The Laibon claim heritage from a hunter possessed by a darkness from a time before the light. It is impossible to trace the veracity of this statement, but the Discipline of Abombwe certainly taps into both primal darkness and predatory prowess.
Note: For reasons unknown, acquiring this Discipline is only possible by those who were killed (i.e., Embraced) on West African soil, buried within it and then raised again. The overwhelming majority of Western Kindred are unaware of its particulars.
|● Predator’s Communion|
The Laibon is the greatest predator in his territory and senses whenever a potential ally or rival is nearby.
System: Spend a blood point. For the rest of the scene, the Laibon can sense predators in the area, including vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, predatory animals, mortals, and ghouls with a Path rating of 4 or less.
To pinpoint the location or find a hidden creature, the player rolls Perception + Survival (difficulty 6, modified by the strength of the predator as determined by the Storyteller; stronger predators are generally easier to detect).
|●● Invoking the Predator|
Sculpting the malleable darkness inside him and pushing it outward, the Laibon can copy aspects of predatory animals.
System: This transformation takes one turn and requires one blood point. The character might grow claws that inflict Strength +1 lethal damage or a tail for balance. Most transformations are automatic, but particularly exotic ones such as poison glands require an Intelligence + Survival roll (difficulty 7).
A botch results in a successful transformation, but adds cosmetic changes such as scales or stripes. This power does not suspend the laws of physics; the Laibon cannot create wings or spider webbing strong enough to carry his weight.
|●●● Unseen Hibernation|
The Laibon makes his lair inside natural formations, plants, or earth by melting into the darkness hidden under their surface. A natural object significantly altered or sculpted by man is not suitable for this power; a wooden hut cannot be used, but a tree with carvings on it might do.
System: The player spends a blood point. Unseen Hibernation is automatic and takes a turn to complete. The character falls into a consciousness one step above torpor during this time and his player must make a Path roll (difficulty 6) for the character to rouse prematurely. The difficulty of rolls to locate the character increase by two. Astral individuals cannot affect him directly, instead meeting with writhing darkness as their hands pass through him.
Violence upon the submerged vampire expels him from the object in a blinding spray (everyone near the vampire, and the vampire are at +2 difficulty on Perception for the turn). The vampire subtracts two from his Initiative for the first turn upon expulsion, but may act normally after that.
|●●●● Power from Darkness|
The Laibon lets darkness flow out and over him like black, clotted blood that clings to his body. This grants him power and special abilities even as the light repels it.
The mysterious Laibon of Africa are quite willing to combine this horrifying power with Animalism 4 (Pact with Animals), which gives Western Kindred yet another solid reason to avoid the ‘Dark Continent’.
System: This power costs two blood points and is automatic. One transformation may be active at a time, lasting for a scene, during which resisting Rötschreck is at +1 difficulty. Examples of use are listed below, but players and Storytellers are encouraged to come up with their own changes:
* Hands – Punches inflict Strength +1 aggravated damage.
* Head – Gain the ability to see perfectly in normal darkness and a -2 difficulty for seeing in supernatural darkness. Spit a toxin by rolling Dexterity + Athletics (difficulty 7) that paralyzes any enemy’s limbs it touches unless the target succeeds at a Stamina roll (difficulty 7).
* Torso – Sprout four spider legs which allow for one additional attack as part of a multiple action in a turn. Climb actions automatically succeed, and attempts to escape by running are at -2 difficulty.
* Legs – Kicks inflicts aggravated damage. Leap up to 10 times the normal jumping distance and receive -1 difficulty to landing safely after a fall or jump.
* Throat – Emit a primordial roar. Mortals and ghouls must succeed at a Courage roll (difficulty 9) or flee, whilst supernatural beings must succeed at a Courage roll (difficulty 8) or become weak with terror (all dice pools reduced by half, rounded up).
|●●●●● Predator’s Transformation|
The Laibon slays a predator and consumes a part of it, be it heart, liver, flesh, or blood. He then becomes that creature as his vitae fully absorbs its essence.
System: The player spends one blood point and rolls Stamina + Survival (difficulty 7). If successful, the Laibon physically transforms into the creature. The creature must be predatory in nature and at least the size of a cat. Humans and supernatural beings may be duplicated, but this does not include powers.
Predator’s Transformation lasts until sunrise or the Laibon ends the power. A Laibon may duplicate a previous transformation without consuming another creature. This requires a Stamina + Survival roll (difficulty 10) with difficulty reduced by one for each time he has killed and transformed into a creature of that type, to a minimum difficulty of 6.
With mortals, vampires, and other humanoids, the Laibon takes on an average appearance for his victim’s ethnic group, unless the player succeeds on the roll at difficulty 9, in which case the previous transformation is perfectly duplicated.
|●●●●● ● Incarnate Darkness|
Emulating the horror that created his lineage, the Laibon becomes a mass of darkness, writhing and turning as it tries to emulate predators not known to man. In this form, the Laibon becomes the ultimate hunter: both deadly and unseen.
System: This power costs three blood points, but requires no roll, as the Laibon’s blood bursts from his skin and transforms him into roiling darkness. The vampire may take on one of three basic shapes: winged (allowing for flight at 25 mph/40 kph), insectoid (burrowing through earth and rock, and granting automatic success on climb rolls) or brutish (all brawling damage increased by +1 lethal).
In addition, his Physical Attributes each increase by three dots, while all Social Attributes drop to zero (however, the vampire may substitute Strength for a Social Attribute for purposes of intimidation). The Laibon becomes the perfect stalker, decreasing the difficulty for all of the Laibon’s Perception and Stealth rolls by two. His claws and teeth inflict Strength +2 aggravated damage and inject the victim with an inky poison that causes one level of damage per turn in living victims until the toxin is nullified.
The Beast resides within all creatures, from scuttling cockroaches to scabrous rats up through untamed wolves and even powerful Kindred elders. Animalism allows the vampire to amplify his intensely primordial nature. He can not only communicate with animals, but can also force his will upon them, directing such beasts to do as he commands. As the vampire grows in power, he can even control the Beast within mortals and other supernaturals.
Prey and predator creatures alike grow distinctly agitated in the presence of a vampire who lacks this Discipline or the Skill of Animal Ken, often to the point of attacking or running from the vampire. In contrast, vampires possessing Animalism exude a dominant vibe to lower creatures, which attracts them.
Animalism is commonly found among vampires of the Gangrel and Nosferatu Clans. Manipulation and Charisma are important for the use of Animalism powers; the stronger the vampire’s personality, the more influence he has over animals.
|● Bond Famulus|
When Blood Bonding an animal, the vampire can make it a famulus, forming a mental link with it and facilitating the use of other Animalism powers. While this power alone does not allow two-way communication with the animal, it can follow simple verbal instructions such as “stay” and “come here.” It attacks in defense of itself and its master but cannot otherwise be persuaded to fight something it would not normally attack.
System: The animal must be fed the user’s Blood on three separate nights. The amount of Blood needed to sustain the bonded state of the animal after this is negligible for story and gameplay purposes. Players starting with this power have completed this process and can chose a famulus for free. Only death releases a famulus once bound.
Without the use of Feral Whispers (Animalism 2), giving commands to the animal requires a Charisma + Animal Ken roll (Difficulty 3); increase Difficulty for more complex orders. A vampire can only have one famulus, but can get a new one if the current one dies. A vampire can use Shared Soul (Animalism 3) and Subsume the Spirit (Animalism 3C) on their famulus for free.
Affinity Bonus: The vampire’s famulus is allowed some special characteristic, typically equivalent to a free dot of the Retainer BG spent on it.
|● (A) Sense the Beast|
The vampire can sense the Beast present in mortals, vampires, and other supernaturals, gaining a sense of their nature, hunger, and hostility.
System: Roll Perception + Empathy vs a difficulty determined by the sum of the target’s Manipulation and Subterfuge ratings. Success allows the user to sense the level of hostility in a target (whether the person is prepared to do harm or even determined to cause it) and determine whether they harbor a supernatural Beast, marking them as a vampire or werewolf.
|●● Feral Whispers|
This power is the basis from which all subsequent Animalism abilities grow. The vampire creates an empathic connection with a beast, thereby allowing him to communicate or issue simple commands. The Kindred locks eyes with the animal, transmitting his desires through sheer force of will. Although it isn’t necessary to actually “speak” in chirps, hisses, or barks, some vampires find that doing so helps strengthen the connection with the animal. Eye contact must be maintained the entire time; if it’s broken, the Kindred must re-establish contact to continue communication. The simpler the creature, the more difficult it becomes to connect with the animal’s Beast. Mammals, predatory birds, and larger reptiles are relatively easy to communicate with. Insects, invertebrates, and most fish are just too simple to connect with.
System: No roll is necessary to talk with an animal, but the character must establish eye contact first. Issuing commands requires a Manipulation + Animal Ken roll. The difficulty depends on the creature: Predatory mammals (wolves, cats, vampire bats) are difficulty 6, other mammals and predatory birds (rats, owls) are difficulty 7, and other birds and reptiles (pigeons, snakes) are difficulty 8.
This difficulty is reduced by one if the character speaks to the animal in its “native tongue,” and can be adjusted further by circumstances and roleplaying skill (we highly recommend that all communication between characters and animals be roleplayed).
The number of successes the player achieves dictates how strongly the character’s command affects the animal. One success is sufficient to have a cat follow an individual and lead the character to the same location, three successes are enough to have a raven spy on a target for weeks, and five successes ensure that a grizzly ferociously guards the entrance to the character’s wilderness haven for some months.
|●● (B) Beckoning|
The vampire’s connection to the Beast grows strong enough that he may call out in the voice of a specific type of animal — howling like a wolf, shrilling like a raven, etc. This call mystically summons creatures of the chosen type. Since each type of animal has a different call, Beckoning works for only a single species at a time.
All such animals within earshot are summoned, and some percentage of them will heed the Beckoning if it is successful. While the vampire has no further control over the beasts who answer, the animals who do are favorably disposed toward him and are at least willing to listen to the Kindred’s concerns. (The vampire can then use Feral Whispers on individual animals to command them, which may be at a decreased difficulty at Storyteller discretion.)
System: The player rolls Charisma + Survival (difficulty 6) to determine the response to the character’s call; consult the table below. Only animals that can hear the cry will respond. If the Storyteller decides no animals of that type are within earshot, the summons goes unanswered.
You must allocate any successes past the first both for how many respond, and how good of a mood they’re in when they arrive.
Botch: A random fraction of the creatures respond, but are hostile to the character.
Failure: No response; you may try again.
1 Success: One animal responds; The one animal that does eventually respond does so with a measure of skepticism and wariness.
2 Successes: One-quarter of the animals within range respond; The slowly approaching animals are cautious but reluctantly curious.
3 Successes: Half the animals within range respond; The beckoned animals arrive at a normal pace, evincing an open curiosity.
4 Successes: Three quarters of the animals within range respond; The quickly approaching animals are clearly willing to cooperate.
5 Successes: All animals within range respond; The responding animals (or herds?) are extremely enthusiastic to collaborate.
The call can be as specific as the player desires. A character could call for all bats in the area, for only the male bats nearby, or for only the albino bat with the notched ear he saw the other night.
|●●● Shared Soul|
This power allows a character to probe the mind of any one animal she touches. Shared Soul can be very disconcerting to both parties involved, as each participant is completely immersed in the thoughts and emotions of the other. With enough effort or time, each participant can gain a complete understanding of the other’s mind.
Shared Soul is most often used to extract an animal’s memories of a specific event, but some Gangrel use this power as a tool in the search for enlightenment, feeling they come to a better understanding of their own Beasts through rapport with true beasts. Too close of a bond, however, can leave the two souls entangled after the sharing ends, causing the vampire to adopt mannerisms, behavior patterns, or even ethics (or lack thereof) similar to those of the animal.
System: The character touches the intended subject creature, and the player rolls Perception + Animal Ken (difficulty 6). The player spends a Willpower point for every turn past the first that contact is maintained. Locating a specific memory takes six turns, minus one turn for every success on the roll. A complete bond takes 10 turns, minus one turn for every success on the roll.
A botch on this roll may, at the Storyteller’s discretion, send the vampire into a frenzy or give the character a derangement related to the behavior patterns of the animal (extreme cowardice if the vampire contacted the soul of mouse, bloodlust if the subject was a rabid dog, and so forth).
|●●● (C) Subsume the Spirit|
By locking his gaze with that of an animal, the vampire may mentally possess the creature. Some elders believe that since animals don’t have souls but spirits, the vampire can move his own soul into the animal’s body. Many younger vampires think it a matter of transferring one’s consciousness into the animal’s mind. In either case, it’s agreed that the beast’s weaker spirit (or mind) is pushed aside by the Kindred’s own consciousness. The vampire’s body falls into a motionless state akin to torpor while his mind takes control of the animal’s actions, remaining this way until the Kindred’s consciousness returns.
Some haughty Tzimisce eschew this power, considering it debasing to enter the body of a lesser creature. When they do stoop to using it, they possess only predators. Conversely, Gangrel revel in connecting to the natural world in this way. They delight in sampling different animals’ natures.
System: The player spends 1 blood point and 1 Willpower point, then rolls Manipulation + Animal Ken (difficulty 8) as the character looks into the animal’s eyes. The number of successes allows the character to employ some mental Disciplines while possessing the animal, as noted below.
1-2 success – Cannot use Disciplines
3 successes – Can use Animalism, Auspex and other sensory powers
4 successes – Can also use Presence and other powers of emotional manipulation
5 successes – Can also use Dementation, Dominate, and other powers of mental manipulation
This power entwines the character’s consciousness closely with the animal’s spirit, so much so that the character may continue to think and feel like that animal even after breaking the connection. This effect continues until the character spends a total of seven nights or three Willpower points to resist and finally overcome the animal nature. This should be roleplayed, though the character will be affected to a lesser degree if the player chooses to spend Willpower.
|●●●● Pact with Animals|
This power allows the wielder to borrow the powers of an animal that she feeds from. It can grant her the strength of the bear, the eyes of the hawk, the wisdom of the owl or the poison bite of the serpent. This power is particularly revered among the Gangrel, although sees good use among feral Nosferatu as well – the latter being ugly enough for the Discipline’s physical distortions to be less apparent.
Note that any vampire who is especially enslaved to their Beast, or in the throes of a truly savage frenzy might display a terrifying, predatory disposition. This Discipline allows the vampire to partially harness such ferocity.
System: Pact with Animals requires that the character drink at least one blood point from the type of animal from which she wants to borrow a power. In the case of small animals, such as rats, this may require more than one source. As the blood is consumed, the player spends one point of Willpower and rolls Wits + Animal Ken with a difficulty of 8 Pact with Animals lasts for one hour per success.
At the Storyteller’s discretion, assuming the attributes of an especially craven or rabid creature might require additional Frenzy checks throughout the night.
The power gained from the animal is usually some combination of literal and symbolic features. For example, someone drinking from an owl would become wiser as well as see better in the dark (or rotate their head 180 degrees), while someone drinking from a snake would slip towards an evil disposition. The Storyteller is the ultimate arbiter, and the results are not necessarily consistent.
|●●●● (D) Beast Walk|
This power builds upon Subsume the Spirit. Through his power, the vampire casts his mind into an animal’s body. More than that, however, he can jump from that first animal to another animal, then a third, a fourth, and so on indefinitely, while his torpid body remains safe in his haven. Given time and a bit of luck, it is possible to mentally travel a significant distance.
System: This power works exactly the same as Subsume the Spirit, although it requires achieving at least 3 successes on the initial Manipulation + Animal Ken (difficulty 8) roll to attempt. It has no cost, unless you achieve less than 3 successes on the Beast Walk attempt – in that case, you’ll need to pay out 1 blood point and 1 Willpower point as normal.
If Beast Walk is activated with at least 3 successes, the vampire can jump to another animal’s body if his current host can (roughly) look into its eyes. The usual range for this is about 20 feet. Re-roll Manipulation + Animal ken for each jump (also at difficulty 8) to determine what disciplines the vampire can use while occupying the new host.
Only a botched roll breaks the chain of possessions and sends the vampire’s mind hurtling back to his body and an immediate frenzy. if the roll fails, the vampire cannot attempt to possess that particular animal, and is stuck in his current host until he finds another vessel.
Affinity Bonus: Beast Walk is Reflexive instead of Instant, making it an excellent insurance to escape a killing blow at the last moment.
The power the vampire holds over beasts is now great enough to command flocks and packs as if they were extensions of their own body. At a gesture, animals lay down their lives by the dozens, even hundreds, to appease their master.
System: Feral Whispers is no longer limited to one animal at a time. It’ll allow you to communicate with all creatures of a particular species who are within earshot.
In addition, you can beseech them for greater help in the event of a sudden crisis. Choose a type of animal (preferably one in the vicinity) and make a Charisma + Animalism roll with a Difficulty depending on the nature of the animals and the order given. Getting a flock of familiar crows to disperse and look for a specific individual (given some means of identifying their target) is relatively straightforward (Difficulty 5), but getting a random pack of stray dogs to give their lives in a suicidal attack on another vampire is more of a challenge (Difficulty 8).
The power does not allow the user to summon animals, but compels those already present to obey. The vampire can command the animals to return after completing their task, if they have means to do so. It lasts for a single scene or until the directive is fulfilled, whichever is shortest.
|●●●●● (E) Tainted Oasis|
By mixing their vitae with local watering holes (or flood control channel), a vampiric master of Animalism may breed servants from among all the creatures who drink there. Although the blood creates some loyalty, it is not enough to create a true blood oath or turn a mortal into a ghoul.
In the modern era, this power is most often used in the sewers by the Tunnel Rats who dwell there. Rumors of monstrous rats and gargantuan insects found in forgotten cisterns and deep sewer tunnels may be exaggerations.
System: The vampire taints the drinking water with the equivalent of six points of blood. The player rolls Manipulation + Animal Ken (difficulty 5). Each success taints the spring for one lunar month. Failures have no special effect, but a botch indicates that something in the ‘oasis’ is especially resistant to the vampire’s blood.
Assuming success, animals who feed there regularly during the affected time grow unnaturally strong and more loyal to the vampire whose blood they are imbibing. The Storyteller can represent this in a variety of ways, but increasing the animal’s Strength and Stamina Attributes by one dot each and lowering the player’s Animalism and Animal Ken difficulties (when dealing with affected beasts) by two is a good start.
Prolonged feeding at a tainted pool also passes on some of the Cainite’s predatory nature, though. The Storyteller can portray predators thinning the local heard needlessly and herbivores in constant challenges for herd dominance. The Storyteller can also judge that the effect fades more quickly or that more blood is needed in the case of especially large water sources.
|●●●●● ● Shepherd’s Innocence|
While not all animals run away at a vampire’s approach, the relations between Kindred and most creatures are far from the best. Dogs tend to bark in their presence, cats leave the room and horses often throw them. On the other hand, animals find those undead with Shepherd’s Innocence not only inoffensive but extremely appealing.
Most vampires find the blood of animals flat, tasteless, and lacking in nutritional value. However, animals under the influence of this power offer much more sustenance to their ‘shepherd’.
System: With the expenditure of a blood point, and rolling of Charisma + Animal Ken (difficulty determined by the emotional state of the animal +1 for each additional animal after the first), a character can quickly calm a charging lion, gain the trust of growling guard dogs and ride happily on the back of a wild elephant. If enough successes are obtained, the character may attempt nearly any sort of activity with the creature(s) (this makes feeding from it absurdly simple). Your successes determines how long this happy state of affairs lasts.
Botch – The animal becomes unrelentingly hostile.
Failure – The animal is immune for the rest of the night.
1 success – One hour
2 successes – One night
3 successes – One week
4 successes – One month
5 successes – One year
Subtract three successes from your final result’s duration when used upon an animal that is bonded to another vampire, unless the character it is bonded to, is also bonded to you.
This power’s true purpose however, is the greater ease with which it allows rural vampires to ‘subsist off the land’. Every animal affected by this power allows a character to count each blood point drawn from an animal as two in her blood pool. This does not increase the size of the vampire’s or animal’s blood pool, just the nutritional value of animal blood.
|●●●●● ● (F) Crimson Fury|
This power is the subject of much rumor and conjecture, as it has very little visible effect. Upon reaching this level of mastery, the elder vampire may chose to allow his Beast to roam freely through his veins. His blood causes frenzy in mortals and vampires who taste it. Should a diablerist successfully consume this vampire’s soul, she may well meet a grisly end as the Gangrel’s Beast eats her away from the inside.
System: This power is activated once, when the vampire learns it. It cannot be turned off. The smallest taste of the vampire’s vitae causes agitation in the taster, who must make a Self-Control roll (difficulty 7) or frenzy immediately. This applies to newly created childer, ghouls, attackers who bite and any vampires who would drink from the Gangrel. This is the equivalent of a warning shot for would-be diablerists. Should the attacker resist the urge to frenzy, she may continue to drink as normal, but the supernatural agitation she experiences should be a clear sign that something is unusual about this vitae. If the attacker succumbs to the frenzy, she must spend a Willpower point for each turn she continues to drink.
Should the diablerist be successful, she immediately suffers a +2 difficulty on all frenzy rolls for a duration determined by the Storyteller. She must also make an opposed Willpower roll against her victim’s Beast (which has the same Willpower rating that the now-deceased vampire had). The loser of this contest forfeits one permanent Willpower point.
This contest takes place every month for the first year past the diablerie, and once a year thereafter. As the diablerist loses Willpower, she becomes more feral and impulsive. If the invading Beast loses its last Willpower point, it becomes quiescent, ceding victory to the diablerist. The evidence of diablerie in the perpetrator’s aura persists until the Beast is subdued.
Gangrel legends suggest that some incredibly powerful “victims” of diablerie have eaten their way through their attackers, consuming the diablerist’s soul in turn, and then taken over the new body. This is not the normal result of this power, but rumors do circulate…
Auspex gives the vampire uncanny sensory abilities. She starts with the capacity to heighten her natural senses significantly, but as she grows in power, she can perceive psychic auras and read the thoughts of another being. Auspex can also pierce through mental illusions such as those created by Obfuscate — see “Seeing the Unseen” below.A vampire with Auspex needs to be careful. Her increased sensory sensitivity can cause her to be drawn in by beautiful things or stunned by loud noises or pungent smells. Sudden or dynamic events can disorient an Auspex-using character unless her player makes a Willpower roll to block them out (difficulty of at least 4, although the more potent the source of distraction, the higher the difficulty). Failure overwhelms the character’s senses, making her oblivious to her surroundings for a turn or two. While the Malkavians and Toreador are more prone to these kinds of distractions, the Tremere and Tzimisce aren’t immune. Dots in Perception are very useful for using Auspex powers, as more successes help the character gain more sensory information.
Note: Powers which grant Perception bonuses such as Heightened Senses or Merits like Acute Senses do not lower the difficulty of Auspex Discipline rolls.
|● Heightened Senses|
This power increases the acuity of all of the vampire’s senses, effectively doubling the clarity and range of sight, hearing, and smell. While her senses of taste and touch extend no farther than normal, they likewise become far more distinct; the vampire could taste the hint of liquor in a victim’s blood or feel the give of the board concealing a hollow space in the floor. The Kindred may magnify her senses at will, sustaining this heightened focus for as long as she desires. At the Storyteller’s option, this may make hunting easier.
Expanded senses come at a price, however. Bright lights, loud noises and strong smells present a hazard while the vampire uses this power. In addition to the possibility for distraction, an especially sudden or potent stimulus (like the glare of a spotlight or a clap of thunder) can blind or deafen the Kindred for an hour or more.
System: It takes a reflexive action to activate this ability, but no roll or other cost is required. In certain circumstances, dice rolls associated with using the character’s sense (such as Perception + Alertness) decrease in difficulty by a number equal to the character’s Auspex rating when the power is engaged.
This power does not let characters see in pitch darkness, but it does reduce difficulty penalties to act in such darkness from +2 to +1, and the character may make ranged attacks in pitch darkness if she can hear, smell, or otherwise detect her foe.
Affinity Bonus: At the character’s discretion, she may selectively heighten one specific sense, rather than leaving them all on. This can make it much safer to search for clues in the mud during a thunderstorm, or read lips in a deafening nightclub, for example.
|● (A) Sixth Sense|
The senses of the vampire become attuned to dimensions beyond the mundane, allowing them to sense presences otherwise unnoticed by mortals except for madmen, children and cats. This can be anything from another vampire using Obfuscate to someone using Auspex to spy upon the character to a ghost in the middle of the room.
Note that it’s ‘Sixth Sense’ not ‘Omnipotence’. This will give you a hinky sensation confirming that something awry is in your immediate vicinity – it won’t reveal and identify your tormentors all by itself.
System: This power is free to use but it requires an Instant action and must be declared by the player. Roll Perception + Awareness vs a base difficulty of 6 for most phenomena, such as your average ghost. When contesting another character utilizing some power of concealment (such as Obfuscate, Chimerstry or a Lupine’s Gift), add +1 for every level of the concealing power that exceeds your Auspex rating.
A mindless ghost requires only one success to get a sense of in their general vicinity (along with the priceless knowledge that there is some entity around, rather than merely being a creaky floorboard). If contested by a more malevolent voyeur, it requires at least as many successes as their Stealth rating. Is this level 1 power still a long shot against an Elder Nosferatu? Sure. But it’s better than nothing.
|●● Heart’s Whisper|
With this level of Auspex, a vampire’s heightened senses attune to the subtle signs exhibited by mortals, such as changes in heartbeat, slight shifts in posture, microexpressions, and the smallest alterations in voice tone that might indicate arousal, anger or anxiety (or maybe all three…). By concentrating on an individual, the Kindred can gain insight into their current emotional state or even detect if they are speaking truthfully.
System: To use Heart’s Whisper, the player rolls Perception + Empathy. The difficulty depends on how well the character knows the mortal individual being scrutinized and how intense and/or complex the emotions or deception might be, but is usually around difficulty 6 absent serious intimacy, subtlety or unfamiliarity (difficulty 8 for a complete stranger).
This power works primarily on mortal humans (including mages and mortal+). Non-humans, such as vampires and werewolves, raise the difficulty by +2.
Note: The Merit ‘Poker Face’ raises the difficulty of using this power against your target.
The number of successes indicates the depth of understanding. One success might reveal the broad emotional state (happy, angry, scared), while three successes might pinpoint a complex emotion (guilt over betraying a friend, nervous excitement about a secret love affair). Five successes could reveal a detailed emotional landscape and suggest the reasons behind these feelings.
Be warned that although sensing anxiety in a target could easily indicate fear of being caught in some deception, it might also found in an an honest person afraid of not being believed.
In general, this usually translates to a difficulty bonus of -1 (with one to three successes) or even -2 (with four or more successes) when pursuing a subsequent design against the target that specifically takes advantage of their current emotions, such as playing on their fears or their desires with Intimidation or Seduction or attempting to figure out if they’re lying. Five or more successes should also merit some unique insight, such as perceiving a significant contrast between the target’s Demeanor and Nature (even though it won’t explicitly reveal their Nature).
Instead of a bonus to Social rolls, the character might receive other important information at the Storyteller’s discretion. For example, a single success is usually enough to discern another vampire – unless they’re Blushed. Three successes might indicate something odd about a shifter, such as a rapidly beating heart, feral twitches or unusual disposition. Five+ successes might even identify a Possessed individual for what they are…
|●● (B) Premonition|
This talent provides occasional extrasensory or even precognitive insights. These brief, unfocused glimpses may be odd premonitions, flashes of empathy, or eerie feelings of foreboding. The vampire has no control over these perceptions, but with practice can learn to interpret them with a fair degree of accuracy.
System: Once per scene, a player can roll Wits + Intuition vs 8 to access this power. Every success will afford them one additional hint between now and sunrise.
Throughout the rest of the event in question, whenever the Storyteller deems it appropriate, this power gives the character a sudden hint that aids them in some way: letting them find a clue they’ve missed or saving them from a considerable hassle. Whether it gives the character a sudden vision of themselves walking into a trap, an inviting red glow over the second right turn during a chase, or the brief flash of a skeleton beneath the floorboards in the Prince’s office.
Passively, the Storyteller may also use this power to see if the character perceives a threat. In this case, the Storyteller privately rolls the character’s unmodified Auspex rating, applying whatever difficulty they feel best suits the circumstances. For example, sensing that a pistol is directly pointed at the back of the character’s head may only be difficulty 4 or 5, while the sudden realization that her Sire is walking into a trap across town might require a 9.
Note that even this “precognition” comes only as a result of interpreting details the Kindred is able to notice or remember. It’s not an all-purpose insight or miraculous revelation.
|●●● Spirit’s Touch|
When someone handles an object for any length of time, he leaves a psychic impression on the item. A vampire with this level of Auspex can “read” these sensations, learning who handled the object, when he last held it, and what was done with it recently. (For these purposes, a corpse counts as an “object” and can be read accordingly.) These visions are seldom clear and detailed, registering more like a kind of “psychic snapshot.” Still, the Kindred can learn much even from such a glimpse. Although most visions concern the last person to handle the item, a long-time owner leaves a stronger impression than someone who held the object briefly.
Gleaning information from the spiritual residue requires the vampire to hold the object and enter a shallow trance. She is only marginally aware of her surroundings while using The Spirit’s Touch, but a loud noise or jarring physical sensation breaks the trance instantly.
System: The player rolls Perception + Empathy. The difficulty is determined by the age of the impressions and the mental and spiritual strength of the person or event that left them. Sensing information from a pistol used for a murder hours ago may require a 4, while learning who owned a bloodstained puppet fashioned a century ago might be a 9. The greater the individual’s emotional connection to the object, the stronger the impression he leaves on it — and the more information the Kindred can glean from it. Events involving strong emotions (a gift giving, a torture, a long family history) likewise leave stronger impressions than short or casual contact do. Assume that each success offers one piece of information, as per the chart below.
Successes – Information
Botch – The character is overwhelmed by psychic impressions for the next 30 minutes and unable to act.
Failure – No information of value.
1 success – Very basic information: the last owner’s gender or hair color, for instance.
2 successes – A second piece of basic information.
3 successes – More useful information about the last owner, such as age and state of mind the last time he used the item.
4 successes – The person’s name.
5+ successes – A wealth of information: nearly anything you want to know about the person’s relationship with that object is available.
At the Storyteller’s discretion, some impressions on objects may be so strong — a knife plunged into Caesar’s breast, the tip of the Spear of Destiny, a fang pulled from the maw of Dracula — that any use of this power may be deemed a success.
|●●● (C) Aura Perception|
Using this power, the vampire can perceive the psychic “auras” that radiate from mortals and supernatural beings alike. These halos comprise a shifting series of colors that take practice to discern with clarity. Even the simplest individual has many shifting hues within his aura; strong emotions predominate, while momentary impressions or deep secrets flash through in streaks and swirls.
System: After the character stares at the subject for at least a few seconds, the player rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty 8); each success indicates how much of the subject’s aura the character sees and understands (see the table below). A failure indicates that the play of colors and patterns yields no prevailing impression. A botch indicates a false or erroneous interpretation. The Storyteller may wish to make this roll, thus keeping the player in the dark as to the veracity of the character’s interpretation.
Successes – Result
1 success – Can distinguish only the shade (pale or bright).
2 successes – Can distinguish the main color.
3 successes – Can recognize the color patterns.
4 successes – Can detect subtle shifts.
5 successes – Can identify mixtures of color and pattern.
A character may choose to perform a very cursory aura scan of a large area like a nightclub’s dance floor or the audience in a gallery. In this case, the player decides which characteristic of auras she’s looking for, and that’s the only information she’s able to glean if the roll is successful. (At the Storyteller’s discretion, on this general scan roll, more successes on the roll may more quickly yield what the character seeks.) For example, the player may specify, “Who’s the most nervous person in attendance?” or “Are there any vampirically pale auras among the CEO’s entourage?” Thereafter, the player may narrow down her scrutiny of a single individual, with an additional roll as normal.
The character may focus in on a particular subject’s aura only once per scene with any degree of clarity. Any subsequent attempts that result in failure should be considered botches. It is very easy for the character to imagine seeing what she wants to see when judging someone’s intentions. After 24 hours, the character may try again at no penalty.
The vampire projects a portion of her consciousness into a nearby mortal’s mind, creating a mental link through which she can communicate wordlessly or even read the target’s deepest thoughts. The Kindred “hears” in her own mind the thoughts plucked from a subject as if they were spoken to her.
This is one of the most potent vampiric abilities, since, given time, a Kindred can learn virtually anything from a subject without him ever knowing. The Tremere and Tzimisce in particular find this power especially useful in gleaning secrets from others, or for directing their mortal followers with silent precision.
System: The player rolls Intelligence + Subterfuge (difficulty of the subject’s current Willpower points). Projecting thoughts into the target’s mind requires one success. The subject recognizes that the thoughts come from somewhere other than his own consciousness, though he cannot discern their actual origin without a successful Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty equal to the vampire’s Manipulation + Subterfuge).
To read minds, one success must be rolled for each item of information plucked or each layer of thought pierced. Deep secrets or buried memories are harder to obtain than surface emotions or unspoken comments, requiring five or more successes to access.
Reading thoughts with Telepathy does not commonly work upon the undead mind. A character may expend a Willpower point to make the effort, making the roll normally afterward. Likewise, it is equally difficult to read the thoughts of other supernatural creatures. However, the character may project her thoughts without expending a Willpower point. These thoughts, however, are still obviously intrusions into the target’s mind, but the character may attempt to disguise her mental “voice” with a roll of Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty equals the target’s Perception + Awareness) so the target doesn’t recognize her as the “speaker.”
Note: Storytellers (and players) are encouraged to describe thoughts as flowing streams of impressions and images, rather than as a sequence of prose (powers such as Telepathic Communication are of more use for that).
|●●●● (D) Prediction|
Some people are capable of finishing their friends’ sentences. Vampires with Prediction sometimes begin their friends’ sentences. Prediction is a constant low-level telepathic scan of the minds of everyone the character is in intimate proximity to. While this power does not give the vampire the details of his next door neighbors’ conscious thoughts, it does provide a wealth of cues as to his current partner’s moods, suppressed reflexes, and attitudes toward the topic of conversation.
System: Whenever the character is in conversation and either participant (including themselves) in the discussion makes a Social roll, the player may pre-empt the roll to spend a blood point and make a Perception + Intuition roll (difficulty of the target’s Manipulation + Subterfuge). Each success is an additional die that can be applied to the player’s Social roll or subtracted from the dice pool of the Social roll being made against the character.
It does however require something of a witty bon mot, unexpectedly cutting comment or some other distracting interjection (a specialty of Malkavians) when interrupting another character.
|●●●●● Spirit Bond|
This power allows the Kindred to establish a mental bond with an object or person that persists across any distance. The vampire may “check up on” the object or person at any time after achieving this bond. Invoking the bond instantly reveals exactly where the object or person is currently located.
This power is best used sparingly, as it subtly taxes the vampire’s will to maintain many at once.
System: The character must physically touch the person or object when she creates the bond. The player spends a blood point and rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty 8). If this roll is successful, the character may invoke the bond at any time thereafter, as long as the player makes another successful Perception + Empathy roll (difficulty 6).
Although the bond reveals the geographical location of its subject, it does not reveal any local or “small-scale” information. For example, though the bond reveals that a Toreador’s favorite painting is located just outside Madrid, Spain, it does not reveal that it is in Duke Philip’s castle, or that it is guarded by men-at-arms at all hours of the day.
A vampire can maintain as many ‘Spirit Bonds’ as they have permanent points of Willpower. However, if the vampire ever has more concurrent Spirit Bonds than she has temporary Willpower, she’ll need to choose which to release. Otherwise, they last indefinitely.
|●●●●● (E) Clairvoyance|
By closing their eyes and entering a light trance, the vampire becomes master of its surroundings. In a few minutes it can gather information from roughly a city-block sized area (more if outdoors or less populated) that would normally take many hours of legwork and investigation. Once connected in such a way to their surroundings the vampire can also receive information on anything happening out of the ordinary in the area.
This power requires being physically present in the area where it is being used and requires several minutes of meditative trance to sink into. However, it can be used from afar when combined with Psychic Projection.
System: Spend 1 Willpower point and 1 blood point and roll Intelligence + Area Knowledge (it must have a relevant specialty – if not, roll Intelligence alone without penalty) against a Difficulty based on the security and level of activity of the area. Using Clairvoyance on one’s own Haven would be Difficulty 3 while an unfamiliar city block in the slums of a major city would amount to 8 or 9 or more. The vampire adds their Domain rating in extra dice to the pool when using Clairvoyance on their own territory.
The Storyteller answers the vampire’s questions about the comings and goings in the area, what people have seen and heard, topics of local gossip, recent major shocks or impressions, and so forth. The player can ask roughly one question per success; answers about deliberately concealed information might consume an additional success. An exceptional (5+) success might reveal something major, regardless of the questions asked, assuming there is something to reveal.
If there’s any debate or doubt about whether a vampire might perceive something (such as searching for a creature concealed by Arcane or Obfuscate), then settle it with a Perception + Investigation roll vs a difficulty of 10 minus their previous successes (no other modifiers permitted). If they accrue more successes on this new roll than the level of the concealing power, the Storyteller should probably reveal it to them.
The vampire can also clairvoyantly monitor events in progress, though this requires them to remain in the area for as long as the effect is active and to spend one success per minute of monitoring.
|●●●●● ● Telepathic Communication|
Telepathy allows a character to pick up only the surface thoughts of other individuals, and to speak to one at a time. With Telepathic Communication, a character can form a more powerful link between his mind and that of other subjects, allowing them to converse in words, concepts, and sensory images at the speed of thought (and without the need for Willpower expenditure, unlike with Telepathy). Vampires with this level of Auspex can act as “switchboard operators,” creating a telepathic web that allows all participants to share thoughts with some or all other members of the network as they choose.
System: The player rolls Charisma + Empathy (difficulty equals the target’s current Willpower points) to establish contact, although a willing subject may allow the vampire access and thus obviate the need for a roll.
The maximum range at which a subject may be contacted and the maximum number of individuals who may be linked simultaneously with this power depends on the Auspex rating of the vampire who initiates contact. It begins at three subjects within about five hundred miles of each other, and roughly doubles with each increase in Auspex thereafter.
|●●●●● ● (F) Psychic Projection|
The Kindred with this awesome ability projects her senses out of her physical shell, stepping from her body as an entity of pure thought. The vampire’s astral form is immune to physical damage or fatigue, and can “fly” with blinding speed anywhere across the earth — or even underground — so long as she remains below the moon’s orbit.
The Kindred’s material form lies in a torpid state while her astral self is active, and the vampire isn’t aware of anything that befalls her body until she returns to it. An ephemeral silver cord connects the Kindred’s psyche to her body. If this cord is severed, her consciousness becomes stranded in the astral plane (the realm of ghosts, spirits, and shades). Attempting to return to the vampire’s physical shell is a long and terrifying ordeal, especially since there is no guarantee that she will accomplish the journey successfully. This significant danger keeps many Kindred from leaving their bodies for long, but those who dare can learn much.
System: Journeying in astral form requires the player to expend a point of Willpower and make a Perception + Awareness roll. Difficulty varies depending on the distance and complexity of the intended trip; 5 is within sight, 7 is nearby or to a familiar location, and 9 reflects a trip far from familiar territory (a first journey from North America to the Far East; trying to shortcut through the earth). The greater the number of successes rolled, the more focused the character’s astral presence is, and the easier it is for her to reach her desired destination.
Failure means the character is unable to separate her consciousness from her body, while a botch can have nasty consequences — flinging her astral form to a random destination on Earth or in the spirit realm, arriving in a place where the sun is active (necessitating a frenzy roll, although the sunlight doesn’t do any damage), or hurtling toward the desired destination so forcefully that the silver cord snaps.
The player may spend a point of Willpower to activate this power, and an additional point of Willpower to gain the success necessary to perform the jaunt. This is an exception to the normal rule where a player may not spend more than a single point of Willpower per turn. Each scene in Psychic Projection requires another point of Willpower and a new roll. Failure indicates that the vampire has lost her way and must retrace the path of her silver cord. A botch at this stage means the cord snaps, stranding the character’s psychic form in the mysterious astral plane.
The ability to strike fast, dodge blows, and escape pursuers allows Kindred to become extremely effective predators. Celerity moves a vampire with unholy rapidity and grace while allowing them to think nearly as quickly as they can act. Characters with high Celerity move nigh-unseen in bursts of inhuman speed. This allows for remarkable performances, frightening quick assassinations and instant escapes.
System: Characters add their Celerity rating to their Dexterity-based dice pools, which has several secondary effects, such as increasing their Initiative ratings and the base number of meters they can move in a turn.
In addition, characters can spend one blood point to ignore a number of penalized dice up to their Celerity rating, for each multiple action dice pool they roll that turn. Alternatively, they can spend one blood point to multiply the distance they travel that round on foot by 1 + their Celerity rating, instead.
Note: These straight bonuses cap out at Celerity 5. Advanced Celerity gives additional new permutations of powers instead (see below).
Affinity Bonus: The blood point spent to activate Celerity does not count against your Generational blood expenditure limit for that turn.
|● (A) Cat’s Grace|
The vampire gains a balance and grace equal to and surpassing world-class trapeze artists. They can walk and even run across ledges and wires effortlessly and can keep their balance on the slimmest of supports.
System: The vampire automatically passes any Dexterity-based roll needed to keep their balance in most non-combat conditions. If subjected to truly extreme conditions (such as a savage rooftop duel, earthquake or torrential hurricane), the Storyteller should give them a -3 difficulty bonus to maintain their balance instead. Once learned, this power is always active.
Note that this power does not allow the vampire to balance on support that cannot take their weight. A well-secured electrical or internet cable stretched between two roofs is doable, but not a thread of yarn.
|●● (B) Rapid Reflexes|
While their bodies still can’t defy the laws of nature, vampires with this power perceive events instantly and can react to them with superhuman alacrity. They can observe incoming projectiles to the extent that they can attempt to dodge arrows and even bullets without available cover.
System: With this power, vampires suffer no penalty to their defense pools for lack of cover against ranged attacks. This also enables them to attempt to dodge or evade attacks in close combat without needing to run away from or create distance with their opponent.
Outside combat, they may attempt certain minor actions (such as palming a card or picking someone’s pocket) as a reflexive instead of an Instant action, at the Storyteller’s discretion.
|●●● (C) Traversal|
With blurring speed the vampire can run or climb along any surface, including vertical and even liquid mediums. While Traversal does not grant insect-like supernatural traction, running up or along walls present little problem. Walking on water remains impossible, but the vampire can dash across water for a limited distance given a run-up.
System: Spend one blood point and make a Dexterity + Acrobatics roll with a Difficulty of 5 (inclined surface with traction) to 9 (slick vertical surface, open water), depending on the surface and angle. Each success allows the player to move in that direction at their usual movement speed (which may be accelerated by spending an additional point of blood, as usual) for one turn.
|●●●● (D) Blink|
The vampire swiftly closes in on a foe, engaging or escaping in the blink of an eye. To an unprepared observer the Kindred almost appears to teleport, a rush of wind the only sign of their passing.
System: The vampire spends one blood point and then declares moving in a straight line either towards or away from a target. The vampire is capable of covering any distance under 50 meters as a reflexive action (which gives them the opportunity to perform other Instant actions, such as an attack or hide) as needed.
This allows for an Ambush-style attack (although the opponent still gets an Alertness roll as usual) against any opponent without Auspex 4 and Heightened Senses active, or against another vampire who isn’t using Blink in the same round as you.
If the terrain is in any way hazardous, the character needs to make a Dexterity + Acrobatics roll to avoid stumbling and coming to a halt on the way. The Storyteller may call for other contests as desired, especially if the vampire races a distant foe to an object or an action.
|●●●●● (E) Split Second|
The speed at which the vampire moves catches up with their supercharged perception, allowing them to react to events around them at a moment’s notice. Ambushers find their prey already standing behind them, and favors asked are completed before the words leave the supplicants mouth.
System: Spend 1 blood point and 1 Willpower point. The vampire’s player can supersede another player’s action or a Storyteller’s narration of events, within reason. They can choose to have their character move through a door before it closes, circumvent an ambush after it has been triggered, roll out of the way of an explosion, and so forth.
The action taken must be reasonable and should not take more than a few seconds in real time. The Storyteller decides what Abilities, if any, need to be checked to successfully accomplish an action begun using this power.
In an ongoing combat, this power can only be used to move the vampire to first place in the Initiative order while simultaneously preventing any other player from aborting previously declared actions. Everything else proceeds as normal.
|●●●●● ● Momentum|
A large part of impact comes from the force it moves with, but also with its speed. A master of Celerity can focus her speed all into one forceful instant, allowing her to briefly lift things no human should ever be able to, or to strike with deadly force.
System: Spend two blood points reflexively to activate Momentum. You may add your character’s Celerity dots as additional dice on any single Strength-based roll. In combat, this adds Knock Down to any attack made with Momentum.
|●●●●● ● (F) Precision|
A master of Celerity with this manifestation can use her immense dexterity to conduct acts of fine manipulation with inhuman precision.
System: Spend a blood point to activate Precision. Add the character’s Celerity dots as automatic successes to a single roll requiring fine manipulation or precise movement instead of adding dice to Dexterity as normal. This does not work only on rolls using the Dexterity Attribute, but Storyteller discretion is required to determine what Precision benefits.
|●●●●● ●● Flower of Death|
In combat, speed kills. A proper application of Celerity in combat can turn even the meekest Cainite into a walking abattoir. How much more deadly, then, is a vampire with the ability to utilize his preternatural speed to the utmost in combat?
System: Spend 4 Blood Points. For the remainder of the scene, drawing your weapons is a reflexive action. In addition, each action used to make an attack can target two enemies without imposing further penalties. Make one roll for each attack and resolve it against each respective enemy.
The vampire cannot move between attacks. This Discipline may be used with Brawl, Firearms or Melee attacks, or one of each action, but cannot be used with weapons that require two hands.
|●●●●● ●● (G) The Unseen Storm|
It is said that the hand can be quicker than the eye. For a Cainite possessing the Unseen Storm, her entire body is faster than the eye, provided she is constantly moving. This power offers true invisibility — people are unable to see the user, yet they can still hear and smell her, though her constant movement garbles these impressions. Also, people do not instinctively step out of her way, as with Obfuscate. On the other hand, the user cannot be seen by anyone who does not possess more Auspex than her Celerity, and she can attack and otherwise interact without becoming visible.
System: The player spends one blood point to activate the Unseen Storm and must continue to spend one blood each turn she wants the power to continue.
A person fighting a character using this power counts as blind, while the vampire automatically blindsides her opponent.
The difficulty of all Perception rolls and any physical action except for close combat attacks the character attempts rises by one, because of the user’s rapid movements.
|●●●●● ●●● Zephyr|
Zephyr produces an effect vaguely similar to one of the legendary comic book-style uses of enhanced speed, allowing its practitioner to move so fast she can finally run across water. Particularly successful applications of Zephyr allow a vampire to go so far as to run up walls and, in at least one recorded instance, across a ceiling.
System: Zephyr requires the expenditure of one point of blood and one point of Willpower.
Unfortunately, Zephyr requires such extremes of concentration that it cannot be combined with any form of attack, or indeed, with most any sort of action at all. If a character using Zephyr feels the need to do something else while moving at such tremendous speeds, a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) is required. Needless to say, botches at Zephyr speed can be spectacular in all the wrong ways.
Most times, a vampire moving at such a rate of speed is barely visible, appearing more as a vampire-shaped blur than anything else. Observers must succeed on a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 7) to get a decent look at a Kindred zooming past in this fashion.
|●●●●● ●●● (I) Physical Defiance|
Your character’s speed has reached a point so unnatural that for brief moments, the fundamental laws of nature cease to affect her. She can move in any direction, in spite of obstructions, in spite of gravity, and in spite of logic. She can run straight upwards through the air for brief bursts. She can move through a thunderstorm without getting wet or walk on water. She can dance on the ceiling.
System: Spend five blood points per turn in Physical Defiance. Your character can move through space in any direction up to her full speed (which can be enhanced as normal with Celerity through additional blood expenditure). Wood, stone, water, flesh, or metal will simply give way as she passes through, exploding into splinters and chunks. She suffers no harm from the things she moves through.
If she moves through another character, roll to attack with Dexterity + Athletics, adding Celerity as normal. The other character may attempt to dodge if eligible, but not block or parry. If successful, she inflicts Strength + Potence + Successes in lethal damage as normal. A victim’s Armor provides no defense, although Fortitude does. If incapacitated, vampires might reflexively heal to avoid torpor. Mortals slain in this fashion explode violently.
The Ravnos are known as masters of illusion, although the reason why is lost to history. Rumors abound of Ravnos ghûls, rakshasas, and shapeshifters, but whatever its origins, Chimerstry remains a potent and powerful weapon for the Deceivers. The Discipline is, fundamentally, an art of conjuration that converts the vampire’s will into phantoms that confound the senses. Even vampires fall under the sway of the Ravnos’ illusory world, unless they have a strong enough grasp of Auspex. The Ravnos often use this power to swindle and seduce their victims into acts that work out badly for the victim (but great for the Ravnos).Illusions created by Chimerstry can be seen for what they are by a victim who “proves” the illusion’s falsehood (e.g., a person who walks up to an illusory wall, expresses his disbelief in it, and puts his hand through it effectively banishes the illusion), and explicitly incredible illusions are seen as false immediately (e.g., dragons breathing fire or gravity working in reverse). Sometimes, frequent targets of Chimerstry end up attempting to disbelieve everything around them, leading to derangements (and, quite often, to the amusement of the Ravnos).
In order to properly utilize Chimerstry, the vampire has to experience the illusion he creates himself, deceiving even himself for an instant about the substance of his creation (which can lead to Rötschreck if the vampire summons the illusion of fire). Also, the vampire can only create illusions he can perceive by himself; a deaf vampire could not create auditory illusions, while a blindfolded vampire could not summon visual illusions.
Because Chimerstry works best when targets do not realize they are being deceived by illusions, most practitioners keep their knowledge of it a secret. Even then, it is not always easy to dismiss the phantoms created by this Discipline even when one knows them to be false.
|● Ignis Fatuus|
The vampire may conjure a minor, static mirage that confounds one sense. For instance, he may evoke a sulfurous stench, the appearance of stigmata, or the shatter of broken glass. Note that though tactile illusions can be felt, they have no real substance; an invisible but tactile wall cannot confine anyone, and invisible razor-wire causes no real damage.
Similarly, the vampire must know the characteristics of what he’s creating. While it’s easy enough to estimate what a knife wound might look like, falsifying a person’s voice or a photograph of a childhood home requires knowledge of the details.
System: The player spends a point of Willpower for the vampire to create this illusion. The volume of smells, ambient lighting, smoke clouds, and the like are limited to roughly 20 cubic feet (half a cubic meter) per dot the vampire has in Chimerstry. The illusion lasts until the vampire leaves its vicinity (such as stepping out of the room) or until another person sees through it somehow. The Cainite may also end the illusion at any time with no effort.
|● (A) Waking Dream|
You may briefly treat an illusion you’ve created as though it were real.
System: Once per scene, you may utilize a simple illusion (climbing a rope, landing on a trampoline, unlocking a door with an illusory key, or similar) as if it were real for one turn.
Waking Dream cannot be used to directly harm or help any other character (See Craft Ephemera below if you want to stab someone with an illusory knife).
|●● Fata Morgana|
The Cainite can now create illusions that appeal to all the senses, though they remain static. For example, the vampire could make a filthy cellar appear as an opulent ballroom, though she could not create a glittering chandelier or a score of graceful dancers.
Again, the illusion has no solid presence, though it’s easy enough to fool an enraptured visitor with suggestions of what she might expect. A bucket of brackish water is as cool as chilled champagne, after all.
System: The player spends a Willpower point and a blood point to create the illusion. These static images remain until dispelled, in much the same way that an Ignis Fatuus illusion does.
|●● (B) Sympathetic Agony|
This is one of the first powers developed by the Ravnos allowing them to succeed in combat even against more competent opponents. As its name suggests, Sympathetic Agony allows a vampire to shift her pain to her enemies, allowing her to continue fighting despite grievous wounds.
System: After taking damage in combat, the player reflexively spends one blood point (not affected by Generation limits) and rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty is the target’s Perception + Self-Control).
Every success allows the Ravnos to ignore wound penalties associated with one health level of damage received, and inflict a phantom wound on her target in return. Penalties are assigned based on the sum of the victim’s real and phantom damage, although phantom damage alone cannot drive them past Crippled (see Horrid Reality for that).
This power may only affect one target at a time, and does not heal or inflict real injuries. It lasts for a scene, though the Ravnos may cancel its use at any time and re-invoke it against a new target.
Not really a power unto itself, Apparition allows a vampire to give motion to an illusion created with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana. Thus, the Cainite could create the illusion of a living being, running water, fluttering drapes, or a roaring fire.
System: The creator spends one blood point to make the illusion move in one significant way, or in any number of subtle ways. For example, the vampire could create the illusion of a lurking mugger lurching at her victim, or she could create the illusion of a desolate street, down which a chill wind blows trash while a streetlamp flickers and hums. Taking complicated actions besides maintaining the illusion — that is, anything that would require a dice roll — first requires success on a Willpower roll, resulting in the dissolution of the false construct if the roll fails.
Once the creator stops concentrating on the illusion, it can continue in simple, repetitive motions – roughly speaking, anything that can be described in a simple sentence, such as a guard walking back and forth in front of a steel door. After that, the vampire cannot regain control over the illusion – she can either allow it to continue moving as ordered, or let it fade as described under Ignis Fatuus.
|●●● (C) Eventide Strength|
Typically, the powers of Chimerstry are dispelled by the touch of sunlight. However, a Ravnos who has studied this power has learned subtle tricks to reinforce the maya within her illusions, rendering them less vulnerable to the sun.
System: A Ravnos who has learned this power can strengthen her uses of Chimerstry, causing it to survive one hour of sunlight.
This power, also used in conjunction with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana, allows a mirage to persist even when the vampire cannot see it. In this way, Ravnos often cloak their temporary havens in false trappings of luxury, or ward off trespassers with illusory guard dogs.
System: The vampire need only spend a blood point, and the illusion becomes permanent until dissolved (including “programmed” illusions like those created by Apparition).
|●●●● (D) False Resonance|
Illusions of living or unliving beings are all well and good until someone decides to read the illusion’s mind or its aura. The automatic failure to perceive any sense of the target’s thoughts or emotions will usually be passed off as bad luck, lack of concentration, or whatever reason any Kindred might construct to explain why he didn’t succeed in gleaning information through supernatural means. A vampire can use False Resonance to overlay auras and thoughts on illusions, as well as leave a trace that other emotionally resonant powers can detect later.
System: Spend 1 blood point and 1 Willpower point, in addition to what the illusion normally requires to overlay this power onto it at the moment of its creation. It lasts for as long as the illusion does.
In effect, any attempt to use Auspex, the Dementation power Eyes of Chaos, or similar sensory powers that generates fewer successes than the Ravnos’ Chimerstry rating will detect an aura, thoughts, Demeanor or whatever the power would normally detect. Thoughts won’t be exceptionally complex and will relate to whatever is going on around the illusion in a mundane and simplistic way.
Auras will consist of colors related to specific emotions (anger, sadness, hatred, love, and happiness) and will not show much complexity beyond that. Spirit’s Touch will pick up the same, faint emotional resonance.
|●●●●● Horrid Reality|
Rather than create simple illusions, the vampire can now project hallucinations directly into a victim’s mind. The target of these illusions believes completely that the images are real; a hallucinatory fire can burn him, an imaginary noose can strangle him, and an illusory wall can block him.
This power affects only one person at a time; though others can see the illusion, it doesn’t impact them in the same way. Other people can try to convince the victim that his terrors are not real, but he won’t believe them.
Note that targets with enough dots in Auspex can still attempt to roll for Seeing the Unseen.
System: A Horrid Realty illusion costs two Willpower points to set in motion and lasts for an entire scene (though its effects may last longer; see below). If the vampire is trying to injure his victim, his player must roll Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty of the victim’s Perception + Self-Control/Instinct). Each success inflicts one health level of lethal damage on the victim that cannot be soaked — the Cainite assaults the victim’s mind and perceptions, not his body. If the player wishes to inflict less damage or change it to bashing, he may announce a maximum amount of damage before rolling the dice. Secondary effects (such as frenzy rolls for illusory fire) may also occur.
The victim heals all his damage instantaneously if he can be convinced that the damage he took was illusory, but convincing him may take some doing, such as with at least two successes on a Charisma + Empathy roll (difficulty equal to the Manipulation + Subterfuge of the Cainite using Horrid Reality). The target must be convinced of the attack’s illusory nature within 24 hours of its taking place, or it becomes too well established in his memory, and he will have to heal the damage using blood (if a vampire) or over time (if mortal).
This power cannot actually kill its victims (though a target with a heart condition may well die from fright). A victim “killed” by an illusory attack loses consciousness or enters torpor.
|●●●●● (E) Craft Ephemera|
With this power, a Ravnos can give weight and substance to his illusions, making it functionally real. Disbelief is no more effective than attempting to ignore reality, though the illusions fade at sunrise. This power is most often used to craft weapons, or precious artifacts to dupe fools.
System: The player spends three blood points and one Willpower point and roll Willpower (difficulty 7). If successful, the vampire’s illusion appears in his hands, solid and real as any normal object. Created objects can be no larger than the vampire who created them, and must be inanimate. They may have moving parts, but complicated objects are much more difficult and require an Intelligence + Crafts roll (at Storyteller discretion).
The object is functionally real and cannot be disbelieved, but anyone with Auspex or similar magic greater than the vampire’s Chimerstry rating may spend a Willpower point to see through the illusion and ignore its effects. Otherwise, the object remains intact until destroyed normally or when dawn arrives, at which point it fades into mist.
|●●●●● ● Shared Nightmare|
Even though Horrid Reality is visible to all onlookers, it can only inflict “damage” on one victim. With Shared Nightmare, a vampire can inflict her tormented visions on a crowd.
System: To use this power, the player must spend two Willpower points, plus one blood point per target. The player rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge once, but compares the results against each target individually. The difficulty is still each victim’s Perception + Self- Control/Instinct.
|●●●●● ● (F) Subtle Spy|
The user of this power may create a perceivable, understandable illusion (such as a lamp or a person) that incorporates part of her own consciousness, effectively granting the illusion a small amount of independent intelligence. When the Ravnos dispels that illusion, she may draw this intelligence back into herself, learning anything that her illusion witnessed as if she had experienced it firsthand.
System: Imbuing an illusion with Subtle Spy costs two Willpower points, and lasts for one night (or less, if the Ravnos wills the illusion to dispel). If the illusion is an object, it will witness anything that the Ravnos could sense from the object’s location. If the illusion is mobile (a person or animal), then it may be programmed as per Apparition, and at the end of its existence, the Ravnos will learn everything the Apparition sensed. Further, this Apparition is vaguely conscious, and can knowingly change its actions in small ways: stepping around an obstacle, giving the appropriate response to a simple question, and so forth.
The user of this power does not know what is occurring around her illusion if she is not otherwise there to sense it. She may dispel the illusion at any time, and at any distance, drawing back to herself the substance (and experiences) of that illusion as it is destroyed. If the illusion is dispelled or disbelieved before the Ravnos can reincorporate it into herself, the illusion is destroyed and no knowledge is returned to the Ravnos, other than the fact that her spy exists no more.
|●●●●● ●● Fatuus Mastery|
A Ravnos with Fatuus Mastery has no restriction on how often she may use the first three levels (Ignis Fatuus, Fata Morgana, and Apparition) and can maintain or control illusions with minimal concentration or fatigue. Kindred who rely on the high cost of Chimerstry to limit a vampire’s ability to use illusions are in for a very rude surprise when they encounter a Cainite with this power.
System: Fatuus Mastery negates the Willpower and blood cost for using the first three levels of Chimerstry. In addition, the Kindred may direct movement for a number of illusions equal to his Intelligence without intense concentration. Furthermore, the character can maintain the illusion as long as it remains within his Willpower rating in miles (or about one and a half times that in kilometers), although he may not make it react to events around it if he has no way to perceive those events.
|●●●●● ●● (G) Suspension of Disbelief|
A Ravnos with this power can imbue her Chimerstry with a sense of reality that makes it easier for viewers to believe in the illusion. No matter how strange or surreal the illusion is, an onlooker will accept it as real. If the illusion is wildly unrealistic (fire-breathing dragons, a pack of aliens), once it is no longer in his sight, the observer will question what he saw and eventually deny the event ever happened. A vampire can also use this power to make something appear unbelievable, whether it’s real or not. In this case, observers will write off what they’re seeing as some kind of trick or hallucination.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty 7). The number of successes determines how many witnesses are affected. If the player uses the power to make something look unbelievable, Auspex will show the thing in question to be an illusion unless the Auspex rating is not high enough to penetrate the Kindred’s Chimerstry.
1 success – Five people
2 successes – 10 people
3 successes – 25 people
4 successes – 50 people
5 successes – Everyone who can see it
These are the mysteries of the Baali, black arts torn whole and beating from the sorcerer-kings of ancient cultures and prehistoric civilizations, incoherent memories passed from tome to tongue, hearkening to times of insensate oblivion. They are sibilant secrets in which all begins to end and begin again… and with every new night and novice brought into the circle, the telling grows shorter.
Its foul powers are devoted to tapping the dark forces of existence and corrupting the souls of others. Whatever vile master the Cainite worships, Daimonion is a homage to evil and none can use it untainted. It is for this reason that all Cainites stand united in their hatred of the Baali, whose lust for power threatens to undermine vampire society.
|● Sense the Sin|
A real mark always convinces himself. The most dangerous Baali aren’t the ones that use extortion, threats, or over displays of power; the most dangerous Demons simply know how to talk their victims into cutting their own throats. This power allows the Baali to find a target’s particular vice.
System: The player rolls Perception + Empathy against living or undead beings; the difficulty is equal to the subject’s Self-Control or Instincts +4. If successful, the Baali can sense the subject’s greatest weakness. The significance of this information is dictated by the degree of success: One success might determine a low Virtue, weak Willpower, or a poorly defended avenue of approach, while two might yield a closely guarded secret or conversational misstep. Three or more yields a central derangement or formative trauma from the subject’s past.
|● (A) Blessing’s Warning|
You are able to instinctively sense holy powers in your immediate area.
System: Depending on the circumstance and proximity of the ‘holy’ emanation in question, the Storyteller will have you roll Perception + Awareness against a variable difficulty. Holy relics, people with True Faith, powers granted to mortals or magic-users by the divine, followers of powerfully religious morality paths, and even gods themselves if you are unlucky enough to be anywhere near one can trigger this power.
Depending on your inclination, you can successfully avoid dangerous holy power or seek them out in the hopes of learning more or becoming purified.
|●● Fear of the Void Below|
Once the Baali has mastered reading a subject’s darkest secrets, he can reach into the victim’s mind and twist what he finds there. The shock of feeling one’s most deeply held beliefs and darkest fears manipulated can send the victim into catatonia or fits of panic.
System: The Baali must first employ Sense the Sin (above) or use some other method to discern the tragic flaw of the target. She must then speak to the target, playing upon his inadequacies and the inescapable consequences of his shortcomings. A successful Wits + Intimidation roll (difficulty of the subject’s Courage +4) drives the victim into fits of terror (one success), mindless panic-borne flight similar to Rötschreck (two successes), or even unconsciousness (three or more successes).
All effects last for the remainder of the scene. Kindred targets may resist with a Courage roll (difficulty equal to the Baali’s Willpower) — they are accustomed to dealing with their Beasts. If the Kindred target garners more successes than the Baali did on her original roll, he resists the power completely.
|●● (B) Veil the Sin|
Sinners often become jaded, having subjected themselves to as many different experiences as possible. In the quest to find a solution to this problem, Voluptuaries developed this power. Veil the Sin allows the Baali to discover some form of sensation, perversion or act that once brought pleasure to the target but that no longer satisfies him.
The Baali can then make his target temporarily forget that he ever experienced this sensation, allowing him to once again experience the full pleasurable effect. This power can be used on oneself, a willing subject as a reward or on an unaware target as a future bargaining chip.
System: If used on oneself, all that is required is the expenditure of a blood point and a Willpower roll (difficulty 4). If used on another, the player must first spend a point of blood, and the character must observe the target for a single turn. Then, the player first rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty of the target’s Path rating).
If successful, the character gains knowledge of a single sensation that no longer satisfies the target and can attempt to make him forget that sensation. This requires a Willpower roll (difficulty target’s Willpower). If the target is willing and provide info the difficulty is halved (minimum 4) and each success above the first lowers the difficulty of the subsequent Willpower roll by one.
The duration depends on the number of successes on the Willpower roll:
1 success – 1 hour
2 successes – 1 night
3 successes – 1 week
4 successes – 1 month
5 successes – 3 months
Not all of the Baali’s powers are designed for manipulation and subtlety. The Demons can also call up the fire from the realms of their infernal patrons, hurling it at their enemies in exultation of the Outer Dark. This fire spreads and burns normally, but at the moment of creation it is black and cold, as though drawn from a place where terrestrial physics do not apply.
System: The player spends a blood point. This creates a bolt of black flame that inflicts one die of aggravated damage at difficulty 8 to soak; more blood points may be spent to increase the size and damage of the flame. Such fires are fleeting and dissipate at the end of the turn, unless the Baali continues to spend blood points on Conflagration over several turns, gradually creating a larger flame.
The player also rolls Dexterity + Occult (difficulty 6) to hit his target, who may dodge as normal. Vampires confronted with this black fire make Rötschreck tests as if confronted with a similar quantity of normal flame.
|●●● (C) Command the Swarm|
The more powerful a Baali becomes, the more corrupted their form. Putrid insects and shadowy vermin begin to encircle them wherever they go, making them a walking anima of death and disease. For Baali with this power, however, these pests become their loyal servants and an extension of their power, allowing them to not only create capable spies, but also use Daimonion Disciplines far away from their normal capabilities. This certainly explains how someone who crosses a Baali can be cursed without ever seeing them again.
System: With this Discipline, the Baali gains the ability to speak to any vermin or insects drawn to them just as if they were using Animalism, but without the need for eye contact. The character may also spend a blood point to enchant either a single member of their swarm or the swarm as a whole and send them to any location with a specified range:
Thirteenth Generation 1 mile/1.5 kilometers
Twelfth Generation 2 miles/3 kilometers
Eleventh Generation 5 miles/8 kilometers
Tenth Generation 10 miles/15 kilometers
Ninth Generation 20 miles/30 kilometers
Eighth Generation 50 miles/75 kilometers
The insect or swarm acts as an extension of the Baali, allowing the character to borrow the swarm’s senses to see, hear, and interact with the swarm’s surroundings. This also allows him to use Daimonion abilities through the swarm, although at a cost of an additional blood point.
With this power, the Baali combines his ability to read the psyche of a victim with the ability to summon up matter from the Outer Dark. Psychomachia pits a victim against the most dangerous, shameful parts of her own subconscious.
System: The vampire, after learning the targets tragic flaw (such as after using Sense the Sin, above), forces the subject’s player to roll her lowest Virtue (difficulty 6). Failing this roll pits the target against an apparition summoned from her darker self, perceptible to the subject only. The target may see or feel his abusive father, a long-dead lover, a childhood bogeyman, or (for Kindred victims) even the Beast itself. A botch indicates the target has been overwhelmed and frenzies — or, worse, becomes possessed by his inner demons.
This imaginary antagonist may be wholly narrated, or assigned Traits equivalent or slightly inferior to the victim’s, at the Storyteller’s option. All injuries sustained by the target in such an encounter are illusory (substitute catatonia or torpor for death as appropriate) and vanish upon the phantasm’s defeat or the Baali’s loss of concentration.
|●●●● (D) I Am Legion|
One of the Baali’s most devious methods of avoiding detection, this subtle magic allows the Baali to forge a temporary pact with a “speaking demon” or other malevolent spirit (Storyteller discretion). Once the pact is sealed, the Baali’s partner in mischief temporarily leaps into the vampire’s body, assuming a state of limited control over its voice and movements.
While the Baali is “possessed,” the interloper who answers is essentially in charge, allowing for a certain amount of leeway when it comes to answering uncomfortable questions.
The demon can answer questions (truthfully) that might otherwise prove difficult for the Baali to respond to under magical, Auspex-based, or other scrutiny. For example, the demon within may cheerfully answer “no” to such tired questions as “Are you Baali?” or “Do you engage in the worship of demons?” In a pinch, the demon may attempt to pose as Caitiff or even mortal; “I am clanless” and “I am not a vampire” are both perfectly reasonable true statements for a non-vampiric creature to make, after all.
System: The player must succeed in a Manipulation + Leadership roll (difficulty 6) to ensnare a suitable demon or spirit. The number of successes dictates the summoned creature’s intelligence and willingness to help, which in turn indicates the extent to which it is capable of concocting useful reaction to pertinent questions and/or situations. A failure indicates just that—failure to ensnare the being— while a botch can result in true catastrophe (a creature who does not wish to leave the caster’s body, or who betrays her, at Storyteller discretion).
Baali hedging their bets with this sort of deal can make “concessions” to the inhabiting creature to win more cooperation. It is up to the Storyteller to determine what sort of goodies the possessing demon might want, what it could give in return, and whether or not it will keep its bargains.
The Baali levies a curse upon the victim. The more skillful in her dark studies the Baali has become, the more dire the curse is likely to be. Legend states that some Baali can wield curses so foul that the victims attempt suicide after a single night — only to find that they can no longer die.
System: An Intelligence + Occult roll (difficulty equal to the subject’s Willpower) dictates the length and severity of the curse. Successes must be split between both these effects, as per the table below. The player must split successes between effect and duration – curses with zero successes allotted to duration last for one night.
For example, if the Baali’s player rolls four successes, she can inflict a two-success curse for one month, a three-success curse for up to week, or a four-success curse for one night. At any time, the Baali may choose to end the curse. Storytellers should feel free to invent creative or story-appropriate curses.
1 success (Up to one week) -“No voice shall be lent your lying tongue.” — All Subterfuge rolls suffer a +3 difficulty.
2 successes (One month) – “Sicken and wither, infidel… a babe’s weakness upon you.” — All Strength rolls suffer a +2 difficulty, or vampire cannot use blood to boost Strength.
3 successes (One year) – “Reap this bitter harvest — may your closest friends turn foe.” — The character’s friends do not trust him. This can have any number of mechanical effects (higher difficulty on Social rolls, friends might be more prone to frenzy around the character) at the Storyteller’s discretion.
4 successes (Ten years) “Barren be thy seed and the loins of all your line.” — The character becomes sterile or barren, or (if Kindred) cannot Embrace childer or create ghouls.
5 successes (Permanent?) – “The mark of doom — all you touch must fail.” — Simple failures are considered botches while the curse is in effect.
|●●●●● (E) The Re-Embrace|
While most Baali are Embraced in the traditional fashion, at other times, it is the choice of a vampire who wants to leave their blood-tied clan for the Baali’s greener pastures. The ritual of Re-Embracing is not a complicated one, but does require a willingness to endure a tortuous realignment of one’s soul, or whatever Kindred have left of one.
When The Re-Embrace is invoked, the sire takes their would-be childer by the throat and bleeds them into four bowls inscribed with ancient and demonic runes. This is to remove that which dictates their current state of being, very similar to a normal Embrace. The sire then fills another four bowls with his own blood, surrounding the childer with them in alternating order.
As the initiate lies on the ground, bleeding and reaching ever closer to their final death, the sire calls forth a soul fragment of the bloodlines’ most powerful demon, Namtaru, and combines it with the childer’s soul to corrupt it and draw their spirit closer to that of a Baali. This process can take hours to complete. If this part of the ritual is completed with finesse and meticulous attention, the childer may just make it out alive.
All of the blood in the surrounding bowls flies into the air, entering the childer’s mouth, mixing and merging with their new soul in an explosion of dark energy. When they awake, they are now of the Baali bloodline, blasphemous in their glory.
System: The player spends 2 Willpower, and then rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty 8) against the target’s Willpower (difficulty 7). If the childer is of a lower Generation than the new sire, they receive a +1 dice bonus, as their soul is extra resistant to the change. A botch or failure results in the childer writhing in pain until they meet Final Death.
1 Success – While the transformation is complete, the childer will forever appear with an aura of one who has committed diablerie.
2 Successes – The process transforms the childer’s soul, but their undead body could not retain much of its power. They lose one dot of a Discipline they know.
3 Successes – The childer is so overcome with Namtaru’s soul, that they enter a coma for (10 – childer’s Stamina) days. Once they awaken, they have joined the ranks of the Baali.
4 Successes – The ritual is a complete success, with no negative impact on the character.
5+ Successes – Not only are they transformed, but the childer’s body and soul embrace their new life as a Baali. The childer receive Daimonion ● for free.
Dementation is the Discipline that allows a vampire to focus and channel madness into the minds of those around him. Though it’s the natural legacy of the Malkavians, practitioners of Dementation need not actually be mad to use the Discipline… but it helps.
Disturbingly, Dementation doesn’t actually make their victims mad, but rather it seems to break down the doors to the hidden darkness of the target’s mind, releasing into the open whatever is found there. The Malkavians claim that this is because insanity is the next logical step in mental evolution, a transhumanist advancement of what modern people consider consciousness. Other Kindred scoff that this reasoning is an outright justification for the chaos that Dementation brings. They don’t scoff too loudly, however, lest the Malkavian advance their consciousness next.
It is difficult for a non-Malkavian to learn Dementation without suffering from at least one significant Derangement…however eager the children of Malkav are to teach it.
Affinity Bonus: A Malkavian character targeted by a non-Malkavian (or more specifically, anyone without the Additional Discipline Merit) with a Dementation power can always choose whether to let it affect them or not. Madness is their world after all – other Kindred are just living in it.
The vampire stirs his victim’s emotions, either heightening them to a fevered pitch or blunting them until the target is completely desensitized. The Cainite may not choose which emotion is affected; she may only amplify or dull emotions already present in the target. In this way, a vampire can inflame mild irritation into quivering rage or atrophy true love into casual interest.
System: The character talks to her victim, and the vampire’s player rolls Charisma + Empathy (difficulty equals the victim’s Self-Control + 3). The number of successes determines the duration and intensity of the altered state of feeling.
Effects of this power might include one- or two-point additions or subtractions to difficulties of frenzy rolls, Virtue rolls, rolls to resist Presence powers, etc. You can justify a one or two dice or difficulty swing to most interactions, if you can convincingly express how a heightened or deadened emotion might affect it. Some results require more successes than others (deadening ‘true love’ to ‘swiping left’ would require at least 5 successes for example).
Intensity generally works out to one die or difficulty point of desired consequence, whose duration is then dependent on how many successes are allocated to it, as below:
Successes Allocated – Duration
0-1 success (minimum) – One turn
2 successes – Several minutes
3 successes – One hour
4 successes – One night
5 successes – One week
6+ successes – One month
|● (B) Catch a Whiff of Madness|
Insanity is the sea through which Malkavians swim like sharks every night of their unlife. As such, they know the aroma of madness and can sense it in others the way sharks smell blood. With this refinement, the Malkavian can parse that scent into its component notes, revealing exactly which flavor of insanity he senses.
The Malkavian must close enough to his quarry that he can smell him (which might make using it on the Nosferatu unpleasant); the Malkavian can be as discrete or obvious about this as he wishes.
System: The player rolls Perception + Empathy at standard (difficulty 6). Catching the target’s scent alerts the Malkavian to the target’s mental state: it specifically reveals mental weakness or instability, including derangements and unusually strong emotional responses (with five or more successes the Malkavian can even detect a blood bond, although it will not reveal whom the bond is to, although that can often be determined through more common means).
|●● The Haunting|
The vampire manipulates the sensory centers of his victim’s brain, flooding the victim’s senses with an unsettling battery of visions, sounds, scents, or feelings that aren’t really there. The images, regardless of the sense to which they appeal, are only fleeting “glimpses,” barely perceptible to the victim.
The vampire using Dementation cannot control what the victim perceives, although their Nature (as contrasted with their victim’s) will have a profound effect upon the final experience. A Malkavian whose nature is Monster inflicting this on a target with a Nature of Child will result in as uniquely a harrowing experience as if it were the other way around!
The “haunting” effects occur mainly when the victim is alone, and mostly at night. They may take the form of the subject’s repressed fears, guilty memories, or anything else bubbling in their subconscious. The effects are never pleasant or unobtrusive, however. In particularly severe episodes, the victim may well feel as if she is going mad, or as if the world is.
System: After the vampire speaks to the victim for a little while (establishing some manner of rapport), he rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty of his victim’s Perception + Self- Control/Instinct).
Successes are then allocated between the intensity of the illusion and its duration. The more intense the illusion, the more profound effect it can have on the victim, potentially distracting or disorienting them in a crucial moment. The Storyteller may also allow certain environmental modifiers based on the victim’s current mental state or surroundings.
1 Success – A fleeting, unsettling moment.
2 Successes – A distinct but vague illusion.
3 Successes – A clear and identifiable illusion.
4 Successes – A deeply personal and disturbing manifestation.
5 Successes – A vivid and overwhelming sensory experience that feels terrifyingly real.
1 Success – One turn.
2 Successes – Several minutes.
3 Successes – One scene.
4 Successes – Until the next sunset/sunrise.
5 Successes – A week of intermittent visitations.
At the Storyteller’s discretion, a victim suffering from a severe episode may have their dice pools for certain actions reduced, have a difficulty penalty for mental actions or even be required to succeed on a Courage or Self-Control/Instinct roll to avoid fleeing or freezing in fear.
|●● (B) Pavlovian Echo|
Malkavians can use this power to connect someone or something with a specific emotion whom they have previously haunted. The Kindred can easily make an unsuspecting victim’s life a living hell with this ability.
System: The Kindred spends one blood point and rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge with a difficulty equal to the target’s Intelligence + Self-Control. She speaks a word, which can be hidden in a sentence, and connects a specific emotion to that word.
Whenever the target next encounters the person, place or the object connected to the word, the Malkavian may inflict either Passion (the emotion affected must be determined ahead of time) or The Haunting upon them, no matter what distance currently separates them.
This power lasts for as many weeks as the Malkavian rolls successes or until it is triggered.
Affinity Bonus: Pavlovian Echo can trigger as many times as the Malkavian spends blood points when implanting it.
|●●● Random Patterns|
This power allows the character to anticipate an opponent’s next move in time to counter it. Blows can be blocked or avoided before they’re even thrown, pursuit can be cut off and bluffs can be called. The power doesn’t allow the character to see into the future per se, so much as it reads the patterns in the chaos and random chance that surround the target and allows the Kindred to determine his next move based on previous actions and lines of probability.
System: The player rolls Perception + Intuition, against a difficulty of 7 as a Reflexive action. The difficulty is -2 if their target is currently suffering under the effects of The Haunting.
This power costs a blood point when used Reflexively in combat. It is free when used as an Instant action (even as part of a split dice pool).
If the roll succeeds, the character adds a number of dice to his next action (usually an Instant action in the same or next turn) equal to the number of successes on the Random Patterns roll. This action must be a contested or combat-related roll against the target. For example, the bonus could be applied to pursuit, melee or dodge, but not to the activation of a Discipline.
|●●● (C) Eyes of Chaos|
This peculiar power allows the vampire to take advantage of the fleeting clarity hidden in insanity. She may scrutinize the “patterns” of a person’s soul, the convolutions of a vampire’s inner nature, or even random events in nature itself. The Kindred with this power can discern the most well-hidden psychoses, or gain insight into a person’s true self.
Malkavians with this power often have (or claim to have) knowledge of the moves and countermoves of the great Jyhad, or the patterns of fate.
System: This power allows a vampire to determine a person’s true Nature, among other things. The vampire concentrates for a turn, then her player rolls Perception + Occult. The difficulty depends on the intricacy of the pattern. Discerning the Nature of a stranger would be difficulty 9, a casual acquaintance would be an 8, and an established ally a 6. The vampire could also read the message locked in a coded missive (difficulty 7), or even see the doings of an invisible hand in such events as the pattern of falling leaves (difficulty 6).
Almost anything might contain some hidden insight, no matter how trivial or meaningless. The patterns are present in most things, but are often so intricate they can keep a vampire spellbound for hours while she tries to understand their message.
Remember: Secrets revealed via Eyes of Chaos are never simple facts; they’re tantalizing symbols adrift in a sea of madness.
|●●●● Screams Made Real|
Everyone has hidden, disturbing images that hide somewhere in his or her mind. This power allows the Malkavian to pull those images to the surface and confront their creator. Victims are plagued by hallucinations of their subconscious demons, and try to flee or destroy their hidden shames.
System: The Kindred spends a blood point and makes a Manipulation + Empathy roll (difficulty of the victim’s Conscience/Conviction + 4). Each success pulls a disturbing image from the mind of the target. The target thinks the images are real and acts accordingly.
The images last a scene. Affected victims fly into a blind fight or fly reaction. Kindred and other creatures capable of frenzy, like Ghouls and Lupines, should make a frenzy check with a difficulty penalty equal to the number of successes on the roll. Humans get no such roll. They much choose flight or fight immediately.
Affinity Bonus: Malkavians can spend extra blood points to simultaneously affect more victims in the same turn with separate, Reflexive rolls. This is not restricted by their Generation’s limitations.
|●●●● (D) Chaos Fold|
This power allows the Malkavian to “fold” a latent Derangement into a target’s psyche. The Derangement lies in wait until a certain event triggers it, in a manner similar to the manner of Pavlovian Echo.
This trigger causes the Derangement to become active and the target suffers a full-blown attack of the implanted Derangement. Until it is triggered, the subject does not suffer from the Derangement, and is not even aware of its presence unless it is somehow brought to his attention (such as a particularly dedicated Telepathy or Forgetful Mind search). Once triggered, the Derangement remains: fully and violently active for the scene or hour (whichever is longer), during which time the target cannot even spend Willpower to momentarily subdue his madness, though he may still defend himself normally.
The Derangement brought on by this Discipline disappears completely after the scene in which it is triggered, though of course the victim may be targeted by this power again in the future. A victim may not be targeted by this power more than once at a time, however.
System: The player spends a blood point, selects a derangement and rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty 6 if the derangement is personal, 8 if not). The subject may resist with a Willpower roll (difficulty 7). If the character invoking the power gains more successes, he implants the derangement, otherwise the power fails.
The trigger even can be as specific or vague as the Kindred wishes. Unless the victim is suffering from The Haunting, It costs one Willpower point if implanted without conversation or a meaningful interaction.
When the circumstances are right, the subject suffers a full-blown attack of the derangement in question. If the vampire obtained 5 successes on the initial contested roll, the derangement manifests in a particularly hideous fashion – and lasts all night.
|●●●●● Total Insanity|
The vampire coaxes the madness from the deepest recesses of her target’s mind, focusing it into an overwhelming wave of insanity. This power has driven countless victims, vampire and mortal alike, to unfortunate ends.
System: The Kindred must gain her target’s undivided attention for at least one full turn to enact this power. The player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty of her victim’s current Willpower points). If the roll is successful, the victim is afflicted with five derangements of the Storyteller’s choice (see V20 p. 290 for some ideas of what to expect).
The number of successes determines the duration.
Successes – Duration
0-1 success (minimum) – One turn
2 successes – Several minutes
3 successes – One hour
4 successes – One night
5 successes – One week
6+ successes – One month
On a botch… well, the Storyteller can decide what a vampire inflicts upon herself by attempting to incite the primal hells lurking within the darkest recesses of a victim’s mind.
|●●●●● (E) The Call|
Although many clan gatherings happen spontaneously, the Call arising from a general subconscious need shared by a city’s Malkavian population, it is possible to send the Call deliberately.
The Call as broadcasted is not a verbal thing; it merely conveys an impression of a place and a time. There is no sense of purpose, nor even the name of the gathering point; still, neither is really necessary. The Call is so instinctive that if an American Malkavian who did not speak a word of French were visiting Paris, and heard the Call, he had be able to follow his impressions and visions to the gathering place as readily as any native Lunatic.
System: To send the Call, the Malkavian spends 1 Willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Leadership, difficulty 8. As always, other clan members will hear (and attend if they so choose) only if they make their Malkavian Time rolls (see below).
For every additional dot of Willpower the Malkavian spends, he may lower both the difficulty of his roll and the roll of every Malkavian receiving his message. Finally, the The Dementation 5 version of this power only has the range of an average city, and you will reach roughly 20% of the locality’s Malkavians for every success.
When a meeting is coming (i.e., a local Malkavian has sent out The Call), the Storyteller secretly rolls Perception + Awareness (difficulty 6). Successes clue the Malkavian in to an upcoming meeting. The more successes, the more time the Malkavian has to prepare to see the rest of her Clanmates. One success means the meeting just started, two successes means there’s a meeting tonight, three successes means a meeting tomorrow, with each success adding an additional night for the Malkavian to prepare.
|●●●●● ● Shattered Mirror|
Although Dementation’s low-level effects are primarily to initiate or promote insanity rather than to create it spontaneously, some of its more potent manifestations are not as subtle. The wielder of this fearsome power can transfer her own deranged mindset into the psyche of a hapless victim, spreading her own brand of insanity like a virus.
System: The vampire must establish eye contact with her intended victim to apply this power. The player then rolls Charisma + Subterfuge (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower points) resisted by the target’s Wits + Self-Control/Instinct (difficulty equal to the Dementation user’s current Willpower points). If the aggressor wins, the target gains all of her derangements and Mental Flaws for a period of time determined by the number of net successes the aggressor scored:
Successes – Result
1 success – one hour
2 successes – one night
3 successes – one week
4 successes – one month
5 successes – six months
6+ successes – one year per success over 5
|●●●●● ● (F) Restructure|
The elder with this fearsome power has the ability to twist his victims’ psyches at their most basic levels, warping their very beings. The subject of Restructure retains her memories, but her outlook on life changes completely, as if she has undergone a sudden epiphany or religious conversion. This effect goes much deeper than the implantation of a derangement; it actually performs a complete rewrite of the victim’s personality.
System: As the description says, this power allows the vampire to change his target’s Nature to one more suitable to his ends. To accomplish this, the character must make eye contact with his intended victim. The player rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty equals the victim’s Wits + Subterfuge).
If he rolls a number of successes equal to or greater than the target’s Self-Control/Instinct, the target’s Nature changes to whatever the player using Restructure desires. This effect is permanent and can be undone only by another application of Restructure (though subtle differences from the character’s original Nature may still remain, as it is impossible for such a fundamental change to occur flawlessly). A botch on this roll changes the character’s own Nature to that of his intended victim.
|●●●●● ●● The Sword of Malkav|
With this terrifying Discipline, the Malkavian wrecks a victim’s very sense of reality. She changes one fundamental truth for the victim, and the victim cannot fathom a world in which that false reality is challenged or untrue.
System: The Sword of Malkav requires eye contact and a point of Willpower. The Malkavian must speak one truth she knows the victim believes. She then warps that truth and speaks a replacement. Roll Intelligence + Intimidation at a difficulty equal to the victim’s current Willpower points.
If successful, the victim’s belief, perceptions, and understanding shift in order to facilitate the falsehood. He believes the false truth before all; it becomes a piece of his very being while the power lasts. If he hears solid evidence that the truth is false, he suffers one health level of unsoakable aggravated damage per turn as every ounce of his identity fights the “falsehood”. If the victim is a Cainite, revelation that this truth is false becomes a frenzy provocation, at +3 difficulty to resist. Acting against that false truth becomes a level one sin against his Path.
Successes – Result
1 success – one hour
2 successes – one night
3 successes – one week
4 successes – one month
5 successes – six months
6+ successes – one year per success over 5
|●●●●● ●● (G) Personal Scourge|
This fearsome ability allows the elder to turn the very strength of her victim’s mind against him, inflicting physical harm with the power of his own will. Victims of this self-powered attack spontaneously erupt in lacerations and bruises, spraying blood in every direction and howling in agony.
Those who have observed such an attack with Auspex note that the victim’s aura swirls with violent psychosis and erupts outward in writhing appendages — a sight that can make even the most jaded Tzimisce quail.
System: The vampire must touch or establish eye contact with her target. The player rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina + Self-Control/Instinct) and spends two blood points and two Willpower points.
For a number of turns equal to the number of successes rolled, the victim rolls his own permanent Willpower as lethal damage against himself. This damage can only be soaked with his own Humanity or Path of Enlightenment (difficulty 6); Fortitude does not add to this soak dice pool, nor does body armor. He may take no actions during this time other than thrashing and gibbering; this includes spending blood to heal.
Dominate is one of the most dreaded of Disciplines. It is a vampire’s ability to influence another person’s thoughts and actions through her own force of will. Dominate requires that the vampire capture her victim’s gaze; as such, it may be used against only one subject at a time. Further, commands must be issued verbally, although simple orders may be made with signs — for example, a pointed finger and forceful expression to indicate “Go!” However, the subject won’t comply if he can’t understand the vampire, no matter how powerful the Kindred’s will is.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, vampires to which Dominate comes naturally tend to be from willful, domineering Clans. The Giovanni, Lasombra, Tremere, and Ventrue all consider an iron will to be a boon, and are eager to impose that iron will on any who would move against them. The Kiasyd (whom few realize even exist) find it useful to subvert and mislead the servants of the above mentioned Clans.
Note when considering the difficulties below that the average Mortal has a Willpower of 2-4 and a Virtue rating of 1-2. Those without Virtues use a value of their Willpower halved and rounded down for it instead.
The vampire locks eyes with the subject and issues them a single-action command, the context of which should require no more than a short sentence, to be obeyed to the letter. It must be possible to complete the ‘gist’ of the command in a single turn.
The Storyteller decides whether to interpret ambiguous commands in an unexpected or unfavorable way; alternatively, the command simply confuses the victim and fails.
The command may be included in a longer exchange, thereby concealing the power’s use from others. This effort at subtlety still requires the Kindred to make eye contact at the proper moment and stress the key word slightly. An alert bystander — or even the victim — may notice the emphasis. Still, unless she’s conversant with supernatural powers, the individual is likely to attribute the utterance and the subsequent action to bizarre coincidence.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty equals the target’s current Willpower). More successes force the subject to act with greater vigor. At the Storyteller’s discretion, the victim may receive a +1 to +3 bonus to their resistance if it’s entirely contrary to their Nature.
|● (A) Cloud Memory|
By uttering some iteration of the phrase “Forget!” the vampire can make the Dominated victim forget the current moment as well as potentially the last few minutes, enough to mask a superficial Masquerade slip or a chance meeting.
No new memories are formed and if utterly pressed on it, a reasonably astute victim will realize they have a blank space. It’s far more likely they’ll become aware of missing out on how they arrived somewhere or why they’ve been shot, rather than a few minutes of conversation.
It usually requires a successful Awareness check by some manner of hedge wizard or rival supernatural creature to actually suspect anything unnatural at play, which makes this power relatively safe to use upon mortals.
System: Once a scene, the vampire might cloud the memory of a victim with a Charisma + Subterfuge roll vs their Wits + Self-Control. A single success will wipe the last turn from their memory, every additional success will cloud another minute.
This power is free when used on mortals (including ghouls and mortal+). It costs a blood point when used on supernaturals. At the Storyteller’s discretion, the difficulty might be raised by the intensity of the circumstances (i.e., ‘You shot him!?’)
With this power, a vampire can verbally implant a false thought or hypnotic suggestion in the subject’s subconscious mind. Both Kindred and target must be free from distraction, since Mesmerize requires intense concentration and precise wording to be effective. The victim must be able to understand the vampire, though the two need to maintain eye contact only as long as it takes to implant the idea. With enough skill, the vampire may activate the imposed thought immediately or establish a stimulus that will trigger it later.
Mesmerize allows for anything from simple, precise directives (handing over an item) to complex, highly involved ones (taking notes of someone’s habits and relaying that information at an appointed time). It is not useful for planting illusions or false memories (such as seeing a rabbit or believing yourself to be on fire). A subject can have only one suggestion implanted at any time.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Leadership (difficulty equal to the target’s Intelligence + Self-Control). The number of successes must be allocated to how well the suggestion takes hold in the victim’s subconscious and how many conditional elements can be woven into it.
If the vampire allocates one or two successes to effectiveness, the subject cannot be forced to do anything that seems strange to her (she might walk outside, but is unlikely to steal a car). At three or four successes, the command is effective unless following it endangers the subject. At five successes or greater, the vampire can implant nearly any sort of command.
If the vampire doesn’t allocate any success to pay for extra conditional elements, then the instructions must be something that can be carried out immediately to the subject’s best abilities and must not contain any conditional actions (“…if you see Henry on the way, give him this document.”) It is much easier to give a subject a detailed set of instructions that don’t involve serious risk.
|●● (B) Scrutinize the Servant|
By looking a mortal target in the eyes, the user of this power can see if a target is under the influence of Dominate, and who controls him or her. They must be able to make eye contact with the target, and if they can, the image of the Dominator forms in their mind. Those vampires with a more instinctive mastery of Dominate can perceive even deeper, into something of the essence of the subject herself.
A more nuanced application of this power allows the vampire to also assess any single statement made by the subject and look for the essence of that subject’s being beneath the words she speaks. The vampire needs to speak no words himself; he simply looks her in the eye and interprets the statement offered to him.
Note: Both expressions of this power only work on living subjects.
System: The vampire must be able to make eye contact with the target. They then make a Perception + Empathy roll, with a difficulty equal to the controller’s Willpower (+/- 1 if the vampire has a higher or lower Generation, and again if they have a higher or lower Dominate, with possible swing of -2 to +2 difficulty).
If successful, they get a glimpse of the target’s controller, which becomes more distinct the more successes they roll. With only one success, the image might only appear male or female. At three successes, it is a blurred but recognizable form, and at five successes, it is clear and distinct. If the target is not Dominated or the player fails the roll, the result is the same: no image appears.
Affinity Bonus: The player may make the same Perception + Empathy roll (difficulty equal to the subject’s Manipulation + Subterfuge instead) when spoken to by the subject. With even a single success, the vampire determines the subject’s Demeanor from the statement, finding insight in the most common of utterances. 2+ successes will reveal the most profound emotion associated with their statement (guilt, indifference, embarrassment, resentment, etc).
|●●● The Forgetful Mind|
After capturing the subject’s gaze, the vampire delves into the subject’s memories, stealing or re-creating them at his whim. The Forgetful Mind does not allow for telepathic contact; the Kindred operates much like a hypnotist, asking directed questions and drawing out answers from the subject.
The degree of memory alteration depends on what the vampire desires. He may alter the subject’s mind only slightly (quite effective for eliminating memories of the victim meeting or even being fed upon by the vampire) or utterly undo the victim’s memories of her past.
System: The player states what sorts of alteration he wants to perform, then rolls Wits + Subterfuge (difficulty equal to the target’s Intelligence + Self-Control). Any success pacifies the victim for the amount of time it takes the vampire to perform the verbal alteration, provided the vampire does not act aggressively toward her. The table below indicates the degree of modification possible to the subject’s memory. If the successes rolled don’t allow for the extent of change the character desired, the Storyteller reduces the resulting impact on the victim’s mind.
Successes – Result
1 success – May remove a single memory; lasts one day.
2 successes – May remove, but not alter, memory permanently.
3 successes – May make slight changes to memory.
4 successes – May alter or remove entire scene from subject’s memory.
5 successes – May reconstruct entire periods of subject’s life.
To restore removed memories or sense false ones in a subject, the character’s Dominate rating must be equal to or higher than that of the vampire who made the alteration. In that situation, the player must make a Wits + Empathy roll (difficulty equal to the original vampire’s permanent Willpower rating) and score more successes than his predecessor did. However, the Kindred cannot use The Forgetful Mind to restore his own memories if they were stolen in such a way.
|●●● (C) Mind Strike|
By focusing his mental power, the vampire can channel their Dominate into a powerful mental attack that does real damage to the victim. He simply meets his victim’s gaze and delivers a strike into her very mind. In times past, Ventrue and Lasombra elders fought terrifying, unseen duels by locking their gazes with their hated rival, each battering the other with their mind to see who would break first.
System: This power costs a Willpower point to use and requires eye contact. The vampire makes an Intelligence + Intimidation + Dominate roll against a difficulty of the victim’s Intelligence + 3.
Typically, the amount of successes become bashing damage to the victim, whereupon normal soak rules apply. However, if the vampire really wants to lay the hurt on, they can convert one level of bashing damage to lethal for each blood point spent (limited by their Generation). This usually manifests as trickles of blood from the victim’s eyes, ears and nose.
Note that vampires suffer halved bashing damage as normal, although Fortitude cannot be used to soak damage sustained from Mind Strike unless the victim possesses Fortitude 3C: Fortify the Inner Façade.
|●●●● Ingrain Belief|
Dominate usually focuses on giving the target specific orders. Using this power, a vampire can instill a feeling, opinion, or even a personality trait the victim will believe is his own.
He might be told he loves modern art, hates his new neighbors, or that aliens are looking to abduct him. He can be given new political or religious beliefs, suddenly becoming a dedicated liberal or a born-again Christian (although in the latter case he doesn’t gain real faith; he just decides to follow the tenets of a faith). He might even be given bigoted views, making him racist or sexist, or he may be cured of such opinions.
Unlike Conditioning, the vampire requires little connection to the target (often for the best), yet can still use him to steer policies in the general direction of her design without needing to explain her plans. Another advantage of this power is that unlike Mesmerize it is extremely difficult to detect.
System: When attempting to implant a new belief or opinion the vampire makes a Manipulation + Expression roll at a difficulty equal to the target’s Intelligence + Conscience/Conviction.
It requires a certain number of successes (determined by the Storyteller) to take hold, depending on how contrary to the subject’s original beliefs the new opinion is. Once instilled however, the new belief can be very hard to remove.
Supernatural attempts to detect or reverse an Ingrained Belief (such as with Scrutinize the Servant or a competing use of this ability) are at +2 difficulty and have to exceed the original successes to implant. It’s sadly often easier to leave it alone and to instead give the victim an even stronger opinion about something else that somewhat mitigates the original problematic belief (Gridlock in Washington is suddenly starting to make a lot more sense…).
|●●●● (D) Obedience|
While most Kindred must employ Dominate through eye contact, some vampires may command loyalty with the lightest brush of a hand, as one might stroke a faithful hound.
System: The character can employ all Dominate powers through touch instead of eye contact (although eye contact still works). Skin contact is necessary — simply touching the target’s clothing or something she is holding will not suffice.
The touch does not have to be maintained for the full time it takes to issue a Dominate command (which would make for some very awkward handshakes), though repeated attempts to Dominate a single target still require the character to touch the subject again.
Through sustained manipulation, the vampire can make a subject more pliant to the Kindred’s will. Over time, the victim becomes increasingly susceptible to the vampire’s influence while simultaneously growing more resistant to the corrupting efforts of other Kindred.
Gaining complete control over a subject’s mind is no small task, taking weeks or even months to accomplish. Kindred often fill their retainers’ heads with subtle whispers and veiled urges, thereby ensuring these mortals’ loyalty. Yet vampires must pay a high price for the minds they ensnare. Servants Dominated in this way lose much of their passion and individuality. They follow the vampire’s orders quite literally, seldom taking initiative or showing any imagination. In the end, such retainers become like automatons or the walking dead.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Leadership (difficulty equal to the target’s permanent Willpower) once per scene.
Conditioning is an extended action, for which the Storyteller secretly determines the number of successes required. It typically requires between five and 10 times the subject’s Self-Control/Instinct rating. Targets with more empathic Natures may require a lower number of successes, while those with willful Natures require a higher total. Only through roleplaying may a character discern whether his subject is conditioned successfully.
|●●●●● (E) Chain the Psyche|
Not content with merely commanding their subjects, some tyrannical vampires apply this power to ensure obedience from recalcitrant victims.
There are two main ways to utilize Chain the Psyche: The first and most common technique inflicts incapacitating pain on a target who attempts to break the vampire’s commands. The second allows the vampire to stop a dominated subject talking about or revealing specific information without forgetting it (see below).
System: The player spends a blood point when her character applies Dominate to a subject. Any attempt that the subject makes to act against the vampire’s implanted commands or to recover stolen memories causes intense pain.
When such an attempt is made, the Storyteller rolls the character‘s Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty equal to the subject’s Stamina + Self-Control). Each success equals one turn that the victim is unable to act, as she is wracked with agony. Each application of Chain the Psyche crushes a number of resistance attempts equal to the character’s Manipulation rating, after which the effect fades.
|●●●●● ● Mass Manipulation|
A truly skilled elder may command small crowds through the use of this power. By manipulating the strongest minds within a given group, a gathering may be directed to the vampire’s will.
System: The player declares that he is using this power before rolling for the use of another Dominate power. The difficulty of the roll is that which would be required to Dominate the most resistant member of the target group — if he cannot be Dominated, no one in his immediate vicinity can.
For every success past that needed to inflict the desired result on the first target, the player may choose one additional target to receive the same effect in its entirety. The vampire needs to make eye contact only with the initial target.
|●●●●● ● (F) Possession|
At this level of Dominate, the force of the Kindred’s psyche is such that it can utterly supplant the mind of a mortal subject. Speaking isn’t required, but the vampire must capture the victim’s gaze. During the psychic struggle, the contestants’ eyes are locked on one another. Once the Kindred overwhelms the subject’s mind, the vampire moves his consciousness into the victim’s body and controls it as easily as he uses his own. The mortal falls into a mental fugue while under possession. She is aware of events only in a distorted, dreamlike fashion. In turn, the vampire’s mind focuses entirely on controlling his mortal subject. His own body lies in a torpid state, defenseless against any actions made toward it.
Vampires cannot possess one another in this fashion, as even the weakest Kindred’s mind is strong enough to resist such straightforward mental dominance. Only through a blood bond can one vampire control another to this degree. Supernatural creatures also cannot be possessed in this way, although ghouls that have drunk from the vampire using Possession can.
System: The vampire must completely strip away the target’s Willpower prior to possessing her. The player spends a Willpower point, then rolls Charisma + Intimidation, while the subject rolls his Willpower in a resisted action (difficulty 7 for each). For each success the vampire obtains over the victim’s total, the target loses a point of temporary Willpower. Only if the attacker botches can the subject escape her fate, since this makes the target immune to any further Dominate attempts by that vampire for the rest of the story. Once the target loses all her temporary Willpower, her mind is open.
The vampire rolls Intelligence + Empathy (difficulty 7) to determine how fully he assumes control of the mortal shell. Vampires possessing ghouls can use the physical Disciplines the ghoul possesses, but not the mental ones.
Successes – Result
1-2 successes – Cannot use Disciplines
3 successes – Can use Auspex and other sensory powers
4 successes – Can also use Presence and other powers of emotional manipulation
5 successes – Can also use Dementation, Dominate, and other powers of mental manipulation
6+ successes – Can also use Chimerstry, Necromancy, Thaumaturgy, and other mystical powers
Note: There is rumored to be an extremely rare Necromancy and Dominate combination discipline that allows Possession to be attempted by a vampire of higher Generation. The infamous Malkavian antitribu terrorist, necromancer and deranged mastermind known as ‘Bill’ was one such creature who tormented the Praxis of Los Angeles for years until a cadre of Assamite assassins finally caught up to him. With his destruction, it will likely take decades of digging through occult lore to rediscover it…
|●●●●● ●● Still the Mortal Flesh|
Despite its name, this power may be employed on vampires as well as mortals, and it has left more than one unfortunate victim writhing in agony — or unable to do even that.
A vampire who has developed this power is able to override her victim’s body as easily as his mind in order to cut off his senses or even stop his heart. It is rumored that this power once came more easily to the Kindred, but modern medicine has made the bodies and spirits of mortals more resistant to such manipulations.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina + Instinct/Self-Control; a difficulty over 10 means that this power cannot affect the target at all). The effect lasts for one turn per success. The player must choose what function of the target’s body is being cut off before rolling.
She may affect any of the body’s involuntary functions; breathing, circulation, perspiration, sight, and hearing are all viable targets. While Still the Mortal Flesh is in effect, a vampire can either stop any one of those functions entirely or cause them to fluctuate erratically.
The exact effects of any given bodily function being shut off are left to the Storyteller. Most mortals panic if suddenly struck blind, but only the shutdown of the heart will kill a target on the spot. Vampires are unaffected by loss of heartbeat or breathing, but may be rendered deaf and blind as easily as mortals.
|●●●●● ●● (G) Far Mastery|
This refinement of Obedience allows the use of Dominate on any subject that the vampire is familiar with, at any time, over any distance. If the elder knows where his target is, he may issue commands as if he were standing face- to-face with his intended victim.
System: The player spends a Willpower point and rolls Perception + Etiquette (difficulty equal to the subject’s Wits + Stealth) to establish contact. If this roll succeeds, Dominate may be used as if the character had established eye contact with the target. A second Willpower point must be spent in order for a vampire to use this power on another vampire or other supernatural being.
All vampires shrug off wounds that might kill mortals. But vampires with Fortitude become veritable juggernauts, unstoppable by anything but fire and sunlight. Every vampire manifests Fortitude differently. Most simply possess unusually durable flesh; nothing punctures their statuesque beauty. Others ignore the trauma: their alabaster bodies continue to move regardless of their raggedly gaping wounds. No matter how Fortitude manifests, it’s a frightening prospect to any mortal witness.
System: A character’s Fortitude rating adds to all her Stamina-based dice pools, including her soak rating for bashing and lethal damage. A vampire may use her Fortitude dice as a soak pool against aggravated wounds, which vampires typically have no recourse against.
Additionally, once per turn, she may spend a blood point to automatically soak her Fortitude in damage, instead of adding it to her Stamina. This can be used to soak aggravated damage as well, but not damage from fire or sunlight.
Affinity Bonus: Activating Fortitude in this way does not count against a vampire’s Generational blood expenditure limit.
This power blesses the vampire with a remarkable degree of tenacity and resilience. Like a reed that bends but does not break in a storm, her body endures physical assaults and traumas that would break lesser beings.
System: The vampire passively benefits from one level of Armor per dot of Fortitude they have, halved and rounded up. This does not stack with any mundane source of Armor (such as a bulletproof vest).
Spending a blood point and a Willpower point allows the character to add their Fortitude rating in additional Bruised Health levels for the duration of the scene. Bashing damage suffered will disappear when the extra health levels do. Lethal and aggravated damage on the other hand…will not. Excessive lethal damage will send a vampire into torpor. Excessive aggravated harm will send them into Final Death, once the scene ends.
|●● (B) Sensory Shield|
A vampire using this power supernaturally hardens his senses against injurious input. The vampire cannot be blinded by spotlights or sudden bursts of radiance, or deafened by explosions or gunfire.
System: Spending one blood point activates this power for a scene. Mundane sources of overwhelming sensory input, such as searchlights, muzzle flash or pepper spray have no effect, even if sensory-enhancing powers like Heightened Senses are in use.
The effects of supernatural sensory attacks or unusual circumstances (like being at ground zero for a massive explosion) may be soaked with the vampire’s Fortitude dice, with each success reducing the effect or duration of the sensory damage, or negating it all together.
|●●● (C) Fortify the Inner Façade|
The vampire gains a mystical ability to resist any attempts to sway them through mundane charms, coercion, and wiles. Some exhibit Mental Toughness as Zen-like calm, others as supernatural stubbornness.
System: The user adds their dots in Fortitude as extra dice in any roll made to resist coercion, intimidation, seduction, or any other attempt to sway the user’s mind against their will. This power also works against supernatural abilities such as Dominate and Presence.
|●●●● (D) Brace for Impact|
With this power, a vampire may plant her feet solidly on the ground and ensure that she cannot be moved by anything weaker than herself. Even being hit by the charge of a fully armored knight (or a Cadillac) won’t easily ragdoll or knock her down.
This power only helps the character soak physical impacts that affect the entire body; car crashes, explosions, crushing pressure, vacuum decompressions or being struck with large objects. The character must also expect the impact, so she can brace against it. It does not help against normal combat damage such as claws, fists bullets or blades. It does not grant extra protection against fire, electricity, sunlight or other energy-based sources of damage.
System: This power is innate once learned, though it requires an Instant action for the vampire to prepare herself. Until the vampire moves from her braced position, she is almost impossible to budge by normal means. In any roll to avoid being moved, knocked down or soak massive physical impacts, the player gains a number of automatic successes equal to the character’s Fortitude rating.
When soaking damage with this power it does not double dip Fortitude – instead it gives the benefit of having spent a blood point to activate it for free.
|●●●●● (E) Prowess from Pain|
Injuries and impairments now only fuel the powers of the vampire, who grows stronger and faster from each blow, rend, or tear received. Only utter destruction can stop one who calls upon this Fortitude power.
System: Spend 2 blood points and 1 Willpower points. Upon activating the power the vampire no longer suffers any dice penalties from Health damage sustained. They will not collapse upon being Incapacitated – only Final Death or Torpor can stop them now.
Additionally, they can increase one Physical Attribute by one dot the first time they reach a new injury category during a scene (Bruised -> Hurt -> Injured -> Wounded -> Mauled -> Crippled -> Incapacitated) damage on their Health track.
The vampire’s Attributes cannot exceed a value equal to their usual Generational maximum +1, which for most vampires of 8th and higher Generation, will be a rating of 7.
|●●●●● ● (F) Flesh of Marble|
The skin of an elder who has developed Flesh of Marble becomes in essence a sort of flexible stone. The power of the Blood causes the skin of the vampire to harden, taking on a marble-like sheen that is still supple but stops almost any blow.
A vampire using this power is almost impossible to destroy outright by conventional weapons, barring a lucky blow or physical restraint.
System: The player spends 2 blood points to activate Flesh of Marble, which goes into effect instantly. The effects of the power last for the remainder of the scene.
While the power is functioning, the damage of all lethal attacks are halved and rounded down, and no single bashing attack can inflict more than a single level of bashing damage on the vampire.
|●●●●● ●● (G) Repair the Undead Flesh|
Traditionally, sunlight, fire and the fangs of Lupines and other vampires are the banes of Cainites. An elder that has achieved this great a mastery of Fortitude can heal from the ravages of such assaults more quickly than their enemies would imagine possible.
System: This power is always in effect. It makes aggravated damage much easier to repair – the need for Willpower and rest is waived and the player need spend only 5 blood points per aggravated health level.
|●●●●● ●●● (H) Adamantine|
At this phenomenal level of Fortitude, the vampire’s skin is like steel, and is just as durable. He can touch white-hot metals without suffering harm, and his hands and legs are as unto warhammers.
System: Spend two blood points to activate Adamantine for the scene. Outside of combat situations, the vampire suffers no damage from mundane temperatures, cuts, or impacts. While a tongue of flame will still affect him, he can forge softened metals with his bare hands.
Additionally, his unarmed attacks cause Strength + Fortitude + Potence in bashing damage and may block any bashing, lethal, or aggravated attack with his bare hands.
|●●●●● ●●●● (I) Eternal Vigilance|
Though vampire legends disagree on a number of points, almost all support the theory that the undead must take rest each day from dawn until sunset. Even the most determined vampire cannot resist the arms of slumber during daylight hours. A Cainite methuselah mastering this application of Fortitude can remain active during daytime, functioning almost as effectively as if it were darkest night.
Note that this doesn’t give any further protection from the sun’s effects beyond Fortitude’s normal benefits.
System: The player makes a Humanity/Path roll (difficulty 6); each success indicates how long the vampire may remain awake before another roll is needed, as shown below. Failure indicates that the character is still trying to rouse himself and may try again next turn (however, a second failure puts him back to sleep unless something else happens to awaken him later). On a botch, he sleeps the sleep of the dead straight through to the middle of the next night.
Successes – Result
1 Success – One turn.
2 Successes – One minute.
3 Successes – One hour.
4 Successes – Several hours.
5+ Successes – All day.
The player may instead have the vampire spend a Blood Point to awaken immediately (this is particularly useful if there are intruders in the Cainite’s haven, intent on mischief). In this case, the character rouses instantly, fully alert for a number of turns equal to his Stamina + Humanity/Path. If he wishes to stay awake after that point, another Blood Point or roll is necessary, as above.
The player uses this system to determine wakefulness whether the character consciously decides he wants to stay awake in the coming day or is roused by activity near his haven.
Normally, a vampire awake during the day cannot have a Dice Pool greater than his current Humanity/Path rating. With this power, a vampire can have a Dice Pool maximum equal to his Humanity/Path + his current Wilpower.
Named for Melpomene, the Greek Muse of tragedy, the unique Discipline of the Daughters of Cacophony is one of speech and song. The powers of this Discipline explore the various uses of the voice for both benefit and harm. As is the case with mortal art, it is not always clear which of those directions these powers take. No character may have a rating in Melpominee higher than her Performance rating. Melpominee affects the subject’s soul as well as the ears; thus, it works perfectly well on deaf subjects, and has caused at least one known breach of the Masquerade due to this effect.
Additionally, the powers of Melpominee work only on those who are present when it is used — Daughters of Cacophony cannot record Melpominee effects, send them across radio waves, or have them streamed over the Internet. Daughters of Cacophony can use some of the powers of the Melpominee Discipline in concert, as it were.
If more than one Siren uses the same level of this Discipline simultaneously, the difficulty for the roll falls by one for each Daughter involved beyond the first. The difficulty cannot fall lower than 3, however. The Discipline levels that can benefit from this rule are noted below.
|● The Missing Voice|
The character can “throw” her voice anywhere within her line of sight. This enables the Daughter to carry on surreptitious conversations, sing duets with herself, or cause any number of distractions. This power can also be combined with other Melpominee powers to disguise their source (and some Daughters use it to conceal the fact that Melpominee powers do not function through recorded media).
System: This power functions automatically as long as the character wills it. However, using The Missing Voice while performing any action other than speech or singing incurs a penalty of two dice on that action due to the disruption of the character’s concentration.
|● (A) Tune Out|
With this power the Kindred can dull their senses enough to avoid the effects of any sonic attacks or distractions. She simply picks what she wants to hear, such as conversation, and ignores loud alarms or white noise.
System: This power works at the will of the power user. She can tune out background noise to hear conversations without any penalties, or eliminate painfully loud alarms.
However, when the power is activated the user cannot hear anything except for the sounds she has decided to hear. This might mean she can only hear the conversation she is having in a loud club, but not the music or background voices. Unfortunately, as she has to specify what she can hear, she will be unable to adjust the power to hear any new sounds unless she knows they are there. So she can easily add a new voice to a conversation when she sees someone join, but not hear someone talking behind her or hear a new alarm going off.
|●● Phantom Speaker|
The Daughter can project her voice to any individual she has personally met. Distance is no object, but it must be night wherever the target presently is.
System: The player rolls Wits + Performance (difficulty 7) and spends a blood point. Each success allows one turn of speech; three or more successes allow speech for an entire scene.
The vampire can sing, talk, or otherwise project her voice in any way she sees fit (including other uses of Melpominee), but she cannot hear what she is saying, and therefore suffers a +1 difficulty to any rolls accompanying her utterance.
Example, the vampire could project her voice to an enemy in an attempt to intimidate him, but would suffer a +1 to the difficulty of the Charisma + Intimidation roll.
|●● (B) Silent Voice|
By pitching her voice impossibly high, the Daughter of Cacophony can use her powers inaudibly. This means that powers that rely on the voice to cause harm can be done in silence.
System: In most cases this power works whenever the user wants it to with no roll. However, as it involves sound outside even most supernatural ranges, those with Auspex equal to or greater than the Daughter’s Melpominee are allowed a test to try and detect it (Perception + Awareness at difficulty 8).
Music has the power to sway the listener, engendering specific emotions through artful lyrics, pounding crescendo, or haunting melody. The Daughters of Cacophony can tap into music’s power, forcing listeners to feel whatever they wish. The emotion becomes so powerful that the listener must act, though what a listener does isn’t something the Siren can directly control.
System: The player rolls Charisma + Performance (difficulty 7). Each success instills the chosen emotion in a fifth of the Kindred’s audience (more than five successes have no additional effect). The Storyteller decides precisely which members of the audience are affected.
Characters may resist this power for the duration of the scene with the expenditure of a Willpower point, but only if they have reason to believe that they are being controlled by outside individuals. The song the vampire sings must also reflect the emotion she wishes to engender — no one’s going to mob the concert security no matter how well she sings “High Hopes,” but they might if she performs “I Predict a Riot.”
Affected individuals should act in accordance with their Natures — enraged Conformists would join a riot but not start one, aroused Bravos may force their attentions on the object of their desire, and jealous Directors may send cronies after their rivals.
Multiple Daughters may use this Discipline in concert.
|●●● (C) Virtuosa|
Most of the low-level Melpominee powers can only be used on one target at a time. When the Daughter reaches this level of mastery in her Discipline, she can “entertain” a wider audience. Each member of the audience hears the same message.
System: The Daughter may use Phantom Speaker or Siren’s Beckoning on a number of targets equal to her Expression. The player must spend one blood point for every target.
|●●●● Siren’s Beckoning|
The Daughters of Cacophony don’t spread madness as surely (or as visibly) as the Malkavians, but their songs are definitely detrimental to one’s sanity. With this power, the Daughter can drive any listener to madness. Most of the time, the victim is too fascinated to realize that he should leave the area and block out the music from his mind.
System: Siren’s Beckoning requires an extended, resisted roll. The player rolls Manipulation + Performance (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower); the victim resists with a Willpower roll (difficulty equal to the singer’s Appearance + Performance).
If the singer accumulates five more successes than the victim at any point, the hapless soul acquires a new derangement or Psychological Flaw of the Storyteller’s choice. This derangement normally lasts for one night, with an additional night per success over five. With a total of 20 net successes, the Daughter can make it permanent.
Multiple Daughters may use this Discipline in concert.
|●●●● (D) Mosh Pit|
This rather dangerous power can be used to inspire frenzy in any supernatural creature prone to such a thing (such as vampires and werewolves). The Daughter sings with chaotic passion and reckless defiance, such that her target finds it hard not to lose themselves to their most violent urges.
System: The Daughter spends a blood point and makes a Charisma + Performance roll at a difficulty of her choosing. If she is successful, her target must make a roll to resist frenzy at the same difficulty. If a frenzy is inspired, it plays out as normal.
The Daughter has no control over the target beyond triggering the frenzy. Other Melpominee powers might allow the Daughter to effect multiple targets.
|●●●●● Primal Scream|
This time the Daughter’s song is one of terror, not rage. It is awe inspiring and makes her appear frightening in the extreme. Her target becomes terrified beyond belief.
System: The Daughter spends a blood point and makes a Manipulation + Performance roll at a difficulty of her choosing. If she is successful, her target must make a roll to resist Rötschreck at the same difficulty. If a Rötschreck is inspired, it plays out as normal.
The Daughter has no control over the target beyond triggering the Rötschreck. Other Melpominee powers might allow the Daughter to effect multiple targets.
|●●●●● (E) Haunting Melody|
The Daughter can use this power to leave a tune hanging in the air in a certain place. Anyone visiting this area can perceive the tune quietly on the breeze, or just on the edge of their hearing. Unfortunately, the tune carries madness, and those who hear it can lose their minds if they are not careful.
System: The Daughter picks a derangement and makes a Manipulation + Performance roll at a difficulty of her choosing. For each success she gets, the song she sings will remain quietly hanging in the area for one day. Anyone entering the area must make a Willpower roll at a difficulty equal to the one the Daughter picked to use the power. If they fail, they suffer the effects of the derangement the Daughter picked for the rest of the night. If they botch the roll, the derangement does not fade and must be removed as if it was permanent.
|●●●●● ● Shattering Crescendo|
The Daughter can sing powerfully enough to rend flesh, split skin, and crack bone. While some Kindred unfortunate enough to witness this power make reference to the fact that even mortal singers can shatter glass at the right frequency, others note that volume and intensity don’t seem to matter when a Daughter employs Shattering Crescendo. The Siren can sing a soothing lullaby and still kill a target.
System: Use of this power requires that the victim be within hearing range (characters with hearing difficulties — or Heightened Senses — are affected at the same range as other victims). The player spends one blood point and rolls Manipulation + Performance (difficulty of the target’s Stamina + Fortitude). Each success inflicts one health level of aggravated damage, which may not be soaked. If using this power on an inanimate object, the Storyteller determines how many dice (if any) the object may use to “soak” and how many successes are needed to completely shatter it.
Multiple Daughters may use this Discipline in concert.
|●●●●● ● (F) Persistent Echo|
The Daughter can sing, speak, or even use a Melpominee power and leave the effect hanging in the air, waiting for someone to come along and hear it. The character can control who can trigger her latent song, meaning that combined with Shattering Crescendo or Siren’s Beckoning, this power can be used as a trap.
System: The player rolls Stamina + Performance (difficulty 8) and spends a blood point. Each success yields one turn of speech that may be left to be heard later. If the player wishes to time-delay another Melpominee power, the roll for that power must be made at +1 difficulty. The echo stays suspended for a maximum number of nights equal to twice the vampire’s Stamina + Performance before fading.
The Kindred may choose to make the echo audible to anyone who stands in her position for the duration of the power — in effect, an endlessly looped mystic recording. Conversely, she may choose for it to fade away once it is heard for the first time. She may also choose to leave it dormant until activated by the presence of a specific individual with whom she is familiar. If the echo is made a one-time-only effect, all traces of the power disappear once the vampire’s words echo to the intended recipient.
If a character uses Heightened Senses in an area where an “unactivated” echo exists, he will hear a faint murmur. Three successes on a Perception + Occult roll (difficulty 8) are necessary to hear the message, and a botch on this roll will deafen the listener for the rest of the night.
Multiple Daughters may use this Discipline in concert.
Whatever odd commingling of blood which produced the Kiasyd has led to a number of weird effects, not least of which is the Mytherceria Discipline. This collection of powers mimics the abilities of faeries — or at least, that’s the best guess of the Kindred who are familiar with it.
The Kiasyd use this power to alter and beguile the minds of their foes, as well as to force others to tell the truth. The Kiasyd do not, in general, teach this Discipline to those outside the bloodline, and supposedly it would require oaths sworn on the lifeblood of the student to learn.
The Kiasyd can cleave truth from lies. The exact effect varies from vampire to vampire. Some Kiasyd experience bleeding from the eyes or ears when they hear a lie, while some Weirdlings’ eyes glow when told a falsehood. Whatever the effect, this power detects lies, not mistakes, meaning that a target has to know he is lying in order for this power to work.
System: The Kiasyd may reflexively roll Wits + Empathy vs a difficulty of the target’s Manipulation + Subterfuge after listening to someone in conversation. Even one success will reveal to the Kiasyd whether the target’s last statement was a deliberate lie. Note that this power does not provide any insight into what the truth might be, nor does it enable the vampire to tell if a target is simply stating something false that he believes to be true.
|● Darkling Trickery|
Darkling Trickery leverage’s the elusive Kiasyd’s affinity with the realm of the Fae. The power allows its wielder to create a brief but unsettling illusion that upsets the normal, expected reality.
These strange, whimsical effects can range from disturbing whispers, sudden, chilling screams that seem to come from nowhere, to small, darting shadows that move against the natural light, and even to a swift, eerie flash of light akin to a floating ball of swamp gas. The most extraordinary displays might manifest as a fleeting glimpse of a fantastical creature or a UFO in the sky, visible for only the briefest of moments before it vanishes. These are not true manifestations but phantasmal echoes of the Fae, intended to create distractions, evoke fear or simply confound observers.
System: To activate Darkling Trickery, the player spends a point of Willpower and then rolls Manipulation + Occult, the difficulty depending on the complexity and realism of the illusion. The number of successes determines the effectiveness and believability of the illusion, with a single success creating a simple distraction (a fleeting shadow, a sudden light) and multiple successes leading to more intricate illusions (a visible, though not believable, UFO).
The illusions only last for a few seconds, and while they can be disorienting or mildly threatening, they do not cause any physical harm (though may inflict circumstantial penalties to the target’s current action at the Storyteller’s discretion). The effects are immediate and can be witnessed by anyone in the vicinity, though their interpretation of the event may vary wildly.
Observers can attempt to resist or see through the illusion with a contested roll of Perception + Occult against the initial Manipulation + Occult roll.
|●● Fae Sight|
The Kiasyd’s knowledge of magic isn’t just theoretical. Their strangely-colored eyes are capable of detecting the arcane energies of the fae, as well as magic from other, more esoteric sources. They are not, however, capable of using this power to detect the residue of ghosts or vampiric magic.
System: The Kiasyd sees faeries and other fae-touched mortals for what they really are, with no roll required. Additionally, the player can detect any form of magic that does not stem from ghosts or the undead, including magic from mages, werewolves, and other such odd sources. The character can recognize these for what they truly are, provided he has seen similar effects before.
|●● (B) Dreamstalker|
Weirdlings enjoy exerting control over their victims, even in dreams. A Kiasyd who whispers into the ear of an unconscious victim may implant fantastic or frightening thoughts that remain with the sleeper after waking. The dreams Kiasyd insert in victims’ minds can be anything from seemingly disparate elements (you will repeatedly see eagles and pink umbrellas) to intact narratives (you will dream of your husband chasing you around town with an axe). Kiasyd have been known to use this power to compel victims to react to stimuli planted in their path, seeing features from their dreams as symbols of good luck, or potential disaster.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Expression (difficulty the victim’s current temporary Willpower rating) as she commands the sleeper to dream whatever elements she narrates. The effect manifests in the victim’s behaviors once woken, effecting concentration (difficulty of extended actions increases by two) and potentially stimulating the victim in a positive (the victim responds favorably to subjects from his dream) or negative way (the victim must make a Willpower roll to remain in the presence of what he dreamt) for a duration dependent on the number of successes achieved by the player.
Successes – Result
1 success – One turn
2 successes – One hour
3 successes – One night
4 successes – One week
5 successes – One month
|●●● Aura Absorption|
The Kiasyd is capable of seeing images of events and emotions past by touching an object or an area. However, unlike the Auspex Power The Spirit’s Touch, this power absorbs the images, making them harder for other beings with similar powers to access. Anyone attempting to use this power, Spirit’s Touch, or a similar ability to see what the Kiasyd has seen finds that the images are hard to hold, slipping through his mind’s eye like minnows through a stream.
System: The player must make a Perception + Empathy roll. The difficulty is determined by the Storyteller based on the age of the impressions and the mental and spiritual strength of the person who left them. The number of successes determines the amount of information gained, both in terms of images of the scene when the object was being held or touched, and the nature of the person who was holding the object.
One scene-type image and one aspect of the person’s identity (Nature, Demeanor, aura, name, sex, or age) becomes clear for each success the player garners on the roll. Anyone attempting to use this power or The Spirit’s Touch on the same object subsequently must accumulate more successes than the Kiasyd did to get any impression at all. The first Kiasyd’s successes subtract from the number of successes scored by anyone trying to read the object thereafter.
|●●● (C) Ephemeral Glamour|
The Kiasyd can briefly manipulate the ethereal energies of their vampire and fae heritage, creating a transient illusion that adds a certain mesmerizing quality to their appearance.
Their eyes may shimmer with an entrancing glow, their skin might radiate a spectral aura, or their features could momentarily shift into an otherworldly allure. This power doesn’t serve as a disguise but adds a certain level of intrigue or intimidation to the Kiasyd’s presence, subtly influencing the perceptions of those they interact with.
System: The player spends one Willpower point and rolls Appearance + Performance (difficulty 8). Succeeding causes the Kiasyd’s chosen illusion to take effect for a scene, which may add one die (per success) to either an Intimidation, Leadership or Seduction-based dice pool.
This doesn’t alter their physical appearance but does modify how they are perceived. One success creates a subtle effect, barely noticeable unless drawn attention to, whereas five successes would elicit a truly captivating glamour. Failure results in a momentary eerie or uncanny vibe, while a botch could cause an unintended and possibly disturbing effect, like their eyes glowing ominously red or their skin momentarily appearing spectral and deathly.
|●●●● Chanjelin Ward|
The vampire inscribes a ward on an object, a location, or a person. That ward disorients and befuddles anyone that sees it, meaning that even if an intruder can penetrate a Weirdling’s security and steal an object of value, he’s unlikely to be able to find his way to the exit. Spiteful Kiasyd use these wards as punishment — one story tells of a Weirdling that drew a ward on an enemy’s shirt as dawn approached, and then watched (from safety) as the unfortunate vampire burned in the sun, unable to remember which way to run.
System: The vampire creating the ward inscribes the symbol in a visible location — on a library door, bookshelf, or an individual’s clothing — and the player rolls Intelligence + Larceny (difficulty 7 for inanimate objects, or the subject’s current Willpower +2). Anyone entering the warded area or touching the warded object loses two dice from her Intelligence dice pools as long as she maintains contact with or proximity to the ward. Additionally, anyone seeing the ward becomes addled and lost unless she succeeds on a Wits + Investigation roll (difficulty 8). The Kiasyd is immune to his own wards. The glyphs last for a duration indicated by the number of successes on the Intelligence + Larceny roll:
Successes – Duration
1 success – One hour
2 successes – One night
3 successes – One week
4 successes – One month
5 successes – One year
|●●●● (D) Fey Step|
Drawing on the subtle echoes of their fae lineage, the Kiasyd can harness the unpredictable energies of the fairy realms, enabling them to move about their Haven in ways that defy mortal understanding. With a Fey Step, the Kiasyd seems to momentarily vanish from a drawing room or staircase, only to reappear instantaneously within a close vicinity.
Fey Step can only be used within a Kiasyd’s Haven.
System: To activate Fey Step, the player declares their intent to do so at the start of a round (prior to Initiatives) spends a blood point and makes a Dexterity + Occult roll, with a difficulty of 5. Each success improves the Kiasyd’s Initiative and allows them on their turn to instantly move up to five feet in any direction within their Haven, even if that path is obstructed by physical barriers like walls or doors, as long as they know where they’re going.
The Kiasyd can’t use Fey Step to appear inside a solid object or space occupied by another creature, and if they attempt to do so, they are shunted to the nearest unoccupied space, suffering one level of aggravated damage. A botch on the roll may place the Kiasyd in a dangerous or unintended location at the Storyteller’s discretion.
This power can be disorienting to intruders, who must make a successful Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 3 + the Kiasyd’s successes) or spend a round puzzling out what just happened (during which they may defend themselves if attacked but do nothing else).
|●●●●● Steal the Mind|
Legends tell of the Fair Folk taking the memories and faculties of their victims, leaving these hapless people drooling idiots for the rest of their lives. While modern thinking is that these stories actually referred to stroke victims, certain fearsome Kiasyd display a power with a similar effect.
The victim of Steal the Mind loses his memories and all knowledge he has accumulated. The Kiasyd gains these memories for a short time, and generally uses this time to inscribe them before they revert to the original owner… assuming the Weirdling lets that happen.
System: The player spends 1 blood points and selects a mortal or supernatural target and rolls Perception + Larceny (difficulty equal to the target’s Wits + Subterfuge). While the Kiasyd has “stolen” her subject’s mind, she retains her own consciousness, but has complete access to all of the subject’s thoughts and memories. Subjects have no knowledge that they have been affected in this manner, though any attempts to harm them — by the Kiasyd or anyone else — return their wits to them immediately. Subjects have no access to their Knowledges while this power is active, but Talents and most Skills (those that work on muscle memory) are still present.
The number of successes determines the duration of the effect, though the Kiasyd may return the subject’s mind at any time before this period ends. If the victim dies before the memories return, the Weirdling keeps them. If the Kiasyd kills the target to keep his memory, the character may need to roll for degeneration depending on what Path they follow — Kiasyd on Humanity must always roll.
Successes – Duration
1 success – One turn
2 successes – Ten minutes
3 successes – One hour
4 successes – One night
5 successes – One week
|●●●●● (E) The Riddle Phantastique|
The Kiasyd whispers a riddle to an opponent, and the riddle consumes his mind. The target can do nothing until he solves the riddle, and no one can help him — answers provided by others, even correct answers, fail to counteract this affliction.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty of the victim’s Wits + Occult). After a successful roll, the victim can do nothing but sit and ponder the Riddle until she accumulates three times the riddler’s successes. The subject rolls Intelligence + Enigmas (difficulty 8, plus or minus the number of derangements the victim has, at the Storyteller’s discretion). She makes this roll as soon as she is told the Riddle, and then once per hour until she has gathered enough successes.
Should the victim botch on a roll to solve the Riddle, she takes one level of lethal damage as the mystical enigma racks her body, and she loses all successes from the accumulated total. This damage cannot be healed until the Riddle has been solved. The riddler can end this trance by telling the victim the answer, but no one else can.
|●●●●● ● Absorb the Mind|
This power, similar to Steal the Mind, allows the vampire to absorb Abilities from her victim. These traits are transferred permanently; the victim loses the knowledge, and the Kindred gains it. Absorb the Mind is an extremely invasive and insidious power, the vague rumors of which are largely responsible (fairly or not) for the Kiasyd being unwelcome in many Domains. Fortunately only a bare handful of Kindred in the world know of it.
Using this power on another human or vampire involuntarily will forever alter a Kiasyd’s aura – lending it a very faint, yet somehow unpleasant shade of reddish-green.
The most benevolent known use of this power involved a Kiasyd elder paying a Caitiff scholar a great deal in money and boons to research a particularly obscure and dangerous subject for her – whereupon the elder ‘absorbed’ the details from the Caitiff’s mind at a later date. Then again, who can nkow if she didn’t take much more than that?
System: The player rolls Perception + Larceny (difficulty equal to the target’s Intelligence + Subterfuge). The target may resist with a Willpower roll (difficulty equal to the Kiasyd’s current Willpower). The difference between the two determines the effect. If the target gets more successes, he resists completely and the Kiasyd may never use Absorb the Mind on this target again. The Kiasyd, if successful, may select a combination of Abilities to her satisfaction.
Taking some of a victim’s Ability dots may leave a remainder — the Kiasyd need not take all of a subject’s dots in a given Ability. For example, a character with three dots in Occult, from whom a Kiasyd steals one, retains an Occult of 2. If a Kiasyd takes fewer dots than she already has in a given Ability, these points do not serve to raise her own rating. (In the previous example, the Kiasyd would not increase his Occult rating if he already had a rating of one or more, as he took only one dot.) If the Kiasyd fails in an attempt to use this power on a target, no subsequent attempt can be made on that target for a year and a day.
In all cases, the maximum to which the Kiasyd can raise an Ability is the level the target has in that Ability, so if a victim has only one dot in Law and the Kiasyd gets 2 successes, she can’t gain 2 dots in Law. Generational restrictions apply.
|●●●●● ● (F) Sacrifice to Nightmare|
Kiasyd who know their connection to the Abyss also know it’s necessary to keep the entities within content, and doing so occasionally requires a sacrifice. Pragmatic Weirdlings reason “If we need to sacrifice lives, why not the lives of those we hate?”
After painting the interior walls of a pitch-black chamber with fae sigils, the Kiasyd seals a sacrifice inside the room. Within seconds, the tentacles and snapping jaws of the Abyss reach through, and consume whatever offering has been provided. Those schooled in Abyss Mysticism believe the nightmare entity to be a part of the summoner, as it ceases to exist if it leaves the chamber emblazoned with the Kiasyd’s sigils and blood. Sacrifices who survive over a minute in the chamber are supposedly given the honored treatment of being diablerized by Kiasyd without, but Weirdlings sniff at such vulgar claims.
System: The vampire must inscribe a Chanjelin Ward within a room, where it has the same effects as usual. The Kiasyd must then spend two blood points to summon a tangible nightmare from the Abyss before exiting the room, leaving her sacrifice behind. The nightmare is a tentacled, many-mawed creature, which cannot exist outside the sacrificial chamber for longer than a single minute.
The nightmare’s four independent tentacles each deal lethal (the Kiasyd’s Strength +1) damage through constriction, which can be resisted with an opposed Strength roll (difficulty 6 for each tentacle). The nightmare’s mouth deals aggravated (the Kiasyd’s Strength +2) damage after successfully grappling the sacrifice with its tentacles. The nightmare has equal health levels and resistances to the summoner, who can soak damage with Stamina and Fortitude. Damage inflicted on the nightmare does not affect the summoner.
Necromancy is both a Discipline and a school of blood magic devoted to the command of the souls of the dead. It’s similar to Thaumaturgy in that it has several “paths” and accompanying “rituals” rather than a strict linear progression of powers. The study of Necromancy is not widespread among the Kindred, and its practitioners — primarily the Giovanni — are shunned and despised for their foul practices (until those practices become useful, of course).
Over the centuries, the various schools of vampiric Necromancy have evolved and diversified from an earlier form of death magic, leaving several distinct paths of necromantic magic available to Cainites. Nearly all modern necromancers learn the Sepulchre Path first before extending their studies to other paths. The primary Necromancy path increases automatically as the character increases her overall Necromancy rating. Other paths must be bought separately, using the experience costs for secondary paths.
Like Thaumaturgy, Necromancy has also spawned a series of rituals. While not nearly so immediate in effect as the basic powers of Necromancy, Necromantic rituals can have impressive long-term effects. Unsurprisingly, the elements of Necromantic ritual are things like long-buried corpses and hands from the cadavers of hanged men, so obtaining suitable materials can be quite difficult.
System: A Cainite necromancer must learn at least three levels in his primary path before learning his first level in a secondary Necromancy path. He must then master the primary path (all five levels) before acquiring any knowledge of a third path.
As with Thaumaturgy, advancement in the primary path costs the normal experience amount, while study of additional Necromantic paths incurs an additional experience-point cost . Because Necromancy is not quite so rigid a study as Thaumaturgy is, the rolls required to use Necromantic powers can vary from path to path and even within individual paths. The commonly-learned Sepulchre Path is presented first, with the remaining paths presented in alphabetical order.
Necromancy and Blood Magic will receive their own, separate update soon.
|Sepulchre Path||Through the Sepulchre path, the vampire can witness, summon, and command the spirits of the dead. At higher levels, the necromancer can force the ghost to remain in a particular place or object, or even damage wraiths directly. Since many other areas of Necromancy involve dealing with ghosts, this is the most common path for necromancers to start with.|
Note: If a Kindred uses a Sepulchre Path power in the presence of something of great importance to the ghost the power affects, the chances for success in the summoning increase dramatically (reduce the difficulty by 2). This might be the bathtub in which the ghost’s mortal body was drowned, the rusted-out wreck of the car where the ghost’s physical body was trapped alive, or something unrelated to the ghost’s demise, such as a favorite book or a child-ghost’s beloved nursery.
|Ash Path||The Ash Path allows necromancers to peer into the lands of the dead, and even affect things there. Of the paths of Necromancy, the Ash Path is the most perilous to learn, because many of the path’s uses increase a necromancer’s vulnerability to wraiths.|
|Bone Path||The Bone Path is concerned primarily with corpses and the methods by which dead souls can be restored to the living world — temporarily or otherwise.|
|Cenotaph Path||Practitioners of the Cenotaph Path are primarily concerned with discovering or forging links between the living world and the Shadowlands. It functions on the principle that a Kindred, already a corpse, is an unnatural bridge between the living and the dead, and the necromancer can use this to find other, similar linkages. |
The basic rudiments of the Cenotaph Path function easily enough once the Kindred learns to attune himself to these connections. Advanced mastery of the path usually entails some brief ritual to forge artificial connections, either through focusing unsavory passions or commanding this world and the Shadowlands together.
|Corpse Path||This path enhances the necromantic understanding of the unliving form and allows the user to fully experience the corpse as a gateway between life and death. The path lets the vampire apply some of a corpse’s traits to a vampire, and she can enhance or reduce these traits at various levels of the power.|
|Grave’s Decay||This path is derived from the observation of the working of time on all things mortal. Stone crumbles and the corpse rots away to nothing. Indeed, for the undying, the process of decay is a fascinating disease that afflicts everyone and everything save them. Under this path, a practitioner of Necromancy channels that force.|
|Haunting Path||The Path of Haunting revolves around the ephemeral nature of the Shadowlands and the fascination associated with death. Night terrors, haunting apparitions, spirit wisps and even the power to unleashing tormenting ghosts are all found within this path.|
|Vitreous Path||The Vitreous Path allows a necromancer to control and influence the energies pertaining to death. This extremely rare path manipulates entropy, a force that even most necromancers are uncomfortable harnessing. |
The Vitreous Path makes a formidable complement to the necromantic craft, and those obsessed with mastery over death and souls would certainly risk much to uncover this path’s secrets.
Obfuscate is the uncanny ability for Kindred to conceal themselves from sight, sometimes even in full view of a crowd. An Obfuscated vampire doesn’t actually become invisible, however — rather, he is able to delude observers into believing that he has vanished. Obfuscate also allows Kindred to change their features and conceal other people or objects. At higher levels, the vampire can actually fade from sight so subtly that those nearby can’t actually recall the moment at which she left.
- Typically vampires using Obfuscate must be within a short range of their witnesses (approximately five yards or meters per dot of Wits + Stealth) for their power to be effective. Unless the Kindred chooses to make herself seen, she can remain obscured for as long as she wills it.
- ST NOTE: This is not a HR. (See V20 Core, pg 184). This also means that a vampire’s ability to cloak themselves is not affected by a witness this far away from them. Since the witness wouldn’t know the difference anyways. Albeit, they will reveal the Obfuscating vampire if they close the distance…so the cloaking vampire ought to duck out of sight, first.
- Most Obfuscate powers last for a scene, or until the vampire ceases maintaining them. Once evoked, they require very little mental effort to keep in place.
- Few mortals or supernaturals (even those trained in Awareness) can pierce through the fog of Obfuscate. Animals, who rely more on their instincts than their normal senses, can sometime perceive (and be frightened by) the vampire’s presence. Children and those to whom deception is foreign have been rumored to occasionally see through it as well (although the nature of this is so rare and random as to be entirely a Storyteller’s dramatic device).
- The Auspex Discipline enables Kindred to see through Obfuscate. Even that is not guaranteed, however; refer to “Seeing the Unseen,” in the Auspex section for more information.
- Since Obfuscate clouds the mind of the viewer, vampires can’t use it to hide their presence from electronic or mechanical devices. Video and photo cameras, for example, capture the vampire’s image accurately. Even so, the person using, say, her cell phone to record an Obfuscated vampire will still have her mind impacted by the power, and she won’t see the Kindred’s image until she views the video at a later date (if even then). A sleepy security guard will also often overlook an Obfuscated vampire caught on CCTV footage unless reviewing it with a heightened wariness.
- ST NOTE #1: The relevant trope at work here are various horror movies where some monster or apparition is only glimpsed upon reviewing a seemingly harmless old picture or overlooked security footage. This isn’t intended to be something that is deployed with scientific rigor. In the World of Darkness, people tend see what they want and expect to see in roughly that order.)
- ST NOTE #2: So why aren’t monstrous Nosferatu caught on camera everywhere? The veterans pick up certain tricks (see below), while the vast majority of them recognize how unwelcome they appear to ‘civilized’ society and have thus retreated to the dank sewers, dark catacombs and the ‘leprous underclasses’ of the cities. A Sewer Rat swathed in a filthy trenchcoat and reeking rags has very little to worry about anyone taking a closer look at him in the World of Darkness, with or without Obfuscate.
Several Clans cultivate this power — the Assamites, Followers of Set, and Malkavians, for example — but the Nosferatu are particularly known for this Discipline. Some elder Kindred believe that Caine, or perhaps Lilith, bestowed the Clan with this Discipline to compensate for the hideous physical deformities its members suffer.
Affinity Bonus: Vampires (never ghouls, revenants or dhamphyrs, etc) belonging to a Bloodline with an affinity for Obfuscate may choose to allow any other vampire belonging to their own Bloodline, with whom they also share a bond or communal Haven, to see them while Obfuscated. This can’t be turned on and off – once you permit it the first time, it will always be the case thereafter until you grow apart.
|● Cloak of Shadows|
At this level, the vampire must rely on nearby shadows and cover to assist in hiding his presence. He steps into an out-of-the-way, shadowed place and eases himself from normal sight.
The vampire remains unnoticed as long as he stays silent, still, under some degree of cover (such as a curtain, bush, door frame, lamppost, or alley), and out of direct lighting. The immortal’s concealment vanishes if he moves, attacks, or falls under direct light. Furthermore, the vampire’s deception cannot stand up to concentrated observation without fading.
System: No roll is required as long as the character fulfills the criteria described above. So long as he remains quiet and motionless, virtually no one but another Kindred with a high enough Auspex rating will see him.
|● (A) Beneath Contempt|
Sometimes the only way to stay alive is to bow your head and grovel. While that is not a necessary element of this power, many fledgling Nosferatu and Malkavian remain alive only because someone more powerful didn’t think they were worth the effort to kill. By focusing an aura of the pitiable while masking any real strength they have, the vampire can find grudging mercy in disgust.
System: The character spends a blood point and Willpower point to activate this power. For the remainder of the scene, anyone who looks at the vampire as a potential victim must make a Willpower roll against a difficulty equal to the vampire’s Manipulation + Etiquette. If they fail the roll, they dismiss the vampire as being unworthy of hostility.
This power is much more effective when one acts the part. It can perform miracles for getting the LAPD, an angry biker or the Sheriff’s new Deputy to leave you alone, and to defuse a chance encounter with a suspicious Creep in the sewers. It won’t have any effect at all if you’re already notorious or infamous in some fashion.
This is not a free pass to amble over and watch the next Sabbat blood orgy. The vampire is not invisible or forgotten, and they might still be taken prisoner for a laugh, even if they beg for mercy.
|●● Unseen Presence|
With experience, the vampire can move around without being seen. Shadows seem to shift to cover him, and people automatically avert their gazes as he passes by. Others move unconsciously to avoid contact with the cloaked creature; those with weak wills may even scurry away from the area in unacknowledged fear. The vampire remains ignored indefinitely unless someone deliberately seeks him out or he inadvertently reveals himself.
Since the vampire fully retains his physical substance, he must be careful to avoid contact with anything that may disclose his presence (knocking over a vase, bumping into someone). Even a whispered word or the scuffing of a shoe against the floor can be enough to disrupt the power.
System: No roll is necessary to use this power unless the character speaks, attacks, or otherwise draws attention to himself. The Storyteller should call for a Wits + Stealth roll under any circumstances that might cause the character to reveal himself. The difficulty of the roll depends on the situation; stepping on a squeaky floorboard might be a 5, while walking through a pool of water may require a 9. Other acts may require a certain number of successes; speaking quietly without giving away one’s position, for instance, demands at least three successes. Upon success, the vampire, all her clothing, and objects that could fit into a pocket are concealed.
Some things are beyond the power of Unseen Presence to conceal. Although the character is cloaked from view while he smashes through a window, yells out, or throws someone across the room, the vampire becomes visible to all in the aftermath. Bystanders snap out of the subtle fugue in which Obfuscate put them. Worse still, each viewer can make a Wits + Awareness roll (difficulty 7); if successful, the mental haze clears completely, so those individuals recall every move the character made up until then as if he had been visible the entire time.
|●● (B) Memory Rift|
This favored gift of the Baali and the Setites forces a single mortal victim to forget the vampire’s presence during a single scene or isolated event. Once the vampire activates Memory Rift (provided she leaves immediately), it’ll be as if she was never there. The victim denies any evidence to the contrary.
System: While Memory Rift only affects a single mortal victim (including ghouls, but no other supernaturals), it can be activated multiple times to affect multiple victims. Spend a blood point and roll Manipulation + Subterfuge against a difficulty of the subject’s Perception + Alertness. If successful, the victim’s memories displace the vampire, telling him that she was never there.
Characters with more Willpower dots than the vampire’s Obfuscate can eventually remember the vampire’s presence if presented with clear evidence of her attendance. Creative applications of Auspex, Dominate, or other Disciplines may also dig up the suppressed memories.
|●●● Mask of a Thousand Faces|
The vampire can influence the perception of others, causing them to see a face different from his. Although the Kindred’s physical form does not change, any observer who cannot sense the truth sees whomever the vampire wishes her to see.
The vampire must have a firm idea of the visage he wishes to project. The primary decision is whether to create an imaginary face or to superimpose the features of another person. Manufactured features are often more difficult to compose in believable proportions, but such a disguise is easier to maintain than having to impersonate someone else. Of course, things get simpler if the Kindred borrows the face but doesn’t bother with the personality.
Mask of a Thousand Faces can be used to change the appearance of your clothing in minor ways, but not equipment like a slung rucksack or anything held in your hands. A dinner jacket could be made to appear as a windbreaker, or a ribbon around your neck could appear to be a fancy tie, but this power cannot make that dinner jacket look like a floor-length trenchcoat, nor could it make a pistol look like a pencil. Mask of a Thousand Faces also cannot be used to make an object invisible or partially invisible. You might make an old hoodie and jeans look like a rumpled suit and slacks, but you cannot reduce them to appear as if you were wearing a bikini.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Performance (difficulty 7) to determine how well the disguise works. If the character tries to impersonate someone, he must get a good look at the subject before putting on the mask. The Storyteller may raise the difficulty if the character catches only a glimpse.
The chart below lists the degrees of success in manufacturing another appearance. Vampires wishing to mask themselves as a person more attractive than they are must pay additional blood points equal to the difference between the vampire’s Appearance rating and the Appearance of the mask (which means that younger vampires may need to take longer in order to spend the blood necessary).
Successes – Result
1 success – The vampire retains the same height and build, with a few slight alterations to his basic features. Nosferatu can appear as normal, albeit ugly, mortals.
2 successes – He looks unlike himself; people don’t easily recognize him or agree about his appearance.
3 successes – He looks the way he wants to appear.
4 successes – Complete transformation, including gestures, mannerisms, appearance, and voice.
5 successes – Profound alteration (appear as the opposite sex, a vastly different age, or an extreme change of size).
Actually posing as someone else carries its own problems. The character should know at least basic information about the individual; especially difficult deceptions (fooling a lover or close friend) require at least some familiarity with the target in order to succeed.
|●●● (C) Flesh Wound|
True predators know when to rely on cunning and trickery to defeat enemies. After all, battles are often won not by the strength or weaponry of the combatants, but in the psychology of war.
Using this power, the vampire gives the appearance of taking no damage from attacks. In reality, the attacks hurt like hell, but the Kindred maintains a façade of invulnerability in order to unnerve opponents.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge with a difficulty 6. If successful, the character appears to be unwounded and functioning at full capacity regardless of how badly injured he actually is. This power does not actually heal wounds or reduce dice-pool penalties; it simply appears to do so, making it impossible for the enemy to judge the character’s true state.
The power lasts for a scene, or until the character reaches the Incapacitated health level. A vampire with Auspex can see through this power if her Auspex exceeds the character’s Obfuscate.
|●●●● Vanish from the Mind’s Eye|
This potent expression of Obfuscate enables the vampire to disappear from plain view. So profound is this vanishing that the immortal can fade away even if he stands directly in front of someone.
While the disappearance itself is quietly subtle, its impact on those who see it is anything but. Most kine panic and flee in the aftermath. Especially weak-willed individuals wipe the memory of the Kindred from their minds. Although vampires are not shaken so easily, even Kindred may be momentarily surprised by a sudden vanishing.
System: The player rolls Charisma + Stealth; the difficulty equals the target’s Wits + Alertness (use the highest total in the group if the character disappears in front of a crowd). With three or fewer successes, the character fades but does not vanish, becoming an indistinct, ghostlike figure. With more than three, he disappears completely. If the player scores more successes than an observer’s Willpower rating, that person forgets that the vampire was there in the first place.
Tracking the character accurately while he appears ghostlike requires a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 8). A successful roll means the individual can interact normally with the vampire (although the Kindred looks like a profoundly disturbing ghostly shape). A failed roll results in a +2 difficulty modifier (maximum 10) when attempting to act upon, or interact with, the vampire. The Storyteller may call for new observation checks if the vampire moves to an environment in which he’s difficult to see (heads into shadows, crosses behind an obstacle, proceeds through a crowd).
When fully invisible, the vampire is handled as described under Unseen Presence, above. A person subject to the vanishing makes a Wits + Courage roll (mortals at difficulty 9, vampires at difficulty 5). A successful roll means the individual reacts immediately (although after the vampire performs his action for that turn); failure means the person stands uncomprehending for two turns while her mind tries to make sense of what she just experienced.
|●●●● (D) Mind Blank|
A vampire with this power is able to slide away from telepathic contact, withstanding invasive probes of her mind with a slippery inability to be pinned down.
System: This power is always active once learned. Any attempt to read, probe or otherwise directly violate the character’s mind (such as with several Dominate powers) first requires a successful (reflexive) Perception + Empathy roll (difficulty equal to the character’s Wits + Stealth).
Obfuscate cannot ordinarily be used to disguise inanimate objects beyond the rags on your back or small objects held in the hand (if you have a particular affinity for such things, anyways). It is only upon attaining mastery of this power that the vampire may mask an inanimate object up to the size of a small house (such as a dilapidated bungalow, lonely gas station or recreational vehicle…although storage trunks, phone booths and outhouses are even more popular). If the object is hidden, so are all of its contents.
While Conceal is in effect, passersby walk around the concealed object as if it were still visible, but refuse to acknowledge that they are making any kind of detour.
System: In order to activate this power, a character must spend 1 blood point and 1 Willpower point and be touching the object to be concealed and the item must hold some personal significance for him. Otherwise, the Conceal power functions as Unseen Presence for purposes of detection, as well as the duration and durability of the disguise (which means Wits + Stealth checks for slamming that front door!).
Conceal can be used on a vehicle in which the character is traveling, albeit with great effort. It requires a Wits + (the lowest of your Stealth or Drive/Pilot) roll at difficulty 9 to keep concealed once it start moving. If successful, traffic patterns seem to flow around the vehicle, and accidents are actually less likely as other drivers subconsciously maneuver away from the concealed automobile. A police radar gun still registers a speeding car masked in this fashion, but the officer behind the gun is disinclined to make a traffic stop of the phantom blip.
Using Conceal on aircraft is problematic, as the power’s range generally doesn’t extend far enough to cover air traffic controllers, most modern planes are too large and previous few fighter jet pilots have ever been Embraced. However, there is at least one Setite smuggler operating in the American Southwest who makes superb use of this power to slip his Cessna Skyhawk in and out of restricted territories.
|●●●●● (E) Displacement|
The vampire can use this power not just to disappear, but to instead appear shifted a little to one side or the other. Essentially, she isn’t standing quite where she appears to be. This makes the vampire extremely difficult to hit. It is almost harder to strike her than when she is invisible, as trying to ignore what you can see in front of you is very difficult, whereas one gets occasionally lucky when flailing!
System: This power costs two blood points and one Willpower point to activate for the scene. While active, Displacement imposes a three dice penalty to any attempt to hit or touch the vampire.
The attacker is allowed a reflexive Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 10) to notice the deception after each missed blow. They cannot spend Willpower on this roll unless they do nothing else that turn. If successful, the attacker will compensate for future strikes. If they botch, the penalty becomes one die penalty worse (although will still go away entirely should they finally manage to succeed).
|●●●●● ● Cloak the Gathering|
At this degree of power, the vampire may extend his concealing abilities to cover an area. The immortal may use any Obfuscate power upon those nearby as well as upon himself, if he wishes. Any protected person who compromises the cloak exposes himself to view. Further, if the one who invokes the power gives himself away, the cloak falls from everyone.
This power is particularly useful if the vampire needs to bring his retinue through a secure location without drawing the notice of others.
System: The character may conceal one extra individual for each dot of Stealth he possesses. He may bestow any single Obfuscate power at a given time to the group. While the power applies to everyone under the character’s cloak, his player need only make a single roll.
Each individual must follow the requirements described under the relevant Obfuscate power to remain under its effect; any person who fails to do so loses the cloak’s protection, but doesn’t expose the others. Only if the vampire himself errs does the power drop for everyone.
|●●●●● ● (F) Busy Doing Nothing|
With this ability, the vampire is perfectly visible, but appears to be doing something innocuous when he is actually up to something else. If he is picking a lock, for example, he will appear to be standing by the door innocently. Even when involved in a brawl, he will seem to be a bystander. The image works in a similar way to Mask of a Thousand Faces, in that the vampire is exactly where he appears to be.
System: To use this power, the vampire spends one blood point and rolls Manipulation + Performance (difficulty 7). The better the result, the more action the provocateur can take without disturbing the image. For one success, he might only be able to listen to a door while appearing to stand near it, while for five successes he can be engaged in a fight to the death and still appear to be a bystander to any but his victim.
Note that the fabrication is only evident to observers. Anyone the vampire is actually physically struggling with won’t be affected or even realize what is happening, which could be a source of great frustration (e.g., ‘why aren’t you helping me!?’).
The bloodline now known simply as the Salubri in the West is actually descendant of an ancient Clan with a deep and sophisticated set of beliefs and philosophies that once spanned across many lands. In bygone nights, they were regarded as the most beloved of Caine, peacemakers and one might have spoken of “healer”, “warrior” and even ‘watcher’ castes. In the modern nights, such distinctions have been lost entirely. Indeed, the once mighty Children of Saulot are tonight hunted and hated as Soulsuckers, ‘Soul-Thieves’ and worse. Even among the Sabbat where a new generation has refuge, they are regarded as bastard Cyclops and Furies…desperados and zealots intent on revenge.
The Salubri have suffered immense losses over the last thousand years. They have been virtually extinguished in the West – a pogrom driven by the methodical and disciplined hatred of the Tremere Clan who seem unwilling to tolerate their existence. The exact reason for the Tremere’s special antipathy to the Salubri is unknown to the overwhelming majority of modern neonates and fledglings. It rarely matters – after half a millennia of concerted propaganda, most Camarilla (and even Anarch) vampires take it as a matter of fact that most Salubri are – if not always Infernalists – at least diablerists.
It is thought that fragments of the Clan have survived with greater cohesion in the East, but even there they have suffered from centuries of conflict with the Baali of Central Asia and the mysterious Wan Kuei of East and Southeast Asia. They too seem to have been subjected to a merciless purge by the vampires of China and Korea in the last couple of decades, triggered by reasons and provocations unknown.
In times past, a Salubri vampire would carefully choose their childe and then initiate them onto the Path which was right for them (such as Healer, Warrior or Watcher). In virtually every case, this was the Path that the vampire himself already pursued. These Paths did not represent separate Disciplines. Rather, they represented the same Discipline yet pursued with a different focus and philosophy. The Discipline that Saulot founded was originally known as Valeren. However, after centuries of persecution, it has come to be known (specifically, the philosophy of it associated with the Path of the Healer) as Obeah.
It was thought until recently that the Path of the Warrior had died out entirely. And it mostly had in the West – at least until the torpid form of an ancient Salubri warrior known as Adonai was discovered in Prague some fifty years ago. Since learning of the fate of his parent Clan (and of its founder, Saulot), Adonai has enthusiastically embraced the practices of Mass Embrace and now so-called ‘Salubri antitribu‘ are found in many Sabbat war packs across Europe and the Americas. However, the truth is that there had always been a small number of Salubri in Central, East and Southeast Asia that have maintained this knowledge.
- Non-Salubri cannot learn Valeren / Obeah or any of its derivatives. There are precious few who would ever want to, regardless.
- With enough time, practice and instruction, a Salubri can achieve mastery in elements of both Paths – and among the Watchers of the East, many take this balance for a given. Although there are certain advanced aspects which require such a fixture of motive and purpose as to be irreconcilable for all but the most transcendent of Saulot’s Children…perhaps even requiring Golconda itself to achieve.
- The Path of the Healer allows the Salubri to judge and even improve a subject’s health. As the vampire grows more powerful, Obeah lets her heal a target’s soul directly. It is this power that forms the basis of the “soulsucker” charge that dogs the bloodline these nights.
- The Path of the Warrior is a holdover from the nights when some Salubri took up the role of honorable warriors and demon hunters to combat the Baali menace. The Discipline is still applicable to the modern nights, but the Salubri antitribu put it to decidedly more vicious ends.
- The last surviving ‘Watchers’, the so-called Wu Zao of the Far East are thought to study both Paths, along with their own hidden masteries such as the Discipline of Obfuscate.
- The version of Valeren given primacy below is the one usually regarded as Obeah in the West, and once thought of as the Path of the Healer.
- The Expanded Discipline reveals powers that they are more associated with in the East (especially Central Asia, Tibet and China). Unlike the Expanded Disciplines of other Clans, Salubri require special instruction (or circumstances) to unlock the potential of their own.
- A hypothetical Salubri antitribu on the Path of the Warrior would have a Discipline whose stages looked very different, although it remains the same Discipline – it is only the philosophy, focus and training that changes.
- The Salubri antitribu of modern nights follow a philosophy that is almost entirely antithetical to Saulot’s (supposed) tenets. If they theoretically wished to learn the Path of the Healer, it would require both a willing teacher and out-of-clan costs. More often, they focus on bloodshed with a fanatic zeal.
- An even more hypothetical Salubri Watcher or Wu Zao of the Far East takes their own unique approach. These creatures are now few and far between owing to the machinations of the Tremere renegade known as Oliver Thrace and their subsequent persecution by the Wan Kuei sect known as the Quincunx.
- Learning Valeren causes a physical change in Cainites – the fabled third eye of Saulot. A bump or nodule developing in the center of the forehead, eventually cracking open into a fully-developed third eye when the character learns the third dot of Valeren. Cainites with high Path ratings rating manifest a human-looking or angelic-seeming eye; those walking a low or inhuman Path develop freakish or demonic third eyes. It is claimed that it might even rarely take on the appearance of a shining gem by one who has achieved Golconda…but who is to know the truth of that?
- The eye is sensitive; attempting to cover it results in a penalty of one die to all rolls, though obscuring it under a hood is fine. In all cases, the eye may be retracted into the skull and perfectly hidden for the scene with a Stamina + Stealth roll (difficulty 5), but using any level of Valeren brings it forth once more.
Note: Salubri are highly restricted for thematic and narrative reasons as player-characters.
|Valeren (Healer / Obeah)||Expanded|
|● Sense Vitality|
With a touch, the Salubri can instantly read a target’s injuries. She may learn how much damage a target has incurred, and therefore make a guess at what must be done to save him. This power can also be used for diagnostic purposes — useful for a victim who can no longer speak.
System: The Salubri must touch the target to see how close to death she is. He must then make a Perception + Empathy (difficulty 7) or + Medicine (difficulty 6) roll. One success on this roll identifies a subject as a mortal, vampire, ghoul, or other creature. Two successes reveal how many health levels of damage the subject has suffered. Three successes tell how full the subject’s blood pool is (if a vampire) or how many blood points she has left in her system (if a mortal or other blood-bearing form of life). Four successes reveal any diseases in the subject’s bloodstream.
Alternatively, each success on this roll allows the player to ask the Storyteller one question about the subject’s health or health levels. “Was he drugged?” or “Are his wounds aggravated?” are valid questions, but “Did the Sabbat do this?” or “What did the Lupine who attacked him look like?” are not. The Salubri also may use this power on herself if she has injuries but has somehow lost the memory of how the wounds were received.
|● (A) Sense Cycle|
Rather than diagnosing the sick and dying, the nascent third eye of the Salubri sees the cycle of life entire. They see the ebb and flow of lives in the streets, not the vitality locked within veins and organs. The Child of Saulot experiences waking visions that alter her perception of the world around her, leaving her prone to seeing dire omens and auspicious portents in the smallest event. When she focuses, these visions resolve into incredible personal insight.
System: The Salubri instinctually realizes when she’s in the presence of a character or event that is significant to her future (and the narrative, as determined by the Storyteller).
Sense Cycle automatically informs the Salubri of potentially hostile encounters in the immediate future, ensuring she’ll only be encountered unawares in locales unfamiliar to her. If she spends one Willpower point and rolls Perception + Enigmas or Empathy (difficulty 7), she may glean omens and visions of the person in question. Each success allows the player to ask the Storyteller a question regarding the target, such as his public identity and role in society, if he is hostile or could become so (and for another success, under what circumstances), or one psychological weakness he possesses.
|●● Anesthetic Touch|
The vampire can ease a target’s pain or place him into a deep, soothing sleep with nothing but a touch. This power is intended to heal the pain or succor the mind of willing targets, but the character can, with some effort, employ the power against someone who does not wish it.
System: If the subject is willing to undergo this process, the player spends a blood point and makes a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) to block the subject’s pain. This allows the subject to ignore all wound penalties for one turn per success. A second application of this power may be made once the first one has expired, at the cost of another blood point and another Willpower roll. If the subject is unwilling for some reason, the player must make a contested Willpower roll against the subject (difficulty 8).
To put a mortal to sleep, the same system applies. The mortal sleeps for five to 10 hours — whatever his normal sleep cycle is — and regains one temporary Willpower point upon awakening. He sleeps peacefully and does not suffer nightmares or the effects of any derangements while asleep. He may be awakened normally (or violently).
Kindred, including the Salubri herself, are unaffected by this power — their corpselike bodies are too tied to death.
|●● (B) Auguring the Sickness|
This power allows the Salubri an enhanced ability to determine wounds and reveal the fine damage caused by illness and disease. While best used by a medically-trained Salubri, even novices find the power useful.
System: The Salubri holds his hands above the patient, and the third eye gently teases out a vision of the afflicted tissues made of pure light (neonate Salubri delightfully describe them as holograms). The player rolls Perception + Medicine (difficulty 7).
Each success reveals one fact about the illness, including likely developments and symptoms and potential avenues of treatment. Additionally, once augured, the vampire may use Corpore Sano to cure the disease outright, at a difficulty determined by the commonality and virulence of the disease (difficulty 5 for the common cold, difficulty 7 for most forms of herpes or chicken pox, or difficulty 9 for Ebola or HIV).
|●●● Healer’s Touch|
The Salubri can heal wounds with a laying-on of hands. The subject feels a warm, tingling sensation over the affected areas as pain leaves the body and flesh. The third eye opens wide, shedding slick sanguine light. The target feels sweet, invigorating energies rushing into their knitting wounds.
System: This power works on any living or undead creature, but the character must touch the actual injury (or the closest part of the victim’s body, in the case of internal injuries). Each health level to be healed requires the expenditure of one blood point and one turn of contact. Aggravated wounds may also be healed in this manner, but the vampire must spend two blood points instead of one for each aggravated health level.
The Healer’s touch may also cleanse any bloodborne infectious diseases, requiring two blood points per infection; they must first be identified, and this power does not prevent a recurrence, but it will alleviate the worst of the malady
|●●● (C) Pariah’s Caress|
Salubri must contend with hostile warlocks and even the Wan Kuei in the East (mysterious vampires who don’t subscribe to the idea of the lineage of Caine), and stranger beings such as mages. They learned long ago that the best defense lies in misdirection — if enemies are looking at someone else, they aren’t looking at the Salubri. With this power, a Salubri may charge her blood with the combined hatred and attention of all her foes, and then transfer that animosity to another with a bloody touch.
System: The character spends a blood point (which wells up under her fingertips), touches her victim (smearing the blood on them, possibly requiring a Stealth roll).
Then the player must roll Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty 7). Each success extends the power’s duration for one evening. The difficulty of the target’s Social rolls increases by one as he finds himself within a miasma of annoyance and suspicion. Even mundane or positive acts draw significant negative attention, inspiring jealousy and causing every flaw to be scrutinized.
|●●●● Shepherd’s Watch|
The Salubri with this level of mastery of Obeah can create an invisible barrier between those under his care and those who would do them harm. The Salubri himself must stand among his charges as he generates this barrier; he cannot defend them from afar. Enemies armed with guns or other ranged weapons can still attack, but none may approach closer than a few paces.
System: The player spends two Willpower points. Erecting this barrier is a standard action and it requires their ongoing concentration, though may still walk slowly or take reflexive actions. The invisible barrier extends to about a 3-yard/ meter radius from the character, and no one outside that barrier may cross it while she maintains the power. Those within it at its creation may leave and return, however. The barrier moves with the Salubri. It cannot be maintained at a distance.
Those who wish to cross the barrier from the outside, whether friendly or hostile, must best the character in an extended, resisted Willpower roll (difficulty equals the opponent’s current Willpower for the Salubri, and the Salubri’s permanent Willpower for the opponent). The opponent may cross the barrier as soon as he accumulates three more net successes than the Salubri.
|●●●● (D) Mercy Rule|
Even among the hunted and hated of Saulot’s Children in the West there are, on rare occasions, a few souls who would try and right the wrongs of those unjustly condemned. The Salubri are exceedingly scarce in the world, yet some have adapted their healing gifts to stave off the call of death just long enough to give the victim a second lease on life. Or at least a running start when their aggressors realize that it’s not quite over yet.
System: A Salubri may spend 1 Blood Points and make a Charisma + Empathy roll (Difficulty 7). The Kindred selects one creature or person that is at Crippled Health level or below. For every success rolled, the target may benefit from a +1 die bonus to their next Soak roll. This bonus lasts until the start of the round after it saves the target from at least one death blow.
The Salubri may use this power on themselves, yet the difficulty increases to 8.
|●●●●● Mens Sana|
With this power, the Salubri can heal madness, quieting inner demons and bringing a soul to peace. Indeed, ancient stories of the Salubri state that Saulot used this power to bring sweet, if temporary, relief to his “brother” Malkav. Other, more recent stories claim that Saulot caused Malkav’s madness in the first place.
System: The player spends two blood points and rolls Intelligence + Empathy (difficulty 8). The use of Mens Sana takes at least 10 minutes of relatively uninterrupted conversation. Success cures the subject of one derangement of the Salubri player’s choice. This power cannot cure a Malkavian of his core derangement, though it alleviates its effects for the rest of the scene. A botch inflicts the same derangement on the Salubri for the rest of the scene. This power may not be used by the Salubri to cure her own derangements.
|●●●●● (E) Father’s Judgement|
The Blood is Caine’s gift. The Salubri pronounce judgment on those who misuse it. His third eye glowing as silver as Raphael’s soft halo, the Salubri renders a portion of the target’s vitae inert, blocking them from powering their Disciplines or healing their undead frame by sheer effort of will. The target feels their blood seize within them, clotting into dead dark chunks. Even powerful elders fear repeated use of this power.
System: The Healer spends a Willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Medicine or Empathy (difficulty 7) against a target of a Cainite within line of sight, contested by the victim’s Willpower roll (difficulty 9). For each success on the roll, a blood point in the target’s pool is rendered unusable for any purpose – healing, Disciplines, ghouling, or anything else. The target may spend one point of Willpower per blood point to unclot their vitae, but otherwise may not spend or discharge the dead blood in any way.
|●●●●● ● Unburdening the Bestial Soul|
This power is the leverage that the Tremere have used for years to tarnish the Salubri’s name. The Warlocks claim that the Salubri use this power to remove the souls of their victims, alter them in horrible ways, or simply consume them and then make mindless slaves from the blasted husks. The truth is that the Cyclops use this power to rebuild a target’s tattered soul, at the expense of their own mental fortitude.
The Salubri draws the subject’s soul out of his body, and into the vampire’s third eye. There, the vampire repairs the soul. During this time, the target’s body is vacant, but alive. It obeys the Salubri’s commands (and the vampire must command it to eat and drink, or else it will starve — repairing the soul is not a quick undertaking).
By a similar process, the character can cleanse a person, place, or object of demonic or evil influence. This isn’t a simple banishment, however. It is a battle, pitting the Salubri’s moral and spiritual purity against whatever malign entity is present. If the Salubri loses the contest, she might lose her own soul in the process.
System: This power may be used to draw out the soul of any character except those with Humanity or Path ratings of 1 or 0 or those who follow particularly inhuman Paths of Enlightenment – some souls are beyond redemption. The player rolls Stamina + Empathy (difficulty of 12 minus the subject’s Humanity or Path rating). A botch gives the Salubri the subject’s derangement for the remainder of the scene. The Salubri must make eye contact with the subject and the subject must be willing to be subjected to this power.
|●●●●● ● (F) Blissful Gaze|
The mere presence of a Salubri Healer heralds victory. To those within her gaze, wounds knit themselves together, and even a steel kiss tastes sweet.
System: This power enhances Gift of Sleep and Healer’s Touch. The third eye’s light spears out, lancing through the target, and both powers no longer require touch to be used, merely a line of sight. In addition, Gift of Sleep can be used to reverse wound penalties for its duration, instead providing bonus dice as the target is flooded with ecstasy and anticipation of the Salubri’s touch.
|●●●●● ●● Renewed Vigor|
At this level of power, the Salubri no longer has to repair a target’s body wound by wound. With a touch and a moment’s concentration, she can restore the body to full health.
System: The Salubri touches the target and spends a full turn concentrating. The player spends a point of Willpower. At the end of the turn, the target is healed of all damage, including aggravated damage. If the character attempts any other action but the laying of hands during this turn, the Willpower point is lost and no healing occurs. The Salubri can use this power on herself.
|●●●●● ●● (G) Aversion|
Salubri can feel the hatred of their enemies, but without a common foe, society falls into disunity. The trick lies in not being the target of that hatred. By further study, the mysterious Salubri of the Far East devised this technique. He focuses this ill will on a target of his choice, ostracizing them utterly.
Not all the Children of Saulot have put this ability to the most noble use. After all, one who has become entirely ostracized may also have no one else left to turn to…
System: This power enhances Pariah’s Caress; it now only requires a line of sight to the pariah-to-be. The target’s Social difficulties increase by two (to a maximum of 9). Any Social botches on the part of the target are immediately attributed to an insulting and threatening mien, provoking all who listen. This may well incite an attack, or just a disgusted order to vacate the offended character’s presence.
|●●●●● ●●● Rayzeel’s Song|
Music soothes the savage breast. Voice and instruments heal the soul and confer focus. Rayzeel is said to have crafted the Song to draw Saulot out of depression after the Baali Wars. Salubri who hail from Judeo-Christian traditions call this power King David’s Blessing. When playing music appropriate to the situation (a wistful string tune is appropriate for most situations, though a jaunty flute-and-drums combination before battle gets the soul singing along), the Salubri focuses the souls of all involved on the task at hand.
System: Playing an appropriate composition is Charisma + Performance (difficulty 7) and requires a Willpower point for every three listeners affected by the Discipline. If the Salubri is singing to the accompaniment of another, both players must make the Performance roll. Accompanist botches removes successes from the Salubri’s efforts, potentially resulting in a botch.
If the Salubri is attempting this before individuals healing others (including addressing Derangements), going into battle, or entering tense negotiations, each success on Rayzeel’s Song lowers the difficulty by one for all situation-relevant rolls during the scene for any listeners so affected (minimum difficulty 4).
Failing or botching Rayzeel’s Song is unpleasant for all concerned; failure increases the difficulty for all situation-relevant rolls by one, while a botch increases the difficulty by two. A botch also inflicts a single level of lethal damage as the subject violently rejects the music and suffers internal convulsions. Medieval thought holds that disharmony invites ill luck and malicious spirits, and the botch may carry serious social repercussions.
|●●●●● ●●● (H) Purification|
Mages, Wan Kuei, and shapeshifters all command spirits and demons. These creatures exist in their own worlds, but infest our own. The Watchers see them, however, and seek not only to heal the infestation (as a good Salubri ought) but to rid their rivals of potential servants.
System: The Salubri spends a Willpower point, focusing on the spirit or demon. She and the spirit engage in a battle of wills, represented by a contested Willpower roll (difficulty 8). The contest ends when one combatant has accumulated three successes more than another.
If the Salubri wins, she may expel the spirit and pacify it. By spending another Willpower point, she may thrust the spirit into a person, animal or location, including taking the spirit into herself. In all cases, she now commands the spirit, who behaves as if fully blood-bonded to the Salubri.
|●●●●● ●●●● Heaven’s Gate|
The apex of Valeren involves miraculous healing of body and soul, even reversing death itself. The third eye flares gold, forming a bright halo around the Salubri as he gently traces lines around the chakra points of the corpse. The subject’s soul reconstitutes itself, merges with the Salubri, then flows outward from the third eye to visibly reintegrate with the body. With a gasp, the mortal is resurrected, death wounds healing as life is restored.
System: This power may only be used on an individual dead less than a week, who did not die of old age and whose soul was not consumed or destroyed in some manner via Necromancy or Warrior Valeren (or similar effects). It cannot be used to reverse the Embrace. Only the subject’s head is necessary for the resurrection, but it must remain relatively intact, with most pieces present.
The elder spends two Willpower points and five blood points, and rolls Willpower (difficulty 8). Success reconstitutes the subject’s soul (wraiths disappear and reappear near the Salubri, transformed by the power), reborn within the body. The Salubri’s blood spirals outward and heals the death wounds, regenerating the body to perfect health. Forever after, the subject retains traces of the Salubri’s blood, making her a revenant. She recalls the time spent as a wraith (if any), but any spiritual trauma suffered fades into a bright, healing light.
|●●●●● ●●●● (I) Unburden the Flesh-Clad Soul|
It is said that long ago, some few Salubri methuselah could achieve an understanding of the soul that allowed them to free it from its fleshly confines. The character allows a willing subject’s soul to fly free, able to explore the world as an astral projection and transcend that existence whenever it wishes.
System: The vampire and a willing subject must both enter a deep meditative trance for a minimum of one uninterrupted hour as the Salubri performs the ritual necessary to separate soul from flesh without damaging either. During this period, the player spends a number of blood points equal to twice the permanent Willpower of the subject. At the end of the ritual, the subject’s body slips into a coma and dies by the end of the night.
The subject’s soul is released from her body and enters the astral plane (such as the Auspex power Psychic Projection). This separation is permanent and irreversible. The subject is treated as an astrally-projecting character in terms of rules mechanics. However, she no longer has a silver cord and no longer needs one, as she exists independently of her body. If she is reduced to zero Willpower through astral combat, she loses one point of permanent Willpower and re-forms after a year and a day at the place where this power was used upon her. A character reduced to zero permanent Willpower is destroyed forever.
This power may only be used upon mortals (excluding mages) and vampires who are in Golconda, and the subject must have a full understanding of what this ritual entails — including its permanence and the impossibility of a reversal. The body of a vampire who is Unbound decays at sunrise. It is possible to drink the blood remaining in the vampire’s body, but no benefits are gained from an attempt at diablerie. Any attempt to Embrace the body of an Unbound mortal automatically fails. The free-flying soul may choose to dissipate, moving on to whatever awaits beyond death, at any time (and is therefore not a ghost).
The Salubri may use this power on herself, provided she is in Golconda.
|Valeren (Modern Warrior)|
|● Sense Death|
A healer learns a subject’s illnesses to cure them. The warrior learns so they know where to strike.
System: This power works identically to Sense Vitality, save that Sense Death may not see how many wounds a target has suffered nor scrutinize a mortal’s blood. In exchange, Warriors may analyze the target’s soak rating (for two successes) and determine the amount of vitae currently in a vampire or ghoul’s blood pool (for three).
Questions may pertain to the subject’s physical prowess, combat Disciplines or philosophical stance towards killing. Knowing both Sense Vitality and Sense Death grants an additional two dice to the Perception + Empathy or Medicine roll; if known, they may be activated with a single roll, with successes counting towards both.
|●● Glare of Lies|
The third eye opens, then narrows in close scrutiny. The Salubri’s eye begins to discern truth and deception as easily as light scattered from a crystal. Lies become obvious to the third eye’s sight, allowing a perceptive Salubri to easily come to judgment.
System: Any lies told in the Salubri’s presence must succeed on a contested Manipulation + Subterfuge roll (difficulty 8) against the Salubri’s Perception + Empathy (difficulty 6). Success means the subject still lies, but the Salubri recognizes the deception. She cannot, however, sense subtler deceptions such as omissions or half-truths.
|●●● Burning Touch|
The character’s hands bring searing pain, as though the target is being burnt with red-hot metal. Although the power does not inflict actual damage, prolonged or repeated exposure can be enough to traumatize a victim. This power works extremely well as a torture method.
System: The vampire must touch his subject for this power to take effect, and the effects diminish rapidly after he removes his hand. The player spends at least one blood point to activate this power, and each blood point spent reduces the victim’s dice pools by two while the Fury is in contact with the victim. This power is often used for interrogation or torture, wearing down the subject’s resistance and rendering him much more tractable.
|●●●● Armor of Caine’s Fury|
The Salubri antitribu is surrounded by a shining, crimson halo. This phantom armor protects the vampire against most physical injury, as well as against Rötschreck.
System: The player spends one blood point and rolls Stamina + Melee (difficulty 7). For each success, the character gains one point of armor protection against bashing and lethal damage, to a maximum of five points of protection. Additionally, for every two successes rolled, she gains an additional die to resist Rötschreck from the effects of battle (but not fire or sunlight). This power works for one scene.
|●●●●● Vengeance of Samiel|
The Salubri antitribu strikes his foe with superhuman accuracy and strength, as his third eye opens and changes to a furious, icy blue. Some Furies invoke the names of ancient Salubri warriors, while others simply close their normal eyes and let Samiel guide their hands.
System: This power costs three blood points. Any single attack made by the vampire automatically hits the target as mystic forces guide the blow. Attacks made in this manner may not be dodged, though they may be blocked, parried, and soaked as normal. The blow strikes as if the Salubri antitribu had succeeded with all of his Dexterity + Melee or Brawling dice pool (which makes for significant damage). This power may be used only once per turn, and only then the Salubri antitribu’s sole action is the attack. Additionally, this power does not work for ranged weapons; only bare hands or melee weapons.
|●●●●● ● Blissful Agony|
The vampire may cause pain with a mere touch, as per Burning Touch, but this pain lingers and swells even after the Fury has removed her hand. It is believed that this power was originally used to acclimate warrior Salubri to the pain they would experience in battle, but among the Sabbat Salubri, Blissful Agony has been turned to more brutal uses. If applied with enough intensity, Blissful Agony can drive vampires to the point of frenzy, incapacitate Lupines, and even kill mortals outright.
System: The player makes a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) and spends a blood point. The power lasts for one scene, though this duration may be prolonged if the Salubri antitribu wishes by making a subsequent Willpower roll (though no additional blood points need be spent). The character must touch her subject for the power to take effect initially.
At the vampire’s option, she may cause actual physical damage to the victim at the rate of one health level per blood point spent, though touch must be maintained for this to happen. Damage to vampires and other supernatural creatures in this fashion vanishes at the next sunset, but mortals must heal the damage normally. This damage is considered lethal damage, and mortals may not soak it (though vampires and other supernatural entities may).
To induce frenzy in a victim, the Fury must cause damage in excess of the subject’s Willpower. At that point, the subject must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 6) or succumb to frenzy.
|●●●●● ●● Fiery Agony|
A Warrior’s touch brings pain and the promise of cleansing fire. At this level of mastery, even their gaze inflames the agony, rendering victims debilitated and mewling in fear.
System: This power enhances Burning Touch. The Touch no longer fades after a turn, but continues under the harsh red light of the third eye. The Warrior must still touch his target first to invoke the power, but may continue activating the power at range as if still grasping their victim. Additionally, each blood point spent now also reduces the vampire’s pool to resist Rötschreck by one.
|●●●●● ●●● Song of the Blooded|
Samiel’s words were heard only by his childer. Only they know the secret doubts he spoke aloud, purging them from his heart so he could face his enemies with his potential unchecked. The clear heart of a Salubri Warrior is a furious one, the purity of their rage visibly shining forth.
The doubts are spoken as a prayer, acquiring cadence and rhythm and defining the speaker as an avenging angel of an angry God (“Lend me your rage, o Lord, for I am Michael, General of the Host”). For this reason that the Warrior Caste often takes the names of Judeo-Christian angels; even if they cannot use this power, symbolism lends a great deal of weight.
System: Once per chapter, the Warrior may activate this Discipline at no cost or roll. Any subsequent activation requires the expenditure of three Willpower and five blood points, and a Charisma + Performance prayer (difficulty 7) to openly voice the doubts and fears of the Warrior, giving them life so that she may kill them. Success means the Salubri enters into a trance state for the rest of the scene, singing loudly of victory over her foes and fears and her eyes glowing brighter than the sun. Her Physical Attributes immediately increase to Generational maximums. A halo burns around her, incapable of being smothered by lesser Disciplines, rendering Stealth impossible.
The glare increases the difficulty of any attacks against the Salubri by two. While in the battle-trance, she gains immunity to Dominate, Presence and other mental Disciplines (save the effect of Rayzeel’s Song). The trance ends when every foe is dead as her fears or she meets Final Death on the field.
The signature power of the Lasombra, Obtenebration grants the vampire power over darkness itself. The nature of the darkness invoked by Obtenebration is a matter of intense debate among Kindred. Some believe it to be merely shadows, while others feel that the power gives control over the stuff of the vampire’s soul, coaxing it tangibly outward.
Regardless, the effects of Obtenebration are terrifying, as waves of darkness roil out from the Cainite, enveloping those in their path like an infernal wave. In the modern nights, Obtenebration is entirely unknown as anything except a terrifying manifestation of the Sabbat’s horrors.
Note: Vampires using Obtenebration can see through the darkness they control, though other vampires (even those that also have Obtenebration) cannot. Dreadful tales of rival Lasombra struggling to blind and smother each other with the same wisps of darkness circulate among young members of the Clan, though no elders have come forth to substantiate these claims.
While flesh and blood have their limits, undead sinews and vitae have a bit more latitude when it comes to feats of strength. Inherent in every vampire is the primordial capacity to augment their strength by harnessing the vitality of their blood, thus enabling them to perform feats that exceed mortal imaginings. The Discipline of Potence amplifies this supernatural prowess, accessing reserves of extraordinary potency for manifestations of might that border on the miraculous.
Any vampire of the modern nights with high levels of Potence can easily leap great distances, lift a horse or jeep, break steel chains or crush a mortal’s bones to powder with brutal force. Even low ranks of this power can give Kindred physical power beyond mortal bounds. It is said the semi-mythical methuselahs can leap so far that they appear to be flying, toss cars (and horses) effortlessly, and punch through walls like cardboard. While the more subtle mental Disciplines can be awe-inspiring, the brutal effectiveness of Potence is formidable in its own right.
The Brujah, Giovanni, Lasombra, and Nosferatu are naturally gifted with this Discipline, but members of other Clans often make a point to find someone who can teach them the awesome power of Potence.
System: Each dot that the vampire has in Potence adds one die to all Strength-related dice rolls. Further, the player can spend one blood point and change his Potence dice into an equal number of automatic successes to all Strength-related rolls for the turn. In melee and brawling combat, successes from Potence (either rolled or automatic) are applied to the damage roll results.
Affinity Bonus: The blood point spent to activate Potence does not count against your Generational blood expenditure limit for that turn.
|● (A) Leaps and Bounds|
Possessing unholy strength in more than arms and fists, the vampire can leap far higher and further than any mortal, whether to evade foes or flee a burning building.
System: The vampires multiplies all vertical and horizontal jumping distances by her Potence. The player does not need to roll anything to make the jump but, at the Storyteller’s discretion, may need to roll Dexterity + Athletics (variable difficulty) to land safely depending on the environment.
|●● (B) Savage Kiss|
This power allows the vampire to employ an unholy inner strength when draining a victim. In mere seconds, the attacker swallows torrents of blood while mauling the victim. The result is an efficient, if messy, feeding often employed in the heat of battle where the mangled remains of the victim can be disguised.
Note: Savage Kiss can only be used against living creatures. Undead have a different internal physiology, for all their outward resemblance.
System: The vampire can now drink a number of blood points equal to 3 + their Potence rating. This enables them to drain a human completely in seconds, possibly within a single turn. Every point of blood gulped down (which may not exceed their max blood pool) causes one point of aggravated damage to the victim, as their blood vessels burst and organs bruise and rupture internally.
In combat, Savage Kiss is triggered reflexively after a successful feeding attack (which usually requires a successful grapple, first). It does not stack with normal bite damage (which involves opportunistic ripping and tearing, not drinking).
|●●● (C) Rending Fingers|
The vampire’s hands do not stop when they hit their target; they push through with the weight of his invincible musculature.
System: This power is permanent once learned. It gives any simple Brawl attack that the vampire makes an innate Armor Piercing of 2 (meaning that their unarmed blows will ignore 2 Armor and Durability).
This power is not compatible with the finesse required of Martial Arts.
|●●●● (D) Crushing Blow|
When the vampire seizes an opponent in her iron grip, the force she channels inflicts devastating injuries resulting in fractured bones and ruptured organs.
System: A successful Grapple attack ordinarily inflicts Strength + Potence in bashing damage (Note: Brawl successes are not added to Grapple damage). This power allows the vampire to spend 1 blood point to inflict Grapple damage as lethal, instead.
Once activated, Crushing Blow lasts for the scene.
|●●●●● (E) Imprint|
A vampire with extensive knowledge of Potence can squeeze very, very hard. As a matter of fact, she can squeeze (or press, or push) so hard that she can leave an imprint of her fingers or hand in any hard surface up to and including solid steel.
Focusing their unnatural strength into their toes and fingers, the vampire grips and burrows their extremities into almost any surface, enabling them to climb and even hang otherwise unsupported from walls and ceilings. Close observation reveals telltale scarring or deformation on these surfaces afterward.
System: Imprint requires a point of blood to activate. The power remains active for the duration of a scene. This ability allows the vampire to automatically climb most non-metallic surfaces, provided they can take their time in plotting their way upwards. The Storyteller will determine the difficulty If trying to climb a truly sheer, metallic surface, or if doing so amidst catastrophic environmental conditions.
The depth of the imprint the vampire creates with Imprint is up to the Storyteller — decisions should take into account how much force the vampire can bring to bear, the toughness of the material, and its thickness. If the object the vampire grasps is thin enough, at the Storyteller’s discretion, the vampire might simply be able to push through it (in the case of a wall) or tear it off (in the case of an iron railing, lamp post or pipe).
|●●●●● ● (F) Brutality|
This awesome power builds on the might of Crushing Blow; with it, the Cainite’s hands move through flesh the way a mortal’s moves through packed sand.
System: A character with Brutality causes lethal damage with her unarmed strikes. Her unarmed strikes may only be dodged, not blocked or parried, as her punches move weapons and shields aside effortlessly. This power does not require activation, and is considered “always on” unless the user wills it.
Brutality only applies to attacks made with the punch and kick maneuvers. It is far too monstrous for the finesse and control require of more advanced combat maneuvers or Martial Arts.
|●●●●● ●● (G) Earthshock|
According to some pundits, Potence is merely the art of hitting something very hard. But what do you do when your target is too far away to hit directly? The answer is, if you’re sufficiently talented with the Discipline, to employ Earthshock.
On its simplest level, Earthshock is the ability to hit the ground at point A and subsequently have the force of the blow emerge from the ground at point B.
System: The use of Earthshock requires the expenditure of two blood points, as well as a normal Dexterity + Brawl roll. The vampire punches or stamps on the ground, and, if the attack is a success, the force of the blow emerges from the ground as a geyser of stone and earth directly underneath the target. The attack can be dodged at a +2 difficulty.
Earthshock’s range is 10 feet or three meters for every level of Potence the vampire has, up to the limits of visibility. A failure on the attack roll means that the strike goes errant and is liable to explode anywhere within range; a botch means that the vampire pulverizes the ground beneath him and may well bury himself in the process.
Presence is the Discipline of emotional manipulation. Vampires with this power can inspire passionate fervor or unreasoning terror in mortals and Kindred alike. In addition, unlike most Disciplines, some of Presence’s powers can be used on entire crowds at one time. Presence can transcend race, religion, gender, class, and (most importantly) supernatural nature. As such, this subtle power is one of the most useful Disciplines a vampire can possess.
Anyone can resist Presence for one scene by spending a Willpower point and succeeding on a Willpower roll (difficulty 8), but the affected individual must keep spending points until he is no longer in the presence of the vampire (or, in the case of Summon, until the effect wears off). Vampires three or more Generations lower than the wielder need only spend a single Willpower to ignore the Presence for an entire night and need not roll Willpower to do so.
The major drawback of Presence is that it controls only the emotions. It causes others to feel a certain way toward the vampire, but does not give her outright control over them. While people weigh strongly the orders that the vampire declares, their minds are still their own. Suicidal or ridiculous directives don’t sound any more sensible just because the person giving them is unusually fascinating. Still, inspired eloquence or significant wealth used in combination with this Discipline can enable the vampire to urge others along a desired course.
The Brujah, Followers of Set, Toreador, and Ventrue Clans are all adept in this Discipline. The Ventrue are arguably the most skilled with its application, however, due to their ability to use Presence and Dominate in efficient combination.
Those near the vampire suddenly desire to be closer to her and become receptive to her point of view. Awe is extremely useful for mass communication. It matters little what is said — the hearts of those affected lean toward the vampire’s opinion. The weak want to agree with her; even if the strong-willed resist, they soon find themselves outnumbered. Awe can turn a chancy deliberation into a certain resolution in the vampire’s favor almost before her opponents know that the tide has turned.
Despite the intensity of this attraction, those so smitten do not lose their sense of self-preservation. Danger breaks the spell of fascination, as does leaving the area. Those subject to Awe will remember how they felt in the vampire’s presence, however. This will influence their reactions should they ever encounter her again.
System: Awe provides a passive dice bonus to any Appearance-related rolls equal to your Presence rating. It may be suppressed at will, which is a good thing if you wish to avoid notice or being remembered. Still, this power singlehandedly explains why vampires tend to have an uncanny knack for acquiring the Fame and Herd Backgrounds.
Note: Awe does not increase your Appearance rating – it simply makes your rolls far more likely to exceptionally succeed.
At the Storyteller’s discretion (and with the expenditure of a blood point), it may also provide a bonus for certain Expression, Leadership, or Performance rolls as well (such as giving a compelling speech, rallying a mob or staging a play) for the rest of the scene in question.
Mortals affected can use Willpower points to overcome the effect (if it even occurs to them) but must continue spending Willpower every scene for as long as they remain in the same area as the vampire. As soon as an individual spends a number of Willpower points equal to the vampire’s Presence, he shakes off the Awe completely and remains unaffected for the rest of the night.
Supernatural targets (such as other vampires, lupines or Willworkers) that are aware of an unnatural power affecting them (such as through a successful Awareness check) only need to spend 1 Willpower point to break the spell’s hold over their attention.
|● (A) Daunt|
Instead of attracting people as with Awe, the Kindred uses Presence to repel. With this power the vampire appears threatening and exudes an aura of menace powerful enough to make most mortals avoid their attention and even other vampires think twice about acting against them.
System: Add the user’s Presence rating to any Intimidation rolls. It can not be used at the same time as Awe.
The vampire can spend a blood point to enhance this effect to a nigh supernatural degree. In which case, absent significant psychological reinforcement (such as wearing a badge and a gun, manning a checkpoint or being backed up by a gang of fellow bullies), most mortals will not dare to aggressively confront a vampire whose Intimidation + Presence total is greater than their Willpower. They might call the police, however.
The passive version of Daunt affects everyone. The active version only affects mortals, ghouls and any vampire who has a blood bond towards you.
|●● Dread Gaze|
While all Kindred can frighten others by physically revealing their true vampiric natures — baring claws and fangs, glaring with malevolence, hissing loudly with malice — this power focuses these elements to insanely terrifying levels. Dread Gaze engenders unbearable terror in its victim, stupefying him into madness, immobility, or reckless flight. Even the most stalwart individual will fall back from the vampire’s horrific visage.
System: The player rolls Charisma + Intimidation (difficulty equal to the victim’s Wits + Courage). Success indicates the victim is cowed, while failure means the target is startled but not terrified by the sight. Three or more successes means he runs away in abject fear; victims who have nowhere to run claw at the walls, hoping to dig a way out rather than face the vampire. Moreover, each success subtracts one from the target’s action dice pools next turn.
The character may attempt Dread Gaze once per turn against a single target, though she may also perform it as an extended action, adding her successes in order to subjugate the target completely. Once the target loses enough dice that he cannot perform any action, he’s so shaken and terrified that he curls up on the ground and weeps.
Failure during the extended action means the attempt falters. The character loses all her collected successes and can start over next turn, while the victim may act normally again. A botch at any time indicates the target is not at all impressed — perhaps even finding the vampire’s antics comical — and remains immune to any further uses of Presence by the character for the rest of the story.
|●● (B) Lingering Kiss|
The Kiss of a vampire induces near-ecstasy in mortals, but this power leaves other Kisses in the dust. Mortals fed upon by the user become addicted to the Kiss, obsessing over it and even seeking the vampire out for repeated feedings. Mortals often become anemic, self-harm, or even die from this addiction, but vampires find it a useful power for cultivating a herd.
System: The vampire can choose to use this power or not during each feeding. The user adds dice equal to their Presence to any subsequent Charisma Attribute-assisted pool against the bitten subject.
If not blood bound, a mortal fed upon with this power can make a Willpower test (Difficulty equals 3 + the user’s Presence rating) every week to resist the effects – but only if they’re purposefully aware of the vampire leading them down some risky or self-destructive path, such as might cost them their job or marriage. Succeeding for several weeks straight while avoiding the temptress in question will shake it off entirely unless they should be bitten again.
Affinity Bonus: Terrifyingly, this power works just as effectively against Kindred of higher Generation who have a blood bond to the vampire. Although unlike mortals, they can always struggle to resist it (should they dare).
This power subtly bends others’ emotions, making them the vampire’s willing companions, collaborators and even servants. Due to the genuine fascination that this power inspires in individuals, they’re more likely to heed the vampire’s every whim. While supernatural beguiling is far from necessary for a vampire (or even a gifted mortal) to make themselves worshiped like a celebrity superstar or held in awe as a king or titan of industry…it does greatly help. Indeed, Fascinate can bestow even the humblest Toreador neonate with a certain degree of star power.
Since this is done willingly, instead of having their minds chained such as with Dominate, companions that the vampire attracts with this power retain their creativity and individuality. It’s also not quite so obsessive as the blood bond, although it can be combined with that to an unhealthy result. This ability makes the Baali and Brujah provocateurs and rabble rousers bar none, while there are few Toreador, Ventrue and Setites that fail to take advantage of the opportunity to surround themselves with a loyal entourage.
Perhaps this power’s greatest utility is the uncanny means by which it allows the vampire to beckon those to their side who have fallen under their sway, seemingly across any distance.
System: The player rolls Appearance + Empathy (difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower); the number of successes determines duration of the subject’s Fascination: 1 Success (One night), 2 successes (one week), 3 successes (one month), 4 successes (several months), 5+ successes (one year + one year per additional success).
Note: If Fascinate is used against any character who has a blood bond towards you, the difficulty is -3 to affect them. If they are also your thrall (hence, 3-step bound), then every success counts for one year of duration.
Success gives a -2 difficulty bonus towards all mundane Social rolls made towards that target for the duration. This isn’t an obviously unnatural compulsion – it’s simply the result of the subject being willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and to make more time for you than you might, arguably, deserve.
If you spend a blood point, you may supernaturally call any creature that has fallen under your sway to come rushing to your side. This is rather unnatural, yet sometimes strictly necessary. See the ‘Summon‘ tab below, for more information.
Note: A character can only be Fascinated by one vampire at any given time. If another vampire uses Fascinate on them, the result with the longest possible duration will take precedence.
If a vampire is careful to play up to the Fascinated subject’s expectations (and that is more than anything else, the art of emotional manipulation such as Presence revolves around), they will often find that what was once supernaturally compelled attention will quite easily transition into sincere devotion. In such circumstances, consider that a target’s Awareness difficulty (should they even have such) for detecting the use of Fascinate is +2.
However, if a vampire cruelly abuses, flagrantly deceives or puts an Fascinated subject in needless danger, they may shake off the effect by spending a single Willpower point. In fact, any character that becomes aware that they’re being supernaturally toyed with (which isn’t always easy to discern where Fascinate is involved), may shake it off by spending as many Willpower points over as many continuous nights as the vampire’s Presence rating (during which they may not recover Willpower by sleeping).
|●●● (C) Fetish / Phobia|
By spending enough time with a Fascinated subject, a vampire can instill an irrational desire or fear of a certain object, substance or condition (though not another person).
The object of the fetish or phobia can be general (cars or spiders), direct (red sports cars or black widows), or even disturbingly specific (high speed car crashes), although the victim must be able to recognize and distinguish what the vampire wants him to desire or fear. For example, making someone obsessed with red sports cars wouldn’t be viable if they were colorblind.
System: Implanting the Fetish / Phobia requires success on a Manipulation + Expression roll (difficulty of the target’s Self-Control or Courage + 3).
This is always an Extended Action (and adheres to those rules, which won’t be repeated here), with one roll allowed per night. The total number of successes required is a multiplier of the victim’s Self-Control or Courage, dependent on how awkward or outrageous the Fetish / Phobia is.
Once implanted, it persists for at least as long as the subject remains Fascinated and sometimes beyond, if the Fetish / Phobia in question had any genuine connection to what they truly secretly fear or desire.
|●●●● Force of Personality|
The vampire’s personality becomes so powerful that people are actually physically forced away from her. With a mere glance or gesture, her commanding presence becomes physical reality, as the Kindred forces her will outward creating a palpable barrier that drives others back, as if yielding space to royalty.
Brujah Anarchs of the modern nights have discovered that it is just as effective for pushing through a phalanx of riot police (just as Ventrue lords once used it for breaking up shield walls on medieval battlefields).
System: The player spends a point of Willpower to activate Force of Personality and then rolls Charisma + Intimidation or Leadership. The roll is then compared to the Willpower rating of each person in the character’s immediate vicinity as a difficulty — most normal mortals have a Willpower rating of around 3.
Each success indicates one step that the person must take directly away from the character and also the difficulty of the Willpower roll needed to advance toward the character or bar their way in any manner for the rest of the scene.
The Leadership version of this power is at least somewhat subtle. The Intimidation version is more disrupting (often combined with a shouted ‘Charge!’, ‘Stay back!’ or ‘Don’t touch me!’), though does benefit from Daunt.
|●●●● (D) Spark of Rage|
A vampire possessing this power can shorten tempers and bring old grudges and irritations to the boiling point with a minimum of effort. Spark of Rage causes disagreements and fights, and can even send other vampires into frenzy.
This power has been put to more sinister use in the past. More than one unscrupulous vampire has deployed it to force their cowering servants to delay the SWAT team, Sabbat war party or Lupine pack a little longer, while they slipped out the back door.
System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty 7). The number of individuals affected is determined by how many successes are rolled. If this power is used in a crowd, those affected are the people in closest proximity to the character.
Note: The result won’t be cartoonish, randomly flailing violence – their hostility will be directed towards whatever is currently provoking their strongest emotions, or drawing the most attention. At least one notorious Brujah instigator, whose shit everyone had already grown tired of, eventually found themselves beaten to an unrecognizable pulp after inflicting this power on the wrong crowd.
A vampire affected by this power must spend a Willpower point or roll Self-Control/Instinct (difficulty equal to the character’s Manipulation + Subterfuge); failure sends the target into a frenzy. A botch by the vampire using Spark of Rage sends the invoking character into immediate frenzy.
|●●●●● Renew the Earthly Pleasures|
Vampires can no longer experience the simple pleasures of mortal life – and this is one of the more devastating powers of emotional manipulation that prey upon that nearly universal vulnerability. With this ability, a Cainite can overwhelm another vampire with a flood of kine emotions and sensations that have long been only fragile memories. The subject of this power finds herself reeling under an onslaught of long-dead passions and pleasures. Unable to cope with or control these feelings, she may be incapacitated with ecstasy.
Some vampires actually crave the effects of this power and seek out vampires who possess it. These creatures become addicted to the flood of raw emotion they are incapable of feeling on their own. Powerful but cold-blooded Ventrue have fallen to wily Setites who employ this power, while Brujah Anarchs and Toreador dilettantes find it a vindication of their deeper than usual ties to their mortal herds. Baali Infernalists, Bahari witches and Sabbat Cathari alike have delighted in using this power to subject their victims (and themselves) to a variety of creative tortures.
System: The target must be close enough to touch – although no actual contact is required. The player must then roll Charisma + Empathy (difficulty equals the target’s Self-Control + 3). If the target is on a Path other than Humanity, then the difficulty is automatically 8. Successes determine the shock of the effect:
1 Success – Nostalgic human feelings
2 Successes – Mild pleasure (-1 to Dice Pools)
3 Successes – Increased sensations (-2 to Dice Pools)
4 Successes – Ecstatic agony (-5 to Dice Pools)
5 – Successes – Target either writhes helplessly or suffers a temporary loss of consciousness
In all cases, the effect lasts for a number of turns equal to 10 minus the Self-Control/Instincts of the target.
The difficulty of affecting a target with this power increases by +1 after each use for the rest of the night.
|●●●●● (E) Distant Sway|
The Presence powers of the vampire now affect people viewing them on live feeds or hearing them over the phone. With a bit of extra effort, this power even allows the Kindred’s Presence to carry over onto previously photographs or video, whether digital, video tape, or even film. It also carries over to paintings (such as hang in many a creepy mansion), if the portrait is an accurate representation, or a Ventrue’s intimidating business card (‘Oh my God, it even has a watermark!’).
In times past (such as before the rise of digital communication), this power worked just as effectively through statuary, coinage, icons, heraldry, signet rings and official messengers, where it was known by other names (such as Procul Dominatus among the Roman Ventrue) and required a far more powerful mastery of Presence. It seems to have become easier in modern nights.
System: In addition to the extremely useful ability of being able to benefit from Presence over the phone or when viewed through some other live medium, this power also allows you to imprint one of your Presence powers into another object that is representative of you in some fashion. It requires spending one blood point and one Willpower point for as many times as it is intended to activate.
In nights of old, a Ventrue lord might have imprinted his Awe onto a coat of arms or signet ring conveying his authority, which when carried to some far corner of his realm, would allow him to impress a distant subject. Tonight, they might just as easily imprint a low key Daunt or even Dread Gaze onto their business card to leave their rivals sweating. Similarly, a Toreador webcam model might Fascinate a fan into some kind of sketchy findom arrangement. Setite telemarketers (and televangelists) have wrought untold harm with this power.
In effect, the vampire rolls their Presence power ahead of time, and then associates it with an object which is specifically and clearly representative of you (such as a diploma, ancestral banner or menacing portrait hanging in your antechamber) and an extremely simple trigger ( ‘My errant Childe’ or ‘an uninvited guest’ etc). When that simple condition is met, then the effect will trigger as if you were present.
One final and rare permutation of this power, is that the vampire may spend a point of permanent Willpower to enable the use of their next Presence power to affect everyone who can currently see or hear them. There are persistent rumors to the effect that an early, televised demonstration of Fascinate is why the autarkis troublemaker known as Lily Thorn has been a perennial presence on the Camarilla’s infamous Red List, despite seeming quite harmless compared to the other rogues and monsters on it. It is a threat to the Masquerade that must never be countenanced. It may also explain the confusing popularity of one or two pop songs from the early Oughties…but that has never been proven.
|●●●●● ● Majesty|
At this stage, the vampire can augment her supernatural mien a thousand-fold. The attractive become paralyzingly beautiful; the homely become hideously twisted. Majesty inspires universal respect, devotion, fear — or all those emotions at once — in those around the vampire. The weak scramble to obey her every whim, and even the most dauntless find it almost impossible to deny her.
People affected find the vampire so formidable that they dare not risk her displeasure. Raising their voices to her is difficult; raising a hand against her is unthinkable. Those few who shake off the vampire’s potent mystique enough to oppose her are shouted down by the many under her thrall, before the immortal need even respond.
Under Majesty’s influence, hearts break, power trembles, and the bold shake. Wise Kindred use this power with caution against mortal and immortal alike. While Majesty can cow influential politicians and venerable Primogen, the vampire must be careful that doing so doesn’t come back to haunt her. After all, a dignitary brought low before others loses his usefulness quickly, while a humiliated Kindred has centuries to plan revenge.
System: No roll is required on the part of the vampire, but she must spend a Willpower point. A subject must make a Courage roll (difficulty equal to the vampire’s Charisma + Intimidation, to a maximum of 10) if he wishes to be rude or simply contrary to the vampire. Success allows the individual to act normally for the moment, although he feels the weight of the vampire’s displeasure crushing down on him. A subject who fails the roll aborts his intended action and even goes to absurd lengths to humble himself before the vampire, no matter who else is watching. The effects of Majesty last for one scene.
|●●●●● ● (F) Paralyzing Glance|
Some elders have honed their mastery of Dread Gaze to such a degree that they are said to be able to paralyze with a look. The power‘s name is something of a misnomer, as victims of this power are not precisely paralyzed in a physical sense, but rather frozen with sheer terror.
System: The character must make eye contact (p. 152) with her intended victim. The player then rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower points). Success renders the victim so terrified that he falls into a whimpering, catatonic state, unable to take any actions except curling into a fetal position and gibbering incoherently.
The condition lasts for a length of time determined by the number of successes rolled. If the victim’s life is directly threatened (by assault, impending sunrise, etc.), the poor wretch may attempt to break out of his paralysis with a Courage roll (difficulty equal to the character’s Intimidation + 3). One success ends the paralysis. A botch sends the victim into a continuous state of Rötschreck for the rest of the night.
1 success – Three turns
2 successes – Five minutes
3 successes – Remainder of the scene
4 successes – One hour
5 successes – Rest of the night
6+ successes – A week (or more, at Storyteller discretion
Protean allows the Kindred the mystical ability to manipulate his physical form. Some vampires believe the power stems from a heightened connection to the natural world, while others consider it to be a magnification of the mark of Caine. Whatever its basis may be, those that develop this Discipline can grow bestial claws, take on the forms of bats and wolves, turn themselves into mist, and even meld into the very earth itself. The Kindred’s clothes and personal possessions also change when he transforms (presumably absorbed within his very substance), although armor and the like do not provide any benefit while transformed.
The Protean Discipline is native to the Gangrel, the only vampires for whom it is a fundamental requirement alongside drinking blood and avoiding sunlight. It serves as a primal manifestation of the inner Beast, channeling the untamed power inherent in all vampires but particularly abundant in the Gangrel. Throughout the millennia, the Protean Discipline has saved countless vampires from Final Death, granting them night vision, protection from adversaries, and defense against the lethal sun rays.
It is said that during the nights of the First City, the Gangrel willingly shared their knowledge of how to control and manipulate the Beast with anyone who sought to learn. Even in modern nights, the average Gangrel does not seem particularly precious about it (perhaps owing to the pragmatic nature of how it was taught to him). Still, Protean is a difficult Discipline to grasp, requiring months of instruction and a willingness to get closer to their Beast (and dirtier) than most modern Kindred are comfortable with. Moreover, the Discipline has become less crucial for survival with the advent of covered carriages, trains, automobiles, and other modern means of transportation that have mitigated travel risks for even the weakest vampires. Tonight, it is a rare Kindred that can keep the usual Gangrel loner interested in their company for long enough to plumb all this Discipline’s secrets.
There are other vampires throughout the world, such as the mysterious Tlacique of Central and South America, the Laibon of West Africa and the sweltering jungles of Southeast Asia, who demonstrate affinities similar to Protean. The ultimate truth of their origin – and indeed, of the Cainite race itself, remains unknown into modern nights.
|● Eyes of the Beast|
The vampire sees perfectly well in pitch darkness, not requiring a light source to notice details in even the darkest basement or cave. The vampire’s Beast is evident in his red glowing eyes, a sight sure to disturb most mortals.
System: The character must declare his desire to call forth the Eyes. No roll is necessary, but the change requires a full turn to complete. While manifesting the Eyes, the character suffers a +1 difficulty to all Social rolls with mortals unless he takes steps to shield his eyes (sunglasses are the simplest solution).
A vampire without this power who is immersed in total darkness suffers blind-fighting penalties.
|● (A) Featherweight|
The vampire can reduce their effective mass and density, making themselves almost weightless. This allows them to avoid triggering pressure sensors as well as avoiding major damage from falls, collisions, or being thrown. The power cannot be used for longer leaps, as the vampire’s strength is proportionally reduced.
System: If the vampire has time to prepare, no roll is required. As a reaction, such as during a sudden fall, activating the power requires a Wits + Survival roll at Difficulty 6. As long as the power is in effect, the vampire is immune to bashing damage from falls, collisions, and being thrown. The character also avoids triggering devices that rely on pressure, at the Storyteller’s discretion. Lethal damage from such events (such as falling from a great distance or being run over by an 18-wheeler) is treated as bashing.
Although it has no cost to activate, the effort for a Gangrel to hold themselves in this state is akin to a mortal human holding their breath while jogging. It lasts for about as many rounds as their Stamina rating, before they need to ‘release’ it for at least one round.
All Strength-related dice pools are rolled with one die while this power is in effect. Although fortunately, it can be reflexively activated and released.
|●● Feral Claws|
The vampire’s nails transform into long, bestial claws. These talons are wickedly sharp, able to rend flesh with ease and even carve stone and metal with little trouble. The Beast is prominent in the claws as well, making them fearsome weapons against other immortals. It’s rumored that some Gangrel have modified this power to change their vampiric fangs into vicious tusks.
System: The claws grow automatically in response to the character’s desire, and can grow from both hands and feet. The transformation requires the expenditure of a blood point, takes a single turn to complete, and lasts for a scene.
The character attacks normally in combat, but the claws inflict Strength + 1 aggravated damage. Other supernaturals cannot normally soak this damage, although a power such as Fortitude may be used. Additionally, the difficulties of all climbing rolls are reduced by two.
|●● (B) Nature’s Veil|
The vampire calls upon their innate adaptability to blend into their surroundings in an chameleon-like fashion. Their skin tone (or fur), hair and even scent subtly alter to mimic their immediate environment, making them difficult to spot in a casual glance. However, prolonged observation or a keen eye might still discern the vampire’s presence.
System: The player spends a point of blood to activate this power. For the remainder of the scene, any attempts to visually locate the character are penalized by the vampire’s Survival rating to a max of 9. Note, that this power does nothing for a character’s clothing – if it makes sense, the Storyteller might limit this power’s benefit to only +2 or even +1 instead, depending on circumstances (a red tracksuit in the Serengeti isn’t fooling anyone).
This does not grant invisibility, but rather a form of natural camouflage that helps the vampire blend into their environment. The character must move slowly and carefully while maintaining the camouflage, since any fast movement or aggressive action will disrupt the power.
|●●● Earth Meld|
One of the most prized powers within Protean, Earth Meld enables the vampire to become one with the earth. The immortal literally sinks into the bare ground, transmuting his substance to bond with the earth.
Though a vampire can immerse himself fully into the ground, he cannot move around within it. Further, it is impossible to meld into earth through another substance. Wood slats, blacktop, even artificial turf blocks Earth Meld’s effectiveness — then again, it’s a relatively simple matter for a vampire at this level of power to grow claws and rip apart enough of the flooring to expose the raw soil beneath.
By interring himself in the ground, the vampire gains full protection from daylight when outdoors. It is also the method of choice for those Kindred who wish to sleep away the centuries; these vampires lock themselves in the earth’s embrace, gaining strength and power as they rest. Superstitious and paranoid Kindred whisper that thousands of Ancients sleep within the ground and will awaken when Gehenna arrives.
While so interred, the vampire is in a transitional state between flesh and earth. His physical presence exists between the physical world and the astral plane. As such, the vampire is difficult to sense, even through supernatural means. However, a disruption to the soil that the immortal occupies, or to his presence on the astral realm, returns him immediately to the physical world (and to full wakefulness), showering dirt outward as his body displaces the soil.
System: No roll is necessary, although the character must spend a blood point. Sinking into the earth is automatic and takes a turn to complete. The character falls into a state one step above torpor during this time, sensing his surroundings only distantly. The player must make a Humanity or Path roll (difficulty 6) for the character to rouse himself in response to danger prior to his desired time of emergence.
Since the character is in an in-between state, any attempts to locate him (catching his scent, scanning for his aura, traveling astrally, and so on) are made at +2 difficulty. Astral individuals cannot affect the vampire directly, instead meeting with a kind of spongy resistance as their hands pass through him. Similarly, digging in the material world encounters incredibly hardpacked earth, virtually as dense as stone.
Attempts at violence upon the submerged vampire from either side return him to his physical nature, expelling the soil with which he bonded in a blinding spray (all Perception-based rolls are at +2 difficulty for the turn). The character himself subtracts two from his initiative for the first turn after his restoration, due to momentary disorientation. Once expelled from the earth, the vampire may act normally.
|●●● (C) Blood of the Earth|
The vampire using this power can draw sustenance from the soil itself which they have immersed themselves in. This connection to the life force of the Earth strengthens their ability to withstand their eternal hunger and allows them to endure longer periods without feeding.
System: When using this power, a vampire that has submerged herself with Earth Meld makes a Stamina + Survival roll (difficulty 7). Each success extends the number of nights that the vampire can go without spending a blood point to awaken, so long as she remains interred within the earth the whole time.
A vampire can potentially maintain this state indefinitely, if they never fail the Survival roll. Furthermore, a vampire will automatically heal one level of bashing damage for free, for each night this power persists in effect.
|●●●● Shape of the Beast|
This endows the vampire with the legendary ability to transform into a wolf or bat. A Kindred changed in this way is a particularly imposing representative of the animal kingdom. Indeed, he is far superior to normal animals, even ones possessed by Subsume the Spirit. He retains his own psyche and temperament, but can still call upon the abilities of the beast form — increased senses for the wolf and flight for the bat.
Gangrel are reputed to change to other animal forms better suited to their environment — jackals in Africa, dholes in Asia, and even enormous rats in urban environments — a feat that other Clans learning Protean cannot seem to duplicate.
System: The character spends one blood point to assume the desired shape. The transformation requires three turns to complete (spending additional blood points reduces the time of transformation by one turn per point spent, to a minimum of one). The vampire remains in his beast form until the next dawn, unless he wishes to change back sooner.
While in the animal’s shape, the vampire can use any Discipline he possesses except Necromancy, Serpentis, Thaumaturgy or Vicissitude. The vampire loses all use of his hands and all facility of speech — the vampire must use the Animalism Discipline ability Feral Whispers speak to animals.
* In wolf form, the vampire’s teeth and claws inflict Strength + 1 aggravated damage, he can run at double speed, and the difficulties of all Perception rolls are reduced by two.
* In bat form, the vampire’s Strength is reduced to 1, but he can fly at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, difficulties for all hearing-based Perception rolls are reduced by three, and attacks made against him are at +2 difficulty due to his small size.
|●●●● (D) Badger’s Hide|
This power allows the vampire to alter her skin into an ultra-durable hide in order to repel attacks or other environmental conditions. The vampire with Badger’s Hide is even able to resist piercing attacks for a time. This was an invaluable ability in times past, when Gangrel were hunted like wolves in the forest with spear and bow. It’s just as useful in the modern night to resist getting knifed or staked.
System: This power costs two blood points. For the remainder of the scene, any primarily piercing attack, as determined by the Storyteller, have their damage halved and rounded down after the character soaks. Any successful attack that isn’t soaked does a minimum of one health level of damage.
This protects against damage dealt from weapons such as stabbing knives, stakes, arrows, darts, impaling spikes and spears.
It gives no protection to any source of aggravated damage, such as a vampire’s fangs or a lupine’s claws, nor to great rending and slashing attacks like axes and machetes. It also doesn’t protect against bullets (for unknown reasons – though a Gangrel’s undead hide is often resilient enough).
|●●●●● Animal Swarm|
Upon activating this power, the vampire dissolves into a swarm of small bats. The creatures remain under the Kindred’s control, and she may direct them in unison or as individuals.
Affinity Bonus: Gangrel characters may manifest as a swarm of other small creatures, such as rats, cats, ravens or crows. It remains their chosen form thereafter, as with Shape of the Beast.
System: The vampire spends 2 Willpower points and may immediately disperse into as many creatures as she has blood points, with each creature carrying that one blood point; she may choose to form fewer creatures, in which case the blood points are divided as evenly as possible among them.
The creatures may act in concert, or individually follow a simple plan such as “scatter and hide,” however, the vampire may pay close attention to only one component creature at a time. For example, she may listen in on a conversation using the body of one bat (or rat), while directing the dozen others to keep moving and avoid detection.
While using this power, each creature within the swarm of animals must remain within 300 yards/meters of one another; any animal that leaves this radius immediately dissolves into ash, and the vampire forfeits the blood carried by that creature. The vampire may reform from any of the creatures in the swarm, but when she reforms, all animals within 10 yards/meters are drawn back into her physical substance. Other animals (those who are too far away) dissolve into ash, and the vampire forfeits their blood.
This power takes one turn to take effect, and lasts until sunrise or until the vampire chooses to retake her humanoid form. At that time, all of the component creatures present are re-absorbed into the vampire’s body, along with the blood points that animal carried in the same fashion as above. If there is ever only one creature left in the swarm, the Kindred immediately reverts to her natural physical form – undoubtedly a delirious mess on the verge of frenzy.
The vampire may use the following Disciplines while in Animal Swarm: Auspex, Celerity, Fortitude, Obfuscate, and Potence. The individual creature that is the tangible source of the power must fuel any Disciplines that require the expenditure of blood. Creatures reduced to zero blood points are immediately destroyed.
|●●●●● (E) Earth Control|
An Earth Melded character with this power is no longer confined to the resting place she selected the night before. She can pass through the ground as if it were water, “swimming” through the earth itself.
System: This power is in effect whenever a character is Earth Melded, with one extra blood point expenditure required per night that this power is used. While in the ground, a vampire can propel herself at half of her normal walking speed. She cannot see, but gains a supernatural awareness of her underground surroundings out to a range of 25 yards or so.
Water, rock, tree roots, and cement all effectively block her progress; she can only move through earth and substances of similar consistency, such as sand or fine gravel. If two or more vampires attempt to interact underground, only direct physical contact is possible. All damage dice pools in this case are halved. If an underground chase takes place, it is resolved with an extended, contested Strength + Athletics roll.
|●●●●● ● Mist Form|
This truly unsettling power enables the vampire to turn into mist. His physical shape disperses into a hazy cloud, but one still subject entirely to the immortal’s will. He floats at a brisk pace and may slip under doors, through screens, down pipes, and through other tiny openings. Although strong winds can blow the vampire from his chosen course, even hurricane-force winds cannot disperse his mist shape. Some Kindred feel that this power is an expression of the vampire’s ultimate control over the material world, while others believe that it is the immortal’s soul made manifest (damned though it may be).
System: No roll is required, although a blood point must be spent. The transformation takes three turns to complete, although the character may reduce this time by one turn for each additional blood point spent (to a minimum of one turn). Strong winds may buffet the character, although Disciplines such as Potence may be used to resist them. Vampires in Mist Form can perceive their surroundings normally, although they cannot use powers that require eye contact.
The vampire is immune to all mundane physical attacks while in mist form, although supernatural attacks affect him normally. Also, the vampire takes one fewer die of damage from fire and sunlight. The character may not attack others physically while in this state — this includes encountering another vampire in mist form. He may use Disciplines that do not require physical substance, however.
|●●●●● ● (E) Smoke and Mirrors|
One of the most notable and fascinating powers of the Gangrel is the ability to turn to mist. Some elder Gangrel have found a way to harness this power and use it on instinct, converting themselves to mist in order to avoid the most threatening blows.
System: When attacked, you may spend three blood points to turn instantly to mist, as per Mist Form. The attack automatically misses you, and you revert to your physical form once the immediate danger is past. You may activate this power reflexively once damage is determined, but as soon as damage is marked down or the scene has moved on from damage determination, you may no longer use this power on that damage.
Affinity Bonus: Spend 2 additional blood points. Although most vampires must return to their normal physical form when they sleep, Gangrel who have mastered Protean to this extent may remain in Mist Form even while comatose during the subsequent day. This power offers great protection, though it is not invulnerable, and fire and sunlight can still injure the vampire. Further, a vampire sleeping in Blissful Summer is not roused by noise or activity in her area – indeed, cannot awaken at all unless somehow harmed.
|Protean Combination Disciplines|
|Goddess Among Beasts (Protean ●●, Presence ●, Animalism ●)|
The vampire demonstrates a unique ability to dominate beasts who dwell in her domain. To such animals she is a goddess, a force of nature as irresistible as wind or seasons. She paints her body with runes of vitae by which they recognize and respond to her.
System: The character spends one scene tracing runes on her body; this costs one blood point. The player then rolls Manipulation + Survival (difficulty 6). For a number of hours equal to the successes rolled, the character receives one automatic success on any Animalism power directed at a beast that dwells or lairs in her territory.
The character also gains the benefits of the Inoffensive to Animals Merit. Botching this power gives the character the Repulsive to Animals Flaw for the rest of the night, instead.
This combination discipline costs 10 XP and it requires the Echo of the Land (5-pt Merit).
|Tree Meld (Protean ●●●, Fortitude ●)|
A vampire with this power may sink into wood as easily as most other Gangrel sink into soil.
System: The vampire may use this power exactly as the Protean 3 power Earth Meld to physically merge with wooden objects large enough to contain her body. It costs an additional blood point to merge with dead wood, however, so most Gangrel prefer the sanctuary of the largest tree trunk in their domain. If a wooden object is destroyed while a vampire rests within, the vampire is expelled.
This combination discipline costs 12 XP and it requires the Echo of the Land (5-pt Merit).
|Consecrate the Land (Protean ●●●, Presence ●●, Animalism ●●)|
The vampire with this ability can use the power of her blood to instinctively awaken the spirits of plant life in her territory; they will act in her defense against any unwelcome intruder. Roots tangle feet, grass grasps at boots, trees sway unnaturally in foes’ way, and so on. Typically the vampire slits a wrist and whirls in place, or stabs a palm and walks a spiral pattern through the foliage that she wishes to awaken.
System: The player spends from one to three blood points, and the character must undertake the process described above. One blood point rouses the plant life in a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter; two blood points doubles that to 20 feet (6 meters); three makes it 40 feet (12 meters). Tracing the desired area takes one turn per blood point spent.
When the blood has been sown, the player rolls Charisma + Survival (difficulty 8). If the roll garners even one success, the plant life animates as the local spirit world is roused to action. Enemies in the area suffer a -2 difficulty penalty to all dice pools from distraction and physical interference. This power lasts for one scene.
Additionally, whenever they fail rolls, interlopers must make a reflexively Stamina + Athletics roll to avoid three dice of bashing damage from the local flora (provided the local plant life is capable of such damage; trees and brambles probably are, but a grassy meadow doesn’t contain the kind of flora necessary for such an assault). Botching this roll causes the plants to turn on the Gangrel instead.
This combination discipline costs 19 XP and it requires the Echo of the Land (5-pt Merit).
The Discipline of silent death, Quietus is practiced by those of Clan Assamite. Based on elements of blood, poison, vitae control, and pestilence, Quietus focuses on the destruction of a target through a variety of means. This Discipline doesn’t always cause a quick death, but the Assamites rely on its lethality to hide their involvement with their victims.
|Warrior Quietus||Sorcerer Quietus||Vizier Quietus|
|● Silence of Death|
Many Assamites claim never to have heard their targets’ death screams. Silence of Death imbues the vampire with a mystical silence that radiates from her body, muting all noise within a certain vicinity. No sound occurs inside this zone, though sounds originating outside the area of effect may be heard by anyone in it. Rumors abound of certain skilled Assamite viziers who have the ability to silence a location rather than a circumference that follows them, but no proof of this has been forthcoming.
System: This power (which costs one blood point to activate) maintains a 20-foot (6-meter) radius of utter stillness around the Kindred for one hour.
|● Silence of Death|
Despite no one being able to hear her, the sorcerer can still speak. While this may seem a meaningless distinction, many applications of Assamite Sorcery require verbal incantations, which this power allows the sorcerer to use without drawing attention to herself.
|● Silence of Death|
Once the zone of silence is activated, the vizier can decide whom, if anyone, can hear him when he speaks. Thus, while the power is active, he can allow one or more people to hear him while no one else can. More importantly, he can deliver instructions backed by Presence or Dominate without anyone else noticing.
|●● Scorpion Touch|
By changing the properties of her blood, a vampire may create powerful venom that strips her prey of his resilience. This power is greatly feared by other Kindred, and all manner of hideous tales concerning methods of delivery circulate among trembling coteries. Kindred with Quietus are known to deliver the poison by coating their weapons with it, blighting their opponents with a touch, or spitting it like a cobra. An apocryphal account speaks of a proud Prince who discovered an Assamite plotting her exsanguination and began to diablerize her would-be assassin. Halfway through the act, she learned that she had ingested a dire quantity of tainted blood and was then unable to resist the weakened hashashiyyin’s renewed attack.
System: To convert a bit of her blood to poison, the Kindred’s player spends at least one blood point and rolls Willpower (difficulty 6). If this roll is successful, and the vampire successfully hits (but not necessarily damages) her opponent, the target loses a number of Stamina points equal to the number of blood points converted into poison — vampires attempting to drink the blood of the Kindred with Scorpion’s Touch are automatically considered to be “successfully hit.” The victim may resist the poison with a Stamina + Fortitude roll (difficulty 6); successes achieved on the resistance roll subtract from the vampire’s successes. The maximum number of blood points a Kindred may convert at any one time is equal to her Stamina. The number of successes scored indicates the duration of the Stamina loss.
Successes – Result
1 success – One turn
2 successes – One hour
3 successes – One day
4 successes – One month
5 successes – Permanently (though Stamina may be bought back up with experience)
If a mortal’s Stamina falls to zero through use of Scorpion’s Touch, she becomes terminally ill and loses any immunity to diseases, her body succumbing to sickness within the year unless she somehow manages to increase her Stamina again. If a Kindred’s Stamina falls to zero, the vampire enters torpor and remains that way until one of her Stamina points returns. If a Kindred is permanently reduced to zero Stamina, she may recover from torpor only through mystical means.
To afflict someone with the poison, the Cainite must touch her target’s flesh or hit him with something that carries the venom. Many Assamites lubricate their weapons with the excretion, while others pool the toxin in their hands (or fleck their lips with the poison, for a “kiss of death”) and press it to their opponents. Weapons so envenomed must be of the melee variety — arrows, sling stones, bullets, thrown weapons, and the like cannot carry enough of the stuff to do damage, or it drips off in flight. Players whose vampires wish to spit at their targets must make a Stamina + Athletics roll (difficulty 6). No more than two blood points’ worth of poison may be expectorated, and a Kindred may spit a distance of 10 feet (3 meters) for each point of Strength (and Potence) the character possesses. Vampires with Quietus are immune to their own poison, but not the blood-venom of other Kindred with this power.
|●● Scorpion’s Curse|
The sorcerer version of Scorpion’s Touch is Scorpion’s Curse. It allows the sorcerer to place a ward on a solid surface such as a door, a section of floor, or even a small object such as a box or a letter. The sorcerer may ward any object or area up to her Intelligence dots in square yards/meters.
A few seconds after the power is activated, the blood ward fades and can only be spotted with a Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 9) or a Perception + Investigation roll (difficulty 7). The ward lasts for a number of days equal to her Occult dots before dissipating, but while it lasts, anyone who touches the affected area or item is targeted by the Discipline just as though a warrior using Scorpion’s Touch had successfully touched him.
The sorcerer immediately rolls and can spend blood, as per Scorpion’s Touch.
|●● Ishtar’s Touch|
The vizier version of Scorpion’s Touch is Ishtar’s Touch. Instead of yielding a deadly poison, this power converts the vizier’s blood into a touch-activated narcotic that puts the victim into an inebriated state under which he is more vulnerable to Presence, Dominate, and even mundane Social manipulation.
System: The vizier’s player must spend a variable number of blood points (up to their Generation maximum) and roll Willpower, (difficulty 6). If the roll succeeds and the vizier touches the target’s exposed skin, the tainted blood passes into the target’s blood stream through the skin. The target must then roll Stamina + Fortitude (difficulty 6) — each success subtracts from the successes rolled for the vizier. If any of the vizier’s successes remain, the power takes effect.
While the effect lasts, the target is unable to spend Willpower to resist mental or social manipulation by the vizier, and the difficulties for all rolls by the vizier for such manipulation (whether natural or supernatural) are reduced by the number of blood points spent, to a minimum of 4. This effect only lasts while the target remains in the vizier’s presence, after which he will come to his senses. However, if the vizier returns to the victim’s presence, she will automatically fall back into her addled state.
This debility lasts for a duration determined by the vizier’s successes as follows.
Successes – Result
1 success – One turn
2 successes – One hour
3 successes – One day
4 successes – One month
5 successes – One year
|●●● Dagon’s Call|
This terrible power allows a vampire to drown her target in his own blood. By concentrating, the Kindred bursts her target’s blood vessels and fills his lungs with vitae that strangles him from within. The blood actually constricts the target’s body from the inside as it floods through his system; thus, it works even on unbreathing Kindred. Until the target collapses in agony or death throes, this power has no visible effect, and many Kindred like it because it leaves no trace of their presence.
System: The vampire must touch her target prior to using Dagon’s Call. Within an hour thereafter, the vampire may issue the call, though she need not be in the presence or even in the line of sight of her target. Invoking the power costs one Willpower point. The Kindred’s player makes a contested Stamina roll against the target’s Stamina; the difficulty of each roll is equal to the opponent’s permanent Willpower rating.
The number of successes the vampire using Dagon’s Call achieves is the amount of lethal damage, in health levels, the victim suffers. For an additional point of Willpower spent in the next turn, the vampire may continue using Dagon’s Call by engaging in another contested Stamina roll. So long as the Kindred’s player continues to spend Willpower, the character may continue rending her opponent from within.
|●●● Dagon’s Call|
Instead of ravaging the target’s body, the Assamite sorcerer harrows the mind.
Mechanically, this power works the same as the warrior version except as follows: First, the roll is the Assamite’s Manipulation versus the target’s Intelligence. The difficulty for both rolls is the other’s permanent Willpower. Second, instead of inflicting lethal damage, each net success for the Assamite strips the target of temporary Willpower. If the Assamite spends a Willpower point and continues to roll even after the target has lost all her temporary Willpower, additional successes strip the target of one dot of permanent Willpower. This represents the most damage that this power can inflict in a single night regardless of successes, but a target who has lost all of her Willpower dots through use of Dagon’s Call on successive nights is reduced to a mindless husk.
As with the warrior version, the Assamite need not be within the target’s presence to trigger this attack.
|●●● Truth of Blood|
Assamite justice is swift and merciless, and it shares much with the tenets of Islamic justice. However, the Assamites have ways of ensuring that their judgments are more firmly grounded in the truth than those of the surest mortal. This power uses the blood of the individual being questioned as a means of divining not only the truth of the subject’s words, but the truth behind those words. The interrogator pours the subject’s blood into his hand and holds it for the duration of the questioning. The blood gradually smolders throughout the scene, giving off a thin red mist. It is reduced to vapor by the end of the scene and cannot be used for any other purpose.
System: The character must have one point of the subject’s blood to use this power, and it lasts for the duration of the scene or until the character releases the blood. The player rolls Perception + Subterfuge (difficulty of the target’s Willpower) for each statement that the character wants to examine with this power. The degree of success on the roll indicates the degree of truth or falsehood that the questioner becomes aware of.
1 success – Know if lie, partial or whole truth
2 successes – Emotional reason behind lie or partial truth; not full truth
3 successes – Whole truth as target knows it
4 successes – Knows everything; even info not conscious, understood, or lost to Dominate
5 successes – Hazy visions of the actual truth
|●●●● Baal’s Caress|
The penultimate use of blood as a weapon (short of diablerie itself), Baal’s Caress allows the Kindred to transmute her blood into a virulent ichor that destroys any living or undead flesh it touches. In nights of yore, when Assamites led the charges of Saracen legions, the Assassins were often seen licking their blades, slicing open their tongues and lubricating their weapons with this foul secretion. Baal’s Caress may be used to augment any bladed weapon; everything from poisoned knives and swords to tainted fingernails and claws has been reported.
System: Baal’s Caress does not increase the damage done by a given weapon, but that weapon inflicts aggravated damage rather than normal. No roll is necessary to activate this power, but one blood point is consumed per hit. For example, if a Cainite poisons his knife and strikes his opponent (even if he inflicts no damage), one blood point’s worth of lubrication disappears. For this reason, many vampires choose to coat their weapons with a significant quantity of blood. If the vampire misses, no tainted blood is consumed.
|●●●● Baal’s Caress|
The sorcerer version of Baal’s Caress is less useful for slaying enemies than for smiting demons. With this power, the sorcerer can spend one point of blood that he smears across his eyes. For the rest of the scene, the sorcerer can perceive dematerialized spirits and similar creatures as if they were material. If he spends additional points of blood to coat a melee weapon such as a dagger or sword, that weapon can strike such targets and harm them normally despite their intangibility.
|●●●● Blood Tempering|
This power, which hails from long before the advent of Damascene steel, once saw a deal of use in the nights of the Crusades. Blood Tempering originated as a means by which Assamites of the vizier caste reinforced the bronze and iron weapons and armor of their warrior brethren to withstand prolonged combat. Instead of envenoming her blades, the Assamite imparted a small amount of her own resilience unto them by means of her blood.
A more treasured (and ongoing) use of this power is the ability of viziers preserve their most ancient relics, and the clay tablets that bear the clan’s earliest history have benefited from repeated Blood Tempering.
System: The player spends a Willpower point, and the character coats the item to be reinforced with her blood. The amount of blood used depends on the size of the item: One blood point per foot of length. Thus, the average sword requires three blood points, while a lance may need as many as 15. Armor requires three blood points per extra soak die it provides.
A weapon’s base damage rating is increased by one die, and it is rendered unbreakable by any means short of a supernatural power with a rating greater than that of the character’s Fortitude or a truly massive mundane trauma (such as a landslide). Armor gains one extra soak die and is likewise impervious to most harm (though the individual within it may still be wounded by the force that is transmitted through it).
This power may be applied to solid objects other than weapons and armor at the Storyteller’s discretion. It cannot reinforce flexible items such as whips, leather armor, or silk robes.
|●●●●● Taste of Death|
A refinement of Baal’s Caress, Taste of Death allows the Cainite to spit caustic blood at her target. The blood coughed forth with this power burns flesh and corrodes bone; some vampires have been reported to vomit voluminous streams of vitae that reduce their targets to heaps of sludge.
System: The vampire may spit up to 10 feet (3 meters) for each dot of Strength and Potence he possesses. Hitting the target requires a Stamina + Athletics roll (difficulty 6). Each blood point spewed at the target inflicts two dice of aggravated damage, and there is no limit (other than the vampire’s capacity and per-turn expenditure maximum) to the quantity of blood with which a target may be deluged.
|●●●●● Taste of Death|
The sorcerer equivalent to Taste of Death works exactly the same as the warrior equivalent, except that the attack only targets dematerialized spirits and the like as if they were solid. This is if the sorcerer has already used Baal’s Caress to make himself capable of perceiving such beings.
|●●●●● Taste of Bliss|
Unlike the distasteful and caustic version of this power used by the warriors, the vizier equivalent is Taste of Bliss. Instead of spitting out a deadly acid, the vizier softly exhales a fine reddish mist towards the target. The vizier may target someone up to 10 feet (3 meters) away per dot of Strength and Potence he possesses. Hitting the target requires a Stamina + Athletics roll, (difficulty 6). If the attack hits, the vizier’s player rolls two dice per blood point spent, and the difficulty is the target’s current Willpower.
Each success strips the target of one point of temporary Willpower, and if the target loses all of her Willpower, she treats the vizier as if she has a full blood bond to him until the sun rises. Moreover, if the attack succeeds in causing the target to lose even one point of Willpower, treat the attack as if the target had actually consumed a point of blood for normal blood bonding purposes.
Serpentis is believed to be the legacy of Set himself, a gift to his children. The Followers of Set are very careful to guard this Discipline’s secrets, only teaching the art to those who they deem worthy. Most vampires fear the Setites because of the powers of Serpentis and its connection to snakes and reptiles; this Discipline can evoke a primordial fear in others, particularly those who recall the tale of Eden.
Note: Unlike the expanded powers of more common Disciplines, those of Serpentis to not come easily or naturally. They cost the same yet require a teacher.
|● Eyes of the Serpent|
This power grants the vampire the legendary hypnotic gaze of the serpent. The Kindred’s eyes become gold with large black irises, and mortals in the character’s vicinity find themselves strangely attracted to him.
A mortal who meets the vampire’s beguiling gaze is immobilized. Until the character takes his eyes off his victim, the person is frozen in place.
System: No roll is required, but this power can be avoided if the mortal takes care not to look into the vampire’s eyes. Vampires and other supernatural creatures can also be affected by this power if the Cainite’s player succeeds on a Willpower roll (difficulty 9). If attacked or otherwise harmed, supernatural creatures can spend a point of Willpower to break the spell.
Note: The target must be able to see the vampire’s eyes for Eyes of the Serpent to work.
|● (A) Embrace the Venom|
It is sometimes as useful to poison a victim as it is to earn their eternal gratitude by sucking it out.
System: With the power of her Kiss, the vampire can take in blood and suck out poison from the victim as well.
When the vampire drinks blood from her victim, she can make a Wits + Medicine roll (Difficulty 8) to suck out a single poison per success.
A single success is usually sufficient, though a blood point will need to be spent if it is a poison that might affect Kindred as well. In the event of a botch, the Setite manages to poison herself just as virulently as the one she was trying to ‘help’.
|●● Tongue of the Asp|
The vampire may lengthen her tongue at will, splitting it into a fork like that of a serpent. The tongue may reach 18 inches or half a meter, and makes a terrifyingly effective weapon in close combat.
System: The lash of the tongue’s razor fork causes aggravated wounds (difficulty 6, Strength damage). If the Kindred wounds her enemy, she may drink blood from the target on the next turn as though she had sunk her fangs into the victim’s neck. Horrifying though it is, the tongue’s caress is very like the Kiss, and strikes mortal victims helpless with fear and ecstasy.
Additionally, the tongue is highly sensitive to vibrations, enabling the vampire to function effectively in the darkness the Clan prefers. By flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth, the vampire can halve any penalties relating to darkness.
|●● (B) Serpent’s Numbing Kiss|
Combining her serpentine Discipline with mastery over the heart, a Follower of Set who knows this technique can envenom her razor tongue as a subtler weapon.
System: The player spends one blood point; no roll is required. The character may immediately strike one opponent with her barbed tongue as if employing the Serpentis 2 power Tongue of the Asp. Her tongue immediately resumes its normal form after the strike, sealing the victim’s wound as it retracts. If the attack inflicts any damage that penetrates the victim’s soak, the vampire injects a mind-altering poison.
The victim must roll three successes on a reflexive Stamina check (difficulty 6 for vampires, 8 for living beings). If the victim fails, her wits become addled for the next hour. Any Discipline that affects the victim’s mind, senses, or emotions receives one automatic success during this time, although generational limits still apply to uses of Dominate on other vampires.
(Interestingly, this blood poison is sometimes beneficial to the victim; the mind’s barriers are lowered for friends as well as foes, and anyone attempting to repair the damage done by Dominate or otherwise assist the victim also receives the automatic success. Also, victims who possess Auspex find that the premonitions they receive while poisoned are especially vivid.)
Mortal victims who botch the Stamina roll fall into a dazed stupor for the duration of the power and may take no actions of their own volition on any turn that their players fail to make a reflexive Willpower roll (difficulty 8).
|●●● Skin of the Adder|
By calling upon her Blood, the vampire may transform her skin into a mottled, scaly hide. A vampire in this form becomes more supple and flexible.
System: The vampire spends one blood point and one Willpower point. Her skin becomes scaly and mottled; this, combined with the character’s increased flexibility, reduces soak difficulties to 5. The vampire may use her Stamina to soak aggravated damage from claws and fangs, but not from fire, sunlight, or other supernatural energies. The vampire’s mouth widens and fangs lengthen, enabling her bite to inflict an extra die of damage.
Finally, the vampire may slip through any opening wide enough to fit her head through. The vampire’s Appearance drops to 1, and she is obviously inhuman if observed with any degree of care, though casual passersby might not notice, if the vampire is in darkness or wearing heavy clothing.
|●●● (C) Rod of the Rattler|
The Followers of Set have often been asked to journey to many strange lands in service to their Dark God – whether across the sunset sea to the West, or endless roads of silk to the Far East. Yet wherever they go, no matter who may deny or assail them – there are snakes to be found. As a way to adapt to the hostile environment and always have a weapon nearby if needed the Setites long ago learned to use the native serpents of the land with deadly efficiency. These tools are often given to potential victims as gifts to assassinate them at an unsuspecting time.
In modern nights, it must be reluctantly conceded that this gift has lost some of its allure. Younger Setites often feel a lesser incentive to learn Disciplines such as Animalism, than before cars, carriages or street lights. And who has time to catch a snake by hand while being hunted by the local Scourge? It is not entirely forgotten, however. Many young Setites are forced to learn the ol’ Reverse Moses for no other reason than their Sires were taught it (and their Sires before them).
System: The Player spends 1 Blood Points and makes a Charisma + Animal Ken roll (Difficulty 7). If successful, the Setite may command a grasped snake to transform into a club, stake or spear.
Note: It can be a severe pain in the ass to find a snake for such a purpose without the Animalism Discipline or Hatch the Viper, below.
Whenever the weapon strikes someone, the wielder may spend 1 Blood Point reflexively to poison the target. The target must make a Stamina + Fortitude roll to resist the effects of the poison (Difficulty 8). If the target fails to achieve even one success, they suffer 1 unsoakable Health Level of Lethal damage per turn for 4 turns.
Those viewing the serpent while in its weapon form through Auspex can potentially see the object as a magical animal if they succeed on their Aura Perception roll. This power lasts for one night.
|●●●● Form of the Cobra|
The Cainite may change his form into that of a huge black cobra. The serpent weighs as much as the vampire’s human form, stretches over 10 feet or three meters long, and is about 20 inches (50 cm) around.
The Form of the Cobra grants several advantages, including a venomous bite, the ability to slither through small spaces, and a greatly enhanced sense of smell. The character may use any Disciplines while in this form save those that require hands (such as Feral Claws).
System: The vampire spends one blood point; the change is automatic, but takes three turns. Clothing and small personal possessions transform with the vampire. The vampire remains in serpent form until the next dawn, unless he desires to change back sooner. The Storyteller may allow the Setite bonus dice on all Perception rolls related to smell, but the difficulties for all hearing rolls are increased by two. The cobra’s bite inflicts damage equal to the vampire’s, but the vampire does not need to grapple his victim; furthermore, the poison delivered is fatal to mortals.
|●●●● (D) Hatch the Viper|
This rare and horrific power is known only to the Followers of Set. With it, they may create serpents out of their blood to act as servants, pets or assassins.
System: The vampire takes an entire turn to activate the power, and the player spends four blood points; no roll is required. The following turn, the character disgorges a living venomous serpent from her mouth.
Formed of vitae, this serpent is considered a ghoul with Fortitude and Potence of 1. It may act independently, although it follows all commands from its parent without hesitation. If it is slain, or its mistress fails to feed it one blood point every three nights, the snake dissolves into a pool of fetid plasm. Anyone foolish enough to drink this venom suffers four dice of aggravated damage.
Characters with this power may create and maintain as many serpents as desired, assuming they are willing to feed their retinue. Cainites with Animalism can communicate with serpents formed by this ability, but the snakes always reflect too much of their creator’s personality to pass for natural animals. Each serpent bears a distinctive pattern of scales associated with its master, although motifs of gold diamonds on black skin predominate.
|●●●●● Echidna’s Venom|
At this level, the vampire’s bite becomes venomous as a death adder. The police do ask questions when someone dies from a seeming cobra bite under unlikely circumstances, so such lethality still requires some discretion in its use.
System: The Kindred expends one blood point, and in one turn her fangs become hollow, more slender and venomous. The first character the vampire bites next suffers from the venom.
Affected mortal victims suffer the Setite’s Serpentis in lethal damage in addition to whatever damage the bite may have caused. Undead victims suffer half the Setite’s Serpentis in lethal damage, rounded up.
Humans that survive the damage become paralyzed (-5 to all actions) and must succeed in a Stamina roll every minute for five minutes or die. Although supernatural healing (even Embrace the Venom) can intercede.
|●●●●● (E) Typhonic Avatar|
Now, the Setite can become a Typhonic Avatar, a creature of legend. There are two common forms (though rarer ones have been lost to the sands of time), and which the Setite learns is almost entirely dependent on which Temple they learned it from (and they can only learn one).
The first stands as a tall jackal with a hard, forked and spiked tail, with severe, pointed ears and a long snout. Typhonic Beasts are red, black, or a combination thereof. This form is virtually the sole preserve of Setite Typhonists and it is only rarely seen outside Egypt, North Africa and the Middle East.
Alternatively, she might take a hybrid human/serpent form with a long, prehensile tail for legs. Setites of the Path of Ecstasy (including several of its far-flung derivatives) use this as a sort of ‘war form’ in addition to religious functions.
System: Spend a blood point. The transformation takes three turns, but additional blood points can be spent to reduce the time by a turn. Four blood points makes the transformation reflexive.
Either form gains two dots to Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. The animal form moves at twice the vampire’s speed, does two additional dice of bite damage, and reduces difficulties to resist losing balance by two. The hybrid form’s tail can act as an additional attack as part of a multiple action, and the tail gains five dots to Strength instead of two.
Obviously, both forms are unquestioningly supernatural. The vampire inspires terror and awe in mortals. Mortals with fewer Willpower dots than the vampire’s Serpentis score must flee or subjugate themselves. They can act for a single turn by spending a point of Willpower. Mortals with more Willpower can roll Willpower (difficulty the vampire’s Serpentis) to avoid awe and fear.
|●●●●● ● Breathe the Sandstorm|
In classic Egyptian myth, Set is portrayed as a trickster god of the desert sands, master of sky and storm. An elder Setite with Breathe the Sandstorm can call a scorching sandstorm from his patron founder’s source of power and expel it from his mouth. This whirling, screeching cloud of hot sand scars and pits everything in its path. The cloud is just a few feet across, but that is more than enough to catch a Cainite unaware and flay him to the bone.
System: The player spends one blood point for the vampire to exhale this roiling mist. The cloud is several feet in diameter, and it can affect a target up to dozen feet away.
To hit, the player rolls Dexterity + Survival (difficulty 6) for each enemy caught in the path of the sandstorm. Her opponents cannot block or parry this attack – they must dodge by diving out of the cloud’s volume (Dexterity + Athletics vs 8).
Successes remaining after the opponent’s dodge roll inflict that many levels of aggravated damage. Armor cannot be used to soak this, but Fortitude and other powers like Skin of the Adder can.
The cloud dissipates at the end of one turn. The sandstorm can also be used to scour away inanimate objects, inflicting the damage of decades of sirocco winds within seconds, destroying roughly an inch thickness of the substance per successes.
Supernaturally resilient materials may incur lesser harm at the Storyteller’s discretion.
|●●●●● ● (F) Mother of Monsters|
Echidna was called the Mother of Monsters. This power allows the Setite to birth small Typhonic beasts from her flesh. The monsters grow from her skin, starting by opening eyes and mouths from her flesh, then ripping from her body, taking part of her with them. These monsters have childlike intelligence and understand the vampire’s speech. They follow her commands without exception, and cannot be commanded or frightened away from their duty. Some Setites can create other mythological monsters. Rumors persist of some Setites who can create rudimentary humans from their flesh.
System: Spend one or more blood points and mark a health level off your character’s sheet. That health level cannot recover so long as the beast remains apart from the vampire. The first blood point creates the monster, and additional blood points act as a blood pool the beast can use to heal damage (the way a vampire can) or to activate the vampire’s level 1-4 Serpentis powers for himself.
Each monster takes one turn to birth. The vampire may only spend as much blood as she can in a single turn to fuel the monster’s blood pool.
The vampire can reflexively subsume a monster back into her flesh, replenishing its remaining blood pool and recovering the lost health level. She may also subsume a beast’s corpse to recover the lost health level.
The Setite can choose a different mythological form for the beast. However, these monsters must be obviously unnatural.
Sample Typhonic Creature: ATTRIBUTES: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3, Intelligence 1, Wits 3, Perception 4, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 1, SKILLS: Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Intimidation 3, HEALTH: OK, OK, -3, -5, Incapacitated, DISCIPLINES: The beast shares the vampire’s Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence powers. SOAK: +3 dice of Armor, ATTACKS: Bite (Strength +1 lethal), Claws (Strength lethal)
The True Brujah bloodline claims a peculiar Discipline that allows them some control over the flow of time. Masters of Temporis often grow ever more detached from the passage of ages. This, combined with the natural tendency for Sages to grow emotionally and spiritually distant, makes True Brujah elders exceptionally dangerous. They know that all life is finite, and so they feel no compunction about ending it.
|● Hourglass of the Mind|
Masters of Temporis value patience and clarity. Time is too complex and dangerous to manipulate incautiously or on a whim. Thus, the first power of Temporis focuses entirely on perception and serves as a permanent alteration of a vampire’s senses.
System: Once purchased, this Discipline gives a vampire a perfect sense of time. The vampire knows events to the nearest second or better. Moreover, the Cainite knows whenever the flow of time is mystically disturbed by use of Celerity, greater levels of Temporis, mortal wizardry, or stranger things. Sensing disturbances is instinctive and reflexive, though it requires a successful Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 6 for most phenomena, as modified by the Storyteller for distance and intensity).
|●● Recurring Contemplation|
A vampire with this power may trap a target’s mind into reviewing a set of events over and over until interrupted. This power is extremely subtle and ill-suited to combat or other situations rich in sensory stimuli. However, a cunning vampire can trick a sentry into reliving the tedium of his uneventful watch even as the Cainite draws close enough to strike or slip past. Other uses include the maddening infliction of déjà vu to induce paranoia or make a victim question her senses and her sanity.
System: The vampire concentrates on a single victim in his line of sight. The player rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty equal to the victim’s current Willpower). With any successes, the victim falls into a light trance and relives the most recent experiences that preceded her fugue. Alternately, the vampire may evoke another set of specific memories and circumstances from the victim’s past, provided that he has some means of telepathically drawing them forth.
The recurring events must be relatively benign, insofar as nothing noteworthy happens or nothing happens that would demand the victim’s immediate action. Thus, in the example of the sentry, the vampire could entrance him and walk past unobserved, but not if the sentry spotted him before invoking the power.
Ordinarily, the fugue lasts one minute per success. If the vampire’s player spends a blood point to fuel this power, determine the trance’s duration according to the following chart:
Successes – Duration
1 success – one minute
2 successes – 10 minutes
3 successes – one hour
4 successes – six hours
5+ successes – one day
Entranced victims are oblivious to their surroundings and the actual flow of time around them. However, the fugue ends immediately if the victim suffers any damage or experiences a sudden jolt to her senses, such as a thunderclap or even a gentle nudge. Normal conversation does not break the trance, although shouting does.
|●●● Leaden Moment|
With this power, a vampire may begin to alter the flow of time itself rather than mere perception of events. The vampire gestures and slows the desired object almost to a dead stop. This power can slow incoming bullets to the pace of drifting clouds, or cause an enemy warrior to see the battlefield quicken to a blur of dizzying carnage even as his every motion slows to a crawl.
System: The player spends one blood point and rolls Intelligence + Occult. The difficulty depends on the size and nature of the target: a single thrown brick is only difficulty 4, while a crazed ghoul has a difficulty of 9. Targets larger than an adult human cannot be affected with Leaden Moment. It is possible to affect small, closely grouped inanimate objects of the same nature as a single object, though this increases the difficulty by two or more at the Storyteller’s discretion (a hail of bullets might be difficulty 9).
This power may be activated reflexively as a defensive action against projectiles, but otherwise requires a full action on the vampire’s initiative. Though failure carries no special penalty apart from wasting blood, a botch means the vampire mistakenly slows himself rather than the target, counting every 1 as a success for that purpose. If the vampire succeeds, the object slows to one-half its true speed. Every two successes beyond the first reduce this speed by one additional factor, so three successes slows the target to one third its speed, five successes yields quarter speed, etc. The actual mechanics of such slowing depend on the situation.
For projectiles, multiply any successes to hit and final damage by the speed factor, rounded down. Similarly apply the speed modifier to the successes of other actions involving Dexterity, Wits, or Strength for slowed characters. Characters with Celerity may spend one blood point to negate one factor of speed reduction at the expense of the usual extra action provided – for example, one blood point cancels a reduction to one half speed, two blood points cancel one third, etc. Leaden Moment lasts one turn for every two successes rolled, rounded up.
|●●●● Patience of the Norns|
The vampire can now suspend an inanimate object in time, keeping it frozen in perfect stasis as time passes at normal speed around it. As with lesser Temporis powers, this stasis has both combat and non-combat applications. True Brujah warriors may halt bullets outright rather than merely slowing their approach or casually sidestep a collapsing building.
Higher-level variations on this power preserve precious scrolls and artifacts without risk of mold or decay. If any solid object or nontrivial volume of liquid touches a frozen object that did not touch it at the moment of suspension, the item re-enters time with the same properties and velocity as when it stopped. Thus, touching a suspended object with anything more substantial than a raindrop releases it exactly as it was before it stopped.
System: The player spends two blood points and rolls Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 6). The vampire must be able to perceive the object that he’s suspending, so the player may need to make a Perception + Alertness roll at a difficulty determined by the Storyteller in order to freeze fast-moving objects.
If an object exceeds the speed of mortal perception, superhuman perception such as Auspex is required in order to see and stop it (as such, bullets can be stopped with this power, but only if the vampire has at least a dot of Auspex). Objects frozen by this power remain halted according to the number of successes rolled:
Successes – Duration
1 success – one minute
2 successes – 10 minutes
3 successes – one hour
4 successes – six hours
5 successes – one day
6+ successes – one week per success over 5
Suspended objects retain all energy in their suspension, releasing none to the outside universe. A suspended knife has no kinetic energy as far as the rest of the world is concerned and hangs suspended in mid-air until the power is interrupted or the duration expires.
Suspended alchemical or chemical processes also halt, including fire. However, any physical contact more substantial than a falling raindrop breaks the suspension.
|●●●●● Clotho’s Gift|
With this power, a vampire momentarily accelerates time through himself. In this brief instant, he moves with the preternatural speed of Celerity. Unlike that Discipline, however, the time dilation of Clotho’s Gift permits any type of action. A vampire may still move or strike faster than the eye can see, but also think, plan, and even invoke other Disciplines that require full concentration. Only the last presents a danger, as it overtaxes the vampire’s unliving stasis.
System: The player spends three blood points and rolls Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 7). For a number of turns equal to half the vampire’s Temporis rating, rounded up, the character may take a number of extra actions at her full dice pool equal to the number of successes rolled. These actions follow the timing rules associated with Celerity, but may be used to take any action.
A vampire may use the actions granted by Clotho’s Gift to activate Disciplines multiple times, even Disciplines that cannot be used more than once in a turn (such as Dominate or Thaumaturgy). However, for every action spent activating a Discipline, the vampire suffers one level of unsoakable lethal damage.
Only one important exception exists: Any attempt to stack extra actions through Celerity, subsequent applications of Clotho’s Gift or other powers results in immediate Final Death, as the vampire collapses into ash as though burned by the sun.
|●●●●● ● Kiss of Lachesis|
True Brujah with this power gain limited mastery over the physical age of objects and individuals. It is a trivial matter to accelerate time in a compressed rush, aging a target decades or even centuries in the blink of an eye. It is far more difficult to absorb and unweave entropy, lessening time’s hold.
This power does not reverse history in any way; it merely reverses or accelerates the effects of time in terms of wear and tear. Moreover, a target cannot regress to an earlier or incomplete state of being. For inanimate objects, this is the point at which they were assembled. For living beings, it is either adult maturity or the time of birth (or its equivalent). For the undead and other corpses, it is the moment of death.
System: In order for the vampire to age a target, the player spends two blood points and rolls Manipulation + Occult. The difficulty equals the target’s true physical age in decades or effective physical age in the case of target’s that have aged unnaturally, such as by means of this power. This difficulty cannot rise higher than 10 or drop below 4.
The vampire touches the target and concentrates for a turn. The Cainite may age the target a maximum number of years as determined by the following table, although his player may choose to apply a lesser effect. The Storyteller remains the final arbiter of time’s effect on an object, but living beings aged past their natural lifespan quickly perish.
Successes – Elapsed Time
1 success – up to one month
2 successes – up to one year
3 successes – up to 5 years
4 successes – up to 10 years
5 successes – up to 50 years
6+ successes – up to one century per success over 5
Removing the effects of time requires greater effort, increasing the difficulty of the activation roll by one. In addition, the vampire suffers one level of unsoakable lethal damage for every success her player chooses to apply. As noted, objects cannot return to an earlier or incomplete state.
A silver coin may lose its tarnish and seem newly minted, but it will not revert to an unformed block of metal. Likewise, while an adult may revert to the cusp of his adulthood or a child to a newborn, neither could regress to a prenatal state. Also, this power only accounts for damage and wear due to time. A child amputee reverted to a baby will not regenerate her missing arm, nor will a broken sword become anything but finely crafted shards. In either application, this power does not change a subject’s mental or mystical properties.
Sentient beings retain all memories and any derangements. A vampire regressed to the point of death remains a vampire, not an inanimate corpse — and the regressed Cainite still remembers all Disciplines and keeps any changes in Generation due to diablerie. However, a vampire aged far enough pales considerably or loses any signs of diablerie from his aura.
This Discipline is an exclusive development of the Samedi bloodline, and it is tied intrinsically to the Stiffs’ identity and history.
Although Thanatosis appears to deal closely with death and the energies of decay, no Giovanni have ever claimed mastery of this power. Outsiders assume the Giovanni must be interested in learning this Discipline. However, the Giovanni view the Samedi with distrust and loathing, while the Samedi take on the Giovanni is usually expressed by muttering a curse on the Clan and spitting blood. Thus, the possibility of an exchange of information approaches nil.
|● Hag’s Wrinkles|
Perpetual rot makes the character’s flesh malleable. The Samedi can open large folds in her flesh, storing objects in them like a kangaroo’s pouch. She can also massage the slimy flaps of fatty tissue to alter her appearance slightly (though this does nothing for the smell). Other Kindred can learn this Discipline, of course, but if they do not possess the “advantage” of having skin that already falls in droops and folds, large wrinkles and bulges may be visible.
System: This power requires one turn to shape the wrinkles and the expenditure of a blood point. If the power is used to distort a character’s features, the Samedi player must roll Stamina + Subterfuge (difficulty 8). Success raises the difficulty to visually identify the character by one and lasts for one hour per success rolled. If the character is attempting to hide a small object (a wallet, a letter, a small pistol), the roll and duration are the same, but all rolls made to see if the object is detected (for example, a pat-down search or a security guard’s visual inspection) are at +2 difficulty.
The character can, with a touch, inflict decay upon a target. Hair falls out, teeth loosen, flesh rots and fungus grows on the skin. This power works on targets living and undead, and is obviously quite unsettling both physically and psychologically.
System: This power first requires that the character touch his intended target. The player then rolls Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty of the target’s Stamina + Fortitude) and spends a blood point. Success inflicts one health level of lethal damage on the target and removes one point of the victim’s Appearance. This Appearance loss returns to vampires at the rate of one point per night, but is permanent for mortals (though plastic surgery can correct mortals’ physical disfigurement). If a mortal suffers three or more health levels of damage from repeated uses of this power in one scene, gangrene or other ailments may occur.
Putrefaction can also be used on plants, in which case the target becomes blighted and withered. It cannot, however, be used on inanimate objects such as cars or wooden stakes.
|●●● Ashes to Ashes|
The character collapses into a thick, sticky white powder. While in this form, the character cannot move and is only dimly aware of her surroundings, but is immune to fire and sunlight (meaning that this power is an effective escape in some situations). The character must take care, though — if the ashes are scattered, she might never be able to reform.
System: The transformation to ashes requires one turn and the expenditure of two blood points. While the character is in ash form, the player must make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 9) for any scene in which she wishes her character to be aware of her surroundings. Reforming from the heap of ashes takes one turn. If the character is in a confined space (such as an urn), she explodes from it in a suitably dramatic manner as she brings herself back to full size. If a Samedi is scattered while in this form, one health level and one blood point are lost for each tenth (roughly) of the character that has been dissipated. Five blood points are required to heal each health level lost in this manner.
At the Storyteller’s discretion, the Samedi may be missing limbs or vital organs (though never the head or the heart) until the missing health levels are healed.
The Stiff can shrivel and render useless an opponent’s limb. This power works on Kindred as well as mortals. Kindred, of course, are horrified by the power, as they tend to think of their bodies as immortal and invulnerable to such ravages.
System: The Samedi must touch the limb he intends to shrivel. The player spends a Willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Medicine (difficulty equal to the victim’s Stamina + Fortitude). Three successes are required for this power to shrink a limb. With one or two successes, the victim takes one health level of bashing damage, which may be soaked normally, but is otherwise unaffected. (If the Withering attempt is successful, the subject suffers no health level of damage, but rather the withering of the limb itself.)
The effects of Withering fade after one night if a vampire or other supernatural creature is the victim, but mortals (including mages) are permanently afflicted unless some type of supernatural healing is used. If this power is used on an arm or leg, the limb instantly becomes useless. If this power is used on an opponent’s head, mortal victims die instantly. Kindred lose two points from all Mental Attributes while their heads are shrunken and are unable to use any Disciplines except Celerity, Fortitude, and Potence. Multiple uses of this power on the same appendage have no additional effect.
|●●●●● Marrow Sucker|
All animals contain a spark of life. This power allows you to scrape, suck, and savor those small bits of life out of dead things to allow you to survive. It’s not pretty and it’s messy as hell, but when you’re locked in a crypt with nothing but bones, it can keep you out of torpor for a while.
System: For every 20 pounds or 9 kilograms of bone the Kindred eats (roughly the weight of the bones in one human skeleton), they gain one point of blood. The Kindred places the bone in or near its mouth and begins to suck. The bones turn into a grey, pulpy mass which the Kindred must then swallow. The product of this Discipline is far less satisfying that animal blood, and only those with this level of the Thanatosis Discipline can benefit from consuming it.
|●●●●● ● Necrosis|
A more horrific and potent form of Putrefaction, this power causes flesh to decay and slough off, exposing the bone beneath. Use of this power can render an opponent unable to move from lack of muscle tissue.
System: The Samedi must make contact with the victim. The player spends two blood points and rolls Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty of the target’s Stamina + Fortitude). The victim takes a number of health levels of lethal damage equal to the number of successes rolled and suffers additional effects as listed below.
Successes – Effects
1 success – No additional effects
2 successes – Lose one point of Appearance
3 successes – Lose a point each of Appearance and Dexterity
4 successes – Lose a point each of Appearance, Dexterity, and Strength
5+ successes – Lose two points of Appearance and one each of Dexterity and Strength
Attributes lost in this manner are regained when all damage from the Necrosis attack is healed. If a victim is reduced to zero Strength or Dexterity, he is unable to move except for weak flailing and crawling but may still use Disciplines and spend blood points normally.
|●●●●● ●● Dust to Dust|
With this power, the Samedi retains cohesion, awareness, and mobility while in ash form. While not as impressive as the Tzimisce Horrid Form, a clever Stiff can find many tactical uses for such a power.
System: While a pile of ash, the Samedi remains fully conscious and may use any Discipline powers that being a pile of dust would permit (for instance, Majesty will make the pile of dust very impressive, and no maid in her right mind would dare sweep it up).
The character cannot be blown apart by high winds, and any deliberate attempt to separate the pile of ash may be resisted with a die pool equaling the character’s combined Strength, Stamina, Potence, and Fortitude. The character may move voluntarily at a speed no higher than that at which a pile of normal dust would be blown by the wind, even if he is indoors. He does not have to move in the direction of the prevailing air currents, and may “flatten” himself by spreading his ashes thinly so as to slip under doors and through cracks. This power functions like Ashes to Ashes in all other respects.
The Tremere Clan created this Discipline by combining mortal wizardry with the power of vampiric vitae. Since its origins, the Tremere have jealously guarded the arcane secrets of Thaumaturgy – as knowledge truly is power among the undead. And, even now, the Warlocks have greater need of all the power they can muster. The clan has made many enemies in its short history, and the Tremere are well aware of the malice of their ancient foes, such as the Tzimisce, Assamites, Salubri and even the Houses of ‘true mages’ from which they are descended.
Thaumaturgy is the most versatile of all Kindred Disciplines. Through its practice, the Tremere teach that they can duplicate or surpass nearly any other vitae-enhanced ability. Most clan elders claim that the thaumaturge’s skill is the only thing that restricts the potential of blood magic. It was near-blinding ambitious and survival which first motivated the Warlocks of House Tremere to master the intricacies of Thaumaturgy. In the modern nights, Kindred blood magicians continue to devote vast amounts of time and resources to researching ancient texts and creating new sorceries.
Thaumaturgy has diverged along two lines; rituals and paths, each with their individual strengths and weaknesses. Many of its most powerful techniques are not easily conjured up in the heat of battle on a whim, yet benefit from patience and planning. It is often only the most unaware, incautious or ill-prepared of House Tremere’s foes that can be felled through a bellicose display of fiery might and nothing else. A good thaumaturge comes ready for all sorts of situations, and can unleash forces she’s gathered together in advance of an emergency. It’s not that Thaumaturgy provides greater power than other Disciplines, but that thinking ahead allows the thaumaturge to store up resources. With skillful selection from a character’s available techniques, a thaumaturge can create the impression of far greater resources than she actually wields, if she can produce the right effect for the right occasion.
On the political level, knowledge of this Discipline has built Clan Tremere prestige in the Camarilla. The clan’s mystery of blood magic has given that organization a tremendous advantage over its enemies, and as a result, the Camarilla helps defend the Warlocks against their own foes. This protection, in turn, allows the Tremere to devote even more time to study and experimentation, creating a revolving cycle of increasing strength for both the clan and sect.
- Like Necromancy, the practice of Thaumaturgy is divided into paths and rituals. Thaumaturgical paths are applications of the vampire’s knowledge of blood magic, allowing her to create effects on a whim. Rituals are more formulaic in nature, most akin to ancient magical “spells.” Because so many different paths and rituals are available to the arcane Tremere, one never knows what to expect when confronted with a practitioner of this Discipline.
- When a character first learns Thaumaturgy, the player selects a path for the character. That path is considered the character’s primary path, and she automatically receives one dot in it, as well as one Level One ritual. Thereafter, whenever the character increases her overall level in Thaumaturgy, her rating in the primary path increases by one as well.
- Secondary paths may be learned once the character has acquired two or more dots in her primary path, and they must be raised separately with experience points. Furthermore, a character’s rating in her primary path must always be at least one dot higher than any of her secondary paths until she has mastered her primary path. Once the character has achieved the fifth level of her primary path, secondary paths may be increased to that level.
- The Expanded version of the Thaumaturgy Discipline given below is that practiced by the Tremere. Within ‘House Tremere’, with its focus on ambitious hierarchies, ceremony and Certamen – and other less pleasant habits passed down from their Hermetic ancestors – familiarity with the principles of countermagic becomes a life or death necessity.
- Note: In prior versions of this setting Thaumaturgical Countermagic was treated as a separate out-of-clan Discipline for Tremere (and only them) to buy. Here it has been worked into the main sequence at in-clan Discipline costs with Affinity Bonuses given to make it a little more interesting.
- A Tremere whose primary path isn’t Path of Blood acquires Thaumaturgical Countermagic at x7 per level instead of x5. Though does get to keep the Affinity Bonuses.
System: Each time the character invokes one of the powers of a Thaumaturgical path, the thaumaturge’s player must spend a blood point and make a Willpower roll against a difficulty equal to the power’s level +3. Failure on this roll indicates that the magic fails. A botch causes some kind of loss or catastrophic backfire, such as losing a Willpower point (or dot!), spontaneous combustion, or accidentally letting a living statue run rampant. Thaumaturgy is an unforgiving art.
The Thaumaturgy Discipline given below is the most commonly found among the Tremere of North America and Western Europe.
|Thaumaturgy (Path of Blood / Tremere)||Expanded (Tremere)|
|● A Taste for Blood|
Note: Almost every Tremere studies the Path of Blood as her primary path. It encompasses some of the most fundamental principles of Thaumaturgy, based as it is on the manipulation of Kindred vitae. If for whatever rare reason your character has been granted permission to pursue a different primary, then it’ll take the place of the entries given here.
This power was developed as a means of testing a foe’s might — an extremely important ability in the tumultuous early nights of Clan Tremere.
By merely touching the blood of his subject, the caster may determine how much vitae remains in the subject and, if the subject is a vampire, how recently he has fed, his approximate Generation and, with three or more successes, whether he has ever committed diablerie.
If the blood is mortal, he can identify whether or not it is mixed with vitae, thereby recognizing ghouls. With a high enough Medicine (and at the Storyteller’s discretion) it may even discern evidence of certain illnesses.
System: The number of successes achieved on the roll determines how much information the thaumaturge gleans and how accurate it is.
|● (A) Thaumaturgical Countermagic|
Two dice of countermagic. The character can attempt to cancel only those powers and rituals that directly affect him, his garments, and objects on his person.
System: The use of Thaumaturgical Countermagic is treated as a free action in combat and does not require a split dice pool. To oppose a Thaumaturgy power or ritual, a character must have a Thaumaturgical Countermagic rating equal to or greater than the rating of that power or ritual. The player spends a blood point and rolls the number of dice indicated by the character’s Thaumaturgical Countermagic rating (difficulty equal to the difficulty of the power in use). Each success cancels one of the opposing thaumaturge’s successes.
Thaumaturgical Countermagic is only at full effectiveness when used against Thaumaturgy. It works with halved dice pools against Necromancy and other mystical Disciplines, and is completely ineffective against non-vampiric magics and powers except those steeped in Hermetic practices of High Ritual Magic. In such latter cases, the warlock may still attempt countermagic at +2 difficulty to their roll.
|●● Blood Rage|
Although originally intended as a way for Tremere to assist incapacitated brethren in healing their own wounds or summoning the strength of their blood, the power’s notorious side effect lead to its current name by the modern nights.
Blood Rage allows a vampire to force another Kindred to expend blood against his will. The caster must touch her subject for this power to work, though only the lightest contact is necessary. A vampire affected by this power might feel a physical rush as the thaumaturge heightens his Physical Attributes, might find himself suddenly looking more human, or may even find himself on the brink of frenzy as his stores of vitae are mystically depleted.
System: Each success forces the subject to spend one blood point immediately in the way the caster desires (which must go towards some logical expenditure the target vampire could make, such as increasing Physical Attributes or powering Disciplines).
Note that blood points forcibly spent in this manner may exceed the normal “per turn” maximum indicated by the victim’s Generation. Each success gained also increases the subject’s difficulty to resist frenzy by one. The thaumaturge may not use Blood Rage on herself to circumvent generational limits.
|●● (B) Thaumaturgical Countermagic|
Four dice of countermagic.
|●●● Blood of Potency|
Through a form of internal alchemy, a thaumaturge can use this power to temporarily concentrate his vitae to act as that of a vampire of an older generation. Although it is not a total transformation of the blood, it does allow the user to channel some of his gifts more effectively
In effect, he may temporarily lower his own Generation with this power. This power may be used only once per night.
System: One success on the Willpower roll allows the character to lower his Generation by one step for one hour. Each additional success grants the Kindred either one step down in Generation or one hour of effect. Successes earned must be spent both to decrease the vampire’s Generation and to maintain the change (this power cannot be activated again until the original application wears off). If the vampire is diablerized while this power is in effect, it wears off immediately and the diablerist gains power appropriate to the caster’s actual Generation.
Furthermore, any mortals Embraced by the thaumaturge are born to the Generation appropriate to their sire’s original Generation (e.g., a Tenth-Generation Tremere who has reduced his effective Generation to Eighth still produces Eleventh-Generation childer). Once the effect wears off, any blood over the character’s blood pool maximum dilutes, leaving the character at his regular blood pool maximum.
Thus, if a Twelfth-Generation Tremere (maximum blood pool of 11) decreased his Generation to Ninth (maximum blood pool 14), ingested 14 blood points, and had this much vitae in his system when the power wore off, his blood pool would immediately drop to 11.
|●●● (C) Thaumaturgical Countermagic|
Six dice of countermagic. The character can attempt to cancel a Thaumaturgy power that affects anyone or anything in physical contact with him.
|●●●● Theft of Vitae|
This power allows the thaumaturge to force blood from a target and draw it into herself as if she had consumed it directly. She need never come in contact with the subject – The blood literally bursts from the target’s mouth and pores, arcs across the intervening space, and is immediately mystically absorbed by the caster. Mortals can be severely injured by the theft; vampires can be deprived of their vitae.
System: The number of successes determines how many blood points the caster transfers from the subject. The subject must be visible to the thaumaturge and within 50 feet (15 meters).
Mortals who are targeted take one level of lethal damage per success. Cainites take no damage but still lose the appropriate number of blood points.
Using this power prevents the caster from being blood-bound, but otherwise counts as if the vampire ingested the blood herself. This power is spectacularly obvious, and Camarilla princes justifiably consider its public use a breach of the Masquerade.
|●●●● (D) Thaumaturgical Countermagic|
Eight dice of countermagic. The character can now attempt to cancel a power or ritual that that is being used or performed (i.e., emanating from) within a number of yards equal to his Perception.
|●●●●● Cauldron of Blood|
A thaumaturge using this power boils her subject’s blood in his veins like water on a stove. The Kindred must touch her subject, and it is this contact that simmers the subject’s blood. This power is always fatal to mortals, and causes great damage to even the mightiest vampires.
System: The number of successes gained determines how many blood points are brought to boil. The subject suffers one health level of aggravated damage for each point boiled (individuals with Fortitude may soak this damage using only their Fortitude dice). A single success kills any mortal, though some ghouls with access to Fortitude are said to have survived after soaking all of the aggravated damage.
|●●●●● (E) Thaumaturgical Countermagic|
Ten dice of countermagic. The character can now attempt to cancel a power or ritual that targets anything within his Willpower in yards of him, even if it is coming from afar.
Vicissitude is the signature power of the Tzimisce, and is rarely shared outside the Clan (though it is known to some other Cainites of the Sabbat). Similar to Protean in some ways, Vicissitude allows vampires to shape and sculpt flesh and bone. When a Kindred uses Vicissitude to alter mortals, ghouls, and vampires of higher Generation, the effects of the power are permanent; vampires of equal or lower Generation can choose to heal the effects of Vicissitude as though they were aggravated wounds. A wielder of Vicissitude can always reshape her own flesh.
- The wielder must establish skin-to-skin contact and must often manually sculpt the desired result for these powers to take effect. This also applies to the use of the power on oneself. Tzimisce skilled in Vicissitude are often inhumanly beautiful; those less skilled are simply inhuman.
- There are rumors that Vicissitude is a disease rather than a “normal” Discipline, but only the Fiends know for sure, and they aren’t talking. Note: Nosferatu always “heal” Vicissitude alterations, at least the ones that make them better-looking. The ancient curse of the Clan may not be circumvented through Vicissitude. The same applies to physical deformities from the Gangrel Clan weakness.
- Vampires who wish to use Vicissitude well must acquire the ‘Body Crafts‘ specialty of Medicine. This specialization enables its possessor to make all manner of alterations to living and dead flesh and bone. It also gives insight into more mundane techniques; many Tzimisce are skilled at flaying, bone-carving, embalming, taxidermy, tattooing, and piercing.
- All Vicissitude rolls that require Medicine are treated as untrained, unless the user has the Body Crafts specialty.
|● Malleable Visage|
A vampire with this power may alter her own bodily parameters: height, build, voice, facial features, and skin tone, among other things. Such changes are cosmetic and minor in scope — no more than a foot (30 cm) of height gained or lost, for example. She must physically mold the alteration, literally shaping her flesh into the desired result.
System: The player must spend a blood point for each body part to be changed, then roll Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 6). To duplicate another person or voice requires a Perception + Medicine roll (difficulty 8), and five successes are required for a flawless copy; fewer successes leave minute (or not-so-minute) flaws. Increasing one’s Appearance Trait has a difficulty of 9, and the vampire must spend an additional blood point for each dot of Appearance increased beyond their natural total. A botch permanently reduces the Attribute by one.
|● (A) Ears of the Bat|
The vampire grows long, pointed ears and achieves echolocation, much like a bat. She can “see” in pitch darkness and that sense extends 360° around her, leaving no blind spots for would-be ambushers to exploit.
System: The player must spend a blood point and roll Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 7). While manifesting the ears, the character gains -3 difficulty on all hearing rolls and suffers a +1 difficulty to all Social rolls with mortals unless she takes steps to hide her ears.
This power is similar to Malleable Visage, above, but allows the vampire to perform drastic, grotesque alterations on other creatures. Tzimisce often use this power to transform their servitors into monstrous guards, the better to frighten foes. Only flesh (skin, muscle, fat, and cartilage, but not bone) may be transformed.
System: After spending a blood point, the vampire must grapple the intended victim. The player of the Fleshcrafting vampire makes a successful Dexterity + Medicine roll (difficulty variable: 5 for a crude yank-and-tuck, up to 9 for precise transformations). A vampire who wishes to increase another’s Appearance Trait does so as described under Malleable Visage; reducing the Attribute is considerably easier (difficulty 5), though truly inspired disfigurement may dictate a higher difficulty. In either case, each success increases or reduces the Attribute by one.
A vampire may use this power to move clumps of skin, fat, and muscle tissue, thus providing additional padding where needed. For each success scored on a Dexterity + Medicine roll (difficulty 8), the vampire may increase the subject’s soak dice pool by one, at the expense of either a point of Strength or a health level (vampire’s choice).
|●● (B) See the True Shape|
A Fiend with this power may recognize flesh that has been magically reshaped. Although Tzimisce are most adept at noticing flesh-crafting wrought by Vicissitude, they can also recognize the changes brought about by Protean, mortal magic, or even the shapechanging of Lupines.
System: The vampire scrutinizes the target, and her player rolls Perception + Medicine (difficulty 6). The number of required successes depends on the nature of the target’s transformation. If the player fails to gain the required number of successes, the vampire senses no alteration and assumes the target is in its natural form. A botch means the vampire mistakes the nature of a transformation or sees alteration where none exists.
One success spots works of Vicissitude; two sees through other shapechanging evoked through vampiric Disciplines. The character needs three successes to pierce other magic (including mortal wizardry) and four for “natural” shapechanging such as Lupines use. If the player gains two more successes than are needed, the character not only recognizes the type of transformation but may make an educated guess as to the target’s natural form. Even more successes reveal more detailed information as relayed by the Storyteller.
This terrible power allows a vampire to manipulate bone in the same manner that flesh is shaped. In conjunction with Fleshcraft, above, this power enables a Vicissitude practitioner to deform a victim (or herself) beyond recognition. This power should be used in conjunction with the flesh-shaping arts, unless the vampire wants to inflict injury on the victim (see below).
System: The vampire’s player must spend a blood point and make a Strength + Medicine roll (difficulties as above). Bonecraft may be used without the fleshshaping arts, as an offensive weapon. Each success scored on the Strength + Medicine roll (difficulty 7) inflicts one health level of lethal damage on the victim, as his bones rip, puncture, and slice their way out of his skin.
The vampire may utilize this power (on herself or others) to form spikes or talons of bone, either on the knuckles as an offensive weapon or all over the body as defensive “quills.” If bone spikes are used, the vampire or victim takes one health level of lethal damage (the vampire’s comes from having the very sharp bone pierce through his skin — this weaponry doesn’t come cheaply). In the case of quills, the subject takes a number of health levels equal to five minus the number of successes (a botch kills the subject or sends the vampire into torpor). These health levels may be healed normally.
Knuckle spikes inflict Strength +1 lethal damage. Defensive quills inflict a hand-to-hand attacker’s Strength in lethal damage unless the attacker scores three or more successes on the attack roll (in which case the attacker takes no damage); the defender still takes damage normally. Quills also enable the vampire or altered subject to add two to all damage inflicted via holds, clinches, or tackles.
A vampire who scores five or more successes on the Strength + Medicine roll may cause a rival vampire’s rib cage to curve inward and pierce the heart. While this does not send a vampire into torpor, it does cause the affected vampire to lose half his blood points, as the seat of his vitae ruptures in a shower of gore.
|●●● (C) Wound Sculpting|
A vampire with this power may vastly accelerate her healing by concentrating upon kneading torn flesh and shattered bone back to its original form.
System: The player spends one blood point and rolls Wits + Medicine (difficulty 8). Each success heals one level of lethal or bashing damage. Each wound level requires one minute of uninterrupted work.
|●●●● Horrid Form|
Kindred use this power to become hideous and deadly monsters. The vampire’s stature increases to a full eight feet (two and a half meters), the skin becomes a sickly greenish-gray or grayish-black chitin, the arms become apelike and ropy with ragged black nails, and the face warps into something out of a nightmare. A row of spines sprouts from the vertebrae, and the external carapace exudes a foul-smelling grease.
System: The Horrid Form costs two blood points to awaken. All Physical Attributes increase by three, but all Social Attributes drop to zero, except when dealing with others also in Horrid Form. However, a vampire in Horrid Form who is trying to intimidate someone may substitute Strength for a Social Attribute. Damage inflicted in brawling combat increases by one due to the jagged ridges and bony knobs creasing the creature’s hands.
|●●●● (D) Body Armory|
This power enables the vampire to form wicked weapons from her own body. The vampire may create sword blades, axes, and even spiked mauls. These weapons do terrible damage to their targets. Many Tzimisce make sword-arms, knife-bladed knuckles, and the like, but more dramatic implementations are possible.
System: This power costs two blood points per weapon (though larger weapons like two-handed swords and great axes cost four), and the player must roll Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty 7). Each weapon takes two turns to form (larger weapons take three turns). Weapons created in this manner cause aggravated damage.
|●●●●● The Body Impolitic|
Arguably the most ghoulish of Vicissitude’s gifts, The Body Impolitic allows the user to invest a portion of her sentience in the flesh of her body, then sever it from the trunk to do the Tzimisce’s bidding.
System: By infusing an extremity with blood, the Tzimisce gives it awareness and a life of its own. Only one blood point is required, though some body parts can be gifted with more; the smallest of extremities (eyes, tongue, etc.) can hold only one, but a limb may hold two or three depending on where it is severed, the head can hold three, and the trunk can hold as much as five. Once imbued with awareness, the Tzimisce can then remove the extremity (Dexterity + Medicine to do so without inflicting one level of lethal damage upon herself) and set it free to do her bidding.
When needed, an extremity can tear itself free from the main body; doing so requires two rounds and deals the usual level of lethal damage to the body. The Tzimisce can have as many servitor “parts” as she has extremities to use (and blood points to fuel them). While a body part is detached and still sentient, the Tzimisce cannot regrow it.
Disembodied parts are always aware of all other parts of itself, but otherwise have only the sensory input normally available to them. Some Tzimisce will use Vicissitude to craft additional sensory organs onto these extremities to give them the tools to perform specific tasks (mouths and tongues to deliver messages, eyes to spy with, and so on).
The master can use Disciplines through a disembodied extremity, but only if that body part can fulfill the Discipline’s requirements (that is, it must have blood enough to fuel the Discipline, must be able to make eye contact if that’s a requirement of the Discipline, etc.) If an extremity uses up its blood points to fuel a Discipline, it withers into nothingness moments after doing so. Independent extremities have one health level each.
They are almost preternaturally aware of danger and gain three dots in Athletics. If an extremity is destroyed, it can be recreated by spending one blood point and successfully using Transmogrify the Mortal Clay and Rend the Osseous Frame to shape a replacement. So long as the Tzimisce has a living extremity tucked away somewhere, she can’t fully be killed and may be able to reconstruct herself given time
|●●●●● (E) Graft Life to Life|
With normal Vicissitude, a Tzimisce may take the arm from one person and graft it to another, but the recipient is unable to control the arm and it soon begins to decay. With this power, the user may take body parts from living creatures and graft them on to others, living or undead, and allow for the recipient to use the new limb. Exceptionally monstrous and disturbing creatures can be created with this power or one may graft extra organs into others, allowing them to function longer while wounded.
System: Removing a limb requires an Intelligence + Medicine roll (difficulty 6). Extracting an organ is an extended Intelligence + Medicine roll (difficulty 7), with 10 successes required and each roll representing an hour of work. The process of grafting must then begin within an hour. or the limb or organ dies. Attachment is an extended roll of Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 7), requiring 10 successes and each roll representing half an hour’s work. Attaching an appropriate limb, such as a human arm to a human, is difficulty 7. Attaching an inappropriate limb, such as horse legs to a human, is difficulty 8. Inserting organs is difficulty 9. Attaching limbs to a vampire is somewhat easier (difficulty 6). Theoretically, one could put organs inside a vampire, but this has no effect.
The effect of attaching extra limbs is entirely up to the Storyteller. Extra arms might help in grappling and multiple attacks and extra legs might aid stability but the main effect is generally freakishness rather than effectiveness, since coordinating the extra limbs is very difficult. Extra organs grant the recipient an additional wounded health level per organ, though a maximum of two can be grafted.
|●●●●● ● Bloodform|
A vampire with this power can physically transform all or part of her body into sentient vitae. This blood is in all respects identical to the vampire’s normal vitae; she can use it to nourish herself or others, create ghouls, or establish blood bonds. If all this blood is imbibed or otherwise destroyed, the vampire meets Final Death.
System: The vampire may transform all or part of herself as she deems fit. Each leg can turn into two blood points worth of vitae, as can the torso; each arm, the head, and the abdomen convert to one blood point each. The blood can be reconverted to the body part, provided it is in contact with the vampire. If the blood has been utilized or destroyed, the vampire must spend a number of blood points equal to what was originally created to regrow the missing body part.
A vampire entirely in this form may not be staked, cut, bludgeoned, or pierced, but can be burned or exposed to the sun. The vampire may ooze along, drip up walls, and flow through the narrowest cracks, as though she were in Tenebrous Form. Mental Disciplines may be used, provided no eye contact or vocal utterance is necessary, although the vampire can perceive her surroundings just fine (but the perceptions are always centered on the largest pool of blood).
If a vampire in this form “washes” over a mortal or animal, that mortal must make a Courage roll (difficulty 8) or fly into a panic.
|●●●●● ● (F) Blood of Acid|
At this level of mastery, the vampire has converted his blood to a viscous acid. Any blood he consumes likewise becomes acid, which is corrosive enough to burn human (and vampiric flesh) as well as wood. This effect is particularly potent when the vampire assumes the Bloodform. One of the side effects of this power is the complete inability to create new vampires and ghouls, or give blood to another vampire — the acid would corrode them as they drank it. The obvious benefit, however, is that would-be diablerists are likewise unable to devour the Cainite’s blood.
System: Each acidified blood point that comes in contact with something other than the vampire himself does five dice worth of aggravated damage. If the vampire is injured in combat, his blood may spatter on an opponent — foes must make Dexterity + Athletics rolls to avoid the blood, which must be accomplished by splitting their dice pools. (Unless an opponent knows the vampire has this power, she’s unlikely to split her dice pool on her first attack, which causes many Tzimisce to cackle with glee.)
The Discipline of Visceratika is the exclusive possession of the Gargoyle bloodline and is an extension of their natural affinity for stone, earth, and things made thereof.
Certain Visceratika powers closely resemble some aspects of Protean and, to a lesser extent, Vicissitude. Tremere in a position to know insist that this is pure coincidence, but the few among the Gargoyles who retain scholarly aspirations insist that the Gangrel and Tzimisce blood used to create the bloodline still maintains a certain hold over its members.
Too heavy to fly by natural means, the stony Gargoyles must rely on more mystical and physics-defying properties of their blood. Their unnatural ability to fly seems to manifest when their wings do and which grow larger and stronger as their mastery of Visceratika grows.
Gargoyles themselves are unaware that flying for them is a mystical power; they accept that they can fly because it is part and parcel of being a Gargoyle.
|● Skin of the Chameleon|
This basic power has saved countless Gargoyles breaching the Masquerade — and has allowed just as many to ambush unsuspecting intruders. When Skin of the Chameleon is in effect, the Gargoyle’s skin takes on the color and texture of the surrounding environment. This coloration changes reflexively as long as the Gargoyle maintains a walking pace or slower.
More rapid movement causes the Gargoyle’s appearance to blur, negating the camouflaging effect. If this power is used while the Gargoyle is in flight, his skin becomes a reasonable facsimile of the night sky (though it will not shift to mimic nearby skyscrapers or star patterns, and a black silhouette against a brightly lit skyline is likely to be noticed).
System: The player spends one blood point. For the rest of the scene, the Gargoyle’s Stealth dice pool is increased by five. This power is subject to the limitations described above. Any ground movement faster than a walk negates this power’s effect, as does flight (at the Storyteller’s discretion).
|● (A) Flight|
The Gargoyle cannot fly, but she may glide. She can gently descend from any height, and strong winds may provide enough lift to carry her great distances. However, carrying more than 2 lbs./1 kg will cause the Gargoyle to plummet like a rock.
|●● Scry the Hearthstone|
The Gargoyles’ first function for the Tremere was that of guardian and watchdog. This power allows them to know instinctively where anyone is inside a given structure. It even allows the Gargoyle to detect characters concealed by magical means, if the Slave is perceptive enough.
System: The player spends a Willpower point to activate this power, which remains in effect as long as the Gargoyle is within or in contact with the target structure, or until the next sunset. Scry the Hearthstone may be used on anything up to the size of a cave complex, a large theatre, a parking garage, or a mansion. The character gains an innate sense of the location and approximate size and physical condition of all living (or unliving) beings within the structure. To pinpoint a specific individual’s location with this power, the player must succeed in a Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 6).
If the subject is attempting to hide, he may oppose this roll with a roll of Wits + Stealth (difficulty 6). Scry the Hearthstone may be used to detect the presence of characters who are under Obfuscate or similar powers. In this case, the Gargoyle only knows that there is someone present — she cannot actually see the individual in question. To determine the Gargoyle’s ability to detect Obfuscated characters, compare the relative levels of the Gargoyle’s Visceratika minus one and the intruder’s Obfuscate as per the “Seeing the Unseen” under the Auspex tab.
|●● (B) Flight|
The Gargoyle can fly up to 30 miles per hour/ 45 km per hour and carry up to 20 lbs./10 kg safely. At this level, his ability to maneuver is still quite undeveloped; to do much more than fly in a straight line, the Gargoyle must make a Dexterity + Athletics roll (difficulty varies depending upon what’s being attempted), and dice pools to dodge lose two dice while flying.
|●●● Bond with the Mountain|
The Gargoyle sinks into a stone surface, disappearing into the rock until he wishes to reappear. This power allowed Gargoyles to invade their masters’ enemies’ strongholds, fight until sunrise, then meld with the rocks or stone walls and reappear the next evening.
In modern nights, it can take the place of a haven for itinerant Runaways. Unlike the Earth Meld power which it resembles, Bond with the Mountain does not conceal the Gargoyle completely. A faint outline of his body can be seen in the rock where he hides.
System: The player spends two blood points, and the merge takes four turns to complete. This power functions in a fashion similar to the Protean 3 power of Earth Meld, and may only be performed upon bare rock or a similar substance. However, the Gargoyle does not sink fully into the substance with which he merges, and his outline can be detected within the stone with a successful Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 9).
A Gargoyle attacked while Bonded with the Mountain has triple his normal soak dice pool against all forms of attack. However, if he sustains three or more lethal health levels of damage from a single attack, he is forced out of his bond and suffers disorientation similar to that experienced by an Earth Melded character whose slumber is interrupted.
|●●● (C) Flight|
The Gargoyle can fly up to 45 miles per hour/60 km per hour and carry up to 50 lbs./25 kg, if her Strength allows for it. She only needs to roll for the most difficult of maneuvers (difficulty 5) and her normal Athletics dice pool is fully available to her for dodging.
|●●●● Armor of Terra|
At this level of Visceratika, the Gargoyle’s skin hardens and becomes truly rock-like to the touch. The Slave becomes harder to harm, even with fire, and grows inured to injury. A non-Gargoyle learning this level of Visceratika would find her skin becoming gray and rock-like, putting lie to the claim that the Discipline doesn’t carry the risk of the Gargoyle’s curse.
System: This power is automatic and requires no roll; it is always in effect. A vampire with Armor of Terra has one extra soak die for all aggravated and lethal attacks and two for all bashing attacks, reduces all wound penalties by one, and halves the damage dice pool of any fire-based source of injury (this Discipline does not change the rules for Rötschreck, however). The difficulty of all touch-based Perception rolls is increased by two, due to the desensitization of the character’s skin.
|●●●● (D) Flight|
The Gargoyle can fly up to 60 miles per hour/90 km per hour and carry up to 100 lbs./50 kg, if his Strength allows for it.
|●●●●● Flow Within the Mountain|
The Gargoyle is no longer restricted to hiding within stone. Now, he can flow through stone like lava working its way down a mountainside, emerging from the hiding place at any point he wishes. Since this power works on cement or concrete as well as rock, the streets of a modern metropolis afford a Gargoyle some very interesting assassination tools.
System: Once the character has used Bond with the Mountain, the player spends two more blood points to activate Flow Within the Mountain for the duration of the scene. The Gargoyle can move within stone and cement (otherwise using the same rules as the Protean power Earth Control. The character can also use this power to walk through a stone wall and emerge on the other side without first using Bond with the Mountain. In this case, the player spends one blood point and rolls Strength (difficulty 8; Potence adds dice or successes normally).
The Gargoyle may flow through a maximum thickness in feet equal to the number of successes rolled, or 30 times the number of successes rolled in centimeters. If the wall or barrier is thicker than this, the character is trapped within it until he is chiseled out or uses Flow Within the Mountain to escape.
|●●●●● (E) Flight|
The Gargoyle can fly up to 75 miles per hour/120 km per hour and carry up to 200 lbs./100 kg, if her Strength allows for it.
Caitiff PCs can try to make a case for any Combination Discipline made up of their first three Affinity Disciplines. Although it isn’t guaranteed approval, and there will be a slight cost increase. If approved, it’ll be treated as their own unique thing, aesthetically.
Note that while many Combination Disciplines come reasonably naturally (with the XP cost paid representing the time spent experimenting with one’s Disciplines), some of them do require specific instruction.
|Aura of Inescapable Truth||Any||28||Dominate ••••, Presence ••••|
|Bagman's Shelter||Any||16||Obfuscate •••, Fortitude •••|
|Beast Warden||Any||18||Animalism ••••, Fortitude ••|
|Bestial Presence||Any||18||Animalism •••, Obfuscate •••|
|Call Upon the Blood||Any||18||Auspex •••, Animalism •••|
|Celebrity||Any||18||Presence •••, Obfuscate •••|
|Cloak the Beast||Any||24||Animalism •••••, Obfuscate •••|
|Command the Wary Beast||Any||15||Presence •••, Animalism ••|
|Drawing out the Beast||Any||26||Animalism •••••, Dominate ••••|
|Empower Minion||Any||18||Dominate •••, Potence •••|
|False Death||Any||36||Obfuscate •••••, Auspex ••••, Celerity •••|
|Fist of Caine||Any||27||Potence •••••, Presence ••••|
|Gazing into the Abyss||Any||6||Auspex •, Obtenebration •|
|Guardian Vigil||Any||7||Auspex •, Celerity •, Fortitude •|
|Haunted Place||Any||27||Obfuscate •••••, Dementation ••, Presence ••,|
|Mover and Shaker||Any||15||Presence •••, Auspex ••|
|Personal Armor||Any||27||Fortitude •••••, Potence ••••|
|Power Animal||Any||12||Animalism •••, Potence •|
|Pulse of Undeath||Any||6||Auspex •, Potence •|
|Quell the Beast||Any||16||Animalism •••, Presence •••|
|Quick Sight||Any||9||Auspex •, Celerity ••|
|Quickshift||Any||21||Protean ••••, Celerity •••|
|Reluctant Performance Artist||Any||15||Presence •••, Dominate ••|
|Smiling Jack's Trick||Any||20||Presence •••, Obfuscate ••••|
|Stampede||Any||21||Animalism •••••, Presence ••|
|Unflinching Staredown||Any||9||Presence ••, Dominate •|
|Burning Wrath||Brujah||12||Celerity ••, Potence ••|
|Esprit de Corps||Brujah||24||Potence ••••, Presence ••••|
|Iron Heart||Brujah||18||Potence •••, Presence •••|
|Iron Glare||Brujah||15||Potence •••, Presence ••|
|Linebreaker||Brujah||15||Potence •••, Fortitude ••|
|Relentless Pursuit||Brujah||21||Potence ••••, Celerity •••|
|The Last Round||Brujah||12||Potence ••, Presence ••|
|Devil's Mark||Caitiff||9||Presence •, Vicissitude •|
|Beast Meld||Gangrel||27||Protean •••••, Animalism ••••|
|Blood Thorns||Gangrel||12||Protean ••, Potence ••|
|Grizzly Claws||Gangrel||15||Potence •••, Protean ••|
|Loki's Gift||Gangrel||24||Protean •••••, Animalism ••••|
|See the Reflected Form||Gangrel||18||Auspex •••, Protean ••••|
|Shatterproof||Gangrel||21||Protean •••, Fortitude ••••|
|Spirit Tracking||Gangrel||14||Protean •••, Animalism ••|
|Suck It Up||Gangrel||9||Protean ••, Animalism •|
|Creepy Clown Coat||Malkavian||12||Dementation •, Obfuscate •••|
|Days of Passion Past||Malkavian||15||Dementation •••, Auspex ••|
|Gold Fever||Malkavian||21||Dementation ••••, Auspex •|
|Ignore Me||Malkavian||17||Dementation ••••, Auspex •••|
|Insidious Insinuation||Malkavian||15||Dementation ••••, Dominate •|
|Prophecy||Malkavian||30||Auspex •••••, Dementation •••••|
|Rando||Malkavian||16||Dementation •••, Obfuscate •••|
|Ze Monkey's Paw||Malkavian||20||Dementation ••••, Auspex •••|
|Blood Apocrypha||Nosferatu||7||Obfuscate ••, Auspex •|
|Forbidden Zone||Nosferatu||24||Obfuscate •••••, Potence •••|
|Ghost in the Machine||Nosferatu||18||Obfuscate •••, Path of Technomancy •••|
|I Know||Nosferatu||17||Auspex •••, Obfuscate •••|
|Unliving Hive||Nosferatu||14||Animalism •••, Obfuscate ••|
|Wolf in Sheep's Clothing||Nosferatu||15||Animalism •••, Obfuscate ••|
|Bliss||Toreador||10||Presence •••, Auspex •|
|Distracting Grace||Toreador||8||Presence ••, Celerity 1|
|Hand of the Master Artisan||Toreador||7||Auspex •, Celerity •|
|Haunting Seduction||Toreador||9||Dementation ••, Presence •|
|Scalpel Tongue||Toreador||6||Presence •, Celerity •|
|Soul Decoration||Toreador||18||Auspex •••, Obfuscate •••|
|Soul Painting||Toreador||18||Auspex ••••, Presence ••|
|Under the Skin||Toreador||16||Auspex •••, Presence •••|
|Whispered Passions||Toreador||21||Presence ••••, Dominate •••|
|Animus Ligature||Tremere||33||Auspex ••••, Thaumaturgy ••••, Dominate •••|
|Blood Sight||Tremere||9||Auspex ••, Thaumaturgy (Path of Blood) •|
|Chaining the Beast||Ventrue||15||Animalism •••, Dominate ••|
|Command from Afar||Ventrue||20||Auspex ••••, Presence •••|
|Curse the Laurel||Ventrue||28||Fortitude ••••• •, Protean •••|
|Denial of Aphrodite's Kiss||Ventrue||12||Fortitude •••, Presence •|
|Divine Aura||Ventrue||14||Auspex •••, Presence •••|
|Impeccable Manners||Ventrue||8||Auspex ••, Presence •|
|Rescue Beacon||Ventrue||11||Presence •••, Fortitude •|
|Retaliatory Terror||Ventrue||9||Presence ••, Fortitude •|
|Telepathic Command||Ventrue||15||Auspex ••••, Dominate •|