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A Storytelling Game of Deatn and Damnation

Do not go gentle into that good ...
- Dylan Thomas
By Mark
Sam jennifer Hartshorn
DesiJln: Mark Rein Hagen with Sam Chupp and Jenni-
fer Hanshom
Written by: Steven C. Brown, Phil Brucato, Sam Chupp,
Briall Campbell , Jackie Cassauo, Graemc Davis, Da11
Greenberg, Mark Rein llagen, Jennifer Hartshorn, Robert
Ha<ch, Harry Heckel,lnn Lemke, Ken Rolston, Kathlecn Ryan,
Teeu1vyn Woodruff
Storyteller Game System: Mark Rein Hagen
Development: Jeolnifer Harrshorn with Sam Chupp
Design and Development Contributors: Phil Brucato,
Brian Campbell, Ian Lemke
Other Contributon: Nicholas Troels Chr.
jacobse11, Michael 0. Schmidt, Palle Schmidt, Martin S.
Editing: Robert Hatch, Brian Campbell
Art Direction: Richatd Thomas
Art: Tom Berg, John Cobb, Anthony Hightower, Larry
MacDougall, Anson Msddox, Robert McNeill, Ke11 Meyer Jr.,
E. Alle11 Smith, Richn:"<l Thomas, joshua Gabriel Timbrook,
Drew Tucker
TypeRtting and Layout: Aileen E. Miles
Cover Design: Henry Higgenbotham, Larry Snelly
Wraith Logo: Chris McDo11ough
Playtesters: The Damned Playtest Group: Alexa11dcr M.
Feely, Doull Dejulio, Tod Beardsley, Cynthia K. Neelan, Jer-
emy York, Harrison. Dark Spectre Playtest Group:
Timothy Tnner, Lisa Hoff, John Buscher, Cassidy Bowman,
Scott Nash, Christian Pnnas, P. David Gill. Danish Playtcstcrs:
Paul llnnvigson, Peter C. G. jensen, Rasmus Rasmussen,
Carsten Schaumburg, Asta Wellejus. Other Playttsting:
Mitchell Gross, Heather Pritchen, Beth Bostic, Tony Dills,
Jim Gantt, Shcrri Gann, Carla Hollar, Nicky Rea, Sus.'n
Adams, Chuck C3rroll, Bill Gilsdorf, Joe Masdon, Seretha
M>L'<Cion, Sherrie Miller, John Richatdson, Ian Lemke, Brian
Campbell, jennifer Hartshorn, Sam Chupp. Mark
Rein Hagen, Bill Bridges, Phil Brucato, Robert Hatch, Mike
Tinney, Kothleen Ryan, Aileen E. Miles, and the
University Game:; Cluh.
For Joseph Campbell, reacher, philosopher and scholar of
the world's mythos.
"The conqutjl of U.. frar of tkath is the recovery of life's
j<YJ. can expericna an unoonclirional affimwion of Uft only
14hen one has acJJt/>ttd tkarh, nor 4S contrary w bfe , bur as an
a.<f>tet of life. Ufe in iu becoming c< alu"'ysshedding dea11, and on
ohe point of deau. The conquest of fear cour/'4"' of life.
That is U.. cardinal initiation of every lu?roic advenrure - fearkss-
nas and achievemenl.
STONE MlN., CA 30083
@1994 by Whirc Wolf, Inc. All rights reserved. Re
production without the written permission of the publilhtt
is expressly denied, except for the purpose of review-s.
Wraith the Oblivion, Mage the Ascension, Werewolf
the Apocalypse, and Vampire the Masquerade are trade
marks of the White Wolf Game Srudio. All names, titles,
characters and tcxr herein are copyrights of Whioc Wolf
u11less othenvise nored.
The mention or reference to any comp.,nies or prod.
ucts in these pages is not a challenge to the trademarks or
copyrights concerned.
Because of the mature subje-ct matter contained herein,
reader discretion is advised.

Book One:
chapter One: 24
chapter Two: Setting 34
chapter Three: Storytelling 70
Book Two:
chapter four: 90
chapter five: character 100
chapter Six: Traits 114
Book Tnree:
chapter Seven: 174
Chapter Eight: Systems 192
Chapter Nine: Drama 206
' "'
i can't touch tile hooks
i you tlfe stars P
Hourided;by .
,. )d ii 11111110 Gil am . "'' '4oil1i. c1.:
Apd aiiJOUT \\
,, ,
t But now I mfinally, Pl'-..-:.i'-"'1
ud U tliert Lel,_l
i \
--=><- '
I rhat itre
tt'lfX...vll .d,.litftttils! ' :
toull never know the hurf
- IW uis.lilrt!r
Nor the pain i rise
And i'll never know the csame yQU,
But sooo we'll be together
jn clasp of
Thls Coil
T+ I u el -r11111l!fllr!s ,_. ietlle Toil. tlni'J IIIII! cl $riaa. imdubess cl til i*tll!l \e
...,..._ lncel II!! luhlnW 6t 1m 11111 tmlold. Jl-w do 1101
- .IIQIIOI wlo do DOlled. atwlo do 'nGl eplt hi tWlr Olll!lfstm despite lie !w IUWIIiowtd
lie d.l:n&

JPi(/( t/tc f!iiJ!ff 1/ltJ/'lf'rljll, 17J/III]t- /(io{?.'Jsfii/JJNfi!fl . ..
, '., .. .J?
@ Im/Jidrfl ?iMddt$n'Ytlldt&. f pN JPwfir !fi(J. q4a
IPI/4"1 411 fl Is. Cdl'iJipon. lf.fX'/1; @ siTdtt/8 trS
_ ttm(p,.in tht: lfll!pior }faiiv rttu#ltPlfltmtljh tlrP.d.lfJS mp
hm: ifmras. t
Y/for/1 jinlJ ltfJeln. tip fu!S!fC!t bJ ''!P"P tJ[//Jd !JPI ter.r i11 11!hds! Cdli!Pmpkrttdll "'''
iftlstMI 'krn8 J,8 8istra-iJJit!fr, lfdKJ lA-: 4tme8 ld HIAfll. tornble
ltiJlsiPrjes! r:5lmtls airuJirBIJJdt t?ll_lAAJ 8iiJrfnm<J,r llli'PP ;xrssei) tllr(Jllf}t btfore me. @sat;
tlrott(forvptl!Jz iJ!{i,iiJU;dut-,hdfo. 11'1Mttl8 (ffst&f< ll1jln rr sitfjllsltip llflll/tc tJai.f!;,
willldllt Cdlmt- drtm,m frn81f f111Lin t/lis
.l,., , I f.l
.L El 1 !ll
rzfll18cr.rltf118. /d(J. SlfOfl p:r/if /l1 {fJt &fll1 l/IPJfJ JMflJ.l} @ llfi!f:fnm! /ld
tnealp-moutlre8 petfrdm tfJ1f {!11fCliff1l'!Ji"usf!tdcmfor tlfJ iff
dlltcrs. rc:Jtmlh ptfllr '!!lid. h!tf11BIJ? tJ/lt. pli'!fJStJ
IJ sintp/p. tftrt pd!t h1tfw o/tJ. 8ir6 mpstcneJ thduli) ""' 1
lttrr8.itfl18 117fS. 'but skmi?J rtrllttJt<ttll"w l't7:li ltJiJztteJ wllh'l! tN_ httJw/atyt"
tfl18 pr6Jm-u !Jt'lltwlf.'J;Iwz t!lp Wdr L'if?dlp.JMII a, pltWe_ .
FPIU' il#,irl!s tf lltf711Wt:. tlwr f!eli,
..... -""'
or . \.YeJt;1.c
I o the modem reaaer:
rcct!ne;t to you, whoever you be. an4
YOU' Ol.aJI h<1,\'e comt>upa11 tl\is
. ';ll'

. . .
twas tbe fashion, of my \'011118 . Hete, I maiotain,lay seed of thnt mnnta.eqlled Gothic.
mnn\iO<>d, thaf th&'e wliQytetende<l'w Wit '&'"" Reasdn the the lmell<..:t; and
oho.ttfd st'61ng from the
thl idle, r\cll , rhl.$ hew world
anclnwcn of atQms' aqd 'III ><!lie, lu:Cro/!hilia we
whlc'h Yet we pl)rsiied mtglit yet
\1'1\re >!lOlled forever byfd'e of err prc:wil arid the-wo{ld might be nQt !WOld niggardly
nul. 5tmn1;dtlnknn!l had coml"''}YFwfe.} a bnokl<a'l''"" Others soughr a 1\io tbollj(ht wicltcd,
"attho:r, opium and the like .. bit-nothlnr and and proclaimed
<'Wid ''"'" Dlf fnre\'<!r die 'Of fli<:ed with Mf; the vanguard of Rea>10n, probing te mysieriC$-"of
of'otrro...-n loves. Empriness)"<<""'ed uponusm.n\ r:!r-!t rt, tdo,-mjgln bt,;n:<l_oced (o rul"''o procc...::. and
allstdts; It is of ever lll fetk th<VN
di>tnKt our.Clve> from our inner o( IIi
lcscndary ..,
journey int9 'Death
of p.'ISSage. r must habit as by de:filp' ofNarurc. Had U>L'Y t....,n ltvrncd
lldm1t thar I felt adcli1:loU> mi,xtureof !'ear and 11,,1 <l,d.rc tlw
311d - th()lle dread l"l"neriCJ pi()Sp<.'Ct wtlukfhaye been leo. horrible.
I had conrom- .I these I...J lam in ".ut
about U>or<:n dC)ll>dv<:> to for my passing,o1<ld upqn md'"" own
in 5911lS, is1lOt exciU5ivtly earthll "'"
and" one sn blaa, 'II* my cevfdcntly, hid e>J't.'<:iul 'nlut.
ThC811 how.:v<:r; a. I the How knowttdge woultltq,e m)' '"''111: vannr!
thrahokht\ll me l.,lndtrw6rt<l. The But now, he!J11eSSly ratched, grv.<pe.l and rroJ
wa> Under water: both sight and sound <led, as th* A'e,pdsconresred my &OUl, I wouiJ ctl<iurt.'\1 .o
I {oondnw.tlf hampcN9 tn I , lifetime's Au: ;: but a uf
even S9"!jht, II) .Jiokf my brur fol r..,, qf dro'IV!1mg, unrll I Thrpugh U1t rising nlailbe.S; I cdneef\11...1 the of my
found I no lot't!!C< by $0111 beinJ torn asun!ler, 'ral>bit contc>t<d by n p<tdc o(
behclda&>l<i, h und&. "1. r::
iitstincl {''Ill Ill)' qwatd ft. ?lfllllly. and I wa 1 cn-
1\lllhi> I diJQ"'rcd In dll iMtQnt, but wore. wert lJfany-i.ltriblu thinK> Jucin!! "'l' capth i11,
secttll! vet ((>J\!floq\cl. botl do !!'tell them FM now, lr Mrfhm rhat
}l'Oved.ln mol>bttl ! could neither I"Wl\1> l:tlc' tD 11nd by" mixture of
thuir form" roor fttlhom tilt words borne on their pod fottune I ulmnatdy N.JI/<'J 111y
lftu aa holplcll$ Q5 a n<l\vl,orn, and lchtned much nh<>ul rhe nruurc ul
fllY co!l,lP!)6ure quite mu In ofthcr dtirchin'l! the On. tet;ltorles UI"J!' which
MY'tllOVf'IICOt and 4C'9scs 1yctj\ impeded or \>WI! n)<\'rml world is hot one, anJ
cl/vcring upO(I whiW in rrutny. 'YilVS'It is the
dOwn Jt1 somt cxtcli'Gall lily rhc Porfions \)( this rosr 1M dearly, l 1mulcl
beheld thelt oor have IIliiS ble, pay'i,n the same klnJ"' I
ma- fol'lll ,' lkwore. !l\ough, fQr m_)' ,knOI"Itdge Is by nn mean Ctllllpletc,
!'lo th rtt were 1he.o;c, merelY 110ubi like "'Y '"and 11.ay nbt be thorooghly eccurol'<:.ln Underworld, rruth
in an '!Pproximarlon'(l( hum :On llkene!f as much by is <IS w.urabl':f any orhe, .
11 be a wratth u !U be forever ru,:ar tQ those
thing> Qnt\held d<:;lr tn life, )'et eternally
bani>Jll!d lt\im the pleasure o( thdll Wlutt
311 it j,., 111 >ce
l>nt lovtf: ro' w;nch them a:
thuy wnfront the buffets of mortal fortune;
tn,1!te and witlwt thci1
limbs; ro cheir joys and the1r,..,...- bur {orev"'-to be
an unseen denied c:onsress with tlwm mOK $illely
rh n a is pi'Qhib.ttl.a part in the ;!oinll:l> ul)<>n the
oC!lfje, One. neither celell't'tlr ... their Jc>j'l! nor comnuerale
un their oi\ly Wl\tdl, ond watch.
For even :;th'-t11mc lcam<.J >kill onJ llQ little
exertion, Qll< IJlO" l1r <lu,.,;i-
phy.fcally, 'ucb ll1aRilcswt,loll.s nrc mot wh:l1 lnd!rn-
.,. ..
ptehed$ion.-.ndfear, at least(IIIIODfl the llYio"' nrn..nt; thr
dead i5 cntirell.- i'rldeed. near!) an emo.>
(ion onto, iiirJf
t< no .t tor-
ture <!>an tHis cut-ofl'l i/nprisoum..-nt. llin!eh bUth off.r, nnJ
'denl&thO!!e thlnf)l o\:Jwe.. The fear dmt "''"""the lc.kl'l>
evcr.P.sting ,1111d unallotinj!,.fur lt i<':rh'-" fear n( Ohlt\'lnn, tht
almtghty Even In death I!.C I c;c.1pc:
the black specrreof tern.,.
11pon "" alwal'
0\i!ivion' cvil\Jligchl fJ'lrtcarontc ill our fellow opirit6. We
p'oor losuouls feed and !frey t;flon etch 01hcr without
and feor ro ll'liSI onell'"Otli9r completely. Fricnd<hlr nl the
lr.nuwn to the livillg, offcrin,g C\)IISOI.ulon for life\ mi,(qr
ttm(/6 and shareJ srnmgch in tit<; fac of harcl>hitl' >uch fd
u; nuulc olul'ost conditi()n$ In, rh/Un
derworld. E;.ch p<Klr wnlith must look to 1ts own >ttttllllh and
well-being, and plce no in offered from
Over ye-an. deem o( wM<!cring some do form
la>ting allian<;e.< and doc!ntions ("(t call such
bur seldom arises the warm,ana fr}\;(ld;hip be
two like-minded IndiViduals who rhc wcot
ait ThoUf!hu of and ase never far
from our making fear a pr!59n fur the sure and
n'i"C"pable as lror\ bat:'
s Consuming shadow
, r ..
t ;, rli r'Ul.turc:,Of)"talthA !}lar aril iru;ub-:
- yet we 'ha11: txtarence, w we
mu.>t Wre(y 6\lf!stance of n (lve.n
If 1t be only n ldi)d of That S'ab-
Sfhn'r we plosf11.Jox thaL
men o1 ..,!iJ find l\l4ll,tf. Jlut
rhmg b<twtcn. or ouuide, <1< al!lll!cthcr btbtllll ,
The plasm of a
u similar shape to dr.ltof the form by whieh tjte
>pri ,. IIU<II.'tomed to tee(!glli:in)t ill ldentltf, 111llin
talned through habit. Qnnln wrnithl., b4/w<;9Qr, bave learned
the art of .!!aping thelf own of
other:.- \0 make It< opptallUICC what wy wOI. BY this
lhe1 can di"':uix t111,1 ]'!me mnY 'c:QUM. btij!cu of
pla.m tO be eauhl)" clay 11){0 Juch ai .they
delfC. AU rhinJIS lb the o( >blmll
1'1asm or another, )IJ.\'t ns 411 the wJ>tld me \lvinJ:
ore based upon"""'" wrietY '
!k>aJuse we are may b: Sllppooed
are Lnvulncmble to ablato walk through
walls and ruth like, )ust OS the $Cribb of the "penny blOods"
prc..:ribc. Alas, It is l}ur A pOrpi()l\ of 11\c rrutb, tilldwing, by
unkind Fnu:, all of rp poor wtaith, w411e de
nylng moJt;>f rlw. b:e or c!amf'Or[i\lll about
'""" a bf nffnlt>i. .
1\\1 I have i.l')tcP,L in
J;y babl!ii aiid O)lly,b<: by !.&= of wW
if o
have leumed'thediscipljire of 4<>Lng{o. The wilt: it' seen)-', ill
nf p18$1ll.'\'l!t It rnay llf,lt be tfe CJitire II{ the
cotlSCiQIISt'!OW, ltiS 6llvlous tope r;nlonal'niinll, (otln&tance,
to waik a wallllf !;tOne mind
has carried this knoWt.tbrougbout life, hod brought It ro
"tPe Underworld ,with 1he teSt II wr.rlth
may be initially by aehvslcol l#rt<T. pnle:;; this
remembered knowl'edge Is bY the mir.:l :md rq>Jxed
with tbe new wildom that plasm may '1'" be hafted maner.
Thi> il,a $liglu: maner; bftf!P.iying a little COilfF&ntion,
one <J13Y 0\>erc.ome ihe ... ani:c tl !Mtt'ff If d\e Glind he 11:t
upon the rask. Mon: ate t)i&i: <JCMIOOS.
where the mind is una-. on\:1. d"t
of the spirit reverts to die teaching:. Ill; Ufe for w:mc. rY orhtr
gulllance.,AfaDJ ,-opCCding aalti c. a ...e ,IJdden thillll'
and un1ess the rnin!ll\e relaxed dUring ef their roik
fl:lg,jhen harm they will most si11dv (l!r 0..: minJ
wd.!Ja 1\ave ltl$o.
'Yet it' is shf1!>lv <:tiwre\r $Q.-f<JT how implc, then,
rbr tortured splrir to
by the same bridge. wlmer.sljll
rhe extintrio.t> -of rhe llesl" TI1oug\'l 1-wlncrabfe, It Is
oor ifcstrucrible by mundane, e><rloctibn or

spirit gteiatcr de quc!ll plus infra, and more ter-
rihl In In< ns tiW\mcrc cartltly >1\ichle.
rhe living "'9Stly shun th" much of the dcaJ,
for rhey are fearful and of thO<e rhaogs a hat cmc11:c
&m behind the veil. Tite will must be bent to accept the I'<"'
sibility of roueb,] a wr.nth's will tnU>t be bent to a""PI
the bull, .fi\Y touch 1< f""ahlc. h L
How is lr, further, unwalcome blow may strl!f.e !IS
solidly._, ir\n ttl'e, while the touch d= one- so ear-
nesdfand arde!)tly is ever denied th.: pclol'>riri 'It
Is the pottOfourdi<male!l}.srence, rhat we I!"Y
..,c, \flo.e we love,,Yct l)either tOUch' noc hold
wJth chero.

The Wretched Bondage.
'tlltls- uon''-1. the iuaj6i-.1y -ac" the tab!& h9fd wrauh an the
trnppe<l in the muery of r,be Unii!:IW"dd ShlldowlandS, and l;etiQle> they are the anchotl! rhat h"ld
and obligtd to the wsttnc. of 'W'G\jlh's fmm'tlissoJ.ying-into the chmJ> of the iemptSt
wrnifhs. Til< of wandet tb.e shllll- wha:r we "'
by fmm, wathin is'llll 11\llch n It il a jailer. Wtrhom
lj.jlJrse:hies; .r:naklng our own dunaeon,by foo;w onc'a existence, the Jrcnry ol d1c
. tbu ltvialg wor!1. l mndot$.< Underworld
:nw That 0nditDil, hado;s, at ml1 causing rhe wmlth m
hav Yuu ko10w this, dCI'It 4Wilty\el\cl! (>'.)ll-so the current wisdom hu< It
t>;<;'t !:11<l:it o7 all kitlds a'41lri the be hop> the Shnduwlund>
sillS filled rtth !i,y.Y..btch the

an'W'urled. in\9 heart of the Ttml''"'
gropclr of the 'r.hough the uP ihl> wraith' ill the Shoclo,vlonds be
1r 1s far pre[elable m ohau$ of 1h"
.the who htllllt:$ dje evildoer hclcl "
Ill clarli' nre '
of life forll!ffi
bo!lnd 10 emainpt.cq, o!)jccu the deck:''! a burnt ln Osl94)ord I was hom.
in the living worltl., an:d )Ieard the s,_,thing n<Ste.s of lmmored wirh
101) may an be lnlo.
the Underworld wath ats owner. SUi:h bb- In theSe enlightened rltnC$, the livln} <Oik:n ..
jc-ca;.n callocl rdtc.s,J"' they are 'he.l'f.<i: of and'lllllny arc now !.htwt throuah the Shroud
clue ohhc M widwhiQh the Uvlng$001 1\'lth than rhl:v rnok from the won1b. Yet, it i> J10>
sQnburfdcd lllf1f, r, tible fot.a'-l'ivoritt obi,tct., rl\roud> With"' owner and
Rcltu l)fe not so hsily obmined thue <Jays as they were sei'ticiln mo'" char. one e.XIstenoe. When t1 thmg i$ 10
m bci(cls heiJ icnatuml that a fruiiiltv thro!aah.acc:u,q:-"151' rhar iq, owner 111ke:. it wilh
of the dead 11101'i1dacemnpany the oplrit urthi: next Ollt an p>rt 'bf h1 t<lennt)', 1hc, 11
wl)rld, 1111d the were wont .to oqulp the romi.tllllth fllliY by mar rokt:n, ip Plasmic form wnb It<
provi"o"" (or !hc'jnurncy w co(ne. plllvc!W(! 'bl"'!et -
. '"'
the UnderworM
her.e m hegon 1 i.s such a
plllcc {IS to rhr 1maginatl6n, und
>udl IIJ\ nrt my - far fal"'
mQde6ty 1 nCndYlllue whetc I
""'"'c01l100t me norun-
cllablc C11Cl\ che most11e ot'll1'11g'minCI< f<l
conah,. that which i> 18Vt
through po:r>Oolil tncowner. And yet, I mli.'it rry.
Selena would have "-' thil,t tile work! - l spe:U<
your 1\'0rlll, 1\-b.q,Hhc un is wann and che
- wnoll.11. of mmter and energy and all rhc'!iub.lllllce>
and forms to he fuund tl..-.cin nte o( !he

l:w Undcrwurld is In lt$11!1At
IIC!I$ - worl#. it Is 011 onti-
Wh'Otevl!r II no't rf rhc Univer.e
1S Is but 6nc
am:( I p11r1. nf Univcnw, so. t.licce Is n
oM.Illl l>art J clle UnclenV<>rld that eorrc-
untp nd lo[X>n your hv
ing Enttb. :fhe;Jtfllpns of rhi wrritl.lfy arc the Abodes of
the bulk of FcMrboul)d wrolth&, 3nd ore the
The Sbrtdowla.nd llc, :\lilt were, otbwatt and cho
material world <)nd of the or fOrm Croon it.
Pernap$, point where nndlln(IUntvt:On
vei!N, <.'OCh rokeson ol' thcuthcr's such phUO-
sophical cOnJ6t:turcs, are of little t ntL'relt to those
who ml,L<t endure hctc.
You alreJdy know of the Shudowbnds, b11t bv another
rume. It i> whttc !hose wnulhs who are forbl<klcn free p&1681!C
w the molt utcn dwell,lllldtl,t 1$ hrnce.thata
wmith may into the lhing w<.orld, nnd unco
the wdl, if both wnolth and lfvons aotditot have the
This Is tbedonwn ''' whlch >plric Utedlun!$ refer
whL'Il they speak of !he Etbtr or.!ha Astrnl P\aJ'C. Many Wee
differ me only lg 'proportion' and J)mmgtmcnr. II" fur
!her, saying 1s but a fonn <lf congealed and wlidl
fied L'llcrgy, which lllllY be te\'itali:ed by the splitting of
acqm'- Imagine, therefore, a wrld w\>lch r.. ba$ed nor on en
ttl!\' but - where l\ol<ls ml
govcn\s cbe m ,.;adfopnsof existence. Such. I an>)'ltc,ls the,
"3Y >n which Stienc! w<>uld describe the VnJetwodd.
Jf it i<true thacspaceand thl\e, m9pr and e,ncli)', may b.:
reduell.'d ll> equations and pro\lfd by moti ... ptOC>f t<> be
'lnt idenlll)', then the Undef"-oild Is .urely d>c fml cnd1111C of
d>e uni\'erse, whicl\ "}uses its.: I( while awniting iu Jl'!"'mt<...l
tad< ljy manifesting il! a plallo! than1l tnQment
It ro be the w,holeht' j>.e Vndatworld, but they dte<:iveJ.
FGI\I llvi,ng ev('ll terrii1C.1'11'11n,. nml Wli>IC
a nils fhadle btwond theM.' bordc.rhwlsl of 1hosc (Gw, ilw
g{dter tl1elr reall)n In pnymc1lt for1thc1t knowl
The Shado,,Jand$ indeed, for they
\O the;l>utlines ofi'the wodd of fj .. h, apmg it as a $hudow nru
It& R'ms,':bouses, atlll rbole Citic cxiM\ i! the
Shado,vlan!f<.ocqopyinll the and dimension.
their earthly counterpa)ts; while they arc not f<tCIIml
les nf rheor'l!arthl,y orlJ!irulls. they TI"'V nre
dtomal pla<X'&, il\ough, utterly lacldng in light, joy. '"''
,fting that !he heatt.
' It i'< said anrong cteatum as;nyoelf dwt Oblivion
takes unto th<! negative ((!fees ftqm your livmg wQI')d
(Orne fbrm o{ magneticatnru:toon, and, hallinR taken.
them from force to matter, with 111hich s,builch it>elf; lftli> b
eo, wn it""W'd for the Shadowlond$. Jont II>
the pllf(e of a book takes ooly the ml: aud ti)e ktte"' sh.'I'C
ftnm rhe printer's plate, .othe Sbndowlands rake only wl:wt is
gloomy and squalid !rilrolhe living wQrld, '(!mcWhat /
thdorm of it.
Shaaow ana Sunstance
h01och the SMdowland. abut the realms of
the IrviniJ, cotllmumon from one into the
other"' J'O'thle only rarely. n n:o.tlCS> dead
Uving world, :u>d moy
' it by traveling OOt
rcspondofll: Sh.'ld.lws - but to anal<.:
$'tt'l or heoni by the living Is an undertaking
of great di/iiault)'. onatcrial thmg Is lwderstill.
A lilntmtfc,.c/1\>rtaf williS roelfecf material c:hang.: 'I! rhe
livihg WQr!J- so mueh $0._that such effort. are ol'ttn clumsy and
!mper(ecrly.dirtaed.l ft>l" ml\ny JlCitcq..Ci.n att but poor wraith.,
fnl5!1Uted in the eft'oo !o tltrform I!Qme 41mple toskl
Haunts and Nioils
Oft bave I dreamr, dl9t I moved a. a
through some &un!liar SO!ene, ohk:tvillll ll bur t" mnlc..
myselknowi>!e,.the ru;><l.kwed (lilt$ \11'00 lh..,. my
aligl\ted. M<w. bas that drerun.n.'I><:Jircd or.<cl( on
waking and' how blm!r "''"" my rt'.11'11, thatdnpt>lod
nor an theJl!lnl!!.anll mc:e$ r:lw l6QU)lht to eonbmcc
with of ll'iistU:hrer ttrqe J leomelJ the di:lcipline of mond
required co coudl, ti:'.r ir Was an pnd kinrr ll)nd.l declare
cost me less !t) life to Hellespont 1o eriPI'Ied
porody J)OW.todo>oliAAt" thillll "''tum
the page ofi'bOOk, .
here R c, howcvur, ome p)n<e$ where th&,lfread .secrets ofJBtet(liryJHOW much more f<lQ)\sh I must
, tile wt>rlds Is lc:l! ardut)o\lj. tr,,c:f i,h"Q!Ia ball6 os tr Wmilh,
' livblJI 'J'O certain, and havingscn d)ind e.yes tl\e folly
In their wurkl - di'ies, !II ''
lllOJU(I!illnS >H1d fashldnnbla>opj!.S, for ex lf i\.Hl\1\bC is a plattl' 'l!h'\ire t/1e scpnmtillR llic
nmple_, $0 th cm\groj:atc in cermin ond cl\en Nli:\U off pinprick in rl\e veil,
nreM, which arcJnqwn in lingua mcrramln tl)roUIJI\ whoch soghr, -l.;and. otlwr rli(nG"-
'These pi nee. >O >lrongly rewln rht substance ol' may 1'!!'1 wiohour Nili1il are liuh)l! ln th< (nbtlc ,,(
death that they begin I<> living eounttrprts m wells cll9r plunge\1) rhe depth> or 1hc
sread of II>Crcly imotarirag them. A living tl)aci: thnt correspond$ Tem est. Enrrogy drawn rhr!lltgh a Nihil b>'thc of
to a popollr Haunt Is J'OSMJS\<-d of a aura of and Oblivion as is by i/evuy through o holt In o
gloolll, by which the morQ SCI\Iitlvc of living souls can know Nihlls QI.'C maaves from whic;)l QO rc
with un:.pokcn C4'rfAint)' rhot riley wnlk among wr-rths. Occa tums,a.lil Tiley arohnJl<od
o>o!"'lly the Shroud between the worlds'' ropllJred somewhllt with te,rrl,llle. mysmy and ecrin., ap
in pluces, and the de:.d rna1 mnn\fest ro living pearanc'efand Ft:or rh(!ll, for they rue door
rhere. "'"JJf>With twll:sldes -;md it IS Mbad bcdmwl) it\11-' n tn
TheJC are the howu,-d p!llcC> I SOI'I.!ht out in my bra-t\ vnfront what may emOJge.
youth, thinking tO oold wlrh tho dead and lCllm all
Citadels and Necropoli
erlt oor w be "'I!I'Od th.,t the 1\11)(1 of
depl) olcpcndi upoh the land of
the for 1111 form ond di>positim\.
nrc, lnJ,'Cd, many ihlltances where
rne reverse is the CHMl, nnd such Is the ver
ity <>f the Necrn/1011<, chc city of lhc dc>Od ..
I . ,!1
The dead remaon un.lhaqgt,dihom rhclr fom1cr hlihorudl'!l
'TheydW11 .,,{cty
in numbtl'J ond the p,Precri.r>n o( s_t;!:OJ'Il:ft fellows. Their vii
lnges and cities ovedl'j'il>c llvlnR almost wlth<,>ut
cxceRtioll, fot !he livll)g "fe nf
The NectoRQiis, "'"'IJI a gerwln
kinhip to the tlt$hly cicy 11 oc:cupij,:l!; hut I 1$ an
equal partn<r in the maucr of ('lrm ond )lkentM.
How ohen, dear rcadtr, fOu tmveae;d 1he
fcti<l streets and alleys lie aG we de01yin8 of a great
And how uft<lt>, til such places, b;we )'011
namelco<dread- though no tnorUII cnu:,e-be
reckon....! ln acnQI cl!amel ruin, llut {or
rhe dcpqoiuon of yput waking

you 'I"'Y
"'3rrant, you have tmd the earthly 'sNidow Of
The of the de3Ci iS P\rrlo$r f!MUC:h and
seeps mto the 1tarld. lm o- cl(smal
likeness. 1:
When And your!elf in oc'h /place, tl,.w your ga.-
ment closer about yuu lind q; th\tr ynu
Eternal fiepths. .
II.& '"
behold oulv your own side prme mtqtfr. t'of!>ad you the sight
Of rhe dead, vou would the ..,.u,
o( Ihe thieves'kttchen witnCssed, 1Uld piQl;< rhilnvould !!hame

10 maiden blush!!'!: rhe i>alcts ,qf pcrlldjOU&
The Haunts i.D a Necrupolistru(y roany;'buLallare lmked
by the of dry and dilirri<.'t boundary; Qvcr all
stands dle <t_iu.lel, the rbe
arch wfto rulii'in dil! name ci t\)e, 'lu
not inevitably fly d . :-i>lr=rs of
R1:1legade or Heresy, '\lot by fat lhl! JII'P!Ita' l"'l'l Is in the
mailed fist of rhe lhe
majoriry in tht'collm thet fly.

wqo tO on travelers; lt is
common, ei\het, f"'\tJ.e of the f'oll:st,to Jhlf
and lt)esc me Jiot the gentle woiYe$ ar\d
the-living w<l[kl do 110!: hri,nk from thcf"ctack bfa horse"
The far shores -
whq5 or @e repon of a pi$tul, 'l?d ',lU'Y tvad,,l by aoon.
donmg a hotS<! or two to ate rhelr 11lc utg\' tc> mwel
if a peqlousone, andhe$t oc che m"'t
pressing l}e(ld.

,.. I
M<>nc aJl Underworld, the . walj. thi.> Vll>lan(\ haples.< oournc
Founc!ed, nenl1t'ad wiUini!lr.
ing tO by Charon hinuel, lt'is" JJ;e ofChamn is!lllal"(cd hi> ah<ence,
thtl lt3C of the Ocachlo,.q;; and its ;>Jl(l che".-;lfP!ltt bas become{\ prison. The O...rhlords hoiJ u
IOOIOS'OvT the world of the dead as <har Of vllSt-captivity of ,eoillc, whose praencc SU$lalru and >1n:n1<rh
rokrbted CDS atld iN: power and ambthon of thror 'IC
saf"i nnd MmetOU> B1'Wajs cursed jailejl.
the Ttlllllt't IO:re thac conduct the !nlvcler !0 'that

knOwn 11nd for my J'l'lf, it "alii
the of Sivgia, for they are trvel<;d, and 1110$1 J.6; Once d\rougl\ gate>,
" '-1td, all
llllllnannl!ll. h(>pe an'8 an '"'i"ity Of Cl\$lavenlcm <:1\'e for
MCillttd rpuftr;J. dl' Real1,11 of Seygllll$ the Sea o( &!ulS;, a fill.., achleo;td JU6lcict;u'.!carus in the llocnnchv.
Vll$f and remble IO<ftlllla r(vals the "'!I"'I'Qllre vtslllos of waik:!P'"l!rd undb.oavcJ, nd even
For lr tS truly what 11 1< - tl'tey are Cau(I()W. ,
plldtetic sigh'lbur :IS sound a llgl)in>t the t J
legions of
he mention of Fei'!Ymcn reproochcs me, whlcb I find l)lysclf, nor yet c:.>aye<l prcdtnirumt
that l huvc aonc :.0 far in nif d(><;our.;c th(l)l<mg among my ru:orporeal fellm"" aboot. wh.y and how
without any but th.!_ mo.' .rer.i9nal and It bas core to be so.
subjeet!vo exp!nnndoo of the st.ate in
h.e lore of tile FetrylllM the UndcrworlJ\ suf
tO tho3e cblleJ fUr they h11vc lt feTing nQnc..'llo iii Sllid that their
ill their powcrto main!'<'uf. in some P*t' the 1:\ywa)< thnt 11'3Verw the 'Thmpest,
to S<1fol"(, av2_tdtng the thQtIJlnJ n:ards.of lu\t as keeps n roM (roro Au>winA with
Underworld Qnd the dci!6lt1 tent ions weedsand bcconilng l0$t. "".lr,il' !>WJl n1,1
of and orhtrs c:.rwtyl'in i wrire d mre lq,deed nmong clend, 'and
anon. speaks 1'1\ore el()lluentl their P<flvcr than Rl\y"&Ulet mnttcr
Yoll know their nome$:

llcrrrteS, l)ru,lhild They and 1\atcd r- fot the
and her ;iucrs and 11!Uny nOliCs are pres f)wy from entering ril\b'wttti\CY M I! wv.t
cntly to llv.lng 1t ot the yer'cesQkt or it evory
!<lid thar Chnrn, who llicturch)l ond, onrv!W some liand (rul"(l OQJl0sihg d\cm. lv'lfu wtll puy r he rlmy
prdcr (roml)\"c chaos nt' Tcm(\cwr, \\oils the src\uc.i o( rhc rrnvel hut th:e.F _j'OfJge,. rmvel '"here
me. ThQ11gh now, It It Is they will, and may 9ne to destlnolior\ by 11 clrcui-
and hii order beglt')ro OTI,Imbje. Is 10, tl\eQ \tJe

or\erus<tJ7cen!uriet, 111 never arrive thcru nt nll.

fmurt shall be o dreadful one lndud. .
who Rple
orne c<ln past, a. rf.tdlr!on hM rr, great
Cbnron fqunded the renlro ofStllliu, whlqh
;, the of tht roealnt> irl-the Uuder"
world. Its rnflucncc nrervll heyoncl lu
bol\ltlll In the manjler of at1 eanhly em
and it> nlllnt Hicrarcll'l ;, a po11er
that none fll1\Y Wtth. The of:
De.rh nwe fenlry tn Ch:Jrpn,
un s.ay !hey ""'Y do. Their been more ac-
.I lute, tbat nweh .. unafn,:flllclrhm abuse.' mnre
Like uny empire of,f\lllnallllitory, t,hc llicrarchy ru.IC> rl\Orc
tluou8h fear than n1iiJ l"""'uasilin, und iJ bnse<l mnreupoo rf1e

pr'16ts of rrnde and the spoils of \Ot\1 thon upon cnll.f!htencd
pbilosophv and high moral principle. Tite 'a.sabofthe Hier
11rc.hy 1111! enr:hus!aotl'c llvers of piUI!lih orhrn< who
in dtat others the rlaht to
rille theoliehes, calllll.lhem and "HeMic.."
arc the enemtes of llll ftt .... m.
Tl'rat much, 1 know. Much "more I have though :u
rumOr 11nd heausayonl)" (;hall nut w!lh unreliable
tRl.C>, having completed my main purpose 1n dccrihmg the
Hi,rim:hy. Ill l}t, that aqy who love freedom fenr .md
'hup' the thelr mlntons, fot t.hough thetr lu
,:,.,Yoll'er.j prnrcotion ftYm manyql)hc UndcrwnriJ'$ pen I<, h
grant proteGj:!(>n lrolll
here arc mAJiy who accuse the D.:ad>lords
of doong Aw3y w)d\ their maHer Charon ro
hee d)eir hand> in the pu111uir <;>f power.
lhea>Sdves from
tlw upon his
many mace. whu had never <ubmuted to
the nole, the opportunity
ro t\lrn thb schhlll to the or own 1\dvamnge, nnd join..! on the
grcar Scygla whlcl\ rook plac.Q some twencylhoe
Nor $lll(,.e Cn:ccc ru.c againn the yoke haJ
1 wb:pe$lC<isuch :.ccnc811fvalor, beuayal; it was a
rettiblu w11r, ncl one l :atctly escqped in !>lot.
a.; they Mmc-d were crushold
me lc$iON' it'llll he-el, b,_ot llot rul Were d.:.ln,>)'IXJ, aQ'i
Those Wha kope
hwe already nlluJcll to the corno:non
libf Chill rhc Far Shores, If "{U
thllughr tO be O( "'t
tangq,le b) tl\1! of the Under-
' worlilnd lhc cjua)1rlry of souls devoted
the iuca of cbelr reality . $eek m
cmplov this low of lhllir urr;ound-
ing,.by crafins a belief on,d {cmerinJt it growrb. nro a stable
rc:llm. Su$ Qn operoLiool is ()ncmus ondee!;l, for thebeUef-foun
dation muse be pure 11nd rons\ant If resulting edifice, as it
were, any hope of smbllity.
Some of lhese lie relics, liS they are duhbed,
espouse them
cretd> bi:.'11U>C of namrall!}'ll\P.'Itby, othec::; beqit..c they dread
Those who kam
or all the power aod hu!ms of me Hierar-
chy, there are other social bonds among
rht dead whe1c all mar mingle as free
equaLs. Though the Srygian Guilds are' nor
what once> were, tbOSc lu who!V- they
open their doors IIUIY be of any backgrl,!und;
oi>Ully 1.; the only quaiiAcatioo, not weald\,
posirion or alleglnncc. Whar a h111ve W..>rld might be wrought
among livh'll education we(e apportioned thus!

the; w3nc:lcrlng ln the
Dliplhlords' yoke, or juurncy
duough tlf, ThlilpEst ti'W..rq a' noncxisti!',nt
1 ha,vt: be more rcliWe h011r a\ld better
tRe;!!i.,.rqhy qr rjle1Renegades; on<ll: up
prisid o(,llte one may onnrc j.n the caus;e.of their wal
ana to
(,il<.e mercy
by me ffierarch.y,canclorn fricnchhip wuq Htr
erics lie.eJmdentwound. (or at rho
hands of thiHieratthy, '
:me <IRce I'Clwers In the Under-
wotld. lielporgantzewraitlu ih the clvoru
of the early <lays, <m,lv Rod 1cnu:. ro the H1mrchy,
fo,r they onJ it>
wtrhholdong- to lllhoch--even r1Qralet)'t$t t)'nlltt bend
the knee. But Is loog PGStl and olOw the t;uM ore bm
ruflectfnna of their former porenc.y..._They are no longer fqrmul
but simp\}> of kindred .uul,,
joined in common splrir andJdentlt.\1.
. '
As among the tr'villM,:iJ the dead there b(e seekett<
after hidden truth and cf.!,lven; u'lto ;.cerci>, $nd of such minds
are no\.v guardjl. and build;i
upon its own Cllpe<>isl'brtnch of tltat which passe4for Seence
am<lng the dlad.JI\.30me cnhght,cocd Cillldcb, thOSC<who still
call thecnselves sit alonJl'ide Anacrc:A'ns, and add
thel.r wiSdom to go'lcmmenrJ E)sewhert, rhe. tyntnts detest
them, thme qpenly of !iuilllafr!lil'tion feat, for tl:ie
prospt of their wiiuh n no lon;er grjm. The land of
phHosopher-klnRJ i:o as, far from my world as It l$ from yoott<,
3lld the lore of i1H> &:en >toh:n ll'iim them. The guild5
now, by and r.s making
no claim of tllcir allcgit,llce.
De Natura Animorum
t,lke T I,!Tla:..s at Ptarl'lslmee, l thlnt:S
from tire guilll \jltajdtso;t;;,have sw.iafuq.l PJC thi;
had else !MippotGJble. ArMng rpem I lwvc
found the cloocst $fmpathy 10 Iii own lpdili!UI<n& For rh<*!
who !>ave augl)r about g>em of rCQion, or justice,
amid Jj1e grm world of the dead.
than Lhadfound:uC,m
bridge, but \he are more
And mo"' d(an 'lJl<:e pave rtw.r offclrCd \aiiCilrry
from mooe who woutd-have done me bonn -If "''"aunry
whJch Is nor to be or d"'l)Oiled.
0 me Ulii\S!, places o{ bwJtil aTe JS gl;ltl1aries <0 !Jd thu fhing
price Is o(cen and.l"hose
extst'crlcc i. fr..'quemly debated in this age "' More other plnoes of
_,. L
of Is Otlly,.,frcr clear,h thllt U)C places of executlotfr . ' leYn"\\pi sc:trct mutclor \S Jone,
mills and mony othl'f suah
a(c in me. world -<!Js,mal Rellp<!rs- !'or d<> them
of Thu and mcngtb of a 1elves atOm of their mnuenae, hkc fllihcrmcn
realm dcpcl].jls, in lnt,Qepart, upchi rhq arid t!ll"tl$)'1P oorl!lly balallr.c 10
of rhe <lweU power of all watd resuli(ng S<>tlj)ty,
as on Earth, Is l.n of Jqul3 under com- , Wars an({ mlssacres J''! ailraction>, if <'tlhcmC(ll\
oncll! Great the Shodowland& behind Hving
The mqre p11we'rful tl'!JllZt l)s of oan shape souls" annles, in IJI!)6d lil<c {llirgocrs os thoy antfcl
wpper and tin, and thcn1 pare rhe comll\g Great follow lhe cnr-
inlo I>QWer. Styginl) Iron Is ro lli mde nagc and it.(feasEbfsouls,like festrvitle& upon ihc
6;om me rW)due of thl,i. 'cpulsivC' it is the only sub CQmlngofmigrntihg,wbalc$. It i:> Q fierce holiday.
stante that may bind t)le .Shifting of a. wraith'$ corpus, Should suddeniand unforeseen occur,
and is prized by slavers. the wl>rd goes out cJ gokl; a rush of wr.ntl
Th" poor soul> bound in their new contests the di!vil ihe hindmost. This happens
form, !heir dnves the objeq In perforrmnceof but rudy, the barvurm qf.J<>ut. keep cl.ooie \Yatch
upon the living, and :llmost w11hoor
from thousunds t:l compound<:d .nul>; their k,;:nlne ls terTible lnde<:d, a great many an: plarmed and e!!&ineo:rtd,
to as surely as the Amenar dfove bolfa.lo over dill to
Just as the by thin&S furnish banq_ueu.
from which they <;in <h)lw vaW.- tninCs.. sOod tlllntle, ftsh Indeed nave f'palnrJ picture Only the l:Qd
ing j!roonds, trade rpute$ -Ill do tho dead abide close by the dess of Truth could me J:O place such dystopian 'i;loos"
place. where soub ate wont to cr&s the divldt. Hosp1rall and befnre you, and only Truth IIIIIV jusd{y my deed. '
Servitude and
lavery Is the inevim.blt fllte o( n10>t of lhc
souls who the Undcrworjd. Ma:.ed as
rbcy are by <ieath'stouch- many not ep-
prehendl.rlg chcirtrue $it.uatioo-thcyare
scl:<.od UPQ11 \ivadly by tho.e awaouf18 them.
M il to any rational be-
me-. )'Ct In the UndtfWOtld it can bcume;
prefoeraple to frffiJQn1.
nr ancient a"ff unhreakahle rrnditkm, the wraith who tears
rhe rlJ"mic. Caul fwm a atwly arrived soul cln)m;, the right of
guidance and is digm!ied with Chc utlc of Reaper. m:mer
and pan "od11rern, rhe R1.':1per its new
,...JL Nor only mun thlcvt$ bt thw.lrted, but the
wraith mils be ensuro:d of u Mood t:ondition, and so 111amtained,
like "" !O hold or lllCrMse ln rrndinj1 value. 111-
trel!tment Is nof ll! the Interest.
Liberty, by colnpuri><ln, ,. t.lil.'<l wia h Mrol'l!. Weak
ignornt. one I casr unnrnrrcreo.l 11)1(1 a world of predators.
Everyol\e one meets I& t'l po'!cntlnl a11J olJ.Iy by >uperhu-
n\an force nod guile n\DY liberty be mlilntllfncd. Though the
Cl1$1avcd may dream or f'i.oe1l0m
rhe.y pave causi lo
lts CQl1dili!VIlS >
ow th:aa I h;lvedmwn 1he hortotSofthe Un
o;lerworld In such llll\111ld tenible .:olon>, it
will noa: astOnish tho reader to learn that rhe
nUtin prtOCCUIY.tnon bf m.ny Is ({
O<C<1P" tl>eir lot. The ll0$Sibilityofsuch a IA'>k
is lijd1"'1 a},j, dreadful el(I>{Cncej
and it L' dooot't'd"" fervC(lrly 3S the pra)-erful
desrre Heayen's Such.lndoed, irmay be called ;nnoogsou\c
philosophiC$, ti\QUMh ic; lllllllC is T"'-fl'Cl'ndmc:e
-a wonl is bnghr, :md in.'!'iting in
dr<-a"(, 3nd homlk plact.
In part, T nii1SCilndcnce ;, tl1e thiowing ofT of tb.,.., Feners
thm bind the :swl to tht watld of the hvmg, tbw ro the
a< M unFeneted soul canhe impri>oned then:, with Fettecs mny hope to e:.capc.
But there t$ nwru tO th., T rh.1n the rufilllmtnt
of one's n:aminlng tiC$ ti\-Lik; indeed,
Is a c:ertaln guamnt.:e of dl'Stt11Ction. t.oo.cJ from its anchor, an
1UlFehc11."<1 :.oitl bcJtrckod Into the m>1<1n<l",of the Tempest
then: to perish or a <'Xlr!e fJte. Before Tronsce11d,:11(e may
be attained, the 4plrlt mu5r bent with rt-.clf; and
However, toile el\5Lwed, as among the livinl!, i> ro enter
rain the hope ollibertV in some dejUec. Tha.'c cnslawd 10 the
Hietare:lw seek liben..t. in rank, ""''""C ro rJ>e IQ{ty J10S! of
Anacreon nr Dea,rh!Otd. <!<to nd<ancc then
$il\lation. F..w escape, fOt ro t>eapo is to for>akl all rro
teclioli 11na essay a -.."Wid rl
Those by Rtnep!tscbafe bs in
conftnt(IICDI, for like the mtionaJ 8M humnnislo" nf
my own lifetime T tMy !lOy, ha'e
been founded), the- Rent'l@des prtach respc'<.t for
indiv!dlllll, plolcing mutlllll bcadlt and wrllinr. c:ooperJIIOn
aboy., the of rnaan Their dtvotlon to
the practice of their philoe<lphy ns In life, somewhm vari
able; but the11eWfound few pcl'mal
by whicq measure thuir lo"''illpen;ede< thni)Clf rht en.sloved.
As r.Mse mken by Hetoerlu, their condition depcn.b
upon tbearoWn inclinations.11to:.c wl\o aredilifll'<cd, by nnturl
philp$0J)hy imen10 ro he have nnd wve the r.111h of
their oaprors !1'3 hope to prosper; those who cannot or will
not bend to its may be trndcd to other naa.,ttrs and an
of an inner trallqWllity that will see itsa[eantlund.l.-.rnay..J throia1
thu journey <Q Ttanscendence.
l'tl"e inner the Shadow ll\U>l be confnHll<..l, cno
bmced ana_ brought inro harrt>nl' With U\1' nohJ<r f"l"lrln<; rul
conflict and pain m,.<t he smoothtd away, rhe saulrmo.
<\IJihnd unttOOb!ed;t!igreiSanD dream:. he unNnlcned from
the spirir by fu1r.Umeiit- in ;hon, e'"''T arom cl dl.fe<.'ii"': nd
ahoucl>t mw;t be ek!on.-.ed, Oblivkltl no fir1l(tr
bold;tq mat<h hope
isaspiriaual joome.y"' .... u 1\>:t literniOM-of
any a u-orldll$ thk may bedignilk-.1
with ....- aDd I> no lo&niUOU> :u-.1 no'"''
fiaugbt.wilh PE:ril than thl! bycnnc th11.11rgh "11J
fOrest and hr\srile nu!le of the Hoi) land.
For aU th:\1', i\ is no It$$ pOlsiblo;l have "irnc.--.1 the Tr.m
5tendence of more o11e\vllom fn<-nd, and with'll
oijoy pledged I $till entertain hope. of
reaching that bfessed &mte in time, thus ending O\Y mi.scrnblc ><>-
joum in this cheerless wotld. For I have seen <hose whn d<ny or
reject and clina to the Underworld a:.
th,eir teality -and r wouiP be ns they >uc.IC'If nnv Jltitc.
t "lin'lshed; l have :.ct down matters
M beJn: I m:ty, 'f you tkem ciQ<lely,
these wririllgs 111.ny &Jt.frve yau bet
Moman the
all m;tnner ofhoti'lk>. I pn1y that. it
; ""' q
gh06t stories and old wtves' ralt$ Qf yQur narlve land aod you
may be '.SSurcd of trndlng cottespOI\dences. How could it bt
otherwise. when these tales are all woted in the same reality!
be my AM ro the. vmu:lty of the
rest ohhc work, fbrall that 4 b,re by
It roll Once morel wish roo well. Perlwps .... ""'Y t.ven me"t,
3ppear too fanwdcal (OJ; <,Jedtnce, lind lh;t 'f<1U are_incUned here in me Undertr-or!; tbb{)gb I do nor wl5h I[ llp9l\ )'0\L For
to ataibute iliem tO the o(o lunattc or the noghrmarea now, soltoe "!'?"! urk, and if yoo wi>h to obll'ge me, ueat <wtll
of opmm. When I walkCll uoth fleSh, much is here thqse you may meel'<\'ho are of gentle and C<lrnp<b
have beggared even my imagmatt n'/fur lib( m) briftJ;!ctime's, sionate for 1\'itbout tile entreaties of one ouch
delvin_g into Deatb's tfitsr.etles. rl\en.lllY'"'!J!m heart, 1'ou would have remained
Yet miU\y thinx> are heo1: 'YbiCh will QOt be saanae, If' 3nd ints> i:J'e l)nderworld ""illprcrared
will only loql< at them anew. ;Try 11idl' wriUp1" v!pinst. t.he ilf l1
A hfe "'htch and for all, which does nor rerum, is like a shadow,
withouc weight, In advance, and whether ir was norrible, bca tiful or
sublimc ... mcans nothing. il
-Milan Kundel1\, The Unl>earable Lightnes, of Being
The ttnch o( D.r.>tll ralnt we say and do. Life
Is so often pointlc$$ and de'lli.rl of 1\'-'llninU, little more than a
journey The Jl.l'''l JIIAt won't go away.
Our (c!lr of de-nth \und'lifc ir\lo fMlij\htrruJre. TItC terror
of mnrrnliry "'!' iompt>lill cMistence 1;0 much we fail
ro live. tlwewape We
find refuge lil pious<qtr&ntltic:i<o( cnrcrn!f,,n)Cnt, llrugs ami
'"" s.'irnc fincllt illll<lf. ..

We are'towurds, tC)() afralJ tO stop and star!,_
"The fear o{ death sus\airu a wf1ol\:. h&t of and
craving. The mo.<t overwheln1rng fear we have feeds on our
feelings of We resent ourfn-
abiliry to embrace life a. .no)lld. and we load1c Ulc hold.
Llurt our fear of death haHweo u.<.

We so seldom do wha! i> (ulfaUil)l(. We arc ;oc:ialirod tu
follow dictate.< of mhers, anJ urp,_ our own narur:!l dt
rnpulses. A6 older, webecome more and
more re.entful. We watch bur .Up awat from U>, and
our cowardice haunl3UJ tO rhc end q( Ollr da1-. (and beyond).
The >cy rooch of fe3r on our but do we
realize what ir is we fear,
It ts'Ciearh, of cour&e-rhe imn'lllnt\l fear of nothlngnejS.
. "
We :rrc, all o( us, hqth skadow and lrgl:u, amm:.d and hu
man, lxxly nnd mind. Thli,l1\i!ld the b!xly cannot
- yet rhe body However, it po:.:>cC>
illi own 1"\!ic Me'< ll<lt JU<ta(l<llc wirh the logic
of mind. The body exim in a diflcrcut world from the
mind, a <": emotron.
Animal C<istencc i> on pllttorn:.. SurvivHI nnd rc
production are r\le Of rhc.<e colurlonnry pr()Sr:tmml..-1
Change !n n p;mem dnngcr. In a
hunrtng pal:tem, sleep panem, p>mern, mmil)ll pnttw
or m.igratiQn patren'l c:;m $ib'l'lrll tllc ftrrival of n pre-dator, :1
rocksllde or a sudden o( JCX>d. 'fo an Is o
waming death lurks-around l11c eoliiCt
Ouilmima! l;>odiecootiiiue In this way. Qven when
we kno1v that death is nowhere ncar. Ar\y ltl!ll nf cun
evoke is >n>.tincdve fear. The mind can reprer<< It, 11
or evC!'l prompt the change out of spite, bur the
shadow alwa9s makes.ii:$Ciffelt. fear i.o a part of life; it j; >UI
vi val.
Animal$ are sunml machine., each truature the pumudc
of .,.,Jution, each possessing a pm(oun\1 capac:1ry fOr (.mr.
of us every Rber of Qllr belna r< lnfu>< Wllb a
will to flgkor flee at the slightest him of trouble. What.,.,.,
once our salwtiOn is-now our dftmnanon.
In lhe modem world, death.-.. but try teUin!{ that to \OUT
bo<ly. Knowing 'l'ho iWill"' out:ar you doC$n't rnp the aJr.:na
une rum. Til!\ of the body da<b IYith tlw> apimtlon$ of
the mind and wal. We kill qur a.piratton. .nJ hope> uut ol
fear, fear that death is coning.
We choose incon\pletene.o; and hmer dis.nrisf'n<.tion over
the irrlitionaltcnoro(dt'l!Ln. In il<llngs(!, we hccumc lcs.< wh<>lc.
We give up 011 life and em\lmce l'ilhili&m. We embmce nolh
ohlhtnn ttself. The ttaRIC irony of our It veil i< we die
without ever having hvoo. Such a waste. What a pity.
Our velude m thi> game for exploring the theme of hfc
in.'lfeath and deathin-hfe " the hoUow, unll>'lng ghO<St. The
melllphor is complete. If you Me<:thing inside of
you, you're a walking ghoot. If you ate everything but
the last shrtd of 'IQt" od_enruy, you arc nothing bur a If
you are missing even that, you You arc oothilll!
Obi!\'IOn has swallowed you whole
To understand this gam, you'<* gomg to need (o
your own fear ... and your 0'1'0 dearh. le& not a very plCliSant
subject, but rl>en again, i> n life liv<>d In fear. So deal
with it. Get o grip on yO\n fMr ...
He who pretends to look upon wirhout fear, Ues.
- JenJacqui!Ji Rou$SCnu
e are all, at one level or nmher, game piny
crs and storytellers. Through our gam<!, we
transcend our daily routines; through nur
stories, we fee-d the spark of wonder inside
us all. Through bot:h, we express our tal
c.nlS and, in the process. entenain nui"5Clvcs
and our companions.
The book you hold In your hands is both a game and a
\'chide for storytelling. It will allow you to assume the role of
a wraith - a tOrt\.lred, creature trapped between
death and life. You'll have the chance to rei I stories about your
strusgb. In the end, this game is more about you than ir is
alxM ghom, for the stories come front what is within you.
AlthouRh Wraith Is a game, it is more concerned with
sroryrcllinJ;; thon iL is with winning. Wraith is 3 tool cnablinij
you to involved in tales of passion and madness. If
rou've never done chis kind of thing before, you may be con
by rhc whole premise of a storytelling game. Once you
understand the basic concepts, however, you'll find thor
scorvrelling isn't all that srrange. Indeed, iris somethinlo'OU've
done all your life.
You ore J:Oing ro weave wondrous tales - stories of frngile
hope and intimate rroee<Jy. The heart of the stories is you: the
wraith. 11tesc stories will likely cnprure your imginarion and
involve you far more deeply than any play or movie does. This
is because you're inside the story as an active not
juSL an observer.
lrroug/tourrlte inhttbited world, in all limes and
under 'try circunucan.;e, rite myrlu of man
luzve and theyluz,..,1,.,,,., the liing
inspirarion of else rMylvn'< appeared
out of the activities of rhe hull\lln body and
- joseph Campbell , The Hero with a
Thousand Faces
ago, before movies, TV, radio and books, people used
ro tell each other stories: stories of the hunt, legends of the
gods and great heroes, or gossip about the nel&hbors. They
would tell these stories aloud, as part of un oral tradition of
storyrclling - a tradition that has loreely been lost.
We no longer reU stories - we listen to them, pass"ely
waiting to be picked up and carTied to the worlds others ere
nre. We have become slaves to our TVs, pcrmttting an oligar
chy of artisrs ro dictate our culture to us.
It need not be this way. on a personal level
can once again become a part of our culcure. This is c.:ss.cntially
what \Vraith is :1bouc: nor stories lOid to us, hur stories we rcll
others. Through the gnmc and art of cnllaborntive
we create new )loric.s and claim the onciem myllu :md Icc
ends for our own.
allows us to undc11rnnd ou.-.elves b1
us a tool with which ro explain our rriumphs ami dcfe:u$. 1\y
looking at our culcure. our fami ly nnU nunclves in new
ccxrs, we cnn understand things we never bd ore renlitcd.
Storytelling is cmcnaining because It is so revealing, und ex
hilar.uing because it i.sso true. Our fascination wnh Sforit$ has
a purpose to it! of that there is no douhr.

Wraith is not only a smryrell ing game, but a roleplaying
as wdl. You not only ttll stories, but actually act through
them b1 assuming the roles of the a:nrrnl charncters. h 'sa lot
like theatre, but I'OU make up the Iones.
To understand roleplaying, you need only think back to
your childhood and those wonderful afrcrnoons S!X'nt pla1ing
Cops ' n' Robbers, Cowboys and or Dress-Up. Wlllll
\'OU were doing was roleplaying, a son of spontaJtc'OUS :rnd nanr
r'dl acring that completely occupie-d your rmagination This
play-acting helped you learn abnur life and what it ll1l'1llll to
be a grown up. It w;rs an essential pnrt of childhuo<l, hut ju<t
because you h:we grown up doesn't tnc:m you have to stop.
In Wraith, unlike pretend, there :>rea few rules ro help
you roleplay. They nre used mainly to avoid argumenrs -
"Bang! Bang! You're dead'" "No I'm nor!" - and to add a
deeper of realism to the srory. Rules direct and guide the
progress of the story ami help define rhe capacities and weak
nesses of the dmracrers. The r.rles for Wraith :ore de
scribed in Chapter Four.
Wraith can be playe-d with nearly :>ny number of players,
but roleplaying rn genernl are best when there arc srx nr
fewer players. The mystery and Oavor arc diminished when
ployers must compete for arrenrion.
Tne Storyteller
Wraith isstrucnr.-.d a linle difl'ercnrly from the K"rncs wuh
which you might be fumiliar. In the ft r>t place, there is nobo."d
involved. Second, one player needs ro be the Storyteller -
the person whu crcarcs and guides the stories.
Being the Storyteller is a bit like playing rhe Banker in
Monopoly"', but bears greater rewards rhan a handful of play
mone). The StO<ytcller describes what haP!X'IlS to the charac
tcrs as a rcsulr of what the players say and do. She decides if
the charactNS succeed or fail, uffer m pros!X'r, live or die.
Storytell ing is a very demanding task, but it is equally rew:rrcl-
ing, for the Storyteller Is a weaver of legends.
The Storyteller's dut)' t< ro make sure the other
players have a good rime. The way to do that is to tdl :o good
talc. Unlike traditional however, the Storyteller
doesn't simply rell rhe srory. she creates the skeleton
story and then lers rhe players flesh ir our by assuming rhe
roles of its Storytelling ill Wruith is a care
ful balance bcrween narrarion and adjuclicarion, between story
3nd game. Sometimes the Storyteller must set the scene or
describe wlun occurs, but mosdy she must decide what occurs
in re;.1cdon ro rhe words ancl accions of the characlers. She
must be as realist ic, impartial and creative as possible.
As the Scoryrcllcr, you arc in charge of interpreting and
enforcing rhe rule.'!, ycr you are also an emerrainer- you musr
snuggle co balance your two roles. Most of this book was writ
ten to help you do just that. It won't make being a Storyteller
(asy, because ir never will be easy, but it will you bener
at ir.
The role of the Storyteller is explained in rnuch more de
tail in Chapter Three.
1ne rlayers
Most Wraich will not be They will
instead assume the roles of the central characters in the story.
Being a player dues nut require as much responsibility tlS being
a Sroryreller, but it does require just as much effort and con
As a player in a Wrdith chronicle, you assume the per ..
rona and role of a ghost, whom you invent and then roleplay
over the course of one or several stories. The life of your cha
acter is in your hands, for you decide what the chamccer says
and does. You decide which risks to accept or decline. Every
thing you say and do when you play your character has an ef
feet on the world.
The player must also be an actor. As an actor, you speak
for your character and act out whatever you want your charac ..
ter to do or say. Whatever you sny, }
0ur character says, unless
you are specifiC<llly asking a question of the Storyteller or are
drscribing your actions. By announcing and describing to the
other players what you arc doing, you bec-Ome a part of the
ongoing srory.
As a player, you try to do things that allow your character
to succeed and thus "win the game." This strategic clement of
the game is essential, for it is what so often creates the thrill
and excitement of a dramatic moment.
OCtcn, after describing the actions 'lyou" want to take, you
must make dice rolls to see if your character succeeds in doing
what you have illustrated with words. Your character's Traits
- numeric descriptions o( her strengths and wcakncsst.'!i -
dicratc how wel1 your wraith can do certain things. Actions
are basic elements of Wraith, for they describe how characters
change the world and affect the course of the story.
Characters arc central to a story, for rhey alter and direct
rhe plot. Without characters, you can't have a story. As the
:;tory Oow:;, t he character.;, not the decisions of the Storyteller,
direct and energize the progress of the plot.
To some extent, each player is an assistant Storyteller.
Players should feel free to add ideas and clements to t he story,
although the Storyteller may accept or rejec;t them as she sees
fit. In the end, a good story is the most important goal. Play
crs, chamctcrs and Storytellers work together to make a :;tory
come alive.
Many different elements compose what we like to chink
of as the "selr'- coo many, in fact, to separate or identify. In
rrurh, we reallydon'r know who or what we are. \'(/e wear many
masks. It is from this essential of self thar our desire
and ability co pretend to be someone else originate.
Characters are the literary versions of real people-rhey
are not real, bur they do capture some aspects of reality. Only
when you enter the world of the story can your be
come complete. They are real only wirh you as rhe animaring
force- the soul, if you wish. Never rreat your as
projections of yourself (even if that's all they are). Treat chem
as unique individuals, works of arr, or (ragile
of your poetic sensitivity. You must the charactecs that
you create.
Wraith arc easy co create. It takes rh:m half
an hour to choose all the Traits rhat describe your character. It
cakes more time and effort co turn chis collection of numbers
i nto a living, breathing (or, in rhis case, unliving a nd
unbreathing) character. You must reach deep inside yourself
to find enough chat is real and true to produce a complete
character. The Frankenstein monster a..'\sembled from
available body parts; it was the breath of life that proved dlffi
Ch;uactcr creation is discussed in greater detail in
rer Five.
Winners and losers
here is no single "winner" of Wraith, for
the object is not to defeat the other play
ers. To "win" at all, players need to cooper
ate with each other. Because this is a
storytelling game, there is no way for one
person to claim victory. From the begin
ning, \Vraith characters arc damned to
wander the Shadowlands, a dismal world beyond the living,
but outside eternity. The malevolent force known as Obli,ion
softly creeps beneath the surface of the Shadowlands, while
mad ghosts and nightmare creawres overtly threaten the char
acLcrs. WiLh such powerful (orccs arr&}'cd againsl }'Ou, Lhc Lruc
measure of success in \Vraith becomes 5urvival.
If, however, a character has some overwhdming motlva
tiot\ (such as a need for vengeance), accomplishing this goal
also becomes a measure of &uccess. Stories and exrended
chronicles often come to conclusions that either benefit or
hann the characters. If the pla)crs can tum stories to d>eir
characten' advttnra1:e, they have ijwon,"' at leaM for the mo ..
ment. When a group of wraldu manages to trnek down a cor-
rupt politician who has threatened or destroyed people or places
that rhe wrnirhs hold dear, those wraiths have won" a tempo ..
rary victory. If that politician has powerful friends among the
occult underground, however, attacking that politician may
be dangerous exercise in the long run. A "victory" under
these circumnances can become worse than defeat.
In order to achieve even partial victory, the chllr1lcters
mt.L'\t usually become friends, or at lcasr watch our for one an ..
other and have a modicum of trust In each other. The World
of Darkness is so dangerous thnt trustworthy allies are essen
tial. A divided group will nor survive for long.
playing Aias
For rhe mosr p:m, Wraith was deslgnt-d to be pl11yed arotmd
a table. Though the game docs not require a board, a number
or props require n tublc lO usc properly. Dice, pencils, paper,
and photocopies of the chnr:ocrer sheet arc the only other things
you will really need. The dice required are I Osided; these you
can purchase in any grunc store. The Storyteller may also want
ro have paper on hnd in order to sketch out a setting (making
it easier to describe to the pla)ers), as well nsa few other props
to show the players wluu the characters sec (photographs,
marches, scarvc.!l - :myrhing ro make the experience more
Live-Action roleplaying an be the most dynamic and fun
part of playing Wraith. Live-Action roleplaying is imilar to
improvis.1rlonal theater: the acto" (the players) act through
the scenes created and Introduced by the StOryteller. This cre
arcs a much more intense and imm\..c:Jiau: norytclling cxpcri
Players in a roleplaying game gentrolly describe what their
char:octcrs do and even Y During Live-Action roleplaying,
however, players actually do what their characters do and say
what their characters say (within limits). They can stand up,
walk around, hold up : letter, $hake hands, or rw;h to a win
dow to see what Is going on. or CO\It"Se, Imagination is Still
important, and the Storyteller may still interrupt the action to
ck-scribc objects ancl speciul siLuntions.
No dice ore used during Live-Action sessions; alternate
rules, like those in White Wolf's Mind's Eye Theatre
line of Live-Action products, mke the place of dice when
needed. For the mosr parr, everything is decided rhrough net
ing. The Storyttller simply u"'s the characters' Traits to de
cide how well the characters manage ro perform certain me
chanicalacrions (such a.< pick in; a lock). The Sroryrcller mun
also decide how the other Storytelltr-run characters react to
the players' characters.

You must follow a few basic rules to ensure that Live-Ac
tion roleplaying progrCJiSCS smoothly and safely. These rule-,
must be obeyed if you intend to run any Live-Action roleplay
ing at all. Safery is always a primary concern.
Don't Touch: A player should never :tcrually mike or
grapple another member of the troupe. No son of combat
should ever be performed - that is one thing you should leave
for the dice ro decide. Live Action playing involves only ralk
ing, not fighting. If players or Storyteller oMistnnrs get roo ram-
bunctious in their roles, the Storyteller should coli o tlmeC)U[
from the acting and remind everyone of the ntlcs uf play. Rc
pent offenders should be asked to lenve, or the octlon should
be retumed ton table and confl icts should be resolved through
dice rolls.
No Weapons: No props can he used If they must rouch
another player to be effective. No real weapons of any sort con
ever be handled at any time during rolcpln}'ii'IJ.t.
Not even coy guns can be used. The "no much" rules mu.\t
alwa)<s be in effect.
Play Inside: Play inside your own home or in whmcvcr
private area the game normally takes place. Make " "" that
everyone else in the area understands what you are doing. Never
pcrfonn Live-Action i( passersby may be confused or fright
ened by the event. If you play nurside, such aJ in rhe woods
behind your house, make sure privacy is maintained.
Know When to Stop: When the Storyteller calls for a
time-out, allacrion must immediately srop. Even during Live
Action (especially during Live-Action). the word
is finlli.
Olt ti'Oitld know rlre secret of lkoth.
B14t how slwll 'o" find it unless ,o,. "'<k it in
rlre lreart of life!
Tire owl whose eyes are blind Jtnro
tire cJa, cannot Jtnwilthe JJl)'stL'I')' of
If "JO" u:o141d in<ked behold tire spirit of lkarh,
open ,our hean wide unro rhe body of life.
For life and death are one, ewnru doe riw..,. and the sea are one.
- Kahlil Oibran, The ProtJher
Though death tel'rifies us, it also fascinates us. Through
om hiscory. man has glorified death, wrapping his fear in a rich
tape-stry of rite, p3geantry and destruction. Science strives to
stay the Reapel''s hand, while art and faith seek to draw back
his awful hood and touch his pallid face.
Death, in \Vraith, is not an ending; (he moment of de:.u:h
is simply the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
The majoriry of souls pass on quickly, prcsumabl)' into either
Transcendence or I Oblivion. Wrairhs, however, 11rc the
spirits of the dead who have tragicall1 lost their way oil that
road. They arc mired in their pasts, t heir memories, and t heir
unfulfi lled deeds. Wraiths' overpowering Passions allow 1 hem
10 cheat dead\. Indeed, they forbid them from the final sleep.
Sornc wrairhs :ue driven by bittcmcss and anger, while other$
ptii'\Sue ideals so powerful that even dearh can nor deny them.
Some are driven by a longing for fulfi llment denied them in
life, while mhcrs cling to the Earth in [Crror of what might
walt beyot>d.
These Restless find themselves trapped in the Underworld,
a spirinml world beL ween the living lands and an unknown
ete"'ity. Here, they surrounded hy a persistent vision of
decay. Though wraiths may tetnporarily manifest themselves
in rhc physical world, or even possess mortals, they are doomed
to wander forever, feuered to rhe world they left behind.
Many wraiths are the products of sudden, violent or cruel
dcmhs, deaths that came before they had a chance to resolve
important life issues. Such \VrHi ths may dwell bricOy in the
Underworld before they accept death and pass on. Player char
:1ctcr wrJiths, however, have profound Passions and Fetters chac
bind then' co their lo."lt and arc likely to remain in the
Underworld for a long time.
jne Underworld
Dctween life and death, between Transcendence and
Oblivion, lie Stygia, the Shadowlands and the Far Shores.
These spiritual reflections of mortaliry, collectively referred tO
as the Underworld, tantalize wraiths with reflections of the
life they have forever lost.
few dead acru:.llly end up in the Underworld; wraiths
disagree as to why this may be. Some say that the Underworld
is merely a waiting room for unbelievers, a temporary way sta,
lion belween E.:lrth and eternity. If this is true, !imnc wraiths
have been waiting for quite a while, with no end in sight. Other
wmi1hs p<:x;tulatc l hnt mOSL human souls simply pass straight
into Oblivion, the embodimenr of nothingness that Li ngcs the
vcr1 air of the Underworld. If this is true, then hungry Oblivion
has grown fund of the taslc of souls; each year. more mortals
f:.tll inro the Void. Some optimistic wraiths postulate thm
incarnntion exists: one Heretical sect even embraces Oblivion
ns the wellspring of reincarnmcd souls. The possible truth be-
hind this idea would be cold comfort m the wraiths; the knnni4:
wheel, if such exists, has left them behind, stranded in the
Whatever the nature of the Underworld be. wraiths
are stuck with it. Though the Restless are not without power,
only TrAnscendence or Oblivion allows them to le.we the
Underworld forever. And no one who has embraced either
option hns rerurned to tell of it Fear, then, binds the Restless
to the Underworld: fear of judgment or annihilation.
Wraitn Cnaracteristics
Wrai1hs have ccrrain inn:ne abilidcs. Systems for these
abilities ore given on pg. 124.
Wr.1irhs see a world tinged bydearh everywhere they look.
Obllvion'slnOuenee colors the Shadowlands; a new sports car
apprors scratched and dented, statues appear chipped and crum
:md people close to death h3\c a corpseltkc pallor.
Wraiths can see the degree to which ObiMon has affected
someone or something. With this insight, the Restless may
assess an obj<.-ct's \\'t..-ak spars or a Jiving person
S gcneml healh.
Wraiths nrc also able to perceive the life energy in all be
ings. A wrttith can interpret the 'life aura" of n hcint,:. thereby
determining that being's mood, identity nnd level of h0$tility.
Even the most shallow, transparent person usually hns several
differem colors composing his aucil. TI1c colors of the aur may
shift In a predictable cycle or completely at rondom, accord
ing to the current emotional state of the character. Few auras
remain one ck-ar color for long; hades of intent and emorion
can liGhten, darken or mLx an aura's hues.
Heightened Senses
All wroirhs are hypersensiti\"C to sensory input. A wrairh
ean h<'llr a whisper a block away or read a license plate off a
speeding car with ease. The Oip side of this is that they are
often startled by loud noises or da>Zk-d by bri&ht lichrs.
Wmiths have the ability to pass through solid objects in
the Shndowlnnds. However, l O do so require$ rhc wraith to
expend " small amount of her essence, or Corpus. In this way,
wmiths can pass through walls, people, or barrages of machine
gun fire ,clmively unharmed.
In d<<Uh, there is no place to hide from the dark side of
the ..,.,1. Allrhat is feared, hated, suppressed and denied cakes
on a sentience of its own in the Underworld. This sentience,
C1lllcd the Shadow, is the bane of Rcstlc>s exi>tcncc. Thanaros,
the dC".rhurge, 1he siren song of Oblivion, forms the dark side's
lifeblood. Goodness, hope, po1ver, sheer will - all fall before
the Shadow.
The Shadow docs not always mle a wrairh, bur ir forms an
inextricable jXIrt of her being. It Is not a cmzed cr.ature, but a
malicious, malevolent and subde force. The Shadow is the eo:
of a wraith's unconscious; as such, ir has access ro all of her
powers, memories and associations. It Is the most terrible en
emy a wraith can have.
I twill plot and h willwhis(ll'r and torment. And
in certain circumst;;lnccs, it wi11 mke on :1 life o( its own, be#
coming a demon whose motivation is its own destruction
as a release from ils own pain. The Shatlow's ulthmue goal is
to force ill< hosr ro embrace Oblivion.
Many Wraith tall!$ revolve around combating the Shadow,
stopping its plots before it goc too far. In the end, e1cry wmith
conrains within herself the 3eed of her 01vn trogic destmction;
all are driven toward Oblivion.
A life perhnps t00.1 spumtd, who knows!
A chance at happinm """ rhne and gi<'<l1 up,
And yer finally, a1 whtrreuv price,
This THING grew Ol<t of it, nor eruier rhan life
And yer complered and o l>erfw -tiS if
It were no longer r.oo soon ro laugh and soor.
- Rainer Rilke, "The Lace II "
To deny that something exists beyond rhc Underworld
would be to close one's eyes out of fear of truth. Many deny it
anyway, claiming that only Oblivion waits for the unwaty.
Other Restlc:;s believe that even the Underworld is bur a pur
g<ltory through which they must jXISS before attaining a higher
state. Wraiths refer to this other salle as Transcendence. Pass-
ing from the Underworld into Transcendence requires the sur
render of rhe self and the embmce of all the lessons of life and
Docs T ransccndcnce lead to a final Heaven or Hell11s the
r"e.(!U)[ ::1. neW incam:nion in he karmic crclel Or iS the whole
idea a sham, some Shadow's wny of feeding Oblivion! No one
knov.s. T ranscendcncc is u oncWU)' voyngc ro an unknown
desrinruion. In any event, reaching Tr:mscendence requires
passage through the Void, the core of Oblivion. Tiw thought
of the Void paralyzes most wraiths wit h fear.
Needless to say, most wmirhs do nor seek T mnscendence.
In li\ct, they dread it. Some call TmnKendence "Judgment," a
final accounting to some hil!hCr power for the things they have
done. Few Restii!.'IS would stand naked in Divine Light will
lngly; most feel beyond redemption. Given the choice, they
IVOUid remain bound to Fetters for all time. lletter the damna
tion they know than the my5tery they fear.
Do Not Go Gentle
Wraith is a game about death, loss, isolation and iden-
tity, but it is also about human interaction and emotion. In
pla1ing Wraith, you will be confronting the darkness within
you as well as the darkness around you. Oblivion gradually
consumes the Undetworld, but characters can make a differ
ence. 1l1ey can fight the forces of Oblivion wirhin themselves
as well as those around them in the realms of the dead.
The Underworld contains many strange phenomena, and
the unfortunate denizens have adapted or invented a variety
of words ro describe the bizarre features of their new "lives."
Common rarlance
Angsr: The power of the Shadow.
Arcanum, The: A dangerous group of occult investi-
garors and hunters. Cavetu anima!
Anifacr: An object that has been altered to give it
special powers.
Byways: Paths through the Tempest.
Caul: An ectoplasmic covering that shields a wraith
during her larval period. In some ways, it protects her, but it
also warps her perceptions until it is rcanovc:d.
Charon: The founder of rhe Hierarchy. Charon has
been missing for decades.
Circle: Any group of wriths.
Citadel: An individual stronghold
Cohort: A Circle of Hierarchy wraith>. The mldi-
<ional starting number of members is I 0, but artrition and T ran
scendence take their toll.
Corpus: The spirit body of a wraith.
Cult: Any of hundreds of Heretic seers espousing a
particular path to Transcendence.
Death lord: Olle of the seven leaders of the Hiccarchy.
Domain: A large territory held by 3 wraith or group
of allied wraiths.
Doomsday: Whe1\ Oblivion shall overcome all of rc-
aliry. and rhe end of rime wi ll come- or, alcemacively, when
the dead will walk the Earth.
Drone: A wraith who has lost its sentience and iden,

Enfant: A recently deceased wroith. An Enfant is
and a C1ul covers his fuce, J>cf
ccpdons of wh:Hever he encounters.
Fnr Shores, The: Llistant rc:tlms in the Tempest, of
ten corrc>rxmdin& ro mortal beliefs nbout the afterlife.
Fetrers: The ties that bind a wraith to her old hfe and
the lhing world.
Gang: A Circle of Renegade wraiths .
Guild: ln times pas-t, an organi::ution that raughr :.
pnrticulnr Arcnnos to its metnbers. n,c gui lds were disbanded
by Chai'On.
Harrowing, The: The ride through the
Tempest that periodically tonncnt:l hi eXL<renc:e and occasion-
ally ovcrcomt-s him.
Harvest: To gnrher the newly dL-ccascd, cnhcr as
Re.1per nnd mentor or as slave trader.
Huunt : A place in rhe Shadow lands where death lu1>
a presence nnd wr:1ichs more nt home.
Hlcmrchy, n1e: The largest org:mi2arion of wraiths
in the Und<rworld. The Hierorchy was originally formed by
Charon to assist wrolths in atroining Tronsccndcncc. Over the
centuries, however, it has bt-comc corrupr and twisted.
H<ret ics: Those who believe that yet another . beuer
a(tcrlifc awaits wroichs who Trnnscend their current wrccchcd
Hell: Any of cnunrless realm5 claiming to be me origi-
nrll, real, honest-tocoodness. acrual l lcll - there arc so
rhot they nre known collectively as the Thott<ancl Hells. or
simply "the Tl,uuSltnd."
Host: A per:10n possessed during Puppetry.
legioos: The army, police and enforcement arm of
the Hierarchy.
lemttre: A roung wraith, Ollly tkccast-d.
Maelstrom: Terrifying swnus th:tt occasioMily en
velop the ShHdowhmds; they are ro rhe Tentpesr whnt Jupiter's
Red Spot ism :m earthly hurricane.
Mnlfenn: An elder spectre or beast of rhe Void.
M.,.k: A Stygian arrifact vom by many wraiths in
order ro conceal the true self.
Necropolis: A city of the dead. Necmpoli reflect the
cities of the livinR nnd occupy rhe s:Jme geographical .. loca
Nephnndi: Moges who have turned ro Ohlivion.
Nihil>: PiiJI in rhe Shadowhnds thot lend into the
Underworld, usttally dumping me wraith Straight into the Tem
Oblivion: n,c negnrion of things. like torol en
cropy, Oblivion, in irs purest form. is nn ordered state. TI1c
Void is its ph)slcnl manifestation (or lack thereof).
Obolus: The Underworld's basic unit of currency,
forged fron the souls of the dead.
Parho.''i: Emocion; the "food" o( the spiri[ world.
Plasm: Any ectoplasmic substance; rhe spiritual stuff
char makes up wraiths and their belongings alike.
Projectors: Living travelers in the Shadowlands.
Quic.k, The: Another term for the living.
Reaper: The wraith who fi rst removes the Caul from
an En(:mr.
Relic: An ectoplasmic object brought by a wraith from
the living lands.
Renegades: Wraiths who have banded together to
overthrow the Hiemrchy. Their individual motivations vary.
Restless, 1l1e: Another term for wraiths in geneml.
Shadow, The: The darker half of a wraith's personal
lty. h must be mastered before the wraith can Trnnscend; con
vcrscly, it may eventually gain mastery over the wraith, fore
ing her m embrace Oblivion.
Shadowlands: The aspect of the Earth inhabited by
1vmichs. From here, wraiths can (with some difficulty) inter
net with the living or meet with Awakened creatures. The
Shadow lands form an outer "shell" over rhe rest of rhe Under
Slumber, 1l1e: 1l1e sleep cycle of wraiths.
Spectre: A wraith whose Shadow has become domi
Stygia: The largest realm in the Underworld. It is the
home of the Hierarch)'
Tempest, The: The eternally raging storm of the Un
derworld - it hinders passage between the inner realms and
the Sh.adowlands, and collecrs the nightmares and memories
of those who pass through it.
Terminals: Small, rundown realms in the middle of
the Tempest chat serve as wa.y stations for those traveling to
Stygia. Terminals are grim, Kafkaesque places where Ferrymen
rest and unnoly passengers are sometimes abandoned.
Thrall: A wraith in subjugation to another of its kind.
11che: The amount of Pathos due a wraith from a Fet
tcr or a haunt.
Transcend: To leave the Underworld completely and
move on to whmever awaits beyond.
Underworld, The: 1l1e land of the dead. It includes
rhe Shadow lands. rhe Tempest, the Void, and all the realms
Void, The: 1l1e norl1ingness at the heart of rhe Tem
pesr. Sec also Oblivion.
Wmith: A spirit who has died but remains attached
to the living world. Wmichs are also known as ghO&ts or ''the
Advocates: Powerful wraiths of a Heretic ctolt dedi
cated to rccruiti1\g souls for a realm in the Far Shores. They
are persecuted and hunted by the Hierarchy.
Agency, The: Nickname for the bureaucracy of the
Arisen, The: Those who have passed on to T r o n s c c n ~
Consort: The host possessed by a Puppeteer.
Eidolon: The higher, more enlightened aspect of a
Leg;ocy: A Fetter with powerful personal tics co a Rest
less soul.
Onyx Tower, The: Charon's palace; also used co de
scribe the goal of becoming one of Charon's servants.
Vulgar Argot
Body Snatcher: A wraith who possesses the living.
Boo job: Any attempt m scare off the living.
Boojum: A generic word used to describe hostile crca
turcs and/or Tempest dwellers.
Brain Sucker: A wraith who uses Phantasm or [he
lesser Puppetry powers.
Crcepshow: 1l1c Tempest.
Doom shade: Slang for spectre.
Dothead: A wraith who was a hanger-on in life, fol
lowing fickle fashion and fads without real contribmion.
Fle.1h Freak: Demgarory tenn for a Skinridcr.
Hellbound, The: Nickname for a wrnirh rhought m
be well on his way co domination by his Shadow.
juice: Pathos.
Meat: Mortal Oesh.
McatChains: 1l1e human body (which ties down the spirit).
Mirty: A wannabe who never was - wraiths who
never fulfilled their dre3ms while living.
Molcmen: Derogatory term for those who claim to
have experienced the "tunnel of light.u
Scrooger. Slang foro \\T<Iith who \L";e; Phanmsm fn:quencly.
Skinlands: The physical world in which mortals rc
side; rherefore, uSkinlandcrs" arc the Quick.
Srormruoning: Traveling in rhe Tempest.
Tag: Using Arcanos on other wmirhs for procrice or
for nonlerhal duels.
Think you God built this place, wishing man ill
And not lusts uncontrolled or stuords
Not God, my friend. The tntth's more hideous still:
There holls were carved by men while yet they breathed.
- Alan Moore, "Amongst the De<\d Men," Swamp Thing
he world of Wraith is a dark reflection of
our own. Here, beauty and corruption stand
out in grearer contrasti everything is mono
lithic, majestic and altogether twisred.
Though faith and human spirit remain
strong, greed and despair seem stronger still;
many revel in the flames of the last days.
The world of Wraith is a world of darkness, where ghosts walk
and the night laughs.
Superficially, the World of Darkness resembles our own:
the same bands, books and movies distract their audiences;
pollution slowly rots the ozone layer; and all the familiar land
mntks remnin in place. In the World of Darkness, however,
the supernatural lies close to the surface, barely hidden by the
nit;hts shadows. Everyone can sense its influcnCC1 though few
understand what they feel.
The lands of the dead certainly contribute to the ambi
enceof rhe living world (called the Skin lands by wraiths). The
echoes cast by the Underworld leave their mark upon the
Skinlands. Player characters, the Restless, are products of both
This chapter describes Wraith's setting in der.ail: from the
cosmology of the Underworld to the geography of the
Shadow lands. however, is more than simply maps and
places. The dead have a culture and society of their own1 one
that mirrors the living world in strange and twisted ways.
The Gothic-runk
World of the living
he night is my comjl(lnion, and solinule my
- Sarah McUtUghlin, "Possession"
The world of Wraith is not our own,
though the two milieux resemble each
other in many ways. The World of Dark
reflocls and embodies rhc passion and
decay beneath our civilized veneer. We all feel drawn to the
romance, terror and mystique o( death. Here. in the Gothic ...
Punk world, we can explore th:u mystique in a s.cning woven
(rom our darkest dreams.
Externally, little differs between our world and the World
of Darkness- the esrablished religious, social and political
institutions are much like those we k110w. Tite World of Dark
ness, however, is a film noir environment - che cities are laby.
rinthine and gloomy, the bureaucrats are corrupt, and the im
portam people have skeletons in Lheir closers. Ghosts are not
folklore- rhey exist, though few mon.als ever see rhem.
"Gothic" describes many of the world's physical features
-massive, brooding, dark and ominous. The sense of oppres
sion and conspiracy i.s much greacer here, ancl everything seems
to be done with an ulterior purpose in mind. Buildings are huge,
looming edifices, ofren encrusted with gargoyles and other
scatuary. Houses often srand for cenruries, giving many sub ..
urbs a "haunted house" ambience. Corporate and government
agents are faceless and impersonal, dressed severely in black
.suir.s and ties. lnstirutions of all types are more conservative
and resistant to change. Fashion and society have a medieval
veneer, and superstition is rife.
uPunk*' is rhe or her. half of rhe equa[ion. The countercu} ..
ture of the cities, sick of the oppressive physical and social
tableau, rebel with words, dress, music and often violence. The
downtown cores of the cides are filled with underground clubs,
sneer gangs and bands inciting aggression and revolution.
Constant rain and fog blanket the cities. Crime is depressingly
common, and people generally seem coughcr and Jnore c y n i ~
cal than in our own world.
Though the dead can and do touch this living world, they
exist in a spirit landscape pervaded by decay. They can leave
this land for short periods of time (if they have the powers to
do so), but sooner or later they must return tO the Shadowlands.
They arc visicors alnong the living- observers, occasionally
catalysts, but ultimately strangers.
Each troupe will have different preferences for the setting's
mood. Some will prefer brooding Gothic ambience over harsh
Punk rebell ion, while others will want things the other way
around. The Storyteller should feel free to use whatever Gothic
or Punk elemems she prefers, to whatever degree she desires .
Wraith is, however, largely a game of mood. Without a suit
ably tense, strange atmosphere, the game can lose much of its
In the end, you must decide what Gothic-Punk really
means. The tone and mood are subtle and impossible to de-
scribe fully in words. It is up to you to imagine things a.s you
wish, and ro creare the world of your dreams.
Aspects of the
here is a dreadful Hell,
And cwrlascing pains;
There sinners must with devils dwell
1n darkness, frre, and chains.
- Isaac Watts, Divine and Moral Songs
for Children
"The Underworld" is a collective term describing the
.,nleS$lands of death. The Shadow lands, Sl)'gia, the Far Shores
and cl1c Tempe-st arc gcogrphical locations (if the afterlife can
be said to have a geography), while Maelstroms, Nihils,
Necropoli and Haunts are aspects of these larger locations.
Oblivion, cll(: end of all things, pervades the Underworld; ev
eryrhing in these haunted realms bears dearh's mark.
Atmosphere: A Hope in Hell
There is both great passion and crushing sorrow in the
Underworld. To the souls trapped here, the afterlife is dim and
p<>inful. Yet beyond the pain, hope beckons. The Shadow land
purgatory is dangerous, ugly, and filled with reminders of the
unful filled lives wraiths have left behind. Nonetheless, con-
sciousness and identity live on, and where t here is surviva1,
there is hope. Spirit form allows the dead some abilities un
known to monals, and wraiths possess unique and cogent
sights into reality. Willpower and t he human spirit can en gen ..
dcr hope, strength and defiance, even when faced with night
marish despair.
Darkness, darkness
Be my blllnkr
Co'"'" me wich chc endless nighc
Take away cle pain of k110wing.
- The Youngbloods, "Darkness, Darkness"
The Underworld - comprising the Shadowlands, the
Tempest, Stygia and the Far Shores- is the netherworld in
habired by the dead. n,e Shadowlands, the Far Shores and
Srygia roughly correspond to "continents" and "islands"; the
Tempest, a seething sea o( nightmare, divides and separates
rht'Sc realms. Oblivion, the incarnation of nothingness, waits
below the Tempest's surface.
Oblivion is rhe aspect of from which all desrmc
rive energy seems, the place where entropy deposits the energy
that it steals. This lightless void personifies annihilation, the
oblitcralion of every recognizable rh ing and every shred ofiden-
As the essence and source of entropy and death, Oblivion
is not so much t he ulrimare source of evil as it is a fund amen ..
tal element of reality. Along with the other great forces of na
ture, Oblivion fills a necessary role in creation- the destroyer
of substance. All ffiings musr come to an end: rhe corn1pr musr
be cleansed and the old must give way co the new, which even
rually becomes old and must give way in turn. Existence is a
cycle, and Oblivion is the catabolisc of that cycle.
The Underworld, crafted as it is from the death of all
things, bears the perpetual stain of Oblivion. Everything in
the dead lands reflects the passing of iL< living coumerparr .. To
the Restless, all but the strongest sources of life appear to be
dying: flowers seem withered, paint peels on crumbling walls,
and sick or corruptt.--d wear t heir approaching death
like invisible masks. This has always b..'Cn tme; as Oblivion
expands, however, the taint of deacl1 has darkened the Under
world to hut..>s even the most ancicnr wraiths have never seen.
And because most ghosts died without truly having lived, the
obliteration of everything left is the worst nightmare a wraith
can ilnaginc.
Souls: The font of power
Souls, ir is said, are the atoms of reality, the fund:Jmental
building blocks upon which everything else is constructed.
Everything in the Underworld is, to one degree or another,
composed of souls. Thus, souls form the backbone of Under
world trade. The Restless harvest new and old souls alike,
hoarding them for srnclting, conversion, labor or as simple
tus symbols. The darkest days of Rome or the American South
cannot compare with the brisk trade in souls chat drives the
Indeed, rhis insdtutionalized rrade in souls forms rhe
rock of Sl)'gian economics. The system has been in place for
too long and m.eans roo much co LOO many (or rc(onns lO have
much effecr. Most power and infl uence in rhc Underworld are
measured in souls, and such power is not an abstract social
concept - it is a very direct and measurable commodity. Souls
are energy, pure and simple- rhe Hlmighry gold of the Under
kye15 of the untteoofO
M darkness always teemed with unexplained
sound -and yetllc sometimes sl10ok wirll fear
leSI the noises he heard subsiJJe and allow him
to hear certain other fainter noises which he
St<spectcd were lurking bellind them.
- H.P. Lovecrnfr, "The Dre..1ms in
the Witch-House"
The Underworld is known by many names- Had<-s,
NiOhcim, Inferno, Feng-Tu, rhe Afrerlife. Though these names
have been given to the dead lands in general, many realms
bearing those names exist beyond the Tempest. Indeed, the
Underworld is not one single placei it mulrifacered dimen
sion made up of innumerable realms and domains.
The "structure" of the Underworld defies simple g<-ogra
phyi some modern wn1iths think of rhc Underworld in cerms
of outer viewing the various within it as planets
and solar systems. However useful such a metaphor may be, it
cannot hope to explain the scope or subsrance of this enig
macic "place."
According to ancient myrh, the Underworld has layers
like an onion. Only the most powerful Restless can journey to
the inner core. The living exist on the outer skin of this on
ion, but the inside conrains the dead. The outer layer is called
the Shadow lands. Wroiths can exist here as ghostly observers,
viewing a world they can never again truly inhabit.
is the Tempest, which sur-
rounds and pervades all the other aspects of the Underworld.
Deep widlil\ the Tempest, virtually indistinguishable from it,
liesrhe Void, rhe heart and soul of Oblivion. It has no dimen-
sion or physical existence; it is simply the final abyss of de
On rhe distanr shores of the Tempest arc said to lie the
various Far Shores: the hells, heavens, and places of ref11ge.
Also within the Tempest is the realm ofScygia, home realm of
Charon and rhe Hiernrchy of Death. Stygia is the political
and economic center of the Underworld.
jne Snaoowlanos
Gonna giw up life in chis necherworld
Gonna go up 10 where rle air is clean.
- Siouxsie <1nd the Banshees, 'Overground
The Restless call their version of the real world the
Shadow lands. This gloomy realm, though physically similar to
rhe Skin lands, lacks the vitality of the living world. Chilling
oorren, the mirror the material world from a
twisted yet often morbidly beautiful perspective.
Although barriers and hazards are quite real to wraiths in
the Shadowlands, mundane objects remain immaterial. With
out the usc of Arcanos, ghosts cannot even open a door or
touch a living loved one's face. Walls confine wraiths as they
would any living thing, although they can pass through them
with little effort. The Shadowlands epitomize the tragedy of
the Resrless; the living world exists for them, bur they do nor
exist for it.
Everything mortals can see, wraiths can witness as well.
They watch TV in morrals' living rooms, attend meetings, and
witness deaths. However, wralths can see what the living can
n(){- the pattems of death and life in everything living. People
and things chat are very close to death arc marked by it, and
wr3iths can perceive this.
jhe Snroud
During the rime now called the Sundering, a barrier of
disbelief and fear divided the lands of the living from those of
the dead. 1llis barrier, called the Shroud by many Restless,
isolates death from life. Because of this Shroud, historia.ns say,
the living fear the dead, while the Restless envy the living and
llteir world of sensation and warmth.
The Shroud Is strongest in places where life and reason
have banished random chance and mystery. Laboratories, fuc-
' I
clas<rooms have potent "walls" against tht Suptr
natural, while placts strong in or mystic
ancc parlors, goave)'llrds, and homes wirh small choldren or
uoubltd adolescents - have thinner barriers. On cerroln
of rhe year, the Shroud weakens worldwide. TI1c Restless eel
cbmte their x=test holidays during rhese rimes.
Hauous arc earthly connections between the worlds of the
living :mel the dead. Great passions - terror, agony, berrnyol,
lost love- have weakened rhe Shroud so completely in these
places that t he Shadow lands and Skinlands nearly overlap. In
Haunt$, more rhan in any other places, wraiths feel at home.
Ironically, the darkest emorions rhin rhc Shroud most
readily. W.s and torment of all kinds seep rhc mem
brane and """k mm the very essence of the place where they
uanspirtd. Ghosts. many of whom may have died near the
Haunt itself, journey through the Shadow land. ro savor th<-sc
pas<lonsand to toucltthc living world again. Back alleys, b<tnle
fields, morgues, graveyards, cnombling houses, :.erial killers'
torture rooms, accident .. prone crossroads or treacherous curvt.-s,
OOr$ and nightclubs where despair and desperation gather -
all of rhese locations make good Haunts.
Many wraith groups seek our a common HaliOii once there,
rhey srnke their claims and hold them against nil comers. Visi
tors, both living dead, are usually lr\ the liv-
ing world, llaunts seethe with gloom and despair; pcoplo avoid
rhem unless thc)'re depressed, insane, or just plain stupid. In
the Shadowlands, Haunts are prime real eswte, nnd the "own-
ers" guard their territory well.
Domains (see pg. 42) art almost entirely hast...! around
Hounts; the more powerful the Haunt, the more important
the domain. Whole rhe buildings and trccts atOUold the llaunt
might be patrolled, the only thing o( rrue impon is the Haunt
The Tempest
Tloere were d<rys when you peered imo your self, inro the se
CI'Ct places of yo11r heart, and what you saw tiJ<orc rntuJc you fair
wiolo loOITOr. And then, ncxr day. you didn'r know IUMt w make of
ir , you couWn't inWr/>r<t rloe loorTor you had glimpsed rhe day bt
fore. Yes , yo1< know uhnt evil COSL<.
- jean-Paul Same, No
The Tempc,;t ;., the nightmare realm of chaos and shadow
that stirs beneath the Shadowland.<. Disrancc and space are
ml'llninglcss there, for the Tempe& iscrtartd by rhe ever-chang
lng viAJom and fears of those trapped within it. Indeed, the
Temptst has no ser realiry or subsrancc; those who are em
brac<-d by it create their own rules. Wayfarin& through the
Tempest is an cxcrcic in confrontation with demons borh
within and without.
Even wrairhs fi nd the Tempest di.srasteful. It is darl: and
extreme!)' cold. Howling winds lash through the area. Only
Sp<-.::ues- insane and Shadow-co09.omtd ".,."hs- choose
to exisr wirhin the Tempest. Echoes of past evil and pa.s3ion
assume a nightmarish reahry. A murder scene onighr be con
rinually reenacted by Drones, or a house long demolish<-d in
rhe real world might still stand, a shadow of its former exist
Those who venture Into rhe Tempesr often receive
snatches of memories: clues ref(arding Fetters, whispered :Jd
missions of terrible guilr, vision< of past lives, and the like.
These fragments of thought and memory come (rom agonized
souls. In some wa)os, the Tempest is actually made up of rhe
essences of weaker souls who did not have enough will to cling
to wraithdom.
There are places of scmiconsront reality within the Tem
pest, nor the least o( which are the r<'lllms o( the Far Shores.
More familiar ro wraiths are the B1ways: "roads" and "rivers"
rhar can be =..Ito cross the Tempest in some degree of sa(ely.
These Byways connect realm to reulm and are used by most
travcleos in rhe Tempest. The grearesr o( rhe."" Byways is the
Rivero( Death, rhc source underlying mortal legends of the
River Sryx and rhe like.
Ar the very center of the Tempest lie. rhc Void. The Void
is rhe source of Oblivion as well ns resting place. Those
souls not ready (or their limo I dissolution find the Void nearly
impossible to reoch; rhose souls wirh norhing left to "live" for
find rhe Void nearly impossible ro avoid.
Srep on a crack, brtak your mor!ou's hack...
-Childhood saying
Things fall aparr. Oblivion extends its tendrils from be-
low, probing the world for cmcks, flaws, rwurcs, imperfections.
Like a cancer infecting a pure cell, Oblivion gradually infecrs
the world wirh irs darkness.
Such infection sites often manifesr in rhe Shadowlartds as
whirling pools of pitch. black darkness lending inro the Tern
pest. These rumors on rhe fllcc of the Shadowlands are called
Nihils, vortices of nothingness eroding rhe world. Those who
srare roo dccp1y into them expcrier\ce powerful
of overwhelming despair and pain.
Usually Nihils are very sma II - riny lirrlc cracks - but
some have circumferer\ces equal to those of large pits or even
railroad tunnels. Nihils ean funn on the surfaces of pools of
water, in shadowy come!'$, in elevaror shafts and under man
hole CO\'Cts- anywhere that leads down. Some Nihils don'r
exist permanently, bur inrcrmiuently appear - ptrhaps ran
dornly, perhaps in a cycle.
Things dropped into o Nihil fall into the Tempest. Spec
tres are often arrracred ro Nihils und f<-..-'11 off of them. It is said
that one can yell into a Nihil and sometimes be heard down
below, though doing so is considered extremely unlucky. Things
have been known to crawl up in reply .. .
Black wind cmne carry me far away.
- of Mercy, "Temple of Love"
Periodically, vast sronns known as Maelstroms emerge from
the Tcmpesr and w- ash over the Shadowlands. Sweeping away
all those nor properly sheltered or bound in Srygian chains,
Maelstroms reaffitm the almighty power of Oblivion. These arc feared not only for their destructive power, bu[ also
for the rerrible Specrres rhey bring wirh rhem. In many ways, a
Maelstrorn is as rnuch an invasion as a storm, for the invading
s<mls pillage and demoy all they encounter. Only if the invad
ers are foughr and bested can the srorm be calmed.
Maelstroms resemble massive, roiling storms. Their im
pcnclmblc black mists constantly whirl and seethe; things, faces
or beings can often be seen within. The storm's "'inh<lbicants"
often seem to scream in time to the roar of the storm's winds.
A M:telsrrnm's fog con wins mmes of soot and skin. and is greasy
and slightly nauseating to any who breathe or touch it. The
stench of the fog is difficult to remove, often clinging to a
wraith's Corpus for months or even years.
In the Skin lands, a Maelstrom often heralds a particularly
b.1d storm or other natural disaster. Seldom is the Maelstrom's
passing unnoticed by the living. Among wraiths, Maelsr.roms
have assumed vast cultural importance. Maelsrroms are used
to mark "eras" in the Underworld; time is typically counted
from the last Maelstrom.
far shores
Across the vast expanses of the Tempest arc said ro exist
orher realms, suppose<! refuges from Oblivion. Although all
wroiths have heard rumors of the Far Shores, and many be
licve in lhcm, few know thc-!ic realms' true nature. Those who
are cognizant either aren't talking or can't be tntscerl. Mosr
travelers from rhe For Shores are interested in buying, stealing
or convening souls to take horne.
According ro legend, the Far Shores exist beyonrl the Tern
pest, though most wraiths believe rhey are acrually realms
within ir. They arc the Hells and Heavens, the Valhallas and
Nirvanas of countless cultures. They are the afterlives creared
for, and perhaps by, lost souls. Many claim thar the Far Shores
are not the abodes of true gods but are insread fortresses ere
att>d to pro(CCt souls from the ravages of rhe Tempesr.
It is interesting ro note that many realms claim ro be the
original Hell, and many beings refer ro themselves asShairan,
Lucifer or S:uan. In fac[, [here are so many of these realms
thcl' have come ro be known, collecrivell', as the Thou
$o1nd llclls. Howe"er, none has conclusively proved irself the
true Inferno of Dame or rhc Bible. There ;uc an equal number
of !leavens, each claiming tO be the true divine ummit. The
rulers here, rhough often mighty, have yet to prove their om
nipotence ...
Deep within the Temp<!St lies Srygia, rhc capital of the
Underworld. Most Byways through the Tempeot terminate at
Stygia, just as once all roads led to Rome. Srygia is also the
abode of the Lords of the Hierarchy, and thus the wrairhs' po
lirlcal center.
When the legendary Charon still ruled, Srygla was a clear
ing house for souls, but it is now more of an urban wmreland.
The temples of rhe various realms of the Far Shorcsstill stand,
but nil are locked and vacant. Now Srygia teems with milli01u
of rorrured souls and is made powerful by their presence.
Few have ever venrured to Stygia and rcrumed, but it is
said to be a vast city, full of mwcring, gochic structures rcmi
nisccnt of medieval Rome. legend has it that Stygia is acru
ally a filthy, labyrinthine warren. Only the most elite mem
bcrs of the Hiemrchy can freely move among the upperm<t
levels, which nrc said to be as awesome nnd beautiful as the
lower levels arc loarhsome nnd ugly. Wrniths hare and fear
Stygia and dread being sent there in chams as thmlls.
In most human cities there is a b'men, rusted section,
where miasmal odors befoul the air and even the poor do not
velUurc. Here is the Necropolis, the City of rhe Dead, where
Nihils sprout and wraiths cluster.
A Necropolis is a colony of Scygia. It is the polirical
social center of local wmlth existence. The politics and in
Lrigue. inherent to existence in a Necropolis occupy much of
the ottention of those wmhhs dwelling within it.
Most wrniths native to a given Necropolis will know one
anorher by either name or reputation. To a stranger, however,
a Necropolis is a wasteland of crumbling dark streets
and peering eyes.
Nccmpoh a redivided by areas of"mrf, or domains, which
arc claimed by one wmith Circle or onorher. Mnny Circles
claim the and Shodowlnnds around their Haunt;
though the Hlemrchy doesn't always recogni:e these bound
ades, its minions are wise ro consider them in their actions.
Many Legionnaires have found themselves devoid of support
when they wandered from Hientrchycontrolled streets into
the back alleys of the Rent-g;cdcs.
The >trongcst and largest flaunts In a Necropolis are
known :l.'i Cmtclcls. Citadels (orm the polilical and social cen ..
tm of the Necropolis. They often rescmhlc forriicd mediev:ol
citil"S, t!Omplc.:tc with n thrivingcotllmcrcc and permanent resi
dcnrs. Q( cnursc, l hC)' don't actually huvc woJis, but l'hCy are
nonetheless strong points within the Shadowlands.
A Citadel is usually b.-ued in a large. abandoned building
or of buoldings. Old W'drehoo><.-s, bumedout <ene
ments, strip-mined earth and refuse dumps ;ore typical Citadel
sit<'$. Such Haunts are strong to resist They
serve as sufe points for hundreds or even thous.1nds of wroiths
during chc storms. Furthermore, in cimcs of danger,
the Cltndcls nrc the only fort lficorlnns :oc:oi nsr rhc mighry
annicsof ohc Tempest. Only those loyal to the Hierarchy, how
ever, :trc given refuge.
Citadels are nearly always under ohc control of the Hicr
aochl' but nrc not under the influence of one pMticular Le
g10n. Varoous l.egoons consranoly \ie for control of the Cira
<kls, and often ont or another h"' dominance.
11oe Hiemrchysetsout beacons.oftenchainedThrollswho
have been MoliatL-d into naming torches, l O mark the bound ..
orle$ of the Nccropol is and tn csrahlish the sphere of influence
of" Cit fidel. These beacons arc commonly used navigation
and arc sometimes the onh' lighl$ nvnilablc.
Some Ciwdcls charge tariffs :md fees fur :odonission. Most
sionply require a wraith to possess a l lierarchy brond or be ac
mmp.1nk-d b)' 10mconc who doc"So.
A of the imperial
History of
y most Gcmlc lArds of Death , I hat,. set noy
p.m tn fla/H!T in thtlal1gl"'8< of EotRiisJo kirw.
in order to txploin f><Wing of tk ages in n.t
dt>ar a manne, as I can.
I have smcod in ohe luuk of Cairo's fryTa
mid$, li,uenetl m ohe comedies of Ariswphanes ,
he<trtf the of King Solmnnn's cm,.n, ttnd
ouit oo esscd wars beyond nooonbcr. lloa01c 11icwcd tltc waH of Athens
motl of Rome and Carrloage, of Frmoce and l'roossia, of the
Colonks aoul England. the \Var of /812, ohe American Civil \'ilar,
oloexwoo \Vorld \Vars, and the war in Vicnuun, I Mt'O! licoed throoogh
olo. /i<'< G, Madsrroms. In lioat time, I hat'< seen and
much Allow me, if yo:t will, lobmy of rtt'<alioog tlois
in my faoorite fruloion: rloro,.Rh the tellint story of it. Chidt
one nor f(JI' my minor tmbtollishmenn: rlw<e too are parr of oJo., re
of HisiOt)', as I St:t: k
Noov, nuoy it please ye Dmul Lords ...
Tne Dark oefore Time
There time known as ohe Dark before Toone. the pe
riod of history that precedes Charon. The legends y<- <L'
ahom rhos time claim thor life no\<1 death composed but one
realm, where land anclspirn were rl\'crl:ood. All W'd> well: there
wns no death. But th:lt perfe<lion was losr :ui rhe rwo
sploo durin)( what we now call the Sundering. Thus, there came
to!, rhc rc;olon of rhc Living ;ond ohe realm of the Dead.
In the Laotd of doc Dead, also called rhc Shadow lands, oloc
L:ody uf Fate from darkotess and found the hC<ldwatcr:<
of 1 he River of Dearh as ir flowed lii\'.OV from this world. Read
inA the >kein of Fate, she foretold ohc conoong of Charon, whu
would lead o1hcrs ro rhe Far Shores.
Durong ohos rime, rhe Malfc:ms, d:ork lx-asts of fiercest de
struction, homed and frilled and .cal<tl :ond roarong with hton
"'"" frum the Utter Darkness beneath the Shadowland<
and bcs:m m burrow grcal nmncll, uhimmcly boring a
L1byrinth rh:u wound its way into the of Oblivion.
Tne Coming of Cnaron
0'1:.ron srmde our of lhc glcxml uf the D.u\ lirncs when
Atl1ens was stilt new. The l:><ly of Fote welcomed hoon and \\'0\'C
for hom a bu:or oo>ade of reeds. lie took 10 poling this reedboot
down the Ri,er of Death, explorong oo. Oo:.orun. who "-ould one
da1 t, Strl!in's Creat Emperor, exrlorl the oowshy hockwarcr.; of
the river. Evenmally he came ro the place whore it ran imo the
gre:>t a cavernous place where of Souls ebbed
and flowed. There, at t.he delta when: the cmcn:d that star
less \'Oid of water, Cllaron dLSawc,...l the ($le o( Sorrows, a par
ricularly hilly and rocky island jU$t offshore.
The lady of Fate app<'1lrcd to Ch:uon :md s:ud, "Behold!
Afrer you come the mru!<J of the dead, who will walk the
Shodowlanru with neither guidance nor light i/yo11 do not aid
And among them yo11 will find tlac llcstless; they, like yau, are still
fettered 10 life. Learn the l><nw:r IJf life, tho< yo11 may"" it even in
<karl>. You may rake yottr tithe from the detUI as the)' offer it. to
brighten yo11r existence in this gray world. Al"we all , help others 10
find U.e within,'" tltatthy may pass from this place an<l
errus the Sunku Sea to the Far Shores. where they may fin<ltheir''
Otaron, oaking this 10 heart, pi'<'Sented himself to the
rl souls who sri II wandered the Sh:ldowlands. and they acknowl
edged him as leader. He led them toward the Sunlcs; Sea,
where he instruct<-<! the souls how 10 m.1ke "",..reed boocs
from the reeds growing among the great swamps o( the river delta.
During those days, the Sunless Sea was placid and calm, and the
souls made their way ac.:ross its waccrs "'lrhnut incident.
Other Restless who came to Charon were taught to pole
the depths of the river, and how to nnvi$(3lc the ri ver's twi.sts
nnd turns. A (cw rdusct.l rhc dut)' o( Cilrf)'i ng rhe dead to cheir
final resting place, instead depMtlng to brood in forgotten
places. Some decided to watch over the livinR. becoming guard
inns for spcdlc families or people. During this time, it is said,
Mny souls rook Aight across the Sunless Sea. being so light
that they could S<X>r across the waters; other> found their own
way to the rr Shores.
Charon bore a special love for those who helped him bear
the dead on their reed boats. These he named hi.s Fctl)ntcn,
at'ld the Ferrymen began mccune .. the Isle nfSorrows to dis
em. rheir work and lend e:>eh other aid. They performed mi
nor jobs for one another in for relics and light that
they glean<-d from the recently dead. The Ferrymen, realizing
rhat rhe Restless could wreak much evil in ll1c world they had
left, swore to protect the living fron1thc dead.
11te Ferrymen were soon forced to uphold their vow. From
the depths of rhe vast Labyrinth bored by the Malfeans peri-
odiroll) erupted a variety of bi2arre bemgs. Th= beings, col-
lectively named "Spectres," displayed a venomous hatTed for
Ji\ling :md wrairh alike. Spectre eruptions, while not nearly so
numtrous as in later d;:tys, were 3 constmn thrc.:u.
tvcntunlly, several Ferrymen de<:lded to embork across the
Sunle., Sea on " voyage of discovery to fond the Far Shores,
.,here so many had alreody traveled. Each of thc.,;c wraiths,
collectively wiled Shining Ones bt<:ause they lit the way for
o<hers, IC>ught htJi own F-df Shore.
Shortly after rhe Shining Ones' dcponurc, Charon was
visited by the lad1 of Fate. Soon thereafter, he descended into
the l>thyrinth hy '"'"Y of the Venous Stair, n marble opening to
that foul place. He carried with him only hiscyrhe and a single
lantern. unci went alone into the darkness. We do not know
how he fare-d in rhe darkness, but he was golle for many years.
Even during this time the Ferrymen continue-d their sojourns
up and down the River.
When Ch:uoo emerged from the labyrinth, he brought
with him an ancient smith-wr..oirh named Nhudri. Nhudri was
well etscd ill smithing, and used for his material the =ff of
Then Choron sounded the gret horn at the Isle of Sor-
nnd summoned the Ferrymen to him. Herold rhem that
while in the lnb1rinth. he had confronted the Utter Dark-
,..... the d..,pesr Shadow. He had seen Oblivion itself, and it
"'aS growing. Charon chided his Ferrymen he had se<:n
wa)ward souls, souls who had not been by a guide,
into rhr pit. Each soul fe-d that foul blackne$S, as rot
fttds n fungus. There w-as genui ne concern among the
Ferrymen, muny of whom set off to the four directions looking
for aid ng:1lnsr rhe threat.
As If In nnswer to Charon's revelation, rhe Shining Ones
rc<urncd shortly therCllfter, reporting that they had feosted in
rhe Halls of rhe Oed and that the Far Shores were real places.
FoiiO\\Ing chans thar they had made, set off on h is
boot a<$S the Sunless Sea.
When rhe Roman Republic was finally established in the
living II'Orld, Choron returned from the Far Shores with seven
signs that he had gleaned from the Shinmg Ona who had
become custodians of those place$. By these signs Otaron wao
gifte-d with rhc authority to judge the disposition of rouls. He
pl:>eed the signs inro a great iron tablet and made this the cor
nerstone of a new dry.
sroncs garnered from the f.lllen temples of Greece
and Israel, from rhe lmt city of Atlantis 11nd from the destroyed
cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Chnron huilt his city in the
fashi on of Athens and t,he new Rome: stn1cnressym ..
merrically arrnnged on the hills uf the Isle of Sorrows, with
cleared roads, an aqueduct, and monumentS ro fallen and lost
Ferrymen. Charon donated the lantern that he had used in
the Labyrinth ro serve as the citr and it shone from the
tallest monument. In the m3nner of rhc Roman Republic
(which <..l>nron srudied for severo I years), he instimred rhe
grand Repuhhc of Srygia, with the city of Sr)'gia as its capital.
The Stygian Senate consisled of 1;enatoni, each given
charllc over diffc,em parts of the world's Restless. These sena-
tors were seven of Charon':; 1nusl Lrustcd licucenants. Charon
set himself up as Consul of the Sennre. The senate's forst act
wa$ to gr<mt the Shining Ones land near the docks to butld
their remple.<, which would >erve as clearit\1! hooses for the
11>c senate received emissaries from rhe O..rk Kingdoms
of Ivory and Jade, places much like Styaia that handled the
dead of Africa and the Far Ea.r. Ar rhe time Stygia was at
peace with them, though this was no< to last. nte scnare like
wise ><:nt emiS$atles to the Dark Kangdoms.
Charon began <o tax the dead for the good of all the dead,
requiring two coins for I'''""''I:C down the River of Death. Those
who cuulu not rmy were asked to give up their eyes or hands.
That story soon spread, anJ few in those days died without the
deathprice o( two coins bein1: pressd into their eyes.
Charon hegan to use the metal gleane-d v he.
ro forge the first Stygian weapons and annor. He authorized
Nhudri, the Grand High A rtiOcer ofStygia, to de-sign and b1tild
Kyklops, o:he fi rst forge in Stygia. n,c fi rst three things forged
ofSrygian steel were Siklos, Charon's blade; Lumen, Charon's
lantem: and the Masks of the Senators. Finally, after <aking a
pie<:e from allrhe Senatol$' Masks, he create-d Charon's Mask.
Charon ordained tl1e wearing of masks because, in that
time, no one could predict how long a wraith would survive
against the crowing forces of Oblivion. Charon wanted to be
able to mainmin <he Republic of the Dead apart from the per
sonnlities of his senators, and the Masks of the Senators were a
way to IISSOCiare rhe office not with the wraith, btt with the
duties of the office.
Now, in those days the Tem('<!St was no but a great
Darkness that surrounded all. This Darkness wn< inky black,
solid, devoid of light, but not the roiling chaoo that it is
now. With Nhudri's help, Chnron set about building a great
system of roads through the Darkness, roads thar dtd not de
pend upon the vagaries of the River of De<>th. Charon was
determined to save all of crcarinn from the power of Oblivion,
which hod begun ro manifest Itself. Spectre> unci b<!ascs ever
crawled out of the deep places ro torment rhe unwary and at
tack the unready. Charm' roads would provide his Ferrymen
ready and easy ccess to the Sunless Sea through a straight
line, not a crooked river choked with Spectres.
During the great Pax Romana, Charon's roadbuildcrs
spread far and wide, building a network of roads through the
Darkness. This netwOrk was truly CX(l'lnstve, connecting the
Shadowlands of such far-off places as Brim in, Gaul, Maurctania,
Rome, Thrace, Oalntla, Damascus, Armenia and Tan is. Wher
ever Rome went, Scygia followed. As Roman legionnaires died
during the wars of conquesr, many became soldiers in the
StyRian militia, protecting the Ferrymen as they went about
their business of gathering souls. Ferrymen regularly embarked
from the quays of Stygia, departing for the Far Shores of the
Norse, the Celu, the Gauls, the Romans and othen;. Anyone
who died found a ship waiting.
It was also during the Pax Romann that Charon discov-
ered the horses that lived in the great Slough of the Rtv<r of
o-:arh. These wild steeds had somehow been caught in the
ancien< Some say the ho!$H had been intende-d as
a gift from Po><:idon to his brother I lades, but had broken free,
swam the Styx, and now ran wild in the Darkness. Charon
coveted these beautiful, pure, milk-white horses, with their
long, flowing black manes and blood-red eyes. With the help
o( Nhudri, he created the tools ro came his own.
Soon Charon had per;onally r:amed l.l death-sreeds, which he
presented as gifts to II the Ferrymen who wanted them.
After spending many months talking with philosophers
and listening to the minds or Rome, Charon intrO
duced the doctrine of "Lux Veriw," the Light ofT ruth. He
felt rhar Stygia had both a right and a responsibility 10 pre
.erve the greatest thoughts and works of humanity. He gave
word to all his Legions and minions to bring to St)'S'" any
!Jntiquity of merit, where it would be safely hidden In vnulrs
deep beneath the Senate.
But all was not well in Srygia. Charon's incn:-.uingly au
thorir:arian rule, coupled with the deatlu of various rebels and
martyTS in the living world, produced a class of dissatisfied
malcontent wrniths. These wraiths, known as RcncgadCJ<, de
fled the authority of Charon and his minions.
Renegades began to harry the Ferrymen on the road> fiS
well as on the River of De<>th. In response, Charon mounted
severn! solditrs to act for the Fcrtymcn. lie
1htse soldiers his Equitres, much like the Roman caval!).
A$ Rome began to fall, Stygia felt the dissollllion. Ouis
tianiry "ons spreading in the hvmg world, and suddenly m.1ny
Fishcn (a:. they were called by Charon's l.egioru because of
the Osh ymbol rhey used tO siAnify themselves tO '"ch mhcr)
appearing in Stygb. Building vessels from the flotsam
linin8 the shores of the Isle of Sorrows, rhe Fishe" >et off for
their own Far Shore, a place they called "Par:>dlse." None of
the Shining Ones had evrr heard of such a place, but the Fish
ers had faith in its existence.
At about this time, Scygian wrniths began "' nmicc more
ond more Speccre.' along the roads, in the Shadowlonds, along
the riverbanks- everywhere. Wherever Spectres went, chaos,
Oblivion, destruction and confusion followed in thdr wake.
They skinrode wild bands of barbarians, particularly cribc
called the Vandals, and attacked Rome itself. In the banle
msucd, the Vandals were slain. The wrnirhs of rhc dead Van
dais, uron seemg Srygia, thought that they were being brought
to another version of Rome in the afterlife. Accordingly, they
annckc-d it as well. Although they were repelled by the orga-
nized and berrer-armcd Equill'CS, the subsequenr siege laid by
the possessing Specrres resrcd the defenses of Stygla to rheir
limit. Charon himself was often seen on rhc battlefield, his
..:ythe curring a sw-th through the armies of the dead.
Then, in A.D. 476, Rome fell. Simultaneously, the dark
nw o( the great Labyrinth seethed and hissed. Sentries at all
the rorrab of rhe Labyrinth rang their grtat gont;S, trymg in
I'Oin to warn Stygio of rhc :opprtrdch of the
ever w befall the City of Death: the fi rsr and grcotcst Mael
stmm. lr enoptcd from the Labyrinth, wracking rhe Dnrkness,
Ooodi11g into the Shadnwlnnds, and pouring down the River
of Death. It screamed across the Sunless Sea. The roads
cnombled and crack<-d.
But Stygm ""'' hit A coordinate-d armck by the
Spectres coincided with the (irst M!lcbrmm, and the city was
invaded. pala'' rhc Onyx Tower, erupted in names.
Only the mas1erful stmtcgy and tactic o( Chamn IVM
1hc Ciry o( the Dead saved. Nunchcless, the FeiT)men were
decimated, the L<'!tions were left In ratters, and the Scnare
M::.ny wmiths turm .. -d Rcnq;ade, living
I ike preda1ors In the Darknc>S.
The world likcwi>r uffered. Barbarian> und brig
onds ran rampanr mer Rome's fallen S.xm Rome was
but a dtSmm ltgend spoken o( b1 pc'dSdniS M the)' cowered in
rheir huts.
Charon rcahzed rhat only a leader coulrl prevail in
Lhc years m cmne. T.1.king n cue (rom rhc o( the living
world, Chnmn appointed himself Emperor. l ie ret:tinL-d his
seven Senator, hnt renamed them, dubbing them O.:.thlords.
The Ferrymen Immediately wok i.suc wirh this: they felt that
Charon had oerstcPix:d the mnhority vested in him. They
would not serl'e un Emperor. In o mge, Olaron bamshcd rhem,
tdlingrhem 1h:n lheywould have tusurvive rhe l)Jrknessalone
i( they would not serve Stygi:t.
Many ye:ors and Stygio was slowly rcbutlt. Storms
\ITdCked only the pr<-.cncc of rhe kept the
roods from completely ro Spectres and other bolc(ul crca
rures. Wild Renegade.<, seeking to hide from or defy the power
ofStygia, huilr villages and towns ulung the river and the roads.
The power of the Shining One,, waned as belie( hl the pagan
god$ died; conversely, rhe Fishers convinced
numbers of dead ro navel with them un theu journey
DurinJi( 1 rime, some wrniths began employing Area nos
lOscarc <iomin:ltc mortals. M1111y wok rhc sh:-.pes o( mon.-
"ers demons, manifesting to (earful peasants and demand
lng tribute. The Renegades were the worst of these malefac
Finally, after cemuric-s o( cffmT, rhe last o( the Maelstrom
spawnedSpect res were destroyed or driven into the uthyrinth
once chere was lime lu rccognhe the honor and
glory of thtm who had (oughl: fc >r Stygia. ChotOtl institute-d
the Imperial Order of the Sickle and named seernl Equit><:> "'
its ronks. It is still rhe grtar= honor that St I'J:i:o can bc..row ro
a wrdirh.
During chis tinu:, Ch:uon rebuilt his great palace ami
about recovering some of rhe antiquities tl1ut were losr. A5 rhc
ncxJglrng Church of Christianity struggled thi'Oirgh irs carlr
Charon ocdered a great sea-wall built around the hie of
Sorrows to protect If from future great Maels1roms.
Also during this time, Charon crcnred the Dictum
Mortem. the Code of the Dead, m countemct the Dark
wmiths' horrific abuses of power. Though maiuly to
protect rhe living (rom the dead, the Dictum Mortem also made
tt clear that only Charon and his designates 11crc
empowered with the authority to gather alld dispatch souls.
As for rhe Fishers: they soon made thetr presence known.
I nco Stygia's harbor tl'iumphantly sailed rhc Fishers' Gulden
Ship, a marvel of hipbuilding whose home port w:IS the Far
Shore of Pnradise. The Fishers brou)(lll with rhem building
materials ro c:onsuuct a mnssi\c remple on one o( the hills of
the Isle ofSonow>. They demanded that Olaron tithe to rhctr
temple, bur he refused. saying that he :.crvcd Dea1h, not the
Far Shores. Instead, he mmlc the Fishers a counteroffer: if they
woold donate to him 10%o( the relics they collected, he wnuld
pruvidc rhem with the souls of those whusoughr Parndise. This
w:os OJ:Tteable to the Fishers, although rhey ne,er stopped :ot
tempting to con,crt Chamn ro their beliefs.
Stygin became an excellent walled cily in rhe gr3nd rmdl
rion o(Paris. As the Crusades begnn in rhe living world. ChttrOtl
once again had the rc>ources to send his Equitres (now known
as Ktlif(hts) om on the roads, The whole network of parhs was
dClml and repaired, and new roads were crea<ed to connect
lhe newer. swelling citiCi.
Stygia hns often been called the City of rhe Dark Echoes,
bcc.:tuse It is similar, but !lever quire like the I ivlng world. Liulc
In life offects the City of rhe Dead. Still, the Crusades did nor
unnoticed. Many legions followed the cnrsuding armle$,
collecting the dead o( both sides for transport to Srygia. It \I'll>
not an uncommon occui'Tencr for the Knights of the Sickle to
hae to break u1> poor-mortem fights berween the h:odes of
Moors and Chniii.Ul). c\cn as they waited to be judged in their
"'J'Ktive temples.
munbcr o( wmith .. Knights bt-cnme s.taggermg during
the C:ru5:1dcs, "' m:ony left behind lovers, wives and
family whom the)' cared for and who bound them to life as

Once al!ain proving his knowledge of his own citizens,
Cl>nron changed his Imperial rulcrship to a more feudal style.
He whnt he termed the Hierorchy, whcrchy wr.irh
could knmv rhcir in the Shadow lands and in Stygia. The
topn'IOSt runG comprised Charon and his seven nppointcd
DeathlorJ>. llclow them stood the Legions and the Knights,
followed by the Frccwraitlt>. At the botrom came the Thralls,
wraiths who had for one reason or another lx..-cn bound in chailu
o( St1xian metal. Thralls became widely as hmh slaves
arkl CUITCilC)'
In to thiJ, the Fishers appoinlcd lheir own
Knights, called Crus:1<lers. Tensions between Sr11:ian Knight
and to mount.
Just '" the feudal sprcm ws based 0 11 agriculture, rhe
Hicmrchy Wll>O<)l:lr)ized on rhc collec1ion of souk Frccwraiths
\\'<ItChed ror and newly arrived souls, while KJ,ighr:s
protccte<l the Frccwr.nrhs from Spectre'S and Renegades. Muny
Frccwmirhs become master$ of various Arcanns involving the
soul tmtlc. Fl'ci.:wroiths organized into guilds a(cer Charon
di!COvered rhe mortal guild system.
Charon proved to ben wise ruler. When rhe Black
struck, the l liernrch) was firmly in place. At firsr rhcre """'
only a trickle <>f >OOI> from the terrible sickness. Then rhe rmr
o( the Second Mnclrrom hemldc-d the thousands of souls
claimed by the Black Plague.
11ti> St)')tia held agains1 1he Mndstrom, and the
roods sraye.l open. 1l1e wul tm<lc vas brisk. Accordingly,
Clmrc>n SOUJ(ht to funher the building of rhe Srygian
by increasing taxes against the Shining Ones. Especially did
he tax the Fishers, who had grown powerful.
Finally, the Archbishop of Stygia, leader of the Fishers,
presemed himself to Charon and demanded char Charon re
duce the fee placed on rhe SQuls his agents collected for the
Fishers. Charon responded by disbanding the Crusaders and
doubling the fee. For many months there was darkness on Fish
ei'S' Hill as rhe temple stood deserted. Crusaders still retained
their mount:i and openly wore their cross.t.'S.
At the urging of rhe Archbishop ofSrygia, and with the
help of many Shining Ones, severn! former Crusaders attacked
Charon's palace guard. Unfortumm:ly for thern, they had been
betroyed by one of their fellows, and severo! Knighrs lal' wait
ing in ambush. Defeating the Crusaders, Charon made an ex
ample out of them by hanging them on burning chains fronl.
the highest monument.
Nor did Charon stop there. l-Ie sacked the f ishers' temple.
in the discovering great trov<.-s of rdics and anifacLs
tl>at had not been passed along ro him. Hesenr his mosr '"""'"
Knights to the far Shores to speak with the Shining Ones there,
and issued an order th<'H all Shining Ones were to depart SLygin
with the next tide.
As Stygia's tidegong struck, every single boar, skiff, and
mft was employed in the great Evacuation. ClulchinJt all that
they had, the Shining Ones piled on rhis ramshackle fl eer and
took to the Sunless Sea. The only lighrs left on rhe banks of
the Isle of Sorrow were the conflagrations of rhe temples, which
Charon's minions bhtst(.-d with the fi res o( Ouuagc.
Even as the Shining Ones Jc(c, Charon's emissaries re
turned from the Far Shores. They bore horrific repons of realms
where the dead still waited for relief - where they were herded
into grear antechambers and (orgotcen - where pcu:y diem
tors in rhc shapes of gods and devils bound souls in erernal
tonncnt or dcnmndcd unquestioning obedience. None had
reached the promised lands. None had found Transcendence.
Charon appeared on his balcony and read aloud the Proc
laltul liOn or Reason, highlighted b\
these words: oecause rite
Shining Ones /vwe no love far rhe dead, /will nor hnrlxrr rhem.
Because rhey do nor care for rheir prorector Stygia , I will nor
for tlem. Because c/1cy seck only ro fool, cajole and [n'oselycite, I
will no longer lisren ro rhem. rltey do nm tnd)' bdieve, l
brand them J-lerecics ."
There;.lfter, the Heretics were prevented from entering
Stygia and were constantly hunted by the Hierarchy wherever
it stretched. Taking a cue from the Inquisition now taking place
in the Sunlir Lands, Charon fonn(:cl his own Inquisition tO
root out Heretic influence in Stygia. He even gave the lnqui
sit ion its own Equines (called "Grim Riders" by some, but off;.
cially desigrmed "The Order of the Unliddcd Eye") to carry
out this mission.
For several years Charon did not prevent the dead from
lc(wing on rheir own to find chc Far Shores. It was a fool's
vo1age, however, as the Second Maelmom had transformed
the Sunless Sea into a place of strange currents, even srrangcr
bcas{S, :mel chaotic weather.
n,e trade of souls began to suffer: there was no room in
Stygia for more souls, and Charon was loathe to continue to
send souls to the Far Shores after hearing the reports of his
agenrs. Srygia became a refugee camp as the souls of the dis
possessed and the abandoned swelled in number. Renegades
walked among them, sowing seeds of rebellion and dissent. All
grew quiet in the City of the Dead.
Meanwhile, some of the Heretic. left Stygia altogether.
lly riding along with the explorers of the late Middle Ages,
rhese Heretics found their way across the great area of Dark
ness in the Shadowkmds corresponding to the Atlancic Ocean.
Thus was the New World discovered and, soon after, coloni!cd
and explored.
During the cMly 1500s, rhe Renegades mndc their move.
They stormed the Onyx Tower and made off with many antiq
ui rit'S, including the legendary Spear of Longinius, said to be
the spear that pierced the side of Jesus Christ as he hung on
the cross. Only through the sacrifice of some of Charon's fa
voritc Knights were the Renegades pushed back.
Soon thereafter, the Third Great Maelstrom blanketed
This Maelstrom wasnt so intense 3S {he orher two, but
much more pervnsivc. It saturated the D:lrkness completely.
Wraiths stopped referring to the area as the Darkness and be
gan rcfening to it as the Tempest, for it had become a place of
continual srorn\S nnd wild chaos.
During: chis rime rhc Freewraiths' guilds arrcrnpted to seize
power in a weakened Stygi(l, but rhis revolt was pUL down. In
rewliation, Charon ordered all the guilds disbanded. He im
mediately rraincd his Legions to do the same thing that th('
guilds did, but later reemployed guild members when it be-
came clear lO them that Charon would nOt allow them ro re-
The Third Grear Maelstrom changed the face of the
Slmduwlands. No longer were there any places
dominated by rhe Quite clcal\
, there were now two
levels to t.he Underworld. The
11ppcrmost'' level comprised
the Shndowlands, the areas closest to the Sunlit Lands; "he
low" them, rhrough rhc Tempest, lay Sl)'gia, the Isle of Sor
rows, and tht> Sunless Sea. The s.-tfcst. MI}IS to SLygin were via
the roads, for the River of Death hod become choked wirh
Renegades and Spccrrcs. Additionally, a power called the
Shroud separated the living world fmm the lands. This
Shroud limited the power of Mystery: the power of magic, of
wrairhs' and of spirits and faeries. Many magkttl places
were lost, and m;my wrai rhs in the Shadowh1nds retreated to
their Haunts, where the Shroud was still thin.
Once again, instcado( tldnlittingdefeat, Charon surprised
all around him by respondi ng ro the impending of En,
lightcnment. \'\/here once Stygian steel w::1s given only to Lhe
Knighrs of the rcahn, Charon began arming his Frecwr:Jiths
and other wirh swords u'ladc o( Lhc material. The
Grand l ligh Artificer dcigncd a wicked crossbow that fiml
qwtrrcls in rapid succession, and w cxperimenr
with cxpl011i ves and muzzle-loading guns.
Charon himself moved through rhestreecsofSrygia, rnak-
ing Thrlls fmm what he called the "wastrel>": the shifdes.s
dc:ul who had no purpo5e a11d providt-d no help tO Srygia. S<Xm
these Thralls were hard 01t work roiling at the Vc11ous Stoir,
mi n Styt:ian metal from the bedrock of the Labyrinth it
self. Depite the vigilance of Charon's Legions, many Thralls
were devoured by Spectres ruing from the deeps. Thralls who
survived often faced an equally grim fate: they were reduced to
ore for meml once they became ul!eless. The Indus
trial Revolution had come rn Stygia.
Thmlls became {he founda[iOn of Charon's new ideas on
how ro deal with the deacl: although he could no longer house
the dend, he could definitely urilize them and, In the proccso.,
perhaps provide rhem with the porpo5e they nc<-dc-d ro
eternity p.1ss a little easier. lle promised the Thrnlls freedom if
they worked hnrd in Ll>c Labyrinth and served Stygia well.
Flll'thcrmurc, the spirit of Imperialism infected Charon.
lnsre:td of trying to run everything from Stycin, Charon sent
trusted wraiths to the Slmdowlands to S<!t up smaller version>
ofStyl(iu, which Chamn c.1lled his "Necropoli." NL-.:mpoli were
porpoocfully l0<::1red in abandolled sites wtthm living cities,
near population celltcrs where the dead could be more easily
collecLcd. Charon hnpccl O esrablish pNmAalCnt culonics Hncl
thcreb) case Stygia's ovcrcrowdillg.
During this time Churon mimed the first deathcoins, abo
called oboli. This was it was easier to tmdc c.lcarhcoins
than 11 w:t< to trade Thralls, which had been rhe former stan
dard unit of value.
J) y <: xpmuling rhe road $ystem to connect with rhc New
World, Chamn was fil>ally oble to selld wmitl" to places like
New Amsterdam and Boston. Wars were fought in the New
World between Stygian colonists and the estnblishcd Hercuc
sculemcnts. Also, during chis time the nunpanrcolonialism of
the British Empire (followe-d closely by the Hierarchy) brou)(ht
rhc Stygian Empire imo connictwith rhe jade Emperor to the
e"sr and the Queen m rhe Afrer bitter a
mutual agrccmcnr \Vl\5 re(lched. This compact gave the Hicr
nrchy CUSlOO)' of the souls of the European dead, bot left the
indigenous dead alone.
Hicr.rchy, Heretics and Renegades banled consmntly
during the War between the States. The Ivory Queen de
manded the souls of the dead children of Africa who hod been
enslaved in life, :md Charon allowed her minions to tnovel
with rhe Hiernrchy's forces as they move-d south. As a of
this. the Ivory Qu<:ell later took control of New Orleans and
forbade Hicrrch) nnd Renegade alike from adtniuance. To
thi s rlay, ChMon 's llierarchy doc nor ope rare In the
Shndowlnnds of New Orleans.
As the Victnrl:m Age blossomed, Charon's Hicrnrchy
\\1>rked like clockwork. Souls wetc lo;Kk<l OntOCMriOg<$, whkh
woold then travel along the roads to Stygi. Here, souls would
be separate-d and aw:1rded to rhe Deathlords according to the
manner of rheir de:tth. Charon CllCOuragcd rhe Necropoli in
their colleclion of souls by sending Stygian artifacts to the
AllllcrL"Ons of the Citadels.
During the 19th century, Charon learned how to solidify
the essence of the tk-ad and transpon this energy, in a plnsmic
fOIIll, throughout hts Hierarchy. More and more n.nolt. were
retluccrl w nothing in the fires of K)'klops, and the willngs of
the Venous Srnil rnille became great hills on the coastline.
The fi rst ships forged from Stygian iron were launched
from rhe quay on the Isle of Sorrows. Th<-.c black $htps knifed
through the black waters, parroling the hcadw:nersol'the River
of Deatll, sink Heretic blockade runners and watching for
Renegade attacks.
More nnd mor<: people beg>m 111 die without belief, falli ng
Immediately into Oblivion, which hnd growll stronger and
stronger as the Industrial Age S<!cpcd into people'$ souls. The
Shroud soon became so strong that wraiths could barely affect
the Skinlamls except in areas where they had e>tablished
Haunrs or Feucrs. Charon, notinu this, began recn.Jicing his
H icrarchs from loco I people, people who had Fetters whete he
needed them.
Finally, late in the 19th century, the Deathlords and
Charon made a frightening discrwcry: they cook! no lon1,ocr
travel to the As they neared the Shatlowland,
1hcy began ro discorporate. lnvcstigfuiun soon rcvc:,led that
thei r Fetters had lo11u since been destroyed. Even Chnron, the
mythical Grim Rcar>cr, could not sroy long in the Shadowlancl<.
The mability of Charon to interfere directly in the
Shadowlands promp"-d the fO<mauon of a hcgemooial
ernmem a1nong &he Necropoli. Srygi3 was the ccmcr o( every
thinr.:, and rhc Cilndels were mther likc the colonies 1hat the
Brirish had est1lblished nll over the world: each was ruled by a
locul Anacrcott. Tl,l!sc Anacrcons were virtually aulunomou.s
:ts lung as they conrinued to supply Stygia wi<h souls and up
held the Code of Charon.
During the Victorian Era, g-re3t inventors were born
:ltKI died. Charon dairncd more than a few for his own, and
soon knowle<lge of new rechnology like rhc repeating revolver
and the sremn engine was taken by Nhudri and incorporated
into the artifnctsofStygin. Thus were railroads laid in the lands
of rhc dead. Ald1ough Ch"""' still preferred the reliability of
Mortus, his hors.c, rhe new roil lines were obviously useful-
more useful, duln the roads, for it was m.ore difficult
to ambush :;1 rapidly moving rrain along a trdck.
In Americn, the frontier was opened up. Charon asked
his two greatest Legions, the Grim Legion and the Skeletnl
l.ecion f1>urvcyers of violence and pestilence), to tn1vcl along
with the pioneers and leave Citadels wherever sculet'nenrs were
At the turn of the 20rh c<!nrury, things looked well for the
Hierarchy. Stygia's control over tnecal and en
sured that its satellite Necropoli sent a steady supply of souls.
S1ygia increasingly isolationist as the.:. Cimdcls took
more responsibility and more power In the Sh;dowlnnds.
When, in 1914, rhc f'irst Wodd War broke out. the
became :1 sottl
collccring machine, using its new rail
road to carry the Incredible number of souls gathered during
that time. The First Consul of War and the First Consul of
Pcsrilcncc were actually summoned to rhc court of Stygin on
charges rh:u_ they had instigated the concept o( trench warfare
and influenced the monO' Is in co using mustard g-.1s jusr S<l they
could gail\ more power. They were den red of the chorgcs, but
co rhis day rhe Inquisition of Charon continues to search for
possible clues that the) violated the Code of Charon.
The city ofSt)gia outgrew the Isle of Sorrows. Iron bridges
spread our to the shore, tmd the surrounding Iron Hills soon
bore the weight of great iron towers and bui ldings. Rail lines
were laid in a cleared area awa\' from he Iron Hil1s, and rem ..
porary hottsing forsc)uls was thrown up there: great warehouses
for the dead. Renegades occasionally attacked rhe rail yards,
trying to abduct of shuffling, confused young soldiers for
their own armies.
After rhc war, the H made sure rhat Hmmrs in
France and Gel'lnall\' were protected or rebuilt. Everyching
seemed fine; certainly the mortals were cclcbratinA lhc end of
rhe war.
Then the Foul'th Great Maelstrom srruck. The c:1rnagc of
the Great War blossomed into the Jeadly Maclmom, which
the Hierarchy In the Shadowlands survived onl)' by huddling
in their Citadels. Stygia. though awash in the chaos, did not
suffer a scrdcch. Its iron towers were polished to ..
ness by the skirl ing winds.
Still, Spccrres mok of the chaos to infihr.uc
the empire to unprecedcmed degree. Rising frmn rhc (lecp
est pits of the Labyrimh, they fnllmved the ron,ls to the
Nccmpuli and hec::.n inserting themselve$ in S\."(rCL places mnid
mortal cities. They belfoln to Skinridc IJ<."<>ple in America, rak
ing advantage of the Citodcls' laxer vigilance: this resulted in
:.cvcml mmpanr crime w:wes many dark in the b:tck
alleys of the industriali:ed cities during the '20s.
No event caw.<.-d Sp<:etres more glee than the Great De.
pression. Specrres reveled in the misery caused by poverty, and
rhc Hiemrchy had Its work cut out for it dealing wi th the flood
of scnrved, disposscss .. :J, it I'd dcs1intrc dead while trying to roO[
out the S1>ectrcs. Ch:mm nffcrcd a bounty of 30 oboli to any
wrairh or wr::tiths who brought him lhc cars ur other impor-
mnt pmts of slain Sp<.-ctres. h was discovered Spectre teeth
were pnrticularly and hard to fake: they became the >tlln
dard. Many wr;>iths became what nrc known Dcx>mslayc,.,
professional bounty huntct> who hunred down Spectres nnd
turned in their teeth for nholi.
Meanwhile, in Europe, SpectreS gleefully flocked to the
N:.zi in Germany, gorJ.: ing on rhc hate and terror.
thOu!lh we arc fairly sure 1 ha r Hitler himself was nor a puppet
uf rhc Spectres (r:rrher, we believe him to be a purely human
foulness),sever;>l of l litlcr's wpaicb were influenced and
lorly possessed by the Sp<.'Crrcs of Berlin.
When World WM II bq:an. Charon fi nally ;;rw a chance
to make war on the Jade EmJ>en>r, who had denied an
entire section uf S:m Fmncisco and threatened to usurp sec
tiUI\S of Srrgia. One of the reasons that the conniets II\ the
PaciOc "ere so bloody nnd destructive was rh:u, right
side the mortals' carriers and battleships, rhe iron cruise,. of
St\'l:(in's Legions battk><l the junks of rhe j ade Emperor.
Sti ll, rhc War of the D<:nd paled in comparison ll> thedcv
astatlon wrought by the Atomic Age. When Far M:m and Little
Boy were droppe-d on Hirc><hima and Nafl"saki, a great rom
rcvcrber:ued from rhc depths of the Labyrinth.lllc fifth Grc:u
Maelstrom boiled up out of the depths and spat its
force throughout the
The Fifth Great Maelstrom was che rtlOS( widespread o(
all. 1l1e possibility of glob.1l destmction had become a reality,
and the repercussions in the Underworld were dcva>tarmg.
Tt:\vel to and from St)gia was rendere-d impossible, and wave
after wave of Spectres hurled themselves at the J licmrchy's
Necropoli. The Clmdels In the Shadowlands became
outposts battling for survival.
Stygia itself suercd the worst camsrrophe. A gn.-nt Mnlfc:m,
a reptilian horror nnmed Gorool, lll6e up out uf the Sunlc01 Sea
and threatened to consume St)'gill completely. Evety ship thnt
went out to challctlj,'C It wns sm:lshed and its crew devoured.
O.amn knew that he alone scood a chance against the fc>ul thrn&
He hung his great Mosk in d1e d1rone room of his palace, re
rrieved Siklcl6, his blade, from the llmtOI'\' and piloted a single
skiff imo the Weeping ll.1y to att:\ck the thing. ll>e banlc is, w
rhi day, depicted In tapestries ond murals throughout Stygla.
Charon drew the bm.c '"""Y from Scygi:o and opened
a whirlpool in rhc Sunless Sea. Charon nung himself down
inro rhe midst of the whirlpool and was follow<.-d by
the hungry Gorool. Neither,..,.. In a &ingle Instant, the
greatest ruler of the RC$tless vanished from knowledge.
Sepemted as It was. from St1gia, the Hiemrchy rn rhe
Shadowlands had to try to continue on as best ns possible.
During d1c '50s, as parr of a t:\dic.1l progr;>m, the l lieratchy
rccn1ired some Reneg:1dcs to "icl them in rootil1)! ou1 Spccrrell.
Severo I times during the dcc:ldc, Spectres sought m c.:1usc
tcrcontincntnl thc:rmcmuclcar \Vflr ::and were rebuffed.
The '60s were n time of great change. In addition ro rhe
changing morn Is of the day, people srarred experimenting with
altered stat(.'$ of conscii>U<ness. Spectres are believed to have
had a hand in the bloody war in Vietnam: it wdS stan<.-d ewer a
triviality and fought inn very controlled fashion. Spectres were
often seen laughing.wiLh Klcc in the jungles of Cambodia as
more and more )'Oung sold"'" were kill<-d.
By this time,lllernrchyggents had stopped trying mdomi
nate their Necropoli. TI1c Spectre threat was pervasive, and
any and all wrniths were needed. The Hierarchy had devd
Oi><:d a kind of attitude that could best be described as "don't
m, don'r rei I." Mnny Shadowlands wraiths were not even
istered with the Hlcmrchy, in America, where the
Anncrconsdid not believe In Impeding a wraith's personal free
dmn. Omups nf disr>osscssed wraiths began shuffling from chy
to city as rhe Om Vngahnnds.
111e '70s saw the contimmtioll of the Cold War and count
Spectre incursions. During the '70s, Srygian agents re
paired the shauercd l'(<>ds and rail., allowing renewed coni
munictnion with the Shadowlands. Charon wa. srill missing,
and 1he Dca1hlt>rd had, in his absence, assumed control in a
great and powerful olig:nchy. This, as you know, was a
1113S!Cr>trol.:e of diplom:>ey and statecraft. Everything MIS to
continue un - bus.incss ns usual.
My lords, you hnvc often expr<>sscd your displeasure at the
relatively low number of souls chat the Hierarchy in the
Sh.1<lowlands sent LO in during rhe '70s and '80s. Whether
this indicate a rchclliousness on the part of the Citadel
Anacreons or a lock of wralchpowcr needed to gather souls
<fficicndy in the Shndowlands is unknown.
I musr n<>w of the current day, my lords, and for
posterity I will record what I know of rhe currenl and mosr
n..-ccn1 sil.mllion.
As you know, my Innis, the Hierarchy of the Shadow lands
has recent!) devolved into an almosr anarchic mass of self.
intereste-d An:tcreotu who rule to further their own persnnal
po'A-,r. I om remmdcd, my lords, of the Roman leaders in Brit
ain to"oard the end of the Roman Empire. These >Ocallcd Hi
mrchs have adopted the policy of "might makes righr." fnr
the reptl!arion of the Hiemrchy i> insufficient to instill correCt
behavior among the Renegades, Heretics and Vagabonds of
the pmvincl:S ..
Also, my lord<, It is well known that the Hierarchs of the
Shadowloncls seem to Ignore the Code of the Dead in tnany
cases, especially when dealing with the Children of Caine (the
1amplres, my lords - a ""''t foul and perverse wee) . I have
C\'CI\ heard rurnors th:lt ccrr.lin Hierarchs have bcgu1' workil\1(
with vampires, performing services for che "unde(td" in ex-
change for the ,.,(e-kccping of their Fellers.
TI1e 1vent her of the Shadowlands rhese days is atrocious.
The TcmJ>Clol seethes with Spectres. Maelstroms continually
and although the Citadels still keep the ravages at bay,
many souls are loot to Maelstroms on a regular basis.
In the citic;, povetty, race bias and class struggle have
wrought a deadly lcgncy: nmny viol em deaths have resulted in
the creation of more wraiths. In fact, sever I N<"<:ropoli harbor
of wmith> thAt owe allegiance to no faction save them
With no disrespect, great and Dread Lords, the Heretics
and Renegades sti ll operate relatively unhindered in the
Shadow lands. lkcause of the fact that the roads, the mils, and
rhe river are all blocked, and because the Fetters of life bind
rhe wraiths who now live there, there l5 no eoocJ solution ex-
cept to continue to .send weapons and soulfire to the
Although the end of the Cold War suhsranrially reduced
the threat of absolute nuclear holocaust, conflicts like the Per
sian OulfWar and dl:seases like AIDS still provide endless hours
of amu:sement to the foul Spectres who feast on such carnage.
My most majestic Lords of Death, I have but a few more
pieces of onforrMtion ro impart to you:
It is said that the Lady of Fate's mark has been seen on
some new wrai ths.
11te Ferrymen have been seen lot the Shadowlands.
Some souls arc dying with such violence rhar they instantly
become Spectres.
And, it i! that Charon has been sighted in At
lanra, Chicago, San Francisco, Edinburgh and other places,
although these nomono have by no meaM been subsrantiated.
I was greatly sorrowed tO leam of the disappearance of
Charon's Mask. I do hope every effort is being made to secure
Its rerum.
I do hope rhat rhe nature of this history does not
offend you. I enjoy writing these historiC$ ro how myself how
things have chang<.-d as we leam more about them.
\Vith utmost humility, I proffer my deepeSf gratitude.
Your Etemnl Servant,
enrh follnw<dlry twnitJ .. . worst of both
worlds. lr is a renible rhoug/u.
- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrontt ond
Guildmstt'l'l'l Art
Wraiths sec dearl> in everything. They do not see things
in rhe physiaJI world as they appear, but as they someday will
be. A person about to die might appear cadaverou., with hol-
low eyes and jaundic.-d slcon; a car destined to crash will ap-
pear denred in advance. Much of the world :seems dccajcd or
near collapse. Billboards are tattered, roads are porholed, paint
is peeling, metal is buildings are crumbling. To the
Restless, much of the world Is already dead.
The hazards of the Underworld add danger to despair; soul
slavery, intrigue and looming Oblivion take their toll on the
Rt'Stless. Worst o( all iJ a wraith's eternal struggle with her
Shadow. In the Underworld, there is no place: for a wraith to
hide from her darkest aspects.
These threats to mind, soul and sanity are the lot of every
wmlrh, from the youngest to the most ancient. Srill, hope re
mains. The souls rcrain rheir identity and can ac
quire grc-ar power and wisdom if they seek it out. After all,
Oblivion notwithstanding, they have all the time on the world.
life in Death
For all the suffering and corruption of the Shdowlands, the
ngotty of existinu beyond life, and the periL; of the afterlife, the
immorUll spirit continues to bum in Restless souls. Though many
wmiths have given their nfterlives over to hopelcosness, revenge
and trafficking in souls, others have used their continued exist-
ence to n:discover rhe (XlMion5 they avoided in life. Some wraiths
pursue enlightenment; death has tom a veil from t.hcir eyes and
proved that there is something more to creation than simple ex
istence. Orhers glory in rheir newfound powers. Freed from mor
tal constminrs, they roke ndvnntnge of their insights and abilities
ro explore, experience and pr06per.
Great wealth ;ond power may be acquired among the Rest
(e.q of one is ruthless enough to rake it. Many among rhe Hier-
archy have spent their nfterlives making up for opportunities
they never took while alive. Some wraiths find them:selve.s
gifred wirh potent mynlcal powers (called Arcnnos); other.;
simply wheedle, betray or enslave their w;oy to the top. Many
Resdcss embrace the pursuit of material gain ns their purpose
for existence. Others of like mind hop "Skinride.s" on the liv
ing, saturating them:selves with vicarious thrills, or pursue some
ns:endaleft over from lofe. The afterlife can be an advenrure if
one can supersede the gloom and sidestep the pitfalls.
More circumspect wraiths use their insights and Arcanos
to learn from their mistakes. Like the Skinriders, these Rest-
less possess mort:als and live again through them. Unlike their
wilder cousins, these ghosts try co recapmre the pain and joy
of life, if only for a short while. By traveling the living world
again, fu1rilling some last mission or savoring the rastc of life,
such wandering souls learn more about creation rhan any mor-
tal ever could.
Metapnysics: Tne tnat Bind tne Dead
Lwninous beings are (VC - not [his crude numer.
- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Alone, even in a crowd. Dead, but able to touch and sense
the living. Real, but intangible.
\Vrairhs hang suspended betwcl.!n life ;md eternal death,
and this half-existence dominates their perceptions. In the
world, but not of it, the wraith reaches out from the other side
or the mirror and tries to pierce that cold barrier. Like a
ing man srntggling to break through the sheet of ice under
which he is trapped, the wraith struggles to touch - if only
fleet ingly- our world.
This is not easy. The laws of reality apply itt a different
manner to wraiths than they do to humans. Objects in the real
world may impede or even harm wraiths (albeit slightly); con-
versely, wraiths are largely unable co affect the real world.
Wraiths are ghosts, and this fact changes all the nrles.
There arc, however, nurn.erous ways that wraiths can side,
step the rules. All Restless can briefly discorporate, passing
through solid objects (or leccing them pass through Instead)
with minimal effort. Moderate levels of Arcanos allow vastly
increased conrrol over rhe physical world. Because wraiths are
formed of spirit-matter instead of flesh, most pain or damage
inflicted on them is minimal. A car speeding through the liv-
ing world will only slightly harm a wraith, though some forms
of damage (Spirit magick, Stygian darksteel or raw Oblivion)
can infli ct lasting harm.
On the other hand, wraithsaffectone or her as if they were
still living, and Underworld surroundings that mirror the physi
cal world have as much substance for the dead as they do for
rhe living. And in rhe Tempest, nearly goes .. .
Social Status
The dead can be as hidebound and sta!llsconscious as the
living. The myriad social and class distinctions among the
Rc!itles.s demonstrate Lhis nuism. For the most part,
wraiths arc distinguished by a combination of (lgc, arcane power,
and freedom of movement. Counts, who are able to leave rhe
Sht1dowlands nnd return at will, nrc accorded considcrabht more
respect thnn Drone.,, who have practically no semiencc left at
II. While Enfants and Drones have the most m fear from the
snul tmde, all bur the mOSt powerful wrairhs muse beware the
slavers' chains.
Ahhonsh orocial mobility and intenoction are nor
among wmiths, most wraiths ally only wirh those of similar statuS
and trust only those who have proved themselves. Gaunl> arc
particulnrly notorious for their cliquishness. In gcncrdl, rhe whole
Sl"'<em of starus is mainmined by the Gaunro of the Hierarchy,
who demand considcmble I'C.'IJ"Ct from those under them.
cnfnms are the recently deceased who have not yet joined
w"'ith snciery. Typically they are only a few or weeks old.
Enfan!'4 wtar a plasmic Caul, which obscures their thoughts
and vision and induces a dreamlike stare. Until this Caul is
ren>ov<'ll by another wmith, they do not have full vision in the
Drones are wraiths who, having losr all rooch with their
mOrtal idemitics, mindlc.'-ilY Hunt their F<mers. Drones J>a,c
neither scmienc.e nor Many still manift..-st the marks
of rheir dearh, or endlessly reenact their demise.
Thrnlls are the slaves of another wrauh, held in bondage
by "manaclts of subjection." Some Thrall have been caprured
and enslaved; others have heen sentenced to Thralldom for
their crimes. A few Thralls have even sold themselves volnn
tarily tn pay off debts. (Thoul(h indentured servitude is sup
posed to last for a limited duration, many Thrnlls find tbat
escaping such a conrract is much harder than they thought it
would be ... )
TI>ralls wear leg munacle$ and cannot trove I freely. Sonc
vnrinms uf the OJde of Charon declare that no Tit mil shall be
tormemed or abused. Such prohibitions are widely ignored,
and abusers are rarely chnllcnged or punished. Thralls' Shad
ows often rake great delight in the suffering their hosrs' P"Y
cha endure.
Wraiths who still hold moot of their Fetters are consid
ered quite \'OUI\1:- Lemures nrc rhe m0$t common wraiths found
in the Shadowlands. They are manipulated and abused on
regular hasis by the "old hands." Most Writh player charnc
rers full into this catc)(ory.
Domcm arc older wrniths who no longer IJOSSI!ll:i Ferrers
nd cannot rerum to the Shadow lands once they leave them.
Because of their limit<-d mobility, Domem are not as respected
as Gaunts. Many Domem are created tlS a result of their Ferrers
being purposely destroyed. Moot Domcm flock to Stygia, where
they serve the Hierarchy bureucmcy.
An old and powerful wraith, l)'pic:ally one who conrrols
or influences an entire Necropolis. Not only have Oaunrs
managed to maintain Fetters in the Shadowlands, but they
have traveled deep into the Tempen- possibly even to a Far
Shores realm. Fear..d and respected, Gaunts are the only wraiths
who know the truth of what lies within rhe Tempe>(.

A Reaper is a wraith who collectS an Enfant, removes its
Caul, and penuadcs it by means fair or foul to accompany him.
Each Reaper facesa moralcboice: will he take care of his Enfant
and see that it safely completes the rrnnsirion to the Under
world, or will he sell it to rhe highest bidder! Will he help it,
or find a way to bind It ro his service!
All wraiths are interested when someone die$, for souls
are the gold of the Underworld. Some stake out rurf in hospi
t.als, homeless helters. jails, and retirement homes, while oth
cts ride amp ambulances or police Some wraiths are
ening Reapen , imprisoning and enslaving all the souls they
obtain. Many, however, act as g11ides, teaching their charges
the intricacie. of the afterl ife.
It is not uncommon for wraiths to warch after loved ones,
meeting them after their dearhs to provide a safer and kinder
passage inro rhe Undtf\\-'Orld than they would otherwise expe
rience. A few rry ro convert the Enfants to their particular
cause or faith, torturing them if they refuse. Othes odopt the
Enfams inro rhelr own Circle, treating them as kin.
Trnditiorolly an Enfant owes his Reaper a gnat deal for
his service. It is dishonor.tble to ignore the debe, and even moo:
dishonorable ro horm the Reaper. Of course, thi is not the
case if the Reaper was abusive or caused rhe Enfant harm.
possessions and Trade
Yort can sell one anolh.T fur fiftun anu
\Velllrye-lryt nwr!.n, ir's common sense.
-Sisters of Mercy,
11 Jeepu
Because wrniths can only r.rely cross between the living
and dead worlds, rhey hunger for the things they sec bur can
nor have. Accordingly, a thriving economy has developed in
the londs of the dead. TI1is "shadow trade" r'Csembles the tri-
angle trade of early America. Raw materials- souls- and
relics are harvested in the Shadmvlands and rmded in Necropoli
for material goods made in Scygia.
Wraiths cannot touch normal objects from the living world
without using a degree of power. However, relics - items
arrnmecl into the Underworld - c,1n be used freely and are
thus highly prized by wraiths.
Most goods in the Underworld me made from
smclrcd and shaped by the arcane secrets of the Artificers.
Because of the weird magics and secrecy involved, distant Scygia
has a monopoly on such guods. Many Thralls or souls
end rhcir afrerlives as building scones or Stygian coins.
The demand for goods creates a corresponding demand
for souls; while strong or clever wrdith!i can avoid this (;;uc, chc
. ,.,.k or unwary end up bound for rhe furnaces. New souls are
gathered in rhe Shadow lands and shipped through the Byways
into Sr1gia.
Some modern wraiths Me repelled when they discover the
true nature of Underworld goods. Barter for service is the pre
(erred m.ell10d of exchange among these dead. The remnants
ofStygia's guilds are strong proponents of rhe barter system.
n,e grear Underworld commodity is souls, for souls are
the raw materials from which all the goods ofScygia are manu-
factured. Souls arc utili,ed in all things, from Ciradcl walls to
Legion weapons ro paper for hooks ro Moliarcd rorches. Some
decadent wraiths even distill souls, drinking them like fine

Relics ore objeccs (ron'l lhc real world that huvc been
:nroyecl and now e:..:i sr in rhe Shadowlands. no longer
exist in the physical world, but possess substance in the spirit
world. Though most relics fade away sooner or later, they form
;m imporranr p;mofUnderworld rrade. All Underworld goods
other than relics must be smelted from souls in Stygia.
Not just any destroyed object car; become a relic. Only
nhjccrs rhar h}1d gre-..r personal significance ro rheir owners
are thus The life-force (soul, if you will) imbued
by such care the object ro exist in rhe Underworld.
Nor are ;til relics creared equ<'ll. The porency of a relic
depends on its "freshness" and rhe importance its owner placed
on it. A teddy bear that was treasured in childhood but Liuown
away when rhar child grew up will become a weak ancl cphem
eral relic at best. Onll' rntly m3Sured goods become potent or
long-la.<ring relia.
Most relics are fairly irmocuoos but useful irem.s: {Oy&, jtw
elry, n wedding urc>S or 1 he issue of Derecrit;;! Comics. Pow
crful relics- guns, cors, computers, etc. - exist, but arc rtnc
ond highly expensive. Exnmplc. nf porcnr relics include n
hacker's compurcr. a restored vinroge cnr, n1ld
Dirry Harry's favori te M:lgnum. Such relics more cmo ..
!lonol investment 10 funct ion in the Underwnrld, nnd roon
fode away in any ca>c. relics, like the sword of Uthcr
Pcndmgnn, cxosr fur centuries, but modem relics tend to fooc
ofter a few (Perhaps modem mean so much less
because modem mort Is possess so much more.)
Mosr wrniths possess relics of one sort or anudtcr. Senne
wraiths still possess the objects tim were buriecl whh rhcm,
but chis pra<: Lic.:c is nut widel y known in the modem em. More
often, wrnirhs c1ucr the Shndowlands with an item or two if
those irems "died" wirh them. like the rcsrom1'57 Chevy ro
rated in its owner'> fa lUI acciclenr. Enfants wirh tdlcs often
have to fighl rn keep them: a ;'donalion" to Reaper is a
common occurrtncc.
Ry the usc of various Arcanos, souls may be smchcd nnd
cnrnbolhcd into a ; ubso:ntce called plasm. This plasm,
fonu, is the only 'uhsr:tn with permanent shape in I he Un
demorld. Goods, therefore. must be forg<.-J from >me Iced nls
to ha\'e tangible ond form.
Skilled smiths c;m shape plosm imo ""l' form or texture
desired. However, the techniques of srnillting :1rc difficulr ro
master; only the S l yJ,( iUtl Art ificers know all rhe.sccrctso(
Soulforged goods funct ion like normal material
Srygian coins anu clmin> arc cmfrcd from plnsm, hence their
value and mystic:olpropcnies. Bec:lusc of the skill r"'tuir.-d 10
make such goods and the high cost of the ,.,..t, ""''' nul
forged items are scarce and cxpcnsi,e.
Some Stygi;m u-cms SO\Inds (rom time tO time.
smelring process is irreversible, so no one rcull\' know$ wlw1her
or not the trans(OI'Illcd wnaiths ;uc srill M:my
peeL chnt they arc. No one really to fi nd t)Ut.
Anifacrs arc ohjects thnr hold arcane powo1>. 11tcrc arc
tWO types of artifactS: those from the li\ing, m:odc fnnn reliC$;
and rhose of rhc ded, made from souls. Both t)"f'Ci are unique
items, and each has irs O\vn powers and limitation.). Ani(acu oumgeously C'XJX'nsivc, but nrc sornctin1c:, bcl'tlmwd !'.l{,'llS
of (avor or I'C\varJs for service.
ol living needt<l to a Skinlands
artifact, and the item must be destroyed on Eatth before it can
pass through the Shroud. The True Croos, the Malrese Falcon
and Jack the Ripper's knives are good ol this [)'pe ol
artifact. Relic artifacts are almost nevet given away and arc
deeply prized by any wraith lucky enough ro own rhem. Un
like many rellcs, they never lade.
Master Artificers, it is said, invest part of their essence
into artifactS crcaced in the Undc.rworld. Masks of office, po-
tent weapons and special tools ate built to specification and
sold for very high p.rices. To obtain such an item, a wraith must
pes{om\ some service or take it from its owner. Such ani
lacu ore neither common nor easily concealt<l; many
can be traced by the essence within them.
Guilds were once fraternal organizations uniting those who
pursu(.-d mastery in cenain Arcano!i. After a series o( uprisings,
<Aaron disbandt<l guilds and dividt<l rrode among the
l..gions according to an elaborate code. Since Charon's disap-
pcaTllnce, these trade articles have been changt<l or ignored.
In the current economic void, barter lor services has regained
its old importancc.11lough the guilds arc still officially,
d1c services they oller- built around specialized Area nos -
are l.n high demand. The guilds may yet make n comeback.
More than atwthing else, a guild is simply a way to teach
and P'""' on the oecret knowledge inherent to certain Area nos.
All eulld agenu are independent operatives, with no formal
tUpOnsibillties. Though some wraiths who excel in a given an
a.e not guild members, most are.
. .
Important Items
Certain items have special importance amnng the dead, a
social signiOcance above and beyond the Item's purpose.
Archaic weapons ate widely ust<l throughout the
-orld; modem weapons require a wraith to prime them with
his own CiSCnce, so gurul vehicles and explosives don't work
cheaply or well. Swords and annor, can be craltt<l
from plasm with little effort, and have a mystique and flair
1.luu more utilitarian weapons lack.
Highly ornnte and srylish weapons are prized badges of
office nnd wealth. Some ancient weapons have passed through
the Shroud after their desuuction, becoming or even
Underworld coins, or oboli, are minted fmm souls. The
disconcerting feel ofSrygian coins dissundes some Restless from
carrying or exchanging tl>em. Nevertheless, lhcy remain legal
tender for most debrs.
Sryglan coins often utter faint wails or sighs. Older ghosts
seem not to notice, but more sensitive wraiths have been known
ro drop their coin$ and run when they discover the m>e narure
o( their cash. Rumor has it that oboll have Shadows; this has
added to the currency's decline in recent years.
Manacles Chains
Chains arc seen throughout the Underworld; indeed, one
ofSrycln's many sohriquer.s is rhe
City Chains are
used to control and bind wraiths. They are also used as sym
bois of authority, are worn asornamentotioll by Hiera.rchy types,
and arc used m bind artifacts and thereby prevent their theft.
Chains and ate actually artifacts
discorpomted souls. It is said that those ulllortunate wraiths
who are eaten by the lieges ol Sl)&i are aczually excrered in
the form of chains. The chains ol the Underworld art well and
truly hated by Renegades and most Lemures.
Masks ore a fundamental element of wraith society. Not
only are they symbols ol high station, but they hide a wrairh 's
laee from others. Many masks are artifacts lorgt<l by Nhudri
himstll. ol a mask by not authotizt<l to
the mask is a crime punishable by discorporatlon.
life among the
r was rhe besr of rimes and rhe wom of rimes,
and it was all of them at once.
-Alan Moore, {Revelacion.,." Su'amp
Thing 1137
Like the human society it mirrors, the
Underworld has itS poliria: the esrnblish-
ment, with II$ rules, stability and com
merce; the rebels, with their spirit and fractious vision; and
rhe fai thful, whose fervor and belief inspire rhe socicl) ro grear
ness or drag It to tyrannical depths. Old habits are Indeed hard
to break.
This Is nor ro imply that all wrdiths belong to some soci-
eml group; In death, as in life, most just fall betwn the ex
that drive the body politic. Out as the modem world
grinds forward, engendering Restless in everincreasing num
bers, the extremes of Srygian society affect the urban
Shadow lands of the newer wraiths.
For the !1105t pan, the society of rhe Re&legs mlml<$ the l'!lW
influential ages of irs histo<y. Until the em of Classical Greece,
S<j-gia did not exist; other, less e,;mblished crcat
ing the foundations of the Far Shnn:s. E'-en 110\\', the models fiom
which legendaty Charon roolc.his establishment - the European
systems of confederation, feudalism, and mass indusrrialistn- pro-
vide an odd oontmst to modem Wesrem rhousht. Aces collide in
an increasingly overcrowded urban sprawl. Although there are still
fur fewer Restless than mortals, thousno>ds o( y<-ar.; fldd up. Many
Restless souls have p..s<.-d beyond rhc Undcoworld (to either T r:m
<eendence or Oblivion), blot many others have stayed behind. Some
o( these wraiths are old indeed, and hold very stning-c beliefs.
Circle,; are tightly knit groups of wr:oiths that have banded
together for mutual deferue agalrut slavers and Sp<ettes. The
circle is the fundamental unit o( Shodowlands wraith society.
In many ways, a wraith's Circle takes the place of family.
Members of a Circle are bound together by the Haunt (or
Haunts) they all share. Most Circles have fewer man 30 mem
hers, but seldom fewer than three or four.
Some wriths are not members of a Circle, either becauSt
they are the only survivors of their respective Circles or be
cause they never joined one in the flrst plncc. Such loners typi
cally amount to little and quickly fall into Oblivlon.
Three major political factions flght for dominance over
the Underworld. With the removal of Charon's stabilizing in
fluence, their batde,; have grown incrc-.singly bloodj. Addi
tionally, each faction iJ fnK:tured lnremally by dispute.
The fucrion called the Hierarchy insists chat it represems
the authority of Charon, now departed or. lain b1 the Malfean
Gorool. Its minions dem>nd resp<et and obedience from all
wraiths. The Hierarchy Is the most stable and reliable faction,
but also the most confining and orthodox.
The Renegades arc composed of anorchists and Hierarchs
who broke away from the fold. While once motivated by po
litical idealism, mosc now seck nOthing more chan perronal
gratiflcation. The Rcnegndc arc wild and free, but can't be
trusted for anything. At ben, they nrc divided by deep philo-
sophical and political differences; numy arc thugs who care
only for themselves. They room rhe Shadowlands freely, but
must do so covertly.
The Heretics are those wraiths who still seck a higherstare,
whether in the F-.. r Shores or elsewhere. Composed o( manr
disparate cults, they occasionally cooperate to oppose the op-
pression of the Hierarchy and the self.cenoered violence of the
Renegades. More often, they b3nle each orher. Abo,e all elSt,
the Heretics seek converts. Unforrunately, many Heretics are
the dupes of Mnlfean Spectres or the of the Far Shores.

Oh children don 'r wtep and moan
Children saue
Yo11'U draw a f>reuy pension
I'Cikn yo11r dMdy muu his ckarh.
-"Hard 11mes (Traditional Ballad)
Politics and inrrigue are e"en more convoluted in the
Underworld than in the lands of the Quick. R:nher than en-
pting in all-out war with other factions, wraiths commooly
rum lO subterfuge and (>spionagc 10 combat then cncmie.a, as
...:h seeks to collect as much power and inRuence as possible
to stave of( the inevimbility of Oblivion.
llccausc wraiths with different mMters and nllcginnces $0
ofren form alliances to achieve common goals, there are nearly
aloays several different hidden agendas withill every treaty,
negociation and mission. Betrayal and suicidal nct5 of ven
gcancc are common.
Ihe Hierarchy
hilc and rebels m1-1y thrive on chtm:s,
the majority of people (and wraiths) pre
fer order nnd stability. Evett nftcr death,
mnny soul crnvc 1:1 (umiliar routine, a sys
tem of trade, nnd some degree of order.
They want to follow a set pnnem, llOt wall
dcr off on their own. The world of the Hv
ing is frightening enoush; mosr RestleM seek shelter In num
hers when faced with the gloom and terTor of the Shadow lands.
The Hierarchy answers Lhcir nee-ds.
The Hierarchy is the name by which RestleM refer to the
\'ertically integrated institution of wraiths directly bound by
ooth,loyalry and submission 10 Charoni Death lords. Ito reach
extends <hroughom rhe Underworld, In fealty If not In fact.
The Hierarchy's vamls receive information, authority, re-
50UfctS and procec:tion in rctunl (or liCrvicc to the Hicnnchy,
bu1 must obey rheir S\IJleriors' orders without que$1ion.
Now the foundations of the llierorchy arc crumbling; with
Charon gooe, the system has fallen into a loose conf<xlcrtion
of powerful Cohons and warlords, nil paying lipservk;e ro a
loader who no longer exists. With the possing of Charon's in-
n.,.nce, leaders in the Shndowhmds often make their
o.n rules, keeping up appearances in case anyone from Stygia
srops by. Though many Anncreons have pledged their fealty
in exchange for shipments of precious Stygian mc!UI und uc
casional rhcy can't be bothered with
rule., and customs.
The last century has seen an increase in tensions between
dtcdistantland ofSrygia and rhe more lndcpe11dcnr Necropoli.
While rhe former suppons labyrinthine network of old souls,
titles and traditiOn$, the Nropoli bear the stamp o( rhc mod-
ern world. Even citil!f rul..:d by overlords who ched centuries
ago have had ro change wirh rhe times.
The political structure of the Hierarchy is as con\'OiureJ
and insensible as any creation of the hvmg. The webs of in
rrigue, ;md are too complicated for e1en
intimare participnnts to comprehend fully.
The seven Death lords were each :o realm from which
to govern their Legions. The seven realms of the
(Fate's is rumored to lie Ol\ the Isle of Eurydice) nrc all
located within the of StyMi" upon rhe Sunless Sea.
From these bases the now-mastcrless O.athlords of<en makt
war on one another.
The combat one :onothcr in rhc Shaclowland,
as well, seeking ax many new snuls :u rhey C."\n. They ha\"t
gone so fur as to meddle in worldh affairs, thereb1 affectiOj!
how people die and in what numbet>.
fallen Angels
Originall)', the were appoimcJ to their posi
tions by ChHrOn. They wcr4! 1.0 serve :l!Spirirual cuides in roles
similar w elder Ferrymen. 1t i& Ironic dl\lt wmiths who
originally placed in their positions of power ro aid other wrnidlS
now strive w prevent very rntnsform:.rion.
All De3thlords currently strive to collect as many souls,
and thus power, as possible. The Hicror<:hy fccb that even tho.<
who think of thcu<:lves "-'Heretics or Renegades fall und<t
their jurisdiction 3nd are therefore subjtct to their rule. Anr
captures wraiths from outside the H icrar<:hy and brir>
them to the applicable DemhlorJ is well rewarded.
Each Legion has ics own srylc, techniques, 3rtifucrs and
special capacities.
The Seat of Silence
- hdd by the Qu ict Lurd
-Overseer of the victims of Oesp<1ir
TheSe"' of Golden 1cnr.
- held by the Beggar Lm<l
- Oversr of the victims of M)'Stery
The Seat of Thorns
- held by tl1e Emcm ld Lord
-Overseer of the victims of Happen$t3nce
The Seat of Burning Wnters
-held by the Smiling Lord
-Overseer of the vlctiniS of Violence
The Sear of Shadows
- held by the Ashen lady
-Overseer of the vicrims of Old Age
The Sear of Succor
-held by the laughong lady
- Oveneer of the victims of Madness
The Seot of Dust
- held by the Skeleral LurJ
- Oveneer of the victims of Pestilence
The Seat of Fate
- held by the ladies of Fate
- of thel-lnnds of Fate
Long :.ago, the Fernmen no(ed [hrtt most wraiths were
adomed with peculiar mark> that could be perceived only by
thole with the ArcanosofFntalism. These =rkscoold bcdas
!IRed on the hasis of the patterns they made upon the Corpus.
Those who could discern the marks srnted thar they resembled
birthmarks scell on the although they varied much more
In color and rcxturc: some were seemingly carved Into the
wroith's Corpus, while others were sharply raised like scars.
Eventually the Ferrymen nowd a connection berwccn the
t)'peof person rhc wraith had been while alive and the pnnern
tithe marks. Experimcntir1g, they noted that the marks re
Oect<-d the way the person had kd her life while among the
living, and thus showed what her illdividual path to Tmnscell
dence enrniled.
Prior to the great Evacuation, when Charon banished the
Heretics to the r-ar Shores, the Hierarchy utilized dearhmarlr.s
means of imerpreting which group of Shining Ones the
wroith should join in her efforts to pursue Transce11de11te. In
roo:nt times, the Hierarchy has all but Ignored dearhrnrks,
p:eferring ro classify souls on the basis of how they died rather
dun how they lived.
Ever si11ce the Heretic$ were banished from Sryciu, the
Hierarchy ha. begun visibly brnnding wriths ill ways that re
stmble deathmarks, in apparent mockery of the way in which
they used to classify souls. Because they now divide souls bas<--d
on how the pcrs011 died, they use this method of brnnding ro
mark souls as rhe property of one Death lord or another. Those to demonstrate their loyalty to the Hierarchy Moliatc
themselves in elaborate panems ro proclaim their obedience
to their Lord or lady.
Many Lemure Circles in the Hiemrchy are formed into
louse unils of multiralenced wraiths; these units. known m:;
trois. are the backbone of the legions. Once they were merely
another ann in the great bureaucracy of the l liernrchy. In re
cent \'C'31"5, however, some parrols ha\le grown more autono ..
mous and have begun co dcmnnd increasing freedom and power.
lnclccd, many patrols ha\
e become
This increas< autonomy enrages and frustrates the
O.:.rhlords, but there is little rhcy can do. Instead, they work
covertly to manipulate the Circles t hrough bribery, blackmail ,
coercion and inOirmtion.
The Deathlords tnrn certain wraiths Into bloodhounds,
or b.rghests as the1 nre most often Onrghests are wrnith.s
who have been Moliatcd into monscmu_, shapes and "loboto
mitcJ" by the gr.ftingof a spccinlly prepared mutde of Stygian
iron ro their Coo pus. The wrohh wbu holds the corresponding
"whistle" for a bnocc of controls their actions.
Boughests are animnhsric and feral, but have extremely keen
Braces of harghesrs search the Shadmvlunds for wrniths
(or other beings) who bear significant nmounr. of Oblivion
taint. When barl(hests catch the scent of a minted being, ther
emit a terrible, gleeful bayins. Cerrnin scll>itive mortals can
even hear this baying the shroud rhat separates the
Shadnwlands from the Skinhmds.
of tne legion
Legionnaire ,. the lowest mnk. and rhc >tartillg point for
every rncrnber of che HierMchy. Legionn:1ires do not
have regular duties, but :ue smmnuncd tO o Citadel and
dutiM as nccdc.J. Successful completion of such duties
is the unly way to rise in r:mk. are encour.1){\.-d to
recrun new members, and m;"tny usc their Circles to helpcmry
ouc [heir rnission,"' . Putruls ruc formed primari ly uf Legionnaires.
Cenwrinns arc the leaders of H iernrchy patrols. Cennori
ons have a great de::1l of power over th0$e they mccl.
positions arc constantly challenged by those beneath rhem,
and C'.c:nturions must rise in rnnk 4uicldy or risk be
ing cast aside.
The next most powerful mnlc is that of Mar>hal. Marshals
are plucc.J in charge of a cermln >uca around a Citadel. Often
based out of a <muller Haunt, a Morshal omoy haven number of
patrols under her aurhoriry. Appointed by the Anacrcon of
the Ciradel, are somewhat more secure in their posi-
tions rhan are the Ccnturion.5..

A Regem rules u number o( the perimeter llaunls around
a Citadel and i$ ba-red in of them. Mon: uf a senior
,,,,) rhan anything else, a Rcgcnr organite4 and coordinate>
rhe activities of the Legions in th31 area.
Overlords arc bas<<! directly out of their Citadel and arc
the personal :wosrants of the Anacreon. Overlords are respon
>ible for many of the strategic <kcision.< f..ced by their Legion.
The hight rank in the Shadowlands i5 rhat of Anacreon.
F..1ch Anacreon is the leader of a Legion in a Citadel. A coun
cil of seven governs each Citadel. The Anacreon
uppoims all lesser ranks in her Legion. Anacreons receive ur-
rlfacts and coins dire-ctly from in exchange for the Thrdlls
rhey send there, and personally dispense Styg1a's boonry to
rhosc under their command.
justice System
ll1c H1crarchy has its own of law. The laws pro-
recr as well as punish, and the majoriry of the Restless quieti)
obey the dicmtc uf the Dcorhlords without incident.
ll10sc whn dn violate the laws may be called to stand trial
hcfore a Hierarch) maginmtc. In rheory, It is possible to ap-
peal a judgment to a "higher" magistrate. ahhou)(h this 1s nor
mally only pcrmirted to wroiths with degree o( status
wirhin the In :.omc cases, a judgment may be :li>'
pealed to the I land of Fllrc, on which cnse the Hierarchy :.1
most alw"l" accepts ahemmive judgmcnr. This nonrollr
happens in cases where chc juri.sdicrion of a case does not
clearly fall to one or anorhcr Deothlord, certain cnJa
have proved ro he
Crime and funishment
justice 1S mered out in the ShadowlamJ. jusr as ir is in tilt
hmcfs of the living. l lowcvcr, bL"cause it is impossible
to kill a wroith pcnnanenrly, "nd exiling someone to the Tern
pest only strcncthens Oblivion, executions of any sort are slm
pl1 n01 proctical. Some of the more common methods of pun
ishmenr are described bclmv:
Enslavement -The most conunon Corm of
isluncnt is ensl:wemenc of rhe offending wraidl. Ch::.ins are
placed around the offender, effectively making her the Thrall
ol another wrnith.
Torture - Farsurrmssing anything imagined in chc
living lands, wroithly rorture is designed to mark the offender.
While wraid>s easily heal most ordinary wounds, marks inflicted
mcral are infinicely more painful and arc
extremely difficult to heal. Of course, b:l.use wraiths arc crea
turcsof spirit, the 1nost lasting pain involves mental anguish .. .
Imrrisonment- Ofrcn rhc Hierarchy incmcemtes
criminols in Shadow lands refl ections of prisons used by mor
mls, with reinforced walls and bars made of Stygian metal.
Branding - Bnmding is H \VHY to nlilrk criminals,
thereby both ostracizing the criminal tlnd deterring others from
committing chc same crimes. Serious criminals ate btandcd
upon rheir foreheads.
Discorporotion - Ccrroin criminals arc taken to
Stygia and hurled into the Artificers' forges, where they are
Stnclccd into goods.
T' was hard the woeful <oords to frame
To break tile ties that us
Rut harder still to bear ch.e shame
Of foreign chains around us
And so I said the mountain glen
I'll meet at moming early
And !'II join che bold united men
\'VJ.ile soft winds slwke the barley.
- "The Wind chat Shakes che llirley" (trAditional)
Renegades are those who oppose, deny or rebel against
the Hierarchy and cvcrythi ng it stands for. Not surprisingly,
the\' arc consnmtly hunred by the Over the years,
however. Rcnegndcs have carved out their own niche in the
Shadow lands.
The cerm "Renegade" is a generdl one, loo.:.;cly
ing oil who act against the Hierarchy. There are nearly as
Renegade ideologies as thee are Renegades. Indeed, the very
ant.ia;u:horirmi:m narurc of Renegades makes cooperation
within their ronks difftcult a11d sporadic. Renegades act alone
oa in small ,:_13ngs, and fight each other as often and
as rhcy cl o rhc Hicr.uchy.
In general, Renecades leod a ptrilous exiSlenct. They of.
ren fall prey to Spectres and other Tempest beastS.
must remain mobile, and thus most Renegade Haunts tend to
be ; horr.tcml hidcours. Only a few secret Haunts have lasted
fnr ""l' length of tilne, and the locations of the-se safe havens
me known only to the mosL Lm:ncd member$ of each f:1ctlon.
Until the lasr few years, rhe Hierarchy dealt effectively
with most active thre\tts to It by the Renegades. However, rc
cent internecine Hierarchy conOlcr.s :md Spectre incursions
h:ove occupie-d the Dcmhlord' attemion, prompting a re.ult
me incr"""' in Renegode tenorism.
Many Renegades have infiltrated the Hierarchy, U$i ng a
facade of respectabil ity to cover :ocrs of subversion and sabo
l:II(C. Indeed, large numhcrs of Renegades have joined the
Stygian Legions, and walt only for the signal to strike ...
ain u tach rhmu IJT supplkaring prayer;
He drives rhern exile$ from their blest obod<,
To room a dreary wurld in cktf> despair-
Nu frien<l, no home, no refuge. bur rheirGod.
- l..ord Byron. "Elew on Ncw>tc>Kl Ah
Many wraith:; have founded rhcir own groups based nround
common the for Transcendence. Calle-d
"Heretics" by the 1-lierarcll)' these wmiths follow fai ths dedi
cared to some higher odc:ol, fnrce <>< pl...:e. Many Heretics will
go ro exneme lengths to galn new converts for their us
ing their powers to ptrform "miracles" and promiSing lirhulous
The only thong the majority of Heretic cults shai'C in com
rnon is a deep-seated antipathy (or one another, (or they all
compete (or souls, buth living :md However, In their
cnllccrive persecution, they h\\vc learned co work toJ(cthcr. Tl\c
Death lords are greedy. and arc content with nothing Ius than
ollthe souls in existence. In order tO comoot them. the ller
cries have no choke btu tO
problems ror the kierarchy
1l1e Hier:uchy's problems with Heretics continue 10 grow
as more and mnre Lemures put their faith in these cults. Such
wr:1iths often conccmptuous or even hostile to rhc Hlcmr
chy. rul'thcrmorc, iL is whi:; pcrccl rhat some Within the Hlcror,
chy arc sccrcdy Hercri" themselves.
The Hierarchy mainrahu o form sn>nd against heresy, <t<1Jn(>'
ing it out ruthlessly. However, mo<it Hoerarch havt ntl
1hcr the m;oun:es oor the inclination to implement the policy
full)' Most igno<c nll but the nlOSt blatant aronr.s to the Hocrnr
ch). tu koc1> the peace and nor squander their Sll'Cngth.
1l1cy believe 1 he real cmmy ro he the Renegades.
A wraith is initintcd into the sacred mys1crics of hi.s cho
sen faicl1after proving hlmrelf in some way. In return. the wrnith
is expected to serve the cult foithfulh. Service lllll)* mciln per
forming strange missions, Thralls, en
c.-nics, or recruiting mhcrs. Oond service is with in ..
SGltuS power.
Some Heretics lo.c their foith and end up lc:wong rheir
cultS. Mony arc mtn orher cults. Others attempt to
stan rheir own radical fringe cults so they can acquire JlO"'tt
for themsehes. Many cxnwmbel'$ simply depart ro orhe1
Necropoli. though most exist in consmnt fear ofhemg hunred
down by the Hierarchy's ''"Shtsr racks.
hat bo.>ck'ning gloosr, alonR 1hc noo11IW>r slotW
hwites m)' su.!IJ, and fx>inu w yonder gladll
-Alexander Pope,
The Pcrryn'lcn a1c the truvclcrlt u( tht
spirituul seas, the pathfinders rhmugh rhe
Tcm(l<'st, the wardens of the Byways, and
In some "'11\'S the spiritual Kuiue> to all in
the Underworld. For aeon> their sdf-appoinred durr has b<tn
to l(uidc those ""''" who were re:>dy to cross the chnRffi)US
exp:mse of the TemptS( and arrive at rheir ju.r tlcsrin:uion. h
is not easy to obtain tl Ferryman's aid, bm once one :tccrpt.u
wraith as a tmvclcr, he wdl pmrect his charge at all costs.
The Ferrymen divorce themselves from the penyconOicrs
o( other spirits. They Clllhtouu ly 'ravel hctwecn rhe Necropoli ,
journeying from ro never ce3sing their
rrnvels. Not even the Hicmrchydisturbs the Ferrynrcll in 1hdr
sel( .. appointed duties., (or their assi:.tancc is ofrcn vnal to n.1VI
f(ll tc and mainlain the Byways thmush the TemptS(.
FerT)men do not take what the traveler woulJ con
sider to be the most direct rourc. Still, in 1he Sh:odowland<,
where uncertainty is everywhere and truth is mre, Ferrymtn
have an ex<rcmely high repumion for honesty and honor.
There is o price for rhcir assistance: a 1ask or
:t promise, sometimes fl relic. Those who brc;1k 1hdr promise
ton Ferryman ;trc mnrkcd :mel will never 3g3in be osslstcd by
Ferrymen are fcnrsome wnrriOl'$, for they musr be able rode
fend themsckcs frum the crc:uures rl rhe TempeM that Inc-.
ingly infest the &,""'!"- The Ferrymen are respoRSible for on.1in
raining the roods and paths leading from the Shado\\hond ... uSr)l:"
nnd the Far Shon.-s. W11h 1hc ride.< of Oblivion at the OoodSQgt,
these roods and arc threatened by r.cnds, monsters, and
Maelstroms, everyone values the Ferrymen for rheir hiliry ro
find their way through the Tempest without ham1.
It is said that Lhc Fcrr)
11'\Cn seck co guide wraiths toward
Tr:.mscendence. serving as Menrors m rhose who prove wor ..
thy of their aid. Still, most wrait hs' only contact with
cnig1natic guides is in their roles as pad,finders and guides
through rhe Tcmpesr.

wr.\iths succumb to tempmtion 3nd allow their Shad
ows tocoalSumc d'lcirsouls. These wraiths, known. asSpeccre,s, are
able 10 cxisr in the Tcmpcsr without being discorponncd. They
not only Sllrvive the chaos, but prosper frotn it. Specu'Cs have
full1 accepted their Shadows and exist only in that mode. Need-
less rn say, rhcy arc exrmnrdimuily dangerous.
Most wraiths know Spectres M shadOW)
, monstrous
tics, possessing tcnible cunning and ferocious power, who pe ..
rindically emerge frum the depths of the Tempest. They arc
why so mony fcor to travel the Byways of the Tempest.
S1>ecrres a1e able co cotnmunic.atc empathically with the
Shadows of wraiths, sometimes directly speak m them.
TI\ey ofrcn seem to know everything about a wraith - every
weakness, every Feuer. Some Spectres are even able tO evoke
n wraith's Shadow and usc its inOucncc to weaken their prey.
Though much fearful legend exists concerning the Spectres,
rhey aren't quite so insane as other wraiths tltink, and possess the
rudiments of a sociery. Moreover, many sri II have Ferrers, which
allow them to enter the Shadow lands at any time.
There are various species of Spectres. Some arc listed and
brief! y described below.
Shades arc monstrous, twisted, creAtures of
Oblivion. The Corpus of a Shade is generally murared beyond
human ken. Their presence is considered an abomination
all "civilized" wraiths.
Ma1feans are Spectres who have achieved power
omd might by consuming lesser beinhrs They arc lhe rulers of
the Tempest, and "re to be feared. Differenr Malfcans rend to
dominate various regions of [he Tempest, shaping it to their
whims. \Voc co the wrnith who has one of these fearful crca ..
tures enter his H:.urowing!
Some Malfeans have even deluded Heretic cults into wor
shipping [hem as gods. These Malfcans arc particularll'
serous. for they have minions and emissaries in t he
Shadow lands.
More infonnmio11 about Spectres is included in the Appendix
(pp. 231-233).

I once dream I was u:lli114: sroria a..O fdc someone pauing my
fool in tllCOuragemrnt. llooktd down and saw ahacloas sur..Orng
un che shnuk/crs of an old woman whu rvat sre<ldying my ankles and
smiling up m me.
I said co her, "No, no. come sur..O on mJ shoulders, for you
are nld a..O I am )'Oilng."
"No, no, "site insisted, "This is che tuay it iS>uiiiiOsed w be."
I saw cl1<1t she stood on rhe shorMers of a u1onwn far older than she,
who stood on rhe shoulders of a ""'""'" ...,. older ...
-Ciariss.l Pin kola Esti!s, \Vomen \'(!Ito Run wich che \\'/ul<os
Do you n.:mcmbcr swapping tnles
around or a party, trying to
tell the scariest ghost story! Deep inside us
all lurks che urge 10 weave :r tale that can
score our fr iends- :rnd ourselves - half
todc:rth. The urge to fascinnte is as deeply
imbtdd< as the u!J:C to tcllsrories, and no
subject is more fascimllinR than a :lt our own
Wrnith is a storytelling game that allows us ro create oor
own ghost stories, stories in which we rlay the ghosts. Wroichs
- :md, by cx1cnsion, the tr.'me-ftfC metaphors for
Oy ourselves Inside the World of Dnrkness for an
c-..cning, we can look into a (unhmw: mirror thru reflects the
cbrltt aspc<:IS of our world. The scories to be foond here are
macabre indcccl, but In the end, they arc jusr rales - ghost
mlcs, if you will.
When we press our faces to this ghos1ly mirror, the reflec-
tion we see Is still oor own. It's disrortoo, perhaps, but recog
nimble. The Storyteller's job Is to hold that mirror before rhe
playcn and give chem a long, scary look.
If you're new to storytelling games, pbying or running a
game may see1n awkward at first. We have become used to
having our entertainment provided for us in nice, nc:tt
agco. Wraith requires you to be your own enterroiner and to
rake an active h:rml in group storytelling. This chapter pre
scnts jtuidclinco, thoughts, hints and techniques for mnning
your own Wraith game. Pla)'Ct'$ and Storytellers alike will profit
by reading it; the quality of :my Wraith tale depends as much
upon the players' r:rlents as those of the Storyteller.

t's llOI <he Ulk; u<lto lis it.
- Peter Srmub, Cho<1 Srory
Most stories arc passive. One talc-
teller sddrcsscii an audience, which listens
or watch for as long as it finds the pre-
stnunioJ' emcrtaining. Movies, TV, live
theater und even books arc examples of
rhi.s: a story is conceived, crcared :md glven to irs for
their amusement.
Storytelling ganu.:s like Wr.ith, however, are different.
Here, rhe uaudience'' panicip..1te4 whh the Storyteller to ere
.,. a story from their collective imaginations. Each player takes
a part and influences the of the story. Sroryrelling
games are acnve enrenammenr, inrei"3Cdvt and original. as
to p3$$i\'t. The synergy inherent to play produces a
story grearcr than anything a single Storyteller could create.
Players create rhe story's chamcters, but the Storyteller
creates the world. This is a challenging job. Guiding a group
of players through a collaborative myth can be an imimidat
ing and occasionally frustrat ing endeavor. Fleshing our a world,
creating and playing a host of secondary characters, arbirrat
ing rules and sccnurios cnn be tli(ficult tasks. None
thclcss, [he chance to make n clrc:1m come :11ive is well \VOnh
the trouble. While the other players carve their niches in the
world, you give then\ the world itself.
Wraith has a number of elemems to help the beginning
Storyteller find her voice: a sample chronicle (given in the
Appendix), a detailed 5ellinR chapter th:tt outlines the funda-
mental differences between our reality and the world of Wraith,
a S)'stem of rules designed for simplicity and elegance - and
this chapter. This chapter outlines the techniques of cff<-cti,e
storyrelling, provides some bnef rule related hints, and discusses
storytelling elements peculiar to the world of Wmith.
While the suggestions given in this chapter will help the
Storyteller juggle her various roles, bear in mind that Wraith
is, forst and foremost, a game. It can be scary. enlightening,
thrilling, or exhi larating, but if it isn't enjoy
able, it isn't worth pl}tying. The Orst rule is co have fun- be
fair, be creative and rake chances. The second rule, however,
is to remember that [hC' talc is Lhc thin,g: bogging a game down
in arguments and complic:'ltion robs it o( its magic.
You and your players should enjoy telling ghost stories together.
l( the game is aggravating, boring or frustrdti ng, why bother!
Story comes firs.t; rules come second.
In fact, the third rule is that there are no rules - only
guidelines. Enjoy!
Jr's a lor bfe, and rhar's u:har's appealing
If :fOl despise rlvtrrhroooo""Y feeling fr<ym JUposnlk fun,
Tltm rllit it r'"' one.
-Depeche Mode, "Master and Servant"
Though n Storyteller will have many her
be to cmcrtain her players. Came time
is an investment of 30rts - you and your players could be
watching n movie, going on a date, playing softbitll or just h:m&
ing our.. By spending time on your game, your players are
ing an investment. Their Iilith and your work and skill
will hopefully pny off for all of you. After all the hard work
char goes inrn pref"lling a game, nothing is more satisfying
than watching your plarer& h.-e a genuinely good time. 111e
pleasure of a job well done is rour reward.
Sroryrelling i u chance to show off, an opportunity tO
display )'Our ""'"riviry ro your friends, and a way to have them
share in a common experience. Sometimes, however, rhe de
sire to showboat or to please one's friends grows too strong.
You can go tOO fnr to plc:ue your players, w"drcring down the
game just to make them feel lmportanr, or, conversely, lord
)'01.11 position over them. Either technique can lead tO prob
When everything proceeds correctly, your players will
guide du:ir charnctcrs lhrough a richly woven srory to even ..
tual succe$. and sctbitcks abound, especially for the
Rcslless, bur the chnmcters should succeed at wme of their
planned goals, even in ll1e face of tragedy and fear. Balnncing
a chronicle's problems and perils with the players' abilities and
desires takes pmctice, but the moreseamlessly you bit lance these
elements, the more exciting and powerful your stories will be
Using the
The Storyteller rules system is designed to elevate drama
and action nvcr dice ond chartS. As a Storyteller, you should
simplicity in mind. Trying to create a set of rules to cover
every contingency and possibility would be a thankless and
unrewardilllt task (not to melltion an impossible one); trying
to mn a game while holding rour place in half a doren differ
cnt rulebooks is difficult <lt bcsr.
Accordinuly, Storyteller flexibility and judgment are ion
porranr; as Storyteller, you must be the final interpreter of the
rules and must decide in a prnctical way how those rules apply
in her s:ame. P.aimess and consistency are cntcial. You musr
act tmpaniolly and n.JSOI'Iably for eVC'f)'One involved if )'OU're
going tO wield thor power.
You will sometimes be obliged to invent new rulell, or even
bre1k old ones. Twi:.ting or breaking rules is often necessary to
tell the best story. To maintain your players' trust, however,
you should avoid breaking the rules on ,..,gular bitsis. While
throwing an occasional wrench imo the works is appropriate
for Wmith, changing rhe rules roo fn,quently without good
reason simply undermine. the stability of the world rou arc
rrymg to create. You may decide to change the rules perma
nently in some way, bur everyone should know when the rules
have been changed.
It is important that you develop the style of storytell ing
that best suits you and decide what you nc'<-d tO do to make it
wotk. Do you like to try to structure things as much ,., poS
sible, following the rules and creating a clear, consistent world
for your or do you prcCcr to win): it, rnrch' consul[ ..
ing rules or charncrer shefrs?
Your style will most likely fall somewhere between these
two ext,..,mes; this is entirely up to rou. h is nearly impossible
to guess your sryle of storytelling before )'Oll actually begin to
play; styles arc developed through trial and error. Only experi
ence will tell whar works best for you. Leave rourself room to
move, bot be consistent.
Elements of Wraith
e're so engaged in doir!R chinStS co achieve pur,
poses of 0111er value rhnr we forg rluu rite in
ncr t,l(lllle, rhe mJ>rure rhm is nssocinr<JI tuirh
being alive, is wl111r it's all abo11r .
-Joseph Campbell, Tltc l'ou,o/Myrlt
Wraiths are both heroes and anrihe
roes: while the stereotypical hero embod
ies virtue, and hope, wraiths are ofren domina".cJ by
(;reed, cowardice and despair. The existences of many wrauhs
are ruled bl' ll"'ed for souls, fear of Oblivion and the desire for
Many among the Resrless, however, resemble
her01:s in the classic sense; like a hero of myth, the wandering
soul nands our from rhe common mass, descends
into the Underworld, faces and com bars rhc dark side of her
self, and hopefully comes away better for the trial. Dreary
"fterlivcs are for Drones and Thrnlls; a Wn1ith chnrncter looks
death in the face and laughs.
A rmmi>cr of elements must be juggled wlrhin :t game of
Wraith; rmmy themes and ideas nrc ur)ique to mles hwolving
the Restless. Horror, terror and romance require special han
clling to i>c effective in a game. Atmosphe,.., and suspension of
disbelief :tre all-important tools. Without these elements,
Wmith becomes just another game- fun, but ultimately shal
A unifying theme or colltcrlon of themes is centrl to
otorytelling games. Wrdith has many themes - alienation,
terror, tr:lnscendence and defiance :tre but a few. Themes fo
cus the attentiOt\ of both the players and the Storyteller to-
wnrd a shared vision, rumin.g n simple exercise in inrrigue or
mayhem into a &tory with resonance and
A theme is a unifying idea or concept behind n story. One
tale can have many rhemes, while an chronicle c.1n
have a single underlying idea. A chronicle about tracking a
serial killer may cover a lot o( ground through different stories.
E.1Ch of mese stories will have 3 central meme; ooe mar cen
ter around a mother-daught<:r conflict, while the ntxt con
ccnmnes on recurring nightmare$. The themes o( the SLorics
within the chronicle will vary, but vengeance, the central
theme behind rhe scenario, colors the chronicle :\5 a whole.
The memes below mere! y scrntch the of the g'dmC.
This list is by no means complete; you will, withtn rour own
games, creare gretlter n.nd more varied rhemes th:m \\' e could
Isolation - Many among the Restlcso exist M bitter
exiles from a hfe they never lived to begin wuh. has
forced them to learn about life, and now it's roo late to go
back. While a wraith may Embody or Skin ride for a short rime,
she is trapped between the Oblivion she fears and the life she
can no longer enjoy. Many ghom become brurolly materialis-
tic, hoarding and enslaving their own l:ind to compensate for
me things mey can no longer touch. omers )liSt and watch
3$ rhe living world goes by withour rhem.
Wraith players will probably tnkc a more active role in
meir afterlives than many ghosts do. They "''"t defy the lone
liness felt when noming can be rmsted and everything seems
co die before meir eyes. Characters must fight to overcome
their isolation and make a difference. bolh in their world and
the world of morro Is.
Fear-What could be a more Mtural theme for a ghost
story than fear! The living have traditionally oc-en afraid of
restless spirits. Why! Is misan uncertain fascmation wim deam
itself, or the dread that those spirits may be angry with us for
living when they do nod What fear. then, drives " chosd The
fear of deach is gone, but terror rc1nains. Why!
Most wrnims exist in fear - fear of each other, fear of
loneliness, and, worsr of all, fear of annihilation, of the de
struetion of their identiry. Obliion and Transcendence are
two halves of the snmc coin: either one may mean rhe dissolu
tlon of the wraith's perwnality. Torment, to many modem
people, is preferable to obliteration. Some pe<>ple would ramer
bum in Hell forever man leave their identity behind.
Inner Conflict - The wraith's worst foe is her Shadow,
the epitome of everything she suppresses, hates and fears about
herself. When you're dead, there's nowhere to hide from that
aspect of yourself. I usr a< ghosts are trapped outside c>l' life, they
are, in many ways, trapped inside their own heads. Will me
wraith co the temptation of rhe Shadow or hold (.,t
to her beliefs!
Defiance - A defiant attitude is ofren useful in the
world of me dead. With w rnany soul$ w-rapped up in mdr
own misery or in ch(tins held by orhers, e;.1ch wrdith must ci
ther cake control of his own destiny or fall into slavery. Wraiths
to in <Miancc of death it$elf; ffiO$t
will to rebel ::.gainsr rhe rigid systems and soulslavery o(
the Underworld as well, pursuing their own goals in the after
Triumph- Eventual rriumph over death, despair and
the Shadow offers a long-term goo! to Wraith players. Defeat
ing of the Hicnucl\y or besting Spectres or
killing your murderer all qualify as small triumphs. Larger tri
umphs include fi nding Tmnscendence by coming to terms with
yourself. batding your inner Shadow and winning, and refus,.
ing to succumb to despair despite the pain that the afterlife
may bring.
Suspension of
The Restless, by their very nature, raise cermin questions
'"'d require careful handling. Suspension of disbelief, the prime
elemen( of any swry, is especially important in a Wrcaith game.
If your ghosts seem ridiculous or inconsistent, your game will
suffer for iL
Setting a believable scene is essential; if you can get your
players to accept the reality of the Underworld, the odd fen
n1rcs composing it arc easy to swallow. Consistent internal logic
i$ virol to bel ievabilitYi all rhings should work the same way
all the time unless there is a compelling reason (like the warped
reality of the Tcmp<.>st) why they do not.
Establish a reali ty to suspend your players' disbelief. Con-
sistency excuses a multitude of sins.
I acr rhe role in classic sryle of a martyr
Cc1rved wit/a twisted sntilc,
To bleed rhe lyric for rhis song
To write the rites co right my wrongs
An eJ>iwph ro u brolu:n dream
To exorcise this silent sCTeam
A scream that's borne from sorrow.
- Marillion, "Script for a jester's Tear"
Although the point of most roleplaying g-mc-. is to be
heroic and triumph against overwhelming odds, occasionally
may wish to tell a very dramatic and, from a storytelling
standpoint, satisfyingly tragic story. Tragedy is often handled
poorly, but this is because many people think that it is simply
a story Hboutsad circumstances. This is not true. A tragic story
is 3bom t'l char<tcter with a deep charac[er flaw who, because of
this flaw, makes one critical mistake and then. some point
(usm11ly when it is too late), rcalhes what tl' mistake is and
why he 1nade ir. He then changes and, for better or worse, goes
on to meet his fate. l-Ie faces his fate with dignity, courage and
strength, and in the end, we admire and empathize with him.
To tell a good trt1J.(ctly, you mu$t \mdersrand it in the literary
sense, not the colloquial sense.
A rrngic srory con be just as bc:IUriful an<los uplifting as a
hemic one. Even if l"u don'r rell a rragic srory. you can add
elemcms of tr.tgt.--dy in your main regret, f"r:-.1 flaws
und missed chances ore the meat unci drink of o good Wraith
Horror Terror
Though the nnmcs often horror
and tenor arediffcrcm cmorions. Each has its place in Wrairh.
Terror- Terror isrhe idea that something
1.5 wrong and its goinsc 10 gcr wone. Most terror operates wilhin
the boundaries of whar an observer will accept; it ig :m oppre
hcnsi\m rhal to take on sub11mnce. When n shadow
em rhc w:.ll seems nOLt luitc right, n ch:1mcrer (ora player) can
feel terror.
Terror implie5that all is nor yet lost. While a roller-<oaster
ride evokes thrills of rerror, there "sr illo safe ronc. n,c
of rcrror neecl m>l be :m overr threat of ph\'Sic"l violence. h's
much murc subclc thon horroa, nnd can be far more et'feccive.
TI1c anticipation Or ureacl of some is ofren !\\Ore com
pel! ins: than the di>:ISt<r rsclf.
Horror - Horror is the nlmoM physical revulsion that
when s.:l(C boundHrics h;IVc hccn shattered. Squc-umish
people moy be horrified by the sight of blood; ' ""nger minds
and :.tomachs mighr way under truly repulsive acts or un ..
rhinkable re"elations.
Violation is the key to horror- physicul violnnon (as-
saul t, mutilaLiun unci rnw grossing--out), mcutul viol:nion
"""must not and should noL be) and emorional viola-
tion (ulter betrayal 0( ooor\donmcnt) all overstep the bound-
that player.. or ch:tracrers have ser. Storyrellers musr rake
care when aimmg ro horrify a player rather than :1 chamcrer.
Horrnr is only when ir'" consensu3l (sec \\'lllcn to
Sro/J. below). I( terror is a roller-coaster ride, horror i what
hapiJCIIS when rhe car jumps its tracks and falls ...

The ctL')' of makes it of liule value: tlif{iCI<Ity
of auaimnent makes it pritcd.
- Andrea:. Capella nus, Tilt Arr of Cormly Lot ..
h is all roo e:tsy to dismiss romnncc as an option for
:r,wryrclling. Ma1w people view mm:mcc as cheesy or sappy.
Sri II , Wraith provides a wealrh of romantic possibilities: if you
d() !lot explore ar least some of them, you will be sell ing your-
>df (and rour stories) shon.
T,,ke hearr. Mnny people prefer romance when ir is pre-
sented :r,ubLly rmhcr 1 h;:m ovenly. Don'L rush a romantic plotline
0 11 your ch:. uacccrs - it will (eel rorC(.-d, and one that
rnm:'tncc should never be is forced.
When n.mning romance, ir is bat to undersrand what
the characters and ny to create Storyteller charac-
ters tailored to their desires. Be sensitive to the players' wishes.
jusr :1 characer lo,ed someone in I ifc does not mean
thnt the feelings remain in death. You should explore how the
character feels nbout his Coroner loved ones. Show the wraith
how a loved one is affected by dearh. Be paticnr- no marter
how much you may like romance, you may never be able to
interest your players in it unless you can be patient with them.
If the player i$ amenable, you can play wonderfully ro-
mantic stories involving longing across the chasm of death, of
a living lover essentially willing herself to die for her lost love,
of the pain stemming from a fallen love nnd how rhe lover
who is lefr behi nd remembers his fonncr love. You can also
move these swries beyond the traditional to11Ric Rhostly love
story by giving rhc lovers dtne m be [O(;CI'hcr rhrough (X>WCl'S
like Phonmsm and Embody.
Even more bo;,Jutiful are two who fall in love after death.
The mhcrently tragic nature of their love ndds ro rhc story:
will Oblivion erode the love they have woven from darkness!
()(ten, romance and tragedy combine tO produce stories of
unsurp.,sse<J beaury and P3in.
Knowing When to Stop
A funny rhing happens when people tell stories mgcthcr.
They rake dsks. let themselves go, and evoke nspecrs of them
sclvc> that they suppress in daily life.TI,is can, in moderation,
be a great thong. Everyone needs a release. SUI mking risks in a
!OCial siroatlon leav.s many people feeling exposed. Player$
can take offen.e and become discurbed by imaginary things.
Roleplayong carharric; rhar is to say, it brint,'S up and purges
deep feelings and impulses. Catharsis is healthy. but le.wes that
person fcdinu more vulnerable than usual. 11'is is especially
m.1e when dealing with horror and fear. IL's fun tO walk along
thor tightrope. Falling can be another thing entirely.
Gaminu is n wonclel'ful way of faci ng fear and frustration
he:1<lon. Through our characters, we cun live vicariously,
aminlng things we fear to touch and performing deeds we
wouldn't dare auempt in real life. Somctimts, though, the line
between f:mtru;y :1nd fear blurs, and a good Storyteller knows
that line Is fading
chronicle i!i a !icdcs of interconnected stop
rles with common ch:,mcrers and a centr:ll
idea. lf a story is a chapter in a book, than
the chronicle is the book itself.
Individual 6lories are 00.'100."11' impon:am
to a storytelling game, but the chronicle pro
vidcs a backdrop and foundntion to the tales
as n whole. A strongly construCted chronicle can help players sus
pend disbelief by providing a vivid sellitlg for their imaginations. A
good chronicle i.l memorable, enjoyable and meaningful. By setting
)'OUt ste<ics inside a wocld, )'OU and )wr pl>)'trs create mythology.

Creating a Chronicle
Begin for yO\or chronicle long before your
players create their chnmcrers. l11c sharper your ide" and
ovemll concept from the outser, rhe hener everything else will
work Inter. I! can be rime-consuming to create n Wraith
chronicle, bur rhe work you do ot the beginning will I"'Y off
throughout future play >CSSions.
laying the groundwork Is o good place to start. Establish
l"'"' serring, and overall theme at first, then work
outward from there. Be flexible; your ideas will change as you
on. Let them.
Where will your chronicle take place! Would you prefer a
town, a cit)' Ot' some rural \Viii your characters remnln in
the Shadowlands fnr rhe mosr parr, or do they possess Arcanos
rhar allow them to rmvellnto the living world! Is your chronicle
set around a Necropolis; i( so, which one! Whar is it like!
Once you establish your setting, you to decide what
connecrs and unites the chamcters. At this point, you should
develop the primary antagonisu of rhe players- memorable
adversaries have distmc:r persooalities and motivations. Finally,
decode rhe general direction and theme that you would loke
the role to roke. Don't be too rigid in this. Your chronicle will
coke some surprising tums.
While C.'!mptcr 1\vo of this book provides a basic sertil1g a!ld
background, the r;uk.s of rn:lpping and populating the IUC:II Under
world fall to )'ou. I( yO<Jr !(llllle begins, as many do, in the
Shadowlands, decide on a locarion where you want to set
and rhink abour rcnection of that location in Lhc Under-
world. How old is your setting! Is it dying in the livongworld!Whnt
are some locallamlomorl<s1 Where will your characters begin!
Some places will become common sites in your swry-
the chapel near one person's grave, a librnry, the bock alley
where another character died, and so on. of these loca-
rions will tie into the group's Fetters, but other sites will be
come important after their deaths. Familiar places anchor the
chronicle at certain points and keep the players in a
cohesive srory. You to make these places come alive for
rhe players; until the players can understand and env,.ion their
setting, the charcten cannor fully exist.
The charaue" arc rhc mosr important elements of o
chronicle and need to be the focus of every story. As such,
involvement in crcatit)JC the chronicle 1s paramount to
success. 11lis onay "'eon obvoous, but it is all too easy to fall
into rhe rrnpof designong a -mingly wonderful chronicle th:u
does not involve the characters as it> promgonisrs.
Most character eroul" will rc,olve around tl1<:ir Circle;
characters tend to find safety in numbers, and rh,. Is doubly true
in Wraith. Your players m.1y be united by 3 common cause of
death, a single Fetter or a compelling pui'Jl05".1llis rhrcad
will give all of you n springboard frnm which ro launch your
chronicle. Establishing rhe nnrure of the Circle ahead of time will
save you a lot of trouble In the long run.
Get involved in charnctcr creation; relling yO\or
what to do isn't a Loo00 idea, but a guiding hand will ensure
rhar rhe pieces ftt t<>geth<r smoothly. Oepcndins on your
chronicle, j'OU may even have to dictate some a<pecr. of char
acrer creation, but be careful to explain, at least vaguely, why
such directives Important to the chronicle.
The opponents the chamcters face in thecourscof u chmnide
are very imporuont. Antagonists provide a foil for reflec:ring what
the characters strive to an:oin; on a more level, they
add excirement and connlct to the chronicle. A great villain can
make all the difference in a beginning chronicle, whole a weak
one may spoil tle lllOOit elabornre of tales.
Norhing holds a chronicle together, stOtl' to story, bcucr
than a good villain- all individual (or close group) rhe char
acters know is &nalcvolcnc or evil. During che course o( the
chronicle, rhe characters should confront the same villain(s)
time and time again. TI1is provides continuity ro rhcchmnicle
as well as a familiar face rhar rhe players may well love to hate.
If rhe same villain or group can be found opposing the ch:or.oc
ters at every tum, you will heighten the playcn' onmlvement.
The most imporranr anragonists the characters face, how
ever, are rheir own Shadows. Turmoil within the individWII is
a central theme in Wraith. Each Shadow should h:l\'e a dis
tinct narurc - they arc nor merely "bad angds" on their
Psyche's should en, but the summation of all that is most (righr-
ening in that character's soul. Shadows must have depth, com
plexicy and lllutivatiun. Villain\' is not C\lricnrure; the most
memorable villains nre the ones who are the n'IOSl huumn.
Almosr every bool:, pl1y, movie, poem, painting and sculpo
rure has 3 title; )'OU may want your chronicle to have one.., well.
Give l'OUr chronicle a ririe and have the players p;ot it on their
characrer sheers. The title of the chronicle may be as elabonotc or
as simple as you want, and the ritle itself oomy forch,Kinw rhincs
to come. A title like "Tile umghing Darkness" $U(lgC$t more
oonin0\15 things ro your pbyers than you yourself had in mind.
here are two basic types of plotlincs -
srorydriven and characrerdriven.
With a swrydriven plodine, the Sto
rytdlcr creates the story of the antagonists.
She derermio1es who the ant<Jgonists are,
what their goals are, and how they plan to
achieve those goals. Independent of the
charncters, the ;:tntagoniscs of the piece pursue their own ends,
which lead them into conflict with the group.
plots hinge on the characters' reactions to
their antagonists. Stopping their enemies should be in the
Circle's best interests. The chronicle ends with the success or
fai lure of the antagonists' schcntcs.
Story-driven plotlines can be easy to non beamse the Story
teller doesn't depend on the players' decisions to advance her
chmniclc. If the group doesn't act, their enemies grow stronger.
n,e biggest danger of designing this rype of plot is balancing
the villains and the player characters. If the antagonists are roo
powerful, the game can become fniSl-ntting. In plots,
the Storyteller must give players opportunities for Let rhem
have a few chances to stop Enfunts in the service of the enemy or
cmsh somcghosthunters. Otherwise, player.; may decide that d1ey
don't a chance :;1nd refuse m confront their persecutors. As a
general rule, an enemy's plan should have three or more things
dmt could go wrong. Also, it is easier to upgrade enemies than
downgrade them.
Despite the advantages of the story-driven plot, most begin
ning Wrttith In a charactel' .. driven
plot, the focus shifts to the player characters. The Storyteller tries
to manipulate the characters into pursuing a set of goals. The
Storyteller should sketch out some motivations for d1e charac
rers. If, as a Storyteller, you don't know what a particular charnc
ter wanrs in life, ask the player. Good players recognize the poten
tial for a plot line and tend to follow it if they are given the right
reasons. This type of plot gives the player.; great freedom in die
taring the pace of the chronicle. It works well for quests, where
the chamctcts have to find an object or peoon, or accomplish a
rask. Strong Storytellernon <tllies help a Storyteller influence this
type of chronicle, especially if the Storyteller controls a character
thnt i.s a Circle member.
For designing a plot, a Storyteller first
determines rhe goal and the11 comes up with reasons for the
characters to pursue it. l1'1crc arc two ways to motivate char ..
acrcrs-positive reinforcement (the carrot method) and ncga,
rive reinforcement (the stick method). To keep the players
moving toward a goal, vary the use of these methods depend
ing on wtmt gers the mosr response.
The carrot method involves offering the characters a re
ward if the1 putsuc the goal. The players see something they
want and decide to go afrer it. let the ployers make the dcci
sion you wanr rhem 10 make, but don't force them to d(l it.
Make no<es on a few possible carrots.
The stick me<hod causes rhe 10 suffer in some
W'dY if <hey don't pursue <he goal. 1l1e puniffiment does not
have to be directed at the charactelli rhcmselves. Often, it works
better if Contacts, 11ualls or mortol friends suffer instead of
the characters.
Once you've determined the go<rl, you need to create ob
$lades to impede the characrers' p.11h. Obsracles include en
emies, but they can also include term in, lack of knowle-dge or
bck of power. Individual stories in a charncrerdriven plotline
cnn center around overcoming rhese obsrocles.
Chronicle Concepts
Chronicle concepo< define who the characters arc and whar
situations they will encounter. The best way to keep your g:tme
Interesting Is to stnrt it off intereninu. so it helps to choose a
concept with lots of plor hooks that intrigue both you and
your players. A few of the possibilities nrc below.
The True Believers
The Circle wmb for one of the three major factions of
the Underworld - the Hiernrchy, the Heretics or the Ren
egades - and believes strongly in i.- cause (or pretends tO
believe). 1l1c chnrnctcn; are on the low end of the totem pole,
and they're sent on the jobs ond the most hopeless
a5Signments. Depending on the auirude of their wpcrloN. this
could be a glorious campaign to""' rhings right and improve
the world, or ncnrrormenr or the bottom of the bureoucrar ic
ziggurat. Though the charoctcrs mny have access to gre:ner
resources than frcelnncersor ncutruls, they nlro must keep their
faction's ends in sight . .. which may make it difficult to tend to
their own Fette" ond Passions.
Because of the "go <here, du this" slanr ro the siroation,
this may be a good beginning chronicl.: stroightfonvard in
structions and cle:.r goo Is are helpful when teaming :.&new b'711lle.
Once the characrers ond players gain confidence, rhe concept
may become limiting. They can then easily strike out 0 1\ their
own- working for or against their organization- and shake
up rhe game a bit.
Keep in mind that there arc more forces in the World of
Darkness 1 han just the Hierarchy, Renegades and Here ric.<.
V:1mpires. werewolves nnd mages urc all known O con wet the
Restless at times and might offer relics or protection in rerum
for services rendered. In addition, o<her creatuR'$ of the Um
bro have unknown poweN and incomprehensible mothes rhat
could engender very ... umtsual ... n5Signments.
Staying Nemral
Why foght; you're already dead. The chamcrers may avoid
conflict as much ns possible, whcrhcr because of idenlism, pnci
fi:.1n, cowardice, or o1her intertsts. This is nor easy. from
the fact that tm one around them is likely to stop their intrigu
ing, rhcch.1rncters m:tyfind thenuelvtsunderfl.-., in turfbanles
tO test their neutrality, or even to test the
and Cohott> without fear or retaliation by more powerfulal
lies. Thei r fri ends, whether few or many, will flnd it difficult to
help them without compromising their Owll positions.
tually, they cuulJ become respected for their scond and sought
af1er to ;orbit rate disputes, but StatuS of that SOrt will come
slowly, If at all.
or COOl><!, the Circle might avmd direct loyalties just to
play all ends G"Inst the middle. Some spies and free lancers do
this. Watch out - double agents and mercenaries arc what
the VII'> cllll "expendable."
The Guardian5
Home is where the heart is, nnd the wraiths of this
chronicle nrc om w protect whar they love, no matter what.
They have living relatives and friends - strong feners - and
now that they know, firsthand, what the afterlife holds, the
chamch.:r) )cck to prevent both supcrnacurnl and mundane
forces from dtStllrbing what they hold dear.
This kind or chronicle allows plenty or det<'Ciive work,
S.ltut))( rolcphaying opponunities and crossover s:rorit:s. Be care
ful nm to limit the !:"me ro "what's bothering our living fri ends
this week I" One mysterious phenomenon in the neighborhond
could eu>ily fuel session after session. And don't forger: the
Unclenvnrl<i im'r likely ro leave the chnrncters to their own
devices for long.
The Undenvorld Is a waysmtion between this life and the
next, and the characters just want to move on. They may know
(or think they know) exactly whar needs robe done, or they
m.y Ap<nd their time desperately seeking that information.
The characters' banle to conquer their Shadows will prob-
ably become" nmjor theme of the chronicle, so be prcp<lred to
explore the darker half of the game extensively.
Of course, if thcchal'flC{Crs nrc SLill seekers, they may cover
the length and hrcaclrh o( rhe Underworld following up clues
and leads concerning Tmnscendence. ferrymen are rumored
to know a clue or two, some of the agems of rhe Far Shores
insist that they know bi1s and pieces, and rhe Circle might
contoct stranger things as well.
In :m intriguc-fi1kod wc:iety like that of the Restless, good
agents ;trc in constant demand. Enrly itt their afterlife, rhe char-
<'Cl'CI'S in lhis type o( chronicle arc '
rccruiLcd" b)' .-he
NCilCc .. division of rhc Hicr:uchy, the Heretics or the
Renegades. Now, wirh a little experience under their belts,
they srorr to receive more imcrcstin.g nssignmcnts. The enrirc
Circle coukl be enr on a varicry of mi:<lllonJ: infilt rating one
of 1hc other f:1ctioru, .. assassinating" or cnpturing important
figures, executing missions, or acting as nom101l
"citi:em" und keeping their eyes open. In a more difficult S<:e
nario, the1 could be double agent>. They cun be honorable or
entircl)' clishom:."it, ancl they rna)' not even uncler&rand which
>tdc they 1\'0rk for ...
Ag:1in, if the Storyteller is willing to rut'l crossover games,
the chnractcrs cuukl easily become involved wirh orher
cned crcar.trcs. Keeping tabs on the vnmpire prince o( a city is
a morethanflllltime job ... as on the Glass Walker
wen:wolvt.-s oa' bchal( or a Hierarch.
Babe in rhe Wonds
The characters are among the extremely
and ha\'C little or no mcmOf)' of the1r IXtSI Jt,cs. A'i new
als, the)' know hardly an)'thing about the Unden,orld. either.
This is a problem.
Yuunu wrai1hs might be under chc care :nd wrelage of :.t
more experienced wraith or undl'r lndoctrin:ltion by a fanati ..
cal brnnch of the I J iemrchy, Heretics ur The per
sonulity -good ur bad-of their Menror() will be very im
pormnr m the chronicle. they could be trying to
make It on their own, figuring things out lb along.
This approoch is one of the 51mplcs1 for new no
one has to know anything mo.-., a boot the than is neces
sary for character generation. If the eharncter> arc complete
c\'crything a m be discovcn.-d :s rhe progresses,
:melt he players willleam things just their characters do.
Nut character in Wraith dkd of course.
The C.rclc could well be composed of people from any time
and place, 00.11\d together >i milar l'i1ssions and Fer
tcr:. ((rccdum, iusticc, homelands).
Ano1her op!lon is mo,ing the in time.
ln rhe french Revolution, for instuncc, the >pirits of goillo-
tincJ mighr unire for vcngc.1nce nr rn make amends
for theor fomilies' corruption. Middledas.s ghosts continuing
the fight would harass them, their anCe>tOt'> would order them
nbout, und the peasantry would make claims upon them (or
protection or retribution. All this would add to the ordinary
hamrds of the Underworld.
earh I<>V<!s a shinh1g mark, a signal blow.
- Edwa1-d Young, Night TltoughtS
Each Wraich is a sep::trate StO')'
You, ::ts the

must have a fi rm
idea about where und how each story be
gins and what texture you want i( to h:.we.
Once the game begins, yo" ond your play
"'Ill hopefully toke the idea and run with it from there.
Do not try to dc'Cide absolutes concemin.g what will or
w1ll not h:tppen in your story. Few things :tre more irritating to
than a storyteller who pulls the g-.tme along a prede-
termined path ":gardlcss of whar rhe players want or do. Try
nm to force your pl:.tyers intO any situation they try to avoid
unless you have some re;::ason lO (rustratc them or some plan ro
reward them. Stories ideally begin with an idea and grow out
ward rhrough the efforts of everyone concerned.
The story cottcepts below may give you a few idea5 for
your game, but only you know which concepts work best for
you :md your gro<.ap. Feel free tO experiment; storytelling, un
like boord gaming. is freeform, not rigid.
Stol)' Concepts
Swift as light and as clact'l'ing '"""'the idea liw brok in upon
me. "lluwc found it! What terrified me <viii terrify others; /need
only describe the spectre which had haunted my midniglat /lillow."
On the morrow, I announced tluu I had thought of a story.
-Mary Shelley, Introduction to Frankenmin
Uued below are a number of concepr:s that you can usc
to create your own stories. Read these con<:epu. pick out
the i<k-as \'OU like the best, and "'e:lve a &ory from wMt\'OU get.
Cening across Town
For one purpose or Another- the reason necessarily
important - the Circle I In one place and their goal is sonle
where else entirely. This Is where the fun begins. As if the
Underworld is out to gee them, one disaster after another crosses
their path. With a little luck, rhc can make it co
their g<>al. .. and hope that whatever they needed is still around.
On the Home Front
Sometimes the story comes home to the charncters. Per-
haps their Haunt ill in dancer, or their loved ones are under
atrack. The Circle is forced on the defensive, trying to stay
one step ahead of their enemies- and the enemies they see
mny not be the real threat. While rhe characters are trying to
prcvem rhe Hierarchy from taking over the neighborhood, the
Heretics may be convincin)l their alii(-,; that holy war Is rhe
key ro salvation. Meanwhi le, crazed Spectres threaten to de
srrny che lives of the living. Con the characters figure out whn
Is behind this madness! Only time will tell.
The Maelstrom
In rhe midst of an ordinary evening, bells rinx out fn.lln
the towers of the Necropolis in which the characters live. The
alarm is a waming that come$ perhaps once in a decade - a
Maclsrrom is coming. Old souls head for their Hnums immc-
diMcly. knowing thnt chc storm Lrnvds faster than a wr;llth
cnn run. The panic is incrcdihlc, no one sl!em.s co kllow
when nr where rhe thing will starfoce. If the chnrocters have a
strong Haunt, will they reach it in time! If rhcy have nQ
safehold, where will they 1,>0? And wherever they cod up, will
their shdrcr l:ur the night!
Aft<r the Maelstrom, assuminlt the characters survive in met,
how will thcShadowlamls;oppear!Thesurvivorsmayspend many
months cleaning up the mess and liCatching for the losr. Bt.ides
the changes in their own world, some horrible t\'tOt was
the sparlc for che devasrorion-Maelsrroms often begin with death
In huge numbers - and Fetters can be completely dcsunyeclln
riors, {ires, wa.r or other disnsrcr.t
The Harrowing
Try though the characters might to avoid ir, eventually at
least one of their number will be taken by the Tempest. This
nighrmare ride is fast, tenifying and confusing, and makes for
excellent story mat<rial.
Even if only one rm:mber nl rhe Circ:le is being Harrowed.
the resr of rhe rroupe doesn't N:ave ro sit on rhe sidelines. The
characters may play the Shooows nlthosc alfccwd, and rhe oxpe
l'ience provide coundcMS cxrra characters (or thr others lO
A mystery may start something small, but quickly as
sumcs an imporrance and relev:\nce to the Circle. Dark sccrct.s
omong the wroichs of the Circle or their :lS$0CiatCll :ore excel-
lent ways to begin a bur munler is the cla$$IC device.
Perhaps one nl the hving Is found decapitated in rhe character's
Haunr. Will the polico arrive ar all! Has the spirit lx.-come a
wroith, and if so, how is he raking rhisllt's very to rope
the characcers inro the plot from here, particularly if their liv-
ins Feuers nrc under pressure ns witnesses or suspects.
The Boo j ob
Yuppies move inro your Haunt. Sound familiar/ Whether
rhe threat is from chc upwardly mobile, fcom nice folks rrymg
co clean up the neighborhood, or from bulldm.ers clearing out
the local there's somerhing breathing down the char
acrcrs' necks. Now the characrers have ro get the living out of
there, by hook or by crook. Can they be scary enough ro rid
themselves of these pcm!
The characters ore npprooched by highcrups willing ro
pny well for services rendered. They might be asked to hunt
down a Spectre, rrnck down n wraith's Fetters, or corry mcs,
""ges from Necropolis to Necropolis.
This could be os stnaighrforw:ud as it seems. If the Story
teller wishes co make things tricky, however, the chamctcrs
could find themselves embroiled in local politics. Arc they
being framed! For whom arc they actually working! Was the
mission as simple :s ir seemed? Did the charocrers sig11 nny
thing co guarontee completion of the task!
Raiders ol the Lost Afrcrlife
There's an ;utifacc our chere- a (nmous, powct-ful one,
and the race is on to get to it before someone else due. ln fact ,
everybody wants it, nod the chamcters have snunbk-d on an
imponanr clue co it location. Now, not only muse they rush
ro find it, they must also dodge all the other competitors.
Even if the Circle this a mating rhing, they still have
to figure out what ro do wlrh it. Escaping the other SCllrthcrs
ith the mysterious object in met won 'r be eosy. Whar if it's
huge! Whar tfit'$ fragile! It may be an obnoxious wraith
imprisoned long ago and transfonned into a mere obj<-ct ...
the Stage
Storytcllinl: is a lot like setting rhe stage allows
your audience ro srcr from the real world into another one,
lea>ing everyday concerns behind. This approach, also u..::d
in mngic and religious riHrl, helps prepare bnrh ynur plarers
and yourself for somerhmg differenr, somerhing "othtr. Cl>ang-
ong rour mindsers from "daily life" to "storyrime" frees you to
create together. Removing distractions, if only fnr a moment,
can make u world o( difference in your
Storytelling games ore usually played indoors at a table in
the kitchen, den or living room. There should he ch irs for all
the phoye,., nncl refreshments if the gaming se$Sion is to last
awhile. You should also consider any props you ntight nc<-d,
any modifications to the room to set rhc mO<><I fnr rhe gaming
St."'S.Sion, und nny spec1al provisions nect.ssary for
if rour story will involve it.
It's hard to get into a ghostly minclser in the afremoon.
\Vmith g:unu ideally take place at night, possibly in a
room lie by candles or dim light. Music can add a great deal ro
the ntmosphc1'C, as long a.s it is appmprinrc :md not disuact ..
ing. A moment of silence, the lighting of a candle or even a
concise phr-sc (like "nd ir hegins ... ") c,1n set the tone for the
game. This kind of"once upon n time introduction can gu a
long wny toward establishing the right mnod.
lk(orc you begin a new $ession, mnke sure that there are
no loose ends from the last se$Si01\, such ns cl1arncter expcri
ence or rule interprcLaLions. Once you nrc ready ro begin, you
mighrrcll rhc players rhe ririe of the new srory, if you've given
it one. Remember that the most importnnrline is the fir>tline;
hook your players at the lx:ginning of each game session and
dnlw them along as you go.
llliurrature is concerned ouirh nuo rhings:
and violence.
-Dr. Kenn<rh Campbell, from a k-c
turc on Western dramaturgy
O>nOict is dynamic; through struggles
both internal and external, rour tales and
char.tclcn progress. By providing your
character'! wirh an obsncle to overcome, whether it's a char ..
.. . . '

.. '
acrer, a situation or :.'n institution, you give them motivation
and purpose.
lnrerm.J <-111d extermlf connicr lUC both important ill
Wraith; internal battles with the Shadow contrast with the
external t hl'ears from the Hierarchy, Heretics.
Renegades :1ncl mher assorted racrions. No nmttcr which side
of the fence your players choose, their characters will feel en
<auics brc.,thing down their necks (so to speak). While stories
chat move from one fighr scene m the ncxr quickly get boring,
tales with no direction, conflict or struggle meander listlessly
before f.liJing i ntO 3 I'Ut.
Conflict provides energy and direction for ;.i story - it
provides the characters with someone to fight. The battles may
he emotional, philosophical or brutalll' physical, but conflict
of some kind or ;morher is vital to a corninuing chronicle.
Confli ct propels the story by involving '"'d motivating rhe
chamctcrs on an emotional level. If you give rhcm someone to
rhcy'll he far more interested in going on. Though
the characters not st::ut :15 t he prim:.lry p(lrticip::mrs in
the confli ct, they will quickly become involved by being en-
veloped in the stmgglc. Simply make il impossible for thcrn. to
remain nemr:ll.
Circle vs. Hierarchy
The colossal bureaucracy of the Underworld is much like
cenain unscrupulous governments in the Skinl:lnds. Call ing
rhe Hierarchy corrupt is an exercise in undcrsuncmcnt, and
the c.ha racrers will often find {hemselve.s pirrecl ag-.tinsr irs min
ions and its dictates, even if chcy work for it. Existing within
irs lahyrinrhine imemal (Xllitics is ;Jlmost ns chlngcrous as rc#
sisting its enforcers. Though the Hierarchy docs offer smnc
small prorectioll from the tribulations of the UndNworld, its
power is often used ror ryr.mny, and the Circle would do well
co avoid its direct attention.
Circle vs. Heretics
The religious cults o( rhc dead can be just as fanatical and
oppressive as any followed by the living. Altl>o11gh m""Y of
these groups arc ::md basically benevolent,
rhc resr arc as clrcadc<l as any goons of the Hierarchy. Rumors
of brainwashing, deportntion and the outright .eve ring of Fct
rers abound. If the characters are marked as valuable potential
convcrrs, the evangelical furor over their beliefs mighc even
become violent. If more chan one seer is after t he wmiths, 11
minol' holy war could spring up on the spot.
Circle vs. Renegades
You can't make on omelet without breaking eggs, and you
can't have a revolution without a little bloodshed, or shred
ded plasm, as !he casc may be. If !he charocters try to oppose
the Renegades' pl:uu, the rebels may take steps to ck-ar them
out of the way. Even as innocent bystanden, the Circle may
be in danger as the silent war continues around them. Totally
neutral charocters can still come under fi re if they get a repu
mtlon (deserved or o\Ot) for assisting other factions. Player
charoctcr Renegades may find it difficult to obey orders given
them if their peoonal gools fail to conform to those of their
allies. In any case, e11re should be taken when dealing with
these ul\prcdict:3ble guerrillas.
Circle vs. Circle
Confl ict between groups may take place on a much smaller,
more personal level, of coune. Circle vs. Circle conflict is all
too common in the fight for the Shadowlnnds' scarce resources.
The issue could be as simple as right-of-way <hrough a gang's
territooy, or as complex as members of opposing groups sharing
the Fetter. If the other Circle hos friends io\ high pluccs,
it may rapidly become di(focult to rcsulve the differences be
tween them. Both sides c(>uld seek impartialarbitr:uion (if such
u thing exis!S), bm there's no guamntee that either will abide
by the decision.
Wraith vs. Wruith
Imagine being murdered and discovering that your killer
has On:llly been executed and revenge is yours - if you c:m
find her. The reasons why one wraith mleht trouble another
arc"" numerous and complex as in real life, but wilh !he ele
ments of death and eternity thrown in, even minor slights c.1n
take on obscene importance.
Of course, wrnirh vs. wraith might be a po6itive challt nRC:
two rival &lndmen could strive to put on the best drt,.onplays
for the Living, or famous historical swordsmen might duel in
the Necropolis streets, or adolescent wmlths could vie for the
best trick on Halloween. It all depends on the intent of rhe
Wraith vx. V11mpire
As the movers and shakers behind much !hat is wrone
with the World of Darkn<-.s, vampires may be the indirect cawe
o( otumy wrailhs' dc:uhs, particularly !hose who dwelled in cit
ics while livin.g. Any wroith out for justice or rcforrn woll have
ro byp.1ss the Leeches one way or another.
Or 1 he vampires may come to them first. The Treonere
(!<>rccrer vampire$), the Samedi (hideous zombie-kin vam
plres), and especially the Giovanni (ne-cromancers) all have
interest in infom1ation from the Underworld, and most would
have no qualms about binding wraiths into positions of servi
Wnoith vs. Werewolf
Alrhough the Garou ore aware that ghoors exist, they tend
to avoid contact with them. Wmiths me unlikely to meet most
tribes o( werewolves unless they m11ke a special effort to do so.
Unfortul"' rltely. such an effort is nlmosL certainly unwelcome.
TI1e Restless believe that Spectres anack werewolve$
ever they can, as parr of some unknown plot of Oblivion. Be-
cause Garou seemingly can't tell wroiths apart from Specnes,
werewolves 1uua,nisn1 is undcrsntndable.
Wraith v. Mase
These magicbl, idealists work wio h wrAiths
more closely and more often dum any orher crea ..
tures in the Umhrnl Realms. Mony of them can see and hear
rhe Restless if they make the effon. Quite a few of them are
aware of the situation in !he Shadnwlands and will trade fa.
vors ancJ l'hc wr;;ti(hs in their go.1ls. However, less scrupu
Ions are not above enslnvin1( wmidls, [hem inro
magickal objects or even distill rhem for rheir Pathos. The
knowk-dgc woi ncod by rhe fint group often fulls into the hands
of rhe second, forcing entire Necropoli to submit to the whims
of wizards.
\ Vruilh vs. Supernatural
Depending on what other supernatural clements you
choose to include ial your droniclc, mher (orccs may :1lso op
pose dlc chur.ococn;. Besides regular vampires, werewolves and
mages, there arr mummies, !he animated dead,
shnpeshifters and gargoyles, ju>t oo name a few.
Wraith ' '" the Quick
Most of the wraiths who Inhabit the Shadow lands are more
concerned with getting into contnct with tl1e living rh:on wor
ried about what might happen when they do. The Quick don't
tend m noroce them, and unless the wraith neecls to talk to
someone, rhi,s is preny convenient.
Despilc l his, there :uc many orr;:lnizations whose sole pur ..
pose is to g:oin knowledge about the afterlife and the Restless,
and their reasons are not usually good. TI1e best of thc.<e groups
wish only to prove !he existence nf wraiths; the worst are out
for the power they represent or the opporrunity to destroy the
"crearures of evil."
Wraith vs. Shadow
The "'"" important confl ict in Wraith is that between
the Shadow and the Psyche. The darker side of the relf is in
constant battle for dominance, and this struggle b the source
o{ much of the drnma inherent to the game. This is a onore
intense, more frightening area of d\c chronicle. Be careful when
you explore it, i>articularly if the player is at all like his chamc
Wraith vs. Self
Not every intemal struggle nec<l be between Shadow and
Psyche, of coone. E,en a person can have doubts
and crises. The "better'' half of the personality, because i< is
usually the more self-critical, is 1uirc prone to ohis. Natur:olly,
any moment of indecision or worry could lenve the Psyche
open to the Shadow's persuasioo\ ...
The chamctcrs do not rc-.tlizc whn rheir enemy is, or who
oet:ks their dotrucnon. This makes it all the more terrifying.
Wraith vs. Spectre
Oblivion is a pOwerful enemy, and many are not strong
to wnhsmnd it. These lost souls, called Speccrcs, wan-
der the Shndowlands, leaving desuuction in their wake; rhey
flU the Tempest to bursting with rheir grote$<Jue selves and
their niulmnarish collection of dead memories. Wraiths fear
Spectres both for their actual, horrifying acts and abilities and
the final horror they represent: rhc nc&Mion of the Psyche.
The1 have completely lost the battle with Oblivion, but arc
roo strong or useful to be completely consumed, and thi i rhe
worst fnte most Restless can imagine. Nothing can be more
rhan recogniting an old friend's face with a Spe-ctre\;
Sanity vs. Madness
Wraith lends i!$elf easily to this kind of conflict. lltc
Underworld Is not kind to the weak-rnind<<l or the dcmnged,
although it i> possible that this kind of person may T mnscend
very ea.'nly. Those who arrive slightly crocked had beller mend
quickly or move on ... the Shadow can subven most kinds of
Advanced I echniques
o what are we going w do for the rest of our
lit'Cs! Stay lwme and wou:h rht /J<lradtJ go
by! Amuse with the glass menag.
trit, darling! Eternally play !hose worn-out
phooograplt r<rds :your farhtr k[t as a pam
{ul reminder of him! .. .I it's the only
I can think of.
- Tenn<!$See Williams, The Glass Mena:trie
The followi ng techniques are excremely difficulc to utilize
properly, bur can be very rewarding if done well. Thc>C uJ
vonced concepts must be carefully planned and executed with
grncc and finesse to work effectively. If you employ them cor
rccdr, howe"er, you will create a story your players will never
Dream Sequence
Used properly in a storytelling the dream
sequctiCC can oc-come a powerful device. The dead do indeed
dreltm, and their ' 'isions are rarely pleasant. Wroiths with the
Phonmsm Arcnnos may even emer and alter the dreams of
morro Is.
llle t<-chnique, a$ i!S name implies, is simply o dream that
Is either shared by all the chamcters or is specific to one of
them. In the dream, the chamcrcl':! are either themselves or
caricarures of themsehes. Even if the dream is that of only
one chamcter, the other players may sttll participate in the
dream by assuming rhe roles of the cxher people, creatures or
even settings in the dream. The player or players ne<'tl ne\er
know whose dream they have entered, bur the story of the
dream should always be important to the overall theme of the
While playing out the dream cquence, you must deter
mine how much larinade rhe have within the dream.
This spectrum of Storyteller control over the dream sequence
ranges from a minute description of the dream tO simply
ing the charncrers into o dreom and describing what appears
while giving players control ro do as the!' will.
StoryrellcrCOntrolled dreams lire cood for foreshadowing
upcoming even!$ or foresmblishing symbolism within the story.
The charocter's Shadow may begin to at the Psyche by
appearing in dreams and driving sleep away. Such an invasion
may precede an all-out assault or may come to n()(hing. Keep
your players wondering.
Remember that when sroryrelhng a dream sequence, the
action and senings should be dreamlike. Characters disappear
and reappear from the dream, events happen with no logical
order or Row, settings change in<tanrly, and the dreamer feels
extreme emorion.s hat do not correspond co what
is happening in the dream.

While a dream is concerned with how an aspccr of rhe
relates to the current story, a Ra>hback is concerned
with how an a>p<-ct of the pasr relates ro the Rash
backs are common around Fetters. and vivid memories of the
moment of death Haunt many of the RestiC$$.
The events of the flashback, or at least houtcome,should
be pretty well dicrared by the Storyteller, even if the flashback
does involve the players' characters. Even though they arc not
in control, players will ofrcn enjoy flashbacks that give them a
glimpse of rhe behindthescenes Incidents that spawned the
events they are currently tackling.
lllere are other, mure dr:mmic uses offl :tShbacks, but these
should be used less often. For cxomple, a flashback to a certain
player character's past can be used tO intrO<Iuce a Storyteller
character from r:hc ph)\'cr character's childhood, or a loved one,
or a killer whme face the ghost still cannot see .. .
Motifs and icons
One of the rricks )'OU c.1n steal from mo'iemakers is the
use of spnbolism, motifs and icons. This must be done subtly;
if )'OU put heavy-handed symboliSm mto stones, ir will feel
IK-avyhanded and min rhe effect.
You must introduce a symbol by dropping it into tltc back
ground of your seuing: street namc:J, places, people, the names
o( stores, gra(fili on a wall, }t ntpestry rhacs hanging in che
Citadel's main hall. Once you introduce the symbol, keep it in
mind and mention it once in a while when the thing reprc
scmet.J l>y that symbol appears in rhe srory.
For example, let's say you that fi re is a major sym-
bol for the rebellion against authority in your setting. Let's say
your chamcttrs rtbcl against the Hierdrchy by seeking the
Heretics in their Mea. When they return from their fateful
meeting with rhe Heretics, they may pass by a burning build
in g.
A morif is a symbol that recurs throughout the chronicle,
3nd its meaning changes as the chronicle continues. lf it rains
in the same chronicle, it could mean chat rhe Hierarchy
has raken power once again. At the end of the chronicle, how-
ever, perhaps the Renegades rake control after a particularly
destructive coup. The rain, now gentle ;md cle:msing, could
symbolize " purge of the city as a whole.
Below nrc some sample symbols to starr you thinking; you
will think of many O<hcrs as well:
Fire: Wildfire dewoys; rhe hear of a forge can temper
strength; the fl ame of a candle is meditative; the warmth of a
hearth can convey safety.
Rain: This can be dreary and depressing, or cleansing
n.nd nourishing.
Flowers: Rosemary and (orgctmenOts show rcmem
brancc, roses speak of love, and lilies beamify death.
Chains: A visible representation of loyalties and alliances.
Masks: This carl be an oulward sign of duplicity and de-
Mirrors: They may reflect the truth, or a twisted version
of it.
Mazes: These embody confusion, as well as a challenge to
be mastered and overcome.
Dirds: Canaries, crows, eagles and robins arc all used as
icons. Birds arc legendary carriers of the soul. and also serve as
spies watchers.
Crossroads: Often haunted, crossroads can repn:-sent a
decision or a turning point in life.
Colors: Each color has countless meanings; for example,
green is sometimes represented as the color o( death, some
linu::s as the sign for life :u'ld growrh.
After a Story
S11y g"rlbyc ro all rhi$ .. . and hello to oblivion.
- Riff RaA', The Rocky 1-lorror Picwrc Show
A(tcr a story's conclusion, you should consider rhc impact
of srorys events upon the hlrger chronicle. Because stories
often end in an unexpected manner, it is important for you to
derem1inc how co reroute the chronicle int<> the plotline you
desire or replot the chronicle based upon the new develop-
ments. Remember that you are a novel. and no
author knows for certain whar every detail of his finished uovcl
will be before he begins writing ic. Also, writers don't have ro
compens:lte for player decisions.
The other imporranr thing ro do before you bcghl dcsigu
ing the next story in the chronicle is making nmes of an)t new
settings or chamctcrs that were introduced into the chronicle.
Large chronicles can spawn casts of hundreds of major and
minor Storyteller chan&ctcrs and :;core.'i of serrings.
To keep your sanity, it's best to find a way to keep track of
everything as it develops in the chronicle. Norccards (one 3"
x 5" for each setting or character) work well because more
information can be ;rdde<l to them later and they're easy to
file, but most of us can onl\' aspire co be so organized.
Ending a Chronicle
Ending with a strong conclusion is as important as any
other part of a chronicle. Even if a chronicle conrinucs for
years, there is something magical about che moment
that all (or most) of the various intcrconnccccd stories juxla
p<>sc in a great climax. l11e final session of an)'ChrQnideshould
be an event to remember, so make the extra effort tO make the
climactic event something special.
After the climax, it often helps to wind down rhe :-tcrion
wi1h a bit more storytelling in the same setting. Charac1ers
can say any necessary good-byes or return things ro a normal
state a(tcr vanquishing a villain. Once that's finished, ir's rime
10 begin planning the next chronicle.
Of course, there is nothing that says you have to start from
scratch each time. 1( you wanr to cominue on with the same
charnccers and seuing. you can cake these elements in new
directions. Players can become attached and acCt.IStomcd to
their characters, and it's satis(ying to experience the growrh
and developmen1 of a single character through several
However, t.lon'tlimit yourscl( to continuing what has come
before. Some player$ may want to try a (resh penpective and
create new characters, while others in the group keep [heir
established chanlctcrs. Also, one of the players would
like ro swirch roles with the Story1eller so that she may design
and run the next chronicle. The storytelling troupe may also
wish m consider integrating che new Wrdith chronicle with
elements from one of While Wolf's other storytelling games
such as Vampire: T he Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apoca-
lypse or Mage: the Ascension.
u es
Rule number six: r.ltere is no rule number six.
- Moncy Python's Flying Circus
II games have rules. Some have only a few and
are fairly simple, such as Chutes and Ladder.;.
Od1ers have many and are extremely compli-
cated, like bridge. Wraith has something in
common wirh hom types- it has o!lly a few
simple rules, bur mese few nales have a large
number of permutations. You need only leam
the basic nales, but their permuratioru evoke d1e flavor of the game,
allowing it to simulate the complexiry of real life. This chapter pro
vides the basic rules of Wraith; you decide which permutation to use.
Rules are like the myths rha< shape and describe a culture.
l11ey define what is important and delineate rhe of
existence. Though dlesc rules may seem somewhat strange and
exotic, mey really aren't all rhat complicate-d. Once you under
stand them, you'll understand how to play this game. just concen
tme on learning these basics; everything else will come naturally.
De110uring rime, blunt thou tlw lion's paws,
And make the earth dt110ur her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaM,
And bum the long-lived phoenix in her blood.
-Shakespeare, "Sonnet 19"
The first thing you need to learn is how time passes in
Wraith. There ar; five different ways to dcscribe.time, pro
gressing from the smallest unit to the all-encompassing one.
Tum - One unit of time within a scene, anywhere from
three seconds to three minutes in length. A tum is enough
time to rake one action (discussed below).
Scene-One compact period of action and roleplayh,g
that takes place in a single location. A scene is made up of a
variable number of turns (as many as it takes to complete it);
it can also be completed strictly through roleplaying, which
require$ no U$e of turns.
Chapter- One independent part of a story, :>I most al
ways played in one game session. It is made up of a number of
scenes connected by periods of downtime.
Story-A complete tale, with an introduction, buildup
and climax, that often rakes several chapters to complete.
Chronicle- A whole series of stories connected by the
lives of me characters and perhaps a broadly conceived theme
and plot. It is simply the ongoing story told by you and the
Besides acting out their characters' speeches and conver
sations, players will want their characters to perform (or at
least attempt to perfortn) actions rhey describe to the Story
teller. An action can be anyming from jumping over a gorge
to glancing O\erone'sshouldcr to check for pursuers. TI1e player
tells the Storyteller what her character is doing and details the
proc<.-durc she uses.
Many actions ore nuLomatlc- for lnsr:'lnce, when n
tells the Storyteller ohat her walks across the street
toward a warehouse. All the Storyteller 11ccds to do is keep
track o( where the character is aod what she is doing. I low
ever. cermin acLions require 3 dice roll lO deletmine success or
There is always chance inli(c. There's a chance you'll win
the lonery, a chance rou'll be audited, and a chance you'll die
ill a plane crash. Chance plays a role in Wraith as well. How-
ever, Wraith playNs use dice co simulate the duplicity ofl:ody
Wraith requires the use o( 10-sided dice, which rou can
buy in any game store. I( you arc the Storyreller, you will want
a lot o( dice, at least 10, all to yourself. player, you'll also
want dice, but you mny share dice with other players.
Whenever the success of all action is in doubr, or the Sto
rytellcr thinks there is a chance your character might (nil, you
will have to roll dice. Thb gives yourcharacteran opportunity
to let weaknesses and strengths exhibit themselves, thereby
revealing somethilllC o( the charncreri true narure to both )'OU
nnd the other players.
A charncrer is described by her Traits- the innate nnd
learned abilities and aptitudes she possesses Traits arc deft ned
by numbers; each Trait has a r-ting from 1 to 5, which de
scribes the character'$ ahiliry in particular Trait. A I is
lousy, while a 5 superb. This scale of I to 5 is the ".r:or"
mrlng system made (omous by movie and restaumnt critics.
The normal human Trnit rnnge is from I to 3, with 2 !Je.
ing average. HQ\\ever, exceptional people can have T mots of 4
(exceptional) or 5 (superb), or even hve a zero in a Tmit
(which is extremely rare, but nor unheard of).
For each dor your character hos in a p3rticulur Trait, )'Oil
get to roll one die. Thus, i( you had (our dots in Strength, you
would get to roll four dice. I( you had one dot in Perception,
)'OU would only get to roll one die. llowever, you almo.t ne,er
imply roll the number o( dice you have in an An:ribute, which
defines your intrinsic cnpabilities. UsOJnlly you get to add the
11umbcrof dice you have in an Amiburc to the llumbcro(dice
you have in an Ability - things thm you know and have
So if the Storyteller wants the players to roll to see if they
notice the patrol car creeping up behind them, he would have
them roll Perception + an Attribute + nn
icy. E.1ch player would take as many dice as she had dots in
Perception and put them in her hands. TI1en each player would
one die for each dor in Alerrness.
These dice are collectively called the Dice Pool. A
character's Dice Pool delineates the total number o( dice a
player may roll in a single wm - usually for a single ttction,
although a player can divide a Dice Pool in order to allow her
chnractcr to perform more than one action. When rolling for
:;1 Trait such as Willpower, which has both a pcnmlnCnt and a
temporary score, a player almost always rolls a number of dice
equal to the Trait's permanent l'flting (the circles), not its cur ..
rent score (the squares).
Ccnain actions don't require or even have an
Ability. An example of this is when a player soaks damage
from 311 In s-uch c::tses, the player only uses an Attribute,
rolling the number of dice listed for that Attribute- in this
case, Smmino.
There is absolmely no siwarion where more than two
Troits can combine ro form a Dice Pool. Only one Trait can be
usc-J if it has a potential value of 10 (such as Willpower or
Angst). This me:ms that a Tmir like Willpower can never be
combined with another Trait. It is generally impossible for a
nonnal htunan being to have more than IOdice in a Dice Pool.
I tiltv11ys rry ro do six impossible tltings before brcakfasc.
- The Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland
Now you've got to figure om what you need to look for
when you roll the dice. The Storyteller assigns each task a dif-
ficulty racing, a number thar quantifies the challenge posed by
the task. A difficulty is always a number between 2 and 10.
You need to roll that number or higher on at least one of the
dice in your Pool in order ro succeed. Each lime you do so, it's
called a success. If the difficulty is a 6, and you roll 2, 3. 5, 6
and 9, you have scored two successes. Though you usually need
only one success w succeed, rhe more successes you score, the
better you perform. Scoring only one success is considered a
n1argi1,al success, while scoring-three is considered a co1nplere
success, and scoring fi ve is a momentous event.
3 Easy
4 Romine
5 Straightforward
6 Standard
i Challenging
8 Difficult
9 Extremely Difficult
Two Successes
Three Successes
Four Successes
Five Successes Phcnornenal
You can see that if the difficulty is lower, it
to score a success, while if it is higher, it becomes more diffi
cult. The Storyteller will assign high difficulties whenever the
action you have decided ro rake is difficult, and will either let
your character do something automatically (because her At-
tributes and Abilities arc so high) or assign a low difficulty if
the desired action is particularly easy.
Though they arc not on the list above, you, as the Scory
teller, can also assign difficulties of 2 or 10. However, these
should almost never be used. Difficulty 2 is so pathetically easy
that you might as well let the player succeed wi thout wasting
Li me on a roll. Difficulty 10 is so difficult thattherc is an equal
chance ro borch (described below) as there is to succeed, no
matter how many dice the player rolls. A I 0 is pretty near
impossible. On the rare occasions when you do announce a
difficulty of 10, he sure you rc:-.lizc how impossible you arc
making the chance of success. If a pbyer ever rolls a 10, the
rcsulc is automatically a success, no maner whm.
Unless rhe Storyteller says otherwise, the difficulty for a
particular task is always 6. This is rhe standard difficulty; 6 is
assumed if a difficulty number is otherwise unstated.
The of One
The last thing you need to know about rolling dice is the
.. rule of one. Whenever yma roll a" l ," it ct1nccls out a success.
It completely rakes it away. You remove both the "success" die
and the "I" die and ignore them. If you roll more ''l's" than
you do successes, a disaster occurs; something called a ''botch"
takes place. Don't count the" l's" that canceled out successes,
but if even a single " I" is left after all the successes have been
e3nceled, a borch occur,;. Gening a single .. )" or five "l 's" has
about the same result in most cases; the sur.-
rounding Lhc botch dercnninc if it is carastrophic or a minor
mishap. If (here aren't any" I 's" or successes left, you've simply
Automatic Successes
You don't want to be rolling dice all the it can ger in
the wa\' of the roleplaying. Wraith employs a very simple
rem for 3uron1aric successes, players to avoid making
rolls for actions their characters could perform in their sleep.
It works like this: if the number of dicein your Dice Pool
equals or exceeds rhe assigned difficulty, your ch>Wdctcr suc
ceeds automatically. Such a success is considered mart:iMI (the
equivalel\t of scoring only one success), so a player will some
times want co roll anyway In Oil attempl to gain even more
successes. For very simple nnd oftcnrepeated how
tver, automatic su<.:ccs:scs can eliminate a lot of waned time.
(Note that ccl'l3in actions, such as combat, an: alw:.ys prob
lema tic and should not be handled with this system.)
TI\e automatic success mles can be used ro elimio\arc dice
completely. In such siruarlons, automatic successes aren't a
ter o( choice. Either you are f!OOd enough to ucceed or you are
nor. It is simple, bur sow"" Cops 'n' Robbers, and we liked it just
fii\C. TI>c sta<y w:.. what was imponant; the rules didn't matter.
Thts simple system even has a twist, makina It nor quire
so blackand.white. A Willpower point (se<! pg. 99) can be
spent to cam an automaclc success. You won't wnnt co do this
often. but for certain actions, it cim be very adv;.lntngeous to
do so. Of course, the Willpower expenditure only counts for
one SUCC<'S:I if multiple wcccMCs are requin:d.
When we play, we usually combine dice rolling and autO
matlc successes. During most scenes- especially when we're
deeply involve-d in the story- we don't even roll dice, prefer
ring to roleplay through scel\es without interruptions. How
ever, when we get in the mood for ploying..,game rather than
tdJ;ng..,..,.ory, we make lots of dice rolls and add many compli
cations to the rules.
You may have already realiz<-d that it is quire easy ro score
a single success, even when you roll only one or rwo dice. You
have a 75% chance for a mafl:inal SUCCtSS when you roll only
two dice and the difficulty Is 6. While that may sound too
easy. there ::tre various ways to complicate matcers, some of
which are discussed below. For troupes heavily Into roleplay
ing, simple rolls and automatic succcsscs arc enough. Gener
ally, compllcarions are needed only if the playen or you want a
break from the roleplaying, If )'OU want a realistic result, or if
you want to make a game out of the scel\e. Complications add
drama to the story, evoking passion and focusing events.
In order to socceed fully, you will sometimes need more
than one success- you will need to accumulate three, or seve!\
or even (rurcly) 20successes. An that rcquir.,:; only one
is cnlled n simple action. An action rlmt requires more
than one success is called un extended action.
An extended action allows you ro roll over and over on
subsequent roms in an attempt to collect enough successes 10
succeed. For il\stancc, suppose your character Is climbing a tree.
n,c Storyteller announces thnt when you roll a total of seven
successes, your character hns climbed to the top. She'll get there
eventually, but the more times you roll, rhe more chances your
character has 10 botch and injure herself. If she is attempting
to climb down the tree because it is on fi re, the amount of
time It rakes becomes exceedingly important.
During an extended action, you can keep trying tu obtain
successes for as long as you want, or at least until you full to
score even one >ucc=. If you botch, your character may have
tO start over from with no accumulated successes. The
StOryteller may decide not to let the churncrer try nil.
Thi$ type of action is more complicated than a simple ftC
tion and should not often be employed In the middle of in
tense roleplay ina. As the Storyteller, you decide what type of
action is appropriate. A little bit o( experience will serve you
well when employing these rules.
Sometimes you will act in opposition to another churn<:
ter. Both of you make rolls, with a difficulty often indicated by
a T ralt of the other character, and the person who scores the
most successes sucoc:c:ds. However, you ore considered to score
only as many successes as the amount by which you exceed
your opponent's successes. The opponent's successes eliminate
your own, just.,. "l's" do. Therefore, It is very difficult, und
nuc, ro achieve an OUt$tanding success on a resisted action.
Even If your opponent cannot beat )'OU, she can diminish the
effect of your effom. During actions that are both extended
nnd rcsisred, one of the opponents must colk-c.t a certain
her of successes in otdcr to succeed completely. Each succeS$
above the opponent's total number of succe$Ses in a single tum
is added to a success totnl. The first opponent to cnllecr the
dcoignated number of successes wins the contcot.
Sometimes characters can work to collect sue
cesse&, most often during an extended action. At the
Storyteller's discretion, two or more character> can make rolls
separately and combine their successes. TI1cy may never com
bine their separate Traits for one roll. Teamwork is effective in
some circumstances, such as when engaging in co1nbat, shod
owing prey, collecting Information and repairing devices. 0\lr
ing others, it can actually be a hindt'nce, such as in many
social actions (where it can confuse the subject).
The charr below may serve tO dispel your confusion re
garding some of the different type'S of rnll <hat can be mnde.
Trying it Again
It can ol'ten be frust.rating to fail. If you are havina trouble
with your computer and can't figure out rhe source of a sysoem
error, Lhen you're in for a frustrr.ring time. 11lis annoyance is
reOected in Wraith by increasing the diffleul<y of ny action If
It Is tried again after it's already been failed.
Whenever a character n11cmprs an action she hs prcvi
ously failed, rhe Storyteller h:l1thc option of incre..'\Sing the
difficulty of the action by one. Consider a character who tries
to intimidate someone. If the first auempt failed, it's going be
harder the second time around, so the difficulty is one greater.
If tried a third rime, rhen the difficulty is two greater. In cases
like this, though, the Storyteller might simply n1le that the
character cannot even make another try - how do you in ...
timidate someone who has already called your bluff?
Other examples of when to use the rule are picking a lock
(Repair), scaling a wall (Athletics), and remembering a word
in a foreign language (Linguisric.<).
Sometimes the Storyteller shouldn't invoke this n1le. A
notable cxatnplc is during combat. Missing $0meone with a
first glmshot doesn't mean rhat the gunman is
troted and has a better chance of missing again. But after the
gunman has missed a couple of times, especially if they are
easy, closerange shoes ...
Other examples of when not to use the n1le ate seeing
something out of the corner of the eye (Alertness) and dodg
ing an mack (Dodge).

Try It Out
Well, that's it. These are rhe rules. This system for dice is
all you really need to know in order to play this game. All the
other rules arc just clarifications and exceptions. So long as
)'OU understand what's been discussed here, you won't have
any difficulty understanding anything else. If you don't think
you've caught everything, just read the above again; you'll find
it makes more sense rhe second time around.
Now go ahead and make a few rolls, using the example
chamctcr from the other page. Cassandra is attempting toes
a group of Hierarchy legionnaires. She crouches down
behind a low hoping that will mn pGS< wi<hout sec
ing her. The Sroryreller a.stgns a difficulcy of 7 to tlus fea<,
nnd decides that the appropriate roll is L>cxtcrity + Stealth.
Take two dice because ofCassattdm's Dcxrerity Amibute ofZ,
and one exun die becaU>C of C1.ssandro's Stealth Abih<y of I.
You M>ould now have rhree dice in )"OUr hand- nor a lot, bur
at least you h:tVe a chance. Go ahead and roll the dice. look
to sec how numy successes \'Ou have, making sure co utkc nway
a success for every "I" you roll. Did you make it, did you fail, or
did you botch?The more successes you get, the better you hide.
Only one success might mc11n rhar you barely made it under
cover in time. Two might me:ln that you manage co crouch
under a little overhang. Three migh< mc:tn <ha< you're toutlly
silent and quiet, in which""-"" you\e fooled <he lcgionnail"e$.
Nex<, tty out an exrended and resisted action. An example
o( this is an :urn wrestling 1natch. It requires :tn indeOnitc
ries nf rolls, each with a differcnr difficulty. You need to ccu
five successes more than your opponent in order to win.
A botch eliminates all of your accumulated successes.
Firs< roll: Each player rolls Strength: the difficulty ts the
opponen<'s Dexterity + 3 is importnnt ac first).
&-cond ond third rolls: Each player rolls Sttength: the
diffic:ulry is the opponent's Strength + 3.
o Fourth roll (and all subsequent ones): Eac:h player rolls
Strength; the dlfnculty is the opponent's Willpower.
Examples of
Following arc some exnmples of rolls, m provide you with
some ideas how co incorptmue rhese n1les in co yuur role
playing. note that each A<tribote can work with each
Ability, so <here are 270 poten<ial type> of stmple rolls that
cnn be made. Admittedly, you will not of<en roll Stamina +
Computer, bu< i< might come up.
o You arc protecting your Fetter late at nigh<. Roll Sromina
+ Alermess (difl'iculry 7) to stay awake and alert.
A rises out of rhe gloom and floaa quietly be-
hind you: roll Perception + Alermess (diffkulty 9) to notice
its approach.
A <ough Reneg-ade refuses <o roke your commands. Roll
Strength + leadership (difficulty 7) in :m arremp< to domi-
llnte him phy.1icolly and get him to do what you say.
Can you convince the gathering crowd of to
follow you! Roll Chamma + leadership (dtfficulty 7) as )"OU
attempt to gtve an off-the-cuff speech. You'll need four suc
to convince Lhcm completely.
o A Hierarchy Cenwrion is attem,,ing ro command a
group of wranhs <o come with him. Roll Percep<ion + le-ader
shp (difficulty 6) to sec how good a leooer he is. If y<>u score
five S\lccesscs, you'll know his exact raLing.
After being ques<ioned for houn; by Hierarchy lnquisi
tors, roll Sramina + Subterfuge (difficuhy 8) to see if you can
maintain your story successfully. Ob<aining live successes ol
lows you to convince them fully.
You threaten the young IVrairh by trying to lift him up
by his collar; roll Strcng<h + Intimidation (diffoculcy 8).
Yelling and screaming at the Harbinger, you tty to ger
himm go faster. Roll Charisma + lnrimidatlon (difficulty 6).
You nsk a series of mpldflre questions in order ro dis
cover IVhat thrcars IVill intimidate <he >ubjec<. Roll Wits +
lntimida<ion (difficulcy 6).
You're trying to calm doiVn someone you're Skinndin&:
roll Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty 6).
Name: CaBBandra
player: Meg
, Chronicle: Atlanta
Nature: ViBionary
Demeanor: Rebel
Shadow: Leech
tfe: ArtiBt
Death: Rantlom Violence
True Love
g :CI c g Cl Cl Cl Cl Cl a Cl a 0 Cl a a a C3 Cl a c Attributes :J mo-o a Q Cl a oa a Cl Cli a: a Cl D '; a : I

_____ ,eeooo

Y!cial flental
Charisma Gu&,; eeeeo Perception, _ _____ eeOOO
Manipulation _____ ,eeeoo Intelligence eeooo
Appearance eeeoo Wits eeeoo
o-oa cr oo o Q o a a a o a :a a c:1 1:1 a o AOilitieS acaoaa
a a a Cl Cl c:r a a g 1:1 Cl a a

Crafts 0 0000 Bureaucracy 00000
00000 Drive 00000 Computer eoooo
00000 Etiquette 00000 Enigmas 00000
eeooo Firearms eoooo lnvestigatio 00000
Dodge eoooo Leadership ooo
Law eoooo
Empad>y eeooo Meditation eeooo Linguistics eoooo
Expression St reet Poet!Y..._eeeeo Melee 00000 Medicine 00000
lntimidadon 00000 Performance
Occult eoooo
StnX:twisc eeooo Repair 00000 Politics eoooo
Subterfuge eoooo Stealth eoooo Science 00000
.. "' 0 Cl 0 OC1 "' 0 0 a Cl Cl C> 0 a a a ... .. Advantages .. a a Q""lf'a G a Cl Cl .. Cl D " c : a '
Haunt eoooo
h::h::rnQdf!t!l oo
fefters ..OOCI aoc
Cafe Inferno eeeeo

Macinto,;h '"Computer eeooo
"" '-''" '-'Pi,ecl.,m,_,o"'-n"'t_,_P,_a,'-"k ___ _ -'eOOOO
_____________ 00000
fxperience a 0 a a Q c
Protect C!i!!thla (Love)
Get back at gang (Rcvenee) eeooo
Ruin J1ubli,;her (Hate) eoooo
I G a ICI a a C1 CofFJS ;JI 0 Ea-0 d C
0 00 0000000
o a o a o >d fll>oO a c
oo o
0 0 00 0 00000
1 a o et a a c fathos o o ca-o D-G
00000\ll\ll o oo
Em eoooo
l ifeweb eoooo
PUJ1J1et!Y eoooo
.aaaa c Combat oo:= ao
Weapon Difficulty l>magc Pathoo
Youre rrying to nop a c..1r thars careening out of con ..
trul. Which engine purt should you destroy wirh 011rrage
Intelligence +Repair (difficulty 6).
You try to dN:ipher whar's wrong with the car engine
from rhe mange sounds ir's making. Rolll'crceprion + Repair
(diffkulty 6).
You're rrying to make a m:uk out of n collection of trivial
Relic<. Roll Intelligence +Crafts (diffoculty 6).
You're wanr to impress the He.reric priest with your
wenponmakingskill. Roll Manipulation+ Crafts (difliCIIIty 7).
How long can ynu rem31n motionlcs.'i in the bushes
rhe two guards char for hours 00 end? Roll Stamina+ Stealth
(diffoculty 7). Each success indicates the passing of iO min
You aucmpr ro follow the paper rrnil to rhe person who
gave the order to destroy your Ferrer. Rolllmelligcnce + Bu
reuucmcy (di((iculty 7).
Wouldn't you love to have that "Condemn" order lost
in the paper clut1 Possess a clerk and roll Manipularion + Bu
rcaucmcy (difficulty 6) w dow.
Can you find rhe clues the police miS<ed at the scene of
your death! Roll Perception+ Investigation (difficulty 8).
Where should you search for your killed Roll lntelli
gence + lnvestig-tion (difficulty 6).
While riding rhe electron highway, you get losr in the
lmcmet. Roll Perception + Computer (diffoculry 6) to figure
out where you arc.
You're trying to tell another wraith how to get what she
wants ITom a computer. Roll Manipulation + Computer (diffo
culty 7).
BncakmG into rhe compurer system takes a long time,
and you're off (a<igte you do it. Roll Stamina +
Computer (difficulty 6).
While adrift in the Tempesr, you disco,er a realm
you' ve never before seen. Roll Intelligence + Enigmas (diffo
culty 9). If you score three successes, you might be able to tell
whether it's dangerous to remain.
A Heretic comes to you and offers aid - if you care 10
listen to his sermon. Roll Stamina+ Enigmas (diffoculty 7) to
stay awake.
\'(/here's n good place co find a consort? Roll lntelli
gence + Streetwise (difftculty 6).
What lnguage is he speaking? R.olllntelligcnce + Lin
guisrics (difficulty 7).
Game Terms
bility: A Troit that describes what a char-
acter knows and has learned rather than
what she is. Examples ate Intimidation,
Firearms and Occult.
Action: An action is the pcrfonnancc
of a consciously willed physical, social or
mental activity. When a player announces
that his character is doing something, he is taking an action.
Advantages: This is a catch-all category that describes
the Arcanos, Backgrounds, Passions and Fetters of a charocter.
Arcanos: The mystical abilities of wraiths.
Attribute: A Trait that describes a character's inherent
aptitudes. Attributes are such things as Strength, Charisma
and Intelligence.
Botch: A disastrous failure, indicated by rolling more "l's"
than successes on the 10-sided dice rolled for an action.
Character: Each player creates a character, an individual
she roleplays over the course of the chronicle. Though "char-
acter" could imply any individual, in Wraith, it is always used
to describe the players' characters.
Corpus: This Trait measures the degree to which a char-
acter is wounded or injured.
Dice Pool: This describes the dice you have ill your halld
after combining your different Traits. It is the maximum num-
ber of dice you can roll in one tttrn, although you can divide
these dice betweell (or even among) different actions.
Difficulty: This is a number from 2 to 10 measuring the
difficulty of an action a character takes. The player needs to
roll that number or higher on at least one of the dice rolled.
Downtime: The time spent between scenes when no r o l e ~
playing is done and rurns are not used. Actions might be raken,
and the Storyteller might give some descriptions, but gener-
ally time passes quickly.
Ext.endcd Action: An action that requires a certain num-
ber of successes for the charocter to succeed.
Pathos: The raw power of emotion use-d by wraiths to per-
form Arc.;mos.
Points: The temporary scoresofTraits, such as Willpower,
Pathos and Corpus- the squares, not the circles.
Rating: A number describing the pcnmmcnt value of a
Trait; usually a number from 1 to 5, though sometimes anum-
ber from I to I 0.
Refresh: \Vhcn points are regained in a Dice Pool, it is
said that they are being "refreshed." The number of' points re-
gained is the "refresh rate."
Resisted Action: An action that two different characters
take against each ocher. Both compare their number of suc-
cesse,s; the character with the most wins.
Scene: A single episode of the story; a time when and
place where actions a.nd events rake place moment by mo-
ment. A scene is often a dramatic high point of the story.
Shroud: The difficulty to pcrfonn some Arcanos in a given
area of the Shadowlands; this begins at a base of l 0 during the
day and 9 at night. Various factors (Fetters, Warding, etc.) can
modify a Shroud score.
Simple Action: An action that requires che player to score
only one success to succeed, though more successes indicate a
better job or result.
Storyteller: The person who creates and guides a Wraith
story. The Storyteller assumes the roles of all the characters
not run by the players and detcnnines all the events beyond
the control of the players.
System: A specific set of complications used in a cenain
situation; rules to help guide the rolling of dice to create dnl-
matic action.
Trait: A Trait is any Attribute, Ability, Advantage or other
character index that can be described as a number (in terms of
Troupe: The group of players, including the Storyteller,
who play Wraith - u.sually on a regular basis.
Willpower: One of the most important Traits is Willpower.
It measures the self-confidence and internal control of a char-
acter. Willpower works differently from most Traits - it is of-
ten spent rthcr tll>m rolled.
Teddy '"'" 'niffing glue-he wru I 2 years old
Fell from rhe roof on Easr Tt(I(>-Nine
Karhy was II she pulled r.he plug
On 26 red. and n boule of-wine
Bobby gor. leukemia - 14 years old
He looked like 65 wlten he died - he was a friend of mine
Thnsc were t><ol>le who died - died .. .
They tuere all my friends - and rhey died ...
- Jim Carroll Band, "People Who Died"
cforc you can hegin ro Wraith. you
must create a character. Wraith, however,
is no[ like makcbclicvc; you don't just
make ur 3 as you go along
(though the Storyteller is regularly faced
with that challenge). A certain amount of
work is involved - are built.
not born. Building a compelling yet honest character is acre-
ative struggle.
This ch:lp[cr describes how ro crcarc :-1 llllif(IIC char:Jctcr,
bcgi,ning with a gcncrttl concept and this concept
into numbers lhar can be used in Lhc ganlc. This process is
very simple; players can easil y figure ir our for rhcmselves.
However, the Storyteller should haven good grasp of the pro-
cess in ordcl' 0 answer the pla\crs' qucsl.iO&lS accunucl\' and
The numbers on the chnroccer sheet not seem pn.r ..
ricularly cvocntivc. lr is hnrd to i1naginc n novelist describing
:t character by s;:&ying, she has a Charisma of 4." However,
these mnke it simple to describe the :;rrcngrhs and weak ..
nesscs of a charncter. More importantly, these numbers nllow
the random factor created by dice to be employed in relation
to the character's Tmirs. A strong wraith h;1s a bcrrcr chance
to snap her manacles than a weak wraith d<l<!s.
Character creation usually follows a pattern fron> the gen-
crtll co the .specific. First, you develop a general concept of
who and what your character is- is she more socially or men-
rally developcd'Then, you get specifi c by selecting the ratings
of your Traits-how effective arc your Charisma,
tion nnd Appearance? Do not "'se this process to cre-ate the
"best" possible character; that defeats the purpose of making
up a genuinely interesting individual. These numhcn; arc
tended w enh:mce roleplaying, not to open :m to so1nc
mythical character Hall of Fame.
Character creation is a lot like cooking: you've gm ro
gather the ingredients, stir them together, then let the
mixture bake for a few hours. You start by deciding what kind
o( you want. Arc you going to play a
punk or rich somewhat spoiled Arc you n
precocious child prodigy, or did the secrets of life reveal them-
selves somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains? The back
ground and personality of your chrua<rer arc the """nrial in
gredients of h,. persona. From your basic concepts, you can
1hcn srarr to work out the details, such as Attributes nnd Ad
ou need to be aware of five conccp!S be
fore you begin ro create }>Our characrer:
You can create n characrer of nearly
any age from any culture or nation; how ..
cvc.r, you begin the game as a relatively in
experienced and unsophisticated wraith
who has only recently died. Your charac
tcr probably knows relatively little about wraith society unless
she was instructed by a Mentor or a Reaper, the wraith who
discovered and Initiated her.
This character creation process was designed ns much
to help you define your character as it was to provide you with
a mc-ns of interacting with the ruiCll. The proces5 of crL'llting
a choracrer is meant to help you more accurately focus the
concept of your character. Remember thai a character cannot
exist only as numbers; your roleplaying must shape alld define
nn "Iter ego.
This charncrer creation system is a purchase synem wirh
absolurely no dice rolling involved. By choosing Traits from a
variety of lim, you decide who your chnracrer is. You will rC
ccive extra points calle-d "freebies" at the end of the process,
which you can rhen liSe to add do!S to any Trait, so do not
as:onite over nil your choices. Nonetheless, even with freebie
points, you probably cannot buy evetythlng you want.
Most are rated numerically from 1 ro 5. This sys
tem is similar ro the "star'' system uSl.>d to rare movies, re:srau
rants and hotels. One dot in a Trait indicates poor or novice
ability in that Trair. Twodo!S indicate an avernge Trait, while
n rating of 5 indicates that you arc among the best in the world.
Traits arc based on an uvernge human range.
It is a good idea for your group to discuss rhe nature of
1hcir Circle before anyone creates charncrers (se<! The Circle,
below). It Is your responsibili ty to creare n character who be
longs in the group. The characters in 1hc Circle should be
bound togerher by more thnn happenstance. Although it is
to have a pair of chamcrer1 tied together by nothing more
thnn the sLrings of Fare. ir's more interesting to play ch:lmcters
who c:>ch other. Make sure your ch:> ractcr hns nt least
one feature In common with every one of her compatriots,
whether this feature be a Fetter, a Passion or an enemy. If 1our
character doc.<n'r flr in and disrupts the srory as a result, you
won't have as much fun, and your Storyteller may decide that
you have co a new chnrocter.
As the Sroryre ller, your role is ro guide the players through
the character gcncr cion process. After your player$ arrive for
the game session, you need to introduce rhem to the basic
premise of the game and dcsenbe the rules system. Your main
goal should be to make character creation as easy as possible.
Pass mot the character sheets and give the players a minute
to look them over and ask questions. Theil go thCOUj;h rhe
charactet creal ion process $!Cp by step, filling in all rhe dernils
of the charcters' Traits.
It is sometimes advisable to spend al\ entire game scS<inn
creating charac1crs. This ensures that the players don't fetl
rushed and that they rake the time to crcare real and provoca
tive characters, not paper-thin stooges. In fact, you may en
courage your playcors to come to the character generation ses-
sion with a firly developed idea of what kind of charocters
they'd like to play.
Once you are done with the practical you em spend
the r<-st of the session preludes for the characters. A
prelude is a form of abbreviated storytelling in which you tell
the story of a chardcter's mortal life and death. Preludes are
the players' introduction ro the chronicle as well as their char
actcrs, so make them memorable. Preludes are described 111 the
end of this chapter.
Step One: Concept
You beg it\ by basic collcept for your chnrac
rer. Only a vague iclea about rhe character's life is needed. As
the chronicle develops, you will flesh our your character by
roleplaying. You can create character from any culture or
natiOI\. In al\y case, you have been dead less than 30 yen I'$.
There arc three basic questions you must ask: who were
you in life, how did you die, and why can't you let go?
How did you live your life! Whar did you do? Pick some
one relatively mundane and normal, though farnot'-' tlead may
be acceptable if the Stotyteller allows. Here are some ideas:
Criminal - You were a jailbird, Mafioso, cat burglar,
drug dealer or petty thief.
Cop - You were a beat cop, dctccrive or maybe just a
Politician - You were n judge, n mayor, tt gr..tss .. roors
Olhrflnizer, :-t union off'icial, o senator or juSt a wannabe lnwyer.
Faithful - You may have been pious, but you didn'r
wind up where you expected.
Drifter - You were n hobo, a cow hoy, a thearer tech, a
pi lgrim, a hooker or sionply homeless.
YO\t lived in a stare of hedonis:ric exces.<C or
mind-numbing Opoltlly.
Cultist - As" member of a cult, you subsumed ro own
dtsirts to irs nds.
Punk - You wero born and died on the wrong side of
rhc rrnd::s.
Kid - You died long before your rime.
Artist - You behind your vision, your unfinishe<l
your UllJf.'l iiUi t uJJus. Wonder if anyonc'll ever
tice r
Professional Work wns your life; now you wonder
what missed.
Tahul:o Ras11 - A bhmk ; late. Perhaps you never lived
at a11 - or you h:.we fofl:Otten evel)'onc who ever
meant lO )!C.)O.
The manner in which you died is vital to d..cribing your
m dear h. How tiKI you die, and what was the cause?
When did it Why did it h3ppen? Here are some
Old Timugh you livcxl" full lifespan, you weren't
reody ro die.
Wnr - You died on the fields of "glory."
Ovcrdusc - The roml of JOur excess lead rodent h.
R:lndom Violence - You were in the wrong phtoc at
rhc wronsc lime:.
Suicide - Your cries for help fell on deaf ears.
Murder- You were prey for a dark predaror.
Disease - After much polin and suffering, )'0\1 SOC
cumbed ro your 1cnnimal illness.
Domestic Violence - You were a casualry of an age
old cycle of shame, hnte, polin and rage.
Car Wreck - It all happene-d so quickly ...
Mystery - You have no idea how it happened -or
perhaps you don't wnm to know ...
Freak of Nuturc- You were hit by 0 1' per ..
haps a ate you.

Why your char:crer renaciously dins m life, fi ercely
denying demh, even after the breath has lefr her borlj? Whar
did she leave behirld? What words were unspoken, what deeds
undone? In whnt Wltydid she ne\'cr trul)' live? What does she
r<grtr rhe w>y In wh1eh &le liVed? Here are some ide:u:
Destiny You never fulfilled your dtsriny.
Unrequite-d Love- He never looked rwice at you
well, hy God, he will now!
True Love You left someone behind whom you
mnn; than
Vengeance - Your last thoughts were, ul'm to
gcr yn11 bock, you bastord!"
Mission - You h:od a dury ro prrfonn, and faile-d to
do it.
Theory - You never proved ynur theory or published
\'Our ideas- and maybe someone will Slealthcm!
Success- You had everything -and now u's all gone.
Children - You didn't k-avc :mrone behind to remem
her you.
Legacy- You didn't lenvc- anythil)g o(lmiting value co
t he wmld.
Failure -lmlecision, dostrust, low self-esteem: call ir
what l"" Mil, bm rou failed.
Pleasure - Life was a banqucr, and you oatmeal.
Travel - You never rook t h::lt nip ro Brazil 0 1' lhc Scot ..
tish HiJ(hl:mck
Sin- The chair\S of guilt >till weigh heavily on rour
Bad Blood - You never made peace with ynur son be
(ore you died - nnd now it's l OO hu c. Or is itl
Nature and Demeanor
Now you need ro choose pcr><m:tliry Archetypes thot de
scribe both the imcmal narurc :m<l external attitude of your
Your char(l<:ter's Nature is the most domin:mt aspect of
her true personality. The Archerypr rou choose for your
N:nurc describes the chMacter's moSt deep-rout<-d
fcelin).. >S and beliefs :ohout herself and the world: it :olso pro
rhe means by which she regains Willpower.
Ch00$ing a Nature helps you dcscrrbe who your character re
all) is on the inside.
You should also choose a Dcmc:mor co describe the per-
your chnroctcr pretends ro possess. This is the role she
ploys to the world, the she presents to it. The Demeanor
ohmtld probably, though not necessarily, differ from the Ar
chetyp< you have alr'"tdy cha.en as the .:hamcter's Nature.
Whmevcr you choo.<e is only the character's typic:tl pnsc; people change Dcmennor ns quickly us 1hcy change mood. You
chnnge your chflr;tctcr's Demeanor at any time, allowing
her to odapt to different people and different situ:urons. De
mc:mor has no procticnl effect on the rules, bur It .strves as a
useful guide for rolcpl:rying.
Some examples of p<!rsonality Atchetyp;:s arc li<red be
Step Two: Cnoosing Attributes
A chomctcr's Amibutcs arc parr of his intrinsic makeup.
Although the chunrctcr no longer has a li\ing body, he srill
lm> a form in the afterlife. This form, or Corpus, firs the
characrcr's sclf-imar;e nnd retrtii)S II)Hl\\
of his traits from life.
Atuih-utes still ruuwtr <1ucstiun! such as: How (asc arc his rc
flexes! How uuracu\'e is hel How long docs it t:tkc him ro
unt.lcn;rand new
First, you mu:.t 1>rioriLi:c 1 he c hrce categories of Attribute!.
- Physical. Mental and Social. Choose in which of these cal
cJ.torics ynur ch:mtcrer is good (primary), in which he is av('r ..
(secondary), ond in which cmccory he is poor (tertiMy). Is
your character more physical than social - is he more brawny
than gregarious?
Physical Attributes - The Physical Attributes describe
how stro11g, nimble and sturdy your character is. They are the
primary Attributes of an actionoriented character - the
Physical Attributes concem the strengths and weaknesses of
d1e body. Strength measure:; a character's lifring power and
how much damage she ca.n inflict in basic handtohand com
bat. Dexterity rates a wmith's speed and agilicy. Stamina
sures a character's constitution and resilience.
Social Attributes- Your character's Social Attributes
measure her ability to relate to, motivate, and manipulate oth
ers. Charisma indicates personal lmlgnetism ;;1nd chann. Ma-
nipuhuion measures a charocrer's co ralk her way into
and out of situations. Appearance describes how the character
looks and carries herself.
Mental Attributes -These Traits represent your
chMacter's thought capacity, and include such things as
memory, perception, learning potential, and the ability ro think
quickly. Perception describes the wraith's observation skills.
Intelligence represents memory, reasoning and leaming poten
rial. Wits mCiiSures a character's reaction time and ability ro
think on her feet.
Your character concept may help suggest Attribute priori
ties, but feel free to pick any scheme you please. For now, your
character conception should be very general -paint a broad,
sweeping outline instead of concentrating on little details.
All characters start with one dot in each Attribute. Your
priority selection determines how many docs you get to spend
in each category. You may divide seven dots among your
character's primary Attributes, five dots among her S<.'<:ondary
Actributt .. 'S, and three among her tertiary Arrribures. Thus, you
may choose to add seven dots ro your wraith's Physical At
t ributes, five to her Mental Attributes, and only t hree docs to
her Social Attributes. You may divide rhe dots among t he in
dividual Attributes as you sec fi t-you could assign all three
of your Social Attribute dots to Charisma, one dot to each of
t he three Social Attributes, or two dors to one and one dot to
Lacer in the character creation process, it will be possible
to increase some of these mtings, so don't worry coo mt1ch about
your choices. Let your intuition guide you.
Note: The space after each Attribute (and Ability) is for
you to fill in a spccialt)
, a subcntcgory of the Trait in which
the character excels. Specialties are fully explained in the
Chapter Six; for now, concentrate on choosing your ratings.

Step fnree: Cnoosing Anilities
Abilities delineate what your knows rather than
whm he is; they describe the things he has lcurncd rnther than
the thinxs he can natural ly do. All Tnlcnt$, Skills and
Knowlcdgcs arc Abilities.
E-1eh Ability you character is nssigned a rating
representinx Lite characrer's apritude in hat panicular are:J.
ll>c number i.< used to determine how many doc. you roll when
your char:>Ctet attempts to w;c an Ability.
Abilities arc divided into throe different cate-gories: Tal
crus, Skills and Knowledges. Each type of Abollty has different
dc:i<:ribc inmitive Abilities. Talents do not need to
be pr.octiCl"<I/Jer :and cannot be studied or learned from a book;
rhcy nrc rn0<1t often gained through direct experience. Is your char
tlctcr she possess n lor of common :tcnsd
Skills are Abilities learned through ri&or<>us training of
nny .<nrr. This category includes any ability that must be learned
step by seep through acrul practice, but can be taught or stud
led (unlike Talents). Is your character gcxxl ar learni ng things
frmn daily (or nighdy) practice?
Know ledges include all the abilities requiring the ri&<>r
ous n1>plicution of the mind. These Abilities are
learned throul(h school, classe$, books and reachers, but can
also be picked up through experience. I. your character edu
catedi does he have a good memory?
You prioritize thc.<e Abilities just like you prioritized the
Auributcs. You decide how co rank )'our Talents, Skills and
Knowlcdgcs, choosing in which category your character will
be above average (primary), in whoch she will be average (sec
ondary), and in which she will be below average (tcniaf)).
You gcr 13 dnts to spend on )'Our chamcter:< prima'l' cat
cgof), nine for the secondary cnt<'{,"'Y and only lhe dors for
the tertiary category.
However, rhere: i5 one 3dditional n;suicaion: roo cannot
give your character more thnn three docs in an)' one Ability
(later, however, you c:m usc your "freebie" pointS to gam four
or even five dor.< in an Ability).
Step four: Advantages
You do nor prioritize or rank the different categories of
Advantages. You instead have :o designated number of dots to
assign within <'llch one. n,ough this number is fixe-d, )'0" can
purchase additional doll$larer with "freebie" poinrs.
Characters may choose their Arcanos - the special se-
eMs and powers of the Restless. A character begins with fi ve
dors in Area nos, but she may purchase more Arcanos with free-
bie pointS. A beginning character cannot have more than three
dots in any one Arcanos.
Every character gets seven docs to allocate among Back ..
ground You have only seven dots to allot and your Sto-
ryteller may restrict access to certain Backgrounds. Your Back-
ground Traits should be compatible with your character con-
Wraiths are creatures of passion, and as such, they need
rensons to exist beyond death. Each Passion consists of a con
cise sratcm.cnt of a goal (i.e., protect my daughter, avenge my
death, ere.), followed in parentheses by the emotion that cor-
responds to it (Love, Anger, etc.).
Each character has 10 points to assign to Passions. After
you have chosen and listed all of your Passions, assign a rating
from I to 5 in each Passion, thereby delineating how strong
the Passion is ro you. Di(ficult or general Passions ("Help oth-
ers find faith," hope <0 my children") should have higher
ratings than simple tasks ("Recover my body," "Protect my
mocorqdc ").
Passion ratings may not exceed 5. For more information,
see Pathos and Passions on pp. 136-13 7.
Ferrers are the people, places and things that tie you to
the real world. They are your strongest connections to your
mortal life, and they bind you to the Shadowlands until you
are able ro resolve them. Fetters represent the people, places
and things with which (or with whom) you have "unfi nished
business." Fetters arc listed in the same manner as Passions.
Unlike Passions, however, Fetters are tangible, material ob-
Each Fetter also receives a rating from I to 5. This rating
is based on the importance of rhe Fener or its COilOOt<ttion.
Some Fetters may be mysterious- why is that locked room in
rhe sub-basement of the IBM Tower so important to you!
Fetters ;md Passions can be related, though they do not
have to be. For example, you might have a "gold engagement
ring: 2" as one of your Fetters, and a Passion co
Avcngc the
demhs of my girlfriend and myself (Revenge): 4."
Fetter ratings may not exceed 5.
Step five: finishing Touches
Often, thoe most Important stage of character creation is
applying the last touches- the little details and flourishes
that complete the chan1ctcr. ln rhissccp, you gain your 15 "free
bie" points, enabling you to add more dots to any of the Traits
on the character sheet. Before you spend these points, how
ever, you must rcc<ml the base scores for your character's Pa ..
thos and Willpower.
rat nos
The Pathos rating mensure the pool of energy generated
by Passions and used by wraiths to perform Arcanos.
Pathos 5 plus t he number of dots t he wr.tith possesses in
the Memoriam &ckground. You can add additional points to
your starting total by spending freebie pointS. The Pathos Pool
cannot exceed I 0 points.
The Willpower Tmit rates how much self-control a
has, including the degree to which she can resist and control
her Shadow. Willpower is essential for controlling the actions
o( your character, especially in cimt.-s of stress.
A wr:>lth's \'<lillpowe.r ratingstaruat 5 andean he incre:>sed
with freebie poinl:..
You can spcrnl freebie poinlll ro mise :>ny T mit on )'OUr
character sh<'<!t. Exrm dou cost different amounts depcrnlin1:
on rhe Tmit in question (see the chart below). Freebie point
expenditure mny I'Ri:.c an Ability over 3, bll( may not raise any
Trait over 5.
Freebie point< may also he used tO subtmct Shadow poims
from the Storyteller, thereby reducin1: the overall power of the
character's Shudnw (see Chapter Seven: The Shadow) un u
one-for-one basis. The Sroryteller designs the aspect
o( your ch;,r..cter: spending freebie points :1" your Shr1dow
is a sign to the Storyteller tlmt you would like him to hold
b.1ck on urticulucing your character's dtuk side. You con also
gain up ro seven extm freebie points by allowing the Story-
teller to also use those points when cre:>ting your Shadow.
All starting wraiths have 15 frccboe poonr:s. You can spend
them acconlint: ro rhc following
SparK of life
There ure some other derails of a character you should
consider. The following details will help to m:oke your
rera complete nnd unique person. You do nO< nccesoarily need
to write thC>C things down, but you should certainly think about
rhem, not only now. bur throughouLihc career of your
rer. If yott ore runninu )eour char:-tctcr through a prelude, wnit
until yuu arc dune before attempthlg to complete this uspcct
of ynur
Wmiths tend to assume a CufJ>u> 1 har in some \V:>Y re-
flects their sclfimagc. For example., a wmlth may appear as
she did ut the IIIC>mcnt of her death, or In the prime of her life,
or at the thnc she $u(fcrcd mosc Some wrairhs their
knowledge of Arc:111us to shape their boclics Into monstrou> or
bcmifi c fom1> (thus playing the "devil" or "angel")- buttlus
ofren serves to empower the Shndow. Yuu should tum the
rele,,.nr Tmitsof I'Ourchamcrcr -such as rhe Social Attributes
and concepr - inro asp..-c" of appearance. High
can become a clear, piercing ga:e. A Dilettante co!lcept could
uarulate imo stylish o.nd experuive clothes. In rhis way, \'OU
an make your chantctcr's Tmits more tangible and
ing. It's better roleplaying to "'Y "There alw-ays seems to be a
sneer of disdflin on my fnce," than tos;>y, "You can relll'm very

You m;:ty wish Lo give your character specir.hies in her
Traits. E.1ch Troit wlrh a raring of 4 or higher can be given o
specialty. Though most players select spedalries fonheir Tmillo
during pby, ynu can pick them immediately. Specialties orr
pnrticular aspects ofTmiu ar which your character is especially
good. Simply loll in the space next to the Trair wirh an appro-
pri:tte spec:1alryi al'e made with ea<h T rair In
ter Six. Though primarol) used for roleplaying, specialties can
lower the difficulties of dice rolls to perform cenain fear>.

By givillll your character quirks, inreresrong pcrson:ol de
mils and anecdmc-s, you call add a great deal of deprh and In
reresr ro him. Wrire :1 few sentences on Lhc back of your
actersheetdescribing the mange and possibly inreresting thinJ:S
rim define your chtlr>lctcr. A quirk could twisted scn<c n(
humor, a gcndencs!l toward animals, or a habit of gn.mting when
answering yes ro a question.
Tne Circle
Before anything else can begin, C\'cl')one must agree on a
concept for the Circle and n for rhe chronicle. While in
many ca5C$ rhe Storyteller will have prepared a oockground
setting with a niche ready for rhe characters to fill. the players
nl't.-c.l to be nware o( ond interested in the inro which
their chorncrc" will be thru;t.
Fxample of dmmcter Creation
cg is going to create a Wraith char:oerer.
Using the outline, Meg begins the process
that will turn her idea into a fuii-OedRed
Step One: Concept
First, she must come up with a character concepf. Mec
1'-:lnts ro play a female ch:orM:ter, ><>she uses that decision to
limit her concept choices. She rejecr.; srereorypic:ol female
ch:uacrcr": a prostitute, u housewife, an executive. She w:mrll
rhLI'l ,,.ll,h!!ht,t,lih "'''I\
, ..... ,\t,l \1\ l l'lli!oll >l l,tol\tl'''l
._,j, , /,,\\,hHI<'<r 'lhf.lll':l 11\ ,J.. I I ' k,l llj
to piny someone \'ery differenr from herself, someone who can
say the things she normally can't- someone who can >p..'llk
om. Meg chooses a street poet concept. I Ier character lives on
the street, often homeless, bur she has :m inner fire that in
spires poems about the things rhar affect her life. She
wants ro conrmsr this character's alley-cat beginnings with a
high .. clns.s nnme; Cassandra cnmcs m mind.
Meg ponders for a moment abour Cas,.,ndn:'s Nature and
Demeanor. These two Traits will help her nail down Ca5S<lndrn\;
personality more easily. The Namre is Cas>11ndm's deep-rooted
psyche, the part of her rhat affects all her ami ae
tions. Meg decides that Cassandra is a Visionary: she sees be
yond rhe clry screets and rhe conuprion around her to some
thi"8 greater for herself and her fumily. To rhe world, Cassandra
proJecll a Rebel Demeanor. She pots on a big show
of rebellion; deep iruide, however the revolution she to
lead is one of the soul. She developed the Rebel Dem<'llnOr in
order ro sray alive in her tough neighborhood.
Step Two: Attrinutes
Now Meg must choose Cassandra's Attributes. She pri
ol'itizcs her cnrcgories in the following
Soci:ol is Cassandra's primary category, bec.1use her expe
rience as a srreer poet has given her the interpersonal skills to
ger her poinr across.
Phrsical is Cassandra's second I'\' bc"C"ause, well,
u's tough growing up as the only girl in a family full of bo1s.
The srreet is berrer than any fitness spa.
Mental is Ca=ndra's rerriary car<-gory, be-cause the edu-
cation in her area is lousy, and she b so ofu:n lost in
poetic reverie thar she fils to notice impending danger.
Dividing Cassandra's seven Social pnin .. , Meg assigns her
a 4 Charisma (three points plus the one point free for each
Attribute), a 3 Manipularion, and a 3 Appearance (all of these
nrc necessary (or her to get people's Hncmion
create poems
chat will affect people, and dmw people Into her vision).
Two of Cassandra's five Physical points are spent on
Strength, giving her respectable of 3. She spends
one point on Dexterity and two on Srnmin.,, her a Dcxp
reriry of 2 ond a Stamina of 3.
Finally, two of C1SS<lndra's rhree Menrl points are spent
em Wit>, and the last is allotted to (Meg feels
C5S<lndr:l would have more sense than smarts). She \\'On'ie$
nbout the one poinr in Perceprion, bur plans on doillg some-
thing ubout that delociency when she spend< freebie points (S<.'C
Step Tnree: Abilities
Next, M(.-g has to prioritize and pick Cassandr-' Abili
tics. She decides Cl$$.1ndra relies primarily on her Innate Tal
enrs co survive on the street (this becomes her primary Ability
catCAOt'y). Skills arc also important to meet poets (especially
l'erfnrmance, because Cassandm i> a performer :u well as a
writer), so that is her K'Condary cueorv- Cassandra's educa
tion has be-en 'l"'mdic and spotty, so Knowledge Abiliries be
come her cMegory.
Meg has 13 points to spend on Talents. She Immediately
spends rwo point on Alertness (good for spottit'8 p<.'lple who
arc following you, or for noticing when someone is paying at
tent ion to you). She spends a poinr on Dodge (always good to
have) nnd two poinro of Brawl (a couple of years llgluing \'Our
brutheNJ will reach you nt least tluu much). O.ssnndra needs
co know how people feel, so Meg spends two points on Empa-
thy. Street poclll obvtnusly need to have something to say and
the abiliry to S<l\' It well, so Meg spends three point& on Ex
pression. Finally, Meg puts two points in Cassandra's Streetwise
(cnsy to explain wlrh her street background) and one point in
Subrerfuge, to demonstrate Cassandm's understanding of how
to mnnipulate languns:c.
has mne points to spend on Skills. She gives
ratings of 2 in Meditation (she's gor tO some
w:y of keeping her peace in a violent world ... pethops she
prays or just walk to meditate), 2 In leadership (she used to
boss her brothers around), I in Firearms (she learned how to
shoot a gun from her brothel'li), and I in Stealth (her time on
the street has tmtghr her the necessity of discretion). She fin
ishes off this sccrion by taking ill'erfurmance rating of 3. be
cause she wants to be entertaining while she screams her po-
etry at pc'Oplc.
Finally, Meg represent& her haphazard, mOStly library
gained education by >preading our her five poinrs among l'oli
rics. Computer,, Linguistics and Occult.
Step four: Advantages
Now Meg move$ Into wmithly matters. She muse pick from
" l:trge number of Backgrounds, :mel <he only has seven points
to spend. MCA due>n't wanr ro play unrelentingly dark char
actcr: she's inrcreSted in playing a "vigilante" kind o( wraith
who take. care of the people whn were important to her in
life. Accordingly, >he 1>icks nvo poinrsofEidolon imn>t-diatcly;
she wmm to be :tble ro dispel her Shadow if she needs to pro
rcct someone. Meg figures that"""'' of ClSSJndra's neighbor
hood remember> her: her poems are written on City walls all
over 1hc place, ;md every timt somcorle looks at one, she gets
mclrc Memoriom. Thus. she gives a Memoriam rot ..
inn of 2. Meg decides that C:tssandm kept her fnvorire pair uf
rollcrbladcscvcn heyond the grave. so she lists Relic. I on her
sheet. Meg also decides rhat, of the rhree factions in Writh,
she like-s the best, so she Mives Cassandm one dot in
the Renegade Background. TI1isdocsn't mean Renegade
herself: she just knows a few. Finally, for one poim, she pur
chases the Haunt Background. Cassandra's Haunt is Cafe In
fcrno, a trendy coffee shop in Adanra.
Now, Meg tums ro Passions. She has 10 poina to >pend:
this is where &he can really say lot about her ch:m><:rer. Meg
mkes a moment to think about her characrer. are
Important to her? Whar rhings drive htr! The flrsr thing thur
pops into Meu's head is that Cassandra left behind a Inver when
she died: Cynthia. This forms her firsr Passion: to proteCt
Cynthia. Simple cn<JUgh ... and Love is a perfect focus for the
Passion. Because this Is the major drive for her charncrer right
now, she assigns three points to it. Meg a.sks David. the Story
teller, whether this is okay, noting rhar chis Passion has as i"
focus the prorectlon of one of her Fetters. David decides chat
it's okay, bur suggests that she purchase some non-Fetterre
Ia ted ooes next. So, Meg dectdes that Cassandra was kilk-d by
a gang of thugs who rook issue with something >he said or wrote.
This forms her next Passion: "Get back at the gang," which is
nssociated with Revenge. She rates ir m 2. spendin.i(two more
Passion poinrs. She decides tO invest two puinrs in a Passion
to keep writing and creuir'8; the emotion is Pride in
her work. Meg also decidu rhor some sleazy publisher took
pictures of her groffitipoems nnd compiled them imo a book
thnt hit the bestseller list. She decides to write down a Passion
of "Ruin the publisher who cole my work," with a focus of
Hare and a raring of 2. Finally, with one point left, Meg ;><\ds a
llnle bit of humanity to her ch:uacrer by having one of her
Passions be "Get back her favorite pen.'' an easily accomplished
Passion with a focus of Envy.
Next, Meg has to choose Arcanos. There are :so many ...
but Meg decides rhar Cassandra wouldn't obsess on just one.
Her "look it up yottrself' menrolity would prompr her to le:1m
a li ttle bit about o lot of Arcanos. So, she divides her fi ve
Arcanos points unong Argos, Puppetry, Phanrosrn, Lifcweb
and Embody. Even though she spreads out her Area nos points
in this fashion, it shouldn't weaken C:wandro o"ermuch: a
broad base of knowledge can be a good thi ng in rhc
Shadow lands.
Meg must now choose Cnssundm's FerreNJ: the <hings that
bind her to the living world. She has IOpoinrsrospend.Dvid
warns her not to make her too cough. First Meg chooo<s
rhc Madntosh computer in her c.ommuniry center, .something
chat could be destroyed rarher easily. This is the tool on which
Citssandm composed much of her poetry. She assigns ir a r.c
Inc of 2. Next, there's Piedmont Park, a big enough (and per
manent enough) Fetter, rated I. (She used l O love to
rollerbladc there ... but she was also attacked there once, and
she did fall in love with Cynth in there .. . ) She asks D:!vid if
she can make Cnfc Inferno a Fetter, sinu It is hec Haunt "'
well. l>vid :tgrees, because he's nlteady decide-d th:u rhe Circle
will be centered around Cafe Inferno. Meg spends four points
on char Fener, giving her a considerable advantage using
Arcanos there. Finally, she makes her mortal girlfriend Cynthia
a Fener, rated at 3.
Now Meg muse assib'll her Willpower and Pathos scores:
easy enough. Cassandm, as a wraih, scans with a Willpower
raring of 5. lkcause of her Memoriam, she starts with a tom!
Pathos racing of 7.
~ t e p 5: finishing Touches
Finally, Meg gets co spend Cassandra's 15 "freebie" points.
Meg decides Cassandra should be a bit more perceptive chan
she is, so she spends five freebie points to raise Cassandra's
Perception ro 2. She wanes to excel in Expressi<ln, so she spends
two more points co raise it to 4. Meg also spends rwo freebie
points to raise Cassandra's Alertness rating.
Meg wants an ocher Memoriam dot, s<> she spends another
freebie point co get it. David says chat Cassandra can't have
rolkrbladcs unless she spends another freebie point on the Relic
Background. Finally, Meg blows rhe last 4 points on Willpower:
Cassandra's going ro need it. Thus, Cassandra's total Willpower
is 7.
While chis officially ends the character generation pro
cess, Meg decides to flesh our Cassandra a little more. She
writes a brief paragraph describing her (at Appearance 3 she's
pretty, but not exceptional), writes a little about Cafe Inferno,
and describes the relics that Cassandra possesses (perhap.s de-.
ciding that the rollerblades arc not as useful as, say, a flashlight
and a cigarette lighter).
Meg decides to go ahead and assign Cassandra's special
ties: she lists the specialty of Charisma as "guts" and the spe
cialty of her Expression as "street poetry."
Meg decides chat Cao;sandra has, as a quirk, the habit of
pointing at people to whom she is speaking. Additionally, her
very expressive narure means she gestures a lot when she talks.
And there it is: a completed character. Now David will
take Meg and Cassandra through a prelude to flesh out Meg's
ide-Js about her character.
jhe prelude
Now you are ready to play your character, even though
she is not complete. The prelude is the name for this first ses-
sion. In the prelude, the character's last hours of life are reen
acted, and her journey into death begins.
The prelude is essential to the development of a Wraith
character. Once the player and Storyteller have roughly
sketched out who and what the character is, they roleplay the
journey from life into death, including the character's initial
experiences in the afterlife.
The may wish to sketch out the charncttr's life In
only the broadest nrokcs, playmg our and derniling parrkular
moment> but dacrihing litrle of the context in which they for.
Remember. too, thnt n wrnith is '
rcborn" into 1he nnd
typically rememlx:rS lit tle of her pasr life. Details about a
chnmctcr's past may thus be discove red throughout rhe
If it is difficult fur u player and Sroryreller to run n pre
ludc,thcn they should simply rolk about relation:.hipoo und Fer
rcrs, and discuss the chnrocrcr's life and dear h.
The prelude begins with the death scene. If a Storyteller
wants, a few rninutcs ur hours of life before the chnrnctcr's
immincn[ demise m::ty be pltt}'Cd out, bu( very liulc inform:1
rion should be given to the player. Some pl,.ycrs may not even
rcn.lize how thdr chnrnccers die.
Then ir ends. The is dead. Most Storytcllcn wrll
wanr to give players n scr\SC of rhc sudden shock of the
death blow, the helplessness, rhe cold, the slow cessation of
bodily pmcasa, the brnin cells expiring, one by one, for llve
minutes after the body has passed the poinr of no rerum.
Some wraiths-to-be then undergo out-ofbody expericnc,.,;.
The Sroryreller may let a player view his corpse and Lire people
it. Sometimes, lhc new wrdich may wake lll>' nt his
own funeral, perhaps st.:cing hi!! (riends r!!lntives il'
Some wrairhscxperiencc n "tunnel ofliglu," while mhcrs
go directly to the Underworld with liule pomp and circum
During this time the Sroryteller may have the chnractcr
relive cvenrs from his life. TI1esc scenes should be quock ond
nebulous: (orexamplc,n memory of spending rime whh olovcr,
but no recollection of name or what became of him.
These "snapshot'' scenes hnvc two purposc!i. First, rhc)' lcr
the Storyteller a11d player feel out the character and her rene
tio11s to certain evcnu. Second, they give the Storyteller an
op;xntuniry 10 plant seeds that she can harvest for later
storylines or subplots in her chronicle.
Questions ano Answers
Dcscrib.-.d below urc some qucsrions that should be Oil
swcrcd by the end nf the prelude. If there is no time fur n full
prelude, you should nt lct1St make un effort to :mswcr rhcse
questions. It often hdps tu wrirc our the evcal if you
have underxonc the full prelude.
Wirh e.1ch question we list what sorl> of thmgs rhc pln)'et
should ask himself. as well:" some advice to the Stotyteller on
how to run the prelude rn relotionship to the question.
How old were you when you died?
Were you in the prime of life, a child, or very old' This
can dctcnnine your in the Shadowlands.
What was your family life like?
In the World of many families are not the
healthiest of institutions. Were you wounded by your family?
Did )'OU wound rhcm? Were rhey supportive, caring and lov
ing? llow many brothers and sisters (and stepbrothers and step
liSters) did you have! Did your parents divorce! Did you have
a $tepmother or stepfather? Were you an orphan 1
What was the most shameful thing you've ever done!
This could be as innocent os stealing a candy bar (not
likely) or as terrible as murder. Think about this one long and
hard: it will shape the way your Shadow ope111tcs.
What was the best thing you've ever done!
Even Hirler painted roses. Even if you were a psychopath
who brutally killed many before your demise in the electric
chair, what good thing, what single moment of humaniry did
exhibit! If you were not so awful, what feat wos your shin
ing moment? Did you save a homelc .. shelter from being closed!
Represent someone pro bono for her divorce our of an. abusive
marriage? Give your last dollar to a starving child!
What places were important to you in life?
Even aside from your Fettel'$, this can tell you a lot about
your character. Was there a favorite hangout as a teenager!
Did you build n treehouse as a child? Did you love to go to a
spe-c ilk movie cheater? Was a particular restaurant your favor
itel Did you love a particular park? All of these things can
lhape your character's development and provide sources for
How did you die?
Okay, so you've chosen your death ... but how did you die!
Explain in detail ... or are younill unaware of how you died!
Wa there a funeral! Were you burled or cremated? What was
placed in the coffin with you? Where are your ashes now?\Vho
mourned you? Who didn't! Did your lovL-d ones carry your
memory around like a stone around their neck, or did they
quickly forger you?
How long have you been dead?
How many years! Who remembers you (if anyone docs)?
Hnve you lo.<r any Fetters to the ravages of time or vindictive
wraiths? How well do you know the local Necropolis? Do you
know the political lay of the lond? Do you hold seniority over
anyone in your area?
How did you meet rhe r .. t of your Circle?
Were you brought together by a Re<>per, or dod you just
meet by a quirk of fare! lr is important co determine how you
rdatc to the oest of your Circle. What do they think of you I
What are your jobs and perks in the Circle?
What w .. your first run-in witb otber Underworld
dwellers like?
Did you run into a horde of rnvening spectres? Were you
the target of a slaver? Did" Hcoetic anempt to coowtrt you?
You should rake Into accounr your Hierarchy, Heretic or Ren
egade Background when answering this question.
What do you do for fun?
This is very important: death is depres.<'s nice to get
our and have some fun from time to time. Do you skinddc
people while they make love? Do you watch TVs that are left
on in department stores, relying on your un<-arthly senses to
hsten through the glass! Do you play tricks on mortals, nmk
lng them do silly rhings? Do you usc your Phantasm to tell
stories to mher wrnithsr Do you amuse yourself by steali ng
sock from laundromats or dice from roleplaying games (damn,
)"OU sriU don't have a life, do roo)! Do you enjoy making seri
ous people laugh and funny (li'Ople serious? h'> important to
lighten the mood or a Wraith story from time ro time, and rhis
is ont way co do ir.
Where Is your favorlre Haunt?
This is some place affiliated with you or )"Ollr Circle. You
hang out there. Srories can sr:ortthere. It should be interes<ing
enough to gener:ue a few swry ideas, but not so importanr th:u
you ca11'1 venture beyond lr.
Where docs your Circle meet?
Does your group have a penchant for dangling off of sky
scrapers, or meeting on the trncks of a subway (just don't touch
the third mil)? Do you like to meet In the moyor' office after
hours, or in a b.1ck alley somcpluce! After all , the world Is your
playground: you c.on meet anywhere. \Vhcrc will you go!
What motivates your
What drives your chantctcr, makes her laugh, makes her
cry, makes her angry, makes her desire, makes Iocr afraid? What
gives her hope? In what does she believe? Once you know these
things about your charnctcr, you can begin to structure her
( I I
Whnr a piece of work is man!
- William Shakespeare, Hamle1
~ ~ W n Wraith, TrJil$ arc the of a charnc
rer-they de!cribe, conjure and delineate
who and what a character really is. They
enable you tu detail your character's
strengths and weaknesses, allow you to
translate the chnrocter Into game reality by
usi1'1gdicc, amJ, tnost ilnponantly, help you
focus and undcr:u:mcl your charnccer.
A character's Traits describe only the general parameters
of her abiliti<">. nlc essence o( the clmnlCtCr is create-d through
mlcpla)'lnC nnd imagin:uion. TraH5 in Wraith are intention--
ally left sketchy - at l=t the number-crunching pan - so
you will not concentrate on the character sheet too much.
What i; only cndely esrablishcd dunng chracter creation
bcco1nes Oeshed out in play. Don't look at your Traits think
ing you htwe a complete chamcu.:r. Your rolcphwing will ere
ate y<lur ch;1rncrcr.
here are as many archerypes as rhere are rypi
cal siuuuions in life. Endless repctirion lws
engraved these extJeriences into our psychic
constiUltion ... representing merdy che possi ..
biUty of a cerf4in rypc of pcrceprion and ac
-Carl jung, Collted Works, Vol. 9
PersonAlity Archetypes are a way of defining wraiths' p<:r
50nality. Characters do not_ in 6-ct, nt InfO such near and rid\'
G:1tegorles. ArchetypeS are the template$ for an infinite num
ber of dif(erem personalities, and should not be seen as abso
lute mmdards. These p<: rsonality Archetype< are example$ of
the variety or personalities that can found; they are intended
to guide, not resrrict.
The psychologist Carl )ung dilu:overed the concept of ar
chetypes as a way of describing any concept that resides in the
collective unconJCious of humanity. He believed rhat such
complex symbols couldn't be rigidly categorized, but he did
give names to some o( the archetypes. Nonetheless, in order to
incorporate the concept of archetypes ituo our systems, a modi
lie-d version of this idea is used to describe personalities, so
remember to take the following guidelines with a grain of salt.
The key to the use of Archecypes is the interaction be
tween the character's Nature and Demeanor. Narure Is the true
personality o( the character, thnt which she is but may not
reveal ro others. Most people, not wishing otheN to know them
intimately, create fucades behind which rhey hide their
uue selves. Such facades are known as Demeanors. A
character's Demeanor may be ns consistent as her Attributes
or may change from minute to minute. An extraordinarily open,
honest or simplemil\ded individual may have the same De
meanor and Nature.
Archei)'J)CS have a practical impact on the game, for each
Archetype provides a different way to regain Willpower points.
The Nature of the character Is thus vital in regaining Will
power. The procedure works like this: the player notices her
character may be able to reg- in Willpower because of her ac
tions or the situation- this varies from Archetype ro Arche
type. She asks rhe Sroryreller if she can regain Willpower, and
rhc Sroryteller either accepts or rcjeers rhe request. If the Sto
ryteller deems the request valid, he awards from one to three
Willpower point$ depending on the nature of the character's
actions. The Storyteller shouldn'r reward a character if he
rhinks the player i performing the action merely m regain
The Storyteller should also encourage players to develop
their own Archetypes, <hus giving players the opponunicy ro
create truly unique personalities.
Storytellers should also pp. 177179 for descriptions
of Shadow Archetypes.
Your sense of purpose transcends your own needs; you rry
w crcare something of lastit\g value for <hose who come after
you. People need many things, and you gain satisfaction by
providing whatever you can. You are the type of person who
makes an effort to build something of value: to found a town,
create a company or in some way leave a lasting legacy.
- Regain Willpower whenever you create or establish
something of importance or lasting value.
You must always be in the forefront. You must always be
the first to break the news, learn the new dance, display a fash
ion rrend, or (XHronize a new discovery in rhe arts. New dis ..
coveries are your life, and you devote a great deal of time and
effort to keepit\g up wirh things. Nothing pains you more than
hearing secondhand news. If rou're not in the front, you're
- Regain one point of Willpower whenever you are rhe
with a piel;t of news Ot other signifiCllnt dl!covery.
Bon Vivant
Life and afterlife are poinlless, shallow and meonil)gless
-so have as good a time as Rome may burn, but you
shall drink wine and sing songs. You are a sell>Ualist, sybarite
and parry animal; the words auslcrit)', self-denial and self-dis
cipline have no place in your life. You much prefer the con
ccpt of instant gnuificMion. Still, you don't mind a lirrle hard
work as long as a good time awaits you upon completion. Most
Bon Vivants have little sclf-conrrol, for they so dearly love
-Regain Willpower whenever you have :o truly good time
and can fully express your exultation (or even more
points if you enjoy an especially fun night).
You arc a bully, a ruffian, a tough, and delight in torment
in& <he weak. Thing> must always go your ""'Y and you do not
tolerate those who cnm you. Power and might are all you re
spect; indeed, you heed only those who can prove their power
to you.
You see nothing wrong with forcing your will upon oth
ers. There is nothing you like better than to persecute, an
tagonite, heckle and intimidate 1huse whom you hold in con
temp!. The emotions of kindness and pity are no1 completely
foreign ro you, but you hide from your own sense of weakness
through cruelty to others. While mosc Bravos despise the weak,
a few become their protectors.
- Regllin Willpower whenever you intimidare or ph)-sl
cally force another person to do what you wish.
You always try to help thooe around you and struggle 10
make a difference in <he needs and sorrows of 1he unfortunate.
t>eoplc around you depend on your stability nnd srrength to
keep them steady and centered. You are the one to whom people
rum when they have a problem.
- Regllin Willpower wheneer \"OU suc:cc.<Sfully protect
or nurrure someone else. Til is pmrecrion can bt as small as a
smile of support or shoulder to lean on at an appropriate
moment. You must help the other person in some way, though
he need nor acknowledge it openly.
You are srill immature in personality and temperament: a
kid who never grew up. Th011gh you can care for yourself, you
prefer the security of being watched over by others. Often you
seek out someone ro look out for you - a caretaker of sorts.
Some see you as a spoiled brat, while orhers see you as an in
nocent cherub unaffected by the evils of the world. This is a
very common archetype for wraiths who died when they were
young and subsequently marured mentally, but not emotion-
- Regain Willpower whenever someone does something
to help you with no apparent gain for herself.
You are a follower. Taking charge is just not your style. It
is easier for you ro adapt, attune, adjust, comply and reconcile
yourself to the new situations in which you fi nd yourself. You
Oit to the brightest star, the person you feel ro be the best,
throwing your lot in with her. It is difficult and distasteful for
you to go against the flow or to rebel. You hate inconsistency
and instability, and know that by supporting a strong leader,
you help prevent chaos from occurring. All smble groups need
some kind of Conformist.
- Regain Willpower whenever your group accomplishes
something because of your support and aid.
What's the sense of working hard when you can get some
thing for nothing I Why drudge when, just by talking, you can
get what you want? You always try to take rhe easy way out,
the fa., t track to success and wealth. Some people might call
what you do swindling or even outright theft, but you know
that you only do what everyone else does; you just do it better.
Additionally, trickery is a game, and you derive great pleasure
from outwitting someone. Connivers play many roles, so you
may be a thief, a swindler, a streer waif, an encrepreneur, a con
man or just a finagler.
- Regain Willpower whenever you arc able to get your
way by tricking another person into doing as you wish.
Nothing in the world should be accepted without thor
ough scmtiny and examination. Nothing is ever perfect, and
the blemishes must be pointed out in order for the good to be
truly recognized. Your standards are high for everything, and
you insist on their being met. You encourage the same ideals
in others because low standards reduce the quality of life for
everyone. They'll thank you later, once they discover the pu
riry of your perspective. You seek our and the imperfec
tions in every person or thing you encoun[er. You arc never
satisfied with anything that is less thnn perfect, it Is
yourself - nfter all, you're not a perfectionist.
-Regain one point of Willpower whenever you di>cover
a significant imperfection that others overlook.
You are nn imscible, churlish pcOiOn at heart, raking every
thing seriously nnd fi nJing little humor In life (though you may
have a wicke-dly bmbed wit). Cynicism is your middle name; it is
the tool with which you judge everything in life. You have a very
well-defmed under;!llnding of how things really work, especially
when they involve the circus of human endeavor. The foolish
actions of others have long since ceased ro $!Jrprise you.
- Regait\ Willpower whenever someone does something
stupid, just like you predicted. You must predict it either our
loud to the other characters or in private to the Storyteller.
There are always people whodon'r fir in, and you are such
a miscreant. Your beliefs, motivations nnd sense of propricLy
arc completely antithetical to the status quo. You are nm so
much an aimless rebel as an independent thinker who does
not belong in the society in which you were mised. You don't
give a damn about other people's momlity, but you do adhere
ro your own srmnge code of conduct. Deviants are typically
irreverent, and some have rmly bitatte taste$ and desires.
-Regain Willpowerwhene,er )'OU succesJully thumb )'OI.Ir
nose ar wraith sociel)' and iiS preceptS withour re!llliation.
You despise chaos and disorder, and tend to mke control
and organize things "' order ro supptC$$ anarchy. You like to
be in charge, live 10 organize, and habitually >rrive 10 make
things work smoothly. You trust your own judgment implicitly
and tend to think of things in blackandwhire terms: "This
won'r work"i uvou're either for me or against mc"j I.IThere :;. re
two ways to do t-his - my way and the wrong w:1y."
- Regain Willpower when you are allowed 10 lead a group
and accomplish some significant task.
You arc consurn.ed by a cause; it is the primary force in
your life, for good or ill. All your physical, mental and cmO
tional resources are directed toward your cause; in fact, you
may feel very guilty about spending time on anything else. You
let nolhing stand in your way- nothing that you cannot
come, in any cast. You ::md those around you may suffer, but
your cause is cvcryLhing- the end justifies the means. Defore
the game begins, make sure you describe your cause and define
how it may affect your behavior.
-You regain Willpower whenever you accomplish an act
rhat furt hers your c.ausc.

You are lhe fool, idiot, quipster, clown or comic, forever
making fun of both yourself and others. You constantly seek
the humor in any sitmuion, and strive to battle the tides of
depression inside yourself. You hiltesorrow and pain, and
scantly try to take others' minds off the dark side of life. Some
times you'll do nearly anything to forget pain exists. Your par
brand of humor might not always impress your friends,
but it makes you feel better. Some Jesters manage to escape
pain and arc truly happy, but most never fi nd release.
- Reg::tin Willpower when you raise t he spirits o( those
around you through the device of humor, especially when you
escape your own pain in the process.
As a facilitator, modcracor, arbitrator, conciliator and
peacemaker, you always seek ro make rhings berter. You pride
yourself on your rationaliry, your insight and your ability to
deduce a reasonable explanation when given the facts. You
struggle to promote truth, but you unders.rand how difficult it
can be to ascertain.. You respect justice, for that is the way
rhrough which truth can reign.
In your view. people are resources, albeit ones thac arc
cult to manage and employ. You hare dissension and arguments,
and shy away from dogmm ism. Sometimes Judges make good lead
ers, though a lack of can sometimes cause them to
tain the status QliO instead of searching for a better system.
- Regain Willpower when you are able to separate the
truth fron'l a web of lies, or when you convince disputing
viduals to agree wid1 your judgments.
You arc always alone. even in the midst of a crowd. You
arc the wanderer, hunter and lol\c wolf. others might
think of you as lonely, forsaken, isolated or remmc, in truth
you prefer your own company to that of others. There are many
different reasons why this might be so: you don't undestand
people, you understand people roo well, people dislike you,
people like you too much, or you are simply lost in your own
thoughts. Your reasons arc your own.
-When you manage to accomplish .some signific:mr msk
on your own, without the aid of others, yet which still aids the
group in some way, you regain \Viii power based on the
cance of the achievement.
All possess the martyr instinct, but few acr upon ir. Even
fewer live the life of a Martyr. You, however, are such a one .
Your desire for stems from a low self .. estccm, a
feeling of a lack of control, or a profoundly developed sense of
love. You are able to endure long-lasting and severe suffering
because of your beliefs and ideals.
At worst, a Martyr expecls sympar.hy and attention
cause of his suffering, and may even feign or exaggerate pain
or deprivation. At best, a Martyr willingly suffers injury or even
death rother than renounce his reli&ion, beliefs, principle.<,
cause or friends.
- Regdin Willpower when you sacrifice yourself in a real
and immediate way for your beliefs or another individual.

You are a makontent, iconoclast and free-thinking recal
citrant. You arc so independent-minded and free-willed that
you are unwilling m join tmy particular cause or movement.
You are just yourself and only desire the freedom robe your
self. You do not make a good follower and aren't usually a very
good leader either (unlc.o;:; your follower.> arc willing to go whcr
ever you lead). Your insubordination a&ainsr authority ncca
sionally reaches the point of stupidity.
-Regain Willpower whenever your rebellion against the
status quo turns out to be for the best.
No matter what, you always man( to survive. You c:1n
endure, pull through, recover from, outlast and outlive nearly
any c.ircumscance. When the going gets rough, you get going.
You never say die, and never give up- never. Norhin& an&e"'
you so much as a pcrsol\ who doesn't struggle to make things
bener, or who surrenders to the nameless forces o( the uni#
-Regain Willpower whenever you survive a difficult situ
arion [hrough your own cunning and perseverance.
You are an orthodox and cmucrvative individual. What
was good enough for you when you were alive is good cnOuJ(It
for ynu now. You resist change of ony sort. You especially op
pose change for the sake of change- what point is there In
that? You may be seen by 80me as a miser, a reactionary or
simply an old fogy. You always strive to pr=rve the >talUs quo.
- Regain Willpower whenever Y"" are able 10 protect
the status quo and prevent ch.,nce.
Very few are bl"l:lve or strong or imaginative enough w look
beyond the suffocating embrnce of society and mundane
th0<1ght in ""'rch of something more. Society people
with both respect :md conrempc. for the Visionary pcrvcrls as
well as guides society.
You may be a spiritualist, shaman, New Ager, mystic, phi
losopheror inventor, bur whateveq'OU are, \'OU are always look
ing for something more. You see beyond the bounds of con
venrional imagination and creme new possibilities. Though
you might have your head in rhe clouds and are oftel of an
impracrical bent, you are Oiled with new ideas and percep
- Regain Willpower whenever you are able to convince
orhcn ro believe in your dreams ond follow the courliC of nc
tlon outlined by your vision of the fumre.
n'liths arc no longer real. at rts we tmdcrstnnd the term.
Every wraith has a Co1pus tU1d sentience, which arc the
of their presence in another fonn of reality. Attributes
now serve as descriptors of t heir continued state of existence.
Attributes are based on self-concept, on how rhe charoc
ter sees himself. A wraith's body and genernl capabilitiC$ are
Jx .... ..J on habir and expectation, and are as firm and unchang
ing as real-world Attributes.
For each Attribute and Ability Trait
rated 4 or hiGher, a player con select a spe.
cktl ry. A 5pec:i\llty is a particulnr subcur
egory thnt o character is capable of perform
ing with additional proficiency- a charocter may be able to
drive very well, but m:ty be particularly adept at off-rood ma
A specialty allows the player to reroll lOs 5eored on ac-
tions directly involving the specialty. The player get> to keep
the success indicated hy the 10, and may subsequently tryaj.oain
for anorher success, rolllnR another die for each I 0 obnuned.
pnysical Attrioutes
Physical Attributes determine the ntw CX[ernal (XH\'Cr of
che 'vraith as in rhc wrnich's ::'ICtions. They are the
t:asicsl to define and rhus t he easiest to comprchcnJ.

This Amibtne defines a raw might. It rcprcscius
not only phjsical strength, but al:.o force and capoc1ry to cause
damage. lt is used to detcrmme rhe base number of
dice rolled in :my
Strength ls used whet'\ n wmilh attc1 npts m lift, carry, push.
heave or break soancthing. Srrcngth is :llso used when oucmpt ..
ing to make any sorr of jumr or leap.
Specialties: Strong Grip, Mos:.ivc, Husky, AblellcKiied,
Hearty, Powerful, Wil)'. 1..-q.oc
This Attribute de One$ a wmirh's capacity to perform com
plex activities. h represents ph)'lfJcol grnce, [>recision
and the ability to perform muk:ue or subtle actions. i)("xrer
" l' defines lhe wroith's control of her Corpus.
Specialties: SmovlhMm inne-d, Deft, Grace
ful, Nimble, Athletic, C:ulike ReOexes, Swift. Surcf-ooted,
Fleer Footed, Light Touch
Avcnagc: You c:m chew gum and walk nt thcsnmc
Good: Yoo.1 h:l\'e excellent r:tw athletic potential.
Exccpuon:l: You can juggle five knhes.
Outsta.ndlns:: You can juggle fhc km\'C whtle
The Srominn Attribute ddinc.s chc
It represents not only phylcal cndurnnce, but also Jercrminn
rion, mggedness. concenmnion nod desire to win. It rcnccts a
wrnith's understanding o( hcr limir:uions.
Specialties: lirclc<S, Endurmg, Tough, Determined, AJt
grcssive, Ten.'Cious, St3l\\>art, Duroble, Forceful, l)(.,.hc:.uc<l
Poor: You ::tre frnil in constin1tion and appear we-dk.
Average: You seem to be moderntely healthy.
Good: In life, you were in good shape, the result
of regular exercise. Your spirit is vigorous.
Exceptional: You could '"" a marnthon.
Outstanding: You could survive i" the heart of a
Maelmom (well, maybe . .. ).
Social Attributes
A wroith's Social Attributes not only represent her ability to
imemct with orhers, but also deAne her sense of self-worth and
confidence. Tiley define how the wraidl perceives herself in terms
of her surroundings and how she filS inro the scheme of things.
Social Traits are viral in determining fi rst impressions, lead
crship ability and lhc nature o( a wraith's interactions with
others. Comhined with Physical Attributes, they define the
wra.ith's presence.
Charisma defines a wroith's row magnetism :;md srceng:rh
of presence. It also represents boldness, bluster, and how inter
esting the wraith is co odlcrs. Charisma reflects a wraith's power
to convince others ro put their faith in him. In many ways, it
is analogous to Strength and is used in any attempt to influ
cncc someone overtly.
Specialties: Smooth, Eloquent, Outgoing, Cwptivating,
Charming, Regal, Genial, Well-Mannered, Urbane, Sophisti
catcd, Rustic, Gracious
Poor: Others avoid being around you.
Average: You are likable.
Good: People trust and confide in you.
Exccpcional: Something draws people: ro you.
Outstanding: You could lead a nation.
This Trnit defines a wrnith's cunning. Mani[J<olarion repre
sents insidiousness and precision in social dealings. In many ways
it serv<.-'S a'i
social stealth," unlike Omrisma, which take$ a more
head-on approach. It defines a wroith's understanding of
Manipulation is used in any attempt tO influence someone subtly.
If you fail a Manipulation action, and the target realizes what
you were nying tO do (you botch, for insrnnce), she llllay well be
angered. People manipulatod all the time and usually ignore
it. However, if the fact is brought to their att<ntion, it con be very
disturbirlft. Manipulation can net grear rauhs, but it 1$ risky to
pcrfonn openly. Owacters with high Manipulation ratings are
not overly tiUS{od by those who know them best.
Specialties: Glib, Expressive, Cunning, Persuasive,
Smooth, SilverTonguod, Bravado, Ingratiating, Eloquent, Blar
ney, Double Talker, Sophist, Winy
Poor. You cxpre.-. yourself in as few words (IS possible.
Average: Others might believe you.
Good: You'd make a good lawyer.
Exceptional: You should nm for office.
Oumanding: You could sell ice to an Eskimo.
A wraith's Appearanc:e Trait, unlike that of mortals, is based
upon her sense of selfwonh. The wraith's Appearance reAecu
her satisfaction in being herself and how she w.Jn1ll others to see
her. A high Appearance Trait does not necessarily indicate beauty,
but anr.octiveness (the two are not always the same).
Appearance is vital in any social situation where words
arc nor exchanged. It is more important than you might think
offhand: your impressions of another arc heavily affected by
thnt j>Crson's looks, no matter how opcnminded you ore.
Appearance is often used by the Storyteller to judge
how others react to you upon a first meeting.11>us, it can affect all
other Social rolls you make involving that pe1110n (in some cases,
your r.uinc detennines the maximum number of successes from a
Social action that can actually be applied, making it impossible
for an ugly person to achieve anything beyond minim.1l wccess).
Specralties: Bold Demeanor, Alluring, CaptiY1lting, Sexy,
Luminous, Honest f"aCe, Imposing, Dignified, Pleasing, Hand
some, Beautiful, Gorgeous
Poor: You tend to attract the hostility of others.
Average: You are easily ignor<-d, for you fit in so
well with the cmwd.
Good: You have a pleasing appearance, and
people treat you well.
Exceptional: You are goodlooking enough to be a
model and are given respect and attention because of it.
Outstanding: Others' first reaction to you is cirher
awe, intense jealousy or complete solicitude.
Mental Attrioutes
11>c Mental Amibures represent a wraith's total mental
cap;ocity, including such things as memory, perception and the
ability to leam and think. They rep<C$Cnt the wraith's crual
sentience and senses of inremal and external understanding.
This Tmit defines a wmith's awareness of reality. lr repre-
sents insight into others, sensitivit\' to one's surroundings and
intuotion. In some ways, Perception repruents wisdom in that
those with low Perceptoon rdtings isolate from their
environment and arc thus inC<lpable of growth. It is used when
ever a wraith ancnlpts to detect something.
While Perception is sometimes used consciously, such as
when you search for something, it more often works intuitively
-you simply nmicc something. At base, Perception is a sen
sltlvity to the world, an opcney< quality common among
children (for whom the world is a boundless and mysterious
seldom present among the most jaded.
Perception Is used ro sec if you have the insight to under
or be aware of a certain fact or concept. It can help indl
care your degree of alertness to ambushes, the subtext of a
Hiemrch's speech, or the subtleties of color in a paintin;. All
wmiths are extremely sen.sitive co their surroundings, but only
Perceptive wr.tiths rorc alert and Insightful enough to real he
what is happening them.
Specialties: Insightful, Anenrive, Patient, Probing, Keen
Eyed, lnruirive, Visionary, Asrute, Apprehensive
Poor: You arc blind to anything but the obvoous.
Avemge: You are unaw:ore of the subtle interne
tions thnt occur around you.
Good: You arc aware of moods and textures.
Exceptional: You are constantly a len co the nu
ances of life.
Oumanding: You can flnd a needle in a haysmck.
The lntelligencc Trait defines a wraith's understanding of
rt'!llity. It represents the ability to perform complex. cerebral
octivoties. lncelligcnce is used whenever analytical tasks are
Intelligence represents both your memory and your abil
iry to learn and think. It is Important when using Abilities
that require complex thought processes. Some people
Intelligence as a person's quickness of mind or judgment, but
ir ,. more than that - it is the facility for understanding and
the capacity for reasoning and evaluation. Intelligence mtes
ion individual's depth :ond fl exibility of thought.
Specialties: Diseerning, Creative, Knowledgeable, Prag
matlc, Asnote, Brill iant, Bookworm, Clear Thinker
Poor: IQSO
Average: IQ 100
Good: IQ 120
Exceptional: IQ 140
Outstanding: lQ 160+
n,e Wits Attribute describes. Wrdith's ability co react quickly
and correcliy to new situations, as well as her ovc.rll sharpness of
mind and cleverness. In the simplest of terms. it measures how
quickly (as opposed co con-ecdy) a wrid> thinks. A troO<I! com
plex view incorpomces Wits as n shrewdness, "'gacity and capac
ity for undermmding problems in the most basic tenll$.
Those with low Wirs Me occasiunally unable to cake appro
priate actions because of surprise (like a deer caught in the glare
o(headllghrs). A low Wits can indicate that you ore more easily
tricked and fooled th;m most people, for you are a gullible and
unsophi<ricatcd studencofhuman (and wmirh) namn:.lf l'OU ha,e
high Wirs, you are able to r<"ACl quickly co new situations and arc
seldom caught off guard by sudden changes in evenrs. Whatever
else happens, you are able co keep your Wits abnut you.
Specialties: Cle>er, Shrewd, Sharp, Praclic.1l, Wol), Level
Headed, Creative
Poor: You send money to
Average: You know when tO bet or fold in poker.
Good: You are capable of handling L.A. rush
hours (without shooting anyone).
Exceptional: You could be a standup comic.
Outstanding: You have a supercomputer for a
brain- it's fast.
alents are untmined and intuitive Abilities. Talents can af
most never be studied or learned via training (though a few,
like Bmw!, an: exceptions), but can be learned through direct
experience- usually during a story. If your charncrcr rakes an
action using a Talent he does not possess, there Is no effect on
your roll. A number of dice equal co the base Attribute is rolled.
Talents are such narurl and intuitive Abilities thar it is as-
sumed everyone has some small eapacity for each one.
Over the years, you have become pmc
ticed in noticing all th:ot luoppens around
you, even i( you are not actively conccn.-
trating upon the surround in!:'- You are a
eapablc bodyguard, for you have teamed how to stay alert ovtr
a long period of rime. Alertness simply indicates your aware
ness of the world around you. It describes how much anenrion
you pay to things other than the rumblings in your ectoplasm
or t.hc duub<s in your mind. Alertness relates to the physical
A wraith can hypcrdttenua<e senses at will. Sometimes
using Heightened &nses to sense things in the physical world
requires 3 roll o( Perception + Alcrtnes..
Expert: You could (Jnd a lucky four-lea( clover in
Master: You see the bizarre everywhere.
Possessed by: Parnonnallnvestlgators, Gypsies, Psychics
Specialties: Animals, Magic, Supernatural Creatures

Novice: You tend robe a1en to chnngcs, morcso
rhan m05t. Brawl
Prnctlced: You arc wa<chful and very attentive
to your surroundings.
Comperent: You are highly vigilant.
Expert: You are a truly cautious individual and
rarely let down your guard.
You notice everything Lhar &c>es on
around you.
Possessed by: Watchmen, Hunrers, Bodyguards, Report
ers, Burglars
Specialties: Bodyguarding, Tmps, Ambushes, Forests,
Crowds, Noises, Pamnoia, Spectre&
This Ability dc-.cribcs your general athletic prowess and
assumes a familiamy with most sporu. It is us.:d to see if you
can jump across a chasm, swim Lhrough a sronn, thro'v a foot ..
ball, vnult a fence or climb a rree.
Athletics concerns complex motor actions. Physical ac ..
tions requiring only one type o( motor acrion, such :.s lifting,
do nor use the Athlct ies raring, nor do athletic actions already
subsumed by anorher Ability.
Novice: little Leaguer
Practiced: High ::huol jock
Compcrcnr: College Varsity player
Ex pen: Professional athlete
Moster: Olympic medalist
Possessed by: Professional Athletes, Enthusiasts, !}.meers,
Jock.s, Kids
Specialties: Mountain Climbing, Acrobatics, Dancing,
spec ilk spora.s
This Talent represents a character's ability tO detect things
that arc nor of rhe physical world. All wraiths have the ability
rosense the presence of death (using Deathsight) and the pres-
ence of s.opemmuml crcmures (using Heightened Senses). Sens-
ing things rhar arc nor of the physical world often requires a
mil of Perception + Awareness.
ic.c: You see suangt' things out of the comer
of your eye.
l'rncticcd: Odd arc revc.1led to yott.
Com;)l!tcnr: All things have a deathly aum that
you can cosily identify.
You know how to fight bare-handed. TI>is Abiliry includes
such maneuvers as punching, kicking, grappling, throttling,
throwing and gouging. Brnwling can get quite ruthless, but
gencmlly is a nonlethal form o( combat.
Novice: You know wha< ro do, but you haven't
had much experience.
Practiced: You know where to hir people and
make it hurt.
Competent: You Cl!n choose your barstool.
Expert: You are a black belt martialani<r.
Master: You could be a Golden Gloves boxing
Possessed by: Martial Artim, Soldiers, Thugs, Police Of-
Ocers, Bouncers
Specialties: Annloeks, Boxing, Wrestling, Karate, judo,
Tai Chi, Grappling, Throws, Showing Off
The mo5t effective way to win a (lght is not to be sttuek.
Becoming pro(Jc:lent in the Dodge Talent is a very wise choice.
Your roting In this area describes your ability to both
melee and missile anacks; this Includes diving for cover and
du-cking punches.
Novice: You hit the ground if someone screams,
Pr"ctlced: You have no problem r.nding cover In
a fireflght.
Competent: You're always the last one out in
dodee ball.
Expert: A lucky shot may land once Ina blue moon.
Musrcr: You can nearly sidestep gunshots.
Possessed by: Criminals, Street Fighters, Military Person
nel, Bouncers, Boxers
Specialties: wp, Sidestep, Duck, Cover, Dive

You understand and can sympathize with the emotions of
othc..., and are thus able to respond to them appropriately. Often
you can discern the motives behind a pell!On's simply by
listening to him. You can also detect when you nrc being told lies.
All wraiths have the ability to sense basic emotions.
Li(esight usually requires a roll of Perception + Empathy.
Novice: People tell you their problems ar p:utte&.
Practiced: Occasionally !"OU get sympQthetic pains
from feelings withom being anuncd to them.
Competent: You have an a mating m5tghr mto
the motivations of others.
Exptrt: No lies ever gcr p:t.u your scruti ll)'
Master: You often finish other people's sentences.
by: Actors, Mediums, Above-Average Snlesmen,
PickUp Artists
Specialties: Emotions, Truths, 13"ckgrounds
The Expression Ability represents your ability to get your
point across rhrough speaking or writin,g, whether you're
ing a book or debating social issues. Charncrcr> with high Ex
preuion arc unforgettable, but only in their abihry to convey
their feelings; intelligent or meaningful expression is the pur
view o( other T rnits. Expression at irs highest form can be art.
Novice: Tabloid reporter
PracticL-d: College debate tenm caproin
Competent: Successful comL-ditm
Expert: Best-selling novelist
Master: Shakespeare
Possessed by: Orators, Politicians, Novel ists, Actors,
0\:mugogucs, Protesters
Specialties: Poetry, Impromptu, Radical, Innuendo, Meetings
ll>c art of intimidation takes many forms, rangrng from a
$.tlxle 5ttggestion m outright physical damage. Each method of
intimidation ha.s its time and place. People with high lntimi
dalion r.uings seem to radi-ate auras of :nnhorit)'
Novice: Sixyeat-olds give you the right of war
Proctictd: You win an occ:uiorut.l :.&an.:Jown.
Competem: Your gaze i.s very unsenhng.
Expert: You woold bcannbove-nverngedrill sergeant.
Masttr: You can make vicious [Urn &ail
Hnd run.
Po5S'!ssed by: Businesspe-ople, Bouncers, Millrory Person
ncl, Mob6tel$
SpcciaiLics: Veiled Threats, Milirary, Social,
Overt VIolence
The srreelli (whether of the Skinlands or the Necropoli)
are a major soorce of information and money, us wd l as big
time trouble. The Streetwise Talent has vanety of uses. First
3nd foremost, Strcctwise allows you to blend in with the loc31
scene without dmving anenrion m you....:!(. Oossip, felony,
theft anJ meet slang are also imparted through this Talent.
<!.!pill lit [rlil!
Novice: You know who sells drugs.
Pmctlced: You are considered cool by the populace.
Competent: Member of prominent sang
Expert You ha,'espent most of your life on the strefiS.
Master: If you don't know it, it hrum't been said.
Possessed by: Onng Mcmbcn, Winos, Reporters, Home-
less People, Detectives
Specialties: Picking Pockets, Drugs, Fencing, Slng Terms

You know how to conceal your own modvesi moreover,
you know how to decipher the motives o( others and how to
use those motives "'J"irut them. The secrets and intrigues of
othcn interest you, and you work at understanding their weak
nCllses. A command of this skill makes you the ultimate con
versntlonalist, or the ultimate spy.
Novice: A few white lies never hurt anyone.
Pmcticed: You can pick fOil\eone up in a nightclub.
Competent: You could be a criminal lawyer.
Expert: Am way salesmel\ have nothing on you.
Master: Perry Mason wishes he had It so good.
Possessed by: lawyers, Con Men, Casanovas, Politiciaru
Sp,cialties: Finding Weakne5Se$,Seduction, Little White Lies
Other Talents
Search, Guile, Intrigue, Instruction
Skills are Abilities that are learned through apprentice
ship& or rigorous training. If you try to perfonn a feat involving
a Skill but have no rating In it, the difficulty increases by one.
You arc simply untrolned in the techniques of that Skill and
thus have a harder time accomplishing the task than someone
who has at least some idea of what he is doing.
This Skill imparts knowledge of master artisan techniqu'"l
- woodworking, leatherwork, glassblowlng,g.:mcutting, etc. You
em make functional objects from v-Arious substances; the quality
o( these objects depends on the number of successes you roll.
Novice: High-school shop class
Practiced: Apartment handyman
Competent: Professional work
Expert: Specialist
MaS-ter: Master artisan
Technicians, Htmdymen, Girl Scouts, Artifioen;
Specialties: Cooking, Carpentry, Blacksmithing,
Le:otherworking, jewelry, Sewing, Origami, Stonemasonry
You can drive a car and perhaps other vehicles as well.
Simply because you have a Drive Skill does not mean that you
are familiar with all land vehicles. Your difficulty may be raised
or lowered depending on your general experience with a par-
ticular automobile.
Novice: You can drivt an automatic automobile.
Practic<: You can operate a manual/shift trans
Competent: Commercial trucker (except around
Stonegate Industrial Boulevard)
Expert: Formula One car driver
Master: L.A. mffic is a cakewalk to you.
Possessed by: Truckers, Race Car Drivers, Stunt Drivers
Specialties: Curves, lee, Sudden Storms, Stick Shifts
You understand the small nuances of social life and are
able to conduct yourself in a manner that Is both unobtrusive
and gracious. You understand how to make your way through
human and wraith society. Your specialty is the culrure with
which you are most filmiliar. You use Etiquette during actions
such as dancing, seduction and haggling. Etiquette is also used
when engaging In diplomacy.
Novice: You know when to shut up.
Pmctic<: You know not to wear pai51ey at a
black tie dinner.
Competent: You know which spoon is used to
eot soup.
Expert: You can get along with jll5t about anybody.
Master: You could prevent World War Ill.
Possessed by: Diplomats, Idle Rich, Executives
Specialties: Business, High Society, Street Otlture
fi rearms
Skill in Ftreanns means that you have a brood knowledge
of all guns, from a simple .22 to an Ingram Moc- 10 machine
"un. Firearms Skill does not include the ability to opcrnre heavy
machinery such as tank guns and other artillery weapons. How
ever, the Firearms Skill does include the ability to repair dtcm.
Novice: You've had one or two lessons at the gun
Practiced: You do all right at n flrinR range.
Competent: You can pull off a few gun rricl:s.
Expen: You're cool and steady, even under pressure.
Master: "Do you feellucky1 Wtll, do ya, punk?"
Possessed by: Gang Members, Police, Criminnls, Soldietll,
Specialties: Rifles, Handguns, Pistols. Mac:hineOuns,Sprays
You can get people ro follow your lead and obey your or-
ders by exerting authority and by example. Leadership isn't so
much knowing the techniques of getting people to follow you
as it is being the r.ypc of person people will follow. Leadership
is often used in conjunction with Charisma.
Novice: You could coach a Li ttle League ream.
Pmcriced: Your voice is a one; you can
demand silence.
Cornpcrcm: You nrc an c((cccive leader in cimes
of strife.
.\:perc: You attmct followers without rea trying.
Mascc1': You nrc a Napoleon, a Charon - or a
Hitler .. .
Possessed by: Politicians, Military Officers, Gang Lead-
ers, Executives, Police Officers
Specialtic.: Command, Orarion, Compell ing, Friendly.
Nohlc, Milir:>ry
Meditation is the Skill of calming the emotions, control-
ling rhe milld, and relaxing the physical bod!' Meditation is
usually performed while seated in a special position, like the
lotus position, but with practice, ir can be performed in a vari
ety of situ(ltions or positions.
Meditation can be used w isolate the mind from disnr1c ..
rions, allowing a chan1cter ro on mauers of imporronce.
Mediration can also be used to catch up on lost Slumber, a
Stamina+ Meditation roll (difficulty 8) determines how many
effective hours of Slumber are gainecl per hour o( lnt.xlit3tion.
Novice: You t.tln sit in one spot for awhile with
out fidgeti ng.
Practic(.xl: You can sir andatrain a pcacd\11 Slaterimind.
Competent: You can relax in any position.
Expert: People have co go Ou[ of their wny lO
break your conccntrdtion.
Master: You could on your head in gunfire
and approach inner calm.
Possessed by: Martial Artists, Monk.., Arhlcre.<, Psychologists
Spechtltics: Relaxation, Focusing, Memory, Zen, Centering
11>c ahiliry ro (ighr with a weapon is a valuable skill in
the Gothic-Punk environment. !>roficicnq in this Skill allows
you to usc \\'cnpHm:. Knives, sai, S<'lps, tonfn ond
arc examples of the types of weapon$ covered b)' tht.!
Melee Skill. This Skill b ulm<l>l mclmic in mortal sociery nm"'''
Joys because of Lhc prevalence o( but keep In mind
thar the s.-1me is nm always true in Stygiaand the Far Realms ...
No,, ice: You\e taLetl a .. \\'\.'(.-k course m (cncmg.
PrdCtic\.-d: You h:l\'c 1mluary training.
OJmpcrent: Yo;r drnw brcs in kendo tournaments.
Expert: Any wcnpon i:, deadly in your gmsp.
Bruce Let: wnh :t ('-1ir of nunchuka by: Police, Fencers. Kcnclo Enthusiasts, 'Thug>,
Gang Members
Specialties: SworcLI, Axe, Rnpicrs, Kn ives, Clubs, Disarm,
B:tllcsrra, Florcnrinc
You are able rn pcrfonn ani<tic action<. soch as singing, gui-
r:u playing a.nd acting. You k1lOW the minutiae of whm 10 dn and
how ro do it. Your is 1 he 1)1lC o( pcrfomlance on which
ym1 ccmccnrnuc, rh:1n likely the Orst o( artistic
slon )'OU ., ... pursu<d. Writing and speaking an: nol CO\'cr,..! by
Perfomance; Lhey n;:ly on Lhc Expr.,.ion Abilrf).
Novice: You c.1n pby boss in a garage band or net
in a college pial'
Pmctict-d: You c;m d:c mu a living on che club circuit.
Competent: You can get a movie or record deal.
Expert: You reRularly make the of l'eiJ/Jie.
!lola-iter. Youn\Jrk ..;!llx: remembered
Possessed by: Actors, Musicians, Karnoke Regulars, Mimes
Specialties: Hardcorc, Villains. Guitar Solos, While Dnrnk

You are able to repair simple or complex Jeviccs co( nil
sorts. Such devices include dcK:trs, c.:-us rmd even compu(crs.
M1rstcry of this Skill means that you arc a jack-of-alltmdes.
This Skill covers everything from simple carpentry to lltcchan-
ics. Of course, proper tool> arc ahv-ys needed.
Novice: You can assemble ready-m:tde kits.
Practiced: You could wire a house.
Competent: You s:ave qui[e a few dollars 1n mt-
chania' fees.
Experc: You are ob1e to repair pcr:,.onal eumpu
ers within minuLCi.
Master: If ils hroken, you can fix il.
PUS>CSSed by: Handymen, Carp.nters. Eleetricians, Mt
Specialties: Wood, Compurers, Elccnonics, Engines, Au
tomobik-s, Electricity

Stealth is the nbility to sneak about or hide without being
seen or heard; it is u(u.:n ngninst another chnroccer'$ Per#
Novice: You can hide in the d,.k.
Pr;1c1 icet.l: You Cftl) hide in the shadows.
Competent: You are an accomplished humcr.
Expert: You Ct'ln \vnlk silently over rwo mchcs n(
dry leaves.
Master: Nin):t clan leader
Poosesscd by: Criminals, Spies, Reporters
Spec:iahics: Prowl, Hi<lc, Lurk, Shadows, Crowds, Crawling
Pi loring, Ct1oki11g, Boating, Archery, Disguise
Knowlll(lb"'-' include aii Lhc AbiliLies that require ri!IOIOU$ appll
cation ci the mind, 110( the body. Acr.ordingly, Mental Traits are used
to modify Knowi<Xll,-e rolls. Though the ratingsdiscu.<'l Knowloo&CS in
tenns n collq;e dC(,'I"CC1, liChool is not the only way ro gain Knowledges
- it is simply the most oommon. The are scholastic abiliLies for the
nOll f'lrt, but or tutoring is also possible.
If you do not '""'"a Knowledge. )'OU cannot even attempt
a roll involving h. There are exceptions, howevc,r, such as when
the Storyteller rules that roll pertains to rrivial inform
tion th:u :myonc has a dmncc of knowing.
Thi Knmvledgc includes the ability to make your way
through the pollticol system, in rhc Shadowhmds or ill Stygin.
The Knowledue nlso illcludes the ability to non a hurcaucmcy,
which of course presupposes at lease a rudimenr:uy sense of
organiL1tion. In foct, this Knowledge can be seen as the chief
orwmitmiollnl ability in gam<.
Student: You ha,e good organizationolabillty.
College: You understand power structures and can
sense who is in conrml.
Yuu can perform stalling me: tics indeAnitely.
Oocrorntc: You can pcrfonn supervisory odmin ..
istrmive duties.
Scholar: Yuu could obtain a meeting wirh the
President of the United Stat('S.
YO<t understand how to operate and progmm computers.
You may also be able ro design your own system. If you wish to
break imo a computer system. )'OU need this Knowledge.
Srudcnt: You can boot up a video g;>me.
College: Y0<1 made ar lea" a Bin D.tta PrllCcssing 101.
Masters: You are a compercnr ;md
can design \
0ur own so(cwnrc.
Doctor:tte: You make Ma Dell.
Scholar: Youre on rhc vcrcc of Ar
tifici allntcllil(cncc.
by: Programmers, Data Procc:twrS, Camers.
MUSH Coders. Students, Hockers
Specialties: Hacking, Virus l}.rra
P\mla and probk'1llS O<XUPV \"OUI irn:ll:inalioo - 1n f.lct, you
may tnjo)' being perple.xed. Salvi" riddle. ci nil sons is n ros-
>ion, ru.U this interest has given )"01.1 a lm;tek for I'""'"'C tq,octltct an.l
"'mcmbcring information viml to many kinds of problemJivmg.
The Enigmas Knowledge ""ists player> in solving the mys-
Lerics crented by the StOryteller. It I< esscnti:rl rm divining St.:<: ret
pat """'I'' to IU<it rc">l lms, answering the riddles of my&tical guard
h\1'\S, or riddling for one's soul agninst amalcvolcm :VInl(cnn.
Student: You c:Jn pur r<lj)crhcr a 100-piccc jig
:taw puz1le.
College: You can guess the outcorne o( n myster)'
Masters: You can do Rubik's Cube in an hour.
Docrnrare: You'd have whipped Collum without
hobbit trickery.
Scholar: You understand the deepesr mystcncs.
POSSC$SCCI by: Cmosword Punic Devotees, Zen EmhusiMU.
Game Players, Mystics
Specialties: Ancient, Riddles. Vist.1nl. Verbal
You nrc trained to notice nil sorts of dcmils rh:n mhcni
might miss. High levels or this Knowledge allow I'OU to func
Lion ns a TI1is Knowledge provides un abilily to fi nd
clucll, pcrfunn forensic analysis and prNiict crime p::tHcrns.
Smdent: Amateur detective
Collego: Police omcer
Masters: Pri\'ate detecti\t
Doctorate: FBI, CIA, KGB, l:"nts
Scholar: Sherlock Holmes
Pusscsscd by: Dctectives.lnsumnce Repurt-
ers, FBI Agents, Intelligence
Specialties: Search, Pro\\'1, , l)ctcctivc \Vork
The law Is not a thiclg to trifle with, and those with knowl-
edge of the low arc well able to use It to their advantage. If you
ever want to get out of jail, this Ability is
Student: Practical knowledge, police officer
College: Prelaw, beginning lawyer
Masters: lawyer, full partner
Doctorate: judge
Scholar: Supreme Court justice, Death Lord
Possessed by: Police, judges, Detectives, Crimi
nals, Legislaton, Hierarchy Advocates
Specialties: Coura , Contract, Litigation, Criminal, Po-
lice Procedure, Hierarchy
It is assumed that you can speak your n::nural
but you mut purchase ony other hmguages that you wish your
character ro speak. Each level of Linguistics allOW$ yoor char
acter to speak another language fluently. Linguistics also gives
n character understanding of the mucrure oflonguage, which
is in rum the basis of thought. With this Ability, you can !den
tify accents or read lips.
Student: One additional language
College: Two additional language.
Masters: Three additionallangu.1ges
Doctorate: Four additional languages
Scholar: Five additional languages
by: Travelers, Scholars, Diplomats, Interpreters
Specialties: Curse Words, Technical, Diplomatic, Political
Medicine is the study of the human body and the tech-
niques used to cure its ills. While n wraith's body is different,
un understanding of mortal health ond biology c:m often be of
use in dealing with the Quick. 111c Medicine Knowledge in
eludes the knowledge of the structure and functions of the body,
the use of medicine, und the di:ljlnosis and treatment of dis
Student: You know the basics of setting bones or
preventing a SLTOke.
College: You have pnrnmcdic-quality ttainitlg.
Masters: You arc a doctor and can diagnuoe and
treat diseases.
Doctornte: You can perform surgery.
Scholar: You are specialist of great renown.
Possessed by: Paramedics, Doctors, Nurses,
Specialties: Phannacy, Paramedics, Eme'llencyC:lre, Dis-
case, Ncurosursery
You arc knowledgeable In allarcliS of rhe occult. This un
dcrstanding of the more sinister side of the world includes
knowledge of curses, voodoo, magic arld mysticism.
Sr11denr: You've dabbled, bur aren't In the know.
College: You're srarcing to know what's going on.
Masters: There more than ghosts our there,
and yoo know a lot about rhe other residents of
the World of DMkness.
Doctorate: You can sepnrmc truth from (3ncy.
Scholar: You have been fully initiated in many
of the great rnysreries.
Possessed by: Wcirdocs, New Agcrs, Occulrim, Scholars,
the curious
Specialties: Ghosts. Magick, Psychic Abilities
This Knowledge providcs a familiarity with rhc polirical
uruc;tures of the day, including an understanding of who is in
charge and how rhat person got there. It represents on under-
standing of both human and wraith politics. This c:rn be an
essential Ability when attempting to deal with morrnlouthori
ties in any way.
Student: Protester or casual observer
College.: Campolgn worker or political science
Masters: CampuiRn manager or speech writer
Doctorate: Politician
Scholar: Machlovelli
Possessed by: Lobbyists, Politician., Lawyers, Protesters
Specialties: Neighborhood, City, Congress, Elections,
Oration, Radical
You have at least a basic understanding of physics, chemistry,
botany, biol"'.'Y ecology, Mtronomy and orher sciences. Your
Knowltodge deals with the useful applicarlon.s of science. Higher
levels almost invariably involve specialization in a field.
Student: You can make smoke bombs with a
chemistty set.
College: You understalld the major t hcorles and
MMters: You could reach high-school science.
Doctorate: You might will a Nobel Prize someday.
Scholar: Albert Einstein
Possessed by: Engineers, Researchers, Inventors, Tcchni
Specialtie-s: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Rcla
tivity, Nuclear Physics
Other knowledges
Psychology, Bureaucracy, Finance, Art, Philosophy, The
liter, Journalism, Military Science, Genealogy, Geography,
History, Theology, specific area of knowledge/trivia
To last an er=i<y requires an eternity of preparation. Only
e<tdltnce counts; only adtieuemm< endures.
- llaltasar Oracian, Tlte An o{Wurldly W'tsdom
T rairs provide a character with special ad van
tagcs and reflect a wraith's social status and position in society.
The player 111U5t UCvclop reasons why her character pc.>.<;SCS.'iCS a
certain &ckground. Where did you meet that person? How
did you come into possession of that relic! What did you do to
(!:lin your position with the Heretics?
A Storyteller may call for a Background to be rolled with
an Attribute, such as Charisma + St'dtus to determine if the
Centurion olx:\'1 your orders, or Intelligence + Memoriam to
recognize that m)'1rerious woman who visits your gmve every
CKher Wednesday.
Backgrounds do not increase through experience points.
A wraith may gain and lose BackRrounds as the result of a
story. For example, if you lose your artifact in the Tempest, it is
In". If people stop remembering you, your Memoriam score
decreases. Some Backgrounds may not be appropriate to your
chronicle: ask your Storyteller.
Allies are wraiths who aid yo<t but are not members of
yuur Circle. Allies are genemlly friendly with you, although
:!Ome m:ty only be your Allies because they owe you favors.
! loving an Ally (as opposed mhnvinga Contact, below) mearu
rh>tt y011 con coli upon that wrnlth for aid; you should, how
ever, be aware that your Ally will sometimes ask fot your help
as well. One does not boss one's Allies around: they arc equals
ond friends, and must be created as such.
As the chronicle progresses, Allies who began as weak
chamcters may die or increase in power. You should rn'ke the
tirnc to describe your Allies carefully: they can be the source
o( many nory ideas.
A slncle Ally of moderate power
Two Allies, both of rhem of moderate power
Three Allies, one of them quite lnfluemial
Four Allies, one of them very influential
Five Allies. one of rhcm extremely influential
Everything that is ever lost evennoally ends up somewhere In
the Underworld. Tile Hierarchy sends SGOUr4 throughout the
Underwo1-ld looking for longlost artifacts of yore; many of them
return with fAscinating treasures. Additionally, the Orand High
Artificer and his elite band of artisans have discovered means of
imbuing powers into the very material of the Underworld.
TI>e moo;c common form of artifact is one that magnifies an
Arcan05 c:i one or more kinds. A few artifacts are m:lgical simply
in the sense dlllt they actually operate like they did in life without
using Pathos ro fuel them: n remote control mat chnses a TV
channel, " garage door opener that opens garage doors, a hand
gun that shOOIS bullets without needing to be relooded.
See Artifacts in the Appendix.
One level of Artifact
Two levels of Artifacts
Three levels of Artifacts
Four levels of Artifacu
Five levels of Artifacts
Even os o wraith, you know people from many walks of
life (or death); together, these disparate persons form a net
work of information and help that may prove useful.
The player must decide where his Conmcts lie: in the liv
ing world or in the Shadow lands. This determines whether his
Contacts score applies ro wraiths or to the Quick. Players who
want Contacts in both the living world and the Shadowlands
should purchnsc this Background cwice.
Major Cont3CCS are not only bcit.g:s yoo can manipulate or
bribe to gee information, but friends whom you IIU$t implicidy to
provide you with accurate infonnntion (in their areas of expcr
tise). You should describe your Major Contacts as complete char
acters, either as the chronicle or beforehand.
You also have a number of Minor Contacts spread through
the area. When you wish to get in rouch with a Minor Con-
met, using your Contac!S raring (difficulcy 7). Each
success means you have successfully located one of your Minor
Contacu; of course, you may need to bribe or even intimidate
him into giving you what is needed.
One Major Con met
Two Major Contacts
Three Major Contacts
Four Major Concacts
Five Major Contacts
Your Eidolon represents your higher self. This Background
measures how spiritual you are (note that "$1lirirual" does not
necessarily mean "good"). Just as your Shadow tempts you
toward Oblivion, your Eidolon gives you the resolve to fight
the Unlike your Shadow, your Eidolon does not com
munlcate with you; it merely provides you with on additional
bit of resolve against the Sh.-.dow.
For each dot you have in the Eidolon Background, you
may add one auditional die per session to any roll to resist the
Shadow's powers, ploys or cricks, including Thorn.. These dice
may also be added to Willpower rolls.
It is a good idea to use your Eidolon dice sparingly during
a se>sion, applying the extra dice only when absolutely neces
lary. You may choose to roll only one Eidolon die if you wish.
Eidolon dice do not accumulate over several sessions, but you
do regain your full total every game session.
You hear vague from far away.
You know that there is romething guiding you.
You feel that your Eidolon has a sentient identity.
You hove sensed the prcscnce of your Eidolo1\.
You huve seen your Eidolon in a dream.
All wraiths create hiding places for themselves, called
Haunts. A Haunt Is a Sure haven unkt\own to the Hicrnr
chy, Heretics or Rel\ can be a forcotten drainage ditch,
an abandoned car, n set nf catacombs beneath a cemetery, or
the basement of an old house. Wraiths viciously guard their
Hounts. Many times, entire groups of wraiths share a Haunt,
guarding it against all intruden.
11\e Haunt's raring Is subcracted from d\e Shroud; it is
o.1tnhlished by pooling the number of dots d,at each of the founders
of the Haunt possesses (maximum 5). Members of a Circle usually
share one Haunt in common, but also know of each pri.
vare Ha<ma. Haunts are places c:J spiritual IX"'oer. "'Orkinc the
craft of one's power is easier there. If the wraith who "owns" a
llnunt passes into Oblivion, however, the powero( the Haunt will
die as well. The Shi'O\Id will reesrablish itself around the area.
If you want both a communal and a private Haunt, you
must purchase this &ckground cwlce. A Haunt is approxi
ma1cly 10 square feet for each point in this Baclq:round.
You have a small ci05Ct, a back alley, or some
other tiny, out-ofthe woy place.
You have an apartment-sited pcr110nal Haunt.
You have a large perronal Haunt or several
smaller personal Haunts.
You have discovered a small but very powerful
personal Haunt that is easily hidden.
You have more hiding places than a cockroach.
Powerful wraiths liOft'lerimes ch005e to aid Enfants, mold
ing them into allies for the future. TI\ese lieges, or Mentors,
hve their own personal reasons for aiding rhe young and weak.
Some want reliable underlings; others try to fulfi ll their Pas
sions through altruism.
The Mentor B.1ckground can also reduce the experience
point cost when learning new Area nos. If a character wants
to learn a nc"' Arcanos by her Mentor, the player
may roll a number of dice equal to the number of dotll in Men
tor; each success subtmcr. one from the number of experience
pnlnts needed to le11m the Arcanos.
Mcnror ha liulc power but is occasionally helpful.

Mentor has some degree of status; her advice Is
sparse, but useful.
Your Mentor knows a great deal and shares much
of this with you.
A wise old Gaunt has chosen to pass on his
knowledge to you.
If your Mentor doesn't know it, thcl\ few if any
among the Restless do.
Funerals. memorials, tombstont$, roonumenrs, days of rcmem
bmnce, wakes, Memorial Dly, Rowers on a gravestone, book dedi
ented "in loving memory," a place set at ThanksRiving for a long
dcp:tnc-d famih member - It would seem that all these fomlS of
remembr-mce are more for the benefit of the living than the dead.
And )'Ct, the Restless benefit greatly from those who remember them
-quite literally. The emotional energy of the living, as expressed in
their thoo&hrs. word. and deed>, is transmitted inro a wmithi Ufeweb.

a wraith can siphon per 5eSSlon. In dire straitS, a wraith who has
already rec:civcd her Pathos for the chap<er can mll her Memo-
riam rating (difficulty 8). TI>e number of successes equals the
amount of l'atl10S pointll she lnsmntly gains. If this roll botches,
her Memoriam rating reduces by one: the d..,d can only >teal so
much before the memories of t.he living diminish.
Note that famous people rmnscend the I to 5 scale for
Memoriam: Elvis, for example, has an 8 Memonam (if he is
indeed departed ... ).
Only one person rememlx:rs you well.
A few close friends remember you.
Your fami ly remembers you fondly.
A large organiL"Ion (the Rotarians, n gnng, a
church congregation, a small culr) remembers
and re,,eres you.
A building or some other pennanent public fu.
cility has been dedicated to you; people u:.c your
name on a daily bnsis.
Although the dead are usually neither concerned nor im
pressed with the mass of the living, tales of the living occa
sionally ftlt<r even to rhe Underworld. Of counc, FAme among
the Restless takes a different hue than ot does among the liv-
ing: one never knoW> who will be noted in death and who will
fade immediately into obscurity.
Ce.rminly, one way to attnoct ohe Oltention of the dead is
to cause many deaths, although creating great beauty or caus-
Ing great sorrow are also notewoo thy among the Restless: No-
oriery can win a wraith instant suppon in the Shadow lands;
Stol')tellers may allow a wraith 10 make a Notoriety roll to see
whether a complete stranger has heard of him.
As with Mernoriarn, ccrtnin wn1ith!1 n:mscend this scale:
Adolf Hitler, for example, no doubt would have a Notoriety of
8 or 9 (and thousands of enemies Oil arrival ... ).
A few local wraiths 11re impressed with you.
You're well known In your Necropolis.
o o o You are recognized by onany in the Shndowlands ..
You arc quite famom; everyone knows something
abom you.
o o o o o Like jim jones, john Wayne Oacy and D.ovid Kaesh,
)'OU wcn:dc!piscd from rhefiost day of your death.
Status represents a wrnith's social srnnding within one or
more of the major of the Underworld: the Hier-
archy, Heretics and Renegades. To possess Smtus implies that
one has earned the group's respect throuch demonstrating loy-
alty to the ideals of the group. With beginning characters, Sta
tuscan mean that one of these three factions has marked rhe
character for recruitment and will pressure him to join.
Ir is possible to more thnn one &ckground,
reflecting Status within two or more s.:porate groups.
Familiar: l11e group members are familiar with
your name and face, although you are still not.
trusted with se<:ret information or responsibility.
Proven: You have proved yourself to the group
members, and they trust you to a certain extent.
The group's lenders haven't yet heard of you.
Respected: You arc rcspccoed by rhe mem
bers and have e:omcod the attention of the local
lenders of the group. Still, you arc not yet in rhc
inner circle's lrusL.
Trusted: You arc truncd by the leaders of the
group and are rcgulnri) Riven secrets and infor
mat ion. Although" few group members still
doulx yoursincerity, no one ls willing tovoke them.
Loyal: You have proved )'OuNelf loyal to the
group. The other group memben mm you "ith
out question, and rhe group leoders have no
qualms about revealing potentially damajling in
formation to you. From rime to 1ime, you will be
rrusted wirh secret dtotles ond/or given special
equipment and aid.
h\ days of old, the Ferrymen would carry a departed soul
ro the afterlife for the small sum of two coins pressed imo the
corpse's eyes upon death. This is no longer the case. The cost
of dying has gone up.
Now the Ferrymen do nor honor the oboli of Stygia, the
coins that have the Mask of Charon imprinted on one side
and the High Court ofStygia on the other. 11lere are denizens
of the Shadowlands who do, however. The Hierarchy uses
Stygian coins as the currency for Its soul-economy. Souls, rel-
ics, artifacts- all have a price.
The oose Stygian coin is called an obolus. Oboli are often
broken into half-oboli, quarter-oboli, and even a "drachma.'' which
is just a sliver of an obolus. The obolus is made of Stygian iron,
and each obolus piece will mystically merge with other obolus
slices. Therefore, two halfoboli will huddle together and evenru
ally merge to form an obolus. Likewise, a collection of drachma
will cvemually melt together and reform into a contiguous coin.
There is currently no known way to debase the obolus,
although the Renegades have been looking for an Artificer
who can do so.
A wraith's Wealth Background indicares three things: how
many oboli she has at the beginning of the chronicle, what kind
of wraithly resources she has available, and how much credit wraidl
merchants are willing ro extend to her. Obviously, characters who
are very new should not be allowed to take this Background, as its
possession implies that a wraith has spem some time fonnulating
a method by which to receive regular wealth.
You have no source of income, but own a cache
of valuables that might be cashed in at some Iacer
date. You start with two oboli.
You are a reasonably well-off wraith, and you get
a few oboli now and then through performing
various services. You start with three oboli.
You have a small savings of oboli and a regular
clientele. You start with nve oboli and receive
half an obolus per story.
You have a cache of valuables and have found a
surcr.rc way to make oboli. Other wraiths work for
you and give you a portion of their proceeds. You
start with six oboli and receive one obolus per story.
You hnvc a regular source of income and several
caches of valuables. You start with seven oboli and
receive three oboli per story.
A wraith's Corpus Trait represents the solidity of his form.
Wraiths feel pain and can be "physically" hurt in the Under-
world. Most wraiths' Corpuses appear similar (though not iden
tical) to their earthly bodies. As a wraith's Shadow growsstron
gcr, the appeardnce of the Corpus becomes more twisted. All
wraiths beg;n with I 0 Corpus Levels.
The C<lrpus track on the Wraith character sheet lets a
player record the character's injuries and their effects. Each
wound causes the loss of one Corpus LeveL Check off Corpus
Levels as the character loses them, so the last check made in-
dicates the character's current Corpus Level. As the charac[er
regains Corpus Levels, erase the check marks.
Think of Corpus as a spectrum. At I 0 Corpus Levels, the
wnlith is "solid" and hcalthyi if but one is left, the wraith is
nearly incap<t cimted and largely insubsrancial. As a chardcter
suffers more wounds, he travels down t h ~ spectrum, eventu
ally reaching zero Corpus. Loss of all Corpus Levels indicates
that the wraith has discorporated completely, plunging inro
the Tempest (see pp. l84-186).
As the wrAith heals, he removes these checks one b\
until he is again at full Corpus.
Thee arc two basic ways to lose Corpus: from combat and
other violent interactions with Underworld denizens or phe ..
nomena. or from interaction with the world of the living.
In combat, each success on an opponent's damage roll in-
dicates a lo:ss of one Corpus Level. If an opponent scores lwO
successes, the player checks off two Corpus Levels. How and
when Corpus is lost in combat is explained on pp. 225.
When dealing with the real world, it is assutncll that one
Corpus Level Is lost every time the real world "violates" the
space occupied by the Corpus of the wraith. A Corpus Level
is lost whenever a living person would lHl\'C been hurt, i m ~
paled on or juxmposed by a real-world object. For instance, if
a door suddoenlyopened while a wraith was standing in front of
it, a Corpus Level would be lost. Only one Corpus Level i ~
lost per event, and it is assumed tluu the wraith l,c(:ornes Jn ..
corporeal during that turn.
Copus is so easily regained, and so difficult to lose, that
wraiths arc able co take tremendous pul\ishment and still keep
coming bac'k for more. They arc not confined by the same harsh
rules that restrict humans.
Feu c.,. are m:uerial objeas binding a charncter ro reality. They
are, in fuct, pan of what makes a lost soul a wraith. Each Felter
represents somethinJl, someone or someplace that was impon:mr
to the wrioh in life. The shor glass at )'0\Jr f.worite b." be a
Fetter, b\1t it probably represents more than might be immedi-
ately opparenr; perhaps you spem much of your time drinking
Lhcrc, ignoring your fAmily life. Your favori te tennis mckee mny
symbolize your dream of becoming a smr athlete or simply of get
tlng n life outside your job. Take great care in choosinB your Fet
tcrs, for they em provide a wealth ofinfonnation about )'0\Jrchar
acter, M well as myriad ide"-' for potential plots.
If nll a wmith's Fetters are destroye-d, he can no visir
the Shadnwbnds for exrended periods of time. He may remain in
the Sh.1dowlands for a maximum of (Smminn x 2) minutes.
Becmue each Fetter represents something left unresolved or
undone in the wmith'slife, it is possible co go back and ser aright
unfonl<;hcd busincs. If a wraith can and come to terms
with whatever meaning a Fetter held or him in life, it will no
longer prevent him from moving beyond the Shadowlunds. A
wnlith who hns resolved all her Fetters can journey 10 Srygla and
the Far Shores without fear of being stranded there. By using Argos
tO cmversc the Tempest., she can pass oock and forth betwe-en the
Shndowlonrl rand the rest of rhe Underworld wirh rclnrlve ease.
llur once her Feners arc destroyed, either due to malicious intent
or the mvngesof time, she can no longer return to the Shadow lands.
fo< thi> rcnson, n resolved Fette!! Is highly
pn:ed by agents in Stygia and the Far Rtalms.
rassions ana rathos
If I oniJ could, I'd makt a de<1l with God,
And I'd get him to swap Ol<t places.
Sum nmning down lhtu road,
Sonrt running up rluu hill,
Start rwminR liP rJuu building,
\'(/irh "" l>roblem .. .
-Knee Bush, "Running Up That Hill"
Wmiths nre driven by emotion; for them, passion is the c-s
scnec of cxisrcncc. Wirhout passion, life 1$ no<hing. Even beyond
de:uh, a wmith can focus her passions and thereby change the
world around her. A wraith's Passion Traits embody her desire ro
feel us she did in life. Desire can overcome even death.
As srated in Chapter Five, a player must assign 10 points
of l'nsslons to her character. Each Passion has a rating of I to 5.
11'e emotion that undc.rlics a passion is written in l)l.1rentheses
to ohe left of the rating. To recharge her Pathos Pool via a
Passion, the character must usually evoke that emotion in
.someone else or find JOincone who ls experiencing that
emotion. Sometimes n wrnlth will change the environment to
evoke the desired emotioll ill spectators.
In any scene where a character can sympathize with the
emotions of the living, the player rolls a number of dice equal
to the number of dots ill that Passion (the difficulty of this
action is usually 8). For each succCiS, the wraith gains spiritual
power, called Patho$.
Some examples of Passioru are: Love, Anger, Faith, Hope,
Envy, Pride, Sorrow, Pain and Grc<.'tl.
The Trnlt repreaents a wrnlth's nunement to the
real world. By understanding the esaence of life, the wrnith
gains suength, allowing her to interact with the world around
her. f'Or wrniths, power Is found In p.'>Mion and purpose. Spe-
cifically, Pathos points are used to fuel wrniths' Arcanos. Po
thos <:<ln also be to heal injuries (sec Healir18 on PI! 198).
Pathos is fleeting, however. The c.1priciml$ whims of pas-
sion can lift a wraith to an epiphany of bliss when she least
expects ir. It can also abandon her in her time of need. A wmith
often drnws upon her PathO$, and ns n result, the level of a
chamctcr's Pathos call change significantly during nn ndven
rure. The maximum Parhos rating is 10.
Drawing Pathos from pure emotion can be difficulr. Feel-
ings ore sometimes ullfocused, ond sympathy Is nor always com
pier e. However, "' wrdith cHn become even strOn1(cr when pas ..
sion is dire:cted townrd :\ purpose. For lnsnmce, n wnlith may
be driven by love, but her power will be greater lfherrcason to
go on depends on saving her lover from Jnngcr.
Examples of purposu are:.
Anger: Fight Injustice
Avenge your death
Punish a type o( criminal
Overthrow a comopt leader
Fight the criminnlsyncllcore thardesuoyed you
Love: Find a new owner for a cherished item
Protect your daughter
Express unrequited love
Help your true love find someone ct.c
Greed: Posaess a particular valuable item
Serve the Hierarchy for payment
Pmrecr the family for1une
Lust: Experiencegmtifkation you never knew in life
Live vicariously through your ex-lover
Faith: Become a martyr for a cause 1ou know is right
Foster belief In a higher power
Help your family to keep their roith
Hope: Protect rhe oppressed
Protect a homeless shelter
Prevent suicide
Sorrow: Make your Hnunt a place <>f remor;c
Give grief to your enemy
In any scene where a wrnith works toward fuiOIIIng a pur-
pose, the Storyteller will request the player to roll against the
Passion. If, in a scene, the purpose is S(X:cifically addressed,
the difficulty is 6. For instance, if a wraith has rhe purpose
"Protect my love," she will gain Pathos by defending him when
he is attacked. The purpose doe. nor have to be completed;
the character need only work toward it. When a wrnlrh strives
to fulfill her desire, she bolsters her reason for existence.
It is also possible ro gain Parhos by addressing a purpose
in a general sense. For instance, a wrnith may be driven by the
Passion Avenge my death (Venge-ance)." I( the character $1>C
cifi<:<llly played through a scene wherein she came cloocr to
finding her killer, the difficulty, 35 srnted above, lYCXrld be 6.
On the other hand, if dre wraith acted as a vigilante, protected
the innocent or pe111ecurcd a serial killer, the wmith would be
fulfi lling the purpose in a general aense, not a peciOc one.
The task is similar to the specific purpose (avenging the
ch3f('IGter's death), under simil;ar circumstancl.-s, yet still Umws
upon the Passion that underlies it (vengeance). Addressing n
purpose in a general sense instead of o specific one rniaes the
difftculty to 7.
As 5tated before, if the character is attempting to drnw
upon undirected emotion - that is, the Passion that under
lies a wraith's purpose - the difftculty is an 8. Some wrniths
can also force emotions on others through specifi c powcl'l':, such
as via the Arcanos: Keening. A wraith may feed on these feel
ings, but the difficulty is 9. Finally, i( an emotion is feif(ned or
insincere, the emotion is nor strong enough to give rhc wnirh
power. A Pru;sion roll is thus impossible.
In any Passion roll, if the scene involves n wraith's Fetter
or Haunt, the diffi culty of the roll is reduced by one.
Obviously, this is subjective. The wraith will nor I ways
be able to work specifically toward her purpose. After all, al
though she <:<ln fight to maintain her tics ro her former life,
she has other concerns: the stability of her Circle, polincs in
her Necropolis, and so on.ln addition, purposes are sometimes
completed. If a wrnirh seeks ro protect hc.r mortal lover, atld
he dies, she will no longer be able to fulfill that specific pur-
pose. She must, in that case, either seek situations similar to
the ones that SU$t3incd her or live on pure passion. Purposes,
however, can change subtly throughout a wraith's exrstence.
Even when a purpose is gone, the passion that underlies it will
always remain. True passion never dia.
price of passion
Living a passionare life does have its drawbacks. If a wraith
cannot find fulfillment, she will find fnl$11'3tion and pain in-
stead. l( a character botches a Passion roll, she gains one point
of Angst.
h, wl>a1 a world of tyrofir and dcsiR>1
Of pc;wer, of honor, and <nnnipmence,
Is promised 10 rhe suulious arrisan!
- Christopher Marlowe, l)oc!J)l' Fausrus
An Aramos is a spiri rual art:, one that ha'i
robe taught or leamed. Using An:;mos, wrairhs
may perfonn a variety of supernatural actions. Because wrairhs are
spirit, it is a simple matter for them to Jrumipulatc the thiflWi
of d1e spirit work!. Funhennore, over the l'em, many wrairhs have
developed their artS to grant rl1en1 power over rl1e human mind, emo-
tions, tmd the of death ic;clf. Some wmith.'i may even touch the
living world with their ans. although this can prove quite difficult.
All Arcanos vary subtly among wraiths, depending on how
thC\' view themselves and their art. Because of this, each wmith
may have a slighrlydifferem interpretation of an Arcanos.ln fact,
many wraiths have discovered new B$pe<:ts of th.eir Arcanos, new
wa\'8 to nmnifc..'St their spiritual energies. Such experimentation
can be dangerous, but can prove extremely fruitful.
The Storyteller may allow players to invent new uses foe an
Area nos. The Storyteller should examine a player's proposed usc
of an Arc.1nos and compare it with the other arrs of that Arcanos.
If the Storyteller deems that the use is appropriate and that the
characrer has the required level of ability in the Arcanos, the player
may bring the new art into play.
If the character had time to research and study this new use
of an An:anos, then the Storyteller should assil,'ll a difficulry and
an amount of energy appropriate to its level. Conversely, if the
new use \\>as created "on the fly," d1e Storyteller may assign a higher
difficulty and cost. Keep in mind as well that the am listed here
have been tested over time - who knows what side effects or
orher dangers could be discovered through experimentation!
Ench Aromos is divided into scvcn1l arts ofincre-.dSing erudi ..
tion, which become available to the wraith upon learning the
secrets of that Arcanos. As the wraith delves further into rl1e
nwstcrk-s o( the Arcanos, he begins to learn greater arts rclatl.'XI to
the Arcanos. Knowledge of the lesser arcs still remains, though
:;cone of the greater arrs render the lesser ones obsolete.
A wnlith swdying a given Arcanos must nrst le-arn some of
the basics associated with that Arc.1nos. Each Arcanos has one or
more basic abilities associated with it, which the wraith may use
when the Arcanos is nrst bought.
The Body of Truth
Part practical cmft, part spiritual path, an Arcanos is as
much a way of thinking as it is a tool or arc. As its Mme im
plies, an Atcanos is a collection of secrets, mysteries and enig ..
mas. Many of these secrets are useless unless they are paired
with some inner quality of the self.
In (tdllle tcnns, this is n.'Pre:;ented by the fuct that a player must
pair an AtTribute with an An:;mos in order to make an Arcanos roll.
The effect of d1e pairing isdetennined by what Attribute and Arcanos
are used, plus a few other con.1iiderntions, such wherher a Ferrer is
present, whether the wraith is enacting the An:;mos inside a Haunt,
and what fuels the art (either PadlOS or some od>et power).
The Seed of power
Wraiths must hamcss their Pathos i11 order to affect both
the living world and the Shadowlands around them.
System: Pathos is gained from a number of sources. See
Parhos, pg. 136-137.
The chains of life
Because Fetter> arc essentially metaphysical chairu bind
ing a wraith to her past life, it is easier to affect the living and
the living world within the boundary of a Fetter's influence.
System: If applicable, the taring of a Fetter can reduce the
difficulty for an Arcanos. The Ferter must be used as part of the
crafting of the art. Roll the rating of rl1e Fetter versus a difficulty
of 6; for each success, the difficulry of an Arcanos is reducc'<i by
one for the duration of one scene. (Storytellers who like "cn<nchier''
rules will alter the difficulty of the Fetter roll by I or 2 depending
on how well the Fetter is imcgrted into the crafting.) 11>e diffi
culty of an Arcanos roll cannot be lowered to less than 4.
The shroud of Death
The power of the living to deny the power of death is
great. This protective barrier is called tl1e Shroud, and it in-
hibits wraiths from affecting the living world. The Shroud is
often weaker around Haunts. Haunts are places affiliated with
death, and they often act as a "universal Fetter" for all wraiths:
System: The Shroud is everywhere. For wraiths, the
Shroud is usually rated at 9. Sometimes - at night, in certain
cities, or on special holidays- the Shroud drops to 8 or 7.
The Shroud is often lower within a Haunr. A Haunt will re
duce the difficulties of all Arcanos performed within it by I
per level of the Haunt. Note: the eating of the Shroud can
never fall below 4.
The Mark of power
In order to learn an Arcanos, a wraith must internalize the
secrets and mysteries that make up the body of the Arcanos teach
ings. l11esc secrets mark her in many different ways- ways that
are recognitable to other wraiths. Cerrain wraiths even gain
dCjlthmarks (see Chapter Two) as a result of their studies.
System: A simple roll of Perception + rhe appropriate
Arcanos (difficulty 7) allows a wraith with a specific Arcanos
to sense wherher another wrdith knows the same one.
~ e a l i t y
The effect of a Haum and a Fetter can be cumulative, but
even then, the difficulty for an Arcanos roll cannot be less
than 4. In addition, the Automatic Success rule (see pg. 93-
94) does not apply ro A ream.
n medieval times, wraiths organized into
b'llilds OO.Cd on the A..canos to which they
had devoted themselve:5. This is no longer d1c
case. Charon once insisted that his U!gions
should learn Arcru1os, and he actively discour-
aged the teaching of Area nos outside of the
Hierarchy. However, the guilds were dis-
banded cenmries <lgo.
Still, the rmdirion of the g<1ilds remain., if only in the sen..-.:
d1at wraiths who master certain Arcanos often share the same
qualities, have similar valut-:;, and share ethics. If you show )
0ur ..
self to know Argos, people will probably call you a Harbinger-
whether or not you choose to acknowledge that ririe is up ro you.
A few guilds were never sanctioned by the Hierarchy. These
were the Haunters' Guild, the Procrors' Guild and the Puppe-
teers' Guild. The Chanteurs, Masquers, Oracles, Spooks and
Sandmen, while never quite respected by the Hiernrchy, were tol-
erated. The Ani fleer>, MonitOrs, Usurers and Pardoners were flnnly
controlled and sanctioned by the Hierarchy.
o you mur mt!" I a.sktd h<T. I h.ld out my
hand. "Do you wanrro Jet beyond the dafk.
Basic Abililies
ness'" Site nodded slowly, nnd rook my hand... Tempest peek: This art rhc wruirh ro peer Into the
Art:ns is the knowledge of the secret Tempe-st and ce If anyone (or anythinG) lies in wait there.
pathways through the Tempe!t and how to She may see and be seen by beings nearby in the Tempest, and
rravcrse them. h also allows a wraith to may with 1he.m M well.
"swim" in rhe Tempest's dark nuid. System: In order to peek successfully lnro the Tctnf>Cst, a
1l1is Arcuno< is used to trnvel rhrough rhc Tempest quickly wrnirh must roll Perception + Argos (difOculcy 6). 11te num
and efficicnrly. Argos ennbles wrai rhs ro travel into, om of, ber of successes indicares the clarity of the wrairhs vision. A
:mtl through the Tempest :md to find Br"oays allowing rela botch causes the wraith's mind to play tncks on her: she sees
tively safe tnwcl ro orher realms within rhe Underworld. something In the Tempest th:u isn't real.
Storyteller Argos movement in the Tempest Threshold: In order to enter or leave rhe Tcm,
Tempest. A wraith with no Argos Arcan06 will num aim pest, a wraith must usually find a Nihil large ono .. to
lessly and can on I) spend Pnth06 point to change pass through. Use o( this an allows a wmith to open a
his direction. Flo.1ting about in such m:tnner is quite doonvay into the Temp'"' and enter it. The doorwa)',
dangerous: Spectres (cspcei:tlly Shades; see the Ap usu:rlly <mall and circular in sh:rpc, closes up itnmecli
pendix) are comlirnrly on the a len for n lone wraith ately after he passes rhrough.
who has nu;otc-d into their area. \Vithom knowl- System: The playN must roll Strength + Argos
of Arg06. it is nearly impossible to find a (dofficulry 7) to open a thrC>hold.
Byway it is posSible ro follow some Orienteering: The Tempest is an nlien and
one else unw one). For ndditional inforrna dangerous where dist:mce and
tiun on the Tempest, see Tire Tempest In rime little bearing. This art allows a
Chapter Two. wraith to determine his location in the Tem
Feel fre-e ro allow onecharnctcr to "carry" pest and to Ond his destination. Orienteering
the rest of the group wirh her; as long ns llnws a wraith to travel w his chosen destina
others do not resist the power, they can be swept lion along the quickesr and easiest path (u>ually a
along just by holding hands with the Artoos user. ' Bf\\'1\y), avoiding :u many obstacles as possrhle.
You may, howevN. wish to incr<-ase rhe difficulty of Trvel through the Tempe>t using Orienteering
Arcos actions in Lhis case. alone I$ a dangerous undertaking :lnd is at
Seemingly stricken woth a kind of \\'1\nderlust, Harbin
tend to m:rke nightly excursions to far-niT places and rerum
bcfurc the som rises. Many fonner guild members still work for rhe
Hocrarchy, carrying important mtsSages froru Stygia to the
Shadowlan<k und back. E\en though the is defunct, it is
considered h:td manners and bad luck ro hindrr a Harbit)ger in his
ln the past, Harbingers were honorbound to rescue wraiths
C1luuht in 'he Tempesr: however, Spectres have be_ ..
gun in$: lost wmitlu in order to lure Harbingers into
tt:l iJS, and so tl,iscuslom has been, for tl1c pare, suspended.
11te typical Harbinger is very quiet, controlled and cnlm and
Ul(WOSSWiftly wherever she 1.,... One can identify a Harbonger by
looking into her e)'<.'S: because of the amount of rime spent in the
Tempe-st, " H:rrhlngcr's C)'CS bccorne jetblack over time.
tempted Oll ly by the most foolhardy. However,
Orienteering c< excellent for finding one's ""'l' our of the
Tcmpesr should one be stranded there by some mishap.
System: 11le player "" " r roll Perception + Argos (dlffi
culty 8). Because rime and distance arc nebulous in the Tem
pest, the number of su<ecsses gincd the length of
1 3 successes Standard travel time
4 successes Half standard travel time
5 successes One-qu.1rrer standard trvcltime
Failure indicares that the wraith ha> t."nc in the wrong
direction and may become lost. If the Storyteller chooses, this
could become an advcmure. If rhe player botches, the wraith
i$ h-eading into c<:nain danger: a nest of Spccrrcs, ::t Matl-5trom
or some other
Track: This ability allows a wraith to track another wrairh
who has gone imo the Tempest. In order w have :my chance
of success, the target wraith must be followed immedi
atcly after disappearing into rhe Tempest.
System: The trocker must roll Perception+ Argos (diffi
culty 6). Thisdifficulry increases by one for every turn elapsed
between the entry of rhe quart')' and the pursuer. Of course, if
the quarry is aware of his pursuer, he may attempt to evade her
by making a Dcxteriry +Argos roll (difficulty 6). Each success
scored subrracrs one from rhe pursuer's successes.
Because those with Argo.."i must avoid rhe hazards of the
Tempest, they first learn how to move through it unseen. This
an allows the wraith to wrap herself in dark shadows and thus
move invisibly rhrough both Tempe.n and Shadowlancb. When
first evoked, this art causes the wroith co vanish suddenly from
vie1v. l11e wraith is thereafter cloaked in shadows.
System: The player rolls Dexterity+ Argos (difficulty i).
The number of succtsses equals the number of rums the char-
acter can remain Enshrouded. The character can attempt an
other use of rhe arr soon as she feels her first evocarion fad
ing, although this costs more Pathos and renders the wraith
momentarily visible. l11e character can usc no other Arcanos
except Argos arts while mainraining Enshroud; otherwise, rhe
effect is broken.
II Wings
This art allows a wraith ro fly in both the Tempest and
the Shadow lands. TI1is flight resembles gliding and is not very
fast (about as fast as a normal human can run), but it allows
the wrairh ro gllin access to otherwise hard-toenter areas.
Wraiths may also use this art to hover.
System: TI1e player must roll Stamina+ Argos (difficulty
6). The ability ro fly la.<t.< one rum per success gained. The
Storyteller may require Dexterity+ Argos rolls to avoid colli
sions and to stay aloft in certain turbulem areas (i.e., abo"c a
Nihil, or in certain areas of the Tempe.<r). Nore rhat a charac
ter must be Incorporeal in order to fly while in the Shadow lands
(see Corpus pg. 197-198).
Ill flicker
The uses temporal and spatial distortions of d1e
Tempest to her ad van rage when employing this arr. This allows
her to move short disrances very quickly. Generally these mini-
jumps must be widlin line-of-sight. l11is art may also be used to
surprise an opponent by fl ickering out and appearing behind him.
System: The player must roll Dexterity + Argos (diffi-
culty 6) when attempting to usc this art. If successful, travel
time is reduced by one mrn per success gained. For example, if
Mary was rrying to run down the block, and the Storyteller
decided that it would take five turns for her to do so, she could
.... jump
that the character has become stuck in the Tempest and may
Mt use thi art tO emerge: he will insread have to open a thrc:ih
old (as in Ttmpesr Threshold, hove) .
loinlc of liae power of doe Sluldow: dark, all-
knowing. perverse. It is the ultimace enemy.
You """' steel yoamelf against itS lies! Usten
co me! You musr see rile rr1dh. Lisccn co my

Castigate is one of the few tools that
wraiths have against the Shadow and its
power. Those who learn if also learn what causes the
Shadow to become active, as well as what drains the Shadow
of its malevolent power.
Each Pardoner mus.r learn his own way of
tion: physical punishment, ritual purification, sermons,
insults, taums, quiet embraces, gcndc words, drum ..
ming. ex err ion and sensory deprivation have all been " ""'"'"'
used to draw out the Shadow and drain its power.
The most coonnwn way of Castigating the
Shadow is by gaining knowledge of rhc nature
of the Shadow being Castigated and specifi
cally targeting it through a kind of dialogue.
This dialogue has come ro he known as the
Devil's Dialectic.
Storyteller Notes: Castigate gives a wraith
rome small degree of conrrol ewer Shadows, bOth
her own and those of others. It also gives rhe wraith
a great deal of insight into the Shadow. The Story-
teller should make sure that players do not abuse this
power. A II dealings wirh the Shadmv should be dan
getous; even when the character has some degree of con
trol, there should be a modicum of uncertainty.
rardoners - Castigate
The Pardoners' Guild was the closest thing to a religious
organi%arion [har Srygia ever had. Because gcrting rid of one's
Ang>t was so important to the Stygian Empire, there used to
be branches of the guild in every colony. Charon himself is
n1mored to have had his own personal Pardoner, whom he rc ..
tained long after the guild was disbanded.
Even today, when rhe guild has been disbanded, no Hier-
archy Centurion will arresl a Pardoner for hanging our his iron
1amern) marking that he is in business.'' Sooner or later,
cryonc needs a Pardoner.
Because of rhe narure of rheir work, older Pardoners have
an almost religious or spiritual mindset when speaking of Cas
ti&'lltion, while newer wraiths (especially former psychologistS)
speak of rhc Shadow in psychological terms.
One can tell a Pardoner by the black sraios on fi ngers,
which ;uisc from wuching or otherwise imcracting widl
ers' Shadows.
Basic Abilities
Soulsight: By looking carefully'" another wmith, the user
may peer deeply into his soul and see the inner darkness. This
allows the user to measure the power of that wraith's Shadow,
and to see how dose the Shadow is m consuming him.
The u.ser may only look at another's Shadow in this way,
not her own.
This arr may also be used co sense rhe: presence
of Spectres, especially Doppelgangers (see the Ap-
pendix), because the Shadow is so strong within
System: By rolling Perception+ Castigate
(difficulty 8), the user may determine the
strength of anorher wraith's Shadow. The
Storyteller will describe the strength of the
Shadow as weak, nominal, fairl1 strong,
strong o r eminent depending upon the
character's current Angst score. Additional sue
ccsses tnay give the user further insights into the
nature of the character's Shadow.
A failure me.tms rhat che user cannot sec the
Shadow (perhaps her own Shadow clouds her eyes).
A botch indicates a radically wrong reading.
Bulwark: The wrairh can briefly protect herself and
others from the ravaging effectS of a Maelstrom. It is as if
she throws up a shield against the onslaught of the storm,
causing the Maelstrom and its Specrres m roar past unhct"<.J,
System: To erect a Bulwark, the player must roll Stamina
+Castigate (difficulty of the Maelsrorm's rating+ 3). The char
acter must spend I Pathos for each level of the Maelstrom she
is resisting, though she may extend this protection to anyone
she touches.
Those with rhis arr have more control over their own
Shadows than most wraiths. Thel' are able to drow on the power
of their Shadows with considerably less risk.
- System: By rolling Charisma + Castigare (difficulty 6), a
wraith may modify the number of Shndow Dice (see pg. 183)
that he chooses to use for any given task. Nunnally the
Shodowguide offers the player a fixed number of txtr:l dice.
Every two gained wid C:O.t.x allows the player to add
or subcract die.
Though it does nor cost anything to use this power, an
Angst point is gained each time it
" Dark Secrets
By examining another wraith's Shadow, the Castigator may
lc-m the wraith's dark sccrers. This is not easy, for the
Shadow may fet-d the Castigator false information. Only the
most discern in& individuals are able ro glean much truth from
the Shadow; of course, the weaker the Shadow, rhe easier It Is
to manipulate.
System: lly carefully examining rhe Shadow within nn
other wraith and rolling Perception +Castigate ngainst a dlffi
culry <qu:>l to the target's Willpower, the Castig:uor may lenm
secrets about rh3l character. The player of that character (or
the Storyteller) must answer one question per success gained.
Halfttuths and cryptic responses arc allowe-d (the Shadow is a
master of clcceot). The target char.cter tna)' tlect to hae hit
Shadow make an opposed Angst roll.
Each use of this an costs 1 Pathos .
Through for<e of will , the CastiglllOr may slowly and core
fully brrok the power of another wmith's Shadow. This is clo11c
by ravaging the Shadow In a manner chosen by the
tOr. Each CaStigator has his own methods by which he purges
the Shadow from another. These methods mngc from scnnon
lzlng to actunl flagellation.
System: When using this an rhe Storyteller rolls the
charncrer's Charisma + c,stigate (difficult)' of the subject's per-
manent score). (The Storyteller is aware of the subject's
permanent Angst score.) The subject may assist by spending a
point to aid the Castigation. The number of suc-
cesses rolled indicates the amount of tcmpornry Angst the >ub
ject loses. The subject suffers one Corpus Level of damage for
each point thus removed. The CastigatOt will receil'e a tern
porory point of AngSt for each "I" he rolls.
.... Casting Out
By exetling her will, the wraith may can out and forbid
the presence of any Spectres in her immediate nrca. Jf she is in
u stntcture, It immediutcly becomes protected from Spectres.
This an drives om all Specrres currently mamfested in the area,
as well as Specrres in hiding. For some reason, this ar1 has no
effect on Doppelgangers.
System: The player rolls Charisma+ Cl!Stigate (difficulty System: When a charncrer's Shadow attempts to take over
7). The number of successes indicates the number of turns the her character, the player may anempt to defy the Shadow by
ward lam. If a Specrre is already present, a roll must first be rolling Charisma + Castigate. The difficulty equals t he
made against its Angst rating in order to banish it. The Spec- l'ch'""':te1r'scurrent Angst. Each success reduces the character's
tre may resist with an Angst roll. by one, and the Shadow may not make a resisced roll. If
'"" Defiance
The wmith who possesses this Arcanc)S is able ,,11:1,,, , 1
a ~ a i n s t her own Shadow, defying its power over ner.u,non
ever the Shadow anemp<s to take control, t he
tempt to suppress it. She may also atremp< m do
another's Shadow.
is used to defy m\othcr wraith's Shadow, the difficulty
the subject's current Ant,>st + 3.
failure adds one to the character's temporary Angsr. A
IJOJcch: t:a"'"" <he character to add one permanent Alflgst.

/one ... there it i$ again. Do y<>11 ftel it! A
pinprick, n01hing more. But a real touch, a
wd feeling. fJUiuisir., isn't it!
Embody is the power to manifest in
the physical world. This Is forbidden
Code prohibits in
rcrferlng with the living world. Still,
wr:liths have bn using this Arcnnos for millennia.
Storyteller Notes: Going from the Shadowland' tO the
living world is like going from a numb, cold W"dSteland to a
warm, balmy climate. 11lc changes are superficial, but in
credibly exquisite.
Wraiths learn Embody by expc><i ng theit fragile forms
to imcnsc sensory Input and focusing on that input.
After n while, however, rhis Input is nor needed. Ex
ample$ of such sensory Input ore: looking at oneself
In a mirror; focusing on somethtng cold, hot, sharp.
or hrd; or listening tn a very soft or very loud
While a wraith Is usinll an Embody arl
that allows him to nmnifest physically, he
is far more susceptible to harm. Any damage
done to him is applied a:; though he were a
mortal. that a Materialized character will
suffer Dice Pool pcnalcies for his wounds. Sec
Health on pg.200.)
For example, while roaming the Shadowlands,
a wruirh named ja:iQn encounters a vampire who is
aware of his presence. The Yamplre pulls out pistol
and fires in jason's general direction. With a lucky shot,
he hits jason. llecause jason is immarerial, he only suffers
one Corpus Level of damage, even though the bullet passed
right thro"llh his chest (the vampire scored five SUCCC$Se$).
However, if Jason had been Embodied, he would have suffered
a number of Corpus Levels equal number of Health Lev
els the shot would hove inntcted on a mortal.
11>< difficulties of all Embody rolls equal the local Shroud
r.ting. Embody has very little usc In the TemfX!'t.
froctors - Emilody
The Proctors' Ouild was never a part of the Hierarchy,
although the Hierarchy often used it before it was offocially
disbanded. The Procwrs operated in the living world, perform
i"llthe complex actions that could not be accomplished with
Outrnjle (although many knew that Arcanos as well). Although
forbidden by Charon's Code to interact with mortal., they fre
qucnrly ignored the Code and dtd what they pleased. For a
rime, Centurions were appointed to hunt down Proctors and
enthrall them. Now, the has bigger fish to fry, al
though a particularly blaro.nt trrucresslon will still mise the
Hierarchy's ire.
One can tell a Proctor by the suange patches of light and
dark on his body, marks of too many passings through the Shzoud.
After suece.sfully manifesting in a particulr fashion to
a person, the wrnith can invest Willpower to create an
attunement to that person. Each time the wraith success-
fully appcan, she may invest one point of Willpower.
This represents a process of identifyin& with the Con
sort. The closer a wr:lith was to an individual during
life, the easier it is to become attuned to that per
son. Attuning to a stranger CO$ts five points of
Willpower. Atruning to a close friend may only
rake two or three point$. Once the attunemem
is esro.bli>hed, all difficulties when Embody
ing to that person (and that person alone)
are reduced by three. Additionally, there is
no Pathos cost when using Embody to appear
to that person.
11te side effect of this is that only the attuned
person can see and serue the wraith-other mor
cals may think that the subject is crazy. Conversely, a
single person who believes in the wraith can footer
others' belief, facilitating arrunement to those people.
Ghostly Touch: The wraith may extend just a whisper
of a touch to the material world, about as mong as a linger
descending on a keyboard. The wraith must focus all of her
attention in order to make even the lightest touch.
System: The character must roll Strength + Embody (dif
ficulty of the local Shroud) In order to use this alt. the Material Form: Though this art gives the
wraith no new abilities, it allows the to maintain an
Embodied form for a longer duration.
System The player must roll Stamina + Embody (diffi
culcy 7). Each suceess may be added to the number of sue
cesses already gained for the Embody power being used.
This art cosu one point of Pathos to use and one point of
Pathos per success gained. If the player botches, not only does
the roll fail, but the Embodied form insrantly dissipates.
The wraith may make her voice heard in the living world.
The wraith's voice is no louder rhan a whisper. ( It is not nec--
essary to use this Arcanos to speak to supernaturol or magical
creatures, only beings affecr<-d by the Shroud.)
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Embody. The
dift.culty equals the local Shroud. One short sentence may be
spoken per success g-ined. A botch means that the wraith has
lost her voice in the Shadowlan& for a scene: it got stuck in
the Shroud when she projected it there.
ll>is art costs I Pathos to use.
II rnantom
This arr allows the wraith to manifest as an intangible,
translucent figure. He appeMs to hover just inches off the
ground and has only barely discernible features.
Mortals who sec the wraith will become intensely afraid
and act accordingly. The moment the wrai<h vanishes, mar
tals will begin to doubt what they saw, and will soon rational
izc away the fact that they saw anything at all. (Sec The FoR,
System: The player must roll Charisma+ Embody (diffi
culty equal to the local Shroud) . The number of successes in
dicates the number of turns during which rhe character may
remain manifested. A botch means that the charocter imme
dinrcly dematerializes and vanishes into the Tempest.
The character may also try to scare any mortals who per
ceive him by rolling Manipulation + Embody (difficulty equal
to the target's Willpower). This roll may be modified if the
cluordcter has used Moliatc or some other Arcanos to modify
his appearance.
This art costs I Pathos to use.
"' ~ t a t u e
This art allows the wraith to become solid for a period of
time. When materializing in this form, the wraith appears as
an idealized version of himself. He cannot move, speak or simu
late breathing; he may be touched, but his flesh will feel cold
and hard, like smcx>th marble.
Smtue is often used to hide in a crowded area (wraith or
Spectre pursuers in the Shadow lands often overlook a Statued
wrAith - for example, if they're looking for a wraith, they
may miss the "mortal" sitting quietly by the fireplace).
System: The player must roll Stamina + Embody. The
difficulty equals the local Shroud. Each success on the roll in
dicares how many times the character can be touched, or how
m a n ~ ~ scenes he can 1emain manifested, whichever comes first.
A failed roll results in one temporary point of Angst as the

chanlcrer's separorion from the world grows srronaer.
A borch Indicates that the charocter becomes a Phantom for a
few seconds, then fades away. All damage suffered is calcu
lated as if rhe wrnlth were mortal (see Sroryreller Nares, above).
This an costs I Pathos to use.

When rhis arr is employed, the wrAith appears as
what abstract form of her mortal self. Her ap,)tarortce,ITIJ
on her (now somewhat spotty) memory
The wraith's Psyche tends ro Idealize its lfonncr form<SP
using this form will usually appear rnure oe:auttrUILlll:ar
A botch causes the characrer tO appear briefly as a Phan
tom and then vanish, bestowing one point of Angst.
This an 2 Pathos.
Through the use of this art the wrairh can assume a n<'arly
state. EverythilljJ abou1 him appears human: he can
his flesh is w-.lnn, and he will bleed if cur. Many wroirhs
by the finr rime they assume rhis
<;Sil;.ci:olly if they have been dead for a long time.
this fom the wrnith can do anyrhing he- could
'ofllii!o.w:as srill alive - the only drawback being that
in real life. When she materializes, itls as a
penon (black skin has a grayish tinge;
as it takes an incredible amoont of concentra
to mainrain this form.
deathly white) - very similar to a
Superficial examination will not A
must roll Manipularion + Embody to
difficulty of this roll equals the currenr
Someone who knew the wrnlth in life,
altered appearance. People may notice rl to the person viewing him, he
are cold und that she seems to be A ... ,.t\.1 o per succe$5. Otherwise, each sue-
is because the wraith must exen to' for as long as it rakes to draw
maintnin this form. he may speak, or move, or kiss,
System: The player must in this form a the character is
(difficulty of the local Shroud)) a monal (sec Sroryulltr Nares,
ber of successes indicates the Ji
may remain manifested.
currently wears a huma.nlik/li:
into something monsrrous,
fall immediately into the
choose, rhe character may
for Appearnnce while in this
acrer rakes damage as if she
Parhos points and I Will
a tal ism
his is rhe Two of SkulL<, siL01ifying indecision.
Reversed, ir suggem a choice )O" made in life
wltich now regret. Crossing it is rhc Five
of Bone.i, s:ymb<Jliting rnaniJmfation rhrough
reb.llior.s power. Perhaps you're being influ-
enced by rhc Renegades, no? Yo11r secrcr is safe
with me. Ah! The Monument. Very
ing- everyrhing disinregraus around you as rhe Mon11menr falls .. .
WraiLhs usc this Arcanos to sense and ,ead the mark of
fare on a soul. Of course, because tl ll have yet w
meet their end, their fare is nor yet decided. Still, a wroirh
may usc Fatalisrn ro peer into another wraith's past or
look forw,.rd inco the {possible) future.
Contmry to popular belief, Fatalism actually
works fairly well in the Shadow lands.
Storyteller Notes: The arts of Faralism com
in many ways be among the most powerful of
1he Area nos. Great catc must be taken to en
sure that rhis is not abused. T hese
ans should never be used frivolously. Fate
can be a dangerous thing ro trifle with, and
t..hc wrairJ1 who overuses this art may fi nd
herself petmanently entwined in the strands
Oracles - fatalism
Oracles are often found traveling with bands of
Sandmen, Ch:mteurs, and even Stxmks, bccttusc they
find it safer with others atOtll\d. They don't advertise
their profession: rather, they wait for other> to come to
them. 1l1ey do not give advice t<> people who do nor ask.
The Otacles' Guild was at one time universally hunted
by the Hierarchy because the Grand High Omcle, Serena. once
told Chamn that he was fated to be destroyed in the Tempe>!.
Since Charon vanished, however, the Hierarchy has stopped
its persecution of the Oracles. Many yeors ago, it is said, the
Omclcs served the Lady of Fate directly.
One can tell an Orocle by her gaudy dress and tendency
to inscribe symbols of Fate on her forehead and arms.
Basic Anilities
Kismet: This art allows a wraith to perceive rhe tole of
(me with regard t<> a spc.: cif'ic situation or person. People wid\
b'l'Cat destinies or those for whon'l fate has a special role seem
IO ''shine" slightly brighter than people who arc playing a lesser
role: they arc to pick out in n crowd.
System: By rolling l'erccption +Fatalism (difficulty 6), a
c:Jn sense whcrher something is more or less imporc<lnt
in the "overall scheme of things." In game terms, this Mt al-
character w discern lhe Storyteller characters and other
()layers, characters in a ptlrricula r scene.
fatal Vision
The wraith can read a person'sdcachmarks. These marks,
borne by wmiths and mortals who are soon to die, tell some
thing of how 1hat individual died or is fated to die.
Dc.arhm::uks generally ;1ppear on mormls shortly before
they die, though they may appear earlier on one who is
fmcd to die a particularly nagic death.
Sysrem: The must roll Perception + Fa
tal ism (difficultyeq"al to the subject's Willpower).
If this ability is used prior to a use of lnterpreta
cion (see below), cHch success adds one die
when using rhm art. Fatal Vision also indi
cates whether the target has been subjected
ro Famlism i:n rhc past .
A botch indicates that the character
hns misread th.c subject's deathmarks.
" Danger Sense
Atlhis point the wraith has become so attuned
to t he webs of fate that he can sense fai nt vibrJtions
along rhe strands, thereby gleaning waminss of im
mincm danger.
Sy$tcm: Whenever the character is in imminem
danger, the Storyteller may roll the charocter's Perception
+ Faralism (dirficulty 6) . This difficulty may be raised or low-
ered depending on rhe n:uurc of the danger. E;1ch success in
crease-s rhe o( (orcwarn ing the chMacccr receives-
generally one lm'n per success.
... Interpretation
Through various of divination (relics) Tarot c-ards. rhc
1 Ching, asrroiOJ,.')' or crystal pendulums), the Fatalist can intCI'#
prct a person's fate Or discover somethinG about his p;lSt. TI1is art
may be attempted without the us.e of any J)iltaphernalia, th0<1gh
doing so is consiclembly more difficult and is generally attempted
only b}' a master or in the most dire circurnsranccs.
System: The player must roll Manipulation + Fatalism
(difficulty equal ro the subject's Willpower). Both rhe Fatalist
and the subject ""'Y spend Willpower on the rnll. For each
success gained, che character mn.y ask one shon que-stion nboul
manner. AnempLing lmc.rprctation withom rhe use of any
divinarory tools incre:ues the difficulty by two.
This an cosu 2
kchesis' Measure
A wraith who has mastered this art can S<:RS<: how the
fote .. twines of th.e wraiths around her interne and
where they should be and where they are going now.
This P"nornmic vista give$ the wraith an objective view of her
situation, perhaps providinsc new insight into it.
System: The player """I: this art must roll Perception +
Fatalism (difficulty 6). The number of successes indiC!Itcs the
amount of information the Storyteller will bestow. The Story
teller can use this art ro impart information the character
has somehow missed or provide guidance concerning her fu
ture courS<: of action.
Usc of this art cost.< 2 Pathos.
""' luck
A wtaith with this level of Fatalism has begun to team to
manipulate fare itself, but only in a minor fashion. Fate seems
to smile upon the character, and everything she does seems
rnuch more auspicious.
System: At the beginning of each story, the character may
roll Wits + Fatalism (difficulty 6). The number of successes
equals the number of" l's" (potential botches) that the player
may ignore for the duration of the story. This does not, how
ever, apply to Harrowil\3$ (sec pg. 184-191 ). This art may
only be used once per srory.
It COSt$ I Willpower point to activate this art.
tning my life, I never cared for peopk. MachiMs
were my passion. Gears and circuics and ftucr
microproces.sors: rh.ese tuere my treasures, m)'
faWJirc works of art. Now I knotv <vitae ir's like
co fly through the wires, to feel my tires buming
down che road, w swnd firm as che wind lahes
my brick sides ...
This art allows the wraith to inhabit an object, extending
his Corpus to suffuse every atom of rhe object. In time, the
wraith may become attuned to an object and be able to
animate it. If the wr.lith claims an object that is subse
quently desrroyed, it immediately becomes a relic.
A wraith with this Arcaoos may infuse relics with
his own power and knowledge by Inhabiting them, im
buing them with Arcanos, and spending Corpus and
Will power to fix d1e powers in place, although this
can mke a lot of time to accomplish.
Sroryreller Notes: All difficult ies in rhis
seer ion are based upon the local Shroud rat
ing unless otherwise noted.
Artificers - inhabit
The Artificers' Guild used ro be one of the
richest guilds in Srygia: this is because irs mem-
bers were paid to forge Stygian weapons, make rei
ics, and create Stygian artifacts. Nhudri, the Grand
High Artificer, was rhe fi rsc member of this guild. Since
the time of the guilds, the Artificers' Arcanos has be
gun to be restricted in the Shadowlands. It is illegal to
fl .. ch Inhabit in many Now Arrificers are looked upon
as tinkers and mechanics, not the grand designers they once
One can identify an Artificer by the reddish heat marks
on his body (from working with soulf'ire).
Basic Anilities
Sense Gremlin: A "gremlin" is a slang term used to de
scribe wraiths d1ar inhabit machines. By carefully examining
an object or machine, a wrAith may determine if it is\'
inhabited by a wraith.
Systenu The player must roll Perception+ Inhabit (diffi
culty 6). Only one success is needed to determine whether or
nor wmcthing is Inhabiting a machine, though more may be
necessary ro determine the Inhabiting creature's exact nature
(nnd number, if there arc more than one). With three or more
successes, the wraith can sense whelher a machine has hccn
Inhabited in the near pasr.
By use of this art the wraith can create a temporary short
in electronic circuits, thus tCn'lpor:arily cutting power to an dec ..
rronic device. The wraidt actually passes his hand briefly into
the machine, thus disrupting the flow of electrons. This may
pcnnancn[Jy damage certain c1cctronic devices, S\ICh as com ..
puters, especially if they are nor equipped wi th surge pro-
System: The player must roll Wits+ Inhabit (dif-
ficulty of the local Shroud). The number of successes
equals the number of things that may be affected at
" Electron .
By slipping into wires and possessing elec
rrons, a wraith may move at speed
across communico.uions
works and computer satellites. Within rhc
Electron Highway, everything appears as
nels, barriers and gateways oflight. or course, the
wraith must overcome these barriers, filters, gate ..
and orher lxmnd:arics before he can slip into
rhe world's computer systems.
System: n,c player rolls Intelligence+ Inhabit (dif-
ficulry of rhe local Shroud). Once the char.lcter is on the
Electron 1-lighwa)', he must ro3llnrelligence Computer in
order to find his way around. This may be an extended ac-
tion depending on how far the character desires to travel.
Additional rolls may be required if rhe is trying ro
access information on a computer system. Once
the character is on the Highway, all difficulties arc set by the
The wraith may also conmnunicate wid1 anyone who is
online, or with other wraiths Inhabiting a cornputcr, by roll ..
ing Manipulation+ Compurer. The difficulty is b"secl on how
"(ar away" the receiving parties are: 4 if they are on a local net,
6 if rhey're on a node across the countTy, or 8 if they're across
the ocean. Communic..uion may be m;tinrai ned indefinitely
and is unaffected by the Shroud, because the user will rhink
the wraith is a mortaiLyping awtly at the other end.
No[C that wrairhs wi thout d1e Computer Knowledge will
r.nd this al't extremely unpleasant rouse-although just about
tmyonc can fi nd his way through the telephone system.
throuRh the telephone synem rc'quircs somple \Virs +
Alertness rolls {difflculry 5).
Thosart costS 2 PathoSto use, plus I l':lthos per additional
wroith transported.
This art allows a wraith to posse,;,; machines and make
them do her bidding. In order ro have complete control of the
machine, rhe wmith must first attune herself to it. If the wraith
Is not ottuncd, she may only cause minor :;.uch rum ..
in,:c il Ol\ oro((- she has no real control over it.
Sy ... m: The player must roll Dexterity + Inhabit (diffi
culty of the local Shroud). Minor effe-cts muy be made wirh
just this roll, but m cxen any rme conrrol, the wraith must use
appropriate abilities {such as Drive) to make the machine do
her bidding. Each individual effect rnu:.t lx: rolk-d fr>r sep.
rntely, unless the item has been arnmed m the Wn'tith.
It costs J Pathos for the character to Inhabit a piece of
machinery, plus I Pathos per effect eoked.
TI1is art allows the wraid1 to Inhabit an object and nwk it a<
hco own for one scene. While rhe wrnirh Cbims an object, her
i!Cnsc. nrc"' nnrmalas they are in the real world but they are
spre\ld O\lt over the entire object dut the wmith l11us, ...
wmith Clniming a house aon "-"' hear and feel everything that
within it, to ir, and around it. While Claiming an object,
the wr:tith may conrrol the object to a slight degree.
System: The player must roll Strength + lnhnbot {diffi
culty of rhc local Shroud). The number of Mrccesses indicat<s
the m.1xomum size of the object that can be Claimed. Only
one success is needed for a small object like a phone, whrle
flve successes arc ncL"<kd <o Claim a house.
If the object is desrroyed while the wraith is Claiming it,
she may expend Willpower and Corpus to fonn it onro a relic.
One Willpower and one Corpus muse be expended per success
required ro Claim the object in the fi rst place.
This art costs 2 Pathos rouse .
..... Empower
This ort allows a wraith to invest one of hi:s Arcnnos ;uts
into n relic, rhus making rhar Arcanos to onother.
Thi creores a form of disposable artifact. Generally, the relic
used must be of a shape appropriate to the type of Arcanos
with which i< is invcS<ed: one cannO< U$llally invest Ourrnge
on a teddy l>ear, for example.
System: To Empower a relic the player must roll \Vns + In
habir. l11c difficulry is equal ro rhe local Shroud: because of this
moo \vrairhs choose to go to their Haunts to use this art. l11c
number of successes indicates the highco;t level of A=nos mar
may be invested into the reltc. Next, the wraith must "use" goes to his I (aunt and lnhabirs the object with the intent to
me Arcmos while focusing his will on the relic; a successful roll Empower it. His player rolls Wirs Inhabit (seven dice for
mus1 be made, using any appropriate Pathos. etc., ald>e)<J&h no Alex) againsr a difficulty of 5 (the local Shroud), and .cores
!astir effect occur5 because of it. At this point, the An:anos 1$ suCCCS$tS: plency ro Empower it with Flicker. After focus
tmh.rd within the relic. Next the character h.els the relic wn.u_),Jil
l! hiS power of Flicker onto the whistle, Alex imests fhe
l'othos. The maximum numbcrofPathoo that may of Pathos (mL-aning that the power can be used fo"c
the initial number of succeM<gained. Thccluuactermust Finally, he decides thar rhe whisrle must be blown in
wha. "acrivmion action" - n phrase, gesrurc, it to be used. He iiwests three mnrc Pathos imo the
rtqulr.d to relea<e the art within the artifact. Finally, therehy scaling it.
"seals" the artifact with three Pmhos points. Alex gives the whistle"' Wendy, who may usc it by
TiutS, a disposoblc artifact Is created. The whistle. Because Alex's Aruos nf 3 is "inside'' the
pend one of Irs Pathos points each time it is used player must roll her Dexteriry + the whistle's
must also pay the appropriate price for each use, spend a Pathos poinLto usc the art, and one
'l"'nding Pathos or Willpower or gaining imide the artifacr is usc<lup, thus leaving ir
the l'athos points in Lhe artifact have]lifell
the Empowered object nonnal
Example: Alex, who knows Argos adi.JI:>wiJ'o,Pl
an oCAicker into a relic of a silver
creau.d "rcchal):cd" but
t.hert is no known 10 make a relic
through rhe use of thiS an.
II around you '<rberou rht songs of rile dead.
Yo" hem rllem hoing in hiRh carhetlral$, in
dml<tntd auditoriums, in yoorr oum Jlttp. All
oro1md )'Ou wail rht songs of rht dead: dare
)OU not Lisrcn co tvhal ltas IJetm sung
since rheir dtarh!
The Arcanos o( Keening allows
wroiths to infect others wirh deep and abiding C1nor ions. Al-
:.ongs arc jusr songs, Keening lets the feelings in its
practirioners' songs seep through the Shroud even
the living. 1l1ey also huve no e(t'ect among the dead.
Note tim< i< is not obsolutely necessary <o smg or
play mus1c to utili"' this Arca110S: the Arcanos
is t:Jughr through it may be tronsmitted by Oil)'
number of methods. I( a wraith wishes, she may
tempi rn \'-'C3ve her Keen lmo $pokcn words or
System: The roll is Perception + Keening (diffoculty 6).
It can be resisted wuh rhe Sotto Voce ability, below.
Sarto Voce: This ability allows a wrairh ro conceal the
presence of KeeninR in normal speech or normal sh1ging.
System: The roll is Manipulation + KccninH (difficulty
6). It can be countered with the Perfect Pitch ability.
If someone with Perfect Pirch is trying to detect Keening
done by someone wirh Sotto Voce. compare the rwo rolls;
whoever scores more successes wins.

Th,. allows a wraith to amplify or provoke "dark"
feelings in listeners: lust' fenr, anser, hate, despair, frus-
tration or cynicism. Many wraiths Dirge n
means to repel mortals from their Haunts.
dance movements, rhc difflculries of all
System: The roll is Charisma + Keening
(diffoculty 8). The number of successes deter
mines the depth and durtion of rhe feeling:
five successes arc sufficient to cause a feel-
ing that lases for :'In entire week.
Keening rolls arc mcrcased by one.
Sroryrcller Notes: 1l1e feeli nl!'l evoked in
victims of Keeninu nrc mtificially created.
Wmirhs can gain P:u hoo from these feelinJ:S,
but the di(ficulry for the Possion roll is 9.
mg one mona! to (eel an c.rxxion that then causes
orher moctals to fcd the same way can ollow wraith
to gah1 further Patho..
Allow music to offect the way you run your
game. You may wish to allow players with Keening
access to a CD player so that the1 can play music ap
propri:orc ro the kind of emotions they are broadcasting.
Chanteurs - keening
The Chanteurs have long provrded music (or the dead.
They were lhc Cirsr wraiths to bring music into I he un ..
dNworld, and they nrc a very proud and arroganr lot. Even
when rhcy were disbanded they rcwincd considtrnble politi
cal clout in Stygia - this is the Stygian nobles would
do anything for cmcrtainmem, and for a time Chanteurs were
comidered robe the only acceptable entertainment.
All Chantetlr11 play a musical instrument. Eve n if a
Chnnteur performs n coJ>Pello, she still employs a noisemoker
of some kind: a tambourine, finger cymb_,f., or drumsticks.
Basic Abilities
l'erfccr Pitch: Perfect Pitch is the ahiliry to sense when some-
one else is using Keening m influence or manipulaLiun cmocions.
Nott that wraiths are rxx as affected by this
an 8! mortals arc: thiS IS because Dirge upon
knowledge of dc11th and the feelings of dead1. For
wmiths, the number of successes on the roll indicates
how many rums they will feel a spcciAc emotion.
This an costs I Patllos.
.. Ballao
This :trt allows a wrai rh to inspire "lighter" emotions:
love. affection, fairh, rnJ$C. inspiration. em.hWtiasm, cheer
or IO)alt). Many use this act to help proreet rhtir Fet
ters and influtnce other wraiths into doing their bidding.
System: The roll is Manipulation + Keening (difficult)'
8). The number of successes determines the depth and dura
tion of the fetling: f\ve successes are sufficient to cause a feel-
ing that lasts for an cmire week.
With wraiths, who are not as easy <o sway as mormls. the
successes equal the number o{ rhat the wraith feels the
emotion. Many wrairhs seek out Chanteurs in order ro feel
earthly cmmions again.
This art costs 2 Pathos.
... Muse
This art allows a wmith to iruplre someone into believing
an k:lea is he.r own. Many former musicians enjoy v1smng liv-
lng musicians and influencing their music styles, although this
art Is often put to more direct use as a means of manipulating
other wraichs.
System: Roll Manipulacion + Keening (difficulty 1 or the
subject's Willpower, whichever is higher). The number of sue
ccsscson the roll indicates how well the subject Interprets the
suggeston: three or fewer Indicate that she gets the
iist of it, but puts her own influence Into it; four successes
inclicare that she will follow the inspiracion as lon11 as it is not
directly harmful; five or more wccesses indicate that the sub
will do the Chnnteur wishes.
Note that this art works just as well on wraiths as It does
oo mortals.
This an coors 3 Pathos.

n.c wraith brings to bear a massive musical assault that
can actually cause harm at close ranee. It may also be used to
call out to other wraiths in the Shadow lands; the sound can be
heard over a great distance.
System: Roll Stamina + Keening (difficulty 8). The num
ber ol successes on the roll equals the amount ol Corpus damace
!he Crescendo inflictS on every wraith in normal hearing range.
This damage may, of course, still be too ked, and It is not aggra-
If used while Embodied, this ore causes (Including
vampirt$, werewolves, ghouls, etc.) to be gripped with a terrible
lw !hat actually causes their hems to polpitate for a oplit second.
l11is inllicmone Health Level of damage per two successes on the
roll. Victims may still attempt to soak this damage.
This art com 2 Pathos plus I Pathos per success.
This art allows the wraith to Infuse her target with f)\tre
The mind and soul are assaulted with the
a1ence of a particular feeling -Iicht or dark.
System: Roll Strength+ Keening (difficulty 7). Thi$ art
can be resisted with a Willpower roll, but only if the subject is
prepared for it. For each success scored by the attacking wraith,
the subject is paralyzed for one turn by the emotion: unable to
move, act, opeak or even defend himself. If the emotion is a
dark one, this an can inflict lastinc menral damaae: if five or
more successes are obr2ined, subtract points from one of the
chamctcr's Ment.11 Attributes or otherwise simulate insanity.
Even if the emotiol\ is pleasant one, it can have a profound
on the subject; he may become an "emotion junkie,"
willing to do anything to feel the "ecstasy again.
This an costS 3 Pathos plus I Pathos per success. If the emo-
tioo is a dark one, the Shadow receives I Angst per success.
ou knew in life tha< C<' was intercrm-
Me, you, her ... wt are all parr of rhe
same sysrem. 1he .same web. \'V'c undt..,-..
stand what holds t<S to tllis life o r/wr we ctm
search for lite means w free nur.5elvcs to Trnn ..
Lifeweb enables a wrnith w rccognitc,
explore and understood the links she has ro life and the living
world. Lifcwcb also enahles the wraith to sense and even af-
fc'Cr her Fetters from a distance.
Storyteller Notes: A wrnith using Lifeweh c.1n feel
the energy of her Fetters. Sometimes this is even pos-
sible if rhe Feuer is far 3\\'ay if the wraith can draw
upon her "sixth sense." By keeping her sixrh sense
dedicated to a specific Ferrer, the wraith may "keep
wnrch" on that Feuer specifically. She may sim
ply choose to wait (or any infonnation m come
in the Lifewcb and send her cnses
there tn f<)lluw up on it Immediately. She
may usc this affinity to touch pcot>lc,
places nnd things HS Fcucrs in
order w watch over l hem.
TI1e Monorors are centnll to sool-gatheriol(.
E"n rhough their guild was disbanded, many Mnni
tors were inducted right into the ranks of thLegions
and made a pan of rhe Hierarchy.
MonitOr$ art fiercely protective of their profession
and, although they will teach other$ the b<lsiu of their
Arc:mos, w1ll not reveal tht higher arts without being
of cheir students' trustworthine-ss. This ;, because they
consider themsdves guardians of the dead, making sure that
llO more souls seep into Oblivion.
One can identify n Monkor by the fact rhar he never closes
his eyes, llOt even when Slumbering.
Locate Feuer: TI>is abiliry allows the wraith to "check
up" on her Ferrers. By drawing upon her affinity tO <hat object,
she may Kan the f-etter's surroundint,os and """''hi) even senso
its distance and dir<'Ction.
System: The pl1yor must roll PercCJl(ion + Lifcwcb (doffi-
culry 6). number of successes indicart'S rhe number of Per
ception + Alertness dice that can be used to Knn the surrounding
area. The player may also roll Intelligence+ Lifeweb to gel a gen-
ernl sense of' how fittawaya Ferrer is md in what direction it lies.
Sense Strano
Oy closely examining the energy surrounding another
wraith, the wraith can detect the rclntion.ship between a wraith
and his Fetters. Tilis arc may nlso be used 10 sense whether
sonwthing is the Fetter of another wra ith and, if so. to identify
the wrairh using the Fetter.
Syscem: When his characrcr i; examining another
wraith, the player musr roll Perception + Lifeweb (diffi-
culry 8). Ea<h success allows the player to discover one
due about a Feuer possessed by that wrahh. This in
volves confwnring rhe subject. On a roll o( Percep-
rion + Sub<erfuge, the target will realize she is be
ing scrutinized and is nllowcd a Willpower roll ro
resist this invasion of her privacy.
If tht chn.mctcr is cxomining an item to cJe ..
ccm1inc whether or nut something is a Feuer,
d1e Swryrcllcrshtolcl roll Perception + Lifeweb
for him (standard dtmculry, assuming the item
is a Fetter). To anemptto tr<tec a Ferrer in either
location, the player must roll Intelligence +
Lifeweb. The numb<r of successes indicates d>e de
accuracy with rejCllrd w both disrance and di
roction. A Feuer may be examin<d once per wraith per
" Web presence
The wrairh may now nfrect the oren surrounding one of
her Fetters without actually being there. If successful, may
use nn Arcanos, make any kind of roll lnvolviog Mental or Social
Attributes, or openly communicate with any wraith there.
Syscem: The player muse roll Clutrisma + Lifeweb (diffi
culty 8). This art costs I Parhos per turn of use.
.. Splice Strano
Through use of U>is an, the wmirh may make some pe.rson,
plac:corthing inroa temporary Fetter. Thisobjoct must be touched
on some fashion (through Embody, Outrngcor lnhabir), at whi<h
point the wrnim develops an emoclonal affinity to that objocr.
TI>is affinity can be mainrain<d on a basis, but only
one Fetter can be maintained using this Arc:anos.
System: The player mur roll Mnnipulation + Lifeweb
(difficulty 7). The new Fttor has o mcing of I.
Tite affinity initially COS!$ l Pathos and cominues to dmin
l Pathos per day that it is maintained.
"" Sever Strand
This feared power allows the wraith to separate another
Taith hom his Feners. In order to use this art, the wraith
must be in the presence of the Fetter to be severed. Through
the sheer force of his will, he may separate the vicrim from his
System: Once a Ferrer has heen identified and the char
:teter is in its presence, the player must roll Srrength + Lifeweb
(diCflculty equal to the Feuer owner's Willpower). This initial
n>ll may be resisted by Wlllpower.
A wraith who has had a Fetter severed by this Arcanos
may attempt to reestablish it through rwo means. The firs<
option is simply fo< the wraith to expend one j)Cnll<lll<!nt Will
power point while she is in contact with the Feuer. The sec
ond Is fur either herself nr Hnothcr wraith to use Splice Strand
to recom1ect the link. This does not apply to threads severed
by Harrrowings. By spending a Willpower point the wraith can
make the effect of Splice Strand pettnanent, but only if the
cbjeet was formerly one of the wraith's Fetters.
This art coots 2 Pathos and I Willpower to use.
""' Soul pact
By uing this arr, a wmith can claim a morrnl soul for his
own, but only if the morral is willing. This art is usually evoked
u part of a contract whereby a morral promises his soul in
exchange for the wraith's help. Thereafter, while the mortal
llvu, he becomes a Fetter of the wmith.
System: The player mun roll Charisma + Lifeweb (diffi-
culty cquol to the subject'$ Willpower).
Thi6 art costs 9 Pathos to use. The target will tJ,cn be a
one-point Fetter.

u1t 1hink 1ha1 1hc w1derwker did a good job!
Honey, I can rrwk JOlt look more b.auuful
1han you'w. tw.r been. Or mort disg.ming.
Need a couple of anns for rhat boo job! No
problem. How abou1 some hideous scar&/
Easy. \'(/hat about on extra nost or two/ Hey.
what are friends for! Really, hon, you need 10
jusc and me cake care of you.
The art o( Molince, also called Soulshaping, is the
rno\'ing, shapin11 and reforming the stuff of wraiths, called
Pl;osm is malleable. Shapers know how lO make it
be:mtiful, how to make it glow with an inner light ,
and how to make It look human ag,.in. By burning
Pathu:i :md employing the am of Moliate, a wroith
causes the Corp... under his fingertips to Row freely
for a brief >cconrl, just long enough for the wraith
to grub It and shape it co her heart's desire.
Storyteller Notes: This art can be ust.-d
ro inflict damngc on a wrairh's
One of the most imporumr guilds In Stygia.
the Ma.squers were spies, arti.s..,ns and secret ass.'\S
sins. Becnusc nmny wraiths cnjO}' t'3king on power ..
ful-louking forms, the Mnsqucrs' Guild used to re
scmhlc :-. house o( f:uhion, offering wraiths a wide v:tri ..
ecy of body sl>;pcs and \'iS.'l.ges. Furthermore, because o(
1heir ulliliry to chtlnge their shapel Mnsqucrs were nfrcn
cmplnyl'<l os spies or assassins, cspecinlly because they didn't
need to carry a "'"''J'On with them.
MnMJucrs care more about .:he ::m of t heir work the
practic:dlt)' of it: they will do hcttcr work, even in Martlnlry, If
they can add their own unique nourish<"' just about every Cua-
del ha:-, n fonner Mnsquer working for ir.
One c;m idcmify a Ma:<qucr by her extremely malleable
form and by the ficr rhnc she seems to he a li ttle too !X' rf<-ct.
Occasionally, rwo Masquer. who work well together willadopr
Lhc exact same- visn,gc.
Basic Abilities
Shnpcscnsc: This abi lity allows the wrailh ro detect
whcrhcr or not nnmhcr wr..trh has been Moli;Hed, :md if so, in
what mnnncr.
System: The player must roll Perception I Moliate (difri
culty equal to the originnl shapcr's Dexterity + Moliate). The
number of successes indicares how much information ::lbout
rhe Moliated wraith is gleaned, possibly O\'CO givi11g the
Shapesenscr an idea of the original form.
Glow: This ability allows the wraith tO cause h1mself or
other$ co glow with an inner light.111c <:nlnr :md Intensity nrc
up to the wraith.
System: The player must roll Charisma + Moliate (diffi-
culty 7). The number of successes indicate how many scenes
the glow lam.
This art costs I Pathos.
Return of Death's Visage: This ability allows chc
wrnith to return to her uriginal smtc, os she
after her death.
System: The player rolls Manipulacion +
Moliate. The di((iculty i based upon how much
the wraith has changtd (or been changed) since
her death (drastic change I 0, moderate
change 8, minor change 6). Each in
dicates I tow accurately the wrnith assumes her
original shape.
It costs I Pathos to use this an.
A with this art may her visngc to
mimic another's. This is easieSt to do when the wmith
is looking at the face to be Imitated, though it may be
done from memory. This art docs not allow the wrait h m
change her overall Cor1>us, jusr her face.
System: The player must roll + Moliatt . The
difllculty is variable: 5 if she ca11 sec the face, 8 if going by
memory. If rhe wraith has n skin mask (see Rend, below), the
difficulty is only 4. The number of successes indicates the dif
flculry of pcnetrnring the disguise.
This art cosrs I l'nthos to usc.
II Sculpt
Using this art, the wmith nmy temporarily unmher
limb, sprout new sensory organ.s, place markinJPi or p.1uerns
on himself, or cause partS of his body to glow or change color.
As lonu '"there Is not a dangerous effect associated with the
d mngc, it remains in the province of Sculpting. Of c.ourse.
one may argue that having multiple anns allows 1110<c attacks;
this is pntenrlyuntrue. The wraith has the same physical C.1P"
biliclcs regardless of the number of nppendoucs, and unless a
w111ith understands Martialry (listed below), he cannot ac.thdy
use new appendages.
System: The character may choose to Sculpt either him
self another wraith. The player rolls Manipulation+ Moliate
(difficulry 7). The Storyteller must decide how many successes
are r<quired. The effects of Sculpting are permanent (until
negated with n further use ofSculpring). This art cannot cause
damage; it just changes the shape of the Corpus already there.
This art cosu I Pnthos to use. The subject of the Sculpt
ing loses a Corpus Level.
Sculpt may also be used to heal aggravated damage: a
wraith may use Sculpt to replace the lost Corpus "slots" that
were damaged through aggrava<ed wounds, allowing the re
dpicnt to rcf'ill those "slots." One suess per wound
must be obroined, and usc of the art in this fashion costs 1
Pathos plus I Pathos per suess.
"' Nartialry
This art allows the wraith to create weaponry and armor
from his Corpus. The weapon rokes the place of nne of the
wraith's arms or legs and I$ automatically shaped to be us.1ble
by one who knows how.
When a weapon is formed by use of this art, rhc cho.1cn
limb forms into the shape of the desired weapon, hardening as
It does so. Creation of armor causes the wraith's Corpus to
and hnrden, assuming a mirrorlike sheen.
System: In order to create weaponry, the player must roll
Intelligence + Moliate (difficulry of his Stamina + 3). Each
success allows the weapon to infliet an additional die of dam
age: it doesn't particularly matter what form the weapon takes,
many wnoulu adopt swords for ease of use.
To create armor, the player must roll Stamina + Moliate
(difficulty of his Strength + 3). Each sue<:ess adds one die to
the character's soak roll, but each success after the flrst adds to
the difficulty of any roll involving Dextcriry (the armor is stiff).
Note that the wraith may only create weapon.< from his
own Corpus, not that of others, and that the Melee Skill Is
needed to wield a formed weapon properly.
This an costs 3 Pathos to use, plus I Pathos per success
Thi.s terrible orr allows Shapers to inflict tremendous dam
age on the Corpuses of other wraiths. Usc of this power causes
anochcr wraith to be literally tom apan. Some wraiths use this
art to remove another wnoith's face - a humiliating thing in
wraith $0Ciety. Once removed, rhis face is called a skin mask
and can be helpful when using Imitate (see above).
SY$tem: Before thl$ art can be used, the character mu<t
conrott his intended target. Generally he must make a normal
attack roll, though the art can be brought into play if another
comes into conract with him. The player rolls Strength +
Moliatc (difficulty of his opponenr's Stamina + 3 ). Damage dice
cqunl the character' number of succeSSC$ plus one per point of
Pathos spem. If five or more succ= are gained, the wr.nt6
may remove a portion of his opponent (face, hand, foot,
even just gouge out a large portion of Corpus). Damage
flicted by Rend is aggravated.
This art costs I Pnthos ro nctivate. Additionally,
acter gains I Anjlst per use of this art.
another bcong or anything else she desires, from a chair to a
rcfriceraror. Although Corpus can be very malleable, there arc
limits; the relative volume of the desired form should be roughly
to the wraith's normal form.
System The player must roll Wits + Moliate. Tile di(fi.
depends on what the wraith seeks tO emulate. Trying to
another is difficult (difficulty 9), while trying
as a greasy spot on the floor is very easy (difficulty
changes'"" only be held for a limited amount
01 the wraith is fo.ced back to her original form
per success).
coors 1 Pathos to make rhe initial change, phu I
spent in the form.
011 think it's easy, p!IShin' that, rhiJ/ h's
nor. Oh, no- bur now, this is fun. \'Vatch
me nllll! ir go BOOM!
Many wraiths may still affect the liv
ing world. One of these ways is the A rc.1nos
of Ouu'Qge. Outrnge is the manifestation
of a will as kinetic force.
Storyteller Notes All Outrage arts are violent or physl
cal in one '"'Y or another. 11ley should be roleplayed with
much gro.\ning and gnnring, as ir r:akes this kind of nonvcr
bal communication to focus one's energies properly.
All difllculties arc based on the loca.l Shroud.
Spooh - Outrage
The Spooks have always been troublemakers
and poltergel$u, responsible for causing trouble
wherever they go. Of all the guilds, this was a
guild in name only. They were a group of row
dies and miiiGreanrs.
Former Spooks are often found in the
darkest pam of the city, causing foghts and
!tttlng fi res. They enjoy scaring people with
their Arcnnos.
Spooks like to carry things that can pound
on other things, like hammers or rocks. In medi
eva! rimes, the Spooks' Guild was paid by the Artifi-
cers to aid in the creation of relics.
One c:m ic.lcntify the average Spook by his brood
sh<xlders, his mliMivc chest and the surly expression on
his visaRe.
L!ap of Rnge As nside effect of learning to focus his will
into the real world, the wraith discovers that he can control
his own bmh in and out of d1c Shadow lands. Dy
use of this art, the wraith can make i.ncredible leaps and jumps.
System: The player rolls Dexterity + Outroge (difllculty
of the loc.1l Shroud). If this art is use-d in the Tempest or the
Shndowlands. thedifllculcy is6. The number of StiCCe&'f"!g1lincd
can be ac.ldcc.l to any successes scored when making a jump or
At chis level the wraith is just beginning tO learn to rna
nipulate objects in the living world. This orr can be use-d to
movo mmcthing very small (such ns n bottlecap) just a little
bit. 1t can be just a slight bmsh, a push, n lift or some odler
System: l11c player must roll Strength + Outrage (difft
cuhy of the local Shroud).
This art costs I Pathos to use.
This an allows the character to affect the living
world in a more direct fashion. Though this power
may only be wed to lift thinR5, quite a bit may be
lifted through use of this art.
System: The player must roll Strength +
Ourrage (difllculty of the local Shroud). This
art allows the ch:uacter tO lift something
with a Feat of Strength (see pg. XX). Note
that objects may only be lifted; they may
not be moved in any orher way.
This art costs 2 Pathos to use.
"' punch
This an allows the wraith ro affect d1e living
wocld in a violent. physical manner. The wroith may ,
scrike a rnrget of his choice.
System: The player must roll Strength + Outrage.
The difficulty is the local Shroud. Each success inflicu one
Health Level (or Corpus Level if the is another wroith)
on the target.
This art costs Z Pathos per use.
l11is art allows the wraith to manipulate objects in the
real world. The wraith may type, tie shoes, etc., by using this
art. Alternatively, the wraith ma1 creare fnction, thorcby
ing llrcs in the living world.
Synem: The player must roll Dexterity + Outrage (difll
culty of the local Shroud). The number of successes indicates
delicacy and control of the wr.urh's tou<h, as well as how
long the power lam- up rn one minute per ><rccess gained.
To start a fi re, the wroith rolls Strength + Outrage (di(fi.
culty 8). The number of successd mdicate$ the heat and ex
tent of rhe fire.
This art cosl.i 3 Parhos ro usc .
This truly hid<-ous art allows o wrdith ro destroy some-
thing or som<"<>ne, banishing it to Obhvion. If used to dcsrroy
an objccr in the living world, rhnt object vanishes Into
Oblivion, unless it ,.,L, inhabited by o writh. In that case, it
bKomc a relic. If rhis art is used on objects in the Shadowlands
(including relia), they arc immedrately banished ro Oblivion.
\Vhen this nrt is used on anothc1 wrHith, ir inflictS
vated damage. A wraith who is rcduc<od to tero Corpus through
this means 15 immediately forced lnlO Oblivion. Living crta ..
turcs merely suffer Health l.evels, although if :r mortal is killed
through this power, his soul de>cends immediately into
System: The player rolls StrCnAth + Oucrage (difficulty
of the local Shroud, unless t.he chur:rcrcr is attempting "'af
fect unmher wrnith, in which case difficulty is the t:uget's
Stamina + 3 ). Each success inn lets one level of aggrn1ared dam
age: this damugc cannot be soaked.
This an com 3 Pathos to use. In addition, the wrnirh gains
I A nest each time this an is used.
iglus! C'.nmera! POLTERGEIST!!!
Pnndemonium, also li ed the
Wylding, is n power of pure chn06. (c cnnnot
be commllecl, bur it is very effective in tAm
pcring with the living world. Those wnriths
who usc it develop an unsavory repumcion:
dabbling in rhe Wylding is nor conducive m
one's sru\ity.
Storyteller Notes: Ahl10ugh the Fog clooks most of the
<ffKl$ ol this Arc.1nos, it ofren causes considerable problems
with local mortnls. People tend to freak out when clocks stan
n11nrng hook""rd,t:II<JOtly lights dance and whirl, and am
phibians min down in gdrd roncnc;.
llo"-e'-er, the effects o{ most of these ans vanish
inrn nnrhint.'flC>S quite quickly, leaving no lasting ef.
f:r<, and people don't tend to believe wildt;cdder
diets who clnim they saw ghosts. Although pho
1ography and vidc..'O cquipancnt record effects char
:1ffcct rhc living world, most arc quick
todisbdicve whnt rhey sec. After all, video ef
foccs to f11 kc ...
'Tltc difficuhy for :my Pandemonium effects is
the local Shrood. uniCM smted otherwise. The Fog
pte\'Ctllt p<.'Ople frorn remembering the exa details
(/ wh.'! happened: sec the F"': Chart on pg. XX.
- pandemonium
Cl., I Ired wrth the Spooks' Guild, the Haunt
trS wtre mi$.1nrhropic: rhey vicwt.-d themselves
IISCxtcrminators whowoold rid pe.ts."
Nnw J-l:umrcrs ;trc curu.ic.lcn.:d quite insane. bxause their
ans require them to evoke ::md witness arn.l
ing cffccl.'l. Mnny of them develop quirks reflecting their shaky
saniTy: rhc habit of giggling too much, the tendency to usc d'e
royal "we/ Cl"c. They arc highsrnmgm1tl easily irritmcd.
One cnn identify n llnunter by her odd manncri.<m< and
1hc fac1 char she often voluminous black cloaks.
Basic Anilities
Sense CMo.: The ""tith i> highly attuned to the forces o{ ch.-.os
:rd !he Shocb.. llyconccnnannc, rhe wr.tith is able to tell if a pwticu
lar a'Mt hilS cnusnJ by or i{ somethinc been
t!Uho<l hy rite Slnlomllli:iart isC\'Cll useful inde!Cilllininc if a mor
ttl has Jx,_..,., with m l!Ot11C m:UllllT by a \\T"Jith or Spectre.
System: The player must roll Perception + Pandemonium
(difficulty 7).
I Weirdness
The wraith can cause something strange to happen to one
individual: he suddenly feels a hot fl a.<h, or his hair rises, or he
l!u((crs fl momentary hallucination. Only one indlvidtml at u
t ime may he affected by this ar.
System: The player rolls Charisma + Pandemonium (dif
nculty of the local Shroud).
This art costs I Pathos.
" Befuddlement
Through use of this art the wmlth can cause her
subject to become confused. Tite subject will become
momentarily disorientod and unaware of who he is
or what he is doing.
System: The arr m:ry on n moon! or an
other wraith. The pbycr roll< lnrelhb""cc + Ptmde
monium (difficultY of the rorget's Willpower). The
effects last for <HlC tum per succcss gained. The
subject of this an musr make an lmellit,"r>ec roll
(difficultY 8) each rum to think cle:ulyor:tccdcci
This art costs I Pathos rouse.
Ill Dark Ether
Througl:t use o{ this an, the wraith may affect. c:urrendy
"-eather-related or environmenml eon
dirions in a small area. She em make the 11rta bittedy cold or
blisteringly hot, JX'infully brigltt, or impener:r.lhty Wrk. She em
cr\L'!C blue-white arcs o{ elcctri<:itY to dance <lboot the room, or
floating globes oflighr ro shimmer into being. She am make the air
dl)' and biting or as heavy as a wet wool hhnkcr; she em also produce
mists m.U fogs.
Sysrem: The player must scme what effect she is attempting
nnd roll Intelligence + Pandemonium (difnculty of the local
Shroud). ll>e number of successes indic.1tes the degree of vari
ance and rhe dumtion o( the effect. Five successes on the roll
create sufficient rurbulence to inflicr one level of damage (Health
or Corvu>) upon beings in the vicinity. Genemlly, howe\'cr, this
art is ro renify, not injure.
This nrt costs I Pathos to evoke and I Pathos per tum o(
"" foul Humour
With this art, a wroith may cause foul vermin :rnd sub
sr:mccs rn manifest in a small area. l lc can evoke ;'I of
locusts, a rain of frogs, a nest of black snakes, a jXICk of rats or
a web full of spider$. Alternatively, he c:.n evoke blood (dried
or wet), gore, acid, slime, flesh or other noxious substances.
The wroith accomplishes these feats by using Pathos to chall
nel his very Corpus through the Shrood.
System: The player must Stllte what effect he is attempt
ing and roll Intelligence+ Pandemonium (dimculty of the lo-
cal Shroud). The number o( suc<:esscs indicates the extent of
the manifestation {and how much the Storyteller will elabo
rate on the description). At the end of the effect, the mallifes-
ration usually vanishes, although traces of it may remain, cs
pecially if the roll scored five or more success'"'. Note that
anything damaging creared with this power inflicts one die of
damage for every rwo successes on the creation roll.
Tiu art costs 4 Pathos plus I Corpus per success.
..... Tempus fugit
Tiuough this art, a wraith may change the spee-d at which
rime passes, or nUt)' distort che distance of an area. Thus, she
can nccclcnuc rime or make lc pass very slowly; she can. ntuke
the dismnce across o foyer seem like a mile or rhe distance
across a lxlllroorn seem loke one step. The wraith, however,
cannot reverse lime.
System: The player must state what effect she is attempting
and roll Intelligence + Pandemonium (difficulty of the local
Shroud). The number of successes indicates the amount of tempo.
ml or spatial change permissible in the immediate vicinity.
Each success the now of time by one mm. This can
be attempted once per scene. For instance, if wroith was slow
ing down rime for a victim and scored four successes, an acrion
normnlly requiring one tum would lost for four cums. If she
was speeding up rime, anyching requiring four turns could be
done in one nom. (Note: d1is will not add to the number of
actions the target gets fmon Celerity, Rage or Effects of the
11me Sphere. It can, however, prevent them ... ) Thi.5 art also
works in the Shadowlands {difficulty 7).
This nrc com 4 Patho.< .
By rolling Dexterity + Pandemonium (difficulty 7), a
wraith may focus the time/space distOrtion on herself alone
and thus gain on extra acrion per turn for each success on the
roll . This applicmion of the arc costs 2 Pathos to use, and the
effects last for one seeM.
ome 1virh me on wings of dream. 1 can take
)'Ou anywhere 'JOH wane ro go - UIOuld )'Ou
like w have dinner witlo Marlene Dienich! Sip
cappucino on the canal$ of Mars/ Walk with
me ll1roo(!(h the Elysian Fields! I promise ro
have you lxtck l>efore you wake.
Phantasm is the knowledge nf murt'..tls'
drcmning souls. While asleep, mortals' souls rest lightly in their
bodies. It is rchuivcly ettsy, for those who know what
are doing, to slide a soul out of a morwl shell "nd bring it
along on journeys through the Shadow lands. The sleeper
doesn't remcrnbcr rhc journey completely-at best, he
renlcmbers n vague nightml.lrc or a good dream.
Storyteller Notes: Phantasm offers the Story-
teller the opportuniry ro involve nonnal people di
rcctly in the story. While the cvems of a Phan
tnsm-controllcd dream arc not real to the
ing soul, {hey do have an on life and
ptrceprions. Somerirnes these .. jottrncys
cause o person to reconsider his life and per
haps change ir.
The rhe landscape and
denizens of the Shadowlands into comprehen
sible symbols. Of course, the wraith change
clcmcnrs of rhc dreamer's dream through use of
the Lucidity art.
For all intentS and purpoc;cs, a dreaming person is a
wr.oirh wirh a very solid Corpus that can only be damaged
by special artifacts or things that inflict "L:b"''vated wounds
on wroiths. If attacked, a dreaming soul rctums imntediarely
roher bod\' slipping 1.hrough the Tcmpcsr, and "wakes up'' (in
most c3SCS, though there are rare occasions when the drcarncr
does not make it back). Causing or death to a
drcllmcr through usc of this Arcanos is only possible ac the high ..
C$1 levels of the art.
- rhantasm
Sandmen arc the actors and playwrighrs of the Under-
world. Their II'Oupes roam the Underworld, from
Necropolis to Nccrorx>lis witlt their plays and encenain1nents.
TI1e f.'lCt that their guild w"s disl"nded me:mt nothing to them:
they do what they do not bc'Ca11se of some guild, b11t because it
is what rhcy love.
One c:m idc-nti(y ::l Sandman by his rcndcnq ro dress
conJ;truously, with cloches woven from wisps of previously
habirt-d dreams.
Basic Abilities
Sleepsense: The wraith may observe the dreams oi a mnr
ral. She nmy usc this abili[y co determine where n morml is in
his sleep cycle: REM sleep (dreaming), deep sleep (not dream
ing) or transition. This Mt may also be usecl to experience the
subject's drcMn.
System: The player musr roll Perception + Phantasm (dif
Ciculty 6). Each success allows the wraith to view the mortal's
clrcmn for one turn.
By gently raking the soul of a sleeping person into
her hands, a Wf'ttith pull it ouc. This causes no
lasting dnmage 0 the soul. Once freed, l hc wraith
may carry the dreaming soul along with her.
System: The player must roll Dexterity +
The difficulty depends on rhe
subject's current sleep cycle (sec Sfcef>SJ!ttSe,
:rhove): REM sleep ( 6), Lransitional sleep {7)
or deep sleep (8). Each success itllows the ,
morral to sta)' one scene in the dreantscape.
If the subject is watching television or un ..
cler a similar h)pnotic state, he may be affected
by Elysia; the diffi culty is 10, however, and at least
three successes are required. This m1mber is deducted
from rhe number o( successes for duration.
This art costs I
This art allows a wraith to change aspccls of a mortal's
dream, For example, a dreamer dreams of being in a thunder
storm, adrifr on a boat in the nliddlc of the ocean. A wraith
could use this art to change the rhunclersronn to a <:Him day, or
the boat to a raft, or rhe ocean to adestrt. If a wraith using rhis
art ch::mges enough o{ a drcarn, she can effectively
it over and guide its path, going so far as ro change a pleasant
dream to a nightmare or tlice versa.
System: 111e Sroryreller must first decide how dmstic the
change is and assign an appropriare difficulty, 111c player must
roll Manipuh>tion + Phantasm. For each success, the change is
more vivid and permanent. lf the roll botches, the dreamer is
dmwn into the wraith's Shadow :md experiences irs tender
cics an cxtrctnely incense, sanir:y .. threa.tcning nighm1arc.
This (Ut costs 2 Pmhos.

... Dreams of Sleep
llois an allows rhe wraith to cause orher wmidu to fall
.. Jeep nnd dream in the manner of the living.
System: The player nee-d make a roll only of rhe wraith is
unwilling. In rhb <=<se, the player rolls Charisma+ Phamnsm
(difficulty of the wmith's Willpower). ll1c LargcL may also re-
siS! using a opposed Intelligence +Subterfuge roll.
This nrt costs I Pathos .
.... Agon
This is n direct means of ripping <1 mortal's soul from his
sleeping body. This method is ex<rcmcly painful and often de
structive to the rnonal
Syorcm: The player rolls Strength+ Phantasm (difficulty
8). The number of successes on the roll indicat<-s the number
of HC<llth Levels the dreamer loses upon aw:.kening. It also
indocatcs rhe number of 5eenes during which the wraith may
hold the dreamer's soul. The dreamer may rcsi>t by usiog Wirs
+ Subterfuge (difficulty 8). Agon sometimes becomes an epic
com esc bcrwoen the living and the dead. If the wraith botches,
the dreamer's soul has somehow been harmed: he may become
neurotic. or :.u(fcr a recurring nightmare.
ll1is :orr com 3 Pathos, and the wroith's Shadow I
Ansst per usc. Botching will bestow two points of Angst.
The wroith may weave her Pathos (and Corpus) into lllu
sions. These illusions are not solid to other wmiths (nlrhough
they can still be dangerool unlus the wraith has invested
O>rpus inro them. A wraith can weave illusions in the living
world if the wraith first Embodies there. The ollusoons can af
feet all five senses, alrhough rhey last for only a short amount
of time.
System: The roll to create an illusion is Charisma t Phan
tnSill (difficulty 6). The number of successes on this roll equals
both the numberofsuccessts required (on a Perception+ A len
ness roll) to see through an illusion and <he number of turns
the illusion lasts. In order for an illusion to become qurui-ma
tcrial (:mel thus dtmgerous), the wroith tnu.St invest nl least
one level of Corpus into the illusion's "lxxly." The number of
Corpus Levels inv<-stcd indicates rhe amount of dama.:e the
illusion con mke before being destroyed. Corpus cannot be
replac:ed in an illusion onc:e it is dan>aged: another Phanrns
mngoria aucmpt must be made ro recreate it.
If the Illusion is of a dangerous or damaging nature, the
player roll Dexterity + Phantasm (diffo<:ult) 7) as an at
mck roiL lloe victim may dodge rhe anack. The dam31:e roll is
Strength + Phanmsm (difficulty 7), bestowing one point of
damage for each success. The victim may soak the damage.
lllis art costs 3 Pa<hos rouse, plus I Pathos per tum.
re )'mt so naive as w think rhtu humanit)' has
diremd itself over the course of history! Wlhy
do you think there U/11.! no nuckllr holocawt
during tM Cold \VIorl Cmainly not b..>catlSC
of JlellCe-loing milirnry officials. \Ve puU the
srrifllS, cmd they dance for '" - btcouu
Chorcm himself oouldn'c hout Oblivion
or ooy f rhose mushrooms had blossomed. II have been
a:ainsr /tis Code, bur l J>ersonally don't think ht would have
Puppetry the forbidden art of possession. Of all
Arcanos, it Is the one Charon specifically was the
province of his Dc"uhlords and the Hierarchy alone.
Noncrhclcss, an entire subculture of wraiths are ad.
dieted to this Arcanos' power-tripping ways. They
lo.-c the experience of feeling alive They
love rhe power they have over their hosts, e'er\
after their hosts are hospirali,ed for mcntlll ill-
Srorytcllcr Notes: While inhabiting
rhe body of n subject. the wraith is not con-
sidered tO IJC "in" rhe Shadowlands. He Is
lilfe from rhc rnvagcs of that place. However,
he takes damage whenever his host wkes dam
Note that unk-s.s rhe "'raith i.s m direct con ..
trol of rhc hody, you should use the host's Ph)'Sical
Attributes and Talents. The Puppeteer is just

fuppeleers - puppetry
The ultimate 8ccrct weap<Jn, rhc Puppereers were more
of an elite group of equals than a guild. Chnrot\ himself uS<--.:1
their services on more than one occasion, alrhnugh he obvi
ously lo.uhc<lthem. The Puppeteel$ were never a part of the
Hiemrclly, hm were obviously sanctioned by it.
Poppetccrs believe themselves n:spotuible for rhe well-
being of mortals and ofren go to great lengths to ensure that
other wrnith!' :1ren'l unneccssnl)' deaths in the Jiving
world. Still, mnny Renegade Puppeteers feel rhe exact oppo-
site: thnt mortal hndics rue heirs to use :md obuse.
One can idcnrify a Puppeteer by his accem nd strange
mannerisms: P.,ppeteers tcmJ to pick up mnny srrangc accents
habit> when skinriding different people.
In order for a wraith to perform rome spects of Puppetry,
he must fin;t prepare Consort. To prepare a Consort, the
wrnirh must spend a considerable amount of time skinriding
the individual, spending a point of Willpower each rime. This
represents a process ofidentifymg wirh rheConsort over time.
Ftve points of Willpower are required to prepare the avcr.tge
Consort. I( the Conson is a close friend, rwonr r:hree points of
Willpower will be sufficient. The Skinrider must succeed at
each nf the lower levels of Puppetry bcforc attempting a
higher level. Once the StOryteller deems rhe rime is right,
the wraith must expend a permanent Willpower point,
at which point the subject becomes a Consort.
Basic Abilities
Detect Possession: Not only does this abil
ity allow a wraith to dctccr rhc signs of posses-
sion, buc to sense if a mortnl h:u !>ten attuned
for the purpose of using p.,ppcuy.
System: To detect n current possession.
the player rolls Perception + Puppetry (di((i,
culty 7). To detect the subtle siRns of past pos
session, the difficulty is 9.
The Skinrider may resist cunenr derecrion by
using Appearance + Subterfuge (di((iculty 7) or Ap-
pe.,rance + Puppetry (difficulty 6).
Before the wraith may attempt to control a mortal in
other ways, the wraith must forst learn the an of skinriding.
is essentially the ability to slip Into the mortal's
lxKly, thereby temporarily joining with her. This is a very basic
level o( possession; in effect, the wraith is simply along for rhe
ride, and the hoot is mcl\'ing of her own free will, the
wraith along. However, all other uses of Puppetry first require
the wrnith to Skinride rhe host.
I( he $0 desires, the wraith may ::mempt to implant a one ..
word suggesrlon or simple impulse. This Sti,AACS[ion or impulse
cannot be contradictory to the hoot's Nuturc '"very dangerous.
System: In order to have his ch:trncter enter a host's body,
the player must roll Dexterity + Puppetry (difficulty of the
subject's Willpower). The roll indicates how many succeSSC$
arc needed for another wraith ro wrcsr rhe W1'3ith out o( the
hoot's body.
This art costs I Pathos.
Puppeteer may now send an impulse directly to an
arm or leg and cake fleeting control of it. This :m may b.: used
to force someone to pick something up without knowing ex
System: The character must first Skinride the host. The
player then rolls Snength + Puppetty (difficulty o the subject's
Willpower). The victim is allowed a roll of Willpower.
The number of indic.11es the degree of control the
character has.
This art costs I per usc.
' .
... Masters V01ce
The Puppeteer briefly overridu speech ccnrers o his
host and causes her to speak. The produced when using
this art is a bizarre hyhrid o( the wraith's and host's voice..
System: The player must + Puppetry (dif
ficulty of the subject's Willp<>wer). The Puppeteer may speak
for one breath per success gained.
This an cosrs I Pathos to use .
.... in the Mind
This more p<>werul possc.sion allows the Puppeteer to
control a hosr without her realizing it. In order to do this, how-
ever, the Puppeteer must attunt-d her as a CoiUOI't (see
Armnement, above).
The host remains semiconscious throughout process
and will emerge rom the p<>Musion when the Puppeteer f..
nally her. Once relcosed, she will immediately try to
rationalize her actions. This isn't always possible, and many
hom have sought mental health profcssionols. ttsting and
therapy. Note, however, that nny pain felt by the host is felt by
rhe wraith also: electroshock therapy has been extremely use
ful in throwing a Puppeteer o<u, though nothing prtvents him
from coming back.
System: The player muil roll Manipulation + Puppetry
(di((iculty of the subject's Willpower or the local Shroud,
whichever is higher). The numb<:r of succuses indiClltes rhe
number of scenes during which the Puppeteer may control the
host. By spending a Willpower point, the host may make a
Willpower roll to thwart the possession (each success versus a
difficulty of the Puppeteer's Manipulation + Puppetry indi
cates one fe1ver 5eene the Puppeteer may remain in control).
This :m costs 4 Pathos to use and bestows one point of
IIIII obliterate Soul
It should be no<ed tha< a body that docs not conroin its
original soul will slowly start ro de<:Jy. One week afrcr rcmov
After longtime use of Rein in the Mind, a wraith may ing the soul, the body will begin ro rot. For this reason, most
begin ro live fulltime within a host's body. The host's person A wr:tittts who possess this an u.'c i< only in dire circumstnnces.
aliry is subsumed, e.1ren by rhe Shadow of the that this form of possession only works on mortal.:md ;,
Whenever the wraith leaves a body that has been so ineffective against supematurals.
it becomes catatonic- sitting about listlessly, with art can only be employt-d once a momh, on the new
iu own. M3.S<er Puppeteers typically exploit and if a wraith doesn't Obliterate rhe Soul rhe first rime,
tals for their own survival. wait another month to rry again.
System: If the character has a Consort who has musr spend 5 Pathos and 2 Willpower to evoke
ditioned through lone uses of Rein in the she gains a number of Ancst poinrs <oqu:olto the
may roll Suength + l'uppeuy (difficulty equ.1ls Willpower.
Willpower or the local Shroud, whichever is ll"l"r).
the wraith totals enouch successes <0 equal
power, she can destroy the soul of the h0$t
that person.
11pply and demand. It's simpk economics. You
need, we /JTOIIide . You n't ask ItS we
get tM j11ice, and toe won't ask whm 'JOII'rt
planning to do tuitlt it. Fair! I thought so.
Usury Is the art of exercising the power
rhatdeath has over life.l'hroogh it, wrnirhs
can gain life cncrb'Y - Pathos. Every day,
the Quick die a little more. Usury Is just the process of speed-
the arrival of <he final breath.
Some believe that the Shadow is the channel for this
:m. Indeed, Usury embodies rhc process of speeding de-
coy and death, and many Usurers find themselves fi lled
with Angst on a regular basis. Through rhis Arcanos,
the wraith infects a living penon with minute quan
riti<S of d<'llth, rhereby mallng some of his life. It is
also used to steal other wraiths' Corpus.
Storyteller NotCJI: To employ Usury, the
wrnith using it must somehow touch the
subject's body or Corpus. Where morrals are
concerned, this is done throuGh Puppetry
(entering a morral and using the nrt on
him), Embody (materializing and touching
someone), Inhabit (being inside something
that is in contact wirh rhe subject) or Phan
rasm (touching the dreaming soul). The life en
ergy stolen in this fashion appears as an arc of light
that dulls and grays as ir enters the wraith.
At o11c tim, the Usurer's Guild had considerable po
lirical clout in Srygin. The Usurers made a bid to rake over
the government of Stygia and were thus cast out along with
the rest of the guilds. For this reason, the Usurers must cnn
duct rheir business in secret. In order to reach a Usurer of some
renown or power, a client musr forst follow a seri.s o( direc
tions leading her on a 50mewhat unorthodox wild goose cha!C.
If nobody follows the client (and if the Usurers decide her In
rent is good), then the Usurct> will see her.
One can identify a Us11rcr by her tendency to speak in
precise, numerica.l terms, ns well ns by the scales she carries.
which nllow her to keep track of the bnlnnce of energy ll'nns
Basic Abilities
Assessment: The wmirh cnn sense the amount of life (or,
conversely, the amount of death) within an individual. He cnn
gain a general sense of that Sramin.1, Health and
Corpus. By loold11g at wounds, he c.1n tell how grae they arc.
TI1is ability has an adjunct use: the wraith can usc tt "' sense
rhc presence of life energy within :m area.
System: Tile player must roll Perception + Usury (difft-
culty 6). The number of successes indicates the accumcy of
the reading.
The wraith may tmnsfer her own Pathos to an-
other, if she so desores. Alternatively, the wraith
may use this art to steal Pathos from :morher
wraith. To use this an succes.sf\tlly. che IWO
wraiths in qucs.tion must be in contflct 1l l the
[imc of the trttns(crence. The Cll Cflt\' nmni
fests ns n glow that infuses the wnith re-
ceiving the Pnrhos.
System: The player must roll Manipula
lion + Usury. If this art is bemg used to trans-
fer the d1fftculty equals the amount o(
Pathos rhe receiving wraith currently ha>. I( the
art is being used to steal Pathos, the difftcuh:y equals
the subject's Willpower. The number of succesS indi
cau:s how m ny points of Pathos may be trnnsferred.
" Early
By merely touching a subject (livi11gor wraith), the Usu
rer may siphon life energy from the subject. In order to drain
energy from the liviJ18, tl1c wmirh must physically contact the
chosen illdividual through some means, generally through use
of the Embody A rc.1nos.
System: Once the subject ha. been touched, the player
rolls Manipulation +Usury (difficulty of the opponent's Will-
power). The number of successes illdicatcs rhc numhcr of
Health or Corpus Levels stolen. The.<c levels arc lmmcdintel

marked off on the suhjccr's sheet and added to the Usurer's
sheer. The wrai th may only scenl Health or Corpus Levels up
to his maximum Corpus. Once the Usurer has reached his
maximum Corpus, this abihry becomes usele$$ - unless the
character possesse5 the Exchange Rate art (sec below).
... charitable Trust
Tiois art allows the wraith m heal a mortal or another
\llrnoth by onfusing her with his own CO<pu<. Tioe subject is
held close to the mouth of the lx-stowing wroith and receoves
the Corpus as a ghostly breath. The wrnith nc.'<l not be mani-
fested in any wy w usc this art upon mortals.
System: The player rolls Stamina+ Usury (dWlculty equal
w the injured characrer's current Health or Corpus Levels).
For each succc.<S rolled, one Corpus Level may he transferred
to the subject. A horch on this roll means that the flow of
Corpus reverses: sec the Early nn, above.
This art cons I Pathos to use.
"" Exchange
Though a wraith can convert his Pathos to Corpus (S<.-e
I ltaling, pg. XX), Corpus always remains the s.1me. With thos
art, a wrnith may now conven Corpus into Pathos. lie mar
simply convcn his own Corpus, or he may tose thos art in con-
junction with Early \Vithdmwal (see above).
System: The player rolls Intelligence + Usury (difflculty
6). Each success allows one point of Corpus to be convened
into Pathos.
""' Investment
Through use of this art the wroith may use relics as rc.<er
voirs to store Corpus and Parho< for future usc. Tioc wraith
musr first own a relic in order for this arr robe used; b\

ing his will upon the relic, <he wrai[h moy channel energy imo
II, where it is then srored. This borrk-d Pathos is accessible to
anyone who knows the sigil or command phrase with which
the wraith seals rhe relic.
System: The player decides how nmny Pathos 0< Co.pus
poinrs :she wishes to invest. and thtn write,. down tluu num ..
ber. The pl,yer then rolls Intelligence + Usury (difficul<y 7).
For each success, one point of Parhos or Corpus is invested.
A II excess poinos"gambled" are losr. Once successful, the char-
acter must seal the relic by spcllding a Willpower poinr and
nssigning a sigil or command thor '"""be used whe11 the en-
ergy wirhin the relic is to be tapped. 011ly one type of energy
mny be stored within a given relic. Note that soulftre is cre-
ated in this fashion: this art is required tO recharge empty
soulftre Ct)srls.
You may ncveT urvlntumd
how rhe SITanger is inspired,
For he is no alwa1s l.
and he is nul altvays "'rung ...
-Bil ly joel, "The Srronger"
here :ue rwo main aspects co a wraith
character's persMnlity. The fi rst, the
i:s usually the domin:-mr sirle o( ;;t
wraith. The Psyche represenrs 1he force of
will and the source of identity. A wraith
follows his Psyche by being rn1e rn himself
and acr:ing in accordance with his inner
bclids (his Nocure). The Psyche rrusts, believes. crea1es, hopes
and dre;,ms. The Psyche, however, comnu. exist on irs own.
Every chamc1cr has a dark side as well.
Wraiths call this inner darkness the Shndow. Usually, this
isthe reprcs!<!d, hidden side of u wraith. The word "evil" does
not entirely l'iti rhe phrnse "dark sicle" i5 (:u more nppropriate.
It is the neg:ltlve image of the Psyche. From the vicwpoim of
lhtShadow, darkness is a source of strength. 1l1c Shadow feeds
doubt, rcsi>mncc, anriparhy and rhe ubconsclous. From the
vi<'o-poin1 of rhe Ps)'Che, the Shadow is a force of desuuction.
n(l( crtalion. It is the death wish, the shard of Ob!ivion in any
wr:mh, to consume evel)'thing a wraith holds dear.
Both o( these imerpretaLion.s, in :.a sense, arc rruc.
1l1e "ch:u-acrer" played by a Wraith player is the Psrche
aspect. When desperation and suffering grow strong enough,
however, the Shadow side of the wrnith emcrucs. 1l1is Shadow
.li idc ill It scpar:uc character, complete wl{h irs own Traits and
sheer, and is usually nor under che player's control.
This chapter describes how the dark side nf a charac1er is
developed. The Psyche is crea1ed by the plarer with the help
of the StOI)'teller; the Shadow is created by the Stol)'tellcr
with the help of the player.1l>e rule$ prcscnred in rhischaprer
enable 1hc Sroryreller ro define and delineoce the Shadow.
The Shadmv is an intelligent force. It does not mindlessly
plod along: even the most alien Shadows hnve plans, cycles,
cuMing uicks and brilliant insigh1s imo 1hc Psyche.
To rcprescnr rhis, another player in tht troupe assumes
rhe role of the charactds Shadow. This player is called the
Shadowguide. Thus, each Wraith player uciUally controls rwo
cl1arncu.:rs: her own characrerand :mothtr ch3racter"s Sh3do\v.
The Shadowguide roleplays the subconscious urges of a char

acu:r. The Shadowguidc woll often whisper hints and promist>
of power, trying ro rrick the plnycr into sclf-dcsrnoctive ac-
Any roleplaling game is playtd by consensus. The Story
teller usually decides which player will rcprcsrm which Shadow.
l lowcvcr, a pbyercan feel fre-e to choose her own Shadow!."' ide.
All players must be comfortable with the final deci51on. The
Shadowguidc assistS in the charncter as the game

It should be not<d, however, that during periods when
the Shadow dirccrly domin>tcs (as <>PP<<--d tn influences) the
wraith, the l>lnyer, not theShadowguide, comrols the Shadow
ridden character.
As a Shadowgmde, you hae a <k .. grcc of power ... and a
deurcc of responsibility. You must become fooniliar wirh rhe
wmirh whose Shadow you control. This Jocsn'< necessarily
mean that you should memorize the charncrer sheet, but you
should dcflnirely be familiar wuh what the Psyche of l'our
Sh:odmv can do. You ulsn need tO understnlld the tools you
have at your di;posal.
Finally, you must know when to stop. You must under
when to ease bnck, when ro cease your spiriru:tl n.ssault
on your poor oargcr. If the Shadow i> ahvay active and always
trying to do harm to the chamct<r, rhe story will suffer. If you
arc roo vicious, lhe person pbying )'Oztr Shntlow rml)
ally find it nccc:'""Y to show you that turnabout is indeed fair
play ...
Overall, you must rcali!e that, even you are ploy-
ing an entity of darkness and dcsuuction. you are playing an
intelligent entity who renlires that small victories, gathered
over timc, are uonh more than a smgle triumph. The work of
the Shadow requires p:uicnce, cunning nncl insighr. Ust fi ..
And above all else, ever)onc on-olvtd must remember one
thing: it's only a game. Tile Swryreller is reSJ)Onsiblc for pre-
venting the Shadowcuide from abusing his position; if need
be, she will occasionally imcrvcne and guide a char:ocrer's
Shadow herself.
shaoow charncter Generation
'm harboring a fugiri<-e, a tk/ector of a kind
She lit-es in mJ soul and drinks of mJ urine
Ancl l'cl give m, last lnemlo ro keep liS alive
- h-.di!,'O Girls, "Fugitive"
Afrera pbyer has finishe-d allohe other
swges of chn.-nctcr crcalinn, the Storyteller
begins to develop the character' Shadow. The Storyteller must
give depth tO each char.ocrer on his game. He must make the
in his briJ;hrer by contrnsting it ncainst the grow
i ng darkncl<'! he evokes.
One: Concept
Yet rhis shall/ne'er know, lnu live in doubr
Til my bod angel fire my good one out.
-William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 141"
The Storyteller and the player need to pick a concept for
the Shadow. This rcprcscnu the generAl personali ty of the
Shadow, but also says something about the personality of the
character. Try to determine exactly what about this character
will make it unique. What sccretl; will trouble and rorment
the chamcter throughout the gamer
An excellent time to develop these ideas is during a
tharacter's prelude. By understanding the forces and desires
!lun drove a character through life, the Storyteller will gain an
undemanding of what motivates the character not just in
death, but toward death. The Shadow is the incarnation of
lht Psyche's nightmares.
Below are listed several Shadow Archetypes. Some of them
nrc variants of existing Psyche Archetypes (it's even possible,
in some cases, for a charactet to have the same Archetype for
the Demeanor, Nature and Shadow). l11e ones listed below
arc only a sampling. Feel free to develop unique Shadow con
ccpts in addition ro the ones provided.
These Archetypes mainly apply co the Shadowguide. As
he deceives and corrupts, the Shadow develops its personality
and methods. The Archetype can also be helpful to the player
when roleplaying through periods of Catharsis.

This Shadow represents the battered "inner child" who
has come full circle, grown up out of her terrible beginnings to
inflict more pain on others. She is alternately childlike and
rng.-fllled, caring and terribly abusive. Mcmly she is chaotic
and nearly impossible to second-guess. Like the Perfectionist,
rhc Abuser makes impossible demands; unlike him, however,
she never expects the character to fulfill them. She hopes rhe
character will fail- fai lure gives her an excuse for her cruelty.
\Vhen dominant, this Shadow uses her power to abuse
others: mindlessly lashing out, demanding servitude, or me
thodically inflicting pain and suffering. She wishes the whole
world to suffer just like she does.
This Shadow is aloof and quiet. He seems mildrnallllered
enough. Indeed, he is quite gendei'nanly and presents a strong
facade ofhc'>nor. He is rhe master manipulator. Your secrets are
the keys with which he gradually unlocks ironies and inner
doubts. The Director's ultimate goal is to shatter your will with
terror in one fell swoop. He enjoys watching as you stumble
into t rap after t rap thac he's laid for you, and loves your sur ..
prise and incredulous disbelief when he shows you what you
have become.
This meticulous, terrify-ing Shadow subtly evokes dark el
ements here and there, seeds of the soul chat eventually blos-
som into something truly horrific. like a demenced game-show
host, he pulls back one curtain after anorher, revealing weak
nesses rhat you never even knew you had.
When in power, this Shadow quietly prepares his next
series of traps. He also enjoys mind games, forcing mhcrs to
confront their own weaknesses.

The Freak knows all your secrets and gees a perverse kick
our of them. It enjoys making you do what you most loathe.
When it whispers to you, it makes you feel like you arc all
alone, like you are the only one who would ever do the things
you've done. At the same time, however, the Freak gives you
permission to do horrific, terrible things. The Freak take.' plea-
sure in your shame.
When the Freak is in !POwer, it often tries to shame its
host. It will force the host to indulge in many terrible act,,
Moreover, the Freak rakes almost as much pleasure in dredg-
ing up others' perversity and exposing it to rhe world.
The leech
11>is Shadow is rhe hole inside you, a pit of raw need dug
by neglect and hate. This Shadow needs love, sexual fulfill
ment, goods, food, attention- everything. The Lec'<:h threat
ens to consume everything around you, including yourself. This
Shadow often aces like a lost child, a creature wonhy only of
pity, dwelling within you alld constantly pleading for help. In
truth, it is in control, driving you co Oblivion with its
cious appetites.
Whell in power, this Shadow attempts to gair\ sustenance
from others at any cost. (t thinks norhing of using, ruining and
discarding ochers. The world owes the Leech, and the Leech
will lash out spitefully if rejected enough.
The Martyr wishes only to quit its existence as soon as
possible. He may try and drag od>ers down with him, but his
main goal is co force you co embrace Oblivion, to complete
the process of death. l-Ie always seeks to die again and again.
The Martyr often uses your faith and altnrism as levers, offer
ing glorious, fulfilling sacrifice for the greater good. But che
preaching it offers is false, leading only to annihilation.
When this Shadow is in power, it will immediately place
rhe host in the most dangerous situation it can. It will also
proselytize to other wraith nbnut the futility of continued ex
istcnce und rhc need to sncrlfice oneself for higher coal.

l11c Monsrer is n foul3nd unknowable thing. You C3n't
begin to understand whnt it wants, or why. It Is mindlessly
deStructive, lashing out"' everything nround it.
When rhis Sh3dow is In power, it will mindlessly arrack
anything in its p3th. lt seeks to dt-stroy and will not de-
strOying until it dcst!O)'S n1elf on rhe process. lt is also verbally
abu:.ivc, Sl>uuring obscenhits at anyone within earshot.
Ovcrprorecrive, loving and caring, this Shnclow wanrs to
keep you nice and nC3t and clean. She wants you to love only
her. She wants you to li>1en ro her, and if )'OU don't listen,
she'llmukc you feelcuilty for not listening. She's only think
ing of your best intereS[S, anyway. She knows your dirty
thoughts nnd vile secrets, hm .<he still loves you (though no
one else could ever love wch a monster . .. ). Sherries ro im ..
prove your self-estttm, but can't help "accidcnrally" remind
ing you of how you've failed. She will hdp you, though. Re-
ally. After nll, aren'r you her precious baby!
When in power, this Shadow often seck< m "protect" other
wrnirhs nncl instill guilt fur rhc rhings they've done. She will
also attempt m destroy any and all relationship$ the host has.
ll1is Shadow sets lirnir:orinns and goals that far exceed
your cnpncity m accomplish them. Then, when you
fail, he criticizes your every 0ow with all the I:ICt and restraint
o( a drill instructor. He every weakness In you and never
lets you fu'b"'' ""I' of rhem. Even your successes could have
been bcuer. He offers you the hope of improvement one day,
but it is generally a false one.
When in power, dli3 Shndow cries to its host, he
licving rhnt It Is worthless and weak. Additionally, it will of
ten castigate olher wraiths 11rc)Und it.
The Pusher is your buddy, your p3l. Uke Mephistopheles,
he is helpful, solicitous charming. He's nlwnys re:Jdy rn
offer a!Silistnncc- (or a price. lie may even give you credit .. .
ofter all. what are friend> for! "Don'r worry, be hoppy": that's
the Pusher's et<"<-d. He wanls you to have fun. As much fun as
you cun nfford ...
When in power, the Pusher will attempt to place the host
in grcnt dnn,ger or privlHion, forcing the host to cnll on the
power that only hewn offer.
This Shadow is the thinking person's Shadow.
She calmly discusses your situation with you, gently explain
ing why you should do what she wanr.s and offering
logical reasons for so doing. Of course, her logic is designed to
IClld you down the path to Oblivion.
She never openly confronrs you. lnsread. she riddles your
mind with doubts - doubts that only she can allay. This
Shadow has a sensible, rational answer to everything, and of
(Cr.i you rhc prmection of denial as well: certainly, the thoughts
gnawing at you are silly guilt feelings instilled by a repressive
upbringing. Ccrminly, the thoughts, words and deeds this
Shadow has insrigated haven't really hun anyone wo much ...
When in power, this Shadow creates conditionsrhat prove
her various postulates. She also "advises" other wraiths, trying
10 nick rhem imo "logical" behavior.
Two: Angst
"Life," wid Marvin. ;/Don't cnlk rome abouc life."
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Gala:ry
The Shadow is power<.-d by aT rait called Angst.lllis Trait
represents and quantifies a wraichs pain, alienacion, se)f.doubr
and frustration. The higher the Angst raring, the more power
lul the Shadow.
The A ngs[ rating always srarrs equal ro or less r.han rhe
chamcrer's initial Willpower. Roll a number of dice equal to
the character's Willpower (di(ficulty 6). The number of sue
ccsscs indicates the number o( "pcnnanenl" Angst poims the
character has ar the start of the game.
Angst represents the stress and repressed emotion inside a
wmith. Angst also determines the strength of the Shadow. n,e
Shadow may spend Angsr poinrs just as the wraith spends
Unlike Willpower, ltowcvcr, temporary Angsl can exceed
the boundaries of its permanent score. When ::1 characrer's t:em ..
porary Angst exceeds his permanent Willpower, the Shadow
con attempt to overpower the Psyche and usurp comrol of the
wrnirh. If the Shadow possesses iO points of temporary Angsr
while it is dominant over the character, the Shadow trades all
its temporary Angst for a point of permanent Angst. The char
acrer is one step closer to Oblivion.
Ol.1ring play. Angst can increase and decrease withom the
player's knowledge. l11e idea is that the player should never
really know where her character stands. Some Arcanos give
the Shadow temporary Angst poinrs. The Shadow also has
weaponry of its own, called Thon1Si certain Thorns provide
temporary Angst. Finally, the Shadow has its own Dark Pas-
sions. If the wraith fulfil ls the purpose or inflicts the passion of
a Oal'k Passion on a mona I creature, she can quickly sate her
relf with larger amounts of Angst.
During play, the Shadowguide must keep track of the
character's Angsrscorc. She will also need to know the player's
permanent Willpower score. The Storyteller may choose ro
keep track as well, but she will usually be too busy telling the
stOry. The pla}'Cr wOJl always know her \Villpowcr SCOre, but
will never know her Angst score.
Step Tnree: Dark passions
Nexr, rhe Storyteller must choose the Passions of rhe
Shadow. Deline the Shadow's Passions (or"Dark Passions") in
rhe same way you define rhe Psyche's Passions: each Passion
consists of a brief, one-line description of rhe Passion, followed
by the. appropriate emotion. You should use the Passions of
the Psyche as a guide, because Dark Pas.<ions are generally op
posite from those of rhe Psyche. Still, feel free to make parallel
or completely unique Passions as you see lit. lll< Storyteller
assigns seven poinrs of Dark Pt1ssinns when designing a Shadow
and rhe palyer can spend freebie points ro rnise them during
character generation. Fulfi lling a Dark Passion will give the
characrer pure Angsc. See Dark Pa.t.-;;ions. below.
Step four: freeoie points
The Storyteller has 10 freebie poinrs to spend on the
Shadow's Traits. These freebie points can be used to mise the
Angst score or purchase Thorns. Note, however, that a
Shadow's permanent Angst score can never init:ially exceed
the character's Willpower, although temporary Angst can be
as high as 10.
Permanent Angst - 5 (XJints per doL
(cannot initially be higher chan Wi llpower)
Temporary Angst - 2 points per dot
(cannot initially be higher than pennancm Angst)
Dark Passions- I point per dor
(maximum of lO dots)
Thorns- individually below
In tle end you will submit-
lr's gor w hurt a little bir.
- New 0Jder, "Perfect Kiss'
Thoms arc special qualities that the Shadow possesses.
These qualities are lOtally under the conrrol of the Sroryceller,
not the player.
Spectre Prc.<ligc: I poim/levcl - The Shadow is respected
among Spectres and will often be aided by them. Treat chis as
Notoriety for the Shadow.
Dark Allies: 1 point/level- The Shadow regularly com
municates wi th Spectres in the area. Treat this Thorn as if rhe
Sh<1dow had the Allies B:.ckground, applicable only the region's
Tainted Rellc: l poi or/relic- The Shadow has on impor
canr relic that manifcsas only when it is in JlO"'Ct- llti> rcloc could
be a mask, a ""apon or some other item. The chamcter should be
able"' rccogni'e Its origin if it isuescribc. -d to him or if he SC('S it in
a mirTOr. The manifcst:nion of this rdic demonstrntcs to others in
the wmith's Ciocle th.1t the Shadow is in roorrol.
Infamy: I point/level- People cunle the character's name
as they lie down to sleep. The In fumy Thon> causes kind of
Memoriam to collect the character's Fetters. Only the
Shadow can benefit from this energy. Whenever a wraith Slum
bers, the Storyteller rolls a number of dice equal to the Shadow$
rating in this Thorn (difficuhy6). For each success, the hatred
of the living convel'S one point of Angn ro the wraith. The
maximum of this Thorn is 5.
Death's Sigil: 13 points - The Shadow causes the chat
actcr ro manifest a distinctive feature that accompanies her
wherever she goes. lltis can be :mything from the sound of
rushing wings that announces her prcscnc'C to glowing hellfire
that drips from her and cover.s everything she touche-s. This
sigil even colors her Arc.1nos effects, and makes it quite e:uy
to perceive her and track her The sigil
can be "mrned oil" by the charctcr by expending Ol\e Will
power per Thorn point spent on the sigil.
Shadow Trait&: 2 points - You can buy one dot of any
Anribure or Ability that the Shado"' con bestow as a bonus to
the Pool for that Trair. You must specify the Amibureet
Abiliry when the Thorn is bought during the creation of the
Shadow. The character may acCCM rhe Shadow Trait at will,
but the Shadow gains one temporary Angst each time the char
acter accepts help and makes a roll using rhe Shadow Trait.
Aura of Corruption: 2 poina - The Shadow "'llrpS lhc
character, making him disrasceful ro other wraitl><: perh<l ps he
stinks terribly, or hi.s voice is grtltin,g, or his body or countenance
isdi!figured, or he has a monstrous fonn, etc. The difficulties of all
rolls lnvolving social interacrions with other wraiths are rnised by
twO. This Tbom can be purchased only once.
Shadow Call: 2 poinas- The Shadow has the power to
summon Spectres by calling to them in the Tcmpcsr. By spend
illg an Angst poinr ond in an Angst roll (difficulty
7), the Shadow can sumrnun Spectres. The number and
atrength of the Spectres are detennined by Lite number of sue
cesses on Lite Angst roll. The character must be in the Tern
pest to use this Thorn.
Pact of Doom: 3 points - The Shadow can make a pact
with i ts host, grnnrlng increased knowk-dge of Arcanos in ex
chance for control. Each pact spells out the host's du
ties a.nd exactly how much Area nos knowledge i granted. A
pact cannot be forced on a character - she must accept it
knowmgly. When a p.-.ct is made. the Shadow gains a
<i permanent Angst points equal to the level or levels of
Arcanos it teaches. A Shadow docsn'L have to know the
ArcanO ro teach ir: it may simply access thatlnformarlon from
the body of arcane knowledge all creatures of Oblivion can
access. Titis Thorn can be purchased only once.
Tainted Touch: 3 points - Whenever the character touches
nneming or someone, there is a clwlce the thing or person will
l-oolC tainted with Oblivion. Roll thn:cdicc (diflkulty6). The num-
L.r ri"""""""" equals the number of Angl( points or Health
6l.1t the Sh.'ldow inflicts oo the The dwocrer can fighr this
Thorn by spcndit'f! a Willpower point and making a WiliJlO""' roll
(diffiatlty 6); the number of successes en the roll or
the t'lnr roll. This Thorn may be only ooce.
Trick of the Light: 3 points - Tite Shadmv can subtly
niter the perceptions of a character to fir Its needs. This is a
wy, very subtle power of the Shadow, but is extremely potent
when used correctly. TI1c Shadow spends one Angst point per
5eenc to maintain rhe perception-shift. Note that this tool only
<Xl\'ers one per use: multiple require multiple ex-
!'<flllitures of Angst. The Shadowguidc, not the
de!cnbc:s what the character senses.
Bad Luck: 3 points- The Shadow can spend Angst points
to ri!duce the number of successes gained by its host charActer,
just as the player can spend Willpower to Increase rhe number
of succcs.scs.
Doppelganger: 3 points-The Shadow cal\ appear as one
completely different person. The person can be known or un
known. Thi$ makes it difficul t for the charocter's fri ends to
rteognlze him if his Shadow takes over.
Familiar: 5 points-The Shadow has a smaller
op1rit of Oblivion that acts as its familiar spirit. This familiar
can be the Shadow's eye$, ears and voice. It is usually rela-
tively harmless, for it is not meant to be anything more rhan a
spy. TI1c familiar lssmall , but may be any shape desired by the
Fr<udiun Slip: 5 points - By spendi ng on Angst point,
the Sh:odow may cause the character to cnke an involunt:try,
!lldden, action, or may insert a single, unbidden thought uno
the character's head. This can be resisted by rhe eharneter
sptndng a Willpower point and making a Willpower roll (dif-
riCUiry 7). One success is needed to resist.
Shadow Life: 5 points - The Shadow lives a parallel life.
Whenever the character Slumbers, the Shadow takes over and
3C1$ wlchout her knowledge. This can lend ro some very inter-
esting ptoblcms as the character meets people whom the
hits wrtmged or attacked in some way. The character
""'Y not even know about this property of his Shadow. For rwo
more points of Thorn, the character suffers a mental block
about the face. ThiS Thom may be purchased only once.
Devil's Dare: 1 points- By investing a number of Angst
poinu into a single command and writing that command on a
note to be ltSscd ro a player, the Shadowguide can stipulate
rome action that the Psyche musr Gl ke. The De vii's l>are '"'"'
be very specifically defined, and must be something rh01 rhe
character can acrually do. The Angst poinrs ore immediately
spent. E.1ch point or Angst so spent represents the sevcriry of
the action: if the action is very $Cvere. the plnycr mar petirion
the Storyteller ro have it lowered. 1r. by rhe end or the 5eSSion,
the dare isn't somehow worked nro the characte(s actions,
then the chamcrer lose.< the number or Willpower points equal
to the Ang:;r invested in the dare.
A final Note on Shadow Creation
Although the Shadow is n very impormm part or n char
:acrcr, mu.S[ make sure thar rhe Shadow's character c.IO<.:s
n01 "upstage" the Psyche or that chamctcr. Even though the
Shadow may eventually oer tltc Psyche, the player's
chnmcter is more important than rhe Shadowguide's.
Guiding the Shadow
The tempmtions or the Sharlow arc offered
by another player called rhe Sh:>dowf(Uide.
Titc Shaclowguide develops a pcr><ma for
rhe Shadow and rolcplnys irlikc a second
ory chnrnctcr.
I( you choose to be a Shndowguidc, yoo
have an Important job rodo. You musr rtp
rcscm this dark urge within the wraith. In order to roleplay
rhc Shadow, you need to knnw drives and motivates rhe
Shadow. When ncring ;u a Shodowguidc, you musr keep erne\:
o( the Angsr on Shadow's sht-et (sec Angsr, below, to fa
miliarize yourself witlt how Angst increases and dccrca:.cs).
When you roleplay 3nother character's Shadow, ym ' hould
whisper, rhu indicating that it is the Shndow and not your
primary charocter who is peaking. Pointing at the P>yche's
player while doing rhis can also make )'OUt imcntions more
evident. If nothing else, you muSt make It cleM that it is not
your characrer speaking, bur r he Shadow.
psychic Torment: War the
Accepr rhe rrwh. 11tere is no ligh1 urirhour shadow ...
- Shiwan Khan, The Shadow
The Shadow within each wraith uhimotely one
rhlng: to be united with Obhvion. The character's Psyche is
what imprisons it. The Corpus acts as the htst vestiges o( a
rnorml cocoon. A cmnsformntion awaiu ...
Many Sh:>dows have unknowable urgtS or cannot fixmc
on one spccifoc Mos1, howevor, have a definite b""'land
\VOtk totvard it. Tilt primary goal is usually I he Sllbju
g:uion o( the Psyche. To the Shadow's way of thinkinl(, the
Psyche should allow the Shadow free rein.
DarK passions
The cannot understand "finer" emotions. Even
emotions like love or hope arc at best facaJcs. Still, it has b>Uid
ing burnins needs that it must fuiAII.
FuiOIIIng Dork Passions can strengthen the Shadow. Each
Dark Passion has a purpose. The purpose of the Shadow arc
often the opposite of what the Psyche is trying to achieve. For
11\!WlCe, If the Psyche seeks to protect a lover, the Shadow
may seek to destroy him. Whenever the Shadow fulfills the
I"!JlO'C of a Dark ir can roll its PaMion score (diffi
rulty 7). The number of succC$$C$ on the roll indicates the
amount of AngSL the Shadow receives. The Storyteller has the
q>tion of chnngins the purposes of Dark from session
rosesslon, although the emotions behilld them should remain
the same.
TI>c Shadow can f\tlfoll the essence of his Dark P3S$iOn (as
mdic<lted by the attached emotion) by forcing an emotion on or
.-1li<U1ganenl0tion from someone else. With Dark Passions, wit
""""'&"" emocion Is not enough. For iNtance, if a Dark Passion
dri>-en by fear, if the Shadow can evoke fear from someone, it
.. m fulfill that Dark Plls>iot\. If the Shadow achieves this goal,
d11:n it can roll iro Passion score (difficulty 9) and receive an
amount of Angst equal to its successes. Some examples of Dark
Passions nrc: lust, fear, anger, hate, despair, frustration, pain or
cynicism. IL "hould be nmed, however, rhat some Dark Passions
are merely rcprc$600 emotions, not necessarily "dark" ones.
More information on developing Dark Pltssions is detailed
in the Stion on Catharsis, below.
his is not hell, nor am I our of ir.
-Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Fat<Sit<S
Whenever tcmp<Jrary Angst exceeds
the Psyche's permanent Willpower, the
Shadow can attempt to dominate the
wraith. If this happ<:ns, the Shadow con
rrolsall thewrnith'saetlons. The player, not
the Shadowguide, runs the character, but must conform to the
Shadow personality.
The Cathorsis Roll: The Shadow makes a control roll by
lp<:llding one temporary Angst point nnd rolling a number of
dice equal tO its tcmp<Jnlry Angst. The Psyche mny resist with
a (J><: nnancnr) Willpower roll, adding Eidolon dice if appro
p<iate. Both rolls are at a difficulty of 6. The Shadow stays in
control (or on entire scene, at which time it returns conuol ro
the P>ythc.
When the Shadow is dominant, it interacts with the world
the only way it knows how. It can gain Anll't through its Dark
h may uti lite any of d>c P>ychc's Arc:anos. It may use
Thoms, such as Ooppelcanger, Shadow Relic and Infamy. It
may not cause t he Psyche to regain Pnthos, nor can it refuel
the Pathos of the Psyche once it is spem. 11>c Shadow cannot
expend Willpower, nor can it reduce the character's Parhos
below I.
The Shndow uses Catharsis as a threat: it is the uh:imatc
a<rack agalnu rhe Psyche. During C1rhnrsis, the Shlldow can
choose to "cut off" a Psyche from his senses, thereby perform
ing things in ><..'Cret that will later come oock to haunt the
character. Thos effect can only be reoosted wlrh Eidolon dice.
closer to Oblivion.
ngst rcprcscnLS the dcgn:c of pH in and i.So
I arion a wrairh feels, :md in<Hcates the
live strength of the Sh:Kiow. Again, if the
Shadow has 10 point> of temporary Angst
while it is domonant, it can trade these for
one point of permanent Angst. As perma
nent Angst grows, the charactCl slips ever
Gaining Angst
There are several ways the Shadow can gain Angst:
Shadow Dice: The Shadow can offer her Psyche extra
dice on any roll that the player makes. One point of Angst is
gained for cad\ botch that occurs on the Shadow dice. (For
each "I" rolled on Shlldow Dice, wbtract one success, but only
from the Sh:Kiow Dice.) The Shadow can offer a maximum of
five extra dice LO any roll.
The Shadow's Passions: By accomplishing its gools,
the Shadow can gain Angst points. Roll rhe appropriate Dark
Passion in situations where the Shadow is fulfil ling chat Pas
sion (difflculty 7), and add one point of Ang5t for every sue
cess. When the Shadow forces the emotion underlying a Dark
on someone else instead of fulfilling the purpose, d1c
doffloolty Is 9.
Area nos: Some Arcanos give the Shadow Anll't even
when the Psyche is dominant (see A"an<n, Chapter Six).
Important Note: If rhe Shadow is dnminanr, it can still
use Arcanos, but powers rhar normally the user Angst
will ins tend cosc the Shadow Angst. Regardless of which "side"
is clomln:mt, Arc.anos muse be fueled by Pnrhos.
Of course, If the Storyteller feels that it is appropriate, she
may decide to Rive the Shadow a point of AnRSt based on the
roleplaying of a scene .. The player should agree ro this, bur any
scene conveying rhe separation and alienation of a
may result in a point of Angst.
losing Angst
There stvtrnl ways the Shadow can lose Angst:
Castigation by another wrairh: Thi.s Arcanos is spc ..
cillcally designed rn reduce the Anf(St of anomer wrdith. Nor e.
however, that unleos a wraith is using the Arcanos: Defiance,
he may n01 Castigate himself.
Using ce,rtain Arc:t.nos while the Shadow is dominant:
When che Psyche is dominaau, some Arcanos give a wraith
Angst if he fails or lx>Lchc; a roll. If rhe is dominant,
these Arcanos insrcaci reduce Angst. Arcanos that normally
cosr Willpower actually incrensc Willpower if rhe Shadow Is
Botching any roll when the Shadow is dominant: The
Shadow scand to see its own failure. If rhe Sh:>dow
botches any roll while duminunr, point of temporary
ike you, I mn broken and fragile
Like you, I am I<UtinR my l.eun forth< first
like you, I nm feeding on slumber
likt you. l't. \lle{c my eyes far behind mt
Oo111n for che ooum anJ sriU drolllnmg.
- Christian Drowning"
Because wraiths do not have to fear deatl>, many of chem
aer with impunity in the UnJcn.-orld, rhinking that they are
somehow immortal in their Resrless smre. TI1is is nol true.
When a wrairh loses her Corpus, she imrncdiutcly plunges
inro che Tempest. ! Jere, she experiences a nighrmore
for her by her Shadow. nus prnceM is called tht llarrowi'X
The Harrowing is like a theatre of torture, a highl1 nrual
rsric It is designed to empower rhe Shadow and rip
apart !hose thing$"' dear to rhe wraith: her own Passions and
The scage is sec in tl1e Labyrimh, a rwisred network of
tunnels and cavcms, chambero and endless sea irs that the Spec-
tres usc to move about the Tempest. The Labyrinth re;ponds
rn the Shadow's ministrntions, evoking scenery nf stork night
mare ac a moment's whim. The players shades and other
dread creatures of rhe Labyrinth. The scar is the fallen wnoirh,
bodiless. without a shell tO surround her fr.tgrle Psyche. The
director is che Shooow, who whispers rhe wranh's se
crets to the asscmbk-d hordes, and who manipulates them like
a macsuo.
The result is horror created cxpre.<sl) for rhe wraith. And
the last act, the Shadow hope<, will be the wraith's plunge
into Oblivion.
The Beginning
lr is important to escablish a sense of normalcy for rhe
of me Harrowing. The charncrer regains a semblance
of a body, although rhu "not his Corpus: it is merel1 a mcnml
projecrion. Usuall)'. the Shadow chooses a typical scene from
rhe life of the wraith, thus the wrairh a sense of <kja <'U,
al[hough some Shadows 5rnrt wirh the gore righc In some
cases, rhe Shadow will choose the Quarry of the Harrowing,
an nsptct of the character tlmr it will arrempc to destroy. This
is either a particular P"'t.<lon (In which case the llatTOwit\it is
infused wi[h a morif, mood or tone representing that Pa.uion)
or a Fetter (in which case the Quarry is of the
scenery or one of the players In rhe dark drnma). If the Har
rowing began because the character lost all his levels of Cor
pus or all his Willpoll'er, there is no Quarry. The character is
on me verge of Oblivron.
If a Fetter or P:usion is targeted, the Shadowguide should
choose it with care. The Quarry should be a or Fett"r
!hat the character has or one that has troubled the
character. h 15 easter to desrmy a weak Passion or Fetter than
it is to destroy a srrong one.
The Shadow must spend six temporory points In
ordtt to Initiate a for the purpose of scverinR a Fet
ret or extinguishing a Passion. I( a Shadow doesn't have six
Angst points m spend, it cannot initiate a Harrowing, although
It can still try to call Shades ro the wraith's location. In [his
case, the wraith's Psyche simply Aoats helplessly in the Tern
pest for a numlx:r of scenes equal to his highest Fetter rating,
at which point it maps back to that Fetter in the Shadow lands,
and the wraith's Corpus reforms.
Next, you advance the plot of the nightmare along simple
Iones and onrroducc oth<r characters. These charocters will be
played either by the Shadow (in most cases) or by varioos Spec-
tn:s. Build the mood and tone o( the story and add .!Orne repul
.s.ive elements.
System: You may want to let the character involved in
the story make Ability rolls. This is ai.!O the stage where the
character may make Eiuolun rolls (difficulty 9) to change ns
pe<l'$ of the nightmare. The change musr. make sense in terms
of the story being told. nn'd it cnn only serve to defend and
help the wraith escape the Harrowing. In general, even suc
c<SSful Ability rolls should only prolong the rermr, merely giv-
ing the character the illusion of conrrol over an inexorable
During rhc climax of the Harrowing, the wraith l.s pre
S<nttd with a dilemma. The ourcome o( the dilemma deter
mines whether or not the wraith loses the target of the Har
rowing, which must be included as part of the nightmare.
System: The dilemma shouldn't be a simple roll. You
sh011ld etcher make It n decision on the part of the character,
which you rhcn judge in terms of a "succe,ssful" decision, n
l;fuil ure" decision or a
botch" decision; or make the dilemma's
outcome dependent Ol\ roleplaying culminating in a single,
modified rnll.
Succus: Successfully solving a dilemma lets a wraith es
cape from the llnrrowing. He is snapped back to a Fetrer, where
h" Corpus re-forms (the wraith regains a number of Corpw
to Srnmma). No Willpower i.s lost (at\y spem dur
ing the Harrowing 15 regained), nor does the wrnirh lose a Fet
ttr or Passion.
Failure: When a wraith (uit. to solve a dilemma, he must
roll the rating o(his Passion or Fetter (difficulty 8). He losc'li a
number of poinlS from rhe mting equal to his number of fail-
ures or botches. Still, he escapes the Harrowing and can roll
for Corrus renewnl normally.
Botch: If a wn1ith botches the dilemma, he lo.1es the Pns
sion or Fcner ourriaht. Additionally, he plays right into th<
Shadow's clutches and experiences a moment of weakness as
it triumphs. The Shadow rolls liS Angst versus rhc wraith's
Willpower: if the Shadow wills, the charocrer is dead forever.
If the Harrowing began because the character was rcducal
to z.ero Corpus, 1cro Passion or ztro Witi i>Ow<:r, no one Fetter
or Pnssioll is applicable, so no such roll is made. The character
is dirccrly confronted by the possibility of her own death. Th<
end o f ~ Harrowing results in an opposed roll between per
manellt Willpower and permnnellt Angst. If rhe Shadow wins,
the character Is utterly consume-d by Oblivion.
Hert are some ideas about how you could run Harrow
lng, based on the Shadow's Archetype.
Beginning: A nice Sunday afternoon - qtnct, calm ...
except for somewhere, of( in the disr.tnce, a suangc, mcw.llic
gmting coming from another room. You wolk through your old
hoose, looking here and there. Mother! Father! Who's there!
Yoo tum rhc comer, and ...
Middle: ... there stands your father, sharpening n srmighr
raror. l-Ie looks down a< you and hisses, "Don't move." You
freeze. He srans to shave your eyebrow$, )'OUr hair ... he moves
the cold steel across your skin nd soon yoo're totally hairless.
You shiver. He screams, "DON'T MOVE!" and slaps you ...
End: ... you try to scream back at him, to run, and you run
through the door o f ~ bathroom, trying to escape. You mn
outside, throogh the front door. Your father chases you, scream
ing obscenities, his eyes blazing red like fire. Looking up in the
window, you see your sister, her hair on firt, waving down a1
you, crying. As the house goes up in flames, you b<gin to rise.
You reach our 10 grab your sister, and you rise past her, fum
bling 10 reach her hand. Will you save her?
Success: You grab her hand and, for a moment, remember
a brief moment of peace long ago. As )'"" rise up, you hear
your si!lter say, .. Thank you ... "
Failure: Your sister screams as the Romes engulf her, and
you turn away.
Borch: You scream as yoor sister tnnsforms il\lo a hor
rible beast that snaps at you, and n Oery aura burns you all
Beginning: All around you, you sec hallways. Corridors
stretch nff in all directions. Doorways line the corridors. Each
doorway has a small red button next to it. Tile burrnns Rash
slowly, on and off. You push a button, nnd ...
Middle: ... one of the doors opens. It leads down anorher
haliW3y, and you follow ot. You catch flashes of terrible scenes
from )'OUr previous life as )'OU pass <he tiny windows in the
oloooi. You hear whispers about you. Someonescrtanl$ om your
name, and you non to identify the O<igin of the sound. Your
turn the comer and discover your Shadow sea<ed a desk. He
grins . .. Come in. Plcnse - sit do\Vn, I won't bite. Not yet any
WJy." He ocrs you n scat, unc..l you sit ...
End: ... nnd your Shadow smiles as he clicks a bu<ton on n
small box in his hand. '1110 blinds slowly recede, revealiOJ: rwo of
roor loved onCll hchind twowny glass. Tiley are both bound nnd
arulowly being lowered inropirs of acid. "Quick dcnth
or slow clcaoh!" your Shndow asks you. "\'ilhich one! Choose."
Stocce.!$: You gnob your chair and throw it through the glass,
shanering it. As light surrounds you and you start to move
you gmb your loved one and pull her to safety.
Failure: You "TOlle with )<lW' Shadow and throw a chair through
ontQ{the window$, whichshaners. Yougrnb)"OUrlovedonc, but, as
yooris<slowly intothcair.)'OU rtalizethat)'OU are holdingodummy
lll3<k to tool< like your lov!:d one. Turning, )'OU see your ocher loved
one's feet disappear into the acid tank below him.
llorclo: You wrestle with your Shadow, who pushes a but
ron on rhe box in hi> hand. Both of your loved ones drop im
mediately into their pits of Your Shadow laughs as acid
spills our ill to rhe roon1 you' re in, burning your feet and follinu
1he room wirh :t11ickly sweet smell.
llcginninl(: You're in j)ublic, walking down the srreer, a
nameless individual in the crowd. Faceless pcoj)(e walk past
JW. All of a sudden, someone whispers ro you from an alley
way. A fingercrooks in your direction. You rum to look, and ...
Middle: ... you sec '"' okl friend of )"OUrS. He gives you a key
and whisper$, "behind the W3rehouse." You h<-ar voices and sec
men with rorches nnd shotguns stalk down the alley, lookiOJ: for
'crearuros" just like yuu. You run. and dley call out your name.
End: . .. you n.m behind the warehouse and down to the door.
0pcllilllt the door with your key, you se:e a whole bunch of people
jiLl! lrke you, hiding, hunched down, tryillg not to be secll. This ls
where you belong. You co and embrace one of your old friends
and beuin rodallcc. Suddenly, a gtlllshot reverberates throuch rhc
n:)()ln, :mel your friend convulses in your anns. You whirl around
... and see the men with torche. tanding in the stairway, laugh
irog at you, call ins: you awful things, their guns leveled at you.
SucceS$: You scream in anger at the men with guns, who
5tand there looking befuddled. They step back. Your anger is
like fire. You step forward, rising up. surrounded by lighr. You
tell rhcm rn the hell out and never come back. One by one
they leave, and as you me up, )'OU sec others standing up and
shouting out their rage.
F:oilurc: Yconttnck the men. One by one, they empty their
shoccuns Into you. As you rise up in a nimbus of crimson lis:ht,
you realize that the ones you left behind arc cowering as they
laugh at their own fear.
Botch: Yoo nl1lltk the mob. but somehow they're on \'OU. They
crnb you, calling \'Ott "Freak," and C3ny you OUtSide. fl rt
there for you, and rhey lash you to a stake. They hold a brond co
kindling. and you scream as the flame< begin to sear
Beginning: You' re sitting down co a bountiful feasc. h's
eleeant and tasty; evcl)'thing on th" roble is something rhac
you love to eat. It's all there for you. Then, you hear romeone
call ing you in the next room .. .
Middle: ... you sec your Shado'v there, lying on the bed,
demanding to be fed, complaining, saying tha< you don't
about him, that you only care abour You bring him
food and drink, and try to nuff his pillows, but nothing is
enough. Still he complains, whining, demanding, griping ...
End: .. . uncil, flnally, he stops and plaintively asks if you re
ally care about him. And bow you plan to shoo him. And then he
asks you to feed him some more, nnd you do, and l'"'' begin to feel
empty inside. You realize he's sucking your wul fTom your body.
Success: Finally, indignantly, you throw down the scning
my. You take a piece of bread for yourself, and as the light
surrounds you and you begin to rise, ymo see your Shadow
:;cream in pure jealousy and rage.
Failure: You cram more and more food into the Shadow's
hideous mouth. Finally he gets ovenealous. You secream as he
clamps down on your fingen and bites them off.
Botch: He eats more and more . .(lnd you soon run out of
food. Finally, the Shadow opens his maw and begins to take
bites out of your Oesh - but you are cold and dead. You feel
no pain and can only watch in hormr as he consumes you.
Beginnine; You're on an airplane.. thousands of feet in che
air. Suddenly, shots ring out, a masked Lcrrori.r &rorms
throuRh the plane ...
Middle: ... stnnding up, you offer youl'$elf as a hostage, co
protect the other innocent$ on the plane. Titc gunman draes
you up to the deck. One of the llighr crew secreams nnd
breaks free, pushing and kicking at che terrorist. You scc1tim .
lower his machine gun, and you step in from of the bullets ...
End: ... you feel hot lead rip through you as you fall for
ward. Blood sprays everywhere. The terrorbt steps oveq'OU ...
Success: ... and you see remorse in his eyes. As you ore
surrounded in light and begin to rise up, you realize that you
did nor die in vain. Your death had a last in& effect on him.
Failure: ... and you see that )'OUT death was meanin;less.
He unloads the rest of his clip into the crew member and stalks
down rhe aisle, looking for more victims.
Botch: ... you realize dmt, somehow, you're still So
I'""""'J up again. and again you gcrshm. At!'tin you stand. Again,
rou gcr shot. You take the bullets for everyone on the plane. Fi
nall), in :m orgy nf .w:lf-dc:.truction, l'OU make your way ro the
""""""'door and slam it open. You leap out into nodlingn=

lk'l!inning: You' re comforthly ensconced in your bed,
durchmg the covers aroulld you. You look at the shadows on
tht wall, and rhe1 lowly bt.--gin to mo,e ...
Middle: ... all around rhe bed, tentacles whip and writhe.
One of the tcntack-s lashes out for your teddy bear, it,
and yanks it away. Ynu wub nt the teddy trying to Sllvc it,
and more tentacles wmp :1rmand yuu. They begin to drng you
of( the bed. You scream, but you know no one will hear you ...
End: ... you gcr up, wrc11ch your teddy 3WO)', and mn rm.,lnl
tht light swirch. One of the monster' tentndes snares )'00, and
Y' trip aud (all. The tentacles pull you closer; you stmin
\'OUr slimy bonds. You rend1 out to flick the switch, and . ..
Success: ... you nick iron. Light floods the room. The monster
''""i!I>CS, lc,ing only n tmil of slime, as l""' rise up into the light.
Failure: ... you nick un the light, and it illuminares the
most terrible ynu'vc ever seen. You scream in horror,
dropping your teddy benr. The thing you """' save for n
wrlthint; net of slimccUvcrcd temncles, Is your teddy sitzling
In the ncld of the thing' body.
Botch: ... a tentacle yoor hand jw.t as you uy. Another
then ancxhcr, then another. then another ... covering \'WI'
body, dragging you :lCroSS the floor tO the gaping, open beak.
lkginning: You're with the most beautiful person you've
.... .,. bt."'" with, and it's going well. You stan to get intimate,
and suddenly rhe door to your room fliu open ...
Middle: ... your P:lrcnr Shadow stands there, a look of di
l>i>rovul on his face. l ie screams at your lover to get out, and
}'Our lover v:mishcs. Thc1c is no reasoning with him. He cnr-
rits you upstairs ro '\v:uh your mouth out'' . ..
End: He fills a sink with water and wn:stlcs\'OU into place,
thnt!ttng your head under the water. The soapy,..,.,., fllls)'Our
mouth, he bring your head up again. "Are you ever coing
to be with that nasty person in?" he scrcruns.
Success: You spilt he water out at your Shadow, covering
his (nee in soap. He scrc;uns in rage ns you begin to rise up,
tk11\llnding that you "come right b.1ek down here." He is still
Kretming as you k-:wc.
f':li lure: You shokc your head slowly. "No," you mutter. Your
l'flrcm smiles and s.1ys, more like my baby." He <nrries you
into n lx:droom and >Imps you to d1c bed. "NightyNight," the
Pnrrnr says, and shuts our the light. You nrc utterly alone.
Roteh: You "'Y "Yes!" throujth. mournful of soapy water.
Your Parent backllamls you, send on; you reeling into the wall.
He bc)(ins [0 rccire a lir:my o( b.1d, dirty, terrible thinx
thnr you've ever done, all the wllile !(rubbing your heod and
thrusting you under d,c wHtcr agnin ... :md again . . . and again.
You feel life rlrai n from you"$ the water fills your lungs.
Beginning: lr's rhe morning of your big interview. Every
hM to be perfect. You go to tile mirror and check your
suit to see how I'OU luok ...
Middle: ... and you look perfect - except for one >Lrdy
thread, which rou pull away. So you inm the taxicab-
nnd halfway to your inu.:rvicw, )'lm find thrtnd. You
it out. Anmher one. And still more threads, sprouting
from your suit like black weeds.
End: You reach your intcrv1cw after throwing a handful of
thrcJs in !he mtsh. Your Shadow is !here, seated behind the d.:sk.
As }'<>ll walk in, you realize that an entire 'mil of !he mom 1s a
giant mirror, one designed cunnongly ro sho" eve!) part of }'OU.
You lx:gin !he inrervtew and look down at }'OUr sleeve. A thn:ad!
You ignore tile til read, c:onccnmt<ing on rhe in
tcrview at hand. Your Shauow cnnsrnnrly brings up the thread,
but you feel chat it's of no concern, and say ;o. As }'OU use up
into the light, rour Shadow unraveling his own suit.
Failure: Yo;r ntg on !he thread. It seems to be stuck. Yuu mg
lr starts to come throul(h, and can feel that thi< is a
pretty important thread. lr seem< tO wind its way \'OUI
entire suit. You pull on It again, and it comes entirely free. TI1cn,
looking down, you realize dun your cnrire suir has come nnd
is pooled around your ankle<. You look at !he Shadow, who >.1)'>,
"I'm afraid we Mve no openings for \'OU right now, sir,'" and lcowcs..
&tch.: You t\lg on the tlm.-...J, and n nps comple!el} out. Yoo
find another one, and an<>ther """ until fmallr \'OU're
wtrh unraveling }'OUr domes. The inrervie"-er calm I) watd><:> 100
and men beginsgoingovcr )'OUT resume while \'011 pull 001 !hrt:><JS.
He brings up cvCI)' small mi.rake thot you've ever made, nnd you
rclize,suddenly, that you won't be getting the job at all. In
the Shadow gleefully 1clls you, you' ve heen blacklisted frorn your
elllirc industry. Looking up, you realize that everything is flawed.
nnd rhar the gre3tt$t flaw Is your continued existcn<:-.:. TI1c end of
the thread is attached to your flesh, "nd yoo begrn ro rear ir awoy ...

Beginning: You're at a really nice P""i' and you feel great.
You havcn'tcvcn !houghrof alcohol. Yousi1down on the couch
and realite that someone's left on emire boule of cxpcnSI \'C
whiskey righc there in front of you. You see a glass with ice
cubes sparkling next to it. Your hand srorts to shake ...
Middle: ... you reach out co rake the glass, and then some-
one offers you a mirror with cocaine on it. You re.ach for rhat,
roo, 3nd someone you a remote control, which he sticks
in your hand. You're trying to experience everything.
one is stuffing food in your mouth ...
End: ... and you realize that you're the only one doing any-
thing, that you're drinking and snorting and eating and watch-
ing the TV alone, while rhe rest of rhe party has long since
left. Your Shadow stands next to you with a hypodermic needle,
s.1ying, "Come on, g\ty. let's really bum it up ... "
Success: You gmb the needle from him and throw it across
the room. Standing, you throw of all of the other crop and run
for the door. As you run through the open doorway, rising up
into the light, you hear your Shadow say, "Ym1'll be back ... "
Failure: You grab the needle from him and plunge it inro
your ann. You feel the white fire dancing through you; you feel
ilwinciblc. Your Sh:.1dow leads you over ro a window and whispers
one word in your ca.r: "Fly." You run toward the window, throwing
If through it. You fall, endlessly fall ing, into the dark.
lXn<:h: He plunges the needle into your heHn, shooting
the white fire directly into your blood, and you scream in pain
Mit burns all over you. He plunges another, and another, and,
in the midst of it you realize that this is what you w<>nt, to feel
the white fire and to burn up in it. You fall over, and the last
thing you remember is your Shadow smiling at you.

Beginning: You're roaring down ;1 winding rm1d hue at
nisht, feeling the exhilaration of speed as the car responds to
your slightest touch. Suddenly your headlights illuminate . ..
Middle: . . . a child numing along utc mltl. She cuts in front
of you, and you nm right over her. You hit the brakes and skid to
a stop. Getting out, you see the child'scrumplcd bod)' on the road.
End: Your Shadow, a "friend o( sct&tcd in the car
nex[ to you, says. lfGo on, nobody saw you. Let's just lc(lve."
Success: You get in the car, pull our the c<>r phone, and
dial the number of the local police. Titcy arrive and put you in
handcuffs for the crime. As you ascend into the Sh3dowlands,
your Shadow shakes his head in disbelief.
Failure: You gc.r back in thccHr, close thcdoorandsay, "Noone
has to know." Your Shadow agrees. You drive off into the darkness.
Botch: You get back in the car and drive off. You're driv-
ing fast on a high mountain road. Your Shadow tells you to
bear left, and you do so. Your car nics off the side of the moun
rain, spinning end over end, and crashes in a deep gorge.
, ~
. 'I I
\ .. '\
1 I
1 1
, ~ ..
.. '7 ~
Understanding doo nor cure evil, bw ir is a definite lelp, inas-
much as one can cope wirh a comprehensible difficulry far more
easil) than with an incomprehensible darkness.
-Carl Jung, Preface ro Psyche & Sy1Jibol
his chapter discusses l he different ways a
character can change during the course of
a chronicle. It des<:ribes many different sys-
rcms for resolving changes to characters,
whether 1he change in quesrion is the ac
cunH.1Iation of experience or the accumu
I arion of wounds.
This chapter is divided into rhree sections, each of which
discusses anumbcl' or different systems for implementing char-
aC[Cf changes. Ch:.uactcr Dcvclopmcru describes how Traits
can increase (and decrease). Physical Srates includes systems
for injuries and recovery from injuries. Mental States includes
sysrems for rhe Fog, the Shroud and additional information on
One of the most exciring things about playing charactcl'll
is seeing them change over Lime. Watching a character
velop grow is like watching a child grow up before your
eyes. In Wraith. however, development doesn't always mean
Lhc character gets better. h o(ren means the character slowly
and steadily sinks into the <1 byss. Such is the nature of this
game. Focus on getting better surviving the rough periods,
and tr\' to appreciate the l:lrtiscic impact of losing your human
iry or your mind.
This is a o( permutations, not n._t les. There is
ing con wined in the next several pages thac you need to know.
only things you 1nic:hl wam ro know.
od, ''n Ha.sidic ma .. ner remarketl, fldid nm SCI)'
rlwr 'it lv<lS Rood' after creating man; rhis indi-
cares rhar rhe caule and everytlting else
were finished ofter being creared, man was nor
-Erich Fromm, You S/wJI Be As Gods
This section discusses the ways a char
accer can increase (or decrease) in power and abilities.
Experience points
Humans arc machines, and we learn constantly
most de$plte ourselves. By acquiring not only facts and
figures, but new ways of being, we cnn make ourselves imo
wh:;.t we want to be. Change occurs in wraiths as well.
During a story. learn many things. Much of whnc
they lcam is not the type of thing that can be recorded on
character sheets, but rather something the players simply keep
in mind. They may have learned never co leave a Nihil
ul\watched or never to walk into a dark alley wirh a light be-
hind rhcm. Sometimes, however. whac characters learn can be
At the end of each story. the Storyteller a1V'dtds experience
points to each e:hnmctcr, nonnally giving rhe same amount to
each one. Tile simply record how many expe,iencc
Experience points can be used to increase Tmill<.
The cost for raising Trairs varies wic.k:ly; sec the chart below for
specifics. 1l1c c.uot i.l nlmnst always on the present rating
times a certain number. Thus, if the character has an Alcnncos
"'""''.rJJII mtingof2, and the player wants to risc It to3, it costs l'oorexpe-
rience points to do so. If rhe charocter does not have the Trait at
all, the C05t is listed ns n 'new"' Troit. A TmiL can only be mist-d
one dot per story - never more.
As the Storyteller, you should nm let a player spend her
experience pomrs tn roise any T mit she wishes - it's a liulc
more involved tht'ln that. The increased Trait mun be some
thing the character had a chance "' lcnrn or use during the
story - either the chnrctcr achieved great success throuRh
usc of the Trait, or she made a big mistake from which she can
learn. In the case of Willpower, somcthlnc must have actually
occurred to bolster rhc character's self-<:onlidencc.
You should only allow Trait increnscs if they have been or
c:m be woven imo the story. At the very lea.<r, changes need to
make sense in terms nf the story and not simply be changes the
player makes bccnuse she wnnrs her chnroctcr robe a ccm1in way.
This experience system can be as realbtic '" you make it. The
more you force the playcn; m make sense of thelrtxperiences, the
more charncrer development as a whole is furthered.
Experience points
The o/Mr o man grows, the more mysterious life beccnne. ro
him. Wle sometimes say ro a your/, rlut when he grows up he will
know more, but t/tat is a hnlfrrurll. In general , an increasing cx/)<-
rieru:e of lift only du/)tns the sense of iu mystery.
- I larry Emerson Fo.dick, RiIC'TSitlt Sermons
Assigning expenence points requires a careful balance
berween rewarding the players and maintaining game balance.
If you follow the guidclil\es below, you prohnhly won't get Into
too much truublc, hut feel free to experiment as you see fot.
End of Each Chapter
Give each characrer one to five experience points at the
end of each chapter {game session). One point is given whether
or not the Circle succeeds or fails, as a funcrion of simply par-
ticipating (rcnlcmhcr, somc[imes we le::-rn despite ourselves).
One point - Automatic: Ench gets one puint
after every game session.
One point - Learning Curve: The character learned
something from hi.lexperienc.sduring the chapter. Ask the pla)'Cr
to describe what his character leanled before l"ward r.he point.
One point - Acting: 1l1c player mlcpl:.ycd well -
not just enrertaini"lll\', bur appropriately. Award for exceptional
roleplaying only; your smndards should get illcrensingly higher.
In most cases, award this only to the person whn did rhe best
roleplaying in the troupe.
One point - Concept: The player nctcd out her
character's concept very well.
One point - Hcroim: \Vhen a charncter risks herseff
for od1cn, such as when she suffers multiple disn1;>tions of her
Corpus fighting off spectres while the rest of the Circle c.<caflC',
give her nnexpcricnc<: poil tt. Don't lctchamcrcnJ advanmge
of this; there is a fine line hetween heroism and stupidity.
End of Each Story
At the end of each muy, you c.1n assign each player one
to three cufdirionol experience points over and 11lxwc the one
to five points enrned for completing the chaprcr.
One point - Succcs: The Circle succeeded in its im
mediate mission or Perhaps it was noL n complete sue
cess, but at least a mnrginal victory was achieved.
One point- Danger: The cha.rocter experienced great
danger during the story and survived.
One point - Wisdom: The plajcr (am! thus the char
nccer) exhibited grcuL wits nr resourcefulness, or c;unc up with
>Ill idea rhat enabled rhe Circle to succeed.
I( you w:mt to nwnt'd even more points, allnwing rhe
characters to develop even more quickly, simply invent new
categories in which to award experience. These c:nn even \'al)'
from story to story, and can be based on the spec1flc circum
smnces of that story.
personality Development
A man is exactly whm he has no& himself and wh<tr he rhm-

- Franklin The BIIQgaiiOdGua
A cllllrdctcr's personality can changt over the course of
rhe chronicle, but for the most pare, the occur <hrough
roleplaying and not simply by changing rhc character sheet.
for inscnncc, dmnctcr ch::mgc widl the pc'lssing
o( rime. Deciding when and how a charnctcr's motivations
change can add great depth to roleplaying. Hmvcver, when a
character's Dcmeannr or tn1e Nature changes. the change
should be recorded on the character sheet. No aspect of per
sonality can change through the use of expenencc points.
Though the Demeanor listed on the dmmcter sheet is sim
ply the way dlc chamctcr m<><r commonly presentS herself, it is
no< an absolute srancl1rd of behavior. Changing the Demeanor of
a character may help the player focus on the dllllgC in pcr.;onal
ity. A player may chan&oc his character's Demeanor at any poult in
me game, but should either tell the he has done so or,
prefembly, make it evident through his roleplaying.
Sometimes the Storyteller might suggest the change after
watching the way the character is played, simply as a way of
alerring the player that she has noticed rhe change in person
aliry. Keep in mind that Demeanor is only a tool the player
uses 10 focus and direct roleplaying. If a change in Demeanor
is called for or seems appropriate, the player should feel free to
go ahead and change it.
A player may also change her character's Nature, but rules
for cllis are somewhat mote strict than the ones for changing
Dcme:mor. A character's Nature is cenual w who and what
he is- it is the locus of his being. A change in Nature is akin
to a change in personality - evctything is different after it
occurs. It should nm be decided on the spur of the moment,
but must be thoroughly considered. The Storyteller should re
quire the player to roleplay the change over a number of game
scssionsj a story might even be created around the tumultuous
transformation. Conversely, sometimes it may make sense for
the change ill persollality to occur suddenly, as a reaction to
what has happened to or around the character.
increasing ana Decreasing Traits
The costs for pennanently raising the Traits list(.'(] below
are listed on the Experience Chart.
1\aising Arcanos
lr is possible for a wraith to learn Arcanos on his own, btu
it takes longer and I'Cquii'CS more efforr. Jf a has the
Mentor Background, he mn)' roll this Background; each suc-
cc reduces the cost o( learning an Arcanos. For example, a
character with four dot> in Mentor can roll four dice (diOl
culty 6); each succe"' reduces by one the exp<rience poim CO<It
to gcr rhar Arcanos.
Characters can raise their maximum Willpower with ex
p<rience points; sometimes the Sroryrcller may give a player a
specific chance tn ra ise his Wil lpower. The opportunity toknin
Willpower is a great motivation foa stories, especially the more
bizarre ones.
When temporary Willpower reaches zero, the Shadow will
attempt a Harrowing.
If a wraith's p<rmancm Willpowcrdmps ro ,.ro, the
loses all consciousnc.<s and be<:omes a Drone. A Drone is ne1tr
n rlayer character.
lr gers dark, it geu loatcly
On tltc other silk from yuu.
lt>in a lor, I findolot,
Cnm rlrrough wit/tout 1()11.
- Kate !lush, "Wuthering Heights"
losing a passion
TI1e Storyteller has complete control over whet her nr nnt :a
Passion diminishes. There arc rwn th:lt !:1 can diminlsh:
Neglect: wmlth neglects n ovc1 time it will
diminish. If the Storyteller feels that a wraith has ncglccuxl
her Passion, he can call for n Pil$1tnn roll (difficulty 9) to sec if
the Pas.,ion raring IS reduced by one. A botch indicates that
two points of Passion are lost.
Narrowing: Tile Hnrrowmg 1s a snulsc.1rring experience.
Often, a wraith's P:tssion Is the focus, or Quarry. o( a HarfOII'
ing. If she fails to resist the horror of the Harrowing, her ent ire
Passion Trait mny be ripped away.
Numbing: Many Spectres, especially Shades, hnvc the
power to numb thr spiriwnl
hcnrt" o( a wraith untl chu:s dam
age a wraith's Passions. Through a awack, the .spec.
trc can n.'ducc the wr:tith5 Passion by one. (See Spectres, PI! 232)
If a wraith's Passion is reduced to zero. it :and can
no longer ghe him Pathoo..11uu tic to his morrnl ltfe has been
.cwrcd. If a wrnlth loses all his Panlons, he immediate!) slijlS
mtn Obi ivion and uoses to bc a character.
Increasing a passion
There are no hard.-and.-fast rules for increasing or gaining
a new Passion. Passions only increase at the behest of the Sto ..
ryteller, who must make a decision based on roleplaying and
the circumstances of her chronicle. Passions may not be in
creased by spending experience points.
Although a player can suggest when a Passion of hers
should be increased, the Storyteller has final say in the matter.
There is 110 attached roll: the Storyteller simply tells the player
to mise the Trait. Experience points need nor. be spent on the
l11e Storyteller should permit a Passion's increase only in
extreme circumsranccs. after a major even_t in che character's
existence. The increase should make sense in terms of the Pas-
sion and the character.
Gaining a New passion
A wraith may gain a totally new Passion only by becom-
ing involved wirh the living world and interacting wirh the
li ving. The Storyteller decides when a new Passion is gained,
although a player may choose not co accept the offer of a new
Passion if she docs not feel that the Passion is warranted. The
new Passion cannot be meed greater thm' 3, but may be in-
creased from there.
Givt nu life
Give me pain
Give me myself again.
-Tori Amos, "Little Earthquakes"
losing a fetter
The Storyteller has complete control over whether or not
a Fetter diminishes. There are three ways that a wraith may
looc a Fetter:
Destruction: If a wraith's Fetter dies or is destroyed, she
looes her connection to that Fetter immediately. For this rea
son, most wraiths seck m protect their Fetters.
The Harrowing: A wraith's Feuer might be the Quarry
of a Harrowing.11'e entire Fetter can be lost if the wraith fails
the Harrowing.
Rending: A Spectre, particularly a Shade, can rend a
wraith's Fetter, thus reducing its rating by one.
If n wraich's Feuer is reduced w zero, it no longer binds
him to chis world. If a wraith loses all her Fetters, she can no
longer operate in the Shadow lands: she can only stay there for
a few mint1tcs at the very most. \Vrniths without Fetters should
either find a "safe" residence in the Tempest or emigrate to
Srygia or some other realm within it.
Very rarely, a wraith may gain a new Fetter by interacting
with the living world and coming to care for and identify with
people, places, or things. Although there are no hard-and-fru;t
for chis process, it should generally be easier for a wraith
to g-.tin a person, rather than a place or thing, as a Fetter: the
living are much more important to wr3iths.
Background Traits never change through the use of expe-
rience points. Changes to Background Traits happen during
the normal course of events in the chronicle. Evennmlly, the
Storyteller will note the changes, and the Traits
will increase (or decrease) app.-opriately. A player may wish to
ask the Storyteller if one of her character's Background TraitS
should be changed, bur this should nor be done coo often.
The Storyteller may design a list of things charoccers must
accomplish in order to increase each Background T rnit, nnd
the players may or may not be shown the list. To gain a new
Contact, for example, a wraith has to find the right subject
and befriend him.
For the most pare, &ckgroundra ising decisions take place
over the course of a story. Backgrounds generally increase one
dot at a time, but major victories or upsets in n story can lc:ad
ro the gain or loss of more rhan one Background clot ac a time .

Here's a quick imf>ression for you: Caw! Caw! Caw! BANG!
Oh, fuck! l'm dead!
- Top Dollar, The Crow
Wraiths arc paradoxical in chat they are both fragile and
incredibly resilient. Even though there are many different ways
that a wraith con be injured, only one Trait deals with injury:
Corpus. A wraith's Corpus is the shell o( plasm that surrounds
and protects her Psyche. A player records injuries by marking
off levels of Corpus, signifying damage co that body.
Unlike humans, who lose blood, visccrn, and viwl orgnns
when they are damaged. wraiths lose substantiality- physi
cal coherence. When a wraith's Psyche is no longer protected
by her Corpus, it becomes cx<remcly fragi le and susceptible ro
the pull that Oblivion exerts over all things.
Corpus States
Material: This state is accessible only through use of the
Embody Area nos. A Material wraith is made of solidified spiri
cual energy. When injured in this state, the wraith takes nor
mal damage and suffers penalties to Dice Pools (pg. 200), just
as though she were a physical being (of course, the soak roll
still applies- sec Combat in Chapter Nine).
Corporeal: This state is the normal of the wo1oith as
she exists in rhe Shadowhonds. When damaged in this stare
"through the Shroud," i.e., by anythinll from rhe living world,
the wrairh l=s one Corpus l<:\cl and suddenly becomes In
(sec below). A Corporeal wraith injured in the
Shadowlands receives normal Corpus cl unmge but does not
become Incorporeal.
Incorporeal: When a wrnhh is Corporeal and is damaged
by an object in rhc living world, he with
respect ro the living world. This alw ys com a level of Corpus.
His form immediately becomes misty indistinct. Thissrare
lasts for a number of norm equal to his Stamina.
Destruction: When a wraith lose all his Corpus, he is
immediately sucked imo the Tempest. n,ere is n strong chance
that his Shadow will drag him into the Lubyrinth and there
the nightmarish experience called the Harrowing (sec
The H(m'()wing, pp. 184). It ''possible that over tl1c course of
the the wrailh may discorpomtc, passing on to
Oblivion and ceasing to be a playable chnractcr. If a wraith
:,urvivcs the Harrowing, he is drn\vn ixtck to one of his Fcncrs:,
where his Corpus rcfonns. When this happens, he begins with
a number of Corpus Levels equal to his Suomina rating.
Luckily for wniths, their ghosrly shells don't require much
maintenance. and c hey may cnnvert their own Pathos energy
into Corpus. By spending n point of l'udms, >t wraith con re
gain nne of her lost Corpus Levels (only one point may be thus
spent per turn). Using <he Arc.1nos known as Usury can abo
restore a wmith's CArpus. A wroith may :tlso he.1l Corpus
cis hy Slumbering. n,e Slumbering character will fade imu
one of her Fetters for eight hou,... The plnyer then mils 1 he
chamcter'sStanuna (difficulty 6): thechamcrcr heals one level
of nnnaggravated damage for <-ach success.
Aggravated Damage
Ccrrnin cre;1tures and items damage wraiths .so $C\'Creh
rhat rhey CannOt easily ref"llr the damage. n1ese injurocs,
known as aggnwntccl wounds, ore commonly inllicu:d by 1nagl
calwcapotts (both in the living world and rhc Shadowlnnds).
weapons made steel, nnd the claws and teeth uf >p<.'<
ts and other foul crcanti'C$. Several Arcanos powet> al50 have
the potential ro damage wraiths (Sec Oumoge and Us11ry. pp.
161 :md 170). The Storyteller may declare any particulurly
severe injury to be aggravared.
When an aggrnvot< wound is inOict<, the player must
cross off one Corpus Level per level of l!AAnlvatcd damage.
AJravatcd damage "'"I' be rcpair<-d only Slumbering
and rhe expenditure of three Pathos pet day. Healing one ag
grovatcd wound requires eight hours of Slumber or meditation
(sec Lhc Mc<litatinn Abil ity on pg. 127).
If a wrahh loses a total of 10 Corpus Levels because of
aggrnvat< damage. she immediately t01nblcs into Oblivion.
The chumctcr is deemed dcmoycd, and the player must create
a new c.hamcrer.
&lurces of injury
Despite wr;'liths' resilience, there nre mnny ways to harm
them. Son>C 111'C shared with ami readily understandable by
mortals; n1 nrc S('lecific ro wrniths. sources of injury
are described below.
Characters, huma11 or wraith, can make SLamina rolls
(difficulty 6) 10 "stxtk" damage. Each succcsstndtcarcsone fewer
Corpu$ Level (or Health Level, in the case of non-wraiths) is
lost. Each botch means an additiot\allevel is lost.
Physical objecno in rhe world of rhe living can harm
'1111irhs, provld< rhat the object could have harmed them in
life. n>crcfore, because min, snow and Nerf Arrowstorm
arrows ntlt hHnnful m the living, rhey do nor d::1mage wraiths
ci1her. On the other unfriendly COI\tnCt with an oncom
ing tn1ck, bullet or sword - decidedly hnrmfulthings- rc
suiLS ill the loss of a Corpus Level and rhe remporary
incorpnr""lity of the wraith.
Combat wounds arc de-alt with at length 1n rhe Mdu and
Firefight ectlons of Chapter Nine. Each succo on an
oppone11t's clnmnge roll causes the character LO lose one Cor
pus level. Remember r: h:u dHmazc from an ;ur:.1ck ;across the
Shrourl (from the living world) merely results in the assump
tion of the l11corporenl state.
wurk normally, bur: firc:s and other chemical
acuoru produce no heat in the Shadowlnnds.
Many are forged from the peculiar alloy
called dnrksteel. Developed by Nhudri, the Oral\d High Arti
fleer, durkstccl is an aHoy of Stygian I rem :mel plasm
that is reportedly tempered in the stuff of Oblivion. It bites
deep into wraiths' Corpus bodies, causing damage.
Wrailh$ who usc Uarkstccl to ::&r:mck other wrairhs ofcen gain
Anl}"t poinrs.
Occ.'slonnlly, charocters will fall. Use the chort below to
colculate damoge. Note that damage from is never con-
sidered through rhc Shroud"i falling wrairhs acru;;tlly irnp;acr
the material of the Shadowlands. Also note that there is no
consmm gravity in the Tempest; at any Aivcn momcm, falling
may be more or less than in the Shadowlands.
Oi$tnce (in feet) Injury
5 One Corpus Level
l 0 Two Corpus Levels
20 Three Corpus
30 Four Corpus Levels
40 Five l..c, cls
SO Six Corpus Lev-els
60 Seven Corpus Level>
. .. and so on, to a maximum of 10 Corpus Levels.
Fire is hazardous to mortals, and can inJure wrairhs when
ignited In rhe Shadowlands. Fire in the living world c:m hurt
wraiths "through the Shroud, but, like any O[her sort of physi
cal da&uagc from the living world, iL simply c:1usc,s them to go
Incorporeal. Fire in also barrowOame,
always causes aggravated damage to wraiths a11d therefore can
poLcmially destroy them. Barrow-llamc l!xists solely in the
Underworld and as such cannot horm the living. It functions
jusr M flredoes in the world of the Quick, sove f()( the fact that
it is cold rather than hot. It is said that lxtrrow-Oame is fed
with the power of Oblivion.
Any sl.e Aame can potentially harm a charocter. The player
may roll a number of dice equal to the cl1nrocter's Stamina
rating again>L Lhc difficulties liSLcd below. 11tc pla)cr must roll
rum rhc ch:u::.c{er is in rhe names to see if she c..1n resist
the damafie. If the roll fails, the character tokes from one to
three Health Levels of darnagc (sec Lhe sccuml chart below),
while if the roll succeeds, the charocter takes one fewer Health
Level of domage per success than she normally wo.,ld. If rhe
roll is botched, the character is hannd in liiOmc sp<:cial way-
perhaps he loses her eyesighr or her limbs are maimed.
Difficulty Heat of Fire
11uec Heat of a candle (flrndcgrcc bums)
Five Hear of a torch (second-degree bums)
Seven Heat of a Bunse11 burner (third-degree burns)
Heat of a chemical fire
Molten Metal
Size of Fire
Torch; part of body burned
Bonfire; half of body bum!
Raging inferno; entire body burned
The Maelstrom
From rime to time, Maelstroms sweep across the
Sh>dowlands and cluough the Byways. Maelstroms are vorti
oes of pure Oblivion that originote in the heart of the Void.
Sec Maebrrmm, pg. 41, for more Information. Aside from the
fact that Maelstroms carry with them, they also
do great damage to a wraith depending upon the level of the
Maelstrom Level
Two slxdice
Three eight dice
Four 12 doce
Five 14 dice
A wraith may resist this damage by using Casrigate or by
seeking shelter wiLhin a Haunt. Damage Is per turn of contact
with rhe Maelsrrom.
ccausc wrairh frequently de.1l with humans,
ir is impormnr ro understand what injures
d'cm. 1-luonn.n.s' state ofinjury is measured hy
u Trait called Health Levels. Humans have
3even Health Levels, to a wrairh'$
10 levels of Corpus. Health can lx: rhrnd>t
of as a specrnom with "Bruised" 3t one eoo
and "lncapacirared" at the ather. Each Health Level suffered be
)-ond "Bruised" causes a human to suffer penalties 10 acuons:
Mortal levels
Bruised No effect
Hurt I
Injured .J
Wounded .z
Mauled 2
Crippled -5
Mark off one Health Level for each wound that a char.x
ter takes. Wr-Aiths suffer for wounds when they are
1113terlalited. The first four wound leels hove no effect; the
last six function just like the six lccls for mortals (ranging
from Hurt 10 lncapacir:tted).
A n1urtnl or who reaches lnc;;:tp3cittlted is one Health
Level owJy from denth. If she is injured one more time, or if it is
impo&sible to stem the flow of blood from her body, she will die.
0( course, mnrmls heal differendy than wraiths do. With
pmper medical attention. mortals recover based on the fol
lowing chon. Note that the time given is how long ir takes ro
rewvcr thru p:micular Heolrh Level- other Health Levels
must be hen led as well. Thus, if the mona! rakes three months
10 recover from being Mauled, he ""'"still rake rhc rime to
heal \Vuundcd. Injured and so on.
Hc:ohh Level Time
Bnoised One Day
Hun Three Days
InJured One Week
Wounded One Momh
Three Months
Three Months t
tNot only do mortals have to he.1lthls Health Level. but
the) lose one point from one Physical Allribute as well. Mor
tals who reach Incapacitated heal at the Sooryrellcr's discre
tiOni smnc cnrcr comas for lhe rest of their lives.
If a mortal die> while possessed with Puppetry, the wraith
possessinA her may receive Corpus thunngc. Nmc rhar wrairhs
con using the Usury Arcnnos (pg. 170). ,.,._.,...,.,

fo< wraulu, final death means f.1lling into Oblivion. There
are several ways a wrnith can reach his ftnal death.
A wraid' who loses all his Corpus Levels 10 aggravared
wounds will arrain Oblivion.
A wraith who reaches n score of zero in Willpower or
Corpus (from nonaggravated wounds) will undergo a final
Harrowing. (Sec Harr,wing, pg. 184). The Harrowing docs not
involve a Fetter or Passion roll. At the end of the Harrowing,
the player must roll permanent Willpower venus an oppo><.-d
roll of permanent Angst (both rolls are difficulty 6). (( the
player falls, the character passes Into Oblivion.
A wraith who is Harrowed by SJX'<:Ir<'S will nee-d to un
dergo 1 he process of Harrowing. The pecrre will usually target
a Feuer or Passion to obliterate. n,e Harrowing ends with a
.. ..
Fetter or roll. If the roll botches, the must roll
permanellt Willpower an opposed roll of permanent
Angst. If the player fails this second roll, the characrer de
scends into Oblivion.
A wraith who loses all his Passions from Harrowing
immediately falls into Oblivion.
Mortnls nrc affected by poisons, but wrniths are not.
(Though It Is that 'certain Stygian lords have access to
foul, ghetly poisons distilled from spectres' ttars ... )
Suffocation and Drowning
Mono Is col\ die byurownlng. The length of time a mortal
can hold his brcarh is determined by his Stamina rating, per
rhe following chan:
Stamina Holding Brearh
I 30 seconds
2 One minute
3 Two minmc.s
4 Four minutes
5 Eight minutes
Mortals may expend WillpowN to continue to hold ohcu
breath; each point expended allows the murml;mothcr 30sec
onds If her Stamina is J or lower, or " full minute if her Smminn
is 4 or higher.
When a morro! can no longer hold her breath, she begins
to suffocate or drown as appropriaoc. A drowning charocoer
suffers one Health Level of damage per turn; this is not n{Wra
' '"'cd, but may not be healed until the morral is om nf 1 he
honile environment. When the morllll reaches lncnpncltotcd,
she will die in one minute per poinc or Stamina.
Mental States
his section discu:<Scs the chan_ges that can
ovcrcnme a characttr's psyche or the minds
of those around him. Manv of ohee
chnntoes involve the Sh.,dow; for norther ex
or these, sec Chapter Seven.
r ranscendence
Among those who believe that such " thing is possible,
Transcendence i:> the ultimate goal to which a wraith can
pire. It is said that some souls pass directly to a State of inner
peace immediately upon their demise, while
imo Oblivion. Whatever the truth is, the different beliefs about
Tramccndcncc form some o( the pri nulry schisms among the
mrious f.1cr-ions of wraiths.
The llicrarchy fi rmly believes rhat Transcendence is
merely" myth, "childish fantnsy SliJliXlrted by the Hererics for
1he J>urposc of obtaining more souls. If there were a Trnnscen.-
dencc, what would distinguish ir from Oblivion? Scholars are
tvaSivc, bur l!lany Hicrnrchs have pointed ou1: that Oblivion
and Transcendence ;.1re borh end of sorrs, a of idenriry
and self. They dismiss the notion ofTranS<:endence as either a
fairy tole or a fool's paradise, and try ro make the best of their
sinmrion. On rhc mhcr hand. cerrain Hierarchs whis ..
per that Charon himself was pursuing T rnnsccndcnce, and may
in (act have achieved it:. ..
The Hcrcricsarc rhc fi rmest proponcnrsofTransccndcncc.
believing thor each person mllst follow the path that best suits
him. Of COlii'SC, each Heretic Cllil tries to the Other
denizens of the Underworld that its path is best. Heretics be
lievc that only by fom>ing mutually Stipporrive, like-minded
communities can wraiths hope tO achieve Transccmlcncc. lt is
too difficult to stand form against the Shadow alone, they in-
sist. Nonetheless, even in the various realms formed Her,
cdcs, corruption, selfishne-SS and the taint of Oblivion
are everywhere.
If the Renegades can be said to have a collective opinion
on anything, it is ch;lt if Transcendence docs indeed cxisL, iL is
something that each individual has to fi nd for himself. Many
state chat ifTrnnscc-ndence is possible, it is not anainable by
trying to get it; it either comes about or doesn't, based on the
spirituality and ethics of the individual. Reneg"des believe rh"'
each wraith should act in accordance wh:h his own c.onscie-nce
and beliefs. J( the result is Transcendence, grcati if not, who
Believers in Transctndence say that Transcendence is a
state in which Ps,,chc and Shadow arc one, in which Eidolon
merges wirh rhc self m achieve a level of uldnmtc ..
ness and inner peace. there are no hardandfast rules
for how to pursue Transcendence, most Heretics state Lhe
first srcp is to resolve matters srill qing one ro rhc living
world. This alone is enough to turn many wrniths from the
path to Tmnscendcnce, out of fea, that if their Fetters are dis
solved, norhing will hold rhem ro rhc hmd of rhc Quick.
The next step, and undoubtedly the most dif(icult one, is
to come to terms with the Shadow. Wraiths tend to think of
the Shadow as something outside of 1hcmsclvc.s, no longer a
part of them. By externalizing all that the Shadow stands for,
the Psyche is often repulsed b1 her Shadow, seeing it as a re
pugmmt monsu:r. Yet only by achieving a balance between
Psyche and Shadow, say the Heretics, may Transcendence be
found. Some stare that the Shadow must be defeated: others
insist chat the Shadow must be absorbed and intcgrntcd into
the Psyche.
Storytellers should emphasize that Transcendence is not
merely a maucr of mcch:mics, but a spiritual journey sinilar
to those in countless myths and legends. The hero's journey
through d1c Underworld is ultimately a quest for enlighten
mcnt, mtd each player is a Persephone, a Dante, an lmun)a or
an Orpheus. The search for Transcendence is ultimately a
search for self, and not every c h r ~ r a c r e r is prep:ned lO f.-lee chc
labors demanded by such a search.
The shroud
The Shroud reflects the relative difficuhy to perform
A rca nos in a given Mea of theShadowlands. A local Shroud is
affected by a numbe, of factors, including time of da)', how
m:m)' and what sort of people frcqucm the place, and so on.
The following chart provides guidelines for general Shroud
The Shroud in an area cannot be reduced below 4, rC
gardless of modifiers.
Mortals do not want to Face their own mortality, and any
acknowledgement of wmiths means that they must also ac-
knowledge that they too will one day die. The Fog is the name
wraiths ascribe to mortals' instinctive denial of their existence.
Mortals affected by the Fog react to wraiths in a variety of
bizarre ways, but inevimbly block the encounter fro1n memory.
Those who do not comprehend rhe ren-or of death (per.<,
children, the insane) are not affected by the Fog, and, as a
result, can perceive wraiths with a successful Perception +
Alertness roll (difficulty 8).

ram a
White. A blank page, or canvas . The challenge' Bting order
10 rl1e u;hole Lhrough design, cmnJJOsirion, wne, balance, S)'mme ..
try, and hannony.
-Stephen Sondheim, Srmday in rhe Park with George
1l1crc urc many actions a player want her character
to t<lke during a n.arn -jumping }I fence, seducing a new ac ..
quai nrance or researching ghost stories in the library. As rhe
Storyteller, you already know the rules (from reading Chapter
Four) and can probably figure our how to adjudicate a playel''s
roll, hut there are a few techniques and extrapolations rhar
you might fi nd interesting. That's what this chapter is all about
- it provides :u lvice on rules systems for resolving dramatic
TI>is chapter is not meant to be all-inclusive. These sys-
lems arc only cxmnplcs of how to resolve the actions taken b\'
characters. Use the-se as guidelines and invent your own
temsfor l'unning things. Don't stop the action in the middle of
a drnmaric scene ro look up something in [his chaprcr- just
m3ke something up, perh:1ps on a rules sysrem you fi rst
l"ncountcred here.
You should only usc one o( the systems described in this
if a roll is truly needed. If the roll in quesrion is a simple
roll, none of these systems are needed. If you're not interested
in rhc dmnm created by putting Lhe game into che story, use
the :.lutomatic success rules. Gn m d1c Tmits ClHtpter and, by
rl"'ttding abour the Trnit in question, determine if the character
succctxls or noc, without rolling Oil)' dice.
As a general nle, have rhe player make a roll only when
there is substantial doubt in your mind as to whether or nor
the character will succeed in her action. If you can reasonabll'
assume she will succeed, rhen just let her do it.
When you do start making rolls and have the players do
rhc same, make the rolls special and make them different. Don't
waste a lot of time on a dice roll rhar doesn't do anything spe
cia I for the story or that is uninteresting for you or the players.
Each roll of the dice should be a game in miniature, with strat
egy and (('ICtics co masfer and luck to inject the unexpected.
scene is n moment in a srory when the
uoupc focuses on the events at hand and
rolcplays through rhem as if [hey were ac
tually occurring. A scene may only require
roleplaying and a lot or conversation. be ..
tween the players and the Storyteller, or it
may involve a number of different ace ions,
some requiring dice rolls.
A scene is series of shots taktn in a movie, in the
same location and at the same moment in 1.hc stOry. h is rhe
<SSCnce of roleplaying, wh<"D players dcxribe rheir charncters'
rcawons to events rother than explainine what they intend
to do.
You should do cvcl)'thing you can to make rhe .cents in
yuur srory a$ drnmatic, complete and fulfilling as possible. The
more you give each scene an exciting bcginnins, an action
pnckcd middle and a fulfilling (or srmtcgically fmstrntine) end,
the berrcr your story becomes.
Describe the scene not as a static picture, bu1. us u plncc or
tionc full of life und action. It should have irs own existence
"I"'" from rhc characters. The Renegade lender does not sim
ply sit nt a table- while the characters are wmching, he culls
over one o(his henchmen and begins ro bernre him. Crtt\[e an
open-ended story in your descriptiOn$ and Invite the ployers'
charocters to enter it. Don't force the players to ani marc your
crentioo - breathe life into it from the very beeinnine.
lime '" rhe story not spent in a scent is called downtime.
Thb can be when characters travel or conduct cxlcnsivc rc
search, or can sionply be a period during wh1ch " 15n't neces
ry to roleplay every moment. Do\vntime is a from the
intensity of the scene. Though downtime should not be over
used (it can be relatively borilljl). you shouldn't avoid it alto
eerher. Use downtime to org;1ni:e players, direct the story more
prtcbely, and progress the plat more quickly.
Tile story can tum into a scene m almosr any time. Often
it does so quite nan1rally, withotn anyone realizing it has hap-
pened. For insrance, while you and the pla1ers discuss how the
charaClers intend 1.0 make a journey to's Necropolis,
you may begin to describe what they see along the way. You
have gone from downtime ton SCCI\C. When you begin role-
playing a Drone who noats up ro them nnd reenacts her stran
gula<ion, you have completely Immersed them in the scene.
By simply roleplaying without wnrninrl, you jump-star< the play
ers into their roles, instantly beginning a scene.
sctne is diided into turns in order 1.0 or
ganizc and nrucrure rhe arrnngemenr of
even!$. A rum Is a variable period of tim<
during which characters can do things.
Such a unil helps rhc keep rrack
o( what is eolng on and ensures that each
player gets the same chance lO do something. In one rurn. e-ach
charocter should be able co do one rhing. Additionally, each
player should be given about the same amount of rime rode
scribe what she wants her character to do. Each rum. go :uound
the table in order of initia<ive (see below), give each player an
opportunity to state an action, and then go co the next person.
When you get to yourself, descl'ibe the actions of the non
player chMacters.
Even if doing so might not make complete sense, you
hould usc the tum structure pl'etty loosely. You might, for ex-
ample, let someone climb a rrec while someone else fires a
guo, even though in nonnal circumstances climbing a cree usu ..
ally mkes a minute, while shooting a gun takes only three sec
onds. Adrenaline makes people do amazing things, after all.
Multiple Actions
A character can perform mulciple acrion.s in a tum (such
as dodging and shooting a gun), but he has to divide his dice.
To splir a Dice Pool among different actions, the character
takes the dice from the action at which rhe charncter is least
1killed (the one with the smallest Dice Pool) and divides that
Pool tlmong ;,ll the actions he wishes to perform.
A character with multiple acrions rakes his first action
during the normal order of initiative (unless he deliberately
delays). He may cake no more than one action at this time.
After nil charncrcrs have completed their first (or only) ac-
lion. characters with more actions may cake their second ac ..
tion, in order of initiative. After everyone has taken a
.ccond action, play proce<-ds with the third and subsequent
actions in order of initi::uive, as above. \Vhi1e a character may
delay his accion, he must perform it before the rest of the char
move on to their next action, or it is lost. However) a.
character can always use dice to dodge, as long as he has dice
left in his Pool.
Action Scenes
any scenes me so full of actions and dice
rolls that they require special nrles to en
sure everything runs smoothly. These are
times when adrcm1linc is racing and
ing is fast. Action scenes are rhe fights,
races and featS of danger common to ad
vcnrurc swrics. Turns during an action
scene nrc usually very short, lasting only three seconds or so.
Many different tys>es of actions can occur in an action
scene, (lnd corrclaring everyrhingcan seem a little uicky. Make
sure you cnrefully describe where everyone is in the scene, as
well as what cover is available and how far it is from the char
:1Cters. Q{hem,isc, you will have ro describe the scene again
and hear complainr:s like, u\Vait a minute, you didn't say ..
one was over there!'' You may also co clescrihc rhe cnvi ..
ronmental conditions and how they might affect the scene.
R3in, wind and smoke can affect the difficulties of rolls.
In general, ler a character do ne3rly 3nything she cares to
rry, even if you assign a difficulty of 10.
Organizing an Action Turn
Jusr as rums organize a scene. t:here are different stages
within each turn. Still, you will probably not need to subdi
vide turns unless they are action turns. Though you need nor
go exacrly by the following stages, look over this list to get
ideas abom how you c...1n organi:e rhings when Lhe action gets
hot. The better you've organized a scene, the more smoothly ir
will go ancl rhe more fun everyone will have.
Describing the Scene
At the beginning of each turn, you should describe the
scene from the characters' perspecrive. You may want to sug
gest what the characters' opponentS might be about to do, bm
do not acruallydcscribc what will happen. Sometimes this will
be a wrapup of the lasr turn, making it clear to all players
what occurred. This son of constant description is cssenrial if
you want to avoid confusion.
This is your chance ro organize and arrange things so that
all goes smoothly when the players begin ro inreract wirh rhc
environment you have created. You should make your descrip
tion as interesting as possible, leaving open all sorts of possi
bilities for characters' actions.
The players need to roll for initiative (see lnioimive, be
low) ro dctcnnine tl1c order in which their characters will ace.
In espc<:ially complicated simations, you can have rhe players
describe to you what their characters intend ro do rhat turn,
starring with the player who rolled the lowesc initiative (the
chtm\cter \\'ith the highest initiative spcHks lasl, after she has
heard everyone else's actions, and first).
If you wish to be panicular1y free,spi rited, eliminate the
initiative roll alcog:erher and have the c::haraclers net in what ..
eve1 order you wish - e.g.,
)0 the distance, you hear Hicmr ..
chy gongs and sec that the Renegade at the end of the alley
seems to have nociced rhem ;,swell. He wins the initiative and
sprintS toward the fence. What are you going ro do?"
Decision Stage
Going in reverse order of initiative (if rhc players made
initiative rolls), have each player explain what her ch"racter
intends to do <tnd how she intends to go about it. If you did
not call for initiative rolls, simply go around the t:tblc from
left to right, or in order of character Wits, or using wh:)tcvcr
consistent mer hod you like.
You then decide how you want to resolve rhe action -
what kind of roll each must make, the difficulty of the
roll , and the number of successes needed. You can make the
process as simple or as complicated as you like - e.g., "If you
want to catch him before he gets over the fence, you need to
make a Dexterity + Athletics roll, difficulty 6. You need to
score six successes to calch up with him, bur he only needs
three more co get over the fence.n
This is when the players roll tO see whether their chara.c-
ters succeed or fail. The players roll dice to attempt the ac-
tions they described in the preceding stage.
At the end of rhe rurn, you need to summarize everything
by describing what happened and translating all dice rolls into
description, plot and story. Don't simply say,
You manage to
hit the bad guy for three Corpus Levels of damage." Get more
C"' Phic and say, "After ducking away to the left, you sweep
across with your fist and strike him in the head. Your hand
stings, but you've wounded him for three Corpus.-.. Or, "With a
great burst of speed and a daring leap over a garbage can, you
race down the alley after him. Next tum, you will be able to
make a grab at him before he gets away. However, you see a
Hierarchy coach pull in around the corner of the alley."

At the beginning of most scenes, you need to figure ou1
who goes firs. Rolling for initiative is the best way ro decide
the order in which players will rake their turns for the remain
der of the fight. Sometimes it will be obvious who goes firs1,
such as when an ambush was set or when one combaranr is
clearly <:-aught by surprise. In combat, however, if you intend
ro let the opponents have a free shot at the you
should not simply spring the foes on the players. Let them make
Perccpti01\ rolls (di(ficult ones) ro see if characters notice some
rhing just before the bad guys open up. Othenvisc, you'll ha"e
a pack of whining jackals on your hands. l11c difficulty de-
pends on how well the ambush was set (usually 8 or so). The
number of successes the players score indicates the number of
dice they can roll on their first actions (usually dodges).
In a normal sicuation, each player makes an iniciative roll,
and you do so for each of the opponents. Everyone involved
makes a Wits+ Alertness roll (or you can have them roll Wirs
+Brawl, Melee, Firearms or any appropriate Ability). Thedif-
ficuh:y is usually 4 -characters with the most successes ac1
first. 11es act simultaneously. Chamcrers who fail act after chose
who succeed{."{( last. A lxnch on an iniri:.uive roll means the.
does not ger to act that turn - his gun jams, or he
stumbles and cannot punch or dodge.
Jahng Actions
1be four b."l.IIC actions characters can take without mak-
ing rolls are:
Yielding: The allows the ptrson with the next
highesr inidotive to take his action, thereby yielding her tum.
She can still take her nee ion at the end of the tum. If every
one, incluuing her opponents, yields as well, no one does any
thing chat turn.
Healing: The character may usc her Parhos to heal
wounds to her C<>rpus nt a rare of one per tum. She muse not
take any other actions chat round; if she wishes to move, ; he
must make a Stamina roll (difficulty 8) to heal. Note that ag
gravoteU wounds cannot be healed in this manner.
Moving: The character may move by walking, jogging
or running. If she walks, she may move seven yards. If she jogs,
she may move 12 yards + Oexcericy. If she runs, she may move
lOyards + (3 x Oexcericy).
No roll is to move, but movement is rhe only
action alloweJ to rhe in that tum. In some sirua
tions, it can be hazMdous to jog or run, and a roll might be
required to maintain b.1lnnce when rhcre is glass on the ground
or bullets nrc raining down. lf :.l character wants to run n.way
from a conflict or she must dodge unless she is not
in the Oeld of Ore or otherwise hindered.
Dramatic Systems
!$Ctibed below arc a variety of different systems co resolve ac
tiocu, or, ro pur it simply, a bunch of ways to make rolls. If you
prefer co roleplay through dramatic scenes, just use rhe>e ys
rcnu .. suggestions of what sorn of things
can happtn during the scene. Physical dra
mntic systems are the most numerous
Cllusc rhcse actions are impossible ro resolve
rhrough roleplaying alone. Social and Men
to I systems can be simulated by the players.
Thee systems describe physical :octions and
tions-dromatic situarions in which Physical Attributes pre
When a character auempts to climb any sort or surface (a
tree, cliff or building), ask the player to roll the character's
O.xterity + Athletics. The difficulcy dep<nds on the sheer
ness of rhc clrmbing S<trfuce, the cype of surface being climbed
and, to a lesser ext em, the weather conditions. Each success
indicores rhat the character has climbed five feet. Once he
occumulntes successes to get tu where he wants ro go.
he can stop roll ing. For example, Samuel Is trying to climb n
25-foor wall, so he needs five successes to get to the to;>. A
failure Indicates the character is unable to make any progress
during the turn. A bmch indicates the falls and can
not acain attempt co climb without expending a Willpower
Easy climb: a tree wi<h many stout branches
Srmple climb: a cliff with many handholds
Straightforward: a tree with thin bmnchc:s
Treacherous: \'Ct)' few handholds
I 0 ExrTemely difficult: a nearly sheer surface
A character's Strength is ofren u..d alone, without an
Ability, (or actions where force is all that matters. This
sys<em works on the same basis as automatic successes. If the
character's Strength equals or exceeds the difficulty of the cask
she is attempting, she succeeds automatically. Only i( the J if
ficulry is higher than his Dice Pool must she make a roll.
When the character nuokes the roll, however, it is based
on Willpower, nm S=ngth. It is a simple roll, so the charac
tcr gelS only one chance to make it. The difficulry is alrr>O$t
always 9, though it can vary according ro the surface condi
tions, the structure of the object being lifted, and Storyteller
whim. Each success lncreases the character's cffec<ive Strength
by one step on the chart below (to a maximum offive steps).
TiluS, i( the characrer has a Strength of 4. but wants to nip
over a car, she needs three successes on the Willpower roll to
do it.
Dice Pool Feau lift
I Crush a beer can 401bs.
2 Break a chair 100 lb..
3 Break down a wooden door 250 lbs.
4 Break a 2' x 4' 400 lb..
5 Break open a mcrol fore door 650 lbs.
6 Throw a motorcycle 800 lbs.
7 Flip over a small car 900 lbs.
8 Break a three-inch lead pipe 1000 lbs.
9 Punch through a cement wall 1200 lbs.
10 Rip open a steel drum 1500 lbs.
II Punch through I' sheet meCII 2000 lb..
12 Break a post 3000 lbs.
13 Throw a car 4000 lbs.
14 Throw a van 5000 lbs.
15 Tilrow a <ruck 6000 lbs.
j umping requires a Strength roll, or a Strength+ Athlet
ics roll if it is a horizonral jump and the character gets a decent
running start. The difficulty for a jump is almost alwa)'$ 3 (un
less there are difficult weather condnions or there is a narrow
space). The Storyteller calculates how many successes
arc required to make the jump. Tilere arc no panial successes
in jumping; the character either succeeds in one roll, or she
Type of Jump
Vertical (up)
Horizontal (across)
Feet per Success
Thi.s simple sysrem is used when one characlcr attcmprs
to catch another. One opponent starlS with a ccrmin
of successes. Tilis number is eirher determined by the Story
teller (this is the preferred method) or by having the pursued
cha..,.cter roll Dexterity+ Athletics (difriculry 6) for each tum
of headstart he has. Add up rhc number of successes
This number of successes must be achieved by the other char
acrerbeforehecancatch up. Once he docs, he can rry togrnw!e
the fleeing person (sec the comb:n mles). The pursuer might
only want to catch up halfway, in ordtr to get a better shot ar
rhe fleeing character.

Oetting something fixed is not always as easy as roking it
to the garage; sometimes the task h:u to be performed oneself.
When a character wishes tO fix any sort of mechanical implc-
menr, he must roll +Repair. Tite difficulty" deter
mined by the complexity of rhe r:uk (see the chan below).
lle(orc the job can be considered complete, a certain number
of successes must be collected, usually between rwo and 20.
Each roll means that a certain amount of time is spent- what
ever the demands of the story require. A botch indicates tlun
the device is somehow damaged in the attempt.
This system can be fun to during combat, as one char
acter dcspcrtcly tries ro start the car while the others (end o(f
the Hierarchy's lxlrghem.
Simple mechanical -pair
Sokk:ring job
Electronic malfunetion
Fining in new part
Repair stalled cor
Tough auto repair
System overhaul
Technical glirch

II of Successes
Sometimes a characler will want to follow someone. In
order robe led somewhere interesting, this ne<-ds robe done 35
discreetly as possible. Titat is whr shadowing is all about -
following someone without the pursued knowing the chan.IC
rcr is rhere.
There are two componcnrs w shadowing- keeping track
o( where the subject is and making sure he doesn't sec his tail.
Shadowing c:m be conducted on foot or in vehicles. Rolls can
even be made if someone else is driving, such :u a taxi driver
-"I'm sorry, but I can't remember the oddress - rou'll juor
have ro follow my directions. Take a right at the comer. No,
wait. a left!"
The chamccer attempting to shadow must make a Percep-
tion + lnvescigation (or possibly Streecwise) roll. The diffi-
culty is normally 6 (though it con vary ftom 5 to 9 depending
on the rhickness of crowds, relative pecds of vehicles, and
conditions). Each success indicates chat che tal'f(et has
been followed for " rum. A certnln number of succcs.<es is re
quircd co follow the subject all the w:Jy co his destination. A
bilure indicates that the characttr has temporarily lost the
subject, but can try ag3in next rum. If she fails a S<.-cond time,
she hns lost the subject completely, nnd the chase is off (unless
she can think of a 1\ew npproach). A botch indicates chat the
character has not only completely lost the subject, but she is
10 involved in shadowing that she gets into of her own
-a gllng tries to beat her up, she mils in co an open manhole,
or she has a car accident.
TI1ough the Perception roll is the mosc important aspect
ol shadowing, a Stealth roll muJir olso be made to see if the
subject notices he Is being followed. Each tum the Pcrceprion
roll os made, the Stealth roll must also be made. The player
must roll Dexterity + Stealth (or Dexterity+ Drive If the char
actcr is in a vehicle). The base difficulty is the subject's Per
1>lion + Alertness, but this can be modified by up to three
points in either direction dcpcndln.: on the circumstances
(empty strc<:l5 or thock crowds, for Instance). A single success
indicares the shttdower is not detected, and each odditionnl
success also makes it more difficult (or the subject to spot the
shadower, even if he Is actively looking. A failure indicates
the subject becomes suspicious and starts to glance surrepti
uously over his shoulder (and may make Perception rolls of
his own; see below). A botch indicates thechar:tctercomp!erely
rcvcnls herself and rhc subject now knows he is being followed.
If rhe subject Is alerted somehow (by the sh,.dower's fail -
ure on the Dexterity + Stealth roll) or simply looks to see if he
is being followed (oor of habit, perhaps), roll Perception +
Investigation (or Streetwise). The difftculcy is the Stealth+ 5
of the shadower. Each success on this roll indicates n higher
degree of suspicion. Successes can be accumulated from turn
to tum; see the chart below to see how alert the subject is to
the met that he is beinu followed. Failure means that nothing
out of the ordinary os seen and the "suspicion value of the
subject decreases to <ero. A botch means the ; ubject is con
vinced he isn't being followed und no longer looks behind him.
Successes Suspicion
I Hunch
2 Suspicion
3 Ncarcerrainty
4 Positive knowledge
5 The shadower has been spoiled
Buddy System: Two or more chnracters can share shad
OIYi ng responsibilities by trading off. llowever, Lhey mom have
prcvimosly worked/trained together in this rechnlque; ocher
wise, the difficulties of all rolls for the pnir are increased by
one. One player shadows for a turn or more, trading off when
ever her partner gives the signal. If the pair off, rhe
subject can't ttccumulate successes for very long, which makes
it much harder for the subject to spot shadowers.

When a character attempts to hide in shadows or sneak
up on a guard, she must roll Dexterity + Stealth (difficult)' of
the guard's Perception + Alertness). Anyone who is on watch
or actively looking for intruders can be considered a guard.
TI1e sneaking character needs to collect a certain number
of successes in order to make it to where she wanes to go. A
Perception + Stealth roll can be made if the player wants to
estimate how many successes will be needed; the difficulry of
this feat is usually 7.
Failure of any sort on a Stealth roll indicates detection.
Stunt Driving
This system Is used to determine the outcome of nearly any
'l'P" of automobile chase or maneuver. Dice rolls in chases an:
made not only tO see how fuse a driver goes, but also co see if she
on the road. Each vehicle is raced for irs maximum safedriv
ing speed, as well as its maneuverability. One vehicle is notal
ways as fast or maneuverable a.' another, so the det<1ils of the chase
often depend on the make of the vehicle (see the chart below).
A character can make special maneuvers in ocdcr to catch
or lose another vehicle, such as spinning around a tight cor
ner, doing a 180 rum, or wheeling about to block a road. Es
sentially, one character makes a special maneuver, and the other
character must copy that maneuver by rnaking the same or an
approximate roll.
The player must roll Dexterity (or perhaps Perception)+
Drive. However, the vehicle's Mancuvcrabilicy rating dictates
the maximum number of dice rhat can be rolled. The com
plexity of the maneuver and the speed of the car determine
the difficulty. You should each maneuver a basic difficulty
frorn 2 to 7, and then designar.e a speed at which it can be
completed at that difficulty. This is most often the Safe Speed.
but can be much less depending on how complicated or tight
the maneuver is. The difficulty increases by one for every LO
mph the vehicle exceeds that speed while performing the ma
neuver. The driver decides how fast her vehicle pcrfonns the
maneuver, aldwugh she will nor always be able to decelerate
enough to avoid a crash or collision.
Six-wheel truck
Buo 60 100 3
18-whcclcr 70 110 4
Sedan 70 120 5
70 120 6
Compact 70 130 6
Sporty COm(XlCt 100 140 7
S(Xln coupe 110 150 8
Sponscar 130 170 9
Foonub One r,lCe car 140 240 10

These systems involve social interaction people.
TI1cy nearly always require a Charisma, Manipulation or Ap
pe:mmce roll. Ofren rhese systems are left unused, with
tht succeos or failure of a particular oodal ploy instead resolved
through roleplaying.
This system is used when a character attempts to con
vince someone she is relling rhe truth: for example, when she
attempts to persuade a Hierarch magistrate she is not lying or
tries to convince a police o((iccr of her identity. The player
must make a Manipularion +Leadership roll. The difficulty is
the other oubject's Intelligence +Subterfuge. Lower the diffl
culty by one to three if the character io telling the truth (it
does make a difference). Each success indicates a higher de
gree ofbelievabilir:y. Five successes indicate the subject is
plttt ly convinced. A fail ure indicate> disbelief, and a botch
indicates the character is caught in a lie (or the subject think
he has caught her in lie).
is a means of verbally browbeating and
ing someone into submission. Manipulation + Subterfuge is
the most common roll for such a feat; Charisma or Appear-
:mce can some rimes be substimtcd. The difficulty is the target's
\Vits + Strcetwisc.
Success indicates that the target becomes confused and is
likel y ro agree wirh the subjecr, :.u least momentarily. Failure
indicntes that the attempt has faltered, and the target can try
to interje<:c something - an attempt to explain himself, or
even an attempt to fast-talk back. A botch indicates that the
target doesn't get confused, only angry. Fasttalk attempts by
che character will never again work on him.
Rcp<:atcd rolls might be necessary to confuse the target.
As Storyteller, you need to r" n attempts at fast-talk in a man-
ncr consistent with the rnood of your game. lt can be as
slaphappy or as deadly serious as you like.
Willpower points can be expended to resist fastralk.
lmerroga<ton can be used in a number of different situa
lions. It is a form o( questioning, not torture, though
lion is cenainly employed. Tonurc can be used, but you will
have to develop your own ntles for that if you wish to include
it in your chronicle.
The player mahs a Manipulation+ Intimidation roll (dif
ficulty of the victim's Willpower). The number of successes
indicates the amount of information obtained (see the chart
below). A failure indicares rhe character le-arns norhing of
value. A botch. indicates the subject tells the charocter noth-
ing and will never tell him anything - or worse, the subject
lies. For this reason, rhe StoT)teller should often make the roll
for the player.
Successes Interrogation
I Only a few mumbled facts
2 Some relevant facts
3 Much interesting information
4 The subject talks on and on
5 Everything of import is discovered
](a player wants hercharocter to give a speech, but doesn't
actually want to recite it. you can use this system. The player
should at lease describe what her character says and maybe
reci(e a memorable phrase - that might even get her started
into roleplayin:g the speech verbatim. Oration is often very dif
ficultto roleplay, so never fo,ce your players to do oo. j ust use
this sysrem.
The player makes a Charisma + leadership roll. The dif-
ficulty depends on the mood of the crowd, its willingness to
hear what rhe oraror .says, and its pcnch;:mt for throwing rot ..
ten vegetables (difficulty is usually 7). If the orator has any
son of reputation, you may wish to adjust the difficulty ac-
cordingly. The numher of successes indicHu.-s how imprcssl.-d
the crowd is the following chart) . It is a simple roll, so the
player has only one crack at it. A failure indicates the crowd
ignore..s the character. A bmch indicates the character is going
to be attacked (or, if that oorr of thing isn't common, booing
Successes Crowd Reaction
They listened, but aren'r excited
2 Tile character has convinced them somewhat
3 The crowd is won over
4 The crowd is completely enthralled
5 The crowd io in the p3lm of the charocrer's hand
If the speech is vital to the story, the player may make
:.cvcrnl rolls. If you want 10 spend some time on it, you can
m.1ke It an extended acrion, inter>persing each roll with role
playing. The character can spend as many rums "'she would
like on the speech; afrer rhe rhird tom, however, the difficulty
increases by one e.1ch rum. More successes thai\ five might be
required to win over the c.rowd complerely.
This system is used whenever" dmmctcr gives any type
o( pedormunce, whether it be comedy, music, acting or
storytelling. It can be on a sroge or in a nightclub, and cnn be
formal or informal.
The plnycr muse roll the appropriate Amibme + Pcrfor
mance (or Expression). The difficulty is bused on how recep-
tive the audience is. A failure indicates a lackluster, eminently
forgettable perfonnance. A botch indicates a miserable perfor
mance that cannot even be finished - the instrument breaks
or the character is booed off the stage.
111c number of successes indicates how moved the audi
encc is (see the chart below). These successes determine the
artisric merit or technical verisimilitude of the
Me-diocre Polite applause
2 Average Approval
J Good G<."Jluincappreciarion
4 Superior Vit;orous applause
5 Exceptional &static reactioll
6 Superb lmmt..Jiarc scnsarion
7 Brilliant Mimcle, 11111gn11mopus

Seduction is nn ummtuml mc:ms nr calnlng Intimacy with
anmhcr person, because every s<ep Is cnrefully smged nnd renl
feelings are not shared. A seduction 1nkcs place in and
Ull less a person su<:<:c4...ds durinJ:; cnch consecutive stage. he will
nor succeed a< all. This sys<em Is designed to replicme the ac
rlvities of a dominant person over n more submissive one. If
the emotions and motives :ore true, then )'0<1 shOtld ignore
this sysrcm and roleplay it out.
Opening Line: The player rolls Appearance+ Subterfuge.
The difficulty is the WitS+ 3 of the '"hJCCt (the player gainsa
bonus of one ro rhrce dice if lr'$ " s;ood line, minus one to
rhree if it'< a smpid one). Each success after the adds an
mra die w the roll on the next stage.
Witty Exchange: 1l1e player rolls Wits + Subterfuge. The
difficulr;y is rhe Intelligence + 3 of the subject. Again, give
bonuses and penalties for roleplaying. Each success over and
the base adds an extm die to the roll on the next stage.
Conversation: The player rolls Charisma + Emparhy.1l1e
difficulty is the Perception + 3 of the subject. Again, roleplay
ing bonuses cornc into play here.
lnrimacic.o;c: At chis point, the couple may m.ove to a pri ..
vate area and become physically intimate. No roll is required.
These dramatic systems deal with the use of the mind and
Mental Attributes. They arc employed in situations where
dmma is caused nor so much by the action as by psychological
Dream interpretation
Among wraiths, dreams often con cain important informa-
rion. Unforrumrtcly, this knowledge is often shrouded in mys
terious symbolism and obsct1re references. This can make it
very difficult for a wraith to decipher his dreams.
n,e player of a wraith who decides to figure out the deeper
meanings of his dreams must roll Perception + Enigmas. The
Storyteller decides the difficulty of this roll, based on the ob
scurity of the drtnm and i t'S importance lO the character. The
more important the information contained in a dream, the
more thoroughly it will be hidden, and thus the more dif(icult
rhe roll will be. Not all dreams have information hidden within
rhcm, hut go ahead and let the players roll anyway, to keep
them guessing.
Dream$ should be rnysterious things, rich with bizarre sym
bolism >lnd personal myths. Stof)tellers should spare no effort
when designing important dreams. The players will appreciate
Sometimes, a Storyteller may decide to have a recurring
dream haunt a certain character. If this is desired, Dream
terpretation can become an extended action. The Swryreller
de<idcs the difficulty of the task and the number of successes
needed tO unravel the hidden mcanit\g within n recurring

RescMch is often the only way for a character to proceed
to the next stage of a story. A character may have to investi
gare in a library, inn newspaper office or through com,
puter files in order to obtain needed information. Research is
a great way to let a character with high Intelligence show off,
aod mkcs r.he focus off ftiStpaccd action.
The player rolls Intelligence+ lnvesrigar.ion (or sometimes
an appropriate Knowledge Abilir;y after a place to conduct re
search has been found). The difficulty is based upon the ob
scurity of the information.
Difficulty Accessibility of Information
2 Generally available
4 Widely documented
6 Accessible
8 Difficult to find
10 Incredibly well concealed
1l1e number of successes determines how much the char
acter discovers. One success might mea11 that o11ly the most
obvious facts are found, while five might mean that
the full (a11d maybe truthful) story is uncovered. Depending
on the precise information sought, 10 or even 20 successes
might be required ro find all the available dara.
The player might want to continue after gaining
a par{ial success. However, continued research rakes longer
than the initial search. Basic research usually takes only an
hour - that's the first roll. More in-depth research (and a
second roll) rakes one complete day. If the player 1vants a third
roll, further research rakes a week; a fourr h roll takes a month,
a fifth roll takes a year. After that, usc your imagination. It is
e.asy to see how some research projects can take years or even
decodes to complete.
This system enables a character to search for something
in a confined area, like a room. Have rhe player roll Percep-
tion + Investigation; the difficulty depends on how well the
object is concealed (it is usually between 7 and 10). Each sue
cess indicates that more is found. Some rimes a certain number
of successes is required to find a deverly hidden objecr. If you
wam:, a lower number of successes could warrnm a hint or clue
from you, thus encouraging roleplaying and a degree of puzzle
solving. As much as possible, lead the player through the search
step by step. Have her describe to you where she looks. Don't
let her succeed if she doesn't specifically search in the right
area, and let her succeed automatically if her description is
derai led enough.
This system is ust-d to track people and things by follow
ing the physica I trails rhey leave. The player rolls Perceptioll
+ Strectwise (or Investigation, if applicable). The difficult) is
based on weather conditions, terrain and the age of the trncks,
but averages around 8. Each success lowers the difficulty of the
next roll by one.
The character needs to succeed for a certain number of
rurns; the exact number depends on the length of the trnil.
Each turn is usually about five minutes long. If the character
misses a roll, sht: can try again; this time, however, the diffi ..
culty Is one her. Once it cocs "bove I 0, the character loses
the trail.
f some a.uhole swm ro think he's Chorles
Broruon, brtak his nose with the buu of -your
- Mr. Whire, Rewvoir Dogs
Combat In Wraith aucmpts tn capcure
the drama of violent confl ict without
downplaying the grim reality of what is
going on. We have made every effort to create a >ystem m1e to
the dynamics. limitations and viciousness of real combat while
srillleavlng room for the unique dements wraiths bting co it.
There nrc three types of comb.", all of which usc the same
basic system yet have some minor differences. They are:
forefight, melee and brawl.
A lircfight is any type of arm! combat using projectile
wcapoJU - things like Uzis and sawed-off shotJ:UnS. Oppo-
nents normally need to be within sight of e.1ch other to en-
gage in a lircfight.
Melee refers to fighting with hand weapons-anything
from broken bottles co darkstcd axes. Opponents need to bc
within one or two yards of each a<her co engage in melee ..
A bmwl describes a hand-to-hand battle fought with
bare hand5 -unarmed combat. Opponcnu need robe within
r.ouching distance to engage in a bmvl.
The oils made in combat determine whether or not an
attack succeeds, whether the rorget dodges and how much cl,m.
age rhe suffers. AlmO>tllll comhar turns are around three
-onds long, thoogh they ral:e somewhat than that ro
As with all action scenes, comb:u ntrns begin with an
tiative roll. However, combat can sometimes get a liule
sticky, divide rhe cum into three stages - Initiative, Attack
and Rewlutlon - to make it c:JSicr ro keep track of things.
Stage One: initiative
This smgc organizes the rurn and is where characters de
clare their uctions. can take a number of different
actions- anything from leaping behind a wall tO shooting a
warning. Each player must dec lore what his character is doing
in as much derail as the Storyteller requires. At this point,
everyone needs to decide whnt weapon to use, if
Characters make initiative rolls using Wits + Alertness
(difficulty 4, though S10rycellers can vary this roll if they so
desire). The character with the most succeMes acts first, while
characters who rolled fewer successes take their actions in de
liCendlng order of successes. Some characters will act simulm
neously because they rolled rhe same number of successes (or,
if the Storyteller chooses, the one with the highat Dexterity
goes first). Th.ose who gain no successes ar all on this
last, and those who borch do not get to take actiolls at all.
Rcmcmbcr ro have players decln1'e whill actions rhey wont
their characters to cake during the cornbar turn before going
to the Attack Stage. A player splitting hls character's Dice
Pool must declare how many dice he is allocating ro each :K:
A character's actions hoppen when it is her turn tO act.
The only exception ro this is the dodge, which a characn:rcan
perform at any time as long as she has dice left in her Pool.
Stage Two: AttacK
The attack is the meat of the comb.11 cum. This stage is
where the success or failure of an action is determined,'" well
as something of iu potentiol impact on the target.
The Roll: There arc three differcnr types of ottack rolls;
the type of combat determines which one to use.
For firearms combat, roll Dexterity + FirC>rms.
For melee { wirh weapOns) combor, roll Dexterity +
For hand-rohnnd (without weapons) combat, rnll Oex
tcrity + Brawl.
The weapon 0< atmck used by the attacker determines the
base difficulty of the mil. The number of dice rolled might be
modifie-d by rhe &un's race of fire or d1e usc of a scope, but rhe
difficulty is usually modified only by the circumstances of che nt
tnck. If no successes arc obtained, the character fails his >ltluek
and inflicts no damaJ:e. If o botch is obtained, then nor only does
the attaCk fail, but something nasty happens to the attacker; the
Sta<yteller nc<s to invent something cruly awful.
Any time someone arcacksa character, she has the uprinn
of dodging. In fact, a ployer may announce at any rime th.1t
her character is using an action (or p;trr of one, by dividing her
Dice Pool) to dodge, simply by declaring "Dodge!" before the
opponent makes on attack roll. Some situations may prohibit
a dodge, such as In confined quarters or when the character
has bcen surprised. The required roll is Dexterity +
each success subtracts one success from the attacker's roll. A
character can even subtract succcsscs from d1fferenc opponents.
though this means dividing successes between (or among)
The difficulty to dodge melee ur brawling attacks is a bose
6, Increased by one for each opponent after the first.
In fircfights, the difficult\' depends on the availability of
ne:>rb1 cover behind which a character can dive to avoid get
ring hit. Each success removes one of the opponent's successes.
After such a dodge attempt, the character usually ends up be-
hind some sort of cover or, at the very least, lying on the ground
(if there is no cover to be found) .
The difficulty to dodge during firefights is determined by
the proximity of cover.
Difficulty Terrain
2 By moving back lull( a step, the character is
back under full cover.
4 Full cover within diving distance (one yard)
6 Full c<>vcrwicl>in runningdistancc (thn:c yrds)
7 Panial cover within n1nningdistance (th!'C<' yards)
8 Flat and featureless. no cover (the character
dives to the ground)
Stage Tnree:
[)uring rhis srage, characrers determine rhe damage in-
fl icted by their attacks, and the Storyteller describes what OC
curs in the turn. The Resolution Stage is a mixture of game
smry, for though t he dice never lie, t he Storyteller musr
interpret what luck has decreed.
Damage: Each weapon or arrack allows the wielder to roll
a certain number of dice in order co inflict dam;:1ge (difficulty
6) . Each success causes the target to lose one Corpus Level.
Additionally, each success scored with a firearm (after any
dodge) adds one die to this damage roll. Melee and brawling
successes do not add ro the damage.
Soak: A target may make a roll to see how much damage
she "soaks" because of her natural hardiness. The target rolls
Smmina (difficulty 6); c;1ch reduces infli cted damage
by one.
Exception: Damage and soak rolls arc two rolls in Wraith
that am not be botched.
A number of factors de{ermine whether an atrack hirs.
Smart combatants head for cover as soon as bullets start fly
ing. Others find that ganging up on one foe in a brnwl never
hurts. The following modifiers delineate manyofthe variables
that affect combat.
General Complications
Changing Actions: If a character changes her declared
action after the turn has srartcd, the difficulty for the new ac
lion increases by one. Generally, the Storyrdlcr .should only
allow the character to change her declared action if events
have made it impossible. "Yes, I know I said my character would
Embody inside the car, but that Renegade jun used Outrage
on rhe g:..s mnk!"
Immobilization: If a mrgct is imrnobilizt-d (e.g., held
down by somcmc), but sdll smo&&les, rhe difficulty for the at
rack mil I decre<md by two. However, if the rorget is com-
pletely immobilized (e.g., is tied up or Otherwise pantlytt-d),
then no roll is r<-quin.-d and the arrnck succeeds
Srunning: If, in one tum, a target loses a greater num
ber of l lcalth or Corpus Levels than its Stamina rating, it must
>pend 1 he en! ire ncxr rurn shaking off rhe effects of the debili-
r:n ing arrack. n,e target may nor arrack, and irs Dice Pool for
defensive nclions (i.e., is halve'<.! (rounJ duwn).
Getting dose to one's foe is n idcn if nne
mind taking a few shots in rerum. l11e,'C &;IVCn on the
Forc:mns Chort Is the we.1pon's medium tM!l\'; the character re
cclves no modifocr for shooting at this range. Twice tlmt is
the 1\uthc'>t ohc wc:opon can shoot. SllOill whhin rhi< "'"1."' have
theordofficuhles inci'C:l<ed by one. On the other hand, sllOill mnde
at targets within a yardo( the attacker arc consi<lcrcJ "pouublank";
d1c difficulty of :o point-blank shot is 4.
C.wer: I ntcllogcnr charoctcrs usc cover to protect them
selves from enemy fire. Cover increases the diffocuh y of :m
ouack b)' a vnrinblc amount, depending em hnw much of the
character's body is still out in the opell. However, though cover
protects, it can also hampc:r n:tum f'irc, and in Mme rare ins.nmces
can complerely prevent rerum fore. For instance, docldngout
from around a comer to shoot may increase the difficulty by one,
while watching a shootoutthrough the cmcb on a barrered wall