Learning a Rite

The tribal elders who teach rites were themselves taught by their elders, who were taught by their elders, and so on back through the ages. In order to gain the knowledge (and tacit permission) to perform a rite, a young werewolf must approach an elder who possesses such knowledge. In the vast majority of cases, the elder will request payment (in the form of talens) from the young whelp in question. The number of talens required varies with the amount of teaching needed (level of the rite) and the elder’s opinion of the cub (based on comparative rank and roleplaying). Elders will often allow the young Garou to do a favor instead of (or in addition to) donating talens. Such favors may range from providing the elder with fresh rabbit meat and caviar for three full moons to tracking down a minor enemy of the elder’s and tearing out his throat. The favor asked is normally proportionate to the power and importance of the rite.

Learning a rite is an extended action. A Garou must have the Rituals Merit at least equal to the level of the rite she wishes to learn; a character with Rituals 3 cannot master a 4-dot rite. She must also spend time with the elder who knows the rite — at least one week per level of the rite she wishes to learn (three days for minor rites). The player must roll Intelligence + Occult + Rites - the difference in rank between the elder and the one learning. The number of successes required is equal to the level of the rite. The student may make one roll per period of teaching (one week for a 1-dot rite, three weeks for a 3-dot rite, etc.). If the student fails a roll, she must spend a Willpower point to continue her studies. If she suffers a Dramatic Failure on a roll, the elders decide that she is not yet ready to learn the knowledge she seeks. The character must wait at least three turnings of the moon, or until she has more life experience, to try again.

A character can begin the game with knowledge of rites by purchasing the Rites Merit. After character creation, however, rites can be learned only through roleplaying; they may not be purchased with experience points alone.

A character can attempt to enact a rite in which he has previously taken part, but which he does not know — though he has little chance of success. The resistance is three times higher than normal, and the player must spend double the amount of Gnosis points (if any are required, one Gnosis if none are required). In addition, elder Garou often see such an attempt as impertinent or even sacrilegious. Attempting an untutored rite in the presence of an elder may decrease the Garou’s Honor or Wisdom in the eyes of his sept.

Finally, it’s possible - but obscenely difficult - to create new rites. Such a task is no small matter, as it involves convincing a great portion of the spirit world both that a new rite is necessary and that they must empower it whenever called to do so.

Rites cost one experience per dot. Learning a rite from another PC allows the cost to be split in half (minimum of one experience).