Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dragonblade!


Image credit: http://www.annett-bank.co.uk/feng-shui-intro (currently unavailable)

A couple years ago I got the crazy idea to rewrite the Dragonlance War of the Lance saga. I loved the stories, but returning to them as an adult, some things in them stand out as...better than others. But the stories remained stuck in my mind, and I chewed over this idea for a few months, off and on.

What I came to was a complete re-imagining of the saga, and the things I thought were cool about it. The return of the true gods; dragons; love triangles. (Spoiler alert.) But looking into Krynn as a setting, it also has its weak points. Ansalon is a continent smaller than Texas, with ice in the south and jungles in the north. There are no fewer than three comic-relief races: the kender, tinker gnomes and gully dwarves. Those were just things I didn't want to rework.

I ended up creating a mish-mash medieval Asian fantasy setting, in the way that Krynn is a mish-mash medieval European setting. I wanted to get away from the Japan-fetishism that is totally not part of a lot of "...of the East" books for various games. What I came up with was Dragonblade!. And yes, the exclamation is part of it.

Right now I'm working on a 5th Edition D&D campaign based in the Dragonblade! setting. The story will arise out of choices the players make, but it will involve the return of some gods, dragons, and there is already one love triangle. I got rid of the comic-relief races, and the world will be appropriately big.

This is the Obsidian Portal page for the campaign. I hope that running this campaign will force me to flesh out the world more.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Running Evil NPCs

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I am currently running a local group through Pathfinder's Reign of Winter adventure path. In the most recent session, the PCs (who are mostly good-aligned) ended up taking two prisoners at the end of a big combat, as they do when their opponents surrender. Both of these NPCs who surrendered were listed as Neutral Evil in alignment, but neither one had a reason to fight to the death when the battle was already lost.

One of the NPCs was a human female soldier, a commanding officer, but not philosophically committed to evil. Just naturally selfish and maybe more violent than most. The other was a supernatural fey creature who was evil by nature, corrupted by dark witchcraft. In both cases, the PCs entered into negotiations with them, and were very reasonable. They even let the sergeant leave with her "loot" from her bedroom, rather than taking it.

As a result, the PCs got some quality information, especially from the supernaturally evil fey, because she wasn't bought in to any particular cause, and was thankful for not being killed with cold iron. In both cases, though, they were kind of moved by the mercy shown, and in the case of the sergeant, I imagine her heading home with her possessions and life intact and really thinking about her life, maybe even making another decision. (In fact, she's likely to come back later as a character working toward reformation).

The point I'm getting at with this little gaming story is that, given how alignment leads to so much misunderstanding and internet flame-wars (and memes, as above) it's good to be flexible and responsive. It's even good to reward "good" behavior in reasonable ways. Just because it says "NE" or even "LE" or "CE" on a character sheet doesn't mean the person in question is always doing evil things, or will die in order to do evil, or will refuse to surrender, or is always lying and selfish.

Not only that, but these little moments of mercy are the kinds of moments that actually do change people for the better, sometimes, in the same way that one horribly cruel and painful event can change someone for the worse (again, arguably, see above).  If nothing else, it gives "good" PCs in a D&D-style game to be something other than cookie-cutter moralists or, more often, just people who ignore alignment almost all of the time. Even if their mercy is not returned, or if they are taken advantage of, it just pushes them to another important choice - how do they respond?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Kender Player Ground-Rules



Edited and improved with input from the Fear the Boot forum. Thanks!


As I'm thinking about 5th Edition D&D Dragonlance, I obviously have to deal with kender somehow. For right now, the default is that kender are NPCs, but if someone wants to play a kender in a given game, I have some ground-rules that I think make sense and will help deal with many of the problems people have with kender in an adventuring party.


Kender Player Ground-Rules
If someone in your group is going to play a kender, there are some ground-rules that will be helpful.


  1. No stealing from the other PCs without their consent. If agreed to before-hand, the DM can say that you find something in your pouches that belongs to one of the PCs, but you can never steal from them. This is an out-of-character rule that you can justify in-character however you want. This includes going ahead of everyone and taking treasure that is meant for all of the PCs to split. If you do go ahead and rummage, roll on the trinket table. That’s what you get, because kender don’t understand commercial value.
  2. Any equipment that could fit in the palm of your hand might at any point disappear, reappear or be replaced, with the exception of items crucial to the current story and your favorite tool and weapon. Frequent use of the trinket table is recommended.
  3. If you decide to have your character rush heedless into danger (being immune to fear), the rest of the group is totally justified in letting you die, get lost, get eaten, etc. rather than risk all of their characters chasing after you. The thing with kender - they have a short life expectancy. They can have a touching funeral while you’re making a new character.
  4. You must be Chaotic Good or Neutral Good. Though Neutral or Evil kender may exist in the world, they are NPCs.
  5. You should roleplay your taunts, because they will probably be hilarious.
  6. Taunt is an attack, and so it can't be used against other PCs unless PvP is OK in your game.
  7. You must have some agreed-upon mutual connection with at least one of the other characters.
  8. Everyone at the table has to be OK with you playing a kender. Any player has a veto, no questions asked, when you float the idea. But you can mention these rules when you do, as it will probably help make your case. And as usual, table and house rules apply in the event that your character still gets out of control.

Friday, February 27, 2015

5E D&D Dragonlance (War of the Lance)

This is not complete, and I have put it aside for right now, but I've filled out and thought through a number of things that could be helpful to anyone else working on adapting 5th Edition D&D to Dragonlance during the War of the Lance. I know that WotC seems to intend to release official Dragonlance content, or at least it seems that way, but I got stuck on the idea and enjoyed thinking it through. Anyway: 

Backgrounds
Seeker (subset of Charlatan)
You are, or were, a Seeker of Haven, one of the followers of the new gods.

Plainsfolk
You come from one of the “barbarian” tribes of Abanasinia, and can traverse those lands and find shelter and hospitality as long as you don’t bring evil with you.

Solamnic Lineage (subset of Noble)
You begin play with a suit of armor for free, up to and including plate armor and a steel shield.

Kender
Kender are a sub-race of halflings, effectively. Their Charisma increases by 1 and they gain the Fearless trait, which upgrades Brave to become an immunity to fear. Also, rather than lawful good, kender tend to be chaotic good - not intending harm, but not interested in rules or authority.

Kender as NPCs only: Kender PCs are notoriously difficult to deal with, and a DM can simply rule that Kender, like Gully Dwarves, are NPCs only. In this capacity, Kender can function very well as plot devices to move things along. Either way, at any time the DM can simply announce what a Kender has in her pouches and pockets, regardless of what the Kender player thinks is in there.

PHB Races
All PC dwarves are probably hill dwarves, though mountain dwarves also exist, as well as three or so kinds of ‘dark dwarves.’

Qualinesti elves are wood elves, and Silvanesti elves are high elves. Drow don’t exist. “Dark elves” are just elves who are outcast.

Kender are a subrace of halflings, and there are no other kinds of halflings.

Dragonborn don’t exist, and draconians lack breath weapons but have other special abilities instead.

All Krynn gnomes are tinker gnomes, or rock gnomes.

Half-elves normally choose to be half-Qualinesti or half-Sylvanesti, and are very rare.

Orcs and half-orcs do not exist on Krynn. Half-Ogres?

Tieflings probably do not exist on Krynn.

Need to work up Kagonesti, Dimeresti, Dargonesti

Irda, Kagonesti, Dimmeresti, Gully Dwarves, Minotaurs, Thanoi...


Knights of Solamnia
Solamnic Nobility background grants a suit of armor, and a bit of a stigma as an anachronism.

Knights of the Crown are an archetype of Fighter, starting with Squire. Knights of the Sword are a priestly order prestige class with spellcasting. Knights of the Rose are essentially Paladins in a world without other kinds of Paladins, making Paladin hard as hell to achieve.

Martial Archetype: Knight of the Crown (Loyalty and obedience)
3rd level, 7th level, 10th level, 15th level, 18th level martial archetype features to gain.

3rd level: Knight of the Crown. Travel to Solamnia to be tested according to the Oath and the Measure. Take the Oath. You gain an additional Background, which is Solamnic Knight

Multiclass to Cleric: Knight of the Sword (Courage, heroism, gods of good)
During the War of the Lance, Knights of the Sword no longer have divine magic granted to them, but this changes with the return of the gods. When Knights of the Crown become Sword Knights, they multiclass to Clerics of Paladine or Kiri-Jolith.

Multiclass to Paladin: Knight of the Rose (Wisdom, honor, justice)
Can only take the Oath of Devotion or, occasionally, the Oath of Vengeance. The oath of the Ancients is available to half-elves and elves after the War of the Lance. Otherwise, when a Crown or Sword Knight becomes a Rose Knight

Wizards of High Sorcery
Justify the alignment thinking. Some kind of link to the moons (advantage/disadvantage on casting rolls?). Red Robes are easiest to get into, a Wizard archetype maybe. Black Robes next, White Robes hardest. Black Robes are the only ones to focus on necromancy, and White Robes are often abjuration specialists. The Towers of High Sorcery are the only “official” Arcane Traditions. Any arcane spellcasters who do not don one of the three robes are renegade mages, though low-level casters are often ignored as long as they don’t draw attention to themselves.

The special ability gained at 2nd level for the PHB arcane tradition can still be taken, but the abilities at 6th level, 10th and 14th their feature comes from their organization.

6th level feature: Test of High sorcery
If you pass, choose your robe, and gain the associated benefits and/or cost. Because the various robes share spells and lore amongst themselves, you can choose different school abilities for 6th and 10th than you did for 2nd. The test itself occurs when you are 5th level, followed by training. Most who take the test become Red Robes, as both White and Black require clear demonstrations of commitment to good or evil respectively.

10th level feature: Bound to the Moon
In addition to your school ability, you are now bound to the moons of Krynn; Solinary and the White Robes, Lunitari and the Red Robes, Nuitari and the Black Robes. It can be both a boon and a penalty. In high sanction, you receive a small bonus of +1 to your spell save DCs and spell-related rolls. In low sanction, you have a similar -1 penalty. Soniari and Lunitari are obvious to everyone. Nuitari is only visible to Black Robe mages.

14th level feature: Master of High Sorcery
You are inducted into mastery, and join the small cabal of powerful wizards of high sorcery. You are expected to provide leadership for your fellow Robes, and the seven members of the Conclave from each order are drawn from among these masters. So, Master of High Sorcery < Conclave Member < Master of the Order < Master of the Conclave.

Wizards of High Sorcery as NPCs only: most PC casters, during the War of the Lance certainly, would be considered renegade mages, and therefore to be captured, recruited or neutralized. This makes being in an adventuring party difficult, unless PC Wizards are also renegade mages.

Black Robes
Only Black Robe Wizards have regular access to necromancy spells, and can choose 6th, 10th and 14th level benefits from Enchantment, Evocation or Necromancy.

Red Robes
Red Robes are most often illusionists, and can choose 6th, 10th and 14th level benefits from Conjuration, Illusion or Transmutation.

White Robes
White robes have the best access to abjuration spells, and can choose 6th, 10th and 14th level benefits from Abjuration, Divination and Enchantment.

Holy Orders of the Stars
Start as Clerics without any spellcasting ability but some kind of god-related artifact depending on their intended Order. True holy symbols are self-propagating, whatever form they might take. Early in the War of the Lance, the Disks of Mishakal are the basic religious text, though there is only one copy. Obviously Mishakal’s artifact is the blue crystal staff. Paladine or Kiri-Jolith’s might be a hereditary shield. Branchala’s could be a musical instrument. Etc.

Otherwise, PHB pg. 295.

The 21 true gods and their domains (where applicable): primary, secondary
Branchala: Light, Trickery
Habbakuk: Nature, Tempest
Kiri-Jolith: War, ?
Majere: Knowledge, ?
Mishakal: Life, Knowledge
Paladine: War, Light
Solinari: None

Chislev: Nature, Life
Gilean: Knowledge, ?
Lunitari: None
Reorx: ?, Trickery
Shinare: ?
Sirrion: Light, Knowledge
Zivilyn: Nature, Knowledge

Chemosh: Death, Trickery
Hiddukel: Trickery, Knowledge
Morgion: Death, Nature
Nuitari: None
Sargonnas: War, Nature
Takhisis: War, Trickery
Zeboim: Tempest, War

“Renegade” Mages
As far as the Towers of High Sorcery are concerned, all Sorcerers and Warlocks, as well as Wizards who do not affiliate with them, are renegades. Sorcerers arise in the populace almost at random. Warlocks, on the other hand, have sought out some power in the world, in the absence of true gods. During the time of the War of the Lance, both are able to hide among the Seekers and other charlatans.

The Theocratic Seekers would have among their ranks Sorcerers and Warlocks who had, knowingly or not, discovered a path to arcane magic outside the authority of the Towers.

Bards would fall into an odd category, and would be seen as renegade mages who are dabblers and con-artists for the most part. They still do not have access to healing magic until the return of the gods, as on Krynn that is their sole purview. Most can remain beneath the notice of the Wizards of High Sorcery, as long as they don’t demonstrate the ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Draconians
Draconians, like true dragons, have spellcasting abilities. They can cast a number of spells equal to their Charisma modifier, at a spell level up to half of their hit dice, from the Sorcerer spell list. Draconians also have darkvision, and their species hit-dice are d8s as medium-sized creatures. Along with destructive death-throes, draconians also have a bonus to saves against magical effects equal to half of their species hit dice.

Baaz
Foot-soldiers, fighter-ish, at death turn to stone and weapon sticks for 1d4 rounds, Dex save to prevent if you land the killing blow. Magic resistance. CE. Claw/claw. Able to disguise themselves as Seeker priests, at least for a while, but still have tails and wings. +1 to saves vs. magic. 2 hit dice; normally not enough Charisma for spellcasting.

Bozak
As 4th level casters (sorcerers), high magic resistance, at death flesh turns to dust and sloughs off and bones explode. LE. Charm person, magic missile, shield; invisibility, mirror image. Sorcerer. Can glide with wings; magic second only to Auraks. Battle-commanders. +2 to saves vs. magic. 4 hit dice; 2nd level spells. Invisibility or mirror image, charm person or shield.

Kapak
Spell resistance, rogue-ish, at death dissolves into a pool of acid that splashes adjacent foes (Dex save). Able to poison blades with saliva (+1d6 poison damage to cutting or piercing). Darkvision and low-light vision both, as dragons. Many served Feal-Thas when he was White Dragonlord. NE. 4 hit dice; 2nd level spells, though they often lack the Charisma for spellcasting.

Sivak
Able to truly fly, often armed with two-handed swords. Can also assume the shape of any they kill. Largest of the draconians as well. Fighter-ish. Probably Rangers, as they are often employed as scouts and first-strike types. When killed, they assume the shape of whomever killed them, then crumble to black ash. If killed by someone large or tiny, they explode. LE. 6 hit dice; 3rd level spells. Alter self, fly.

Aurak
Powerful sorcerers and least loyal with their own strong agendas. When slain, or near death, the immolate, burning all those adjacent and whoever strikes them with a weapon, and then exploding and dealing fire damage to all nearby. Highest magic resistance at +3 to saves. NE. 8 hit dice; 4th level spells. Dimension door, greater invisibility, polymorph, suggestion.

As per AD&D Guide: Spells granted by Takhisis: 3/day Dimension door. At will/ Invisibility. 3/day Change self to resemble any humanoid. 2 energy blasts from hands per round (1d8+2 damage). 2 claws and bite 1d4/1d4/146. 3/day breath weapon - poisonous cloud 4d8 damage. Con save to avoid being blinded for 1d4 rounds and for half damage. Up to 4th level spells in addition to these, based on their Charisma modifier (as dragons). At will/ Suggestion. 1/day Mind control.

Death throes: at 0 hp an Aurak enters an immolation frenzy; +2 to melee attack and damage, and anyone striking them in melee take 1d6 fire damage. At -Con hit points, they become a ball of arcane fire dealing 2d6 damage per turn for three turns. Then they explode in a thunderous boom, dealing 3d6 sonic damage, Con save to avoid being stunned for 1d4 rounds and for half damage - 10 foot radius.

Magic Items and Artifacts of Krynn

Axe of Brotherhood and Sword of Friendship
Paired magical weapons, with the axe in a dwarven style and the sword in the style of abisinian ‘barbarians.’ Both are +2 weapons, and when wielded by allies in the same battle within 30’ of each other, then are both +3.

Bloodstone of Fistandantalus
An artifact of the greatest Black Robe Mage ever to live. The bloodstone enabled Fistandantilus to steal not only the memories and skills but the bodies of his victims, extending his life far beyond the norm for any mortal.

Blue Crystal Staff
The artifact of the goddess Mishakal.

Dalamar’s Bracelet of Magic Resistance, Ring of Healing and Wand of Lightning
Magic items created by Raistlin’s apprentice Dalamar, the ‘dark elf.’

Dagger of Magius
More than one of these magic items exist, worn by powerful wizards of high sorcery for self-defense. They range in power from +1 to +3, and are usually silvered or alloyed with cold iron.

Dragon Armor
Magical scale armor worn by dragon highlords and other powerful dragon-riders in Takhisis’ army during the War of the Lance. It gives a +2 AC bonus and counts as cold weather gear. The armor also gives resistance to an element based on its color: fire for red dragonscale, electricity for blue dragonscale, poison for green dragonscale, acid for black dragonscale, and cold for white dragonscale.

Flute of Wind Dancing

Footman’s Dragonlance
Easier to forge but still requiring the Silver Arm of Ergoth and the Hammer of Kharas, the footman’s dragonlance is designed to be wielded by a single soldier. It is a +3 magical dragonbane lance, effectively a long spear. Lesser lances might be +1 magical weapons, but are not dragonbanes.

Glasses of the Arcanist

Glasses of True Seeing
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?373588-New-Item-Glasses-of-True-Seeing-(Dragonlance)

Golden Circlet

Griffon Mane Helm
Flint Fireforge’s treasured griffon-mane helm increases a dwarf’s AC by 1 when worn.

Hammer of Kharas

Keys of Quinarost
The only keys known to be able to open the secret entrances into the realm of Silvanost.

Medallion of Faith
At the end of the Age of Despair, with the return of the true gods, clerics serving the true gods receive medallions of faith. A medallion of faith can create another medallion for any deity in a given pantheon once per day, but only on a true profession of faith (as someone becomes a level 1 cleric).

Mounted Dragonlance
True dragonlances must be forged by both the Silver Arm of Ergoth and the Hammer of Kharas together. When so forged, they are +3 dragonbane lances. Replicas might be merely +1, and are much more likely to shatter when used in aerial combat.

Nightbringer
A huge black iron mace given to Dragon Highlord Verminaard by Takhisis herself, Nightbringer is a +2 heavy mace and three times per day, upon striking an opponent, the wielder can say the word “midnight” and temporarily blind their foe. They are blinded until their next action, at which point they can make a Constitution save against a DC of 17 to restore their sight. (?) If they are still in combat with the wielder of Nighbringer, they make this save at a disadvantage.

Nightjewel

Orb of Dragonkind
Artifact, DMG pg. 225

Plate of Solamnus

Shield of Huma
This artifact is a +3 heavy steel shield with the symbol of the Knights of the Crown still visible on its scarred surface. It provides resistance against all breath weapons used by evil dragons or dragon-kin.

Silver Arm of Ergoth

Solmanic Armor

Spellcleaver/Darkstar/Magefool
Weapons created solely to kill arcane casters. They are normally +1 weapons, but become +2 when used to attack an arcane spellcaster (but not a supernatural creature with spell-like abilities). Once it has dealt a wound, the next spell cast against its wielder is resisted by a Dispel Magic effect with a caster level of 20. This ability can be used once per day.

Staff of Magius

Warbringer

Wyrmsbane

Wyrmslayer
The fabled sword and artifact of the elven hero Kith-Kanan.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Masquerade Disciplines With Requiem Dice (Long Version)

This version is more complete, and also quite long, coming in at about a dozen pages as a Google Doc. But I filled in a few more disciplines, and also fleshed out Necromancy and Thaumaturgy rituals from V20. I skipped some things, but that's because this was for a particular game with particular people. Anyway, here it is:

Animalism
  1. +1 to Animal Ken rolls, give complicated commands
  2. Presence + Animal Ken to summon animals of one type
  3. Manipulation + Empathy to cow the Beast; Manipulation + Intimidation to provoke it; 1 bp to activate for a scene.
  4. Intelligence + Animal Ken - Defense; 1 success for a scene during which the vampire can direct an animals actions and use all of its senses. With 5 successes, the animal can be forced to attempt potentially suicidal actions like attacking an armed person to trying to leap a chasm. If the animal is reduced to zero health, the vampire must roll Wits + Animal Ken to sever the connection. On a botch she falls into torpor.
  5. Manipulation + Intimidation - Resolve to force a frenzy in supernaturals capable of frenzy, like Lupines and Kindred. The victim can spend a willpower to decide which kind of frenzy: fear, hunger or rage in the case of a vampire. Otherwise, the attacker chooses. On a botch, the attacker needs to make her own test, requiring only one success, to avoid her own frenzy.


Auspex
  1. +2 to Wits + Composure or rolls involving acuity when active; 1 lethal from loud noise (like a gunshot)
  2. Intelligence + Empathy to read auras; 1 = alive or undead, 2 = other type, 3 = lie detection; and/or one question answered per success (feeling, lying, alive or dead, under compulsion, deranged, diabolist, etc.)
  3. Intelligence + Investigation to use psychometry; 1 = last user, 5 = last scenes, and previous users
  4. Wits + Empathy - Composure to read minds; 1 piece of information per success
  5. Intelligence + Occult, only requires 1 success for a scene of astral projection. 5 successes means you can project until your silver cord is severed, you return to your body voluntarily, or sunlight falls on your body.


Celerity
Spend 1 blood point in a scene. During that scene, your Defense is increased by your Celerity level, as is your Initiative Modifier. + dice equal to Celerity for rolls involving fast, graceful movement (running across rooftops, chases, etc.)


Chimerstry (cheap version)
  1. Spend 1 blood point to create a motionless illusion that affects one sense.
  2. Ditto to create a motionless illusion that affects all senses.
  3. Ditto to add motion to below.
  4. Spend 1 blood and 1 willpower to make the illusion permanent and self-sustaining, until dismissed or proven false. Intelligence + Expression - Resolve.
  5. Spend 1 blood and 1 willpower to imbue your illusions with horrid reality. They are able to deal bashing damage that, at the time, will be felt like lethal or aggravated. Presence + Intimidation - Resolve.


Dementation
  1. Double or triple emotional intensity
  2. Haunting
  3. Eyes of Chaos
  4. Silence the Sane Mind (Confusion, Voice of Madness)
  5. Total Insanity


Dominate
  1. Manipulation + Intimidation - Resolve + Blood Potency difference
  2. Manipulation + Persuasion - Resolve + Blood Potency
  3. Wits + Expression - Composure + Blood Potency
  4. Presence + Intimidation - Resolve + Blood Potency; when successes = Composure + Resolve, you’re done
  5. Intelligence + Empathy - Resolve if resisted; only needs 1 success for a scene. If your vessel is killed, you lose a temporary willpower point and are disoriented for a few minutes.


Fortitude
Spend 1 blood point in a scene (which can be a reaction). You get one extra level of Health for each level of Fortitude. When Fortitude wears off, the damage from your extra health levels is shrugged off and goes away, even if it is aggravated.


Version 2:
Fortitude: adds health levels all the time
  1. You heal all bashing for one blood point
  2. You heal agg with 3 blood but no willpower
  3. Spend a blood for an armor of 3 for a scene (retroactively)
  4. You heal two lethal for one blood point
  5. Spend a willpower to ignore all damage for a round (retroactively)


Kineticism
  1. Dampenting
  2. Redirect
  3. Vengeful Strike
  4. Discharge
  5. Kinetic Shield


Obeah
  1. Roll Intelligence + Medicine to determine how hurt someone is, and how they came to be hurt with 5 successes
  2. Spend a blood point and roll Dex + Medicine to make a living creature fall into a deep sleep or let a vampire re-roll to come out of frenzy.
  3. Heal others’ lethal wounds for a blood point per level, and your own or their aggravated wounds for three blood per level.
  4. Spend a willpower. Anyone who wants to come closer than about 10 feet without your permission loses dice equal to your Resolve on all rolls. They must also make a willpower roll, or they are unable to cross the boundary
  5. Spend a willpower and roll Intelligence + Empathy. For each success, you grant one 24 hours free of a derangement. Five successes will cure the derangement permanently for all but Malkavians and others who are irreducibly insane. (The derangement must be bought off with xp, or you can spend a permanent point of willpower otherwise)


Obfuscate
  1. +2 to Wits + Stealth vs. Composure + Wits to sneak around; invisible if still. Doesn’t stack with above.
  2. Wits + Stealth, no contest unless target has Auspex or other supernatural ability.
  3. Wits + Socialize, 1 = familiar stranger, 5 = specific and well-known person
  4. Presence + Stealth vs. highest Composure + Resolve
  5. Intelligence + Stealth vs. highest Composure + Resolve, one target invisible per success


Obtenebration
  1. +1 to Intimidation and Stealth at all times
  2. Intelligence + Occult, 1 blood point, approx. 1 target affected per success
  3. Wits + Occult, one tentacle per success. Tentacles have Physical 3 + your Brawl and 3 Health, and take double damage from fire and supernatural
  4. Blood point, Resolve + Composure roll. +2 to Intimidation and Stealth, 1 extra attack per turn
  5. 3 blood, move at a walking pace over surfaces, ignoring gravity


Necromancy
Sepulchre Path
  1. Intelligence + Empathy, looking into a corpse’s eyes you see the last moments of the person’s life. With five successes, you know exactly what happened.
  2. Spend a blood point and roll Presence + Occult to summon a wraith. The wraith remains for a scene. With five successes, the wraith remains for much longer.
  3. Usually after summoning a wraith, roll Manipulation + Occult to force the wraith to do your bidding. Five successes will cause it to put itself in danger and use all of its resources (Pathos). Otherwise, one simple task per success.
  4. Spend a blood point and roll Intelligence + Occult to bind a wraith to a particular location. Powerful wraiths may be able to resist this effect or take retribution in their own way.
  5. Spend a blood point and roll Wits + Occult. Your physical attacks are able to damage wraiths, and you can give the ability to one ally per successes rolled beyond one.


Bone Path
  1. Wits + Medicine to make a dead limb move. One movement per success. Five successes mean that you can control the limb for a scene.
  2. Spend a blood point and roll Intelligence + Occult to raise up a mostly-intact corpse to perform simple services for one scene per success. Five successes mean the corpse remains active until sunrise.
  3. Spend one blood per corpse one is attempting to raise and roll Presence + Occult. For each success, a corpse rises up for a scene and fights on your behalf. Raised corpses are tough, slow, strong and stupid. They can wield melee weapons but nothing more complicated.
  4. Spend a blood and roll Intelligence + Empathy to pull a soul from a body. The victim cannot spend willpower until the soul is returned. If the body dies with the soul gone, it becomes a wraith.
  5. Spend a willpower and place a stolen soul into a fresh or preserved corpse. The corpse rises as a wight, and will remain active until it physically decomposes. More successes enable you to subsume the previous person’s personality for longer.


Potence
Spend 1 blood point for a scene. For each level of Potence you have, you get +1 die to all Strength rolls. Your unarmed attacks also deal lethal instead of bashing.


Version 2:
Potence: adds dice to Strength all the time
  1. Unarmed attacks deal lethal
  2. Thrown attacks using Dexterity add Potence dice as well
  3. Spend a blood to roll to break out of a grapple as a free action (or net or whatever)
  4. Spend a blood to deal damage directly to armor
  5. Spend a blood point to reroll 9s and 10s on all Strength rolls for a scene


Presence
  1. Presence + Socialize, 1 target per success with 5 = a whole crowd
  2. Presence + Intimidation - Composure, flee for 1 round per success
  3. Manipulation + Empathy - Resolve, 1 = scene and 5 = permanent (or very long term)
  4. Intelligence + Intimidation to summon, 1 = with deliberate but entirely safe speed and 5 = now
  5. Spend a willpower to activate; Resolve + Composure to disrespect you, 1 success per disrespectful act or statement. Against attacks from those affected by your Majesty let you add your Presence to your Defense score. To break the effect entirely, they must roll Resolve + Composure and get 5 successes (or more if you have advanced Presence) or spend willpower equal to your Presence score at a rate of 1 per round


Protean
  1. Negate any penalty for darkness when in use
  2. Spend 1 blood point; unarmed attacks are +1 and deal aggravated damage for a scene
  3. Spend 1 blood and meld into the ground for a day’s sleep
  4. Spend 3 blood; double speed, Brawl (bite) deals +2 aggravated damage, +1 to all physical rolls, cover stink of the Wyrm
  5. Spend 3 blood; move at a running speed and through any barrier that is not airtight; bashing damage from strong winds


Quietus
  1. Spend 1 blood point for silence a few paces in every direction for a scene. +2 to Stealth.
  2. Spend 1 blood point and convert it to poison which reduces Stamina by 1 in addition to any other damage if a weapon is coated with it.
  3. For up to an hour after you have touched someone skin to skin, you can spend a blood point to choke them on their own blood. Each attack costs 1 blood and is Resolve + Composure - Stamina. It deals lethal damage.
  4. Spend a blood point and convert it into poison that makes any treated weapon deal aggravated damage for one scene.
  5. Spend 1 blood and spit it at your foes, dealing Dexterity + Athletics - Defense in aggravated damage.


Serpentis
  1. Make eye contact and roll Manipulation + Intimidation - target’s Composure. Target is paralyzed for 1 round per success, and otherwise can’t break eye contact until you do unless they spend a willpower. Any attack will break the mesmerism.
  2. Spend a blood point to extend your tongue, which you can use for +1 aggravated damage with Dexterity + Brawl - Defense. If you deal 1 agg, next round you can roll Strength to drink blood through the tongue.
  3. Spend a blood point to add 3 to your Health for a scene. Your skin becomes snake-like and you are at -2 dice for all social rolls apart from Intimidation.
  4. Spend 1 blood point; bite with Dex + Brawl +1 agg, slither through any hole your head can fit through. Your venom is lethal to any mortal creature, or can simply paralyze them as long as you deal 1 agg. Spend 1 additional blood point to add level 3’s Health levels.


Thaumaturgy
Path of Blood
Spend 1 blood point to activate for a scene
  1. Intelligence + Occult, 1 question per success, including generation, blood bound to whom, who is blood bound to the target, whether they are a diabolist, their clan or bloodline, etc.
  2. Dexterity + Occult, 1 blood point per success is forcibly spent as the Thaumaturge chooses. The first can be spent to simulate life; otherwise they are spent on a physical attribute
  3. Intelligence + Medicine, 1 temporary Blood Potency per success for a scene
  4. Presence + Occult, 1 blood point per success is ripped from the target and flies through the air to be absorbed by the Thaumaturge. This blood will not create a blood bond.
  5. Dexterity + Medicine - Defense as aggravated damage and lost vitae for a scene. 1 success kills a mortal


Path of Conjuration
Spend 1 blood per object conjured.
  1. Wits + Crafts, you create a simple machine (no electricity, fuel source, exotic materials, etc.) that lasts for a scene. With 5 successes, the item is superb and grants a +1 equipment bonus when used. For objects larger than you can hold in one hand, you can spend additional blood points. 2 total or as large as a person, 3 blood for larger than that, and that is your upper limit.
  2. Wits + Science, you create a complex machine, more limited in size than above but able to incorporate energy sources and exotic materials. The basic is small and handheld; 2 blood for something you’d hold with two hands; 3 blood for something as big as you are; 4 blood for something bigger than you are (with a maximum of a compact car). With 5 successes it grants a +1 equipment bonus when used, and lasts for a scene regardless.
  3. Intelligence + Science: as above, but the object becomes permanent.
  4. Wits + Occult - durability, and you un-make an object or machine, either damaging it directly or imposing a dice-penalty on its use, whichever is appropriate.
  5. Moot point.


Lure of the Flames
Spend 1 blood to activate for a scene. Roll Resolve + Composure - target’s Defense to deal up to 1 damage per level of Lure of the Flames (so at level 5 you could deal 5 damage if you rolled that many successes). To set someone on fire, you must first summon fire and hit them with it, requiring a Dexterity + Occult - Defense roll.


Movement of the Mind
Spend 1 blood point to activate for a scene
  1. Resolve + Composure, small objects like knives, wallets, and light pistols
  2. Resolve + Composure, self flight at jogging pace, large objects like shotguns, suitcases and cinder blocks.
  3. Resolve + Composure - target’s Resolve, lift others and heavy objects up to about 500lbs; self flight at sprinting pace
  4. Resolve + Composure - highest Resolve in a group, lift/shove one opponent per success dealing bashing damage and moving them away a yard per success; self flight at about Willpower x 5 mph
  5. Resolve + Composure - highest Resolve in a group, wave of force tosses one opponent back per success up to the Thaumaturge’s Willpower in yards, dealing lethal damage equal to her Resolve.


Neptune’s Might
Spend 1 blood to activate for a scene
  1. Eyes of the Sea: Wits + Occult, sees one scene into the past per success from the water’s point of view, as in a mirror. The water must be at least semi-reflective - the ocean does not give up its secrets.
  2. Prison of Water: Resolve + Composure - Strength to imprison someone in animated water summoned from nearby. If the water is deep enough, the target is submerged and held under. If not, then available water swirls around the target, making life difficult. Successes on the path power are a penalty to physical rolls, though the target can break free with a full-round action by exceeding the Thaumaturge’s successes with a Strength + Athletics roll. For each additional prison, another blood point must be spent.
  3. Liberate Water: if used on a mortal, they drown in their own fluids, and the Thaumaturge can deal lethal damage with Resolve + Composure - Stamina. This ability has little effect on vampires. If used on an object, like a pipe or a fire hydrant, water bursts out at high pressure and can be used to push an opponent back with Wits + Science - Strength, dealing bashing damage as well. If used on an area, every water source bursts and floods the area, providing more than enough water for other applications of this Path.
  4. Conjure Elemental: Resolve + Composure to summon an undine, and the Thaumaturge must choose whether it will be summoned as a servant or for defense. A servant undine remains for around an hour per success, or until sunrise with five successes, and can carry messages, retrieve objects, and play havoc with bodies of water. A fighting undine must be subdued. The Thaumaturge rolls Manipulation + Occult - the undine’s Resolve. If successful, the undine will be obedient for an hour per success as above, and has dice for physical rolls equal to twice its Resolve, health levels equal to twice its Resolve, and limited water-related powers. This undine is composed of water, chunks of ice, and various kinds of debris that it uses as weapons.
  5. Dehydrate: Intelligence + Occult - opponent’s Resolve to attack, dealing lethal damage. For each damage dealt, one blood point is lost. Only one success is needed to kill a mortal.


Vicissitude
  1. Spend 1 blood point and change your own appearance with Intelligence + Expression
  2. Spend 1 blood point and alter another’s appearance with Intelligence + Expression; damage or disfigure them with Dexterity + Medicine
  3. Spend 1 blood point and alter bones and cartilege with Intelligence + Medicine; each success lets you move one physical dot around between physical attributes and armor. Can help an ally heal aggravated damage for 3 blood per level rather than 5. Deal lethal damage with Strength + Medicine - Defense; aggravated to mortals.
  4. Spend 3 blood, +3 to physical rolls, lethal unarmed damage, armor 1
  5. Spend 1 blood, move at running speed including up walls or pipes at climbing speed.


Necromancy Rituals
Unless otherwise noted, rolls to enact rituals are Intelligence + Occult. (From V20) Where time required is not spelled out, assume about a half hour per level of ritual, or more for particularly powerful ones.


Level 1
Call of the Hungry Dead: the ritual climaxes with the burning of a hair from the victim’s head in the flame of a black candle. For one hour or scene per success rolled, the victim will be able to hear frightening sounds and snatches of conversation from across the Shroud. The distraction will make social interaction more difficult and things like research all but impossible.


Eldritch Beacon: a green candle is burned, and wax that melts from it is molded into a ball. Whoever carries this ball on their person, knowingly or not, is highlighted with a sickly green light in the Shadowlands, and is easier to affect with Arcanoi and other powers of the dead. The beacon lasts for one hour per success rolled - with five successes, it lasts until the sun rises.


Insight: looking into the eyes of a corpse, the necromancer sees the last thing the person saw. The roll to use this ritual is Intelligence + Empathy, but if the necromancer rolls five successes on the ritual, no Empathy roll is needed.


Knowing Stone: the necromancer uses a blood point to paint the name of her victim onto a consecrated stone. Thereafter, she is able to go into a trance near the stone and a spirit will come and whisper the whereabouts of her victim to her. The stone works once for every success rolled on the ritual.


Minestra di Morti: the necromancer takes a piece of the flesh of a recently dead person and puts it in a pot with two of her own blood points. She then adds, rosemary, basil and salt and boils the concoction. When she consumes it, she is able to know whether the victim became a Wraith, a Spectre, or something else after death.


Ritual of the Smoking Mirror: enables the necromancer to use either Lifesight, which is similar to Aura Perception, and Deathsight, enabling her to see into the Shadowlands - in both cases, this requires an onyx mirror reflecting what she is seeing.


Level 2
Eyes of the Grave: The ritual must be completed within sight of the victim. When it is complete, the victim will have visions of her own death for a night per success. These visions are intermittent, and require a Resolve + Composure roll to avoid collapsing in panic.


The Hand of Glory: requires a fortnight to complete the ritual and create a fetish from a desiccated human hand. The hand is treated with a flammable substance made from the fat of a hanged man. When lit inside a house, everyone in the house will fall into a deep slumber. For each person in the house who is unaffected by the Hand, one of the five fingers will refuse to light, alerting the necromancer. Once made, the Hand can be used indefinitely. It can only be doused by the necromancer who created it, or if plunged into milk.


Occio d’Umo Morto: the necromancer undergoes a lengthy ritual to prepare the eye of a dead person who became a Spectre. Once complete, the necromancer cuts out her own eye and replaces it with the dead one. This gives her Soulsight as a permanent ability, but imposes a -1 penalty on mundane perception rolls. It also infuriates the Specter in question.


Puppet: grave oil is smeared over the victim’s forehead, eyes and mouth. When the ritual is complete, any wraith seeking to possess the victim gains one automatic success. The effect lasts until the sun rises.


Ritual of Potchtli: ritualists cut blasphemous symbols into their flesh and then drink from their own wounds. This enables the necromancers to pool their knowledge and power when using a necromantic path or more powerful ritual. The downside is that if any participant botches, it cancels the whole success, and results in a horrific backlash.


Two Centimes: the necromancer symbolically kills the subject, including placing a penny on each of her eyes. The subject enters the Underworld for the duration of the ritual, though she is not able to physically affect anything while there.


Level 3
Blood Dance: enables a ghost to communicate with a blood relative. When the ritual is complete, the ghost materializes within the sand-and-salt circle created by the necromancer. This enables one exchange per success, or, with five successes, the ghost can remain until the sun rises.


Divine Sign: upon learning the birth date and time of the victim, the necromancer is able to predict her next course of action (obviously only works once per subject). If used on a Wraith, the necromancer is able to affect the Wraith as if he held her fetters.


Din of the Damned: a room is marked by an unbroken line of cremation ash along all walls, over doors to allow entrance and exit. Once complete, the room is warded against any attempt to eavesdrop, whether via discipline, laser microphone, ear at the keyhole, etc. Anyone hoping to listen in must score more successes on Wits + Occult than the ritualist scored on the original ritual. Otherwise all they hear are the sounds of the restless dead.


Nightmare Drums: the necromancer smears a personal posession of the victim with her own blood, then burns it. She pounds a large drum made of human skin until local wraiths arrive. They agree to haunt the victim’s dreams and give her nightmares for as long as the necromancer demands, in exchange for some favor.


Ritual of the Unearthed Fetter: requires a fingerbone from the corpse of the wraith in question. Once complete, the fingerbone will lead the necromancer, like a compass needle, toward something important to the person in life.


Tempesta Scudo: a quick and dirty ward against ghostly powers. The ritualist performs an awkward dance and bits her own lip, dealing a level of lethal damage, and spits her blood in a circle around her (costing a blood point). She then rolls Presence + Expression. If successful, her Occult acts as defense against all ghostly powers within that circle.


Level 4
Baleful Doll: crafted with Intelligence + Crafts in the likeness of the victim and dressed with a piece of her clothing before being bathed in the necromancer’s blood. If stuck with a pin, the victim takes the necromancer’s ritual successes in lethal damage. If destroyed in a fire, the victim takes the ritual successes in aggravated damage. Once destroyed, the doll can never be remade in a given likeness.


Bastone Diobolico: a femur is taken from a living victim, who must survive the procedure. This requires an Intelligence + Medicine roll at the very least. The bone is then coated with lead, and when the metal cools, runes are carved into the surface. The necromancer completes the ritual by beating the bone’s owner to death with it while incanting. From then on, the bone can be used to damage ghosts and Revenants, dealing aggravated damage or stripping away their Pathos or both in the case of manifested ghosts.


Cadaver’s Touch: a wax doll of the victim is made and then melted as part of the ritual. When complete, as long as the wax is not allowed to cool, the victim takes on the appearance of the walking dead, imposing at least a -2 penalty to social rolls. If the wax boils away, the ritual ends.


Peek Past the Shroud: after ingesting a ritually prepared ergot fungi mold, the recipient (who need not be the necromancer) receives Shroudsight for one hour per success rolled. With a botch, the normally poisonous ergot is rendered even more potent, killing mortals and dealing four lethal even to a vampire.


Ritual of Xipe Totec:


Thaumaturgical Rituals
Unless otherwise noted, rolls to enact rituals are Intelligence + Occult. (From V20) Where time required is not spelled out, assume about a half hour per level of ritual, or more for particularly powerful ones.


Level 1
Bind the Accusing Tongue: requires an image of the target, a lock of their hair and a black silken cord. The cord is wrapped around the image, and once the ritual is complete, the target is unable to say something negative about the caster unless they gain more successes on a Resolve + Composure roll than the thaumaturge scored on the ritual.


Bood Rush: enact this ritual to postpone a hunger frenzy for up to one hour. Cannot be used if you are already frenzying. If you botch, frenzy is guaranteed.


Communicate with Kindred Sire: after meditating for a half hour, you make your roll. For each success on the activation roll, you get a few minutes of contact. With five successes, the contact lasts until one of you consciously severs it or the sun rises where either of you are.


Defense of the Sacred Haven: requires one blood point and an hour of work. Once done, no sunlight will enter the warded rooms the following day. One room can be warded per success.


Deflection of Wooden Doom: requires an hour and for the caster to be surrounded by an unbroken circle of wood. She places a splinter under her tongue, and unless it is removed, her defense is increased against staking by one for each ritual success.


Devil’s Touch: the victim, who must be mortal, must be present when the ritual is enacted (quiet chanting over a penny). A penny is then placed on their person. For the rest of the night, everyone who meets the victim will find them to be loathsome. If they try to socialize, they lose dice equal to the successes rolled on this ritual. If they remove the penny or enter consecrated ground the ritual ends.


Domino of Life: requires a vial of fresh human blood on the caster’s person. For up to a night, the caster can mimic one lifelike function per success, including a ruddy complexion, breathing, a heartbeat, warmth, and sexual response.


Engaging the Vessel of Transference: requires one blood point (anyone’s) be placed into a container and a Hermetic sigil is inscribed on it. When someone touches it with bare skin, the blood inside is transferred to them and replaced with their own blood. Victims can roll Wits + Occult to see and understand the Hermetic sigil if they investigate the object, but all they feel is a brief chill.


Illuminate the Trail of Prey: requires a white ribbon that has been in the caster’s possession for at least 24 hours be burned to enact the ritual. (Frenzy check) The ritualist must also know the target’s name and have an image of her in mind. The trail shines brightly when fresh and dims when older, but follows through the sky if a plane is involved. The trail disappears if the target crosses running water (she must get wet) or comes to her destination.


Incantation of the Shepherd: after a brief incantation, the ritualist is aware of the location of all members of her herd. If she has no herd, then she learns the location of one person she has fed from in the past per success rolled.


Purity of Flesh: after meditating in a circle of sharp stones, the caster’s body is purged of all impurities: dirt, tattoo ink, bullets lodged in flesh, shafts of belated quiescence, clothing, jewelry, etc. Mind control, blood bonds, curses and the like are unaffected.


Wake with Evening’s Freshness: if awakened during the daytime, the ritualist is able to avoid the associated dice penalties for one turn per success rolled on the ritual.


Widow’s Spite: the “voodoo doll” effect, causing annoying physical discomfort to the victim once per success rolled. These normally have no mechanical effect, though they could be distracting or inconvenient. The ritual requires a wax effigy of the victim, and the effigy bleeds when the ritual takes effect.


Level 2
Blood Walk: requires a blood point from the subject. With one success the ritualist knows the subject’s generation and clan, and can perceive back one generation per success after the first. With five successes the ritualist knows all those with whom the subject shares a blood bond, whether regnant or thrall.


Burning Blade: (slightly nerfed) the ritualist deals one level of lethal damage to herself and spends three blood points, coating a weapon with her blood. For each success rolled on the ritual, the weapon will deal an aggravated wound. This effect lasts until the next sunrise.


Donning the Mask of Shadows: (nerfed) the ritualist and a number of allies up to her Occult rating are rendered smoky and translucent for one hour per success rolled. This adds 2 dice to all Stealth rolls to remain unseen.


Eyes of the Night Hawk: the ritualist selects a predatory bird and enacts this ritual. At the end of the ritual, she is able to see through the bird’s eyes and to direct its flight. This effect lasts for one hour per success rolled on the ritual. When the bird returns, the ritualist must put out its eyes, or suffer blindness herself for the rest of the night.


Machine Blitz: using a focus of a rusted piece of metal or a knot of string steeped in human saliva, the ritualist can sabotage any machine more complicated than a rope and pulley. It does not grant any control, but can be used to erase thumb drives, kill cell phone batteries, and cause engines to give out. Whether this does permanent damage is up to the Storyteller, but the machine will not work for at least one hour per success rolled on the ritual, and it appears to be conicidental.


Principal Focus of Vitae Infusion: the ritualist enchants an object, no smaller than a dime and no larger than can be carried in two hands, and spends a blood point. The object takes on a slick, reddish hue, and at the ritualist’s mental command will revert into a pool of blood equal to one blood point. Allies’ blood can be similarly stored - the ally must be present for the entire ritual, and must spend the blood point that is to be stored.


Recure of the Homeland: with a minimum of one handful of dirt from the place of the Cainite’s mortal birth, she can enact this ritual. Mixing the earth with two points of blood, she creates a paste that, when smeared on an aggravated wound, heals it. This ritual can only be used once per night, and can only be used on the ritualist herself.


Ward Versus Ghouls: the ritualist pours a blood point’s worth of vitae over the object to be warded. When the ritual is complete, the object will cause excruciating pain to any Ghoul that touches it, dealing a die of lethal damage per success rolled. To willingly touch the warded object, a Ghoul must spend a point of willpower.

Warding Circle Versus Ghouls: the ritualist inscribes a circle using three points of mortal blood. The circle’s radius is about ten feet for every success rolled on the ritual. Once complete, a Ghoul must roll Resolve + Composure to cross the threshold of the ward, scoring more successes than the ritualist rolled originally. If the Ghoul fails, she takes a point of lethal damage and cannot cross. Each successive attempt imposes a -1 die penalty. With a Wits + Occult roll, a Ghoul who comes near the warded area can sense the ward well enough to avoid it.



Level 3
Clinging of the Insect: to enact this power, the ritualist must place a live spider under her tongue. For as long as she holds the spider in her mouth, she can cling to walls and even ceilings with her hands and feet, as an insect. These still must be strong enough to support her weight, of course. If the ritualist doesn’t spit out the spider, this effect ends when the sun rises.


Flesh of Fiery Touch: the ritualist must swallow a live coal at the climax of this ritual, dealing a single aggravated wound. For the remainder of the night, anyone who touches her skin will receive one aggravated wound, and her appearance darkens and takes on a metallic hue. This chance can be noticed with a Wits + Medicine roll. The damage is not dealt through accidental contact, and is not dealt if the ritualist is the one who touches someone.


Incorporeal Passage: this ritual requires a shard of shattered mirror that the ritualist must use to keep her image throughout. Once complete, the ritualist is able to pass through solid objects, but not downward through solid earth or stone. In order to keep her image in view, she must make a Wits + Survival roll. The ritual ends when she loses her image or the sun rises.


Mirror of Second Sight: the ritualist uses a point of her blood to enchant an oval which will appear to be a mundane mirror for the duration of the ritual, but which in fact reveals the true form of anyone whose reflection it holds. This includes Lupines, Changelings, and even Wraiths who are moving through the room in the Shadowlands. This effect lasts longer with more successes, up to a year and a day with five successes rolled.


Pavis of Foul Presence: (nerfed) the ritualist ties a blue ribbon around her neck to enact this ritual. For one instance per success rolled, a targeted Presence power used on the ritualist is reflected back on the victim. Passive powers like Awe and Majesty are not affected, nor are advanced powers above level 5. But Dread Gaze, Entrancement and Summon are all affected, and function as if the ritualist used them on her victim instead of the other way around.


Sanguine Assistant: the ritualist constructs a basic humanoid shape about a foot tall from whatever objects are nearby, and then spends five blood points. For one night per success on the roll, the sanguine assistant is active. It has comparable mental abilities to the caster and follows all instructions to the best of its ability.


Shaft of Belated Quiescence: over the course of the ritual, the ritualist carves a stake out of rowan wood, coats it with three of her blood points, and blackens it in an oak-wood fire. When the stake is used to strike a target and deals at least one level of lethal damage, the tip breaks off and begins burrowing into the victim’s flesh toward her heart. Every hour the storyteller rolls the ritualist’s Intelligence + Occult, and when five successes are achieved, the tip embeds itself in the victim’s heart. Attempts to remove the tip cause it to burrow more quickly. To remove it is an extended Dexterity + Medicine roll which must exceed the number of successes rolled on the original ritual.


Ward versus Lupines: as Ward versus Ghouls, above.


Warding Circle versus Lupines: As Warding Circle versus Ghouls, above.


Level 4
Bone of Lies: the bone must be at least 200 years old, and it is best to use an anonymous bone and to bury it after it is used. The bone in question absorbs up to 10 blood points over the course of the ritual, and will thereafter force anyone holding it to tell the truth immediately after any lie spoken aloud. With each lie absorbed, the bone blackens, until it is ebony and used up. The same bone cannot be used more than once. To actively resist the bone’s effect, the victim make a contested roll of Resolve + Composure versus the ritualist’s Intelligence + Occult + Blood Potency.


Firewalker: the ritualist cuts off the end of one of her fingers and burns it in a fire. For an hour or scene per success rolled, she takes lethal damage from fire instead of aggravated damage. Others can be similarly protected, at the cost of more of the ritualist’s fingers. To cut off one’s own finger one must succeed on a Resolve + Composure roll.


Heart of Stone: the ritualist lies naked on her back and allows a candle to burn down to her chest over her heart, resulting in one level of aggravated damage. Her heart turns to stone, granting some benefits and drawbacks. She adds her successes rolled to her defense against any staking attempts, and is immune to Shafts of Belated Quiescence and similar effects. She also adds her successes to her Composure to resist social attacks, including social disciplines. On the other hand, her social rolls are reduced to a chance-die except for Intimidation, and her dice pool to resist frenzy is halved. This ritual lasts for as long as the Thaumaturge wishes.


Splinter Servant: a stake is carved from the branch of a tree that has nourished itself on the dead, and is then bound in wax-sealed nightshade twine. When the twine is ripped off the stake splinters into a vaguely humanoid form and attacks whomever the Thaumaturge wishes. The Splinter Servant has an attack dice-pool equal to the ritualist’s Wits + Occult and a damage rating equal to the successes rolled on the ritual. If successful, the splinters are difficult to remove, requiring a Dexterity + Medicine - caster’s Thaumaturgy rating roll. The Splinter Servant can make attacks equal to the caster’s Thaumaturgy rating before falling apart.


Ward versus Kindred: as above.


Warding Circle versus Kindred: as above.


Level 5
Blood Contract: one blood point is consumed in creating the contract, and each who sign it also must expend a blood point. The contract, once signed, is unbreakable, and the only way to eliminate its influence is to burn the physical copy of the contract or to fulfill the terms. It is not unknown for demons to materialize in order to enforce blood contracts. Attempts to write into the contract that the contract cannot be burned inevitably fail.


Enchant Talisman: the talisman must be created and marked with Hermetic symbols by its wielder. It must be a large object, like a sword or a cane, or even a violin or shotgun. It must be invested with a blood point per night during its creation, which requires an Intelligence + Crafts roll and an Intelligence + Occult roll to complete. Wielding the talisman, it counts as 2pts worth of equipment for her primary path and ritual castings. It also increases any defense she has against magical attacks by one. If someone else is in possession of the talisman, it functions as 3pts worth of equipment for all magic used against the ritualist. If lost, a Perception + Occult roll will reveal the talisman’s location.


Escape to a True Friend: For five consecutive nights, the Thaumaturge spends three of her blood points to create a ritual circle. At any time after, she can step into the circle and speak the name of a close friend, and she will be instantly transported to that friend’s location. She will appear somewhere nearby that is not observed. The circle can be used once for each success rolled on its creation before it has to be re-made.


Paper Flesh: the ritualist writes the true name of her victim on a piece of paper, cuts herself with it, and then burns it up. For the remainder of the night, her victim’s Stamina and Fortitude are reduced to 1. The true names of elder vampires, of course, are very difficult to obtain.


Ward versus Spirits: as above.

Warding Circle versus Spirits: as above.