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Dark Secret for my Wraith

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  • Dark Secret for my Wraith

    I'll be playing a Wraith: Great War game this month and my ST has said we all require to have the Dark Secret Flaw, and I am having a really hard time thinking up something that would fit.

    We start the game alive, and will most likely be killed in the first or second session during a skirmish around the Battle of the Somme.

    Here's the details of my character

    BACKSTORY
    Jacob Milton, 16 year old who joined the war pretending to be 19. He grew up in a small village in England with his older brother and mother. Jacob's brother Henry is something of a local hero, charismatic, smart, and very handy. Often times Jacob was referred to as "Henry's brother" rather than his own name. Jacob himself never really had any talents to call his own. After finished school he tried his hand at a couple of jobs but it rarely came to much.
    His mother, being a schoolteacher, regularly had her sons read and recite poems though the only one that really stuck in Jacob's mind was Rudyard Kipling's "If". This poem along with his brother, formed the basis of what he thought it was to be a man.
    When war broke out, Henry was one of the first to conscript, leaving Jacob and his Mother with the promise of returning by the end of the year. Although this did not happen, his letters assured the two of them that he was well.
    The decision to go came out of a mixture of things, partially to prove himself and give his life a bit more direction, but also to aid his brother who's letters came less and less frequently

    BACKGROUNDS
    Eidolon: The man he knows he can be, described by "If"
    Memoriam: His brother and mother think of him often, as do a handful of people in the village who recall his name.
    Relic: Trench Pen, Jacob was encouraged by his mother to write from an early age, and penned a great number of stories and poems which he never finished. Any moment of rest during the war was spent with Trench Pen in hand over an often empty page.

    FETTERS
    Brother 4
    Family Home 3
    Unfinished Letter 2
    (Something linked with his eventual death)1

    PASSIONS
    Make my Mother proud (Love)
    Keep my Brother safe (Fear)
    Finish what I started writing (Pride)
    Go Home (Homesick)


    NOTE

    Our ST wants to be in charge of all things Shadow related, the only thing we can decide is the shadow's archetype. I chose Perfectionist.

    I gave him an Idealist demeanour and a Martyr nature, but I'm not sure if Martyr is exactly the right Nature for this guy. I wanted to find a nature which would be all about trying to prove oneself, regaining WP whenever they receive some kind of external validation for their efforts. Martyr was the closest thing I could find in all the books I checked.

    So, any ideas as to what a fitting Dark Secret might be?


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

  • #2
    It could have very little to do with any of that. It could be something very recent. Like leaving someone to die when he could have risked his life to save them the first time he went over the wall (which is, I guess, very un-Kipling, but that's a thin link). Or failing to shoot a scared German soldier in a moment of mercy. Or something to do with his training (such as it was). Like, in his desire to be Kipling-man, he wanted to be the corporal and sabotaged the Henry-analogue who would have gotten the slot. (From just hurting him so he lost out all the way up to killing him covertly).

    It could have everything to do with all of that... If it's from before he was in the War, then it probably has to do with Henry. Something he did that undermined his brother in a significant way. Maybe he found out that Henry had a Dark Secret (he's gay; he knocked up some girl, he cheated in school and wasn't the perfect Golden Boy everyone thought he was, he let a friend drown while playing because he didn't want to risk his life) and threatened to reveal it to their mother, driving him to enlist early (and, for that extra special dark nougat, he died early on.... Oh, just wait until he meets Henry's wraith... or is that specter?)

    Some of it depends on whether the ST is letting the players have been in War already. If they're just coming to the meat-grinder, obviously nothing too recent.

    Also, how "dark" does the secret need to be? How "dark" might be too dark? I ran an COD Innocents game in two parts back in the day. Part 1 they were 8. Part 2, they played the same characters at 15. I had them come up with Dark Secrets for the teenagers. They ended up running from dark to DARK. The nicest was one player throwing another under the bus, ending up with him spending time in a mental institution. Another at that end was that he was secretly something of a sadist. He liked to hurt people and really hated himself for it. The middle was the "saw friend drown and did nothing" scenario from above. The far end was really upsetting. Trigger warnings all over it.

    Remember, whatever the Dark Secret is, it's going to be the Shadow's meat and drink. So it's going to be something that comes up probably about as much as his Shadow does. From a Perfectionist there might be a lot of, "Well, we wouldn't want THAT to happen again, do we? Let's make sure it doesn't. Here is what you will do..."

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    • #3
      Perhaps he knew that a map his unit was given was wrong but didn't say anything figuring it might keep them out of combat but ended up leading them into the skirmish that got them killed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ajax There's a lot of cool ideas there. But I don't think anything with Henry being dead would work, if he died before Jacob's death, how would he become a fetter?


        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

        Comment


        • #5
          Yup. I was maximizing potential pathos (as opposed to Pathos). With Henry dead, there are many many things that he just CAN'T set right. (Well, unless Henry is dead too, but it's just not the same. It's not like any atonement will make anything better when both of them are in the suck that is the Shadowlands. The double suck that is the Shadowlands of Europe during WWI...) The Fetter would need to be something else. But that wouldn't be too difficult to figure out. Henry had their father's pocketwatch or whatever. Or something they shared when they were boys before the jealously began to set in.

          People as Fetters kinda suck in any case. The BEG for violating the Dictum, particularly because they are sooooo easy to use those illegal Arcanoi on. And how does Slumbering work inside a person anyways? High level of creepy and a dearth of rules to deal with it. Plus, you never know where you'll be when you wake up. Oh and this is Henry. A British soldier. In WWI. You are ASKING for a very very very nasty Harrowing and the loss of a HUGE Fetter.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ajax View Post
            People as Fetters kinda suck in any case. The BEG for violating the Dictum, particularly because they are sooooo easy to use those illegal Arcanoi on. And how does Slumbering work inside a person anyways? High level of creepy and a dearth of rules to deal with it. Plus, you never know where you'll be when you wake up. Oh and this is Henry. A British soldier. In WWI. You are ASKING for a very very very nasty Harrowing and the loss of a HUGE Fetter.
            That's one of the reasons I've gone for the arcanos Lifeweb 2: Fetter Sentry (Wraith: The Great War pp.123) which allows me to take a single point of damage in place of any damage the chosen fetter receives. Since I could roll for regaining Pathos by keeping the brother safe, I'd in theory be able to regain more pathos than it would cost to keep up, which would in theory mean it could keep going indefinitely. It would mean that Jacob has a huge incentive to preserve pathos for the sentry and to heal himself from the damage done than to use it for other things. It would also be an interesting point of leverage for the Shadow.

            Slumber in a person? Not all that weird. I'd consider it sort of like entering their mind and taking a trip into the memories of that person. It wouldn't be like Phantasm where they are aware of you though. My ST already ok'd the idea when I asked him about it, so if he's up for dealing with those rules, why not?

            And oh yeah, I fully expect that Henry's peril will lead to a huge and terrible Harrowing. I'm all up for that.

            The other Arcanoi I went for is Argos 2 (Storm Robes) and Embody 1 (Whispers) which should allow him a bit more defence as well as a small means of communication, at the very least to warn Henry of oncoming danger.

            That being said, the ST has three other Wraiths to deal with and a whole other story to focus on, so it's likely Jacob's Brother situation will only come in to focus every now and again.
            Last edited by Saikou; 05-04-2017, 12:00 PM.


            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

            Comment


            • #7
              So Slumbering in a watch is endless ticking? And in a statue is cold and dense and claustrophobic?

              It's a way to run Slumber, I guess. The free 0 dot Phantasm-ish thing seems like just adding a power. Slumbering in other types of Fetters should have equivalent benefits. Because that is a benefit.

              Watch out for this becoming the "Henry" show. A 4 dot Fetter with associated Passions and he's buying Arcanoi specifically to deal with that Fetter.... I hope the other players are good with your character always running off to save his brother, Slumber in his brother.... Henry is really an obsession for him. In a very creepy way. Which is fine, but the game isn't usually set up so much about one player spending all his time haunting one dude. Will be be doing things with the other players when it will mean spending time not tending to his precious Henry?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                So Slumbering in a watch is endless ticking? And in a statue is cold and dense and claustrophobic?

                It's a way to run Slumber, I guess. The free 0 dot Phantasm-ish thing seems like just adding a power. Slumbering in other types of Fetters should have equivalent benefits. Because that is a benefit.

                Watch out for this becoming the "Henry" show. A 4 dot Fetter with associated Passions and he's buying Arcanoi specifically to deal with that Fetter.... I hope the other players are good with your character always running off to save his brother, Slumber in his brother.... Henry is really an obsession for him. In a very creepy way. Which is fine, but the game isn't usually set up so much about one player spending all his time haunting one dude. Will be be doing things with the other players when it will mean spending time not tending to his precious Henry?
                He has other fetters... And wow you really are being quite condescending about this.


                Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not intentionally.

                  As someone who has ST'd Wraith several times and played it couple more, sometimes really great stories don't make as great characters. This is a good story. But he's very very focused and might end up being focused away from what the other characters are doing. It's something you, and your ST, need to take into account.

                  But all of that is still off point, right? Have you come up with some ideas for the Dark Secret?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ajax View Post
                    Not intentionally.

                    As someone who has ST'd Wraith several times and played it couple more, sometimes really great stories don't make as great characters. This is a good story. But he's very very focused and might end up being focused away from what the other characters are doing. It's something you, and your ST, need to take into account.

                    But all of that is still off point, right? Have you come up with some ideas for the Dark Secret?
                    Sorry it took me a while to respond. Here's what I went with.

                    Henry did have a girl waiting for him when he left for war, and after he left she started spending more time with Jacob. Partially out of being lonely, partially because he reminded her so much of his brother. This was the first time anyone had given him this much attention, let alone a girl. After a few months he started to get a bit too comfortable with her attention, and often misread her apparent affection as for him when he was simply a stand-in. She did not feel anything for him, but did not immediately push him away, herself just as confused as to what she wanted.

                    One night, however he pushed too far. She screamed for him to stop, but he was too caught up in the act to listen.

                    The full reality of what happened didn't press in until hours after it happened. The event horrified him, filling him with a shame unlike that he had ever felt before. The only resolve he found was in pushing it away. He never breathed a word of what happened to anyone, even denying any memory of it within his own mind. She stopped coming to see him after this, and that suited him just fine. Facing her would only be admitting that what happened was real.

                    If you can make a heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breath a word about your loss.


                    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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