Garou, Honor Among Wolves

“To die among friends. Can a man ask more? Can the world offer less? Who wants to live ’til the last bottle is empty? It’s all for one, d’Artagnan, and one for all.
-The Three Musketeers

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Garou

Amid the clashing of swords and the popping of champagne corks, these stylish wolf folk thrive. Outsiders sometimes expect them to be something akin to a werewolf, but they are more likely to be well-dressed, well-mannered (albeit sometimes hedonistic) philosophers, knights, hunters, and crafters.

Renowned with the Sword

Every garou youngster is trained in the use of swords, be they the child of an elector-prince or of a simple lumberjack. The art of swordsmanship is paramount in their culture and exceptional talent and skill at arms can be one of the fastest paths to class advancement in their society. Each school of combat has its own preferred forms and weapons, but all cover the basics for wielding any sort of sword. There are rumors among other folk that even a garou raised away from their own kind will inevitably seek a sword teacher or simply experiment until they are self-taught if none are available.

Civilized, but with a Warrior’s Heart

Garou society promotes a fondness for refined things, for elegant craftsmanship, for masterful poetry, for excelling in the skill of one’s trade. They also prefer to resolve internal conflicts through contests rather than civil war. However, they live by a philosophy of passions. To fulfill one’s potential, they believe, one must pursue what one is passionate about, without reservation. They will celebrate, mourn, or duel as their hearts demand, and their hearts revel in excitement. Since they rarely take up arms against each other except in single contests or sparring, many will join expeditionary forces or mercenary companies to satisfy their desire to test their skill.

Noble School Lineages

Noble status is only obliquely hereditary in garou society. There are noble families, but to actually possess noble office, one must be in the upper ranks of a noble school, with only the grand master of the most prestigious schools holding the status of elector-prince. The sword schools are so central to garou society, in fact, that most organizations—including trade guilds and temples—have taken the organizational model of these schools. All schools of combat or dueling teach the sword and are considered “sword schools” even if it is not the primary weapon utilized in the style, such as the Loxley Ranger School.

Garou Names

Each garou is given a personal name by their parents at birth and receives as an “errant name” the more prestigious of their parents’ last names. Typically, commoners only have their personal name and errant name, but those who attain full membership in one of the various schools are considered to be adopted into the family of the school’s grand master and add the school’s name to their own. For example, a master in the illustrious Michel Fencing School would add d’Michel to the end of their name, whereas the son of a master of that school would simply have Michel as their errant name until they earned a place in that school (becoming, for example, André Michel d’Michel) or in another (becoming André Michel d’Flament).
Except in formal situations, individuals with a school name will introduce themselves by only their personal name and school name, as the school name itself is akin to a minor noble title. On the rare occasion that someone attains full membership in multiple, such as a sword master who is also a priest of a lineaged temple, the school names will be listed in the order they were attained, as all such organizations are (at least officially) considered equally illustrious, even if only a few have elector seats.

Masculine Names: Adrien, Alexandre, Benoît, Charles, Édouard, Flavien, Gérald, Hercule, Juste, Lune, Maxime, Nicodème, Paol, Philippe, Reynaud, Serge, Yves

Feminine Names: Amélie, Brigitte, Céleste, Élise, Fleur, Juliette, Lucette, Marceline, Placide, Roxanne, Sibylle, Thérèse, Victoire, Yseult, Zoé

Errant (Family) Names: Artagnan, Bellamy, Chevrolet, Fèvre, Gagnier, Joubert, Laurent, Lune, Planchet, Renaud, Savatier, Thénardier, Villenueve

Sword School Names: d’Bélanger, d’Chastain, d’Dantès, d’Enjolras, d’Georges, d’Les Frères, d’Loxley, d’Martel, d’Michel, d’Olympe, d’Porthos, d’Roux, d’Sérafine

Trade Guild School Names: d’Avrigny, d’Brodeur, d’Cloclès, d’Forestier, d’Justine, d’Inès, d’Lachance, d’Lefurgey, d’Montesson, d’Pelletiere, d’Prouvaire, d’Roux-et-blanc, d’Villefort

Religious Order School Names: d’Aramis, d’Bologne, d’Flament, d’Epinay, d’Grantaire, d’Hélène, d’Lévesque, d’Morrel, d’Poirier, d’Rémy, d’Saint-Amour, d’Valois

Garou Traits

Each garou character has a number of inherent abilities regardless of their background.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom scores each increase by 1.
The True Art. Choose either your Strength, Dexterity, or Wisdom score. The chosen ability score increases by an additional 1.
    Age. Garou age faster than humans, reaching maturity by about age 14 and living up to 75 years.
    Alignment. Garou do not possess any particular predisposition toward any alignment.
    Size. Garou are slightly taller and slightly heavier than humans, on average. Your size is Medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Parry and Riposte. When you take damage from a melee attack and are not incapacitated, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage of the attack. When you do so, the damage is reduced by an amount equal to 1d12 + your Strength modifier. If this reduces the damage of the attack to 0 and the attacker is within your melee reach, you can inflict damage to the attacker equal to your Strength modifier. If you are wielding a weapon with the finesse property, you may use your Dexterity modifier in place of your Strength modifier for this ability. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
    Scent. Your sense of smell is as acute as your hearing and eyesight, and can be used comparably for ability checks made to notice or locate things or to recognize or distinguish something by its scent.
    Swordmaster. You are proficient with greatswords, longswords, rapiers, scimitars, and shortswords.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one additional language of your choice.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
4’10″ 125 lbs +2d10 x(2d4)

New Feat


Through extensive training with the sword, you have achieved heights that raw talent cannot, and your dedication and focus has borne fruit in other fields of endeavor as well. You gain the following benefits:

  • When you roll damage for any attack made with a sword and roll a natural 6, roll an additional 1d6 for each natural 6 rolled and add the result to the damage dealt. All additional d6s added by this feat are also subject to this effect.
  • When you are wielding a sword, damage dealt to you by weapon attacks is reduced by 1.
  • Choose a skill or tool you have proficiency with. When making ability checks using this skill proficiency, you add twice your proficiency bonus instead of your normal proficiency bonus.

Legal Appendix

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System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Garou, Honor Among Wolves Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.