Gnosis embodies the link between a character and the Sacred Mother. It is the little piece of Gaia deep within the breast of all Changing Breeds. Gnosis ties the character to Her and allows them to understand the natural balance.
Gnosis also ties the character to the spirit world, allowing them to interact with the creatures and objects therein, for Gnosis is the stuff of spirit. Without Gnosis, the spirit world can't be contacted at all. Low Gnosis scores make it difficult to achieve such contact, while those with very high Gnosis scores may find that the boundary between the worlds of spirit and matter blurs, making it difficult to tell what is of the spirit world and what is not. Even for creatures who can't visit the spirit world, Gnosis is important, as it measures the effect the spirits have on you, as well as the level of effect your actions have on the spiritual world.
Gnosis, liked Rage and Willpower, comes in two forms: the permanent Gnosis rating, and the temporary Gnosis pool. The Gnosis pool can never be greater than the Gnosis rating. When you use a point of Gnosis, you remove it from the pool, not the rating. The rating stays constant, while the pool is expended during the story.
This is a VERY GENERAL glance at what your Gnosis rating MAY say about you. Notably, not all creatures with Gnosis can go into the Umbra; thus, while this chart does mention a percentage of spiritual body, that percentage also represents a spiritual connection and Spirituality in general.
|1||10% Spirit. You have the most minimal connection to spirits and the Umbra; spirits tend to find you very uninteresting. Often, the feeling is mutual.|
|2||20% Spirit. You have some connection to spirits and the Umbra; you might have some interest in the spirits and visa versa, but your concerns mostly lie elsewhere. The spirits seem slightly less like alien entities.|
|3||30% Spirit. You find yourself feeling fairly at home in the Umbra, but the physical realm is a better place to be for you. Spirits are a bit less of an enigma than you thought, but still largely strange and unknowable to you.|
|4||40% Spirit. Your spiritual connection is hefty and meaningful, but you still retain a firm tether to the physical realm, though you can better understand the nature of spirits on an intuitive level.|
|5||50% Spirit. You have struck a balance between your spiritual and physical bodies.|
|6||60% Spirit. You have begun to ascend beyond the physical and find yourself having difficulty remaining grounded. There may be times when you drift off into space as your spirit reaches for the Umbra - regardless of whether you can go there or not.|
|7||70% Spirit. You find yourself far more at home in the Umbra than in the physical realm. It has a constant draw, and the spirits consider you someone of power--be you friend or foe.|
|8||80% Spirit. The physical is clunky and meaningless in comparison to your understanding of the spiritual. You spend much of your time in ritual and ceremony, constantly attempting to draw yourself closer to spiritual oneness.|
|10||Near 100% Spirit. You have reached almost pure spiritual ascension and apotheosis. There may soon come a time when you forget what it means to have a physical body and live a physical life. This may spell death for those who can not manifest in the Umbra, as their physical bodies lay forgotten.|
- Rage and Gnosis
- You cannot spend Gnosis points or make a Gnosis roll in the same turn you use a Rage point or make a Rage roll (certain gifts are an exception to this rule). The Beast is too close to the surface, making it difficult to think on an abstract level.
- Carrying Silver
- For each silver object carried, your character loses one effective point from his Gnosis rating (some objects cause him to lose more). This is only temporary, lasting about a day after the silver is discarded. A character can also be penalized by the silver objects carried by his packmates.
- Using Gifts
- Many gifts require either a Gnosis roll or an expenditure of Gnosis points.
- Gnosis is also used to attune or activate a fetish.
Gaining and Regaining GnosisEdit
- Sacred Hunt
- Garou moots often involve a sacred hunt for the good of the People and the caern. This is a ritual and a sacred activity. The prey, an Engling spirit, is summoned and then hunted down, either in the Umbra or on Earth. After it is "slain," all Garou thank it for giving of itself and thereby allowing the Garou more power in their battle against the Wyrm. All participants of the hunt completely replenish their Gnosis Pools. Because of the rites performed during the hunt, the Engling is not actually destroyed, instead reforming elsewhere in the Umbra.
- Bargaining with Spirits
- Characters can attempt to find a spirit, such as an Engling, on their own and convince it to give them some of its Gnosis. The characters must be able to communicate with the spirit (gifts such as Spirit Speech is required), and the spirit will ask something in return, such as a small quest or other favor.
- A character can regain Gnosis by spending time in Meditation. She must spend at least an hour so doing, staying in one place and concentrating on spiritual matters; she can do nothing else during that time. The character then rolls Wits + Enigmas (difficulty 8). One Gnosis point is regained per success. However a maximum of one Gnosis point can be regained per hour the character spends in meditation; thus if a character only spent one hour but scored enough successes to gain three points, she still only gains one point. This form of meditation may only be done once per day, but the difficulty is increased by one for each day this is done within a week (maximum of 10).
This was taken and modified slightly from the 2nd Edition core rulebook from Werewolf: the Apocalypse. All information is copyright White Wolf.