Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:07
The Basics of Wraith: the Oblivion
WtO got discontinued by White Wolf after the 2nd edition, and copies of the books for it are harder to find than most other oWoD books. Fortunately for us, there have been at least a couple games on RPoL where the ST went to great lengths to write out all the details for making Wraith characters. I still find myself referring to their info threads and referring other people to them, even though one of the games has been inactive for 1.5 years now, and the other was inactive for that long until it started up again recently. In the interests of not seeing them disappear someday (games come and go, this forum should last forever, right? ;) ), I'm consolidating all the info here.

Others who want to contribute: feel free. :)
Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:31
character sheet
Most of this was lifted (with permission) from Tylorva. Her commentary in red and purple, mine in blue.


CHARACTER NAME
PLAYER NAME

If you are not sure what goes here then... uhhh.. well..  yeah... anyway.

NATURE
DEMEANOUR

Exactly the same as every other White Wolf game.  Look in any book for a list. 

SHADOW

More on this later.

LIFE

Who were you?
Describe your life in one word.  :-)
Examples:  Criminal, cop, kid, artist, professional...


DEATH

How did you die?

REGRET

Why are you still here?

ATTRIBUTES (physical/mental/social)

Standard White Wolf attributes, they work exactly the same way as in the other games. 

You have 7 points for one category, 5 points for another and 3 points for the last.  Remember that there is 1 point in each attribute for free!

ABILITIES (talents/skills/knowledges)

No surprises here either.

13 points for one category, 9 for next and 5 for last.

BACKGROUNDS (7 points, wraith-specific ones underlined, * ones have extended descriptions later)

allies
artifact
contacts
eidolon
haunt*
legacy*
mentor
memoriam*
notoriety - basically the same as fame, except in Wraith society.
relic*
status

PASSIONS (10)

more on this later

FETTERS (10)

more on this later

ARCANOI (5)

more on this later

WILLPOWER - base 5

PATHOS - begins at 5+memoriam. More on this later.

CORPUS (10) - more on this later

FREEBIE POINT COSTS

Attributes: 5
Abilities: 2
Backgrounds: 1
Passions: 1
Fetters: 1
Willpower: 1

XP POINT COSTS

Straight out of W:TO 2nd Ed.

Attribute:  Current Rating X 4
New Ability:  3
Ability:  Current Rating X 2
New Arcanos:  7
Arcanos:  Current Rating X 3
Willpower: Current Rating

This message was last edited by the user at 05:59, Sat 21 Oct 2006.

Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:33
some explained backgrounds
Lifted straight from Tylorva

RELICS

Sometimes an object is so much a part of a person, that when that person dies, the object becomes wraithly with them.

Some examples:

- A war veteran who always wore his medals in life, will still have them in death.
- An engagement ring, worn throughout life.
- A favourite hat
- A walking stick

HAUNTS

Most people feel attachment to a particular place, either in a good way or a bad.  Many wraiths feel affinity to the places they 'haunted' in life, and this becomes their own private place in death.  Most haunts have immense emotional significance to the wraith in question.

Examples:

- A workaholic's office
- A prison cell
- An apartment
- A classroom

LEGACY

Some people have the talent to create, and leave something that is purely their own behind, for generations of living people to marvel at afterwards.  This can help the living remember a dead person many years after they are dead, even if they have never met (or even heard of) the creator when he was alive.

Examples:

- A painting, sculpture or written work
- A song or piece of music
- A particularly notable piece of graffiti
- An invention, computer program etc.
- A fabulous garden

MEMORIAM

Every wraith leaves people behind when they die.  And the memory of the wraith by the living grants some benefits in death.  However some people may only leave a few mourners behind, while the death of others may trigger national bereavement.  Memoriam is simply a measure of roughly how many people remember you after you die.  An elderly tramp will be remembered by very few, whilst an international rock star will be remembered by millions for years to come.
Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:40
Passions and Fetters
Two different explanations are available. The following is from Static.

Passions: (10)

* Passions are the primary emotional ties that keep wraiths connected to the physical world. Everything to a wraith is colored by strong emotions, and they leech off the emotions of the living in order to regain pathos.

Most wraiths have between 4 and 6 passions. Each passion consists of two parts: (1) a specific goal or ambition that the wraith feels compelled to complete. (eg  -  protect my son). (2) the emotion that drives the goal (eg - protect my son (love)).

Pick your emotions carefully. Oftentimes, the most obvious choice is not the most interesting.  'Protect my son (love)' is very different from 'Protect my son (guilt)' or 'Protect my son (greed)'.

Fetters: (10)

* Fetters are physical objects, places, or people that the wraith has an emotional attachment to. These can range from places and objects associated with major life altering events (eg - the only surviving photo album from a house fire), to the small and personal (eg- Wire fence at the school playground, where Billy Johnson used to steal my lunch money).

The associations do not have to be positive, and the wraith does not necessarily need to know why they are important to him/her.



The following is from Tylorva.

This part has been adapted from text in Wraith 2nd Ed, with a bit of my own...

Passions and fetters are essential to any wraith character.  While they don't strictly come into play until a character becomes a wraith, they are such an integral part of the character and background that it generally works out best to design them at the same time as character concepts.

PASSIONS

Not every mortal who dies in the World of Darkness becomes a wraith as such...  Most simply don't have the desire.  Wraiths exist because they have very powerful reasons to do continue to exist.  This is part reflected in 'Passions'.

Passions are goals and tasks that the wraith goes on existing to complete.  By seeking to fulfil these desires the wraith might someday transcend - go onto to another existance, although certain elements of the Dead community scoff at such notions.  Nonetheless passions are very important to all wraiths.

Passions can vary immensely, but all are very personal to the wraith.  Some can be of clear and obvious importance to all and sundry, others can be downright obscure, trivial or just plain obsessive.

A few examples of passions are:

- Find my murderer (fear)
- Protect my husband (love)
- Ensure my daughter marries a good Jewish boy (pride)
- Gain material wealth (greed)
- Find out what is in the locked filing cabinet in Police Precinct 47 (duty)
- Publicise my boss's adultery (hate)
- Finish reading Lord of the Rings (obsession)
- Find out the answer to the local radio's Secret Sound competition for the day I died (curiosity)

Passions are very emotional things and hence every passion is tied to a particular emotion (as shown above).  Be careful though, because different emotions can have drastic effects on the nature of a passion.

For instance "Find my murderer (fear)" is very different to "find my murderer (hate)".

In many cases the obvious emotion for a particular passion may not always be the best one.  "Protect my husband" could very easily go with 'love'.  But how about "protect my husband (greed)", where the wife wants to ensure he remains around for her... always.  Or maybe "protect my husband (jealousy)".

FETTERS

There is much that tries to tear a wraith away from everything that is important to them.  But some things are just too important to stray away from.

Fetters are items, people or places that are of such great importance to the wraith that they bind him or her to the world of the living (generally this is a good thing).

Like passions, some fetters can be obvious and some can be downright obscure.

A few examples are:

- My mother's gravestone
- My infant son
- My desk at work
- Floppy-Ears, my childhood teddybear
- My painting in the gallery
- A tree in Central Park under which I lost my virginity
- My ex-wife's engagement ring
- The gun which fired the bullet that killed me
- Sergeant Briggs, whose bullying resulted in my discharge from the army

Again, fetters are very personal to the wraith concerned, although the significance of a particular fetter may not always be clear to the wraith in question.  A waith might have the fetter of an unlabeled key.  He may have no idea as to why this is important to him, but perhsps someday he will finds out.  Who knows... perhaps whatever the key unlocks will result in the solving of his murder. Or the discovery of a previously unknown about son.  Or hidden treasure.  Or maybe just some stale pizza.

GENERAL

During the development of character backgrounds, it will be helpful if you could start thinking about what passions and fetters your character might have if he became a wraith.  Most wraiths have 4-6 passions and 4-6 fetters.
Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:42
Arcanoi
This is a good quick-reference-style list lifted straight from Static.


Argos: Deals with navigation and travel, especially within the Tempest.
Basic abilities:
Orientering: Finding a path within the Tempest (* The Tempest is a wild, disorienting place constantly torn by violent storms. It is not pleasant to be in, and is almost impossible to navigate without Argos)
Tempest Threshold: opening portals from the shadowlands to the Tempest
Tempestpeek: peeking into the Tempest.

Level 1 - Enshroud: hiding by pulling shadows around oneself
Level 2 - Phantom Wings: growing wings to fly with
Level 3 - Flicker: moving quickly
Level 4 - Jump: moving instantly to a fetter
Level 5 - Oubliette: casting another wraith directly into the tempest.


Castigate: Learning how the Shadow operates and how to guard against it.
Basic abilities:
Bulwark: Briefly guard self and companions from Maelstrom
Soulsight: Examine another wraith and see their shadow.

Level 1 - Coax: Call on the power of your own shadow with less risk.
Level 2 - Dark Secrets: Learn another wraith's dark secrets by studying their shadow.
Level 3 - Purify: Attack the power of another wraith's shadow.
Level 4 - Housecleaning: Drive away spectres
Level 5 - Defiance: Fight against shadows (your own or others) when they attempt to take over.

Embody: Physically manifesting in the mortal world.
Basic abilities:
Ghostly Touch: Exert a tiny, tiny touch on physical objects. Move dust or write on a foggy window with concentration
Maintain the Material Form: Maintain embodied form for a longer duration.

Level 1 - Whispers: Whisper across the shroud.
Level 2 - Phantom: Appear as a hazy, translucent figure
Level 3 - Statue: Appear as an immobile, solid form.
Level 4 - Life-in-Death: Manifest as mortal body, with an idealized appearance (and other flaws).
Level 5 - Materialize: Appear exactly as you were in life.

Fatalism: See the workings of fate.
Basic abilities:
Kismet: Gauge a situation or person's overall importance in the great scheme of things.

Level 1 - Fatal Vision: Read deathmarks on wraiths, or soon-to-die humans. (*Deathmarks hint at the manner of a person's death).
Level 2 - Foreshadow: Sense when danger approaches
Level 3 - Interpretation: Interpret a person's fate or read into her past.
Level 5 - Guesswork: Intuitively respond to a target's actions before she physically acts.
Level 5 - Luck: Warp fate slightly to benefit self. Ability to ignore a number of 1s rolled. (*This is kind of lame to me. I might modify this a bit if anyone is ever interested in learning Fatalism this high. If modified, I will weave in some ideas from Exalted Sidereals)

Inhabit: Affect mechanical things
Basic abilities:
Sense Gremlin: Sense if another wraith is inhabiting a machine
Shellride: Slide corpus into a machine and hide there

Level 1 - Surge: Cause a temporary short
Level 2 - Ride the Electron Highway: Transmit self over wires / networks/ communications satellites.
Level 3 - Gremlinize: Possess and control machines. (minor, clumsy effects)
Level 4 - Claim: Claim an object as a host body for a scene. See, hear, feel everything happening to that object. Exert some control over it.
Level 5 - Empower: Create minor artifact by placing some amount of arcanos art into a relic.


Keening: Influencing emotions through sound
Basic abilities:
Perfect Pitch: Notice when another wraith is using Keening.
Sotto Voice: Hide Keening abilities within talking or normal singing.

Level 1 - Dirge: Fan a target's darker emotions.
Level 2 - Ballad: Fan a target's 'higher' emotions
Level 3 - Muse: Make a suggestion into a target's subconscious
Level 4 - Crescendo: Emit a damaging scream
Level 5 - Requiem: Flood subject with raw undiluted emotion.

Lifeweb: Study of ties between wraiths and living world.
Basic abilities:
Locate Fetter: Check up on any of your own fetters, scanning its surroundings.

Level 1 - Sense Strand: Perceive links between a wraith and her fetters.
Level 2 - Web Presence: Affect area around fetter from a distance.
Level 3 - Splice Strand: Create a temporary fetter with an object or person.
Level 4 - Sever Strand: Tear another wraith from her fetters.
Level 5 - Soul Pact: Claim a willing mortal's soul as her own.

Moliate: Shaping corpus
Basic abilities:
Glow: Cause self or other to glow
Return of Death's Visage: Bring wraith back to original appearance immediately after death.

Level 1 - Imitate: Change one's face to mimic another's.
Level 2 - Sculpt: Sculpt corpus however she chooses.
Level 3 - Martialry: Shape limbs into weapons. Sculpt skin into armor.
Level 4 - Rend: Tear apart corpus of another wraith.
Level 5 - Bodyshape: Transform own or another's corpus into practically anything imaginable.


Outrage: Physical/ Violent manipulation of mortal world.
Basic abilities:
Leap of Rage: Focusing rage, wraith can jump really far in shadowlands.

Level 1 - Ping: Move smallest objects (eg - bottlecap, penny)
Level 2 - Wraithgrasp: Lift things and drop them.
Level 3 - Stonehand Punch: Strike a target with raw anger.
Level 4 - Death's Touch: Manipulate objects fully. Start fires through raw friction.
Level 5 - Obliviate: Damage someone or something so completely that it is sent to oblivion.

Pandemonium: Tap into chaos and create weird haunting effects.
Basic abilities:
Sense chaos: Sense if something has been manipulated by pandemonium or a shadow.

Level 1 - Weirdness: Invoke one 'weird' effect on a person. Target may feel cold, or hallucinate briefly.
Level 2 - Befuddlement: Momentarily confuse a target.
Level 3 - Dark Ether: Tamper with weather or lighting conditions.
Level 4 - Foul Humor: Manifest in noxious substances or swarms of vermin.
Level 5 - Tempus Fugit: Distort distance and time

Phantasm: Manipulate dreams
Basic abilities:
Sleepsense: Watch a mortal's dreams

Level 1 - Elysia: gently free a sleeper's soul and carry it with her.
Level 2 - Lucidity: Alter details of a mortal's dreams
Level 3 - Dreams of Sleep: Make other wraiths fall asleep and dream
Level 4 - Phantasmagoria: Weave pathos into illusions
Level 5 - Agon: Directly rip a mortal's soul from sleeping body.

Puppetry: Use mortals to ride around in/ as puppets
Basic abilities:
Detect Possession: See if a mortal is possessed.

Level 1 - Skinride: Slip into a mortal's body and ride. Wraith has no control.
Level 2 - Sudden Movement: Take fleeting control of target's arm or leg.
Level 3 - Master's Voice: Speak through a host.
Level 4 - Reign the Mind: Take physical control of body.
Level 5 - Obliterate the Soul: Live full time within a mortal's body. The host's personality is devoured by the wraith's shadow.

Usury: Arcanos of bartering with pathos.
Basic abilities:
Assessment: Gauge relative levels of life and death within an individual

Level 1 - Transfer: transfer pathos between self and another wraith. (lend or steal)
Level 2 - Charitable Trust: Heal wounds on wraiths or mortals
Level 3 - Early Withdrawal: Steal another person's life energy by touch.
Level 4 - Exchange Rate: Convert corpus levels into pathos. (*Note: All wraiths can convert pathos into corpus levels).
Level 5 - Investment: Pour corpus and/or pathos into a relic, storing it for future use.
Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:46
Corpus and Pathos
Lifted from Tylorva.


Corpus is a measure of your... 'health level'.  The less corpus you have, the more dissipated you are and look.  IE a wraith with 10 corpus will look completely solid and opaque, whereas one with only 1 corpse will look virtually transparent.

Wraiths lose corpus by walking through things (like walls), or by having things go through them (like people).  Wraiths can also take damage off other wraiths or various items in the Deadlands.  (Note: wraiths can do small things like waving their hands through objects, without taking corpus loss.)

If you run out of corpus completely...  well, wait and see.  :-) see the section on Harrowings below. :)

Corpus can be 'healed' using pathos on a 1 for 1 basis.  You also get some back by 'slumbering'.

Pathos is a measure of your 'energy', 'passion' or (for want of a better phrase) 'magic points'.  Pathos is used to heal corpus, and to activate most Arcanoi powers.

Pathos is gained in 3 ways.  1)  By carrying out actions that go towards fulfilling your passions.  2)  By witnessing living people expressing the emotion tied to one of your passions.  3)  by 'slumbering' (sleeping).

You can never have more than 10 pathos.  Running out of pathos makes you lack passion which makes you rather more susceptible to the activities of your Shadow.  :-)

This message was last edited by the user at 06:04, Sat 21 Oct 2006.

Nerwen
 member, 1196 posts
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 05:55
Shadows
Here's what Tylorva has to say about Shadows:

Your Shadow is a little voice inside your head.  The voice sounds completely real to your character, although no one other than the wraith in question can hear it.  Every shadow is different, and every wraith deals with their shadow in a different way.   Shadows can be conversed with through a conversation within the wraiths mind.  Shadows also have quite a few surprises in store for an unsuspecting wraith...

For purposes of this game, each character has a Shadow thread, that only that player can see.  Shadowguiding will kind of happen in parallel to everything else, and your character can converse and interact with your shadow through the shadow thread.  Of course the actions and events within the shadow thread will almost certainly affect what your character is doing in the normal IC threads.  :-)



...and now back to me. :)

There are basically two ways to run Shadows.

By the official WtO method, each character has two players - one for the "character" character (as described by all of the above chargen material) which is also known as the Psyche, and a second player that does the voice of the Shadow. Basically, the players of a roleplaying group play each other's shadows.

Alternately, the GM plays all of the Shadows. In my opinion it works best if there's two GMs - one that does all the standard setting/plotline/etc., and a separate one to run all the Shadows.
Nerwen
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Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 06:02
Harrowings
from Tylorva

At some stage or other, a Wraith might undergo a Harrowing.  This can be for a variety of reasons, but the most common are loss of all corpus points, death or destruction of a fetter and total screw-up of a passion.  :-)

When a wraith gets Harrowed, he is dragged down into a nightmare realm called the Labyrinth, populated by spectres.  There the wraith undergos a hallucinatory experience created by the spectres with the aid of the wraith's shadow.

In order to escape from the Harrowing, the wraith must survive through the psychodrama and make the right choices.  Although these may be not be immediately obvious or easy to do....

If the wraith manages to complete the Harrowing successfully, he will reform at one of his fetters.  If he fails it (ie makes the wrong decisions), then he may suffer some nasty after-effects (usually a small loss of permanent corpus or points in passions/fetters)  If he really screws it up, then he may find himself straight back in the Labyrinth for another Harrowing.

The scene of the Harrowing could be anything.  It is after all, at the whim of the spectres and the Harrowings director - the wraith's shadow.  And they will do everything in their power to try to cause the wraith to lose.

So... a few tips.

- Try and stick to your nature, and to a lesser extent, your demeanour.  The spectres are going to try and make you forget who you truly are.

- Always bear in mind your passions and fetters. These are the things that makes you a wraith.  The Harrowing will often target them.

- Bear in mind what you know of your shadow.  It never has your best interests at heart, and really wants to see you acting according to it's whim!

- There is always the possibility that the spectres may try and make you choose between people, fetters, passions etc.

- There is usually no right or wrong solution.  Sometimes doing something drastic or unexpected may provide an alternative choice to what is seemingly being presented.

Hope that helps.  :-)
tylorva
 member, 83 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2006
at 12:53
Re: Harrowings
Yay!  Wraith!  <3

Will add any more resourses as and when I think of them. :-)

This is a good one though, that I have started using a lot.

Someone carefully compiled a list of every emotion used in the series of Wraith books published by White Wolf.  This list is great for coming up with ideas for passion emotions beyond the obvious (love, fear, hate etc).

http://www.cattail.nu/wraithpr.../0302comppubemo.html