While the Fate Numen is common, its use is not as widespread as one might imagine. This is largely because the most-recognizable aspect of the Numen - the ability to see the destiny of things, however darkly - is understood to be difficult and painful, not to mention highly-nourishing to Shadows. And as all it often tells its users is that they, the Deadlands and everyone in it are screwed... well, why bother?

But while the Haruspexes of The Order preach that the Gods have already made their choices, and will enforce their decisions, there are others who hold that the future is not carved in steel. They claim that predestination is bogus, and that Wraiths can still exert influence over which way they go. They just need the help of those who can see a little ahead of the curve, and take heed of their warnings.

Fickle, Funny Fate

So which view is true? Both of them, in a way.

Fate has more than just the predetermined or "we-determined" aspect to it. Wraiths can use Fate to discover how things will be, and to influence their outcome, both now or later. And the results of the Arts of both Paths are often very much up to Storyteller fiat.

The problem is that Wraiths can't always walk both Paths at the same time without penalty. The two conflicting worldviews at play in the Numen tend to cancel one another out. This leads some to say that the Gods do not appreciate their pawns playing both sides of the fence.

System: The cancelation is both philosophical and mechanical. Wraiths can use Arts of Destiny and Luck, or Luck and Influence, with no penalties. However, someone who has used Influence with success recently suffers a penalty to use Destiny, and vice versa. The penalty is equal to the number of successes they got on the conflicting roll, past the first.



The Fate Numen has three recognized Paths, though the "middle" Path - Luck - is rarely taken to the exception of the others.

The Path of Destiny shows wraiths what will come, however darkly. The Oracles who practice the Arts of that Path are regarded as dour, joyless creatures because of the unavoidable futures their visions show them. However, it is said that the masters of this Path can bribe the Gods into forestalling the future - for a while.

The Fortunetellers who practice the Path of Influence, on the other hand, say that predestination is hogwash. They see the future as "what if" rather than "what is," and their Arts allow them to manipulate the strings of chance and skeins of fortune, both for themselves and others. This can bring good luck and bad to their targets, too, but they don't always have control over what happens when.

The Path of Luck is something of a compromise between the outlook of the two camps. Its results come without seeing the future, or directly manipulating fortune, but by just letting things happen around them. The Finders who practice it as a Path of first resort are aptly named, for they make invaluable informants and trackers. Just don't ask them what's going to happen - they won't know until they see it.


Those Who Know

The Fate Numen is common amongst those who died from happenstance, as well as those who were fated to die. Most people would rather deal with the former than the latter, given how the Touched can be "hijacked" and made to say and do things by mysterious forces. But then, since only the Fated truly know their own, it's hard to be sure what you're truly dealing with.

{As a general rule, however, the Fated tend to be Oracles, and the trip-ups mostly prefer the Path of Influence. Those who died from an accident like to believe that it was just an accident, and that they can deal themselves better fortune from here on out. And those who were destined to get here... well, they know better.}

The Order has traditionally thrown its weight behind predestination, given its Etruscan roots, so most followers of the Path of Destiny can be found in its ranks. Many of the Believers also use that same Path to divine the will of their deities, however humbly. Meanwhile, the Freewraiths prefer the Path of Influence, as their hatred of confinement and outside orders extends to "Fate" as well.

Oddly enough, the Messengers prefer the Path of Luck, as they need only lose themselves on the streets to find where they're needed the most.


Those who practice the Path of Destiny have all kinds of nasty rumors about those who have embraced Influence. They say they're the tools of the Damned, who have fooled them into believing their current heresy. They also say that, once one goes past the "acceptable" Arts, one learns how to seriously curse other Wraiths, or vex their second sight with false visions, or even complete blindness.

Meanwhile, the Fortunetellers whisper that Destiny leads to a series of strange delusions, whereby one actually sees the Gods at work. Tales are told of how the deluded can kneel before the "architects" of their fate and offer sacrifices for their favor. {And you can probably guess whom some of the more paranoid Fortunetellers think the "Gods" might be.}

As for Luck... is it truly possible to be so damned lucky that one could bounce back - or away - from all troubles and trials, only to come out of the other end with no recollection of anything bad having happened at all? Some say it's possible, and that they've seen such a Wraith at work. Oddly enough, they can never remember that Wraith's name...

It is also whispered that the Damned are unable to use this Numen, for they have no concept of the future or the past, and are stuck in the current moment forever. Others say that's a lie {or perhaps true}, and that the Damned excel in placing disastrous curses upon the living and the dead, or else extend their lack of foresight towards Wraiths, and deprive them of the ability to use the Fate Numen at all.

Basic Art

* Foreshadow

All Wraiths have an Affinity known as Foreboding, which allows them to gain a flash of the future, or immediate importance, of someone or something. The Affinity is a very useful thing to have, but Wraiths have no control over it: Foreboding cannot be "used" like the other Affinities - merely experienced. And this means that sometimes Wraiths are blessed with the foresight to know a person or thing for what it is, and sometimes that moment of clarity misses them completely.

Wraiths who study the Numen of Fate learn to harness the fleeting foresight that Affinity grants, and make it work for them. Rather than just waiting for a flash of insight, they can attune themselves to the web of destiny {or possibility, if they prefer} and force it to show them a glimpse of what the web holds. As with Foreboding, they will most likely only get a small inkling, but that is sometimes enough.

Note that * Foreshadow will not warn of a surprise attack: that secret remains the province of the Foreboding Affinity. Foreshadow may alert the user to the likelihood of the target trying to attack her, though.

System: The Wraith must concentrate on the person, place of thing she chooses to examine for one turn, and spend one Essence. She then rolls her Wits + Composure + Fate.

With a success, the Wraith senses if there's something vital about the person, place or thing's role in events. She gains a general sense of the role it plays {helper, initiator, critical material, site of conflict, etc.} She will not be able to tell when these things may happen, but an important event will be shown, no matter how far in the future it is.

If she gains an Exceptional Success on the roll, then she receives a glimpse of exactly what the target's presence in things must lead to. However, she will only see the ultimate result of those events: what leads up to that result is for the Wraith to discover, either through other Arts of Fate, or one day at a time.

Fate's Window

How the glimpse of the future manifests itself depends on what method the Wraith uses to focus her sight. The basic method has her going into a slight trance, and seeing things, but there have been countless other ways of divining the future throughout history. So a Wraith could use almost any method her player would care to have her use, and the Storyteller will allow.

If a Wraith employs divinatory tools of some kind while using Fate Arts, she may gain a +1 to +3 bonus on her rolls, depending on how appropriate the tools are to the Art being used, and the quality of the tools, themselves. However, if she uses those tools too often, their loss with cripple her - causing a negative modifier of equal amount. This negative modifier continues until she either regains her tools, finds something of equal worth {and has time to truly learn their use} or becomes used to working without them once more.

Path of Destiny

Path of Influence

Path of Luck

Crossover Arts