A character is eligible to advance in Rank when he has the number of Permanent Renown Traits indicated on the chart below. Note that having the Traits is only the beginning. The character must then challenge a werewolf of higher rank. The elder chooses the nature of the contest – there are several traditional ones, but the elder is free to innovate and improvise. The challenge must be approved by the master of challenge and the ST’s. Once the character has completed the requisite challenge the elder must announce his rise in rank to the nation for him to be recognized as such. Once the character has enough renown and has waited enough time to challenge for the next rank they are treated as that rank for the purposes of gaining renown. There is no advantage to staying at a lower rank to avoid renown penalty.
Cub: Rank Zero
Laws of the Wild Revised assumes that most characters begin play with some experience of Garou life. Cubs don't have any. They've just gone through their First Change and have just begun to deal with the complex new world they've entered. Cubs enjoy a few advantages: They can't be challenged without loss of honor on the challenger's part, though they are subject to routine pack, sept and tribal discipline, and older Garou come to a cub's aid in time of danger. On the other hand, cubs can only learn breed and auspice Gifts; tribe Gifts come once a cub undergoes a Rite of Passage. Many septs designate a Garou as Den Mother or Den Father with the responsibility to watch over the cubs and teach them what they must know to survive as full-fledged members of Garou society. Cub PCs begin play in the last days of a several year long training process, they should understand that they have been involved in Garou society for quite some time.
Gifts Available: None at character creation; may learn breed and auspice Gifts
Maximum Traits per Category: 10
Maximum Willpower, Gnosis and Rage: 3
Requirements: Must have first changed.
Duties: Learn as much as you can about Garou society and your place in it.
Cliath: Rank One
This is the Rank most players will begin at. The character creation rules assume Cliath status. Cliath have completed their Rite of Passage and are accepted as a full-fledged (though still young) member of the Garou Nation. They cannot hold sept office or lead outside their pack, and they are constantly watched. Now they must submit to Garou justice, and there's little margin for clowning around or taunting their elders. Gaia's warriors do not tolerate insubordination in the ranks do not find pranking of superiors and veterans amusing, and do harshly penalize young Garou who fail to grasp the basic realities of their condition. Cliath are expected to explore their new abilities and demonstrate their strengths individually and in cooperation with their allies.
Gifts Available: Basic
Rites Available: None
Maximum Traits per Category: 11
Maximum Willpower, Gnosis and Rage: 5
Requirements: In addition to Renown requirements, Cliath must learn three initial Gifts and swear loyalty to their sept and tribe. This usually takes place at a ceremony immediately after the Rite of Passage.
Duties: Serve your sept regularly. This may involve minor jobs such as assisting the Keeper of the Land, patrol and guard duty or helping elders prepare for complicated rites. You are expected to do the duties assigned to you and to do them well. You are not expected to find it all fun, but you may learn something and may sometimes get the opportunity to earn Renown.
Privileges: Cliath can petition for justice, challenge for higher Rank when they have sufficient Renown and can usually enter the caern. Elders allow Cliath some measure of independence and just plain screwing up, but being young and inexperienced isn't license for abuse. Storytellers should feel free to rein in characters whose players seem to regard the Litany and social hierarchy as optional.
Fostern: Rank Two
Most Garou who hold positions at the sept level have achieved Fostern rank. They've made some mark on the world and gotten the Renown to prove it, and they've survived dangers that destroyed their less successful peers. Fostern are considered mature in Garou Society. They are expected to attend moots, fulfill the roles assigned to their auspice and to master the ways of their breed and tribe.
Gifts Available: Basic
Rites Available: Basic
Maximum Traits per Category: 12
Maximum Willpower, Gnosis, and Rage: 6
Requirements: Renown plus two months of time as a Cliath. You now suffer a 2/1 renown penalty.
Duties: Serve your sept. In addition to the basic duties you've performed before, you now bear greater responsibility for its safety and success. You will sometimes command younger Garou, and their actions will reflect back on your ability.
Privileges: Fostern can learn Basic Rites as well as petitioning for justice and challenging for Rank when appropriate. They can usually gain access to the caern, and can request moon bridges for serious tasks. (Frivolous requests eventually earn loss of Wisdom.) The term “Fostern” also refers to pack brothers and sisters, and within the pack Rank distinctions are less important, though they never become trivial.
Adren: Rank Three
Adren are part of the elite within Garou society. Most Garou don't make it this far, whether it's because of dying along the way or because of never managing to earn the necessary Renown. Adren lead the Garou Nation in routine matters.
Gifts Available: Basic, Intermediate
Rites Available: Basic,
Maximum Traits per Category: 14
Maximum Willpower, Gnosis and Rage: 7
Requirements: In addition to Renown requirements, Adren must be in training for one of the sept's positions. They must have spent at least four months as a Fostern and are now subject to a 3/1 renown penalty.
Duties: Serve the elder who trains you; this will take most of your time. You may take on lesser sept offices like Keeper of the Land, Gatekeeper, Guardian and Den Mother, and performing them well shows your fitness and dedication. Train Fostern and Cliath so that someday they might do as well as you, or even better. Remember that while your responsibilities are sometimes great, your authority is often limited, and you will need to use ingenuity as well as force to do your duty.
Privileges: Fostern and Cliath must address Adren with terms of respect, or the Adren can demand justice (and receive it). Adren who know the Rite of Binding can create talens for themselves and others. They're known beyond their own sept, generally within their own tribe. They can demand that the sept provide living space (even if just communal quarters), though the demand often seems petty or even unwise.
Note: Most Adren are in line for sept positions. They're under scrutiny. Ragabash can earn Renown for exposing their failings and vices, Theurges for exposing their follies, and so on. Adren are expected to set good examples.
Athro: Rank Four
Athro are known widely in the Garou Nation. Not many Adren survive and prosper enough to make to this Rank, and all that achieve it have earned respect and authority. Other Garou come to them for advice and respect the answers they get.
Gifts Available: Basic, Intermediate
Rites Available: Basic, Intermediate
Maximum Traits per Category: 16
Maximum Willpower, Gnosis and Rage: 8
Requirements: In addition to Renown requirements, Athro should fill one of the elder positions in a sept: elder of an auspice, elder of a tribe, elder of a breed, sept leader, Warder, Master of the Rite or Master of the Challenge. Some duties overlap, and an Athro may hold more than one of these positions. Athro must spend at least six months as an Adren. Athro are now subject to a 4/1 renown penalty.
Duties: Lead your pack, your sept or both. Be ready to receive guiding visions, to organize and lead quests and missions. You must face danger to set the example for others, and must not court dishonor by commanding others to take risks you're not prepared to face yourself.
Privileges: An Athro has the right to petition to be judged by his septs council of Elders; all challenges and complaints go through them. Athro get their pick of juicy assignments, and are considered teachers by all younger Garou.
Elder: Rank Five
Elders are at the peak of their ability as Garou. They stand forth as paragons of their respective communities, receiving respect and obedience from all others.
Gifts Available: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced
Rites Available: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced
Maximum Traits per Category: 18
Maximum Willpower, Gnosis and Rage: 10
Requirements: In addition to Renown requirements, elders must hold at least one of the sept's elder positions: elder of an auspice, elder of a tribe, elder of a breed, sept leader, Warder, Master of the Rite or Master of the Challenge. Elders can be elder of a tribe, auspice or breed and also sept leader, Master of the Rite or Master of the Challenge. You must have spent at least eight months as an Athro. An Elder is subject to a 5/1 renown penalty.
Duties: As auspice, tribe or breed elder, you are ultimately responsible for the well being of all Garou of that type within your sept. They need you to instruct them, lead them, and represent their interests when conflicts arise . . . and also to discipline them when they fail. You can veto Renown nominations, and should take this responsibility seriously. As elder of a tribe, you can adopt new members and expel existing ones who commit sufficiently heinous deeds. As elder of a breed, you are expected to deal with the non-Garou population of that sort in the surrounding area.
Privileges: Only a council of elders can judge elders. Elders are largely free to do as they wish as long as they discharge their duties.
Storyteller Note: Elders should always be very much in the minority. In small chronicles, think carefully before allowing many players to advance their characters to elder ranks.