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  • erSito
    started a topic How to issue renown during the game

    How to issue renown during the game

    Hello!
    I'm an experienced GM of Vampire (15+years) but this is the 1st time I'm running a Chronicle of Werewolf. I use 20th rules.

    My question is what system do you use to give Honor/Glory/Wisdom? I'm thinking on either doing it during the game as the action is done or doing it at the end of each game session, together with the XP.

    Have you learn by hart the 3 pages table of renown or you just give renown "as you feel appropriate"? I'm more prone to the latest.

    Any other advices for a rooky Werewolf GM?

  • Wilson
    replied
    Originally posted by garhkal View Post
    That's a nice guideline Asmodai.. One of the better ST's i had back in Norfolk did it 2 yrs in game to Rk 2, 4 to Rk 3, 8 to rk 4, and 16 to rk 5 (if you lived)...
    Getting to Fostern a year after the Rite of Passage, Adren a couple of years later, Athro within 5 years, and Elder within 10, in my humble opinion, is a very fast pace enjoyed only by the gifted and lucky. Even 2, 4, 8, and 16 years seems kinda fast at the higher ranks, but maybe that's just me expecting there to be very few Elders among the Garou nation, and not many Athro, with the simple majority of the Garou population reaching no higher than Fostern even if they reach the ripe old age of 30. 10-15 years as a Fostern might not be much fun for some players, but if you're going for realism, it's probably not uncommon, because most Garou, just like most wolves and most humans, are not good leaders, and most honestly don't want to be leaders, whereas the senior ranks have to be leaders. I could totally see a character deciding not to take a test for Adren or Athro simply because he believes he's better suited doing what he's already doing at the rank he's already at. Surviving to age 30 (as a homid) may be a feat in itself, but I'd expect a werewolf who's gifted enough to reach Elder should also be gifted enough to survive to age 50 or longer, which is a generation older (among homids) than age 30.

    Another part of the problem with gaining rank beyond Adren is that by Rank 3 you're likely to be assigned a significant sept office, and that tends to keep you in and around the caern most of the time and prevents you from going out adventuring. If your whole pack is Adren or higher, your sept will need to make accommodations for somebody else to take over the pack's sept duties when they go out on a mission or quest. If your sept happens to be nearby lots of threats and enemies, it'll be easier to gain renown in spite of holding a major sept office, but how many caerns have survived over the long term in places like that?

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  • Thkaal
    replied
    One of the things I'm doing is Renown/Rank So if the chart says 5 glory and 3 honor, for a cliath, that's what you get. For a fostern you get 3 and 2 (5/2 rounded off and 3/2 rounded off.) Now at Adren it would be 2 and 1.

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  • garhkal
    replied
    Originally posted by erSito View Post
    Hello!
    I'm an experienced GM of Vampire (15+years) but this is the 1st time I'm running a Chronicle of Werewolf. I use 20th rules.

    My question is what system do you use to give Honor/Glory/Wisdom? I'm thinking on either doing it during the game as the action is done or doing it at the end of each game session, together with the XP.

    Have you learn by hart the 3 pages table of renown or you just give renown "as you feel appropriate"? I'm more prone to the latest.

    Any other advices for a rooky Werewolf GM?
    For me i generally use a little note pad by the ST Screen, where i mark down everyone's temp renown as they earn it, but its up to the players to also track what they earn as well.. Cause if they don't fight for it, they don't get it. It gets awarded when they get back 'home' (caern or wherever) and they as per the rules, need a rite to get performed to covert it to perma renown..

    Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
    Also, as someone who runs really long games, I need to warn you that the system as presented in the game is tailored to shorter games. If you run a very long game (my run in 30-60 sessions usually), you may need to increase the amount of renown for rank 3,4,5, as otherwise you might actually have characters going from 1-5 within a year of game time :P
    I usually make it harder and harder to get the 'same renown' the higher they go up. SO if say in session 3 (still rank 1) they killed 2 formori and 3 black spirals and all earned 5 glory and 2 honor, later on when they are all say around rank 3, they would need to kill say 8 formori and 12 BSDs.

    Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
    Being an Elder requires you to be a part of the society for a while. And just because you might have the minimum requirement for the renown does not mean the other Elders will feel that you are ready. I tend to keep my guideline like this - you can get to Rank 2 within the first year of your Werewolfing around. Rank 3 should be within your first three years. Four requires you to be around for 5, and 5 at least 10.

    This benchmark that I've set up for how long it takes you to be recognized is mostly a gut feeling, and it's not supported by the rules. Also, I allow people to sidestep the time limit through truly extraordinary deeds that might endebt the Garou nation or the Fera. This mighthappen only once in their careers, though.
    That's a nice guideline Asmodai.. One of the better ST's i had back in Norfolk did it 2 yrs in game to Rk 2, 4 to Rk 3, 8 to rk 4, and 16 to rk 5 (if you lived)...

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  • heinrich
    replied
    It doesn't have to be, actually.
    Just to build up characters, and a long term story, it is interesting that the PCs, who start out as cliaths, have the higher ranking local garou as well as the global legends like Albrecht.
    While being the protagonists, they aren't necessarily meant to be extraordinary compared to their fellow garou.

    It depends if one wants to establish a feeling of "bearing the weight of the world on their shoulders" - which would be for PCs who have to solve every problem that is, as opposed to "being only a small part in a huge war, winning only small victories" theme. If one aims for the latter, the best way to accomplish this, imo, is to have the NPCs also do stuff, that is referenced to or touched on during the exploits of the PCs. It brings the protagonists more into position with the rest of the world.

    Basically it is employing the "Great Offscreen War" trope or "Cryptic Background Reference" trope.

    Also, the PCs could be only the main characters of a given story (the character through who's eyes we see the story unfold), instead of the protagonists (who works towards the stories goal).

    In any case, each ST has whether he wants character that start at age 17 cliath be elders before they are allowed to by alcohol, or not. If not, there should probably be some downtime and some other character getting Rites of Accopmlishments instead of the PCs, just so the character advancement isn't that quick.

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  • Asmodai
    replied
    I still think you don't get what I'm talking about, since I'm not talking about globe trotting SuperShifters. I'm talking about normal stuff a pack is going to do. If you really play the Fera Globetrotters, you might be right, but if you actually play a normal game and have the characters do all the stuff a pack does - protecting the Caern, hunting the monsters, protecting their loved ones, talking with spirits, hunting down chiminage, rescuing lost cubs, telling their legends at moots, performing challenges and trials, and generally doing their duty to bash the Wyrm's head in and coping with the shit the Weaver and the Wyld will toss into their lives.

    The lives of the Garou are eventful and full of tension and drama. They live their lives fast and most of them don't get the luxury of dying in their old age, heck, most of them don't even live up to their middle age. That doesn't mean that they are static, but being an Elder is supposed to mean something. You're supposed to be a legend who has survived what most will not, one of the few who are truly the moves and the shakes among the Garou. In Werewolf Authority indeed does equal asskicking.

    I have no idea why you have the concept of "Other garou being static", but it's a given fact that the PC's end up in more shit then any other character in any other game. That's kinda how RPG games work.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    But that is kind of my point, it depends on how you run your game and probably on how you think it should be run...

    One can, perfectly reasonably devise from the core books that WtA can be played as a game of savage horror in which the PCs form a local pack, that is send by their Elders to missions in the region - without ever doing the over the top world changing heroic stuff. As you said, that is for a select few, and I'm not sure if the PCs, being the protagonists and all, should be or need to be these guys.

    So, what I'm saying is, it is perfectly fine to run a WtA game in a Jessica Jones level instead of an Avengers level, and it still be Marvel's WtA

    But if stuff like "renown gain"-mechanics break in the type of game you playing, you might need to consider that they weren't designed, or at least not tweaked, for the way you play.


    I, personally, find it silly and stupid when in any given scenario the secondary characters don't evolve or seem to just exist when relevant to the story. This doesn't make a full immersive world, imo.
    Sure, one can go tongue in cheek, like in "case colsed" where Inspector Meguire remaks that "whenever there is a mureder in tokyo, usually Kogoro Mori and the kids are already there". But I try to be more realistic about my WtA Settings, and that includes coming up with stuff the NPCs do, their agendas, their victories and losses and so on. And while the PCs are the protagonists, the world still doesn't revolve around them.

    And sure, things would be different, if I had run plots where Gaia's survival was at stake, but I don't run those kinds of plots, because I find them lesser rewarding. And it would be kin of stale, if every adventure to run was yet another world changing event....

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  • Asmodai
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    NPCs not being protegonists is exactly the reason the PCs get more to do. Still, should they get that much more renown for doing all that stuff?

    Shouldn't the Elders assign jobs to NPC packs, too?
    Shouldn't NPC packs challenge the PC pack to get a certain 'free for all' assignment, too?
    Shouldn't the PCs adhere to the creeds and be generous, also with the opportunities to gain renown, by letting their peers also have them ?

    I think the most impact in the way the player characters gain renown are
    1. the ST awarding too favourably and for actions that aren't that noteworthy to begin with.
    2. the ST and players heading from one story to the next, without any downtime - and even within stories having often no clear bookkeeping about time, since it hinders the flow of playing.
    I think you're being a bit disingenuous here to people who have been running this at least as long as you have. By definition of the PC's being protagonists they will always be doing crazier and weirder stuff then anyone else. As such they are quite likely to get absurd amounts of Renown even with all the cockups they pull to lose Renown along the way. There's probably a mere handful of groups around the whole world who will have the experience and the renown of the PC's - people like say Albrecht & Co, and even they took their while to become true legends.

    If you're playing a pack that's spending all their time in one Caern and never getting out, sure, the gains will be small, with spikes for threats that appear nearby and you get to wipe out. That's probably the usecase for the Renown system as presented, plus it's not really been tested for long games, because face it, most games never get into double digit numbers of sessions. Mind you, I'm pretty sure that PC Caerns get more trouble and tribulations then any of the printed Caerns, which seem quite calm.

    But if you end up following your totem across the world, trying to rescue a dying changing breed, do diplomacy with the changing breeds, go from hotspot to hotspot, or work on building the Ahadi... you will have tons of renown as recognized not only by your own sept, but septs, shifters and spirits accross the world.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    NPCs not being protegonists is exactly the reason the PCs get more to do. Still, should they get that much more renown for doing all that stuff?

    Shouldn't the Elders assign jobs to NPC packs, too?
    Shouldn't NPC packs challenge the PC pack to get a certain 'free for all' assignment, too?
    Shouldn't the PCs adhere to the creeds and be generous, also with the opportunities to gain renown, by letting their peers also have them ?

    I think the most impact in the way the player characters gain renown are
    1. the ST awarding too favourably and for actions that aren't that noteworthy to begin with.
    2. the ST and players heading from one story to the next, without any downtime - and even within stories having often no clear bookkeeping about time, since it hinders the flow of playing.

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  • Asmodai
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    But, now consider how that looks: the character would to have been praised every month for two years for being glorious, wise and honourable - meaning the character would have had to show such behaviour in an increasing fashion constantly to be viable for the Rite every damn month. My best guess is, that even the most naive Talesinger (moot office iirc) would realize, that this can't be right and just. Not if other garou get poor temp renown for performing tasks like guardian or sept office for a full year.
    I think it comes down to the problem that PC's are naturally prone to be more then most other NPC's. Especially if the mentioned NPC's stick around the Caern doing day to day stuff, while the PC's go galavanting all over the Umbra, tearing down fomori factories and bringing back lost artifacts. Even with other Garou pushing the Wyrm and their duties hard, they are not likely to be as active or as fruitful as the PC's (even if just because they're not protagonists).

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Skipping downtime and having back-to-back adventures will have PC rise a lot faster than might be intended.

    Also, math to the rescue.
    If the goal was to get all three types of renown at level 10, that would mean one had to get 30 Rites of Accomplishment. Each is a Rite of Renown - celebrating the accomplishments of an individual. They are celebrated amongst the individual's peers, that means a gathering of sorts, usually a moot. Moots happen once a month, or all 29.6 days. That's 12,3 moots a year.

    So, with three dots to start in renown and assuming one could use one Rite to turn all three renown types from temp to permanent in one go, it could be achieved in one year to get to renown ten.
    But, if you assume that you can't use one Rite for multiple renowns at the same time and you get only one per moot, than it would take 27 moots, that's 2.2 years.

    But, now consider how that looks: the character would to have been praised every month for two years for being glorious, wise and honourable - meaning the character would have had to show such behaviour in an increasing fashion constantly to be viable for the Rite every damn month. My best guess is, that even the most naive Talesinger (moot office iirc) would realize, that this can't be right and just. Not if other garou get poor temp renown for performing tasks like guardian or sept office for a full year.

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  • The Laughing Stranger
    replied
    I could have sworn I saw requirements somewhere for a minimum amount of time to be spent at each rank before advancement was possible... maybe that was just homebrew rules for a LARP or something though. Either way it makes sense. Meteoric rises are all fine and good, but with the rewards-as-written, if you play the game for any amount of time PCs will accrue renown incredibly fast. Going from wet-behind-the-ears pup to elder in the span of two or three years is kinda dumb, and I don't think the rules reflect the universe very well in that regard.

    Originally posted by erSito View Post
    The problem I've detected in many of your feedback is you jump into the next adventure the day after the characters end the previous one.
    Why don't you put some time between stories? It's not realistic the characters just go from big story to big story, let them take care of their stuff. Spend a couple of years in an umbra quest, some other years taking a degree on [instead your favorite knowledge here] and some more time looking for that amazing fetish...
    My game does have a fair amount of down-time, gaps of weeks or months; the PC's Garou raise families and pursue individual life goals, ect, but even if you are only confronting Wyrm-shits every few weeks on average, that still adds up quite fast over a couple years. Garou are capable of healing quick and getting back on the front lines anyway; it feels irresponsible for Gaia's sons and daughters to lackadaisically wander about without slaughtering the Wyrm's minions. My PC's pack is on the cusp of rank 4 after only 2 and a half years of play, and would likely be there already if they weren't good-for-nothing servants of old Coyote. Taking breaks helps, but it doesn't come close to fully alleviating the problem.
    Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 03-02-2016, 11:02 PM.

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  • Asmodai
    replied
    I don't have a problem with 25 for 4 (6-11 years as active Garou). I do have a problem with 1 year for 4 though. 3 is probably the maximum I would allow for a truly exceptional Garou. I mean... we are talking about deeds great enough to at least qualify for two grand quests to increase rank and completing them successfully while still doing all your sept and tribal duties AND adventuring enough to become a legend in a short time.

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  • erSito
    replied
    I believe one of the biggest problems in the "1 to 5 rank in a 1 year period" is hour the ST handles the-time-between-stories.

    My players just had their preludes (individual games, covered a few years). Our first real session was going through the Rite of Passage book adventure (I expect 2 game sessions). After it they'll become rank 1.
    Once they're rank 1 they'll go to visit the clan they learned with (individual sessions, covering an approximate 6 months period).
    Then another adventur, where they get XPs and renown massively. Then another downtime with individual sessions covering around a year.
    Then a second real adventur: they'll probably make there the rank 2, etc.

    That would be 5 game sessions to go from rank 1 to 2 and around 2 years of in-game-time.

    The problem I've detected in many of your feedback is you jump into the next adventure the day after the characters end the previous one.
    Why don't you put some time between stories? It's not realistic the characters just go from big story to big story, let them take care of their stuff. Spend a couple of years in an umbra quest, some other years taking a degree on [instead your favorite knowledge here] and some more time looking for that amazing fetish...

    This way in-game-time will pass much faster and you won't have teen-ager Elders. They'll have play the same number of adventure, but they'll be 40 or 50, rather than 21

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    0 to 5 isn't a fair question. 0 means Cub, which isn't a starting level character.

    Is making it from Cliath to Elder in a year something that should be common? No. Is it impossible? Also no. But that's easily handled in what Adren, Athro, and Elder Rank challenges are presented as. These are supposed to be hard enough that most characters will fail a few of them, and difficult enough that you can't just do them in a weekend.

    I definitely don't see any problem with the setting as presented having exceptional Garou (aka PCs) getting to Adren in a year. Any Garou that's facing enough action to gain Renown that quickly, and is doing that well on their Rank challenges, is a rising star of their Tribe and is going to get elevated fast. Karin Jarlsdottir is only 25, and she's an Athro that runs a major Fenrir Sept.

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