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Necromancy (Knowing Stone) in V20

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  • Necromancy (Knowing Stone) in V20

    What a wonderful ritual, often unappreciated but providing a real avenue to power. The real beauty is that you can locate someone (mortal or cainite, possibly others). As an enterprising Necromancer, upon arriving at any town one must take the time to make Knowing Stones for every cainite you meet at Elysium or the Ritus. So long as your target isn't Tremere or Giovanni, there is essentially no chance this capability will be suspected or detected. I've got some good uses for it and and hoping to solicit others. Consider the advantages of knowing where a specific cainite is sleeping during the day.

    Idea A: A horrifying prelude to a Sabbat war party. Send a cainite to run with a nomadic pack masquerading as Anarchs as they toodle around Europe or the United States. They meet Anarchs, Camarilla, Sabbat and Independents aplenty as they move. Make Knowing Stones for everyone, but move on. Come back months or years later knowing exactly where to find any number of cainites, and a score of ghouls to stake or expose them during the day so when vampires wake up much potential resistance (including key minions of powerful Elders) are off the board. Any staked are of course revived and ruthlessly interrogated so more Knowing Stones leading to other cainites may be used. What I really love about this idea is it self-perpetuates. At least one cainite will live out of the area, and you can use this to follow them to a new hunting ground.

    Idea B: A fitting punishment. You can obliterate a cainite and all of his descendants. Root and branch.

    What other particular scenarios would this ritual be good for?

  • #2
    Is that this ritual:

    M By bleeding himself and painting the name on a stone, the Necromancer can see where the soul of a person currently resides after petitioning the loas by dancing around the stone in trance

    if so, i'm not sure it does quite what you mean (although it's really not clear so i can see both interpretations). i see it as more of a way to find the plane of existence of a Soul, and probably a way to find a Soul - not the live body. I personally wouldn't allow this as a way to track any living or unliving thing, especially as a Level 1 Necromancy ritual. This sounds like a way to locate the Dead.

    add to that, this is African/Voudoun Necromancy so it isn't very well practiced - i'd really limit who can get this.

    Now, could you develop a higher level ritual that does what you've suggested? Probably, the sympathetic links between the Dead and the Undead are pretty strong, and assuming you believe Vampires have a Soul...
    Last edited by chipotlechris; 12-12-2018, 08:32 AM.

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    • #3
      chipotlechris Here is the full version.

      Knowing Stone
      By use of her own blood and the proper rituals, a necromancer can mark a person’s spirit, allowing the vampire to see where her subject is at any time, even after he has died. In this fashion many of the spirit-haunted vampires keep tabs on their close kin and their enemies.
      The necromancer cuts her skin or otherwise bleeds herself, and then uses the vitae to paint the name of the target on a consecrated stone. If the ritual is successful, she can afterward learn the target’s current whereabouts by dancing around the stone in a trance state until one of the spirits whispers the desired information into her ear. The stone loses its powers on the night of All Saints Day unless the vampire spends a blood point.
      V20 doesn't specify it as anything beyond an ordinary necromancy ritual in modern nights. It seems terribly potent in hunting down foes. Perhaps an interesting plot might relate to needing to find someone's true name prior to this being used to help find them.

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      • #4
        OK, the Wikia must have given a slightly different version. The above sounds much closer to the original intent, but i'm still not convinced it could be quite as powerful as the original post makes out. You could probably do this for one or two kindred, but more than that, the dancing until in a trance part would just be too prohibitive to make it that useful (to say nothing of doing it in the day to know where they sleep - even if you do this the moment you awaken, it's easily a few hours+ work, and the target could have easily gone out by then).

        It also needs a consecrated stone, so perhaps not as easy to just grab off the ground, plus the spell can wear off without blood expenditure - imagine if you'd mapped a whole city and then All Saints day comes along - instant Torpor I'd agree, this should need the true name of a person, or something else to add to the sympathetic nature of the spell - none of that 'where's Chipotlechris these days?'

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        • #5
          Originally posted by chipotlechris View Post
          OK, the Wikia must have given a slightly different version. The above sounds much closer to the original intent, but i'm still not convinced it could be quite as powerful as the original post makes out. You could probably do this for one or two kindred, but more than that, the dancing until in a trance part would just be too prohibitive to make it that useful (to say nothing of doing it in the day to know where they sleep - even if you do this the moment you awaken, it's easily a few hours+ work, and the target could have easily gone out by then).

          It also needs a consecrated stone, so perhaps not as easy to just grab off the ground, plus the spell can wear off without blood expenditure - imagine if you'd mapped a whole city and then All Saints day comes along - instant Torpor I'd agree, this should need the true name of a person, or something else to add to the sympathetic nature of the spell - none of that 'where's Chipotlechris these days?'
          Lot of maybes baked into how this might work to see it as bad. I would think, like many rituals, the marking and dancing probably wouldn't take hours. Whether or not the 'consecrated stone' is hard or special is questionable. Also, it does not indicate one must spend blood on All Saint's Day. Just that the stones losses power unless they do so.

          Honestly, it just seems too vaguely written, as many V20 powers.

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          • #6
            I remember discussing this around my gaming table a while back. One of the people inisted that, with the way the ritual is written, it can be used to track down for example Saulot as long as you know that name. Which to me sounded utterly redicilous for a level 1 ritual.

            I'd vote more in favor of it finding out which plane of existance the target is (Skinlands, Shadowlands, the odd Astral Plane trip etc.).





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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cadmiumcadamium View Post
              I remember discussing this around my gaming table a while back. One of the people inisted that, with the way the ritual is written, it can be used to track down for example Saulot as long as you know that name. Which to me sounded utterly redicilous for a level 1 ritual.

              I'd vote more in favor of it finding out which plane of existance the target is (Skinlands, Shadowlands, the odd Astral Plane trip etc.).
              I had that thought. The only things I could think are either 1. they utterly missed the implications the power has or 2. most Antedeluvians and ancient Kindred were born with different names than they are commonly called.

              The reason I don't buy the planes argument is that the 'even after he has died' makes that aspect almost an afterthought to their location.

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              • #8
                I add the thought, that the spirits tell you the whereabouts. For me this is a justification for giving vague informations where appropriate e.g. “Saulot is in the cellar under the castle“ (this leaves open which castle in which city). If you know the general whereabouts of your target it is much more useful.


                So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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                • #9
                  I went a different direction at my table than it seems a lot of people did. I wanted to put a western, nigirimancy spin on it, as the character was Giovanni.

                  Basically, you track death. You petition the spirits of the dead and the great beyond, to find the strands of death and entropy on a person. The more a person has killed, and the more recently it happened, the more accurate information you get.

                  This sometimes took the form of souls the target has killed, whispering vengeant words in your trance. Or maybe malevolent wraiths, who admire the target for taking life.

                  I never raised difficulties, but instead affected the quality of the information they got, based on the trail of death following the target.
                  A regular human? Close to impossible to find, most pople don't kill.
                  A ductus of a murder-hobo pack? A trail of death wide as a river follows them.
                  A vampire who has been in torpor the last 500yrs? The strands are frayed and hard to find. Even entropy is subject to entropy...

                  Maybe this wasn't the original intent of the ritual, but it worked wonders when we played it. It allowed me to tell as much as was good for the story, and let the Giovanni feel clever for interpreting the clues the dead gave him.


                  Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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