I'm running a crossover game and I'd like to reward one of the Mage's with a Talen as he's helped a shifter accomplish their goal.

However Talens require a Gnosis roll to activate them so how can a Mage activate a Talen?

I'm considering making it an Arete roll but maybe it should be some sort of Spirit effect spell? Or maybe I should rewrite the Talen as a Wonder? Are there any guidelines on this?


2 Answers 2


I found a very small mention in the M20 rules about activating a Fetish and as a Talen is a type of minor fetish this should apply:

A Fetish channels the power of a spirit within that item. To use one, the character asks the spirit to unleash its powers. Story-wise, this typically demands a decent relationship with the spirit in question; game-wise, the Storyteller might have the player make a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) against the spirit’s Gnosis Trait.

From p652 of the M20 rules under 'Using a Wonder'

Note that the StoryTeller would have to adjudicate as to the Gnosis of the spirit in the Talen but it's likely to be low as it's usually minor spirits that are bound to make Talens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The rule is a little vague. From reading pg 142 of The Book of Secrets, I think it's meant to be an opposed roll Willpower vs Gnosis, both at difficulty 7. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 18:11

One of the best list of the different magical items that are know to the Awaken is on the Mage Storytellers Companion (3rd edition) on Chapter 4. Unfortunately, Talens are not covered. Neither in any other book that I have read of Mage.

Technically, if a Talen requires a Gnosis roll, and the Awaken have no Gnosis, they cannot use it, period.

Although, I will treat it exactly as a Fetish (since is kinda like a low power fetish, as a Spirit is still inside the item), and good for us, in the mentioned book, we have rules for the Awaken and Fetishes.

The book goes on lengths on how the Awaken can create and use Fetishes, but basically you have to command the Spirit (I believe, from the top of my head, that that is Spirit 2) to let you use it. Due to the nature of how Shapeshifters create these objects (by ancient spirit pacts) and how the Awaken are NOT covered by these pacts.

This goes, I think, quite well mechanically, since a dice roll is still required to activate its powers. On the other hand, since it is a present, you may want to change the "command" to just "ask the Spirit nicely" (I believe it is still Spirit 2 either way).

I will not treat it as an Artifact (Wonders in 3rd edition are use for "any magical item", which includes Fetishes and Talens, and a bunch of other things), since Artifacts are created by the Awaken, they have Arete values and can store Quintessence, neither of these things is very much Werewolf-wise related.


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