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Message no. 1
From: Bull <chaos@*****.COM>
Subject: Optional Metatypes, part 5: Wendigos
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 05:44:39 -0400
Next on bat is the Wendigo. I'm basing a lot of this on two sources. The
secrets of Power Trilogy (Though it's been a couple years since I read
those) where Sam verners sister turns from an ork to a Wendigo. I'm also
basing this (And writing this for) my current campign, as my Ork Decker
Bull has contracted HMHVV and is turning into a wendigo. I'd like to thank
the Shadowrun mailing list, as well as my GM Steven Tinner for their
contributions to this particular piece.

The Wendigo will follow construction rules similar to the Vampire rules
I've done up previously.


The rules below allow you to create Wendigo characters, either as a
starting character, or to turn your current favorite Ork PC into a Wendigo.

ORK HMHVV (Contracting Wendigoism)

Unlike Humans, who contract HMHVV only thru the loss of all essence from
another Vampire, a Wendigo can contract HMHVV by something as simple as a
scratch infected with the Ork Strain of HMHVV. Also unlike the Human
version of HMHVV, the Ork does not actually die before he is transformed,
and it is a longer, slower, and much more painful transformation than

Once the disease is contracted, it may take anywhere from several days to a
month for the first signs of the disease to show, and often these are
dismissed at first as nothing more than an odd craving or grey hairs.

The first signs are often some or all of the following: An increased
appetite for meat (Often with odd cravings to bite friends or people who
are close by), increased hair growth, growth of hair all over the body, and
hair turning white. Also, often the infected Ork will lose his appetite
for any food other than meat, and will prefer the meat raw or cooked very
rare. This stage will last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks.
The length various from case to case. If the infected Ork gives in to his
urge to consume the flesh of a sentient being, he will manifest any
symptoms not seen yet and skip directly to Stage 3 of the disease.

The second Stage of the disease will include any of the above "symptoms"
that ddn't appear during the first stage, as well as a growing distaste for
any type of non-meat product, especially vegatables, or well cooked meat.
Also, the character will start to have almost irresistable urges to bite
anyone who stands close to him for any length of time. The charcter will
now be covered in fur, most of it a light grey or white, have sharper and
more elongated teeth, and look like a full wenedigo. He will also begin to
grow again, growing an additional foot or 2. This stage lasts until the
charcter succumbs to his hunger and he eats (meta)human flesh to essence
drain, or until the Wendigo dies from essence loss.

During Stage 2, some, if not all of the Wendigo's powers begin to activate,
and sometime before he starts to lose essence from hunger his body will
naturally regenerate itself as it reaches it's new state. All non-natural
parts of the new wendigo's body, including all bioware and cyberware, will
be forced from the Wendigo's body. This is a painful period for the Former
Ork, as his body is twisted into a new form.

Stage 3 happens when the Wendigo consumes flesh and drains essence through
this act for teh first time. At this point, it is believed that whatever
(meta)humanity the Wendigo retained is lost, and that the process of
transformation is complete, and irreversible. Whether or not the
transformation is reversible is a point of speculation among scientists and
parabiologists. However, the wendigo does not lose it's memories of it's
previous life.

There is currently no known cure the Ork Strain of HMHVV. If an infected
Ork is killed before he becomes a Wendigo (Stage 2 of the virus), then he
does not rise as a Wendigo, as the Vampire does.


The Wendigo works similar to the way a Phys-Ad works, so that playing
something like a wendigo is somewhat feasible (but still very suseptible to
munchkinizing. Sorry, but there's no way to make a Wendigo that isn't a
munchkin, at least deep down inside.)

If the character is a new character, you pick your priorities. Race must
be priority (A), and depnending on whether you wanted a spellcasting
Wendigo or not, Magic would be (B) or (C), with (B) being for the
spellcaster. Magic can NOT be taken any lower than (C), as the character
is similar to a Phys Ad, even if he can cast spells. I would also suggest
using the more metahuman rule if using this with a regular group.

If you are using the SR Companion rules, You must spend 10 points for
Metahuman, and then additionally either 20 points for Magician or 15 points
for a Phys Ad (Even though he is technically not a Physical Adept).

Other than that, apply the following modifiers to the character. +3 body,
+2 Strength, -1 Intelligence. Note that these are exactly the same as the
Ork Character, except that the Wendigo does not suffer the -1 Charisma that
Orks do.

The last thing you do is pick your wendigo powers, which are detailed below.

If the character is a currfent PC getting transformed do to contracting
HMHVV, his natural, unmodified stats are used as the base for the Wendigo.
Any bioware or cyberware is lost during the transformation, so the
characters stats drop accordingly. He also gets to choose his starting
wendigo powers, though alternatively the GM can choose what powers he
starts off with. New wendigo's also get a +1 to their Charisma (Offsetting
the original -1 that Orks have).

Also, Wendigo Shamans can still cast spells, and their magic rating starts
as either a 6 for new characters, or as whatever the old PC's magic rating
was before he was turned into a Wendigo. Wendigos are almost always
magically inclined, and are almost always Shamans, usually of a predatory
totem such as Shark or Wolf.

OPTIONAL RULE: Depending on how a particular GM sees it, you may want to
be careful with spellcasting Wendigos who want to cast spells higher than
their magic rating, hoping to regenerate from physical damage. i suggest
either not allowing a wendigo shaman to be able to cast spells higher than
their magic rating, or if a wendigo takes physical damage from spellcasting
and regenerates, have him suffer stun damage instead. This prevents
Spellcasting Wendigos from getting overly powerful and simply regenrating
whenever they take physical damage.

The Wendigo gets three "Power Points", which is what he uses to buy his
Wendigo powers. All wendigo characters are new wendigo's, freshly infected
with HMHVV, thus they haven't fully developed most of there powers.

Also, Wendigos have a large amount of weaknesses. These vary from wendigo
to wendigo, and some even have few, if any, weaknesses. You can buy
Weaknesses, which will then give you more Power Points to spend on Powers.
This is similar to the Edges and Flaws from the Companion. Weaknesses can
ONLY be bought at character creation, and the bonus Power Points given by
them MUST be spent at that time. Any points not spent at this time are
lost. You may not "save" points or partial
point until the next "grade", or Wendigo Level.

Powers (Point cost)

Enhanced Strength (1)
Enhanced Hearing (.25)
Enhanced Smell (.25)
Enhanced Vision, low light (.25)
Enhanced Vision, distance (.25)
Essence Drain (*)
Immunity to Aging (.25)
Immunity to poison (.25)
Imm. to pathogens (.25)
Infection (1)
Regeneration (1/lvl)
Natural Claws (.5)
Heightened Speed (1 point)
Influence (1.5)
Fear (1)

Weaknesses (Points given)

Allergy to Sunlight, Mild (*) ((This may be upgraded)
Allergy to Sunlight, Moderate (.5)
Allergy to Sunlight, Severe (1)
Vulnerability to Iron (.25/level)
Unable to use Cyberware or Bioware (*)
Essence Loss (*)

Powers or Weaknesses marked with '*' are automatically gained. They
cannot be bought off, nor do they give any bonus.

Now, what do some of these do? Well, in general, I followed the book and
took there normal powers. Some I modified. The most noticable change is
in the regeneration. Having a 2+ regen on a d6 gets vulgar, so you make it
difficult to get. Each level improvs the roll by 1 number. the chart
below calculates it. Notice at level one, you do not have a roll. This is
simply a basic regen. If you are hit for a Deadly wound, you are dying.
You do not get to regen. However, If you are at below a deadly wound, then
you auto regen like normal. The cost is deliberately high so that all but
the most powerful wendigos instantly regenerate everything. Also, note that
stun damage DOES NOT regen. However, as this was much discussed just
recently on the list feel free to make this rule optional (you will
anyways, so I might as well give permission.)

Regeneration Chart

Level 1 Basic Regen, no roll for deadly wound.
Level 2 Roll of 6 to regen
Level 3 Roll of 5 to regen
Level 4 Roll of 4 to regen
Level 5 Roll of 3 to regen
Level 6 Roll of 2 to regen
Level 7 Roll of 1 to regen
Level 8 DOESN'T EXIST!!!

Also, the other thing I modified is the weakness to Iron. You can take it at
4 levels, nuisance, moderate, Serious, and deadly. This buys that allergy
at that level, as well as affects the damage code of any weapon made of
Iron or steel. Each level automatically stages the damage from such a
weapon up one notch (or 2 automatic successes, depending on how you
calculate it).

Ex. an iron pipe that does 6L damage normally, will do 6S damage instead
to someone with a level two allergy.

Also, A wendigo is unable to use cyberware or bioware, as it messes up his
essence and if he had the regeneration ability, it would automatically kick
the intruding piece out and replace it with a regenrated original.

Claws are simialar to cyber spurs and will do Str M physical damage.

Heightened Speed gives the wendigo +1d6 to initiative.

Lastly, the wendigo's has grades called Wendigo Levels, similar to Initiate
grades for Mages/Shamans/PA. The Karma costs are the same, except that
they do not have the quest type options available. They COULD, however,
group initiate with wendigo's of a higher grade. This "initiation"
basically consists of the Wendigo taking the time to learn about himself
and learn new powers or learn how to use his natural powers more easily.

Bull, aka Steven Ratkovich, aka Rak, aka a lot of others! :]

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Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Optional Metatypes, part 5: Wendigos, you may also be interested in:


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