A peculiar situation arose on a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game I'm taking part as secondary storyteller.

During a session conducted by our main storyteller, one of our players brought up the idea of her character - a female glass walker - getting a boob job in the hopes of squeezing an extra appearance point or a positive quality out of her excess cash. While that was made as a joke, it soon gave birth to a rather long discussion of what would and would not happen to an urban garou that decided to get something "done" at the local doctor.

Since the pack is mostly urban-themed with a bunch of cash (almost a literal case of "Wolves of Wall Street"), this is a thing that a few players are now seriously considering.

Thus, the multifold question.

  • Is it possible for a garou to get regular plastic surgery done at his or her local doctor?
  • If regular plastic surgery won't cut it, would a garou or kin doctor with the proper gifts/rites be able to get the job done?
  • Are implant-based procedures possible at all?
  • If plastic surgery isn't possible, is there a way of getting "cosmetic procedures" done in a Gaia-friendly way?

2 Answers 2


Let's start!

Plastic Surgery

The normal procedure for an operation is: put the patient under anesthetics (total or partial), then do the operation with steel instruments, sew closed, let it heal. At times there is add stuff and remove stuff in between. Actually, that's the normal procedure for any surgery.

Surgery on a Garou

Assume you're a normal Garou. All Garou have massive natural healing 1. Especially rage healing. They even regrow lost limbs if they don't die from them.

Garou can heal from most wounds without ill effect. A human whose fingers are bitten off by a wolf will need surgery, and will lose some function in those fingers (if she doesn’t lose the fingers entirely). A werewolf can grow the missing tissue and nerve connections back, even re-growing his fingers if they cannot be reattached. 2

Yes, a male Garou that lost his junk to anything but aggravated damage and thus has a Battle Scar (Gelded 2) gets it back with the healing the rage gives them. What doesn't kill them, makes them angrier.

This comes with a problem: When not in their breed form, they also regenerate poisons like alcohol and anesthetics away like they are nothing 3. Yes, you can't get a Garou drunk unless he's a homid or you use awakened beer (Fianna and Get love that stuff), and unless a drug is Wyrm-tainted to a degree it does damage it is at best a stopgap measure on a non-homid. So... to put the Garou under for the procedure, they need to be a homid first - or you are dealing with someone you just can't sedate.

Ok, it's a homid, what next?

Now, we can put our Garou under and can do our stuff, even without silver knives. What next? Ok, our patient comes out of the OP with a nice set of new additions or subtractions. Maybe they had they wanted to look like Scaramanga or had their facelift, NipTuck, or whatever.

While they are in their homid shape, they heal. The good news: they won't get an infection in the wound. Otherwise, they heal like humans 1 and that means that the lethal damage from the OP will take the normal time for a Wounded to Mauled damage to go away. A month and some to three months total recuperation time is expected for the last signs of such an Operation to go away, so far so good. We can fool the doctor!

But woe if they shift during or after the healing! Then the supernatural healing kicks in and the body knits the body to how it should be. Lost fingers from having it in the bandsaw return under the rage healing (which hurts). But also, because Scaramanga-chest, face-lift, and NipTuck are not Battle Scars, and so they fix themselves, just like the lost finger 2.

IF this can be circumvented by spending one of the items you can have bound with the rite of talisman dedication is something you should ask your GM.

... But as Nepene Nep correctly notes, there is also the W20 players guide or rather Changing Ways. This offers for example the ability to suppress your own healing factor due to sheer badassery 4. By suppressing your own healing factor during recuperation surely you can make the new modifications stay! A full Nip-Tuck might be at minimum equivalent to a large Tattoo when it comes to invasiveness, with a roll of at the very least 8 needed as a result.

However, the very same book also indicates, that human medicine is seen as Un-Garou and the products of modern medicine are so deeply tainted by Wyrm, that they are not really an option for anyone but a Glasswalker, and even that will have social repercussions:

While some urban Garou consider human medicines worth the risk, the clear majority see all modern medicines as marked by the Wyrm or Weaver.5.

How to do Plastic Surgery on a Garou.

Inside Help: Garou/Kinfolk Doctor & Glass Walker company products

With the ability to suppress the own healing, a Garou or Kinfolk Artist and Surgeon that knows his trade could - with the aid of silver implements and maybe a healing gift or two - do a safe procedure. Good enough for a facelift, complex piercings, a Tattoo, or (awakened) Botox. Even gold teeth or such could be easily enough done...

This however leaves the question of the more invasive procedures that require an implant. The real problem is acquiring an implant that is not inherently tainted and at the same time has the required look and feel for what is wanted. Most likely, a Glass Walker company might manufacture such required implants in a Garou Friendly way. These specialty products - if available at all - might require payment of both money and favors.

In other words: For small procedures, you likely will find a capable doctor that can do it without putting you under and stay quiet. If you can get the required stuff for major facelifts is up to your Storyteller, but you can throw them a huge hook with your plan.

Inside Help: Rites

The rules for the Rites don't have an explicit rite that allows for such, but the Storyteller certainly might allow you to seek out someone that has a Mythic rite that could help you. It sounds like the Rite of Growth 6 could be a good base for working out something with your GM. If you find a Theurge that has such a rite, you might pay a mix of favor and cash to them. And then you spend the experience for the new attribute.

There you go! Give your GM a good story hook and ask him for a Garou-Theurge-Doctor that can make the spirits make you more pretty!

Outside Help: Mages

The possibly best way to alter the appearance of a Garou that is not battle scars is to find a Mage that has a high Life sphere. Because that is one of the only ways that can alter what should be. Which is altering the pattern in Mage-terms. Doing a magical operation certainly works, but it also might be an affront to your fellow Garou - you had an outsider mess with what you are and might certainly have repercussions. It also costs the experience and might give the mage a huge headache.

For rules on this, you need both the M20 and a short look into How Do You Do That 7. It requires the Mage to have Life 4, Spirit 2 to even begin.

Beyond Surgery

Appearance is more than just what you look like. It's also how you hold yourself and move. It's... messy. I strongly suggest looking at How to play Appearance straight and right? for more information on what is and what isn't appearance.

In case the surgery planned transgresses gender boundaries deliberately, Where do the Bête stand on LGBT issues? might be of assistance.

  1. W20 p.256
  2. W20 pp.259
  3. W20 p.258
  4. Changing Ways p.14
  5. Changing Ways p.15
  6. W20 p.210
  7. How do you do that? p.21
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is quite a comprehensive answer! Thank you for you input. I'll check those sources for more details ASAP! \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 14:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ One of our players mentioned the Dedication Rite on our group chat. Would that help in any case with this situation, for procedures of the "add stuff in" type? \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar I wouldn't let it count, but ask your DM on that exploit. You still heal from it... the result could be messy \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented May 25, 2021 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ If awakened drugs have their normal effects on Werewolves, then I suspect that Awakened Botox might work - though the facial paralysis is causes might have unusual effects on your various wolf forms. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 but that's about the limit. Botox is a poison, and garou heal from it eventually. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 7:31

Implants are totally possible.

See p15 of changing ways.

More invasive body modification is a bit trickier, but entirely possible, and indeed often a mainstay of Garou culture. Warriors pierce themselves or take deliberate scars as marks of glorious acts, or to mark important milestones in their lives. It takes a deliberate act of will to voluntarily suppress the body’s regenerative powers during painful cosmetic alterations such as accepting new piercings, scarification, or tattooing (in game terms, a werewolf who gets a piercing or tattoo without silver implements must roll Willpower at variable difficulty: 5 for a pierced ear, 8 for a large tattoo), although some werewolves use silver implements to remove any uncertainty from the equation. Afterwards, the werewolf’s body recognizes any alterations as part of the body’s proper pattern, and will restore tattoos, scars, and other modifications during regeneration.

Drugging you up isn't especially feasible.

Aside from repairing gross physical damage to the werewolf’s body, regeneration also grants the Garou an incredible resistance to poisons and disease. This extends to human pharmaceuticals. While some urban Garou consider human medicines worth the risk, the clear majority see all modern medicines as marked by the Wyrm or Weaver. Hard-line septs even forbid their Kinfolk from receiving vaccinations. To these werewolves, it’s worth the possibility of an outbreak to ensure that a Garou child is born without taint.

These things cause enough issues that you can't really just go to a random doctor reliably. You need someone with discretion who will accept you undergoing a painful modification with no anesthesia. A garou doctor with silver tools is safer.

You'll also need to use the rite of cleansing to free the implant of wyrm taint. Don't want wyrm inside your body. That may be more difficult with some doctors, but healthy bribes should help.

It might help to say that you're new age environmentalists and don't believe in drugs and want to mystically cleanse the chakra of your implant. Sounding like a hippy might give you the freedom you need to get the job done.

What would be the official friendy to Gaia option?

Learn Stoats guise.

In a world where he must fight fang and claw to fit in, the metis can use all the help he can get. This Gift allows him to change superficial aspects of his appearance, blending in or standing out as he wishes. The spirit of any animal that changes its color seasonally can teach this Gift, such as the stoat or ptarmigan.

System: The player rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty 6). Each success allows the werewolf to alter one aspect of his appearance for the scene. Examples include: hair/fur color or length, skin tone, eye color, and height or size by about a fifth in either direction. This Gift can alter or hide tribal markings and lesser scars, but it’s never potent enough to hide metis deformities completely.

This way you can not only have bigger breasts, you can have whatever body parts you need. Just go find a stoat spirit and ask them to help you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ...to a degree. Silicone implants are wyrm \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ oooh! New information! Tasty information! \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 2:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I added how to free silicone implants of wyrm taint. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nepene Nep
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 8:20

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