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It’s been too long since I’ve written anything about Werewolf: the Apocalypse. It occurred to me somewhat recently that, as a blog dedicated to writing beginner-friendly articles, it was kind of weird that I’d never posted anything explaining what Werewolf: the Apocalypse is.

Of course, if you’ve played it before, then this is definitely a piece that you can skip. But if this is the first time you’re hearing about it, I’d like to make sure you get an introduction that makes sense.

So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the world of Werewolf: the Apocalypse. Sit back and enjoy the (admittedly brief) ride.

What is Werewolf: the Apocalypse?

Wolves in Mist
Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

There are actually two answers to this question. There’s one I know way better – and what I prefer to think of Werewolf: the Apocalypse (WtA) as – but I can’t deny that others will soon know it differently.

Let’s start with the answer I know less about. Werewolf: the Apocalypse could refer to an upcoming video game slated for release in February of 2021. It’s an action RPG based off the World of Darkness, which I’ll get into shortly.

Like I said, the game isn’t something I’d consider myself knowledgeable about. I don’t even know if I’m excited about it. Regardless, I’ve reviewed the gameplay trailer and written about my thoughts on the trailer and overall game concept so far.

Now for the second answer, one which I like more. Werewolf: the Apocalypse could also refer to a tabletop role-playing game published by a company called White Wolf.

It’s based in the World of Darkness, which is essentially the modern-day world…except grittier. Werewolves are among many other shapeshifters preparing for what they feel is going to be the end of the world. Corporations are polluting the environment, the planet is dying, corruption is spreading…you get the gist.

How Do You Play Werewolf: the Apocalypse?

Two Dice
Image by Stephen Akins from Pixabay

If you’ve ever seen someone playing Dungeons and Dragons, whether in person or in a show or movie, you understand basically how to play WtA. A group of people (preferably three or more) gets together and talks through an interactive story.

One person is designated the Storyteller. This person describes the settings, secondary characters, and conflicts to the other people playing.

Anyone who is not the Storyteller is a player. They each create a character they will act through in order to interact with the situations described by the Storyteller. Most players will create characters who are werewolves, but this doesn’t have to be the case; the World of Darkness includes many other changing breeds, such as werebears or weresharks.

To keep players in check, there are, of course, rules. These can be found in the core rulebook, and they describe how to build characters, what sorts of limitations there are for taking actions in the story, and the like.

For the most part, the story is visualized mentally. You could say it unfolds in the theater of the mind. The one thing that must be done physically is rolling dice at points dictated by the Storyteller.

Obviously, you can’t just always succeed – that would be boring! Dice rolls add an element of chance to the game, a possibility  of failure that gets narrower depending on the skills of the character making the dice roll.

Read Next: Top 5 Most Bad Ass Changing Breeds in Werewolf: the Apocalypse (That Aren’t Werewolves)

What Do You Need to Play?

Like I said before, WtA is a game that mostly occurs in your head. Because of this, you technically don’t need any materials beyond the rulebooks, character sheets to write down each character’s information on, and dice.

However, many people aren’t satisfied with just imagining what’s happening or aren’t very good at visualizing things. For these people, there are additional tools you can use to make the game feel realer.

Miniatures are popular, as an example. They’re tiny figurines that represent different people, monsters, or players.

Maps are another common tool for some groups. They tend to be divided into tiles, so if miniatures are in use, players can set them in various tiles to indicate where they are in relation to someone or something else.

And if you don’t have miniatures or maps (or you’re just social distancing and playing virtually), there are other resources you can turn to for those things. Roll20, for instance, is a site where groups can meet online and play using digital materials to portray events in the story.

Wrap Up

I know this likely isn’t the most detailed intro to Werewolf: the Apocalypse out there, but I hope it gives you some idea of what I’m talking about whenever I post about it. More likely than not, I’ll continue to post about it, so if you have a question about the game that hasn’t been addressed here or in other articles, I’ll probably get around to it eventually.

Werewolf: the Apocalypse is one of my favorite tabletop RPGs. I think it’s terribly underrated, so it’s my hope that, if I continue to talk about it, more people will become aware of its existence and give it a chance.

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