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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    I've started to work on an adaptation a while ago now, it never get far

    In that adaptation, each time garou wanted à new gift they had to face a challenge (similar to those allowing to get new rank in term of difficulty/complexity). If successful the spirit accept to teach them their power. Rank 3 and higher gift were very difficult to accomplish, from rank 4 garou have chance of dying in that quest if they're not strong or wise enough.

    Rank was giving others advantages, in addition of the bonus to resist frenezy the rank allow garou to command spirits (rank 1 allow to command the weakest spirits while rank 6 allows to command Avatar of totem). Of course higher rank was allowing the garou to command other garou too.
    Spirits were less martial and more like different people living in another world, they could interact with sensitive humans and treat them as any other living being would do (as long as they're treated with respect and not fooled).

    I didn't go further, i realised that rewritting only those lines also required the rewriting of an important part of the lore and i already had a big work on my story
    Last edited by Cain Loup-Noir; 09-07-2022, 05:14 PM.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Cain Loup-Noir View Post
    To be honest I sometimes have a hard time with the very martial aspect of WtA. When I read for example that kinfolk are sometimes treated as slaves or as simple intermediaries, that it is enough for a young werewolf to be afraid of his new life after his first change and to try to deny it for him to be abandoned in oblivion or even hunted and put to death... If it is limited to some Sept or Tribes it would still be ok but on some forums most seems to tell it's the norm in the Garou nation, and the spirits themselves seem to react only according to the value of a character.

    On the contrary, I prefer a story with curious spirits that accept to interact with someone according to their interest, reward them when they help them and according to their efforts and risks

    Unfortunately if I made my universe work on this principle the rank system would lose a lot of its importance and I would have to rewrite a good part of the spirit world's functioning, so I'm obliged to follow the basic rules even if I'm not at ease (even frustrated in some cases) with this philosophy
    The treatment of Kinfolk is inconsistent in the books, but there are werewolf that either avoid complying to it or even go against such BS, and they're not expelled for this behavior, so you can apply your take on this, no problem. On the part of the spirits, though, you're spot-on.

    In the end I have much the same problem. I understand and respect the setting, but it isn't so much for me. Werewolf is of a suffocating martial nature by design, its dramatic conflict is precisely facing the characters with the good and bad of such a life and how hard it can be to conciliate personal values with the values and needs of a society at war.

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    To be honest I sometimes have a hard time with the very martial aspect of WtA. When I read for example that kinfolk are sometimes treated as slaves or as simple intermediaries, that it is enough for a young werewolf to be afraid of his new life after his first change and to try to deny it for him to be abandoned in oblivion or even hunted and put to death... If it is limited to some Sept or Tribes it would still be ok but on some forums most seems to tell it's the norm in the Garou nation, and the spirits themselves seem to react only according to the value of a character.

    On the contrary, I prefer a story with curious spirits that accept to interact with someone according to their interest, reward them when they help them and according to their efforts and risks

    Unfortunately if I made my universe work on this principle the rank system would lose a lot of its importance and I would have to rewrite a good part of the spirit world's functioning, so I'm obliged to follow the basic rules even if I'm not at ease (even frustrated in some cases) with this philosophy

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Cain Loup-Noir View Post
    The rules being indeed hard for the ronins I would have to see how to adapt his story so that it sticks better with the spirit of the book
    Not a lot, actually, just some considerations instead of changes.

    The biggest change is that instead of fair exchanges with few spirits, he would probably excel at being extremely useful to spirits for little return, with maybe a few ones that do have a better relationship with him. Given how Gifts and the Umbra in general works, limiting your relationships to few spirits isn't all that useful anyway, it is important to have broader access even if at a cost.

    Other than that, this is the kind of character that invests a lot in lateral thinking, being a Jack-of-All-Trades-Master-of-None and making connections to compensate their lack of support. Or just has Sam Haight levels of unapologetic badassery, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if it fits your game.

    Allies outside the usual stuff is always a good way to make such characters work. That way he'll have some support and access to novel sources, maybe even some back-up to deal with spirits at least. Just be sure to not make this connection so close that they end up being just a sort of pack or the Ronin work more as a member of other splat. Vampires, Mages, Changelings and other Fera are all good options to pull this off, though..

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    There's a good book on the matter, but I'll summarize some aspects of it the best I can.

    And I'll be forward with it out of the gate: WtA's RAW is harsh with Ronins.

    So, the first thing with any Ronin is the fact that they usually were a part of the Nation before, at least if they know about Gifts and Fetishes. This is important because it gives them a starting point. They retain the Gifts they learned and, if pressed to the rare moments when Rank matters for supernatural potency, their old Rank may still apply. Sometimes even for recognition by some spirits, which may be a good or a bad thing.

    But the Umbra is an extremely dangerous place when you don't have the back-up of the Old Pacts that define the base relationships between the Tribes and the Spirits. You're fair play for everyone to harass, trick and prey upon, from a species with known belligerent disposition and dangerous capabilities, no one have obligations with you and you have nothing to offer by default. Some spirits are eager to explore this vulnerability of Ronins, and others will oppose Ronins because of their specific roles for the Garou. The others can demand anything for their services and will do so.

    Rules-wise it is suggested that Ronins pay a lot more both in in-game effort and services and OoG XP for any Gift and be limited to Level 3 Gifts. If a Gift would be harder than usual for a random Garou to get, then it's probably not for a Ronin. And for anything beyond that it is technically possible, but expected to be practically unfeasible, so a single rare or Level 4 Gift makes a uniquely successful Ronin.

    Most of the time Ronins learn Gifts from other Ronins. Learning from other Garou is a cumbersome process that's rarely useful for Tribal Garou, but is the staple of the Ronin. Yet, IIRC it is limited to Level 3 anyways.

    You finally have the problem of the reactions of the Garou Nation. A Ronin is accepted to exist and to know what they know anyways. But a Ronin trying to get ahead in mystical power is something they're wary of in the best of days, and in the worst may end in a hunt for the Ronin just for the suspicion of stealing secrets and assets of the Garou Nation for their potential enemies. You don't need Wyrm Taint to be a target.

    Keep in mind that I personally find this aspect of the setting too strict for little gain, I'm not vouching for it, but it is the official rules and lore for whatever it is worth for you. A Ronin that accumulates Gifts and searches the Umbra for Fetishes and other objects of power is a perfectly doable concept, but the lack of Rank would indeed cause problems and this character would be risking a lot of bad reactions all around without anyone to back them (even other Ronins wouldn't help someone too keen on drawing the attention and ire of the Garou Nation to them).

    That is exactly the spirit of that ronin i want to develop. As he know that he can be hunted for his practices and the increase of his powers, he is the type to act discreetly
    His story is that he used to belong to a Fiana sept. The problem is that he was insubordinate, however his intelligence and skill against the Wyrm only earned him minor punishments, he was too effective in the fight against the Wyrm and the life of the Sept to be banished. One day, however, when he was on a mission that an elder had given to his pack, it went wrong and his brother was killed in a battle against one of Pentex's over-equipped mercenaries. Understanding that his Elder had sent them on a mission without enough information about the risks and enraged by the death of his brother, he confronted and killed the Elder, for which he was banished. Banished only because he managed to finish the mission and in memory of his past exploits he was not executed.

    Now he continues the fight against the wyrm but alone, showing intelligence and cunning to compensate for the impossibility of rising in rank by fair exchanges with the spirits that agree to interact with him and the creation of objects of powers that are not fetishes but made from special objects that can be found in the umbra if you know where to look

    The rules being indeed hard for the ronins I would have to see how to adapt his story so that it sticks better with the spirit of the book

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Cain Loup-Noir View Post
    I don't need these informations for pc characters but for a ronin npc character. He will meet the pc in the future and now that the subject come on the table, knowing how a garou could trick, convince or buy higher gift from a spirit could help me complete that npc. So if it's possible to convince a spirit, buy it with something created with precious objects from spiritual world, fake his true rank (which correspond to a ronin way to get powers) i would be able to create an ambiguous character to interact with
    There's a good book on the matter, but I'll summarize some aspects of it the best I can.

    And I'll be forward with it out of the gate: WtA's RAW is harsh with Ronins.

    So, the first thing with any Ronin is the fact that they usually were a part of the Nation before, at least if they know about Gifts and Fetishes. This is important because it gives them a starting point. They retain the Gifts they learned and, if pressed to the rare moments when Rank matters for supernatural potency, their old Rank may still apply. Sometimes even for recognition by some spirits, which may be a good or a bad thing.

    But the Umbra is an extremely dangerous place when you don't have the back-up of the Old Pacts that define the base relationships between the Tribes and the Spirits. You're fair play for everyone to harass, trick and prey upon, from a species with known belligerent disposition and dangerous capabilities, no one have obligations with you and you have nothing to offer by default. Some spirits are eager to explore this vulnerability of Ronins, and others will oppose Ronins because of their specific roles for the Garou. The others can demand anything for their services and will do so.

    Rules-wise it is suggested that Ronins pay a lot more both in in-game effort and services and OoG XP for any Gift and be limited to Level 3 Gifts. If a Gift would be harder than usual for a random Garou to get, then it's probably not for a Ronin. And for anything beyond that it is technically possible, but expected to be practically unfeasible, so a single rare or Level 4 Gift makes a uniquely successful Ronin.

    Most of the time Ronins learn Gifts from other Ronins. Learning from other Garou is a cumbersome process that's rarely useful for Tribal Garou, but is the staple of the Ronin. Yet, IIRC it is limited to Level 3 anyways.

    You finally have the problem of the reactions of the Garou Nation. A Ronin is accepted to exist and to know what they know anyways. But a Ronin trying to get ahead in mystical power is something they're wary of in the best of days, and in the worst may end in a hunt for the Ronin just for the suspicion of stealing secrets and assets of the Garou Nation for their potential enemies. You don't need Wyrm Taint to be a target.

    Keep in mind that I personally find this aspect of the setting too strict for little gain, I'm not vouching for it, but it is the official rules and lore for whatever it is worth for you. A Ronin that accumulates Gifts and searches the Umbra for Fetishes and other objects of power is a perfectly doable concept, but the lack of Rank would indeed cause problems and this character would be risking a lot of bad reactions all around without anyone to back them (even other Ronins wouldn't help someone too keen on drawing the attention and ire of the Garou Nation to them).

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    So, lets break it down a little:

    1 - If this character is like that, then they want Rank. They're taking up the responsibility of a warrior, even if not looking for leading roles;

    2 - Learning Gifts is a complicated matter, but in the end you're right, it isn't physically constrained by Rank. But that's only one aspect of the rules. First it is recognized by the spirits, so there is some supernatural weight to it. The way spirits recognize and react to Rank and abide to unwritten rules they know by instinct when teaching Gifts indicates it has some intrinsic impact in the "physics" of the Umbra and the Gifts;

    3 - When it is needed a trait to define the supernatural "potency" of a Shapechanger, Rank is used. This isn't common, but is already seen in some rules. Basically it is their analogue to Arete or Generation, when not directly to Discipline/Sphere level. That's important to how Gifts work and to the balance of power within WtA. Tying them to the level you learn them would have a lot of problematic effects in the design of Werewolf.

    I don't need these informations for pc characters but for a ronin npc character. He will meet the pc in the future and now that the subject come on the table, knowing how a garou could trick, convince or buy higher gift from a spirit could help me complete that npc. So if it's possible to convince a spirit, buy it with something created with precious objects from spiritual world, fake his true rank (which correspond to a ronin way to get powers) i would be able to create an ambiguous character to interact with

    If in the umbra you can find some special things, like never meliting snow, solid sun and moon light, water that allow you to have visions, sap of a multi-millennial tree with healing properties etc... Then he could use them to create special artifacts with powers (a equivalent of fetish for a ronin that cannot learn the rite or conclude a pact with a spirit), or create mystical objects he could exchange with envious spirits for gifts. This way i can explain my pc how this exiled one managed to survive alone, out of the nation, by his ingeniosity. But now he only serve his own purpose, so he may be a positive contact or a bad one depending on my pc action.
    According to the Umbra book in the Umbra you can find spiritual trains to travel in penumbra but also in nearby realm, place with special properties like vallons... So why not special objects?
    I didn't finished that book yet so maybe it's not possible, it costs me nothing to ask here
    Last edited by Cain Loup-Noir; 09-05-2022, 07:11 PM.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Cain Loup-Noir View Post
    Renown mean responsabilities, understood. Now that character isn't lazy in his duty, he want to fight the wyrm, take up challenge, prove what he's capable of regularly...
    Now as you say, rank is the principal trait for power level of shapechangers, does that mean a garou can simply not learn higher rank gift because of that? Physically i mean

    Powerfull gifts are given to proper rank because the rank allows the spirits to recognize the value of the werewolf and therefore are assured that he will use them in the right way, but can a spirit accept to exchange a higher rank gift through a request? Of course a very hard one considering the actual rank of the character but is it possible? Or exchanging it with something precious?
    Or are those way complementary with the rank?
    So, lets break it down a little:

    1 - If this character is like that, then they want Rank. They're taking up the responsibility of a warrior, even if not looking for leading roles;

    2 - Learning Gifts is a complicated matter, but in the end you're right, it isn't physically constrained by Rank. But that's only one aspect of the rules. First it is recognized by the spirits, so there is some supernatural weight to it. The way spirits recognize and react to Rank and abide to unwritten rules they know by instinct when teaching Gifts indicates it has some intrinsic impact in the "physics" of the Umbra and the Gifts;

    3 - When it is needed a trait to define the supernatural "potency" of a Shapechanger, Rank is used. This isn't common, but is already seen in some rules. Basically it is their analogue to Arete or Generation, when not directly to Discipline/Sphere level. That's important to how Gifts work and to the balance of power within WtA. Tying them to the level you learn them would have a lot of problematic effects in the design of Werewolf.

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    Renown mean responsabilities, understood. Now that character isn't lazy in his duty, he want to fight the wyrm, take up challenge, prove what he's capable of regularly...
    Now as you say, rank is the principal trait for power level of shapechangers, does that mean a garou can simply not learn higher rank gift because of that? Physically i mean

    Powerfull gifts are given to proper rank because the rank allows the spirits to recognize the value of the werewolf and therefore are assured that he will use them in the right way, but can a spirit accept to exchange a higher rank gift through a request? Of course a very hard one considering the actual rank of the character but is it possible? Or exchanging it with something precious?
    Or are those way complementary with the rank?

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    You can keep accumulating Renown even if you don't get the Rank, but Rank IS the main trait of supernatural potency for Shapechanger characters. You get access to higher Gifts and stuff precisely because of your Renown as it gives you respect among spirits and arguably also a greater metaphysical weight within the Umbra.

    Now, Rank does mean responsibilities, but it doesn't mean leadership. A high-rank Garou isn't forced into taking in any particular role in the Sept or even in their pack if they don't want to. It is rare, but not unheard of. Yet there are, indeed, expectations. If you don't want to delve too much into this kind of intrigue, a character that wants no greater responsibility may raise in rank just to become the most respected warrior around, but get no other role, and if the sept is stable without them this will have no further complications.

    If you do want to include this aspect of Garou society, though, then such a character would have a hard time regardless. Garou society judges its members all the time and has high expectations on all of them. It is a society at war, and laziness isn't tolerated. Higher ups will frown upon your lack of effort, inferiors and equals are encouraged to prove themselves at your expense. You may have to take the lead in hard times when no one else is up to the task as much as you are, you're required to remember all the time that you're not just doing your best for yourself, but for the survival of your people. A character that's caught making an actual effort to not be seen so they can avoid responsibility will face harsh punishment, up to and including being made Ronin if this goes far enough. And while getting them may be unlikely, accruing power above your rank is a strong telltale sign that you're more resourceful than you want others to believe.

    And yes, there are many characters in WtA that don't want so much responsibility, but the conflict between what you want and what Garou society forces you to get is a part of the game.

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    Rank would be interesting, but if i use it i need some precision about renown.
    From what i read you gain renown by acting wise, honorable and brave. When you have 10 point you must undergo Rite of Accomplishmentto convert them as 1 permanent dot.
    When you have enough dot depending on your auspice you can gain rank by undergo a challenge. But higher rank mean bigger responsabilities in the Caern and Garou Society.

    Now what if a garou des not want to get higher rank? Because if he's not the type to lead, prefer let smarter than him lead or something that make him decide to stay rank 2 or 3? According to the rules he would not gain access to higher gift. One of my pc is playing a Arhoun that prefer being the weapon instead of the holder as he say, his character does not want to become a leader, or get very high responsabilities.

    I don't know if some people here met this situation, i play it like if he refuse that honor he could be misperceived by his sept but it's only temporary, nothing force a garou to get higher rank in the rules or lore, except he i missed an information

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Cain Loup-Noir View Post

    That's a very interesting one for Vampires, that cap what they can do and force them to improve their Discipline in general to have better control on theirs associate powers, as it work with basic auto succes rules they could use it only if their basic pool is equal or higher than difficulty. Brilliant!!!

    For werewolf gift unfortunatly there's nothing similar to disciplines, only stand alone powers so it wouldn't work without creating a new trait. But as stand alone power it's quite easy to use the simple success and great success system of VtR
    For exemple the homid gift Persuasion: a simple success reduce by 3 the social roll, and a great success make them all success without social roll at all. The base difficulty is 7, with luck and a 10 dice pool you can easily fall to difficulty below 5 on hard situation or below 3 on casual so reduce it to those 2 is quite realistic
    In addtion the power can be activated on simple success without roll if your pool is high enough to be auto success, but if you want the great success you must roll
    I suppose you could use Rank or something? But yeah, I think the approach you suggest could work.

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

    That works too! It isn't a huge leap, either.

    Oooh, sudden lightning strike: you could always cap auto successes in Disciplines at the player's Discipline rating. So they'll never default to 5+ successes till they max out their Discipline.
    That's a very interesting one for Vampires, that cap what they can do and force them to improve their Discipline in general to have better control on theirs associate powers, as it work with basic auto succes rules they could use it only if their basic pool is equal or higher than difficulty. Brilliant!!!

    For werewolf gift unfortunatly there's nothing similar to disciplines, only stand alone powers so it wouldn't work without creating a new trait. But as stand alone power it's quite easy to use the simple success and great success system of VtR
    For exemple the homid gift Persuasion: a simple success reduce by 3 the social roll, and a great success make them all success without social roll at all. The base difficulty is 7, with luck and a 10 dice pool you can easily fall to difficulty below 5 on hard situation or below 3 on casual so reduce it to those 2 is quite realistic
    In addtion the power can be activated on simple success without roll if your pool is high enough to be auto success, but if you want the great success you must roll
    Last edited by Cain Loup-Noir; 09-03-2022, 07:03 PM.

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Cain Loup-Noir View Post

    Well i can modify the powers rolls to work the same instead of taking those of VtR.
    Exemple: Domination 3, instead of getting more powerfull effect according to the number of success i can state that if the roll success the power allows to erase memory, and if the roll get 5 or more success the power allow to rewrite memory
    This way the power keep it's interest and force player to roll when he need the more powerfull aspect
    That works too! It isn't a huge leap, either.

    Oooh, sudden lightning strike: you could always cap auto successes in Disciplines at the player's Discipline rating. So they'll never default to 5+ successes till they max out their Discipline.

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  • Cain Loup-Noir
    replied
    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
    As an example, here's how Dominate 1 (Mesmerize) works in VTR2e:

    Dominate 1 (Mesmerize)
    Cost: None
    Dice pool: Int + Expression + Dominate v Resolve + Blood Potency (I'd make this Int + Intimidation v temporary Willpower in VTM, to use the VTM dice pool and traits)
    Botch: The person sees through your attempt. Emboldened by this, they can choose to turn a single failure into a success at a time of their choosing.
    Failure: Nothing happens.
    1-4 successes: The target is mesmerised, so they will follow your commands until they are injured or do something that causes them to make a Conscience roll. Once the mesmerism wears off, they gain a +3 dice bonus to resist future attempts to use the same power on them in the same scene, but they can't quite remember what they did or why.
    5+ successes: As above, but you can also issue a 3-4 word command immediately or make them remember a single statement as if it was true ("I was never here," "You did this," etc).

    So, in that situation, most of the time, players will just succeed with the 'take half' rule. But even the critical success effect isn't that big of a deal, so it doesn't matter if they have dice pools in the double digits.
    Well i can modify the powers rolls to work the same instead of taking those of VtR.
    Exemple: Domination 3, instead of getting more powerfull effect according to the number of success i can state that if the roll success the power allows to erase memory, and if the roll get 5 or more success the power allow to rewrite memory
    This way the power keep it's interest and force player to roll when he need the more powerfull aspect

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