- Angst Aversion: A common criticism of the game is for its Lighter and Softer nature; specifically, that the game isn't actively encouraging Chronic Backstabbing Disorder that would inevitably descend into a PVP free-for-all, as is the case with so many other multi-splat Living World of Darkness games. The reason for this is that in its early days, the first characters in the game, despite being from numerous different splats, decided that their very survival relied upon cooperation rather than being at each others throats. By the time the game grew in popularity and size, the precedent for cooperation was already in place, to the point of being self-perpetuating. This isn't to say that the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder can't happen in the future, of course; it's just that at this point, it'd be considered highly out-of-character for many of the characters in-game to suddenly abandon their project after it's frankly worked for them for so long.
- Anti-Climax Boss:
- Gabriel Martinez was built up as being a ridiculously powerful, sixth-generation Ravnos Elder whom the players shouldn't even attempt to fight without major backup. He died in one and a half turns after two players scored a crazy number of successes on their rolls against him, and then he botched on his own turn.
- Happened again with Sheriff Gaious during "The Once and Future Prince," who had a double-botch on a dodge roll versus an arrow. This resulted in him being instantly staked, rendering the obscenely high stats he was given moot.
- Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Almost nobody takes Melee or Brawl unless they have things that specifically require them to roll it. The reason for this is that Martial Arts in Mage: 20th Anniversary Edition is objectively superior in nearly every way. If someone is a combat-centered character in this game, there's a very good chance they took Martial Arts (especially Snake Step), unless they're centered solely around Firearms or their own splat's abilities.
- Complete Monster:
- Few villains in the game have had as much notoriety as Judas Illyrium, the Camarilla Prince of Jacksonville and Starke. Being ultimately responsible for the deaths of several player characters (some of which were their players' own fault, granted), Judas has on multiple occasions proven himself to be the consummate backstabber, betraying not just any player character dumb enough to trust him, but the entire Camarilla, callously sacrificing his own court, along with countless innocents in Gainesville, in an attempt to kill any Sabbat in Gainesville who knew of his true identity, while at the same time intentionally trying to get the other player characters killed in the process, leaving him the sole power in the area. He cares nothing for anyone or anything except his own ego. The only reason the player characters couldn't go after him was because, for the longest time, despite his nature he was still recognized by the Camarilla as the rightful Prince, so even if they did manage to defeat him and his legions of lackeys, they'd be starting a war by doing so. This finally changed when they discovered proof that he was in bed with the Black Hand, resulting in the Ivory Tower dispatching a Red Alastor to investigate the charges, and Judas ended up on the Red List because of it.
- Gabriel Martinez of Clan Ravnos. Coming up with the admittedly ingenious idea of using a Mage to alchemically synthesize vampiric vitae into a pill-based club drug, he concocted a plot to saturate the surrounding areas in drugs based off of his own blood, thus turning everyone who got hooked into his own blood-bound slaves. When the player characters caught on to his scheme, what did he do? What else but brutally slaughter an entire tenement full of innocent people, and then do it again, only the second time, the player characters were Forced to Watch. While Judas may be the game's most long-running villain, for the one-off plots, Martinez might very well have been the most hated overall.
- Valkyrie topped them both. An utterly insane Imbued who was too crazy even for the Society of Leopold, he intentionally tried to cause not one, not two, but three mass-casualty biological attacks, for no other reason than because he wanted to bring about the Biblical End Times. His enemies, his own men, innocent bystanders, not a single life mattered; the more casualties and collateral damage, the better, as every death was, in his view, just another step toward Armageddon. Though he may have tried to dress up his Omnicidal Maniac tendencies in religious language and claims of being for the greater good, it was painfully obvious to every character in the game that he was just another sadistic mass murderer. When even the Technocratic Union was willing to risk inadvertently aiding their enemies to deal with him, you know he's bad news.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Dante beheaded an Assamite with magick and then teleported it to his hand. He did this by grabbing his crotch and saying "Give me some head.""Talk about vulgar."
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- As far as NPCs go, you won't find many more popular than Antonin Demeskin, Ada Hendricks, or The Ranger. Especially after the latter's true identity was finally revealed.
- Sofia Gómez was easily the most well-liked character from the Blood, Drugs, and Magick plotline, to the point where she made a cameo appearance as a Wraith later on, where she was posthumously redeemed.
- Lusciana Adams broke the record for "most-requested NPC as a Contact, Ally, etc. dot" shortly after her introduction. She quickly became so beloved of a character, both in-character and out, that the storyteller who created her caved after her storyline was concluded, allowing her and Penelope to be taken as Ally dots, effectively canonizing her from here on out as a major Wraith NPC.
- Evil Is Cool: Downplayed. While it is absolutely possible to play an evil character, and plenty of players do (though some are certainly more Ambiguously Evil than others), it's extraordinarily difficult (if still theoretically possible) to play an Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac and get away with it for very long before the other, more virtuous player characters find out, and come for your head.
- Game-Breaker: Wonders as produced by Mages, as well as their equivalents in other splats such as Mummy: The Resurrection and Demon: The Fallen, have the potential to become this, since they allow for an insane amount of soak dice and easy access to aggravated damage, and certain player characters both past and present have been known to churn them out like factories and hand them out like candy. If it gets bad enough, the Storytellers reach for the nerf bat, and have done so in the past.
- Memetic Mutation: In Discord, anytime someone mentions Wraith: The Oblivion or a Wraith player says 'hi,' everyone 'reacts' to the Discord message using the ghost emoticon. It's almost an unofficial rule at this point.
- Moe: Joy Livingstone. You'd be hard-pressed to find a single character or player in this game who doesn't find her adorable and one of the few genuinely pleasant characters in the entire game, and wouldn't jump to her defense the moment anyone so much as looked at her the wrong way.Altair: "I'm going to Du'at before anyone hurts one hair on her head."
- Player Punch: The in-character death of a player character, especially one that was well-liked by other characters (and more often than not, by their players as well). While it's a bit rarer than in some other games, it can and does happen.
- Scrappy Mechanic: The now-infamous 'epiphany' system circa October 2018. It was scrapped a month later, and pretty much nobody misses it.
- The Woobie: Geoff Ramsay. Already a Shell-Shocked Veteran, his first husband committed suicide, and then he ends up Imbued, with all of the problems that go with it. Just when it looks like he has a chance at happiness with Dante, a Mage, he's accused of being a Category Traitor for revealing what the other Imbued were doing behind the Starke Council's back, and as if that wasn't bad enough, Dante is nearly killed (left with only single health point left following one scene) right when Geoff is trying to settle into his new role outside of the Imbued... and then died of cancer, only to be brought back as a Mummy, one of the very supernaturals he was supposed to fight as an Imbued. Poor guy just can't catch a break.
YMMV / Shadows over the South