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Can a Garou learn the Akashic Martial Art Do?

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  • Can a Garou learn the Akashic Martial Art Do?

    This is something I’m asking about, because one of my characters was approached and was offered to be taught by an Akashic mage.

    This character is a Fostern Fenrir Ahroun, who was born and raised until his first change among his mother’s tribe and camp. The Wise Guys Of The Glasswalkers Tribe. With his most common mottos being, “He who dares, wins,” and, “Victory at all costs.”

    So he’s a bit of a hybridizing Of The two tribes. With at his darkest, a tendency towards sabotage, booby trapping with explosives, using garotte wire for assassinating his targets, and the potential to use torture to gain information. He is a student of war, and will not fail in his duties. Not as a Fostern of his tribe.

    The big question I have, there any reason he shouldn’t be able to learn it from the mage? Lore-wise that is. He already has permission to study under her from one of the sept’s elders, but has been warned to be cautious.

  • #2
    You have to be an Akashic (not an Akashic mage) to learn Do. It's not just a fighting style, it's a philosophy and life-style. You have to believe in the Akashic belief structure, and live a life in accordance to it, to understand the precepts of Do and then learn it.

    Having permission to study it, and even a teacher willing to try to instruct, doesn't mean you can actually do it. His beliefs would be fundamentally shifted by the process if he accepts the changes; otherwise it wouldn't be something he could manage.

    Given this would mean putting Akashic priorities over the Garou Nation, the Fenrir, the Wise Guys, or the needs of his Sept? The Garou might be OK with it at first if they don't realize what it really means. As it becomes clear what it would take, I wouldn't expect that to last.


    • #3
      I agree with Heavy Arms. "Do" is a metaphysical construct that an Awakened person can use to perform his magick. It represents not just physical actions, but an enlightenment. Non-Awakened people can't really learn it. At best, they perform a shallow mockery of it. And Garou can't be Awakened.

      A Garou, of course, could follow mechanically the form and physical action of "Do", but it would just look like some weird pseudo-kung fu that doesn't map to any actual form of martial arts. At most, it would justify additional purchases of Brawl, Dodge, and Athletics - which can be achieved by study of any real world martial art. At worst, it would be the equivalent of an eight year old trying to write Graduate-level math equations on the chalk board. The kid might think it looks just like how an Einstein or Feynman would do it, but to anyone else, especially real mathematicians, it is clearly a kid play acting even if by rote memory he actually wrote down a real scientific equation of some length.

      That's how I would run it as an ST. However, since it is happening in some game, and I assume the mage is an NPC, then your ST likely has a different reason.


      • #4
        Erm. I'm not saying a Garou can't learn Do, I'm saying you need to be an Akashic Garou to learn Do; which is nearly impossible without abandoning being part of the Garou Nation.

        The Revised Akashic Traditionbook is 100% clear that non-Awakened people can learn Do if they're 100% into the Akashic belief structure and life-style. A secluded monastery might be full of Sleeper students of an Akashic cabal... and they might all have a few dots of Do making them an extremely formidable defense despite just being kung-fu monk. M20 doesn't contradict this (but doesn't repeat the clearly stated Revised version so... take that as you will).

        Of course, going by the books, the Akashics don't teach Do to almost anyone outside the Tradition, and even then you have to be a highly trusted ally of the Tradition. Wandering sifu Akashics don't teach the secrets of Do to people just because they might have an aptitude for blending combat and enlightenment.


        • #5
          Kalindo would be far more useful as.. you can use it in forms that aren't "homid and maybe galabro"


          • #6
            So, what does the Akashic believe entail ?


            • #7
              Like any Tradition, that's not an simple question.

              Most relevant to this, one of the unifying aspects of the different strains of Akashic belief is the strident pursuit of eliminating disharmony; in one's self first to have the enlightenment to reduce it in the world.

              Rage is a fairly big sticking point and a good highlight here. The Stargazers accept Rage as part of themselves, and seek a way of balance that includes their Rage. The Akashics would reject the imbalanced state Rage represents as it clearly causes disharmony within the self and in those around the Garou, and would expect a Garou to work to eliminate their Rage rather than simply master it.

              To most Garou, the Akashayana would come off extremely Weaver-ish in this sense. Their quest for harmonious lives is built on regimented routines, strict diets, regular meditation, and similar activities. Their lives are highly ordered so they can identify the flaws and address them, rather than flowing through the idealized cycle of Wyrd, Weaver, and Balance-Wyrm.


              • #8
                Akashick belief drinks from the classic oriental tropes about Buddhism, Taoism, Zen.

                A lot of overcoming the illusion of the self (the ego), mastery over body and mind, and expanding awareness. A lot of matial arts dedication. Like Yoda said: "do not try, either Do or Do not". The fact that they're the Mind Seat on the council it's no accident, as these beliefs often place a great value on perception and mind states (the famous No Mind state that confuses people about "thinking in nothing" happens to be a Rote). .

                From the 2nd edition book about their philosophy: "Do not do; simply be. Look within for both a solution to a difficulty and its cause as well. You cannot effect balance without until you are balanced within as well. Do not seek to control your enemy, but to guide him. Do not resist opposition when you can simply step around it."

                Of course, this is a generalization (and a bit outdated), there are Akashicks with much more "active"philosophies...but the point it's that contemplation, discipline and self-control are prevalent. This is what M20 has to say about DO:

                Originally posted by M20, p 292
                In story terms, Do is a highly disciplined state of being. Diet, philosophy, meditation, internal and external reflection, and a refined sense of one’s place in the cosmos all characterize the study of Do; a character who does not pursue each element of that study cannot master the art’s benefits. The Storyteller should make sure that a practitioner of Do acts accordingly. If the character behaves with selfish excess, he loses his ability to access Do
                Without considering anything else (like, say, the own philosophy of the character), I would say that the biggest (non social) problem for any Werewolf wanting to be adopted into the brotherhood it's Rage (Heavy Arms beat me to this ). Frenzy w/o control ain't the way of the Akashicks. The wolf would need to have a lot of control over his Rage if he wants to fit and learn Do.

                Socially, the extreme discipline needed may be a problem because it implies loyalty, if not to the Tradition itself, at least to the Master who taught him. That may not run contrary to the Nation's goals in the beggining, but having divided loyalties it's always tricky
                Last edited by Aleph; 08-22-2019, 03:14 PM.


                • #9
                  This character is actually a heavily self-disciplined and controlled figure. He has, over the span of five years since his First Change, frenzied once. And has a WP Of 7 hopefully soon to be 8 i.e. He’s a titan of body, will, and mind.

                  The problem is....his mentor wants him to give in and fully accept the darker tendencies he shares with his Maternal Family. The bloodlust, savagery, merciless, and ruthless nature.

                  This conflicts with his wish, and part of the ideals he wishes to uphold and prove true. That the Fenrir are not thugs. They are devoted soldiers, ready to fight and die at command for the sake of Gaia.


                  • #10
                    To the Akashics, it's not if he has the willpower to resist Frenzy, but that he has the urge to Frenzy in the first place. Also, as having at least Rage 5, an Akashic would consider his inability to walk down a crowded street without provoking The Curse to be it's own issue. He's a walking source of disharmony in others, no matter how disciplined he is, he destroys balance in others just by walking past them (keep in mind in WtA over 60% of people are impacted by The Curse at just Rage 5).

                    Discipline is a means to an end, not the goal of the Akashics (not all of them actually believe in that sort of discipline either). Just because a character has strong self-discipline doesn't mean the Akashics will teach them.

                    Another point here is that the Akashics are not soldiers, even the warriors among them. To them a soldier and a brute are flipsides of the same coin; violence guided by wrong principles. One too many to be truly harmonious, and the other too few.


                    Also... which mentor is doing that? The Akashic or someone else?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                      To the Akashics, it's not if he has the willpower to resist Frenzy, but that he has the urge to Frenzy in the first place.
                      Word word word. So... my Nuwisha is totes good to go then...?



                      • #12
                        From a narrative perspective what is meant to be accomplished by learning?


                        • #13
                          I think they are meant to be more of a tempting or corrupting influence. Since my character refuses to give in to his baser instincts.


                          • #14
                            The Akashic is doing this?


                            • #15
                              IF the ST is running Mages as full on Namebreakers that makes sense. There's no reason for them to be particularly beholden to "Mage canon" if its a werewolf game.