SR5:Spirits:Shadow

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Shadow spirits are the classic “evil spirits” that frequent the stories and legends of so many cultures around the world. Although known by many different names, in the end they are all the same kind of spirit. Shadow spirits are drawn to metahumanity to feed off of a particular set of emotions. When they are in close proximity to an expression of their preferred emotion, they draw sustenance from it at the expense of the person expressing it. Their desire to indulge in this feeding is such that they will use any means necessary to provoke their desired emotion. Being entirely selfish creatures, they have no boundaries of morality to inhibit them, and are heedless of any repercussions (short-term or otherwise) that their deceptions cause.

All shadow spirits use the rules for free spirits (p. 202). Regardless of type, all shadow spirits are driven to extract emotional energy in the form of Karma from their victims. They do this by coercing their victims into performing a specific action or set of actions that produces the emotion that the specific type of shadow spirit desires. The shadow spirit simply needs to see the victim when the emotion is expressed to drain Karma. While exhausting, this process is not fatal to the victim, causing Stun damage. All of this follows the rules described for Energy Drain on p. 195. A shadow spirit is free to spend Karma drained from victims in any way that a Free Spirit can.

While all shadow spirits share a base similarity in goals and methods, this is only in broad strokes. Those in the Sixth World who study them have so far identified five different types of shadow spirits, classified by their preferred emotional “diet.”

Spirits of Muse

B A R S W L I C Source
F F+3 F+2 F F+1 F F+1 F+2 SR5:SG
Initiative (F*2)+3+2D6
Astral Initiative (Fx3)+3D6
Weaknesses
NONE
Skills
Assensing, Astral Combat, Con, Gymnastics, Intimidation, Perception, Unarmed Combat
Powers
Astral Form, Banishing Resistance, Energy Drain (Karma, LOS, Stun damage), Influence, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Spirit Pact
Optional Powers
Compulsion (Creation), Mind Link, Realistic Form

A muse feeds off of the emotions of highly creative and expressive people, primarily artists. In an almost symbiotic relationship, the muse can inspire an artist to levels of expression and creativity they may never have achieved alone. This is the dangerous temptation that a muse spirit offers, often finding its prey among those who were once highly successful, or those who struggle and have the desire but not the raw talent to succeed. While the draining of the victim’s Karma by a muse is not inherently fatal, victims will often become enraptured by the experience of creative expression, to the point where they neglect their own basic needs such as sleep, food, or water. A muse will often take the form of a fey or sinuous humanoid, though it will adjust to whatever may be most appealing to its potential victims.

Spirits of Nightmare

B A R S W L I C Source
F F+3 F+2 F F+1 F F+1 F+2 SR5:SG
Initiative (F*2)+3+2D6
Astral Initiative (Fx3)+3D6
Weaknesses
NONE
Skills
Assensing, Astral Combat, Con, Gymnastics, Intimidation, Perception, Unarmed Combat
Powers
Astral Form, Banishing Resistance, Energy Drain (Karma, LOS, Stun damage), Influence, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Spirit Pact
Optional Powers
Fear, Mind Link, Shadow Cloak

A nightmare is a spiritual bully that feeds off of the terror it causes in its victims. Being both greedy and cowardly, the nightmare seeks victims in which it can induce the most terror, while being the least threatening to it. Most commonly it preys on the elderly or children, striking when they are alone and feel the most vulnerable. Since a nightmare feeds off of the fear of its victims, it does not intentionally seek to harm them, since a dead person can feel no more fear. Thus, nightmares shape their form into that which the victim dreads the most. They are the quintessential bogeyman or thing that goes bump in the night.

Spirits of Shade

B A R S W L I C Source
F F+3 F+2 F F+1 F F+1 F+2 SR5:SG
Initiative (F*2)+3+2D6
Astral Initiative (Fx3)+3D6
Weaknesses
NONE
Skills
Assensing, Astral Combat, Con, Gymnastics, Intimidation, Perception, Unarmed Combat
Powers
Astral Form, Banishing Resistance, Energy Drain (Karma, LOS, Stun damage), Influence, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Spirit Pact
Optional Powers
Compulsion (Sorrow), Shadow Cloak, Silence

A shade feeds on misery, depression, and despondency, of which there is a great supply in the Sixth World. When a shade chooses a victim, it takes great delight in deepening and prolonging the suffering, using its abilities to manipulate their emotional state. This causes the poor soul to make more bad decisions, deepening their sorrow, loss, or loneliness. As their self-esteem reaches its lowest point, the victim of a shade frequently attempts suicide, which the shade works to ensure is done poorly, thus creating a new emotional low. Shades appear roughly metahuman, though drab, grey, and downtrodden.

Spirits of Succubus

B A R S W L I C Source
F F+3 F+2 F F+1 F F+1 F+2 SR5:SG
Initiative (F*2)+3+2D6
Astral Initiative (Fx3)+3D6
Weaknesses
NONE
Skills
Assensing, Astral Combat, Con, Gymnastics, Intimidation, Perception, Unarmed Combat
Powers
Astral Form, Banishing Resistance, Energy Drain (Karma, LOS, Stun damage), Influence, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Spirit Pact
Optional Powers
Compulsion (Lust), Desire Reflection, Mutable Form, Realistic Form

Succubi thrive on sexual energy. Unlike many of its shadow spirit kin, the succubus is not content to watch and manipulate mortals, but instead takes a much more direct approach. The succubus uses its powers to take on an attractive metahuman form in order to seduce one (or often several) others. At the height of the sexual act, the succubus feeds off of the victim’s raw lust and passion. However, a succubus does not have to participate; it can merely be present during a sexual act in order to feed. Being the very essence of a sexual predator, the succubus embodies only the worst aspects of sexuality. It cares nothing for meaningful bonds, caring, or relationships, only for the emotions of destructive lust and guilty pleasure. It will use, abuse, and discard people at it sees fit to draw energy from more victims. A succubus has the ability to take on an almost infinite variety of highly realistic human forms.

Spirits of Wraith

B A R S W L I C Source
F F+3 F+2 F F+1 F F+1 F+2 SR5:SG
Initiative (F*2)+3+2D6
Astral Initiative (Fx3)+3D6
Weaknesses
NONE
Skills
Assensing, Astral Combat, Con, Gymnastics, Intimidation, Perception, Unarmed Combat
Powers
Astral Form, Banishing Resistance, Energy Drain (Karma, LOS, Stun damage), Influence, Magical Guard, Materialization, Sapience, Spirit Pact
Optional Powers
Compulsion (Homicidal Rage), Confusion, Fear

Wraiths feed off of pure and simple violence. The most highly destructive type of shadow spirit, the wraith delights in causing as much death and carnage as possible. They are creatures of opportunity that enjoy gorging themselves on highly concentrated outbursts of emotion over a short period. To this end, the wraith will find a suitable skilled or armed individual, then wait until they are in close proximity to a high number of vulnerable targets, then use its powers to induce an uncontrollable rage. Wraiths materialize as dark, vaguely humanoid shapes that appear to be wearing dark robes or a cloak.