This is another Werewolf: Wild West question.

The Garou litany states ‘The veil shall not be lifted’, so a Werewolf will avoid revealing their true nature whilst in human society.

If the player characters are strangers at the start of a campaign (“You meet at a tavern, etc.”) how will the party be able to detect each other as fellow Werewolves?


4 Answers 4


I don't have the books with me so I can not verify this, but I have always played that a simple perception roll can reveal the presence of a werewolf, or indeed a wolf-blooded character.

The idea being that a werewolf smells different than a human, and werewolves have an incredible bestial instinct and sense of smell (combined with their primal urge) they should be able to instinctively know that other werewolves are nearby at least.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah that sounds reasonable. I was going to house-rule something like this if there wasn't any other rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Macona
    Jan 6, 2014 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bear in mind that utilising this rule of thumb does prevent a whole set of plot options. How can you deceive a gang of evil monsters if they can readily detect that you are Garou? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17, 2014 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you hide your human scent when you are traveling in bear country? Everything gives off a scent. Garou are supposedly just really good at smelling that scent. But I am sure that you could take measures to cover your scent in-game just like in real life. Deodorant, perfume, or something smellier? Also, there are certainly gifts that can help hide who you are. \$\endgroup\$
    – Inbar Rose
    Dec 17, 2014 at 9:06

Inbar Rose said my leading answer, but depending on your setting, Garou can have certain (intentional) tells. That piano player in the saloon will occasionally hide a call out to other Garou with his "nonsense words" in a song, ones that tag him as a Fianna. Those outlaws on the edge of town have the posture and attitude that sets them aside as Red Talons. A Silent Strider might actually be tailing the group's pack and reveal herself when she knows it's safe. That governor over there uses the Silver Fangs symbol to seal his messages in wax (which might be a little too close to the chest in some areas, but if they have they clout...)


  • "Scent of the True Form" is the obvious one.
  • "Eye of the Hunter" if they're in mixed company and the Garou in question weeds the group down, but not 100%.
  • "Fatal Flaw" can reveal the vulnerability to silver, but that's not always a Garou for sure.
  • "Sense Medicine" can detect Garou gift use which is a smoking gun but not in anyone's hand.

And those are just the results after skimming the level 1 gifts.


This is a good question, one that leads to many roleplaying hooks. Why? Because it's not as easy as it sounds. Sure thing you can let them "smell" each other, but that would be a bit to easy and wouldn't take all the orphaned changer into account.

There are some Gifts that help with recognizing fellow Garou, some of them even for beginning characters. Same thing for the hints everybody drops from time to time.

But there is an even better way to get your PCs to know each other: Elder. The Garou are few and between so it's easy that they are known since the First Change. Stargazer are to few to go unnoticed (and Chimera keeps an eye on his Children like Raven does with his Corax ;) ), and Silver Fangs keep records on everyone in their lineage to lose someone.

Every Adren, Athro or Elder knows enough to recognize signs to at least suspect a First Change in his vincinity. Thanks to Moon Bridges it is easy to travel (even in the Dark Ages it was a breeze for Changer).

So, there are many ways aside from "just" rolling Perception (not that it isn't a viable option, don't get me wrong). If you want to keep adding to the mysticism that is part of Werewolf, take the way with the spirits or Gifts. If you want to focus a bit more on the political part, introduce Athros or Elder that seem to know everything. Or let them wander around a bit, till they find out about it in the heat of battle ;)


As I recall, you can feel the Rage in other shifters. Which means you can feel when a non-Nuwisha shifter is in the area, even if you can't pin it down to one person necessarily.


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