Willpower is a baseline measure of a character's capability to use raw force of will and mental stamina to overcome urges (compulsion), desires, and adversity when all other defenses fail. Willpower, like similar traits (Rage and Gnosis), comes in two forms: the permanent Willpower rating, and the temporary Willpower pool. The character's willpower pool can never be greater than their rating. When a character uses a point of Willpower, they remove it from their Pool, not the Rating. The rating stays constant while the pool expands during the story. However, Willpower differs somewhat from similar traits. Read on:

Willpower from the Willpower pool fluctuates a great deal during a story. It decreases by one each time the player uses a Willpower point to have his character do something extraordinary, such as retain self-control or gain an automatic success. Eventually the character will have no more Willpower left, and will no longer be able to exert himself as he once did. The character is mentally exhausted and can't rouse himself enough to give a damn -- he's expended all his Willpower. This exhaustion is reflected in the following: When taking into account someone's Willpower for determining the difficulty of an action (such as compulsions) that difficulty is usually determined by the dynamic pool and not the static rating.

On Willpower and IntegrityEdit

A few good rules of thumb:

  • Whenever someone rolls Expression, Intimidation, Persuasion, Subterfuge, or any other similar mental state-affecting statistic, the person to be affected rolls Integrity to determine how affected (or not) they are by the attempt. Integrity is an active defense.
  • Integrity does not usually protect against supernatural influence, though GMs are free to allow Integrity rolls as they see fit (such as in a situation where a supernatural effect demands the user to roll Intimidation as normal, even if the effect - should it work - would be supernatural).

On Willpower and Self ControlEdit

A few good rules of thumb:

  • When an ability says to use Self Control, use Self Control. When an ability says to use Willpower, use Willpower.
  • When determining the difficulty of an action (such as rolling against someone's mental defenses to make them do something ie. Dominate, Fear effects, etc.), unless the ability states otherwise, use Willpower; ie. Willpower 6 = Difficulty 6. Willpower is a passive defense.
  • When rolling to resist a compulsion or some other mental effect, unless the ability in question states otherwise, use Self Control. Self Control is an active defense.
Rating Descriptor
1 Weak (You have little to no force of will).
2 Timid (You'd just as well leave it alone).
3 Unassertive (You try, but many times you just don't make it).
4 Diffident (Hesitation is a powerful enemy, but when you defeat it, you can accomplish many things).
5 Certain (You're pretty sure you can do whatever it is you put your mind to).
6 Confident (You have the conviction to do and act in a way many find enviable).
7 Strong (When you put your mind to something, it gets done).
8 Controlled (It takes great acts of convincing to shake your conviction; you can keep going your own way for a long time, otherwise).
9 Iron-willed (You can summon the energy to do or resist most anything).
10 Unshakable (Your mental fortitude is immaculate and unstoppable).

Using WillpowerEdit

Willpower is one of the most dynamic Traits in the game, simply because there are so many different ways to employ, regain, and change it. Willpower is such a focus of the game that you will be paying a lot of attention to it, so you had better understand the following rules.

Automatic Success
A Willpower point can be used to obtain one automatic success in an action. Only one point of Willpower can be thus used per turn, but it gives a single guaranteed success. In this fashion it is possible to succeed automatically in an simple action simply by concentrating. For extended rolls, the extra success can make the critical difference between success and failure. There are some situations in which the Storyteller may not allow such a use of Willpower.
Uncontrollable Urges
On some occasions the Storyteller may tell you that your character does something out of instinct, primal urge, or gut reaction. Instead of rolling Self Control (or after failing such a roll), you may use a point of Willpower to avoid this and do as you please. The feeling might return, however, and another point of Willpower might be required. Sometimes it will return more times than you have Willpower, while other times you may completely overcome the urge.
Halting Frenzies
A character who rolls too many successes on a Rage roll, or too few successes on a Self Control roll, flies into a frenzy -- unless he spends a Willpower point to halt it and rein in his anger/the Beast. For more information, see the combat primer.

Recovering WillpowerEdit

Characters recover their Willpower pool whenever they are able to rest or get a chance to restore their self-confidence. They can also regain it via their Nature and Demeanor.


This was taken and modified slightly from the 2nd Edition core rulebook from Werewolf: the Apocalypse. All information is copyright White Wolf.

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