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Wraith 20th vs Geist?

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  • Wraith 20th vs Geist?

    I express a strong desire to buy and play Wraith 20th someday. I backed Geist 2e and for now I'm planning to ST Geist 2e in a one-on-one with my best friend. He prefers CoD, while I love both WoD and CoD. Since I have never played Wraith, what would be a good reason to play Wraith over Geist, in case I want to pitch to someone about it? Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by OvercastGhost View Post
    I express a strong desire to buy and play Wraith 20th someday. I backed Geist 2e and for now I'm planning to ST Geist 2e in a one-on-one with my best friend. He prefers CoD, while I love both WoD and CoD. Since I have never played Wraith, what would be a good reason to play Wraith over Geist, in case I want to pitch to someone about it? Thanks
    well firstly Wraith gets more into the tragedy of being dead and the state of being present but removed from your loved ones via the Shadowland. In contrast, the Bound are all about the Second Chance they’ve gotten being physically among the living. So that’s a major tonal difference. It’s reinforced by Wraith’s Passion and Fetter mechanics really putting an emphasis on your mortal ties holding you back from moving on.

    Like a lot of Classic WoD games Wraith has big setting society mythology that some see as a big plus, but other people find detracts from the personal horror (which is why CoD moved away from that direction, comparatively speaking). There’s nothing in Geist like the Hierarchy and the Guilds.

    Another point that’s going to be a plus for some and drawback for others: Wraith’s weird cosmology. The Underworld In Geist is A LOT easier to visualize, while Wraith deals more in layered dimensions using “above” and “below” as more abstract shorthand for what is actually going on.



    Really what it comes down to though is do you want to play a ghost, or an enfleshed person whose bought a second chance at life.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 10-12-2019, 01:30 PM.


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    • #3
      I like both of them.

      Geist is for sure the easiest one to play. You can interact with living and dead in equal terms and the mood is more carefree than Wraith. However, even in it's second edition, I find it's background setting pretty poor if compared to Wraith.

      Wraith on the other hand, is the hardest one to play, especially if you need to interact with skinlands and living people, also the game mood can be pretty heavy sometime. And yet, it's background setting is really rich and elaborated.
      Last edited by Ipergigio; 10-13-2019, 07:06 PM.

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      • #4
        Wraith is like vampire the masquerade if the was no masquerade because everyone you know is a vampire. Yes you can cross the veil and interact with the skinlands if you wish and yes their is the dictum mortum(Masquerade) but the bulk of the story is about interacting with the Shadowlands and you can really let lose with the game. I like Wraith becasue you arn't tied to telling stories that are set in the real world and you can really let your creative jucies flow because of it. Giest just felt like I was playing another Supernatural in the world try to stay hidden game. You have a different set of powers than Vamps but it is still just the same old same old regurgitated in a new skin. Wraith of all the games felt very different than any of the others.
        Last edited by Redwulfe; 10-14-2019, 01:01 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ipergigio View Post
          I like both of them.

          Geist is for sure the easiest one to play. You can interact with living and dead in equal terms and the mood is more carefree than Wraith. However, even in it's second edition, I find it's background setting pretty poor if compared to Wraith.

          Wraith on the other hand, is the hardest one to play, especially if you need to interact with skinlands and living people, also the game mood can be pretty heavy sometime. And yet, it's background setting is really rich and elaborated.
          Now that you mentioned it, I just noticed there isn't much information with the setting for Geist 2e. Would Book of the Dead cover this? Or is there any advice to adding more to the setting? Would using some materials from Wraith help on this?

          And thanks, everyone! Wraith definitely does sound awesome! I wish my best friend would play with me on it! For now, we're doing Mage the Awakening 2e and Geist 2e and perhaps one day down the road we both could buy Wraith 20th and play it.

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          • #6
            I have not played Geist yet. But I can talk you about Wraith. Wraith it's a very dark game, and here is why:

            Wraith it's all about gothic genre: Freud, Jung, trauma, transgression, psychology, dreams, inner demons. In horror there is always the feeling of impotence. I suggest you to read: The Conspiracy Against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti, and to check The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction (chapter 13: The contemporary Gothic: Why we need it). Then, go for establish relationships between Gothic Genre topics and Wraith. Wraith it's all about that, Richard Dansky pointed that several times: Thomas Ligotti was one of the biggest influences to wraith, and wraith it's all about Gothic Genre. Also I suggest you to read A Descent into the Maelström by Poe, that tale is very important to wraith: interior monologue, the inner history, hostile nature, the reflexion about personal history, and the willingness to explore the Abyss. Wraith the Oblivion is dark because is speaking about ourselves, about the fears of society, the fears of establishment. Wraith it's all about transgression, nihilism, negative dialectics, etc. In classic gothic there were always the hope to redemption to characters, in modern gothic things are not so easy. That's because there is no linear history in 21st century. Wraith it's a game about loss, and the trauma caused by that loss (You are now Dead)... and that makes Wraith also a political game: we are living in a society that disrupts the creation of a narrative memory of ourselves (they have no hope to redemption, that's the thing, because the society is oblivious of their struggles), the wraiths are struggling to create a personal history, struggling to hide that personal history, struggling to overcome that personal history. You are in a violent society, and sometimes you end up being what you hate, the world of wraith is full of social darwinism. Think this: If you had the power to get over others with impunity, would you do it? That's the plot of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and that book is very important to wraith, because is all about human psychology, and gothic it's about the inner story of the characters. Wraiths have hope, that hope it's their personal history, their singularity, their subjectivity. Oblivion homogenizes everything in nothing, there's no singularity in emptiness.

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            • #7
              Geist doesn't have much of a setting because one of the concepts of the game is that Sin-Eaters were a sporadic phenomenon at best until the twentieth century; in the past, there would be massive die-offs accompanied by the rise of a few Sin-Eaters, then the deaths would drop too regular levels and Sin-Eaters would fade away. It was only in the twentieth century that Earths population got high enough that the death rate became high enough to enable a permanent population of Sin-Eaters. As such, Sin-Eater society is less than a century old.

              Ghosts, too, tend to be young: as portrayed in the setting of Geist, ghosts are desperate creatures always on the edge of survival as they gradually forget who they were in life, lose their grip on the land of the living, and get pulled down into the caverns of the Underworld where they continue to deteriorate. The playable ones have developed a hussle, a means of replenishing their store of memories to survive a little longer. They have to interact with the living to survive, because the living are the only source of new memories. They're too busy scraping by day to day to do anything beyond that; and as such, they also haven't had time to develop any overarching society — at least, not in the land of the living. In the Underworld, there are the Dead Domains that serve as havens against the dangers of the Underworld, and it's possible for ghosts to live longer there — though again, without access to a supply of memories from the living, this merely shows the decay.

              In contrast, wraiths have it easy. Well, maybe not easy; they've got their own challenges to face. But they're not in a constant state of decay the way their Geist counterparts are. They can and do continue on for centuries with little trouble.

              Is also point out that the closest thing to Sin-Eaters in Wraith are Orpheus' projectors: both Sin-Eaters and projectors have one foot in the land of the living and one foot in the land of the dead, and have a near-death experience in their past. That said, that's fairly close to the end of the similarities between the two: you might also compare Sin-Eaters to the Risen, with a major difference being that a Sin-Eater's body is biologically alive (heartbeat, breathing, and so on). That said, Sin-Eaters are metaphysically dead: they register as dead to appropriate supernatural senses, and more importantly from a ghost's perspective, they can't replenish the memory economy the way the living can. So in that sense, they are kind of like the Risen: a kind of walking dead.

              I don't expect to ever see it; but I think a Wraith/Geist Translation Guide would be fascinating.


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