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  • Dark Thaumaturgy Questions

    How is it learned? It says in Rites of the Blood that it's learned by demons. What would they ask for? Can vampires with dark thaumaturgy teach other vampires? Does it cost xp: "Certainly, such powers are gained without the expense of time and study, and usually at little cost to their wielder." - Rites of the Blood (p.113) Does Dark Thaumaturgy fall under thaumaturgy? Ex: If the vampire has thaumaturgy 5, with path of blood 5. Does the dark thaumaturgy cost current rating x4 as per secondary path rules, or is it its own discipline? If it is, is it learned at IC costs if the vampire has thaumaturgy already? Or would it be always OOC?



    Thanks!

  • #2
    Dark Thaumaturgy is a separate discipline from Thaumaturgy, the same way Assamite Thaumaturgy and Settite Thaumaturgy are - levels in one do not affect levels in another.

    "Does it cost xp"? In V20 - yes. In the book it was introduced Dark Thaumaturgy was priced at a discount, but in V20 this rule is not mentioned. XP is an out-of-character measure, so I wouldn't read too much into the fluff text. I'd certainly skip the learning time though.

    "What would they ask for?" What can you give? What does the demon need? What would nurture the story? If you find a genie bound in a lamp, he'd teach you everything he knows for the promise of freedom. If you contact Belial, who is well entrenched and powerful, be prepared to bleed and suffer for every pixel on your dot.

    "Can vampires teach other vampires?" Strictly by the rules - yes, as a restriction is not specified. I'm inclined to say no, because that'd dilute the character of Dark Thaumaturgy.

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    • #3
      Dark Thaumaturgy is granted by demons. It is not 'taught'. In fact, most practitioners of DT have no idea what they're doing; They spend a blood and roll willpower and maybe invoke some names and stuff happens, or they go through the motions of some ritual the demon has given them, but they lack the understanding that would let them do magic on their own. They've not internalized some magical process, the demon is doing that for them. They're basically just a conduit. So you can't teach DT (well, you can make the demon's introduction to someone...)

      Now, I can't find the rules for this but from looking at NPC character sheets, I believe if you're already a sorcerer, you buy 'dark thaumaturgy' dots on top of your already existing sorcery. Like if you have Assamite sorcery 2 you could buy Dark Thaumaturgy 2 and have a total sorcery of 4. The advantage being it's easier or cheaper. I don't think there's rules for this, it's just an observation from certain elder Tremere infernalists. Now, actual concrete rules being put down, paths learnt through DT are cheaper (I think, I can't remember if the book i read was 1e, 2e or revised, and disciplines were a lot cheaper in 1e) Paths are 3x level, rather than 4x level. I imagine the Discipline itself is always learned at in-clan rates as a result of this feature, but that's just speculation. You can probably learn the rituals instantly thanks to the demon doing the legwork for you, which shaves of long stretches of time if we're talking high level rituals.

      In fluff (and I like it) it's stated that there's nothing demons can grant you that hard work with normal thaumaturgy can't achieve. DT is just a shortcut. So in theory you could learn Fires of The Inferno without being an infernalist, but few do for ethical considerations/image considerations. (perhaps this line is just Tremere arrogance, but I like it)
      Prices for DT paths are Optional (learn to bargain with your demon), and If you learnt regular Thaumaturgy paths (Demons can teach anything) with DT they would come with their own prices (IE, lure of flames smells of sulphur, Path of neptune's might fouls the waters... that kinda thing)

      But I've read a lot of Infernalist books so I may conflate a few things. You need to speculate a little because the books aren't consistent on the topic.


      Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
        Dark Thaumaturgy is granted by demons. It is not 'taught'.
        I dispute that to some degree

        In multiple books metnioning this its said that dark thaumaturgy is TAUGHT by demons and works almost identical to normal thaumaturgy, so you have to learn spells and use them like a tremere would with Thaumaturgy. Indeed it was also said that technicly all thaumaturgical paths can be taught as Dark thaumatrugy as well but youd have to add a twist as Dark thaumaturgy comes with a unique cost representing its powers. Like the path of phobos lets you have severe nightmares in your sleep, the hellfire path makes your aura burn in hellfire etc. So Unlike thaumaturgical paths, Dark thaumaturgical pahts come with a more or less nasty side effect attached. Technicly you ain a fitting FLAW when learning a new DT path

        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
        They spend a blood and roll willpower and maybe invoke some names and stuff happens,
        That is a possibility. However those paths were also created by demons so there is something akin to Tremere thaumaturgy behind them. Just like Koldunic sorcery and th Assamite variant, its developed by demons and shared by them but you can certainly create as well, in theory.

        "So you can't teach DT"
        - actually according to clanbook Baali you can. However doing so might make some demon very angry at you. So better dont


        "Like if you have Assamite sorcery 2 you could buy Dark Thaumaturgy 2 and have a total sorcery of 4."
        im not sure abou that. Dark thaumaturgy is listed as a discipline, like Thaumaturgy in myknowledge, might b wrong. You also need bloodpoints to use it, so a mortal likely wont be able to do it. Sorcery works for ANYONE. That said tehcnicly all disciplines were TAUGHT to Caine by Demons
        DT RITUALS though are legit sorcery and can be practised by anyone who knows them

        "I don't think there's rules for this, it's just an observation from certain elder Tremere infernalists" Baali, order of the Wyrm *cough* XD
        Youa ctually learn Dark thaumaturgy as discipline. You dont have to invest any XP if you already have Thaumaturgy. You learn the DT pahts like you would thaumaturgy paths. (no idea bout v20 im talking ealier editions)
        Indeed its said the tremere Antitribu acutally CREATED new DT paths. Bypassign demons alltogether

        "I imagine the Discipline itself is always learned at in-clan rates"
        Nope its always handled as out of clan discipline unless you are a tremere where youc an sue normal thaumaturgy levels for it and just need to biy the paths

        "DT is just a shortcut. "
        No not really. Having a demon teach you surely shortens the timespan but if you say a Tremere Infernalist creating new paths it takes as long as would any thaumaturgial path. And it comes at a price (see sideeffects of the paths) and you need to convince someone to teach it to you taht will come at additional prices, likely.
        That said DT is different in not only ebing able to teach you normal thaumaturgial paths thought to be exclusive to Tremere, it has some extremely powerfull paths that the Tremere can only dream of. The hellfire Path is absolutely superior to lure of flames in any way imaginable. The flames count as magical, thus unsoakable and can even harm non physical creatures like wraiths, they deal way more damage (5 health levels per round burning) they can incinerate pretty much anything in seconds and the path of phobos and the lust one perfeclty mimick presence

        And yes consistancy in such regards is something whiter wolf isnt particularely good at^^
        Last edited by Orkar; 09-17-2020, 03:10 PM.

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        • #5
          The Tremere antitribu didn't 'create' new DT paths, they bargained for new DT paths. They 'discovered' that demons could teach these paths. The Defining characteristic of DT is that it's granted by demons. Demons can teach normal thaumaturgy (or Dur-an-Ki or ahku or whatever), because demons are fountains of knowledge for that kind of thing, but in that case they're just tutoring you rather than granting you wonderful power. Tremere sometimes call upon demons for 'pointers' without engaging in serious pacts.

          The cost (Read: Side effect) of DT is optional. Honestly, many DT side effects are so debilitating that you couldn't really have a serious infernalist with them, you'd just be dealing with canon fodder.

          Point on teaching DT: Perhaps you can, it's likely that you're teaching someone how to invoke the demon to work miracles. Or perchance the demon has actually given you good information and in any case the demon is mad that someone circumvented a bargain. In general though I don't imagine most infernalists as having the capacity to teach DT because the demon has largely kept them ignorant to the inner workings of the magic.

          Sorcery was not taught to caine by demons. Don't know where you get that.

          The Tremere I was thinking of was Etrius. But I don't have the book on me RN so can't confirm.

          The Fires of the Inferno is potentially balancable with standard Lure of Flames. Simply use pre-revised soak rules: Fire is a bane to vampires and cannot be soaked with stamina, Balefire is just standard aggravated damage to vampires, soakable with stamina.

          Now, Metaphysically speaking, I don't believe there's really DT specific paths. There are paths associated with DT, but you don't need a demon for them. The worldview, the paradigm of sorcerers, particularly that of the Tremere and the Settites in VTM supports the idea that people can achieve anything without needing external help; If something exists, there's a path for it, and if there's a path for it, you can learn it: The human soul was once divine and can return to divinity through knowledge, outside help is just help, it's not necessary.

          Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 09-17-2020, 03:26 PM.


          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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          • #6
            I would say that Dark Thaumaturgy can be taught to one vampire by another vampire. However, it only works if the demons want it to, which means the vampire has to make a pact. Both are needed. So a vampire that has been taught the knowledge, but has not made a pact simply can't use it. However, the attempt to use it does draw the attention of the demon who will appear at some point and explain why it isn't working and explain what the vampire needs to do so it can work.

            I think its essential that the Dark Thaumaturgist must sell his soul to the infernal powers. It's not something you can work around.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              I think its essential that the Dark Thaumaturgist must sell his soul to the infernal powers. It's not something you can work around.
              That's what the demons want you to think!

              Most turn to DT in desperation or trickery, so that's true for most, but I think it's entirely possible to arrange a less severe exchange or even bind the demon and force it to bestow you power.

              Books are very inconsistent on this. Extreme end wise: One of the earliest dark ages books on infernalism had the option to gain 'points' for infernal power and you could do much short of selling your soul to pay for abilities. Though perhaps you could argue damnation for even the very minor things on the list if you do it in the name of a demon. Another book had it so that you needed -at-least-this-much- sold to get augmented by a demon. Infernalism's one of those triggering subjects where writers have either polarized to sweet'n sexy temptation with high gains at low costs or damnable not-even-once shittery with no redemption if you're even stupid enough to look at it.

              Personally, I run with the Idea that many elders got into the infernal during their neonate years during very trying times (The Anarch revolt, the omen war, something high stakes like that) and most terrifyingly, they've been successful. They used it to achieve their goals and when things calmed down and they no longer needed it they quietly put it all away. It gave them the leg up they needed to fight the elders of back then, and they do not want you to get the same leg up to challenge them. Dark secrets are fun, and if infernalism was always a dead end nobody'd do it.
              Of course this could just be a lie a demon's telling you so that you feel better about forming a pact.


              Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

              Comment


              • #8
                "The Tremere antitribu didn't 'create' new DT paths"
                according to the wiki they did cant find it in the books quickly. Also Tremere can create new thaumaturgy paths as well - cause its basicly the sam,e principle as you say yourself later on

                "The Defining characteristic of DT is that it's granted by demons"
                for flavor absolutely. But unlike Koldunic Sorcery the powers of DT are based on YOUR blood and willpower and do not depend on the whim of another being which is why DT costs BP to cast, koldunism does not

                "The cost (Read: Side effect) of DT is optional"
                that may be. i never handled it as optional cause the paths are sometimes very OP powerfull and a vampire can handle paranoia or similiar mental issues, nightmares etc. the green hellfire aura is very problematic though given that anyone with auspex can see it immediately

                "Sorcery was not taught to caine by demons. Don't know where you get that."
                Not sorcery - that was Liliths ding just like Blood Bond was the Crone. But the powers of the blood and disciplines was taught to Caine by demons (Book of Nod) Given that Caine learned how to embrace from Lucifer himself you could say all vampires are more or less some kind of infernalist
                That said since there is a multitude of demonic factions its also not quite fair to put them all together ^^


                "The Fires of the Inferno is potentially balancable with standard Lure of Flames" to vampires maybe. Yes but lrue of flames ummons normal flames - they dont specificly hurt werewolves, and dont hurt wraiths at all. Hellfire does. However id allow to soak hellfire with fortitude but not stamina.

                " The human soul was once divine"
                afaik that is the Avatar we are talking about, that part that can literally ascend to godhood and beyond. Vampirs - all of them - loose their avatar for good though and thus any spark of divinity in them. Mages are the ones who can pursue actual divinity. Vampires can at best "ascend" to demonhood or some kind of wraith to my knowledge. Otherwise Tremere wouldnt ahve lost the ability to cast actual magic
                Last edited by Orkar; 09-17-2020, 04:21 PM.

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                • #9
                  No, that's the common human soul. The beast is just a shitty avatar. The curse of Caine is just as divine as an avatar, though it comes with it's own imperfections. Diablerizing your way to caine is just as valid a path as becoming an archmage. Reality is a prison for eternal souls and both the embrace and awakening are methods of casting off the shackles of the material world and returning to the God above the Demiurge. Anyone is capable of enlightenment. Anyone is capable of magic if they can simply transform themselves to something better. The Embrace and the vampiric process as a whole is a sort of alchemy. (But the changing breeds are naturally set towards keeping the status quo, as they are subservient to spirit hierarchy, and should be destroyed)

                  /This is what happens when you take an interest in Settites.
                  The average human soul is capable of everything a spirit can do, if it only just unlocks it's potential. It doesn't need someone else to unlock the potential for them, though outside help is hugely helpful, it is not necessary from the point of view of the WoD's Dominant magical paradigms (Hermeticism and Gnosticism)


                  Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

                  Comment

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