Werewolf the Apocalypse Rage Across St. Louis
Gnosis is similar to the Polynesian concept of mana, or the Eastern concept of chi. While all creatures have some spiritual component, Garou can consciously control and use it. Garou are quite literally half-spirit already, and Gnosis reflects how connected they are to their other half.
In the Storyteller System, Gnosis is ranked with dots, as well as boxes. The dots are permanent Gnosis while the boxes represent points of temporary Gnosis. A Garou character may not have more temporary points of Gnosis than permanent dots of Gnosis.
Gnosis is a renewable, but dwindling, resource. Garou can regain it at sacred sites, by meditating, or bargaining with spirits. Sacred sites provide Gnosis, but if they become defiled, it can corrupt the Garou, or there simply may be no more available. The water analogy works well here. They need water, but they need to protect their sources because drinking tainted water may make them sick, and if they aren’t careful, their well may go dry.
Just as Rage fuels battle and the physical world, the uses of Gnosis tend toward affecting insight and the spirit world.
• Rage and Gnosis: A player cannot spend both Rage and Gnosis in the same turn, whether spending points or rolling the Trait, with the exception of certain Gifts that demand both. These two forces are very powerful, and the Garou’s body is not strong enough to pull the power from these two natures simultaneously. For example, a werewolf cannot spend Rage for multiple actions and activate a fetish in the same turn.
• Carrying Silver: For every object made of or containing silver that a character is carrying, she loses one effective point from her Gnosis rating. More potent objects will cause the character to lose more. Luckily, this effect is only temporary, and it lasts only a day after the silver is discarded. Too much silver can even affect an entire pack’s Gnosis.
• Using Gifts: Many of the Gifts the spirits have bestowed upon faithful Garou call for Gnosis expenditures and/ or rolls.
• Fetishes: Gnosis is used to attune or activate a Garou’s fetish.
Gaining and Regaining Gnosis
Characters can regain their Gnosis in several different ways.
• Meditation: When a character takes time to center himself and reconnect with the Sacred Mother on a personal level, he can sometimes regain Gnosis. The character must spend at least an hour staying in one place and focusing on his deeply spiritual side. (One cannot meditate while cleaning guns, for example.) The player must then roll Wits + Enigmas (difficulty 8). For each success, a player regains one Gnosis point. However, a character can regain only one Gnosis point per hour of meditation, no matter how many successes the player rolls. In addition, this form of meditation can be done only once per day, and the difficulty increases by one for each extra day a character attempts it in the same week (to a maximum difficulty of 10). The spirits are gracious, but not always generous.
• Sacred Hunt: The Sacred Hunt is one of the most frequently performed activities at Garou moots. It is a ritual and a sacred task done for the good of the people and the caern. An Engling is the chosen prey that is summoned and then hunted down. This activity can be done in either the Umbra or on Earth. After the prey has been caught and “killed,” werewolves who have taken part in the hunt give thanks to the spirit for the gift of its life. This sacrifice has allowed Garou to keep their senses and skills sharp for their ceaseless battles against the Wyrm and its minions. All who participate in the hunt replenish their Gnosis pools completely. But do not weep for the poor Engling. Because of the rituals performed before the hunt begins, the spirit will reform in another part of the Umbra after its apparent demise.
• Bargaining with Spirits: Ritual hunts are not the only way to get Gnosis out of a spirit. Sometimes the soft sell works just as well. A werewolf can attempt to sweet-talk a spirit into sharing some of its Gnosis. Of course, the character must be able to speak in the spirit language through the use of a Gift or some similar method. The spirit might well ask the character to run some errand or perform some task before it shares its life force with the Garou; fair is fair.
• Between Stories: In the downtime between new tales, the players can make a Charisma + Enigmas roll to regain some Gnosis. Each success on this roll refreshes one point of Gnosis.
Gnosis 37, 110, 116, 146