Ghosts have a number of powers at their disposal to interact with or manipulate the physical world. These powers, called Numina (singular: Numen), range from terrifying auras to outright possession of living bodies. The type of Numina a ghost has depends on its nature and personality, its goals and on the circumstances of its death. The number of powers it has depends on its age. As a general rule, a ghost has one Numen per 10 years since its death. Thus, a ghost that’s been dead for 30 years can have up to three Numina. Of course, exceptions are possible in the case of exceptionally potent or willful spirits. When designing your own ghosts, assign whatever Numina you feel are appropriate to a spirit and to the kind of story you want to tell.

The following are examples of Numina that ghosts can have, along with their costs and effects. Feel free to use these as guidelines to create your own, or alter them as you see fit to suit the needs of your game.

Animal Control

The ghost is able to exert its will over an animal, controlling it completely. Spend one Essence and roll Power + Finesse, subtracting the animal’s Resolve from the dice pool. Success means the ghost is able to command the animal to perform any task the spirit desires, to the limit of the animal’s physical abilities. The ghost can control the animal for the duration of the scene if desired. A ghost can control a number of animals simultaneously (so long as it has sufficient Essence) equal to its Finesse trait.


The ghost can speak to mortals through the body of another living person. Roll Power + Finesse, with the subject’s Resolve subtracted from the dice pool as a penalty. If the victim is a willing participant, no roll is made. If the ghost fails, no communication is possible. If the ghost wins, it can speak using the victim’s vocal cords for a single turn. At the end of the turn the victim suffers a single point of bashing damage due to the strain of contact. If the ghost wishes to continue speaking through the medium, a further Power + Finesse roll must be made each turn. The medium continues to suffer an additional point of bashing damage at the end of each turn of communication. If the medium is rendered unconscious, no further contact is possible.


The ghost is able to exert its will over a living person, commanding him to perform actions like a puppet. Spend one Essence point and roll Power + Finesse in a contested roll versus the victim’s Resolve + Composure. If the ghost fails or ties the roll (or the mortal wins), the victim is unaffected. If the ghost wins the roll, it seizes control of the victim and can command him to perform any acts the spirit desires, within the victim’s capabilities. The victim can attempt to throw off the ghost’s control each successive turn with another contested roll. Use the victim’s own dice pools to determine the outcome of his actions. The ghost can compel a number of victims simultaneously (so long as it has sufficient Essence) equal to its Finesse trait.

Ghost Sign

The ghost is capable of creating messages or images in malleable forms of media. Spend one Essence point and roll Power + Finesse. If the roll fails, nothing happens. If the roll succeeds, the ghost can create a single message or image. A sentence can be written in the steam condensed on a mirror. A ghostly statement can be heard amid the static of an audio tape. Or an image can be superimposed on a frame of camera film or videotape.

Ghost Speech

The ghost is capable of speaking directly to mortals when it manifests. Spend one Essence point and roll Power + Finesse. If the roll succeeds, the ghost can utter a single sentence.

Magnetic Disruption

The ghost’s manifestation causes electronic equipment to malfunction due to an intense magnetic distortion. No roll is required. If the ghost manifests successfully it disrupts electronics within a number of yards equal to its Power trait. Radios, TVs and telephones emit static. Appliances stop working. Lights go out. Videotapes and camera film is erased/exposed, ruining any captured images.


The ghost has the power to create illusory images. Spend one Essence point and roll Power + Finesse. A negative modifier may be applied to the roll depending on the size and complexity of the illusion. Mimicking a person’s voice alone or creating a distinctive smell (like perfume) doesn’t incur any negative modifiers, but creating the illusion of a person might be subject to a -1 penalty. Creating the illusion of a specific person (down to patterns of speech and mannerisms) that a witness knows might call for a -2 penalty. Creating a complex illusion that seems to have physical substance (the witness is convinced that he can “touch” the illusion and it feels solid) incurs a -3 or more severe penalty. Small, subtle illusions are generally much more effective than large, overt ones. This power can work on only one victim at a time. Other mortals in the subject’s vicinity do not see what he does. When a subject witnesses an illusion, roll Wits + Composure (or the Storyteller may allow Composure to be replaced by Occult if your character is aware of ghostly activity). If the roll generates as many or more successes than were achieved in the phantasm roll, the victim recognizes that the image can’t be real. If the phantasm roll wins, the subject believes the illusion is genuine, but another Wits + Composure (or Occult) roll is made for him in each successive turn to attempt to see through the power. A ghost can maintain only one illusion at a time, and each illusion remains for the duration of the scene unless dispelled.


The ghost may attempt to possess a living human being and control his or her body for a short time. Spend one Essence point and roll Power + Finesse in a contested roll versus the victim’s Resolve + Composure. If the ghost wins, it gains control of the victim’s body for the duration of a single scene. Use the victim’s available traits (except Willpower points, which are equal to the ghost’s current Willpower points) and dice pools for any action the ghost wishes to take. If the mortal wins or ties the roll, the spirit fails its possession attempt. As long as the ghost has Essence points remaining it can continue to make possession attempts against a target. If a possessed body is killed or knocked unconscious, the ghost is forced out and must possess another victim if it still wishes to act.

Attacks using a blessed object against a ghost in possession of a living body damage the ghost’s Corpus instead of its physical host. (For more information see “Blessed Items,” below.)


The ghost can manipulate physical objects as though it had a pair of physical hands. It can pick up objects, throw them, open and close doors and windows, write messages on basically anything a mortal can do with his hands.

Spend one Essence point and roll Power + Finesse. The number of successes rolled determines the ghost’s relative Strength when attempting to lift and/or move an object (see Chapter 2: Attributes, p. 47, for more details on lifting/moving objects). If the successes rolled are equal to the Strength needed to lift an object, the ghost can move it up to one yard. Each extra success allows the ghost to move the object an additional yard. If the ghost wishes to hurl an object at someone and enough successes are rolled to lift the object (and reach the target), the total number of telekinesis successes is rolled as a dice pool in an attack against the target. Alternately, the ghost can make a direct attack on a victim, using its raw power to inflict cuts, bruises and bites on the victim’s body. Treat this as a normal attack with a -3 modifier. The attack ignores the target’s Defense trait, any available cover and any armor worn (unless the armor is supernatural in nature).


The ghost has the power to strike terror in the hearts of mortals who witness its manifestation. Roll Power + Finesse in a contested roll against the Resolve + Composure of each mortal who witnesses the ghost’s manifestation firsthand. (If a crowd witnesses it, roll the highest Resolve + Composure in the crowd for the whole group.) If the ghost loses or ties, mortals in the area are unaffected and are immune to uses of this power for the remainder of the scene. Perhaps their subconscious minds won’t allow them to recognize the spirit, or they mistake the intended frightening image for something else such as a hallucination or trick of the light. Mortals who lose flee from the spirit and will not return to the haunted area for at least one day.

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