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Shadow nature

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Each character in any of the original White Wolf games (with the possible exception of Werewolf, which treated human Natures as optional) selects a Nature which represents his personal drives and desires. Wraith, however, goes a step further by assigning each character a second Nature: that of his Shadow. The Shadow is the part of each Wraith that opposes the Psyche and seeks its downfall, but there are few other constants. Some Shadows wish to drive the wraith, themselves included, into Oblivion as an end to their suffering or an act of devotion to dark powers; others wish only to shackle the psyche so they may run free and wreak havoc, and still others want to travel to Oblivion's break only to return as Spectres in its cause. While it is difficult to predict which Shadow will do what, one of the most noticeable factors in the determination is the Nature of that Shadow.

The original Wraith: the Oblivion book offers these Shadow Natures and describes them at length, including a sample Harrowing where the Shadow is given free reign to torment the Psyche.

  • The Abuser - seeks to perpetuate the cycle of pain.
  • The Director - plays the wicked master manipulator.
  • The Freak - delights in the wraith's secret perversities.
  • The Leech - has a bottomless hunger for shallow satisfaction.
  • The Martyr - wishes only to quit existence posthaste.
  • The Monster - an unknowable terror from the dark corners of the soul.
  • The Parent - wants to keep you helplessly dependent on and beholden to it.
  • The Perfectionist - vehemently excoriates your every failure and criticizes even your successes.
  • The Pusher - offers you "help" and encourages you to have "fun", without thinking about the price.
  • The Rationalist - patiently and logically explains to you why Oblivion is really the only sensible choice under the circumstances.

The Wraith Players' Guide added these additional Natures for Shadows, again with a briefly described Harrowing.

  • The Bully - demands that you build your strength and victimize anyone weaker than you.
  • The Comedian - makes a cruel and unfunny joke of your afterlife, with Oblivion as the punchline when you just can't stand one more painful pun.
  • The Hypocondriac - Obsesses over signs of infection and contamination.
  • The Lover - demands all the wraith's devotion, driving him away from everyone else who matters.
  • Mr. Adventure - tries to "spice up" your dull existence by driving you into ever more epic perils.
  • The Paranoid - whispers that your friends are secretly enemies and that everything revolves around you and your miseries.
  • The Sophomore - affects detachment, claiming he's seen and done it all before, no matter what it is.
  • The Teacher - has a lesson to impart to you, but no matter what your answer, it's always wrong.
  • The Workaholic - drives you to work, work, work, sacrificing all other concerns, even though you're seemingly never finished.

The Shadow Players' Guide, published after the release of Wraith's second edition, added still more Shadow Natures, though these were described more briefly. There were no sample Harrowings for these Natures, though the book discusses Harrowings in general later on.

  • The Delver - convinces you that there's a hidden meaning in everything, driving you to distraction with petty details.
  • The Innocent - maintains a state of blind naivete which gets the wraith in way over his head.
  • The Plague Dog - obsesses on some living infirmity which will never go away and which it never ceases reminding you of.
  • The Rager - blames everything that goes wrong on some group of offenders (race, gender, social stratum, political affiliation) and stokes the wraith with vitriol against them.
  • The Sonnambulist - lacks any motivation, stumbling through afterlife in a fog of disinterest.
  • The Stormcrow - warns of impending peril at every juncture, exagerrating every detail.
  • The Victim - claims to be so helpless and to have suffered so much that really, you can't blame it for anything it's doing now.
  • The Voice of Hope - persistently claims that the character isn't really dead, that it's all some cruel trick, a hope which leads to constant disappointment.

Other Wraith supplements, including the standalone "Wraith: The Great War", offer additional Shadow Natures.

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