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  • How long does a typical ride in rank take?

    I have run something like 10 sessions of werewolf now, and my players are already Fostern and getting close to being Adren.

    My question is, how long should it typically take for a werewolf to become a rank three member of the nation and what is the typical arc of progress like in terms of how long it takes?

    Is there any material I can turn to to read about what the typical progression of rank is in the Garou nation?

  • #2
    I think this is really an OOC discussion with your players on how long they want them to take (and it is possible they will want different ranks will have different amount of times to accomplish). After all, "game session" is an OOC consideration. It has no meaning to the PCs IC. A single game session could be only a few hours IC, or it could be weeks, months, or even years. Another OOC is consideration is their advancement in terms of what you have planned for the game - do they need to be at a certain rank or have access to certain Gifts to be able to accomplish the tasks you have prepared? Or would it make them too powerful for the moment for the plot currently being run?

    Another factor, of course, is how much real time does this mean? For a play group playing once a week,10 sessions is only a little over two months of playing time, and they might be fine not achieving Adren yet. A group that plays once a month is almost a year in real time play, and they may want to see significant progress in that time and are eager to be at Adren and being working to Athro.

    Every ST and player group will have different expectations, and the play style will greatly affect how many IC opportunities there are for advancement. I think most groups would want fairly rapid advancement with play sessions that give lots of renown opportunities. In that case, advancement will be quick. But some groups may like a play style where game sessions are mainly not made up of renown opportunities, but instead explore relationships with NPCs (kinfolk, Garou, mortal, and other) and build on personal background and stories that - while personally satisfying - don't translate into Garou renown. In that case, it can take a lot more game sessions to earn renown for the next rank.

    Usually I have players achieve Fostern quite early. PCs just have to demonstrate they are not screw ups, accept Garou values, and show they take things seriously. Even the challenges aren't too hard. However, I have Adren and greater ranks take a lot more time, and once they earn renown for the next rank, the Challenge to get the next rank can often take an entire game session, perhaps multiple ones.

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    • #3
      In character time is easily calculated. A Moot is once a month at full moon. There Rites of Accomplishments happen. If the character has a Renown trait at 10 temporary renown, the Rite may transform it. This is the only hard limit on in character ascension I know.

      However, there is no indication if one Rite can transform more than one type or renown at once, or if two Rites are necessary. If the latter, there is no rule if they can happen back-to-back at the same gathering. If not, the speed of turning temp renown into permanent renown is slowed down a bit.

      It is also unclear if the any sept would like to honor a specific garou, or each garou of one pack, every single month. Even, if the pack can manage to participate in the moots of the sept, each month. It also is a typical characteristic of PCs, that they stumble from one adventure to the next without much downtime.

      That said, my guess would be, that characters are pubs after the first change and have to earn three renown depending on their auspice to be allowed to undertake the Rite of passage. Since cubs aren't allowed to partake in normal wyrm fighting activities their renown should be gained from training successes, impressing their teachers, mentors, den parents with their abilities and knowledge. My guess, this should be about 6 to 12 month.

      Cliaths, which is the usual starting level for characters should remain cliath for about a year, in my opinion. However, especially PC might fast-track here, since they usually get tangled into exceptional circumstances (the plot) - an hopefully succeed there.

      Fostern is usually longer. If cubs and Cliaths are teen, fostern are in my opinions it their early twenties (homid age). And Adren from the mid twenties into the thirties. And, some garou peak here. Especially if they start to perform predominantly sept duties and don't go out on missions/quests, their renown comes in steady but slowly. Several of the NSCs in books are Adren.

      But, like I said, its my opinion, based on the NPC characteristics I remember...

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      • #4
        I think we got through just over 10 sessions and to be honest, there’s only been a few months of game time so far, maybe four months at most.

        I could hold him back and say that the sept elder does not want them to advance and basically not perform the right of acknowledgement but I know that would just piss them off even if I explain to them that it is a very common practice within the Garou Nation.

        Keeping the young Garou down so they don’t rise in rank too quickly prevents them from gaining too much rank without having been in the nation for an appropriate period of time and also prevents abuse of upper level gifts, which can cause problems for the Garou regarding their credibility with the spirits.

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        • #5
          If they are leveling too fast give them a time skip.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by heinrich View Post
            In character time is easily calculated. A Moot is once a month at full moon. There Rites of Accomplishments happen.
            But not stated they don't happen other times. If we'd force this rule it would seriously hamper the nomadic packs (for example Silent Striders).

            Originally posted by heinrich View Post
            However, there is no indication if one Rite can transform more than one type or renown at once, or if two Rites are necessary. If the latter, there is no rule if they can happen back-to-back at the same gathering. If not, the speed of turning temp renown into permanent renown is slowed down a bit.
            It's also not indicated that it can't.

            The PCs are special, 'cause they are the fish on the plothook. They advance far faster (in renown and experience) than a normal Garou should. Accept that they are not normal, but the protagonists of the story. If we'd stick to the progression above, Albrecth would be around rank 3-4.

            I find it more acceptable to slow the progression with loose-loose circumstances (call it drama) where a white outcome is almost impossible and where the characters could loose renown even if the "Accomplish the Mission".

            In our last story (~12 hours of real time) the characters (generally) received +3 Glory, -3 Honor, -2 Wisdom and they didn't complain.

            Originally posted by Zennis View Post
            I could hold him back and say that the sept elder does not want them to advance and basically not perform the right of acknowledgement but I know that would just piss them off even if I explain to them that it is a very common practice within the Garou Nation.
            A sept usually contains multiple (bickering) elders. If one wouldn't give them the right, another could. Also multiple players have hight ranked mentors.
            Additionaly the Garou don't have to be an elder, just a higher ranked one than the players.

            Originally posted by Zennis View Post
            Keeping the young Garou down so they don’t rise in rank too quickly prevents them from gaining too much rank without having been in the nation for an appropriate period of time and also prevents abuse of upper level gifts, which can cause problems for the Garou regarding their credibility with the spirits.
            A typical fluff viewpoint is that the Apocalypse is just beyond the corner. Prevent Garous to become potent fighers don't seem to be a wise choice.
            Last edited by Lachdanan; 09-04-2018, 02:43 AM.


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            • #7
              What I’m really curious about, is the idea of basically a pack of cubs reaching and surpassing fostern rank within three or four months

              Does that seem unrealistic at all

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              • #8
                I would say that typically Cliaths would not achieve the renown needed to reach Fostern in 3-4 months game time. However, if you do it, it won't break the game. Fostern is supposed to be achieved fairly quickly. Renown is easy to earn as almost everything counts since everything is new to the Cliaths.

                But you may want a discussion with your players in how much time IC your game sessions/plots should cover going forward so that there can be an appropriate passage of time IC for however many game sessions you do. Going from Fostern to Adren should take a lot more time IC as that is something NPCs may take a decade or more to achieve since low hanging fruit no longer provides renown.

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                • #9
                  I'd say it seems unrealistic although possible in extreme circumstances. However there isn't nearly enough information to judge - how much xp per 'session' are the players getting? How long are the sessions? How many players? Are they spending all their game time fighting enemies? Are the renown rewards excessive (i.e. are they getting a lot of renown for actions that are not that impressive)? Are the players 'milking' the renown system to maximise those rewards?

                  Personally it sounds like the ST has gone a bit 'Monty Haul' (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MontyHaul) and is giving the players too much in the way of rewards

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zennis View Post
                    What I’m really curious about, is the idea of basically a pack of cubs reaching and surpassing fostern rank within three or four months

                    Does that seem unrealistic at all

                    I would say the issue is not about renown and rank but rather a lack of downtime. A Garou can do something like "spend six month patroling the bawn and nothing really important happens" Spread out the stuff they do. Give them time to live their lives.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                      But not stated they don't happen other times. If we'd force this rule it would seriously hamper the nomadic packs (for example Silent Striders).
                      Well, a moot doesn't require a cearn. So I would assume that nomadic packs either travel to septs every so often to participate in moots or hold gatherings when two or three packs meet.

                      I mean, in theory, a pack could, whenever they want stop what they are doing and enact this Rite. But that isn't how I believe the garou should act or garou should behave. That said, garou can't know if they have temp renown 10 or not, their players of the ST does. So, it makes sense to schedule the Rite to a time when it makes sense for the Rite to be performed.



                      Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                      It's also not indicated that it can't.
                      Sure, you can argue that it converts every type of renown. Just one. Multiple, but at higher difficulty. What ever the troup or the ST feels is appropriate.

                      Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                      The PCs are special, 'cause they are the fish on the plothook. They advance far faster (in renown and experience) than a normal Garou should. Accept that they are not normal, but the protagonists of the story. If we'd stick to the progression above, Albrecth would be around rank 3-4.
                      Except, that Albrecht is a protagonist. Of a novel at least. His actions in other sourcebooks or his stint on the tribe novels not withstanding.

                      Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                      A typical fluff viewpoint is that the Apocalypse is just beyond the corner. Prevent Garous to become potent fighers don't seem to be a wise choice.
                      Promoting unqualified and unexpierenced people also doesn't seem wise.
                      A common assumption is, that any person is promoted in their workplace until their new duties don't match their interests/abilities - then they start to perform less well and therefore don't get promoted anymore. Thing is, that the position right before that happened would have been the best for them, because there they performed exceptional and were presumably happy.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zennis View Post
                        What I’m really curious about, is the idea of basically a pack of cubs reaching and surpassing fostern rank within three or four months

                        Does that seem unrealistic at all
                        Well, if you make use of the Instruction skill to simulate how characters learn stuff, then suddenly there will be a lot of downtime, because it basically says, that the teacher makes a roll Manipulation+Instruction against 10-Int of student per month spend with significant amount of training time. Each success equals one XP the student may spend on a trait. So an extended action of several months worth of time might be necessary to raise a trait from 3 to 4 at average Int 2.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                          Promoting unqualified and unexpierenced people also doesn't seem wise.
                          A common assumption is, that any person is promoted in their workplace until their new duties don't match their interests/abilities - then they start to perform less well and therefore don't get promoted anymore. Thing is, that the position right before that happened would have been the best for them, because there they performed exceptional and were presumably happy.
                          I accept this wholeheartedly, but to earn the neccessary Renown there must be a certain skill-/mindset. You can't promote a person without merit, because the spirits wouldn't accept it. Yeh, you can get tons of Glory for destroying a Nexus Crawler, but you won't kill one just with luck.

                          Also the different Auspices needs different Renown sets, so a Theurg won't receive Rank for glory-hounding smaller banes.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                            I accept this wholeheartedly, but to earn the neccessary Renown there must be a certain skill-/mindset. You can't promote a person without merit, because the spirits wouldn't accept it. Yeh, you can get tons of Glory for destroying a Nexus Crawler, but you won't kill one just with luck.

                            Also the different Auspices needs different Renown sets, so a Theurg won't receive Rank for glory-hounding smaller banes.
                            True.

                            And within the game mechanics RAW it is clear the Rite can only convert 10 temp to 1 permanent renown, period.

                            In the game world character don't know their renown is recorded in boxes and dots. Any elder has, in preparation of a gathering, to reminisce about the deeds of his flock (and possibly guests that have RSVPed) and when they were lase honoured with the Rite. And depending on that he starts to enact the Rite if it feels right. But, as written, the Rite might be challenged anyway, because the elder might have missed something, or the others have other ideas if how to value the deeds of that person in regards to renown.

                            So, ST Handbook Rev. tells us, that Renown is awarded even is no person knows what happened and the garou keeps secret what happend. For spirits can innately sense the renown level in garou but not the actual deeds.

                            So, one could argue, that potentially the garou society does perform the Rite occasionally without effect, for the garou to be honoured is a few boxes shy of 10 temporary renown and the garou couldn't tell. I, as an ST, would track renown without the players knowing, too. They should try to assess their characters renown themselves, and when the Rites of Accomplishments come, they just record the permanent increase.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                              Sure, you can argue that it converts every type of renown. Just one. Multiple, but at higher difficulty. What ever the troup or the ST feels is appropriate.
                              I accidentaly bumped into rules how to "turn in" multiple types of renown. It's in the Storytellers Handbook (Revised), pg. 21-22.


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