Saturday 10 February 2018

Thoughts on Wraith houserules

I will probably be running the Wraith sphere for a MUSH soon. This is pretty cool. I'm putting my thoughts on Wraith houserules up here, as much for my own benefit as anything else.

The Shadow:
Without a consistent troupe who are all playing together, the standard method of having another player run your PC’s shadow is impractical. In the MUSH format, we’ll handle the shadow slightly differently to account for this.
In 1-on-1 scenes with Staff: the staffer will run your shadow for you, as an NPC. Expect Wraiths to have a few staffer-driven scenes that deal with your particular passions and fetters, and with the conflict between psyche and shadow.
In scenes with other PCs: You control your own shadow. You might want to have the shadow be largely dormant, or have it introduce problems for your PC if you think it will make for interesting roleplay. You can even have the shadow offer shadow-dice (at the usual cost of angst) if it is appropriate for that shadow’s approach. Players are being trusted to roleplay their own shadow antagonistically here, and should not simply use the shadow as an advantage.

In a mush setting, staff will often not be aware of the plans of PCs or what might happen in the future. Be aware that the results of fortune-telling might be limited by these practical factors.

Like with fatalism, staff cannot know everything players get up to. Information gained when using Lifeweb to spy might be limited by practical considerations.

A few Inhabit powers in the core book affect electronic items, which don’t exist in a dark ages setting. They are houseruled as follows:
Surge: Surge applies on any sophisticated or intricate crafted items with multiple moving parts, such as locks, siege engines, plate armour, crossbows, mills, wheeled vehicles and so on. By passing their hand through the item, the wraith causes the joints between moving parts to seize up and jam, preventing the item from functioning properly.
Ride the Electron Highway: This is renamed Ride the Highway. It allows a wraith to speedily travel down a road. The wraith inhabits the road as a single object, hopping in at one point and out at another. Mechanically, it works like the modern power, but the wraith uses roads to travel rather than using phone lines and internet connections.

Usury can be used to transfer Blood Points, Gnosis, Rage, Quintessence, Glamour, Mana and similar ‘fuel’ in the same way as pathos. In order for this to happen, the Usurer must be familiar with the supernatural type who’s pathos-equivalent they are dealing with; this mean having Lores (or other knowledges) relating to them at at least the most basic level (1 dot), or else a history of dealing with them on-grid (at staff discretion). Doing this is at +3 difficulty compared to when using Usury to deal with Pathos.

Lifesight and Deathsigh:
Identifying supernaturals by their different appearance under lifesight and deathsight is possible.
Vampires look unusually well-preserved for the amount of oblivion in them, and both shifters and fey appear brightly-shining to lifesight. Mages and sorcerers do not appear different to mortal humans. Ghouls, Kinfolk and Kinain appear like as  a lesser version of their ‘parent’ supernatural. More unusual supernaturals such as the possessed will vary wildly on a case-by-case basis.
This appearance is obvious if the wraith cares to inspect the supernatural being with deathsight (for vampires and ghouls) or lifesight (for fey, kinain, shifters and kinfolk). However, merely seeing the supernatural does only reveals that it is in some way unusual. Identifying exactly what the supernatural is requires either Lores (at at least the most basic level – 1 dot) or a history of interacting with that type of being on-grid (at staff discretion).

Artifacts and Relics:
There exist a far greater variety of artifacts and relics than those written up in the books. You can always apply a new ‘skin’ to those that already exist (such as by making an artefact revolver instead be an artefact crossbow, for example). You could also work with staff to come up with custom rules for more unusual items.

Learning Unusual Arcanoi:
Flux, Mnemosynis and Intimate are allowed and have no restrictions. The Alchemists, Mnemosyns and Intimaters have not yet been banned.
Dark Arcanoi cannot be learned except through exceptional circumstances. Expect learning them to go badly for you. You cannot learn them at character gen.
Arcanoi from the Dark Kingdoms can be learned only if you make contact with wraiths from those dark kingdoms. This is likely to be very difficult indeed, and very rare. You cannot learn them at character gen, and no NPCs in the Dark Kingdom of Iron know them.

Learning Alternate Arcanoi:
If it’s printed in 2e it’s allowed.
If it’s printed in 20th, and doesn’t have an equivalent in 2e, it’s allowed.
When you learn an arcanos, you get the version from the core book. You can then learn an alternate version (for the normal cost).
Faction specific Arcanoi require you to be a member of that faction. They are defined as:
Membership in the relevant guilds for guild-specific arcanoi (those in a guildbook, or the Initiate arcanoi in 20th)
Membership in the Heirarchy for Heirarchy arcanoi (those in the hierarchy book)
Alliegence to the Renegades for Renegade arcanoi (those in the renegade book)
Alternate arcanoi printed elsewhere (including in Wraith: the Great War, the 20th edition book, or other sources) are available to any wraith.

You cannot app a spectre PC. If you become a spectre in play, you can continue playing, but don’t expect to last very long.
For NPC spectres, I might take inspiration from Orpheus.

Orpheus for PCs:

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