Renown

Renown is a set of Traits that measures how well a character is living up to his expected role in Garou society. It’s this reason that connects Renown so closely with auspices. Unlike experience points, a character’s Renown reflects her standing among the Garou as a result of her deeds and actions — a character can rack up plenty of experience for his actions, but if he does not perform the duties expected of his auspice, his Renown will not increase.

A character’s Rank is tied to his Renown. As such, those with low Renown are expected to respect and defer to werewolves of higher Rank. Some Garou rail against this system, but that’s a fast track to losing even more Renown.

The Garou measure Renown in five separate areas: Glory, Honor, Wisdom, Cunning and Vigilance. Each one is somewhat self-explanatory. Glory represents a character’s physical deeds, including feats of strength, stamina, and agility, such as those that made Hercules a legend. It also measures bravery, a willingness to take extreme risks (at least, extreme risks that pay off) and victory in battle. Honor measures a Garou’s sense of duty and history. It speaks of the character’s ethics and morals, as well as his personal sense of pride. Wisdom celebrates the more mental virtues of a character, including strategy and insight. Patience and a strong connection to the spirit world also help a Garou increase his Wisdom. Cunning showcases the shrewdness of the Garou’s mind and actions, proving that might does not always make right, but instead, being a tactician and outwitting the Wyrm proves as noble as simply going balls-out in combat against the Wyrm. Finally, Vigilance notates the passion and fortitude of the Garou in the fight against Gaia’s enemies, the Weaver and Wyrm among them. This is mostly showcased in social and mental capabilities, and has been said to being closely tied to the Purity of the Garou.

Characters record Renown as dots that represent the character’s Renown rating. Renown changes rarely (only normally due to a Punishment Rite or a Rite of Accomplishment). Once a Garou has gained enough Legend Experiences, she increases in Rank through the Rite of Accomplishment. More information on this process appears on p. XX.

Beginning Renown

All new characters start play with three dots in Renown, which are distributed according to her tribe and auspice (see the Auspices, p. XX, and Tribes, p. XX). She earns this Renown as part of her Rite of Passage, and if the Storyteller intends the pack to play through the rite, players shouldn’t assign these dots until the rite is completed. Starting Garou begin the game at Cliath (Rank 1).

Glory

Many Garou earn Glory through defeating mighty enemies and succeeding at dangerous quests. A werewolf can earn Glory by fighting on through overwhelming odds in order to triumph, but Glory is not the Renown of a mere brawler. A werewolf must have a reason and a cause to fight for, and though the odds are against her, she must never surrender - regardless of the cost. Many young Garou have their Glory stripped from them for leaping into fights that they cannot hope to win; Glory only trucks with stupidity when a character actually succeeds at the impossible. That said, a grand death in service to a noble ideal may give the deceased a large share of the Glory they so desired in life - if anyone ever hears about it.

Glory Creed
I shall be valorous
I shall be dependable
I shall be generous
I shall protect the weak
I shall be the strongest

Honor

Garou earn Honor by following their moral imperative to uphold the laws of the Garou. It refers to a fundamental belief in the wisdom of their society’s laws, which all derive from the ultimate standard of Garou behavior: the Litany. To gain Honor Renown among Garou society shows an individual to be of honesty, integrity, and respect. Honor can be a rare trait, but werewolves who have it strive to maintain their honor with ferocity for fear of losing it.

Werewolves hold themselves to the highest possible standards in the name of Honor. That’s not to say that they feel superior to others - a Garou who looks down his nose at his compatriots isn’t exactly behaving honorably towards them. Those who tolerate a braggart will soon surpass him. Instead, a werewolf holds himself to high standards in the sometimes vain hope of staving off pride.

Honor, after all, is all about self-control. Not just the self-control that comes with upholding strict principles when easier alternatives abound, but the iron will to avoid falling into frenzy. When berserk, a Garou is capable of all manner of evil acts. More than a few newly-Changed Garou have awakened after a frenzy to find themselves soaked in blood and bereft of honor.

Code of Honor
I shall be respectful
I shall be loyal
I shall be just
I shall live by my word
I shall accept all fair challenges

Wisdom

High Wisdom Renown is the mark of a character who thinks through her words and actions before sharing them, and is adept at sensing when others have not done the same. As such, werewolves with a reputation for Wisdom are likely to find others listening and deferring to them at moots.

The deeds of a wise werewolf rarely align with those of a glorious one. Glory-seekers charge into battle whenever they see a goal worth chasing, while those who quest for Wisdom pick their fights carefully, to ensure they have the greatest chance of victory. Both werewolves have their uses to a pack, but those who do not succeed on their quest for Wisdom are more likely to survive to try again. Those werewolves who are both wise and valorous know both when to fight and how to win. It’s a fine balance to strike, but those who manage it are valuable allies to all Garou.

Creed of Wisdom
I shall be calm
I shall be prudent
I shall be merciful
I shall think before I act and listen before I think

Cunning

Sometimes the path to victory cannot be attained through the paths of Vigilance, Glory, Honor or Wisdom. Sometimes it takes Cunning, the ability to know when one must act counter to proper behavior for the good of the pack. The Ragabash is charged with mastering the path of Cunning, which is no small task. He must know when to use guile rather than instinct, stealth rather than brutality. Bone Gnawers recognize the value of adaptation and adoption - and therefore Cunning - in survival. They know that if the Garou don’t keep up, ever-changing, they will be left behind. Spirits recognize the talents of a werewolf with great Cunning, for only the truly accomplished can play the fool without actually practicing folly.

Creed of Cunning
I shall be the shadow
I shall outwit the enemy
I shall adapt to changing environs
I shall survive whatever the enemy can throw my way

Vigilance

The heartiest of Garou know that, sometimes, sheer brutality and constant inactive thinking has no chance of winning this war against the forces of both Weaver and Wyrm. It takes a combination of the two, among other things, to make a true warrior for Gaia, mixing planned action with coordinated strength to effectively fight the enemies at every turn.

Garou earn Vigilance by doing so, showing a passion for the defeat of their enemies without giving into louder voices for straight violence or inaction to discuss how things should be. Vigilance against the enemy is to show initiative, take action from those who wish to just discuss, and plan for those who wish to throw themselves directly into the conflict to show their strength and viciousness. Garou with high Vigilance are the master tacticians, knowing not only when to discuss tactics but also knowing when the talk is done and the action is now.

Creed of Vigilance
I shall lead the talks when others wish action
I shall lead the battle with others desire words
I shall be the leader on the field
I will not be swayed by inaction or mindless violence
I shall show others the effective way to defeat our enemies

Gaining and Losing Renown

As discussed on p. XX, through decisions and actions a character makes, and what is included in the tales of renown given to spirits during a moot, the Storyteller grants Legend Beats based on a sufficient level of action. Legend Beats and Legend Experiences are not necessarily “earmarked” for specific Renown, but instead act as a pool that a character can pull from when purchasing new Renown after undergoing the Rite of Accomplishment. The Storyteller should have in mind what Renown the character’s actions have led them to be granted, and has final approval. For example, if a Silver Fang Ahroun has led tactics and battle, but has done so in a very blatant, overt manner, and the player chooses to receive a Cunning after a Rite of Accomplishment, the Storyteller has the ultimate veto power, pointing out that the actions of the character thus far don’t match a character that has been cunning in action, and should suggest something more like Wisdom, Vigilance, or Glory instead.

Renown must be purchased with Legend Experiences (2 per dot), and cannot be purchased with normal experience points during the course of the game, but the social aspect of gaining Renown should be roleplayed. Details concerning the roleplaying demands of purchasing Renown begin on page XX.

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