Welcome to the New Wraith FAQ! The original Wraith FAQ can be found at White Wolf's site for Wraith: the Oblivion, and can also be found in the book Buried Secrets, which came out with the 2nd ed player's screen. A lot of the basic questions, as well as some of the more devious ones, can be found there, and it should be consulted first when asking any question.
However, it's been a few years since that original FAQ was updated, and in that time Wraith has undergone some major changes. It went through a major metaplot development (destruction, really), and wound up being a major part of the Hunter and Mummy backdrops. This has raised a lot of interest amongst players of the other games, and brought us some new fans as well. And, of course, everyone's got questions, and some of these are not covered in the old FAQ.
So, in order to make life easier for these new fans - as well as make life easier for us old-hands who keep getting asked the same questions over and over again - we've made a new one.
We hope to keep it fairly up to date and inclusive. So, if you can think of a question that hasn't been answered here, and have an answer, or else have a question that isn't anywhere to be found, or else have a correction, please email it to us and we'll update this list.
Q. Why was Wraith canceled?
A. It wasn't canceled. It was put on 'production hiatus.'
Q. Okay... so why was it put on 'production hiatus'?
A. Poor sales, unfortunately : (
Q. I heard Hunter: the Reckoning killed Wraith - they scrapped Wraith to make Hunter?
A. This is not even remotely true: it's a mean-spirited internet rumor that is still going around. Let's put it to rest, shall we?
Word from folks up top has it that Hunter was in development well before the decision to end Wraith came along. They dovetailed Wraith's ending metaplot (the Maelstrom) into the start of Hunter, but that's the extent to which Wraith's fate fed Hunter.
Q. Is Wraith really out of print?
A. Yes. The last book, Ends of Empire, was published in 1999, at which point Wraith went on a "hiatus," and wasn't really out of print until 2002. You can still purchase Dark Reflections: Spectres and The Risen as ebooks from the White Wolf Online catalog, though (as of 6/5/2003).
Q. Are they ever going to reprint Wraith or make a new edition?
A. Now that there's a new World of Darkness, we can assume that any hope of getting Wraith republished is gone. However, we can still hope for a new ghost 'hardsplat' in the new WoD line, and in the meantime we can keep the books nice and useful by playing, discussing and expanding on them. It's much more likely we'll keep seeing ebooks of old material pop up now and again.
Q. Where can I find Wraith books?
A. eBay. If that doesn't work, you might try Half.com, Amazon.com and its' zShops, local used bookstores (if there is a Half Price Books nearby, check there), or ask around at gaming stores. In fact, you'd be surprised at what you can find at small town comic shops/gaming stores: Wraith books just sitting there, for less than half price, waiting for someone to pick them up...
Every once in a while you'll meet someone with an extra copy, or someone who's willing to loan you the books... as long as you play a game with them :-)
Q. Are there any good Wraith websites?
A: This was answered in the original FAQ, but of the sites listed, only BJ's is still there, and it's not being updated any longer. If you go to our Links page, there are a lot of sites that focus on Wraith material which are still active -- though we're the running champions, and will be forever and ever. ;)
Q. Are any of the authors known to pop in to WWGS' Wraith/Orpheus Forum?
A: Yes. Richard Dansky still shows up as 'deadguy' every so often, Ed Hall is 'deadward,' and there's always our pal 'Nephilpal' (ne Michael Goodwin). We also get visits from Skarab (Lucien Soulban), CAS (Colin Sulieman) and Black Hatt Matt (Matt McFarland)
Q. What the hell happened to White Wolf's Wraith Forum?
A: It was turned into the Orpheus forum in May of 2003. All the Wraith threads on the Wraith forum were moved over to the Orpheus forum.
Q: What's happened to the Shadowlands?
A: The 6th Great Maelstrom has broken out. Nasty storms - which do beaucoup damage to Wraiths who are caught out in them - rage all the time. It's not been a fit night out for man nor beast since roughly 1999. (See Ends of Empire; Mummy: the Resurrection; Clanbook: Giovanni - revised ed). With the release of Orpheus, we learned that a thick barrier called the Stormwall has cut the Underworld off from the real world completely -- at least for the time being.
Q: What caused the 6th Great Maelstrom?
A: In a nutshell? Bad timing. (or Fate, if you prefer...)
The Ferrymen were approached by Anubis, who called in an ancient favor and asked that they rid the underworld of the Tal Mahe Ra (The TRUE Hand from Vampire: the Masquerade: see Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, Vampire Storytellers Handbook ). So the Ferrymen manipulated events so that the Hierarchy would attack the Tempest stronghold of the vampires - a city they claimed to be Enoch.
Meanwhile: Xerxes Jones, a Void Engineer who was working for the Orphic Circle, was given orders to go into the Labyrinth and detonate a nuke in the Labyrinth, by the mouth of The Void. While he was in the Labyrinth, tooling around, the Hierarchy was attacking Enoch, and they dropped a relic nuclear device on the place. This created a shockwave that stretched all the way to the Labyrinth, destroying Xerxes craft and taking the nuke with it. And the nuke exploding close to the Void started the 6th Great Maelstrom (See Ends of Empire).
Q: What happened to Stygia, the Island?
A: Stygia the island (the Isle of Sorrows) is a swamped ruin - the victim of the outbreak of the 6th Great Maelstrom.
Q: What happened to Stygia, the Empire?
A: While the Stygian Fleet was off fighting at Enoch, the massive forces of the Dark Kingdom of Jade invaded the Necropoli of Stygia in an attempt to subjugate the entire empire.
Meanwhile, Charon returned, unifying the forces of the Empire just as it began to crumble under the start of the 6th Great Maelstrom. The angst battery in the Pardoners' main house on the Isle of Sorrows was destroyed, and many spectres were freed from the Doomslayers' storage room in the confusion. Many of the most powerful wraiths of Stygia fell right there.
The Mourners and the Ferrymen came to Stygia to engage in battle with the invading spectres as Charon's memories were restored to him. Coldheart was destroyed and the spectres retreated, but it was something of a phyric victory, as the Isle was swamped, the Deathlords were gone and Charon decided he couldn't continue as Emperor.
With that, Charon transcended, leaving his power in the hands of a relatively young circle of wraiths (the characters whose players were in Last Danse Macabre, from Ends of Empire ) And that was the end of Stygia as a unified Empire.
Q: So what's happening in Stygia - or what's left of it - now?
A: This is largely in the hands of Wraith Storytellers to decide for themselves. The default option is that a new group of "Deathlords" - picked by Charon just before he transcended - are in charge of things, but past that there's been no official word. Please see Ends of Empire for some ideas along those lines, and keep an eye on Orpheus releases, too.
Q: What had happened to Charon in the meantime?
A: Charon was reborn in the Skinlands when he fought Gorool, back in 1945. Between then and the outbreak of the 6th Great Maelstrom he was a mortal named Charles Anderson, with no memory of his time as Charon. In the Last Danse Macabre adventure from Ends of Empire, the characters are given the task of killing and reaping Charles Anderson, and bringing him to Stygia.
Q: What was the deal with Charon and the Mnemoi?
A: The Mnemoi were actually not the bad people we had been told they were. Charon was alerted to a time when he might be destroyed, and hatched a plan to have his memory saved so that he might have it waiting for him when he returned. The Mnemoi took pieces of his memory, and were then framed for treason and sent underground.
However, the plan "worked" too well. The Mnemoi weren't just banished, but hunted and soulforged. As a result, a lot of Charon's backup memory was lost: so much so that when he came back to the Shadowlands, he decided not to be Emperor any longer because of what he'd lost.
How he remembered he'd forgotten something he couldn't remember anymore is a question best left to others to explain. (Ends of Empire, in particular Guildbook: Mnemoi from that book)
Q: Who is this Samuel Haight character, and what happened to him?
A: Samuel Haight was a Skindancer who managed to score himself some kewl powerz, crossover style. He showed up in a few books from one year (Rage Across the Amazon, Valkenburg Foundation, etc) and figured highly in an adventure book called Chaos Factor. They billed him as "the ultimate badass."
Depending on how your game went, anything could have happened to Sam. However, as canon stands - and as was stated in the original Wraith FAQ - Samuel Haight was killed and became a Wraith. He was then promptly nabbed by the Grim Legion, tried for skinmurder (we presume) and soulforged into an ashtray. (Book of Legions, pg. 131, Official Wraith FAQ as well!)
Q: Is it true that Samuel Haight was un-soulforged during the outbreak of the 6th Great Maelstrom, and is now stuck in the body of a ten year old girl?
A: In a word: NO!
This is, as far as we can tell, nothing more than a cheesy internet rumor that started around the time Hunter: the Reckoning came out. Sam hasn't reappeared at all, and we don't expect him to. There is no cure for soulforging.
Q: What happened to Erik?
A: After being maneuvered into getting the Deathlords to attack Enoch, he managed to survive the battle by finding a reed boat and a cloak and paddling away. He made it back to the Isle of Sorrows, found the woman he'd been looking for, and they fought the Storm together. Severus the Ferryman made him an offer to join the Ferrymen, but he turned it down and went off with the girl, instead. It seems that didn't last too long, either, though... (Book of Legions, Ends of Empire)
Q. Who's this Maxwell Carpenter character we keep running into?
A: Maxwell Carpenter is a bad penny of a Spectre: he keeps turning up in White Wolf products, almost like a nervous tic. Of course, he's too much fun to not do anything with, so that's highly understandable.
His "career path" goes as follows: