Performing Blood Sorcery rites is done as presented in Vampire the Requiem Second Edition, page 151; However, due to the depressingly-limited options presented in the core rulebook for both Crúac and Theban Sorcery, the Vampire the Requiem chronicle for Eternal Noire 2.0 will be using the Themes and Factors of the first edition sourcebook ‘Blood Sorcery: Sacraments and Blasphemies,’ as presented below:
Progression in a Ritual Discipline simultaneously grants dots in the Themes of blood magic; the five common threads running through the known rituals of Crúac and Theban Sorcery. By becoming skilled in one or more Themes, a ritual practitioner may learn rites or miracles based on them.
The Themes are Creation, Divination, Destruction, Protection and Transmutation. Each is rated from • to ••••• like a Discipline but has a maximum rating of the Ritual Discipline. The first dot of Crúac or Theban Sorcery grants two dots of Themes linked to that type of sorcery, as well as a dot in the player’s choice of the other three.
The linked Themes of Crúac are Creation and Protection, while those of Theban Sorcery are Divination and Transmutation. Theme dots may be bought independently of the Ritual Discipline for 3 Experiences.
In addition, every time a character gains a new dot of the Discipline itself, an extra dot is gained in a Theme the character already knows. Whenever a character gains a new Theme dot— whether it’s from buying an extra dot in the overall Discipline or raised independently with Experience—she gains a learned ritual of the new Theme rating (not the new Discipline rating).
For example, an Acolyte with Crúac •• who buys Crúac ••• and chooses Destruction •• as the free dot gains a level two Destruction rite as the free learned ritual.
The target number of successes for a ritual is based on the complexity of the Themes involved, but achieving that target number creates an effect that may still be insufficient for the ritualist’s needs. Successes equal to Theme dots produce a basic effect that works on one target within touch range of the ritualist, lasts only a turn, or inflicts a single wound; to achieve more, the ritualist’s player may alter the target number of successes according to the Ritual Factors described here. Alteration of the target number must be done before the first roll to perform the ritual is made—a player cannot change the target number of successes once a ritual has begun.
Area of Effect is used for rituals that have power over a circular region around a specified spot or a cubic volume.
- 1-yard radius / 5 cubic yards: None (basic success)
- 2-yard radius / 10 cubic yards: +1 success
- 4-yard radius / 20 cubic yards: +2 successes
- 8-yard radius / 40 cubic yards: +3 successes
- 16-yard radius / 80 cubic yards: +4 successes*
* Affecting larger areas is more difficult. Add an additional two successes to the target number per x2 radius or volume.
Duration is used for ritual effects that must persist longer than a single turn. Note that wounds and other lingering consequences of the ritual persist even after the Duration ends.
- One turn duration: None (basic success)
- Caster’s Ritual Discipline turns duration: +1 success
- One scene duration: +2 successes
- Until next sunrise: +3 successes
- One month duration: +4 successes*
* Add an additional success to the target number per month of additional duration.
Number of Targets is used for ritual effects that must be applied equally to separate individuals, objects or areas.
- One Target: (basic success)
- Two Targets: +1 success
- Four Targets: +2 successes
- Eight Targets: +3 successes
- Sixteen Targets: +4 successes*
* Add an additional success to the target number per x2 targets.
Potency represents the strength of the ritual; it is used whenever the ritual has an incremental effect. Rituals that add or subtract dice from dice pools use Potency to determine the dice by which to modify the pools. Rituals that inflict damage use Potency to determine how severe the wounds are.
- Potency : 1 Basic success
- Potency 2: +1 success
- Potency 3: +2 successes
- Potency 4: +3 successes
- Potency 5: +4 successes*
* Add an additional success to the target number per die or wound.
Range is used whenever the ritualist wishes to affect a target further away than what she can touch. “Touch”- range rituals require the ritualist to make physical contact with the target. In combat, this requires the sorcerer to touch the subject with her open palm (see “Touching an Opponent”, page 157 of The World of Darkness) before the Duration of the ritual ends. The ritual then takes effect against the target.
- Touch: Basic success
- Line of sight: +1 success
- One mile: +2 successes
- Two miles: +3 successes
- Three miles: +4 successes*
* Add an additional success to the target number per additional mile of range.
Size is used to affect very large targets; a basic success is sufficient to achieve a ritual with power over a subject of size 20 or less. If multiple subjects are targeted by the ritual, the size of the largest one is used for this factor.
Size Target Number
- 20 Basic success
- 21-30 +1 success
- 31-40 +2 successes
- 41-50 +3 successes
- 51-60 +4 successes*
* Add an additional success to the target number per additional 20 size.
The Limitations of Blood SorceryBlood has its limits. There are some goals that the Ritual Disciplines can’t achieve no matter how dedicated the sorcerer is. Both Ritual Disciplines harness the nature of vampires, and they are limited by that nature.
- No ritual may summon or destroy banes: Fire and sunlight remain inviolate despite rumors of Sanctified miracles causing the covenant’s enemies to combust. And no ritual may completely ward off banes.
- Blood sorcery has no analogue to the “counter-magic” found in the ritual magics of some supernatural creatures.
- Once a ritual has been successfully cast, it can’t be “dispelled” by the powers available to the Kindred. Blood sorcery can produce flashes of oracular insight, but not the granting of new magical senses—that’s the province of the Auspex Discipline.
- The effects of blood sorcery can’t be made permanent. Rituals may have their Duration factor extended for months, but eventually, the power will wear off.
- Blood sorcery can’t access other realms of existence—it deals with the world as vampires know it, not any of the strange spiritual realms spoken of in the lore of other supernatural creatures.
With the first dot in Creation, a ritualist can summon liquids, which typically pool up from wherever the ritual is targeted, and dead organic matter—corpses and the rotten remains of plants. She can also create sensory phenomena, such as sounds emanating from nowhere, strange smells, or lengthening shadows that aren’t cast by anything. If a sensory phenomenon is intended as a help or hindrance to a dice roll, the bonus or penalty added is equal to the ritual’s Potency.
With the second dot in Creation, a ritualist can summon living insects or arachnids, vermin, amphibians, fungi, plants, spoiled food, drugs, and gases. Living things created by ritual are under the mental command of the ritualist so long as she maintains concentration.
With the third dot in Creation, a ritualist may summon predatory and scavenging animals, such as wolves, foxes, owls, and cats. As at Creation ••, animals summoned are under the control of the ritualist. Living creations don’t have to be natural animals, however— homunculi, stunted humanoid servants made of twisted flesh and warped blood—make for excellent fetches and helpers. At this level, a ritualist also learns how to summon physical objects made of solid, homogenous material and to trigger weather so long as conditions are appropriate. She can make it rain or snow from a clouded sky, even make it rain blood or hail frogs or fish, but she can’t summon a thunderstorm out of a cloudless night. Finally, a ritualist at this level of proficiency may produce diseases.
With the fourth dot in Creation, a ritualist can cause the Curse to extend to her creations. Animals, plants, and homunculi can be brought into being as ghouls by spending Vitae during the ritual (on top of any spent as the sacrifice in a Crúac rite). Combined with Destruction or Transmutation Themes to remove it from elsewhere, she can even create Vitae within her own system. Homunculi may be granted dots of her physical Disciplines on a one-to-one basis with the ritual’s Potency. Objects created may now be complex or made of multiple materials, but they may not include valuables such as precious metals or gems. The ritualist’s command of the environment now extends to creating heat or cold, blanketing areas in magical darkness (that is still pierced by sunlight during the day), and whipping up strong winds.
With the fifth dot in Creation, a ritualist can now grant her non-physical Disciplines to homunculi on a one-to one basis with the ritual’s Potency. Her command of the environment can create radically different weather patterns: she can summon thick cloud cover from a sunny day, or call up a gale-force wind or tornado. Her ability to create material goods is now complete with the knowledge of creating valuables through sorcery, though jewels are always dark or flawed and precious metals have an unhealthy sheen.
With the first dot in Destruction, a ritualist may make attacks more potent, upgrading bashing damage to lethal. He may also produce poisons with a Toxicity equal to Potency.
With the second dot in Destruction, the ritualist may instill destructive properties that lie in wait for unwitting victims—he can turn the blood of a target toxic to vampires feeding (so that it inflicts lethal wounds) or cause a relic to burn anyone who touches it. He may also reduce the Durability of objects and the dot rating of armor by the Potency of his ritual. Lastly, he can inflict bashing wounds to a subject directly, without engaging in combat.
With the third dot in Destruction, a ritualist may upgrade lethal attacks with the armor piercing quality. Alternatively, he may reduce the Resistance Attributes of a target for a time, weakening her so she might be finished off.
With the fourth dot in Destruction, the ritualist may inflict lethal wounds directly to the target instead of upgrading existing attacks or may upgrade lethal wounds to aggravated. He may also destroy blood—vampire or ghoul targets lose points of Vitae equal to Potency, while mortal victims suffer that many lethal wounds. He may also sap the will of a subject, reducing her Willpower.
With the final dot in Destruction, the ritualist may inflict aggravated damage directly to a victim. He may also reduce the Power or Finesse Attributes of a subject.
With the first dot in Divination, a ritualist may glimpse details about a course of action she has decided to undertake or learn basic information pertaining to a target. Glimpsing the future reveals fragmented and confusing imagery around an intended action, which the ritualist must interpret. This interpretation is represented by a Wits + Occult roll, with successes granting dice pool bonuses or penalties for the event being foretold. Rituals made to uncover secrets instead do so in descending order of importance to or about the target within the category of information sought, at one revelation per Potency. For example, the ritualist might wish to know what the target considers his most shameful acts or his closest-held secrets, or which owner of an object cherished it the most.
With the second dot in Divination, the ritualist may gain knowledge of events happening at the present time. She may witness events at a long distance, borrow the senses of a target, or learn if a specified event is taking place. By combining this level of Divination with another Theme, she can create rituals that trigger in response to a precondition; the Duration of the ritual technically begins when it is first cast, but the second effect does not start until the precondition is met and then it lasts for the remaining Duration beyond that one turn.
With the third dot in Divination, foretelling future events and seeing into the past of a target becomes more accurate, and it enables the ritualist to ask basic yes/no questions such as “Is this a good idea?”, “Was this the dagger used to kill my sire?” or “Is the Bishop plotting against me?”, at one question per Potency. Detailed foretelling of her own future actions allows her to play those events out in her mind ahead of time, represented by allowing her player to reroll (keeping the second result) one roll per Potency. The ritualist may ask for specific information about a target, learning what she wants rather than the most important information.
With the fourth dot in Divination, revelations gained become even clearer. The ritualist may ask specific questions such as “Who do I need to confront?”, “When did they last meet?” or “Which of them will act against me?” She can gain clarity by asking further questions on the same topic by spending any Potency after the first on a one-for-one basis. Forewarning of future danger now allows the ritualist to grant bonus dice equal to Potency to attempts to overcome a hazard.
With the fifth dot in Divination, the ritualist can see specific times in the past or future without them having to be the answer to a question. She may also uncover knowledge about targets that no one knows, such as solutions to ancient puzzles and the lost locations of treasure troves.
With the first dot in Protection, a ritualist can make it more difficult to harm his subject with other blood sorceries, subtracting Potency from the ritual roll for anyone targeting the beneficiary. He may heal bashing damage in vampires and grant protection from the very least power of the Kindred, the Kiss. Subjects protected from the ecstasy of a vampire’s Kiss are still fed from, but add the ritual’s Potency in dice to the resistance roll.
With the second dot in Protection, the ritualist can protect a subject from injuries by granting armor and ward off environmental hazards such as electricity. Vampires can be made more able to resist frenzy.
With the third dot in Protection, the ritualist can shield the ritual’s subject from physical dangers. Targets can be rendered untouchable or unable to be fed from, and the physical effects of Disciplines such as Nightmare can be warded off. Using the Theme on vampires allows the ritualist to protect his target from being staked or to heal lethal wounds.
With the fourth dot in Protection, the ritualist can defend his target against the mental effects of Disciplines such as Majesty or Dominate. Targets can be protected from the Vinculum for a single dose of Vitae per Potency, and vampire targets can be protected from falling asleep against their will during the day, allowing them to remain active for turns equal to Potency.
With the fifth dot in Protection, the ritualist can protect his target from becoming addicted to Vitae. Using the Theme on vampires, he can heal aggravated wounds and ameliorate the effects of sunlight or fire to a limited degree—reducing the health lost per turn of either bane by Potency, to a minimum of one.
The first dot of Transmutation allows a ritualist to make a wide variety of minor changes to her subject. By forcing a target to share the Curse, she can store Vitae in inanimate objects, make Kindred instinctively fall asleep as though the sun were up, and inflict ravenous pangs of hunger on mortals in a mirror of the Wassail. If such changes hinder or help the target, apply the Ritual’s Potency as a dice-pool modifier. At this level, the ritualist’s ability to alter physical properties is restricted. She may make minor manipulations to the appearance of a living or vampiric subject; aging, scars and other features may be altered, but nothing so extreme that he becomes unrecognizable. Dead matter, however, can be warped relatively easily, as long as the new appearance remains similar in size. Finally, she may animate liquids, including blood.
The second dot of Transmutation allows the ritualist more control over her target. She may disguise a living or vampiric subject as another being of the same general height and weight, and may completely transform dead matter, changing inconvenient corpses into decaying plants, for instance. The animating power of the Theme now extends to gases and plants. The ritualist can also disrupt a thinking being’s volition enough to alter speech, but not to force physical actions. By instilling a ritual’s target with power, the ritualist may “bless” an action or confer the will to carry on beyond normal limits. Rituals at this level may grant 9-again on dice rolls, or grant Willpower or Vitae above a character’s normal maximum.
The third dot of Transmutation allows the ritualist to alter living and vampiric beings, granting them the abilities and physical properties of others. Complete transmutation is still beyond the ritualist’s reach, but she can (for example) give a human being the scales of a reptile or coat the palms of a ghoul’s hands in stinging nematocysts. Inorganic objects may have their appearances changed. The ritualist’s ability to animate subjects has also progressed to having power over animals. Lastly, she may bless or curse a specified action, applying Potency as a dice-pool modifier.
The fourth dot of Transmutation allows the ritualist to completely change one living thing into another. She may curse humans into animal shape or keep attack dogs in the guise of plants until needed. Her ability to animate subjects now extends to the dead, allowing for the creation of zombies, and to the physical control of thinking beings, allowing for actions to be forced on a sentient subject. She may also grant material objects the properties of one another. Although she can’t give “inert” blood the mystic properties needed for vampires to feed, she can remove them from true blood, neutralizing it so it provides no sustenance. (Once a vampire has fed, though, removing Vitae requires the Destruction Theme.)
The fifth dot of Transmutation allows the ritualist to transform any object or creature into any other, transferring and changing characteristics as she sees fit.
The rituals presented in Vampire the Requiem Second Edition have the following Theme dot requirements:
Pangs of Proserpina (Transmutation •)
Rigor Mortis (Transmutation •)
Cheval (Divination ••)
The Hydra’s Vitae (Destruction ••)
Deflection of Wooden Doom (Protection •••)
Touch of the Morrigan (Destruction •••)
Blood Blight (Destruction ••••)
Blood Price (Creation ••••, Destruction •••• or Creation ••••, Transmutation ••••)
Willful Vitae (Protection ••••)
Feeding the Crone (Transmutation •••, Destruction ••••)
Blood Scourge (Transmutation •, Destruction •)
Vitae Reliquary (Transmutation •)
Curse of Babel (Transmutation ••)
Liar’s Plague (Creation ••, Divination ••)
Blandishment of Sin (Destruction • or ••••)
Malediction of Despair (Divination ••, Transmutation •••)
Gift of Lazarus (Transmutation ••••)
Stigmata (Destruction ••••)
Transubstantiation (Transmutation •••••)
Rituals for Crúac and Theban Sorcery may be drawn from Vampire the Requiem Second Edition, Secrets of the Covenants, and Blood Sorcery; updated rituals from 1st Edition sources will be considered for play as player-created Custom Content after character creation.