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Supernatural Hauntings and Ghost Curses not represented by Wraith

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  • #31
    Sorcerer Revised for Mage (although I do not understand why the Revised edition for Sorcerer was for the Mage line while the original was a generic World of Darkness. The book is needed much more for the other game lines.) has Ectoplasmic Generation as a Psychic ability, but that may not be sufficient for certain occurrences an ST would want in a Wraith game.

    For actual mechanics you may want to use that or handwave things as being a Merit if you just want to explain an NPC with the abilities. While the phenomenon is associated with Victorian era with scam artists (I think I read that the ectoplasmic entities were made from cheese cloth), I always remember its used in the Hellboy story Goodbye, Mr Tod.

    Mediums, Physical

    Phenomenon: In the early days of the spiritual movement, some mediums claimed to be able to physically manifest the spirits in a weird semi-corporeal substance called ectoplasm.

    WoD Explanation: Most ectoplasmic phenomena is faked, but a very rare few individuals are capable of it. Much like Benandanti born with intact cauls, physical mediums have within them a formed plasmic corpus. These mediums can instinctively choose to become a consort of contacted spirits who can embody in the Skinlands by instinctive moliation of the plasmic corpus across the Shroud.

    This is extraordinarily dangerous for the medium. Certain hostile entities - whether spectres or plasmic Wyrds - may try to fully materialize with their full powers. While in such a state, these creatures cannot only use their own powers, but can also drain the necessary Pathos from the physical medium as well. In addition, the amount of plasm contained in the physical medium may be insufficient for certain sizes of materialization. If the entire amount of plasm is used, the physical medium dies. The ectoplasm is highly sensitive, and if touched or exposed to light, the ectoplasm may inflict Health Levels of damage on the medium as it turns to dust.

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    • #32
      See this is why I really wish we had Sorcerer Revised as a resource for all the gamelines, but they push it into the background. If I was going to do a Classic World of Darkness Core I would put pretty Much Sorcerer Revised rules in it.

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      • #33
        One thing I should mention at this point is that one concept I use for some of these hauntings concerns the Shadow of the living. I've mentioned it in previous posts. It's mentioned again in this one, and will be used again in the future. So what do I mean by it?

        The living possesses Shadows, just as wraiths do. The difference is that the Shadow is usually not active. The conscious mind is not able to deal with all of the options and information available to it. Consciousness struggles to narrow and focus its energy to avoid drowning in endless possibility. So, consciousness selects certain stimuli, options, or patterns, and shuts out the rest for its own good. Everything else still remains within the unconscious mind, the province of the Shadow.

        The Shadow is the faculty in the unconscious mind that understands and adduces further information from these patterns on many higher levels. The unconscious mind, with its superior grasp of the causal world, and the tremendous sway it has over whim and attention span, could bring highly unusual experiences to the conscious mind under these circumstances. In a real sense, the Shadow is better informed than the Psyche, which has the tendency to forget or ignore information and memories that are unwanted.

        People do things all the time for which they have no rational explanation. People engage in all sorts of self-destructive acts despite the warnings and pleas from loved ones. The death urge is strong. Existence is a constant struggle, and the lure of Oblivion is that it promises final peace.

        Only in death, once the Psyche crosses the Shroud, does the Shadow rise to the surface to argue with the Psyche actively. This activation is caused by the Wraith’s closer proximity to Oblivion. Where once before the Shadow could only act unconsciously, it can now take a more active role in asserting itself against the Psyche.

        The Shadows of those in the Skinlands will rarely come into play. Without a closer proximity to Oblivion caused by death and appearance in the Underworld, the Shadow does not have enough power to become an active force. However, while the struggle against Oblivion’s siren call assumes epic proportions in the Underworld, that call sometimes also crosses the Shroud to reach the living.

        However, the Shadow also serves as a conduit to other supernatural agencies. It has a connection to the Tempest, which is a depository of the collective unconscious; It is said that anything lost in the Skinlands finds itself as part of the Tempest, including memories, knowledge, and hopes. It is also linked to the Hive Mind of the Shadow-eaten. It is not true that only the Dead struggle with their Shadow. The conflict is merely brought out into the open in the Shadowlands. It is the key that allows Oblivion to enter the Skinlands through dreams or paranormal phenomenon in the waking world.

        So with that said, I now present the Ouija Board. How does it actually work?

        Ouija Boards

        Phenomenon: This parlor game allows communication with unseen spirits by normal, untrained people. A marker - called a planchette -moves without conscious action by the ones touching it. The board itself typically lists each letter of the alphabet, the numerals 0-9, the words “Yes” and “No”, and the phrase “Good Bye.” Many commercially made boards are available, but home made ones work equally as well sometimes with more symbols or words. Ouija Boards have existed in various forms since Antiquity.

        WoD Explanation: Sometimes wraiths are drawn to the Ouija Board and act with their Arcanoi. The commitment by the mortal users in the Skinlands temporarily lowers the Shroud around them.

        This is not the sole explanation though. We cannot assume that every time someone uses a Ouija Board that there is always a wraith who freely chooses to attend. We need an explanation can always account for Ouija activity.

        The Ouija Board is a mystical tool: crude but effective. It actually serves as a way to activate the unconscious mind of its participants. This is called the Shadow, which is dormant among the living. The Shadow cannot truly act, but it can serve as a conduit for the collective unconscious found in the Tempest, and specifically can contact the Hive Mind of spectres. These spectres can manipulate such unconscious movements of the planchette by communication with the person’s Shadow, or in very dangerous cases consciously direct the movements themselves via their Arcanoi, just like wraiths.

        If the living call a specific wraith, that wraith’s Shadow is likewise contacted and nudges the Psyche to arrive at the location or seeks Catharsis in order to respond. Sometimes no wraiths or spectres are contacted at all. It is simply the Shadow of the living, having been empowered, that causes the body to unconsciously move the planchette to reveal the answers discovered through the Hive Mind.

        The Ouija Board can become dangerous for its users. Not only does it lower the Shroud, but it acts as attunement for the spirits it contacts. Thus its users can become Consorts. Since the Ouija Board more often contacts the Hive Mind of Spectres than wraiths, prolonged use increases the danger to its participants.

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        • #34
          Alrighty so I'll first freely admit that of the core five gamelines Wraith is probably the one I have the least concrete grasp on and it's probably just ahead of Reckoning and Mummy in general.

          Yet as I was reading over this thread, one that I enjoy a lot, an idea came to me from the style of Black Fox's posts and I figured I'd add on.

          So without further ado...

          THE VANISHING HITCHHIKER

          •Phenomena: Traveler's have reported meeting strange and mysterious wanderers for millennia. Shadows haunting roadways, specters asking for drives to places that no longer exist, invisible hands wrestling for steering wheels.

          •WoD Explanation: Occasionally these hauntings are exactly what you would expect. Stretches of road where the veil is thin and allows wraiths to cross over, most often drones lurking along the same pathways.

          Sometimes however these are more then simple wraiths fettered by a desire to reach someplace they can never truly go. Some are professional traveler's who carry messages or reach out to lost fetters, tying themselves to traveler's to do so. Such professionals are rare though.

          Aside from recurring ghosts (such as the figure or figures known as 'Resurrection Mary' in Chicago) or one-time manifestations of travelers, there are also more chilling stories. Fighting for steering wheels with phantom hands or specters being struck down by cars and then vanishing. Haunting traveler's like blood on a fender.

          These are sometimes genuine Specters. Those who have managed to cross the veil and try to drag more souls into Oblivion by delivering death and destruction. Others reach out to the Subliminal Shadow and cause it to nudge the wheel. Others even try to create collisions along certain stretches of road to 'curse' them and then the veil enough for anyone to cross over to the Skinlands.

          The nature and circumstances may change but phantoms of all sorts haunt roads. Many seeking a destination they can't ever bare to see...

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
            Alrighty so I'll first freely admit that of the core five gamelines Wraith is probably the one I have the least concrete grasp on and it's probably just ahead of Reckoning and Mummy in general.
            I originally had a hard time getting into Wraith because I couldn't imagine what you'd actually do in a chronicle. For a long time I simply called the Wraith corebook "the Big Book of NPCs" because I couldn't imagine anything other than to use it to spice up one of the other game lines briefly. Then I had a friend who explained it to me very well, and I became intrigued and read the corebook in depth for the very first time and I got it. It's an extremely well conceived setting, and I think its first edition corebook is far the best of any of first edition corebooks.

            Yet I've never run a chronicle because nobody I know is interested in playing in it at all, not even for a short term chronicle. So it's really still just the Big Book of NPCs to me.

            But as good as it is, that doesn't mean they couldn't have done some things better in terms of real hauntings.

            Poltergeists

            Phenomenon: Poltergeists are commonly blamed for any violent or destructive activity in a haunting. In the past, researchers believed that all such activity at a haunted location was the work of spirits or another outside force, but today many investigators don’t. The current theory behind Poltergeist phenomena is that the activity is caused by a person in the household, known as the “human agent”. The agent is usually an adolescent girl, and usually one that is troubled emotionally.

            WoD Explanation: Some Poltergeist activity is caused by wraiths or specters using the Arcanos Outrage. However, the strong correlation between Poltergeist activity and young adolescent girls near puberty indicates a response beyond that of free willed activity by the Restless.

            Humans unconsciously generate most Poltergeist activity. Pubescent girls in emotional turmoil awaken it just like wraiths obtain Pathos through their Passions.

            At puberty, the human female first becomes capable of giving birth to life. This influx of life energies creates a tie with the Tempest because of the potential creation of life where nothing before existed. In addition, when combined with intense Passion caused by such adolescent turmoil, the girl is a beacon that draws forces towards her wanting to feed on such Passion.

            The girl’s Shadow is involved in this manifesting this turmoil as the Outrage Arcanos via the Hive Mind. It is directed by the partially awakened Shadow. However, as the girl learns to deal with the changes in her body and becomes comfortable, the Shadow can no longer draw Angst and the activity soon ceases.

            More prolonged Poltergeist activity is the result of her Shadow attracting a Spectre to the girl, probably one already nearby. Other traumatic events might also induce Poltergeist activity, but these are much harder, and more rare.

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            • #36
              Whoah interesting twist on Poltergeists! I might steal this for Changeling and say they generate some sort of Chimera.

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              • #37
                I can definitely see that, especially for more mischievous poltergeists as opposed to more terrifying ones.

                This next one isn't really a haunting, but another paranormal phenomenon I think works well with Wraith.

                Spontaneous Human Combustion

                Phenomenon: For as yet scientifically unknown reasons, times occur when an unsuspecting person bursts into flames and is incinerated. The flames begin within the victim's own body and reduce their human fuel to a pile of ashes in minutes - sometimes seconds. The whole event is so quick and selective that objects near the victim show only minor heat damage, if any at all. Sometimes, even the victim's clothes are left untouched.

                Classic cases are characterized by five main features:

                1) The victim's body and clothing is mostly reduced to ash.
                2) Small portions of the body (an arm, a foot, maybe the head) remain unburned.
                3) Only objects immediately associated with the body have burned; the fire never spread away from the body.
                4) A greasy soot deposit covers the ceiling and walls, usually stopping three to four feet above the floor.
                5) Objects above this three to four foot line show signs of heat damage (melted candles, cracked mirrors, etc.); objects below this line show no damage.

                Documentation for such burnings is lacking in non-European descended societies. These burnings have occurred for as long as mankind has existed, but most coroners, pathologists, scientists, and fire officials ignore such evidence: blithely choosing much neater and less controversial explanations for these unexplained deaths.

                WoD Explanation: Cases of spontaneous human combustion are due to an assault upon the living by Oblivion. The living person’s own Shadow partially awakens, and the sudden terror of existence creates a massive surge of Angst. This sparks an intuitive use of Outrage from the Hive Mind that starts self-immolation that burns the body’s fat storage like a candle wick.

                it is not known why the victims are selected. Perhaps some descendant or innocent action would have far-reaching consequence of Fate. However, a mark is put upon them, and some Oracles claim to detect these by the Fatalism Arcanoi. Some experts at the Institute for Obliviographic Studies believe all these incidents are related back to a Malfean whose servants are known as the Flaming Brand Church.

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                • #38
                  Here's another classic real world paranormal phenomenon and its explanation in Wraith terms.

                  Vortex (Portal)

                  Phenomenon: Certain areas appear to have doorways or portals to another dimension. The paranormal activity there does not appear to be intelligent hauntings, but distinctly inhuman entities. Very often the vortex is accompanied by strange beings known as Shadow People.

                  Manifestations of vortices vary. Daytime “orbs” of light, streaks or swirls of mist, and funnels have all been spotted. In addition are inexplicable streaks of shadow. While sometimes noticed when they appear, they are more commonly noticed in photographs after the fact.

                  WoD Explanation: Vortices are areas in the Skinlands whose Shadowlands contain Nihils. The Nihils may not be "static" and could flicker into existence and then suddenly end after some amount of time later. The inhuman entities are either Spectres or malevolent Plasmic creatures. The manifestations in the Skinlands are a result of increased presence of Oblivion resulting in a deformity similar to the effects of Pandemonium.

                  In the World of Darkness, the manifestations of such vortices might be more severe than those recorded in the real world. Emotions of fear could be stronger, and the color, size and shape of such lighted orbs or mists could be more provocative especially if it precedes an actual manifestation of a Spectre. In places of extreme evil, the living might see numerous swirling bands of shadows, pantomiming human movement, as they orbit around tendrils of deep purple mist at night.

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