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What Renowns mean?

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  • What Renowns mean?

    I want to dwell deeper into Gifts system of WtF 2E - and it's highly intertwined with Renowns system. So to better get grasp of Renowns, I would want some help in understanding them as philosophical, deeds rewards, maybe? Best would be if you can make some clearer examples what actions are for Cunning, Glory, Honor, Purity, and Wisdom. What those Renowns mean as philosophy? What would be level difference between 'magnitude' of particular Renown 1st dot and 3rd, further on.

    As simple scenario, on last session one of Uratha players was almost roasted too crisp by dragon Idigam fire breath - and ending literal nearly dead. But he survived that attack. Is surviving this kind of killing attack an act of Glory, Honor or Purity?

    From Gifts perspective I see that Honor Facets are about enduring things and resilience. Wisdom's are clearly about perception and understanding. Glory ones are about power or raw destruction. But what Cunning meant in powers? Or Purity, especially?


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  • #2
    Errol216 wrote a good summary of what the Renowns mean (in the context of Auspice-Tribe interaction) in the “How to make tribes distinct” theead.

    And yes, surviving dragon-breath sounds Glorious. Or Honorable, especially if it was taken in place of packmates.

    EDIT
    My own ideas on which Renown to grant are like this:
    Did the Uratha take the dragon-breath head-on, and shouted out “That’s the best you got, worm?!” to the dragon’s face? Glory.
    Did the Uratha take the dragon-breath and kept on going, so that once the flames subside he was still moving in for the kill? Purity.
    Did the Uratha shield other packmates from the dragon-breath, either by stepping in as a human shield for a vulnerable packmate, or provoking the dragon into attacking him and not any other? Honor.
    Last edited by 21C Hermit; 02-09-2018, 05:51 PM.


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    • #3
      Did the Uratha allow itself to be caught in the dragon-breath in order to serve as a distraction or set a trap? Cunning.
      Did the Urathra allow itself to be caught in the dragon-breath do learn about the pack's foe and how to defeat it? Wisdom.


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      • #4
        So, for Storyteller purposes, I wouldn't approach Renown that way.

        Instead, one, I'd suggest saying, "That seems pretty amazing. Do you think it deserves some Renown?" And then let them argue for one kind or another, and say yes to whatever they pick as long as (1) it isn't obviously wrong and (2) it beats the last deed they've done for that kind of Renown. It is worth making them actually explain why, because a Uratha should never be confused about his Renown. He knows what he did. He knows why it's awesome. And so does everyone else. (If they answer no, then I'd probably accept that first, but if it happens again, I'd suggest that they're being too humble. Also, get the other players to chime in. Nothing brings home the concept more than everyone slapping you on the back.)

        Which brings me to number two: Renown is subjective. The magnitude difference is literally, "Was more epic than the last thing you did." This is RAW. The book takes pains to discuss how some Uratha go overboard for their first dot and others lob their first shot. And the only real measure of Renown is going to be subjective for your game. If you're doing a globetrotting chronicle where you meet a bunch of 5-dot elders who are willing to talk about what they've accomplished in the last few centuries, that's going to set the bar much higher than a down-to-earth small town where 5-dot elders have done some serious stuff, but never bothered going more than ten miles from the edge of town.

        ---

        So talking about Cunning and Purity, here's what I looked at, personally.

        Cunning is something that's shared by Irraka and Iron Masters. So is it sneakiness? Not really. Being able to drive a bulldozer isn't very sneaky, even if it's cunning. Being able to navigate the byzantine legal system isn't very sneaky, even if it's cunning. On the other hand, it's not really about technological knowhow, or being too-human, which are Iron Master tropes without being Irraka. So where's the overlap? To me, it's that both of them discarded distractions. Red Wolf does it by adaptation, and the New Moon does it by not only sneaking around, but being always ready to kill.

        Cunning is essentially, "Fight smart, not hard." That might mean dropping a building on someone instead of going Gauru. It's about being a step ahead of the other guy, about knowing one more trick than the other guy, and about being willing to cross one more line than the other guy. At the end of the day, the word for Cunning is effectiveness.

        Purity is prized by Rahu and by Hunters in Darkness. So the usual interpretation is about tradition, about duty and the Oath. And, I mean, that's RAW and thus not wrong, but I didn't like the lack of heft there. It clashes too easily with Honor as a concept. So I dug into the splats. Rahu is the Warrior, but what kind of warrior? The Rahu isn't really a soldier, just following orders, war-weary and fighting because it's all he has. The Rahu relishes the fight. 2e's big change was adding the idea of dominance: not just winning, but being seen to have won. This is something easily applied to the Hunters as well. Whereas in 1e, they were merely prickly priests, in 2e, they very specifically enjoyed the chase part of the hunt.

        Purity, I realized, is the idea of proof. A lot of people aren't satisfied knowing that they're the best: they need everyone else to know it, too. And while, yeah, that's a little juvenile, it's also not a bad thing, especially at the scale we're talking about. In groups the size of a protectorate (whether or not there is one), establishing your place in the pecking order means there are fewer pointless fights. It means you know that going up against that pack is suicide, but you know you can boss around that other pack. It means the Elodoth knows who he needs to talk to, and the Irraka knows who he has to take out first. It's simpler for everyone, for better or worse.

        To be clear, Purity isn't about winning. It's about figuring out who wins. If a Rahu fights and loses, that's a good thing, to him, because now he knows: he's the Low, so he honors the High. Now it's easy to follow the Oath. And the only way to figure out who'd win is to fight, because, hey, werewolves don't white room. :P

        That doesn't really help directly with figuring out Gift Facets, but indirectly, a lot of the Facets are basically the kind of power you'd want that Auspice to have to be better at their job.


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        • #5
          So Purity is simple proof of 'we can do it/I'm strongest Alpha'? Then what's the difference between it and Glory? Are not Glory 'we are strongest' too?


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          • #6
            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
            So Purity is simple proof of 'we can do it/I'm strongest Alpha'?
            No. Errol did a whole big post about this. "Purity is about grasping truth through lived experience (who'd win, you or me? Let's find out)."

            Then what's the difference between it and Glory? Are not Glory 'we are strongest' too?
            As above. "Glory is about being remembered, and remembering what should last."


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            • #7
              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
              Did the Uratha take the dragon-breath head-on, and shouted out “That’s the best you got, worm?!” to the dragon’s face? Glory.
              Was that memorable or he just dropped down incapacitated then?

              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
              Did the Uratha take the dragon-breath and kept on going, so that once the flames subside he was still moving in for the kill? Purity.
              He should've accomplished the kill for it to be a pure deed.

              Renown is about deeds accomplished, near misses don't count.

              Renown at 1 dot is a fairly easy thing to accomplish: Respect the Oath, know how to use stealth and guile, display courage in the face of adversity in general terms. Greater displays of renown require larger scale deeds.

              Collectively Abandoning one's human life in order to prosecute the hunt against a nest of Beshilu that took the skin of policemen for years, to avoid possible repercussion to the Oath is Pure as fuck.

              Arranging the wrath of a huge elemental to finally destroy said nest is Wise as fuck. Honoring the later arrangement with the spirit afterwards, you can generally picture.

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              • #8
                Glory does have the only example deed worthy of buying Renown even if you fail at the task.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Malus View Post
                  He should've accomplished the kill for it to be a pure deed.

                  Renown is about deeds accomplished, near misses don't count.
                  Only if he’s done something bigger and better before.

                  If the character fought a killed a dragon last week, then yes, this near death is nothing worthy of renown.

                  If the character has never faced a dragon before, and took a near-death hit for the pack, that’s worthy of renown even if the dragon got away. Though he’ll need to top it and kill the dragon next time.


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                  • #10
                    Rough Guidelines to Levels
                    • 1st Dot: Keeping your nose clean. Barring sheer stupidity or recalcitrance, the first dot of any Renown should be almost trivial for a character to achieve after a few months; Service to a pack, not treading on the wrong toes, doing your Auspice's job, not breaking the Oath of the Moon, and so forth. Look at the Base Expectations under each category, and be sure to abide by those rules.
                    • 2nd Dot: In the line of duty. A character should be able to pick up the second level of Renown for putting a serious effort in, or service over time. It doesn't need to have taken a spectacular amount of risk, but it does need the Uratha to have seriously gone out of their way.
                    • 3rd Dot: Tales of note. This level of recognition is for Uratha who've put their neck on the block, or put in work that's taken months to complete. If the second level of Renown counts as an Uratha "Employee of the Month," then this is "Employee of the Year."
                    • 4th Dot: Heroics risky and potentially suicidal stuff starts here; you could get Rank 3 Renown with sheer courage or commitment, but if it took ability and smarts, it belongs here.
                    • 5th Dot: The stuff of legend. If you tell newbies about this and their jaw drops or they don't believe you, it might well qualify for this. This is the stuff that heroes get to pull off maybe once in their lives.

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                    • #11
                      If you skip a level all the other levels get harder. If your first dot is for something of legend, then you need to do more great and legendary deeds.

                      Renown should be very clear, even if you just go by definition. Someone renowned for being honorable has likely performed noteworthy honorable deeds.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
                        Cunning is essentially, "Fight smart, not hard." That might mean dropping a building on someone instead of going Gauru. It's about being a step ahead of the other guy, about knowing one more trick than the other guy, and about being willing to cross one more line than the other guy. At the end of the day, the word for Cunning is effectiveness.
                        I'm more of the camp that believes that cunning relies on two parts misdirection and using an opponent's strength against them. Indeed, the very definition of cunning relies on deceit or ingenuity. "Fight smart, not hard" may be an oversimplification, as it is but one example of being cunning. In the Sample Acts of Cunning, the first example is "Infiltrating an enemy nest". This isn't necessarily smarter than say, staying at home and letting them come to your home turf, or arranging a problematic third party to harass the enemy nest while your pack waltzes in, unimpeded and with a full company. Infiltrating doesn't just rely on being sneaky, but also uses the enemy's own trust in their fully staffed security to catch anyone coming through. That trust betrays them and the infiltration is much more damning and surprising when the pack finally make their presence known.

                        Regardless of an ultimate outcome, Renown can be awarded at any point should a Lune find it fitting. Renown is awarded by Lunes (who may have different but equally limited information), and branded as spirit-runes into a Forsaken, so as long as a Lune finds it noteworthy, than for all intents and purposes, it IS noteworthy. Although an Uratha might not know the exact specifics to all the deeds which your PCs performed to justify the Renown, she does recognize that they are Renowned.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TriCitiesLodge View Post
                          Regardless of an ultimate outcome, Renown can be awarded at any point should a Lune find it fitting. Renown is awarded by Lunes (who may have different but equally limited information), and branded as spirit-runes into a Forsaken, so as long as a Lune finds it noteworthy, than for all intents and purposes, it IS noteworthy. Although an Uratha might not know the exact specifics to all the deeds which your PCs performed to justify the Renown, she does recognize that they are Renowned.
                          Lunes which award renown usually have that renown as part of their influences. Spirit senses mean such spirits can look at you and objectively gauge how, say, cunning you are. Just like a spirit of fear can look at you and sniff what made you wet the bed when you were little.

                          I usually have my characters go look for Lunes (a tricky proposition given their... eccentricity), not just boom, a spirit brand appeared out of nowhere. Unless I like the Deus Ex Machina then.

                          The notion of not knowing why you've been awarded renown seems disingenuous to me. It runs counter to flaring it, it runs counter to what honorary rank means, it runs counter to Uratha oral history.
                          Last edited by Malus; 02-17-2018, 04:48 AM.

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