I sincerely doubt they'll be anything like oWoD Werewolves, since the hate of that is pretty widespread. Rather I suspect that Social Lunars will be achieves things through force of personality rather then illusions with great powers to raise strong emotions in both themselves and others.
I still have no idea what the mental Lunars will look like, and I'm really curious.
I'm holding off on judging until I see what this dual natured beast/man style of 2E Lunars plays like. Sure, it might not play out like the trickster spirits I'm envisioning, but who knows.
Lunars have never really had a lot of illusion effects (in the sense of "ghost image" cantrips, not stage magic legedemain) outside of 1e core, so I can understand why they wouldn't get that suddenly. They're arguably the most carnal/corporeal splat, after all. I have hope that there will be wider options for dipping into illusion effects outside your charmset, though -- sorcery, Evocations, etc.
To go into more detail on why I was disappointed, I'll summarise Luna's five main alternate aspects from her write-up in Glories:
- The Bloody Huntress, a martial archetype commonly associated with vigilance and the hunt.
- The White Navigator, the aspect that shares wisdom and guidance with humanity and shines light upon dark and hidden roads.
- The Two-Faced Bride, the aspect that evinces a meeting of opposites, including her role as a fertility deity and a walker between worlds.
- The Silver-Horned Watcher, an aspect of ominous portent and failing light, of the terrors of the night and the presence of things from beyond the world.
- The Walker at the Crossroads, an aspect of mysticism and the unknown, of things forgotten and of alien worlds and dreams from the without.
And then set outside all of these is the Chthonic Baara, which is a force of constant evolution and apocalyptic fury, mostly taking the form of an ever-evolving super-predator. This appears to be the main one that 1e and 2e Lunars drew from, with perhaps a bit of the Bloody Huntress, ignoring basically all of the others. But the other five are at least as much a part of Luna as this, if not more so - she doesn't hold them apart from her, after all.
So. I'm asking. Where are the Charms that stem from the White Navigator, to bestow wisdom upon societies and guide them by illuminating unseen roads, both literal and metaphorical - paths that they might take that they cannot see for themselves?
Will there be magic that mimics the Two-Faced Bride, that encompass the touching of opposite poles and which allow you to walk between worlds, stepping as easily through the brassy streets of Malfeas or the gilded hallways of Yu Shan as the lush wilderness of Creation or the chthonic depths of the Labyrinth?
Are we likely to see powers that emulate the Silver-Horned Watcher, which let you prophesise doom and the downfall of kingdoms, or stalk the streets of Firewander when the Wyld zone there is waxing, an intimidating figure of silver light that heralds nightmares from beyond the world and warns the folk of Creation to stay in their beds until the danger passes?
Can we look forward to abilities akin to the Walker at the Crossroads, which allow you to be a shamen-king in your city-enclave, who listens to secrets from the whispering voices beyond the veil of the impossible and plucks strange and exotic treasures from the unreality that borders unseen places, and will sell information or unnatural ingredients to any who come to them in return for a price they deem of equal value?
Because basically, what I've heard so far is that "rage" is apparently as central a theme as "shapeshifting" and "transformation" - at least to the point where it warrants mention in the list of three elements that the mechanics and narrative will focus on. That Lunar shapeshifting is about being seen, about physical shapeshifting and magnificent god-bodies; "look at how gorgeous my chiselled abs are!", rather than being illusionary or trickster-god or conceptual/mental. That their thematics will be tightly focused on the Jekyll/Hyde duality of Luna and the Chthonic Baara, rather than the White Navigator or the Walker at the Crossroads.
I get the impression, though I can't point to any specific quotes, that they'll still largely be edge-dwellers on the borders of Creation, without any significant fraction being perfectly happy in Threshold and even Blessed Isle cities using their whole "shapeshifters and infiltrators" skillset - assuming they still even have it - to dodge the Wyld Hunt. Even if they couldn't do that in the Shogunate, it's been seven hundred years since then, and unless the Realm is all but omnipotent or the Lunar infiltration skillset sucks, I would expect a decent portion of them to be urban rather than barbarian. I get the impression that they're still going to be fairly animal focused, despite Luna's core personality and five main alternates having nothing to do with animals - six out of seven of the major aspects she's known for without a whiff of fur or feather. I get the impression that the TAW rewrite of Raksi - all cool and calm and controlled and collected as an information/resources broker who can get anything for anyone as long as they pay her price, and who doesn't rely on her body but rather her mind - is probably not something that I can play, or at least not something that's going to get an enormous amount of focus and support.
I may be wrong. I may be over-generalising from the few snippets we've seen so far. I may be overreacting. But the thing that made me love Lunars was Luna, and the idea of Luna; the different forms and aspects that she took and the different potential moon-gods that went into her and the different thematics and concepts that they represented, all of which worked just as well deep in civilisation and urban settings as they did in the alien geometries of Malfeas or the faded ghostly pallor of the Underworld or the splendour and glory of Yu Shan or, yes, the wilds and wilderness of nature. She wasn't particularly barbaric, nor were savagery or tribalism major aspects of her character. She was martial, but equally seductive. She wasn't intrinsically tied to savages or barbarians or the wilderness or animals. She had a foot in every
world, including the ones right in the middle of the Blessed Isle or the big cities of Threshold.
That's the Luna I fell in love with. And I can't see very much of it in the Lunar teasers that have been dropped so far.