Of all the rules of Dark Reflection: Spectres, the ones concerning Rapacity and Emoting are the most confusing and the least convincing.

Being is the equivalent of Willpower for a Spectre and it's linked to his higher Dark Passion's emotion.

[..] Whenever a spectre encounters a mortal or wraith with a Passion of the same essence of its Being, the spectre must make a Being roll (rolling as many dice as it has permanent Being) or become Rapacious. A Rapacious spectre attacks the target by Emoting.


Emoting is an attack launched by a Rapacious spectre against the permanent Willpower of a wraith or a mortal, triggered by the spectre's Being. A successful Emote drains the target of permanent Willpower, and increases the Spectre's Being by an equal amount. To Emote, the spectre must overcome the target's Willpower with its Being in a resisted roll. Each success rolled by the spectre that is not canceled out by the target's successes equals the number of point of Willpower that the spectre drains. Mortals, who often have only a few points of Willpower, can often be killed by an Emoting spectre. Their bodies when found, appear to have died of fright or some similarly intense emotion.

Dark Reflection: Spectres page 54

Emphasis mine.

My first problem is how that looks like? Let's say you are a Wraith and find a Doppleganger who you thinks is your friend. As you have the passion "Kill my murderer (vengeance)" and the spectre's being's essence is also "vengeance", the Spectre rolls for resisting Rapacity and fails. So the Doppleganger cannot contains himself and emotes you.

First, what do you exactly see? How does he make the attack? Physically, mentally, or how? Do you notice it?

Second, isn't stealing permanent Willpower too heavy? I think Spectres would be the only World of Darkness beings capable of doing that, and they would have it built-in, at no cost (neither in character creation nor activation) and many times they wouldn't even be able to avoid it.

Lastly, do Dark Passions trigger Rapacity rolls, or only regular Passions of the Wraith?


1 Answer 1


There are a couple limits built in, and I'm going to work what seems like logically backwards. I'm also tying in the defining paragraph of Being from page 32.

  • The target rolls permanent Willpower, and the spectre rolls temporary Being (as it does not explicitly say permanent). Thus it could be rolling as low as 1 die to overcome the target persona.

  • Next, the starting limit for Being is 5 (based on highest dark passion), so a run of the mill spectre won't be too powerful but as always the vanilla mundane human will be at the biggest disadvantage.

  • Should the Spectre have a rather high Being level (regardless of points remaining), the constraint involved is the permanent Being roll to resist attacking. At diff 8, roughly every three dice rolled should garner a success, so even if you would be trying to drain upwards of 10 Willpower, you'll likely stop yourself at the starting gate.

  • That notwithstanding, any spectre can spend 1 temporary being to automatically succeed in this roll unless the ST sanctions them more.

  • These activate whenever a Passion or Dark Passion matches one possessed by the spectre in question

As far as the appearance of the attack, I haven't noticed any specific text in the Dark Reflections book that indicates a default attack. The images I get in my head are either quite similar if not identical to the famed/infamous dementors from Harry Potter, or a scene from Chronicles of Riddick where a soul (or some variant thereof) is quite literally ripped from its host body. Otherwise the attack strikes me as requiring melee range (perhaps even to activate) and is spiritual in nature, reliant heavily on how the ST wishes to portray it. Even the Shade power Pathos Drain doesn't really have a surefire description as to what happens where and how.


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