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.
- Detect Possession: A Puppeteer can detect if a mortal is being Skinridden.
First / Second EiditionEdit
- Skinride: A Puppeteer can slip into the body of a mortal.
- Sudden Movement: A Puppeteer may take momentary control of a host’s limb.
- Master’s Voice: A Puppeteer can temporarily speak for a mortal host.
- Rein in the Mind: A Puppeteer can take almost complete control over a host.
- Obliterate the Soul: A Puppeteer can kick out a host’s soul and claim the body for their own until it decays.
20th Anniversary EditionEdit
Basic abilities were dropped in the 20th anniversary edition.
The standard powers of Puppetry are the same as previous editions, with the following exception, which replaces the skill of the same level.
- Skinride Animal: This is similar to Skinride, but can only be used on animals.
- Control Creature: This is similar to Rein in the Mind, but can only be used on animals.
- Obliterate Animal: This is similar to Obliterate the Soul, but can only be used on animals.
- Manipulate Herd: A Puppeteer can control several animals of the same type at once.
- Shadow Possess: A Puppeteer can turn an animal into a Conduit for the Risen.
- Analyze: A Puppeteer may assess the health of someone they are skinriding.
- Alter Vital Signs: A Puppeteer may make adjustments to the heart rate, breathing, or blood pressure of a host.
- Healing: A Puppeteer can heal a host's lost health levels.
- Faint: A Puppeteer can force a host into unconsciousness.
- Marionette: This ability is similar to Rein in the Mind, except in addition to being in control, a Puppeteer can make use of a host's knowledge and skills without penalty.
Puppetry abilities during the Great War are the same as the basic abilities and standard powers with the following exceptions, which replace the skills of the same level or where noted.
- Spasm: This ability is essentially the same as Sudden Movement.
- Ventriloquy: This ability is essentially the same as Master's Voice.
- Anesthesia: This ability is essentially the same as Rein in the Mind, with the exception it only works on sleeping or entranced hosts.
20th Anniversary EditionEdit
The 20th anniversary edition introduces the initiate arts, a set of Puppetry abilities available to members of the Puppeteers' Guild with sufficient standing.
- Menagerie Mask: A Puppeteer can ride primates and supernaturally-gifted mortals, with more powerful Puppeteers able to expand the range of animals they can ride: first all mammals, then birds, then reptiles, fish and amphibians. Requires the knowledge of Skinride beforehand.
- Admix Humors: A Puppeteer can control their host's bodily functions for a variety of effects.
- Shared Blood, Shared Breath: A Puppeteer can heal both themselves and their host from any damage the host suffered while being possessed.
- Revivify: A Puppeteer can temporarily possess and control a recently dead corpse.
- Legion: A Puppeteer can temporarily control multiple hosts.
The Great 13: