Saturday, June 29, 2013

The GURPS Middle-Earth Wraith

The Wraiths in Middle-Earth


Wraiths are the souls of once living beings that are denied entry into Halls of Mandos. They can still be seen in the shadow world, and affect any living creatures that project into this world. If you wonder what is the shadow world, think of the parallel plane in which Frodo and Bilbo transferred to when they put on the One ring. 

Who is liable to be affected by pure wraith

For once, elves are immune to wraiths in their pure form. Wraith are oblivious to elves as if they were under the permanent effect of a Avoid-18 spell. 

Other creatures can be affected to the extent that they project into the shadow world. Only creatures and objects that are blessed by the Valars can seen and attacked by pure wraiths. Wraith must have a physical form to interact and see in the physical world. 

Motivation of Wraith

Wraiths are angry, cranky souls who despise the living. Their world is small, and they tend to be comfortable to operate only in the confine of a small area: a building, an estate or a hill. They suffer from a phobia similar to agoraphobia if they are forced too far from their "base". Most wraiths have no real long term memory, and do not understand why they are dwelling in between two worlds. Most wraiths exist because of the curse of a powerful men (Numenorean kings), necromancer, a maiar or a valar which sets the condition of their liberation. As most wraiths have no memory, these conditions can rarely be met on their own. 

Material Manifestation

A wraith on its own can't affect the material world, nor it can see the world of the living. Wraith can be bound to some physical object, whether a diffuse ooze (diffuse material) or a body of some kind (as were the ringwraiths). Normal weapons and object can only affect the physical form of a wraith, unless the weapon/object has a projection into the shadow world (at which point it affects both). If a physical form is destroyed, the wraith becomes disconnected from the world of the living all over again.

Statistics of Various forms of Wraiths

Pure Wraith Form (Shadow World)

ST 10; DX 12; IQ 10; HT --; HP 20 (diffuse material), FP --, Will 14; Per 10; Speed 7, Dodge 12; SM 0; 
Traits : Unliving, Unfazeable, Phobia (unknown places), No long term memory, Mute, Terror (-4), Incurious, Bad sight (nearsighted), Enhanced Defense-like 4 (dodge), Injury Tolerance (diffuse).
Skill: brawling-12.

Pure form wraiths do not have instrinsic skills in melee weapons and fight at default. They are therefore only a threat when they can surprise the living, paralyse them in fear, or otherwise unable to dodge their touch. Pure wraiths are can only see mundane objects and living individuals as if they were nearsighted (no correction). The presence of light further degrade their eyesight by an additional -1 (artificial light), and to -2 (sunlight). Wraiths are deaf: there is no sounds other than the music of Iluvatar in the shadow world, and wraith are oblivious to beauty.

Tactics : Wraith in their pure form are powerless against "normal" living being. Pure wraith can only see shades and outlines: most living being are amorphous and difficult to distinguish (-6 at more than 1 yd). Only if a living being can see into the shadow world, they will exercise their Terror 4 trait. Seers can see into the shadow world when using some spells, which makes puts them in harm's way of the terror of pure wraiths. To most, pure wraith are thus invisible. Pure wraith simply get irritated at the presence of the living and usually can't do much about that. If a wraith can see a living being, it will use its brawling-12 to attempt to touch its target and drain 1d+1 FP. Only dodging works against pure wraiths, or a parry from a magical weapons, or a block from a magical sheild.

The complete drain of energy by a wraith causes a permanent loss of 1 HT and induces an Exhaustion III on the victim as well as a random Fright roll. This means that the rate of recovery of FPs is initially 1 / 40 minutes, resist at HT - 5 (not counting the lost HT). In other word, being defeated by wraith means days of recovery and possibly some significant mental trauma.

If a pure form wraith finds itself in a position where characters can hurt it, the wraith will first attempt to attack with a suitable weapon (or grab the weapon that they are attacked with). If incapable to fight back, or has equal or less than HP/3, it will attempt to hide until the intruder has left his/her domain. Living being succeeding a Fright check gain a +6 bonus to all subsequent fright checks (Net Will + 2) for this wraith. Because they can't see elves (Avoid-18), elves cannot chase a wraith away from its domain. A wraith brought down to 0 HP vanishes for 1d6 days before reforming.

Ooze Form (World of the Living)

Think here of the Oathbreakers in The return of the King. Same statistics as the pure form, but manifesting into the world of the living as a vapor projection of the pure form. They can see and hear into the world of the living, although usually choose not to listen nor talk. Unless a wraith is wielding a magical object and is attacking with it, ooze forms attack with their Steal Energy spell-like power if they can see their opponent. ooze form are not nearsighted in the physical world, but are affected negatively by ambient light. Ooze forms can be seen by all living creatures, and therefore also exercise their Terror 4 trait into the physical world.

Lich form (World of the Living)

The Lich form are bound by a physical body, whether a construct such as a possessed armor (such as the ringwraiths), possessed skeleton or statue, or swarms of smaller animals. They will fight just as per their physical form. They can project their Terror 4 trait normally, but do not have the energy draining abilities of the ooze form. Blessed and cursed weapons will only hurt the physical form, which acts as a shield to the pure form. 

No comments:

Post a Comment