Creating a Mistery Cult For a Werewolf Bjornaer

Hey guys,

This topic will be a bit out of what bjornaers typically like or not. I do believe bjornaer is a house that lies a bit low. At least for the moment in my game. Being said, this man wants to really focus in combat. But animals are fine at the beggining, because u start with a high brawl skill by default. After a while and compared to grogs you do lack a lot fin any case, your weapons are really bad in comparison and your armor is also really low. As has been mentioned in another post of this same forum:

We builted a convenant in Knossos, in the labyrinth of the minotaur and the minotaur is the patron. The point is that after seeing this cult he though about another game in wich werewolves do have a very powerful combat fighting form, maybe you know it :stuck_out_tongue: . He though about doing something like a werewolf. For the Mistery cults i read in the Bjornaer book, there is an easy mistery to transform parts of yourself in animal form, but I do not think that can be used to achieve something similar to a Werewolf so I though into creating a new Mistery Cult. (If you think I am wrong on this pls correct me)

The Mistery Cult i though about does something around this line:

First cult power would be the one I talked in the parafrah before, then he would have an advance one, in wich he would be able to transform his body as he pleases to mix his animal form and human form, but for the size. So if it was an eagle with a human, eagle wings would not be functional as they are too little to give flying to a character with human size. This power would allow him, to mix the stats of any of his forms freely, and also have hands if he wants to. (How do you feel about this, would be a mayor or minor virtue) (I do think it could be seen as minor, you are only mixing what you have by raw)

To end I was thinking about being able to mix his human and his animal form freely. So you could choose any size, and any stats value that both forms have. You could even choose any stats and size that is in between those values freely. (I do think appart from size, most of the rest is a little crap, when you wanna fight you do prefer max stats to fight, and when you want to do something else, you want the max stats to do it.) . I would see this as a "mayor virtue"

Another option would be for the second "virtue" to force him to be locked with the usual stats when he is transforming, even when he does transform into a werewolf form, but being able to walks on 2 feet, have hands and so on, so he could use weapons. And the last one to be able to mix his stats completly freely.

I would balance this with flaws acordingly. I do think that basic Ars Magica does not cover this kind of transforming. Do you think this is too much effort for the player for a minor bonus?. I mean, lerning Mistery cults by yourself is a lifelong work, it is too tough to initiate yourself into any Mistery by the rules. So would you think this is something that is not worth the "reward". Would you improve it anyway? Or do you think it is too powerful? The character would mix wolf with human. I do think it´s not much powerful for the effort it requires, but feel free to tell me what you feel about it.

Many thanks

Certain animals can be pretty damn devastating in combat. Even if I'm playing a specialized combatant I wouldn't completely disregard a Wolf Pack, Lion or a Bear as a threat. Sure the former is individually weak, but more than makes up for it with its capacity to act as a trained group

That being said, the Bjornaer do have something that can fit your player's needs...with a caveat. The Inner Heartbeast is an absolute gem and allows you to augment your animal form with more qualities, more virtues, more powers, improved characteristics (beyond mortal limits), permanent size increase etc. Depending on the choice of the path (Epitome / Anima in this instance) he could also perform mythic feats by spending confidence points (insta medium/heavy wound, don't recall which, acting twice a turn, and the likes), or he could become beast of stone, with absolutely asinine soak bonuses and wound increment increase.

As a bonus, these forms can be used in Certamen, allowing you to absolutely decimate even a Tremere :wink:

But I imagine he wishes for a more traditional Werewolf form, half-human half-wolf. Problem is that Ars Werewolves don't work like that. There are creatures like that out there, but they are not strictly speaking Lycanthropes.

Muspelli Ettin-Mod can achieve this Werewolf aesthetic, and is almost exactly like the Inner Heartbeast in terms of refinements it can have. He could try unlocking this via research into "Potent Mythic Blood", but that would only benefit him if he has it Mythic Blood...though, not that said virtue can't be acquired in play...

Last but not least, he could of course, achieve this with a spell HERESY!. How this looks like is the same as a usual shapechanging spell, except it uses Part target. You take the physical stats of a beast, but keep the mental stats of your human form, bipedal stance, usable hands, natural weapons and whatever protection value animal form had. Do you keep any other animal qualities? Unclear. (For more, check Between Sand & Sea, The Shapeshifters of the Maghreb).

Quite. Have a look at Bjornaer's original cult: HoH:MC p.7 Bjornaer the Founder and p.9 box The Gothic Shapeshifters. Lots of trouble ahead for this Mystery Cult!

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Yea I read about that. But they are werewolf hunters, They do not allow but 1 form and so on.

[quote] Certain animals can be pretty damn devastating in combat. Even if I'm playing a specialized combatant I wouldn't completely disregard a Wolf Pack, Lion or a Bear as a threat. Sure the former is individually weak, but more than makes up for it with its capacity to act as a trained group[quote/]

A wolf pack is scary as an individual, a trained standard soldier group, shreds the wolfs. They are ok, for light combat, but they are not good for tough combat. The player did read about the inner beast and did not like it as much as the werewolf thing. There is a flaw in the basic book that is Werewolf have not read it yet. Thats why I got into it by creating a Mistery Cult, It is not half human half wolf stricktly is wolf´s bonus + human´s bonus, he is a somewhat usually "minxmax" player new to ars, so he went to the route i supposed he most easily saw to be a better fighter, appart from the fact that I thinked he liked the werewolf theme.

It may be created as spell, but how tough would it be, would you use base 15 or base 25 for something like it? Does it really fit into the thing. As a bonus i though of giving him other power if in the forums was seen as a lesser power. he could create spells to transform into diferent animals, although that thing is not seen properly by Bjornaers, and use his Mistery power in any efect he has casted on him now, + he had practiced for a season to master. So efectively he could create many transform spells and combine them. I though it, as I am telling you as a bonus, if the other stuff was not powerful enough.

By your post it does look to me, that this Mistery cult would be a bit underpowered in your opinion do you?

Many thanks

Keep in mind, a Bjornaer that fights in Animal form, could spend some of his Adventure XP on improving his Brawl, in Animal Form, thereby achieving higher scores than a regular animal. I can see a possibility for some new Inner Heartbeast mystery, for those who have Theriomorphy, where they blend the animal and human, if he wants to go that way.

But really, once you initiate Inner Heartbeast, especially if you go Epitome, You can initiate further virtues like Puissant Brawl, Tough, and such, to make your Inner Heartbeast truly a terror. And if you've raised your Brawl in Heartbeast, it can be better than mundane fightersm since you don't even need to don armor, just change to your Heartbeast, and you're combat ready.

Great, now you've made we want to explore this in game. With something like a bear, lion, or even a rhino...


He did level it up, ofc, but so did the warrior characters, so now he is sitting in a little higher skill, but the difference is narrower the more levels you have, as the experience needed to increase levels is increased by the level you want to reach to. Although numbers being higher makes the differences between weapons and animal attacks fade a bit, the differences are so big, that is hard to believe they would ever match by skill leveling.

If anyone is under prepared you are right, he has a huge advantage on that side, i transform and destroy you all. True, But in a real combat it lacks a lot.

Does "Theriomorphy" exist in core or in this forums, or you just told me the name? In case it already exist can be seen anywhere, or is the mistery power whose name I do not remember that talks about fitting a animal trait into ur human form?

We are from the north of Spain, the Bjornaer player and me are the only ones who fluently can read or speak English, so even though i do have most of the books and let anyone use things of any book after a close look, they do mostly review the books written in spanish. In betweeen those is the HoH Mistery Cults but the Mistery Cult revisited is not. I did read it for the Mistery cult creation. Other than that I am not familiar with the book.

The Epitome appears in the HoH Bjornaer? If it does so, he read it, but was not convinced by it. I mean even tough you could be tough and you could learn puissant and afinity brawl it keeps lacking. Most player that created fighters grogs or companions do have tough, not that many have puissant or affinity. But in any case the best armor, even though, gives some penalties on initiative and fatigue, gives +9 soak, expensive weapons and shields do give massive bonuses in contrast to animal weapons. I do see the advantage in some situations, but do not feel that usually can be applied.

Hell yea, the idea is really damm cool to mix many animals. Being a wolf he thought in the traditional werewolf, but it may have really good use and I think it looks cool.

Both Theiromorphy and Inner Heartbeats are in the HoH:MC book.

Sure, warriors can get Tough, but if he gains the Inner Heartbeats, he can do much more.
He can add more +Soak animal qualities, he can upgrade his jaw to the Large Teeth, which improves his attack by +1, and damage by +2. He can improve his animal characteristics. He can increase his characteristics in Inner Heartbeast. He can add a power that will allow him to increase his Soak further. He can add a power that will create an armor around his animal form, or any other enhancements he wants.

The Inner Heartbeast mystery is awesome, if you invest the time to utilize it.


I read Teiromorphy right now again. Is the one I was talking about but did not remember the name. Is too vaguely described to be as usefull as i was thinking on. Don´t you think it lacks a bit. Now i did read it again i feel it is the path i was trying to achieve but i feel it is too vaguely described for me to consider a proper mistery cult. Maybe i will develop this one, instead of creating any from scrath so it is a lot easier to learn of it and not that big of a deal.

Many thanks