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Beginners Question

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  • Beginners Question


    My friends and I have been looking for a new RPG to play. We’re pretty experienced and have played many different RPG’s over the years so we are looking for something a bit different – a bit off the beaten path you might say. Our favourite RPGs are Traveller, Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia so we have pretty broad tastes in what we like to play.

    Anyhow, I was searching a few RPG sites to look for inspiration and found some old RPG rulebooks for sale. One was Wraith the Oblivion and that peaked my interest -

    It seems like a pretty cool premise. As far as I can make out, you are dead and either fade to oblivion or make it to transcendence. I like co-operative/competitive mixed games but am I right in saying that other players take on the role of spectres and attempt to drive your character to oblivion? I’m a bit confused as to how that works. Do players work together as a team but then undermine each other’s’ characters? It sounds a bit chaotic and like it would be difficult to form team bonds if each person is aiming for the destruction of others. Can anyone clear this up for me? How does it work? Sorry for the inexperienced question but this is going to decide whether I buy it or not.
    Last edited by Baghill; 11-25-2016, 12:17 AM.

  • #2
    Everyone at the table plays two characters: their own character, and the Shadow of someone else's character. The Shadow is basically the incarnate self-destructive desires and shame of a wraith, and constantly tries to tempt her and drive her into the suicidal grasp of Olivion, where they will cease to exist. Whatever the game is about, the conflict between the wraith and her Shadow is pretty much a constant feature.

    Most folks aren't big fans of how grim "convince each other to commit suicide!" is as a major game feature, but I think it's the strongest aspect of the game. Here's hoping your group is mature enough for it, because none of mine have been.

    Remi. she/her. game designer.


    • #3
      Basically, the PCs are all ghosts suffering from a Jekyll/Hyde-type condition. Normally, they work on whatever unfinished business they have (that kept them from moving on), but when they suffer too much emotional stress, their dark side can break free and wreak havoc. As the stress mounts, their dark sides (represented by other players) gain power, and start whispering to them . . .

      There's a lot of potential in Wraith, from haunting the living, to exploring the Underworld as ghost pirates, or even descending into the hellish Labyrinth to slay monsters. But - as atamajakki pointed out - you really do need the right group to play it with. And the Storyteller (GM) may have to temporarily suspend the temptation/Mr. Hyde aspect, which can start to distract from the fun if you're not careful

      Edit: "Spectres", by the way, are ghosts trapped in permanent Mr. Hyde mode. They range in power from cannon fodder, to dark god-like beings in command of entire armies.


      • #4
        In practice, Shadowguiding doesn't work like that. Primarily because everyone is so busy playing their own character, they don't have time to sabotage each other. Usually players throw in the odd temptation or spice up events by voluntarily throwing a spanner in the works for their troupe. This actually makes gameplay more interesting, as they key element in roleplaying is drama. Give the characters more drama and the players have more fun. And balance any drawbacks with in-game rewards if things get a bit too dark.