Thaumaturgy

The Discipline of Thaumaturgy encompasses blood magic and other sorcerous arts. Thaumaturgy is the unique possession of the Tremere and one of its most jealously guarded secrets. Certain Kindred rumors even speak of mystic cabals of Tremere that hunt down those thaumaturges who are not members of the Warlocks' clan.

Clan Tremere created this Discipline by combining mortal wizardry with the power ofvampiric vitae. Though its existence is not widely known by mortal mages and wizards, it is seen as a disreputable aberration of true magick by those familiar with it.

Thaumaturgy is a versatile and powerful Discipline. Like Necromancy, its practice is divided into two parts: paths and rituals. Thaumaturgical paths are applications of the vampire's knowledge of blood magic, allowing her to create effects at her whim. Rituals are more formulaic in nature, most akin to the ancient magical "spells" of bygone nights. Because so many different paths and rituals are available to the arcane Tremere, one never knows what to expect when confronted with a practitioner of this Discipline.

When a character first learns Thaumaturgy, the player selects a path for the character. That path is considered the character's primary path, and she automatically receives one dot in it, as well as one Level One ritual. Thereafter, whenever the character increases her level in Thaumaturgy, her score in the primary path increases by one as well. Rituals are learned separately, as part of a story; players need not pay experience points for their characters to learn rituals, though they must find someone to teach the rituals in question.

Path ratings never exceed Level Five, though the overall Thaumaturgy score may (higher levels of Disciplines will be covered in future products ).Ifa character reaches Level Five in her primary path and increases her Thaumaturgy score afferward, she may allocate her "free" path dot to a different path. Thaumaturges may create their own paths (through player and Storyteller collaboration) once they achieve the sixth level of Thaumaturgy.

Many vampires (wisely) fear the Discipline of Thaumaturgy. It is a very potent and mutable Discipline, and almost anything the Kindred wishes may be accomplished through its magic.

Thaumaturgy Rituals

Rituals can be found here: Thaumaturgy Rituals

Paths of Thaumaturgy

Paths define the types of magic a vampire can perform. A vampire typically learns his primary path from his sire, though it is not unknown for some vampires to study under many different tutors and learn all their secrets.

As mentioned before, the first path a character learns is considered her primary path and increases automatically as the character advances in the Discipline itself. Secondary paths may be learned once the character has acquired two or more dots in her primary path, and they must be raised separately with experience points. Furthermore, a character's rating in her primary path must always be at least one dot higher than any of her secondary paths until she has mastered her primary path. Once the character has achieved mastery of the fifth level of her primary path, secondary paths may be increased to that level.

System

Each time the character invokes one of the powers of a Thaumaturgical path, the thaumaturge's player must spend a blood point and make a Willpower roll against a difficulty of the power's level +3. Only one success is required to invoke a path's effect - path levels, not successes, govern the power of blood magic. Failure on this roll indicates that the blood magic fails, while a botch signifies that the character loses a permanent Willpower point. Obviously, Thaumaturgy is not an art in which one merely "dabbles."

Paths:

Movement of the Mind

This path gives the thaumaturge the ability to move objects telekinetically through the mystic power of blood. At higher levels, even flight is possible (but be careful who sees you…). Objects under the character's control may be manipulated as if she held them - they may be lifted, spun, juggled or even "thrown," though creating enough force to inflict actual damage requires mastery of the fourth level or greater. Some thaumaturges skilled in this path even use it to guard their havens, animating swords, axes and firearms to ward off intruders.

This path may frighten and disconcert onlookers. Many people are quite put off when the pages of a book turn by themselves!

System:

The number of successes indicates the duration of the thaumaturge's control over the object (or subject). Each success allows one turn of manipulation, though the Kindred may attempt to maintain control after this time by making a new roll (she need not spend additional blood to maintain control). If the roll is successful, control is maintained. If a thaumaturge loses or relaxes control over an object and later manipulates it again, her player must spend another blood point, as a new attempt is being made.

If this power is used to manipulate a living being, the subject may attempt to resist. In this case, the thaumaturge and the subject make opposed Willpower rolls each turn the control is exercised.

Like The Lure of Flames, individual power levels are not provided for this path - consult the chart below to see how much weight a thaumaturge may control. Once a Kindred reaches Level Three, she may levitate herself and "fly" at approximately running speed, no matter how much she weighs, though the weight restrictions apply if she manipulates other objects or subjects. Once a Kindred achieves Level Four, she may "throw" objects at a Strength equal to her level of mastery.

  • 1 - One pound
  • 2 - 20 pounds
  • 3 - 200 pounds
  • 4 - 500 pounds
  • 5 - 1000 pounds

The Green Path

The Green Path deals with the manipulation of plant matter of all sorts. Anything more complex than an algae bloom can theoretically be controlled through the appropriate application of this path. Ferns, roses, dandelions and even ancient redwoods are all equally valid targets for this path's powers, and living and dead plants matter are equally effected. While not as immediately impressive as some other more widely practiced paths, the Green Path (sometimes disparagingly referred to as the "Botanical Mastery") is as subtle and powerful as the natural world which it affects.

The origins of the Green Path are thought to lie with the Order of the Naturists (see Clanbook: Tremere), a druid like sect within Clan Tremere. Most practitioners of the path are members of the order, and those who are not were more than likely mentored by one. According to those who are familiar with Tremere history, the Green Path is a blood magic-based derivation of some magickal workings formerly practiced by House Diedne, an order of mortal mages destroyed by the Tremere during the Dark Ages.

1 - Herbal Wisdom

With but a touch, a Cainite can communicate with the spirit of the plant. Conversations held in this manner are often cryptic but rewarding – the wisdom and experience of the spirits of some trees surpasses that of the oracles of legend. Crabgrass, on the other hand, rarely has much insight to offer, but might reveal the face of the last person who walked on it.

2 - Speed the Season’s Passing

This discipline allows the thaumaturge to accelerate a plant’s growth, causing roses to bloom in a matter of minutes or trees to shoot up from saplings overnight. Alternately, the Vampire can speed a plant’s death and decay, withering grass and crumbling wooden stakes with but a touch.

3 - Dance of Vines

The thaumaturge can animate a mass of vegetation up to his own size, using it for utility or combat purposes with equal ease. Leaves can walks along a desktop, ivy can act as a scribe and jungle creepers can strangle opponents.

4 - Verdant Haven

This discipline weaves a temporary shelter out of a sufficient amount of plant matter. In addition to providing physical protection from the elements (and even sunlight), the Verdant Haven also establishes a mystical barrier, which is makes the Haven nearly impassible to anyone the caster wishes to exclude. A Verdant Haven appear as a six foot tall hemisphere of interlocked branches, leaves and vines with no direct opening, and even to the casual observer it appears to be an unnatural construction.

You must be within a heavily vegetated area to use this power (such as a forest) and lasts until the next sunset.

5 - Awaken the Forest Giants

Entire trees can be animated by the master of the Green Path. Ancient oaks can be temporarily given the gift of movement, pulling their roots from the soil and shaking the ground with their steps. While not as versatile as elementals or other summoned spirits, trees brought to ponderous life via this power display awesome strength and resilience.

The Lure of Flames

This path grants the thaumaturge the ability to conjure forth mystical flames - small fires at first, but skilled magicians may create great conflagrations. The Lure of Flames is greatly feared, as fire is one of the surest ways to bring Final Death upon a vampire. See "Fire" for more information on how vampires suffer from flame.

Fire created by this path is not "natural." In fact, many vampires believe the flames to be conjured from Hell itself.

Fire conjured by The Lure of Flames must be released for it to have any effect. Thus, a "palm of flame" does not bum the vampire's hand and cause an aggravated wound - it merely produces light. Once the flame has been released, however, it burns normally and the character has no control over it.

System:

The number of successes determines how accurately the thaumaturge places the flame in his desired location. One success is all that is necessary to conjure a flame in one's hand, while five successes place a flame anywhere in the Kindred's line of sight.

Individual descriptions are not provided for each level of this path - fire is fire, after all. The chart below describes the path level required to generate a specific amount of flame. To soak the damage at all, of course, a vampire must have the Fortitude Discipline.

  • 1 - Candle (difficulty 3 to soak, one health level of aggravated damage/turn)
  • 2 - Palm of flame (difficulty 4 to soak, one health level of aggravated damage/turn)
  • 3 - Campfire (difficulty 5 to soak, two health levels of aggravated damage/turn)
  • 4 - Bonfire (difficulty 7 to soak, two health levels of aggravated damage/turn)
  • 5 - Inferno (difficulty 9 to soak, three health levels of aggravated damage/turn)

The Path of Blood

Almost every Tremere studies the Path of Blood as her primary path. It encompasses some of the most fundamental principles of Thaumaturgy, based as it is on the manipulation of Kindred vitae. If a player wishes to select another path as her character's primary path, she'd better have a good reason (though choosing a different path is by no means unheard of).

Note: Within Mists of Salem This is the primary path of Tremere blood magic. It is the first path that all Apprentices are taught when they are first brought into the clan. It gives them powers to analyze and control the vitae in themselves and other vampires.

1 - A Taste of Blood

This power was developed as a means of testing a foe's might - an extremely important ability in the tumultuous early nights of Clan Tremere. By merely tasting the blood of his subject, the thaumaturge may determine how much vitae remains in the subject and, if the subject is a vampire, how recently he has fed, his approximate generation and, with three or more successes, whether he has recently committed diablerie.

System: The number of successes achieved on the roll determines how much information the thaumaturge gleans and how accurate it is.

2 - Blood Rage

This power allows a vampire to force another Kindred to expend blood against his will. The thaumaturge must touch her subject for this power to work, though only the lightest contact is necessary. A vampire affected by this power might feel a physical rush as the thaumaturge heightens his Physical Attributes, or may even find himself on the brink of frenzy as his stores of vitae are mystically depleted.

System: Each success forces the subject to spend one blood point immediately in the way the thaumaturge desires. Note that blood points forcibly spent in this manner may exceed the normal "per turn" maximum indicated by the victim's generation. Each success gained also increases the subject's difficulty to resist frenzy by one.

3 - Blood of Potency

The thaumaturge gains such control over his own blood that he may effectively "concentrate" it, making it more powerful for a short time. In effect, he may temporarily lower his own generation with this power. This power may be used only once per night.

System: Successes earned on the Willpower roll must be spent both to decrease the vampire's generation and to maintain the change. One success allows the character to lower his generation by one step for one hour. Each success grants the Kindred either one step down in generation or one hour of effect. If the vampire is diablerized while this power is in effect, it wears off immediately and the diablerist gains power appropriate to the thaumaturge's actual generation. Furthermore, any mortals Embraced by the thaumaturge are born to the generation appropriate to their sire's original generation (e.g., a 10th-generation Tremere who has reduced his effective generation to eighth still produces 11th-generation childer).

Once the effect wears off, any blood over the character's blood pool maximum dilutes, leaving the character at his regular blood pool maximum. Thus, if a 12th-generation Tremere (maximum blood pool of 11) decreased his generation to ninth (maximum blood pool 14), ingested 14 blood points, and had this much vitae in his system when the power wore off, his blood pool would immediately drop to 11.

4 - Theft of Vitae

A thaumaturge using this power siphons vitae from her subject. She need never come in contact with the subject - blood literally streams out in a physical torrent from the subject to the Kindred (though it is often mystically absorbed and need not enter through the mouth).

System: The number of successes determines how many blood points the Tremere transfers from the subject. The subject must be visible to the thaumaturge and within 50 feet. Using this power is like drinking from the subj ect - used three times on the same Kindred, it creates a blood bond on the part of the thaumaturge! This power is obviously quite spectacular, and Camarilla princes justifiably consider its public use a breach of the Masquerade.

5 - Cauldron of Blood

A thaumaturge using this power boils her subject's blood in his veins like water on a stove. The Kindred must touch her subject, and it is this contact that simmers the subject's blood. This power is always fatal to mortals, and causes great damage to even the mightiest vampires.

System: The number of successes gained determines how many blood points are brought to boil. The subject suffers one health level of aggravated damage for each point boiled (individuals with Fortitude may soak this damage using only their Fortitude dice). A single success kills any mortal, though some ghouls are said to have survived.

The Path of Conjuration

Invoking objects "out of thin air" has been a staple of occult and supernatural legend since long before the rise of the Tremere. This Thaumaturgical path enables powerful conjurations limited only by the mind of the practitioner.

Objects summoned via this path bear two distinct characteristics. They are uniformly "generic" in that each object summoned, if summoned again, would look exactly as it did at first. For example, a knife would be precisely the same knife if created twice; the two would be indistinguishable. Even a specific knife - the one a character's father used to threaten her - would appear identical every time it was conjured. A rat would have repeated "tiled" patterns over its fur, and a garbage can would have the exact same fluted texture over its surface. Additionally, conjured objects bear no flaws: Weapons have no dents or scratches, tools have no distinguishing marks, and computers have featureless casings.

The limit on the size of conjured objects appears to be that of the conjurer; nothing larger than the thaumaturge can be created. The conjurer must also have some degree of familiarity with the object he wishes to call forth. Simply working from a picture or imagination calls for a higher difficulty, while objects with which the character is intimately familiar (such as the knife described above) may actually lower the difficulty, at the Storyteller's discretion.

When a player rolls to conjure something, the successes gained on the roll indicate the quality of the summoned object. One success yields a shoddy, imperfect creation, while five successes garner the thaumaturge a nearly perfect replica.

1 - Summon the Simple Form

At this level of mastery, the conjurer may create simple, inanimate objects. The object cannot have any moving parts and may not be made of multiple materials. For example, the conjurer may summon a steel baton, a lead pipe, a wooden stake or a chunk of granite.

System: Each turn the conjurer wishes to keep the object in existence, another Willpower point must be spent or the object vanishes.

2 - Permanency

At this level, the conjurer no longer needs to pay Willpower costs to keep an object in existence. The object is, as this level's name suggests, permanent, though simple objects are still all that may be created.

System: The player must invest three blood points in an object to make it real.

3 - Magic of the Smith

The Kindred may now conjure complex objects of multiple components and with moving parts. For example, the thaumaturge can create guns, bicycles, chainsaws or cellular phones.

System: Objects created via Magic of the Smith are permanent items and cost five blood points to conjure. Particularly complex items often require a Knowledge roll (Crafts, Science, etc.) in addition to the basic roll.

4 - Reverse Conjuration

This power allows the conjurer to "banish" into nonexistence any object previously called forth via this path.

System: This is an extended success roll. The conjurer must accumulate as many successes as the original caster received when creating the object in question.

5 - Power Over Life

This power cannot create true life, though it can summon forth some truly impressive simulacra. Creatures (and people) summoned with this power lack the free will to act on their own, instead mindlessly following the simple instructions of their conjurer.

System: The player spends 10 blood points. Imperfect and impermanent, creatures summoned via this path are too complex to exist for long. Within a week after their conjuration, the simulacra vanish into insubstantiality.

Weather Control

By spending a blood point, the vampire may create weather anomalies. She must also roll Manipulation + Survival, difficulty dependent on the typical likelihood of the weather pattern being perpetrated. (Lightning on a sunny day in Kenya is difficulty 9; fog in London is difficulty 3.) In the event of lightning, treat the strike as a firearm, doing ten dice of damage. The level of the effect (the magnitude of the weather anomaly) is limited to the number of successes on the Willpower roll.

  • 1 - Fog - Light Breeze/Minor Temperature Change
  • 2 - Rain/Snow - Forcing weather conditions to change
  • 3 - High Winds - Whirlwind/Moderate Temperature Change
  • 4 - Storm - Creating and controlling a storm.
  • 5 - Lightning - Focusing Lighting to strike. Difficulty is determined by weather conditions and weather or not you are in or out doors.
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