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Additional Spirit Broods

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  • Black Fox
    started a topic Additional Spirit Broods

    Additional Spirit Broods

    I find spirit broods a useful tool when I run chronicles. They're an easy way to identify spirits friendly to Garou, particularly non-Theurges who lack the many tools Theurges have to navigate the Umbra. That's good for learning Gifts and creating spirit NPCs for them to interact with. It also provides an easy to way to provide some soap opera/roleplay in regards to spirits. I like to liven up the umbra and its spirit inhabitants so it seems dynamic.

    We were given spirit broods for each of the tribal totems in Axis Mundi, but I don't think there's ever been published additional broods. I think that's a shame as I said because I consider them a useful tool. I think there are other spirit broods that are roughly equivalent in power and prestige to the tribal totems. I am interested in hearing from you if you've ever used the concept, and if you've added additional broods in your games.

    The easiest additions would be those spirits who have (or once had) Changing Breeds of their own, and were included as pack totems in the corebooks. So that woud leave us the following Incarna who should have extensive spirit broods.

    Boar
    Bear
    Raven
    Fox

    I think Coyote is complex because officially the actual spirit who is patron of the Nuwisha is not Coyote the animal per se, but the more universal Trickster. So I would say Trickster is the actual Incarna with the brood, and then place all the various "masks" as part of his spirit brood like Coyote (although I dislike that many of the aspects in the Nuwisha breedbook are straight from human mythology because I think those aspects are more High Umbral than what a Gaian spirit would have). Including Fox here would also make sense, but I don't think Trickster should have TWO Changing Breeds.

    I would also include Incarna not listed as Garou totems, but who represent other changing breeds like Lion (and possibly other Bastest breeds), Crocodile, Hyena, Serpent, Bull, Bat, Spider, and Shark.

    If there's enough interest in this topic, we can even brainstorm what other spirits should be part of each brood.

  • Black Fox
    replied
    I am working on a list of possible spirit broods beginning with Boar, as I think he's one of the easier ones to do. The first thing I have to do is determine the appropriate "spiritual correspondence" of the Totem Incarna to determine the type of spirits that belong in the brood. Then I need to assign/create spirits that reflect that. That's taking a while since there are some very creative spirit examples in Axis Mundi so it's not just picking some similar animal spirits and creating a brood.

    The three main correspondences for Boar that I have are 1) dangerous prey animals (these may be small or medium sized omnivores, but aren't primarily predators - they're still typically the prey of larger predators), 2) diggers of the soil (boars often forage on roots, tubers, and such), and 3) cleansers of the land (this is not do to boars so much as the Grondr's supposed role).

    The Axis Mundi book typically only has 4-8 spirits for each Spirit Brood, but these are supplemented by spirit totems in the tribebooks which I consider must reflect other spirits of that totem incarna's brood. Furthermore, besides spirits that are clearly associated with the totem's main purpose, most totems also have other spirits that provide some variety in order to make all kinds of totems available to the tribe (Fenris' spirit brood includes spirits of joy; Unicorns has a war spirit; Stag has spirits to enact his vengeance, etc.) So this requires some deft touch as well as just being creative.

    = = =
    Still hoping to hear from people on other potential candidates of sprits who are Totem Incarna with their own spirit broods.

    Just thought of an important one I left out - Turtle. We know that Turtle was once such a spirit since he was a tribal totem and thus had to have a spirit brood. I think canonically Turtle is now in slumber and/or angry at the Garou and thus unavilable as a totem for them. So it brings some interesting questions as to what has happened to his spirit brood, and how they might react to Garou (and other Changing Breeds now). So I think it's a great example of what an ST might do with the spirit brood concept to assist roleplay in the Umbra.

    From a quick look at the Croatan Song book, we have a few quick examples of Turtle's brood. The Earth-burrowers are mentioned as "ancient allies of the Croatan." Probably the Corn-Maiden and possibly Trout, though neither is explicitly written as connected to the Croatan or Turtle (though they are mentioned in the W20 corebook description). W20 also mentions Thunderbird, but we know that spirit (or perhaps an aspect) also has ties to the Wendigo. Turtle's spiritual correspondences seems to be burrowing animals, shelled animals, and earth spirits; but I would also add amphibious animals, honor, and stamina/fortitude/stability.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    I agree it makes sense, but since the game has Corax, Kitsune, and Nuwisha, I'm reluctant to group all of them under a single Trickster Incarna. I think its only Nuwisha that explicitly states their breed totem is actually Trickster in guise of Coyote. Plus in the game, Raven isn't explicitly a Trickster figure although there are some mythologies that put Raven in that spot.

    The game is actually fairly loose with the same spirit being seen as more than one thing, and having the same spirit appear under different spirit broods. Dream Ravens are under Chimera; Hrafn are under Fenris; Rogue Raven Gafflings under Grandfather Thunder; and Raven itself is presumably its own because of the Corax. And there are other similar examples. So there's no problem having similar spirits (given a different name for convenience sake) in different broods. So there can still be trickster Raven spirits for Trickster/Coyote even with Raven itself having its own brood.

    If Trickster is actually some Celestine level figure as you said, then we're back to having the different breeds under its own thing and its own Incarna. But I'm unsure if I can accept Trickster as a Celestine since the game makes a pretty strong match that Celestines match up with celestial/astronomical objects, and don't act as direct totem patrons for the Changing Breeds. Instead, I think I prefer Trickster as a powerful Incarna. Coyote (as its own Incarna, and this is the source of the Pack Totem of the Garou) would be under him specifically because of existing game lore; but the other Incarna might simply be friends with Trickster/Coyote and outside that spirit brood.

    I think there's many potential solutions that individual STs could like. And I don't think we'll come to agreement on a single version. Trickster probably approves of that.

    I think this is a good discussion topic, but hope it doesn't overwhelm the thread as there are many other interesting things under it.

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  • Erinys
    replied
    Brainstorming spirit broods sounds cool, although I have no brainpower for it right now.

    I think of the Trickster as a Celestine, with various Incarnae in his/its brood, incl. Raven. But I don't know if there's any textual support for that.

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