Is there an in-game reason for the exclusivity of supernatural templates in the new World of Darkness? (Why can't a werewolf or a vampire awaken and be a mage as well, for example?) If there is, where do I find it?

(If I ever read such an explanation, I've completely forgotten about it.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for one reason that applies to all the templates at once? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Dec 22, 2012 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ The more general and universal the reason, the better. But separate, more specific ones are okay too. \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Dec 22, 2012 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don;'t recall enough for a full answr but I recommnd finding the secion in the promethean splat that says how a person (or a superatural) could be come a demiurge. And how id a superantural does becoem a demiurge (they aren't allowed to, but WW givees the option) it would screw up there abilites to use there normal superantural power \$\endgroup\$ Dec 16, 2013 at 7:03

6 Answers 6


Supernatural power comes from making mutually exclusive changes to the human soul.

My view isn't explicitly stated anywhere, but I consider it supported by statements across the nWoD books. There are a few representative quotes from the core books I own at the bottom.

To do anything majorly supernatural, you need to be more than human. A vampire's soul is deadened and blended with the Beast from his sire's vitae. Werewolves are born with a soul that is supernaturally potent but sleeping for years. Mages awaken and gain sympathy between their souls and the Realms Supernal. Changelings are torn, mangled and blended with Fae stuff.

None of these changes can coexist in one person. Taking a Mage for an example. If you aren't a normal mortal, then you cannot be in close enough sympathy with the supernal realms to perform magic.

From Vampire The Requiem 181

The change from life to undeath affects more than a person's body. It changes the soul.

From Werewolf the Forsaken Page 75

A werewolf is born supernatural, with the soul of an ancient predator.

From Mage the Awakening Page 32

A mage who loses his soul immediately enters Sleep until it is restored. His ability to perform magic is gone. If the mage somehow gets his soul back, he needs a full night's sleep before he can use magic again.

From Changeling the Lost Page 24

When humans enter the Hedge, the Thorns do more than tear at their flesh — the Thorns rip away at their souls as well.


While the human soul is not quantifiable, there is a certain something which makes humanity humanity, and it is this same unique characteristic that begins to unravel like a mis-kint sweater the deeper one travels into Fae lands.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, Prometheans do not even have a soul, and they cannot gain other supernatural template. I like your theory :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Undreren
    Apr 8, 2013 at 8:01

The in-game reason appears to be “It just doesn't work.”

Vampire: the Requiem, page 168

Kindred Vitae, while potent, does have its limits. When the other supernatural creatures with whom the Damned occasionally cross paths come into play, certain realities of the World of Darkness supersede the mystic strength of the Blood.

Werewolves and mages are immune to the Embrace. If a vampire is somehow able to extract all the blood from a werewolf or mage and attempt the Embrace, that Embrace fails automatically.

Mage: the Awakening, page 65

Note that a character cannot possess multiple supernatural templates... A vampire or werewolf cannot Awaken...

I suspect it doesn't work by design because they wanted to avoid the mixing madness of classic World of Darkness.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If someone's got Werewolf: the Forsaken handy and wants to add that book's reasoning, go right ahead. I don't own that one. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Dec 22, 2012 at 23:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mikalichov To some extent, but there was often some kind of horrible punishing "catch" meant to deter you from doing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Dec 23, 2012 at 0:42
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Bob The abomination was rather the exception than the rule. They are supposed to be extremely rare (you need to botch the gnosis roll). Then, an embraced mage is a regular vampire (loses his mage powers), an embraced changeling usually just dies, and generally there is no other abomination type. Changeling kinfolk cannot become werewolves, and werewolves cannot awaken. Every supernatural type that can become a ghost, lose all powers and become regular wraith. So, I said, the abomination is the exception. I would not call it a mixing madness. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Dec 27, 2012 at 8:15
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Flamma And then there's Samuel Haight. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Dec 27, 2012 at 8:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @okeefe, ouch, touché. Samuel Haight was THE mixing madness. Still, he was the exception, and probably, as everyone in WW knows, the biggest mistake of the cWoD. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Dec 27, 2012 at 8:29

The reason is that the nWOD system just doesn't allow for it. It works off of a standardized core book for all the lines; World of Darkness Rulebook.

oWOD doesn't do this and essentially has the various game lines such as Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Vampire: The Masquerade that can be mixed, but are essentially worlds unto themselves. For example; In that world there are such things as Abominations. A Vampire Werewolf hybrid. These are Embraced Werewolves that both possess the power of Gnosis an Kindred Vitae. But even the books never state that those werewolves are the same ones in both worlds. The writer of the VTM translation guide for oWOD to nWOD even specifically makes this point:

But in the original World of Darkness, the different game lines were ostensibly worlds unto themselves. That is, although crossover systems and products existed, it was always stated up front that the 'Lupines' of Vampire: The Masquerade weren’t necessarily the Garou of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. In Requiem, this isn’t true. The core rules of the setting are found in the World of Darkness Rulebook

I'm not saying that you can't do this for nWOD, it will just take some very creative leeway with the defined set of rules. But in the end, even White-Wolf states that all the rules in the book are nothing more than suggestions and that you should have fun with it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Plus to become an Abomination there is every chance of failure. The Garou rolls Gnosis and if there's even one success they die instead of being embraced. \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Dec 23, 2012 at 2:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ That happens only if they choose to. But I have yet to hear of a wolf that chooses to be Embraced. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bob
    Dec 23, 2012 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ If memory serves, an embraced mage lost access to his former will-working magic. That was essentially (simplifying) where the Tremere came from. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2012 at 2:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CatLord you needed a botch. Just failing it didn't work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Dec 27, 2012 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, @Bob, you're right about these things, obviously. However, what I'm looking for is an in-game reason (the more detailed, the better.) \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Dec 27, 2012 at 9:00

White Wolf has always tried to be apart from munchkinism or combo practices so common in other games. So, with the exception of the oWoD's abomination, and maybe some ghouls, every time they introduced a supernatural type, they made imposible to combo with another.

They knew that a lot of players would try to take advantage mixing two (or more) supernatural types. So, they allowed no one, even if sometimes the mix sounded more plausible and logical than the explanation of why it didn't work.

Think of playing vampire with a group of one vampire-mage, one vampire-werewolf-changeling and one vampire-mummy. It's munchkin and it's ugly.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. You're obviously right about these things, but I'm looking for an in-game reason (for the new WoD), the more detailed, the better. \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Dec 27, 2012 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OpaCitiZen ah, I see. That wasn't clear to me when I read the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Dec 27, 2012 at 9:31

There is no such thing, although they are intentionally limited:

  1. Vampire-Garou mixes are possible, but hard. They are the abominations. They are mosly short lived, crazy, very strong kill machines in the rulebooks, although the reality (of the rules) makes them only maybe stronger but not super-supernatural. They have also serious inherent weaknesses, mostly that being an abonimation makes nearly impossible to recover humanity. Needless to say, they are kill-on-sight in both worlds (vampire and garou), with rare exceptions (black spiral, or some tremere).
  2. Vampire-Mage are incompatible, embrace destroys the spark in the mages soul. But, mages can be embraced perfectly normally. This was the main problem of the Tremere, too: after they've managed their "embracement", they lost all of their power. They had to re-invent the same magic, based on vampire blood. Playing an embraced mage, your GM might allow you to auto-convert part of your forever lost magic skills into disciplines; but do not hope to begin your afterlife as a Tremere competitor. I would give at most 1-2 dots. Better if you don't get actual disciplines only you can re-learn them easier (there is no such thing mentioned but so would it be logical, I surely suggest some similar as a house rule).
  3. Garou-Mage mix is also possible, but it is very-very rare. Garou normally at least dislikes any supernatural what is not from the spirits, even if it has no wyrm taste ab ovo. Obviously any "black" magic has wyrm taste and makes the guy kill-on-sight.

It is impossible to use different supernatural power sources in the same round.

On my opinion, I would allow an Abonimation or a Garou-Mage only with a very good reason.

There is comment about that these mixes are impossible in new WoD.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer was correct for some editions of "Old World of Darkness" or "Classic World of Darkness". It is simply not correct for New World of Darkness / Chronicles of Darkness. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12 at 0:41

In fact there are some main true background reasons on why that is impossible. The first one is the Avatar. Every human being has an avatar and that is what "awakens" when he becomes a mage. The vampire either doesn't have one or she is twisted, tainted or cursed. The vampire is "dead" that is the main reason he can't become a mage. There is even an ancient human mage who tried to achieve immortality becoming a vampire: his name was Tremere. He lost most of his magick powers once he became a vampire. Hence a werewolf is a living thing, he receives a blessing from nature itself (Gaia), that's a good reason he can't become a vampire. Now for the werewolf not becoming a mage, I got no clues. Maybe the avatar of the werewolf suffers some kind of binding with Gaia that blocks him from becoming a mage (since Gifts are considered Hedge Magic). Looked at Mage:the Ascension book and it says nothing about it.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site, André! It looks as though your answer concerns the old or classic World of Darkness. This question concerns the new World setting: Requiem, Forsaken, Awakening and so on. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 8, 2013 at 2:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .