Werewolf/Totem Creation

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Totem Creation


Note: These are the rules we use for totem creation. If it isn't here we don't use it. If you feel something is missing send in a +request to WereStaff and tell us!

This document serves a single place to look for the rules we use to design totems on this game. For the most part these do not differ from the book rules, but they are rewritten here for ease of use.

Step 1: Spirit Type, Name and Concept

Spirit Type

The Spirit Type is quite simply what kind of spirit it is. There are many different types of Spirits. Industrial, Nature, Elemental, Emotions, etc. A spirit could just as easily be a Fire Spirit as it could the spirit of a Truck or Car.

Name and Concept

Pick a name for your spirit and then describe a quick concept. What is this spirit? What happened to create it? What does it do? How does it do it? Does it have a personality? These are all important questions for a concept but not the only ones.

Step 2: Attributes

All spirits begin at rank 2. That means it gets 9-14 Attribute dots with a Trait Max of 7. So assign 9 attribute dots between Power, Finesse and Resistance. If you end up spending totem points to increase attributes to 15, then you would have a Rank 3 totem. See below for a description of what each attribute represents.

Power - Raw Ability of the entity to impose itself on other ephemeral beings and the world at large.
Finesse - How deft the entity is at imposing its desires with fine control.
Resistance - How well the entity can avoid imposition from its peers and how easily it is damaged.

Step 3: Influences

All ephemeral beings get their rank in Influences. This can be either a single influence at the total rank or several lower ranked influences. So if you have 2, you can have Snakes 2 or Snakes 1 and Poison 1. These influences must make sense for the spirit and can be physical or abstract.

Step 4: Record Numen

At this point, record the numen Material Vision and one of your choosing. You have the option of purchasing more later with totem Points. Note that a totem cannot use Claim without becoming useless as a pack totem. It ceases to be a totem spirit proper, and becomes half of a new Hithimu.

Step 5: Assign a Ban

At this point, your totem needs a ban as do all Ephemeral beings. For more info on Ephemeral Beings, and Bans see Ephemerals.


A ban is something the spirit is supernaturally imposed to do. It's a part of why the spirit became a spirit to begin with. A spirit of a detective novel might have a Ban of 'Must solve any puzzle presented to it.' The ban must make sense for the spirit and its rank. At rank 2 your spirit's ban doesn't have to be overly complicated or restrictive.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

At this point, add up the number of merit dots that each member of your pack has provided. This is your totem dot pool to increase attributes, buy numina and assign totem bonuses. The costs below list the costs of each bonus you could possibly buy. This also includes a description of what the Story, Pack and Given identifiers mean.


Given - A permanent addition for as long as the Totem remains the pack's Totem
Pack - An addition that can be used by one packmate a turn
Story - An addition that can be used once per story (Month in gametime). If this addition is more than 1 dot, each dot can be used as desired once per Story.

Costs for Attributes, Traits and Numen

Attribute: 2x New Level
Numina: 3 Per Numina

Costs for Totem Pack Bonuses


Given: 18 per dot in Attribute
Pack: 10 per dot in Attribute
Story: 3 per dot in Attribute


(Note: For Each Gift purchased, a Wolfblooded Tell may be selected in conjunction. This does not cost any additional points.)
Given: 10 per dot of the gift
Pack: 5 per dot of the gift
Story: 3 per dot of the gift


Given: 5 per dot of the Merit
Pack: 3 per dot of the Merit
Story: 2 per dot of the Merit


Given: 5 per dot in the skill
Pack: 3 per dot in the skill
Story: 2 per dot in the skill


Essence: 1 dot per 2 essence (This is a pool of essence that any packmate can use)
Willpower: 1 dot per 2 willpower (This is a pool of willpower that any packmate can use)
Specialties: 2 Totem Dots per Spec (This is always a Given Spec that any packmate with the applicable ability can use)

Additional Traits

All ephemeral beings have some additional traits to be calculated.

Size: 2-7 (According to the book, the size can be anything, really, though more powerful spirits tend to be bigger this is not a rule)
Corpus: Resistance + Size
Willpower: Resistance + Finesse
Initiative: Resistance + Finesse
Defense: Higher of Power or Finesse
Speed: Power + Finesse + Species Factor
Language: Spirit Tongue (AKA First Tongue to Weres)

Pack Ban

Last but not least, as part of any agreement with a Totem, a pack agrees to a demand of the totem. This ban must be based on rank and the spirits own past and reasons for being. At this point, detail your pack ban and add it to your totem. You can purposefully make your ban worse in order to get more totem dots. See Werewolf the Forsaken P.191 for more Information.

When calculating the Severity of a Pack's Totem Ban, only the amount of points spent on giving the pack members bonuses (i.e. gifts,skills, attributes, essence, etc.) counts; any points spent to bolster the Totem's own traits (i.e. giving the Totem more Attribute points, more Numina) do not count towards the Severity of the Ban.

Example Totem: Stone of Many Faces

10 points
This is support totem, based on a earth spirit that has only just recently awakened, perhaps the totem was a rock that was used as a stone that was rumored to grant wishes, and only just recently awakened after a lightning strike.
Rock 1 (Strengthen)
Hope 1 (Strengthen)
Material Vision
Totem Bonuses
Skill Bonus (Given): Brawl 1
Skill Bonus (Pack): Medicine 1
Essence Pool:4 (Usable by pack and totem)
Totem Spends
Skill (Given) -5
Skill (Pack) -3
2 Essence pools, (-2)
Spirit Ban
The Werewolves of Stone-of-Many-Faces must attempt to grant the request or wish the rock makes of them once per week, this could involve trying to set up lovers/forlorn lover, or stealing something for someone. A reasonable effort must be expended to fulfill the wish. theoretically, at stronger bans, the difficulty of the wishes could increase, (which may even include possible harmony violations at Ban 5) but for now, they are just a inconvenience. The duration to fulfill the wish is about a month, but a new request from the spirit as it receives wishes towards its material form will continue. Werewolves will have an absurd amount of nonsensical tasks to do, but failure to fulfill any of these requests, or at least making a reasonable effort to do so, and the spirit will withdraw its favor.

Example Totem: Projecting-Explosions

15 points
This is a totem created to give werewolves combat bonuses and abilties, and provide a bit of assistance in a pinch. Based on a gun spirit.
Initiative 6
1-Gun (Strengthen)
1-Anger (Strengthen)
Material Vision (required)
Savant (Blast)
Totem Bonuses
Skill Firearms(Given) +2
Bonus Specality: Full Auto/Spray and Pray attacks
Totem Spends
Numina -3
Specialty -2
Skill Bonus (Given) -10
Spirit Ban
Projecting-Explosions demands that its pack spend no less than five hundred dollars a week on ammunition, which must be sacraficed to the totem by being expended at a target range, emulating how the spirit's real life counterpart was used. Also if a gun is drawn, it must be fired, and draw blood from a shot, if no one is hit, the werewolf can find another victim (A definite Harmony violation) or take one for the team.

Example Totem: Screeching Rail

25 points
This is a totem created more to fight long side werewolves in a straight up fight, In this instance, Screeching Rail is a greater jaggling that is slowly rising star in power, though it by no means is yet comparable to a full sized train due to its relative essence, it still can dish out blows as well as it can take them.
Name: Screeching-Rail
Rank 2
Acceleration Trait:24
Maximum Speed:110 MPH
Trains/Traintracks-2 (strengthen and manipulate)
Material Vision (required)
Mechanical Possession
Blast (Clouds of Steam)
Totem Spends
+1 to finesse and +2 to Resistance 14 points
2 new Numina -6
Given Skill - 5
Totem Bonuses
Skill Bonus Brawl 1(Given)
Spirit Ban
Screeching-Rail's very essence is a train spirit and the pack of screeching Rail must travel at least 100 miles away from the last place they slept, in a more or less straight line. The Ban must be followed in spirit as well as word, so the Pack is not allowed to dance around outside a city, but instead travel between at least three or four cities where they have contacts, as they fulfill their given ban. The pack is not allowed to have territory in a 'classic' sense, instead claiming either a long stretch of raillines or roads as a loosely patrolled territory. That is if they have any 'territory' at all.