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Help with Elder Ancestor Spirits as Caern Totems?

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  • Help with Elder Ancestor Spirits as Caern Totems?

    Back in revised it was mentioned that Ancestor Spirits could be Caern totems for lvl 1 Caerns. Has there been any mention of this possibility in W20? I am writing up a game that will introduce a tiny Shadowlord sept of Light Bringers who built a small Caern of Rituals and has a revered Elder as a Totem of their Caern. He was almost a Legendary Garou, had the Rite of Conquest performed on him four times, and his death was a huge blow to morale among the Garou when he was finally caught infiltrating a Hive. The Caern was created after his demise, in part, to remind the Garou that there was still hope. I am wondering what sort of powers he should be able to give his sept and if he could conceivably become “something more” if his Caern grows sufficiently and packs began taking him as a pack totem. Also, would anyone like to make suggestions on how I can make having an Ancestor Spirit a Caern Totem even cooler for the game? This is all just a vague idea at the moment and I am looking for ways to flesh it out. This is set on the outskirts of a shrinking town in Wyoming. The Caern is a recent addition, and all of the PCs will be treating this sept as a loose ally that they can barter information for over the course of the story.
    Last edited by Mercurial; 07-14-2020, 11:40 PM.

  • #2
    I can't remember it being mentioned in W20. One W20 supplement leveled Caern spirits up to Caern Totems and bestowed game mechanic tratis to these spritis. I think they aren't specifically mentioned since then, but I could be wrong.


    • #3
      I would use the Ancestor Spirit Caern Totem to be like a living history museum for the sept. Tapping the caern's powers is like accessing Wikipedia on the history of the caern and the Garou with it, except it is more like a movie playback and Garou can rewind to any point and see it from any angle they want. Instead of just getting one version, they can obtain the perspectives and views of any Garou who was present.

      In terms of showing something special, one idea is to allow the moot to take place like it's a shared dream like the Gallaird Gift Shadows By the Firelight. Legends are retold during the Stories & Songs portion, and the entire sept's membership play out the story's events. Perhaps the Ancestor Spirit always tells one story himself at the Moot. So come up with a good history of the sept, and have some short synopsis (say the length of an Aesop's Fable) for the PCs. And try to tie in current villains or events to the past so that PCs can make use of this feature.

      With an Ancestor Spirit as totem, I imagine tradition and Garou lore would be very important. It's a great way for a Garou to learn the Litany in its long form, or learn stories of the Silver Record, or any other form of history. Since the totem would encourage very traditional forms of behavior, perhaps it's a place Garou outside the sept send wayward cubs or Cliath to learn better appreciation for their traditional culture, or tribal historians to learn things. As such, you might have a steady number of pilgrims/anruths showing up in the hopes of making use of the totem. This could make this small sept more prestigious (especially for whatever tribe is the Ancestor Spirit) than a rank 1 caern should be.

      Another thing is to make the descendants of that Ancestor Spirit very important within the sept. It is likely the most influential family of kinfolk/Garou. And maybe that line has a much higher percentage of Garou being born than is normal - a sign of that Ancestor Spirits power and blessing.


      • #4
        Well, I'd think Fostern are the appropriate rank to be send to be fostered at a different sept for a while, maybe even a by a different tribe (as in the tribe novels).

        The more prestigiousness of the sept might be a factor, if you like to play with that aspect.

        In my head canon, ancestor sprits aren't necessarily history bound, the are either some form of paragon for tribe, breed or auspice. And while they appear, resemble and act like real life dead gaoru, they aren't their souls or minds but more like echos of that persons devotedness or importance to a specific tribe/auspice/breed. That said, a Galliard ancestor spirit might be a history buff. Also, I see that the books declare disassociated garou "ancestor spirits", for convenience sake.