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Damien

Can animals sense wraiths?

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Hey guys, I'm asking this as a vampire GM who has mostly used wraiths as npcs. I'm not sure whether I've read the following in a wraith book or whether I'm just making assumptions based upon popular myth. Also, while I have read through the Arcanoi I am not in the habit of thinking laterally regarding them.

Is there precedent in the Wraith game for animals sensing the presence of wraiths? One of my Vampire PC's is hoping to use trained mountain cats to sense the presence of ghosts. Is this applicable, within the context of the game?

I'm inclined to allow it, though I'm considering having Argos I (I forget the name of the power) keeping the wraith hidden from sensitive creatures in the Skinlands such as dogs, cats and vampires with Auspex.

Opinions?

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I think its a storyteller call, that the animal instinct reacts that something is off and get scared, not really pinpointing what it is exactly.

Teaching animals Auspex isn't really something that is allowed, as animals normally can only learn Celerity, Fortitude and Potence.

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Of course it would require ghouling the animal.

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Of course. And I'm in full agreement, -t-, regarding animals not being able to learn Auspex most of the time.

I think you are a pretty well spot on with animals reacting to things that are off, too. What I'm curious to know is whether Argos 1 (Enshroud), ought to keep animals in the dark regarding the wraith's presence. As you say, it should be up to the ST to make the call, but I'm interested in whether it is reasonable to allow it.

The Auspex part comes in regarding those vampires being able to detect ghosts. It says in the Wraith rule book, p. 281:

A fair number of vampires can, in some form or other, detect the presence of wraiths by looking at their unliving auras. The vampire in question must be specifically looking for the wraiths at the time, but once a Restless has been spotted, he can generally be tracked as well.

So this is obviously Auspex 2 (Aura Sight) in play. I suppose that what I'm really getting at is whether Argos 1 (Enshroud) ought to act in a similar manner to the vampire discipline Obfuscate regarding this aura tracking ability. Higher Auspex than Argos would automatically win out and vice versa, with a roll off for tied proficiency (Auspex 3/Argos 3).

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The problem becomes even if you could teach them the ability I'm not sure you could train the animal to react with anything but fear. The aura outline or the revealed presense of an entity the animal does not normally interact with is generally going to cause a fight or flight reaction.

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So its like the bird in a cage down in mine shafts? If the bird dies, there's gas: Get out fast.

Keep a cat in a catbag, carry it around in possibly haunted areas. If the cat starts rotating, clawing and meowing like mad, there's probably a ghost nearby. Or its fed up and wants food.

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:P

I've decided that I like the idea of certain animals being sensitive to the presence of wraiths. It follows the "rule of cool", and there is plenty of funky, atmospheric precedent for it in movies and literature. However, I do think that a careful spirit possessed of the right Arcanoi can circumvent the problem for a time. I think I'll just go with my gut on this one and expand the usefulness of Argos I.

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Aren't cats supposed to be sensitive anyway?

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I'd say animals might not be able to sense when a Wraith is just herping nearby in the Shadowlands, but if they start monkeying with the Pandemonium, Embody, or other Arcanos that can pierce the shroud, animals, which are often more in touch with their surroundings than human beings, might get wierded out first.

Of course, in some cases innocents, which animals are often held to be, can see through the Shroud. (and an animal might be mightily confused to see and hear a person it can't smell)

So there are really two ways to handle it.

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