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Old 08-20-2018, 11:36 PM   #11
patchwork
 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Re: Wraith anniversary

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
To risk a stupid question:

What exactly are you supposed to _do_ in Wraith? What's the game about? I read the original book, back when, and was left simply puzzled. It had all this setting background, along with the artsy and angsty pictures, and imparted that really well. But the Wraiths themselves seemed to have no actual abilities -- in fact, lacking the ability to influence the world seemed to be part of the point -- and so seemed to have little to do other than sitting around angsting about their deaths until they got turned into coins.

I always felt that I really missed something on that one. But then, it was WW, so maybe I was right on the money.
I think that was exactly the point, really; the central element of Wraith was the Hierarchy, which denied the possibility of God or a moral order to the Universe, proclaiming that this was all there is, and further that long term good or existence isn't truly possible - Charon himself eventually fell to Oblivion, and sooner or later so will you. And you're not allowed to interact directly with the living anymore, and the higher ranking members all wear masks, denying personal identity, and build inanimate objects out of once-conscious souls for convenience. Everything about the Hierarchy is supposed to insult human dignity, and you're supposed to look at it and say NO.

Then comes the task of figuring what sort of rebellion against truly cosmic nihilism will "work", whether political or personal, violent or persuasive, living or dead. But you are not supposed to accept Stygia and the Shadowlands.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:47 AM   #12
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Wraith anniversary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
What exactly are you supposed to _do_ in Wraith? What's the game about? I read the original book, back when, and was left simply puzzled. It had all this setting background, along with the artsy and angsty pictures, and imparted that really well. But the Wraiths themselves seemed to have no actual abilities -- in fact, lacking the ability to influence the world seemed to be part of the point -- and so seemed to have little to do other than sitting around angsting about their deaths until they got turned into coins.
I didn't always worry about what a game was "about." I tended more to ask what I could do with it. For Wraith, I came up with at least three campaign ideas:

* A campaign focused on the afterlife, where the PCs would be wraiths who had undertaken careers as masked adventurers in the dark urban landscape of Stygia

* A campaign where the world of the living had gone postapocalyptic, with cities depopulated and falling into ruins, and the task of the wraiths would be to use their powers to inspire starveling survivors or wandering tribal nomads to preserve what had once been

* A campaign set in a theater, where wraiths would be ghosts of those who had "died on stage" (or in the building after a performance, or who had cared a lot about performing there), and the running theme would be the artistic afterlife

Of those, only the third is something like what the official setting emphasizes.
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