The Little Animal that Could
Behold the Beast: The weasel is perhaps the least known, most maligned and most accomplished predator for its size. Weasel is considered a rude thing to call someone, because it means they are sly, sneaky and treacherous. To weasel is to be evasive, slippery and ambiguous. To the little monsters none of these things are necessarily a bad thing.
To those familiar with weasels, whether domestic such as pet ferrets, skunks (descented of course) and tayras, or wild (weasels, wolverines, martens, fishers, otters, badgers, skunks, wolverines and others such as the famous honey badger) the whole group is known for tenacity, curiosity, cleverness, and fearlessness.
Weasels are in fact the smallest group of carnivores, many hunting prey that is several times their size. They exhibit high levels of cunning, instinct, agility, strength and speed. Almost all of them exemplify the traits attributed to being a “weasel” or to “weasel” out of something, but without the negative connotations.
Breed Traits: The weasels are generally not prone to strong use of their eyes, some even wearing glasses or otherwise having vision problems. Even in human form they make greater use of their other senses.
Walking into a room, a Little Monster is more likely to sniff the air and start identifying people they are familiar with, ingredients in a dinner that is being prepared and whether there is a draft in the room or it is getting stuffy. They are very tactile, touching much of the things and people they interact with, and even tasting many things other people would not think to taste.
The Kamaitachi (small weasels) are not accustomed to dealing with others on an even basis. They are used to conquering mountains and dealing with nearly insurmountable odds. They are inquisitive and vicious when threatened.
The Carcajou (wolverines, honey badgers, etc.)...
The Tasku (badgers)…
The Moron'gou (otters and minks)…
The Ahuizotl (giant otters)…
The Seganku (skunks)…
Habitats: Little Monsters have mastered environments from the Arctic to the deserts of Africa. They are able to hunt down prey many times their size and have over-developed senses of curiosity and determination. They will be found anywhere they decide might be interesting to go.
Predators and Prey: The majority of Little Monsters are obligate carnivores. This means that they eat very little other than meat and many have trouble digesting much in the way of vegetable matter. Everything from insects and venomous snakes to rabbits and deer are on the menu. To a feral of this breed, with the capacity to change, a moose or another “top” predator is completely on the menu.
Seganku (skunks) have a fairly varied diet in comparison, although their diet is still considered meat-heavy by even many other predators.
Spirit-Ties: Most of the Little Monsters are
Kin: The breed’s closest companions and their usual relationships with same.
Society: How these werefolk act when and if they congregate.
Alphas: How they assert (or don’t assert) dominance in groups.
The Ahuizotl on the other hand…
Character Creation: The essential traits involved when using them as characters.
Common Merits: Ambidextrous, Brawling Dodge, Danger Sense, Fast Reflexes, Fleet of Foot, Iron Stamina, Natural Immunity, Quick Healer, Strong Back, Strong Lungs, Toxin Resistance
How the various accords come through in ferals of this breed.
Den-Warder: Fierce defenders of what is theirs and what they view as being theirs, they are willing to risk all to protect their den … what are you willing to risk to get in?
Heart-Ripper: Little Monsters are the consummate predators. They are one of the few carnivores that have to consistently bring down prey larger than they are to survive. Heart-Ripper is a natural for ferals of this breed. They study their prey, choose the moment to pounce, are lightning fast to strike and vicious to anyone they call enemy.
Root-Weaver: This is an uncommon accord amongst the Little Monsters. Most of the weasels are not prone to a lot of future planning, and tend to have a few others around them that are more inclined to help them with it.
Sun-Dancer: The care-free attitude certain Little Monsters show is indicative of their curiosity, playful nature and love of life.
Wind-Chaser: Curiosity and a need to stand on their own cause many a weasel to explore the world, discovering everything they can and choosing when to and when not to have companions. Those Little Monsters that prefer the company of the wind and the trees to other people follow this path.
- Man: "Man fears the darkness, and so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire."
- Mages: "They have the ultimate power to change the now, but are stuck in the past."
- Vampires: "What a waste. They can only experience half the world and are stuck with a liquid diet. Blech!"
- Werewolves: "Full of themselves and their civil war, they lost their purpose and squabble about who’s fault it is instead of moving on."
Note: Any mention of Musk refers to Poof!, a revised version included in this document.
Stoking the Fires
(Ratel/Honey Badger, Wolverine, Tayra, Grison)
– Ernest Thompson Seton
Breed Favors: Fang and Claw (teeth) 1 (L), Poof! ••, Natural Armor •
Breed Bonus: Fang and Claw (claws) 1 (L) except in Man-Guise, Durga’s Blessing only costs •• and is known as Wendigo’s Blessing
Common Favors: Echolocation, Loose Skin, Natural Armor • to ••, Needleteeth
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Aura of Confidence, Aww!!!, Beast Surge, Blend In, Burrowing, Carnivore's Puissance, Clever Monkey, Culling the Weak, Durga's Blessing, Hound's Honor, Keen Sense (smell), Nine Lives, Spinebite, Stash, Unsettling Eye, War Heart, Weasel War Dance, Weatherskin.
- War-Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +3, Stamina +2, Manipulation -4, Size 6, Health +3, Speed +7 (species factor 7), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
- Primal Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +2, Stamina +3, Manipulation -4, Size 3, Health +1, Speed +4 (species factor 5), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
Curiosity Brought the Otter Back
(Mink, River Otter, Sea Otter)
"...the joyful, keen and fearless otter; mild and loving to his own kind, and gentle with his neighbor of the stream; full of play and gladness in his life, full of courage in his stress; ideal in his home, steadfast in death; the noblest little soul that ever went four-footed through the woods."
– Ernest Thompson Seton
Breed Favors: Aquatic ••, Fang and Claw (teeth) 1 (L), Poof! ••
Breed Bonus: Otters and minks are excellent swimmers and a significant portion of their food is found in the water so they have become adept hunters in water. Moroun’gou gain Keen Senses (sight, touch) while in the water, +1 to Athletics rolls to swim and +1 to Hold Breath rolls.
Common Favors: Echolocation, Loose Skin, Natural Armor •, Needleteeth
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Aura of Confidence, Aww!!!, Birth Blessing, Burrowing, Clever Monkey, Hound's Honor, Keen Sense (smell), Leap, Mercy's Touch, Mimic, Spinebite, Territory Bond, Unnerving Cry, Weasel War Dance, Weatherskin.
- War-Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +3, Stamina +2, Manipulation -2, Size 6, Health +3, Speed +6 (species factor 6), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
Primal Beast: Strength +1, Dexterity +4, Stamina +2, Manipulation -1, Size 3, Health +0, Speed +5 (species factor 5), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
(Ermine, (Black-Footed) Ferret, Polecat, Sable, Weasel, Zorilla)
"I watched a weasel outwit, outrun, assault, subdue, and kill an adult rabbit once. The rabbit weighed between two and three pounds; the weasel about four ounces. That's an animal the size of half a banana taking down one bigger than a supermarket chicken."
– Mick McAllister, www.dancingbadger.com
Appearance: Long, slender skulls and sinuous bodies that fit anywhere the skull can go…
Breed Favors: Blend In, Fang and Claw (teeth) 1 (L), Poof! ••
Breed Bonus: ??
Common Favors: Echolocation, Loose Skin, Needleteeth
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Aura of Confidence, Aww!!!, Burrowing ••, Catwalk, Clever Monkey, Hound's Honor, Keen Sense (smell), Leap, Resilient Form, Spinebite, Stash, Weasel War Dance, Weatherskin.
- War-Beast: Strength +1, Dexterity +3, Stamina +2, Manipulation -2, Size 5, Health +2, Speed +5 (species factor 6), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
- Primal Beast: Strength -1, Dexterity +7, Stamina +1, Manipulation -1, Size 1, Health -3, Speed +4 (species factor 3), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
Confidence in Spades
“At that point, looking remarkable healthy, the skunk gave me the finger (I swear!) and casually strolled back into the woods.”
– William Shatner
Breed Favors: Fang and Claw (teeth) 1 (L), Poof! •••
Breed Bonus: When using Poof! at range, a Seganku can affect an area with a diameter 10’ greater than the standard Musk (30’ for spray; if they raise Poof! to •••• then they can use cloud with an area of 25’).
Common Favors: Echolocation, Loose Skin, Natural Armor •, Needleteeth
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Aura of Confidence, Birth Blessing, Burrowing, Catwalk, Clever Monkey, Foretelling, Hound's Honor, Hypnotic Allure, Keen Sense (smell), Mercy's Touch, Shadow Bond, Spirit Secrets, Spirit Sight, Weatherskin.
- War-Beast: Strength +1, Dexterity +3, Stamina +3, Manipulation -3, Size 5, Health +3, Speed +4 (species factor 5), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required) (throwback or dire-beast instead??)
- Primal Beast: Strength +1, Dexterity +2, Stamina +3, Manipulation -2, Size 2, Health +0, Speed +2 (species factor 4), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
– Ambrose Redmoon
Breed Bonus: none
Common Favors: Echolocation, Loose Skin, Natural Armor • to ••, Needleteeth
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Aura of Confidence, Aww!!!, Burrowing •••, Catwalk, Clever Monkey, Earthbond, Hound's Honor, Keen Sense (smell), Mother's Fury, Pack Bond, Stash, Territory Bond, Unsettling Eye, Weatherskin
- War-Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +2, Stamina +3, Manipulation -3, Size 5, Health +3, Speed +5 (species factor 6), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
- Primal Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +1, Stamina +2, Manipulation -3, Size 3, Health +0, Speed +1 (species factor 4), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
The River Wolves
"A cross-bowman slew a beast that resembled a large cat, but was much bigger and had a face like a man. He transfixed it with an arrow from the breast to the tail. Nevertheless it was so fierce that he had to cut off an arm and a leg. When a wild boar, which had been given to me as a present, caught sight of this beast its bristles stood on end and it fled with all speed ... the animal immediately attacked the wild boar, encircled its mouth with its tail and squeezed vigorously. With the one arm it had left, it throttled the wild boar's throat as one strangles a foe."
– Christopher Columbus, in a letter sent from Jamaica to the King and Queen of Spain on July 7, 1503
The rarest of the Little Monsters. Description.
Breed Favors: Fang and Claw (teeth) 1 (L), Poof! ••, Unnerving Cry
Breed Bonus: For an extra dot, when purchasing Extra Limb (prehensile tail) they actually have a small four-fingered (no thumb) hand at the end of the tail. This hand can do most anything a normal hand can.
Common Favors: Echolocation, Extra Limb (prehensile tail), Loose Skin, Natural Armor • to ••, Needleteeth
Common Aspects: Alarming Alacrity, Aura of Confidence, Aww!!!, Beast Surge, Burrowing ••, Carnivore's Puissance, Clever Monkey, Culling the Weak, Earthbond, Hound's Honor, Keen Sense (smell), Leap, Mimic, Pack Bond, Spinebite.
- War-Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +3, Stamina +2, Manipulation -3, Size 7, Health +4, Speed +5 (species factor 5), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
- Primal Beast: Strength +2, Dexterity +2, Stamina +2, Manipulation -3, Size 5, Health +2, Speed +6 (species factor 7), +2 to perception rolls (except when sight is required)
Loose Skin (••••)
Many animals have tough, loose skin that makes it more difficult for an attacker to find and injure something vital.
When in physical contact with an opponent, the feral can spend an essence point to be able to twist around within her own skin, cancelling any penalties resulting from being pinned or grappled, and increasing defense by +2.
Poof! (•• to ••••)
Similar to skunks and polecats, certain ferals can spray clouds or blasts of revolting musk or urine. All characters within the vicinity of such foulness must make Stamina rolls or suffer dizziness and nausea almost immediately. (Ferals use Stamina + Feral Heart to combat the effects, while other supernatural creatures use their usual Resistance trait for physical attacks.) The player rolls Dexterity + Feral Heart to activate this favor and must spend an Essence point to activate this power.
Whether a cloud or spray is created, those in the center of the effect take a –3 penalty to the Composure roll, and become carriers for the musk’s effects (meaning that anyone coming in physical contact with them also stinks). Anyone within the area of the effect who fails the Composure roll suffers a –2 penalty to physical dice pools, and -1 to their perception rolls, Defense, and Initiative. Be careful as this can affect allies as well, but will never affect the feral themselves. The most serious effects last for one combat, but the stench lingers for a number of days equal to the werebeast’s Feral Heart (-1 to Persuasion rolls unless the other person has no sense of smell).
For two dots, an invisible cloud radiates out from the feral. Anyone within 5 feet is considered the target. The number of successes determines the number of characters within 15 feet of the feral that are caught in the cloud. Regardless of successes rolled, potential targets must all be standing within the cloud area to be affected.
For three dots, the feral character can instead spray a stream with this sickening attack. The player rolls Dexterity + Feral Heart, targeting an individual or an area on the ground up to 30 feet away; the number of successes is the number of targets within a 20 foot radius area hit by the spray. Regardless of successes rolled, potential targets must all be standing within the cloud area to be affected.
For four dots, a feral has both abilities (cloud and spray) and may choose which one is used each time. In addition their musk is particularly potent and inflicts a -3 penalty to physical die pools instead of a -2.
"It has small, pointed ears, just like a small dog. It is black, like rubber; smooth, slippery, very smooth, longtailed. And its tail is provided with a hand at the end; just like a human hand is the point of its tail. And its hands are like a raccoon's hands or like a monkey's hands. It lives, it is a dweller in watery caverns, in watery depths. And if anyone arrives there at its entrance, or there in the water where it is, it then grabs him there. It is said that it sinks him, it plunges him into the water; it carries him to its home, it introduces him to the depths; so its tail goes holding him, so it goes seizing him ... When the body is retrieved the one it has drowned no longer has his eyes, his teeth, and his nails; it has taken them all from him. But his body is completely unblemished, his skin uninjured. Only his body comes out all slippery-wet; as if one had pounded it with a stone; as if it had inflicted small bruises ... When it was annoyed - had caught no one, had drowned none of us commoners - then was heard as if a small child wept. And he who heard it thought perhaps a child wept, perhaps a baby, perhaps an abandoned one. Moved by this, he went there to look for it. So there he fell into the hands of the Ahuizotl, there it drowned him..."
– Book 11 of the Florentine Codex (a description of the plants and animals of Mexico)
Aura of Confidence (••)
When a feral moves through crowds or combat, others instinctively move out of the way to allow them to move through the area. The use of this gift causes people to subconsciously avoid the shapechanger, giving them moving space.
With a successful Presence + Socialize (or Athletics in combat) + Ferocity or Passion (whichever is greater) a feral can navigate a crowd of people unhindered. To resist, those who come within 10 feet of the werebeast must make a Composure roll. If they cancel the successes of the aura, then they need not move out of the way of the feral.
Weasel War Dance (•••)
Many species of weasel use the “Weasel War Dance” as a means of confusing and disorienting predators and prey alike. It consists of a frenzied series of sideways and backwards hops, often accompanied by an arched back, hissing noises, and a frizzy tail. This visual display is perplexing and mesmerizes those observing it. In the case of a small weasel or ferret this can look cute while watching a Dire Beast badger or wolverine is likely to inspire a deer-in-the-headlights look and a puddle between the shoes.
Many other animals use erratic behavior as a distraction or to convince a predator that this is not a worthy, or even safe, meal.
The feral chooses a target and makes a Presence + Athletics roll to mesmerize them. With an exceptional success, anyone else who happens to notice has the potential to be effected as well. To resist, the target must cancel the feral’s roll with a Wits + Composure roll. Others who witness an exceptional success must make the same roll, but are +2 to the roll since they are not the target. Each person or animal that fails the roll is -2 to their next action.
If this ability is used to start combat, then the weasel gets a surprise attack against the target and a +2 to the attack roll if the target fails to resist the weasel war dance.
If the weasel finishes the dance by collapsing and playing dead, then the target must instead resist with a Wits + Medicine roll to determine what happened to the weasel. If they fail they believe the weasel to be unconscious or dead.
This ability may be used in any form other than Homid.