Tainted Souls 2: The Dark

Tainted Souls explores the unspoken costs of Lucidity. The physical or mental changes brought on by becoming Lucid and how that may impact their lives and the people around them.

This week’s Tainted Souls begins with the Dark. The Core Book has the following to say about Dark Lucid’s Manifestations:

Manifestation: Of those Tainted by the Realms it is often The Dark Ones who are most skilled at hiding themselves. The Dark Taint almost always manifests as emotional swings, fits of rage and/or silence.

There are any number of psychological disorders fitting for Dark Lucid. To pair a few Boons with Manifestations some ideas might include a Lucid with Shadow Form afraid of sunlight or bright places (Heliophobia or Photophobia), or if they had Black Tendrils a fear of being touched (Haphephobia). Alternately, the inverse might be true a character with Shadow Form takes damage from being exposed to sunlight while made of shadow, but, the Lucid may fear their own powers keeping themselves surrounded by light if at all possible and avoiding dark places if at all possible (Achluophobia).

Dark Lucid are not simply limited to psychological disorders though. Many of the classic vampire limitations make excellent Dark manifestations. Some examples may include no reflection in mirrors, especially if they possess a vulnerability to silver, or a fear of their own reflection, an animated shadow that moves on its own accord revealing the Lucid’s intent, or even distorted or monstrous features when under stress or emotional.

The Dark is a place of monsters and secrets. Manifestations from this Realm often are revealing of who the Lucid truly is or the nature of their powers. When choosing your character’s Manifestation consider how it reflects their nature.

GMs should also take this into consideration when approving a Manifestation. Because of the nature of Dark Manifestations some players may be inclined to select Manifestations that either look cool or psychological drawbacks that may never come into play. In these instances consider how a “cool looking” Manifestation may play out in the real world. While ink blot eyes may sound great and look awesome normal people are not going want to get near that person or write them off as an exhibitionist using special contacts.

Ultimately, like with all Lucid Manifestations the Dark should create new role-playing challenges but not shut them off from the world and add a layer of possibilities to the character. Always remember, when stepping into the Dark there is a reason people once feared the night.