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Caine - The Third Mortal's page

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About Caine - The Third Mortal

Quietus:

The signature power of Clan Assamite actually comprises
two distinct Disciplines, both known colloquially as
Quietus by not only those practicing the arts, but by those
merely aware of them. Scholars of Alamut recite that their
founder Haqim developed the twin Disciplines of Quietus to
harmoniously complement one another when he first divided
the Warriors and Viziers and assigned them duties within the
tripartite society of his clan. Though traditional Assamites
generally prefer to utilize the original Phoenician name of
“Abed Dume” or “destroy blood,” its Latin name “Quietus,”
or “settling of debts” (especially as relates to death) is most
common in discussion – in no doubt due to the epithet
evoked by coupling the name with either of its branches.

The Children of Haqim have ever seen themselves
as pure and fierce judges of the righteous use of blood,
separate from Caine’s other get. The Warrior Discipline
Cruscitus (translated from the Phoenician “Hikmat
Dume” or “blood wisdom,” defined in Latin as “the science
of murder through blood”) revolves largely around the use
of blood poisoning to kill. Whereas, the Vizier Discipline
Hematus (translated from the Phoenician “Minhit Dume”
or “blood offering,” defined in Latin as “an offering of
blood”) makes use of subtle ways to manipulate vitae in
aid to the tasks of mystic exploration and governance.
When paired with their parent name, both Disciplines
delineate their respective craft: Quietus Cruscitus as
“the settling of debts by the science of murder through
blood” and Quietus Hematus as “the settling of debts by
an offering of blood.”
If your character already has one form of Quietus, the
other type costs new rating x 4 XP to learn. It requires a
teacher with that style of the power.

Quietus Cruscitus
Quietus Cruscitus is Haqim’s gift to his Warrior
Assamites.

• Blood Essence

This power provides definitive proof of a vanquished
foe. Terrifying to behold, Blood Essence demonstrates
one of the most frightening aspects of this Discipline:
the ability to distill the essence of what Cainites refer to
as the “heart’s blood,” the holy or unholy life force that
contains a being’s soul.

System: Functioning even on mortals, the character
must exsanguinate his victim of all but one blood point (or
drain all blood points entirely if the victim is a Cainite).
He then pricks his finger and marks the victim’s bare chest,
near the heart, with a speck of his vitae. The player spends
one blood point, spurring the speck of vitae to seep into
the target’s skin. Then make an extended Willpower roll
(difficulty 9) imposing a level of unsoakable aggravated
damage to the victim per success. As in diablerie, if the
victim remains alert during process, she can fight back.
Should a vampire fail on the roll, he must pause, but can
continue again next turn. With a botched roll, the effort
fails (however, the vampire can still attempt traditional
diablerie if the victim is a Cainite).

Once all health
levels have been exhausted, the vampire tears open the
victim’s breast, moving past the rib cage to extract the
heart. The vampire’s own blood has calcified the heart
into a semi-translucent grayish-white flask known as a
“Debitum.” The Debitum enshrouds the spiritual essence
(the “heart’s-blood”) of the victim – which, if examined in
detail, can be seen encased within, swimming in despair.
Heart’s-blood preserved in this way endures indefinitely.
If vampiric fangs pierce it, the heart reanimates, pumping
a cupful of celadon-colored, aqueous, non-burning flame
vaguely resembling the victim into the vampire’s maw.
If the victim is a Cainite, upon devouring the essence,
the vampire reaps all benefits and potential pitfalls of
successfully diablerizing the victim, without risking the
blood oath. A Debitum crumbles to ash if left vulnerable
to fire or sunlight, or when emptied of its contents.

•• Scorpion’s Touch

A variation of the Hematus power: Blood Tempering,
Scorpion’s Touch is derived from isolating the mechanism
inherent within vampiric blood’s function of converting
regular blood into sustenance. In this case, the Assamite
transmutes the properties of her vitae into a powerful
venom that strips prey of its resilience.

System: The player spends the number of blood points
(up to her Generational per-turn limit) that she wishes
to convert to poison. Roll Willpower (difficulty 6). If the
roll is successful, the poison remains potent until used,
but harbors a vampire’s susceptibility to fire and sunlight.

A botch renders the blood spent inert; it cannot be used

to augment Attributes, heal the vampire, or fuel Disciplines.
The poison looks and smells like normal blood and
a Cainite is immune to her own poison, but not that of
others utilizing this power. She may retain an amount of
poisoned blood up to her maximum Generational spending
limit per turn in her blood pool for later use, though any
blood points converted to poison are inert for any other
purpose. If the vampire is in danger of someone attempting
to drink blood from her, she may rush any stored blood
points to the surface as a defensive action, which may be
used reflexively even if in slumber or torpor. A Cainite
may also bite her tongue or lip to pool the poisoned blood
in her mouth for a “kiss of death.” Likewise, she may
cut her flesh to smear the poison on a pointed or edged
weapon, or even place it in food, on a cup, utensil, or
other seemingly innocuous item.

Spend one blood point and one turn per cubic foot/30
liters that her chosen weapon occupies (minimum 1). A
dart, arrowhead, or dagger requires a blood point and a
turn to lightly coat it, while the average sword or axe
may need three turns. Weapons remain poisoned for an
amount of attacks equal to the Cainite’s initial Willpower
roll; an envenomed weapon that is swung or fired loses the
potency of its poison at a rate of one success per attack
until depleted (whether it’s dodged, parried, deflected by
armor, misses, or hits). Envenomed weapons bathed in
water, or open to the mercy of heavy wind or rain, lose
the potency of their poison the turn after exposure, while
those passing through fire or sunlight lose it instantly and
appear dusted in a fine ash.

In order to be effective, the poison must be ingested
or enter the target’s bloodstream, usually through drinking
or being pierced by a bloodied weapon. Once the poison
is delivered, the target immediately rolls Stamina (plus
Fortitude, if any). At the end of his next turn, he loses a
number of Stamina points equal to the number of successes
on the Cainite’s Willpower roll minus successes on the
target’s Stamina roll. If a living being’s Stamina falls to
0, he dies. If a vampire’s Stamina falls to 0, the vampire
enters torpor and remains that way until his Stamina
points return to a minimum of 1. As a defensive action
vampires and ghouls may spend a blood point to heal normally
and completely purge the poison from their system
before the effects take hold. This defensive action may be
used reflexively with a successful Wits + Alertness roll
(difficulty 6). Without vampiric blood healing, damage
from Scorpion’s Touch is permanent.

••• Dagon’s Call

With the slightest scratch delivering a dab of blood
to mingle with that of the target’s, Dagon’s Call twists a
victim’s vitae against him. The target’s eyes swell and take a
deep burgundy hue, muscles seize and veins bulge beneath
the skin, and thin trickles of vibrant scarlet bleed into tiny
rivers from all openings in the anatomy. This nightmarish
affliction persists until the target collapses in agony or
death throes, leaving no trace of the attacker’s presence.

System: In order to use this power, the character’s blood
must first be ingested or enter the target’s bloodstream,
usually through drinking (even from a ghoul belonging to
the character) or being pierced by a bloodied weapon. The
character waits a minimum of one hour for her blood to be fully
absorbed, entering the circulatory system to securely grip the
victim deeply. After a moment’s concentration, the vampire
bursts her target’s blood vessels, internally constricting the
target’s whole body by flooding it with ruptured hemoglobin
that strangles him from within. To activate this power, the
player spends one Willpower point and rolls Perception +
Awareness (difficulty equal to the vampire’s current proximity
to the target or the amount of time elapsed since she
touched the target, whichever is greater).

Difficulty Distance or Time Passed
6 Within an hour or a few feet/a meter of the
target
7 Within a day or a mile/half a km from the
target
8 Within a week or ten miles/fifteen km from
the target
9 Within a month or 100 miles/150 km from
the target
10 Over a month or 100 miles/150 km from the
Target

The player and target make contested Stamina rolls
(difficulty of each roll equal to the opponent’s Willpower).
The target suffers levels of unsoakable lethal damage equal
to the number of successes on the player’s Willpower roll
minus successes on the target’s Willpower roll. To continue
rending her opponent from within, the player may spend
additional Willpower each turn after the first, accompanied
by further contested Stamina rolls, until she is defeated on
a roll. A botched roll results in the vampire suffering an
amount of lethal damage equal to her failures on the roll.

•••• Baal’s Caress

A refinement of Scorpion’s Touch, Baal’s Caress allows
a vampire to transform her blood into an acidic toxin that
burns any living or undead flesh, usually accomplished by
licking a blade to lubricate it before assaulting an opponent.
Commonly, warriors will spit the hateful ichor or cough it
forth and vomit voluminous streams of vitae that corrode
their enemies into heaps of bubbling sludge.

System: Aside from the following exceptions, this
power otherwise works according to the rules for Scorpion’s
Touch. Rather than attacking a target’s Stamina, the stinging
venom generated through Baal’s Caress only necessitates
skin contact and afflicts caustic burns. Touching the caustic
blood causes one level of aggravated damage per Willpower
success on the initial activation. If ingested, the damage
is unsoakable. Prolonged touching of envenomed objects,
through holding them directly or grappling a Cainite wearing
envenomed clothing or armor, causes additional damage
each turn. This includes attempts to disarm envenomed
weapons or objects currently wielded by the Cainite.
Weapons coated in venom (including the vampire’s
own slashed limbs, claws, or nails) cause aggravated damage.

Add one additional die of damage per success on the
activating Willpower roll. This damage bonus depletes at
one point per turn, at which time, the venom is lost. Any
coated weapon is destroyed by the venom at this point.
A vampire may also bite her tongue or lip to spit a single
point of envenomed blood at a lone target, or regurgitate
up to her maximum amount of blood point expenditure per
turn and spray multiple targets. The Cainite may spit or
vomit her envenomed vitae up to three feet (one meter) for
each dot of Strength and Potence she possesses. Alternative,
the spray can come from an open wound, including both
self-inflicted wounds and those received in combat. Spitting
at a lone target requires a successful Dexterity + Athletics
roll (difficulty 6) to hit, though spraying hits multiple targets
as a Hail of Arrows (see p. 347). Spewed blood contacting
the victim’s skin causes aggravated damage as if the blood
were a thrown weapon with a damage rating equal to the
vampire’s Willpower successes.

The character may still use Scorpion’s Touch instead
of Baal’s Caress.

••••• Quicken the Mortal’s Blood

To maximize the amount of nourishment possible from
a mortal’s blood, those developing Cruscitus eventually
evolve exceptional control over how they process the
vitae they imbibe.

System: After quenching his thirst with mortal blood,
the vampire can double the effectiveness of each blood
point. Roll Stamina + Occult (difficulty 6). Each success
converts one blood point into two.

Serpentis:

Serpentis is the unmistakable, terrifying legacy of Set.
The Discipline stands as a secret the Followers of Set
hold close to their chest; outsiders rarely see enough of
its effects to understand them reliably. The Followers
cultivate this image of mystery, letting the timid and the
envious imagine what they might be capable of. The name
of the Discipline is slightly misleading, as it doesn’t just
offer affinity for serpents; it allows the Setite to adopt
traits of the legendary Typhon and Echidna. Various stories
exist among the Followers to explain why they take
on the imagery of Greek monsters instead of Set himself,
but the prevailing stance is that the Discipline works,
and they pass around historical accountings tying Set to
the Typhonic Beast due to shared mythological imagery.
Serpentis transformations last for the scene unless otherwise
noted, or unless ended prematurely. Additionally,
Serpentis powers can be used together.

• Enchanting Gaze

This power makes the vampire the proverbial flame
to a moth. She takes on an alluring, enchanting feature,
such as a serpent’s gold eyes or a pearlescent sheen to her
skin. She can paralyze with a glance, and mortals in her
vicinity find themselves drawn to her. These features are
always subtly supernatural; if a person pays close attention,
it betrays the Setite’s inhuman nature, but casual
observation gives nothing away.

System: No roll is required. While active, the Setite
enjoys a -1 difficulty to all Social actions due to her
alluring feature. Her paralyzing gaze can only affect a
single character, who must be paying attention to the
vampire. The gaze will affect supernatural characters as
well as mortals, but supernatural characters may spend
a point of Willpower and roll Willpower (difficulty the
vampire’s Charisma + Subterfuge) in order to break the
gaze. An affected character breaks the gaze if clearly
endangered.

•• Typhonic Maw

The vampire’s jaw becomes a ferocious, malleable
thing she can control in a variety of ways. Her jaw distends
to her chest, her fangs grow to the size of small daggers,
her tongue forks at the tip and lashes out a meter long,
and her throat expands to consume anything she can
get her mouth around. She can choose to adopt some or
all of these adaptations when activating Typhonic Maw.

System: Spend a blood point to reflexively activate
Typhonic Maw. The tongue’s lashes cause aggravated
wounds (difficulty 7 to attack, Strength damage) and
can be used as an additional attack for the purposes of
multiple actions (see p. 322).

Additionally, if she wounds
her enemy, the proboscis of her tongue allows her to feed
from her victim as if she’d bitten him. This causes the
Kiss like a bite. She also suffers no penalties from the
darkness while her tongue is extended. Her jaw allows
her to make bite attacks without a grapple. Successful
bites cause one additional die of damage and initiate a
grapple automatically. When she bites an opponent, her
enlarged throat can consume five points of blood per turn
instead of three.

••• Serpent’s Flesh

With this power, the Setite’s flesh becomes leathery,
scaly, slimy, and otherwise monstrous. Her body becomes
flexible and malleable, and she becomes harder to hurt.

System: Spend a blood point to change reflexively.
Serpent’s Flesh reduces soak difficulties to 5. She can use
her Stamina to soak any aggravated damage not caused
by fire or sunlight. She may slip through any opening
wide enough to fit her head. Lastly, she can reflexively
escape any grapple.

This change can be subtle, if the vampire spends
a Willpower point during activation. If subtle, casual
scrutiny will not reveal her supernatural nature if she’s
wearing at least modest clothing. If she chooses to bear
the weight of her supernatural nature, reduce Intimidation
difficulties by two.

•••• Typhonic Avatar

Now, the Setite can become a Typhonic Beast, a
creature of legend. It stands as a tall jackal with a hard,
forked and spiked tail, with severe, pointed ears and a long
snout. Typhonic Beasts are red, black, or a combination
thereof. Alternatively, she can take a hybrid human/serpent
form with a long, prehensile tail for legs. Setites use this
as a sort of ‘war form’ in addition to religious functions.

System: Spend a blood point. The transformation
takes three turns, but additional blood points can be spent
to reduce the time by a turn. Four blood points makes
the transformation reflexive.

Either form gains two dots to Strength, Dexterity,
and Stamina. The animal form moves at twice the vampire’s
speed, does two additional dice of bite damage,
and reduces difficulties to resist losing balance by two.
The hybrid form’s tail can act as an additional attack
as part of a multiple action, and the tail gains five dots
to Strength instead of two.

Obviously, both forms are unquestioningly supernatural.
The vampire inspires terror and awe in mortals.
Mortals with fewer Willpower dots than the vampire’s
Serpentis score must flee or subjugate themselves. They
can act for a single turn by spending a point of Willpower.
Mortals with more Willpower can roll Willpower (difficulty
the vampire’s Serpentis) to avoid awe and fear.
When learning Typhonic Avatar, choose either the
animal form or the hybrid form. You can purchase the
other form later at half the normal experience cost.

••••• Mother of Monsters

Echidna was called the Mother of Monsters. This
power allows the Setite to birth small typhonic beasts
from her flesh. The monsters grow from her skin, starting
by opening eyes and mouths from her flesh, then ripping
from her body, taking part of her with them. These
monsters have childlike intelligence and understand the
vampire’s speech. They follow her commands without
exception, and cannot be commanded or frightened
away from their duty. Some Setites can create other
mythological monsters. Rumors persist of some Setites
who can create rudimentary humans from their flesh.

System: Spend one or more blood points and mark a
health level off your character’s sheet. That health level
cannot recover so long as the beast remains apart from
the vampire. The first blood point creates the monster,
and additional blood points act as a blood pool the
beast can use to heal damage (the way a vampire can)
or to activate the vampire’s level 1-4 Serpentis powers
for himself.

Each monster takes one turn to birth. The vampire
may only spend as much blood as she can in a single
turn to fuel the monster’s blood pool.

The vampire can reflexively subsume a monster back
into her flesh, replenishing its remaining blood pool and
recovering the lost health level. She may also subsume
a beast’s corpse to recover the lost health level.
The Setite can choose a different mythological
form for the beast. However, these monsters must be
obviously unnatural.

Thaumaturgy Generally:

When their mortal magic failed after their transformation,
the Tremere knew that they would
be helpless without a substitute. Out of the centuries
of lore that their libraries held and through daring
experimentation in their laboratories, they cobbled
together the first blood-powered paths of their signature
Discipline: Thaumaturgy. Unlike the arts of the
magi, whose applications are limited only by will and
imagination, the Tremere’s substitute art is precisely
delimited. Each path produces a predictable effect if
the thaumaturge has the strength of will; each ritual
can be repeated with scientific accuracy so long as it
is carried out without error.

Of the two forms of Thaumaturgy — paths and rituals
— the rituals are the safer. An error in performing them
simply means a waste of time and perhaps ingredients. The
paths have substantially less rigid structure than rituals,
and thus have the potential to backfire spectacularly if a
user cannot master the necessary force of will.

While other, older forms of blood magic exist, Thaumaturgy
is strictly the domain of Clan Tremere. The leaders
of the Clan know that the Discipline has the potential to
raise them to the highest echelons of Cainite society, and
they severely punish any Tremere who risks that future
by sharing their secrets with outsiders.

System: Unless specified otherwise, thaumaturgic
path powers all follow the same system. To activate path
powers, spend a blood point and roll Willpower against a
difficulty of the power’s level +3. To perform rituals, roll
Intelligence + Occult against a difficulty of the level of
the ritual +3 (maximum 9).

Thaumaturgy - Potestas Motus:

With concentration and simple gestures, the Thaumaturge
who studies this path can lift and manipulate
objects at a distance for a brief time. The amount of control
is the same as if they were held, and objects suitable for
use as weapons may be employed as such so long as they
remain within the vampire’s line of sight. Masters of the
path can use it to carry themselves or others through the
air, or even to hurl objects more violently than they could
through physical strength alone.

System: Each success allows the character to manipulate
the object for one turn. At the end of that time, she
may make another Willpower roll at the same difficulty
to extend the duration without spending any more blood
points. If the initial roll achieved five successes, however,
the power can be maintained for the entire scene without
need for further checks.

At two dots, the thaumaturge can manipulate
weapons well enough to use them to attack. Use the
initial successes achieved when activating the power as
the number of attack successes for the first turn, then
roll Melee + Thaumaturgy for subsequent attacks. The
effective Strength of the attack is equal to the caster’s
Potestas Motus rating.

At three dots, the thaumaturge can levitate himself
or another and fly at her unmodified running speed. If the
target is unwilling, the caster and subject make opposed
Willpower rolls each turn.

Botches: A botched roll with Potestas Motus turns
the power against the caster, rooting her feet in place for
the next turn. Until the end of that turn, the character
cannot dodge.
• One pound/one-half kilogram
•• 20 pounds/10 kilograms
••• 200 pounds/100 kilograms
•••• 500 pounds/250 kilograms
••••• 1000 pounds/500 kilograms

Thaumaturgy - Potestas Tempestatum:

The power to influence weather is one of the oldest
of magical techniques common among Tremere.

System: The number of successes determines how
quickly the desired phenomenon can be conjured from
otherwise neutral conditions, with one success being a
gradual shift over the next day and five successes being
an instantaneous change. Minor changes or changes that
build upon existing conditions (such as directing lightning
while a thunderstorm is already in progress) allow
the difficulty of the roll to be reduced by one or two at
the Storyteller’s discretion, while rolls to enact wholly
unnatural changes (a downpour in a parched desert)
should have their difficulty increased by one or two.

Rolls to use Potestas Tempestarum indoors always
have their difficulty raised by two. Rain, snow, storms,
and thunderstorms cannot be conjured anywhere but
outdoors, but fog, wind, and temperature changes may
be created anywhere.

Changes in weather last for one scene per success
before reverting to their former state.

Botches: A botched attempt to influence the
weather triggers a backlash from the local elemental
spirits. Winds whirl around the caster, raising the
difficulty to Perception and ranged attack rolls by two
for the duration of the scene unless he spends a point
of Willpower to compel the spirits to relent. Conjured
lightning immediately targets the thaumaturge.
• Fog or light breezes (+1 difficulty to appropriate
Perception checks, weapon ranges halved),
minor temperature changes
•• Rain or snow (+2 difficulty to appropriate
Perception checks, weapon ranges halved)
••• High winds (+2 difficulty to ranged attacks,
weapon ranges halved, make a Dexterity check
[difficulty 6] each turn to remain standing),
moderate temperature changes
•••• Storm (combines effects of rain and high winds)
••••• Thunderstorm (roll Perception+Occult to strike a
target with lightning for 10 dice of lethal damage)

Thaumaturgy - Potestas Vitae:

Understanding and controlling the mysteries of vitae
was the first task of the Tremere after they joined the
ranks of the Damned, and their mastery of this form of
Thaumaturgy contributes heavily to their current reputation.
While not every thaumaturge studies this path,
many other Cainites assume that they do and treat them
with appropriate caution.

It will only be much later that the Tremere overcome
one of the greatest drawbacks of the Potestas Vitae: the
fact that some of its techniques cause the thaumaturge
to move closer to being bound by the very blood that he
consumes. Any Cainite who successfully discovers a way
to solve this problem can expect to be richly rewarded.

• A Taste for Blood

By tasting a single drop of blood, the thaumaturge can
divine its origin. If it is vitae, the thaumaturge can discern
the relative power (Generation) of its source, its freshness
(how long it has been since the vampire fed), and concentration
(how much blood the vampire holds). If the blood
is mortal, he can identify whether or not it is mixed with
vitae, thereby recognizing ghouls, as well as any blood- or
humor-based illnesses affecting the mortal source.

System: The thaumaturge consumes only a single drop
of blood, spends a blood point, and rolls as usual. Because
of the degree of focus that the power requires, however,
even that one drop is enough to move him one step closer
to a blood bond with the source, so Tremere are reluctant
to use it except on mortals or when absolutely necessary.

A single success can determine whether or not vitae comes
from a vampire of much higher or lower generation than
the thaumaturge, with more successes giving more precise
information. It takes at least three successes to estimate the
concentration of the blood (that is, the size of the source’s
blood pool), and five successes gives detailed information
on all aspects of the vitae. When used on mortal blood,
one success is enough to recognize extremely ill sources
or the admixture of Cainite vitae. In the latter case, more
successes let the thaumaturge know whether or not the
vitae is from a source he has tasted before.

•• Blood Awakening

Although intended as a way for Tremere to assist
incapacitated brethren in healing their own wounds or
summoning the strength of their blood, this power’s side
effect—rousing the recipient’s Beast to hunger — has
already led to some nicknaming it “Blood Rage.” By
touching the intended target, the thaumaturge can control
their ability to use vitae for healing or raising their
physical attributes, although she cannot trigger the use of
Disciplines that require an expenditure of blood points.
The control lasts only as long as she maintains physical
contact with the target.

System: The thaumaturge spends a blood point and
rolls for success as usual after touching the target. Each
success forces the target to spend one blood point, either
for healing non-aggravated wounds or raising a Physical
Attribute, in a manner chosen by the thaumaturge. While
under the effect of Blood Awakening, the difficulty for
the target to resist frenzy is also increased by the number
of successes, possibly triggering frenzy even in situations
that would not otherwise do so.

••• Inner Vessel

Through a form of internal alchemy, a thaumaturge
can use this power to temporarily concentrate his vitae to
act as that of a vampire of an older generation. Although
it is not a total transformation of the blood, it does allow
the user to channel some of his gifts more effectively.

System: After expending a blood point and rolling
for success, the vampire can divide successes between
effectively lowering his generation by one per success or
giving the effect a duration of one hour per success. If no
successes are put towards duration, the effect only lasts for
one turn. The temporary alteration affects the vampire’s
ability to use Dominate, the number of blood points he
can spend in one turn, trait maximums, and the number
of blood points his body can hold. It affects neither the
generation of any childer created while under its effect
or the result of any diablerie during the duration; both
of those acts take effect as normal.

•••• Theft of Vitae

This power allows the thaumaturge to force blood
from a target up to fifty feet away and draw it into herself
as if she had consumed it directly. The blood bursts from
the target’s mouth and pores, arcs across the intervening
space, and is immediately absorbed by the caster. Mortals
can be severely injured by the theft; vampires can be
deprived of their vitae.

System: After spending a blood point and rolling as
usual, the thaumaturge drains one blood point from the
target for every success and adds them to her own blood
pool. Blood points in excess of what the caster could usually
hold are wasted in a splash of blood around her feet.
Mortals who are the targets of the power take one level
of lethal damage per success. Cainites take no damage,
but still lose the appropriate number of blood points.
Consuming the stolen blood causes the thaumaturge to
move closer to a blood bond with the target, just as if she
drank it directly from the source.

••••• Cauldron of Blood

Lacking the subtlety of the Assamites’ power to poison
blood, the Cauldron of Blood is no less effective in its
results. With a touch, the thaumaturge causes a target’s
blood, whether mortal or vitae, to burn from inside, causing
serious injury.

System: The thaumaturge must touch the target in
addition to the other usual requirements of the power. In
combat, or with an unwilling target, this could require
a Dexterity + Brawl roll. A single success is enough to
kill a mortal. Against a vampire, each success causes one
level of aggravated damage and destroys one blood point.

Valern - Warrior Path:

*Sense Death

A healer learns a subject’s illnesses to cure them. The
warrior learns so they know where to strike.

System: This power works identically to Sense Vitality,
save that Sense Death may not see how many wounds
a target has suffered nor scrutinize a mortal’s blood. In
exchange, Warriors may analyze the target’s soak rating
(for two successes) and determine the amount of vitae
currently in a vampire or ghoul’s blood pool (for three).
Questions may pertain to the subject’s physical prowess,
combat Disciplines or philosophical stance towards killing.
Knowing both Sense Vitality and Sense Death grants
an additional two dice to the Perception + Empathy or
Medicine roll; if known, they may be activated with a
single roll, with successes counting towards both.

•• Morphean Blow

Healers use sleep to accelerate the healing process.
Warriors use sleep to incapacitate enraged foes. Stories
abound of Salubri Warriors quelling lupines with a single
slap, leaving the beasts vulnerable to the killing blow.

System: This power works identically to the Gift of
Sleep; despite the name, Warriors may dull their wound
penalties with this Discipline. Knowing both Gift of Sleep
and Morphean Blow grants an additional two dice in the
resisted Willpower roll to pacify the target. This Discipline
may be used in combat as part of a Brawl attack.

••• Burning Touch

The character’s grasp inflicts searing pain akin to being
burnt with a red-hot iron. This power inflicts no damage,
but painfully disrupts the vital energies of the target. The
Warrior can use prolonged or repeated exposure to this
power in order torture a victim.

System: The vampire must grasp the target (a Dexterity
+ Brawl roll). The character spends at least one
blood point to activate this power; each blood point spent
reduces the victim’s dice pools by two for so long as the
Cyclops grasps the victim and for the next turn thereafter.
Each activation of the power causes one level of bashing
damage to the target from sheer physical strain. The pain
triggers Rötschreck in vampires (as “being burned”), and
Warriors have occasionally used it as a blunt demonstration
of the victim’s spiritual weakness.

•••• Armor of Caine’s Fury

The third eye opens, blazing redder than the setting
sun. This radiance spreads along the Salubri’s desiccated
veins in a flash until their entire body is enveloped in a web
of radiant light that defies wounding. The Cyclopes consider
this (and their talent at Fortitude) to be the chief reasons
they are so feared in war. Ventrue have also expressed envy
of this power, and have invited Salubri into their domains
to teach them Valeren in exchange for patronage.

System: The player spends one blood point and rolls
Stamina + Melee (difficulty 7). For each success, the
vampire gains one point of armor, to a maximum of five
points. This stacks with any worn armor. Additionally, for
every two successes rolled, she gains an additional die to
resist Rötschreck. This power lasts for the scene.

••••• Ending the Watch

The Warriors trace their origin to Samiel’s ancient
fury in the days after the Second City. Yet ancient tales
record the Salubri of Enoch walking the streets, laying
hands upon the terminally ill and freeing their souls from
mortality’s coil. In return, the Salubri gained both wisdom
and strength of will. Despite their anger, the Warriors
retain the fundamentally peaceful disposition of Clan
Salubri, and this power reflects their hewing to the clan’s
original nature. When acting as death watch, the third
eye’s iris flares gold, absorbing the essence of the mortal’s
departing soul into the Salubri’s own.

This power may only be used on a dying mortal (Incapacitated
in lethal damage, but not yet dead) or one who
truly wishes death without coercion. Generally, the mortally
wounded or the elderly are targets of this power, but those
of a deeply melancholic temperament or torture victims
are equally viable. Tremere whisper rumors of unforgiving
Warriors afflicting captives with the Burning Touch, then
taking their souls when they beg for death.

System: The Salubri spends a Willpower point and
lays a hand over a valid target’s heart, peacefully and
painlessly killing them. If the vampire kills with a melee
attack, they may make a reflexive Dexterity + Brawl roll
to touch the target and activate this power. This is a mercy
killing, for all the difference that makes to a vampire
walking their Road; as always, killing done outside the
heat of battle may necessitate a Degeneration roll. The
player then rolls the character’s Perception + Empathy
(difficulty 7); upon a success, the target’s soul is absorbed.
For each success on the absorption roll, the Salubri may
do one of two things:

•Recall facts of the target’s memory, requiring a
separate Intelligence + Empathy roll (difficulty 5) for
each fact of significance. With the soul’s vitality residing
inside the Salubri, he knows much of what the dead
man did — interesting secrets, rare treasures, or vital
documents. The Salubri may choose to let pertinent or
pressing information come to him (Storyteller’s choice)
but this raises the difficulty of the roll to 7.

•Absorb the living energies of the mortal’s soul to
bolster their own; each success allows the Warrior to recoup
a point of Willpower. The Warrior may store these
Willpower points above their normal maximum (to a
total of 10).

The soul remains within the Salubri’s own for as long
as he wishes, but only one soul may be contained at a time.
Once the successes on the roll have been used by either
or both options, the remnants of the soul fade, venturing
to their final destination. The corpse of the target may be
fed upon, regardless of clan weakness. Their blood tastes
rich and hot, even many nights after death; however, they
may not be Embraced.

Body Crafts:

Vicissitude requires expansive knowledge of the
human body, the kind usually only available
through Medicine. The Tzimisce, not particularly
given to the art of healing, have developed an alternative:
Body Crafts. Body Crafts is a unique Skill
(not to be confused with the more generalized Crafts
Skill) that combines knowledge of vivisection, anatomy,
taxidermy, scarification, tanning, and sculpting
into a new kind of artisan Ability. Its primary purpose
is to augment the application of Vicissitude. Without
Body Crafts, Vicissitude rolls may be made at +2
difficulty using the Medicine Ability. Almost no one
outside of clan Tzimisce knows — or needs to know
— this highly specialized Skill.

Vicissitude:

The discussion regarding Vicissitude is a contentious
one; many a perfectly fine dinner party has ended
in bloodshed because an especially impolitic (or cagey)
neonate broached the subject before dessert. Is the
Tzimisce art of fleshcrafting a mockery of Creation, a
debasement of one’s fundamental humanity, or a perfect
union of flesh and spirit? Even the Dragons can’t seem
to agree; Old Clan Tzimisce repudiate its practitioners
as gaudy aesthetes who allow themselves distraction
from the call to rulership, while young Tzimisce pose
the question: if a ruler shapes the land to suit them, why
should its subjects be any different, given that they are
an extension of the land itself? Philosophical mutterings
aside, there is no shortage of Vicissitude users among the
Cainites. Power, after all, is power, and there’s no denying
the visceral impact it can have upon an unwitting foe,
particularly since it so often involves their actual viscera.

Vicissitude, the Tzimisce art of fleshcrafting, is a
particularly intimate Discipline. Like a sculptor working
clay, it requires touch, sometimes gentle, most often
forceful. Contrary to popular belief, bones do not break
themselves, nor does muscle simply realign itself. The
vampire must make that happen, and it hurts. Simple
changes can be wrought relatively quickly; a master
practitioner can de-glove a forearm of flesh and muscle
and twist the underlying bone into a deadly spear with but
a single rending motion. But more complicated visions,
particularly those with any degree of subtlety, take time,
sometimes days, or even weeks.

Changes wrought by Vicissitude are permanent, with
only rare exceptions. A Cainite of lower Generation than
the Tzimisce can heal alterations in the same manner as
they heal aggravated wounds. Furthermore, the re-application
of Vicissitude can be used to restore a subject
to their former self, though such an endeavor requires a
considerable amount of skill and time, and the end result
is often imperfect. Finally, Vicissitude cannot permanently
alter or undo those things that are inherent to other Cainites:
the Nosferatu’s horrid aspect, the deathly pallor of a
Cappadocian, and so on. These things can be hidden for a
time, but they return after the subject rests.

Vicissitude cannot be used to heal. Indeed, its very
use is often damaging, and always invasive. After, a subject
usually needs time to heal from the trauma of their shaping.
Unfortunately for them, the physical pain is the least of
their worries, a temporary inconvenience compared to
adjustment of life within a new, often unrecognizable, body.

• Malleable Visage

The user may alter their own body in simple, cosmetic
ways. He can be taller or stockier. He can change his voice
by reshaping his larynx. He can adopt new skin tone, new
eye color, new hair, and so on. The process is not simple;
it requires the user to actually craft these changes in his
own form, which can be disturbing and painful. True to
its name, only flesh (including muscle, fat, and cartilage)
can be manipulated with Malleable Visage.

System: The player must spend one blood point for each
desired change and roll Intelligence + Body Crafts (difficulty
6). If the character is trying to duplicate another person’s
appearance or voice, the roll is Perception + Body Crafts
(difficulty 8); the number of successes rolled sets the number
of successes a friend or acquaintance of the imitated subject
would need to get on a Perception roll to detect the deception.
Increasing one’s Appearance has a difficulty of 9 and requires
an extra blood point for each dot above their natural total. A
botch permanently reduces his Appearance by one.

•• Transmogrify the Mortal Clay

While Malleable Visage is relatively inoffensive,
Transmogrify the Mortal Clay is where Vicissitude’s real
power takes shape. Now the Tzimisce may perform dramatic
alterations, and not just upon himself, but upon any
subject she can subdue long enough to impart her vision.
Tzimisce often use Transmogrify the Mortal Clay to craft
monstrous servants, torture enemies, and bestow “gifts”
upon those who please her.

System: After spending a blood point, the vampire
must grapple or otherwise subdue her intended subject.
She then rolls Dexterity + Body Crafts (difficulty varies,
depending upon the changes sought). Appearance can be
changed as described under Malleable Visage; reducing
Appearance is easier (difficulty 5), unless the Tzimisce
pursues an especially complex and nuanced kind of disfigurement.
Each success increases or decreases the Attribute
by one. Furthermore, the Tzimisce may arrange flesh to
improve upon the subject’s defenses. Each success scored
(difficulty 8) allows the vampire to increase the subject’s
soak pool by one, though it comes at the cost of a dot of
Strength or a health level (vampire’s choice).

••• Rend the Osseous Frame

At this stage of mastery, the Tzimisce has progressed
to manipulating bone. Used on its own, Rend the Osseous
Frame can inflict terrible damage upon a subject. When
used in conjunction with Transmogrify the Mortal Clay,
nightmares become possible.

System: The vampire spends a blood point and makes
a Strength + Body Crafts roll (difficulty as above). When
used on its own to inflict harm, the difficulty is 7 and each
success scored inflicts one level of lethal damage upon the
subject as bones are forced through flesh. The Tzimisce
may “arm” a subject with spikes, claws, talons, quills or
other weapons formed from the subject’s own bones. Most
such weapons inflict one health level of lethal damage as
they burst out of the subject’s flesh. Defensive weapons
that cover larger surface areas do lethal damage equal to
five minus the number of successes (a botch kills a mortal
subject or sends a vampire into torpor) when they’re
formed. Spikes and claws deal Strength+1 levels of lethal
damage. Quills inflict lethal damage equal to the subject’s
Strength upon an attacker, unless the attack succeeded
with three or more successes on the attack roll, in which
case the attacker takes no damage.

The defender still takes
damage normally. Additionally, quills improve damage from
holds, clinches, and tackles by two. The vampire can craft
bone plates to improve a subject’s defense; this works in
the same fashion as Transmogrify the Mortal Clay, save
that each additional point of soak comes at the expense
of a dot of Dexterity or a health level (vampire’s choice).
Creative users of this power will find different and
interesting ways to apply it, to the advantage of themselves
and their allies and the detriment of their enemies.

An old favorite involves turning a subject’s ribs inwards
until they pierce the heart and lungs. Five successes are
required to achieve this effect; on mortals, it is almost
always fatal, while vampires erupt in an uncontrollable
sanguine shower that drains them of half their blood pool.

•••• Awaken the Zulo Shape

When one considers the primeval forests of Transylvania,
the thought demon-haunted often comes to mind.
More often than not, the inspiration for that response
is a Tzimisce in zulo shape, an eight-foot-tall nightmare
of scales and greasy fur, apelike arms tipped with jagged
black nails, and a bristling row of spines tracing the length
of its backbone.

System: By spending two blood points, the Tzimisce
awakens the zulo shape. All Physical Attributes increase
by three, while all Social Attributes drop to zero (save for
those also capable of assuming the zulo form, in which
case Social Attributes are treated as normal). A vampire
in Zulo form may use the Intimidation Ability with his
Strength. All brawling damage is improved by one.

••••• The Body Impolitic

Arguably the most ghoulish of Vicissitude’s gifts, The
Body Impolitic allows the user to invest a portion of her
sentience in the flesh of her body, then sever it from the
trunk to do the Tzimisce’s bidding.

System: By infusing an extremity with blood, the
Tzimisce gives it awareness and a life of its own. Only
one blood point is required, though some body parts
can be gifted with more; the smallest of extremities
(eyes, tongue, etc.) can hold only one, but a limb may
hold two or three depending on where it is severed, the
head can hold three, and the trunk can hold as much
as five. Once imbued with awareness, the Tzimisce can
then remove the extremity (Dexterity + Body Crafts
to do so without inflicting one level of lethal damage
upon herself) and set it free to do her bidding. When
needed, an extremity can tear itself free from the main
body; doing so requires two rounds and deals the usual
level of lethal damage to the body.

The Tzimisce can
have as many servitor “parts” as she has extremities
to use (and blood points to fuel them). While a body
part is detached and still sentient, the Tzimisce cannot
regrow it. Disembodied parts are always aware of
all other parts of itself, but otherwise have only the
sensory input normally available to them. Some Tzimisce
will use Vicissitude to craft additional sensory
organs onto these extremities to give them the tools to
perform specific tasks (mouths and tongues to deliver
messages, eyes to spy with, and so on). The master
can use Disciplines through a disembodied extremity,
but only if that body part can fulfill the Discipline’s
requirements (that is, it must have blood enough to
fuel the Discipline, must be able to make eye contact
if that’s a requirement of the Discipline, etc.)

If an extremity uses up its blood points to fuel a Discipline,
it withers into nothingness moments after doing so.
Independent extremities have one health level each.
They are almost preternaturally aware of danger and
gain three dots in Athletics. If an extremity is destroyed,
it can be recreated by spending one blood point and
successfully using Transmogrify the Mortal Clay and
Rend the Osseous Frame to shape a replacement. So
long as the Tzimisce has a living extremity tucked away
somewhere, she can’t fully be killed and may be able
to reconstruct herself given time.