How to Play a Successful Galliard

June 14, 2015 at 1:50 am (Uncategorized)

The second in my series on Werewolf: The Apocalypse. I wrote this one. šŸ™‚

Initial Character Build

Galliards have perhaps the most leeway with starting stats, unlike theurges or ahroun (mental and physical primary respectively). Pegasus notes: “I’ve played, enjoyed, and been successful with galliards with all sorts of primary/secondary/tertiary builds. Mental-primary Galliards are scholars, historians, loremasters and investigators; Social-primary Galliards are performers and well-connected info-schmoozers; and Physical-based Galliards are Glorious almost-Ahroun battlefield-lovers.”

Galliards remind the Garou why they are alive to do what they do in a way that lets them interact well with other auspices. They stand right between Philodox and Ahroun, and thus have aspects of leadership and combat prowess. Their embrace of passion and art has a spiritual aspect, and that lets them interact well with theurges — who often use poetry, song, or crafted art in their rituals. Galliards also understand the use of humor, and it’s the duty of both Ragabash and Galliards to investigate, teach, report and satirize if need be.

A Galliard without points in Performance, Expression, or both is a pretty sad and sorry thing. Also note that many, many Galliard gifts run off of these two stats.

Where you put the balance of those points depends on the type of Galliard you wish to play. A Glass Walker who updates his sept’s Intranet Newsletter with the goings on of the Sept may want to put way more points in Expression. A Glass Walker who plays a flute and does haunting instrumental tributes may wish to focus more on Performance. A musician who composes epic songs and poems will want both…one stat to compose, and one stat to perform. Remember, of course, there are many ways to play a Galliard. There’s also dance, avant-garde performance art, craftsmanship and graphic design (traditional or modern). Galliards can be painters, grafitti artists, web designers, sculptors, architects or smiths; Expression can be found in all of these. Galliards create beauty — or at least stir up response. That Ukrainian sand painter chick is definitely a Galliard, even though she never says a word. The art restoration dudes on Pawn Stars or American Pickers might well be Galliards, too; they’re preserving history and telling stories.

Galliards are seldom, if ever, shy. They don’t have to be bombastic attention whores (which is a valid concept in its own right!), but their Luna-given task is to create, remind, teach, preserve, and inspire, and they take pride in that. Galliards are acting against auspice when they horde their poetry or refuse to show their artwork. A metaphorically silent Galliard is not doing his duty. Even a mute Galliard can carve glyphs or sign to tell a scathing and expressive tale to enact a satire ritual. Communication is key. A Galliard who doesn’t communicate to the Sept’s and Nation’s benefit is a Galliard that will be denounced for dereliction of duty. Galliard players should be making bbposts, whether it’s an IC blog, journalism report, song, story, dance, installation sculpture or gossip-mongering that’s getting the attention.

Your Role, as Seen by the Sept

A Galliard is part historian, part entertainer, part journalist, part morale officer, and part battlefield figurehead. In a pack, the Galliard is often the “Face” of the group, unless he or she is too Ragey to handle the role (in which case, the Ragabash might be called upon to do that instead).

It’s a good idea to think about what you are comfortable RPing when you decide to build your Galliard. If you don’t feel comfortable writing compositions then focusing on a Galliard who will compose original lyrics and epic poetry might not be a good plan. Fortunately, it’s not always necessary to do that. You could pull stories from the Silver Record supplement for example, and tell them straight. You could also focus on instrumental music, or factual reports via bbpost, or simple howls. See above for additional ideas.

The important thing is to think about how you’re going to get the word out to the rest of the Sept about important events, past and present. BBposts are an important part of giving and getting renown, and people often enjoy seeing their names written into new songs.

If you’re wondering why all this is vitally important to the Garou, specifically, remember that the Garou can’t write much down (except for the Glass Walkers, and they use insane computer cryptography to keep it safe). They are as oral of a culture as our ancient ancestors were. If Galliards weren’t telling and recording the tales their sense of history, identity, and purpose would be lost in 3 generations…to the detriment of Gaia and to the delight of the Wyrm. In many ways, Galliards are what hold the society together. They give Garou a sense of purpose which helps them withstand some of the harsher, crueller elements of Garou life. They give them hope, not just for a potential win, but the hope that every individual will have an opportunity to be seen as heroic, interesting, and memorable…especially when they are gone.

They also help to warn members of society against courses of action which are not so good or wise, giving Garou a path to follow. These cautionary or satirical tales help to keep the hearers on the straight and narrow. And, of course, sometimes they serve as political or social commentary, just as songs and stories do in the human world. This means that the Galliard can be a change agent when such change is necessary for the good of pack or Sept…and a truly deft Galliard can make this happen without inspiring everyone around her to “throat the messenger.”

Character Contributions

As a Galliard, you’ve got a lot of flexibility in how you contribute to PRPs and scenes. Much of this will depend upon how you choose to build your Galliard.

  • Galliards have almost as much Rage as Ahroun do, so take advantage of the extra actions.
  • Galliards are often good at taunting maneuvres.
  • See if your ST will let you make lore rolls (Academics, Occult, etc.) to note weaknesses on enemies, to pull up some helpful, similar situation from a story, etc. which may give your packmates an edge in combat. The ST can use “this reminds you of the story of blah blah blah” to give you helpful hints for successfully navigating the challenge.
  • ICly, just for flavor, you could be howling encouragements to your packmates throughout the battle, shoring them up when they start to flag, falter, or get frustrated because of bad rolls.
  • Most Galliards are great at the “talking to people” “canvassing the neighborhood” types of investigations, if they set their WP high enough to negate their rage.
  • Make sure you record whatever happens! Think about posting a bbpost, or writing a song to share at the next social event. People really, really appreciate it when their Galliards take the time to acknowledge their efforts.

RP Ideas

  • Perform! Set up PRPs to show off your latest composition. Grab your fellow Galliards to pull together a jam session or ensemble performance. Write +bbpost articles about what your pack has been up to.
  • Create! If you’re not a performing Galliard then create art to bbpost, display in a scene, or while RPing with others.
  • Question everyone about everything, at length. Someone made it to a PRP you missed? Go bug them about it. Wring every detail out of them. Your character might want to write about it later, and it’s a great choice for RP.
  • You’re the perfect person to run PRPs (or to seek T2+s to run PRPs for you) which revolve around the history of the area, the Garou, the Sept, whatever. Lost lore is very valuable to the Garou…very valuable indeed.
  • Remember that we have a system here for getting into the Silver Record (see Tales and Songs). Will you be the very first? Even if you aren’t, there’s an awful lot of great RP to be had in the trying.
  • Take a moot role. There are two moot roles that Galliards typically take. The first is the Master of the Howl. Katrina holds the role as Elder, so she usually uses this to control the pacing of the moot. But if you do the Opening Howl you still get the bonus dice and the kudos for the position…and it gives you something to do besides sit there. The second, of course, is Talesinger, and it’s a lot of fun. Not only do you get a captive audience for your brilliant creations, you can legitimately take renown for “telling a great story at a moot.” Especially if the crowd responds well ICly!


The worst pitfall about playing a Galliard is playing him or her as a “not quite as Ragey Ahroun.” Galliards who neglect the storytelling, history, music, etc. aspects of being a Galliard are not living up to the potential of the auspice. It’s also important to think about the actual role this character plays in society…it can be fun (and easy) to jump up and offer some rock jams, but it’s not necessarily what being a Galliard is all about. Third and finally, failing to use the office to grab all the RP you can (by trying to interview everyone you can) is kind of a waste of potential as well…finding an excuse for RP isn’t always easy, but as the Galliard, you’ve got one built right in. Most people will appreciate being asked, especially if you’ve never asked them before…and even if you get someone who grunts that there’s nothing to tell, you’ve at least gotten the excuse for a scene. And someone who likes talking about his or her exploits can easily keep you there all night!

Combat Tips

Combat tips for your Galliard would depend, entirely, on your build. If you took physical stats as your secondary stats then you’re probably a pretty solid fighter without any special help, though as a Galliard you might be more prone to tactical maneuvers like flanking, taunting, and back stabbing than your average kick-down-the-door Ahroun. Even if your physical stats are tertiary you’ve got a bit of rage to work with, and this can be turned to your advantage as well.



  1. noob galliard said,

    nice and useful guide.

    • ladyrane said,

      Glad you found it helpful!

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