• each individual dot counts as one kinfolk who is actual character played by self or someone else.
  • unlimited at creation
  • unlimited with XP (2 xp per dot)
  • kinfolk can be allies or enemies but no additional backgrounds are required- just roleplay it out.

Blood relatives, mates, wards or other kinfolk that you consider "yours" and feel a responsibility towards. That doesn't mean they necessarily like you or consider you "theirs" in return. Unless they are just background information in history, human kinfolk need to actual characters (yours or someone elses) that can be interracted with via scene. If a kinfolk dies or is retired/dropped, then the dot of kinfolk is lost. Having kinfolk provides a slight amount of status, especially when the kinfolk is a fertile female mate or young children. Lupusand child kinfolk under the age of 5-6 do not need their own sheets and handles and can just be part of the prose described in scenes.


  • covers Garou mentors only
  • must be an established character played by self or someone else.
  • the number of dots invested count towards the mentor's rank.
  • cubs -must- have a mentor and buy the background to cover their mentor's rank.
  • The number of dots invested count towards the mentor's rank. (1=cliath, 5=elder)

An older, wiser elder who advises and educates you. Cubs must have mentors (even Shadow Lord cubs- they just have to buy the merit as well) played by self or someone else. 1=cliath, 2=fostern, 3=adren, 4=athro, 5=elder. You must ask the player of said mentor permission to take them as such and work out how/when mentoring will take place. If a mentor character is unexpectedly dropped/retired and staff replace the mentor with one of their own characters or ask another player to step in and someone of higher rank takes over in-game, there is no xp cost to raise background. Just be sure to adjust sheet accordingly.

Past LivesEdit

  • can be taken up to 3 at creation
  • can be increased to max of 5 with HST approval based on consistent roleplay & developed past life story
  • similar to Ancestors; may add past life dice to any combat/social challenge roll once per day.
  • must take the flaw Flashbacks for each dot you take in Past Lives (you gain the freebies at creation)

Unlike ancestral recall, you are channeling the memories of a previous incarnation and doing so to overcome a foe of some kind. This experience tends to be more vivid and personalized- the flaw Flashbacks comes into play specifically with this background. Before utilizing past lives, roll a 1d10. If it comes up a 1, flashbacks activate and the character is caught up in a vision or hallucination of the past that disrupts whatever they were doing.and they freeze in place- taking damage of any kind (from a slap to something more serious) will typically disrupt the flashback. Players with Past Lives can also voluntarily roleplay out flashbacks in non combat situations for added drama to their scenes. Past Lives/Flashbacks and Nightmares can be combined for dramatic roleplay opportunities.

Pure BreedEdit

  • must be taken at creation
  • can be modified from that used in other rooms
  • Bone Gnawers & Glasswalkers cannot take Pure Breed
  • Children of Gaia, Uktena (Garou & Kinfolk) can buy up to 3 dots of Pure Breed with good concept/history but keep in mind its supposed to be rare.
  • Black Furies, Shadow Lords, Get of Fenris, Fianna can buy up to 4 dots of Pure Breed with good concept/history but keep in mind its supposed to be rare.
  • Red Talons, Silent Striders, Wendigo can buy up to 5 dots of Pure Breed with good concept/history but keep in mind its supposed to be rare.
  • Silver Fangs *must* have 3 dots Pure Breed and can buy up to two more with good concept/history. Pure Breed 5 Silver Fangs need to belong to both one of the Houses & Lodges.
  • each dot of Pure Breed allows a Garou +1 dice to all social-based rolls with all Garou + tribal totem (and its brood) + (aware or unaware) kinfolk of their tribe.
  • each dot of Pure Breed allows a kinfolk +1 dice to all social-based dice rolls only with Garou and kinfolk (aware or unaware) of their tribe.

Both your physical and spiritual lineage/pedigree among the Garou. There is much less focus on the "biology" of Pure Breed and more focus on the "spirituality" of Pure Breed in Dusk compared to TC. While Garou and kinfolk with Pure Breed are more likely to have a Trueborn child, there is no actual pure breed gene. Pure Breeding or tribal purity is marked by not only how a character looks but in the nature of their spirit. For example: Silver Fangs with high Pure Breed should be more affected by the Secret of Kingship (and accompanying lunacy) than those with less, Red Talons with high Pure Breed will never participate in homid social rituals like clothes, eating with silverware, mating a homid. Metis rarely have high pure breed despite being more in touch with their crinos nature- they are viewed as spiritually "flawed" by the Nation and tribal totems. Pure Breed cannot be gained in-game but it can be lost: if a character becomes a ronin, part of the ritual that casts them from the nation also rips away their Pure Breed; their children might still be born with it. See How Pure Breed Works for additional information. Also, for Silver Fangs the attributes of Pure Breed can vary between House in Dusk- see The Silver Fangs of Dusk.


*can be taken to 3 at creation by homids besides Bone Gnawers, Silent Striders

  • Lupus should never have personal resources- that's what sponging off allies and packmates is for.
  • Metis should only have personal resources above one for a really good reason.
  • Even Bone Gnawers & Silent Striders can buy resources up to 3 with XP.
  • Glasswalkers can purchase up to 5 dots of resources with good in-game reasons.

Your personal wealth/income and ability to buy your own possessions. Typically, Garou rely upon their kinfolk to provide them with financial resources. This is true for even the Silver Fangs and Glasswalkers. If a character has friendly kinfolk or packmates with personal resources, it can be assumed that they have access to at least some if not all of it. Garou really shouldn't own their own cars, homes, or collect a lot of "stuff" the way humans and even kinfolk do. High Rage + primal urges do very bad things to "stuff" that are not fetishes.


*unlimited at creation except that level of rite learned cannot exceed ritual knowledge

  • unlimited by XP except that level of rite cannot exceed ritual knowledge.
  • post-creation, it takes one week per level to master a rite and no other rites can be learned during that time.
  • rites can be learned from other Garou; this can be roleplayed out, even if in just a solo.
  • some rare or "special" tribal rites and such may require HST approval. A list of these will be composed.

Describes the number and/or level of rites you have learned- the level is limited by your Rituals knowledge. You may take more than 5 dots of rites at creation for cliath characters; homid cubs may have Rite of Talisman Dedication if their mentor teaches it to them; pre-change cubs cannot have rites.

Spirit GuideEdit

  • max 3 at creation
  • max of 5 with XP; increasing above 3 requires HST approval and very good story reasons.

Like familar spirits, a guide is not necessarily part of the Umbrood. Chimera and ghosts can also serve as spirit guides if a character's background allows for it or someone opts to make an actual spirit guide character for someone else. Guides come to characters during dreams, vision quests, personal meditation but rarely manifest especially in the physical realm. They can communicate through images, symbols, sounds, words. They are subtle and elusive and have their own agenda that is not necessarily in the character's immediate self-interest. They do not meet the criteria of allies; they are not interested in the well-being of the character as much as they are interested in seeing the character develop a certain way or even accomplish specific goals. Staff might sometimes throw characters plot hooks via their spirit guides; to decipher these visions, a roll of perception + engimas is required, difficulty set by the staff member.

Spirit HeritageEdit

  • max 3 at creation
  • max of 5 with XP; increasing above 3 requires HST approval and very good story reasons.

For all that the Garou are born to flesh, they are half spirit, and share a strong kinship with the spirit world. This is especially true for Garou with this background -- they resonate strongly with one particular type of spirit, and spirits of that type will usually respond positively to them, seeing the Garou as one of them. All social rolls for dealing with that type of spirit gain bonus dice equal to the level of the background. At low levels, only the spirits are likely to pick up on your bond, but at the higher levels, it becomes clear, even manifesting in the character's appearance in the Umbra.

Spirit NetworkEdit

This background is like contacts except involves major and minor spirits in the local area rather than humans. It is most common among Theurge, although occasionally Garou of another auspice might develop it. Note that Garou new to the area cannot begin play with this background. Rather than individual spirits, each dot represents a different local area in the Dusk setting which currently stretches roughly 100 sq miles. A list of local areas is forthcoming.


*max 5 at creation

  • max 5 with XP; all characters who want to join a pack and experience the Rite of Totem should have at least dot of totem first.

Pack and Caern totems are aspects of powerful Umbrood spirits that are willing to intimately ally themselves with shapeshifter packs. They offer many gifts and advantages to those they patronize but have their own bans they expect of their followers. The Umbrood make different types of pacts with Garou than they do with other Fera, with Dream Speakers and with the Nunnehi. The traditional Rite of the Totem works exclusively to bind Garou into a pack. The creation of other rites to allow for "mixed packs" of Garou, Fera, kinfolk with gnosis, kinfolk sorcerers with mana (mana=gnosis in HST's paradigm), kinfolk changelings with the nunnehi version of totem would take a lot of long-term roleplay and need to involve multiple knowledgeable characters making some amazing dice rolls along the way but isn't completely out of the question. We'll see.

go to Backgrounds A-F