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[W20] Ways to get direct use of spirit charms?

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  • [W20] Ways to get direct use of spirit charms?

    I know that the Grondr can eat spirits (typically Wyrm spirits and other taint monsters) and gain access to that spirit's charms while digesting, but are there other ways for Garou or Fera to gain use of spirit charms? Be it high end stuff like Warp Reality or lower end like a fire spirit's power to shoot fire from your eyebrows or something, I just would like to know if there are other ways for shifters to capitalize on their half-spirit nature like that.

  • #2
    The simplest way would to have the effects of a Fetish be modeled with a Charm the spirit within the Fetish has.

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    • #3
      I think the Numen Background allowed for the character to utilize the Charms of the Numen spirit in some cases...



      As Legend goes one garou once saw a spirit perform something, asked to learn that that and so the first Gift was created. But, in theory each ability of a spirit might be something the spirit could teach. The rules call that a Gift and it has mechanics are different from Charms to fit the garou character stats.
      Also, Gifts are simply for game balancing purposes divided into ranks. Storlyteller's Hanbook revised states that the rank requirement for Gifts is mainly an Out-Of-Character thing, while within the game-world there is no hard requirement, only tradition if anything. That is why some Fera have Garou Adren Gifts as Rank 1 Gifts and even within the Garou some Gifts are on different ranks for different lists.

      That said, if the ST and the Player are up to the task to find a suitable mechanic basically any Charm could be a Gift, too.


      EDIT: Ah, I saw the W20 limitation in the topic too late. So, within this small subset if rules, I guess Heavy Arms has the best approach.

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      • #4
        I was also presuming that Numen, like Totem, wouldn't count for the "direct use," aspect of the OP's question. Asking a spirit that can do it, but doesn't have to (like a Fetish does) isn't direct use, it's indirect use.

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        • #5
          I disagree.
          Originally posted by Player's Guide to Garou (page 170)
          By spending one point of Gnosis, the Garou can draw upon his friend’s strength, adding his Numen rating to a single Physical (Glory), Social (Honor), or Mental (Wisdom), roll. Alternatively, the spirit may lend the Garou the use of a Charm it possesses for a single use.
          I'd assume this means the spirit bestows a single use of a Charm on the Garou to be activated by spending a Gnosis. Kind of like the "Bestow spell-like ability" spell from D&D 3.5.

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          • #6
            Additional ways:
            Rite of Spirit Union - Changing Ways;
            Spirit Vessel (Level 5 Theurge Gift) - W20 CB;
            Rite of Spirit Tattoo - Hengeyokai.

            About Numina: I agree with Heinrich. For a Gnosis the Garou is able to use the Charm.


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            • #7
              So, with a few ways to use spirit charms as a shifter, what are some good charms to try to acquire? Warp Reality seems an obvious answer, but that's also tied to Nexus Crawlers which are A) Bad News and B) Wyrm Spirits, so most of those methods would get you some funny looks to say the least with them. Does Break Reality function like a Wyld counterpart?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                I'd assume this means the spirit bestows a single use of a Charm on the Garou to be activated by spending a Gnosis.
                The keyword in that quote? "May."

                The spirit may lend a Charm, not will, or some other phrasing that means the Charm is up for player use whenever they want to pay the cost. I don't think Numen or Totems should be stingy about their Charms (you've invested dots into them, they're supposed to want to value your character and seek to aid them), but it's not a free power you get to spend a Gnosis on and it goes off.

                Originally posted by Archmage Joda View Post
                So, with a few ways to use spirit charms as a shifter, what are some good charms to try to acquire?
                There's no good answer to this. The method used to gain the Charm, what Gifts and Rites you have relatively easy access too, what your Stats are, and so on are all going to matter. Goals matter as well. Getting a Glade Child's Clean the Blight Charm can be very useful for city Garou trying to protect green spaces since it's hard to use rites like Cleansing or Opened Sky due to lots of humans around. Mother's Touch is almost always going to be better than getting the Healing Charm, and as a Rank 1 Gift Mother's Touch is very easy to get.

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                • #9
                  Break reality was vaguely defined before W20. In W20 the write up is a bit more clear. For example change is limited to "things", so persons in the umbra are off limits. The roll is clear, but no examples are given for difficulty, so is to create a door in a wall complex as a difficulty 4, 6 or 9?
                  And each success changes an element of the target? What's the target - wall or door? What's an element? If it is the door, does one success change one brick into a mini-door or part of that what a three successes normal door would be?


                  Charms are for spirits. Spirits are NPCs. NPCs are for STs. So, Charms are for STs. There is even more to flesh out then with the descriptions of some Gifts. "Break Reality" means to be a tool to have an overly powerful enemy with a night omnipotent ability. Ergo it aims to be used artistically to further the drama and the thrill of a scene. Abilities for PCs on the other hand are means to resolve such scenes in a way favourable to the characters. Therefore giving such power seems to be a choice that will harm the game experience.


                  On that thought, other Charms are helpful to PCs, but not necessarily that powerful. Solely defensive is the power of our most favourite bad guy "Re-Form". It makes a character possibly immortal, but doesn't win the battle. Do to the difference in description a lot of Charms have effects similar to Rites and Gifts, but with less restrictions, and possibly earlier access:
                  Open Moon Bridge <=> Bridge Walker (Galliard Athro)
                  Cleanse Blight <=> multiple Rites and Gifts
                  Telepathy <=> That Gift that used to be Metis and is now Philodox in W20
                  Tracking <=> Sense of Prey
                  So, I think allowing for an effect that Garou could create with Rite/Gifts, but that as a Charm work faster, over larger areas, over greater distances and so on, are a good way to grant characters something unique, without ruining the game experience.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    The keyword in that quote? "May."

                    The spirit may lend a Charm, not will, or some other phrasing that means the Charm is up for player use whenever they want to pay the cost. I don't think Numen or Totems should be stingy about their Charms (you've invested dots into them, they're supposed to want to value your character and seek to aid them), but it's not a free power you get to spend a Gnosis on and it goes off.
                    You are right.
                    I would think the spirit has free will and can decide not to bestow one of his charms on the garou. Also there might be some ominous reason that prohibits him (aka ST doesn't want to). Also, I'd assume the spirit and garou have to be on the same scene and on the same side of the Gauntlet to lend the Charm and the process might take more than a since round.

                    But, again, its not that the rules are properly defined here.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                      You are right.
                      Also there might be some ominous reason that prohibits him (aka ST doesn't want to).
                      Than the ST should discuss with the player during character creation. If I've paid the background points to be able to use this option it would be very upsetting when the ST says no because of... reasons.

                      If you have a friendly spirit, and you'd like to access it's Armor Charm to fight BSDs which spirit would say no?
                      But yeah, it could throw out the plans of ST and balace (never was, really) through the window.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                        Than the ST should discuss with the player during character creation. If I've paid the background points to be able to use this option it would be very upsetting when the ST says no because of... reasons.
                        The reason might be specific to the circumstances, not a general thing.
                        Also, there might be a specific spirit from the books the the player chooses as Numen, but the potential abusive possibilities of a Charm that spirit possesses might not become clear until way into the game.

                        In our LARP we a have NPC rules for spirits and their progression. We don't want cubs or cliath to have powerful allies that are hard to factor into the game, but allow these allies to increase in power, just as human or garou allies, kinfolk, contacts might develop over time. We also have combined the possibilities of 'Numen' and the 2nd Edition 'Spirit Familiar' into one background named "Spirit Pal".

                        Basically, we used the Totem avatar progression rules to determine the relationship between Charms, Rage, Gnosis and Willpower in regards to how much XP they should be worth. Since for one Totem background your get 3 dots in RGW or for two dots a Charm, Charms are six times the value of a dot in RGW .
                        Besides all the charms from all the books up to revised, we derived additional powers spirits might have and factored them in as half a Charm (costwise):
                        - 1 to 5 Bonuses on Damage, Soak or a 10% boost to Essence (the sum of RGW ). For spirits might have Claws, be exceptionally durable or just have a lot of life force.
                        - 1 to 5 dots to Gnosis, Willpower or Rage above 10, so that spirits with exceptional dice pools are possible.
                        - abilities to withstand certain types of damages (fire elementals should be immune to fire damage, right), gift like abilities (fire elementals should deal fire damage to attackers, not exactly as much as Gift of the Porcupine, but still), ability to fly (for we don't have mammels flying around the penumbra all the time, we play LARP and cats may climb but not do a superman-impression), and some other abilities like this.
                        - get bonus to a specific dice pool. Some spirits should be good at, let's say, Subterfuge, but they shouldn't be super good in all mental and social rolls, so simply high Gnosis is over the top.
                        - if the spirit is a "spirit pal" he can buy the abilities the table top associates with Numen or Spirit Familiar, like boosting stats, allowing to grant charms, storing RGW for the Garou, sharing senses, telepathic communication.

                        As the spirit gains XP the spirit can acquire things, with an suggested ratio to split XP between RGW and Charms/Abilities. As the total XP of the spirits increase, the associated Background "Spirit Pal" is automatically increased for the PC.


                        So, when someone wants to by the ability to get Charms bestowed we discuss the rules and how this Charms is translated to Garou stats. If a spirit has the ability and wants to learn a new Charm, we also discuss the Rules that apply. Currently, only two Charms have rules for being bestowed to a garou.
                        Last edited by heinrich; 12-07-2020, 08:05 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lachdanan View Post
                          Additional ways:
                          Rite of Spirit Union - Changing Ways;
                          Spirit Vessel (Level 5 Theurge Gift) - W20 CB;
                          Rite of Spirit Tattoo - Hengeyokai.

                          About Numina: I agree with Heinrich. For a Gnosis the Garou is able to use the Charm.
                          Worth noting that Rite of the Spirit Tattoo is 2e material, so you'll have to make a call on how much Essence, if any, it provides in lieu of Power from past editions.

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