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Mother's touch has a sliding difficulty, which uses the current rage, as shown here:

The player spends one Gnosis point and rolls Intelligence + Empathy (difficulty is the target’s current Rage, or 5 for those with no Rage). Each success heals one level of lethal, bashing, or aggravated damage. 1

Now, let's assume the pack's healer picks up the totally de-raged Ahroun after the battle (or in the battle) for a heal. The current rage of the Ahroun is 0, but he has a Rage-stat. Because there is a Rage-stat it is most definitely not against a difficulty of 5, which is for healing someone without like a Coyote or Kinfolk. But there can't be a 0 difficulty... so what is the difficulty now?!

A similar problem would be 1 Rage left because 1 is still the automatic failure/cancel a success number on a d10 under the system.


  1. W20 Core, p. 164
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2 Answers 2

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For a being that possesses Rage, the minimum is 2.

A difficulty number is always from 2 to 10 (and usually between 3 and 9).1

Combining this with the gift specific rule, which states that the difficulty is the current rage, this solves the "1/0 Rage left" problem:

Mother's Touch is rolled against 2 or the current Rage, whichever is higher, as long as the being has Rage to begin with. Only for beings that have no Rage to begin with, it is 5.

Why not difficulty 5 for 0 temporary Rage?

This is based on the somewhat awkward wording of the gift itself:

5 for those with no Rage

That part is a little tricky: You could read it as "anyone with 0 current Rage", but that is not what is written in that sentence. But please reread what the two types of Rage are:

Rage is recorded in two forms on the character sheet. The dots indicate the character’s Rage rating — her permanent Rage. The second is the Rage pool, shown by the squares underneath. 2

The sentence in question uses not the "temporary Rage" (or its synonym "Rage pool") that was asked for in the previous half of the question - it just says "no Rage". Without the word temporary or pool, it is the Rage rating. Which is also called the permanent Rage, or just Rage in all other rules. Just compare it to the "Beast Within" rule:

For every point of Rage a character has above her Willpower rating, she loses one die on all social-interaction rolls. 3

As a result, only a being that doesn't have a Rage attribute (like Humans or Nuwisha) is meant by this.

This is reinforced by how the books describe capital-R-Rage as always being there, even on the best days and burning in the Garou without end - even when the temporary stat is 0.


  1. W20 Core, p. 234
  2. W20 Core, p. 144
  3. W20 Core, p. 145
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can see it reasonable for ST to assign difficulty 3 for the roll instead of 2 if they so wish based on the "usually between 3 and 9". The example difficulties listed later don't even show a two - for three it reads "Trivial (scanning a small crowd for a familiar face)". At any rate, there is nothing to say an ST can't or shouldn't use 2 for this. Of course an ST can use any number they want but higher than 3 seem to be way less justifiable (unless there are other circumstances). \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 19 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also the "for those with no Rage" should indeed mean anybody without the capability to hold Rage. This is one of those places where W20 seems to have tried to clarify but ended up with more complex language as a result. In WtA Revised the equivalent text to "those with no Rage" simply read "non-Garou". However W20 seems to try to also account for Breeds and thus changed the language. IMO, in the end it's less clear but it should essentially mean "non-Garou and also no of the Breeds that has a Rage stat". \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 19 at 20:49
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You roll against their current Rage, not their permanent Rage.

On W20 Corebook p. 234, it says the following:

A difficulty number is always from 2 to 10 (and usually between 3 and 9).

The explicit text of the ability reads as follows, as you quoted it:

(difficulty is the target’s current Rage, or 5 for those with no Rage)

Since White Wolf uses natural language in the writing of its rules, this should be read as the following, using the usual rules of English grammar:

(difficulty is the target’s current Rage, or 5 for those with no [current] Rage)

The Gift specifies that you roll against the target character's current Rage, not their permanent Rage. That means that the relevant number is the number of unspent points of Rage. If your Ahroun has spent all of their points of Rage, then you roll against Difficulty 5; if they have 1 left, you roll against Difficulty 2 (the minimum).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Difficulty 1 is not a thing. Rolls of one auto-fail. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 30, 2021 at 6:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish Double checked, and it looks like the minimum Difficulty is 2, you're right. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Aug 30, 2021 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Better, but you still should reread your answer and what is actually asked: It was never asked if I roll on the permanent rage, even the examples make that clear. And no, your "no rage points left" is a non sequitur. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 30, 2021 at 8:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish The question asked this: "The current rage of the Ahroun is 0, but he has a Rage-stat. Because there is a Rage-stat it is most definitely not against a difficulty of 5" This is what I answered, because this part is conflating permanent and current Rage. If they have no Rage points remaining, it's rolled against Difficulty 5, because what's important is their current Rage, not their permanent Rage. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Aug 31, 2021 at 3:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ They are not someone that has no Rage because their temporary points are 0. "Auspice also determines the inner Rage of the werewolf." / "Rage: This measures the supernatural fury at the core of each werewolf, a measure of how much anger burns within your character." / "Much of a Garou’s struggle comes from a never-ending battle with the Rage each werewolf feels." - Spending the last dot of rage does not make you someone that doesn't have to roll to not go nuts in Berserker Frenzy, it doesn't make you someone "with no Rage". \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 31, 2021 at 6:29

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