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Some fetish questions

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  • Some fetish questions

    How does a Garou determine if something is a Fetish for the first time? Can the Garou just sense it? Or does he have to figure it out? Would certain Gifts confirm if an item is fetish?

    Also, can a fetish be attuned by multiple people at the same time (even if only one person can use it by having it in their hand or person)? Or can only one person be so attuned?

  • #2
    I'm fairly certain they can sense spiritual resonance, not 100% on that though. And I'm almost 100% that it's only one user at a time. One person owns it, but if one attuned themselves to it they can use it.


    WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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    • #3
      Well first, most fetishes are, to parse words, "distinctive." Even a Weaver-Spirit will only want to live in something if it's special in some way. After all, part of hte fetish bargain is basically putting the spirit into eternal slumber, it wants to sleep in a castle instead of a pickup bed, right? So... Even the fetishes of the urban tribes are going to be fairly unique, clearly hand-worked, decorated, all sorts of stuff that makes them "stand out." After all, it's a fetish, and not a +1 Sword, yeah?

      Second, yeah, pretty much any being with Gnosis can tell when it's handling a fetish; just the act of takinga fetish calls for an attunement roll, which is the fetish and your own spirit basically finding a rapport and making a connection. I imagine this is pretty darned hard to miss!

      And third, some fetishes are... more alive than others, especially those in some sort of distress (a klaive in a museum for instance; the war-spirit wants to be out htere killing, not looking weird on a wall!) and will try to "reach out' to nearby shifters, spirits, or evne mages. This is mostly narrative stuff, i don't think there's a system for it.

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      • #4
        The reason I ask is that a PC misunderstood a scene and thought a prominent decoration was a Wyrm fetish. Things got hijacked for a while. eventually I learned he wanted to destroy the "Fetish". I decided that Fetishes were likely very easy to be destroyed - at least as easy as whatever the physical thing would normally be, and then the PC started thinking about what to do when the spirit came out of it. Of course, since it wasn't a fetish nothing happened, but it probably ate up 30-60 minutes of game time that could have been used more productively. After the fact, I started thinking about how a Garou could go about identifying Fetishes (of any kind whether Gaian or Wyrm or other).

        If it is fairly easy and a spiritual resonance thing, it sounds like a Gnosis roll against a standard difficulty. Not an actual attunement or use of the Fetish, but similar mechanic.

        If it is a new fetish the character has never seen before, what would be required to know what the fetish does? Must the Garou attune himself to it first, or should Garou be able to figure it out beforehand using a Gnosis roll separate from attunement?

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        • #5
          I would imagine you'd have to attune to it. Even then you may just have to figure it out on yer own. Just looking at it may tell you it's a gun, but it won't tell you it's a gun imbued with a snake spirit that causes crippling pain with each shot.


          WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lyrics Of War View Post
            I would imagine you'd have to attune to it. Even then you may just have to figure it out on yer own. Just looking at it may tell you it's a gun, but it won't tell you it's a gun imbued with a snake spirit that causes crippling pain with each shot.
            This is what Theurges/Uktena are for.

            Most fetish spirits will talk to you, if you're polite, and can speak their language.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              How does a Garou determine if something is a Fetish for the first time?
              I believe they would make physical contact and meditate on the object, trying to make contact with the spirit inside the fetish. I'd assume Gnosis would be involved as a role. There aren't any rules that I can think of, but it is written, that a garou has to attune to a fetish in this way, so I guess other communication with the spirit is possible and the fact that a contact can be established at all makes it clear, that the object is a fetish.
              That said, I don't think fetishes (or spirits within) can perceive their surroundings. So you can't just grab a fetish and ask it what happened to it, or its previous owner.
              Also, I'd argue, that you can't communicate with talens in that matter, since even if one didn't score more than one success and therefore all the essence of a spirit is bound into one talen, it still is only the essence not the conciousness, so to speak. I assume spirits used for talens cease to exist until all the talens are used or destroyed, which allows the spirit to reform somewhere deep in the Umbra.
              Also, I believe it is not akin to a bound spirit that actually is inhabiting a object or an area. This spirit is for example visible on the object and a whole spirit in it's own right, only bound, whereas a fetish is an object (only intelligent).
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Can the Garou just sense it?
              Not "just", as in easy or fast. I would believe the process described above would would take 5 to 10 Minutes. Possibly 10 minus successes on Gnosis versus fetish Gnosis score. One success minimum.
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Or does he have to figure it out?
              Most likely. However, there are fetishes on which fetish is written. Unless an object is a fetish-to-be that is already encarved and such, it is most likely that an object that looks like a fetish and bears the appropriate markings is a fetish.
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Would certain Gifts confirm if an item is fetish?
              Sense Magic (Uktena), Sense the Unnatural (Lupus)
              If certain specific powers are in play or certain spirits were used, Sense Wyrm, Sense Wyld or Sense Weaver as well as Sense Fae might trigger to the fetish.
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Also, can a fetish be attuned by multiple people at the same time (even if only one person can use it by having it in their hand or person)?
              Possibly. Usually I'd say "no", but there were specific fetishes presented to be used by multiple people. Therefore I'd say, it is only possible if the fetish was designed to be attuned to multiple people or, even more likely, was designed to be handed around often. Meaning it would not be offensive to the spirit to be passed around often, as it would be to most fetishes/spirits. The "Watcher's spear" comes to mind, that probably will be passed on to the next shift after a group of guardians end's their watch and goes to rest while another pack takes over.
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Or can only one person be so attuned?
              Usually not.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HOD View Post
                Most fetish spirits will talk to you, if you're polite, and can speak their language.
                Would you need to be attuned to a Fetish to be able to talk to it? Or if "contact" is made (whether the ST requires a Gnosis roll or not) with a known fetish, is that sufficient?

                Usually, the spirit has to be right in front of you for Spirit Speech to work (Garou is in the Umbra, or the spirit is Materialized in the Realm), and in this case, the spirit is inside the fetish. I figure something must be done first (whether attunement, or "establishing contact") rather than just speaking nearby since the spirit in the fetish has to somehow be interacting with the Garou in order for that communication to occur (I don't assume the Fetish spirit "overhears" spirit speech in the vicinity, or can "talk" to someone nearby who is not otherwise engaged in it)
                .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  Would you need to be attuned to a Fetish to be able to talk to it?
                  Or if "contact" is made (whether the ST requires a Gnosis roll or not) with a known fetish, is that sufficient?
                  No rules are given, but I would argue, that you need to communicate to attune to the fetish, and therefore the communication is possible, even if not attuned, but....

                  I disagree with HOD that most fetish spirits will talk to a garou, that isn't their owner. The spirits in fetishes aren't necessarily that chatty.

                  And, secondly, I don't think "talk" or "speak" are the proper verbs to describe the communication entirely. It can be as ominous as projecting emotions, thoughts, intentions or memories between spirit and garou.

                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  Usually, the spirit has to be right in front of you for Spirit Speech to work (Garou is in the Umbra, or the spirit is Materialized in the Realm), and in this case, the spirit is inside the fetish. I figure something must be done first (whether attunement, or "establishing contact") rather than just speaking nearby since the spirit in the fetish has to somehow be interacting with the Garou in order for that communication to occur (I don't assume the Fetish spirit "overhears" spirit speech in the vicinity, or can "talk" to someone nearby who is not otherwise engaged in it).
                  Ah, I always assumed the communication was a silent tactile-telepathy, meaning the garou needed to touch the fetish to make it work, also requiring meditation and therefore concentration.

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                  • #10
                    How do you folks handle attuned fetishes? If I shift to corvid, where does my flak jacket go? Or my knife? Further, can I hide my knife even when in homid?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                      No rules are given, but I would argue, that you need to communicate to attune to the fetish, and therefore the communication is possible, even if not attuned, but....
                      Makes sense.

                      Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                      And, secondly, I don't think "talk" or "speak" are the proper verbs to describe the communication entirely. It can be as ominous as projecting emotions, thoughts, intentions or memories between spirit and garou.
                      True. I think this is a very grey area. Definitely on the spirit side, communication could happen in different modes and be good. For Garou, I think most Spirit Speech would be actual speech, especially for Cliaths, but as the Garou became more in tuned with the spirit world, he'd realize that talking isn't necessary and just a holdover from what he is used to.

                      Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                      Ah, I always assumed the communication was a silent tactile-telepathy, meaning the garou needed to touch the fetish to make it work, also requiring meditation and therefore concentration.
                      That is definitely what I was thinking how it should be handled.

                      This has been very helpful to me.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GetInGetOut View Post
                        How do you folks handle attuned fetishes? If I shift to corvid, where does my flak jacket go? Or my knife? Further, can I hide my knife even when in homid?
                        I think fetishes are considered to be "dedicated" like the Rite of Talisman Dedication, so such things "change" shape with you and enter the Umbra with you. I normally wouldn't allow a character to "hide" an item in Homid form. Maybe if the character spent a Willpower and made a Partial Transformation roll. Probably also depend on the size and function of the Fetish.

                        Usually in WoD games, I ask myself, "Is this something in line with the genre?" If the answer is yes, I look for ways to allow it. If the answer is no, I don't allow it.


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                        • #13
                          The frustrating thing is that there is precedent for the "disappearing" fetish. Umbra revised describes a fetish poleaxe type weapon native to Erebus that appears on the body like a tattoo when not in use. The Red Talon tribe novel also mentions a fetish armband made of a bent rifle barrel disappearing at least long enough to get through a commercial airflight, and it had a moose spirit inside of it. Moose aren't known for invisibility.
                          This looks like a job for houserules!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GetInGetOut View Post
                            How do you folks handle attuned fetishes?
                            As mentioned, the are working like dedicated items. Page 221 of W20 states:
                            Attunement also effectively “dedicates” a fetish to its wielder, as though the Rite of Talisman Dedication had been performed on it. Since fetishes have their own Gnosis, an attuned fetish doesn’t count against the maximum number of objects a werewolf can have dedicated to him.
                            Originally posted by GetInGetOut View Post
                            If I shift to corvid, where does my flak jacket go? Or my knife?
                            As per the rite, they become tattoo-like shapes on the skin or fur (feathers).
                            Originally posted by GetInGetOut View Post
                            Further, can I hide my knife even when in homid?
                            Actually, that isn't clear. In the LARP im ST for, it is common practice to have swords and the like to be bound only to appear in Glabro form. Meaning players have to shift to the form to "pick them up"....
                            As for the Red Talon and her gun barrel: Her Breed form isn't Homid. I just feel that makes a difference.

                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            True. I think this is a very grey area. Definitely on the spirit side, communication could happen in different modes and be good. For Garou, I think most Spirit Speech would be actual speech, especially for Cliaths, but as the Garou became more in tuned with the spirit world, he'd realize that talking isn't necessary and just a holdover from what he is used to.
                            I usually argue that all that the garou communicates (conscious or subconscious) is by means of the Spirit Speech gift perceivable to any "normal" spirit in the same way it would be to a other person. Meaning, if the garou has "a tell", when he is lying or bluffing, a spirit would have the same difficulty to pick it up, than any other person - effectively bypassing any problems one could argue would arise from "this are different species, they might misinterpret the actions of one another".
                            So, the garou can usually talk and spirits will understand, just as good as a human with the same mental dice pools would.
                            Likewise, the garou gets what the spirit "says", regardless of the noises he makes or smells or posture or whatever means used.
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            This has been very helpful to me.
                            You are welcome.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Heinrich. A pleasure as always.
                              My game group worked under the tattoo assumption as well.
                              How about fetish theft? Not that I would, but if I stole your lovely fang dagger, would it be as simple as attunment, or would the spirit balk at it's new owner?

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