Puppetry is one of the thirteen primary Arcanoi from Wraith: The Oblivion. Those who master Puppetry can control the bodies of the Quick.

Puppeteers are usually responsible for the classic possessions of history. If someone is behaving in a strange fashion, a Puppeteer is likely behind it, Skinriding the person and bending them to their will. However, this possession is not usually as all-encompassing as a Puppeteer would like it to be. Most Puppeteers can only manage small changes or suggestions to a host. It is the more powerful Puppeteers that those still living should fear, as they can completely control a person or even destroy the soul and ride the body alone.

In order to use any of the arts of Puppetry, a Puppeteer must always Skinride their potential host first. After this, they may do what they have the power to do, but this first step must always be taken, no matter how powerful the Puppeteer is. More experienced Puppeteers will, in all probability, have an easier time Skinriding and working on a host faster. Only one wraith may possess a mortal at a time; any wraith who wishes to boot one already there must have a battle of will with them.

Puppetry is said to be the art that Charon forbade the most (excepting the three Forbidden Arcanoi). Only he, Deathlords, and higher members of the Hierarchy were permitted to Skinride mortals, and only then on a strictly limited basis. Despite the prohibited nature of Puppetry, some wraiths risk it anyway. Some want to feel the sensations of life they can’t get through Embody. Others see it as part of a religious experience, the Riders of the Wheel being one strong example. At any rate, any Puppeteer not involved with the Hierarchy had best use this art wisely and infrequently.

Puppeteers frequently become trapped in their hosts if something goes wrong with Puppetry. Other problems include their hosts doing things the Puppeteer did not intend; really messing this up can mean a host will even do the opposite.

Basic Abilities

Detect Possession - The wraith may tell if another wraith is Skinriding a target, or even if they've been attuned. <System: roll Perception+Puppetry (diff 7 for a current Possession, diff 9 for a Consort).

Skinride - Skinriding the the capability to slip into a mortal's body, thereby joining with him for a brief ride. Any more sophisticated Puppetry art requires the wraith first to Skinride the host.

System: roll Dexterity+Puppetry (diff of target's Willpower). If another wraith attempts to 'steal' the host from the first Skinriding wraith, he must score more successes than the original rider.

O - Sudden Movement - A wraith using this art may take fleeting contrl of her host's arm or leg.

System - Spend 1 Pathos. If resisted, gain 1 Angst. Skinride, then roll Strength+Puppetry (diff of host's Willpower). Victim may resist by rolling Willpower. More successes mean more control gained.

OO - Master's Voice - The wraith can briefly override his host's speech center, causing him to speak. The resulting voice is a strange blend of the wraith's and host's voices. <System: Spend 1 Pathos, gain 1 Angst. Roll Intelligence+Puppetry (diff of host's Willpower). Maintain control for one breath per success.

OOO - Rein in the Mind - This art allows a wraith to possess someone without the host's knowledge. In most cases, this can only be done to a Consort. Both the wraith and the host take any Health Levels (as Corpus Levels) which tg he host endures.

System: Spend 4 Pathos, gain 1 Angst. Roll Manipulation+Puppetry (diff of host's Willpower or local Shroud, whichever is higher.) Duration is one scene per success. The host may spend Willpower and roll Willpower (diff of wraith's Manipulation+Puppetry) to resist — each success reduces the number of scenes for which the wraith may Rein in the Mind.

OOOOO - Obliterate the Soul - After conditioning a Consort through extended use of Rein in the Mind, the Puppeteer may begin to live full-time within the mortal's body. The host's personality is devoured by the Puppeteer's Shadow.

System: Spend 5 Pathos and 2 Willpower and gain as many Angst as the host had Willpower. The subject must be conditioned a Consort by using Rein in the Mind at least 10 times. Roll Strength+Puppetry (diff of host's Willpower or local Shroud, whichever is higher) When the wraith totals enough successes to equal the host's Willpower, she succeeds. This cannot be used on supernatural beings, and can only be used once a month, on the new moon.