In designing this Circle for the Card Catalog, I knew I needed a character to give a little insight into Renegades and a recently deceased character. The Hierarchy may have come from a place that Charon thought was noble, but even his Shadow influenced him. The Hierarchy should always be a mixed bag of corruption but noble intent; a macrolevel reflection of the fight between the Psyche & Shadow. In that vein, the Renegades are the iconoclastic rebellious wraiths who see the authoritarianism, soulforging, and corruption as a bigger problem than the bulwark against Oblivion Stygia claims to be. That isn’t to say that Renegade bands aren’t also potentially flawed or subverted by Spectres. Declyn is a character built around the populism of the U.S. political movements and the discontent seen across the entire spectrum with existing political structures. He is primed to be a Renegade.
I found the form fillable page Sheet, and linked to them below, but I will be including some information in the write up that didn’t fit on the single page design of the sheet.
Declyn is recently Dead. He only has a few years under his Death and has been startlingly well received since then. I focus on a “Hactivist” type because it also lets me play with a few other parts of the Wraith game. Specifically, since Linda is our entry into the Guild culture and world, Declyn is a way to look at the Renegades. As a Hactivist, he also shows a reason to focus on the Inhabit Arcanos below. His Nature is Critic – at his core, Declyn is about finding holes and flaws in the world around him. His Demeanor is Bravo. In Death, as in Life, Declyn would show off and puff himself up as a way to preemptively shield himself. His Death is one of Mystery – He doesn’t recall his death and the Coroner says Natural Causes, but neither the Skeletal nor Grim Legion appeared interested in claiming him. He belongs to the Legion of Paupers.
Unsuprisingly, Declyn has his Mental attributes as Primary (7), but it is his Physical Attributes as Secondary (5) leaving Social Attributes as Tertiary (3). I know last week Linda was also a Primary Mental character, but Zeb was Primary Physical so I’ll roll with it. I will focus Declyn on raw Intellect so a 3 Perception, 4 Intelligence, and 3 Wits gives him a broad utility. For his Physical Attributes, I go with a 3 Strength, 3 Dexterity, and 2 Stamina. I am leaning a little into the stereotypical hacker with the low Stamina, but I like him as a wiry and flexible guy over a tough guy. Finally, he wasn’t that great a people person but he could get his way: 1 Charisma, 3 Manipulation, and a 2 Appearance.
Knowledges will definitely be Primary (13) and a similar method as the Attributes for Talents to be Secondary (9) and Skills as Tertiary (5). Three Ranks of Computer is a given, but add to that 3 Ranks of Politics and Investigation. I will round that out with a single Rank in Bureaucracy (so he understand the Politics or reasoning behind certain things but doesn’t understand how to work within the system to affect change), Enigmas, Law, and Occult. For the Talents, I spread 2 Ranks each to Athletics, Brawl, and Dodge because I want him to be a little bit scrappy. A single Rank each of Alertness, Intimidation, and Streetwise rounds out his life pretty well. For his Skills, 2 Ranks of Firearms and one each of Etiquette, Repair, and Stealth. I was tempted to give him more Repair, but I like him less attached to his gear.
In Backgrounds, we begin to really identify and differentiate our Wraiths. I start with two Ranks of Notoriety – as a new Wraith who is exceptional with Computers, he is going to set himself apart very quickly amongst these restless dead. Status (Renegades) is going to provide the reflection of his actions on behalf of the Renegades under the nose of the Hierarchy! Needing a place of his own to hide, 2 Ranks of Haunt helps and then a single rank of Relic.
Similar to Linda, I’m going to load Declyn up for his primary Arcanos – Inhabit! Inhabit allows Declyn to … well Inhabit inanimate objects and in the modern age is geared very much towards the computer age! There are older version of the Art which predate this but it is what matters to the newly dead! Declyn will be able to disrupt an electronic device by passing through it, transmit himself across the SKinlands by riding along the telephone and internet connections of the world, and even take control of machines from across the Shroud! His closeness to the SKinlands leads me to finish his Arcanoi out with Outrage and Puppetry at one Rank each! He can only barely move items in the Skinlands through Outrage, but he is able to reach across the Shroud there as well! Puppetry is the Ghostly Art of possession and he has begun to explore that!
We now turn to Passions and Fetters for our Wraith. Having grown up a little guy and then having found meaning in his life fighting against a corrupt system, I am going to start with a Passion to Fight Injustice against the LIttle Man (Pride) at 4 Ranks from his background and his own fights. Similarly, he took something from his life and has transitioned it in Death to Topple This Corrupt Regime (Anger) at 4 Ranks. Not only did a Corrupt System win when he died, but he was thrust into the middle of another Corrupt System. Finally, his last Passion is 2 Ranks of Find a Place to Belong (Love). He may be well recognized and garnering acclaim and attention while Dead, but he doesn’t really fit in with the Renegades. Maybe he should be part of this system, corruption and all. For Fetters, and because I want Declyn to have some very insecure Fetters, I start with a Rank 3 Battered Laptop. This is something that may not last much longer with planned obsolescence and it could get thrown into the dump at any moment. How does he protect it? From his political hactivist background, a Book called the “Neo-Anarchists Guide to Super Delegates” anchors him to the Skinlands reflecting where some of his anger and his passions were focused during the end of his life. A 2 Rank Fetter that is the Polaroid of his Parents matches up with the 2 Rank Fetter of the Row House where he grew up.
For the Virtues, Corpus is Health and all Wraiths Start with a full 10 Ranks. Willpower and Pathos both start at 5 each reflecting a sense of control and emotional fulfillment respectively. Finally, we get to Freebie Points, Merits, and Flaws. Freebie Points let you customize your character beyond what we’ve done already. Merits are other bonuses or traits that don’t fit elsewhere and cost Freebie points while Flaws are the inverse providing a handful more Freebie points to spend. I am going to raise Declyn’s Inhabit to 4. Remember that in Wraith 5 is the maximum rank for an Arcanos and no books ever published greater rankings marking Declyn as truly exceptional to have a Rank 4 this young in Death. Similarly, I raise his Computers to 4 Ranks and pick up a Computer Aptitude Merit. That puts Declyn at 8 Points spent so far. I think I will add to his dissonance by giving him 2 Ranks of Status in the Paupers Legion further embedding him in the Corrupt System in front of him. A quick scan through the Renegades book doesn’t reveal any Renegade specific merits or flaws, so with 10 Points spent, and no Flaws yet, I turn back to Declyn’s sheet.
Flipping back through the Wraith Players Guide, I decide that Echoes of the Past for a full 3 Point Flaw fits Declyn. All his Arcanoi are about interacting with the Skinlands and he hasn’t let go yet so the idea that things are noticeable in his Haunt when he is there fits. I then add three more Ranks to his Willpower, as a stubborn and scrappy Wraith and put his POlitics Ability at 4 as well.
Now we look to designing the Shadow, a sort of mini character creation session where in the classic instructions, the Shadowguide would take over with input from the regular player. A shadow will have an Archetype that guides the actions, Angst, 7 points of Dark Passions that subvert the Psyche’s Passions, and then 10 Freebie points to spend on these or additional powers called Thorns.
Declyn has been searching for acceptance, both at a macro level evidenced by his life and death, and the micro level shown by how he clings to his childhood in his Fetters. The Parent is the appropriate Shadow for him. The Parent will accept Declyn and try to protect him reminding him that it’s love is unconditional no matter how many faults he has.
Angst is determined by rolling the Psyche’s Willpower rating against a difficulty of 6 to determine starting Angst, so it can never be more than the starting Willpower. Here, I rolled the dice and Declyn was lucky because of the slightly below average 2 Permanent Angst to start.
The Shadow Passions for Declyn play into both The Parent’s own nature and the other themes Delcyn has thus far – first his Shadow pushes Declyn to Leave the Fight to Someone Else out of Sadness and almost Hopelessness with 3 Ranks. Similarly, for comfort Declyn’s Jealousy feeds the Passion to Buy in and Reap the System’s Rewards at 4 Ranks. Abandoning what he strove to fight for, or even buying in to a system he claimed to hate would take him closer to Oblivion … and perhaps being a Renegade is a system no better than the Hierarchy.
That leaves 10 Freebie Points to spend and with that below average Angst roll, I am going to dump them all into raising the Permanent Angst to 4.
Nobody ‘blogs’ any more, but this is the only way I can record what I know. This computer is all I can reach from where I am. That’s okay, dear. I am sure that this will be just fine even if you can’t find a better place to write. My name is Declyn and I am Dead.
I don’t know what killed me – natural causes but what does that mean when you are young and reasonably healthy? There there. I can help you find out what happened. That is just the start of the real story. Growing up in a row house, my parents being taken away when I was 10, all I have left is a polaroid You have me too Declyn. Never forget that I won’t leave you no matter what you do. I was good … am still good with computers. I can still reach them even being a ghost, or wraith, or whatever I am. It didn’t take too long for me to see that the world had lost it’s way. At the least, our country had! Corrupt politicians who couldn’t hear what someone like me or like you needed were making all the choices. And you just had to do something, didn’t you? I am still here, even though you couldn’t make a difference. I got caught up in the moment and the anger.
Now I’m Dead. I don’t know why. And the systems here are even more Corrupt Dead than alive! You just had to do something, didn’t you? You didn’t learn your lesson when alive? A Hierarchy with Legions of the Dead tries to put their fascist stamp over everything. They enslave Dead who can’t speak for themselves, hammer them into this soulstuff that becomes part of their cities. Centuries dead ‘Anacreons’ lord over a City while Deathlords in Stygia can’t bring themselves to even care about those of us down here! It’ll be alright, Declyn. Let me take care of you.
The Pauper Legion, the Hierarchy faction that claimed me, loved that I could hop into a computer and do things like this. The Hierarchy’s own law, the Dictum Mortuum, forbidding Ghosts from coming here to the Living was ignored by those with power…. Just like the living world. I do enough for them that they don’t ask. I found Wraiths like me, Wraiths like you! You found some little friends? I am so proud of you! These are the Renegades of the the Dead. People who know that Freedom is how we fight Oblivion. Oblivion? Yeah. There is this entropic force of death and doom slowly creeping into the Dead and we are all trying to stop it. Stygia started as something to protect Wraiths against it … but power corrupts.
I’m deep cover for the Renegade Band, a gang of Wraiths trying to undercut the Empire that controls these Shadowlands. They know me as D-l33t. Probably too close for comfort but it’sll do. You never were the brightest, were you? The Legion looks the other way because I help them play their games in the Skinlands. Anacreon Lorenzi has a strange look he gives me at times, but he’s a nearly 100 year old Ghost of an Italian immigrant. What does he know? You really don’t see it do you?
The Pardoner, Linda, she seems to be a good one but that’s something I didn’t tell you. We all have a dark side pulling us towards Oblivion. Pardoners are ghosts like Linda who help keep that side at bay … but it means they know what’s in your soul. I don’t know if she sees the masked face of Ovid, the Renegade head here when she Castigates me. Taking a page from the Deathlords hiding their face behind masks, Ovid has been more than one Ghost, I can tell. I know he’s planning something big, but I don’t know what yet. They’ll tell you if you are needed.
I don’t know what the Fates are up to, but this Circle I’ve been forced into is a powderkeg. Linda knows too many of our secrets, Zeb’s a Hierarchy stooge who just wants to cut loose, Patricia can’t keep her own story straight, and Frank should have been one of us. You can’t convince him? Oh well. Your talents can’t be for everything. I’ll see where this goes, and get across the Shroud to type this out … don’t forget to read this. And share it.
Declyn – Renegade Artificer Activist Character Sheet
Wraith: The Oblivion and the Springfield Fated Circle Overview Here.
Character Sheet from Mr. Gone’s Character Sheets. https://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/