A Werewolf game encountered a little problem coming from the wording of the "Rite of Talisman Dedication", that hasn't really changed since 2nd edition:

Cut to the base effect, one can bind an object or set of contextually linked objects (a set of clothing; a box of ammo; a gun, its magazine, and ammo in it) to carry them over to the umbra. What counts as a linked set is pretty much GM-Fiat, but exactly here things get very very wonky, because of containers such as a wallet, purse or backpack.

Group background

To start it off, our group of players has little to no backpacks and other containers as bound objects, and about half of the group are Bastet. The group has just recently formed the Ahadi pack equivalent, allowing large scale umbral access via the same backdoor a Mountain Sentai uses: one pulls the group through. This obviously leads to widespread lack of Umbral experience, those that do have Umbra experience are characters that are pretty down on the possessions side, so they usually don't have much to look after - bind the wallet, clothes and cell phone and you are kind of safe was our general guideline. So when we encountered our problem it was with a jeans pocket.

Discovering the problem

We all had assumed that a pocket would keep its unbound contents because money stayed in the wallet even as the exact contents changed over time. We quickly came to agree, that a wallet with money stays a wallet with money, no matter if it is still the same money and thus it stays the same contextual item set: money in a dedicated container.

Now, we had assumed the contents of the clothing pockets would be kept in them as well. However, our GM thought it was a nice plot twist that we loose a note on an unbound slip of paper at entering the Umbra as it was tucked into one of the char's pockets. We rolled with it, someone had to backtrack to pick it up again.


Now, our dilemma is to find a consistent ruling on what makes an object having to be bound separate from another set to come with you and when does an object merge into an existing set without any need of doing so (money into the money pouch).

As said, we did roll with the GM after a moment of confusion but it made us wonder: Is there any notion of how containers and pockets should be handled with the Rite of Talisman dedication besides the rites (somewhat wonky) description in the Werewolf books? If there isn't, an idea how to resolve this proublem without invalidating the Money & Wallet part as well as the Lost Note part would be very nice.

I just managed to skim through W20's umbra chapter and the Revised core rules, but couldn't find any hints about the intended container behavior in those, and the behemoth of available books gives me a headache to search through, so I am in need of the collective brainpower of the Hive-Memory of Stack Exchange.


1 Answer 1



The cost is one Gnosis point per object dedicated, and a character may never have more objects bound to himself than his Gnosis score. Conceptually linked groups of objects may count as a single object as the Storyteller's discretion. For example, as a set of clothing would be considered one object rather than one shirt, one pair of pants, two socks, and so on; or a box of ammunition might be dedicated to the character, rather than requiring one dedication per bullet.

W:TA 2nd Edition

The most common example ispermitting a set of clothes to count as "one object" rather than one shirt, one pair of pants and so on. A generous Storyteller might allow a container's contents (at the time of dedication) to count as part of the container — if, again, the players aren't abusing the rite by doing so

So general rule seems to be that money and wallet are one item (even if notes inside change over time), same would be with a note attached to i.e. a dedicated binder - spiritually that would be one item. So no real info about items put later to dedicated containers.


Now when it comes to your note its bit trickier: GarouMush (which is unofficial) has bit more to say about such example

Talisman dedication works only on one object, imbuing it with a spiritual resonance as that item only. It is possible to dedicate a small backpack like you'd take to high school (1 pt) and then put a brick of C4 explosives and a detonator in it. However, once in the umbra, unzipping the backpack will reveal only the ghostly, almost-impossible-to-see image of the C4 and detonator. You didn't spend the gnosis (1 point for the C4 brick and 1 point for the detonator) required for the items to exist in the umbra, so they don't exist in the umbra. However, these items can be carried through the umbra and to a different location. Likewise, car keys and wallets in pockets can be transported along with a garou rather than simply getting dropped at the scene when a Garou steps sideways.

For me personally, the information above can lead to a bit of abuse (lets dedicate big enough backpack and start our own small smuggling operation!) so lets approach this bit differently and think in spiritual matter:

Your keys, your wallet, cell phone - even while undedicated are still attached to you, have your "spiritual aura" - so while they are put into dedicated clothes can travel freely (but not be used!) through the Umbra. Book from library, note scrawled on a napkin or just stolen laptop are not yours in spiritual sense, so would be left behind.

But in the end, its always up to the Storyteller.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer could greatly benefit from page references in the books \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 6:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The quotes here specifically say that a generous storyteller might allow you to conceptually bind a container and the things that were in it at time of dedication. It seems like if that's generous, then asking to be able to add things later without further effort is right out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I use a similar house rule: small objects in pockets or bags can be carried across, but not removed when in the Umbra. But high-tech/Weaver-heavy items (firearms, laptops, smartphones etc) that aren't dedicated get blocked by the Gauntlet, so are left behind when stepping sideways. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 27, 2020 at 16:31

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