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2nd Edition Necromancy

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  • 2nd Edition Necromancy

    So on and off I've been working on a Blood and Smoke homebrew of Blood Sorcery Necromancy. I thought now that I'm pretty happy with it as a full document I thought I'd show it to the kind people of this forum. I've spoilered the sections for ease of reading.

    Pulling back the curtains it's a hybrid between Cruac and Theban, using Blood for example but using Intelligence for it's request roll.

    It designed to be used straight up like the rites in the 2nd Ed Core book, but I've designed the target numbers and levels to roughly correspond to the rules found in the excellent Blood Sorcery sourcebook.

    I've also put in some extra mechanics, like a devotion or two and a merit that allows the character to go fully Necromancer-In-The-Castle-With-An-Army-Cackling, and a few factions/NPCs with which you can include Necromancy into a Vampire game.

    This is my first proper stab at homebrew mechanics, hopefully I've eyeballed the mechanics so they wouldn't explode hilariously. Most of the rules and rite's functions are designed with other necromancy powers in mind as well as a selection of powers to fit a number of necromancer concepts, be it necromancer killer or someone who likes staring at ghosts.

    First off, an Introduction:
    Note: This is a supplement detailing the Blood Sorcery variant of Necromancy. It follows the Blood Sorcery rules outlined in Blood and Smoke, the rites included have been designed with the rules in the Vampire the Requiem Blood Sorcery supplement in mind, and the Ephemeral Entities rules covered in the God-Machine Rules Update. Many different types of Blood Sorcery exist in the modern nights, the two most common being the sorceries of the Lancea et Sanctum and the Circle of the Crone. But others have existed or do exist, including the Veneficia of the Camarilla and the strange geomantic rituals practised by the Architects of the Monolith. One uncommon form of Blood Sorcery is that of Necromancy. Despite this the phenomenon is widespread enough to suggest either simultaneous invention or ancient origin. Kindred are creatures of death, powered by stolen life force. It is not totally unbelievable to imagine the first Kindred Necromancer realising that the stolen powers of the blood could be harnessed for more entropic means.
    Whatever absolute begin this form of Blood Sorcery had, throughout the outskirts of Kindred society are nests of the outcastes that have dealt with the dead and the ephemeral, and have gained a dread power from those deals in the shadows.
    Within the Clans


    The Daeva
    Not all gods of death are shuffling corpses rooting around the leftovers of the living. Some are Kings bedecked in the riches of the dead, surrounded by legions of servants. The Daeva do love to be worshipped, whereas the Shadows spin webs of cults and secrets the Daeva loudly announce their godhood. Where Necromancy may not be the most immediate interest to the Serpents, who can say no to the delicious hunger of those seeking to embrace their loved ones, just one more time?

    The Gangrel
    The Gangrel survive, of all the Clans they know there’s no point winning if you’re not there to see it. Some Gangrel see Necromancy as another tool, a way to survive in the dirt, a method of advantage that few will see coming. Another might see the power gained as a way to dominate the other competition out of the way. Out of all Necromancers the Gangrel make the most aggressive, burying competitors and rivals under a sea of corpses, and tearing them apart under deathly energies.

    The Mekhet
    If there is a Clan more synonymous with the secrets surrounding the dead it is the Shadows. A Mekhet lurking amongst the mausoleums, uncovering the secrets of the restless dead, is a picture easily conjured to most Kindred. There is reason for this too, hidden away and obsessed with secrets many Shadows have started a path that has lead to uncovering the secrets of Necromancy. There is a small Bloodline of European Mekhet within the Lancea et Sanctum who have quietly practised their Necromancy since the Dark Ages, away from the eyes of the majority of Lance members. Studying the secrets of death and the land beyond, they have survived to the modern night thanks to long dead secrets now firmly in their grasp.

    The Nosferatu
    In a Clan of Haunts, Necromancy doesn’t seem that much of a taboo. The Worms have always found that the graveyards of the world make good havens away from the majority of company and the dead make as much as the living (or undead) at times. Hell, most Kindred would assume upon hearing about Necromancy that the Nosferatu have known about it all this time. An Eastern Bloodline of Burakumin are known in the USA to practise this Sorcery quite openly in Kindred society, much to the chagrin of local Lance (and Crone members).

    The Ventrue
    The Lords know that power is the end game, it’s own reward. Why not rule over the restless dead as well? Of all the Necromancers, the Ventrue do it for it’s rewards. Not the knowledge (although knowledge is power), but what you can leverage from and using the dead. These Necromancers are the ones to maintain a shadow empire of debts from mortals and Kindred alike, commanding the dead to heel.
    Within the Covenants


    The Carthians
    The Movement doesn’t hold much with the trappings of Sorcery per se, but can see a useful tool when it’s in front of them. Carthian Necromancers, admittedly, are rare but when they turn up they use all the dirty tricks in the book. They send ghosts to harass enemies and spy on them, and they tear down establishments with a troops of the undying. If there’s a coven of Necromancers that will find a novel approach with this Sorcery, it’ll be these guys.

    The Crone
    The Circle’s relationship with Necromancy is unsurprisingly strained due to the predominance of Cruac within the Covenant. Any necromantic rites that were used by the proto-groups before the Circle were quickly subsumed into the practises of Cruac and leftovers forgotten. Despite this, there are groups in corners of the world who worship the Crone as a gatekeeper between life and death, and symbol of transformation trapped in unlife. These groups typically do practise Necromancy instead, and are shunned or outright hunted by the wider Covenant.

    The Invictus
    Amongst the more traditional of the Invictus, Blood Sorcery of the ilk of Cruac tends to be too close to the powers of Cruac for the Invictus’ tastes, considering their long history with the Lancea et Sanctum. However more modern houses consider it a valid lever for material wealth. Rumours are abound with groups of Invictus that can always ‘deal’ with accidental corpses far better than other cities, maintaining the Conspiracy of Silence. All for a fee, of course.

    The Lancea et Sanctum
    The Lance’s opinion of Necromancy largely depends on the history of the Covenant within that area. Many Domains have a long history of violently burning out practitioners of Necromancy, much in the same way they had with other Blood Sorcerers. Other domains have some history of their members dealing with the grave to start to develop Necromancy, to further understand the Curse, and to continue testing the living. Lance practitioners stereotypically learn rituals related to hauntings, to exorcise the souls in torment, or to use them to haunt the wayward flock.


    The Ordo Dracul
    A Dragon’s research into Transcendence can easily lead down the road to the restless dead. It is no surprise that occasionally a Dragon develops an interest in Necromantic rituals. The Covenant tends to be curious in the applications and potential of the Sorcery, though most Kogaion will helpfully remind an errant member the Work must supercede any ‘hobbies’. Necromancers within the Ordo often are visited at some point by a reclusive Ventrue Bloodline very interested in their capabilities.
    Necromantic Characters

    Characters wishing to practise Necromancy should heavily consider putting some dots in Intelligence and Occult. Whilst helping with the core Discipline use they are also helpful in researching ghosts of interest, yielding Bans and Banes. A Safe Place is always useful for a Necromancer wishing to have a quiet place out of sight of disapproving eyes, Allies and Contacts are useful for knowing where the bodies are buried (literally), Mentor can represent a teacher, and Unnatural Affinity can represent a Necromancer’s shift of feeding habits to the ephemeral.

    Players wishing to play a character will Cruac or Theban Sorcery, but also wishing to have the odd rite presented below are free, with Storyteller permission, to change the cost and dice pool used for the rites. These rites tend to be of practical benefit to the character involved, a group of Theban exorcists will have Theban variants for rites such as Gaze across the Veil and Create Ward for example.


    Necromancy
    Necromancy


    Learning Necromancy
    Any Kindred can learn Necromancy as an out of Clan Discipline, and learn individuals rituals at levels equal to or less than their current rating in Necromancy. The methods of learning are individual to each Chronicle. In some, a graveyard dwelling Nosferatu Bloodline teaches it members the rituals, in another a recluse Mekhet Lance may offer to teach it for payment for tasks and in another Kindred who have fed off of Ghosts may find that they are able to manipulate the Blood in ritualised fashions. Later, several options that can be used to bring Necromancy into a Requiem Chronicle are described.
    Learning the motions that allow a Kindred to manipulate the powers within Vitae to create Necromantic effects takes a toll on their Humanity as delving into the secrets of the grave pushes far from their Humanity. Learning a dot in Necromancy is a Breaking Point at Humanity 4, and they suffer a cap of on their Humanity of Humanity - dots in Necromancy.
    The Sacrifice
    Before attempting the ritual a sacrifice of vitae equal to the ritual's level must be made, with the first vitae being used by the practitioner as if powering a Discipline. The additional vitae tends to be bled into a container, or onto the subject of the ritual, whichever is more appropriate. Whether or not the ritual is successful or not the vitae is used, and withers into black ash that stains whatever is underneath.
    This is the absolute minimum cost that is used in Necromantic rituals, although it is common for practitioners to set up an appropriate atmosphere with props, assistances and performances intended to focus the practitioner's will onto the task at hand and extra vitae to supply the ritual with great power.

    The Request
    Once the sacrifice has been made the ritualist concentrates, and attempts to harness the necromantic power released by the spilt vitae into the intended effect.
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Necromancy
    Action: Extended; the time interval is half an hour, or if their Necromancy rating is higher than the ritual level the time is decreased to 15 minutes per roll. Ritualists do not use their defence whilst casting, and some are contested actions. Unless a merit says it specifically affects Blood Sorcery, no merits affect the time intervals, nor the limit of rolls of the Request.

    Dramatic Failure: The ritual completely fails and the Sacrifice is wasted. The ritualist gains the Anchor Condition, and the next ritual attempted by the Necromancer suffers a -2 dice penalty.
    Failure: The ritual fails, and the vitae spilt wastes away into naught else but ash.
    Success: The the ritual accumulates successes, if the target number is met then the ritual is successful, and the split vitae releases it’s energies to the Necromancer as it turns to ash.
    Exceptional Success: If the ritualist makes impressive work of the ritual. The player chooses an additional effect as well as the accumulated successes.
    • Reduce the target number of successes by her dots in the Necromancy Discipline.
    • Reduce the time per roll to 15 minutes (or to 5 minutes if she has more dots in the Necromancy Discipline than the level of the ritual attempted).
    • The chill of the grave can even dampen the hot hunger of the Beast, apply the Ecstatic Condition.
    If the target number of successes is met the ritual immediately takes place.

    Suggested Modifiers:
    Modifier Situation
    +1 to +3 If the Necromancer is applying a ritual to someone they share Blood Sympathy with.
    0 The ritualist is unaffected by distractions.
    -1 to -3 The ritualist is rushed or distracted. This penalty is cumulative for multiple distractions.
    0 to +3 The ritualist prepares a more elaborate ritual beyond what would be normally expected of her.
    0 to +3 The ritualist successfully meditates before casting, bonus equal to the successes gained on the meditation roll.
    Defending Against Necromancy

    The subject of a blood ritual does not need to be present for the ritual to take effect, but ritualists are wary when using rituals to target Kindred and other supernatural beings. The victim of an unwanted ritual has a chance to shake it off, and the touch of the ritualist’s vampiric nature exposes her to her intended victim.
    Rituals note in their descriptions if they are Contested or Resisted, along with the dice pool involved. Contesting a roll is reflexive.
    Via a sensation much like blood sympathy, vampires are always aware when someone uses a blood sorcery ritual on them — their Beasts react to the ritualist’s sorcerous presence from the moment the sacrifice is made until the ritual fails or succeeds. This applies even to vampires in daysleep or torpor, although they can’t do anything about it until they wake. Note that vampires don’t know what a ritual is doing, just that one is taking place.

    Conscious victims may spend Willpower to increase the dice pool to Contest by +3, or add a +2 bonus to Resistance.
    • Frenzying increases a victim’s dice pool or Resistance as though she spent Willpower without requiring the expenditure.
    • While the ritual is taking place, the victim increases his blood sympathy to the ritualist by two ranks if he is of the same clan, or gains it at “Thrice Removed” if he is of a different clan.
    Homunculi
    Certain creatures can be created with Necromancy. They have a duration of one day (24 hours), though suffer the Banes of Fire and Sunlight, like Kindred. Though they don’t necessarily have independent thought these Banes are integral to their existence and at sunrise they will instinctively find shelter, finding a basement, digging a new grave or hiding in a dark corner are all appropriate actions. The Necromancer that originally created them can feed a point of Vitae to them at any point and this resets that duration to the point of feeding. A Necromancy can maintain a number of Homunculi equal to her dots in Necromancy.

    Rites
    Rites

    Gaze Across the Veil *
    Target number of successes: 4
    The ritualist gains the power to see beings in Twilight, superimposed onto her normal vision. This can be quite distracting, the ritualist suffers a -2 penalty to all Wits rolls relating to the material realm, like noticing an ambush or searching a room. This effects lasts for a scene.

    Preserve the Corpse *
    Target number of successes: 6
    The Necromancer at the height of the ritual marks a corpse with the Vitae spent in the Sacrifice. The decomposition of the corpse halts at the point of the ritual’s success for one month. The corpse is still vulnerable to physical harm, it just will not decompose.

    Mask the Corpse *
    Target number of successes: 5
    The ritualist, upon applying the Sacrificial Vitae onto a corpse can change the corpse’s appearance to either another person that the ritualist has seen, or change the apparent cause of death. This appearance lasts for a month, and if is investigated by supernatural means (such as Auspex) the investigation is subject to Clash of Wills.

    Corpse Witness *
    Target number of successes: Variable, see below.
    The Necromancer applies the Sacrifice to the eyes of the corpse, if there are no eyes the ritual cannot work. Produces a vision of the the last thing the dead saw before dying. The target number of successes depends on the age of the corpse:
    1 day 2 successes
    1 week 3 successes
    1 month 4 successes
    3 months 5 successes
    1 year 6 successes
    Rigor Mortis *
    Target number of successes: 5
    Resisted by: Resolve
    The target, who must be within a mile of the Necromancer, finds their reanimating Vitae lose it’s power as their body fights to become a corpse once more. Their next physical action is penalised by a -3 penalty.

    Create Fetter *
    Target number of successes: 6
    Contested by: Resolve + Blood Potency
    The ritualist sheds the Vitae and touches a target, if successful the target has the Anchor Condition placed onto them. If the target is an inanimate object, like a statue the ritual is not contested. This Condition lasts for a scene, unless the haunting is progressed ‘naturally’ via the Ephemeral Beings rules, then the Condition has it’s normal duration.

    Dead Spy **
    Target number of successes: 6
    The Necromancer takes an eye or an ear from a corpse and turns it into a simple spy with the sense originally belonging to that organ that cannot move itself. The spy withers into dust once the duration has ended. They are as fragile as a bit of flesh is, and tend to be hidden by Necromancers who use them. This is a Homunculus.

    Appearance of the Corpse **
    Target number of successes: 7
    Contested by: Resolve + Blood Potency
    The ritualist casts the Sacrifice, and curses a victim within sight and inflicts a harsher reality of death to a victim, can force a vampire into early day sleep, or mask the body of the ritualist as a normal corpse as they day sleep. This lasts for one night.

    Grasp the Ethereal **
    Target number of successes: 6
    The ritualist marks her hands with the Sacrifice. The ritualist can interact with objects or beings in Twilight as if in Twilight herself, and be interacted with by others in Twilight. The effect lasts for a scene.

    Find the Haunt **
    Target number of successes: 6
    The ritualist gathers a map (or other representation of the surrounding area) that represents an of five miles. As she spends the Sacrifice, the Vitae drops onto the map it marks a number of places equal to dots in Necromancy that are either; dormant (or active) Avernian Gates, or areas that would provide at least +3 for a Ghost to manifest (such as an old graveyard, or the site of a recent and horrific murder).


    Manifest **
    Target number of successes: 7
    Contested by: Resolve + Blood Potency
    The Necromancer is able to change the Manifestation conditions Anchor, Open and Control one step towards each other, so for example change an Open condition to a Controlled condition. This ritual is contested if the target of the Conditions is a character, and requires touch contact as per the Create Fetter rite. The change lasts for one night, where the Condition naturally reverts to what it was before the rite. If the Condition is further changed ‘naturally’ by a Ghost the new Condition is not affected by the rite’s duration.

    Call the Echo **
    Target number of successes: 5
    Contested by: Resistance + Rank
    Sometimes a Necromancer wishes to call a specific ghost to her. This rite, when cast upon an existing Anchor of a ghost within a mile that the Necromancer knows of (she cannot call the mysterious ghost she suspects of haunting her haven, but can summon the ghost of the described old women who lived in the shack in the woods), the ghost immediately appears at the Anchor. Note that is does not necessarily mean the ghost is inclined favourably towards the summoner.

    Repulse the Echo **
    Target number of successes: 5
    Contested by: Resistance + Rank
    The ritualist spends the Sacrifice around her and calls out a specific ghost that she has met. She suppresses any Conditions tagged by that entity in her Willpower in yards, for a day.


    Ward **
    Target number of successes: 5 + Ghost’s rank
    The ritualist marks out a rough circle able to hold a size 5 entity comfortably with the Vitae. Extra Vitae spent not as an equipment bonus increases the size threshold by a one for one basis. The blood acting as a Bane for purposes of containing a Ghost within the circle as per the Warding rules in GMC. The Wards last for one scene.

    Compel the Echo ***
    Target number of successes:
    Contested by: Resistance + Rank
    The Necromancer spills the Sacrifice, and calls out a command to a specific ghost within one mile. The command lasts for a week, and the ghost must be capable of the command. For example the command cannot force the ghost to break it’s Ban or interact with a Bane. “Haunt the Mayor of Hertford” would be appropriate. Actions pertaining to the completion (or maintenance) of the task given add the ghosts Rank to the roll, and if successful give the ghost one Essence per scene.


    Raise the Servant ***
    Target number of successes: 8
    The ritualist reanimates a corpse within sight and creates a Homunculus, a reliable, but weak servant akin to a one dot Retainer. The undead servant follows simple commands unswervingly, but cannot be expected to make interpretations or form plans of it’s own accord. Commands such as “attack anyone who enters the museum” or “clear the rubble away from that door” are acceptable, “attack any Crone member entering the museum” or “build me a tower” are not. They only follow the commands of the ritualist. Stats of these if needed are:

    Servants
    Power 3
    Finesse 1
    Resistance 3

    Physical Disciplines: Any that the ritualist holds at a rating of one dot.

    Ephemeral Armour ***
    Target number of successes: 9
    The Necromancer applies the Sacrifice to herself and creates 3/0 armour that lasts for a scene. The Vitae wraps entropic energy around herself so it resembles a windswept ectoplasmic shroud. This is Masquerade breaching. The shroud counts as a Bane for Ghosts with Ranks lower than the Necromancer’s dots in Necromancy, but cannot be ‘wielded’, it is a form of protection not a weapon.

    Entropic Grasp ***
    Target number of successes: 9
    The ritualist enchants her hands with a curse that the next time the ritualist uses the Damage move in a grapple she counts as being in control of a one-use 3 damage weapon that deals lethal to vampires. The wounds caused create black, cold necrosis of the flesh. The ritual curses the ritualist’s hands for a night and only one curse may be burdened at one time.

    Better the Servant ***
    Target number of successes: 8
    The ritualist smears the Sacrifice onto the target Homunculus, which gains five Attribute dots to be immediately distributed amongst any attribute. This power can be use to give a Homunculus a measure of intellect, inhuman strength or a stimulating partner in discussion. These changes are permanent, even if the servant is not.

    Empty the Vessel ****
    Target number of successes: 8
    Contested by: Resolve + Blood Potency
    The ritualist with a touch inflicts the Soulless condition onto the target. The target’s Soul is removed from the corpus of the victim, but hangs around like fine, ephemeral mist visible in Twilight. The Soulless condition lasts for one night where the Soul naturally falls back into the victim, if the victim isn’t currently possessed or claimed. If it cannot, after this period the Soul disappears, presumed forever lost. The ritual fails to work on Kindred.

    Raise the Household ****
    Target number of successes: 10
    The ritualist reanimates three corpses like Raise the Servant. These are Homunculi, and have the same stats as Servants created in Raise the Servant. They act as a unit, and follow the same order, and cannot be ordered individually.

    Memento Mori ****
    Target number of successes: 10
    Resisted by: Resolve
    The Necromancer creates a memento of a victim within a mile and buries it. This inflicts the Delusional condition on the victim, where the victim believes themselves to be dying (for example of a terminal disease) or imminently about to die. Additionally, the victim does not regain a willpower point by sleeping during the effect. If the memento is destroyed (it suffers the Banes of Sunlight and Fire like it’s Kindred creator) or the victim conclusively proves they will not die (often somewhat difficult, the world is dangerous) the delusion is broken, otherwise the delusion lasts for one month.

    Fill the Vessel ****
    Target number of successes: 11
    Contested by: Resolve + Blood Potency
    The Necromancer touches a target who is subject to the Open Condition and allows a ghost of a Rank lower than her dots in Necromancy to possess the victim. This work instead of the normal Possession roll made by the involved ghost. Soulless victims suffer the usual penalty. The duration is one month. This ritual works on Kindred.

    Breach the Veil *****
    Target number of successes: 11
    The ritualist forces an Avernian gate to open in an existing mundane portal, like a door or gateway. The Avernian Gates lasts for a scene, though the Necromancer is unable to control who uses it, on either side.
    .
    Orphic Sojourn *****
    Target number of successes: 9
    The Necromancer forces their mind into an astral form which is found in Twilight, Puts the Necromancer’s mind into Twilight, with the same effect as Auspex *****. Any rituals currently affecting the ritualist, like Entropic Shield are brought over.

    Raise the Wight *****
    Target number of successes: 13
    The ritualist raises one capable Homunculus from an existing corpse she touches. The Wight has two dots in all it’s Attributes and the ritualist has an additional five dots to spread across them at the time of casting. It has a +3 dice pool bonus to enact an action related to it’s current command like, “kill the librarian”. The Wight has one dot in every physical Discipline it’s creator possesses and three additional dots to place within any physical Discipline at the time of casting.

    Merit and Devotions
    Merits


    Master of the Legion ***
    The Necromancer can now maintain triple the amount of necromantic Homunculi than her dots in Necromancy would normally allow.
    Devotions


    Subvert the Master
    (Dominate 1, Necromancy 2)
    The Necromancer tries to briefly wrest control of Homunculus from another Necromancer with a command. If the Homunculus is a Wight the dice pool suffers a -3 penalty.
    Cost: None
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Expression + Dominate vs. Resolve + Blood Potency of Homunculus’ creator.
    Action: Instant
    Dramatic Failure: The Homunculus’ creator immediately knows that an attempt to subvert his Homunculus has occured and who has tried.
    Failure: The command fails.
    Success: The vampire is able to give a Homunculus of another Necromancer an order.
    Exceptional Success: The Homunculus is under the Necromancer’s command for a scene.

    Unveil the Dead’s Secrets
    (Auspex 2, Necromancy 1)
    The Necromancer has perfected the art of finding out the secrets of the dead, secrets that may help future rituals.
    Cost: The first use is free, though subsequent uses in the same scene cost one Vitae per activation.
    Action: Instant
    Dramatic Failure: The ST should answer the questions as though the player rolled a success, giving false information or presenting a warped truth.
    Failure: The vampire’s senses are clouded and cannot separate the truth out of the scene.
    Success: The player can ask one question per gained success, the ST should use imagery conjured by the dead and dying to convey the meaning of the answers.
    Exceptional Success: The images conjured yield a hidden secret that the Necromancer didn’t expect, but would find useful.
    Samples Questions:
    • What is this ghost anchored to?
    • How old is this ghost?
    • Who remembers this ghost when they were alive?
    Where is this ghost’s body buried?


    What If My Necromancer Wants to Visit the Underworld?
    What If My Necromancer Wants to Visit the Underworld?

    It’s a fair question, firstly how does a Necromancer even get to the Underworld? Traditionally vampires can enter the Underworld through Avernian Gates that they find (Find the Haunt is excellent for this, as are extended Intelligence + Occult/Academics rolls). Blood Sorcery cannot affect realms beyond the physical, so a Necromancer cannot just open up a new Avernian Gate. However, once finding an existing Avernian
    Gate a character just needs to find the key (which requires a Intelligence + Occult roll at a -3 to -5 modifier).


    So, now the Necromancer is in the Underworld. She better hope she has some skill in Survival, so she can find her way around. The rite Ephemeral Armour is a life saver (or un-life saver) from the masses of young ghosts at the top reaches of the Underworld.

    For reasons to visit the Underworld, Book of the Dead provides several excellent reasons a less-than-sane Kindred would want to visit.


    ​Factions
    Factions



    Bloodline - The Grave Tenders Background: This Bloodline of Haunts come from some time in Medieval Europe, most likely under the wings of the Lancea et Sanctum. Originally a family of Nosferatu who made graveyards across an area their Feeding Grounds and Havens started to find that they could feed off of the ghosts that manifested within the grounds. This ephemeral vitae gave the lineage the ability to manipulate the energies within their vitae to affect the Twilight and it’s denizens. They quickly set themselves up as guardians of graveyards, making sure that the Herd respected the grounds of the dead, and carving a niche for themselves in Kindred society. The Gravediggers (as they are now known) have survived to modern nights in small numbers, haunting some of the oldest graveyards in the Old World, some setting up massive Necropoli in the tunnels beneath the largest cities in Europe.

    The Becoming: Mortals with a fascination for the morbid are prime candidates for the Bloodline, as are those with intelligence and a healthy respect for dead and God. The Embrace invariably warps the unfortunate mortal’s frame so that they will forever resemble a walking corpse.

    The Danse Macabre: The Tenders are usually seen within the fold of their ancestral Covenant, the Lancea et Sanctum, tending the graveyard territories. More recently, younger members have found that their unusual tradition gives them great power over other Kindred, who don’t necessarily expect such powers. These new members are moving away from the tradition loyal graveyard tenders to lords of the graveyards.

    Nicknames: Grave diggers, Haunters

    Clan: Nosferatu

    Disciplines:Nightmare, Obfuscate, Resilience, Vigour

    Bloodline Bane: The Bloodline arose from those who fed off of the ephemeral and have inherited the ephemeral’s weakness of a Ban. Upon joining the Bloodline the Haunter suffers an additional Bane related to a compulsion a Ghost might have. This counts towards the maximum number of Banes allowed.

    Shadow Cult - The Grey Veil A Shadow Cult that have sprung from the more morbid members of the Mekhet across the world. The cult at its lowest level is a group of mortal necromancers seeking out artefacts and writings that hold necromantic secrets, as well as communicating with the restless dead to learn their secrets. These promising necromancers advance through the lowest ranks until they are deemed suitable for the Embrace, where they carry on serving their teacher until they are initiated into the final secret, that the Veil gains its necromantic powers from a Council of beings known as the Kereberoi, who are long since dead and forgotten gods. The cult seeks to break down the barriers between the living and the dead, hoping one day to release their patrons back into the world of the living.

    Shadow Cult: The Grey Veil:
    * All initiates learn quickly about the secrets of the dead, and gain an occult specialty in Ghosts.
    ** Full members learn to apply what they know about the dead to almost any applicable situation. Their speciality in Ghosts gains the benefits of the Interdisciplinary Speciality.
    *** An experience cultist has been to many rituals over the course of their initiation, and gain two dots in the Meditative Mind merit as a consequence.
    **** Those cultists at this level have been chosen for the Embrace, and are Kindred. They have started on the road to being taught the basics of the Blood Sorcery Discipline of Necromancy. To reflect this teacher the initiate gains three dots in the Mentor merit.
    ***** Those at the top of the cult learn who patrons the organisation and is accepted as Herald of the Council. Due to this link Necromancy is now learnt as an in-Clan Discipline.

    Rev. Daniel Hawthorn
    A Vicar in a small, old parish in the heart of the English countryside, Rev. Hawthron had a quiet life of dealing with the petty troubles that plague an English village. He had been in the parish for about half a year before he started to uncover strange inconsistencies within the parish records, Vicars tended to disappear quickly in the parish and the villagers tended only to willing enter the church grounds on a Sunday, otherwise meeting in the town hall on the otherside of the village. As well as this, the graveyard of the Church was uncharacteristically large, although definitive records about it were almost non-existant.

    When asked about it villagers would reply with the tired line that the parish was indeed very old, and would obviously have ghosts in the records. Unconvinced Daniel continued digging, finding examples of grave built for people blatantly falsified and behind one of the walls in the Church an extensive, and unknown mausoleum. Panicking that night, coming out of the false wall back into the Churchthe thing responsible found Daniel. It was fast, and seemed to dance out of vision. The monster chased Daniel though the graveyard and back into the Church, burning Daniel’s flesh with the grasp of a dead man. The candles that Rev Hawthorn had lit earlier that evening proved to be his saviour and the evening ended with Daniel burning the ash paper corpse of the vampire in the grounds of the Church.

    That was five years ago and Rev. Daniel has travelled far and wide hunting these monsters. He’s a cold hard man now, not much remains of the fresh out of Univeristy boy that nearly died in that Church. He hunts those who dare disturb the rest of the dead. So far he’s burned six of them, and it’s a mircle he’s survived. He started to acquire a menagerie of hangers on and people he’s saved, something he’s deeply uncomfortable. He knows it’s his duty to lead the flock, but he feels that this mission is only his cross to bare. He’s seen too much of the damage Necromancy brings, and is determined not to let it hurt anyone else.

    The Grave Baron
    In London you don’t mess with Baron. His people are everywhere, and he knows where all the bodies are buried, and where they’re walking to. A couple of hudred years ago, at the height of the the Resurrectionist movement in London a lowly Ventrue neonate in the Invictus found a niche where the slowly reacting elders hadn’t found yet.

    Corpses. Corpses were valuable, not just to the people buying, but to the people wanting to rid themselves of a more than troublesome corpse. Within years The Baron (he refuses any other name of course) began accumulating a small empire in the streets of London, using the small and the disposessed to move his goods from place to place. Rumours began to fly in the Court how he was able to so quickly turn this corner of the nights into such a source of power, rumours of Blood Sorcery. At the time British Kindred were faced with a resergence of Blood Sorcery thanks to the newly formed Circle of the Crone. The only thing that kept the Baron becoming a permanent part of his empire were who’s corpses he kept. He always insisted (quite politely) that any could accuse him if they wish, but who hadn’t an embarrassing skeleton in the closet, “as it were”. Skip forward to tonight and the Grave Baron (as the neonates know him as) commands a pocket of London, he has allies within the Nosferatu Necropolis, he has a Ghoul family read and willing to serve for the promise of a share in his deathly powers, he has a small army of informants ferreting out the latest cooling corpse, and he has the sharpest Italian suits.


    Thanks reading!
    Last edited by the_duck; 01-13-2015, 06:39 PM.

  • #2
    Cool stuff. Some things I've noticed at the moment:
    • Having the Crones hate and fear Necromancers seems pretty arbitrary. Given that Cruac is an aggregate of Blood Sorceries created by the Crone, I think I'd suggest that most Crones know a few rituals which have been taught in Cruac, but can't come quite as close to the mastery of someone trained specifically in Necromancy.
    • Your rules for the Homunculus are a little weird. You could simplify it further by making it just use Power, Finesse and Resistance, since they don't have skills.
    • I like the Bane effect of the Armor spell, but I'm not loving how extremely strong that armor is. I recommend making it 1/0.


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    • #3
      Righto, I guess it does seem a bit left-field, I tone it down a bit.

      Using power/finesse/resistance would be far easier, thanks. Don't know why I didn't do that.

      I think for a level 3 rite, 1/0 would be a bit weak. Do you suggest that rating considering the Bane effect?


      Also, thanks for the feedback.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by the_duck View Post
        Righto, I guess it does seem a bit left-field, I tone it down a bit.

        Using power/finesse/resistance would be far easier, thanks. Don't know why I didn't do that.

        I think for a level 3 rite, 1/0 would be a bit weak. Do you suggest that rating considering the Bane effect?


        Also, thanks for the feedback.

        My pleasure!

        There's nothing saying here that you can't use this in conjunction with regular armor, and I am suggesting it with the Bane effect in mind. If a Ghost even touches you they'll immediately stop being Manifest. 3/0 is very powerful Armor in general, and since it's Necromancy, having an armor which provides the great protection of the Bane effect with Ghosts and minor protection against more mundane stuff seems appropriately specialized.

        A cool note might include what individual rites might also show up in Cruac or Theban Sorcery perhaps in a slightly altered form in the case of the latter, since the Sorceries seem to actually be a bit permeable in terms of what they can do.

        In terms of lore, it might be worth asking, do you think Necromancy is commonly practiced, or rarely seen? If it's rare, why do you think that it is? I noticed the Bloodline and the Shadow Cult. Maybe it's actually the proprietary advantage of a Covenant in some part of the world that has, on a few occasions, managed to travel beyond it thanks to Nomads or fugitives from the Covenant.


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        • #5
          I guess the effect of the Bane does do something to make up for reduced armour, I think I hadn't pictured both of the effects together. That works.


          'Converted rites' is an awesome idea. I don't know when I'll get a chance to have a go, but hopefully I can write something down.
          Off the top of my head though, I can imagine Lance practitioners focusing on the rites that affect manifesting ghosts and what not, acting as exorcists (or using those ghosts to haunt the unfaithful).
          The image of a Crone Necromancer raising a load of corpses is just too fun. Though a coven of witches worshipping a deity of death might also find good use in ghost manipulation/Soul manipulation.

          Consider this a new pet project, I'll fit it into the updated covenant details and add a new section after rites.

          If I were to put Necromancy in my game, it would be rarer than the other Blood Sorceries (they are the main ones of the game after all, though an alternative setting where a world wide Covenant/Faction controls Necromancy in a Requiem game would be fun, to me at least). But it would pop up indepedently, a Bloodline or two here, a shadow cult there, a minor regional Covenant in another domain.

          For example, if I ever get my Nottingham based game off the ground, I think I would use the Nosferatu Bloodline. Prominent enough for the players to legitimately know about and enquire, but uncommon enough to make it a challenge for characters (player or otherwise) to get their hands on it. If I were to present multiple sources, I would theme the rites together, so a small Mekhet Bloodline who feed off ghosts would probably only know the rites that effect ephemeral beings.

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          • #6
            Yeah, that's something to consider. I'd make a very short list for the Lancea and the Circle of what rituals they might use. The Circle has probably just assimilated a few of them into Cruac outright, since Cruac is an agglomeration of ritual practices and blood sorcery. You basically would only need to change the dicepool.

            For the Sanctified versions, I'd try to give it the veneer of Sanctified discipline. The sacrifice that accompanies the Willpower point is probably just the same action as the spending of Vitae for Necromancy. You might note that some Sanctified are uncomfortable with some of these Rites for their resemblance to the Crone magic, but their Theban form is no doubt going to appear in some Sanctified texts as 'legitimate.'

            You can write whole new rites for them, but I really just think making a separate section noting "Some practitioners of Cruac can learn these listed rites as part of their sorcery" then doing the same for the Sanctified ones. Definitely make sure they have access to different ones depending on their Covenant. The Circle for instance would definitely use Homunculi, while the Lancea are likely to make use of stuff that reads more like Miracle magic.

            There's merits regarding "reclaiming" rituals from their opposing Covenants in the Secrets of the Covenants book, so anything outside of the lists of integrated Necromancy Rituals might fall under that.


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            • #7
              It is worth noting that Cruac can already make undead among many other things through the creation theme and many other rituals. That is not to say that there are not other forms of Sorcery that Vampires can use besides Cruac and Theban.

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              • #8
                If I were to make something more Necromancy specific, I'd consider making it simply a new Theme to fall next to the current 5 ones, but being a lot more rare.


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                • #9
                  That's an awesome work and given that I have a NPC rumored to use Necromancy in my current game I will use your thread as a basis ^^

                  Also, rather than a blood sorcery like Cruac I would prefer to play it as Theban Sorcery, with Willpower as fuel : it is a magic about souls after all ^^

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arabidopsis View Post
                    That's an awesome work and given that I have a NPC rumored to use Necromancy in my current game I will use your thread as a basis ^^

                    Also, rather than a blood sorcery like Cruac I would prefer to play it as Theban Sorcery, with Willpower as fuel : it is a magic about souls after all ^^
                    Or rather, completely soulless, with the casters WILL making the things happen


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                    • #11
                      Nicely said ^^

                      Also, among the rituals its lack some about dealing with ghost didn't it ? Compel ghost, trap them, exorcise them...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
                        There's merits regarding "reclaiming" rituals from their opposing Covenants in the Secrets of the Covenants book, so anything outside of the lists of integrated Necromancy Rituals might fall under that.
                        There isn't, that's been explicitly cut out.

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                        • #13
                          A question?

                          if necromancy is more widely available then Say... Cruac or Theban sorcery... might be best for it to be either a Recent invention, or recent Rediscovery.

                          Explains why it isnt in mainstream use, yet.

                          Also...

                          I could see the Circle even the most life, sunlight and purity focused cults, such as the Amanotsukai having a use for necromancy.

                          as being able to spy on people with ghosts, or attack them with a zombie horde, is useful to all kinds of people.

                          Ghost attacks are even mentioned under Crucibles.
                          Last edited by Prince of the Night; 01-09-2015, 05:02 PM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Griautis View Post
                            If I were to make something more Necromancy specific, I'd consider making it simply a new Theme to fall next to the current 5 ones, but being a lot more rare.

                            Between Creation and Transmutation you can already do this. No need to create a new theme.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arabidopsis View Post
                              Nicely said ^^

                              Also, among the rituals its lack some about dealing with ghost didn't it ? Compel ghost, trap them, exorcise them...
                              This is true, but Theban and Cruc can do do this as implied by the themes in Blood Sorcery and spirit rituals in the Crone Book.

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