Rage Across Baltimore
Gifts -- Systems
[Note: If you are lacking somewhat in the sourcebook department and are looking for some Gift ideas for your werewolf PC (the holidays will be here before you know it!) there is a fairly comprehensive collection online here.]
Gifts — Levels and Rank
Gifts are divided into levels. Level One Gifts are the weakest Gifts — those taught to raw cubs — and Level Five Gifts are the greatest secrets, taught only to those heroes who have proved themselves time and again. As a character gains more experience, she may purchase more Gifts. However, the character must be of a rank equivalent to the level of the Gift desired, or she cannot possess it. During play, a werewolf may learn the Gifts of other breeds, auspices or tribes, provided she can find a spirit to teach them. However, these Gifts have a higher cost.
[A Gift from your own breed, auspice or tribe costs (Level of Gift)x3. A Gift from another breed, auspice or tribe will cost (Level of Gift)x5.]
A werewolf must either petition a particular spirit to teach him its powers or ask an elder to summon that spirit and petition on his behalf. Only spirits allies to the Garou teach Gifts willingly. Spirits never teach a high-level Gift to a werewolf who has not attained the proper rank.
When a werewolf wants to learn a Gift, she must find a willing instructor first. Usually, she travels to a cern with a power level equal to or greater than that of the desired Gift to petition the spirit personally. Traditionally, werewolves have always sought to beseech the teachings of a spirit thus. The act of summoning the spirit to a powerful caern is a sign of respect. Unfortunately, the modern world rarely allows for such noble gestures, despite what most Silver Fangs would say. Because so few powerful caerns remain, often the best effort that a werewolf can make is to ask a respected Theurge to summon the particular spirit and placate it with appropriate rites. Even then, the demands of these End Times often force young wolves to enter the Umbra and track down their own spirit guides. The danger in doing so is obvious. An inexperienced werewolf may anger a spirit in its home, which is a very bad idea. Spirits are always wary of such improper requests.
Each Gift lists the spirits which first taught the gift to the Garou. They are not necessarily the only ones who can teach the Gift. More powerful and versatile spirits can bestow a variety of Gifts. Learning a gift is an excellent roleplaying opportunity, and players should realize that it’s also a chance to gain an ally as well as a Gift.
When a spirit imparts knowledge of a Gift, it involves a total immersion and direct sharing of how to unlock the power within the student. The process takes only a short time, usually no more than an hour, and a night at most.
Werewolves may also teach each other Gifts. This takes much longer. Packmates seem to learn faster from each other, but the process involves experimentation, practice and multiple failures before mastery of the Gift is attained. At best, the process takes a full lunar month (at the end of which time the player can spend experience points to acquire the Gift). Characters learning Gifts this way must also spend one more experience point than normal.
Besides these drawbacks, practicing to learn a Gift like Silver Claws may be quite painful. Practicing Call of the Wyrm, which draws Wyrm creatures, may be restricted or forbidden on sept grounds. More traditional tribes may look poorly on teaching their secrets to Garou of other tribes. And older Garou believe that when teacher and student are of opposite genders, such teaching may encourage violations of the Litany.