here are other aspects of a character that should be detailed. These flourishes are not necessarily important in terms of the game, but are vital with regard to roleplaying. In many cases, these “sparks” are provided for you, or at least suggested to you, by the Storyteller. Your character needs to be woven into the story, and these “sparks” allow the Storyteller to do just that.

Backgrounds: You need to create a background for your character, describing his life before dying and becoming a wraith: what he did, how he lived and what was unique about him. This background may describe what your character did for a living, how he saw himself and what others thought of him. Indeed, many wraiths find it difficult to abandon their concepts of themselves as living beings, and cling to trappings of their former lives in their perception of themselves and their dress. Their past remains with them forever.

***Regardless of when you died, whether it was centuries ago during the Age of Reason or last Thursday, you have spent 30 years or less as a “free” wraith. If you are over 30 years dead as a wraith, you need a reason, such as a being finally released from sheltered servitude, Thralldom to one of the three major factions, or some other reason of which a Storyteller approves.***

Secrets: Each character has secrets of some sort, things that she doesn’t want others to discover. One secret that almost all wraiths possess is the location to their personal haunts’ who need Reapers poking around while you’re Slumbering? The Storyteller is likely to give you a number of secrets that you need to protect over the course of the chronicle.

Motivations: What is your purpose? What motivates you on a day-to-day, night-to-night basis? Describe your motivations in as much detail as possible; ask the storyteller for help if you can’t think of anything. Unless you are an experienced player, it’s likely that the Storyteller will provide you with a motivation or two at the start of the chronicle.

Appearance: Props and costumes will help others understand, or at least recognize, your character at a glance. You need not only to act like your character, but look like him as well. Your character’s appearance makes his Physical (and many Social) Traits visible to other players.

A wraith’s appearance is constructed from his perception of himself. This means that many Restless look similar, but not identical, to the ways they did when they were among the living. Wraiths often appear in clothing more appropriate to the year in which they died than the current one. Some wraith’s appearances have changed dramatically from their living visages, whether through the effects of Moliate or merely their own self-perception. If your character is a wraith of this sort, you will need to find a way to let others know that your character’s appearance is different than theirs.

Equipment: Your character is likely to begin the game with equipment of one sort or another. Ask a Narrator for more details on your personal possessions, known in the Underworld as relics. Relics are the memories of items that have been either destroyed or damaged to the point that that they can never be fixed. Through synchronicity or wraithly manipulation, some of these have crossed the Shroud to become relics. The assortment of relics available is somewhat haphazard. There are many relic guns, but relic bullets are scarce. Relic cars abound, but few work.

You can choose relics appropriate to your character’s background, checking with the Storyteller to see if what you choose is appropriate to the chronicle. Relic teddy bears, lockets and the like should be all right regardless of circumstances; relic antitank weapons are usually not.

Items created in the Underworld and Relics imbued with special abilities are called Artifacts. Artifacts are not considered normal equipment for characters no matter what, as they must be purchased during character creation.

Quirks: By giving your character quirks (interesting personality characteristics), you add a great deal of depth and interest to her. Write a few sentences on the back of your character sheet about the strange and interesting things that define your character. Examples of quirks include a morbid sense of humor, an obsession for collecting lost relic single socks, or a habit of grunting when answering yes to a question. These little touches are a great way to personalize your wraith, and to make her come “alive” to you (so to speak).