In this post I will be adapting part of one of my all time favorite anime series Wolf’s Rain into tabletop RPG format. Specifically, this post adapts the wolves with mechanics for Cypher System, FATE System, D&D 5E, Pathfinder 1E.
The following is an overview of the source material. Be warned this is a very, very rough overview. Wolf’s Rain, produced by Bones and written by Keiko Nobumoto, takes place in a dark dystopian world where unhappiness, social disparity, and the decay of the natural world are the order of the day. Against this backdrop, a pack of wolves form around a strange girl born from the union of a plant called a “lunar flower” and science that borders on being magic. This group ultimately embark on a quest to find Paradise, a mythical place of unspoiled natural beauty that only they together can reach. Writing this I find myself thinking that Wolf’s Rain reads an awful lot like a tabletop RPG adventure.
Image by Mark Frost
The wolves of this setting, have two important properties that set them apart. First, they are intelligent and capable of speaking. Second, they have the ability to glamer themselves. Crafting a potent and convincing illusion that they are human as a means of hiding in plain-sight.
In adapting this race I do make some concessions for the sake of usability in a different settings, and also try to reconcile some of the more “out of place” feats that appear in the series. Primary, the feats I refer to are the incidents that seem to stretch the limits of the illusory abilities of the wolves.
Most people know what a wolf is. They are the wild cousins and ancestors of man’s best friend, the dog. What is not as commonly known is that some wolves are born for, or are drawn towards, a unique destiny that sets them above and apart from their fellows. Such wolves are known as paradise-seekers, and they are marked by their ability to think and reason, as well as a unique power to appear to others as human beings. The destiny that calls to them, is to seek out Paradise, an unsullied place of natural beauty and eternal bliss beyond the influence of men and gods.
Physical Description: Paradise-seekers are visually indistinguishable from normal wolves. Their sizes, fur colors, and other physical traits can be representative of any subspecies of wolf. They are generally around 2 ft. 8 in. tall at the shoulder, but length and weight vary. Paradise-seeker’s reach adulthood at around the same rate as normal wolves reaching maturity at around 2-3 years of age , but thereafter they age more slowly having a maximum lifespan of around 50 years
Society: Paradise-seekers tend to live in packs, often with others of their kind or normal wolves. However, it is not uncommon for such wolves to integrate with humanoid societies, gravitating towards existences on the fringes of such societies or taking positions of dominance.
Relations: Most paradise-seekers tend to be aloof with members of other races, with a notable exception being the Hanabito who they are exceedingly fond of. While paradise-seekers can be slow to form new social bonds, when they do they are known for making excellent companions and being fiercely loyal.
Alignment and Religion: Paradise-seekers tend towards neutrality, as extremes of morality or ethics are not a natural part of their thinking. While not noted for their affinity for religion, they do hold a certain innate veneration for nature.
Adventurers: Paradise-seekers often set out to adventure as a means of achieving their quest to find paradise. They naturally gravitate towards combat based role, but practitioners of natural magics are not unheard of.
Names: Paradise-seeker names are often reflective of some physical or behavioral trait they possess. A paradise seeker that is known for howling might be called Howl, and another with bright red fur may be called Red.
Genres: Paradise-seekers are most suitable for the following genres: fantasy, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, and fairy tale.
A Note On Illusions
Regardless of the setting or RPG system, illusions can either be outlets for great amounts of creativity, a massive headache, or anything in between. Creative GMs and players wielding illusions can blur the edges of what “reality” means in the world of the game. However, it can be easy to fall into the trap of nit-picking the limits of illusions. Expectations on the limits of an illusory wall for example, can easily vary from person to person and become a point of conflict. Because of this, there is no easy answer for how to handle illusions at any given table. My advice for GMs and players, in games that incorporate extensive use of illusions, is to come together and have a discussion on the limits and possibilities of illusions before issues crop up. This said, the various versions of the Paradise-seeker rely on adaptive/semi-intelligent illusions that may not be appropriate at some tables.
Page 2………………………………………….Paradise-Seeker for Cypher System
Page 3………………………………………….Paradise-Seeker for Fate Core
Page 4………………………………………….Paradise-Seeker for Dungeons and Dragons 5E
Page 5………………………………………….Paradise-Seeker for Pathfinder 1E