werewolf can be possessed in the wyrm reaches. They always convert to "Black Spiral Dancer".
  • Gorgon: The werewolf gets possessed by a wyld spirit. A werewolf can be possessed in the wyld reaches. They always convert to "The Hood".
  • Drone: The werewolf gets possessed by a weaver spirit. A werewolf can be possessed in the weaver reaches. They always convert to "Warder of Men". Tip: They are always immortal.

Tip: The Umbra is very complex and not necessary needed for a playthrough.

Splat Relations

Garou are not the only supernatural creatures who are hiding from the mortal world in PoD.

Vampires

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Vampires are cursed, undead being that live in a secret society hidden from mortals whose blood (called vitae) they drink to survive.

In PoD Vampires are usually antagonists of Garou as they see vampires as agents of their arch-enemy the Wyrm. But there is the possibility for tribes or packs to forge alliances with vampires for their own benefit.

Kuei-Jin

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Kuei-jin are the vampires of East and Southeast Asia and unlike vampires who live of blood (vitae) they live of Chi.

In PoD the majority of the "Garou Nation" tribes living in and around Europe the don't have much contact with the Kuei-Jin.

Wraith

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A wraith is a ghost, the soul of a person who has died unfulfilled and now haunts the Shadowlands.

In PoD they are not a playable splat and Garou have no contact with them as they travel different paths in the Umbra.

Fae and Changeling

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Fae and Changelings are spirits/sprite hybrids who are native to the Dreaming but some are living in the mortal place in their season Courts.

In PoD the Fae and Garou have mixed opinion about each other depending on the house and tribe they are from. Some Noble Sidhe Houses of the Fae and Tribes of Garou have generation old alliances or grudges.

Demon

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They are fallen angels who chose to side with Lucifer and humanity rather than with God in the first days of Creation. As punishment for their rebellion and disloyalty, the Archangel Michael cast these angels out of Heaven and into the Abyss.

In PoD most Garou don't have contact with demons except in battle. But the Black Spiral Dancer sometimes work together with demons.

Mummy

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Mummies are immortals whose bodies have been ritualistically preserved, and granted the power of self resurrection.

In PoD most Garou don't have contact with mummies except the Silent Striders which are allied with Horus through the Osirian League.

Hunter

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Hunters are humans who fight all supernatural creatures. Inquisitors, Shih and other hunters have their own methods and powers to fight their enemies.

In PoD they usually don't have much contact as most Garou avoid humans and hunter usually don't know of their existence.

Beginner Character

Wepauwet: Green: Mines, Red: Dangerous Power, Yellow: Relative Free Expansion, Blue: Territory needed for Objective

These characters are the best characters to learn the unique playstyle of a werewolf game because of their strong starting position. In this paragraph there is a detailed explanation of their starting positions and game mechanics that can be learned while playing them.

Wepauwet

Game Mechanic: He is generally the best character to learn the core werewolf mechanics.

Character Summary: Wepauwet is an immortal silent strider of the old Egyptian culture. He is a mastermind philosopher (Learning 4 Education) and the leader of the Wheel of Ptah sept. With combined stats of 60 he is a good character but not exceptional for an immortal.

His special content gives him access to the Necromancy lifestyle tree from the mummies.

Starting Situation: The Sept of the Wheel of Ptah starts in northern Africa. In this area there are no big empire or powerful character which could limit the expansion of the sept. In Spain are some bigger kingdoms fighting but they tend to not expand into Africa. By expanding south, the gold mines are an easy way to gain income.

Objectives for a Wepauwet Game: The Silent Strider Objective is an easy first objective to complete.

Difficulties: With having an immortal character succession is not a problem but it limits the easiest way to gain stats by inheriting the titles with a better character.

Yuri Tvarivich: Green: Possible Allies, Red: Dangerous Power, Blue: Territory needed for Objective

Tip: The islands are needed for the objective and easily overlooked.



Yuri Tvarivich

Game Mechanic: He is generally the best character to have a long and mechanically deep werewolf game.

Character Summary: Yuri Tvarivich is the leader of the House Crescent Moon, one of the strongest Werewolf sept at game start. He is a famous champion (Prowess 4 Education) and has combined stats of 60 which is very good for a mortal character. He has an equally skilled sister who is a huge help in managing the sept.

He owns at game start his Klaive which gives him a prowess and prestige boost.

He starts his game in the "Crescent Moon" Coterie with his sister Sophia, Boris as well as Katja and Igor, two of his powerful vassals.

His special content is a powerful modifier which he keeps until he or his sister dies.

Starting Situation: The Sept is located in eastern Ukraine and western Russia. The Sept is surrounded by powerful vampire empires. To the west they border the tzimisce Voivodate and to the north Baba Yaga's Shadow Curtain. In the east are several gangrel kingdoms spanning most of Russia.

The Shadow Lords and Red Talons Septs are relatively close to the Crescent Moon and could be valuable allies.

Objectives for a Yuri Game: The Tribe Objective of the Silver Fang is not an easy first goal, but after completing it Yuri has the best chance of completing the Garou Nation objective and unite the tribes.

Difficulties: The starting situation can be difficult as the Shadow Curtain is no easy opponent. Beating them is usually needed as some of their provinces are required for the Silver Fang objectives.