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  • Questions about Fera, specially bastet

    1 . Do every fera have the need for caerns? Or are there fera who don't usually use caerns? Some of them are pretty isolationists, even those mantain caern?


    2 . Mechanically, are fera caerns different from garou caerns?


    3 . it's said that bastet like to "steal" gift from others shapeshifters. Im confused if this is an actual system with rules, or just a roleplay aspect of stalking and trying to uncover secrets that is something from their nature.


    4 . The yava rules are kinda vague. Is there any place that actually go in detail about these rules?


    5 . The yava of the Pumoca is as following:
    • A Pumonca is one with her land; if she leaves it for more than a full moon cycle, she will die.
    • The essence of poisoned land (toxic waste, radiation, sewage) is deadly to a puma. Immerse him in its toxins and he will quickly perish.
    • All beasts fear the puma. No horse will bear her, no dog will follow her. The great cats are her Kin and they befriend her, but no other animal can approach without terror.
    So, how far is the extent of a Pumoca land? Is it the around the same size of a puma territory? The size of a state? The country? The americas? Because they are found only in the americas, so I got confused for a moment wondering if by lands the book meant the americas.

    And about the second rule, it's kinda vague. Immerse as in what? Literally immersin a Pumoca in sewage? or just touching it? How quickly it perishes? It's like a oil spill? Where the animal is stil alive while covered in oil but will surely die?


    6 . Can garou sense that fera are shapeshifters and vice versa? Im talking if a garou see a tiger walking around, or a bastet see a wolf, can they instantly recognize them as shapeshiters?



    Last edited by Rucun; 01-19-2021, 12:40 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rucun View Post
    1 . Do every fera have the need for caerns? Or are there fera who don't usually use caerns? Some of them are pretty isolationists, even those mantain caern?
    I think Nuwisha don't hold caerns. Not sure about anannasi. Kitsune are part of the Hengeyokai, so they part-take in sept like structures with likely caerns. But they don't hold them alone, I'd wager.

    Originally posted by Rucun View Post
    2 . Mechanically, are fera caerns different from garou caerns?
    Rokea caerns are inside giant swimming animals, iirc. But mechanical the difference is only, that they are mobile, iirc. I might be wrong there, and their caerns were in undersea caves... To lazy to check.
    I vaguely remember that there were sunbridges instead of moonbridges for Mokolé and I guess their pathstones don't show a wolfs paw and aren't from Luna...


    Originally posted by Rucun View Post
    3 . it's said that bastet like to "steal" gift from others shapeshifters. Im confused if this is an actual system with rules, or just a roleplay aspect of stalking and trying to uncover secrets that is something from their nature.
    So, whoever wrote this probably didn't think about it too long. No system is given on how long or in what detail one would have to observe a Gift to mimic it.

    First of all, any shifter could learn any Gift of which is is physically able. Meaning, no feathers, no turning feathers into knives. But besides that, everything is fair game. However, it is stated in the revised edition rules that one garou teaching another a gift is in part "trail and error" which can be dire, if the Gift was for example "Silver Claws". Spirits might or might not be offended if they are removed from the Gift learning process.
    Normally, a garou would travel to a Caern of the level of the gift to find a free roaming spirit to petition for the Gift. Why the garou doesn't get the spirit summoned to his home sept, isn't really elaborated on.

    So, Bastet and Kitsune might have a special knack for understanding a Gift when seeing it and might learn it, even if the person using the Gift isn't intentionally teaching it. But, since no further information is available (as far as I remember), this should not be an invitation

    Originally posted by Rucun View Post
    4 . The yava rules are kinda vague. Is there any place that actually go in detail about these rules?
    I don't think so. Not sure.

    Originally posted by Rucun View Post
    5 . The yava of the Pumoca is as following:
    • A Pumonca is one with her land; if she leaves it for more than a full moon cycle, she will die.
    • The essence of poisoned land (toxic waste, radiation, sewage) is deadly to a puma. Immerse him in its toxins and he will quickly perish.
    • All beasts fear the puma. No horse will bear her, no dog will follow her. The great cats are her Kin and they befriend her, but no other animal can approach without terror.

    So, how far is the extent of a Pumoca land? Is it the around the same size of a puma territory? The size of a state? The country? The americas? Because they are found only in the americas, so I got confused for a moment wondering if by lands the book meant the americas.

    And about the second rule, it's kinda vague. Immerse as in what? Literally immersin a Pumoca in sewage? or just touching it? How quickly it perishes? It's like a oil spill? Where the animal is stil alive while covered in oil but will surely die?
    I think yavas aren't rules. Iirc they are suggestions for magical flaws that the ST might impose and they aren't supposed to be all true, but just pick one in secret or come up with one yourself, so the player of the nosy fera doesn't know what's true.

    Originally posted by Rucun View Post
    6 . Can garou sense that fera are shapeshifters and vice versa? Im talking if a garou see a tiger walking around, or a bastet see a wolf, can they instantly recognize them as shapeshiters?
    There is a Gift for garou, and some fera posess it too.
    It alows to detect garou without a roll and other fera with a rather easy one. "Scent of the true form". If a mokole has "Sight of the true form" and it states that it works as the garou Gift but on sight rather then smell, I'd assume that it also is supposed to detect mokole in sight, but requires a roll for garou, like any fera. Also, I'd assume it needs concentration, for I wouldn't allow "Scent of the true from" to be reflexive, so I disallow it for "Sight of true form", too.

    For Garou the gift is auspice based, so one in five garou is likely to have it, since it is a rather usefull rank 1 Gift.

    There is no automatic fera detection. Other Gifts like "Sense the unnatural" might also reveal clues to the fera being a fera.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey thanks for the answers! It's more clear to me now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Just to note that this is based upon my own recollections and occasionally personal opinion, which I will mark with the tag ‘PO’. Hope what follows is helpful!

        1. While basically every fera is going to want access to a Caerns given their sacred significance and gnosis accumulation, not every fera will actually want to maintain them. The Garou are naturally leaders in caern possession although they are limited to the global north, particularly North America & Europe (plus Australia) although I prefer to have a decent population in Asia (PO) as well. The Bastet in South America, Ajaba in Africa, the Beast Courts in Asia, Rokea in the sea. Many fera have minor-Caerns such as Ananasi constructing sylies, den-realms for Bastet & Kitsune (PO), wallows for Mokolé, [I forget the name] for Nagah, grottoes for Rokea, and nests for Ratkin. Corax and Nuwishu are generally nomadic and do not have caerns, preferring to gain access to Garou Caerns as they require.

        2. Not to my knowledge mechanically although the social circumstances would naturally be different as well as the sort of totems (spiritual patrons) which would oversee the Caerns. However breed specific backgrounds such as den-realms, nests, wallows etc do have their own unique rules.

        3. I’m not aware of any specific rites or gifts that would allow them to do this either but given the Bastet’s role as secret-keepers and the eyes-and-ears of the Gaia I would not at all hesitate to imagine Bastet stalking other changing breeds and their spiritual associates to learn these rites and gifts for their own purposes.

        4. There may be something in the Bastet Breedbook or Changing Breed’s Players Guide but I think it’s largely left as a matter for the ST to determine the effects of. My personal preference is to use the yava as guides for the effects and give narrative power to actors who learn of them and exploit them against the Bastet’s, making these something like sacred bans and banes.

        5. As far as the Pumonca yavas, I’ll go from the top down...

        5a. My interpretation would be that a Pumonca’s land is where she is born and reared, the land which is spiritually associated with the Pumonca. While the Pumonca may be born or undergo their first change in another place, I would rule that their land is whatever land their spirit ties itself too. For many Pumonca that’s the Americas. I would make it a mechanic that the Pumonca ails and grows confused while outside of their spirit land and they will begin wasting away over the course of a lunar cycle.

        5b. I would say that the toxins effecting the Pumonca’s land are particularly harmful to him. All of these toxins do additional damage if the Pumonca is exposed to them and if the Pumonca is fully enveloped in the toxins they’d die rapidly. I might even consider making toxins deal unsoakable aggravated damage to Pumonca.

        5c. I’d rule this as the Pumonca being unable to take the Animal Ken skill and that they fail any attempt to work with non-feline animals, similar to how animals would treat vampires. Non-cats hold a spiritual terror for the Pumonca and will go out of their way to avoid them.

        6. They would require some sort of mechanism for that. Whether a gift, rite, fetish, or what have you. I would potentially allow a Primal-Urge roll to recognize unusual behavior which could be a tip-off.

        Comment


        • #5
          1-2. Rokea grottos are sacred places, but they are fixed in place on the reefs. Rokea roam around in the open ocean a lot, so they also regain Gnosis from the Rorqual. These are whale kami who carry Sea's Love (Gnosis) and share it with Rokea who need it. Or carry Glamour and share it with Mer, depending on the Rorqual.
          This is confusing since Garou don't gain Gnosis from caerns during the Moot Rite. But most books about the Fera treat Gnosis as the main reason Fera would want Caerns.
          As for Umbral access, Gurahl and Bastet have miniature caerns called Umbral Glades and Den-Realms. Nagah have miniature caerns called Anantas, except they can swallow their Ananta and carry it to a new place, and while it's inside of a Nagah it can step sideways like a werewolf.

          3. Swipe is a Gift. It requires observing the Gift being used by another shapeshifter, apparently just once. It doesn't specify how long the Bastet must experiment before the new Gift is learned. I would say they should take the same time that it takes for one Garou to teach a Gift to another Garou.


          She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
          My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
          Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

          Comment


          • #6
            Erinys is right that there is a problem in some breedbooks that imply Fera need access to caerns to regain Gnosis, when in fact caerns don't normally provide Gnosis. Garou donate Gnosis to caern totems. Moots can "recharge" Gnosis for Garou, but only by hunting down Englings during the Revel where those spirits are summoned for a Sacred Hunt. But one could hunt Englings at any time or any place theoretically.

            One has to read each of the breedbooks to determine the relationships between Fera and caerns. For my spirit broods project, I've been finally reading many of those books for the first time. So some information is now in my head. But let's start with the Garou for the purposes of comparison.

            Garou tend caerns because 1) the Litany commands them to defend them, and 2) it is tradition for them to learn Gifts at caerns of the same rank or higher as the Gifts. Their moots are always held at caerns so caerns are a focus of their culture. Garou don't absolutely need to learn Gifts at an equivalently ranked caern, but it says they will offend the spirits if they do.

            Ajaba should have had caerns. Although the Bastet breedbook calls them "trash collectors" and rainmakers, the W20 description states the Ajaba were created by Gaia to perform the same tasks of the Garou, but in Africa. We can reconcile the two versions by saying the Ajaba saw themselves as warriors like Garou, but the Bastet dismissed them as trash collectors.

            Anansi do not have caerns. They do have den-realms called Sylie.

            Bastet for the most part do not tend caerns as they are mostly solitary creatures. Their moots (taghairms) aren't held at caerns, but hosted by individual Bastet at her realm, usually a Den-Realm. Their version of the Litany does not mention caerns. And they learn their Gifts mainly from other Bastet and their Jamak, so they don't have the needs of the Garou in that regard. In fact, the Bastet book does not have give us the Bastet term for caern - but in one part of the book there is a mention of the Garou disgracing their ancient "Tona". It's not defined, but context clues seems to indicate that Tona are caerns. So it's possible some of the more gregarious Bastet do hold caerns like the garou, but it is an exception. I assume the places where Bastet hold caerns are places where wolves do not live, so the more martial Bastet work out a way to look after them.

            Corax doesn't mention caerns at all. They don't seem to do anything for corax. They hold their moots in bird form during the day in the highest tree they can find. Their litany does not mention caerns. And for Gifts, we're just told their gifts are taught to them by Helios, or they steal the secrets of other Gifts. Doesn't sound like they are dependent on caerns for that either. Presumably if they ever need to access a caern (to use a moonbridge, speak with the caern totem, etc.) they would visit a friendly Garou sept, probably one with a spirit friendly to Raven.

            The Gurahl book mentions caerns, but in an oblique way. Gurahls have a unique Background called Umbral Glades. It mentions that Gurahl do not congregate in caerns like Garou, but have dens where they can meditate. And some dens are located at "Glades" in the umbra which serves as "mini-caerns" that provide Gnosis. The term "Glade" is never defined, and here we see confusion of the writer as for the purpose of caerns. It's probably best to define "Glade" as a secret spot in the umbra where it is possible to regain Gnosis, a secret known only to the Gurahl. Once again, their Litany does not directly concern with caerns though there is a general duty to "protect the land." Given that bears are solitary, they probably never defended caerns collectively. We're told Gurahl learn their gifts from their bear patrons - Mangi the Death Bear, Ursa Major the She Bear, and Ursa Minor the First Cub. So they likely don't have the need to go to caerns to best learn gifts.

            Mokole have caerns! They call them Dragon Nests and their septs are Wallows! And they are mentioned in their Litany. Mokole learn Gifts from each other, tfrom spirits allied to them, or Mnesis. So they don't seem to have the limitations of Garou.

            I believe the Nagah have caerns. They call them Serpent Waters and they tend to lie in coastal areas or rivers. The lexicon defines them as "aquatic glens" and further reading confirms that yes, they are Glens. But they are also said to be "sanctified" and "claimed" which sounds a lot like creating caerns. Though there are no Rites to do so. So while this is arguable, I would say they are definitely caerns. Like the Bastet, they also create den-realms which they call Ananta. The Nagah Litany does not mention caerns, and the section on Gifts make it clear they have a very different way of learning Gifts than other shapechangers since they are not part of "the Pact."

            Nuwisha do have caerns. I am having trouble finding the information in the tribebook, but first edition Players Guide has the stories. Nuwisha used caerns like the Garou before the Wyrmcomers. But they abandoned most of them in order to avoid conflict with the other Garou. The Three Brothers did not seem to mind them having caerns. Presumably there may be a few low ranked caerns the Nuwisha still possess. However, the Nuwisha can still secretly access their old caerns because they made a deal with the caern totem before leaving. I assume the totems of their caerns were all trickster spirits allied to Coyote. Their Litany does not mention caerns, and I doubt they need to follow any rules in learning their gifts. So I suspect any caerns they tended were a result of their devotion to Coyote/Trickster.

            Ratkin don't have caerns. They do have Nests, but that is less like a caern as a sacred place and more like a sept which is a social organization. Their Litany also does not seem to mention caerns. And like the other changing Breeds, we're told that their patron, Rat, teaches them their Gifts. No need to go to caerns to do so.

            Rokea do have undersea caerns! They are called grottoes. We aren't given much more detail. Their laws are few and sparse, but don't mention caerns. But much of the Rokea mirror the Garou. Personally, I would more or less duplicate how Garou tend and use caerns to Rokea and their grottoes.

            = = =
            So we have a limited group of Changing Breeds who actively defend caerns - the Garou, Ajaba, Mokole, and Rokea, Possibly the Nagah on a much more limited scale. And rare Bastet occasionally did so. Plus some Nuwisha historically. But the Mokole, Nagah, Nuwisha, and Bastet likely were involved in caerns for different reasons than Garou. The Ajaba and Rokea aren't specifically described as doing the things the Garou do to maintain caerns or learn Gifts there, but if we see them as the three warrior races of Gaia - each covering different territory - then it makes sense for them to do things very similarly. Those few Bastet who did claim caerns may have ended up duplicating Garou moots and such to protect the caern totem, but such things were likely very half assed compared to the Garou and were't normal for Bastet. It might be normal for something like the Balaam trbe who could not rely on either the Garou, Rokea, or Ajaba in Central and South America to do so since those animals didn't exist there.

            Comment


            • #7
              Tona refers to sacred sites of the Balam. Some were Den-Realms, some were Caerns. The Balam were enough to defend these places before the industrialized masses of Europeans (and Garou) invaded. The Balam were generally killed and robbed of their lands.

              The Nuwisha had caerns (called kivas) but once it became necessary to defend these places against military-scale attacks, the Nuwisha decided to let the Garou do all the hard work. Unlike the Balam, they have ways of sneaking back in (disguised in their wolf-lookalike Sendeh form) to do what they want there.

              Ajaba used to defend caerns, but every last one was stolen by the Simba, who still have caerns in Africa (but in canon, an implausibly tiny # given the size of Africa). At most the Ajaba might have a small handful of very small, low-level urban caerns. After the Ahadi thrash the Endless Storm and kill Black Tooth, the Ajaba do regain a few of their ancestral rural caerns, including the one in Ngorongoro Crater.

              Ratkin colonies are... interesting. They can chew through wires, concrete, and even the Gauntlet itself, to turn the colony into a caern. A screwy, Wyld-imbalanced caern where the tunnels are probably all too small for anything of human size, except whatever wretched hive holds their mule pups.

              How do Garou normally gain Gnosis, besides the Engling hunt? Maybe not all Changing-Breeds can regain Gnosis by hunting an Engling. For example, can you imagine Corax or a solitary cat or a crocodile going on a long chase like that? Most Changing-Breeds aren't bred from long-running pursuit predators. So maybe they really do need an alternative way to get their Gnosis back.
              Last edited by Erinys; 02-24-2021, 09:03 PM.


              She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
              My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
              Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                Erinys is right that there is a problem in some breedbooks that imply Fera need access to caerns to regain Gnosis, when in fact caerns don't normally provide Gnosis.
                But:
                Sacred Hunt: The Sacred Hunt is one of the most frequently performed activities at Garou moots.[...]
                Bargaining with Spirits: Ritual hunts are not the only way to get Gnosis out of a spirit; the soft sell can work just as well.[...]

                In out LARP game, the Sacred Hunt is considered a Caernrite level 3, instead of being a mere site note in the "Regaining Gnosis" section. Also, spirits are most often found at caerns, although there are plenty other spirits around, it makes sense to bargain with spirits there. Also, there is the mention that to learn a gift of a certain rank, one must travel to a caern of that level to find a spirit who can bestow that gift. A rule that doesn't make a lot of sense, if applied to Fera.




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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                  How do Garou normally gain Gnosis, besides the Engling hunt?
                  Meditation. Downtime. Bargaining with spirits.
                  Those are the methods listed in the rules.

                  All should be applicable to Fera. I mean, Meditation certainly is. The Rule to determine the Gnosis regained between tales is also applicable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                    But:
                    Sacred Hunt: The Sacred Hunt is one of the most frequently performed activities at Garou moots.[...]
                    I mentioned this literally in the next sentence after the one you quoted. I don't understand what the "But" is for.

                    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                    Moots can "recharge" Gnosis for Garou, but only by hunting down Englings during the Revel where those spirits are summoned for a Sacred Hunt. But one could hunt Englings at any time or any place theoretically.
                    In other words, while moots can be used to recharge Gnosis, it's not necessary to be at a caern to regain Gnosis. There are lots of ways to regain Gnosis - as you just described to Erinys' other post. And the Sacred Hunt is done precisely because earlier in the moot, the Garou donated lots of Gnosis to the caern totem. So in most cases the Garou break even at moots. They don't gain more Gnosis. They get back the Gnosis (hopefully) they donated to the caern totem earlier.

                    Gaining Gnosis at caerns is not the reason the Changing Breeds should want access to caerns - which some of the breed books imply. It's other benefits that the caern brings which make them useful in a practical way (moon bridges, opening the caerns, immediate spirit allies of the caern totem, the "magic" that sometimes happens within the caern bawn, etc). Or wanting to protect them from being despoiled because they are supposed to be the lifeblood of Gaia. When talking about caerns in the breed books, the writers should be talking about these things, not recharging Gnosis. It's not the point of controlling or accessing caerns.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For some Fera, a caern or equivalent is also their only access to the Umbra.

                      I've never understood why the writers decided to make some Changing-Breeds incapable of stepping sideways. How is this balanced (for example, in a Beast Courts or Ahadi game)? Books frequently describe how shapeshifters are half-spirit, how the Umbra is their inherent birthright and they don't feel whole if they can't visit it, how they even suffer dissociation if they stay continuously in the material world too long. But then some entire Changing-Breeds cannot access the Umbra, at all, until rank 4. How can any of them even do their duties properly without being able to enter or even understand the spirit world? With no experience of or knowledge about the spirit world, how can they possibly understand Gaia or the Trait to even have a clue what they should be doing in their duties?


                      She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                      My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                      Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Even those breeds that cannot step sideways are still able to enter the umbra. Bastet can't step sideways normally. But they can do so automatically if they established a Den Realm. And they can learn a gift which enables them to do so. So they're not incapable of entering the umbra. They're just different from the way Garou do it. And that's supposed to tie back into reasons why werecats are different from werewolves. How well you think that's accomplished is part of individual taste.

                        I think most of this is just the developers wanting each Changing Breed to be different, not just Garou under a different name.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                          I mentioned this literally in the next sentence after the one you quoted. I don't understand what the "But" is for.
                          Right. Sorry. It was 2am, I must have been not thinking clearly...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            Moots can "recharge" Gnosis for Garou, but only by hunting down Englings during the Revel where those spirits are summoned for a Sacred Hunt.
                            Is there a source stating that the sacred hunt is part of the Revel?
                            I would have imagined it being part of the inner sky, since it is a spiritual undertaking.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No, I don't have a source. I just placed it there at the place I thought was most appropriate. The Gnosis section of the core rules simply says the Sacred Hunt is performed at moots. But the core rules never give us details on the moot, though they do talk about the Revel where they run about. In fact, it's the only part of the moot the corebooks mention. I probably made the connection originally because if you are reading the corebook for the first time and you read about the Sacred Hunt and then go back to the Moot section, it mentions the Revel and nothing else.

                              The Players Guides gave us details about the moots, but of course they don't include the Sacred Hunt in any of its stages. So this is a failure of the original writers. And since it was never corrected to include that information, it shows how lazy the writers of the subsequent corebooks or Players Guides were by not making it explicit in order to improve the original section.

                              To me, the Revel makes the most sense because the Garou seem to be doing some kind of hunt there. And this is also the part when the Garou recharge the caern. So it is also the most appropriate time for the Garou to regain the Gnosis they just lost by hunting down Englings. But I admit, that is my interpretation and not strictly laid out.

                              I would not put it in the Inner Sky because that portion of the moot is about honoring the caern totem. Everything done there is to strengthen the totem. So summoning an Engling so you can hunt it down and gain Gnosis does not seem appropriate to me because it changes the focus from the caern totem to the Garou. It should remain on the totem.

                              Incidentally, W20 makes a very big mistake in its corebook because it mentions in the moot section that the Revel is not always done at every moot. This makes no sense since without the Revel the caern is not recharged. The totem will become angry and eventually dormant as a result.

                              Combined with the failure to explicitly include the Sacred Hunt as part of the moot, I think it shows the writers of the game probably overlook the moot entirely in terms of actual roleplay. It's probably something more mentioned in passing, than actually played through. I understand why - for the most part PCs aren't doing anything during it. It's just the ST describing things. It's probably LARPs where moots get roleplayed through the most since everyone is a PC. You just need to work hard to streamline things so it can be done quickly and efficiently so PCs can move on to other things since time is a factor.

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