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Acclaim - An Alternative Experience System

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  • Acclaim - An Alternative Experience System

    Porting over old homebrew, for posterity. Fare well WW Forums...
    Experience disparity is one of the biggest woes of the Werewolf system, the price and necessity of renown, regardless of balance, seems a steep surcharge in comparison to some of the other splats. The Acclaim system is proposed to combat this disparity, as well as provide additional rewards and incentive for excellent play. Acclaim is inspired by the Mage system of Arcane Experience, though it more closely resembles the Vitriol system provided in Promethean.


    What is Acclaim?:
    The Urtha are measured by more than just raw power or pure experience, Werewolves are measured through their accomplishment. More so than almost any other being Urtha are the culmination of their experience. As they grow in the eye of the world so too do they grow in power and respect. Accomplished spirits seek out accomplished wolves and leave their mark in the form of Gifts and Renown. This strengthening attracts more attention and so the cycle propagates. Acclaim serves to put this attention into a mechanical format, allowing Storytellers and players to track their Wolves impact and fame through more than just simple Renown (which, depending on execution, can be a poor indicator).

    How do I use Acclaim?:
    Acclaim is a special form of experience, acquired through service, interaction and accomplishment in the Spirit Realms. Unlike normal experience Acclaim may only be spent on a narrow range of traits: Renown, Gifts, and the Totem background. In the case of Renown and Gifts Acclaim represents the character's growing fame and respect amongst the Spirits. Spending it to improve the Totem background represents Acclaim for accomplishments attributed to the pack as a whole (Storytellers might also consider using the "Pack Experience" tweak below).

    How does a character acquire Acclaim?:
    Acclaim is traditionally gained by interacting with and impressing spirits. Generally this means doing favors, making treaties, defeating notable foes, and any other action that would grow the character's fame and recognition amongst the denizens of the Shadow. Of course, not all accomplishments are equal, saving the life and domain of the spirit of a major metropolis would certainly award much more experience than assisting a backwater lake spirit with a pollution problem. Similarly, Acclaim is relative the Urtha's respective power. A young wolf who brokers a treaty between two gods would doubtless cause quite a greater stir than an accomplished elder performing the same task.
    In general Acclaim awarded generally range between one and four points. One for acts of minor note and limited difficulty, and four representing a major accomplishment of a frankly epic scale. Naturally depending on the focus of the game and the power level intended those numbers will vary greatly and have the potential to go well above the proposed four point maximum. In the end the final arbiter on whether or not an act is worthy of Acclaim, as well as the Acclaim acquired is the Storyteller.

    Can characters lose Acclaim?:
    That they can, fame is a double sided blade. Failure, betrayal, and embarrassment (among others) are all viable reasons for a Storyteller to consider penalizing character's Acclaim. After all, spirits are less likely to approach a Wolf for aid if he has proven shameful or unreliable. However, this penalty only applies to unspent Acclaim. Once a character has invested the points into their traits those accomplishments have become too ingrained in their legend to undo.

    Tweaks and Alternative Systems

    Pack Experience:
    In this system the Storyteller creates a third experience pool shared between pack mates called "Pack Experience". This represents Acclaim attributed to the pack as a whole, and may be spent cooperatively by pack members on Totem points and shared backgrounds. If this system is employed remove the Totem background from the list of viable traits for Acclaim expenditure.

    Defined Acclaim:
    A Storyteller might want to reward Acclaim as more thematic boons, in the form of specific Gifts or a type or Renown. In this system Acclaim expenditure is taken out of the character's hands. The Storyteller tracks and applies Acclaim to the trait they feel the deed appropriately bolsters (such as Cunning for trickery, Honor for fulfilling an oath, etc). When the experience reaches the point at which it could be spent in that trait, or the character mixes in normal experience to boost it, the Storyteller rewards their well earned boon. (Note: This combines well with "Hidden Acclaim")

    Hidden Acclaim:
    Perhaps a Storyteller wants to keep the exact extent of a character's fame secret, either for purposes of story or suspense. With this system Acclaim is no longer rewarded to players, but secretly tracked by the Storyteller him/herself. They may then opt to spend the Acclaim where they feel appropriate, hand it out in bursts (generally at the end of a story) or use "Defined Acclaim" and track growth through that system.

    This system adds an additional way to spend renown to the list. Attribution allows the Urtha to Gift renown to individual spirits, but metaphysically crediting them with the deed. This grants the spirit in question extra power (as through the Totem background), but puts them in the debt of the Werewolf in question. Each point invested into a spirit gives the Wolf +1 on all social interactions with them, and similarly penalizes the spirit by -1 to all hostile actions vs that particular Urtha. For every debt the spirit repays the bonus/penalty is reduced (Storyteller decides by how much). Of course, Spirits may refuse Attribution from Urtha they would rather not be indebted too.

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