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Tabletop Game / Geist: The Sin-Eaters

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Coming back isn't the problem. It's making everything else stay dead that is.

Geist: The Sin-Eaters is the seventh game for the Chronicles of Darkness, released in August 2009. Despite the name, the writers are on record that Geist is not a direct successor to Wraith: The Oblivion; geists, whatever else they may be, are not exactly wraiths or ghosts. It is something of a Spiritual Successor to Wraith in that it takes a look at the Underworld and what goes on there. The game bears some similarity to two Old World of Darkness games that also dealt heavily with the Underworld: Mummy: The Resurrection and Orpheus. The former dealt with a recently dead person bonded with an ancient spirit and brought back to life; the latter had (as one character type) a character who would enter a near-death state and become a 'ghost' out of body, gaining strange ghostly powers in the process. Inspiration for the game may well stem from all three sources.


The game focuses on two different groups: Sin-Eaters (often called the Bound), people who came Back from the Dead, and geists, the strange quasi-ghosts who came back with the Sin-Eaters.

Terminology: When Sin-Eaters return from the dead after striking a Bargain with their particular geist, they become linked to a Threshold, determined by the way they died (replaced by the Burden in second edition, symbolizing the reason for accepting the Bargain). Fusing with a geist allows Sin-Eaters to share their powers, Manifestations. The Key a Sin-Eater uses to activate a Manifestation determines its sphere of influence. In the second edition, Manifestations, now called Haunts, are much more specific powers, while Keys add an additional Skill to the Haunt's roll, as well as a cosmetic effect, rather than determining the thrust of the power.


There are five thresholds in the first edition:

  • The Torn: also known as The Bleeding Ones, these guys are usually the victims of malice, or some form of violence. Their patron is The Red Horseman, and they tend to be violent, angry, and vengeful, similar to their Geists. Their affinity Keys are Passion (emotions) and Stigmata (blood and ghosts).
  • The Silent: also known as The Starving Ones, death by neglect: suffocation, starvation, heartbreak, or other ways along those lines. The Black Horseman is their patron, and they tend to attract hungry or needy Geists, and always seem to want more things, and tend towards the laconic. Their affinity Keys are Cold-Wind (air and coldness) and Stillness (shadows, silence, and indifference)
  • The Prey: The Eaten and Drowned Ones, death by nature, be it weather, animals, drowning, or something else along those lines, instilling in them a respect for the cycle of life (namely, how amoral it is). They tend to have the most inhuman geists, and they'd like to hang out with The Pale Horseman. Their affinity keys are Grave-Dirt (earth, claustrophobia, and graves) and Primeval (nature and animals).
  • The Stricken: The Ravaged Ones, death by physical illness: disease, poison, drugs, etc. In defiance of their death, these Sin-Eaters become hardier. The knowledge that they beat death, however temporarily, gives them an extreme ego boost, and are often driven to ghosts to show that they can overcome the Underworld, too. Their patron is The White Horseman. Their affinity Keys are Tear-Stained (water and drowning) and Phantasmal (hallucinations and ephemera).
  • The Forgotten: The Lightning-Struck. Death by accident. The more random, the better. They tend to be gamblers, and also the most fun-loving and happiest. Their patron is the Grey Horseman. Their affinity Keys are Industrial (technology) and Pyre-Flame (fire).

Burdens replace the thresholds in the second edition:

  • The Abiding: These Sin-Eaters died without leaving behind some greater legacy, coming back to rectify that situation. Their affinity Haunts are the Caul, the Memoria, and the Tomb.
  • The Bereaved: Some make the Bargain out of a sense of loss: someone whose death they could never get over. Bereaved Sin-Eaters often make plans to find said loved one in the Underworld, though some trust that fate will draw them together again. The Haunts associated with this Burden are the Curse, the Oracle, and the Shroud.
  • The Hungry: Some Bound took up the Bargain because they didn't want to leave something behind. This may be something as meaningful as not wanting to give up that HIV vaccine you've spent your life making or as trite as wanting to keep your fortune. The Haunts of this Burden are the Boneyard, the Caul, and the Marionette.
  • The Kindly: The Kindly were those who deeply regretted some action or inaction in their life and made the Bargain so as to make up for it. These Sin-Eaters, more than any others, tend to be trapped in a cycle of constantly helping people, and their geists often egg them on. Their Haunts are the Dirge, the Marionette, and the Shroud.
  • The Vengeful: Fulfilling the typical role of the angry ghost, the Vengeful blame someone for their untimely demise and took up the Bargain so as to avenge themselves. How they achieve this varies from one Bound to another; some may go for a quick kill, others a long-drawn out affair. The Haunts to which they are drawn are Curse, Memoria, and the Rage, all the better to find and attack a target.

Each Sin-Eater has an Archetype based on how they view their second chance at life and their service as one of the Bound.

The Eight Archetypes are:

  • Advocate - Mediums who help ghosts by taking care of whatever situation or event is keeping them tethered to this world, a la the Ghost Whisperer.
  • Bonepicker - Remember that kid in school who would always get what they want, and if they lent you something, they would constantly remind you of your debt? That's basically them, and they'll do anything to get their possessions
  • Celebrant - Really happy to be living again. Usually respond by doing really dangerous things.
  • Gatekeeper - They keep the worlds of the living and the dead apart by banishing ghosts and dealing with living people who contact, channel, or otherwise mess with ghosts. If the Gatekeeper is a nice person, this means taking out people who victimize the dead or help malevolent spirits torment the living; if they're... less than nice, this could mean offing a little kid who refuses to stop talking with his dead family and then plunging them all into the Underworld.
  • Mourner - As far as they're concerned, they're dead and loving it.
  • Necromancer - Use every resource they can get — including ghosts and sometimes trips to the Underworld — to learn more about the occult.
  • Pilgrim - Focused on the spiritual side of death, and scornful of materialism. They try to help people avoid ending up in the Underworld by encouraging them to sever emotional ties that would keep them from passing on.
  • Reaper - Sin-Eater equivalent of Judge Dredd; as such, they tend to honestly believe that sometimes Murder Is the Best Solution.

Sin-Eaters typically gather in social groups known as krewes, which can range from tiny gangs to global-level death cults (though none of the latter exist in the present day).

In the second edition, the aforementioned archetypes are shifted to these krewes themselves, rather than the Sin-Eaters within them.

The five krewe archetypes are as follows:

  • Furies: These krewes seek to right wrongs wherever they are found. Notably, this is not about vengeance. It is more meaningful, in their eyes, that the individual learns a lesson that changes them.
  • Mourners: The Mourners make a point of finding and remembering the forgotten - ensuring that ghosts who were not remembered still have their stories told. This can manifest as cold academic interest cataloguing one story after another or an enthusiastic embrace of long-dead traditions in some bizarre cultural mixture.
  • Necropolitans: Sin-Eaters of Necropolitan krewes are the social butterflies among the Bound. They are the ones providing the safety nets that keep Sin-Eaters as a whole going forward. Much as Alcoholics Anonymous members provide one another's contact information to prevent backsliding, so too do these krewes maintain a network.
  • Pilgrims: Pilgrim krewes make a point of studying the Underworld, finding it a fascinating place. These are the krewes mapping it out, cataloguing the various realms, their Old Laws, and the Kerberoi who rule them.
  • Undertakers: The Undertaker krewes among the Bound seek to ensure that death is seen kindly by the living, so as to avoid the creation of more ghosts, essentially starving the Underworld out - Win the battle against it without confronting it head on. These krewes are a mix of therapy, public relations, and community organizing.

It would appear that while Changeling got significantly darker in the transition to the Chronicles of Darkness, the ghostly aspect got a lot lighter. The creators have said that one of the moods of the game is "sugar skulls and New Orleans funerals" — basically, the idea of celebrating life, because you're not dead. Anymore.

A second edition was successfully Kickstarted and is in out. Page needs to be updated.

Not to be confused with the video game Geist.

This role-playing game provides examples of:

  • Afterlife Antechamber: It's implied that the Underworld described in the book is not all there is to the afterlife. Some people who die never go there, and ghosts can go... somewhere when their ties to this world are dealt with. Basically, there's an underworld below the underworld, but nobody can reach or know it. It's probably what lies in the bottom of the Ocean of Fragments. Too bad you have to sacrifice every last piece of your identity to pass...
  • A God Am I: Mictlantecuhtli or Polydegmon, Kerberos of the Dead Dominion Mictlan, is implied to be one of the mythical Deathlords. Kerberoi are lords and guardians of the Underworld, but Mictlantecuhtli is a step above the rest. He knows anything that goes in his domain, no matter how minute or private, and one of the Old Laws of the Dominion is "The Words of Polydegmon is Law." He may be not the most powerful Kerberos (that would be Leviathan of The Ocean of Fragments), but the sheer, absolute control he has over his Dominion is what sets him apart from the rest.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Sin-Eater Conspiracies are so ancient, they don't even exist anymore, fragmented or destroyed by the passage of history. That said, it's entirely possible for PCs to create their own, if they can manage to recruit enough Sin-Eaters to their krewe.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The result of reaching Synergy 0. Your geist hijacks your body, and you're helpless as you watch yourself do your geist's bidding, even as you're forced to come back from death after torturous death. And if you're particularly unlucky, the Geist will keep on reviving you, over and over and over and over...
    • Also true of the soulsteel items crafted at the Forge of Orcus. While extremely handy (soulsteel items are considered to be high-powered Mementos while in the Underworld), not everyone will be comfortable with using something made from a ghost that has been beaten into eternal torment. Some of them seem pretty content with their fate, seeing this as a chance to be helpful.
  • Astral Projection: The Elemental Oracles let you do this, although it requires you to "die" in accordance with whatever Key you're using to unlock the Oracle Manifestation: burn to death for Pyre-Flame, drown for Tear-Stained, get choked or smothered for Cold Wind, or get buried alive for Grave Dirt.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Geists are part ghost, part Anthropomorphic Personification of an aspect of death.
  • Back from the Dead: Not only do Sin-Eaters have this as their backstory, but they can come back from the dead later... at a price (see below).
  • Balancing Death's Books: After the initial Bargain, a sin-eater can keep coming back... but only by ensuring someone else dies in their place. And you get to see how they die as you're brought back.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: A krewe can organize a Market gathering, although due to the logistics required, this tends to be limited to the most influential krewe. Also from the Dead Dominions, Dead Man's Hand has anything for sale if you look close enough, and the Forge of Orcus sells items made of ghosts that are especially effective in the Underworld.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Inverted at Lowgate Prison. There, the tortures are designed to make you less evil... or at least, to make you stop wanting to do evil things.
  • Berserk Button: As enforcers of the Old Laws, obviously each Kerberos has one. But especially notable is the Old Law that states that you are not to take away any water from the Ocean of Fragments. Break this rule and you will find yourself chased by EVERY Kerberoi.
  • Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: Mentioned in the rulebook, as one of the titular Sin Eaters picks up a ghost hitchhiker, hears her story, commiserates, and helps the ghost pass on as the car passes a cemetery.
  • Blessed with Suck: Averted, surprisingly. Sure, there's a ghost in the back of the Sin-Eaters' heads that has forgotten what it means to be human... But given that said voice brought them Back from the Dead, and they get all these nifty powers out of it, most Sin-Eaters view it as a fair trade. Geists also have an incentive to aid their sin-eater hosts- after all, if you die, it needs to go through the process of finding a suitable host all over again.
    • On the other hand, the resurrection trick, while indefinitely repeatable, costs you a point of Synergy, two points out of your maximum Synergy, and a random person's life — and the last moments of your "replacement" are the first thing you see upon returning to the land of the living, which is really traumatic and so renders you even more likely to pick up derangements from that loss of Synergy. There is a reason Synergy-0 Sin-Eaters are called the Wretched.
    • Blessed with suck can apply to Sin-Eaters with particularly nasty geists. Most geists get along with their hosts to varying degrees, ranging from friendly partners, to viewing each other as partners in a mutually beneficial business deal. But imagine having to share your mind, at all times, with a serial killer. And, if the geist is old enough, it probably knows just how to manipulate its host to its own ends, or, failing that, drive them completely insane or just plain old take over their body.
  • Blood Magic: The schtick of the Stigmata Key.
  • Bloody Murder: The Caul Manifestation when you use the Stigmata Key; not only can you control your own spilt blood, forming crude weapons and barriers, but you can look through it from anywhere in the world; effectively allowing you to assassinate anyone who happens to be in a place where you've fought before.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality:
    • Geists have typically long abandoned human morality in an attempt to thwart the Underworld's gradual consumption of them, and the only thing the Kerberoi care about is the enforcement of the Old Laws. This tends to put them at odds with humans that retain a more traditional system of morality.
    • As a result of being human/geist fusions, Sin-Eaters have a Karma Meter called "Synergy" that replaces the human Morality, and it is very alien, focusing mostly on appeasing the deathly entity inside of them. Accidental murder is still bad for them, but destroying a Momento is just as bad, and planned murder is no problem at all. About the only things sin-eaters and humans are equally bothered by are torture and serial killing.
    • In addition, sin-eater krewes can adopt an Ethos as a part of their krewe-binding. The advantage is that it supplants your traditional Synergy requirements, so long as you follow the tenets of the Ethos; the disadvantage is that violating your Ethos is a major Synergy violation, which can quickly lead to becoming one of The Wretched.
  • Body Horror: The Stigmata Caul. One of the high level powers is the ability to detach your own arms and control them as they fly through the air. Snap someone's neck from fifty yards away? Yes please.
  • Body Snatcher: The Stygian Marionette turns the sin-eater into one... however, it only works on someone that is recently dead.
    • Also applies to Synergy 0 sin-eaters, who are effectively possessed by their geists.
  • Bond Creatures: The geists themselves, once they make the Bargain.
  • Bread and Circuses: The entire point of Oppia, one of the Dead Dominions. The food is made from raw Essence and is extremely addictive, and the Kerberos of the Dominion makes sure that there are always plenty of ghost slaves on hand to attend to his visitors' every whim. This is partly because said "Kerberos" (he's actually a geist who somehow built his own Dominion) enjoys nothing more than eating his visitors, who are typically so crazed from vice addiction that they can't even fight back.
  • Call-Back: One of the "Fetter" Mementos (a magical object made by binding a ghost to their anchor) is an extended reference to the previous World of Darkness sourcebook Ghost Stories.
  • Came Back Strong: As mortals, Sin-Eaters typically have some sort of connection to fate or the world of the dead (represented by glimpses of ghosts or strange hunches). Once they die, however, a geist offers them the chance to come back, and when they accept, they gain access to a whole suite of powers.
  • Came Back Wrong: If a Sin-Eater comes back from the dead after the first time, their geist has a little bit more control... and they can't get their control back as high as they could before. A Sin-Eater who comes back more than five times basically becomes a meat puppet dragged around by their geist... who wants to have some fun. Compounding the problem is that the shrieking remnants of said meat puppet's soul are really bad for the Geist's already tenuous and alien grasp on sanity — many will simply give up a host's body and let them truly die rather than have to deal with this.
  • Chained Heat: How some sin-eaters view their relationship with their geist, and vice versa.
  • City of Adventure: New York City.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: A Sin-Eater's Keystone Memento is symbolic of the pact between him and his Geist; it cannot be stolen or destroyed and the Sin-Eater can summon it with a moment's concentration.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Subverted with the Kerberoi. The Old Laws they enforce might seem like complete nonsense to the human mind, but they seem logical to the Kerberoi.
  • The Commandments: The Old Laws. They are old even for the Kerberoi enforcing them, and different Dominions have different laws. Some of the laws can even be arbitrarily changed, such as "The <Kerberoi>'s Words Are Law".
  • Conspiracy Placement: The Twilight Network.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Pit Manifestation. Always a Syngery 7 offense just to use it, as it blatantly violates the boundary between life and death by tearing out a chunk of the Underworld and using it as a weapon.
    • The Stygian Key also qualifies. More powerful than any other Key, but each use requires the sacrifice of a living creature. In addition, getting the Key in the first place requires drinking from three of the rivers in the Underworld and carving out a chunk of your soul.
    • Crash the Gates, a ceremony from the Book of the Dead. Lets you temporarily turn yourself into a walking Avernian Gate, but you don't control who- or what- comes through.
  • Deal with the Devil: Geists would answer the plea of those whose life were death-touched and whose death were unwilling, with an offer: a second lease at life, and in return the Geist gets to tag along back to the world of the living. Subverted in that all the Geists want is often just the simple pleasures of life. Some of the nastier Geists however, play this straight; they tag along for the ride, then manipulate the host to insanity, often ending with complete loss of Synergy and a corporeal body for the Geist to use as a meat puppet as it wills.
  • Deader than Dead: When your maximum Synergy hits 0 from repeated resurrections, this is the best possibility — the worst is covered above under Came Back Wrong. Alternately, this is what happens when you die of old age or you fulfill your Geist's goals. It seems to be implied that dying of old age generally doesn't cause a ghost to be left behind at all (even in the Underworld). This might suggest that a person who dies like that has no reason to reject their death, and so gets to move "on" peacefully. What might become of them after that is unknown.
  • Death as Game Mechanic: When a Sin-Eater dies, their Geist can restore them to life at the next dawn or dusk. It's painful — someone else has to die in their place, and their Sanity Meter is permanently damaged — but the decision isn't in the Sin-Eater's hands.
  • Demon of Human Origin: All player characters are pacted and merged with super-ghosts because they were too hard-assed, too willful, or just insufficiently partied out to stay dead. Some then take it out on non-superpowered ghosts.
    • A more literal version comes from a sample geist in the gamebook, The Horned Fiend. Though not literally a demon, three hundred years of rejections from the dying to form a Sin Eater have mutated it into something that better resembles one, with horns growing all over, seven eyes and an aura that can be felt even by mortals without materializing. Suffice to say, his new appearance isn't helping any and it's made him a little desperate. Trying to break the cycle is actually a suggested plothook for him.
  • Determinator: Sin-Eaters in general. You don't come back as a sin-eater unless you really don't want to die, and once they've taken the Bargain, good luck putting them back down again. More specifically, this is a common trait among Stricken, those killed by disease. It's often how they came back.
  • Dying Deal Upgrade: The Bargain between Sin-Eaters and their geists, and all of the cool powers that come with it.
  • Ectoplasm: Player characters and other Bound use ectoplasm as Mana through their Symbiotic Possession. It forms where The Underworld touches the physical world, appearing as a neutral gel, syrup, or vapor that quickly disappears if not collected.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Kerberoi, enforcers of the (sometimes self-contradictary) Old Laws, the code of the Underworld. Exactly none of them look even remotely human, much less act like them.
    • Many Geists, if not all of them, can also qualify. They're at the very least half ghost, half spirit of death. Ghosts that have forgotten what it means to be human also qualify.
    • And the Chthonians, who are so alien that they make the Kerberoi look pretty reasonable. At least you know what the last ones want: for you to not break the Old Laws. But the Chthonians? Nobody knows what they want. Nobody even knows what they are! There are many theories (for example, that they are the ghosts of races who existed before humanity), all very creepy, but nothing is certain. 2E even goes on to hint that half the reason the Underworld is as screwed up as it is involves the Chthonians serving as a colonizing force from... elsewhere.
  • Elemental Powers: Four of the Keys, each one with a "death-tinged" theme. There's Grave-Dirt (Earth), Cold Wind (Air), Pyre Flame (Fire), and Tear-Stained (Water).
  • Enemy Mine/Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Krewes tend to not get along with each other, due to fundamental differences in their philosophy. But once in a while, there's a horribly ancient terror from beyond finding its way back to the world of the living, too big and powerful for a single krewe to handle. Times like this, the most influential krewe would call a War Council, a meeting with all other krewes to set aside their differences for a moment and address this threat.
  • Enemy Within: So, so averted. There's nothing about Geists that's inherently malevolent towards Sin-Eaters, and for the somewhat... morbid desires many of them have, the Sin-Eater can just tell them to shut up. In fact, it's specifically stated that Geists are rather protective of their other halves, and thus rarely push them into situations that are blatantly suicidal. In addition, you might get lucky and end up with a Geist who might actually be helpful in your day to day life (like giving advice, or maybe they notice something you don't— it IS in their best interest to keep you alive, after all.)
    • However, the core book says that some Geists do torment their hosts for various reasons. Some do it in an attempt to break the Sin-Eater's will and make him/her more likely to do what it wants to do, or because they think it's funny. A few are just so insane that they think constantly screaming nonsense in their host's ears or making their host see half-decayed children dancing in the street and singing songs by the Beatles are normal things to do. One of the sample adventures, Dem Bones, features a Sin-Eater who has been driven to the verge of madness by the eponymous Geist, who keeps singing the same snippet of the same song. Over and over. The opening snippet makes it abundantly clear that poor Regan has resorted to repeated suicide attempts just to get Dem Bones to shut up so she can sleep.
    • It's also noted that Geists aren't "just" ghosts anymore, that they're "part spirit", having replaced a ghost's Anchor with a concept. A Geist of car crashes causes car crashes... not because it wants to, not because it thinks it's fun, not because it wants to hurt people, but because that's what it is. Bound are accorded respect due to the kind of Geist they're bound with: someone keeping a Geist of vengeance in check is a badass, but a Bound keeping the actual Spirit of Vengeance itself in check must have cast-iron cojones.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: The krewe-binding ceremony gives all participating Sin-Eaters a spiritual vision that reveals some truth about the nature of the world, the nature of Death and the purpose of the Sin-Eaters. It also grants access to a number of powers they otherwise could not possess, and their powers only grow stronger as they attract more Sin-Eaters to their krewe.
  • Equivalent Exchange:
    • As mentioned above, a Sin-Eater can be brought back from death by his geist, but the geist has to shunt that death off somewhere else. So, some poor sucker will die so you can live. And you have no choice in the matter. (You can, however, ask your geist not to resurrect you in the first place... but there's no guarantee they'll agree. Or keep their word, even if they do.)
    • The Underworld seems to run on this principle, especially with regards to the Rivers. Every River of the Underworld has both a positive and a negative effect that results from drinking it: the Lethe will grant you an answer to any question that any person has ever known, at the cost of some of your memories; the Kohan-Il makes it harder for people to hit you, but you lose the ability to heal temporarily; the Sinaan grants you prophetic visions but poisons you, and so on.
  • Evil Feels Good: Fulfilling your Vice in the Underworld is twice as effective as fulfilling it in the living world, to the point where it can become addictive and all other pleasures feel hollow. This is partly the explanation for why ghosts tend to go insane after spending enough time in the Great Below.
  • Famously Mundane, Fictionally Magical: Memorabilia, the most powerful magic items Sin-Eaters can wield, are objects that gained power by being tied up in the deaths of the famous, such as James Dean's death car, the rope that hanged the guy who killed Wild Bill Hickock, or Percy Shelley's heart.
  • Fate Worse than Death: When the player characters are immortal, you have to step things up a notch.
  • Faux Flame: The lower ranks of Pyre-Flame Manifestations tend to produce flames that are merely spiritual in nature, and do little damage to the living. This is not the case with higher level Manifestations, however.
  • The Fettered: A Sin-Eater can get back plasm any time they fulfill their Virtue or Vice, in addition to getting back willpower, so long as they do so in accordance with their Archetype. Just like with willpower, however, fulfilling one's Vice grants only a single point of plasm; by fulfilling one's Virtue, however, a Sin-Eater can completely refill their plasm pool. Naturally, this makes the more principled Sin-Eaters some of the most terrifying, since they're more likely to be walking around with a full pool of plasm.
    • In the same vein, a Sin-Eater can completely refill their plasm by helping ghosts to pass on peacefully, as opposed to the few points of plasm that can be scavenged from devouring ghosts.
  • Fighting Spirit: The Phantasmal Marionette allows a Sin Eater to plant their mind into a plasm-copy of their Geist's body, allowing them to physically manifest and control the Geist in a manner quite similar to a Stand or Persona. The higher level the manifestation, the stronger said said body can be. Once level 3 has been hit, the option of flight is present, making it easy to become a Flying Brick.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: Every Sin-Eater's origin story has one thing in common: they died and then came back by merging with a Geist.
  • Forever War: The Killing Fields is a Dead Dominion where two sides constantly wage war against each other... and since it's very hard for ghosts to die, it's also pretty much impossible for either side to win.
    • And it is literally impossible to resolve any other way. One of the Old Laws of the Dominion is "Fealty Shall Be Sworn" - to one of the Kerberoi. Each of the Kerberoi must and will spend the rest of forever trying to punish its perfectly-matched (literally; their stats are identical) enemy for breaking the Old Laws by refusing to swear fealty to them.
  • Functional Magic: Sin-Eaters have a form of Inherent Gift known as Manifestations, which are shaped by the particular Key (resonance) they use to activate them (e.g., using the Industrial Key means your manifestations affect machinery, while using the Passion Key means they affect emotions, and so on). Also, they get a ritual-based form of Necromancy that allows them to interact with and bind ghosts.
  • Ghost Amnesia: Ghosts tend to get a bit... fuzzy about their old lives as they age, and geists even more so — when you've been thinking of yourself as The Bullet-Toothed Man for a couple decades it gets a little tricky remembering what life was like as Mister John Doe.
  • Ghost Invasion: The rare and powerful "Crash the Gates" ceremony briefly transforms the caster into a living portal to The Underworld. Nothing compels ghosts to pass through, but the temptation of light and life usually brings a flood of ghosts seeking new earthly fetters.
  • Grand Theft Me: What happens when a sin-eater reaches Synergy 0- his geist takes control of his body, and he can only watch as he is forced to do the geist's bidding.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Athaeneum, one of the Dead Dominions, contains every piece of information ever conceived by humanity, whether it was written down or not. However, a large amount of information was lost when a mage collapsed one of the wings of the library, and then there's the constant hunger of the Word Eater...
  • Haunted Fetter: They're even called Fetters. They're Anchors that have their troublesome ghosts bound into them, allowing a Sin-Eater to channel an additional Key, as well as use one of the ghost's Numina.
  • Hell Gate: The portals that lead to the Underworld are called Avernian Gates. These gates can be opened by Sin-Eaters using special rituals, however doing so can affect their Synergy levels.
  • Hell Is War: The Killing Fields, one of the Dead Dominions, is a constant battleground between two Kerberoi, Clockwork against Dominus. When you enter the Dominion, you are required to pledge allegiance to one of them, and even other Kerberoi aren't exempt.
  • Hellhole Prison: If you break one of the Old Laws in the Underworld, you might wind up in Lowgate Prison. If you're lucky (and mortal), you'll just need to serve your sentence and then get out. If you're a ghost, however, they'll simply torture you until your Vice goes away, which can take a very long time indeed.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Each one of the Thresholds is claimed (symbolically or... otherwise) by one of the Horsemen (and there are actually five riders, as Hades rides behind Death). The Torn (death by violence) correspond with the Red Horseman; the Silent (death by deprivation) with the Black Horseman; the Stricken (death by illness) with the White; the Prey (death by nature) with the Pale; and the Forgotten (death by accident) with the Gray.
  • Human Resources:
    • Unlocking a Manifestation with the Stygian Key requires the sacrifice of a living being. The bonus for the sacrifice goes up depending on its Size rating, all the way up to +5 for a Size 5 sacrifice. Incidentally, full-grown humans are usually Size 5...
    • In the Forge of Orcus, one of the Dead Dominions, you can buy items forged from ghosts. Generally speaking, they only accept other ghosts as payment in return. And haggling is illegal in the Forge.
    • In another Dead Dominion, the Junkyard, all the ghosts have become mechanized and are constantly replacing "parts" to improve themselves to win a Dominion-wide battle royale. If you're willing, you can raid the junk piles for replacement limbs or, possibly, you can steal a ghost's power core to power your own devices.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The Sepulchral Gateway ceremony lets you use Avernian Gates as a form of teleportation, without ever having to pass through the Underworld itself. That said, if you botch the activation roll, or stray from the path set out by the ceremony, you can get lost in the Underworld, without any way to necessarily guide yourself back home...
  • Immortality Immorality: Abmortals are one of the sample foes for Sin-Eaters, mortals who've discovered a process that renders them immortal but requires a human cost. This ranges from convincing people to commit suicide (where the abmortal failed) to killing them with a rare strain of bubonic plague (after surviving the Black Death).
  • Implacable Man: Whatever you do, do not piss off a sin-eater of the Reaper or Gatekeeper Archetypes. Sin-eaters can take damage that would make Jason Voorhees seem pathetic by comparison, are resistant to disease and poison, and unlike most other World of Darkness splats, it doesn't ding their Karma Meter to kill people, so they don't even have a moral reason to not kill you.
  • Infinity +1 Element: The Stygian Key is something of a subversion, since Geist doesn't follow a traditional Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors model, but it's still the most potent Key by far. Of course, considering what you have to do to get it, and what you have to do to use it...
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Geists are all but outright stated to be a form of pseudo-magath, formed when a Death spirit fuses with a human ghost. Of the other corebook supernatural races, it is stated that Sin-Eaters tend to clash the most with Mages, due to their tendency to mess around with corpses and the dead, and find Vampires highly annoying because they tend to make a lot of ghosts without actually getting bothered by them. Sin-Eaters and Werewolves get on well, in the sense that they tend to avoid bothering each other and are willing to hand over cases that are "outside their jurisdiction". As for Changelings and Prometheans, Sin-Eaters tend to ignore them and are ignored in return.
  • I See Dead People: Sin-eaters can innately see and communicate with ghosts unless they make an effort to suppress it. Ghosts intuitively know this and tend to flock to them as a result.
  • Jumped at the Call: Most Sin-Eaters find the idea of Supernatural Angst ridiculous, to say the least. Justified, since the alternative to the template is, you know, death.
  • Karma Meter: Synergy, a measure of how well you and your geist work together. Thing is, that's all it measures; Sin-Eaters no longer necessarily operate by human morality.
    • Weirdly, Synergy is the laxest Karma Meter of all the various CoD morality systems. Compared to Mages, Changelings and Werewolves, the Sin-Eaters can cheat, lie, steal, and kill far more often and with far less potential mental instability. For a game line that emphasizes consequences for immorality, the Sin-Eaters are rather free from the usual degeneration that follows.
      • Possibly because dying replaces most of those sins and has a much harsher punishment for screwing around with the border between life and death.
      • Well, it's the laxest in terms of consequences and demands. The Werewolf system is probably the laxest in terms of actual human morality (murder and theft/robbery are literally not sins at all), it just replaces it with a much, much stricter Blue-and-Orange Morality system (the worst sins are violating dietary restrictions and incivility). Geist morality is the normal black and white, they just aren't that worried about it.
  • Knight Templar: All Sin-Eaters receive a spiritual vision when they undergo a krewe-binding ceremony. While this tends to be a deeply personal experience for every Sin-Eater, some become more fanatical than others, believing that anyone who doesn't ascribe to their particular vision needs to die. They're called the Sacrosanct, and are among the greatest foes of other Sin-Eaters.
    • Michael ben Michael is a Sin-Eater who believes his Geist is literally Archangel Michael, who is also his father. He also believes that all other sin-eaters (except his krewe-mates) are servants of The Dark One, especially other sin-eaters that claim to have angels for geists. So far, he's killed three "blasphemous" Sin-Eaters, including one that claimed to have channeled Michael, and all signs point to him continuing his killing spree.
  • The Last Dance:
    • The Wings of the Moth ceremony lets you give one to a ghost by temporarily granting them a corporeal form, so that they can resolve their Unfinished Business.
    • A weaker variant exists in the One Last Song ceremony. It heals a dying person to full health for one hour; after that, they go away for good.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Wraith: The Oblivion, its spiritual predecessor. Wraith had you play an unquiet ghost bound to a bleak afterlife by your ties to the life you once had, while struggling with ghostly politics and the all-consuming Oblivion. Geist has you play people who fuse their souls with a ghost to come back to life and use this second chance to live a fuller life, while occasionally dealing with ghosts and stranger things from the Underworld.
    • Also to the Chronicles of Darkness as a whole. The CoD is consistently portrayed as a Crapsack World, with legit monsters running around screwing things up for everyone else. But in Geist, the whole point of the character is the will to live. You wanted your life to keep going, because it was something worth having. Bound are also, as mentioned in many other tropes, the least afflicted by their supernatural condition, able to lead fairly normal lives if they want. And if they choose to pursue their Sin-Eater calling, and help ghosts resolve their Anchors and move on, they're actively making the world a better place.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: In first edition, a Sin Eater got a unique effect for each dot of a Manifestation per Key they had access to. This meant that each purchase for either a Manifestation or a new Key multiplied the abilities a player character has on hand. Unfortunately, this very reason was why only one new Key and Manifestation were made in first edition's entire run; any new Key or Manifestation would have to take into account all the base powers, creating at least fifty new powers for a single new addition. This also caused issues where different Key/Manifestation combinations resembled each other, and didn't come off as equal choices.
    • This is very much averted in second edition. Any Haunt can be unlocked with any Key but, outside of additional plasm and the number of dice that can be used for the Haunt, any differences from the Key are strictly visual.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Only a one-off mention under the entry for the Stricken. A girl who died of copper poisoning had her hair turned green by said poisoning before she died. The fact that she kept the coloring after her Bargain is listed as an example of the physical aftereffects dying may leave on a Sin-Eater.
  • Loss of Identity: What happens as you swim in the Ocean of Fragments. Some ghosts who cannot pass on will intentionally seek out the Ocean for exactly this reason, since it provides a form of escape from the constant torment of existence in the Underworld.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The Industrial and Phantasmal Caul. One allows you to implant machinery into your body, the other one turns you into a mind-shattering monster.
  • Mana: Plasm, the stuff of the dead.
  • Mana Shield: All Sin Eaters can choose to spend Plasm in order to absorb damage instead of losing health. At the end of the scene, they still take Bashing damage (the worst of the wound is negated, but the sore bruises remain), but given this ability can block Lethal and Aggravated damage, it's a bargain.
  • Masquerade: Surprisingly averted. The Sin Eaters are the only New World of Darkness species who do not enforce a full-blown masquerade. Not that they really need to, since their powers are generally subtler than those of the other supernaturals. The exception are the Rage Manifestations, but they usually only come up when you're fighting something... though that Pyre-Flame Rage does come in handy for lighting cigars and starting barbecues.
  • Master of Illusion: Sin-eaters with the Phantasmal Key will almost certainly become this.
  • Meat Puppet:
    • The fate of those who reach Synergy 0; imprisoned in their own body, with the Geist in control and they can only watch the Geist use their body for their own fun.
    • The Stygian Marionette allows you to possess corpses. You can raise zombies with the Stillness Marionette, but the Stygian Marionette gives you a lot more control over said corpse, even allowing you to tap the knowledge and skills it had when it was alive.
  • Monster from Beyond the Veil: Every Geist is an aspect of Death that gives an offer to the recently dead for a new lease on life - if only they accept the Geist to tag along for the ride. Thankfully this does not lead to Came Back Wrong, as the host still has full control and can tell the Geist to sit down and shut up at the corner of their mind/soul.
  • Monster Protection Racket: It's not unknown for sin-eaters to use their ability to communicate with ghosts to create hauntings for various purposes, usually financial gain. It's so strongly associated with the Bonepickers that it's arguably a sub-archetype for them.
  • Mundane Utility: How would you use the power of the Underworld, granted to you after you've come Back from the Dead? If you're a Bonepicker, you use that power to get really nice stuff and make a lot of money.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Some sin-eaters fall into this line of thinking, since plain old murder no longer dings their Karma Meter.
    • Subverted: killing only one or two people is fine. But indiscriminate murder, acts that result in large amounts of collateral damage, and mass murder all violate the laws of the Underworld, since it results in "unnatural" death.
  • Near-Death Experience: This is how a Sin-Eater is made — they end up at the front gates of the Underworld, and are offered a chance to come back by a geist.
  • Necromancer: Seeing as Sin-Eaters use powers fueled by the essence of the Underworld, all of them. Similarly, any Sin-Eater can learn Ceremonies, which allow them to help ghosts pass on, let the living interact with the dead, and raise zombies. And then there's the Necromancer Archetype, but they're more focused on knowledge of death and the Underworld.
  • Non-Standard Skill Learning: Most Keys can be learned through simple XP expenditure. The Stygian Key, which taps Death itself, requires the student to explore The Underworld extensively, receive instruction from one of the Kerberoi who rule there, and then sacrifice part of themselves.
  • Only Killable at Home: Mortals have shades of this in the core game, as anyone who dies in The Underworld reappears outside the nearest Avernian Gate, mentally worse for wear but alive. However, this doesn't hold true for the greater Chronicles of Darkness cosmology, which has plenty of deadly otherworlds.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: They're either bound to the world by Anchors and not fully cognizant of the fact that they're dead; unfettered, allowed to move about the Underworld, and able to grow and develop; or dead souls who've been boiled down to the basics of what defined their death, which can make deals with the recently deceased to bring them back from the brink of death. The latter would be the titular geists.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: At least four different varieties under the sin-eaters alone, five if you count the Stygian Caul.
  • Perky Goth: It's hard to see the Sin-Eaters seen in the previews as anything but this. Justified by the fact that being not dead gives you a new lease on life, but you still have death-based powers.
    • Word of God has declared Perky Goth to be the #1 thematic of the game. This is in stark contrast to the wangst of Vampire: The Requiem, which seems to unlive and breathe on the trope.
    • The Mourner Archetype is a subversion. Unlike the other Sin-Eaters (and despite the fact that they are technically alive as well), these blokes consider themselves dead, and rather than gaining a new appreciation for life, they gain a fascination with morbidity. However, it's not like they angst about it or anything; they actually thrive on mourning and sadness, so they're more like Nightmare Fetishists.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: The ritual "Message from Beyond" invokes this, though it can be anything from a letter to a video call. The Bound ritually breaks or disables a tool of communication and leaves it alone with a ghost, who can create one message that unerringly finds its way to its recipient.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: Ghosts can learn a numen to inhabit a corpse, effectively creating a temporary zombie with the ghost's intelligence. Unlike with living victims, the ghost automatically takes possession and can stay for as long as it fuels the power with Essence. If a dead body is left in The Underworld, it's fair game for any ghost, no numen required.
  • The Power of Friendship / The Power of Trust: Sin-eaters are fairly terrifying by themselves, but they only truly tap into their power once they've joined a krewe. Besides getting access to a number of special abilities they couldn't otherwise acquire, they also get the more mundane benefits of being able to access the resources of other krewe members.
    • In addition, the more sin-eaters there are in a krewe, the more supernatural benefits they acquire, until they reach Tier 3, where they gain the ability to make their own Key.
  • Power of the Void: The Pit Manifestations channel the Underworld to take something out from the victim. Lower levels can say, make the victim start sinking to the ground, higher levels can expel all water from the victim, drying them to an unnatural state. That's just the Elemental Powers, the more mental ones can lead to Despair Event Horizon, Ret-Gone, or And I Must Scream. This is the most feared Manifestation, and due to the sheer wrongness of it, using it is a Synergy 7 sin.
  • Power Perversion Potential: The most obvious way of achieving this is using the Passion Key to inspire feelings of Lust in someone else (or an entire room of people, if you have the Boneyard and are feeling particularly kinky), but plenty of other powers can be abused for perverse ends.
    • Hell, some sin-eaters might just find it fun to have a constant captive audience. Or not.
  • Powers via Possession
    • Let's be technical here: REVERSE Possession is also a possibility. A Sin-Eater can be possessed by his Geist to affect the real world, and the Geist can be possessed by his Sin-Eater to affect the Twilight realm. Since the vast majority of Geist activity takes place in Twilight, Reverse Possession is far more likely to happen in any given circumstance.
  • Precautionary Corpse Disposal: Any corpse left in The Underworld inevitably returns to the physical world, often possessed by a ghost, unless it's cut into at least eight equally-sized pieces and submerged in an Underworld river, like Osiris.
  • Pre-Character Customization Gameplay: Character creation starts with an ordinary human and adds the Sin-Eater template, so the game suggests an optional "Prelude" chapter to play out how the character lived, died, and became Bound.
  • Psychic Link: Sin-eaters and their geists can communicate wordlessly, although this tends to deteriorate as Synergy drops.
  • Psychopomp:
    • Sin Eaters of the Pilgrim Archetype take on this role. Rather than personally guide people into the afterlife, they help them preemptively resolve Unfinished Business that could trap them as a ghost.
    • The Underworld has its own psychopomps in the form of intelligent animals who help travelers navigate its domains - for a fee, of course. It's unknown whether they're former humans, Non-Human Undead, or something more occult.
  • Psycho Serum: The Rivers of the Underworld have this effect on drinkers. Living drinkers have a benefit and cost from the River applied to them (drinking out of the Acheron, for instance, will sharpen memory at the cost of going into a Heroic BSoD from the recalled painful memories). Ghosts who drink turn into geister, losing part of their humanity and becoming more death-spirit than shade, for the benefit of being more able to escape the Underworld and perform a Bargain.
  • Quieting the Unquiet Dead: Sin-Eaters have wide-ranging powers related to death and the dead, and naturally attract ghosts who want to communicate, so they're expected by tradition to help ghosts with their Unfinished Business and neutralize the most dangerous ones.
  • Religion is Magic: Literally. Due to the spiritual vision granted by a krewe-binding ceremony, many krewes start to become mini-cults. Joining a krewe also grants a number of supernatural benefits. Thus, it's understandable that many sin-eaters begin to see their power as being divine in origin.
  • Resurrective Immortality: So long as their geist is willing to bring them back, a sin-eater cannot die permanently. However, every resurrection comes with a drop in Synergy, and after enough resurrections, they may not want to come back. There's a couple of caveats, though. First, a geist can't bring back someone who has died of old age. Second, there must be enough of a sin-eater's body left to repair with plasm; this means that if their head is destroyed, or if their remains are scattered into enough pieces, there's nothing a geist can do.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Inverted: Death Heals Sin-Eaters. The lore states that there is power in death, and they can tap into this. By either destroying one of their Mementos or outright murdering a poor sap in cold blood, a Sin-Eater can regain lost hit points. The Geist can even bring a Sin-Eater back from the dead by shunting off their death off to another poor soul. Karma Meter issues aside, this makes them pretty darn hard to put down.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Book Of The Dead is about realms of the dead. One of them is a very friendly place called Oppia, that offer a abundance of food and sex slaves. Of course, it's very easy to break a rule and get enslaved yourself. Some of the slaves chose to remain slaves after they served the term of their punishment. Of course said slaves actually enjoy being prostitutes, and they're willing: actual slaves, on the other hand, are literally prohibited from receiving pay or even food for their work, and in the case where you coerce an obviously unwilling one into the act... well...
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: You can make your own, thanks to the Spectral Captivity ceremony.
  • Secret Art: The Stygian Key cannot be learned easily. You have to journey to the Underworld and drink from 3 of its river (gaining benefit and losing something in the process). And then you have to find one of the creatures of the Underworld to teach you; ghosts can't provide this service, so you have to seek one of the Kerberoi. Then you go back to the world of the living, and sacrifice something that takes an awful long to recover from. You've gotten the Stygian Key finally... but to use them...
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shinigami: The concept of the game seems partially influenced by the recent influx of shinigami tropes coming into the US via anime and videogames (like how the Shinigami were imported from Europe to Meiji Era Japan, being based on the Grim Reaper). According to Word of God, the writers were unaware of the Shinigami tropes while working on Geist. The game can be used to emulate them, but it's not intentional.
  • Soul Jar: Higher level Sin-Eaters need to construct anchors to sustain their extraordinary Psyches. However, destroying the anchors doesn't harm the sin-eater, it just forces them back down to a lower power-level.
  • Soul Power: All Sin-Eaters in general, but those with the Stigmata or Stygian Keys are particularly dangerous in this realm.
  • The Soulless: The Vacant, Sin-Eaters that have had their spiritual link to their geist severed, either willingly or otherwise. They have a Synergy/Morality score of 0 and a driving urge to join with a geist to fill the hole that's been left by the departure of the geist. One of their favorite tricks for getting a new geist involves finding another sin-eater and forcibly severing their link, thereby creating a new Vacant and starting the process anew.
    • Even if a Vacant manages to find a new geist- be they a "free agent" or one forcibly taken from another sin-eater- they must still get the geist to accept a Bargain with him (not easy since many Vacant got that way by destroying their own geists). And even then, they still start at Synergy 0 and must somehow raise their Synergy despite it normally being impossible at that level. In short, a full recovery from being Vacant is rare, to say the least.
  • Special Snowflake Syndrome: An obvious potential occurrence. The Dead Conspiracies are supposed to be unplayable, but they seem so exponentially cooler than the proper Krewe samples given in the sourcebook that some players might find it hard to resist.
  • Supernatural Angst: Strongly averted. While individual Sin-Eaters may run into problems surrounding their relationship with their geists or the nastier entities of the Underworld, Sin-Eater culture is basically a walking New Orleans funeral. Like all games in the CoD settings, things aren't exactly all sun shine and rainbows. Unlike the others, the theme is more "yes, we're a bit broken, but hey, we survived," than complete despair.
    • While 2E cuts down on the celebration vibes, it turns the focus towards being productive. Sin-Eaters have gotten a first-hand glimpse at just how much the Underworld does not work, and while many revel in the chance at being alive, others use that as a motivation to get down there and fix it.
  • Superpower Lottery: If you're a Sin-Eater, you have it good compared to other CoD denizens. There's no Masquerade to uphold or a big nebulous conspiracy as your primary opponent, so you are free to live your second life as you want. While the scale of your power may not reach the scale of Mages or Mummies, your sheer resilience makes you very damn hard to put down. You have no Achilles' Heel or Kryptonite Factor, you can No-Sell Aggravated Damage let alone bullets, and even if you die, you can come back to life and pay your murderer a visit for another round.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The call lives inside your mind/soul. Further more, even if the Sin-Eater lucked out and has an agreeable geist 'partner', ghosts can still recognize sin-eaters and tend to bug them to help them with their Unfinished Business (see below).
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Indulging your Vice in the Underworld feels even better than it does in the living world, granting double the normal willpower bonus. However, it can result in vice addiction, which makes other sensations feel hollow and encourages you to indulge your Vice more and more. This is even worse in Oppia, where everything has been set up to make you dependent on Oppia's food and luxuries, so that it's even easier to make you a slave or turn you into a dish for Oppia's Kerberos.
  • Touch the Intangible: Sin-eaters can "reverse-possess" their Geist to interact physically with Twilight. They're still in the physical world, which can look a bit odd to outsiders if they get in a fight with an invisible ghost.
  • Tragic Keepsake: All mementos mori qualify, and sin-eaters can draw power from them. Also, sin-eaters use mementos as status symbols, a fact they tend to keep private from people who might get suspicious of their increasingly morbid collections.
  • Transhuman Treachery:
    • One of the very worst sorts of ghosts a Sin-Eater can expect to come across in the course of their duties is the type that reasons that since they're dead, human morality no longer applies to them. This is to say nothing of the ghosts who've spent so long in the Underworld that they've lost almost any semblance of humanity.
    • Sin-Eaters themselves can fall into this trope, if the circumstances of their death and the sort of Geist that shows up to pull them back are amenable to a particularly hostile world-view from then on.
  • Translator Microbes: As a perk of their ghostly symbiosis, sin-eaters bypass the language barrier completely when they speak to ghosts.
  • Trapped in Another World:
    • Only sin-eaters (and a rare few mortals) can freely travel between the Underworld and the living world, and even then, only through an Avernian Gate. However, it's possible for mortals to accidentally open Avernian Gates, and it's very easy to get lost within the Underworld, which leads to this trope.
    • Thanks to certain Ceremonies and one or two Manifestations, it's possible for sin-eaters to invoke this trope by throwing people into the Underworld against their will.
  • The Underworld: The sin-eaters will find themselves traveling there on occasion, for one reason or another.
  • Unfinished Business: Ghosts form when a dying person wants something from the world badly enough that part of them stays behind, bound to an Anchor that represents it. Most want Sin-Eaters to resolve this; one of the Archetypes, the Advocates, makes this their duty. When a ghost's business is resolved, no matter how deep in The Underworld they might be, they peacefully dissolve into an unknown final destination.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Sin-Eaters tend to take this attitude towards would-be ghostbusting hunters at best, and usually regard them a lot worse. This is because A: hunters, generally lacking the supernatural powers of sin-eaters, are poorly suited for interacting with ghosts, but they insist on trying to "deal with them" regardless; B: the hunters usually make things worse with their incompetent efforts, and C: hunters tend to try and murder Sin-Eaters for being "demon-possessed" or "witches" or something when they realize the sin-eaters have supernatural powers of their own.
  • Walking Techbane: One of the powers of the Curse haunt, the Curse of the Gremlin, inflicts this upon the target. Interestingly, the power takes a broader view of "technology" than most examples of this trope: Even that most ancient technological development, the capacity to start a fire, is affected.
  • Why Won't You Die?: After Mummies and Prometheans, Sin-Eaters are among the toughest CoD creatures to permanently put down. Even before taking Manifestations into account, their Geist will keep them awake even when they should have fallen unconscious, the Plasm in their blood makes them resistant against diseases and poisons and they can also use their Plasm to reduce any type of wound into Bashing. And when they're close to death, they can heal themselves by destroying their Mementos or by murdering another person in cold blood. And when you do kill one, their Geist can bring them back to life by shunting off their death to someone else. And if the Geist is particularly nasty, it will keep reviving the poor Sin-Eater, well past the point where they lose control of their body, where death is no release.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: How the Phantasmal Rage hurts people. As a result, it can only be used on sentient creatures, but it bypasses most traditional physical protection.
    • In addition, there's the Grave Dream, one of the Dead Dominions in the Book of the Dead. Anyone who dreams can theoretically enter the Grave Dream, despite it technically being in the Underworld. This makes it a convenient way to enter the Underworld without having to traverse the Autocthonous Depths, but if you die in the Grave Dream, you die for real. This is inconvenient for the many mortals who accidentally dream themselves into the Underworld this way.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!:
    • Type Two B; Sin-Eaters can eat ghosts. No-one is sure what actually happens to a ghost that's eaten, but this is one of the more disturbing possibilities.
    • Polydegmon, the Kerberos of Mictlan, is also known as The Collector of souls. If you can gain his favor however, he will be willing to give you the soul of anyone who has died. Even Deader than Dead, Cessation of Existence, or Destination Host Unreachable is no problem for him, and while there's theory that Polydegmon just created a copy of the soul, no one could tell the difference from an actual soul anyway. If you can provide the soul with a physical body, it may even be possible to return the person back to full life. This power combined with his Geognosis is what sets him apart from other Kerberoi, and he might even be a Deathlord.