Social Systems- Renown In Depth
Social Systems- Renown In Depth
“Renown is the measure by which the Garou judge our lives and worth.”
— Marcus Grimmer, Shadow Lord Athro
As a Garou performs noteworthy deeds, she earns Renown. Renown is a form of recognition given for service to Gaia, acting as measure of her accomplishments, and also influencing a Garou’s social stature. Renown traits can be spent in social situations, when a werewolf seeks to lean upon the weight of her accomplishments. By spending her Renown traits, she can use them to influence other Garou, compelling them to recognize the weight of her reputation and social standing. Renown comes in three types of traits: Glory, Honor, and Wisdom. Depending on how it is earned, each of the three types of Renown traits fall into one of three categories:
Innate, Abiding, or Fleeting.
Renown and Primal Urge
Renown works in alignment with the instinctual social patterns of all Garou, tapping into the underlying primal urge rooted within the Garou psyche. These are extensions of common behavior traits that exist throughout the animal kingdom, and they are instinctive to all werewolves. A Garou may spend her Renown traits to achieve a variety of effects, each capable of influencing others in different ways. When a Garou uses her Renown, she adopts a posture of strength and confidence, making bold declaration of her virtue. This confidence compels Garou and Fera to respond favorably, much in the same way wolves defer to a dominant leader. In some instances, any Garou or Fera who seek to oppose you use must match your energy, either through their own use of Renown or by spending a point of Willpower.
Using Renown traits to affect primal urge in this way is not the same as using gifts or powers, and does not supersede their effects. Renown does not limit a werewolf’s ability to attack or use
powers on one another. Renown expenditure can only influence Garou, Fera, kinfolk, and in some cases, spirits. No other creatures are affected outside of these types.
As the use of Renown involves tapping into your audience’s primal nature, it only works in person and in conversational situations. It will not carry over written or digital communication. Garou are free to reference their accomplishments as they see fit, but the primal urge required for Renown to function does not manifest over text, video, or email.
In most social situations, werewolves consider the use of Renown an act of firmness, not one of aggression. Wolves value and respect shows of strength, and Garou view the use of Renown as acceptable conduct. Its use is akin to a librarian asking for quiet, or a judge calling a courtroom to order. Rather, werewolves who disrespect another Garou’s accomplishments are seen as unruly.
In cases when a Garou may spend a point of Willpower to ignore the use of Renown, those who do so to ignore those of lower Rank may do so without social consequence. Those who spend Willpower as opposed to Renown, to ignore those of higher Rank are likely to be seen as uncouth or disrespectful, acting against accepted decorum.
Renown, Leadership and Pack Instinct
As a Garou gains Renown traits, she gains confidence and stature, which carry over into her demeanor. The difference between an established wolf and a young, untested Cub is obvious to those who can recognize the signs, as is the difference between an aspiring phenom and a reckless wolf who has spent her clout.
A character with the Leadership skill may make this determination about a specific Garou once per night for each dot of Leadership she possesses, finding out her total Renown traits in each of the three categories—Glory, Honor, and Wisdom—and whether her Renown is Innate, Abiding, or Fleeting. To do this, she asks the player directly, or if she wishes to ask anonymously, she may ask the Storyteller to find this information out on her behalf. As this ability relies upon observing a Garou’s demeanor firsthand, it can only be used in person. (See Gamma Slice: Character Creation: Skills.)
Types of Renown
A werewolf’s primary charge is to fight in service of Gaia, combating the Wyrm wherever it dwells and breeds, as well as protecting the weak. The Garou are dutiful in remembering this charge, striving toward the virtue of Glory. The virtue of Glory encompasses bravery, boldness, and success in battle. Those who fight valiantly carry this Renown in recognition of their deeds.
You may spend a trait of Glory Renown to do one of the following:
• Commanding Presence: Yours is a reputation of success and of victories won. Should someone of lower Rank question your authority, you may spend a trait of Glory Renown to assume an air of command. For the next five minutes, any Garou with fewer dots of Rank than you, who desires to contradict your orders, must spend a trait of Glory, spend a point of Willpower, or challenge you through an accepted means (see Challenges, page
• Back Off: By spending a trait of Glory and softly growling, you can compel others to leave your immediate space. Any who wish to remain within one step of you must either spend a point of Willpower or immediately attack you. Back Off lasts for five minutes.
• Unconquerable Spirit: You may spend a trait of Glory to retest a Staredown challenge. You may use this retest before or after a Willpower retest, as you desire.
The measure of an individual’s character can be defined as the sum of her actions. As wolves are social creatures, the virtue of Honor is essential, as any who would lead must work to maintain the trust and support of her fellows. Those werewolves who carry Honor Renown understand the importance of good conduct and place a very high premium on their reputations, remembering their duty to Gaia in all things.
You may spend a trait of Honor to do one of the following:
• Sterling Reputation: Yours is a reputation of strong character and good conduct. Should your motivations or your integrity be called into question, you may spend a trait of Honor to assume an air of worthiness and dignity. For the next five minutes, Garou, Fera, and kinfolk cannot challenge your statements as false or dishonorable, unless they spend a trait of Honor Renown or a point of Willpower to do so. Spending Honor in this way does not guarantee the truthfulness of your statements; rather, it demands that others respect your reputation before they challenge you.
• Honored Introduction: The origin of the salute has its roots in knightly traditions. The handshake began as a gesture showing one was unarmed. Likewise, introductions are a point of honor among Garou; declining one extends disrespect, even among rivals. By spending a trait of Honor and announcing your name, Rank, and auspice to another Garou or Fera you’ve never met, you compel them to reply in kind. A Garou or Fera must introduce herself, stating plainly her name, Rank, and auspice—or spend a point of Willpower if she wishes to discourteously refuse.
• Master of Decorum: Among wolves, tempers can flare unexpectedly. By spending a trait of Honor and making a sincere apology, you can make dignified amends for an indiscretion you may have caused, provided the slight was minor and not sufficient to warrant formal punishment. A momentary lapse in judgment must be excused, such as stepping on someone’s paw, but grave insults or physical violence will not be overlooked. While the other party may still hold a grudge, for the next five minutes any Garou or Fera who would otherwise be openly hostile in the face of your apology must first spend a point of Willpower to do so. Other Garou will view the use of Honor Renown in this way as sufficient reparation for a minor slight. Afterward, anyone who openly accuses you of misconduct for your transgression will likely be viewed as petty.
Encompassing a werewolf’s capacity to act with prudence and restraint, Wisdom is more than a mere measure of intelligence. While man has learned much through science, Wisdom draws upon the fundamental truths of nature, bringing to light the workings of the heart and of the spirit. Those Garou who pursue Wisdom take heed to always listen, knowing that Gaia sometimes reveals her truths through unexpected vessels.
You may spend a trait of Wisdom Renown to do one of the following:
• Auspicial Purview: Yours is a reputation of prudence and time spent in pursuit of expertise. Should a situation arise that pertains to your auspice, you may use the weight of your reputation to claim jurisdiction over a matter. By spending a trait of Wisdom, you may claim Auspicial Purview. For the next five minutes, anyone not of your auspice who wishes to interfere without your explicit instructions must either spend a trait of Wisdom or spend a point of Willpower to do so. If she is unwilling or cannot spend either, she must immediately withdraw from the situation.
• For the Greater Good: When dealing with a spirit, circumstances may demand taking actions that may earn its displeasure or otherwise cause it injury. By spending a trait of Wisdom and offering an apology or a brief explanation, you may compel a spirit of Jaggling stature or less to accept the necessity of your actions. For the next 24 hours, you will not earn Spirit Notoriety as a result of your dealings with this spirit. However, this expenditure does not necessarily earn the spirit’s cooperation; if desires to do so, it may still resist you. Once you have spent a trait of Wisdom in this way, most Garou will consider your dealings with the spirit honorable.
• Wisdom of the Ancient Ways: You may spend a trait of Wisdom to retest a rites challenge you conduct yourself, or one in which you assist. You may use this retest before or after a Willpower retest, as you see fit.
Earning and Spending Renown
There are three main categories of Renown—Innate, Abiding, and Fleeting Renown. While each is earned through separate means, all generate the same effects when spent. Rank challenges are the sole exception; these require a Garou to spend Fleeting Renown exclusively (see Rank Challenges, page 163). When using Renown, a werewolf may always choose which category of Renown she wishes to spend.
A Garou earns Innate Renown in recognition of her Rank. Unlike Fleeting Renown, Innate Renown returns at the beginning of the next game session after it is spent. As a Garou’s Rank background increases, she may choose to gain a trait of Innate Renown for either Glory, Honor, or Wisdom, which she retains for as long as she holds her Rank. This choice remains fixed for as long as she holds her Rank. If for some reason she should lose her Rank, she must remove traits of Innate Renown until her total matches her dots of the Rank background.
For example, as a Fostern Galliard of the Black Furies, Raquel has access to 2 Glory Renown, both Innate. She has also earned 1 Fleeting Honor Renown. Throughout the course of a game session, she spends all 3. The next day, she will once again have access to her 2 Innate Glory Renown, but her Fleeting Honor Renown will not return.
Certain sept and global positions carry with them the added benefit of access to additional Renown. A werewolf earns these benefits by holding a position and performing its role. Abiding Renown is similar to Innate Renown, in that it returns at the beginning at the next day. However, a Garou has access to her Abiding Renown only for as long as she holds its related position. If she loses her office, such as by failing a challenge, being removed, or if she steps down, she also loses access to that Renown. For a list of sept and global positions, see Garou Nation: Leaders of the Nation, page 209 and Sept Leaders, page 235.
A Garou earns Fleeting Renown in recognition for her actions. When a Garou performs a deed or act of service that furthers the cause of Gaia, she earns Fleeting Renown. A werewolf may hold up to 5 total traits of Fleeting Renown, regardless of their type: Glory, Honor, or Wisdom. When a Garou spends Fleeting Renown, it is expended permanently. She may then earn additional Fleeting Renown up to her maximum of 5. If a werewolf has already earned her maximum of 5 Fleeting Renown and earns another trait of Renown she wishes to retain, she may remove 1 trait of Fleeting Renown to make room for the new one.
For example, Kasia is a Shadow Lord Ragabash whose Fleeting Renown includes 4 traits of Glory and 1 trait of Honor. She earns a new trait of Fleeting Renown for Wisdom, which she wishes to retain. She chooses to lose a trait of Glory Renown to keep the trait of Wisdom Renown.
Recognition from Sept or Global Positions
Certain sept and global positions can award Fleeting Renown as part of their official functions. Should your actions merit recognition in the eyes of these position-holders, they may award you Fleeting Renown. (See Garou Nation: Leaders of the Nation, page 209 and Sept Leaders, page 235.)
Recognition from the Storyteller
The Storyteller may also award Fleeting Renown, representing recognition from the spirits for heroic deeds. She may make this award either at the conclusion of a scene, or at the end of a game session. A character can only receive a single trait of Renown each game session from the Storyteller.
Below is a partial list of situations where the Storyteller, representing the spirits, may choose to award Renown, informing the player of such an award at the end of the game session. During game sessions when a player may have earned Renown for multiple actions, she should select the act that provided the most drama or impact to the game that session.
Certain types of moots allow for the opportunity for earn Fleeting Renown. These may be earned in recognition for winning certain games or competitions, or for being the subject of an inspiring performance by a Galliard.
Example Use of Renown
Katrina, a Wendigo Theurge, and Henderson, a Glass Walker Galliard, are arguing over how to handle a spiritual issue involving the sept. A number of Weaver spirits in the city favor an upcoming landfill project that would extend the city’s coastline into the Great Lakes; however, the Wyld-aligned spirits of the lakes strongly oppose this change. Henderson’s pack, devoted to Cockroach, supports the expansion, and insists that the spirits of the lake are fickle and can be appeased later. Katrina, as a Theurge, disagrees. She insists that the spirits of the Wyld will not forget such a slight, and she argues that they must be given consideration. Henderson continues to state his point boldly, leaving little room for interjection. Katrina rises and reiterates her point, asserting that her Wisdom in this matter must be respected. Katrina’s player spends a trait of Wisdom Renown, activating Auspicial Purview. The player of Henderson now has a choice. If he wishes to spend a trait of Wisdom, he can continue the discussion. He can also overcome Katrina’s use of primal urge by spending a point of Willpower, continuing as he did before. If he does neither, he must cease discussing the issue for at least 10 minutes.