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How should the Numen background work?

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  • How should the Numen background work?

    I really like the Umbra and spirits and I really liked the Numen background presented in The Player's Guide to Garou(revised) but it's lacking severly in how the spirit should work statistically. It mentions the various levels of it granting stronger spirits, but when looking up stats for elementals they only seem to give stats on some of the lowest level elementals, so we presumed the spirit should be statted out stronger for a 5 dot Numen background. But we weren't sure how much stronger, I found this site which gives stats to be assigned based on power, it seems like a solid thing. I know this is someone's houserules, but it seems like they did their homework and it should work. Wouldn't you agree?

    Some things I wondered about tho, the revised sourcebook says all spirits have access to Airt Sense, Materialize, Realm Sense and Re-form, but the website says all spirits have access to Airt Sense and Reform, no mention of Materialize and Realm Sense. I'm more concerned with Materialize, should every Numen spirit have automatical access to Materialize?

    My other question would be if a Garou uses a point of Gnosis and calls upon a charm of his Numen, does he use the charm himself or do they use it for them because of the Gnosis point spent as Chiminage? If they use it, would it use their own stats or the Spirit's? Like if my Garou uses a Blast, would it use his own Rage of 5 or the Spirit's Rage of 10?

  • #2
    All pack totem avatars have 7 dots in their attributes and Reform and Airt Sense. It should by no means be all spirits. An awoken tree, for example, is by design immobile. Airt Sense is wasted here and doesn't make any sense.

    The levels mentioned with the background are kind of pointless, since there is no real equivalent in stats for their traits. You could handwaive them. After all, the spirit is supposed to be an NPC and it's powers (beyond the abilities the background grants) are totally up to you. It isn't the D&D "Leadership" feat that grants a cohort, a secondary PC to play.

    If you need stats, we have made rules for that with our LARP game. Basis is the pack totem avatar cost table. From there we deduced, that all dots in Rage, Gnosis, Willpower cost equally. One totem background point grants 3 dots in attributes, two grant a new charm, so charms are 6 times as expensive as attribute dots.
    So, we grant gaffelings the equivalent of 200XP.
    Stronger gaffelings the equivalent of 250XP.
    Weaker jagglings the equivalent of 300XP.
    Normal Jagglings the equivalent of 350XP.
    And really strong jagglings the equivalent of 450XP.
    Each attribute costs 10XP, each charm 60XP. Each attribute must have a minimum score of one.

    Power/Essence is the sum of the attributes.
    In addition to these official traits (attributes and Charms), we invented additional stats.
    Bonus (damage), Bonus (Soak) and Bonus (Essence) from 0 to 5 cost 30XP each. They allow a two damge dice or two soak dice, representing natural weapons or armour spirits may have. Bonus (Essence) grants 25% increase in Essence per dot, to some more powerful spirits can have more Essence then the sum of their attributes.

    Lastly, we invented special abilities, also 30XP per ability, to compensate for some aspects that didn't make sense. A awoken ivy for example shouldn't have that poweful physical dicepools (Willpower) but still be good when grabbing something with their twains. So, a special ability grants them 3 bonus dice, without raising their regular willpower to levels, unsuitable for the spirit.

    But, for tabletop, I highly recommend to treat Numen as NPCs and not give them specific stats.


    • #3
      Well they do need to be statted out to know what charms the Garou can call upon, how strong those charms would be and in case they become involved in a fight. They wouldn't necessarily participate in every fight without a lot of chiminage, but say we were fighting a smog elemental bane in the Umbra, my Air Elemental Numen would have a vested interest in aiding to take down that smog elemental to clear the air. I wouldn't dream of calling on it to fight with us very often, it's a friend, not just some tool.

      Anyhow, the real main question here is when a Garou calls upon one of his Numen's charms and that charm works off of a spirit's traits normally, should it be based off the Garou's traits or the Numen spirit's traits?
      Last edited by Wulfswift; 09-03-2018, 02:02 PM. Reason: Adding details


      • #4
        When we used the Numen Background the Garou used her own stats when activating Charms.

        By the way the Numen never states that the spirit always follow the Garou. A potent jaggling would have some other business to attend, or a birch spirit would be stationaly.

        About the stats: Just choose an appropiate ranked spirit from the already written down ones.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
          When we used the Numen Background the Garou used her own stats when activating Charms.
          I would think so, too.