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The Kraina/Koldunic Sorcery Thread!

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  • The Kraina/Koldunic Sorcery Thread!

    So since we got the notion of Kraina as the old form of Koldunic sorcery we never got a chance to explore it in books because it is so new to us. But its very nature means we must have a lot of different Ways for it since it literally is supposed to be a form of sorcery that is customized based on your local. And even with Koldunic Sorcery we have the Elemental Ways, and the Spirit Ways but we only have one other example Ways, the Way of Sorrow. What other types do you imagine exist? We probably need some sort of Way of Winter.

    So with all that said lets brainstorm ideas, or if you have them post Kraina developed in your games? Discuss either Koldunic Sorcery Modern or the Kraina. Like in my opinion I allow the Kraina of Enoch and the Pit as starting Kraina, because it makes sense for Baali and Chatterling Embraces to develop them first.

    And to start the ball rolling lets discuss Baba Yaga for the longest time I advocated she would have Koldunic Sorcery as her type of Blood Magic, she is listed with Thaumaturgy but that is an oversight of it being a 1st ed book, like her having Humanity 0, but I also like the idea of her being an evolved Wight (side note how would you handle her path rating of enlightenment?). But now that we have Kraina that seems even more fitting for her! So what type of Kraina do you think she developed? How wide can Kraina get, like can she have a Rodina Mat Kraina representing the Motherland entire and develop regional ones? I like the idea that her latest Kraina was the Shadow Curtain Kraina that revolved around barricading the supernatural unseen. I can also see her developing some sort of Kraina of the Forgotten Glen, representing the valleys of the Bygones and True Fae she tended in her living days, from which she learned to summon the Zmei. Maybe even a Zmei-land Kraina for mountains where bygone dragons used to dwell. And she needs some sort of Kraina for the Cold, so maybe the Mountains where her Hut dwelt, maybe even having a power for the riding the mountain winds, though she probably needs no such power with her Mortar and Pestle. But how many Kraina would she have being one of the World's master Witches. She probably has one for a sea/coast, one for a lake (I like the idea of a Lake Baikal one you can have a lot of fun with the theme of the World's deepest lake. A Moscow Kraina? A Steppesland Kraina? An old Kiev Kraina? What?

    It is a time for great deeds!

  • #2
    Well, a little while ago, I got an idea for a Kraina for the New World. I would call it something like "Kraina of the Dust Bowl", being seated in the area comprising parts of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas, which were the primary locations afflicted by the eponymous Dust Bowl in the 30s. Even long after the ecological and agricultural devastation, those lands still hold a mystical connection to the event. A memory of times past, that skilled Kolduns can tap for their own purposes. I imagine such a Kraina would have been developed by an American Tzimisce who lived through the Dust Bowl, and learned to channel its power when they became a Koldun.

    Powers would focus on dust, erosion, wind, and the ebb and flow of life.

    * Black Roller: The Koldun creates a dense, spinning cloud of dust around herself. So thick it blocks light, and so dusty as to make it difficult to breath inside for mortals.

    ** Drought Touch: When the Koldun grapples a target, she can suck the moisture from their body, though touch alone. Harking back to the days of drought that dried out the loose soil, this power damages the target internally.

    *** Rain Follows The Plow: The Great Plains region of the US historically undergoes oscillating periods of wetness and dryness, when rainfall was increased and decreased, respectively. During the 30s, farmers, real estate developers, and the federal government came under the mistaken impression that the climate had entered a permanent wet period. Obviously, the idea that "rain follows the plow" was merely wishful thinking on the part of people looking for opportunity, and a period of heavy farming commenced. By the time the inevitable drought cycle kicked in, the damage to the ground had been done, turning the dry soil into thick dust storms.

    A Koldun sufficiently wise to understand this, however, can - in short bursts - maximize the power of her own body. When this power is activated, the Koldun may double the effectiveness of her blood pool for the rest of the scene. Disciplines that cost multiple blood points only use one BP for every two called for, and blood spent to heal or buff Attributes counts as if she had spent two. Uses of blood that would employ only a single BP are unaffected. This may or may not overcome blood expenditure limits (this needs adjudication, to see if it's too powerful).

    On the downside, though, such heavy exploitation of the vampire's body carries risk. For the rest of the night - and then for the next night after it - any expenditure of blood points for any purpose other than waking in the evening causes unsoakable aggravated damage to the vampire, on a 1 to 1 basis. Bending the rules of the vampiric condition carries enormous risk, just as does the abuse of the very land one stands on.

    **** Black Blizzard: Similar to the more potent forms of weather control, the Koldun can summon a huge dust storm over the surrounding area. Visibility is poor, as the dust is thick enough to blot out the sun.

    ***** On The Winds Of Black Sunday: The Koldun, gaining mastery of the powers of the dust-swept Great Plains, can turn herself into a flying cloud of dust. Treat it similar to powers like Protean's Mist Form.


    • #3
      Inspired by watching too much Dr. Strange last night, this Kraina path deals with wide open spaces and the bleak, disorienting nature of some Carpathian peaks and valleys;

      * Howling Winds – You call up a chilling wind that howls and screams, drowning out conversation and hampering movement. You choose the direction in which the wind blows, and anyone attempting to move against the wind finds their movement halved. Most physical actions are at +1 difficulty, except for ranged attacks which are +2 difficulty. The wind lasts for a scene (although you can dismiss it at any time) and can cover an area as small as an alleyway, or as large as a city block. Small unattended items will fly away, and small fires, such as torches, may be extinguished by this wind.

      ** Staggering Heights – You create the sensation of the earth rising up beneath the feet of your target, as if they were suddenly standing atop a high Carpathian peak. Vertigo overwhelms the target and they must make a Dex + Athletics roll against the number of success rolled to avoid falling to the ground while attempting to retain their balance. Despite this short fall, the targets suffer falling damage as if they’d fallen a much greater height, and must soak 1 HT level of damage per dot you have of this Path. You can split up this damage among multiple targets within view, making it unlikely to damage any of them, if you wish to merely throw multiple foes to the ground. The effect is not entirely psychological, and objects in the area may be flung around as if the ground had abruptly risen beneath them (although no actual change in elevation occurs).

      *** Alone in the Night – The world seems to retreat as the world contracts away from the target, leaving them feeling like a tiny insignificant speck in an enormous uncaring world. Every yard of distance between the target and objects or creatures around them is multiplied by your Path rating for a number of turns equal to your permanent Willpower. By expending another blood point, you can increase the duration again, and continue doing so as long as you remain within view of the target. Distance is distorted in such a way that the affected target must expend movement according to their new perceptions, and treats all foes as if at the appropriately adjusted range. Others are not affected by this perception, so that a person standing right next to an affected target can punch him with impunity, while the target flails around helplessly at someone that, to them, is yards away, and out of reach.

      **** Seven League Boots – You empower yourself to move at a greatly increased rate, crossing great distances in a single night. For the remainder of the scene, you can multiply any movement taken by seven, crossing seven yards with a single stride, for instance. When moving in such a fashion, you are practically a blur, and foes attempting to strike you as you move suffer a +2 to difficulty rolls, although you also suffer a commensurate +1 difficulty to attempts to dodge, as you can ‘run into’ attacks, if unwary.

      ***** Stuff Goes Sideways – You can cause one or more targets to suffer the effects of Staggering Heights, but to actually fall, in any horizontal direction you choose, up to 10 yards times your permanent Willpower rating, taking damage as per the previous power. A Dex + Athletics roll to stop this fall only applies if there is something solid for you to grab onto and stop your sideways (or forward, or backwards) tumble. The effect lasts for a single turn, although you can spent another blood point to cause the target(s) to continue to tumble in the chosen direction, so long as they remain within sight.


      • #4
        Cool so what would this be the Kraina of? A specific Mountain in the Carpathians? Or an extended Carpathian Kraina?

        It is a time for great deeds!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
          Cool so what would this be the Kraina of? A specific Mountain in the Carpathians? Or an extended Carpathian Kraina?
          I didn't really think that far, but sort of imagined the desolation of that sort of terrain, and how it could be used as fodder for a path of koldunic thaumaturgy. Distances toying with you, perspectives making areas seem closer or less treacherous, a great plunging chasm blocking your path through the mountains, etc.

          I tried to give the path some offensive, defensive and utilarian options (allowing for relatively rapid transit, for instance), since I like that sort of versatility. Another logical option would be making distant things appear closer, for 'scrying' over great distances (or eavesdropping). Perhaps that could be a ritual associated with the path, or just replace one of the current path dots, if a particular dot doesn't 'feel' right. (I'd be inclined to replace the howling winds option, actually, as it seems less distance/perspective/alienation related than the others.)


          • #6
            I adopted the Kraina system for Koldunism, but had to assume there are Secondary "Generic" Kraina like Genius Loci/Way of Spirit available to Koldun, beside learning Krainas based on specific Lands/places. For instance, a Weather Control Kraina and a Spirit Manipulation analog Kraina (that actually deals with Umbra Spirits, as Genius Loci/Wayof Spirit does not). These were all the attend to players (and mine) spectations of what magics Kolduns could work (and how).

            I have also created a Kraina of the Forest, or a Way of the Woods, before the similarly themed Kraina from the DA Tome of Secrets was published. It conjures from inside the ground through rapid growth the plant life from a specific forest (which needs to be where the Koldun's soil comes from), and animates the vegetation to attack targets or defend the Koldun. It is basically Dance of the Vines from the Green Path of Thaumaturgy, with a Koldunic Ritual similar to the Verdant Haven power, of the same Path, associated with the Kraina.


            • #7
              Well that's the thing they assume that Genus Loci is unique in being that meta Kraina. The closest to other 2ndary Kraina are Kraina of the Well and Kraina of Enoch because they are banned from being primary Kraina, but I ignore that if applicable.

              But the assumption is you don't have Generic Kraina, that is more the System of the New Koldunism. So you get powers to manipulate the spirits sideways by getting snatches of them in other Kraina. Or get a Kraina of a place very specific to spirits, like maybe a holy place like a Kraina of Ganges maybe. Otherwise you use Rituals.

              But I'm curious do you have a fleshed out version of the Kraina you mentioned like the Woods one? I'm very interested if you would like to post them here.

              It is a time for great deeds!


              • #8
                My player created a Scottish Kraina. PixiekillerEin and I have mixed credit.

                There are abandoned pagan shrines on many of the islands dotted around Scotland's coast. The idea is that there are a few OCT who, to this day, inhabit these islands and the sea between them, and have mastery over it.

                The powers are linked to the Celtic Goddess of the Winter. I can't remember the details. We invented it for a PC who is an OCT with links to the True Black Hand (he made a pilgrimage to Enoch to research and meet powerful Kolduns, but he isn't a member of the TBH). The powers are a mix of Way of Wind and Way of Water, with a few thematic twists and mechanical tweaks.


                • #9
                  Well, once I futzed around with a Norse-themed Thaumaturgical path that I believe could be adapted to be a kraina for tundra- and taiga-dwelling Tzimisce. Let me give it a shot, sparing names and exact mechanics for the moment.

                  1 - In the Dark Medieval, Polar regions are freezing, desolate, isolated wastes that can drive any creature to madness...except for one phenomenon. Typically associated with death, bloodshed, and violence, the Northern Lights can be quite comforting for a Cainite. Witnessing an aurora, a vampire can activate this power to suppress a single derangement until their next Frenzy check, which automatically succeeds but ends the effect, which cannot be re-activated until the vampire witnesses their next aurora. Malkavians which have learned this power cannot suppress the derangement caused by their clan flaw, but they can suppress any other acquired derangement.

                  2 - During the polar nights, food can be difficult to acquire. Few mortals live here, and animals large enough to sustain a vampire are hardly, stubborn, and difficult to hunt. Activating this power, the vampire sprinkles lichen and mosses near their haven with their own vitae; the flora grows and becomes more nutritious to local animals, drawing them to feed and become blood bound (but not ghouled) to the vampire, making it easier for the vampire to feed from those animals in turn. Treating the local flora thus requires one hour per blood point spent in activation, and in turn provides a temporary dot of Herd per blood point spent for a month. Dramatic success on this roll may lure predators, or even mortals, looking for their own meals which can be exploited in turn.

                  3 - During the summer, the sun never truly sets above or near the arctic circle, which is problematic for vampires. With this power, the vampire can burrow into the permafrost, or allow themselves to be encased in ice, and remain awake and active, but physically incapable of action, through the midnight sun. So long as they are fully buried or encased, the vampire does not take damage from sunlight (as refracted through ice), but they are subject to disruption as if they were earth melded. The vampire may use any mental discipline at their disposal, and need only spend one blood per week to remain active, but rising once the midnight sun ends requires one Willpower point and a secondary activation roll.

                  4 - The weather in the arctic is treacherous and hazardous to any who would live there, even Cainites and their closely-guarded herds. This level gives the vampire mastery over arctic weather; see, wind, fog, rain/snow, and storm conditions under the Thaumaturgy path Weather Control. Additionally, when summoning a storm, the vampire may opt to summon hail and sleet that deal three dice of bashing damage per turn to anyone caught outdoors, which also invokes a one-die penalty to Dexterity and Stamina pools (including soak) against living targets.

                  5 - Having fully mastered the frozen wastes in which they exist, vampires with this level can transform their blood into a frozen slush. This power costs three blood to activate. As long as the power is active, the vampire suffers no penalties due to extreme cold, and targets grappling or in contact with the vampire have their Stamina (including soak) pools reduced by two. Coming into external contact with the vampire's blood (see, Acidic Blood) inflicts the same penalty for the remainder of the scene. Ingesting the vampire's blood inflicts one level of aggravated damage, which can only be soaked by Fortitude, per blood point ingested; attempting to drink blood directly from the vampire becomes incredibly difficult due to the chunky and viscous nature of the frozen blood, halving the amount of blood points (rounding down) that can be taken per turn. Fire deals one additional level of damage, and the difficulty to soak fire increases by two, as long as this power remains active. This power lasts until the vampire falls into torpor, or chooses for it to end.


                  • #10
                    I put this together as a callback to a certain Old Clan Tzimisce's roots in the Pacific Northwest. It's got some bits and pieces of some Ways and official Kraina in it (tweaked for style and flavor), but I think it stands as a good representative of what Kraina are as a thing:

                    The Cascade Arc Kraina (Attribute: Manipulation)

                    • Exhalation of Louwala-Clough
                    This power is the foundation upon which the rest of the Kraina is built, growing from gentle entreaties to potent summonings of the power roiling beneath the ground. With this power, the vampire may summon a smoke-filled rain of ash that can blind and confuse foes. To do so, she chants a short paean to the mountain, known by most as St. Helens, and spills one point of blood upon the earth (or sprays it from her bleeding mouth onto the ground around her, as some Koldun of the region choose to).
                    System: Within moments of successful casting, the unnatural smoke and ash blankets the earth and falls from above in a choking blanket, filling a radius of ten yards per success. Each minute that passes reduces the power’s radius by one yard, leaving all living beings in the area coughing and hacking (giving a -2 to Stamina based rolls except Soak), for the duration or until they vacate the area. Vampires and other unliving beings, lacking the need to breathe, are immune to this specific effect. The combination of ash and smoke reduces Perception based dice pools by 3 for all during the duration, except the Koldun using this power. Beings reduced to zero Perception by this power must use the rules for fighting blind if they should enter combat.

                    •• Cascadian Vent
                    The Subduction Zone of the Cascade Volcanic Arc is known for its abundant reserves of methane, among other things. Using this power, the Koldun may call forth the foul gases underground to hamper and damage her foes.
                    System: The Koldun expends blood, at least one point’s worth but as much as she wants, and rolls to activate this power. Once per turn, for a number of turns equal to the successes she rolled, to a limit of however much blood was spent, she may cause the gasses beneath the ground to erupt upward, forming a tiny volcanic cone. These gases are noxious in the extreme; anyone caught within a ten-foot radius of the cone is subject to uncontrollable coughing (for mortals, -3 to all Dexterity or Stamina based rolls, except Soak), irritated eyes (-1 for all Perception rolls involving sight) and severe nausea (roll Self-Control once per scene, difficulty 7, to prevent vomiting). Worse yet, the bubbling gas is highly flammable; any nearby flame will ignite the gas in a terrible explosion, inflicting five dice of lethal damage (aggravated to vampires) to all those within range of the cone. If this power is activated within the Cascade Volcanic Arc, each blood point spent counts for double.

                    ••• Klickitat's Cuirass
                    Mount Adams, known alternately as Pahto or Klickitat, is a sleeping giant of a volcano. It stands now, waiting and standing vigil, preparing to unleash its fury one day. With this power, Klickitat may be temporarily coaxed awake and tasked being a sorcerer's personal defender. The Koldun raises her hand and the earth splits, spraying a wall of glowing magma 10 feet/3 meters high. Normally, this wall forms a 10-foot/3-meter radius circle around the vampire, although the sorcerer can raise other shapes with practice and skill.
                    System: The circle of magma summoned with this power has a lifespan of two turns per success rolled. If the Koldun wishes to release the magma along a shape other than a protective circle, increase the base difficulty by one. Characters cannot approach a wall of molten rock without a Courage roll (difficulty 8), and even then, the close blistering heat inflicts a level of aggravated damage. Actual contact with the lava increases the damage to three levels and raises the soak difficulty to 9, assuming any sort of soak is possible. The Koldun takes no damage from her proximity to the summoned magma (although contact with it still damages her as normal). When this power is activated within fifty miles of he Cascade Volcanic Arc, the Koldun treats all difficulties to summon and control the magma as 2 lower than normal.

                    •••• Rumbling of Cascadia
                    The Cascadia Subduction Zone, known for its natural gas reserves, is also known for its violent tectonic activity. Though seldom reported in modern times, the Subduction Zone has the potential for some of the most devastating forms of earthquake. This power takes that potential and puts it in the hands of the Koldun. Calling forth the wrath of the igneous earth itself, the Koldun may smite her foes with the full destructive power of an earthquake.
                    System: This power requires a Willpower point in addition to the usual cost and activation roll. The Koldun expresses her ire, either vocally or by physical gesture, and her anger flows through the soil to any target in her line of sight. The quake erupts outward from that point, inflicting 10 dice of lethal damage on everything and everyone in the area of effect. Most wooden structures collapse entirely and even buildings of concrete and steel may grow cracked and pitted with superficial damage from the shaking earth. This tremor lasts one turn per success and may affect areas whose size is determined by the number of successes rolled, though the Koldun may choose not to exert the full power of the total successes rolled. After all, what Koldun would lay waste to a place that they can later conquer for themselves?

                    Area Affected Per Success
                    1 success
                    One house or single storefront
                    2 successes
                    Five lesser structures or a small city
                    3 successes
                    An entire side street or a large
                    city block
                    4 successes
                    Multiple square blocks or a large
                    structure (like a stadium)
                    5 successes
                    An entire neighborhood or
                    massive industrial complex

                    ••••• Cascadian Flow
                    At the final mastery of the Cascadian Arc Kraina, a Koldun commands magma, burning ash and volatile gases to explode from the ground in a huge pyroclastic surge, like a geyser. The molten rock and ash spew across a wide swath before crashing to earth and flowing in all directions. Anything in the path of the surging, burning earth scorches, melts, bursts into flames or vaporizes within moments. The caster may direct the Flow to erupt anywhere in her line of sight.
                    System: This power costs one Willpower point in addition to a blood point. For every success on the activation roll, the initial pyroclastic flow lasts one turn. The rivers of burning liquid rock and flowing ash then spread themselves over the area sluggishly for twice this duration before suddenly cooling and hardening, the ash settling to coat anything unfortunate enough to have been caught in its fiery path.. Even if an object survives the heat, it now lies trapped beneath quickly cooling rock and acidic ash. Water coming into contact with the ash becomes undrinkable and slightly caustic (two levels of Bashing damage per pint/litre consumed, diff. 7 to Soak if drunk, which causes immediate vomiting as the body purges the foul water. If gotten in the eyes, mortals spend 10- Stamina turns temporarily blinded, while Kindred and other undead are largely unaffected). Anything that makes physical contact with the Flow (including the Koldun) suffers a minimum of three levels of aggravated damage. For objects that don’t have health levels, the Storyteller must decide how many turns they last before melting or erupting into their own inferno. A botch on this power calls forth the pyroclastic surge under an unintended target, possibly the Koldun herself. This power costs no blood to activate while within sight of the peaks of the Cascade Volcanic Arc; any Koldun wielding this power here has surely spilled enough blood to appease the spirits of the fiery mountains.

                    I have a few more that I'm still working on, mostly focused on the southern half of the continental US. I'll probably post them when finished.

                    - Az
                    Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 04-03-2018, 12:51 AM. Reason: more typos

                    What's with the penguin?


                    • #11
                      Once I get off this tablet and back to a computer, I will have to go through Who Fears the Devil and look at making and Appalachian Krana.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The_Livewire View Post
                        Once I get off this tablet and back to a computer, I will have to go through Who Fears the Devil and look at making and Appalachian Krana.
                        Banjo music. Lots of banjo music.


                        • #13
                          So is it me or do people friggin love Kraina? Is it just because its the first new Blood Sorcery in a decade, and I don't consider Rites of Sorcery a step forward... Kraina seems to scratch an itch people needed scratched.

                          Oh man if Tzimisce had methuselahs in Alaska... man they got a lot of their ancients in all the corners of the world! Carpathians, Russia, India, and Africa!

                          It is a time for great deeds!


                          • #14
                            This also has me thinking, and I wonder why I never thought about it until Appalachia of all things gets mentioned, but Kraina seem like an interesting connection between Tzmisce, and Vampires in general, and the Fae.

                            It is a time for great deeds!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                              So is it me or do people friggin love Kraina? Is it just because its the first new Blood Sorcery in a decade, and I don't consider Rites of Sorcery a step forward... Kraina seems to scratch an itch people needed scratched.
                              Personally, I believe a good part of it is it's the first form of blood sorcery for which the rulebooks outright state players are encouraged to work with their ST's to develop their own paths as relevant to their characters. As opposed to introduce a bunch of paths across the "broken" spectrum, from "no player in their right mind would want this" all the way to "no ST in their right mind would allow a player to have this", then turn around and say not all listed paths may be appropriate for players, but rather NPC's.