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  • CeltSPZ
    started a topic Totem Question

    Totem Question

    So I got into a discussion about totems the other day, and I wanted to see what people here do. The argument was made that unless a totems specifically states that its bonuses allow an individual to go over 5 (i.e. Fenris, Turtle, Black Tortoise, ect), then a character that already has a 5 in a trait cannot benefit from a totem's bonuses. Thoughts?

    example: Bear grants a dot of strength to its followers, but if someone already has a 5 would they now have a 6? As opposed to Turtle who grants +1 stamina and it states regardless of if this would bring the character's rating over a 5.

  • Asmodai
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    The Totem rules are an unclear jumble that is endless frustrating because of things like this.

    I think the most logical reading is that you can't use a Totem to exceed your trait maximums unless it says others. Otherwise Totems that say they can exceed it don't make sense. Of course it's important to differentiate between Totems that grant dots in a trait or bonus dice to a trait, since bonus dice aren't capped, but wouldn't count to static uses (so a Totem that grants +1 dice to Strength roll can be used if you have Strength 5, but it doesn't improve your Feat of Strength base rating).

    There's no clear RAW for W20 at least (I think Revised might have said something in one of the FAQs about this).
    I always considered this as inconsistent wording on the authors side, compounded by the copy pasta from former editions. I don't think they actually intended for the bonuses to be so strangely specific. Most of the rules in Werewolf are simpler then that. I guess this is something that's down to the ST, but I've always concluded that the bonuses would allow them to go over the normal maximums - it's not like it breaks anything in the game...

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  • Story Letter
    replied
    roleplayrose you can always keep what make players happy.

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  • roleplayrose
    replied
    My husband and I had this convo when I was running our game last time. It doesn't say clearly enough for my tastes one way or the other, and he argues that this means you can go over 5. Its such a mess though. But think about it.. These are badass warriors of Gaia making pacts with powerful spirits. They should be incredible.

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  • Moirdryd
    replied
    Pretty sure that Totem bonuses do and always have added to your stats regardless, just like Gifts can do too. Zyzhak <sp?> has ridiculous stats in her Homid form and up because of her Personal Totem: Green Dragon. Green Dragon doesn't explicitly state that these bonuses can take you above the "Human max 5". Conversely shape shifting into Lupus (which is meant to be, you know, a regular) can also get stats over 5.

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  • CeltSPZ
    replied
    Well as for Fenris, he's one of the few totems that state the bonus allows them to go over 5 (turtle and black tortoise being the other 2 I can think of)

    As for pack totem change, I let them keep the points and apply it to the new totem. They did earn it, and I like my players to pick totems for style and theme. By not making them feel locked in with points they are more willing to alter totems as the characters change and grow.

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  • Story Letter
    replied
    You can always rule that attribute totem bonuses aply to all forms but homid, if homid is already at 5 dots in an attribute.
    So a werewolf with 5 strength in homid and Fenris as totem will still have 5 strength in homid but 10 in Crinos instead of 9.

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  • Maris Streck
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    I always assumed you would go over the normal maximums because simply changing forms can do that as well.
    That's how I'd rule it. I'm less sure about abilities, but I'd assume that both Totems might get you over 5 - I seem to recall that some NPCs in Werewolf and Vampire had such supernatural stats, so it makes sense that an Incarna is able to give you superhuman knowledge.

    Since I'm here already I'll add a question: what do you think about changing totems for a pack? Should they lose all the paid background points and start over from zero?

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  • Onkwe
    replied
    FML, I don't remember what we did since our totem was bear or bull in our main game.

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  • CeltSPZ
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    Yes, I would assume so, too. That some authors did mention it explicitly, while others didn't is in the end bad editing.
    Maybe Werwolf 5 will make clearer rules.
    See for me I always wondered it it was intentional.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Yes, I would assume so, too. That some authors did mention it explicitly, while others didn't is in the end bad editing.
    Maybe Werwolf 5 will make clearer rules.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    I always assumed you would go over the normal maximums because simply changing forms can do that as well.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I think, for the default TT style play WtA was designed for, it's rarely an issue in terms of some players getting less out of Totems, because the players will get their Totem at creation, not buy stuff that would overlap (like, if you get +1 Dexterity from your Totem, you just would start with Dex 4 so it would pump up to 5 and put the Attribute dot elsewhere), with Rarely losing it or changing it over the course of play.

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    I just let totems exceed stat caps since otherwise some players will get less from the background and I find it can be a little unfair to them. Letting them break start caps has never been an issue in any of my games.

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  • Cadmiumcadamium
    replied
    In the last Werewolf game i played we had Fenris as a Totem. That allowed some of our pack members to reach Strength 6. Not sure if that was ok according to RAW or not but that's how we did it.

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