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Wraiths and Vampires : How much can a low-mid level wraith do to a vampire?

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  • Wraiths and Vampires : How much can a low-mid level wraith do to a vampire?

    Hi all,

    Need a bit of advice for a backstory (that hopefully becomes a fanfic) I am writing based on a Vamp Character. The vamp in question would have the Haunted Background and the spirit is both vengeful and without morals. Spirit was killed by Vamp when they were both alive about eight years ago.

    Vamp is a new fledgeling.

    So what exactly can a spirit of this age do to a new vampire?

    I am trying to keep things splat-compatible but in all honesty do not have much knowledge about Wraith.

    In particular I would like to know if the Spirit can interefre with the success of the Vamp's disciplines. i.e. Vamp tries to dominate mortal, Spirit says no but other ideas would be welcome.

  • #2
    I will give you the same advice that I typically give to questions like this. It is probably best to think less about Wraith the game, and think more about ghost stories. What kind of things happen in ghost stories that you think would be cool to have done to this vampire? If you do that, it'll be close enough over 90% of the time.

    Most of the powers in Wraith (called Arcanoi) are designed to produce the same effects you would find in a ghost story. The others powers are things that are exclusive to the underworld (aka the Shadowlands or Tempest) they inhabit and don't affect the real world (aka the Skinlands).

    Most ghost powers do not affect the real world all that much. There are mechanics that get in the way (the Shroud which is similar to the Gauntlet, and the use of Pathos (the "fuel" for many powers like Blood Points are in Vampire)), and the setting has the powers that be frown upon interference by the dead with the living.

    There are three primary powers that Wraiths use to affect the skinlands. Outrage is basically poltergeist activity - things get thrown around, doors slam shut, fires start, etc.. Puppetry allows temporary possession of the living, only the highest levels allow anything like Dominate. Pandemonium is what produces the typical hallucinatory horrors found in ghost stories - the walls appear to bleed, spooky sounds or music is heard, etc. They tend to be things that scare the hell out of people, but aren't directly harmful. Another power that could be useful is Phantasm which allows the ghost to enter and control someone's dreams while they sleep.

    Ghosts will typically not be able to affect the physical realm as well as the vampire can. A ghost who attempts to directly thwart or harm a vampire will likely fail. Typically only high level control of Outrage will ever be able to put a vampire into direct physical danger, and then only when a sudden movement or action can have big impact (the ghost decides to turn the steering wheel suddenly to plunge the car in front of an incoming semi-truck as the car is going at very high speeds).

    Instead, a better strategy will be to harm the vampire indirectly. Slowly torment or gaslight the vampire in a way that makes him think he's being watched or pursued, but not by a ghost but by some one else like a hunter or vampire rival. Produce ongoing eerie effects that drive away potential victims so he either slowly starves, or takes riskier actions to feed that will make him a pariah or criminal to other vampires. Spy on him, and find ways to provide that information to his enemies. Use Phantasm to haunt the vampire while he sleeps so that he wakes up without benefit of rest similar to the Nightmare flaw.

    Most ghostly activity will likely remain at the level of a sometimes irritant or bad luck when it matters most. It won't be an outright fight for physical survival.


    • #3
      Ghosts have lots of supernatural powers, but their natural ability to spy without most people noticing is probably the single most potent. A Vampire unable to hide their secrets will be eaten alive (possibly literally) by their peers.

      For the most part, Wraiths don't need to expend much energy for information gathering. They are naturally invisible, can see clearly in even the darkest sanctuary, can pass through walls, and have a natural ability to see both the weaknesses and the vitality of the living (and unliving).

      Getting it into the hands of the Vampire's enemies is a bit harder and that's where the supernatural abilities are required. In addition to the ones Black Fox said, there are two other important ones. Embody lets a Wraith project themselves into the world of the living. It's difficult to do anything impressive but early powers include ghostly whispers and projecting as a hazy figure. There's also a power, Inhabit, which lets a wraith possess inanimate objects. A talented wraith (one with three dots in Inhabit) can possess a computer or a phone and use it to send messages.

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


      • #4
        Wraiths can use Embody, which can allow them to materialize into the Skinlands. High level users of Embody can essentially materialize with all their weapons from the Underworld and can easily kill a fledgling Vampire, especially if said Vampire has zero combat experience.

        Outrage, depending on edition, can virtually kill anything without being touched via "Obliviate". At that point, only Vampires with Necromancy could hope to fight off a Wraith with a high level of Obliviate. And even then, a Vampire who isn't experienced or has no skill in Necromancy, would be too late to contact a Vampire who is skilled in Necromancy; because at that point, they'd be brought to Final Death by that Outrage-using Wraith.

        Level 3 Usury can drain the Life, or in the case of Vampires, "Unlife", from them. Like the previous case, Vampires without Necromancy cannot react to this at all.

        Level 5 Argos can put things into the Tempest, if I remember correctly. Even a Vampire skilled in the Necromancy, if ambushed (basically a preceding successful Stealth roll), cannot counter this in time and would be stuck in the Tempest. A Necromancer Vampire might divine some way to get out the Tempest, a Vampire who is not will be stuck there permanently with no way to get out at all. They'd go into an eternal Torpor or probably be killed or tortured by Specters. The only hope of getting out would be going into Oblivion, in an attempt to end your suffering.

        Inhabit can let your Wraith possess inanimate objects. Depending on the object, it can be very deadly against a Vampire, especially if it does not know you are haunting it. You can take control of a road roller and crush and Final Death the vamp. You can possess an antique sword a Vampire might keep in their Haven, then cut them up into pieces before they can respond. The possibilities are endless with Inhabit.

        Puppetry can also either let you control the Vampire itself or maybe control its Ghouls. Either avenue could be fatal for the Vampire. You can possess the Vampire while its slumbering to walk into the sun during the day, or maybe have its seemingly loyal Ghoul betray it; an act so unexpected, they wouldn't be able to levy an adequate response as you bash it to death as its Ghoul.

        ...So no, Wraiths aren't just an "irritant". This is WoD, not everything is meant or even capable of being "easy". Wraiths in World of Darkness aren't "popculture" Ghosts.

        Jade Kingdom Warrior