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Werewolf: The Apocalypse has a couple of tribes of urban werewolves: the Glass Walkers and the Bone Gnawers. Plus those members of the Black Spiral Dancers who hang about in Pentex boardrooms or areas of urban blight.

However, in the games of Vampire I've been in, the GMs stress that werewolves are unstoppable killing machines and to avoid them at all costs. The GMs' campaign canon is that the werewolves are all out in the countryside, and all the vampires are in the city (apart from the occasional Gangrel).

The stats for a werewolf in Vampire: The Masquerade 5e continues this tradition of hyping them up to be combat monsters by making them Potence 5, Fortitude 5, Celerity 4, plus a Strength 6 and Dex 6 when in crinos form.

Meanwhile, Werewolf: The Apocalypse tells PC werewolves that all vampires are "of the wyrm". Spot a vampire using your Sense Wyrm gift, go into kill, kill, kill mode.

I recall the Black Spiral Dancers had a temporary alliance with the Sabbat vampires in The Book of the Wyrm. But that doesn't explain what is going on with the Camarilla, the Glass Walkers and the Bone Gnawers.

Is there any sourcebook for either V:TM or WW:TA which explains why vampires and urban werewolf tribes haven't annihilated each other? Or why one side hasn't eliminated the other?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Vampires vs Werewolves are like Batman vs Superman. In a straight-up fistfight, the Garou win. But vampires hide in the shadows.. and have cunning.. and mind control disciplines don't hurt. It's kind of a stalemate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Josh
    Nov 27 '19 at 21:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Josh And the werewolves can attack in daylight and have stepping sideways into the Spirit world (umbra), which I always felt gave them a Get Out of Jail Free card. I had to invent lots of bane spirits around vampire havens to prevent PC werewolves being unstoppable! :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – DrBob
    Nov 28 '19 at 12:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Vampires drink bloody mary's in the library of their castles. Werewolves drink piña colada's at Trader Vic's. And so ne'er the twain shall meet... \$\endgroup\$ Nov 29 '19 at 1:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know if it's still the design philosophy, but back in the mid-90s a White Wolf rep told me that consistency between V:tM and W:tA was a lower priority for them than the themes/mood of each individual product. Hence, werewolves as described in V:tM had different capabilities to what they had in W:tA, not just from translating rules into V:tM terms, but because White Wolf wanted it that way - in a Vampire game, werewolves are boss monsters, and vice versa. That kind of intentional inconsistency makes it difficult to resolve questions like this. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 30 '19 at 5:17
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The werewolves are likely to win almost every battle, but the vampires would likely win any full scale war.

Overall they aren't likely to care too much about each other. The vampires have every incentive to ignore the werewolves as long as the werewolves don't directly cause them major problems. The werewolves on the other hand do have some reason to want to eliminate the vampires because they are wyrm-tainted, but vampires are very low on the werewolves list of priorities. (A specific vampire causing problems for the werewolves is a different story...) The werewolves are likely to be far more worried about the harm to the environment, especially supernatural harm from Pentex, from the Black Spiral Dancers, from malevolent spirits from the umbra, etc. Vampires make the list, but they are low down on it.

The werewolves also have good reason to keep them low down on the list. As discussed more below, while the werewolves are likely to win every battle, they are almost certain to lose any full scale war with the vampires even on a city level.

The numbers are a big thing.

The vampires start with a huge numerical advantage and can mass produce more vampires for purposes of war in ways the wolves can't. That is to say nothing of the ghouls they can create. The vampires win any war of attrition. But its more than that.

Numbers matter in direct fights too. On average, a werewolf is far more powerful in combat than a vampire. But a group of vampires with support from a few ghouls is a very different fight for a lone werewolf.

Notably, even one-on-one, ancient vampires can be very powerful indeed compared to an average wolf.

Vampires have indirect ways of striking back.

With the right build, especially with some of the gifts available, a werewolf can have significant control over mortal society. But on average, the vampires are better at it and again have the advantage of numbers.

If the werewolves do something which will get the vampires to respond, such as randomly killing one of the Prince's favorites, the vampires can strike back in many indirect ways. They can eliminate precious kinfolk, have a cairn which isn't constantly under guard destroyed, strike at the werewolves' mortal connections, etc.

While the wolf might reasonably say they don't have moral responsibility for it, if a werewolf kills a vampire that causes a different wealthy vampire to retaliate by directly funding local Pentex's operations and lending Pentex political support then it is a major net loss for the wolves in their ultimate goals.

While unusual, it is sometimes beneficial for them to work together.

There are a lot of reasons a vampire might work with the werewolves at least temporarily and vice versa. The garou are known to see Gangrels differently from other vampires in general. Other clans have some tenuous relationships with at least some tribes as well.

Also, the wolves can advance a lot of their agenda by manipulating mortal politics, and securing vampiric aid in doing that can go a long way towards making it work. The wolves in turn have a lot to offer the vampires since targeted violence can be very useful to a vampire and werewolf blood can be valuable.

The wolves may not like working with something wyrm-tainted, but when in war, especially a losing war like the war against the Wyrm, sometimes you have to accept the lesser of the evils.

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Vampire Elders are more powerful than the most powerful Werewolves.

While PC werewolves are much more powerful than PC vampires, the upper end of their power scales are very different - even before you get to the likes of the Antediluvians (who don't have stats), elder vampires are much more powerful than Rank 6 werewolves. Compare the stats for a top-end vampire like Huitzilopochtli with those of a top-end werewolf like Golgol Fangs-First.

Needless to say, this would make exterminating vampires quite difficult for the werewolves, especially since those top-end vampires would be able to produce an army of neonates relatively easily, while producing new werewolves is much more difficult.

Meanwhile, the most powerful vampires are engaged in political struggles with other elder vampires over things like the reawakening of the Antediluvians, known in-universe as the Jyhad. If a group of them started diverting their attention towards genociding the werewolves, it'd leave their rivals unchecked to further their agenda.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There's approximately a 5000 year age gap between the two... so uh, yeah... \$\endgroup\$
    – Nelson
    Nov 28 '19 at 3:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Couldnt the wolves even it out a bit by attacking during the days only and getting really really angry? \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Nov 28 '19 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. Absolutely that would help. But first they have to know where the vampire is during the day. Elders are often protective of that information. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 29 '19 at 15:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd also like to point out that generally speaking, the werewolf elders have WAY more important stuff to fight than some vampires that are just sitting around plotting. Like those half-dozen Greater Bane Spirits over there. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 20 '20 at 15:49
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Numbers, for one thing.

There's about a tenth as many werewolves as there are vampires, and those are divided among thirteen tribes. (One estimate sets the number of Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers combined at less than 3,000 worldwide.) Plus, it's easier to make a vampire than it is to raise a werewolf to adulthood.

Also, we live in a (supernatural) society.

Vampires largely abide by the Masquerade, which means they obscure their actions and stay off the radar of werewolves. Because they work through proxies, enthrall their agents, and have made themselves part of the power structure, it's hard for werewolves to eliminate them without drawing mortal attention and other legal consequences.

Not everyone is fighting this war.

Clans like the Nosferatu and the Giovanni have standing agreements with the Bone Gnawers and the Glass Walkers to stay out of each others' way. Being other than human in a world full of mortals means you have similar aims, and can often compromise in the name of getting things done.

And then there's the Weaver.

Although Garou faith says Vampires are of the Wyrm, it could be argued that as city dwellers, the Weaver is just as invested in them — and there are plenty of Weaver-tainted werewolves to work with.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ which books are the Nosferatu and Giovanni agreements described in, please? I'd like to use that info in a current campaign. Also anything on WW numbers. I know I read a ratio of WW to humans somewhere, but could never find the reference again! \$\endgroup\$
    – DrBob
    Nov 28 '19 at 12:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can find descriptions of the Nosferatu and Bone Gnawer relations in their tribebook (revised). As for the Glass Walker/Giovanni tie, you can find it in ancillary material woven through the game line, but I don't have a page cite. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Nov 28 '19 at 13:58
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Mutual Assured Destruction

Both the Camarilla and the Garou have rules to try and maintain the Masquerade/Veil. Because as potent they are, they are but few compared to the sheer number of humans:

Vampires are measured in single numbers per 5 to 6 digit numbers, while V5 even gives real numbers: you need 30:1 for the absolute minimum feeding grounds, 3000:1 to hide that some kind of haemovore is there and about 10000:4 to properly hide a coterie.Vampire 5th Edition pp.324 But many Storytellers agree to go more towards 50,000 to 100,000 per vampire.

The total Garou population number in some areas is known from the Rage series of books: 350 Garou in 1994 Australia stand against 17.86 million humans. Or roundabout 50000:1 on that continent. ~373 in 1992 New York State versus 18.08 million for roundabout the same ratio, if you include the non-residents (~48500:1).

So, their numbers per capita are about the same. Sure, you can raise a lot of vampires quickly and fight like the Sabbat, but if the two fight an open war, they are massively outnumbered by normal humans. Normal humans can wield the firepower of automatic weapons and tanks, which in large numbers could destroy any vampire and Garou alike.

Then there's the Society of Leopold, aka the Inquisition, who actively hunt down both Vampires and Garou wherever they encounter them. Some of them are plain mortals. Others are Hunters with special powers. Yet again others are actually Tradition-Mages of the Celestial Chorus. And all of them are dedicated monster hunters that know how to end both kinds in a somewhat stealthy manner and cover it up.

Oh, and both sides are painfully aware of humankind's shadow leaders in the shape of Technocratic mages. These are why open warfare is not an option at all. The Technocray won't shy away from turning an entire metropolis into a radioactive glassed wasteland in June 1999 because there is a single vampire they can't kill.

In the end: Open war will destroy both sides as humankind will band under the banners of their protectors, be they the Society of Leopold, Technocratic League, or another, and then wipe out the Garou and Vampires.

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