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What are your favorite "unusual" Necromancy powers?

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  • What are your favorite "unusual" Necromancy powers?

    I've been toying again with some old Necromancy powers, working to update them for a V5 homebrew. The Ash Path (perceive and interact with ghosts), Bone Path (make zombies), and Sepulchre Path (control ghosts) are straightforward enough, but I'm hoping to integrate some more unusual things as well.

    So: what are your favorite "unusual" Necromancy powers? Paths, Rituals, homebrew effects, anything at all that's associated with Necromancy and that you've found interesting as a player or ST. (Bonus: any interesting stories involving them/reasons you like them?)

  • #2
    The Nagaraja had one that permitted them to bite wraiths and feed on them, which seems ridiculous for anyone to have but specifically engineered to circumvent their clan weakness in particular.

    ETA: According to the wiki it’s located in the Vitreous Path, which was inspired by 2nd Edition’s Nihilistics discipline.
    Last edited by Reasor; 08-31-2019, 07:36 PM.

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    • #3
      The Corpse in the Monster level 5 power which allows you to be mortal for a day ended up being really interesting in our chronicles. It has a lot of potential for abuse so you need to play up the consequences, but apart from that roleplaying a Day in the Sun for a Cappadocian elder was very, very interesting. Among other things, it was used as part of an elaborate ritual that allowed him to make a Dhampyr child long before the time of thin blood, which caused a massive gehenna scare and started a war. Fun Times.

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      • #4
        I always liked the Path of Woe, simply because of the aesthetic in how you use the power. Instead of dealing with or commanding ghosts, the Woe-walkers opt to unceasingly bully and abuse ghosts until they do what the Necromancer wants. It's a fun, albeit supremely messed up, take on necromancy.


        Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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        • #5
          In older Editions there was a minimum willpower rating requirement for a mortal to become a ghost. Most mortals run in the 1 to 3 dot range, but to become a ghost you needed around 5 willpower to have a chance at it.
          While it is not a power per se and more of a rules oversight/interaction, I find it amusing all the same.

          If you extrapolate the implications of this, it means the wraith controlling and interacting powers of necromancy are fall less useful just because high willpower humans are rare, and of those mortals only a certain percentage end up as ghosts, and then the group gets further reduced by the percentage that become specters.

          On the plus side this meant that any ghost you did find had a bit more power than the usual templates suggested. This results in Necromancy being closer to say the movie Thirteen Ghosts where the ghosts are very rare, almost unique entities, as opposed to ghosts just being random dead humans like in the Sixth Sense or Stir of Echoes movies.

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          • #6
            This is awfully meta on my part, but there is an implied power for any pc with Necromancy.

            You make ghosts exist as a story element.

            So, let's say you are running an old-school "Seven Cam Clans" game, or even an early edition Sabbat game. Humans are getting killed all over the place, often in the sort of gruesome and pathos (and Pathos) filled ways you would expect might lead to hauntings. But, with the exception of a merit/flaw or two, nope. Oh, there are werewolves rampaging in Chicago. Fae somehow get involved with the Malks. Heck, one of the core Cam clans started out as mages, and maintained some ties.

            But, ghosts? They literally exist in a whole different reality.

            Add one or two Giovanni pcs, and suddenly there are ghosts and ghost related storylines everywhere.

            It's Chekhov's gun.

            For a more traditional response, I enjoy Vitreous 3 (Soul Feast). It's kind of cool that a game sometimes accused of including lots of angst and morbid contemplation finally developed an actual, mechanical power based on it. Its especially fun that it has a small, hidden... I'd almost call it an off-label... use. Once you have fed in a death-related area, you drive up the difficulties for the use of other Necromantic ("and similar deathly") powers. This was likely intended to be a cost on the use of the power. If a Giovanni somehow got hold of it, they could use it to sabotage rivals' rituals. If an ST were willing to expand it slightly (and logically) to strengthen the shroud and lessen attacks from wraiths, it also has some use as a ward.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
              This is awfully meta on my part, but there is an implied power for any pc with Necromancy.

              You make ghosts exist as a story element.

              So, let's say you are running an old-school "Seven Cam Clans" game, or even an early edition Sabbat game. Humans are getting killed all over the place, often in the sort of gruesome and pathos (and Pathos) filled ways you would expect might lead to hauntings. But, with the exception of a merit/flaw or two, nope. Oh, there are werewolves rampaging in Chicago. Fae somehow get involved with the Malks. Heck, one of the core Cam clans started out as mages, and maintained some ties.

              But, ghosts? They literally exist in a whole different reality.

              Add one or two Giovanni pcs, and suddenly there are ghosts and ghost related storylines everywhere.

              It's Chekhov's gun.
              Agreed. The fundamental nature of a "kitchen sink" setting like the World of Darkness is that elements of the setting only become a factor if 1) the Storyteller happens to decide to use them, or 2) a Player chooses a character option that brings a certain element to the fore.

              With as many balls being juggled in a standard Vampire chronicle - JUST when it comes to Kindred themselves - it can be easy to let one or two slide, simply because you don't think of them. A shame, really, when Vampire games lend themselves so well to ghosts, simply by virtue of the number of bodies Kindred leave behind. (The same can be said about hunters/Hunters, because every near-break of the Masquerade can "spawn" them. Yet so often, mortals get ignored in VtM in favor of more Vampire politics).

              When you have a group whose whole deal is interacting with Wraiths, however, it cannot help but drag that part of the World of Darkness into the picture.

              (Come to think of it, this might also be part of the motivation behind tying the Ravnos so closely with their rivals, the Kuei Jin/Wan Kuei; it's another shame that the Ravnos were promptly culled, right when the Cathayans were set to become a big deal in VtM's metaplot).


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