What are the maximum dots for a Werewolf's traits?

I know at least their physical attributes can increase past 5 with various forms, Gifts, and probably a few other things, but those are temporary. Are Garou allowed to put a permanent 6th+ dot in anything?

Obviously Vampires can go to ten, depending on their generation, Mages can boost some with Life Effects, though it produces paradox, are Werewolves well and truly hard capped at a permanent 5? Seems if a Theurge lived for 100+ years he could/should be able to get 6th dots in something; whether that's Wits, Intelligence, or even just an Ability.


3 Answers 3


As far as I can remember, no, Garou can't put a permanent 6th+ dot in any Trait, even using experience - though I think it's just strongly implied, not explicitly stated (at least in the 2nd edition core rulebook, which we used.) What seems to support this is that five dots are considered "Superb" (in the introductory description of traits), and that the official character sheet simply has no more dots to fill.

However, you, as the Storyteller, can overrule this, of course.

Mind you, I don't really agree with the view that the bonuses resulting from the various forms are only temporary. A Garou - again, as far as I can remember our WW:tA gaming days :) - is all the other, non-human / non-wolf forms: he can remain in them indefinitely (even though that's rather impractical in a lot of situations), and they're part of his nature, his self, just like Homid. Gifts and other stuff are temporary, but shape-shifting is not - or, if you wish to see it that way, having a shifting, shape-wise temporary nature is part of what makes a werewolf. Homid and Lupus are also temporary, for you don't stay in them permanently (though you may get stuck in them for a real long while, if you're unlucky.) This balances out, imo, the limitations of the Homid form: your average vampire has to put quite a lot to raise a trait above five dots temporarily, whereas a Garou can boost himself above five in the first scene of your first story (and chances are he'll need it, sorely. :))

Also, do consider the name "Homid": it implies that in it, a werewolf seems, behaves, and works like a human. Anything else would reveal his true nature to the Sheep. The Homid form is for blending in, for taking on the sheep-skin - viewing it as "the real character" instead of just one facet of a Garou's shifting, five-fold nature is a distortion, a misperception, especially in-game, where Lupus (those born as wolves) do scoff at those Homids who consider themselves primarily human. (Sure, being too Lupus is the other end of the spectrum, also biased.)

Of course, the character sheet presents Homid/Lupus as your primary character, but that's just for practical purposes. Human players identify most easily with the human range of abilities (and wolf players with the wolf range, which is, luckily, similar to that of the humans. :)) Also, these are the two forms your character will spend most of his time - not because these are more "permanent" than the remaining three, but because he'll spend more time among the Sheep and/or the wolves of the forest than among other Garou.

...but of course I may be misremembering. It's been a long while. Others will correct me if I'm wrong. Or if there were expansions that overruled what the core book said/implied.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I must say that werewolves do have a natural form, which is the one in what they were born. That form have special rules about regeneration and soaking and thing like that. Kill a werewolf and see it return to his natural shape. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    May 18, 2014 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Flamma Even if it is so, in WW:tA the choice is not limited to that of the Homid shape. Werewolves can also be born as Lupus and even Metis - the latter of which having Crinos as its clearly superhuman/supernatural "natural form", with "permanent" abilities high above those of the other two. I do not agree with these three forms being the "real" ones, though: they're just... "genetically preferred." It's like being right/left-handed: you use that hand primarily, but you're (in an ideal case) considered naturally whole with both your hands. \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    May 18, 2014 at 16:34

Since you didn't list a specific edition/revision/whatever I am citing the 20th Anniversary. book for my answer:

Attributes - Character Creation (WtA20, pg 116) Though you cannot raise any single Attribute above five dots, you can assign your dots in any way you see fit

Attributes - Description (WtA20, pg 123-124) A few gifted individuals — including the pack — can have ratings of 4 (excellent) or 5 (world-class). The Crinos war-form enhances a werewolf’s Physical Attributes to levels far beyond human capacity, while leaving her Social Attributes potentially lower than the human minimum.

Thus it would appear to me that in the most current and reviewed set of rules that there is nothing above 5 for Homid/Human form characters outside of temporary effects. For the most part I even consider transforming a temporary effect because even if you're a metis or lupus the character sheet is defaulted to homid for all intents and purposes during creation.

However, supplementary skills when properly purchased can easily provide effects that match having an extra dot in the attribute, especially when your Storyteller accurately describes the game setting they plan to run so you can build accordingly. What makes this (comparative) lower ceiling worthwhile is the reliability of which you can call upon higher stats with different forms and with almost no real drawbacks.


Is it possible, however, to achieve Rank 6 and then have access to Rank 6 gifts, thought it is extremely rare.


  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, Daniel. Although what you've posted is true, gifts aren't tracked on the same scale that attributes and abilities are. As a result, your answer doesn't really apply to the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    May 28, 2014 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, but the question was: What are the maximum dots for a Werewolf's traits? I know at least their physical attributes can increase past 5 with various forms, Gifts, and probably a few other things, but those are temporary. Are Garou allowed to put a permanent 6th+ dot in anything? Well, a gift trait fits the question. Also, thinking outside the box, although it would be highly unlikely, a very big MAYBE, some attributes could be uncapped of five limit to 6 with some mage spell (High spheres levels) or Viscissitude (with physical attrib only) and even more difficult to get. \$\endgroup\$ May 28, 2014 at 12:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour and the help center; they're a useful introduction to the site. I'm not familiar with WoD, but links to external resources--while encouraged--need to have quotes or paraphrases of the most relevant part, so the answer is still useful if the linked site is unreachable or goes permanently offline. (see How To Answer) \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    May 28, 2014 at 12:13

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