Walking Between Worlds

Some supernatural creatures, including werewolves, have learned methods of crossing the Gauntlet from the physical world into the Umbra. All Garou have this Gaia-given ability — it’s their birthright, their legacy, and an intuitive ability they inherit from the time of their First Change. However, most werewolves are unaware of this talent, and they usually don’t attempt it until an elder shows them the way. Garou call this practice “stepping sideways.”

Traveling through places where the Gauntlet is thick is virtually impossible; crossing over where the Gauntlet is thin comes as naturally as controlling one’s breathing. Spiritualists can learn more exotic methods of crossing this barrier, such as circumventing the Gauntlet entirely by traveling to the spirit world in dreams. Mages and other willworkers have their own methods for crossing the Gauntlet; in fact, packs of werewolves may encounter such visionaries on their travels.

System: To step sideways, a werewolf needs to meditate on a highly reflective surface, such as a clear pool of water or a mirror. When a character attempts this, roll that character’s Purity as a dice pool; the resistance is the strength of the local Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is strongest near certain types of environments; every place on Earth has a Gauntlet Rating between 2 and 9.

Some shapeshifters cannot attempt this or have different methods for crossing the Gauntlet. The time it takes to enter the Umbra depends on the number of successes on this Purity roll.

Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The werewolf is “caught” in the Gauntlet, temporarily suspended between the mundane Realm and the Umbra. He’s held in a web the Weaver has woven until assisted by another Garou. Half of him is spiritual, and half is physical. While trapped, he’s subjected to soul-shattering visions. Although the werewolf cannot be seen or attacked by physical entities (like human beings), evil spirits wander the Gauntlet looking for trapped and vulnerable travelers. Another werewolf can attempt to free the traveler by making a successful roll to step sideways; otherwise, the Garou must wait in his shameful, dishonorable, and dangerous state for an hour before trying again. If that second roll suffers a Dramatic Failure, he cannot leave on his own. Until he’s rescued, he’s trapped there forever.
Failure: The Garou is unable to pierce the Gauntlet, almost bouncing off of it. They must wait another hour before trying again.
Success: The Garou takes 5 minutes of meditation, and then are able to pass easily through the Gauntlet.
Exceptional Success: Same as a normal success, but the transition through the Gauntlet is instantaneous.

Gauntlet Chart

Area Gauntlet Rating
Science lab 9
Inner city, downtown 8
Average city street 7
Rural countryside 6
Deep wilderness 5
Urban caern 5
Active caern 4
Powerful caern 3
Greatest caerns 2

Garou who have learned the Gift: Pulse of the Invisible don’t need to use a reflective object when stepping sideways; they can enter at will. Even blind werewolves can enter the Umbra, as long as they know that Gift. (At the Storyteller’s discretion, carrying your own reflective object may make stepping sideways slightly more difficult, since the object isn’t “anchored” to its surroundings; in these cases, suffer a penalty of -1 to the Harmony roll.)

Werewolves in a pack may choose one among them to lead them into the Umbra; that individual makes the roll to step-sideways for all of them. (It’s usually the werewolf with the highest Purity, who may in this instance act as the temporary alpha of the pack.) If the pack is caught, however, the shapechangers can make their second attempts as individuals. Usually, the roll succeeds; all the pack’s members arrive at the same time. All of the pack members must be capable of stepping sideways, and they must all be willing. Garou (or other shapechangers) who are not part of the pack cannot travel with them; they must travel through on their own. However, Garou with the Gift: Grasp the Beyond can take non-Garou with them into the Umbra.