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On Geist and Werewolf

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  • On Geist and Werewolf

    So, I've done something somewhat silly, in which I've decided to run a game with our group's first Werewolf character AND our group's first Geist character. As far as keeping the characters together, that's not a problem -- we've been doing this weird thing wherein we sometimes play versions of ourselves five years in the future, so they're old friends. What I'm having trouble with is plot hooks that involve the both of them -- from the "I'm a Werewolf and I patrol the border between Spirit and Flesh" and "I'm a Gatekeeper Geist and I patrol the border between Life and Death". Obviously, there's other stuff that don't directly involve those ideas that can come in to play -- sometimes things just happen and you've got to take care of them.

    But, all the same, if anyone's got ideas as to how Spirits and Ghosts could interact, that'd be fantastically helpful. I figure there's a decent possibility of some sort of Ghost/Spirit feedback situation going on -- a few powerful spirits show up, influence the world, make shitty things happen, shitty things make ghosts, ghosts make things shittier which feeds the spirits etc. etc.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I'll start with the obvious answer.

    Geists, geists, geists. Geists themselves are pretty heavily implied to come about from the merger, in some way, of the spiritual Essence of the Shadow with the deathly Essence of the unquiet dead. Spirits that eat ghosts. Ghosts that conquer spirits. Spirits and ghosts that form partnerships. What does a magath geist look like? What if it forms a Sin-Eater with somebody? Does the Bound PC's geist have any preexisting relationships with any denizens of the local spirit courts? Is there an Avernian Gate within the local Shadow Realm causing the influences of the Shadow and the Underworld to mix in strange and unsettling ways? If spirits can infuse their Essence into the dead, can the Hosts, and if so, what would result? Do the Pure treat unfettered geists the way they do spirits?


    • #3
      Couple things before I kick off:

      1. The border between Life and Death is not as permeable as the border between Flesh and Spirit and thus is not so much patrolled as negotiated - the dead don't have an omnipresent Gauntlet to slip through with anything like Gauntlet Breach, and Avernian Gates are marginally easier to manage than loci vis-a-vis the laws of passage, so Gatekeepers are generally more concerned with putting fugitives and interlopers back in their proper places than with cultivating the proper resonance to ward off repeat offenders.

      2. "Sin-Eater" or "Bound," not "Geist." Geister don't have Archetypes.

      Those out of the way, some notions:

      1. There's a story in the Bone Shadows section of The Rage's first chapter about a tenement that seemed to be impossible to stop from picking up negative resonance no matter what was done with the material side of the thing. Turns out the place was haunted and the emotions of the ghosts in the walls were warping the fundament.

      2. From the same book's second chapter, the rules for ghost-touched objects share some similarities with fetter mementos. They're items connected to a ghost that have part of the ghost inside them, they cost Willpower to use, and the Fetish Rite can't make them, among other things.

      3. The third chapter of the same book has a sidebar - "The Battle Wounds" - that suggests the Underworld contains the secret to healing the Wounds that scar post-World-War-II Europe badly enough to bring about resurgent battleground "flashbacks" in the Shadow; Hunter: Mortal Remains notes that both World Wars seemed to increase the numbers (or at least the visibility) of Sin-Eaters out and about.

      4. Shadows of the U.K. introduces the notion of Graveyard Watchers, graveyard-spirits that temporarily consume and incorporate the ghost of a different interred person every decade, in its second chapter. Graveyards with Watchers bring unique confluences of bans into play to guard the loci that often form within their bounds - spirits and Hosts can't enter the graveyard on either side of the Gauntlet. Given descriptions in both Werewolf and Mage talk about the Underworld as though it were a particularly deep part or neighbor of the Shadow, it shouldn't be difficult to draw this out into an extension of the Old Laws.

      5. The same section also notes that spirits who consume ghosts are often themselves consumed from within by the ghost's personality - this could be looked at as a similar process to how geister are made.

      6. Book of the Dead points out that Avernian Gates exist in the Shadow - with no keys, in fact - and that such pits and caves sometimes have death spirits set to guard them by packs of werewolves. Throwing in a death-Jaggling or two as major players would seem a viable course of action, particularly if one interprets the scope of Reverse Possession to allow a Sin-Eater to see things in Twilight beyond the scope of their ability to look upon the ghosts reflected in their geist's vision.

      7. Book of Spirits notes that many rivers have awakened spirits who demand sacrifice, and further notes how curiously deep a lot of them are - nearly bottomless, it seems - and speculates that this might indicate a route to the lands of the dead. Similar theories of crossing points are posited for the Shadow of the depths of the ocean.

      8. Lodges: The Faithful includes the Lodge of Death and the Lodge of Cerberus, the former of which is called out in Book of the Dead as potentially having a way to avoid the degeneration the Underworld brings about in the Forsaken.

      9. The utility of Bone Shadows and the Primeval Key should more or less go without saying.
      Last edited by Satchel; 06-02-2014, 01:16 PM.

      Resident Lore-Hound
      Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e


      • #4
        Stupid Loserman: That's great! Geists were actually one of the things that popped in my head, so I'm glad I was on the right track! Thanks!

        Satchel: Wow! Lots of info! Pretty noob mistake on my part with the Geister/Bound thing. That's all great stuff, though, I appreciate the response!

        Is there an easy, or at least doable, way for the Bound to enter the Shadow?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Enokh View Post
          Is there an easy, or at least doable, way for the Bound to enter the Shadow?
          As mentioned, there's Avernian Gates that open into the Shadow - it's not entirely clear, but I think the implication is the lack of keys means they're always open, so if you could find such a Gate from the Underside and reliably navigate to it from a point of Earthly ingress then that would be a somewhat roundabout means of getting there.

          Alternately, a werewolf can use "pathfinding" to take along other people with them when crossing over at a locus.

          More speculatively, the existence of an Uratha rite to enter the Underworld from the location of an Avernian Gate or a death-resonant locus could be pointed to as a precedent for developing a ceremony to allow a Sin-Eater to use similar channels to enter the Shadow - there's already a ceremony to use Avernian Gates as shortcuts between Earthly locales.

          There's also the more remote possibility of a Key that tunes Manifestations toward the Shadow, if you don't mind some heavy innovative lifting.

          Resident Lore-Hound
          Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e


          • #6
            That's all really awesome! Thanks! I'm far more excited about this game now that I know a bit more about what's going on.

            Ah, if only I had the money for hard-copies of some of these books.


            • #7
              It's said that there have been 'Ghost Hosts,' human shells who have been claimed or gutted by legions of dead specters, whose only goal in this world is to destroy others and make more of their demised selves.

              That kind of thing could get the interest of Sin-Eaters and Werewolves without needing to drag either to another world.


              • #8
                Yeah, I'm probably going to try and stick with Ghosts and Spirits in general, even if it doesn't take them in to another plane of existence. I figure I'll throw some random plot that's completely out of their element yet tied to something they care about once I've gotten how those two things work down pat. Or close to down pat. Down patter.


                • #9
                  There is also permeability. I've got a standing house rule that allows "lesser splats" (really everything except Mage) to have some "flexibility" about ghosts and spirits. If a power says only effects one type we allowed it to effect the other, but would take a large reduction; rolls are made at -5, for example. My table group is role before roll, so the power this could unleash is probably extreme, but it was never an issue for us. It allows both players to have some fun in each other's world without being too competent there.


                  • #10
                    The Werewolf Spirit focus and Sin-Eater Ghost focus can work out pretty well, actually, if the Krewe has a task in the mythos similar to that of the Uratha, only with ghosts. I would use that as a starting point.

                    I would also use several of the Werewolf hacks in Armory Reloaded to make Werewolves a bit more competitive.

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                    • #11
                      There are ghosts that, having died in the hisil, are stuck in the spirit world, and can take on spirit like traits after consuming enough spirits for essence.

                      Ghosts might be capable of functioning as a totem, there's there's a pack that thinks they have a ghost totem, but they are tragically wrong in one of the books....

                      Idigam, with their power over essence, can lord their dominion over both ghosts and spirits, so an idigam moving into the area can be a problem for both the local werewolves sin-eaters.

                      Ghosts can claim people, the resulting bhuta is basically a body hopping intelligent zombie that feeds off of flesh and blood, being both claimed and a ghost it could come to the attention of both werewolves and sin-eaters.

                      Use the intruders from Antagonists, spirits possessing the bodies of the dead to make revenants, again something that could get both their attention.

                      In second sight, it suggests that those of the voodoo persuasion might deal with both spirits and ghosts, that the loa might include both in their ranks, well since sin-eaters are prone to religious streaks a voodoo practicing sin-eater could get involved in werewolf business that way.

                      There's an optional rule that totems can make pacts with non werewolves, but it's not a good idea in the long run for the humans, so perhaps a sin-eater was part of a secret society or whatever with a totem before getting the deal.


                      • #12
                        One of the really innovative changes to Werewolf in the upcoming Idigam Chronicle is the much-more flexible nature of packs. It seems reasonable to me that if:

                        there is a death-oriented problem in the pack's territory;
                        one of the pack "knows a guy who can be trusted";
                        and that guy happens to be a Sin-Eater,

                        then he might be made a member. After all, if doing so expands the means by which the pack may hunt down and end problems it is a good thing.

                        Here's the link to the open development post about packs:


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Enokh View Post
                          ...we've been doing this weird thing wherein we sometimes play versions of ourselves five years in the future, so they're old friends...
                          So, use story hooks that catch people who you are both mutually interested in. It doesn't have to do anything with spirits or ghost, it could be people you both have in common affected by something like, a Vampire, Mage or a Changeling. Heck maybe a Pure werewolf pack wants to use a female relative of the Sin Eater as a breeder, by force. The werewolf and Sin-eaters should both be interested in stopping something like that. Or Lets tone it down to less controversial and say one of the werewolf's close friends was unarmed and shot by a police officer, and that police officer needs to come to just for the ghost to rest, which is in horrible torment by the way because they just lost their whole life and future, and the cop isn't being really punished because Fate dictates he keep his Police Officer status because it was granted by a changeling pledge. A changeling who has an interest in keeping a cop under her thumb and protects her investments with fae trickery.

                          Anyway, Don't just think about their "official roles", think about the people the characters care about or hate, and since you are basing them on real people you know that opens up a whole cast of people as they might be 5 years in the future in the world of darkness.

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                          • #14
                            It should be noted that according to the write-up available in this blog, enough of the Storm Lords are aware of the Sin-Eaters for a stereotype to be included. Copied below for easy reference.

                            Sin Eaters - Claimed by the Dead is still Claimed.

                            For those of you who aren't reading the Idigam Chronicle blog updates, the 'new' Storm Lords consider the Claimed public enemy number 1. So unless you are a particularly lucky Sin-Eater, the wolves are probably not going to react well.
                            Naturally, any mixed player groups will be the exception but the default seems to be less than stellar relations between the Uratha and the Bound.

                            Thoughts ripple out, birthing others


                            • #15
                              can a wolf-blooded mortal make a pact and become a sin-eater? If so using the new Idigam Chronicle settings, a sin-eater may find a perect member or ally of a Bone Shadows pack. I remember reading that Werewolf's ghosts dont go in the underworld due to something already claiming their souls but will that apply to their kin?
                              OK, now i really want to play with this.
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