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Garou Gifts: Ranking, Thinking, Overthinking

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  • RANK 3 BLACK FURY GIFTS

    Coup de Grace: Spend a WP. Roll Perception + Brawl, difficulty of the target's Stamina + Athletics. If you're successful you double the damage dice pool of your next attack on the target. Even with an extremely large dice pool or a source of guaranteed damage this will significantly increase your lethality against high Essence spirits and enemies with absurd soak or health pools.

    Given that Crinos foes will have a Stamina + Athletics of 10+ this Gift can be hard to use. But if your foe is, say, a Spirit... their "Stamina + Athletics" will be their Willpower trait!

    This is a very solid power, and since it doesn't take a full turn of concentration or cost or roll Gnosis, you can use it and then do an attack using a Rage action. Doubling your damage dice pool of a claw attack, or a melee weapon, or a gun, could be amazing. The one-shot potential of this Gift makes it a Green.

    Heart Claw: Spend a point of WP after making a successful claw attack. The claw you implant will dig deeper into them, inflicting 1 point of unsoakable lethal damage each turn until they are dead or the claw is removed. A full turn of Dexterity + Medicine roll, difficulty 7, removes the claw.

    This Gift is great on a hit and run, especially if you are harassing the target from ranged with bows or guns. It's also handy against a target with insane soak, as it will counter their regen... which you can shut off as well with another BF Gift! Losing 1 health or essence each turn will have a big impact on a target.

    Given that this Gift has no cost in terms of the action economy, and you can realistically use it once per round (typically I don't let players spend WP more than once in a given round) you could use it repeatedly on a single enemy.

    This would combo very nicely with Silver Claws if you have it, making the damage Aggravated to Garou and most Fera (most likely) and potentially making it more hazardous to remove. A pack of Black Furies would also be nearly unparalleled in taking down a dangerous foe. Technically speaking RAW you only need to successfully hit your foe, not deal damage!

    Visceral Agony: Spend a Rage before attacking. Any wound penalties suffered from attacks you launch during that turn will be doubled for the scene, and resistant foes will suffer regular penalties instead. Turning a -1 into a -2 is neat, a -2 into a -4 is good, a -5 to a -10 is incredible. Note that spirits don't have wound penalties however!

    Be careful if your foe might be drawing strength from pain before you use this Gift.

    One downside of this Gift is that your tactic should be to destroy your foe, not to leave them wounded, but of course you won't always kill someone in a single round, especially if you only attack 2 times in the round or they're very tough. So weakening their ability to fight back or dodge is good.

    Wings of Pegasus*: You can sprout Pegasus wings in Hispo form which fly at 50mph. It has no mechanical downsides in combat, it costs Gnosis, and it's great for fights and exploration. Separating one foe from the rest with a grapple, or providing ranged support with Gifts and the Taunt maneuver, could work well. It'll depend on your Auspice. If your foes lack ranged options, you can use this to get a moment to regenerate, activate buffing Gifts, await allies. It's also worth noting that this Gift removes a significant weakness of the Garou - you're better in close quarters, but many enemies will try to keep away. Quickly ascend a tower to fight a sniper, fly up to beat up a cheeky Corax, take to the skies to hunt down a pack of flying Fomori.

    If you need to flee there are Garou who will outspeed you, but a running Lupus can only leap so far. Head straight up and then fly over obstacles.

    It's worth noting that if you're reliant on Melee, you've forsaken HIspo as a fighting form for the most part. On top of that flying around in Hispo does come with risks; no Delirium to influence the memories of human onlookers, images or recordings of you won't be protected by Delirium's secondary effects, and so on. Within locations with humans this Gift's mobility will be far more useful if you have an appropriate Gift or Fetish, of which there are many. A Ragabash could use Blur of the Milky Eye, a Metis could use Camouflage, anyone else could use a Nyx's Bangle or Monkey Puzzle, just to name a few options.

    Even if the Gift winds up restricted to being used in the Umbra and deep wilderness, and in fights where you don't need to hide your true nature, it is definitely worth 9xp.

    ================================================== ==================

    What on earth... I'm aware that lore-wise the Black Furies are considered by some, including the BSDs, to be the truest representation of what Gaia wanted the Garou to be, but god these are good!

    Part of what's great about Coup, Heart Claw and Visceral Agony is that you can use 2/3 of them on the same turn. There's no reason you can't use Visceral Agony and Heart Claw on the same turn, or Visceral and Coup. They use up resources, but they apply them to do quite effective things you'd otherwise struggle with.

    Coup could be worth 15xp to a combat-focused PC. Heart Claw would suit many Ragabash, and any PC who struggles to land kills and might benefit from hit and run tactics. Visceral Agony will best support a character who is able to damage foes consistently, but finds they often don't die within one round. And of course Wings of the Pegasus is... possibly worth the 15xp. It depends on your priorities and whether you have another source of flight.
    Last edited by 11twiggins; 06-10-2023, 04:29 AM.

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    • I'm not sure where it falls into considerations, but Coup de Grace is rarely taken in my experience because by Rank 3 getting your hands on a Fang Dagger shouldn't be hard, and Fang Daggers tend to perform better as one-hit weapons (doubling your damage after the roll is statistically going to be better than doubling your damage dice by a smidge, and it's always diff 6 to activate if you want to roll it, regardless of the target's stats). It's not a bad Gift, but it's got at least serious competition from a Fetish weapon you can start with. I think if it had a set difficulty instead of a variable one, it would be way more desirable as the effect doesn't scale with successes.

      Wings of Pegasus also has a serious downside of having to be a flying monster-wolf. In the physical world, the more useful flight would be, the more you'd be risking the Veil with this Gift. In the Umbra, flight is useful, but there's other ways to get it, and you have to weigh how any spirits might react to you swooping into their territory in a combat form because you decided to fly instead of some other option.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        I'm not sure where it falls into considerations, but Coup de Grace is rarely taken in my experience because by Rank 3 getting your hands on a Fang Dagger shouldn't be hard, and Fang Daggers tend to perform better as one-hit weapons (doubling your damage after the roll is statistically going to be better than doubling your damage dice by a smidge, and it's always diff 6 to activate if you want to roll it, regardless of the target's stats). It's not a bad Gift, but it's got at least serious competition from a Fetish weapon you can start with. I think if it had a set difficulty instead of a variable one, it would be way more desirable as the effect doesn't scale with successes.

        Wings of Pegasus also has a serious downside of having to be a flying monster-wolf. In the physical world, the more useful flight would be, the more you'd be risking the Veil with this Gift. In the Umbra, flight is useful, but there's other ways to get it, and you have to weigh how any spirits might react to you swooping into their territory in a combat form because you decided to fly instead of some other option.
        At my table the Fang Dagger specifically is banned - also activating the dagger is a Gnosis roll, and thus impacts your ability to do additional attacks.

        The wings being limited to Hispo is an annoying restriction, but the kiting opportunities in supernaturally obvious fights (Fomori, BSDs, manifested Banes etc.) are pretty great. The leg up from Spirit of the Bird is that you don't suffer any penalties, though of course the form restriction is indeed annoying! Thankfully it's arguably the best form to fight in. The veil implications are bothersome, but it's also not impossible you'll have a Gift or Fetish allowing you to hide as you fly by this point either.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

          At my table the Fang Dagger specifically is banned - also activating the dagger is a Gnosis roll, and thus impacts your ability to do additional attacks.
          This is a houserule, you should evaluate the gifts / merits / fetishes as they are stated for general usage.*



          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          I'm not sure where it falls into considerations, but Coup de Grace is rarely taken in my experience because by Rank 3 getting your hands on a Fang Dagger shouldn't be hard, and Fang Daggers tend to perform better as one-hit weapons (doubling your damage after the roll is statistically going to be better than doubling your damage dice by a smidge, and it's always diff 6 to activate if you want to roll it, regardless of the target's stats). It's not a bad Gift, but it's got at least serious competition from a Fetish weapon you can start with. I think if it had a set difficulty instead of a variable one, it would be way more desirable as the effect doesn't scale with successes.
          Agree with you.

          A starting character could have 12 dice of damage where any success is doubled (Strength 5, Crinos form, Bear Totem, Polar Bear Sept Totem, ​a Strength specialty on Daggers, and a Fang Dagger).​ That would be not unusual at all, and would be more reliable for the start of the game than waiting to get a Rank 3 gift that might not even be possible with the target difficulty that some creatures would have.



          A quick check of the OWOD probability calculator at difficulty 6 on 12 dice with specialty, gives us 6.2 successes, rounding down to 6 and duplicating it makes a nice 12 damage before soak, enough to one hit kill most opponents, and hurt significantly those that do not die from the hit.





          *IF you want to check the math of the theoretically optimal ways to hit (Brawl, Melee) and to do damage (Brawl, Melee), please check this post (it also has a Soak calculation).

          Last edited by lbeaumanior; 06-09-2023, 05:09 PM.

          Comment


          • I think not accounting for Fang Daggers because of a house rule would at least deserve a * or something because that's not something like a lot of people finding the declaration phase of combat tedious. Coup de Grace only affects your next attack, so using one action (and your WP for that turn) to maybe activate it, and then have to wait for your Rage actions to use it that turn, is pretty harsh on the action economy for a non-Gnosis option. If you're going for a bunch of Rage attacks, you can activate a Gift will at least last the whole turn, or the whole fight, for more damage per-hit over all those attacks. Trying to get one big hit that takes down an enemy is better for low-Rage characters that can't do lots of damage by spamming attacks.

            It feels kinda cheap to turn around and say that a Wings of Pegasus isn't so bad because you might have a Rank 4 Fetish (Monkey Puzzle is the only official one that could start to cover up a flying wolf-monster), or have bought enough stealth Gifts to avoid problems (esp. since the Black Furies don't get much stealth in their Gift lists).

            Kitting via flight is cool in theory, but not well supported in the rules. It's not like Hispo is a good form for making ranged attacks while you fly around, so having to close in to make attacks is just leaving yourself open to getting smacked: you fly in, you attack, and the earliest you can fly back away is going to be in your Rage actions after any enemies that haven't gone yet have a chance to attack you. It's better for flying around using buff/debuff Gifts as a support tactic to try and keep away from the enemy while you're at it. And you're making yourself a prime target either way, as plenty of Wyrm enemies don't mind using guns and what-not.

            Edit: Also, in terms of kitting potential, remember that Garou are insanely fast without Gifts as it is. 50 mph sounds impressive... until you remember that with a base Dex of 5, you can get to 56 mph max speed in lupus with just shifting forms. Sure, flying means less terrain and obstacles to have to deal with in general, but in terms of combat, you're sitting in the middle of hispo and lupus at a full run.
            Last edited by Heavy Arms; 06-09-2023, 05:35 PM.

            Comment


            • It's worth noting that there's no reason you can't combine Coup with the effect of a Fang Dagger for even more damage - furthermore unless you have a Gift like Hand Blade or perhaps even Fetish Fetch, investing in Melee over Brawl is building on shifting sand. Even without considering Gifts which disable weapons or technology (though a dagger would be higher difficulty as it's very simple technology), there are threats of being disarmed (though this being done with the Disarm maneuver is extremely unlikely outside of Homid), having your weapon arm trapped, having to carry a weapon on your person, being caught out in a place like a sauna or beach, foes pickpocketing you or snatching your weapon, and so on.

              Not to say that the Fang Dagger is bad - it's very potent. Doubling your damage output is great. Which is why Coup de Grace is Green; because that's a very strong effect. The effect existing in another instance elsewhere doesn't really impact its balance given that the effects stack, and especially since Brawl is the bread and butter of many Garou, and is far better supported by Gifts. I'd add a * and say 'if you have a fang dagger this may be lower priority, but this also doubles your damage output there as well' if it pleased people, but by that logic I might as well add a * to Razor Claws and say 'don't take this if you fight with melee over brawl'.

              If your ST has let you purchase a weapon which consistently oneshots dangerous enemies in character generation, with low difficulty to attack, for a handful of Freebies, chances are they will have escalated to spirit enemies with insane Essence pools, or enemies with insane soak and health pools, so in that arms race doubling your damage again will be great.

              When I say "A Gift or Fetish" I mean any appropriate Gift or a Fetish, not Monkey Puzzle. Wings of the Pegasus has more utility if you have anything that helps you hide as you fly around, from Nyx's Bangle to Chameleon or Blur of the Milky Eye, or hell even fog cover from Curse of Aeolus (while the Gift isn't great, it does cover a city block and would leave someone who swears they saw a giant wolf with pegasus wings being treated like they're insane or high). That said I'll edit the section on Wings and add more context!

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              • RANK 3 BONE GNAWER GIFTS

                Call the Rust: Whistle, spend a point of Gnosis, a mass of metal of your choice rusts into total disrepair or even collapse if you succeed on a Wits + Crafts. The difficulty curve here is a little annoying however. Difficulty 6 for a knife, which is very small, difficulty 8 for a car, which is big but not huge. It suggests that a huge piece of machinery would be impossible, which annoys me! It lacks the totality of certain Gifts. Remember those summer days, reviewing the level 1 Gifts, remarking that they could stop nukes due to the absolute way they're worded? Good times.

                It's just very conservative.

                The ability to total somebody's car mid chase is fun, as is reducing a fancy silver-firing gun to rust. But at this point we have so many Gifts that disable technology... a Gift which specifically destroys metal objects isn't much advance. Almost anything you can achieve with this Gift you can achieve with another, better Gift. In theory this Gift could destroy a Klaive, but disabling a Klaive is already possible with Jam Weapon and Jam Technology, and Gremlins could in theory destroy such an object as well.

                They should have avoided this sort of thing by giving a variant - for instance the Bone Gnawers could get a variant of Jam Technology or Gremlins which is slightly more effective against metal objects (add a die, -1 difficulty etc.), but leaves the object distinctively tarnished, rusted, and so on.

                I'm giving this a red because at rank 3 you have both Gifts and the necessary general Garou talents to destroy a car. You don't need a weird off-brand tech-destroying Gift which only works on metal objects. If the difficulty curve were kinder, say a handheld object were difficulty 4, a car were difficulty 6, a ship were difficulty 10, I'd find it much more exciting.

                Gift of the Skunk: Dexterity + Primal-Urge, difficulty 7. No cost. If you hit a target with your stink attack (within 10 foot range) they must spend a point of WP to act at all on their turn. On subsequent turns they suffer a penalty of 1 die for every 2 successes you rolled.

                So... a 2 dice penalty. Even with 12 dice (the most you'll have) that's the average; 4 successes.

                Even when we keep in mind that spirits can't spend WP, you'll find yourself at the mercy of the ST when it comes to questions like "do Nexus Crawlers have a sense of smell" - I can't imagine this Gift working on many Banes to be quite honest.

                Focusing on physical targets, a point of WP isn't that bad a cost to avoid being stunned, and a penalty of 1 or 2 dice is almost negligible. There are far better Gifts you can use; the advantage of this one is that it has no cost, however you'll find Odious Aroma is a far better debuff all in all. It's also very weak for a level 3 Gift. Hell, many dangerous foes will simply dodge. Your spray is difficulty 7 to hit, their roll to dodge will be better on average.

                Given the potential to repeatedly spray a foe until they're exhausted and stunned, I'm going to give this an Amber. It wouldn't be one I'd leap to buy for 9xp.

                Gift of the Termite: Spend a Gnosis, roll Intelligence + Crafts (difficulty 7), and you can cause paper and wood to rot, get eaten away and collapse. At five successes you can collapse a roof.

                The issue with this is that even with 10 dice you have a 23% chance to get your Gift to do something impressive. The rest of the time you will have wasted some Gnosis on infesting a building with small bites in its wooden support beams. Destroying documents, furniture and so on is neat, but walls aren't often made primarily of wood; supporting beams are important, but the wall itself will be plaster, drywall, insulation.

                Even if you broaden the Gift up to include fabric (carpet, clothing), insulation, plants, it's so weird and narrow. At Rank 3 I expect my major nemesis to be a corporation or sept, not a chair, document or rooftop. And perhaps that's a little unfair, but this Gift is just so strange at Rank 3. Even at 1 it would be odd.

                I'm going to go ahead and give this a Red. At lower levels it might have been Amber.

                Laugh of the Hyena*: A pseudo-passive effect where you get some resistance to mind-altering effects so long as you laugh at loud at them. This is good flavour, however a +2 difficulty penalty which is conditional upon you knowing you're being placed under some kind of control is... tricky. Dominate, mind-altering Gifts and Powers and Charms, Sovereign and so on, many of these abilities will sometimes be used in ways where you don't realize you're under control. We aren't given clear guidance on how or when you might recognize such an ability being applied, and what kind of grace period you have to laugh at it. A Bane whispering through the Gauntlet that you should do vile things, triggering your worst impulses, may go entirely unnoticed. A subtle command from a leech might also not be recognized.

                How this Gift is run will be critical to how good it is. If your ST allows you to recognize you're being controlled, laugh it off and increase the difficulty of the effect... well then you're increasing the difficulty of a power after you recognize the power is being used on you. which intuitively be after the roll. See the problem? So to me it is implicit in the power, i.e. you sort of need to run it this way for the power to work at all, that you will recognize incoming attempts at mental control and get an opportunity to laugh in their face. Basically this Gift could be a handy protection, or impossible to use.

                Now let's imagine you always get this to activate. And say your WP is 5 - pretty average. And your foe is hitting you with a 6 dice power which has a difficulty of your Willpower. Their odds of controlling you would fall from 93% to 80%. So this Gift will be best when your WP is high anyways, or when the power targeting you has a high base difficulty (WP+3, a combination of an Attribute and Ability). Going from difficulty 8 to difficulty 10 is hugely significant.

                To sum up, Red if the power doesn't work (and it might not), Amber if it works and the incoming powers will tend to be middling difficulty (WP of 4-6 etc.), Green if you have high WP regardless, as it will tip an effect from hard to impossible.

                Reshape Object: See the Homid entry.

                ================================================== =======

                None of these are really worth buying off-list. If you want to be a skunk chances are you're already playing a Bone Gnawer; it's a very specific kind of flavour, even if you like the mechanic.

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                • RANK 3 CHILDREN OF GAIA GIFTS

                  Calm the Savage Beast: See the Homid entry. Suits the tribe very well, and given my CoG is a Metis I'm very glad this made the list.

                  Dazzle*: Roll Charisma + Empathy, difficulty of the target's WP, +1 if they are a "creature of the Wyrm" - which presumably includes Fomori and BSDs, along with Banes, but not a typical Pentex employee. On a success the target is stunned for the whole scene as they become overwhelmed with love for Gaia, standing there in mute awe until the Gift wears out or they are attacked.

                  The Gift can only be attempted against a target once per scene, but it has a lot of amazing uses.
                  • When it wears off, reapply it to keep someone perpetually frozen until help arrives.
                  • Show a servant of the Wyrm what Gaia's love feels like, as a first step on the road to redemption.
                  • Stun an enemy so that the whole Pack can prepare a coordinated strike. Note that Unicorn may not appreciate this one.
                  • Remove a dangerous enemy, forcing their allies to attack them to get them to wake up.
                  • Stun a Garou, then adorn them with silver until they can't step sideways and place them in restraints for arrest.
                  • Prevent a fight by using this power on both participants.
                  • Remove someone from a conversation when they prove to be a distraction or are only serving to aggravate the discussion.
                  • Freeze a Frenzying Garou or Fera.
                  • Remind spirits of their ultimate duty to Gaia.
                  • Freeze the members of an enemy pack one by one.
                  • Win most challenges where "no Gifts" is not a stipulation.
                  It's worth keeping in mind that experiencing this Gift could prove lifechanging to many NPCs, and also doesn't sound like an unpleasant experience either. Also consider that because you don't spend or roll Gnosis, you could easily freeze a redeemable enemy in their tracks, then use 1-3 Rage actions to tear apart all the Scrags or Banes they brought with them.

                  Placing a * just in case this Gift winds up in the 'so good that it's bad' camp. If you find this Gift is too powerful, consider adding a Gnosis cost.

                  Lover's Touch: Very poorly named - I get what they're going for, but my Metis is not going to be calling it Lover's Touch in-universe. Gaia's or Mother's Embrace might work well.

                  Regardless, this Gift unlocks a few new things. It heals Bashing and Lethal with Intelligence + Medicine, so if your Medicine >>> your Empathy, this Gift will potentially be very effective in healing non-Aggravated damage. Note that the difficulty is either the Rage or Willpower, whichever is higher, giving Mother's Touch a significant edge. This means that Lover's Touch being superior for healing will be a very rare edge case; the difficulty will often be higher, and it doesn't work on Aggravated.

                  What's new are the following: healing Essence, healing Willpower, and suppressing a Derangement for a full day per success. The ability to heal a spirit is niche, and won't often come up, but being able to restore a Totem or Guardian or similar to their full power after they reform in a weaker state, or healing a powerful spirit so it can win a battle, or restoring a spirit's Essence so it can unleash a powerful Charm... they're all handy. Healing the Willpower of allies is a good use of Gnosis if you are confident you can roll well on the check.

                  The real standout is healing a Derangement. Being able to free a Garou from crushing depression or psychosis, for instance, could be hugely impactful. The storytelling potential of a Pack of Garou who respect their Alpha because they're a Child of Gaia who helped them on the long road to recovery from PTSD or similar could be really cool. There's also nothing stopping you from pulling a BSD or a spirit from madness with this Gift. If your character has a Rage of 1 or 2 this Gift could help them to be an exceptional therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist

                  The big drawbacks of this power are it costing Gnosis, even if you only intend to heal lethal/bashing, and it having a difficulty of the higher of Rage/Willpower. This means someone with a large Willpower pool is harder to be healed of their tiredness or their mental illness!

                  Ultimately this Gift provides a lot of new utility which Mother's Touch lacks, but it's by no means a replacement. It could be worth 9xp if healing spirits, restoring Willpower and suppressing madness are things you're likely to need.

                  If I were adjusting this Gift I would simply adjust it to be an upgrade of Grandmother's Touch, though at that point it would be a total rewrite of the Gift. Basically it would make it so that the Gift can restore Willpower, Essence and suppress derangements, and the system would remain the same in terms of determining difficulty (Current Rage, or 5 if the target lacks Rage).

                  Spirit Friend: This Gift's flavour is nice; you project peace and tranquility, and this inspires non-Bane spirits to treat you with chivalry and courtesy. Given that I can't imagine Great Fenris is particularly impressed by tranquility, I imagine this is a supernatural override of sorts; Gaia exists above all of these spirits and ultimately her love and compassion is impressive to all spirits, including Weaver Drones and explosive Wyldlings. Note that based on the flavour of the Gift it likely effects the disposition of spirits; 3 successes with this Gift turned on might have a different result to 3 successes without this Gift, based on how the ST imagines the spirit will behave under its effects.

                  Charisma + Empathy, difficulty 7, and every success you roll grants you +1 die to "interacting with" non-Bane spirits for the rest of the scene. Optimally you would average at about +3 dice from this Gift. What's slightly bothersome is that +3 dice to social rolls with spirits for the scene, even without a cost, isn't that great in and of itself. It could help you to activate certain Gifts, or perhaps would be a great boon if used before summoning a spirit with a Rite, and it might help significantly sometimes... but additional dice are a bit fickle. Difficulty breaks are where it's at.

                  If your ST reads into the flavour of this Gift you'll find it pulls more weight. The pure mechanics are pretty average, and overall lean quite niche. Given that you'll likely only take this if you're big into Rites and social stuff with spirits, it's a pretty solid amber, and it does increase the potential of the Tribe's Theurges somewhat.

                  ================================================== =====

                  Interestingly, if you combine these Gifts you have a great "redeem a corrupted spirit/garou" starter pack. A BSD can be frozen with an overwhelming sense of Gaia's love, have their Derangements silenced, and come around to find themselves besides a campfire holding a cup of tea. "Ah, you're finally awake - how are you feeling?" - quite the combo given you might be free from those damned whispers for the first time in your life. Is it a good idea? Depends. But is it right to try? Yes.

                  Similar story with a corrupted nature spirit or similar - Spirit Friend makes a great follow-up to Dazzle there.

                  Dazzle is easily worth 15xp, but it's one of these Gifts that a Spirit should be very restrictive with; does Unicorn truly, truly trust that you will use the Gift for good? Proving that, earning that trust, would be a great story in itself.

                  Comment


                  • Something to note for how I think the books intend Laugh of the Hyena to be run: Garou are supposed to be allowed to roll Perception + Primal-Urge as a vague warning of supernatural shenanigans; not as good as Awareness is generally written in Mage, but enough to provide a reason for a Gnawer to laugh as their hairs raise on edge as they can tell something more than talking is going on. The write-up for Primal-Urge calls this an instinctive response, which implies something reflexive, and thus if successful would let Garou try to toss up a defensive Gift/etc. (not just for Laugh of the Hyena but not that many Gifts fall into needing to rely on this).

                    Comment


                    • A great use of Create Element completely slipped my mind: filling your own lungs when stuck underwater, or holding your breath for any reason. Similarly you could fill your stomach with water while on the run to circumvent the need to stop for a drink.

                      Comment


                      • Rank 3 Fianna Gifts

                        Faerie Kin*: Make a special howl, spend a point of Gnosis (or more), then roll Manipulation + Occult (difficulty 8).

                        The writers have forgotten about the Manipulation modifier of the howling forms! RAW this Gift should almost always have a -3 modifier to its roll. Ignore that.

                        More successes = more "faeries" answer
                        More Gnosis spent = more powerful faeries

                        We're told that typically this Gift summoners Chimera (see C20), but that at higher Gnosis expenditures it might summon Changelings "or their dark-kin cousins". In C20 terms it seems likely this Gift would summon a mixture of Chimera, Kithain, Thallain, Dark-Kin and so on to assist... depending on who is nearby, what you spend, and how many successes you get. We are told that the creatures summoned will obey, but "not without question". Presumably this means they will help to protect you, and to fight the good fight, but they may balk at certain requests which are beneath them, suicidal, and so on.

                        The potency of this Gift will depend on where you are, how the ST reads the Gift, how powerful the WTA!Fae are, or how well acquainted your ST is with CTD. In a Crossover game the applications of this are limitless; Fae could come to aid in any kind of problem, not just fights. Getting a party going, stealing a trinket, infiltrating a keep. It's worth remembering that you don't choose what you get, and the various Chimera and Changelings who arrive to help you may be foes of one another, so there is potential for conflict. It's also a sort of Veil risk.

                        Use the Gift wisely, and save it for when you desperately need it. Having a good relationship with the local Fae will also help; this Gift will work much better if you are a full-on Kinain yourself, as you'll be able to see the local Chimera before you summon them to your aid.

                        If you're interested in the crossover side of things, I imagine that Chimera and Changelings pulled in by this Gift feel a duty to help, from the Dreaming, and are rewarded with Glamour (courtesy of the ancient pacts) if they do so.

                        I'm marking this as Green, but if your ST has an attitude about Changelings (I've met some WoD players who have a serious hatred for CTD and the Dreaming), or is adversarial, it could be Red or Amber. If you find that this Gift consistently summons "help" which is inappropriate for the situation at hand, actively antagonistic or a huge Veil risk, creates endless complications or is just plain weak, consider asking for a refund on the 9xp (or switching ST).

                        Fair Fortune: Once per scene you can reroll a fail or botch by spending a point of Gnosis.

                        Nothing complicated to say here, beyond pointing out how significant this could wind up being; converting a botch into a success could massively change the outcome of a whole session or wider story.

                        Ley Lines: It's kind of funny to have the existence of a significant supernatural occurrence confirmed in a solitary Gift - though I'm sure Ley Lines are namedropped in the Umbra book somewhere, and likely in Mage a few times. This Gift lets you manipulate them, but annoyingly only lets you manipulate them for a single purpose; frustrating people trying to pursue you.

                        Spend a Gnosis, roll Wits + Occult (diff 7). If you're successful, any attempt to track you has to begin with a successful Perception + Occult (diff 8), and it needs to get more successes than you rolled. What's great about this is that many beings in the World of Darkness won't have an Occult rating. If a target fails to beat this Gift they automatically Botch on the tracking attempt; going the wrong way, finding trouble, that sort of thing.

                        This is actually remarkably strong; it has a niche purpose, throwing off pursuers, but it does so in a very potent way. With a good Wits + Occult the odds are very stacked in your favour, especially since the enemy's roll is harder. Keep in mind that Garou pursuers might get -2 difficulty from being in Lupus, which could tilt the odds in their favour. The ability to simply make yourself impossible to follow as you flee from enemies, or a crime scene or similar, is pretty amazing!

                        It's also worth noting that if 4/5 members of a pack chasing you fail the check, and 1 succeeds, there's no guarantee the correct individual will be trusted to lead the way; it will depend on how confident the pack are in that Garou's abilities!

                        If you want to use this offensively, try activating it once you are passing through a very dangerous location, especially certain Umbral realms. Forcing someone to botch a tracking roll in certain parts of the Umbra could lead them into very deadly situations.

                        Given that this Gift could potentially help you escape a force which would otherwise destroy the party (a far more powerful pack, a huge swarm of dangerous spirits), this gets a Green.

                        Reshape Object: See the Homid entry.

                        Song of the Siren*: See the Galliard entry.

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                        If you have Fae blood, or a special interest in the Dreaming, Faerie Kin would be a great purchase. Fair Fortune would be good on any character, especially Theurges and crafters however, given the importance of rolls with months building up to them. Ley Lines is good, but I'm not sure if I'd pick it up out of list unless escaping enemies were a constant theme.

                        Comment


                        • The form modifiers for Manipulation shouldn't apply based on how they're written in the shape-shifting section. They're explicitly a factor of the inability to communicate clearly: for example they don't apply to spirits or Garou by default. A magical howl that doesn't care about being mutually intelligible would fall into the exceptions the forms imply.

                          I personally would rank Ley Lines Amber. It's good, but there's plenty of lower level stealth Gifts (and other things like Fetishes) that are going to make tracking you nearly impossible for non-supernaturals. It's nice that it's a big boost to stealth without having to be a stealthy character, but high Wits + Occult isn't necessarily something you'll have either. I would be more likely to consider it Green if it was a Theurge Gift (and it feels more like one to me anyway) where having high Wits, Occult, and Gnosis goes hand-in-hand with your role. A Fianna Ragabash isn't going to need this (though it doesn't hurt, it's still 9 XP when they have very effective stuff at lower level), and having high Occult on the three higher Rage Auspices is hit or miss on concept. If it was something like a pure Gnosis roll for the user, it would feel more Green to me as something a Fianna of any concept that isn't already stealthy would absolutely take over Rank 2 out of list stealth Gift.

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                          • The reason I see Ley Lines as a step above those other Gifts, is that no matter how hard you make yourself to track with regular methods, and lower level Gifts, people know there's one road out of the farm, people can see you in the distance, people know you're probably headed back to your Caern or camp and so on.

                            Ley Lines is a tracking override. It seems to basically auto-confuse anyone trying to follow you, regardless of their method, and my reading is that the Gift would even mess with someone trying to follow you on a straight motorway which they know you're on. The Gift's flavour mentions that it makes people go in circles! It's a properly magical "mess with anyone trying to follow me" which is much more reliable than a simple "following me is +2 difficulty".

                            Comment


                            • Rank 3 Get of Fenris Gifts

                              Might of Thor: I desperately want this one to be good.

                              It costs Gnosis, which is immediately a problem; it stops you from using the Strength well.

                              You roll Willpower, difficulty 8. Get suffer from a low starting WP, and that difficulty is pretty punishing as well.

                              If you succeed, your Strength is doubled for one turn per success. Having a Strength of 10-18 in Crinos is pretty neat, don't get me wrong, but it's one turn per success. And you can't even properly use it on the first turn. If you set this up before an ambush, get 2 successes, and on your second turn launch 4 attacks, that's pretty great. But even then that's assuming you have a Permanent Rage of 5, and the Get aren't all Ahroun. Given the high Difficulty there will be times where this doesn't activate at all.

                              I'm a sucker for strength. My Garou has Huge Size and started with Strength 5, and he spends as much time in Crinos as he can because he likes his breed form. Even if he were a Get I'm not sure if I'd grab this.

                              Outside of combat this Gift could help you to lift something huge or do a huge leap, but even then you have a whole pack, and outside of combat it's less likely you'll need an insane strength like 18. Winning an arm wrestle at a moot now and then also doesn't make this worth it.

                              My suggestion would be decreasing the difficulty to 6 to make this Gift more reliable; if you can reliably get 3-4 successes, suddenly this Gift may as well last for a whole scene, since few fights last longer. Hell, if this Gift added a passive +1 Strength modifier to all of your Forms I'd grab it in a heartbeat.

                              Redirect Pain: Spend a Rage, roll Manipulation + Primal-Urge (diff 8). On a success you can make an opponent suffer your wound penalties, even if you're ignoring those penalties (say with Resist Pain, or Willpower).

                              Note that the flavour for this Gift does mention that you make people suffer for the wounds they've inflicted; it isn't in the System section, but I'd argue that the Gift is intended to only function against people who have inflicted wounds on you.

                              Overall this is a neat effect, and very fun, but ideally you should be avoiding getting wounded in the first place. And if you are badly wounded, your turn is best used on dodging, attacking threats and so on. Arguably this Gift falls into a trap; you inflict a -2 dice penalty on someone, and then they use their Rage actions to turn you into jelly. Best case scenario you could debilitate someone with intense pain you can't feel, but that "best case scenario" has you inches from death, which is best avoided with good strategy, picking your fights and having genuinely good Gifts which help you win fights, rather than have retribution when you're losing them. Also keep in mind that with a difficulty of 8 the Gift may fail to turn on at all, in which case you've wasted a perfectly good life-saving dodge or attack.

                              My fix for this Gift would be to make it so you roll for the power, and thereafter in the same scene anyone who inflicts a wound upon you suffers the pain of that wound.

                              Venom Blood: This one is interesting. If you interpret claw and bite attacks as innately causing someone to come into contact with your blood, this is pretty great. If your ST rules that the blood damages objects, as well, dissolving swords and so on, it's also buffed quite neatly.

                              Spend a Rage, roll Stamina + Primal Urge (diff 7), every success is a die of Aggravated inflicted upon contact with your blood. Given that your Stamina pool could be 7 or 8, and your Primal-Urge will likely be 3+ at this Rank, that could be anywhere from 10 to 13 dice. If you luck out and get 3+ successes, this Gift becomes a pretty potent counterattack; a Garou opponent may claw or bite you 2-4 times in a single round, which could add up to 2-4 instances of 3+ dice of Aggravated. The problem is that a dangerous opponent very rarely cares about ~3 dice of Aggravated; they'll soak it quite reliably.

                              This Gift does make you very dangerous to Vampires, and indeed one relatively reliable way of killing a lone Werewolf is a whole Coterie of Neonates jumping on the Garou and all draining them simultaneously (taking 3 blood per round each), but chances are at Rank 3, and as a Get, even a whole group of Vampires is unlikely to be a serious threat to you, and if they are it won't be because of blood draining. It's also worth noting that Ratkin get something like this for free, without a Gift, and it's passive. Though that only triggers when you drink the blood of course!

                              I don't think there's anything wrong with this Gift, there's just a lot of moving parts which mean it could do a lot or nothing. Best case scenario is that you deal that 1 last point of Aggravated needed to kill a Garou opponent or push them into rolling Rage to Remain Active, which is pretty neat. Every bit of damage helps, especially given people only have 7-8 health levels. If you can set this up before a fight it's most ideal.

                              Overall I'm calling this an Amber because in a typical fight it could do 0 health levels, or 1 or 2 across the whole fight. Even if you roll 5 successes, that's 5 dice of Aggravated, which means once you roll those dice, and roll a Garou's soak (which will likely be 6-8ish), it averages out to 0 damage inflicted. And if your opponent can't soak Aggravated, a Rank 3 Get is going to destroy them most likely regardless!

                              If your ST has this Gift damaging weapons that slice and stab you, that helps a tad as well. A creative use would be to drip your blood onto something to corrode it, which could help you to break through things which are too strong for you to muscle past; even the strongest barrier will be weaker after exposure to a caustic substance.

                              I also find it funny that the Gift never explicitly says you aren't harmed by the transformation it provides; RAW, if you're really pedantic, this Gift kills you - an acidic black bile makes a poor substitute for life-giving blood. I know that isn't the case at any table, but I just find it amusing.

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                              Only three Gifts! Three! Be nice and let your Get PC pick a reasonable level 3 Ahroun or Breed Gift to complete this list, Jesus. I'd suggest adding Combat Healing to the Get of Fenris list at this Rank. It's a healthy staple which can make non-Ahroun Get more reliable in the long run, building on their legend as the most martial Tribe.

                              I wouldn't really recommend buying any of these out-of-list. If you're Get they're all perfectly serviceable and worth getting, perhaps not at top priority.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                                The reason I see Ley Lines as a step above those other Gifts, is that no matter how hard you make yourself to track with regular methods, and lower level Gifts, people know there's one road out of the farm, people can see you in the distance, people know you're probably headed back to your Caern or camp and so on.
                                Ley Lines doesn't prevent this. Botching, as per the shadowing and tracking rules in the book, just means you lose the subject's trail completely. You can still try to head towards a place you'll suspect they'll go. So the descriptive text and the rules text result in the same thing: you lose the target completely (so you can't retry at +1 diff like you can on a normal failure), but once the narrative events of the botch play out (a cop thinks your sketchy and holds you up with questions until they get away, you fall into a marsh and take enough time getting free they're gone, magical ley line confusion), you don't magically forget things like knowing your target's favorite bar, or where their house is.

                                I also think it's a pretty weak move as a ST to have a PC successfully evade being tracked, only to find their pursuer(s) constantly waiting for them by guessing where they're going to go instead of trying to follow them... esp. since Ley Lines doesn't even stop that from happening. You magically confuse a Pentex First team.. and then they just call in a chopper to rescue them and fly to where they think you're going (and the pilot isn't impacted by the Gift on top of that) and use flight and speed to beat you there.

                                Ley Lines is a tracking override.
                                Still contingent on winning a contested roll. This doesn't even touch on things like what happens if you use Ley Lines against an opponent with Pulse of the Prey (which is an override in the opposite direction).

                                It's a properly magical "mess with anyone trying to follow me" which is much more reliable than a simple "following me is +2 difficulty".
                                Given that the base difficulty for tracking is already 7, getting it up to 9 or 10 is very reliable for not getting tracked given the tracking rules (even as just a template as one presumes human trackers use Survival instead of Primal-Urge); and that base 7 is before taking the prey's skills into account a target with high Stealth or appropriate things like Streetwise or Survival is supposed to increase that mundanely before a Gift bump it up more. Like, seriously, go back to pages 284-285 and reread the tracking rules. If the difficulty of tracking hits 11+ it literally has the same impact as Ley Lines does. A +2 on top of the base for being hard to track through skills and a +2 from a level 1 Gift that doesn't have a Gnosis cost... where is the love for this Gift coming from?

                                I'm not saying it's Red, but I'm saying it's really niche for what it does and thus seems obviously Amber; esp. for a Rank 3 Gift.

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