Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Veneficia 2E

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Veneficia 2E

    long time ago, I've made a variant system for Veneficia for the Blood Sorcery style system, defining it as a some sort of "middle ground" between Theban Sorcery and Curac- a magic power by the Beast yet controlled by the Man. Considering that I plan to one day make a vampire game at Athens and use the Kataramenon, and that in my head canon they have access to Veneficia, I've thought to write down a 2E version of the variant, and if I'm already writing it- then why not to share it? Anyway, I hope you'll finding it interesting!

    Veneficia

    The Ritual Discipline who was once taught by the Cult of Augurs, and in modern nights is the secret power of the Kataramenon, is a ceremonial magic with great emphasis of the ritual as written. It is almost scientific at its approach, requiring exact measurements of different reagents, creating complicate gestures with your hands and body and chant weird words in dead languages. Many of the incantations call upon the Dii, the ancient gods of Rome- yet those are just mask- the true powers of the ritual work beneath the surface, unseen and unknown, operating through a complicated system of powers which makes empires rise and fall and states to make peace or war. Today, many of the names have been replaced with references for holy saints, angels or demons- but the essence is still the same. The magic of the Prophets works as some sort of a bargain between the vampire and powers of the world, with blood being the currency used. Yet, those rituals require self control to make sure the energy is channeled to the right place through the system of pacts and bargains summarized in the rite. Each ceremony is a sacred promise, and as it works the people around it can just feel that something unseen is moving below the surface, creating a disturbing, almost surreal image for the ones who watch the act. Any time a ceremony in invoked, the vampire has to spill blood- but each ritual dedicates how, when and why the act needs to be preformed, or else the magic would simply won't work, and the blood would just be wasted.

    Learning Veneficia

    Where it was once a guarded secret of the Cult of Augurs alone, the Prophets of the Kataramenon are the only ones in modern time known to practice the Discipline and teach it to new members, requiring a Status: Kataramenon of 1 or more. Breaking away from the covenant may not stop the vampire from developing their Discipline, but would stop access to new ceremonies, and would usually anger the more prominent members of the Church in Exile. Being already a small covenant and fearing a feud with the Lancea at Sanctum, the exact details of Veneficia are their most important secret, and betrayers would find themselves hunted down by vision guided Prophets of the covenant. In a way, the very nature of the Discipline turns the vampire into an easier target- for once she leaves the covenant, she breaks the vows she made for the powers behind the ritual, drawing their fury against her.

    Because of the complicated nature of the Discipline, the Prophet has to draw the powers of her Beast in order to invoke the magic while binding it through the rational thought of the Man, forcing her into a delicate balance of soul. Let the Beast run too wild, and it would destroy the ceremony and break the pacts. Choke it too much, and the power behind the magic would simply fail. In order to invoke the greatest ceremonies, the Prophet has to have a Humanity value of 5. Any dot above or below that score limits the highest rating of the ceremonies she can access by 1.

    The Sacrifice

    Similarly to Curac, Veneficia requires the sacrifice to be paid with blood. Unlike its more primal cousin, however, it needs only a single Vitae in order to work- but the system itself is a lot more complicated. Where other magics come from the inside the vampire's soul, Veneficia is an external magic, where the ritual is not a simple decoration but a necessity to make the ceremony work. The more powerful the ceremony, the more complicated the ritual needed- and where the simplest ceremonies require a quick chant or a burned offering, the greatest ones may require pilgrimage for a faraway place or a mass prayer in the name of the masks the powers of the ritual currently wear. In order to decide if the ceremony preformed fit its rating, refer to the following table-

    1- a simple chant, a sacrament of easily found regents which require Resources 1 or above, requires an easily available place
    2- a five minute chant, a sacrament of regents which need Resources 2 to get, a grouped prayer of 3 or more participates, an event which happens daily, requires the place to be prepared especially for the ritual.
    3- a 10 minute chant, a sacrament of rare regents which require Resources of 3 and above, a group prayer of 5 participates, an event which happens weekly, requires a place which need to be especially built in advance.
    4- a 30 minute chant, a sacrament made from regents which require Resources 4 or above, a group prayer of 10 participates, an event which happens monthly, a place which is not easily available
    5- an hour long chant, a sacrament requiring 5 dots in Resources, a group prayer of 20 participates, an event which happens yearly, a specific place or city.

    The Request

    Dice pool: Intelligence + Occult + Veneficia. (replace Occult with Religion in case that skill is relevant for your setting)
    Action: Extended. Like Theban Sorcery, Veneficia may enjoy the effect of the Library merit for the modification of the action at ST's discretion.
    Dramatic Failure: the ceremony is preformed incorrectly, making all the efforts go to waste while the powers of the ritual get out of control. The Prophet gains the Disturbed Condition and suffer from penalty as normally.
    Failure: as normal
    Success: as normal
    Exceptional Success: as normal

    In case the ritual succeeds, apply the Calm Condition. Veneficia doubles the effect of using a ritual more complicated than needed, and enjoys Venficia only benefit from using an appropriate iconography- by having the image of the god, saint or any appropriate mask used by the Prophet, the ritualist gains a +0-+3 bonus, with the bonus equal to the Resources value needed to gain the image.

    New Condition: Disturbed
    The character was touched by the beyond, sending a chill through her spine although she can't explain why it alarmed her so much, and her sleep is filled with nightmares she can't remember. She suffer -2 for her Composure rolls and would have to spend another Vitae to wake up from her sleep at dusk.
    Possible Source: Dramatic Failure at Veneficia ceremony
    Resolution: the character mediates to clear her mind and erase the haunting presence from her senses.
    Beat: N/A

    New Condition: Calm
    The character feels has if she found her place in the world, governed by the unseen forces of the world and protected by the will of the gods. The connection to the greater society, both living and undead, grants her a sense of purpose and understanding of her place in the world. That stabilization of mind and soul helps her when in crises, giving her +2 on a Detachment roll.
    Possible Source: Exceptional Success on Veneficia roll
    Resolution: Experiencing a Breaking Point.
    Beat: N/A

    updated version of some Veneficia ceremonies would be added later.
    Last edited by LostLight; 09-03-2016, 07:24 AM.


    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Veneficia Ceremonies

    Apollonian Sight (0)
    target number of successes: 5
    ceremony: spilling the vampire's Vitae into a bowl mixed with the entrails of an animal
    The entrails are animated into a false form of life and reveal secrets from beyond the grave. The vampire reads the signs they form in their movement and interpret the future either on her behalf on on someone else's. The prophetic image grants a single Clue relevant for the investigation.

    Gifts of the Lares (0)
    target number of successes: 5
    ceremony: small burned offering of food mixed with Vitae in front of the target building.
    While many may forget the small gods of the world, it is they who make sure the roads function and buildings stand still. By pleasing those unseen powers of the city, the vampire strength structures and fix damage. A building effected by the rituals gets +1 for its Durability.

    Eyes of Minerva (00)
    target number of successes: 6
    ceremony: a piece of paper marked with the vampire's Vitae
    the vampire creates a bond between herself and the paper, using it as an anchor for her senses. For the rest of the night and as long as the paper in unharmed, she can see and hear as if she was standing at the paper's place.

    Ward of Hecate (00)
    target number of successes: 6
    ceremony: covering the threshold of a room with Vitae and lighting an incense of roses and lilac.
    the vampire calls the powers of crossroads to creates boundaries and banish evil spirits. As long as the incense is burning, no being in a state of Twilight may enter the room or hear what happens inside, and all it may see is grey smoke.

    The Blessing of Antaeus (000)
    target number of successes: 6
    ceremony: mixing the Vitae with fresh soil and sea water, which are then used to cover her skin.
    From sunset to sunrise, the skin of the vampire turns to be like stone, granting her protection against enemy attacks. She adds 6 to her Defense as if she was wearing armor. The protection may only be used on the vampire herself, although a 4 dot version of the ceremony which requires 10 success may be bought separately. The vampire enjoys the effect as long as her feet touch the ground.

    The Curse of Echidna (0000)
    target number of successes: 7
    ceremony: a piece of the target's body, like hair or blood, covered with the vampire's Vitae and fed to a serpent.
    Contested by: Stamina + Blood Potency
    The vampire invokes a connection between the target and the Mother of Monsters, allowing her hungry maw to feed upon her enemy. The target feels great pain and pressure upon her body, as the bloody wounds open upon her body as if she was bitten by a great beast. She suffers from one level of Lethal Damage per dot in Veneficia.

    The Arrow of Tartarus (00000)
    target number of successes: 13
    ceremony: the vampire covers a weapon with her Vitae which was forged especially for the ceremony and was never used without the ritual.
    used as a punishment against the living relatives of a betrayer vampire or a rouge mortal servant, the vampire invokes the anger of the Furies as a tool for her vengeance. The weapon turns black and fluid-like. In a case of a ranged weapon, the bullet is the ones who needs to be enchanted. Once hitting a mortal with that weapon, the target becomes infected with a dangerous disease, suffering from the grave version of Sick Tilt. Any vampire to drink from the target becomes a carrier and may infect other mortals who come in contact with her, and the mortal may spread it as normal.


    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

    Comment


    • #3
      Fantastic. Requiem for Rome is one of my favourite Dark Eras, and this updating of Veneficia to 2nd Edition looks great!


      LAND OF THE DAMNED: SPAIN (Spanish): Land of the Damned: Spain, Kingdoms of Blood: Spain; Cities of the Damned: Barcelona, Valencia, Carthian Constitution (1812), Three Arrows Pact:

      OTHERS (Spanish): Demon: The Redemption, Bloodlines: The Forgotten

      Comment


      • #4
        I see you have been studying Roman mythology and beliefs.
        Also, I imagine only the upper ranks of the Circle can afford to learn the greater rituals of Veneficia.
        Note: In the description of the ceremony, you should include a descriptions of the regents, specially the expensive ones, to justify the resources dot requirements. Ej: the Curse of Equidna could require a Leopard Snake from Crete.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Similarly to Curac, Veneficia requires the sacrifice to be paid with blood. Unlike its more primal cousin, however, it needs only a single Vitae in order to work- but the system itself is a lot more complicated. Where other magics come from the inside the vampire's soul, Veneficia is an external magic, where the ritual is not a simple decoration but a necessity to make the ceremony work.
          Nitpick. Cruac only needs a single Vitae to work, but you can sacrifice more if desired in exchange for dice bonuses. Likewise, Theban is channeling the power of an external force (God/-Machine, an angel or death god, Helios, etc) rather than Cruac's internal power source. As well, the rituals are central to both Cruac and Theban, neither as decorations. Especially in Theban, where rituals are highly formalized and effectively set in stone.

          Seems like you're trying to draw a distinction between Cruac, Theban and Veneficia here, but its coming off as just Theban with a vitae instead of willpower. Frankly, at this point, I'd sooner just suggest a Theban Style merit that modifies the old rather than create a new system. From a game lore perspective, remember that Veneficia eventually evolved into Cruac after the fall of Rome, gaining its wildness as it merged with other systems of magic out there. Right now, I don't feel any hint of that, whereas in 1e I could.

          Dice pool: Intelligence + Occult + Veneficia. (replace Occult with Religion in case that skill is relevant for your setting)
          Action: Extended. Like Theban Sorcery, Veneficia may enjoy the effect of the Library merit for the modification of the action at ST's discretion.
          Continuing from that alt-Theban issue above, why is the Library merit? With the Lancea Et Sanctum, the Library is kind of important, since the Lance is responcible for keeping the history and lore of the Kindred, as well as some of the most prominant philosophers of Kindred society. It ties into the whole reason that the LeS have Academics for their roll. Books and learning are a major theme running throughout the whole covenant, and the Library merit is there to emphasize that.

          Meanwhile, Veneficia runs off of Religion / Occult. How does the Library tie into all this? It feels more like just stealing from Theban instead of something unique to the practicioners.
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Apollonian Sight (0)
          I like the use of clues as part of the ritual.

          Gifts of the Lares (0)
          Fixing damage... it doesn't feel very vampiric? No matter the style of sorcery, there should be elements of vampire's themes in them, and I'm not feeling it.

          Eyes of Minerva (00)
          Remade fan favorite 2e ritual. Cool.

          Ward of Hecate (00)
          Alright, but remember that vampires generally don't give two cares about Twilight beings. Their main issue, especially in Rome, is with the strix. And those aren't Twilight beings.

          The Blessing of Antaeus (000)
          Ummm.... First of all, I think that adding 6 is an insanely huge benefit if we're talking 2e combat here. That pretty much means that, short of a huge dice pool from Vigor, Strength, and weaponry/brawl? Not much chance of hitting the target. Even if we assume 2 Wits/Dex and 0 Athletics, we're looking at 8 Defense. Without Vigor, that's generally a chance die. With any dots of Athetics or Celerity? This simple ritual makes you practically untouchable.

          Secondly, why is a ritual that should be granting Armor instead granting Defense? This is making you tougher, not more agile. Still don't like the high value, since it would effectively make Resilience meaningless.

          The Curse of Echidna (0000)
          Comparable to Touch of the Morrigan and Gaze of the Gorgon, which are level 3 rituals. Rated too high, especially for vampires that can shrug it off with healing or armor or Resilience.

          The Arrow of Tartarus (00000)
          Considering that vampires themselves don't suffer from such a disease... seems pretty overly rated high of a ritual. Compare to Bounty of the Storm. Creates a huge disasterous storm that kills people and causes massive property damage on par with Katrina. And that's merely level 4. Plague arrow here might cause, well, a plauge, but its limited in scope to just killing people. Bounty, meanwhile, has a lot of many flexible uses.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hit! sorry for replying only now, but it was an hell of a week and just as you took your time and went through the whole wrietup, I've wanted to give my full attention to your review before replying to it.

            Originally posted by MCN View Post
            Nitpick. Cruac only needs a single Vitae to work, but you can sacrifice more if desired in exchange for dice bonuses. Likewise, Theban is channeling the power of an external force (God/-Machine, an angel or death god, Helios, etc) rather than Cruac's internal power source. As well, the rituals are central to both Cruac and Theban, neither as decorations. Especially in Theban, where rituals are highly formalized and effectively set in stone.

            Seems like you're trying to draw a distinction between Cruac, Theban and Veneficia here, but its coming off as just Theban with a vitae instead of willpower. Frankly, at this point, I'd sooner just suggest a Theban Style merit that modifies the old rather than create a new system. From a game lore perspective, remember that Veneficia eventually evolved into Cruac after the fall of Rome, gaining its wildness as it merged with other systems of magic out there. Right now, I don't feel any hint of that, whereas in 1e I could.
            I'm not really deep into Vampire as I'm with other gamelines, so I may have had few misinterpretations- but I've understood that a Curac ritual cost one Vitae per dot of the rite, and that you can spill more if you want to power the ritual- where Veneficia in this ceremony cost just one Vitae as a "spark" to start the ceremony and gains no benefit from extra blood. As for the importance of rituals- the book itself says that while many practitioners use elaborate rituals, at the bare minimum Curac needs only Vitae while Theban Sorcery requires Willpower and Sacrament. Under this variant, Veneficia at the bare minimum requires the elaborated ceremony- you can't just spill blood or give a sacrament while praying, but you have to go to a temple, use rare reagents, sing songs of glory to the powers that be and preform weird gestures. I've thought about actually detailing in depth each ceremony in order to emphasis that, but I've wanted to give freedom to the player and ST to actually design a full ceremony around the the idea presented at each rite. Perhaps I should have actually said that :P

            (actually, I've even had thoughts about throwing away the use of Vitae and just tying the power of Veneficia to your Resources rating, with perhaps using Allies, Mentors and such as a way to temporary gain better reagents and use higher level ceremonies- but I've thought that having only a static value as a "fuel" for your ceremony may be too unbalanced)

            As for the idea behind the design of this variant- it was meant to present it as a middle ground between Theban and Curac. Also, using this variant means that Veneficia wasn't merged with Curac, but was replaced by it- some ceremonies were adapted, but the system itself was fundamentally different. However, I may have tried too hard for it to be different from Curac, that I've forgot to also separate it from Theban.

            Still, while it may have been missed, the way I see it the two systems shares little in common- while both are logical systems which use external tools (sacraments and ceremonies), Theban is all about having faith in something higher than yourself and relying on the powers beyond this world. Veneficia, however, is all about this world- it is an earthly magic, which requires you to recreate the scenes of what you desire to happen, making contact with the unseen forces which moves the world using a system of oaths and pacts which was established by generations of vampires. Faith means nothing for it to work- you only need to preform the ceremony, spill blood, and the world would do the rest. It is intelligence without wisdom, knowledge without understanding. You need to understand the ceremony and what it means- but change the names and myths behind it and it would still work the same. The ceremony is everything- and if you knew the powers you were messing with you would have went greeting the sun years ago.

            (also, while Curac is presented as something a lot more "intimate" to the vampiric nature, I was under the impression that both it and Theban Sorcery could have been interpreted as coming from either external source, like the angels or pagan gods, or internal source, like the Beast vs the Man)

            Continuing from that alt-Theban issue above, why is the Library merit? With the Lancea Et Sanctum, the Library is kind of important, since the Lance is responcible for keeping the history and lore of the Kindred, as well as some of the most prominant philosophers of Kindred society. It ties into the whole reason that the LeS have Academics for their roll. Books and learning are a major theme running throughout the whole covenant, and the Library merit is there to emphasize that.

            Meanwhile, Veneficia runs off of Religion / Occult. How does the Library tie into all this? It feels more like just stealing from Theban instead of something unique to the practicioners.
            Actually, I've added that benefit while I was half asleep and out of pure inspiration, when the basic idea was emphasising the connection between Veneficia and the ceremony- understanding the symbols and pacts behind the rite are the source of power behind it, and as such comparing notes, reading old myths and collecting information about the source and history of the ceremony all give power to the user. It may have been a bit too "quick and dirty", however, so I'll think about another way to benefit Veneficia.

            Fixing damage... it doesn't feel very vampiric? No matter the style of sorcery, there should be elements of vampire's themes in them, and I'm not feeling it.
            the idea was less about "I'm healing broken things" and more like "I'm feeding the hungry city with my blood ton give it strength". Perhaps it should be emphasised and make the outcome a bit more "disturbing".

            Alright, but remember that vampires generally don't give two cares about Twilight beings. Their main issue, especially in Rome, is with the strix. And those aren't Twilight beings.
            it was made more as a protection against Auspex using spies then spirits and ghosts. A similar ceremony to protect against the strix would probably create barrier of solid darkness (perhaps called "Walls of Nyx") while one which involve exorcisting one would be something like the "Sign of Dispater" (in which the Prophet draws with Vitae on the head of the possessed the sign "VII").

            Ummm.... First of all, I think that adding 6 is an insanely huge benefit if we're talking 2e combat here. That pretty much means that, short of a huge dice pool from Vigor, Strength, and weaponry/brawl? Not much chance of hitting the target. Even if we assume 2 Wits/Dex and 0 Athletics, we're looking at 8 Defense. Without Vigor, that's generally a chance die. With any dots of Athetics or Celerity? This simple ritual makes you practically untouchable.

            Secondly, why is a ritual that should be granting Armor instead granting Defense? This is making you tougher, not more agile. Still don't like the high value, since it would effectively make Resilience meaningless.
            I do sometimes create overpowered powers, especially when trying to translate material between editions- from one side, I try to remain true to the source material, from the other I try to make it fit to the new edition. Hence why it is treated like armor. I'll give it some thought and lower the bonus appropriately.

            Comparable to Touch of the Morrigan and Gaze of the Gorgon, which are level 3 rituals. Rated too high, especially for vampires that can shrug it off with healing or armor or Resilience.
            I'm not that good at ratings, and I sometimes mess up by rating them too high or too low- so yeah, it may be better for it to be a 3 dot rite.

            Considering that vampires themselves don't suffer from such a disease... seems pretty overly rated high of a ritual. Compare to Bounty of the Storm. Creates a huge disasterous storm that kills people and causes massive property damage on par with Katrina. And that's merely level 4. Plague arrow here might cause, well, a plauge, but its limited in scope to just killing people. Bounty, meanwhile, has a lot of many flexible uses.
            I've rated it as 5 dots out of loyalty to the source material. I've also thought it was a too high, but like I've said, I'm not that good with power-ratings. :P


            Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

            "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

            I now blog in here

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LostLight View Post
              Under this variant, Veneficia at the bare minimum requires the elaborated ceremony- you can't just spill blood or give a sacrament while praying, but you have to go to a temple, use rare reagents, sing songs of glory to the powers that be and preform weird gestures. I've thought about actually detailing in depth each ceremony in order to emphasis that, but I've wanted to give freedom to the player and ST to actually design a full ceremony around the the idea presented at each rite. Perhaps I should have actually said that :P
              You can add more to the basic ritual for Theban, but at its core you still need certain actions and gestures during it. Theban has always been highly ceremonial, just how those ceremonies take place depend on the nature of the Sorcerer, providing differences in style and technique and local church customs.

              I'm just saying that trying to use that as the defining line between Veneficia and Theban is a moot point, since your'e just trying to push a difference of a few degrees, and that's going to be really minor difference in the long run.

              As for the idea behind the design of this variant- it was meant to present it as a middle ground between Theban and Curac. Also, using this variant means that Veneficia wasn't merged with Curac, but was replaced by it- some ceremonies were adapted, but the system itself was fundamentally different. However, I may have tried too hard for it to be different from Curac, that I've forgot to also separate it from Theban.
              Well, that IS going to change the lore of the game in a rather significant way, fyi. So, you might want to keep that in mind as you run any game with this.

              Still, while it may have been missed, the way I see it the two systems shares little in common- while both are logical systems which use external tools (sacraments and ceremonies), Theban is all about having faith in something higher than yourself and relying on the powers beyond this world. Veneficia, however, is all about this world- it is an earthly magic, which requires you to recreate the scenes of what you desire to happen, making contact with the unseen forces which moves the world using a system of oaths and pacts which was established by generations of vampires.
              Ummm... these two parts are functionally the same. God-Machine, Hisil spirits, supernal beings, death gods, the Fey.... no matter which force you establish, these are both powers beyond the world and unseen forces that move the world. With Greco-Roman myth, we're talking about the Olympians (definitely "powers beyond this world" and "unseen forces" on a large scale) and the local gods (spirits and ansestor ghost-spirit things, which are again powers beyond this world).

              Even if you leave those forces undefined, the nature of the supernatural being hidden (thus unseen) and reaching across the world is consistant for pretty much universal in the CofD.

              Faith means nothing for it to work-
              Faith is unnecessary in any magic in the entire CofD. Not Theban, not the Maleus Mallificorum magic, nothing. The closest to "faith magic" are the benefits that Seers get from working for the Exarchs that alter their very souls in exchange for their subservience and worship. Wait, no, I take that back, MtC has some stuff that's very close to faith magic as well.

              There are plenty of Theban Sorcerers who have no faith in any higher power, yet retain full control of their magics.

              (also, while Curac is presented as something a lot more "intimate" to the vampiric nature, I was under the impression that both it and Theban Sorcery could have been interpreted as coming from either external source, like the angels or pagan gods, or internal source, like the Beast vs the Man)
              IIRC, Theban is pretty much invariably described as tapping into external powers, whereas Cruac works on tapping into one's internal divinity. I suppose there could be more variations on Cruac, but that's the only one I remember seeing.


              Actually, I've added that benefit while I was half asleep and out of pure inspiration, when the basic idea was emphasising the connection between Veneficia and the ceremony- understanding the symbols and pacts behind the rite are the source of power behind it, and as such comparing notes, reading old myths and collecting information about the source and history of the ceremony all give power to the user. It may have been a bit too "quick and dirty", however, so I'll think about another way to benefit Veneficia.
              I think that its rather telling that you're hooking this very strongly into the same themes as Theban. It might not be on purpose, but you're definitely retreading same ground.

              Maybe, rather than trying to find a balance between the line of Theban and Cruac (which will invariably just lean towards one side or another) why not find a third point and make a triangle? Do something entirely different? Say, like Voudoun where the vampire was actively possessed?


              it was made more as a protection against Auspex using spies then spirits and ghosts. A similar ceremony to protect against the strix would probably create barrier of solid darkness (perhaps called "Walls of Nyx") while one which involve exorcisting one would be something like the "Sign of Dispater" (in which the Prophet draws with Vitae on the head of the possessed the sign "VII").
              A level 5 Discipline shouldn't be casually defeneded against like that, especially at such a low level and when that's kind of what Obfuscate 5 is designed for. I really don't like the basis for this ritual at all.


              I do sometimes create overpowered powers, especially when trying to translate material between editions- from one side, I try to remain true to the source material, from the other I try to make it fit to the new edition. Hence why it is treated like armor. I'll give it some thought and lower the bonus appropriately.
              But the ritual says Defense, not Armor? Defense is avoiding attacks, armor is shrugging off damage.

              As a good rule of thumb, I think you should treat the ritual magic's rating as the bonus. Or Blood Potency. I find that using such helps keep the numbers in reasonable balance, as well as making them scale well. Scaling is always good - I find that flat bonuses tend to be either too much or too little, depending what point in the game your characters are at, either becoming too much or too little of an impact. Scaling bonuses stay relevant throughout the entire game.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MCN View Post
                You can add more to the basic ritual for Theban, but at its core you still need certain actions and gestures during it. Theban has always been highly ceremonial, just how those ceremonies take place depend on the nature of the Sorcerer, providing differences in style and technique and local church customs.

                I'm just saying that trying to use that as the defining line between Veneficia and Theban is a moot point, since your'e just trying to push a difference of a few degrees, and that's going to be really minor difference in the long run.
                [QUOTE]Ummm... these two parts are functionally the same. God-Machine, Hisil spirits, supernal beings, death gods, the Fey.... no matter which force you establish, these are both powers beyond the world and unseen forces that move the world. With Greco-Roman myth, we're talking about the Olympians (definitely "powers beyond this world" and "unseen forces" on a large scale) and the local gods (spirits and ansestor ghost-spirit things, which are again powers beyond this world).

                Even if you leave those forces undefined, the nature of the supernatural being hidden (thus unseen) and reaching across the world is consistant for pretty much universal in the CofD.[QUOTE]

                I think that its rather telling that you're hooking this very strongly into the same themes as Theban. It might not be on purpose, but you're definitely retreading same ground.

                Maybe, rather than trying to find a balance between the line of Theban and Cruac (which will invariably just lean towards one side or another) why not find a third point and make a triangle? Do something entirely different? Say, like Voudoun where the vampire was actively possessed?
                As I've said before, the goal of this variant is making Veneficia something which is both similar and different to Curac and Theban, while relying on the motifs presented as RfR- that is, the importance of the ritual. I don't want to make it something totally different from the two other systems because I want it to interact with them- I want both Theban Sorcerers and Curac Acolytes to look at it and say "this feels familiar".

                Now, I'm not trying to force Veneficia to be "ceremonial magic"- it is one already. The only thing I add is that those ceremonies take place as some sort of complicated network of pacts, oaths and vows, which is something Theban Sorcery doesn't have at all. In order to better understand the difference, think about how different were the Cleric and the Wizard at 3e- which is, almost none at all. Sure, each used a different ability for her magic, but that's it- both prepered spells in advance, both used reagents, gestures and chants in order to activate them. They even shared magic spells together. Sure, the Cleric had much bigger access to spells, but a wizard with big enough library could do the same thing. The difference was purely aesthetical.

                That's the same case- both Theban and Veneficia are ceremonial magics. In RfR the difference was that Veneficia was pagan and could use a lot of blood, but it was still called as calculated and scientific magic. The main difference is how those magics work- Theban invokes, Veneficia evokes. Theban calls down blessings from faraway powers, Veneficia is all about this world, and a system from ages past which was handed from one generation to another. When I say that Veneficia use the "powers of this world", I don't mean the gods- the very point of Veneficia is that the gods aren't relevant. I actually mean the forces of the world- storm and fire, sea and earth, the burning sun and the skittering darkness- and the people, of course. This is the magic of empires, of social structures and the connection between men and nature. When a Cleric calls for lightning, she looks at the heaven and pray for one. When a Wizard does so, she makes contact with the world using logical understanding and spells invented ages ago. This is the same here- a Theban Sorcerer use her ceremonies to invoke greater powers. Veneficia Prophet makes contact with the world itself and weave magic into action. She looks to the cosmos and give it names, masks through which she can comprehend it- war if Mars, love is Venus, sky is mighty Jupiter. But are just masks, names she use when she comes in contact with the world beyond. It makes those powers feel more human- but they aren't, and those are the same powers which make the "world of darkness" what it is- a world of darkness. She touch arcane powers she shouldn't come near, and the experience leaves her disturbed.

                in sort, the fact that Theban is ceremonial doesn't mean any other magic who is also ceremonial can't exist as a different system, especially if the emphasis is different. And more than that, it is clearly stated that all that Theban magic needs is a Willpower point and a Sacrament. It is not limited by the quality of the ritual, and you could use cheap reagents to use the most powerful magics. You don't need to wait for Saturday, or go to a mountain, or require an altar or have 20 people singing in your honor. Venefica needs those things to actually work. This is a huge difference you seem to ignore.

                Well, that IS going to change the lore of the game in a rather significant way, fyi. So, you might want to keep that in mind as you run any game with this.
                I have declared this is the case at the beginning of the thread, with making Veneficia as something which is not "Roman Curac". Besides, I don't think that "Veneficia has merged with Curac" and "Veneficia and Curac are different disciplines, but former members of the Cult of Augurs adapted certain rituals to Curac with the Cult's fall" would make such a big change.

                Faith is unnecessary in any magic in the entire CofD. Not Theban, not the Maleus Mallificorum magic, nothing. The closest to "faith magic" are the benefits that Seers get from working for the Exarchs that alter their very souls in exchange for their subservience and worship. Wait, no, I take that back, MtC has some stuff that's very close to faith magic as well.

                There are plenty of Theban Sorcerers who have no faith in any higher power, yet retain full control of their magics.
                I have to disagree here. Theban Sorcery is based around expanding a Willpower point. That is the mechanical representation of "showing faith". You wish for miracle and give a sacrament. That is, by its essence, a "faith magic".

                IIRC, Theban is pretty much invariably described as tapping into external powers, whereas Cruac works on tapping into one's internal divinity. I suppose there could be more variations on Cruac, but that's the only one I remember seeing.
                again, while I do like Vampire, this is not my speciality, so I may be wrong- this is just the impression that I've got from the books, especially Blood Sorcery and 2e core.

                A level 5 Discipline shouldn't be casually defeneded against like that, especially at such a low level and when that's kind of what Obfuscate 5 is designed for. I really don't like the basis for this ritual at all.
                so when it was about ghosts and spirits it was ok but useless, but once astraly projected vampires get in is not ok and overpowered?


                But the ritual says Defense, not Armor? Defense is avoiding attacks, armor is shrugging off damage.

                As a good rule of thumb, I think you should treat the ritual magic's rating as the bonus. Or Blood Potency. I find that using such helps keep the numbers in reasonable balance, as well as making them scale well. Scaling is always good - I find that flat bonuses tend to be either too much or too little, depending what point in the game your characters are at, either becoming too much or too little of an impact. Scaling bonuses stay relevant throughout the entire game.
                I've used the same words as RfR- but that may be the problem. New system, new rules. I'll revise it.


                Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

                "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

                I now blog in here

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                  I have to disagree here. Theban Sorcery is based around expanding a Willpower point. That is the mechanical representation of "showing faith". You wish for miracle and give a sacrament. That is, by its essence, a "faith magic".
                  Zagarius the Liar uses Theban Sorcery. He very much has no faith. There are those who leave the Covenant, reject God as a whole, and use Theban. Sorry, but the lore of the game is against you here. Theban can be used by anyone irregardless of faith.

                  so when it was about ghosts and spirits it was ok but useless, but once astraly projected vampires get in is not ok and overpowered?
                  No, I just think its bad design to have an easily accessed ritual that is specifically designed to screw over a major PC power. Not to mention that if we're talking about fighting against another power, by nature it should include a Clash of Wills.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MCN View Post
                    Zagarius the Liar uses Theban Sorcery. He very much has no faith. There are those who leave the Covenant, reject God as a whole, and use Theban. Sorry, but the lore of the game is against you here. Theban can be used by anyone irregardless of faith.
                    I've never said "faith in god". I meant faith, in general. The act of expanding Willpower is the act of wanting the ritual to come true- and it happens. You need to have faith in something- and even having faith in yourself counts as faith magic, IMO.

                    and I've thought that adding Clash of Wills was trivial, but it seems I've assumed to many things to be "trivial". I do that, sometimes.


                    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

                    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

                    I now blog in here

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X