A friend of mine wants to run a game in the old world of darkness. The world is a combined world of Vampire, Werewolf and Mage books. He is allowing anything but mummies (for some reason)...and wraiths because he has never read the book.

According to the wraith book I just bought, so far it looks like wraith can never possibly be used in anything else other than itself. But…can I? Can I be a visible wraith with the ability to freely roam around the skin lands and hang and adventure with vampires and werewolves and possibly a mage or changeling?

Also, is there a limit to how your wraith can look like? cuz looking exactly like a human is boring! I wanna be more black and gaseous and float everywhere instead of having to walk.

Can I do that?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Mummy is a reasonable thing to exclude - They have a breadth of background but not a lot of depth. In mixed play they become an issue because they are associated with hedge mages, vampires, and heavily with wraiths. Its a lot of things with built in antagonism to try and work around. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tritium21
    Aug 22, 2015 at 20:13

5 Answers 5


You can, but it'll take some work on your part and that of your fellow players.

There are many wraith powers (called Arcanoi) that allow wraiths to interact with people in the living world:

  • Embody: Most direct, it allows you to be heard and seen across the Shroud and at high levels even become manifest and solid.
  • Puppetry: Next most direct, this lets you possess people and control them. In your Consort skinsuit, it's the next best thing to being there.
  • Inhabit: This one lets you possess and operate machinery — including computers and phones. On the Internet, no one needs to know you're a ghost.
  • Phantasm: Lets you communicate with others in their dreams. Limited in use, but still pretty effective.

Through combinations of these Arcanoi, a Wraith can be a functional player in a mixed-splat game. However, it will require that you spend a lot of your points on making yourself perceptible to your fellow PCs. It will help if they're able to meet you halfway by taking the powers that let them see ghosts. Necromancy, Sense Wyrm, and the Spirit and Entropy Spheres will be a help here. Also, using those powers can give your Shadow a lot of power — that is, presuming your Storyteller is using the Shadow to balance out that his PC group now contains an invisible spy who can walk through walls and is pretty near indestructible.

As to your second question: you're not limited to looking like an ordinary person, and you can certainly float from place to place on "invisible feet." The Arcanoi you might want to complete that illusion are Moliate (plasm crafting) and Argos (flight, travel, and teleportation), but you can totally have a scary look for free. You're a wraith; it comes with the territory.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If the main story is taking place in the Skinlands, the GM may wish to grant the Wraith character a little bit of free starting Arcanoi that makes interacting with the living possible. The oWoD supernatural types aren't mechanically balanced against each other to begin with, and a Wraith who has put all their points into "talk to other PCs and let them see you" is going to have a very hard time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jessa
    Aug 22, 2015 at 21:52

Yes, this is possible. All old WoD games are based of the same ruleset.

Using multiple books is somewhat of a challenge because normally, all factions dislike and/or hate each other. The power level also varies. Maybe power level is not the correct word, I'd say the "squishyness". You cannot assume one books character will withstand as much punishment as the next. However, if you let the players sort it out, it works quite well. They know what they can and can not do.

The only special thing about Wraith is that all other characters can interact without thinking about it or spending points. A wraith can not. You need to spend points to talk with your party and maybe you want to spend points to interact with the environment (although depending on your group it might not be necessary).

You may not actually get a storyline based on your book. With many different books on the table, that might not be possible. Our starting storyline for example went like this:

The paramedic (mage) was called to a crime scene to see if he could help the victim. He could not. It was sucked dry. However, he noticed that the soul was still there, unable to completely leave the material world behind yet (wraith). As the police found out, the serial killer was a crazy lunatic and talked of himself as "the vampire". That brought up the cities real vampires, because the last thing they wanted was police and press asking around for suspicious vampire-like activity. I don't remember how the Garou go into the party, I think the killer stalked his sister or something.

Anyway, in the end it was neither party members "by the book" nemesis, it was a completely different story altogether. In my mind, that's the strength of WoD: the option to combine all books into a greater story.

Just don't forget you need to communicate with your party members. As a wraith, that's not the default.


I think you really have to work with your group on this one. Perhaps one of the Kindred is a Gangrel hoping to learn a secret to Protean because you keep going gaseous, or you have a Stargazer Garou that thinks you have a link to a lost Cairn.

Either way, WoD tends to pit everything against each other for being different abominations against their respective realities. Just getting the wolves and vamps to work together would be a miracle. So your ST either needs to crank the plot device or have a really good reason why the Garou isn't trying to destroy the fomori (no matter what it looks like) or the vampire is trying to avoid a reminder of True Death.


Sure you can.. but only if your GM is up for it and it fits with his adventure plot line.

i think the best way to approach this would be to have a good backstory to your wraith and also to lend him the book so he can read about it.


Controversial answer here: No, you can't play a wraith with other PCs, at least without a good amount of homebrewing. Let me explain why. In wraith, every wraith has a Shadow - the personification of all their negative feelings and thoughts that drives them towards self-destruction and Oblivion. This is, in many ways, the defining element of the game, because of how it's implemented. As well as playing a wraith, in the game every player also control's another PC's shadow. The shadow is statted up by the main PC's player, and is a voice in the wraith's head most of the time. Their stated goal is to push the wraith into self-destruction, by offering bad advice, unfair bargains or otherwise messing up the wraith's judgement. The shadowguide (player running a PC's shadow) also has a few powers the shadow can use to get their way - they can force a particular action, make the wraith hallucinate, or even take over completely. In play, every player is, therefore, effectively running two characters - their own wraith as a primary character, and somebody else's shadow as a secondary character. This pushes the game strongly towards a more troupe-style play. On top of this, the game has a few other elements that encourage troupe-style play. For example, during Harrowings (moments when a particular wraith might fall to Oblivion and undergoes a horrific psychodrama at the hands of Oblivion's minions), the other players drop their own PCs for the scene and run the various spectres tormenting the PC being harrowed.

What this means is that wraith only really works when EVERYBODY is playing a wraith. Sure, you can get around it with various houserules - the storyteller controls the wraith's shadow, or the player controls their own shadow are both common - but it's not ideal and gives the game a very different dynamic. With things like harrowings, since only the wraith would get to be at the centre of them, the dynamic would become even weirder. It's doable with a little hacking, but not ideal.

In answer to your second question: go nuts. A wraith looks like whatever their subconcious mind tells them their ghost ought to look like. I've had Wraith PCs that look like skeletons, ghosts-draped-in-sheets and weirder stuff.


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