The NWoD 2.0 rules changed quite a lot in terms of how ephemerals work. It generalized them and unified them. Now as rank 1 automatons are more or less automatons still, I had a talk with a mage player in what type of emotions he could let them feel, ... (as familiars from 1.0 mage were rank 1 spirits he thought they had a normal bandwidth of emotions, thoughts, ...).

If I take spirits as example here: A car spirit for example I'm not sure of what type of emotions it would be able to feel (or at least to recognize as feeling them). Especially at rank 1. Rank 3+ I can see them having quite a lot of different thoughts and emotions. Same for ghosts and angels.

So my question would be at what rank what is the bandwidth (thus which type of emotions can they) that can be felt by ephemerals?

As note I only gave the car spirit as example as I'm more used to spirits than the other ephemerals but the question is about all 3 known types (angels, ghosts, spirits)


1 Answer 1


This hasn't particularly changed since nWoD 1.0 for ghosts and spirits. Here's what the Chronicles of Darkness sourcebooks I have say.


God-Machine Chronicle (now Chronicles of Darkness): Ghosts range "from broken, animated after-images unable to do anything but re-enact their death to intelligent, malevolent once-human spirits with power over whatever calamity killed them." They carry out "whatever mad urges they still feel."

To me, this reads as "whatever emotions the ST lets them retain from their life." Some ghosts are literally just automatons, while others can feel whatever emotions are relevant to their current existence.


Werewolf: The Forsaken 2e: Rank 1 "act more on instinct than abstract thought." Rank 2, by contrast, are "fully independent." "Spirits of similar resonance feel kinship and rivalry with each other." Sample spirits are described as "arrogant," "prideful," capable of fear, or drifting "serenely."

I don't see anything that disrupts the depiction in nWoD 1.0's Book of Spirits that spirits have strong but alien emotions. Rank 1 spirits probably have animal emotion, while Rank 2+ spirits can feel emotions that appear human but stem from very strange drives.


GMC: Many example angels lack an explicit rank but are described as alternately near-human or so alien as to transcend emotion. Jenn (p136) doesn't understand regret but wants to. Angels' Virtues and Vices are often certain emotions, and often don't match human morality.

Demon: The Descent: Angels, "though intelligent, ...are single-minded in their obeisance." "Some are wholly beyond temptation. Others simply haven't have the right temptation yet." Angels can be zealous, want to guide demons "back into the light," and feel "grief" or heartbreak.

Angels seem to have a full range of emotion, even at Rank 1 (Demon's Mr. Shivers is "gleeful" and feels "pride"). Depending on how human they are, these emotions may be more or less human-like.


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