Big Mac wrote:
willpell wrote:Ghostwalk was a second-string thing to me, since I've seen Wraith: the Oblivion. While they're rather different, you could definitely adapt the Arcanoi of White Wolf's restless dead into new Paths for Ghostwalk characters.
I don't have anything from White Wolf (aside from their Sword & Sorcery Studio stuff for 3e D&D). What's this Arcanoi? How do they work?
Arcanoi are the powers available to ghosts in that system. Since both they and the Ghostwalk paths make an effort to lean on traditional ghost stories, there's a fair amount of overlap. Here's a quick from-memory list of the Arcanoi in the WtO corebook:
* Argos - Powers for travel. The first level only lets you protect yourself against the inclement "weather" of the Underworld; at higher levels you can do things like flying on ghostly wings, possibly even teleporting (to anywhere, rather than with the restrictions described under Lifeweb, below).
* Castigate - Powers of mitigating the evil self that all WtO wraiths have within themselves. Without Castigate, this dark half of your soul is almost as powerful as your main persona; Castigate tilts the odds a bit more in your favor, though you're still never entirely safe.
* Embody - The power to manifest in the living world. Use of this Arcanos, along with Inhabit, Puppetry and Outrage, is "illegal" because the dead are not supposed to interfere with the world of the living (though of course every wraith does it all the time; explicit violations just give the tyrannical "government" of the Underworld an excuse to punish whoever they don't like, while excusing their own infractions as "necessary"). Various levels allow the user to Embody as a disembodied voice, a faint, blurry apparition, an immobile but physical statue, a zombielike revenant, and finally - very briefly and at a high cost - an actual, lifelike body.
* Fatalism - Ability to see the marks of Fate upon objects and people, allowing you to predict the future, though mostly only in very negative ways. For instance, you can see that someone is destined to die of a disease, but have little hope of seeing how it could be cured.
* Inhabit - Possession and animation of lifeless objects in the physical world, as well as some influence over the process by which they might be converted into ghostly copies of themselves after the original's destruction. At low levels, you can Inhabit a door to make it open or close itself; at high levels, you can possess an entire *house* and control any of its doors, windows, appliances, etc. whenever you like, with a handful of restrictions.
* Keening - Powers of emotional manipulation by way of producing unearthly songs - in a word, the banshee's wail. High levels can drive the victim mad or even inflict damage on them with pure sound.
* Lifeweb - Interacts with the system of Fetters, which are the links of memory and affinity to the living world which keep your wraith from fading away. Lifeweb lets you watch over your Fetters from a distance, teleport to them when they're in danger, or even create new temporary Fetters out of just...random people, places, and things, unconnected to your life, just to make yourself safer against ghostly dissolution.
* Moliate - Transforms the ghostly form (known as Corpus) into any shape your sick imagination can cook up. Very good for freaking others out or becoming a combat monster.
* Outrage - Poltergeist powers. Allow the ghost to punch people in the living world with a blast of pure emotion, throw massive objects telekinetically, or even start fires. Low levels are just a parlor trick, but at max you can devastate others
* Pandemonium - The power to unleash manifestations of raw chaos, mostly used to scare the living away from areas where ghosts prefer to congregate (if you're standing on a certain spot in the ghost world and a living person walks through the corresponding point on the other side of the "shroud" between realities, it hurts, so ghosts tend to avoid areas of high traffic). Taking the form of bizarre noises, eerie lights, rains of frogs, and other freakish occurrences, these abilities are completely undirected and can't really be used for any constructive purpose, but they're very good for spooking others and giving your "haunts" a bad reputation.
* Phantasm - The oddly specific ability for ghosts to apparent into the dreams of the living. (Why the dead in particular ought to be able to do this is never especially clear; in the second version of WOD, this power was given to fairies instead.) High levels allow reshaping the dream environment into one's preferences, and even brainwashing the sleeper by controlling their nightmares.
* Puppetry - Possessing the living. Begins with a "skinride", where the wraith simply passively experiences the sensations of his host's body, recapturing the experience of being alive to some small extent. Eventually, takes control of the body by degrees, which necessarily means evicting its original consciousness (an act which your evil self likely takes great delight in).
* Usury - Manipulates the energy of the undead "body", which is known as Passion and is derived from connecting emotionally to the living world. Normally you have to be very maudlin or vengeance-driven or something, in order to keep your Passion flowing, but these powers allow you to "bank" excess Passion, donate it to others, and eventually steal it from others.
Later supplements added three additional Arcanoi, all of them considered "heretical" and persecuted heavily (even more so than the "illegal" ones mentioned above):
* Flux - I honestly don't remember exactly what this one does; it's loosely some kind of crossbreed between Inhabit and either Outrage or Pandemonium, affecting inanimate objects in some more indirect fashion than just taking control over them.
* Intimation - The power to affect people's desires, either muting or intensifying them, and later engineering them ex nihilo. Users are called Solicitors and are widely despised.
* Mnemosynis - Manipulation of memory, one's own or those of others. The "memory castle" trope is invoked in the description of them, which appears in the very last WtO supplement ever published, since they play a heavy role in the metaplot's conclusion; prior to this, they were only hinted at.