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  • Mortis and Necromancy

    In the first edition Vampire the Dark Ages, the Cappadocian clan discipline of Mortis is a linear discipline (a level one power, then a level two power, etc., As opposed to the blood magic disciplines, that have paths and rituals), until the second edition came out and Mortis became a blood magic (with paths and rituals). I assume this was done so that the Giovanni, who usurped the Cappadocians in the same way the tremere usurped the salubri, could integrate their blood magic discipline of Necromancy with an existing blood magic, as opposed to doing so with a linear discipline. So, is Necromancy and Mortis two separate disciplines or are they the same discipline simply with different paths and rituals? For experience point purposes, would a Giovanni with Necromancy who wished to learn Mortis, have to buy it as an out of clan discipline?

  • #2
    The old Mortis and Necormancy Disciplines are now combined under Necromancy. The various Mortis powers are now their own Necromantic Paths within Necromancy.

    In effect, Cappadocians always had Necromancy. It's just that the Giovanni developed their own special Necromantic Paths in addition to the ones the Cappadocians already knew.

    Since the Mortis inspired Necromantic Paths are still Necromancy, for experience point purposes they should be able to be bought as an in clan discipline for Giovanni.

    Of course simply because it can be bought as an in-clan discipline does not mean the Giovanni have access/knowledge of those paths. Like any individual paths of Thaumaturgy or Necromancy, they are not "natural", but must be learned through intense study. How available those paths (or any path) are within Clan Giovanni must be decided by the ST.

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    • #3
      It depends on the edition and setting (DA vs Modern Day). In the most recent ones (V20 and V20 DA) Cappadocians have Necromancy. Mortis is long gone.
      In modern day revised edition the Harbringers of Skulls (one of the bloodlines of the Cappadocians that "survived" into the modern nights) have Necromancy rather than Mortis but they do have a Necromancy path called Mortuus Path which is basically the first 5 powers of the old VtDA version of Mortis (the linear progression Disciplines rather than the path based Discipline).

      in Revised DA (renamed Dark Ages: Vampire rather than Vampire: the Dark Ages) Mortis was remade into a Path and Rituals discipline like Thaumaturgy and Giovanni Necromancy was a path called Nigrimancy. So a Giovanni in the DA was just a regular Cappadocian who happened to favor Nigrimancy over one of the more common paths.

      Hope that helps (rather than just muddying waters further).






      English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

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      • #4
        When discussing all the paths and rituals of Necromancy, note that what is mechanically achievable is very different from what a given PC concept can achieve. Even most Giovanni don't max out their own Necromantic paths, let alone get involved in the intricacies of Mortis and the others. They content themselves with useful tricks and several wraithly servants that they can call upon for various tasks. It's a dedicated hardcore group with very low Humanity or Path of Bones that makes a thorough study of Necromancy, which practically takes centuries. So don't feel too constrained by mechanics, and keep some cool and mysterious powers to be used by NPCs unless you're running Giovanni Chronicles or something.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Karatemonkey View Post
          In the first edition Vampire the Dark Ages, the Cappadocian clan discipline of Mortis is a linear discipline (a level one power, then a level two power, etc., As opposed to the blood magic disciplines, that have paths and rituals), until the second edition came out and Mortis became a blood magic (with paths and rituals). I assume this was done so that the Giovanni, who usurped the Cappadocians in the same way the tremere usurped the salubri, could integrate their blood magic discipline of Necromancy with an existing blood magic, as opposed to doing so with a linear discipline.
          You assume wrong. In the first edition necromancy was a linear discipline. Vitreous Path used to be a discipline, rot magic of the Samedi is still a discipline. Mortus became blood magic when Necromancy got overhauled and became blood magic. In V20 Mortus doesn't exist and is just part of Necromancy.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
            You assume wrong. In the first edition necromancy was a linear discipline. Vitreous Path used to be a discipline, rot magic of the Samedi is still a discipline. Mortus became blood magic when Necromancy got overhauled and became blood magic. In V20 Mortus doesn't exist and is just part of Necromancy.
            Or, perhaps more accurately, Mortis was retconned as always having been Necromancy, just under a different name.

            Because, really, are you telling me the names for various Disciplines have been static and unchanged for thousands of years? There's a reason the books advise players and storytellers against talking in-character about game mechanics topics. While the game might identify Auspex or Dominate or Necromancy as distinct supernatural power sets, vampires in-universe don't see it this way. They just see particular powers used by certain vampires, and may be aware of a vague trend in what powers are common to what Clans. I doubt anyone would call it "Auspex", and even if they did, half the Elders wouldn't have any idea what you were talking about, because they all use different names for the same powers.

            As for Necromancy, it's entirely sensible for the vampiric study of death and the dead to be called different things over the long periods of history.


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            • #7
              Mortis was a linear discipline when Necromancy was a linear discipline. In Revised Necromancy became blood magic. Then whey they updated Dark Ages Mortis became a blood magic with unique paths being developed by the Giovanni. It wasn't supposed to be like the Malkavian thing its like how the Bushi were always Kuei-jin

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                I doubt anyone would call it "Auspex", and even if they did, half the Elders wouldn't have any idea what you were talking about, because they all use different names for the same powers.
                A lot of vampires simply call it The Sight.

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                • #9
                  From V20 pg 168
                  Whither Mortis?
                  Lost Clans and bloodlines, such as the Cappadocians and the Lamia, had access to an ancient Discipline known as Mortis. Some Kindred scholars claim that Mortis and Necromancy are distinct Disciplines, but for ease the three Mortis paths presented in this book are listed as Necromancy paths. The Cappadocians (see p. 418) specialized in either the Corpse in the Monster or the Grave’s Decay, while the Lamia (see p. 422) generally took the Path of the Four Humors as their primary path. Rumors are that the Harbingers of Skulls (see p. 402) in the Sabbat have relearned the Corpse in the Monster and the Grave’s Decay, claiming them collectively as the “Mortuus Path,” but they still tend to follow most modern necromancers and choose Sepulchre Path as their primary path before learning Grave’s Decay or the Corpse in the Monster.
                  Therefore Mortis would be an older name for Necromancy, both Cappadocians and Giovanni have Necromancy as a clan Discipline and they have suggested primary paths.

                  As for the different Dark Ages Editions
                  • Vampire: The Dark Ages - 1197
                    • Mortis is the linear clan Discipline of the Cappadocians
                    • Necromancy is added as a 3 level unique Discipline in Clanbook: Cappadocian for the Giovanni bloodline.
                  • Dark Ages Vampire - 1230
                    • Mortis is the Blood Magic clan Discipline of the Cappadocians with the following paths
                      • Grave's Decay
                      • Corpse in the Monster
                      • Cadaverous Animation - Essentially the Bone Path
                    • Player's Guide to the High Clans - Introduces a pair of Mortis Paths for the Giovanni bloodline
                      • Nigrimancy - Most closely resembles the Sepulchre Path
                      • Path of Haunting - Mentioned as an outgrowth of Nigrimancy, reintroduced to V20 in V20 Black Hand: Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra
                  • Dark Ages Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition - 1242
                    • Necromancy is the clan Discipline of the Cappadocians and Giovani with Paths that match up to their modern nights equivalents

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                    There's a reason the books advise players and storytellers against talking in-character about game mechanics topics.
                    And that's why Earthdawn is one of the best designed RPG settings. You can call yourself a fifth level wizard with two fifth circle spell slots, and people will know that you are a badass instead of calling you crazy.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys. I don't have the V20 Dark Ages, so I was wondering how they handled it in that book. I like the idea that they're actually the same discipline and that the D.A. vamps just called it by a different name. Nice.

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                      • #12
                        The writers keep trying to re-introduce the idea of a "Mortuus Path" or some variation as a kind of rotten easter egg. I wish they'd stop. It's just Necromancy. Let Mortis rest in peace.


                        I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                          The writers keep trying to re-introduce the idea of a "Mortuus Path" or some variation as a kind of rotten easter egg. I wish they'd stop. It's just Necromancy. Let Mortis rest in peace.
                          Old Mortis did have a few nice abilities, especially being able to pull vampires out of (or drop them into) torpor. By Night Studios' take on it changed the fifth level to something at least thematically really neat (The Fourth Horseman).

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ideon View Post
                            being able to pull vampires out of (or drop them into) torpor
                            Which is an awful ability that should never exist. It breaks the entire Black Hand (why aren't these antediluvian-worshipping vampires not waking up the antediluvians they have?) and makes "guy with Mortis finds an antediluvian" a world-ending situation. Elder vampires are so powerful that the faction that wakes up its elders first instantly wins.

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                            • #15
                              ... or, the faction that wakes up its elders first gets eaten, and the elders go about their ancient agendas that their followers had no clue about. It's a toss-up.

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