Monster of the Week: The Rougarou

Category: Monster of the Week
Created on Thursday, 24 February 2011 Written by Steve

Also Known As: Loup-Garou, Roux-Ga-Roux, or Rugaru

Description: Although these creatures are most often encountered as humanoid wolf creatures similar to the Adlet, varieties of rougarou with characteristics of other animals, including cows, horses, pigs, and even otters have been reported. In all cases, the rougarou appears as a bipedal humanoid with an animal head and skin that matches that of the animal in question. Other animal characteristics, such as claws, teeth, and tails are also common, though not universal.



BMA Classification: There is much debate as to how rougarou are “made,” but the most common explanation is that the rougarou results from some sort of spirit entity possessing a human host. In most cases, the entity leaves the host after some period of time (101 days, according to folklore), but occasionally the creature can apparently completely take over the host, effectively killing the human who once resided in the body. Once the rougarou takes over, he can shapeshift at will and is complete control at all times. If agents have definite proof that the rougarou has completely taken over, the creature should be treated as a  monster. Otherwise, the creature should be treated like any other human victim of supernatural influence.

Powers: A rougarou’s abilities depend on its animal nature, but generally includes enhanced physical abilities, heightened senses, and animal instincts. A “full” rougarou shapeshift between human, animal, and hybrid humanoid form, seemingly at will.

Vulnerabilities: Rougarou are frightened by crucifixes, church bells, prayers, and some other religious trappings. A rougarou who has not fully “turned” can be cured by spilling the blood of the creature while it is in hybrid form with a silver knife over which The Lord’s Prayer has been recited. In order for this to work, the person conducting the ritual must know the human identity of the rougarou. There is a long-standing superstition that if the saviour tells anyone about breaking the curse, he himself will become a rougarou. While this has never been confirmed, agents who break a rougarou curse should probably refrain from discussing it any more than necessary.

Biology and Habitat: It is unclear exactly how a person becomes possessed by a rougarou. Some stories claim the condition results from a witch’s curse, while others claim that it results from the rougarou tricking or forcing the victim to drink animal blood. Another tradition holds that a Catholic who breaks Lent for seven years in a row becomes a rougarou.

Regardless of how a person becomes a rougarou, once possessed the person transforms into an animal-like beast each night to hunt. Much like a werewolf, the rougarou does not generally remember what happened when he returns to human form in the morning. Unlike the werewolf, the rougarou’s transformation takes place every night, regardless of the phase of the moon.

In some cases, the condition simply vanishes after a few months. In others, presumably when the spirit destroys or displaces the body’s human soul in some way, the rougarou gains the ability to control his transformations, as well as take on the natural form of the animal. The rougarou retains human intelligence and full awareness in all three forms. At this point, the creature begins to become malicious and hostile towards humanity and is considered a monster by the BMA.

Sightings: Rougarou lore originates in France, and in the Americas they are most common in areas that were heavily settled by the French, especially Quebec and southern Louisiana.

Additional Information: BMA guidelines state that rougarou are only to be treated as monsters if an M-Force agent personally witnesses the creature assuming human form at night, assuming hybrid form during the day, or assuming full animal form at any time. Otherwise, the rougarou should be treated as a cursed or possessed human.

Body: When in Hybrid form, the character’s Body is equal to his human-form Body Number +2. When in animal form, Body is equal to the normal Body for the animal +1.
Brain: A possessed rougarou’s Brain is halved when in hybrid form. Monstrous rougarou retain their full human Brain regardless of form.
Nerve:
A possessed rougarou’s Nerve is slightly (+1-+2) higher than a typical animal of the appropriate type. A monstrous rougarou uses his human Nerve Number.
Job: Predator (13)
Gimmick: Shapeshifting (16) (Monstrous rougarou only)--The transformation takes 20 minus Gimmick roll rounds. On a failed roll, the character goes through a very painful transformation process that takes 20 + Failure Degree rounds and causes the character to lose a number of Health Points equal to his failure degree. At the end of the transformation, the GM randomly determines which form the character ends up in (which can result in him retaining the form he was in before the transformation began).
Weakness: Religious Trappings (14)--If confronted with religious symbols, objects, or rituals, a Weakness roll is required. If the Weakness takes effect, the rougarou suffers a penalty to all rolls equal to ⅓ of the Weakness roll for the remainder of the scene or until the religious trappings are no longer in his presence.
Skills: Varies according to animal form. Heightened Senses is common (for monstrous rougarou, this skill is usually present in human form, but with a lower bonus).
Armor Rating: varies according to animal form.
Damage Bonus: varies according to animal form.
HP: equal to Body.
Yum Yums: 1

Game Notes: M-Force’s theory that a rougarou results from a possessing entity is incorrect. The condition is the result of a curse, usually implemented by minions of The Devil. The specifics of how the curse is implemented and whether certain types of people (such as those who have shunned their religious duties) are more vulnerable are entirely up to the GM. 101 days after the curse begins, The Devil (or, more likely, one of his minions) will appear to the rougarou and offer him a deal: if the victim will serve The Devil, his natural lifespan will be extended by 101 years and he will be given control over his shapeshifting abilities. When the person dies, he will serve The Devil in Hell (where he may be headed anyway, if he’s shirked his religious responsibilities--or at least that’s what The Devil will try to make him think). If the person declines the offer, he suffers one final transformation and is cured.  

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Monster of the Week: The Rougarou.
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