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typical talens used by packs and septs

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  • Black Fox
    started a topic typical talens used by packs and septs

    typical talens used by packs and septs

    I've started giving some thought to the amount of talens that should be out there in a Werewolf chronicle. They're fairly easy to make, and as a level one rite, there are potentially many Garou out there who could make them. And talens are often traded to learn rites and other favors. And they are a good way to earn some Wisdom renown. So I imagine lots of PCs and NPCs are making them.

    I don't want the game to be about crafting. RPG's are notoriously poor as economic simulators, and its easy to abuse. Still, I think there should be some guidelines to assist STs in determining how many talens should be out there because that helps determine the typical production level. And it gives some sort of guide for the PCs. If they don't use talens, but I'm showing the NPC packs use them, I think it'll affect their behavior. And by knowing their frequency, it helps determine how valuable they are. To learn a level one rite, is the payment typically one talen? Two talens for level two rites, and so on? Or something else.

    So I have two questions to crowd source to the board.

    First, what talens and how many should a typical pack have at any one time? Packs should be using them as a normal part of their activities. Talens like Gaia's Breath, Chiropteran Spies, Nightshade, and Wyrm Scale seem to me ones that every pack would want several at their disposal. They would be useful at many kind of quests. Because if they need to use them, they need to have them on hand. They don't want to wait for the pack theurge to begin creating them.

    Second, what talens and how many should a sept have at its disposal at any one time? Septs should want some for use to defend the caern, or to give to packs to assist them on sept assigned missions or as rewards for good service. So besides the kind of talens packs would like to have, I think Bane Arrows would be essential, and Death Dust would be useful. They may not be things a typical find would find useful, but a sept likely has some use for them and would want them on hand.

    W20 talens are the most likely talens to talk about, but feel free to include anything talen in other books you feel should be routine or typical.

    I am talking about packs and septs because I feel they are a more useful marker than talking about individuals. But if you feel differently, please explain.

    What do you see in your games?

  • Black Fox
    replied
    Interesting. I haven't given much thought to that. I do have in my head the type of potential umbral dangers that may occur, not to the extent that I distinguish between what should be the norm for specific areas versus what could be avoided if this talen is used.

    I think I need to have a discussion with my players and see how we want to handle it so there is actual use of the talen.

    As to others on this forum, still hoping to hear from you on the kind of talens being used out there by your pack normally, or your thoughts are on the talens you assume are being used by the NPCs packs and the sept.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    WtA typically does not have "wandering monster" encounters, even if such a table might be useful for certain areas. So it's really up to the individual ST to determine if random spirits come across you. So I'm wondering what happens in your game if someone travels the Umbra without a Moon Glow. What incidental dangers then come into play that would be avoided if they had used a Moon Glow?
    It depends. We sum up Wits with Enigmas and add seconday traits like Umbra lore. This gives us an indicator whether to handwaive umbral dangers (including wandering spirits) or not.
    If we have a special game event, where the travel is part of the plot to be played, we design encounters along the way. If the umbra travel is a downtime move or something like that, or, if at a game we as STs don't have props or NPCs ready, it might also get handwaived.
    So, the circumstances of the scene and the offplay circumstances are relevant for how it is handled.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    Sixth place is Moon Glow. It shines moon light in the umbra, making moon paths visible even at new moon and wandering spirits might mistake the light for a Lune spirit and not bother it, therefore making umbra travel saver.
    While the visible moon paths during new moon would always be useful, its use to avoid incidental danger really depends on how the ST runs the the Umbra. WtA typically does not have "wandering monster" encounters, even if such a table might be useful for certain areas. So it's really up to the individual ST to determine if random spirits come across you. So I'm wondering what happens in your game if someone travels the Umbra without a Moon Glow. What incidental dangers then come into play that would be avoided if they had used a Moon Glow?

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  • heinrich
    replied
    So, the list above was talens created but not deleted in the management system since talens management was added to the character management system. So, it might incorporate the staches of dead characters....

    The top ten of the talen recipies known to characters (PC and NPC) in the chronicle are:
    1. Clearwarter
    2. Moondsign
    3. Nightshade
    4. Moonglow
    5. That healing talen we have, akin to Gaia's Breath
    6. Warpaint (from Valkenbourg iirc)
    7. Poppy Leaf Bandage
    8. Slagger
    9. Dire Call (Talen from Kinfolk: Unsung Heros)
    10. Wyrmscale

    But that doesn't factor in which talens are most often produced (presumably to replenish stock), so I queried all attempts of the Rite of Binding (successes, failures and botches), and most often these talens are produced...
    1. Clearwater
    2. Warpaint
    3. Nightshade
    4. That healing talen we have...
    5. Slagger
    6. This scarab that is a talen-like item....
    7. Moonsign
    8. Poppy Leaf Bandage
    9. Pegasus Tears
    10. Drink of the Ancestors (also a homebrew Talen, that has healing capability)

    One can see, that warpaint and Nightshade are seemingly often used and need to be replenished more often. Clearwater however also leads by far the queries, maybe also because characters carry it to NPC septs as presents or payment for usage of Moon Bridges, if they travel farther away...

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    Clear Water is a talen I think was only mentioned in the 1st edition Player's Guide, so I think it is extremely unusual it's so popular with your group. If I understand correctly, the players use it when they roleplay getting drunk, but then need to sober up quickly? Or do the PCs find lots of situations where they need to purify water?
    Neither. It is however often that enemies, mostly banes and fomori, have damage values or debuffing effects with the "Toxin" descriptor, so 'Resist Toxin' would make the characters immune to this effects. Drinking the talen would grant the gift for the remainder of the scene, so getting out of enemies reach, fetching the talen from a pocket and drinking it, is an often used tactic, once poisonous effects on a scene...
    It also negates the bonus damage from Toxic Claws, although you usually have other problems if you fight a BSD.

    Also, although it isn't in the rules, there is a strong held believe by the players that it has some effect to pour the activated talen over ritualistic paraphernalia before a Rite, especially leafs from all four directions used in the Rite of Cleansing.

    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    Surprised you use a homebrew talen for healing instead of Gaia's Breath. But I get the impression your LARP is a long running one, and your game might have set precedent by using earlier materials or homebrew solutions, and therefore didn't update to newer materials unless they offered something new.
    It started in the year 2000 and incorporated revised around 2008. So, yeah, Gaia's Breath wasn't around (and the Gurahl version wasn't discovered by us until later) when one ambitious Player set out to have his Pure Breed 5 Silver Fang Theurge change the world be establishing a new talen recipe that everyone could need. The characters name was 'Strong Heart', so the talen is named 'Strong Hearts Gift', as in the theurge's gift to society.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    That is some neat data you have from your LARP, Heinrich. Thanks for sharing it. I find the results very surprising.

    Clear Water is a talen I think was only mentioned in the 1st edition Player's Guide, so I think it is extremely unusual it's so popular with your group. If I understand correctly, the players use it when they roleplay getting drunk, but then need to sober up quickly? Or do the PCs find lots of situations where they need to purify water?

    Surprised you use a homebrew talen for healing instead of Gaia's Breath. But I get the impression your LARP is a long running one, and your game might have set precedent by using earlier materials or homebrew solutions, and therefore didn't update to newer materials unless they offered something new.

    Interesting use of Moonsign. I hadn't thought of using it that way.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    I think there wasn't a healing talen in the rules for a long time. Don't know about W20, but in revised Hammer&Klaive had a healing talen for the Gurahl, iirc.

    In our LARP we have computer aided web based character management and most often talen creation is a downtime activity, so players have to bring the talen objects they handcrafted to the game but don't have to spend game time for the Rite itself. However, the number of attempts the Players may attempt the Rite per downtime is limited. Depending on their Wits, Rituals, spirit network traits, and rank a value is calculated, theurge auspice, different merits and flaws provide modifiers for that value. Let's call that the Binding-Ability-Value.
    So, assume that Binding-Ability-Value was 3. In that case the player would enter into the management system that he wants to build a talen "Clearwater" and that he provides four objects to be imbued (portions of fresh water that is). He also specifies the spirit he wants to petition or summon. We allow to choose from medium gaffeling, strong gaffeling, weak jackling and medium jackling, for all but the weakest a Rite of Summoning is rolled automatically, and if that fails the attempt to build the talen also fails.
    Then the Rite of Binding is rolled. Difficulty is adjusted by various means, like +1 because providing four raw objects to be imbued by the sprit is a bold move and binding a more powerful spirit also is more difficult. Successes are the number of talens created, more powerful spirits provide one extra talen, but successes that exceed the raw objects provided are lost.
    After that the management system would store a 2nd value for the Rite performed. Let's call it Spend-Spirit-Goodwill. 1 for a successful Rite and 0,1 for each talen created would be added up. So, if the player does another Rite, with five talens created, successfully, the Spend-Spirit-Goodwill would rise by another 1,5 to 2,9. Then a Rite scores no successes, so the Spend-Spirit-Goodwill value rises by just 1 and reaches 3,9. Now the Spend-Spirit-Goodwill value is higher than the Binding-Ability-Value calculated erlier. So, the character has used up the goodwill of the spirits and all further attempts at Binding are at +1 difficulty. If the player attempts another Rite and botches, the Spend-Spirit-Goodwill value is raised by 2,5 to a value of 6,4. A colour indicator shows the player, that he can't expect to succeed any more, without revealing the actual numbers (which would be +2 difficulty).
    So, time, in our game, passes in increments of game events. So, if a game event happens, regardless of the player attending or not, his Spend-Spirit-Goodwill value will decrease by Binding-Ability-Value. From 6,4 it falls to 3,4. That is still more than 3, so spirits still haven't forgotten about his botch and he is still at +1 difficulty, but better than nothing.

    So, this systems seems complicated and requires bookkeeping, but since it is computer based that doesn't matter much. In a table top game I as a ST would on the fly factor in circumstances like Merits, Flaws, Spirits available to the PCs, successes in handcrafting the raw material for the talen and so on. If someone attempts the Rite during a LARP event, I would too, but for downtime talen creation the web based system is reliable and fair.

    And with that said, I can go to the database and have a count over the number of talens in the system.
    Mostly used is Clearwater, since it can purify water but also act as 'Resist Toxin' for a scene if drunk, the talen is quite useful in our LARPs.
    2nd most, with less then half the amount, is the Slagger. We consider this talens "recipe" (spirit used and raw material needed to be crafted) a Glass Walker tribal secret, but the talens crafted are often entrusted to allies or provided as rewards for competitions.
    About the same amount are "War Paint" talens, from Valkenbourg Foundation, iirc. In contrast to the tribe specific talens in Hammer & Klaive, this war paint is more versatile, since it can mimic "Scent of the true form" or can provide a soak bonus.
    Fourth on the list is Pegasus Tears, which is the Dark Ages variant of Clearwater.
    Place five has Night Shade, which makes you invisible while in the shadows. Vaguely defined effect that is...
    Sixth place is Moon Glow. It shines moon light in the umbra, making moon paths visible even at new moon and wandering spirits might mistake the light for a Lune spirit and not bother it, therefore making umbra travel saver.
    Seventh place is a homebrew talen, a healing talen kind of similar to the Gurahl one.
    Eighth place is a scarab. Something akin to a talen rules-wise, but something different in the fluff (a spirit that turned to stone and when swallowed grants soak bonus).
    Ninth place is the Moonsign, which turns a shifter into Lupus, if one beats the targets willpower. We often use it to force first change if a kin fetch did indeed manage to alert the sept before the lost pub frenzied somewhere...
    And place ten would be Arrow-Killer, a portion of dust one puts on the floor in a line to prevent arrows (and in our game also bullets) from crossing.


    So, that is the top ten in our LARP Chronicle...
    Last edited by heinrich; 08-16-2020, 04:23 AM. Reason: Readability

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  • Dwight
    replied
    Probably healing talens, lots of healing talens

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