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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Gaming surveys --> Vampires VS Lycanthropes
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Ody Fan
Karma: 54/39
1117 Posts

Vampires VS Lycanthropes

Okay, we all know I'm vampire crazed. But what's everyone else's opinion on the lycan/vamp war?

Which side are YOU on?

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 01:37:13.

Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts


First of all, there is no war. It is all a conspiracy created by the Mages to get everyone off their backs.

Second, I'm guessing you've been watching too much Underworld since that is the only media I've seen that calls werewolves lycans. The term lycan of course refers to lycanthropy which I personally believe is not limited to only werewolves but rather to any sort of werecreature (werepenguin anyone?).

Underworld is a cool movie, as is its sequal, but that's about it. There is no "war" to speak of, there are no sides to take. I much prefer the World of Darkness approach where there are werewolves, there are vampires and there is the common knowledge that a werewolf can kick a vampire's behind any day of the week. If there would be a side to pick, which there isn't, I would pick the winning side.

Additionally, I believe this thread should belong to the gaming surveys.

Grugg Agrees (to both the moving and werepenguins)

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 02:05:23.
Edited on 2009-01-08 at 02:35:00 by Grugg

Ody Fan
Karma: 54/39
1117 Posts


I knew someone was gonna pull up my favorite move, but here's the deal:


So yeah...

And BTW, it's the weresquirrels that kill you XD

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 02:09:07.
Edited on 2009-01-08 at 02:09:35 by PrincessAli

Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts

Well, if we wanna get technical...

In the book series I'm reading - the Witchling, Changeling, Darkling series by Yasmine Galenorn - it says that Lycan is actually restriced to werewolves, whereas 'Were' is the general term... werepenguin included

But as for my opinion on this... it depends which Vampire reference and which Were reference we are using. If we use the twilight vamp reference, then it is hands down Weres. But, if we use the example of Vampires from the books mentioned above, then I would say vampires.

Sorry to all you twilight fans... not really, but take it anyway... but vampires are supposed to burn when they go into the sun. Not sparkle.

Just my two cents on the matter.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 02:47:46.

Ody Fan
Karma: 54/39
1117 Posts


My opinion: Vampires look beautiful and can only be killed by being burnt. They need blood and can changed their appearance, as well as have a single special talent. They have super skills.

That's my description.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 03:12:53.

Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts

What about the classic?

I'm talking about the steak!!! Wait... that's not right...

The Stake. If vamps take a steak through the heart, they is dead.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 03:30:11.

Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts

One vote for team human…

Vampires? Lycanthropes? Kill them all and let God sort them out.

If you hadn’t guessed, my tabletop group are playing a Hunter the Vigil game and I’m still a bit stoked on it.

And, Skari-Dono, I disagree with your statement that a Werewolf could take down a Vampire without any problems at all in a World of Darkness game.

On average the odds might be stacked in the Werewolf’s favour, but I can think of at least three starting Vampire builds off the top of my head that should be able to kill off pretty much any starting Werewolf without any problems at all.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 18:04:51.
Edited on 2009-01-08 at 18:31:56 by Vorrioch

Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts


A starting vampire with a focus on combat can certainly be given the right stats to take down a werewolf in one-on-one with little trouble. However, a werewolf with the same focus can easily rip the previously mentioned vampire apart.

In order for a vampire with similar focused stats as a werewolf to be likely to win, that vampire has to stay out of the werewolf's range, probably with the use of guns. This is because a) werewolf's claws deal aggravated damage to vampires, b)werewolf's teeth deal aggravated damage to vampires, and c) werewolves gain extra Strength which means they deal extra damage. On a good day even a mortal could take down a werewolf, but generally speaking a werewolf would beat a vampire.

And the part about lycanthopy, I'd like to quote Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, published by Wordsworth Reference.
"Lycanthropy. The insanity afflicting a person who imagines himself to be some kind of animal and exhibits the tastes, voice, etc., of that animal; formerly the name given by the ancients to those who imagined themselves to be wolves (Gr. lukos, wolf, anthropos, man). The werewolf [...] has sometimes been called a lycanthrope; and lycanthropy was sometimes applied to the form of witchcraft by which witches ttansformed themselves into wolves."
What is my point with this? None, but I thought you might find it interesting

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 19:02:43.

Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts

Not 100% with you on that one...

That’s true, on average a combat-focused neonate werewolf should be able to take down a combat-focused werewolf. But even in a straight up fight, I think the vampire would have a few advantages you’re not taking into account:

1) Spending Vitae to increase dice pools. This one works especially well with any dice pool that allows multiple attacks. And this one becomes even more of a factor when you start dealing with older vampires who can use more blood each turn.
2) The three physical Disciplines (Celerity, Resilience and Vigour). These can provide a huge bonus, especially at higher levels, and there’s no equivalent for werewolves.
3) Silver weapons and bullets.

I’m also pretty sure that a Werewolf’s teeth and claws only deal Lethal damage, giving a real advantage to any vampire who uses silver in a fight.

On account of these advantages a few new combat builds open up which simply wouldn’t be as effective for a werewolf. Since it’s bloody cold out tonight and I’m not going anywhere here’s an example. I’d never bring this character to a game (there wouldn’t really be much point…) but you get the idea.

Vampire: The Combatant
- Create a Gangrel, Physical Attributes as Primary, Social as Secondary or Tertiary.
- Dexterity 4, Composure 4. Spend the Favoured Attribute point to raise Composure to 5.
- Take Firearms 5 and a Pistol Specialty.
- Buy 5 dots in Fighting Style Combat Markmanship. Spend your last Merit dot on Quick Draw.
- Buy a pistol and some silver bullets.
- Spend your Discipline points on Resilience 3.

- That gives a combat dice pool of 10. Plus 2 dice for the pistol, minus 1 for using silver ammunition.
- But: with Combat Markmanship 5 you can make 4 attacks each round. (The first at 11 dice, the second at 10 and so on).
- So… you’re now dealing 40 dice of aggravated damage a round, with a possible 9 again depending on the type of gun you’re using.
- Spend a point of Vitae (for a Dexterity bonus of 2) and you’re up to 48.

Unless the werewolf can somehow take out the vampire first you’ll be able to waste him in a single round of combat. (And with an Initiative Bonus of 9, you should be going first anyway).
- Even if the werewolf does somehow manages to survive he’ll probably be in Death Rage and fleeing blindly. In which case there isn’t much stopping the vampire from finishing the job next round.

Why this wouldn’t work as well for a werewolf:
- Vampires only take bashing damage from bullets, they’re also not incapacitated until their last health box is filled with lethal. So, a werewolf would need to deal 20 points of firearms damage to take out the example above.
- Werewolves can’t spend Vitae to increase dice pools and don’t get favoured attributes.

Also, if a war broke out between the Kindred and the Forsaken there’d be a lot more to it than one on one duels.

The general assumption of the game seems to be that vampire society’s a lot less fragmented than the werewolves and that they’ve got significantly greater resources at their disposal. The werewolves are already fighting (and slowly losing ground) on a number of fronts (against the Hosts, the Pure and rogue spirits) while the vampires are more firmly entrenched and only have to worry about the occasional witch-hunter and VII.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 21:27:31.
Edited on 2009-01-08 at 21:29:25 by Vorrioch

Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts


On page 171 in Vampire: the Requiem, Vampires suffer aggravated damage from magically enhanced werewolf claws. This can be debated if werewolf claws are naturally magical or they need to be further enhanced do deal aggravated damage to vampires. I personally go with the former, but the latter is also possible.

However, I disagree that werewolves can't deal aggravated damage to vampires with guns and bullets. Certainly, they can create Fetishes that can deal aggravated damage to a certain group (there is an example of this in the book) so a gun that deals aggravated damage to a vampire is not impossible.

Werewolves in Garou form have more Health than the standard vampire. But with 40 dice of damage each round I doubt it'll matter.

However, werewolves are naturally born hunters. A smart werewolf would get close to the vampire without the prey firing its weapon.

Finally, multiple attacks do not count as a single dice pool. Each attack counts as a seperate dice pool which has to be augmented seperately.

In the end, I think this would probably end up as a game of chance rather than predictable outcome

Oh, and the reason why the vampires have less chance in a full blown war than you want to believe is the innate distrust all vampires have of each other. Not to mention, not all vampires are good at fighting while all werewolves are expected to have good fighting chance against non-werewolves (natural weapons, quicker healing, increased physical attributes and Health). Additionally, because vampires are all undead, they all value their unlives much more than most mortals value their lives. Because of that, vampires are less likely to go into open warfare and thus more likely to lose if they do.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 21:55:09.
Edited on 2009-01-08 at 22:05:29 by Skari-dono

Rystefn K'ryll
Original Palassassin
Karma: 66/191
544 Posts


You're also leaving out the fact that silver is utter crap for making weapons. It's too light to make a good bullet, and too soft to make a good blade. Yeah, they're taking agg from them, but if you know your physics, you'll know that a silver bullet is unlikely to kill a regualr human unless you hit them in the head, even from a .45 at fairly close range. I could fold a silver knife in half with my bare hands, and while I'm not exactly a small peson, I'm nothing like a body-builder or something like that, either. Any game system that makes any kind of sense should reflect this, and it's always bothered me that WoD never addressed these issues, given the existence of shapechangers, and their weaknesses to various metals... Well, the old Breedbook Mokole explained the imprcticality of gold as a weapon, but that's about it... and it still left out that a golden broadsword would be bending under its own weight if held by the handle alone.

To step outside of the WoD concept for a moment, traditionally, there are quite a lot of ways to kill a vampire - the stake through the heart, by the way, is not one of them. That's Hollywood. So is sunlight. Trditionally, sunlight is an annoyance (Bram Stoker has Drac go out in daylilght with nothing but a coat and hat to protect him), and the stake is to hold the monster to the ground so it can't get up while you actually kill it. I've never seen a movie show the right kind of stake, either. Those dinky twelve-inch things you see most of the time won't do it. You're supposed to use a yard-long stake, drive as deep as you can, then saw off most of the top so it can't be pulled out during the ritual. You actually kill the thing by cutting off its head, filling the mouth with holy wafers, burying it at a crossroads, and burning the body.

Of course, if you have less care for the soul of the host body, just burning it will do. Luckily, all a traditional vampire can really do to the living is give them anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or at worst, tuberculasis, all of which are treatable in the modern world.

So far as I'm concerned, a regular wolf is scarier than that, even without the "Were-" prefix.

Oh, and the pretty, pale, and gothy vampire is also a modern invention. traditional vampires were usually bloated, ruddy, and more or less disgusting... part of that from sleeping in the grave and digging free every night, but probably mostly from partial decomposition, which is not exactly sexy in Rystefn's worldview.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 22:41:27.

Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts

Agreed, nothing’s that clear cut…

And if you were to see some sort of general Werewolf/Vampire war in a game then it would be because the Storyteller was using it for dramatic effect… so the outcome would probably just be whatever he felt suited the chronicle best. Neither group would actually have anything much to gain by destroying the other and open warfare would be almost impossible to disguise from mortals and other supernatural creatures.

With regards to multiple actions I understood the rules for spending vitae on p. 157 of Vampire the Requiem to mean ““vampires can spend vitae to increase a dice pool by two for a turn. My dice pool is Dexterity + Firearms and it’s increased by two for the turn.” But you could just as easily interpret it to mean that only one attack is increased.

According to Werewolf the Forsaken (p. 171) a werewolf’s teeth and claws just deal lethal damage. Page 171 of Vampire the Requiem refers to “magically enhanced” werewolf claws as dealing aggravated damage, as there are Gifts that let a werewolf deal aggravated I’d assumed this was what the book was referring to. But, again I guess that you could read it another way if you wanted to.

Sure, a Werewolf could make a pact with a fire-spirit to create a Fetish but this would require merit points, which are probably a combat character’s most valued resource. IMO a vampire who took used a silver weapon and spent the same points on a fighting style or relic would probably get at least as much bang for their buck.

And, werewolves are absolutely hunters… but so are vampires. And by the rules the werewolf would be unlikely to get a surprise round, which should allow for the Quick Draw merit to be used and the vampire to (probably) take down the werewolf in a single combat round with the 40 dice pool.

All vampires may well distrust each other, but the books show us that they’re perfectly capable of working together to overcome even minor crises (such as mortal hunters).

Werewolf society, on the other hand, is hopelessly fractured between the Forsaken, the Pure and the Bale Hounds. It’s difficult to imagine a situation where a Vampire Prince decides to purge his city of Forsaken, and the local Pure don’t either offer to give him a helping hand or simply stand back to watch the mayhem. Even relations between different Forsaken packs seem standoffish at best. You can also bet that the rat- and spider-hosts (whose instincts tell them to hunger for werewolf flesh) are also going to taking advantage of the situation to pick off any werewolf they can.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 22:55:31.

Icelanders! Roll Out
Karma: 102/11
1514 Posts


To correct you, the issue of silver weapons being crap has been covered in WoD, in a supplement known as Armory to be precise. Silver causes a -1 penalty to all weapons that make any actual use of it (bullets in a gun, swords of silver) and any Dramatic Failure will more often than not ruin the weapon completely. I'm writing this by memory, there might be more detail in the actual book.

Additionally, there are several other tricks to get rid of vampires. According to some legends, vampires have a compulsion for counting. Leave a jar of grain near your window and the vampire will stop to count every single grain. If the vampire is still counting when you wake up, shake the jar. The vampire must begin again.

Another legend says that vampires can't live (figurately speaking) with only one sock and will search everywhere for the missing sock should it get lost. So if you somehow manage to steal the monster's sock, put a stone in it and throw it into the river, the vampire will literally search forever for the sock unless someone brings the sock to him from the river.

Vampires can't cross rivers. I think it says somewhere that vampires can't cross running water of any kind.

Salt holds all evil at bay, if I remember correctly, and that counts vampires.

The first time I heard that silver killed werewolves, you had to shoot the werewolf with silver bullets three times in the heart. It had to be the heart and it had to be three times. And it had to be a bullet. Not sure if anything else could kill a werewolf, can't remember.

There is no way of arguing that Bram Stoker had a big hand in making vampires so popular, if it was not his hand alone that did all the work. However, legends of vampires did exist before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula and I'd like to point out that in those legends the sunlight might have been a bane to vampires. I'd like to point out that I'm not well versed in those legends, but if anyone is he/she can point out my folly if there is one.

Vorrioch: Yes, 171 of WtF says that werewolf claws deal lethal damage unless they are using a Gift. I, however, like to believe that werewolf's natural weapons are magically enhanced by nature, or well enough to deal aggravated damage to vampires. Like you said, it's a matter of perspective.
I'd like to make a test of this, but I doubt I'll find all the material I'd need to conduct the experiment

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 23:00:41.
Edited on 2009-01-08 at 23:09:15 by Skari-dono

Chaotic Hungry
Karma: 38/6
406 Posts


Pretty much agree with you there. We were talking about the World of Darkness system specifically.

If you move on to real-world mythology then the problem is that the folklore on vampires and werewolves varies enormously worldwide. Staking vampires, for example, was a purely European superstition. And burning probably wouldn’t do an awful lot against a Chinese vampire.

Depending on which region’s folklore you’re looking at, vampires and werewolves might even be pretty much the same thing. When it comes down to it, both sets of stories play on basically the same human fears.

I don’t really understand the Hollywood sexual obsession with vampire either (let's face it a corpse is probably one of the least erotic things imaginable). But there qas a fairly strong sexualised element even in Bram Stoker and Polidori’s original fiction, so it can’t be an entirely modern development.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 23:22:47.

Rystefn K'ryll
Original Palassassin
Karma: 66/191
544 Posts


-1 is not sufficient. Not even close. It's not quite as bad as D&D saying gold made good armor, but it's not really addressing the issue except to gloss over it.

Also, you should note that I didn't say anything about getting rid of vampires by holding them at bay or sending the to someone else's house - I was only talking about killing them, which neither a jar of grain nor a missing sock will do (and given that the sock a fairly recent invention by clothing standards, I'm not sure where that came from anyway).

Again, running water stop vampires, but doesn't kill them, although I should have said that burying the head in a river might work as well as a crossroads, but you have to be careful, because if it washed ashore, the creature may rise again.

Salt does hold evil at bay, and it does count against vampires, but a stiff breeze can easily lend it a path through, especially if the vamp thinks to blow on it (assuming your breed of vamp can breathe... some cannot). However, since the sea is both flowing water AND salty, disposing of the body therein is generally held to be effective, as I intended to mention before, but on futher review, seem to have left off.

Silver killing werewolves is pretty much Hollywood, but since silver has been widely considered to be proof against evil, it makes a kind of sense (though, historically, many animal changers were not considered evil at all).

I'm not claiming that Stoker invented vampires, merely pointing out that at the time, sunlight did not kill them. I happen to know for a fact precisly the origin of that particular idea, actually. It is the movie "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens" in 1922. Among the many things the filmmakers changed from Stokers version in an (unsuccessful) attempt to bypass copyright protections on Dracula was that sunlight killed him, rather than the Kukri of Stoker's version... also, it is interesting to note that even though in the end of the novel, it seems Dracula is killed by beheading with a large knife, it is repeated several times in other parts of the work that conventional weapons (knives and guns) cannot harm him. Essentially, Stoker himself let us know that Dracula was not, in fact, dead at the end of the book, but changed form (which he had done many times already at that point), and made his escape.

As far as WoD goes, the new rules are substantively different from the old, and one of the ways this is reflected is the toning down of Werewolf awesomeness. In the old rules, even a non-combat specced Garou would tear up nearly any combat-specced Vamp right out of the gate. Vampires were winning that war (which it was at the time), through subtler means. That's what vampires did. For the most part, if a vampire was in a physical fight, the bloodsucker had already screwed up badly. Especially if the fight was against another supernatural. The new rules are a bit more homogenized, and supernaturals are more or less evenly matched in most respects, whereas before, each wildly overmatched most of the others at one or two things... With the exception of Magi, who wildy overmatched nearly everyone at nearly everything, except surviveability, and Changelings, who were essentially the second best at everything.

Posted on 2009-01-08 at 23:49:30.

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