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  • #46
    Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
    So now I am wondering how much personality a totem spirit has.
    Depends on its Rank. Remember 1-2 you're working with something that acts on instinct and is considered comparable to an animal or child by other spirits.

    How well can it communicate with the pack? Can it make demands and requests? Can it give the pack missions?
    The lower Rank, the less complex ideas it would be able to communicate, or form. But its ability to actually communicate them would probably depend on if it had any powers. Generally it has to be there and talk, but it might have an ability that lets it send messages over distances, for instance a computer spirit could e-mail you, or a technology spirit could text.

    They can make demands and requests, or give missions. But the totem isn't the boss of the pack, so that might not go over well, especially if abused.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
      So now I am wondering how much personality a totem spirit has. How well can it communicate with the pack? Can it make demands and requests? Can it give the pack missions?
      My own game's totem, a vengeful ancestor spirit who had most of it's bloodline exterminated, hence it clinging to existence by sheer will to be avenged, was at rank 1 when the game began. After several acts of asymmetric warfare, with casualties in the dozens, and a locus keyed and dedicated to it's nature, it is now rank 3.

      It began as a bloodthirsty fucking thing, a mist-shrouded hound. As it's rank began to rise, it began to influence the pack (note the lack of caption in influence) to be more poetic on it's approach to violence. More refined, within the boundaries of it's ban, obviously.

      Now it may approach a new rank with a motivation to rebuild it's bloodline. Who knows?
      Last edited by Malus; 02-13-2018, 06:47 PM.

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      • #48
        So how are packs expected to handle their totem. Do they bind it to a fetish and carry it around with them or do they keep it someplace safe or do they let it run free?

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
          So how are packs expected to handle their totem. Do they bind it to a fetish and carry it around with them or do they keep it someplace safe or do they let it run free?
          Usually they let it run free, maybe hanging with individual members or lingering around the spiritual center of the territory or traveling from packmember to packmember and checking on them (especially useful in the case of human and wolf-blooded and other non-werewolf packmates), or a locus of appropriate Resonance. Some location-based totems might not be able to move far from their spot. But generally you would want something mobile that can help in a hunt.

          A lot's going to depend on the pack and what spirit they end up finding.

          The book the Pack really gets into what it's like being a member of a pack, including the wolf-blooded, human, and totem's point of view.
          Last edited by nofather; 02-13-2018, 02:59 PM.

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          • #50
            A totem is part of a pack, thus it's within the peeking order, and seldom atop it when it is concerned with Forsaken. On the contrary, Pure totems are often cruel task masters for their packs, demanding gruesome, inhuman bans from them.

            Clearly, the more powerful the spirit becomes, the more deference it is owed. If you have a bunch of rank 1 Uratha with a rank 4 totem, it'll be dominating them pretty easily, but a normal totemic relationship goes hand in hand with the upgrading of the Uratha's own rank within the shadow. My character also is recognized as a rank 3 werewolf, puts him as the alpha in the pack in equal footing to influence the totem, and vice-versa.

            Stuffing your totem into a fetish would most likely invalidate the totemic bond. It's not something you do to a packmate. You're literally jailing a spirit for power.

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            • #51
              So the join or die aspect of Basu-Im only mentions it affecting packmates. So I assume that a werewolf from another pack in Basu-Im won't cause this effect to my pack, correct? So if said raging werewolf wanders into my pack's territory, my pack can go confront and contain it without immediately setting of a chain reaction, correct?

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              • #52
                That would be correct.

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                • #53
                  But enemy Hard Raging werewolf will probably do you mass damage - then YOU risk Death Rage, form massive wounds taken. And if you go - your pack risk Death Rage.


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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
                    So the join or die aspect of Basu-Im only mentions it affecting packmates. So I assume that a werewolf from another pack in Basu-Im won't cause this effect to my pack, correct? So if said raging werewolf wanders into my pack's territory, my pack can go confront and contain it without immediately setting of a chain reaction, correct?
                    There are two ways of reading it, and I’m pretty sure we’ve never defined which is more correct. (Which is why I presented two Pack Merits dealing with Kuruth - one for each interpretation.)

                    You can run it that only your pack rages, which has its advantages and disadvantages, or you can run it that any Bass-im has everyone raging, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Whichever works for your table, just make sure you’re consistent.


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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
                      So how are packs expected to handle their totem. Do they bind it to a fetish and carry it around with them or do they keep it someplace safe or do they let it run free?
                      Option 1 is a very good way of no longer having a totem, unless there’s a good reason why it wants to be bound into a fetish. Totems tend to hang around their pack and its territory, but aren’t strictly carried around as a captive or anything.

                      In 2nd ed, there’s a lot of incentive for both pack and totem to treat each other with various levels of respect and equality. Every pack is different, and some will be more or less dominant, but many (Forsaken) packs have a symbiotic relationship with their totem, which works best for everyone. (As Malus said, Pure totems tend to be more powerful and more inclined to exert their dominance over the pack, but even then every pack is different.)


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                      • #56
                        Are there any guidelines on how frequent or common Loci should be? Also, as I understand it there is also just free floating essence in the Shadow. How common is that? How hard should it be for Uratha to find essence in the shadow that isn't from a Loci.

                        Also, do werewolves have to use the Sacred Hunt rite to eat spirits? Can't they just go into the hisil pick up a 0 rank spirit and eat it for its essence?

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
                          Are there any guidelines on how frequent or common Loci should be? Also, as I understand it there is also just free floating essence in the Shadow. How common is that? How hard should it be for Uratha to find essence in the shadow that isn't from a Loci.
                          No real guidelines, it's up to you, but Lore of the Forsaken has some good advice for how to handle them. The big point is that they're in demand, spiritually. Forsaken aren't the only ones who want them, and having claimed access to one generally means the pack has muscle, as they've likely driven off spirits or other entities from it. So you don't want them to be too common, or the players have no need to concern themselves with Essence. They're a nice goal for packs to go after and can often be a hub of activity for antagonists. Though obviously if you want to play down that angle you can just have them wherever and let them focus on other things.

                          There is free-flowing Essence, which is how spirits get fed and how loci form, but it's not generally something werewolves can pick up. Special Gifts or fetishes might make exceptions.

                          Also, do werewolves have to use the Sacred Hunt rite to eat spirits? Can't they just go into the hisil pick up a 0 rank spirit and eat it for its essence?
                          Without the Sacred Hunt rite, you're just hitting them. It's what allows werewolves to get Essence from the hunt. You can still kill spirits otherwise, you just won't get Essence from them. You can eat other werewolves and humans for Essence, though.

                          There's ancient IC reasons for this that come up in their legends and the Neolithic Dark Era, but effectively they were made for a world that no longer exists, and rites (like the Sacred Hunt) and other powers have allowed them to adapt to these others (our real world and the Shadow), while never really being a part of either.
                          Last edited by nofather; 02-15-2018, 01:14 AM.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
                            Are there any guidelines on how frequent or common Loci should be?
                            Loci are formed in places where a lot of Essence manages to build up without getting siphoned off by spirits and other entities, which tends to mean they're confined to low-traffic sites of significant age and/or potent emotional moments. Quantity and quality say things about your setting.

                            Also, as I understand it there is also just free floating essence in the Shadow. How common is that?
                            It isn't. That's patches of resonance, which allow compatible spirits to derive Essence through proximity, and there's the weird foodstuffs that appear near loci.

                            Also, do werewolves have to use the Sacred Hunt rite to eat spirits? Can't they just go into the hisil pick up a 0 rank spirit and eat it for its essence?
                            No, for much the same reason that they can't just go down to the butcher shop and buy a pack of sausages to wolf down for Essence. There's certain notes you have to hit for that kind of predation to reinforce your nature.


                            Resident Sanguinary Analyst
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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
                              So now I am wondering how much personality a totem spirit has. How well can it communicate with the pack? Can it make demands and requests? Can it give the pack missions?
                              ​Not only can a totem make demands and requests, it absolutely should. Treat a totem as one of the most fully fleshed-out NPCs you use, as they're going to be interacting with the pack with regular frequency and can be a really useful driving force for a Storyteller to use. I've had my PC's pack totems demand they take out rival spirits to open vacancies in a court for the totem to move into, rebuild locations of importance to the spirit, gather seemingly bizarre collections of items as gifts for the totem, start sulking when they weren't treated by the PCs in the way they wanted to be treated, purposefully set PCs up to fail so that they can teach some symbolic lesson or just swoop in and save the day, throw tantrums, start favouring one particular pack member over the rest because that person most closely resonates with them (and has lots of Totem dots), dictate spirit-quests, pick fights with other spirit broods that the pack then gets dragged into, go on the spiritual equivalent of a drug bender, turn out not to be a spirit at all but rather a Purified pretending to be one, pitch philosophical conundrums to the pack to which the answers fundamentally change what the spirit is, evolve into a new form after the pack have done enough things for the totem, become so tightly bonded and loyal to the pack that the spirit actually sacrificed itself to save its pack in absolute defiance of the usual self-interested approach spirits take, have staring contests with pack members due to unfortunate misunderstandings, and manifest at decidedly unhelpful times in the home of a pack member who was trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy with their mundane human family.

                              ​Nothing requires a pack to act on demands, requests or passive-aggressive suggestions as to what they should do for the totem, but a pack that ignores their totems' drives and needs is likely to, at the very least, get a grumpy and uncooperative totem.

                              ​Communication varies depending on the spirit in question. I had a spirit of electrical power that always communicated with its pack via hijacking nearby electric devices and speaking through them, so half-way through the Rahu's favourite TV show the screen would garble and start speaking in creepy hissing static at him. Some spirits will act more aloof, expect the pack to regularly check in with them to find out if there's anything the totem needs, and sulk or get angry if the pack doesn't figure this out. Some spirits will be there, all the time, overeager, manifesting messages into the Flesh or outright appearing, possibly like very enthusiastic dogs that just won't leave a favoured pack mate alone. Some are balanced in their approach to communicating with the pack, in which case their weirdness is probably expressed in some other form.


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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post

                                ... turn out not to be a spirit at all but rather a Purified pretending to be one...
                                ... Oh? And what might this delicious tidbit be? (Or is this already possible in Immortals?)

                                ​... Some spirits will act more aloof, expect the pack to regularly check in with them to find out if there's anything the totem needs, and sulk or get angry if the pack doesn't figure this out. ......
                                And now I can't get out of my head the image of a totem acting like a slighted lover saying she's not angry, but clearly pouting.


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