12 Campaigns of Christmas #4 Askal (Stray Dog)

Posted: December 19, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Campaign Design, Roleplaying Games, Werewolf: the Forsaken, World of Darkness
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Werewolf: the Forsaken tells good stories about keeping territory. As self-proclaimed stewards of both the Spirit and the Material worlds, the Forsaken werewolves find themselves hunted as often as they are the hunters.

Stray Dogs is Werewolf: the Forsaken set in Metro Manila. While werewolves here are not a cultural icon as much as it is a hollywood monster, I think that there’s a way to make room for them here. We just have to get creative.

“Askal” is Filipino slang for “Asong Kalye” which translates to street dog. I’m thinking of a chronicle around a pack of Forsaken fighting to defend the territories of Metro Manila from threats from the Spirit Realm and the mortal world, from petty street crime to fighting a full swarm of the Host.

This will be a gritty urban fantasy dealing with the fact that the Pack won’t be able to hold down cushy white-collar jobs. They’re drifters that navigate the labyrinthine slums and dark alleys of the roach-infested underside of a Third World urban sprawl. Animism is still very strong in the Philippines and possession, spirits and all sorts of nastier denizens of the Shadow will find some very nice places to nest in.

  1. yamasaki says:

    Interesting take. However, I’d like to pick your brain on how would you incorporate wolves and werewolves in the Philippine setting. Folklore-wise, werewolves do not exist in the Philippines, and actual wolves do not live in the Philippines. I have my own angle to share (if I ever get to run W:tF), but I’d like to hear yours first 🙂

    • I actually got the seed of this idea from you! 😀

      That said I think that the first thing to do is to consider the wild dog as a springboard. Add a little bit of migration of various other cultures into the Philippines and you get an interesting “outsider looking in” angle as you have Werewolves stuck in a land that doesn’t recognize what they are, but burdened with the same duty as the rest of their kind.

      This could easily work as a group of abandoned Filipino American kids that were left after the US bases were shut down. Having the blood, they manifest as Werewolves and were taken in by a Spirit as pawns (or soldiers) in the Spirit’s quest to try and bring balance to the Philippines.

  2. John Till says:

    I love this idea! We have heard the term “askal” many times in our household, and it is cool to see someone take the idea and run with it. The other way to bring PCs in is to have them be wolfie dogs who are chained up and used as guard dogs outside someone’s home. Imagine the “owner’s” surprise when they discover some kid chained up where their dog used to be!

    The fractal nature of so many shantytowns in the Philippines (forming in the alleys between two regular streets, or between a fancy beach house and the beach it’s supposed to own) makes for very porous points of entry into the urban umbra, I would imagine.

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