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rite of the opened caern

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  • rite of the opened caern

    When someone performs the Rite of the Opened Caern and gets the bonus dice for whatever power, how long do those bonus dice last? The rite description says "If the character wins the test, she can add the caern's rating to her dice pool when performing actions appropriate to the caern's focus." Later on the Caerns Chart we're given a list of possible powers for various types of caerns.

    But how long do these bonus dice last for? The descriptions seems to imply that the bonus lasts for more than one roll. So is it time based? Does it last for 24 hours? The remaining cycle of the moon (until the next new moon or full moon, or perhaps the full 28 days)? Something else?

    Obviously there is a limit since the bonus only applies to actions appropriate to the caern type. But I don't think it's meant to be permanent.

    Is there answered somewhere, but I simply overlooked it?

    Strangely, I haven't thought of this before, but it's never actually come up in play since none of my gaming groups have ever had PCs try to use this rite!

  • #2
    Wow, I was expecting this to be an easy answer on this forum. Does this rite not actually get used in games?

    It's never been used in mine, but I thought we were an outlier.


    • #3
      Weird, I would expected such a (theoretically) useful rite to be used more often also. But then again, I never used it in any of my (long-ago) campaigns. I guess I'm not an outlier either.

      Complete Garou Gifts List, Fera Gifts List, Garou Totems List and other assorted OPP/White Wolf goodies


      • #4
        In our LARP game, the Rite is never used, although some characters have learned it....


        • #5
          I continue to be extremely shocked to see people haven't actually seen this used in play.

          Regardless, how long do you think the bonus should last? Both in "real time" (even if this isn't actual minutes or hours, but convenient "scenes") and the number of uses.

          It seems to me the rite should be used to provide boosts for Garou to act outside the caern. So there needs to be some amount of time after the rite's completion when the bonus is "held".

          Furthermore, how often should those boosts be used? Just once and then it expires? Or can it be used for multiple times within some sort of time limit (even if that number of times itself is restricted)?

          Even if no one has had practical experience with the rite used in game. What do you think should be the rule? It's OK to give a range of use. I have the feeling we're all going to change answers as we react to comments and consider them.

          I'll start.

          The boosts last for 24 hours after the rite is completed. Only one ritemaster can "hold" a caern open at any one time. So there can't be multiple Garou utilizing the caern's power simultaneously. (Obviously the sept's Master of Rites determines who is allowed to open the caern at any one time.) Anytime within those 24 hours, the ritemaster can decide to unleash the caern's power for one scene. During that scene, the boost is present for as many dice rolls as used. Once the scene is over, the boost is gone. The power returns to the caern, and the caern can once again become opened after the initial 24 hour period is used up.

          Does it sound good? Is it terrible? Mostly good, but some thing(s) you'd change?


          • #6
            I think players often have in mind, that the spending of Gnosis in the Moot Rite is to strengthen the Caern. Using this Rite to pull energy from the caern in most players minds is selfish and so they don't do it, even if the action boosted would benefit all.


            • #7
              I've never thought of the rite that way. In fact, I find it a strange way to characterize the rite. First, there is no indication the rite weakens the caern at all. While the ritemaster tests against the caern's spirit, there's no negative effect on the caern or the caern totem. Second, the bonus power can only be used when performing actions appropriate to the caern's focus. So it's not a selfish action. The Garou are doing what the caern's purpose is. I interpret the rite as whether the Garou is skilled enough to "hold" or "host" a portion of the vast spiritual power of the caern totem temporarily. It is a transfer of power, but not one that negatively effects the caern totem. The caern totem is amenable to it because that power can only be used in way the caern totem approves. Use of the rite should actually strengthen the caern long term.

              While I've never actually seen this rite used, I've also never heard before of any player viewing this rite as somehow negative or selfish. Is this really a case of "most" players thinking the rite is harmful or selfish? Or merely a local view of one game group? What do others think?


              • #8
                True, that there is no indication in the text, that it would weaken the caern. This preconception somehow grew among some players some 10 years ago, when much of game, and the rules, was still word of mouth and the LARP rules were 30 pages, instead of 300+. But, it made some sense to some people, that drawing power from the caern might be some of the power one spend for the caern in thre Moot Rite before....
                I, personally, don't think it weakens the caern...

                Selfish or not, that is another case. In our game the old SL, when asked what type of caern our sept has, quickly said "Hope" to stop the discussion. In the table top game this isn't a type defined, iirc. So, what kind of bonuses this grants, well, I don't know,
                But, if there is a Caern of Gnosis or a Caern of Strength or Caern of Stamina, and one would open the caern right before participating in a challenge for a sept office and make use of the Gnosis in a spiritual quest or use the strength for combat or a spear throwing contest, or the stamina in a contest of long howls or standing under a ice cold water fall the longest....

                So, not all applications of the Rite need to benefit the community...


                • #9
                  I found guidance on this in some of the Player's Guides (I was checking on another thing and stumbled upon it). I guess I should have checked there first, but stupid me, I thought the actual description of the rite in the Corebook would be sufficient.

                  I can forgive the first edition corebook not being complete in this sense. There are always things you forget to mention, or don't think about. But there is a lot of information "trapped" in the Players Guides and elsewhere that should have been incorporated into subsequent editions of the corebook. This is just bad editing and bad management.

                  Anyway, this is what we're told in the second edition guide:
                  • Customarily, each success equals one bonus die to be distributed among the characters as she sees fit. If the bonus could go to more than one dice pool, the affected pool must be chosen when the bonus is awarded.
                  • Typically, these bonus dice have an effective duration of one day and may not be saved up.
                  • A player may benefit from a specific power only once during a single day, so if the player is awarded more bonus dice in the same area, he loses any bonus he may already have had.
                  • A caern can be utilized a number of times during a single day equal to its rank level. Thus, a Rank 4 caern can be accessed only four times before it is drained and in need of a recharging. There is no special procedure for recharging a caern; simply leaving it alone for an interval is all that is required.
                  • During times of desperate circumstance, a caern can be called upon for more endowment, but only at great risk. If the ritemaster attempts to draw additional bonus dice from a caern that has already been drained, the difficulty rises by 1.
                  This provides good guidance.

                  Besides answering my questions in terms of how long the bonus lasts (up to 24 hours), and how many times it can be used (only once); it also tells how many times a caern can be opened (up to its rank level per day), as well as stating the bonus dice can be distributed among multiple people (I'm assuming they must all be participants of the rite).

                  We're not told of any restrictions on the use of the bonus dice. The rite description clearly says "when performing actions appropriate to the caern's focus." I think it's possible for someone to perform an appropriate action and also having it be self-serving (as Heinrich said). But it's open whether the above is just flavor text, or if its actually restrictive in some way.

                  I'm initially inclined to believe that this is a real restriction. Therefore, as an ST, if I didn't think the action was appropriate, and the player could not provide a good reason, I'm inclined to say no bonus happens. There will be dispute on this of course, but I used as a guide whether I think the caern totem would approve the use of the bonus. But I would also see the point of players that say it is up to the Garou to determine how it's used. And I'd be open to being converted to that point of view.

                  The Players Guides seems to imply that only the sept Master of Rite (or some other sept official) performs this rite. I think others should be able to as well. Otherwise, there is no reason for a PC to learn this rite except in preparation to hold that sept position. However, I do think the Master of Rite effectively controls who can open the caern, as that sept position determines who is allowed to performed what rites at the caern.
                  Last edited by Black Fox; 09-29-2020, 06:06 PM.