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  • Advice on a character

    I have never played Wraith before but I am considering buying it. I have already came up with a character. His description is below. I want to know what fetters he could have and how he could fit into Wraith as a pc.

    Judge Hubert Galloway. When this name pops into people's minds one term comes to mind, Hanging Judge. Throughout his career which spanned from the 1890s all the way to 1949 he convicted and sent over 80 convicts to the gallows and later the electric chair. The Judge believes that no murderer deserved mercy and often delivered the death sentence with glee, mugh to the anger of the condeemed's families. Over time, he became Omah, Nebraska's most infamous judge known for his firery temper and brutal since of justice. In fact, during prohbition he punished bootleggers in the same fasion, he made them drink all of their liquor. His final case came in 1949 when he sentenced Kyle Brewer, a mental patient, to death for killing a orderly stating that mental illness is no excuse for murder. Shortly afterwards, the judge was gunned down in his office by Brewer's brother, Stan. To this day, some report hearing the judge's moans and groans as he roams the old courthouse, regretting the execution of Mr. Brewer.

  • #2
    Someone that eager to kill sounds like they'd likely be an outright Specter, if not immediately upon death then almost certainly in the seventy years since. Wraith is a game where you want your characters to be especially flawed, but this character sounds almost completely unsympathetic, and the aspects of his personality that would make up his Shadow ran rampant in his life. Unless you want an especially arduous personal journey wherein you learn mercy in the face of a well-fed murderous Shadow that thinks itself a holier-than-thou executioner of scum (which sounds kinda awesome when you spell it out like that), he seems more like a solid antagonist than a main character.


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

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    • #3
      I disagree that he sounds like a spectre. My go-to character for this sort of discussion is John Soulis. Alive, Soulis was a devil worshiper, a tyrannical warlord, and mass murderer. In death, he’s Anacreon of the Smiling Legion and Lord of Hermitage Castle. Check out Haunts for more on ol’ Johnny.

      Don’t get me wrong; the Judge kinda sounds like a douchebag, but that shouldn’t stop you from playing the character. If your group is cool with that type of character (or - Hell! – even have complimentary characters) then go nuts.

      Was there a defining moment from his youth that caused him to be like this? Was he mentally unstable and he just happened to land in a position where no one could question/notice his conduct? If he was reaped for the Hierarchy, what Legion would he belong to?

      Before worrying about Fetters, think about his Passions and delve more into the character’s Shadow. What’s it like? What kind of Dark Passions does it have?


      This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
      (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
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      • #4
        I was thinking on having the judge go on a redemption story, ala Christmas Carol, except already dead. I guess his Shadow would be a exaggerated version of himself when he was a judge. It would want him to kill anyone it deems worthy of judgement. Also, the judge developed his bloodlust after he witnessed his father, a President of a bank in Boston, get gunned down by a angry client. He then decided to become a judge after he witnessed a Judge named Morris sentence him to death by hanging. He also remembered feeling a twinge of satisfaction and pleasure when he saw the murderer get hung. This feeling caused him to hang every murderer who walked into his courtroom, thinking it was the feeling of justice well served, not his bloodlust being satisfied..

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        • #5
          “Justice well served” versus “bloodlust” might help delineate between the character’s Psyche and Shadow. Like comparing Batman to the Punisher. What kind of redemption is he seeking? Does he regret hanging murderers? Has he ever convicted someone who was innocent? Knowingly? Did he have a “probably guilty of something” mentality?


          This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
          (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
          ").

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nazfool View Post
            “Justice well served” versus “bloodlust” might help delineate between the character’s Psyche and Shadow. Like comparing Batman to the Punisher. What kind of redemption is he seeking? Does he regret hanging murderers? Has he ever convicted someone who was innocent? Knowingly? Did he have a “probably guilty of something” mentality?
            ​He had a mental patient placed on the electric chair after he killed a orderly. Even though the man probably had PTSD and killed the orderly in a horrid flashback, the judge still had him executed stating that mental illness is no excuse for murder. Shortly after that, the man's brother gunned down the judge. The judge felt guilty for executing the PTSD ridden man and is seeking forgiveness and redemption for that sin.

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            • #7
              Now here's the interesting thing. All of the feelings that pull him towards Oblivion can be good fodder for his Shadow. That includes the feelings he wishes he didn't have, like the desire to snuff out lives, but it also includes desires that make him want to end himself, like guilt over his desire to snuff out lives. It can even do both if you want. Shadows don't have to be consistent, just insistent.


              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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              • #8
                He's going to be a very very very frustrated character as it's super difficult to punish to death other wraiths, no matter how naughty they might be. They just keep coming back....

                Also, use of force to the level he seems to relish is pretty much the purview of the state, meaning the Hierarchy, so he's either got to be a member or he's going to be on a "Wanted" poster as a criminal destined to become an ashtray. (He is sorta the reason that making people into ashtrays is a thing, after all. This guy is just begging to be Shadow-eaten.) And that would very likely cause him some irreconcilable cognitive dissonance.

                If he becomes a member in good standing of the Grim Legion, he might be okay. But the "crimes" he's going to have to harshly punish inlcude violations of the Dictum Mortuum. Which he might like, but it's going to make him very unpopular in most circles (as in "with other PCs"), as the black letter reading he seems likely to have would mean that most means of gaining Pathos will require that he PUNISH the "wrongdoer" (meaning.... "every effing wraith out there")

                And he's going to be unusually weak for a wraith of his age. He's effectively going to have newbie level abilities (meaning a wraith who has been dead, Reaped, and functional long enough to get oriented and trained up to basic levels) and he's going to be about twice as old as the usual wraith at that level.

                Too bad there isn't currently something like the Orphan-Grinders in mainline Wraith. Having such a completely reprehensible self/state-legitimized serial killer type having recently bounced back from the Specterhood that seems like the proper fate for such types would be a very interesting character.

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                • #9
                  I was actually thinking of my guy being unfamiliar with the rest of the Underworld. When my guy arrived he thought he was dammed to wander the courthouse for all eternity. Due to the fact that the reaper was kind of sadistic and said he was in Purgatory.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                    He's going to be a very very very frustrated character as it's super difficult to punish to death other wraiths, no matter how naughty they might be. They just keep coming back....
                    Ain't no coming back from a good soulforging. I would suggest having this guy be in good with the Hierarchy- he doesn't actually have to be a judge now, but he could contribute in other ways. Perhaps he serves as a particularly zealous informant or he aspires to gain rank within his Legion.


                    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                    Too bad there isn't currently something like the Orphan-Grinders in mainline Wraith. Having such a completely reprehensible self/state-legitimized serial killer type having recently bounced back from the Specterhood that seems like the proper fate for such types would be a very interesting character.
                    This sounds brilliant... and I agree, it is unfortunate no rules really exist for such creatures. Nonetheless, you can always talk to your storyteller to find out if being an Orphan-Grinder is right for you!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                      Ain't no coming back from a good soulforging. I would suggest having this guy be in good with the Hierarchy- he doesn't actually have to be a judge now, but he could contribute in other ways. Perhaps he serves as a particularly zealous informant or he aspires to gain rank within his Legion.
                      He's not going to be able to actually be able to soulforge very easily as a starting character. He's going to be the one dragging souls to the Articifers and it's going to lack some of the visceral satisfaction he seems to need on a fundamental level. And it's unlikely that he will get to be a soulforger AND a Legionnaire dragging in bad guys, since those roles are socially and politically separated. He's not really going to be in a position to be the actual judge very easily either, as, even though he seems to be about the right age to get that kind of Hierarchy status if he's a real go-getter, he's a starting character and will be pretty weak without some major patronage. So, stock up on Hierarchy Status and a high powered Mentor (who is probably a Doppelganger) who really sees potential in this psycho. And has to nurse a slight inferiority complex since he's going to be weak on Arcanoi.

                      I think the real issue with this character, snarkiness aside, is that he really doesn't seem to have the necessary two parts to be a great wraith. Sure a Psyche can be a total dick and the Shadow can oppose that, but it's a really intricate dance to set up such a character. Psyche more easily fits with "positive" and Shadow with "negative". Trying to make the square pegs not just seem to be round but to act round when shoving them into the appropriate hole is... tricky. And, so far, from Killerclown, I'm not, putting on my ST hat, seeing the kind of differentiation that makes a good character for the character and a good Shadow for the Shadowguide. It's like.... Frank Nitti and Clyde Barrow. Both are full-on serial killer psychos, but, for all that, it's easier to see Clyde as a wraith (albeit as one with the strong Shadow) because you can hang your hat on his passionate love of Bonnie. Even though that's definitely a good source of a Dark Passion as well. But Frank Nitti.... He doesn't really seem to have anything that would set up that intrinsic struggle that is the core of playing a Wraith character. He seems more like a Specter with a weak Psyche. (TBH, Clyde might make a really good Specter with a strong Psyche as well.) It's hard to tease this character apart to get two distinct opposed halves without having to generate a lot of unresolved cognitive dissonance that's not the kind that Wraith thrives on.

                      I see there are some stabs at a "tragic origin", but, really, it's just not enough unless his death REALLY brought that out and he became the man he would have been if he had completely handled the tragedies differently and the man he actually was is going to be the (very very strong) Shadow shouting to get out and DO JUSTICE (vengeance, murder, merciless and inflexible).

                      If a character came to me with this and I was really confident of their ability to play along with this as a plot, I might have the character as a Doppleganger. But that would take a Shadowguide that was a Psychguide. And that means it's not really a secret anymore....

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, maybe this character is probably too sadistic. But, I do have another character idea if you want to hear it.

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                        • #13
                          I don’t think you need to scrap the character entirely. Sure, it might need an overhaul, but there’s enough to stuff to work with.

                          Go at the character from a different angle. What is it about the Judge that made him had unfinished business. Yeah, it sounds like he was bummed that he didn’t to keep hanging people, but is that the kind of burning desire to continue rope-induced justice?

                          What about keeping the core idea but scrapping the whole “likes hangen’ folk” bit? Maybe replace it with “Likes deliverin’ justice to naughty folk”?

                          These are just ideas. If you really like the base concept, we can help whittle and rearrange. Also, talk with your ST and the group to see what ideas they have for the Chronicle. Their thoughts might give you ideas for another direction for the Judge.


                          This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                          (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                          ").

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                          • #14
                            I can have my character changed from a hanging judge to a judge who delivered harsh sentences. Like, he made bootleggers drink all of their liquor and other harsh sentences, even cutting a thief's hand off ala Middle East. But, at home, he was a completely different person. He was a great husband and father and had a five year old granddaughter named Ella. Perhaps, she could be one of her fetters. But, at the courtroom, he had a zero tolerance to crime and he made sure the punishment definitely fit the crime.

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                            • #15
                              *Why* is he a wraith? What's keeping him in the Shadowlands? What's his unfinished business?


                              This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                              (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                              ").

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