Thorns

Choosing Thorns can feel arbitrary at times, so to help the process Thorns are now grouped as Common, Uncommon and Rare and also linked to different Archetypes and Agendas.


Common Thorns

Death Sigil (1-3 points)

This is a special effect that accompanies you in the Shadowlands (and in the Skinlands if you Incarnate, Inhabit or Skinride). 1 point Sigils include smells (rot, gunpowder, tobacco), 2 points includes sounds (clanking chains, moans) and 3 point Sigils are clearly visible (smoking footprints, dripping seawater). As well as acting as the Distinctive Visage Flaw (qv.) the Shadow can use this to deduct 1-3 dice from attempts to use Stealth, Etiquette and Alertness, where appropriate. However, by calling on the Eidolon the Psyche can suppress the Sigil for a Scene.
Possessed by: Albatross (guilt), Amputee (suffering), Blackguard (scary), Calypso (perfume), Cannibal (vices), Chyrurgeon (disease), Faust (demonic), Jeremiah (misery), Higgler (jangling coins), Lubber (breaking things), Martinet (whipcrack, whistleblowing), Mutineer (grumbling), Patriarch (music), Rakehell (tobacco, liquor), Weevil (warts, stench)

Garrulous (1 point)

The Shadow can speak to you outside of Shadowplay occasions and negotiate the amount of Shadow Dice it offers at any time. By calling on the Eidolon the Psyche can silence the Shadow for a Scene.
Possessed by: Calypso, Cannibal, Chyrurgeon, Higgler, Martinet, Mutineer, Rakehell

Infamy (1 point per level)

The fear, ill-well and bitterness still felt by the living towards you empowers your Shadow. Whenever you Slumber, the Shadow rolls its Infamy dice (difficulty 6) and gets 1 Angst per success. Botches remove Infamy as your victims learn to move on. Calling on the Eidolon prevents this.
Possessed by: Albatross, Corsair, Blackguard, Calypso, Cannibal, Martinet, Mutineer, Rakehell

Shadow Ability (1 point per level)

Each level gives a dot in a Talent, Skill or Knowledge the character gains during Catharsis.
Possessed by: Blackguard (Subterfuge, Villainy, Stealth), Calypso (Empathy, Expression), Chyrurgeon (Alertness, Awareness), Corsair (Brawl, Intimidate, Melee), Higgler (Villainy, Craft, Politics), Martinet (Leadership, Law), Mutineer (Subterfuge, Politics), Patriarch (Leadership, Academics, Culture), Rakehell (Subterfuge, Villainy, Etiquette)

Shadow Attribute (2 points per level)

Each level gives a dot in a Physical, Social or Mental Attribute the character gains during Catharsis.
Possessed by: Blackguard (Dexterity, Manipulation), Calypso (Appearance, Charisma), Chyrurgeon (Intelligence, Perception), Corsair (Strength, Dexterity), Higgler (Intelligence, Manipulation), Martinet (Stamina, Manipulation), Mutineer (Wits, Manipulation), Patriarch (Charisma, Intelligence), Rakehell (Appearance, Manipulation)

Slough of Despond (2 points)

By spending a point of Angst the Shadow can prevent the Psyche from gaining Pathos from one Passion for a Scene. This can be canceled if the Psyche calls on the Eidolon.
Possessed by: Albatross, Amputee, Chyrurgeon, Faust, Jeremiah, Lubber, Weevil


Uncommon Thorns

Amity of the Damned (3 points)

The Shadow can cause Spectres to perceive you as one of the Shadow-eaten. Shades will simply ignore you while Mortwights, Doppelgangers and Nephwracks will not attack you (but may still bar your way unless you can negotiate with them). The Shadow gains a point of Angst every turn this Thorn is used, but cannot use it without the Psyche’s permission.
Possessed by: Blackguard, Calypso, Faust, Lubber, Mutineer, Weevil

Dark Ally (1-5 points)

Your Shadow has a friend who it can contact when enjoying Catharsis. This friend is usually nearby in the Tempest or able to travel their magically. 1 or 2 points would be a Spectre agent, such as a Doppelganger or Mortwight; 3 or 4 describes a powerful servant of Oblivion, such as a Nephwrack, demon or necromancer; 5 points describes a legendary evil, like a Malfean, arch-demon or vampire elder.
Possessed by: Blackguard (Spectres), Calypso (demon lover), Cannibal (vampires), Faust (demons), Weevil (Spectres, necromancers)

Dark Instrument (1 point per level)

This is an Artifact or Relic that only appears during Catharsis; if it is destroyed it will reform during the next Catharsis.
Possessed by: Albatross (murder weapon), Amputee (prosthetic), Blackguard (whips, chains), Calypso (gifts, jewellery), Chyrurgeon (scalpels), Corsair (weapon, armour), Higgler (scales, money), Martinet (whip, armour, mask), Patriarch (mask, sceptre, crown)

Eye of the Storm (1-5 points)

The Shadow can protect the Psyche from the effects of Maelstroms, up to the level of the Thorn. The protection lasts for a Scene but does NOT include protection from Spectres in the storm. The Shadow gains Angst equal to the Maelstrom’s rating.
Possessed by: Calypso, Martinet, Patriarch

Shadow Arcanoi (3 points per level)

Each level gives a dot in an Arcanos (including Dark Arcanoi) the character can use during Catharsis
Possessed by: Albatross (Keening), Amputee (Moliate), Blackguard (Kinesis, Puppetry), Calypso (Intimation, Phantasm), Cannibal (Necrophagia), Chyrurgeon (Lifeweb, Mnemosyne), Corsair (Outrage, Usury), Faust (Argos, Incarnate), Higgler (Kinesis, Usury), Jeremiah (Keening, Phantasm), Lubber (Phantasm, Lifeweb), Martinet (Outrage), Mutineer (Keening, Intimation), Patriarch (Fatalism,Phantasm), Rakehell (Incarnate, Puppetry)

Spectral Summons (2 points)

The Shadow spends 1 Angst and rolls Permanent Angst (difficulty is 10 minus the current Maelstrom rating) to summon all nearby Spectres who will arrive in 1-10 turns minus the level of the Maelstrom and the number of successes rolled. The difficulty is -2 if beside a Nihil. On a botch, the Shadow expends all its Temporary Angst into the Maelstrom. This power may only be used once per Scene and can be cancelled if the Psyche calls on the Eidolon before the roll is made.
Possessed by: Faust, Jeremiah, Lubber, Martinet, Weevil

Shadow Vizor (2-3 points)

During Catharsis, the Shadow takes on a different appearance that is not recognisable as the Psyche. For 3 points, the Shadow has the choice of adopting the new identity or continuing to look like the Psyche.
Possessed by: Amputee (scarred), Calypso (different sex), Martinet (authority figure), Patriarch (authority figure)

Unholy Vigour (2 points)

If the Psyche stands before a Nihil or enters the Tempest away from a Byway, the Shadow can heal points of Corpus damage but gains the same amount of Angst. This can only be done once per Scene.
Possessed by: Amputee, Chyrurgeon, Martinet, Patriarch, Weevil

Unleash Hell (3 points)

The Psyche can choose to allow the Shadow to experience Catharsis at any time. This lasts for one turn per point of Temporary Angst the Shadow possesses and the Psyche can reassert control at any time simply by spending a Willpower point and the Shadow cannot hide its actions from the Psyche. At the end, the Shadow rolls dice equal to the number of turns it was Unleashed and gains 1 Temporary Angst per success. However, the Shadow cannot attempt Catharsis for the rest of the Scene.
Possessed by: Blackguard, Cannibal, Corsair, Faust, Mutineer, Rakehell


Rare Thorns

Spectre Prestige (3 points)

Your Shadow is a bit if a celebrity among Spectres and when it enjoys Catharsis (or is Unleashed) it can order Shades and Mortwights about on a Charisma+Leadership roll (difficulty is the Spectre’s Unbeing) and even negotiate confidently with Nephwracks (using Manipulation+Expression).
Possessed by: Albatross, Corsair, Faust, Jeremiah, Martinet, Patriarch

Hellish Spite (5 points)

At the end of any turn, the Shadow can offer the Psyche an extra action, in exchange the Psyche spends 1 Pathos and gives the Shadow 1 Temporary Angst.
Possessed by: Amputee, Blackguard, Calypso, Corsair, Faust, Higgler, Jeremiah, Patriarch, Weevil

Shadow Parrot (3-5 points)

The Shadow takes a physical form in the Underworld of an innocuous animal (OK, it doesn’t have to be a parrot, but why miss the opportunity?). It has a single dot in Corpus and Strength, but if destroyed it reforms again in another Scene. The Psyche must speak to it out loud and it can speak to other people. It never leaves the Psyche’s presence unless it is taken as a 5 point Thorn and it is considered Garrulous unless taken as a 3 point Thorn. It can use other Thorns that normally only work during Catharsis so long as they are suitable for its small form (eg no Attributes, Abilities or Artifacts). Calling on the Eidolon cancels this Thorn for a Scene.
Possessed by: Blackguard (snake), Corsair (parrot), Higgler (monkey), Lubber (land animal), Martinet (parrot), Rakehell (cat), Weevil (cockroach, rat)

Shadow Life (5 points)

While the Psyche Slumbers the Shadow can reform the Corpus and act in the Underworld. This is particularly dangerous in conjunction with other Thorns that can normally only be used during Catharsis. The Shadow’s behaviour will be unknown to the Psyche unless it calls on the Eidolon then succeeds in an Eidolon roll; 1 success recalls a single Scene, 2 successes recalls sketchy details of everything, 3 successes recalls with perfect lucidity. The Psyche might learn the Shadow’s secrets from the experience and can ask 1 question that the Shadow (or Storyteller) must answer truthfully for each success above 3.
Possessed by: Blackguard, Cannibal, Chyrurgeon, Mutineer, Rakehell

Thorns

Rime of the Restless Mariners Jon_Rowe