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Walking Shadows: More Cruac & Theban Sorcery Rituals

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  • Walking Shadows: More Cruac & Theban Sorcery Rituals

    So, I greatly liked the Blood Sorcery rules from B&S -- They've gone a long way towards making Blood Sorcery unique from regular Disciplines, yet also balanced. That said, there weren't very many rituals, so I went and made a lot of my own. These are about evenly rituals derived from pre-B&S books, some other fan-stuff (notably the Unofficial Rituals compiled by Wordweaver ages ago), and stuff I made up out of whole cloth -- note that even for names that have primarily stayed the same, some things have changed. First though, some theoretical conceits guiding how I made and moved around rituals, followed by a few basic spell mechanisms, and then finally, the Rituals Themselves!

    Core Concepts
    Crúac is the magic of the Beast. This means, first, that Crúac is Wild as opposed to Civilized. It deals with the natural world, with plants and animals and weather. Crúac is a thing of deep forests and forgotten grottos, a thing of wolves baying beyond the edge of the fire. Secondly, Crúac is Internal, as opposed to External. It deals with the fundamentals of the Kindred Curse so as to strengthen and transmit them, to infect others with with the Beast or to enhance the vampire's own power. Crúacrevels in its inhumanity. Finally, Crúac is Animistic, as opposed to Monotheistic. The blood witch deals with spirits and petty gods as an equal, or at the very least as a client. Crúac is about making deals and pacts with things of this world and the next, taking their favors in exchange for offerings of blood and death.

    Theban Sorcery is the magic of
    Damnation. This means, first, that Theban Sorcery is Civilized as opposed to Wild. It deals with the works of man, with all that sets humanity apart from the beasts of the field, with tools and language and cities. Theban Sorcery is a thing of temples and catacombs, a thing of voices raised high in prayer. Secondly, Theban Sorcery is External as opposed to Internal. Every miracle requires a physical sacrament, and the power of Theban Sorcery comes from an outside force, greater than the ritualist can ever grasp. Theban Sorcery deals with the same power that imposed the Curse upon the Kindred in the first place, unlimited in its power and stern in its nature. Finally, Theban Sorcery is Monotheistic as opposed to Animistic. The Theban Sorcerer submits himself to God, supplicating himself in hopes that he be blessed, or that his Curse is briefly lightened, or that the enemies of God are struck down for their own sins.

    Spell Mechanisms
    Blood Sorcery, Range Limitations, and 'Holding' Spells
    Certain Rites and Miracles have a range greater than that of line of sight -- usually one mile. A character who finds out he is being targeted by blood-magic may, quite rationally, try to run away, either by putting some distance between himself and the ritualist, or shifting to a different plane of existence.

    If the ritualist accumulates enough successes to activate the spell, but the target is out of range or in a different dimension, the curse does not activate. At this point, the ritualist can either let the curse dissipate harmlessly, or else 'hold' it, continuing to go through the motions of the ritual (this does not add further successes or have any further costs other than the ritualist's time and effort). A ritualist may 'hold' a spell until the next sunrise or sunset, provided he is willing to continue the ritual that long, and if the target comes back within range during that time, the spell activates instantly.

    A target who is out of range of the spell no longer knows if they are being targeted by Blood Sorcery (in other words, they don't know if the ritualist gave up or is holding the spell), and no longer has the same sympathetic connection to their ritualist -- though they can certainly remember which way the sympathetic connection pointed while they were linked.

    Hanging Spells
    Certain Rites and Miracles, once cast, do not immediately activate. Rather, they lie dormant on the ritualist, their effect 'hanging' until activated by some specific action (most attack spells are of this sort). All unused Hanging Spells go away at sunrise, unless the ritualist pays a lesser sacrifice to keep them going. A user of Theban Sorcery may spend 1WP to extend all of his Hanging Spells for a further 24 hours, while a Crúac ritualist must spend 1V per Hanging Spell.

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  • #2
    Rites of Crúac

    Rank 1 Rites

    Lilith's Whisper
    Target Number of Successes: 5
    The ritualist is able to hear into the Twilight, and be heard there in turn, until sunrise.

    Favor of the Horned King
    Target Number of Successes: 5
    This simply ritual allows the ritualist to ignore up to (Potency) penalties from weather-based environmental effects (Extreme Cold, Heavy Rain, Heavy Wind, etc), regardless of whether they are of natural or supernatural origin. It lasts until sunrise.

    Pythian Renewal
    Target Number of Successes: 8
    This extremely painful ritual involves the ritualist literally cutting either themselves or a target free of their skin (inflicting 1L per roll). The target's visual age is reduced by (Potency x5) years, to a minimum age of 20, and they gain Striking Looks (Beauty or similar) 1, or increase Striking Looks 1 to 2. The ritual wears off gradually, the target aging by 1 year per day until they return to their normal age.

    Heightened Vitae
    Target Number of Successes: 5
    This ritual allows the vampire to store more of that essential quality of Vitae in their blood. Until sunrise, the Kindred's maximum Vitae is increased by (Potency). This doesn't actually let them store more blood, physically, in their body, but rather allows them to get a Vitae's worth of supernatural charge out of a smaller amount.

    Rank 2 Rites

    Lair of the Great Beast
    Target Number of Successes: 10
    The ritualist draws something of the Great Beast's immortal madness and hunger into the world, infecting an area of about a city block or a square mile of rural land (the vampire can infect a smaller area). Any uninvited individual who enters the area must roll Resolve+Composure. If they gain successes greater to or equal to the spell's (Potency), then the character feels a sense of unease, but no more, and is immune to Lair of the Great Beast for the next 24 hours. If they gain fewer successes than (Potency), however, they take their choice of the Shaken or Spooked Condition. This spell lasts for one week.

    Breath of the Horned King
    Target Number of Successes: 6
    The ritualist draws into his dead lungs the power of the Horned King, master of the night hunt, master of winter and death. This is a Hanging Spell. As an Instant, the ritualist can exhale out the Horned King's breath, covering an area of about 10,000 square feet (an area of about 100 feet to a side). This immediately applies the Extreme Cold tilt to the area, plus one of the following Tilts for every two additional dots of Potency (selected randomly): Heavy Rain, Grade 1 Heavy Wind, Ice, or Heavy Fog (treat as the visual/ranged penalties from Blizzard, without the snow). All of these Tilts are in GMC, beginning on pg. 206.

    Thorned Snare
    Target Number of Successes: 6
    This is a Hanging Spell, which can only be activated on soil. As an Instant, the ritualist causes thick rope-like vines to burst from the ground and wrap around the target, sprouting long, wicked thorns that pierce the subject’s flesh as the vines constrict. Treat the vines as a creature making a Grapple attack with a Strength equal to the ritualist's Crúac and Brawl equal to (Potency). The vines always Grapple the target and then either attempt to Damage them, dealing Lethal damage, or else Hold and then Immobilize the target -- the ritualist determines this when the spell is triggered and can change it with a verbal command.

    Conscripting the Weavers
    Target Number of Successes: 10
    The ritualist calls upon hundreds of small spiders to spin her a temporary suit of clothing -- requiring the ritualist to hold quite still while they work. The clothing can be of any sort that the sorceress can imagine, so long as it can be made out of silk, does not have pictures or writing upon it, and is colorless (though these restrictions can be gotten around if the vampire provides proper materials). The clothing, made of spider-silk, is quite tough and counts as (Crúac)/(Crúac) armor. The clothing lasts for one month.

    Taste of Knowledge
    Target Number of Successes: 8
    For the rest of the night, whenever the ritualist feeds, she can choose to drain knowledge and skill from the target instead of the life-energy of Vitae. For each two damage inflicted on the target over the course of the feeding, the ritualist gains one skill dot that she can use to raise her own skills -- though she cannot raise her skills in this fashion higher than the victim's. The ritualist can gain up to (Potency) skill dots in this fashion, and they persist until sunrise.

    Target Number of Successes: 8
    Over the course of this ritual, the vampire drizzles blood onto some manner of small plant (traditionally mandrake or belladonna) and imbues it with a portion of the Kindred's Damned soul, spending 1 WP to do so. The plant survives for one lunar month before wilting, but during that month the vampire may consume the plant to regain the spent willpower point (essentially, this ritual allows the vampire to store Willpower in a plant).

    A character with this ritual may choose to begin an adventure with one or more Mandrakes prepared -- each Mandrake reduces their starting Vitae by 2.

    Rank 3 Rites
    Lilith's Garden
    Target Number of Successes: 6
    The ritualist corrupts a small area with her Beast, turning all of the local plant life into grotesque parodies of nature (no more than about 10,000 square feet, or an area a 100 feet to a side). Trees and shrubs grow long, barbed thorns, flowers and weeds turn poisonous, grass becomes like razors, and noxious insects take up residence. Anyone foolish enough to blunder into the plant-life immediately takes (Potency) Bashing damage from being stabbed, stung, and lightly poisoned, and continues to take (Potency) Bashing damage for each minute they spend moving through the plants. Needless to say, this spell is far more effective where there is plentiful plant-life. The ritual lasts for one month.

    Join the Wild Hunt
    Target Number of Successes: 8
    The ritualist calls upon the Horned King, becoming one of his Hunters for the space of one night. Until sunrise, the ritualist gains a (Potency) boost to all Stealth rolls and all movement-, and tracking-related rolls. The ritualist may also gain this boost to certain Feeding rolls, which is a good thing as until sunrise, they also lose 1 Vitae each hour -- they are the hunter, and so had best hunt.

    Lilith's Beckoning
    Target Number of Successes: 8
    This ritual allows the ritualist to call forth to a single ephemeral entity within one mile, asking it to come to the ritualist and hear out a single request. If the ephemeral entity does so and completes the request, it gains (Potency) Essence as a reward -- the ritual in no way compels the entity, though most will perceive this as a very polite request.

    If the ritualist knows the name of a specific entity, he may call it specifically, otherwise he summons the nearest ephemeral entity of a given type ('poltergeist', 'fire spirit', 'demon of lust'). While this ritual may be used to call any ephemeral entity, usually only ghosts, spirits, and demons bother to answer -- if an angel or abyssal entity does so, this is usually a very bad sign.

    Rank 4 Rites
    Call the Horned King
    Target Number of Successes: 12
    The ritualist calls forth the Horned King, who arrives at the head of a thundercloud, with lightning for spears and the thunder the baying of his hounds. In practice, this ritual calls up extreme weather effects, with a Rating of 1, +1 for every three additional dots of Potency (max Rating of 4), the weather being appropriate to the local conditions. Note that the ritualist may also choose to inflict less extreme weather, in case they would rather not destroy too much of the local area. The weather hits at full force for the rest of the scene, and then loses one level of Rating per hour afterwards. See GMC pg. 213 for more on extreme weather.

    Lilith's Voice
    Target Number of Successes: 12
    Until sunrise, the ritualist is considered to have an honorary Rank of (Potency, to a maximum of the ritualist's Crúac ), as if he were an ephemeral entity of their own type, if perhaps of an unusually sanguine variety. This has two effects. First, ephemeral entities will be wary of tangling with someone they perceive as being of greater or equal Rank to them, and will treat the ritualist with great respect. Secondly, the ritualist's fangs and claws count as the Bane of any ephemeral entity of lesser Rank than them.

    Rank 5 Rites
    Mother of Demons
    Target Number of Successes: 12
    Contested By: Resistance
    Where before the ritualist asked in Lilith's name, now she commands. This ritual forces a single ephemeral entity within one mile to come before the ritualist, and then to accept up to (Potency) commands, which it must obey. A single command is a single action -- "Go to #42 Hereford St., kill the old man there, and bring back his copy of Der Garten to me," would be three commands (going someplace, killing someone there, and bringing back the book).

    Balance of Life and Death
    Target Number of Successes: 12
    Calling upon Lilith, the Lady of Fertility and Death and Rebirth, to rebalance the thickness of his blood, the ritualist is able to shift his Blood Potency up or down by up to (Potency) dots. With this ritual, young ritualists are able to shrug off great and terrible spells and to call upon more power of the blood than ever before, while elder ritualists benefit from a feeding pool that's 50,000 times larger than it was the night before. The effects of this ritual end at sunrise.

    Heart's Curse
    Target Number of Successes: 10
    Resisted By: Stamina
    The victim of this ritual must be within one mile of the ritualist. The ritual also involves the sacrifice of a living being, as at the climax of the spell, the ritualist tears out the sacrifice's heart with either a knife or her bare hands (using a human sacrifice counts as an elaborate ritual for a +3 bonus). Upon completion of the spell, the target instantly takes (Potency) Lethal damage as their heart tries to burst from their chest -- if the target is killed by the ritual, then their heart literally explodes.

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    • #3
      Miracles of Theban Sorcery

      Rank 1 Miracles
      Lift the Scales
      Target Number of Successes: 6
      Sacrifice: The ritualist anoints his eyes with incense and honey
      The ritualist is able to see and hear into the Twilight, and be seen and heard there in turn, until sunrise.

      Blessed Medallion
      Target Number of Successes: 5
      Sacrifice: A small trinket with a holy symbol (crucifix, hamsa hand, medallion, etc), which turns to ash after use.
      The ritualist imbues the object with a prayer, gaining the ability to draw it out in times of danger. This is a Hanging spell. Afterwards, provided the object is on the ritualist's body, the vampire can activate it as a Reflexive Action by saying "Lord protect me!" or "God please help me" or the like, and gain a +3 bonus to a single roll.

      The basic advantage of Blessed Medallion is that it allows the ritualist to gain both a Medallion bonus and a Willpower bonus to a truly important roll, effectively adding two willpower points to a roll. A character can begin an adventure with one or more Medallions prepared, in exchange for reducing their starting Willpower by a like amount.

      Target Number of Successes: 8
      Contested by: Composure+Blood Potency
      Sacrifice: A red cloth
      This pointed ritual, given in a vision to an English Bishop in the 18th Century, is used on a vampire within one mile of the ritualist. Until sunrise, the vampire cannot activate the Blush of Life, and his bite does not convey the Kiss.

      Target Number of Successes: 5
      Sacrifice: A clay tablet, on which the vampire writes the Hebrew words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin in blood.
      Used for both intimidation and communication purposes, this ritual allows the sorcerer to inscribe a message from a great distance. Unlike most rituals, this has unlimited range, but the sorcerer must have seen what he is writing on, and it must still be there (thus, this tends to be used on walls or other architectural features). The message can be no longer than (Potency x2) words, and appears to be written in blood, the words fading in one by one and lasting until sunrise.

      Menetekel can be used to transmit a Theban Inscription, provided it's textual and short enough.

      Theban Inscription
      Target Number of Successes: 9
      Sacrifice: The inscription must be physically inscribed onto the surface.
      In the earliest nights of the covenant, when Theban Sorcery was barely understood and the Sanctified were surrounded by enemies both living and undead, this simple ritual saved many vampires from Final Death by leading them to secret havens beneath the sun-bleached stones of Egypt.

      Immediately before or during the ritual, the ritualist inscribes a mark of no more than about a foot across onto the surface (painted, carved, drawn in chalk, it doesn't matter). The mark can be anything the ritualist cares to put down, whether a symbol or text or what-not. This mark can only be seen by those who have at least 1 dot of Theban Sorcery, or who succeed in a Clash of Wills vs (Potency) successes. The ritual is permanent once cast, though this does not make the inscription itself any more durable than it would otherwise be.

      The Lancea et Sanctum sometimes uses this ritual on excommunicates as well, branding their flesh with hot irons so as to make them forever marked and anathema to Sanctified wherever they go.

      Rank 2 Miracles
      Legionnaire's Blessing
      Target Number of Successes: 8
      Sacrifice: Several expensive oils
      Calling to mind the blessing of the Theban Legion by St. Daniel, the ritualist kisses a single melee weapon, firearm with a single magazine loaded into it, or set of armor before anointing it with oils. Until sunrise, the damage or armor bonus of the weapon is increased by (Potency), though to no greater than double the original damage or armor rating of the weapon. Using any of the traditional arms or armor of the Lancea et Sanctum (the gladius, the spear, the lorica segmentata) counts as an elaborate ritual for a +3 bonus.

      Gift of Tongues
      Target Number of Successes: 6
      Sacrifice: Holy water that must be dabbed on recipients’ ears, eyes, and lips.
      This ritual allows up to (Potency) subjects to be able to speak, read, and comprehend any non-supernatural language for the rest of the night.

      Bird of Sin
      Target Number of Successes: 8
      Sacrifice: A feather at least four inches long.
      This is a Hanging spell. As an Instant action, the ritualist calls forth the bird, which proceeds to attack the target for (Potency) turns. The bird has a dice pool of (10 - Target's Innocence), ignores all defense or armor (but is subject to Mind Shield), and deals Bashing damage. A target can will the bird out of existence by taking a Resolve+Composure roll as an Instant action -- each success reduces the remaining duration by 1, and if the remaining duration is reduced to 0, then the bird vanishes. This roll can be repeated.

      Dust to Dust
      Target Number of Successes: 10
      Sacrifice: Ashes, grave-dirt, and a drop of blood
      Commonly used to protect the Masquerade by destroying evidence, this ritual can be used in two ways. Used in a concentrated fashion, this ritual causes a single non-magical object of no greater than Size 5 (or part of a larger object) to age with incredible speed, taking (Potency x2) Structure damage -- most often, this reduces dead bodies to skeletons, if not outright dust. Used broadly, the ritual causes all non-living, non-magical material within 25 feet to age (Potency) years, which renders most trace evidence useless.

      This ritual is occasionally used creatively, to knock down doors or to spoil food, but the fact that the spell must be cast on the scene limits its usefulness in these ways.

      Resistance of Discipline
      Target Number of Successes: 8
      Sacrifice: A rosary or meditation beads
      An old and venerable ritual, this power has been often used to preserve the sanctity of the covenant. This is a Hanging spell, and is verbally activated by the ritualist as an Instant action. By activating this ritual, the sorcerer grants himself, or a subject who can hear the sound of his voice, a renewed attempt to resist any supernatural power power resisted with a contested action that is currently affecting the subject or his immediate surroundings, whether he initially resisted the power or not.

      The original dice pool for the supernatural power to be resisted should not be re-rolled. The subject is pitted against the successes rolled on the initial use of the power being resisted.

      Rank 3 Miracles
      Dark Blessing
      Target Number of Successes: 13
      Sacrifice: A cup of mixed wine and blood, drunk during the ritual
      The ritualist blesses either herself or a target in her presence with regard to a specific action. The next time the victim engages in that action, he gains a +(Potency) dice bonus. This occurs only once.The effect of the ritual ends if not used after a lunar month.

      Shield of Righteousness
      Target Number of Successes: 10
      Sacrifice: A large religious medallion or St. Christopher medal, worn prominently for the duration of the ritual.
      The ritualist blesses either himself or another individual with protection from witchcraft and dark magics. The next (Potency) hostile supernatural effects that seek to affect the protected individual are penalized by the ritualist's Theban Sorcery dots, over and above any normal penalties. Any left-over protections vanish at sunrise. Note: This does not protect against hostile Theban Sorcery spells.

      Target Number of Successes: 8
      Sacrifice: A holy book, from which the ritualist reads during the ritual
      This ritual grants the ritualist a +(Potency) bonus to the next Abjuration roll made to cast out or banish an ephemeral entity, made before sunrise. For more on Abjuration, see GMC pg. 231.

      Rigor Mortis
      Target Number of Successes: 8
      Contested by: Stamina+Blood Potency
      Sacrifice: A human bone
      The victim, who must be within a mile of the ritual, has a sudden and forcible premonition of what it is like to be dead. He takes a -3 penalty to all physical rolls as his body grows stiff, and if a Kindred he loses the ability to Blood Buff. This lasts for (Potency) hours.

      Rank 4 Miracles
      Inscribe the Name of God
      Target Number of Successes: 12
      Sacrifice: The Sanctified inscribes the Chi Rho symbol of Constantine I onto the object
      Though the Sanctified are Damned, they have no truck with those damned spirits and demons who disobey God's will. With this ritual, the ritualist transforms an object of no more than Size 5 into a universal Bane (see GMC pg. 221) for the next (Potency) nights. This ritual is most often used either to craft weapons, or to create spirit-proof vaults.

      Rank 5 Miracles
      Target Number of Successes: 30
      Sacrifice: A piece of parchment made from the skin of a lamb raised specially for sacrificial slaughter, covered in a Hebrew passage stating the golem’s purpose. The offering must be inserted into the golem’s mouth during the ritual, and crumbles to ash if it is removed, ending the golem’s animation, or if the golem is destroyed.
      This ritual is known primarily by Sanctified of the Dammitic creed. It animates a Rank 3 Golem that may then serve a vampire as a protector or workman (it is not necessary that the ritualist be the one to craft the golem's body). The golem is always loyal to the ritualist, and must be commanded verbally in an archaic form of Hebrew -- the ritualist may loan the services of the golem to others (if they can speak the right language), but the golem is always loyal to the ritualist first and foremost. A ritualist may only ever have a single golem at a time.

      Fires of Vengeance
      Target Number of Successes: 12
      Sacrifice: The ritualist burns his hand with a blazing candle, taking at least one point of damage.
      This is a Hanging spell, and is activated as an Instant Action when the sorcerer names a group of sinners (the sin must be something that would cause a Falling Point for an Innocence 7 mortal). If a character can be seen by the sorcerer and has committed that sin within the last week, they are struck by the Fires of Vengeance.

      The flames cause 1L damage for every success scored with a dice pool equal to (10 minus the victim’s Innocence equivalent) and last for (Potency) turns. A target can will the flames out of existence by taking a Resolve+Composure roll as an Instant action -- each success reduces the remaining duration by 1, and if the remaining duration is reduced to 0, then the flames vanish. This roll can be repeated.

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      • #4
        And before anyone points it out, yes, I am away the Blood Sorcery book has Kindred sorcery unable to affect spirits, ghosts, and the like -- but these emerged from a Crossover game where ghosts and spirits are plentiful, so I wanted to give the vampires some tools to deal with those things. As always, treat this as modular, and only grab those rituals that you like.

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        • #5
          So.... DO you have any "Core Concept" Thinking/Leanings on Necromancy and the Gilded Cage?
          If so, I would really like to see them.

          Nice work, by the way.

          The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll


          • #6
            Thank you! I spent entirely too much time working these out -- I like Cruac and Theban Sorcery, but the placement of rituals among them has always felt somewhat random, so I wanted to emphasize the differences and give them clear styles. I rewrote those little blurbs at least five times. As for Necromancy and Gilded Cage... I'll definitely have to deal with Gilded Cage at some point, I've some prominent Architects in my game. Necromancy I've sort of folded into Cruac and TS, but you could unfold it easily enough (start with giving them Lift the Scales, Inscribe the Name of God, Lilith's Beckoning, Lilith's Voice, and Mother of Demons, and you've the skeleton of a solid Ritual Discipline). As far as concepts go, here's a rough draft:

            Gilded Cage
            Gilded Cage is the magic of the All Night Society, derived from Theban Sorcery and taking the theme of Civilization to its utmost. As such, it is Urban. The Kindred are creatures of the city and the town, for there is little prey for them in the rural countryside. Gilded Cage exults in the gathering of mortals, in the unique environment they have created, and conceives of Kindred as the perfect predators for this new biosphere. Secondly, Gilded Cage is Social, in that it deals not with the individual but with the mass of individuals. Gilded Cage is the magic of the mob, of the hierarchy, of the social network and the interest group. Finally, Gilded Cage is deals with the Constructed, for these new environments and conglomorations of individuals do not arise naturally, but are created by the very physical things that mortals and vampires build.

            Mechanically speaking, Gilded Cage is much narrower in focus than Crúac or Theban Sorcery. It deals primarily with constructed environments, either physical or social, and with the interaction of the individual with that environment. It can manipulate physical buildings, or the flows and rhythms of the city (or accelerate and twist them in a supernatural fashion -- such as by taking the idea of 'moving from point A to point B along streets' to the logical conclusion of teleportation), or with social environments (which are influenced by physical environment -- I could see Gilded Cage creating a kind of grand Feng Shui, or more mundanely, make everything bright and cheery and clean to make people honest, or dark and dismal to make people afraid).

            Necromancy is the magic of Undeath. First, it deals with Endings, with the idea that everything comes to a conclusion, whether it is natural or man-made. Plants wilt, buildings collapse, mountains wear down, weather systems end, gold tarnishes, paintings fade, and above all, people die. Necromancy accepts that. Secondly, Necromancy deals with the Soul, with the idea that there is some sort of ineffable essence to be found in creatures or places or things, a sort of rarefied platonic ideal of what they are -- which the Necromancer can manipulate. Finally, Necromancy is the above all else the magic of Entropy. The Necromancer can manipulate, the Necromancer can destroy, but the Necromancer cannot create.

            Mechanically, Necromancy is a big, broad sorcery like Crúac or Theban Sorcery. It is an extremely negative sort of thing, which should almost never give bonuses or make stuff, unless it's to somehow further destroy or decay (making a sword rot everything it touches and thus get a damage boost is good, but making armor stronger or a wall more durable is outside its purview). Much of the classic summoning of ghosts and making of zombies is as a result of the Soul-stuff, but the key point here is that the Necromancer shouldn't be able to just go "RISE UP!" and make a zombie wake up -- the mechanism here is that the Necromancer is taking an existing thing (a ghost, which is linked to the Soul) and putting it into something else, something less than the sum of its parts.
            Last edited by NeoTiamat; 01-24-2014, 03:53 PM.

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            • #7
              Awesome, Neo-Tiamat... Great work indeed...

              The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll


              • #8
                I only skimmed it, but it seems like a nice piece of work.

                I was only wondering why you chose to create new Motifs for Theban Sorcery and Cruac. The ones in Blood Sorcery seemed servicable to me.

                Originally posted by NeoTiamat View Post
                And before anyone points it out, yes, I am away the Blood Sorcery book has Kindred sorcery unable to affect spirits, ghosts, and the like -- but these emerged from a Crossover game where ghosts and spirits are plentiful, so I wanted to give the vampires some tools to deal with those things. As always, treat this as modular, and only grab those rituals that you like.
                The Blood Sorcery book only notes that it is impossible to interact with the spiritual realm, and developers clarified that targetting ephemeral beings in our world is ok. So I don't think there is any problem.


                • #9
                  By and large I found the Blood Sorcery ones unsatisfying, though I will grant they are workable. You might say that I didn't so much make new motifs as reinterpret the existing ones so as to have more prominent influence on the kind of magic done.

                  Cruac was: Corrupting, Wild, Pagan
                  Theban Sorcery was: Judgmental, Holy, Deliberate
                  • Corrupting vs. Judgmental I found to be somewhat light on 'meaning'. Cruac curses are supposed to have a hungry and hating feel, TS an uncaring and unstoppable feel, but in the end both are heavy on curses and smiting.
                  • Wild vs. Deliberate I flat out dislike, because it enforces a sort of aesthetic which I find both constraining and contrary to the inspirations of the two covenants and blood sorceries. Not all Christian-derived magics are going to be formal and studied and academic (think of a Sanctified version of a Pentecostal or Evangelical preacher), and not all pagan-derived things are going to be wild and ecstatic and such (I have a friend who goes to Pantheacon, and he reports that Wiccans and the like are by no means immune to petty bureaucratic games). Plus, in my campaign the chief Sanctified is a roaring hellfire preacher and the chief Acolyte is a rather creepy, emotionless Roman relic.
                  • Holy vs. Pagan is the most solid, but also hasn't been too supported by the actual rituals -- sort of... Cruac is all gross physicality and also has the main Spirit-related rituals from the Cruac book, TS is all numinous and ethereal and you get zombies and transmute one object into another. I did keep these in the Animistic vs Monotheistic, sort of as an approach to interactions with the divine.

                  GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
                  New System and Setting Material


                  • #10
                    I really love some of these, consider them stolen.

                    MAKE LOVE, NOT SPAM!


                    • #11
                      Thank you very much! I'm working on Gilded Cage right now.

                      GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
                      New System and Setting Material


                      • #12
                        Just out of curiosity, how would you describe the core concepts of Veneficia?

                        Not the daimon, just a namesake.


                        • #13
                          Of the top of my head? Take Cruac, swap out Wild for Civilized, call it a day. Veneficia is a bit of a conceptual mess, to be honest, since it's Cruac but... you dress up differently (which I don't consider a core concept).

                          GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
                          New System and Setting Material


                          • #14
                            I like your Cruac rituals and I have a question concerning the Mandrake. Can the stored willpower be given to another player (be they kindred or other)?


                            • #15
                              Hrm. It's the flip-side of Vitae Reliquary, so... I'd probably say that RAW, yes, but also keep an eye on it that it doesn't spiral out of control. The balancing factor is that the Acolyte has to pay two Vitae to get a bonus willpower point at adventure's start. You basically trade Vitae for WP.

                              So, if you want to allow it, I'd make sure that it's kept between players. Player X spends Vitae so that Player Y can get a bonus WP point, so that 'party' resources remain the same. I might say that 'giftable' Mandrakes should be a 3rd or 4th dot Ritual, though, to up the cost for this kind of party-wide income redistribution. Likewise, I could see a sort of 'market' in Mandrakes between Acolytes and other interested parties, but I'd make the players pay through the nose for it.

                              As for if it can be given to non-Kindred... my inclination is to say no.

                              GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
                              New System and Setting Material