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  • Spirit Boons

    I'm currently ST a Werewolf the Wild West chronicle, and it's getting bout time for the Pack to Rank up. So I'm looking at options for the Challenges the Pack members can possibly face. With the being said, I have noticed the W20 book mentions for Fostern Challenges a Garou can task with gaining a Boom from a Spirit. I'm not sure what a good Boon for a Fostern Garou could be, and hoping for some some suggestions and examples. All input will be welcomed. Thanks in advanced

  • #2
    W20 says receive a boon from a minor spirit. Although not stated specifically, it is implied this is a challenge for Theurges as the format of the examples is one for each auspice and one general one.

    All "favors" or "boons" are paid by chiminage. And the rule of chiminage is that all favors are paid by an equal or greater gift. So any benefit the Theurge receives, will be paid by a service that the spirit considers to be equally useful for it. (I would say a wise Theurge finds a spirit who can provide a useful benefit to her, her pack, or her sept; but whose required chiminage - while useful to the spirit - is something that is easy for the Garou to do and requires as little effort as possible.

    So what is being tested here? I don't think the answer is the value of the "boon" itself. It's that the Theurge has provided proof to the sept that she understands how to do an important part of her Theurge duties - dealing or negotiating with spirits. Can she successfully pull off a deal? That implies she already possesses a certain amount of knowledge and skill. Knowing what spirits are out there; identifying which ones would be best to negotiate with; tracking down such a spirit; and then actually making a deal.

    That's what the sept wants to see as the entire body of knowledge required how to do that, is what's needed to be a Fostern for a Theurge. The spirit boon is just tangible proof the Theurge is ready.

    So I would turn things around with the player. It is not up to you as the ST to determine what's a good boon. It's up the player. The player needs to take initiative and show you (as ST and as the sept/challenged NPC) what she can do. She needs to tell you what boon she is getting. Then she needs to tell you how she goes about doing it. The ST then evaluates that, and tells the player whether she succeeds. (You may want her to make some rolls, or maybe not. It's up to you whether that is required.)

    Even if she succeeds, you - roleplaying as the NPC - may want to offer useful critiques to the PC so that the player can improve going forward. An example might be, "You succeeded in getting the boon, so you passed. But I think you paid much more chiminage than was required. In the future, you should pay more attention to the price paid for your boons." Or "You succeeded in getting the boon. However, it wasn't a very useful one. You just contacted the first spirit you found and got whatever was available. Think more about the kind of spirits out there, and what each one can provided. If so, you'll do much better next time."

    It's possible you, as ST, will initially tell her no, she fails. But that's fine. She can try again, this time using feedback you provided back to her. Repeat until the player comes up with a good enough scenario you like. Fostern is basically just young adulthood - the Garou has proved they're a responsible adult who can now be relied upon. So don't be too hard with the challenge.

    Of course, you probably want to provide some guidance to help the player. Especially if she's never done this before. In that case, I ask her what she thinks needs to be done. Help her break down the steps by asking open ended up questions. You don't want to give her the answer. You want to help her find it herself. She'll ask you questions back. It's fine to say "I think that's a good idea," or "I think you can improve upon it. I don't think you've given enough attention to X." But then let her respond back. If she really needs some basic help, I'd point her to the appropriate section in the W20 book or others if you have time. You may want to prepare by looking up any sections that deal with spirits and chiminage so you know where to direct her.

    The burden at this point, should be on the player. Not the ST. You should only bet helping her come up with the answer through feedback. Don't provide the answer; but let her know where she is failing (either by not doing enough, or letting her know that while that will work; it's not necessary to do that much).

    In terms of what chiminage is appropriate, just remember that all boons/favors are paid for by equal or greater gifts. Just think of the benefit it provides the Garou, and how much effort it takes on the spirit to do so; and then think of an equivalent benefit to the spirit (which may not be direct to the spirit, but something appropriate to its spiritual role or its children in the Realm).

    For example, if the PC asks a fish spirit for a boon to use its Charm Cleanse the Blight; the fish might accept the offer of the Garou to go down to a waterway that has garbage in it, and spend the afternoon removing the debris and refuse from it. Or if the fish spirit has a Healing Charm and promises to use it next time the Garou needs it; the Garou might offer to provide it 1 Gnosis (the cost to use the Gift: Mother's Touch) or offer to go down to the lake and figure out a way that the fish living there could become more plentiful by making some improvements to the eco-system. It all depends on the creativity of the player.

    All you need to do as ST is determine whether you think the value of services is matched.

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