Damage and Healing

Wraiths' bodies are made of an odd, bloodless soulstuff referred to as Corpus. While Corpus is firm and solid, it is also as fragile as the flesh Wraiths had in life. And while they are in little danger of being destroyed by most wounds, they are more than capable of feeling pain.

Wraiths follow all the rules on taking damage from The World of Darkness, pp. 171 - 181, with the following notations:

* Wraiths are not subject to Deprivation, Disease, Drugs, Electrocution, Fatigue, Poisons and Toxins or Temperature Extremes.

* Wraiths aren't as incapacitated by pain as mortals are. They begin to lose dice from their pool only when the second-to-last box of Corpus is marked, and they suffer a -1 penalty. The last Corpus box gives a -2 penalty.

* Wraiths do not suffer the Incapacitation rules on pg. 173 - 174, and are in no danger of "dying". If their Corpus is all marked out, they dissipate and must go to a nearby Anchor to be Resurrected within the hour, provided they can beat their Shadow's Denial. {See below}


Now I Destroy You...!

Some kinds of attack are so devastating and severe that no Wraith can withstand them, and being dropped to zero Corpus truly does mean the end. Most of these attacks fall under the mechanic of Aggravated Damage, though some special kinds of attacks - usually by Ferrymen or the Damned - can destroy a Wraith outright.

If a Wraith is brought down to her last point of Corpus through Aggravated Damage, she will be destroyed if the final blow damage more than, or equal to, three times her remaining Corpus.

So if Robert is maimed by a weapon that does Aggravated Damage, and he has two Corpus left, his would-be killer would have to do six or more levels of damage to him in order to truly destroy him. Any less, and he will simply reform at his Anchor - provided his Shadow lets him.

Dissipation is the complete or partial evaporation of the corpus as the Wraith's physical form is rent assunder, and the Wraith travels to the nearest Anchor to Resurrect herself. In cases where the evaporation was partial, a "cocoon" is left: a hollow or hideously emaciated body that has no spiritual aspect to it whatsoever. No one is really certain why cocoons are left behind, but they can be Shaped into useful objects as surely as any Wraith, which makes the after-battle looting that much sweeter for the victors.


Wraiths heal Bashing and Lethal damage in the same time as mortals, as per the rules on pg 175 of The World of Darkness. Unlike mortals, medicine and first aid will not help a Wraith. Their bodies "know" how they fit back together, and will eventually do so, but this process cannot be rushed except through use of the Shaping Numen.

Wraiths can accelerate this process by using the energy gained from their Anchors, however. Rather than using their emotional energy to fill their Essence Pool, they can replenish their Corpus instead. Details on this process can be found in Regaining Corpus from Anchors.

Wraiths can also spend Essence to instantly heal Bashing and Lethal damage to their Corpus. Wounds are seen to zip back up again, limbs reattach themselves and spilled organs slop back into the body, closing the rent behind as they go.

Healing Bashing damage in this fashion requires one Essence per Corpus regained, and Lethal requires two Essence per Corpus. This instant healing can be done while active, such as when engaged in combat, but it must be the Wraith's only action that turn. Also, the Wraith can only spend up to her Stamina in Essence per turn to instantly heal - the Corpus can only handle so much stress and shock.

Fooled You

Given that Wraiths can't always heal damage in one go, and must not attack while instant-healing, a common tactic is to fall down "dead" {that is, stunned}, heal on the ground, and then get back up once one's opponent has passed.

This kind of low trick - known as "playing dead" - often works with new Wraiths or stupid brawlers, but seasoned warriors are all too aware of their bodies and how to get around their limits. This is why such Wraiths won't frown on stabbing a seemingly-prostrate opponent, and why most fights inevitably end with the victor standing over a dissipating Wraith.)

Note that Aggravated damage cannot be naturally nor instantly healed. The soul-jarring wounds caused by such damage are so serious that they can only be healed by spending Essence gleaned from an Anchor, while in the presence of that Anchor. The Wraith must spend three Essence and one dot of Willpower per dot of Corpus regained, and it takes a Scene per dot of Corpus, during which the Wraith cannot do anything physically strenuous at all.


Most of the time, being dropped to zero Corpus need not destroy a Wraith. So long as she has Anchors that connect her to the lands of the living, and some Essence left within her, there is a good chance she can come back - a process known as Resurrection. She will have to fight her Shadow to do this, but should this inner battle - known as a Denial - be successful, she will reform by an Anchor within the hour.

When a Wraith is dissipated, she falls into a dreamlike state, much as though she had reentered her Fugue, and floats towards an Anchor. Wraiths tend to head for the nearest Anchor, but if they're more or less equidistant from more than one, they will unconsciously head for the largest one.

Most Wraiths say that they spend this "dream" reliving their death. Others are subjected to reminders of personal failure, relived tragedies and other, even more nightmarish scenarios. These are all courtesy of the Shadow, the better to prepare the Wraith for its attempt at Denial.

The dream usually lasts for no more than ten minutes, though it may feel like forever. At the end of it, the Wraith is "greeted" by her Shadow, who is seen to be standing between her and the Anchor. The specifics of the conversation that follows vary from Wraith to Wraith, but they essentially follow the same pattern: the Shadow would very much like the Wraith to just give up and die, and the Wraith - unless she has truly had enough - wants to keep going on.

Once the impasse is clearly reached, the Shadows's Denial begins. Should the Wraith succeed, she pushes past the Shadow, reforms ever so slightly - one Corpus - by her Anchor, and must either use its energies, or her own Essence, to heal herself from there. Fortunately, the exertions of the Denial are such that her Shadow is kept from harassing her at all for a day and a night.

If the Shadow succeeds, the Wraith is blocked from Resurrecting herself at that time, and must go back into the dream until she can try again. During this time, the Wraith cannot regain Essence from her Anchors, but does not need to spend Essence to keep going.

With each subsequent successful Denial, the time the Wraith spends in the dream becomes longer, and her dice pool smaller. This cycle continues until she either succeeds, fails or gives up. A Wraith who fails or gives up ceases to exist, fulfilling her Shadow's need for silence.

1st Denial

An hour

2nd Denial

12 Hours

3rd Denial

A Day

4th Denial

Two Days

5th Denial

A Month

6th Denial

Six Months

7th Denial

A Year

8th Denial

Two Years

9th Denial

A Decade

10th Denial

A Century

11th Denial

A Millennium

12th Denial



Cost: 1 Essence for the Wraith, 1 Tainted Essence for the Shadow  

Dice Pool:  Intelligence + Presence + Angst vs. Resolve + Composure + Eidolon  

Action:  Contested  

Dramatic Failure: If the Wraith suffers a Dramatic Failure, she is either destroyed or instantly Damned, depending on how powerful the Shadow is.

Success/Failure: If the Shadow fails, the Wraith pushes past it to her Anchor, and can begin the process of Resurrection. If the Wraith fails, she is pushed back into the dream for the period of time indicated on the chart above. Once that time is passed, if she has enough Essence she can challenge the Shadow again, but loses one die from her pool per successful Denial. If she does not have any Essence remaining, she is destroyed.

Exceptional Success: If the Shadow scores an Exceptional Success on the roll, it gains a point of Angst for such an amazing assertion of its will. If the Wraith scores an Exceptional Success, she gets back her full Willpower for such a spectacular assertion of her desire to go on.