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I have searched these books in PDF form:

  • Werewolf - The Apocalypse (zero hits for "den-realm")
  • Changing Breeds (25 hits for "den-realm", none dealing with this topic;
    "Chapter 3: Backgrounds – Bastet" explicitly states they can be "built" but not how;
    Table 'Sample Renown Awards' lists the deeds "creating a Den-Realm", "participating in a rite to create a Den-Realm" but not how/which rite that is)
  • Book of the Wyrm (zero hits for "den-realm")

Apparently in 1e there was a "Rite of Claiming" but I have not found any matches for that term either.

I have read the synopses of several other W20 books listed here, but none seems to fit the topic, nor does any of those I checked explicitly state that it does in fact contain it.

Where can these rules be found?

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1 Answer 1

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What you got is all there is in W20!

The Changing Breeds always had been the "offshoot" of the Werewolf game, and the one book is almost all they got in W20. The best information you get is from older editions. However, there's a reason you don't get hits in the core book or most other books: Den Realms are an inherently Bastet thing. There are other pocket realms that appear in other types, such as a Nagah-nest's common moveable Umbral Glade or an Ananasi's room-sized Umbral Refuge, but those are also mostly forgotten in W20.

In general, Werebeasts but for Garou had often little to no information in the books that don't directly deal with them.

Den Realms in Publication History

1st Edition

Den Realms were first introduced in the 1st Edition Werewolf Players Guide. That's also where Bastet first appear.1 The rules presented there are wholly obsolete though.

2nd Edition

The whole concept and rules for the Den Realms were rewritten and made more streamlined for Bastet: The Player's Guide to Werecats for Werewolf the Apocalypse, Changing Breed Book 1 which is 2nd edition. What a title, yes? Most call it "Breed Book Bastet" for a reason.

It is a full-page section in chapter 3 explaining what is a Den-Realm, how the owner can use it, that it makes it harder for anyone not allowed by the owner to pass to the umbra, and that it is one of the few ways most Bastet below rank 4 access the umbra. There are some other implications, like the land having a feedback loop to the den realm and the owner. The section also describes how the realms are passed down or claimed in the social context. The mechanics for taking ownership are found in Chapter 4 with "Rite of Claiming"2

Revised Edition

Players Guide to the Changing Breed for Revised Edition reprints a good chunk of that section almost unaltered, mostly accounting for Nagah who got their own version of it in their own Breed Book.3 The Revised edition update was to a good part a "rules update" and less of a background book.

W20

For W20, the reprint is again in the Changing Breeds book, this time only as a half-page paragraph summary. As a result, most of the rules never got a facelift to W20, and you will have to be inspired by older text.4

While W20 Umbra mentions a single Den-Realm, it is when it claims that The Abyss used to be a Den-Realm.5

The Anthology Songs of Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds has one story that in part plays at a Den-Realm.6

Other Pocket Realms

Nagah

Nagah gain the Ananta background since their Breed Book. This is different form a den realm in many aspects: where a den realm is static, Anata are moveable as a marble. Where a den realm is personal, Anata are shared. Where a den realm is connected to the land and influences it back and forth Anata are isolated pockets. Where a den realm blocks others from the Umbra, Anata are a bubble in the Umbra that just... sits there and because of the tiny size don't block people really: the largest den realms can be as large as a small county, while the biggest Anata is only about as big as the smallest den Realm. And they luckily provide a gift to create and bind one to a group of Nagah.7

Ananasi

Ananasi get Sylie (SI-lee), their secret, tiny and personal tiny pocket in the Umbra. It's all different from other breeds, because Ananasi are pretty weaver-aligned and... it's complicated. They get the Rite of Spinning to make and remake their little umbral dens again whenever they want.8

How to make one?

The Rite of Caern Building is a Level 5 Caern Rite, and creates a full on new Caern - it is clearly overkill - but it gives us a strong hint that the rite to make a den realm is less powerful, so it is not a level 5 one. So, let's look at them in order:

Rite of Spinning is a level 1 rite and got a W20 Reprint. It's tiny and expensive in Gnosis.

Birthing the Anata is a level 2 one with preconditions and experience cost, as it has to be done in the umbra - so pretty much inside someone's Anata. It's also only creating a relatively tiny pocket, so... 2 seems appropriate.

On the other hand, Rite of Claiming is a level 3 rite and is to take ownership. However, it also can be used to make a new one, if you read the one sentence that notes so carefully:

This mystic secret proclaims the foundation, or transferral of a Den-Realm.

Otherwise, it is depicted in the Bastet Breed Book to just be "a standard roll", missing the notion of the experience costs for the background. Just an oversight I assume.


1 - The Werewolf Player's Guide: A Complete Players Handbook for Werewolf the Apocalypse, Stone Mountain (1993), p.154 (stepping sideways), p.157.
2 - Bastet: The Player's Guide to Werecats for Werewolf the Apocalypse, Changing Breed Book 1, Clarkston (1997/1998), p.26, 83-84, 121.
3 - Players Guide to the Changing Breeds: A Sourcebook for Werewolf the Apocalypse, Stone Mountain (2003), p.160-162.
4 - Changing Breeds: Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition, s.l.(2013), p.210.
5 - Umbra the Velvet Shadow, 20th Anniversary Edition, s.l.(2014), p.43.
6 - Songs of Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds, s.l.(2014), p.22
7 - Nagah: A Sourcebook for Werewolf the Apocalypse, Changing Breed Book 9, Clarkston (2001), p.71-72, 92.
8 - Ananasi: A Sourcebook for Werewolf the Apocalypse, Changing Breed Book 7, Clarkston 2000), p.15, p.41-43, p.96.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Mmh, about as I feared. You would not happen to have a suggestion, which ruleset (neither of which I have access to, yet) would be easier to adapt to W20? 1e or 2e? (Going to accept the answer after the customary 24 hours.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zsar
    Mar 28 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nb. the Ananasi's Rite of Spinning, which creates "something like a Den-Realm" is described in Changing Breeds but cannot easily be used as a stand-in, because a den-realm is supposed to have (at least) five quite distinct levels of extend, whereas a Sylie is always less than even a level 1 den-realm (single room vs. whole house), whereas each's other qualities are not really quantitative in nature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zsar
    Mar 28 at 19:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zsar Bastet Breed Book, definity has the better rules and the rite, which wasn't there in 1st ed. The rite for creating one could be pretty much using variants of the Caern rite to re-open a sleeping one? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Mar 28 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mmh. If there is a "sleeping caern" and a variant rite to awaken it vs. creating a completely new one, it is not in one of my three books, as far as I can see. There also does not seem to be any hint of that e.g. on the Fandom Wiki. Would you happen to have a pointer towards this topic as well? It would sound about fitting, I concur. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zsar
    Mar 29 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zsar OOOOH! I missed 2 words in the Riet of Claiming: it can make new ones... and the Rite of Caern Building was what I remembered, Caern level 5. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Mar 29 at 22:57

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