Gaia’s Healing and Strength
Details: Gurahl are mighty and yet are also gentle giants that heal. They had taught many of the other Shifter groups how to heal and they will be glad to let them know it. Bears are not so proud that they are blind and many often can be surprisingly humble in nature. However, pissing one off can end someone’s life pretty quick. There is a place in the Umbra that many Gurahl have gone to, in order to escape some of the brutality of humankind and the enemies that pursue them relentlessly, but not all of them have made this venture and slowly, their numbers have begun to rise.
Breeds: Gurahl have two breeds, homid and ursine. They choose their mates carefully using rituals and advice from spirits (and each other). Homid Gurahl are rarer than ursine, but not so uncommon. Ursine werebears are often born in national parks, zoos, and, of course, the wilds.
Homid Gurahl begin with Rage 3 and Gnosis 4
Ursine begin with Rage 4 and Gnosis 5.
Auspices: Gurahl have five auspices that roughly correspond with those of the Garou, but each werebear passes through each auspice over the course of his life. During each phase, the Gurahl can learn Gifts particular to that auspice, meaning that elder Gurahl have a wide range of mystic skill, indeed. From the First Change until the character experiences her first real battle without assistance, she is an Arcas (new moon). From that point until she settles down a bit (usually after taking a mate or claiming territory), she is an Uzmati (full moon). The next phase is one of remembering and learning lore and history, the Kojubat phase (gibbous moon), followed by a period of reflection and turning inward. During this Kieh (crescent moon) phase, the Gurahl learns rites and expands her knowledge of Gifts. Finally, the Gurahl becomes an elder, a Rishi (half moon). At this stage, other werebears seek her out for guidance and wisdom.
• Gurahl use Gnosis in the same fashion as Garou.
• Werebears use Rage differently, however. A Gurahl uses Rage to boost Strength or Stamina or to add extra health levels. One Rage point increases the character’s base Strength to double its normal (Homid form) value. The character can also boost Stamina up to double its value in the character’s current form by spending Rage on a one-for-one basis. Finally, the character can add health levels on a one-for-one basis, but these do not heal existing wounds.
• Gurahl only frenzy if the player scores five successes on a Rage roll (difficulty 8).
• Adamant Will: Gurahl gain one automatic success in any opposed Willpower roll involving their need to protect and defend. Attempts by supernatural creatures to affect the mind or will or to possess the body of a Gurahl are made at +2 difficulty.
• Keen Smell: In all but the Homid form, a Gurahl’s sense of smell is highly developed. Perception rolls involving odors are made at a –2 difficulty (except when the Gurahl is in Homid form). This sensory acuteness enables the Gurahl to identify individuals by their perfume or natural body scent and to sniff out taint or toxins in food or water, as well as other tasks involving smell.
• Poor Eyesight: In Homid form, Gurahl have normal eyesight (subject to individual variations); in every other form, werebears have relatively poor vision. They are not blind, but they do not rely primarily on their sight and tend not to notice visual cues as rapidly as other Breeds. Perception rolls based on sight alone are made at a +2 difficulty unless the Gurahl is in Homid form.
• Seasonal Lethargy: Though Gurahl do not have to hibernate every winter, they do become more lethargic during the winter months. This manifests in small ways, such as habitual lateness. Gurahl subtract two from their initiative score during the winter.
• Gurahl begin play with Willpower 6.
Forms: Werebears can assume five forms, much like those of the Garou. Homid form is a normal human; werebears tend to be slow, thoughtful and large. The other forms are as follows:
Arthren: The “near-man” form of the Gurahl resembles the stereotypical wild man of the mountains. Arthren Gurahl gain both height and weight, approaching the human extreme for both. Their voices are often guttural and harsh, but they speak normally. Modifiers: Str +3, Sta +3, Man –2, App –2
Crinos: The Gurahl’s “fighting” form inspires nightmares in humans (invoking the Delirium). Reaching somewhere between 10 and 16 feet in height, the Crinos Gurahl may weigh up to a ton. Its face becomes bearlike, and non-retractable claws extend to nine inches on both fore and hind paws. The Gurahl’s fur takes on a denser texture, providing natural armor to absorb damage. These Gurahl can speak only in harsh monosyllables. This form incites full Delirium. Modifiers: Str +5, Dex –1, Sta +5, Man –3, App 0
Bjornen: The “near-bear” form calls to mind images of prehistoric cave bears. Taller and longer than contemporary bears, they have elongated claws and sharp fangs. In this form, a Gurahl reverts to instinctual “thinking” and lose the ability to converse in human language altogether. This form incites full Delirium. Modifiers: Str +4, Dex –2, Sta +4, Man –3
Ursus: Gurahl in Ursus form are no different in appearance than normal bears. Homid Gurahl tend to take the Ursus form of their tribe. When in this form, Gurahl tend to think like the bears they resemble. Modifiers: Str +3, Sta +3, Man –3
Sample Gifts: Werebear Gifts focus on healing, easing suffering, and mitigating pain. Their auspice Gifts are similar to the Garou Gifts of the appropriate auspice.