Possessed Characters, Consecration and Totems

Possessed: a Player’s Guide gives very general rules for the Background: Consecrated but some intriguing possibilities. In its section on Kami, it mentions that maybe a Kami Consecrated to a Totem avatar might gain the same benefit for their consecration that a Garou might from a pack totem.

This needed some further exploration. Fortunately, Dreamspeakers Revised has rules for an individual non-Garou character being devoted to a standard totem of the types that Garou generally follow. For a Garou to have a personal rather than pack totem, they would have to buy the totem as normal but pay double, reflecting how much more difficult it is for them to forge this relationship without a pack at their side. Shamanic Mages don’t have it so rough, because they are by default solitary spirit wanderers, and they are unable to take totems over a collective group at all. So I decided that Kami or other Possessed characters that don’t want to be Consecrated to a living shapeshifter but want to be consecrated to a Totem avatar or similar being instead can do so. This is still done as the Background: Consecrated, but characters that want to have a Totem avatar can pay for it using the guidelines here.

Note that, for Triatic possessed characters (IE possessed other than Kami), this background still costs Autonomy as detailed in Possessed: -3 temporary Autonomy for the first dot,  -5 temporary Autonomy for the 2nd, -1 permanent Autonomy for the third, -2 permanent for the fourth and -3 permanent Autonomy for the fifth dot or above.

So what Totems can your character be dedicated to? Well, any of them that fit your character, really. You can select from Garou totems, Bastet Jamak, Mokole totems or the Shamanic Totems listed in The Spirit Ways, Dreamspeakers Revised or The Infinite Tapestry. Gorgons would have to have a Totem that is in some way Wyld-aspected like Twister or Rorg, Drones would need a deeply Weaverish totem like Termite or Cockroach and of course Fomori can only be Consecrated to Bane Totems. Kami are not so restricted, though they would almost certainly not want a totem that was too closely associated with a member of the Triat with the possible exception of the Wyld.

So how much does it cost to be Consecrated to a Totem? When converting Werewolf Totems disregard the listed Background Cost. Instead,  total up the  number  of Innate Abilities or boosted Attributes granted by  the Totem and add them into the cost of  the Totem.

In addition to specific abilities granted by each individual totem, the points spent in  the Totem Background are also used to buy specific abilities  for the mage’ s totem. It is important  to remember that each individual  totem spirit is only a partial aspect of  the overall spiritual archetype. Any number of characters can  share  the same  totem, but each spirit  is a  completely separate spiritual manifestation of  the  same archetype. In practice, this means that two Kami could each have the same  totem, but each totem spirit  could have completely different  powers. The only constant are in the spirit’s basic personality  and motives, as well as the type of Innate Abilities  they provide (special  bonus powers automatically  gained by bonding with the Totem).

All Totem avatars start out with 5 points to divide between Willpower,  Rage and Gnosis,  along with the associated 5 points  of Essence. Also, all shamanic totems receive the Charms Airt Sense  and Re-form,  and  the  ability  to  speak with  the  shaman. Select  the additional characteristics  of the mages individual
totem  from the Totem Background Chart. The cost listed refers to the Background point cost of  the power. Note that increases to this Background can be made with Experience Points, at a flat expense of 3 experience per dot rather than 2 points per dot that Garou would have to pay, since Garou have the luxury of having several packmates to assist in showing proper devotion to their Totem.

Cost   Power
1            Per 3 additional points in Willpower, Rage, or Gnosis
1            Totem can typically find the Shaman rapidly
1            Totem is respected by other spirits
1            Per Charm possessed (including Materialize)
1            Per Innate Ability the Totem grants  to the character
1            Totem can Materialize
Totems can  possess  any  of the  Charms listed  in Werewolf: The Apocalypse or one of  its supplements, or in the Mage Storytellers Companion.

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