Thaumrituals
Table of Contents

Thaumaturgy Rituals

Rituals are Thaumaturgical formulas, meticulously researched and prepared, that create powerful magical effects. Rituals are less versatile than paths, as their effects are singular and straightforward, but they are better suited toward specific ends.

All Thaumaturges have the ability to use rituals, though each individual ritual must be learned separately. Cost in experience is the level of the ritual in experience points.

System:

Rituals are rated from 1 to 8 (1-5 in Masquerade Embraced), each level corresponding to both the level of mastery of Thaumaturgy the would-be caster must possess and the relative power of the ritual itself. Unless stated otherwise, a ritual requires five minutes per level to cast. Casting rituals requires a successeful Intelligence + Occult roll, for which the difficulty equals 3 + the level of the ritual (maximum 9). Only one success is required for the ritual to work, though certain spells may require more successes or have variable effects based on how well the caster's roll goes. Should a roll to activate a ritual fail, the Storyteller is encouraged to create strange occurrences or side effects, or even make it appear that the ritual was successful, only to reveal it's failure at a later time. A botched ritual roll may even indicate a catastrophic failure or summon an ill-tempered demon…


Level 1 Rituals

Bind the Accusing Tongue

This ancient ritual is said to have been one of the first developed by the Tremere and a primary reason for the lack of cohesive opposition to their expansion. Bind the accusing tongue; lays a compulsion upon the subject that prevents him from speaking ill of the caster, allowing the caster to commit literally unspeakable acts without fear of reprisal.

System: The caster must have a picture or other image or effigy of the rituals target, a lock of the targets hair and a black silken cord. The caster winds the cord around the hair and image while intoning the rituals vocal component. Once the ritual is complete, the target must score more successes on a willpower roll (Difficulty of the casters Thaumaturgy rating +3) than the caster scored in order to say anything negative about the caster. The ritual lasts until the target succeeds at this roll or the silk cord is unwound, at which point the image and the hair crumble to dust.

Blood Mastery

Whispered rumors tell that one should never allow the Tremere to gain access to the blood of another vampire. Paranoid tales in hushed tones tell of the Tremere’s mastery over other Kindred through the sole use of a small quantity of vitae. While modern, cosmopolitan Kindred Scoff at such tales, even they are careful not to let their blood fall into the wrong hands, just in case. Such caution, though, is well deserved. A Tremere with even rudimentary understanding of blood can focus its power into sympathetic forms. By destroying another Kindred’s blood, The Tremere gains symbolic power over that kindred. This in turn allows the Tremere to manifest his supremacy over the victim.

System: The caster must mix a tiny quantity of his own Vitae (a negligible amount, less than a point) with that of his victim, then slowly burn it in a fire or boil the blood slowly over an open flame. The caster speaks the phrases of Symmetry as he finishes. Once complete, the Tremere has magical mastery over the victim, however briefly. Successful completion of the Blood Mastery ritual guarantees a victory of some degree over the victim. In the next contention that the caster brings against the victim, the ritualist automatically succeeds. If the task would require some roll, the caster garners one success automatically, but no more (and cannot roll or spend Willpower to improve the roll). This means that the caster is guaranteed a marginal success against his opponent.

Of course, it may not be in the fashion that the Thaumaturge desires – one success alone is not enough to decapitate an enemy, but it might influence him briefly with the Dominate Discipline. Similarly, if the victim takes some action first, the ritual is of no help if the caster’s player could not normally make a countering roll. E.g. the caster would still be subject to an opponent’s use of Presence, because he may not normally make a roll to resist. If the victim uses some Discipline that would require the caster to resist, though, then the thaumaturge automatically counters it and thus ends the power of the ritual. Blood Mastery can only guarantee successes in one limited endeavor – a Thaumaturge cannot burn multiple points of blood to gain additional successes or success on multiple consecutive actions. Once the ritual is in place, it must be discharged before it can be invoked again against the same subject. Blood mastery expires if its effects remain unused by sunrise.

Blood Rush

This ritual allows the vampire to create the sensation of drinking blood in himself without actually feeding. The ritual can be used for pleasure, but is more often used to prevent frenzy when confronted with fresh blood. The vampire must carry the fang of a predatory animal on his person for the ritual to work.

System: Performance of the ritual results in the Beast being kept in check automatically. Blood Rush allays the Beast for one hour, at which point the Cainite feels hungry again (assuming he did before). This ritual takes only one turn to enact.

Brand of the Paramour

Thaumaturges cast this ritual to maintain an active awareness of their ghoul’s physical condition. The Thaumaturge must first perform this ritual over the blood of mortal twins, then share the vitae with his ghoul. After imbibing the blood, the vampire remains aware of any physical harm befalling his ghoul by feeling a phantom pain. Hence, should the “paramour” ghoul sustain a bullet wound to the chest, the caster is immediately alert to his danger. This alertness also triggers should the paramour trip and fall, bruising his knee. The extent of danger is unknown to the thaumaturge, simply the fact that his ghoul has been harmed somewhere on his body.

System: Both the caster and his ghoul he desires to create as a paramour must each drink one of the two blood points of the mortal twins. Afterward, should any physical peril befall the ghoul, the caster feels a sympathetic pain in the same part of the body. Hence, if the vampire’s ghoul is hit in the shoulder by a stray bullet, the caster feels an acute pain in his shoulder. This pain, however does not translate as damage to the vampire should his ghoul sustain extreme bodily harm. If the ghoul sustains any levels of health damage, the Thaumaturge will still only feel pain centred on the location where his ghoul suffers his damage. Brand of the Paramour remains active so long as the ghoul is alive and remains a ghoul; the Embrace will negate this bond, as Thaumaturges cannot create a paramour of another vampire.

Communicate with Kindred Sire

By enacting this ritual, a Tremere may join minds with their sire, speaking telepathically with them over any distance. The communication may continue until the ritual expires or until either party ends the conversation. The caster must possess an item once owned by their sire for the ritual to work.

System: The caster must meditate for 30 minutes to create the connection. Conversation may be maintained for 10 minutes per success on the activation roll.

Dedicate the Chantry

Tremere chantries typically house arcane books, special resources, servants and other major assets. It’s no wonder they’re so closely guarded. One common practice includes the casting of various wards over a chantry site, to prevent unauthorized entry and to make the place difficult to locate. Dedicate the Chantry expatiates this process, making it easier to place subsequent enchantments over the area. To Dedicate the Chantry, the caster must walk a counter clockwise circle around the entire grounds and sprinkle stagnant water as he travels. Once the ring is complete, the thaumaturge must return to the (rough) center and anoint his hands with the stale water, then the lowest level of the floor.

System: A dedication functions over a single building. So a complex of homes or an estate and grounds may require several castings. One dedicated, the chantry is open to more defenses; any site ritual cast over the chantry, from a ward to potent magic’s like Deny the intruder (Level 2 ritual), has its casting difficulty lowered by one.

Defense of the Sacred Haven

This Ritual prevents sunlight from entering an area within 20 ft of this rituals casting. A mystical darkness blankets the area, keeping the baneful light at bay. Sunlight reflects off windows or magically fails to pass through doors or other portals. The caster draws sigils in his own blood on all the affected windows and doors, and the ritual lasts as long as the Tremere stays within the 20 ft radius.

System: This ritual requires 1 hour to perform, during which the caster recites incantations and inscribes glyphs. 1 blood point is required for this ritual to work.

Deflection of Wooden Doom

This ritual protects the Tremere from being staked, whether or not she is resting or active. While this ritual is in effect, the first stake that would pierce the Tremere’s heart disintegrates in the attacker’s hand. A stake merely held near the Tremere is unaffected; for this ritual to work, the stake must actively be used in an attempt to impale the vampire.

System: The Thaumaturge must surround herself with a circle of wood for a full hour. Any wood will work: furniture, sawdust, raw timber, 2’ x 4’s, whatever. The circle must remain unbroken, however. At the end of the hour, the vampire places a wooden splinter under her tongue. If this splinter is removed, the ritual is nullified. This ritual lasts until the following dawn or dusk.

Devil’s Touch

The Tremere use this ritual to place curses on mortals who earn their ire. Using this ritual marks an individual invisibly, causing all those who come in contact with him to receive him poorly. The mortal is treated as the most loathsome individual conceivable and all who deal with him do anything in their power to make him miserable. Even bums spit at an afflicted individual and children taunt him and barrage him with vulgarities.

System: The effects of this ritual last one night, disappearing as the sun rises. The mortal (it doesn’t work on vampires) must be present when the ritual is invoked and a penny must be placed somewhere on his person (in a pocket, shoe, etc).

Domino of Life

A vampire wanting or needing to simulate a human characteristic can do so once Domino of life is cast. For one entire night, the vampire can eat, breathe, maintain a 98.6 degree body temperature, assume a human flesh tone or display some other single trait of humankind she desires. Note that only one trait can be replicated in this fashion. The vampire must have a vial of fresh human blood on his person to maintain this ritual.

System: Using this ritual adds one die to the Thaumaturge’s Masquerade dice pool (see Vampire Storytellers Companion). Unless onlookers are especially wary, the Domino of Life should fool them into thinking the caster is mortal- not that they should have any reason to think otherwise.

Encrypt Missive

To insure that messages remain secure against prying eyes, the Tremere sometimes use this ritual the encode documents magically. Created during nights long past to send messages across battle lines or hostile borders, this ritual is not used as often in the age of electronic communications, but is occasionally used to communicate between chantries. Also, this is a fairly common ritual – many anarchs of the Anarch Free State seem to have learned it, and use it to encrypt graffiti messages to others of their kind.

System: The Thaumaturge writes the message in blood over the course of a night and speaks the name of the person he wishes to read it. Only the writer and the person to whom the letter is addressed can read the document, but numerous “counter-rituals” exist that can be used to confound the magic of this ritual. To any others who observe the letter, the writing simply appears as gibberish.

Engaging the Vessel of Transference

This ritual enchants a container to fill itself with blood from any living or un-living being who holds it, replacing the volume of blood taken with an equal amount previously held inside the container. When the ritual is enacted, the vessel (which must be between the size of a small cup and a gallon jug) is sealed full of the casters blood and inscribed with the Hermetic sigils, which empowers the ritual. Whenever an individual touches the container with his bare skin, he feels a slight chill against the flesh but no other discomfort. The container continues to exchange the blood until it is opened. The 2 most common uses are to covertly create a blood bond and to obtain a sample of a subject’s blood for ritual or experiment purposes.

System: This ritual takes 3 hours to enact (reduced by 15 minutes for each success on the casting roll) and requires one blood point, which is sealed into the container. The ritual only switches blood between itself and a subject if it is touched bare handed – even cotton gloves keep it from activating.

Expedient Paperwork

This beneficial ritual expedites paperwork through the bureaucratic systems of governments or other hierarchies. By preventing the ensorcelled documents from being misplaced, the paperwork goes through the swiftest channels, even bypassing normal daytime agencies that would hinder the Kindred’s nocturnal lifestyle. Although extremely useful in modern society, this ritual was developed to handle the Church bureaucracies of earlier nights and allay any suspicion towards the caster. The ritual requires the hairs of the dog, known for protection and loyalty, to protect and guide the paperwork.

System: This ritual enchants the expedited paperwork, which shows up as an aura to anyone who looks for such. Normal handling time of a given document is reduced to roughly one third and it will not get lost. The ritual ends when the material is finished being processed.

Illuminate Trail of Prey

This ritual causes the path of the subject’s passing to glow in a manner that only the Thaumaturge can see. The foot prints or tire tracks (or whatever) shines distinctly, but only to the eyes of the caster. Even airplane trajectories and animal tracks shine with unhealthy light. The ritual is nullified if the target wades through or immerses himself in water, or if he reaches the destination of his journey. The Thaumaturge must burn a length of white satin ribbon that has been in her possession for at least 24 hours for this ritual to take effect.

System: The Thaumaturge must have a mental picture of or know the name of her prey. The individual’s wake glows with a brightness dependent on how long it has been since he passed that way – old tracks burn less brightly, while fresh tracks blaze.

Impressive Visage

A Thaumaturge may enhance his sexual appeal and charm when interacting with other individuals after casting this ritual. When the ritual is cast, the caster gains a degree of animal attractiveness; he’s simply more desirable than anyone else and commands attention as if he were a top model. For this ritual to take effect, the caster places a sprig of dried mint in a pocket or in his shoe.

System: The caster gains two dice on all appearance rolls for the duration of this ritual. This power lasts for a number of hours equal to the successes scored on the activation roll. Storytellers may opt to narrow the use of this ritual by having the character pick one attribute. I.e; Smile, eyes, voice.

Imp’s Affliction

A disgusting ritual, the Imp’s Affliction curses the subject by aggravating his ears, throat and nose. Mucus membranes inflame, ears fill with liquid, the throat becomes raspy and dry, and the subject’s eyes brim with tears. This ritual requires merely that the Thaumaturge write her victim’s name on a scrap of paper.

System: The Imp’s Affliction lasts for one scene, during which the victim becomes winded after five minus Stamina turns. Subjects so exhausted suffer a temporary level of unsoakable bashing damage, which vanishes at the end of the scene as the symptoms disperse. This ritual is most often used to torment people in social situations, as their unpleasant maladies make them odious, to say the least – the difficulties of Social rolls for a character stricken with the Imp’s Affliction increase by one. This ritual has no effect on Kindred

Incantation of the Shepard

This ritual enables the Thaumaturge to mystically locate all members of his herd. While intoning the ritual’s vocal component, he spins in a slow circle with a glass object of some sort held to each of his eyes. At the end of the ritual, he has subliminal sense of the direction and distance to each of his regular vessels.

System: The ritual gives the character the location relative to him of every member of his herd. If he does not have the herd background, Incantation of the Shepard locates the closest three mortals from whom the Thaumaturge has fed at least three times each. This ritual has a maximum range of 10 miles times the character’s herd background, or five miles if he has no points in that background.

Learning the Mind Enslumbered

This ritual is used to determine the cause of torpor in a vampritic body or the cause of destruction in kindred’s ashen remains. To conduct this ritual, the vampire places a penny or small coin over the eye of the torpid kindred, and hears in the vampire’s voice the cause of the cold rest. If the kindred are ash, the caster need only lay the penny in the ashes.

System: This ritual requires one half hour, at the end of which the caster hears the message. This power has no effect on creatures other than kindred.

Purge the Inner Demon

All kindred have a raging monster within their souls. A caster invoking this ritual can silence the beast in a vampire for a time, even removing the vampire from the beast’s control. The caster must push a sturdy pin through his own hand to begin the ritual. This causes the subject to become strangely submissive, even pulling her out of her frenzy. In actuality, her bestial nature has been temporarily separated from her psyche. According to legend, some kindred have willingly starved themselves into torpor after having been subjected to this ritual.

System: This ritual; lasts for a number of nights equal to the number of successes the caster scores on a manipulation + Empathy roll (Difficulty 10 – subjects humanity, never less than 1). During this time, the subject cannot frenzy. The caster may not use this ritual on their self

Purify Blood

Kindred learned to be cautious of diseased vessels during the Black Plague. Experimentation showed that most diseases, even blood-Bourne ones, rarely have any affect upon Kindred, but that vampires can carry such diseases and pass them to their victims. Cautious Tremere can use a simple rite to ensure the blood remains safe to drink. The caster simply decants the blood into a suitable container and makes a few passes of his hands over it, combined with some thaumaturgical phrases and a mixture of ash and crushed ginger. The blood lightens slightly in colour if the ritual succeeds and the rite cleanses all poison or disease from the sample. Unfortunately, Purify Blood does not function on blood that’s still in a creature’s system. The ritual therefore cannot cleanse a human of disease or make drinking from such a vessel safe; it will only purify blood that is removed from the human first. Some vampires shun this ritual because of the extra work involved in securing blood without the kiss, and the less than satisfactory taste (not to mention the lack of a warm, beating pulse) definitely puts off Kindred connoisseurs.

For these reasons, Purify Blood remains more a survival ritual during desperate epidemics, not a nightly staple. (See also Cleansing the flesh Lvl 3 and Purity of flesh below)

System: A surpassingly simple ritual. Purify Blood requires only a minimal investment in time and effort. The caster can tell from the colour of the blood if the rite succeeds. Purify Blood functions on up to one point of blood. Because of the volume limitations, Purify Blood can cleanse only one blood point at a time (unless used on the vitae of very low generation vampires). Poisons, diseases and other are removed, while foreign substances bubble to the top. However, the ritual does not in any way change the potency of the blood; vitae can still cause a blood bond and blood rendered acidic or caustic by a discipline (like Quietis or Vicissitude) cannot be cleansed. This ritual cannot counter the Vaulderie (nor is it stealthy enough to perform unnoticed in the midst of such a rite). Rotten, solidified or otherwise befouled blood also vanishes if subjected to the ritual, so a vampire needn’t fear gagging on old, dead blood.

Purity of Flesh

The caster cleanses the body of all foreign material with this ritual. To perform it, the caster meditates on bare earth or stone while surrounded by a circle of 13 sharp stones. Over the course of the ritual, the caster is slowly purged of all physical impurities: Dirt, alcohol, drugs, poison, bullets lodged in the flesh and tattoo ink are all equally affected, slowly rising to the surface of the casters skin and flaking away as a gritty gray film that settles within the circle. Any jewlery, makeup or clothes that the caster is wearing are also dissolved.

System: The player spends one blood point before rolling. Purity of flesh removes all physical items from the casters body, but does not remove enchantments, mind control or diseases of the blood.

Rebirth of Mortal Vanity

This ritual allows a vampire to grow her hair again. For every inch of hair the Thaumaturge wishes to grow, she must pluck one hair from the head of a human child. She places them on a mirror while mutely gesturing over it, inscribing glyphs into the air. As her hair begins to grow, the mirror absorbs the hairs in its surface. Once the ritual is complete, the vampire’s hair follicles die again, but the hair remains at the new length until cut. This ritual may be cast on another Kindred, but the recipient must pluck the hairs himself, and both caster and recipient must stand over the mirror during the ceremony.

System: The number of successes determines how rapidly the vampire’s hair grows. With one success, it takes 10 minutes for each inch of hair, whereas at five successes, the hair seems to pour forth from the subject’s scalp, growing up to a foot a minute. If the hair is ever cut shorter than it was at the time of the vampire’s Embrace, it will return to its original length the next night. A vampire who was bald in life will remain so in undeath; his hair simply does not grow, though some speculate a more powerful version of this ritual exists for the truly vain among the undead touched by baldness.

Rite of Introduction

The Tremere use this ritual as the formal method of presentation for arrivals in a new city. However, it is an old ritual and not as widely used as it once was. Many young members of the clan are not even aware of its existence. Still, some traditional regent’s regents insist on its use and tolerate no excuses for a breach of courtesy. It is also possible to use this ritual to request aid. The caster boils a handful of ground tamarisk root in a pot of rainwater and recites a short incantation into the vapours that form over the water, and then adds a drop of galangal oil. He then speaks a brief message, which is telepathically communicated first to the regent and then to other clan members in the city according to their place in the hierarchy. The ritual allows the regent to reply telepathically, though she is bound to do so only by tradition.

System: The caster may make a 30 second “introduction speech” in which he presents himself to the other members of the city. The ritual also enables telepathic communication with the regent for five minutes.

Sanguineous Phial

This ritual allows a vampire to enchant a vessel so that it may hold a quantity of blood and keep it from spoiling. It is useful for kindred who do not have the medical knowledge or technology required preserving blood in a more mundane fashion. The caster takes a covered earthen ware jar and buries it in the earth for two nights, then digs it up the following evening. He crumbles a dry ash leaf into the empty canister and pours the blood in, closing the container and sealing the lid with tallow melted from a candle. The blood will remain fresh until the seal is broken.

System: After the container is opened, the blood begins to spoil at a normal rate. If the vessel is broken, the blood immediately deteriorates to the state it would have attained had it not been preserved at all. The canister may be used more than once, but the ritual must be recast or the blood will go bad.

Scent of the Lupine’s Passing

Developed in a besieged Carpathian chantry where Tremere fell as often to the claws of night-black Lupines as to the other clans, this simple ritual lets the caster scent Lupines in the area. The Thaumaturge prepares a small herbal bundle with milkweed, wolfs bane, sage and a handful of simple grass. With a short set of phrases she takes a whiff of the mixture, after which she can immediately tell any Lupine by scent. This does not mean that she can detect lupine at a distance, merely that she can tell if a specific person’s smell happens to be Lupine, which can be useful when combined with augmented senses.

System: The Thaumaturge simply completes the ritual and sniffs from the herbal bundle. Afterward, she can detect Lupines by scent; actually sniffing someone up close would require no roll, but catching a scent at a distance of a few feet might take a Perception + Alertness roll (Diff 6). Detecting a lupine hidden around a corner, for example, could increase the difficulty to 8. This scent distinction lasts for an entire scene.

Scribe

This ritual creates a written document from the spoken words of the caster. The Thaumaturge simply speaks, and the words mystically appear on paper before her. Some Thaumaturges have observed variants of this ritual that involve moving feather pens writing the words as they speak them, but the most common form of this ritual makes no such overt display. Further, some young Thaumaturges have developed a variant that records their words directly to computer files – which their elders almost universally decry as vulgar. This ritual requires the beak of a bird or the tongue of a lizard to be crushed between the caster’s thumb and forefinger.

System: For the duration of the scene, any words spoken by the Thaumaturge are transcribed to whatever surface she wishes. This is most commonly paper (whether loose or bound into a book), but may also be a wall, the head of a pin, anything. The Scribe automatically fits the Thaumaturge’s ideas on a given surface, but it makes no provisions for legibility; transcribing all 400 pages of The Seventh Sigil onto a note card isn’t going to make it readable without a microscope. Additionally, the Scribe does not improve a speaker’s eloquence – in matters where clarity or quality is crucial, the speaker’s Expression Trait may come into play. The Scribe may be cast on someone other than the Thaumaturge, should the latter so wish. Also, she may voluntarily end the effects of the power before the end of the scene.

Sense the Mystical

This ritual provides the ability to sense the ‘magical residue’ left by magical objects and effects. This ritual was originally developed to seek out non-Tremere who uses thaumaturgy and magical artifacts, and is common among the younger Tremere seeking a name for themselves. While this power is in effect, the caster carries a lit candle, whose light causes the stuff of magic to glitter.

System: After chanting for 5 minutes, the caster is able to sense magical effects. Sense the Mystical can detect Thaumaturgy, Necromancy and similar blood related vampiric magic if used within several of the object or person in question. This power does not distinguish between the different types of blood magic, nor does it pick up “normal Disciplines. This ability lasts for one scene.

Serenading the Kami

Through invocations and smudging with incense, the ritualist gains the temporary support of spirits known as Kami, “highly placed beings” that are found in all things. Developed by a traditional Japanese Kindred to aid in a duel, this ritual is used prior to a major feat of strength. The Thaumaturge must burn a stick of incense to invoke this ritual.

System: This half hour ritual allows the Thaumaturge to reduce the difficulty of any physical action by two immediately following the completion of the ritual. This may be an extended action such as digging a ditch, or it may be as brief as guiding a deadly blow.

Wake with Evenings Freshness

This ritual allows a Tremere to awaken at any sign of danger, especially during the day. If any potentially harmful circumstances arise, the Tremere immediately rises, ready to face the problem. This ritual requires the ashes of burned feathers to be spread over the area in which the Kindred wishes to sleep.

System: The ritual must be performed immediately before the Tremere settles down to slumber for the day. Any interruption to the ceremonial casting renders the ritual ineffective. If danger arises, the Tremere awakens and may ignore the humanity dice pool limit rule for the first two turns of consciousness. Thereafter, the penalty takes effect, but the Tremere will have already risen and will be able to address problematic solutions.


Level 2 Rituals

Blood Mead

It was thought by the cults of Dionysus that super-natural powers could be procured while under the effects of oinos, or any intoxication for that matter. During the Dionysian rites, a special drink combining vitae and mead (a fermented honey drink) might be prepared for favored supplicants. The drink was thought to pass on a powerful resilience, though only under intoxication. Similarly, a thaumaturge casting this ritual will be able to withstand a greater amount of damage than he would normally tolerate.

System: The thaumatruge must ingest this concoction to trigger it's effect. By mingling two points of his own vitae with a honey brew, the magus creates a potent anesthetic and intoxicant. While under this effect, the caster gains an extra bruised health level. However, he suffers the effects of intoxication and, as such, loses one die to all dexterity and intelligence dice pools. The effects from Blood Mead last a number of hours equal to the successes scored after the blood mead is imbibed. At night's end, the vitae within the blood mead dilutes and loses it's mystical properties and, as a result, cannot refill a vampire's blood pool. The mead may, however, continue to act as an intoxicant, depending on how much the vampire consumed.

Blood Walk

This ritual requires three hours to cast, reduced by 15 minutes for each success on the roll. It requires one blood point from the subject. 'Each success allows the caster to "see back" one generation, giving the caster both the True Name of the ancestor and an image of his face. The caster also learns the generation and clan or blood line from which the subject is descended. With three successes, the caster also learns the identities of all parties with whom the subject shares a blood bond, either as regnant or thrall

Bureaucratic Condemnation

Developed as the antithesis of Expedient Paperwork, this ritual causes forms, letters or other paperwork tendered by the target to become lost in red tape. Use of this ritual has created many apocryphal tales among the Tremere, who boast of rivals' havens foreclosed upon, cares repossessed and building permits revoked. The earliest recorded use of this ritual seems to have been during the Renaissance, when a Tremere had a Lasombra rival excommunicated for failing to submit a writ to the Inquisition. A thaumaturge must sketch an effigy (however crude) of her fubject in squid ink when casting this ritual

System: The time any single bureaucratic action takes to complete is tripled, including mailing, documents, applying for licenses, etc. Characters with sufficient Influence or the like should still be able to "push things through," however, though they are likely to experience additional difficulty.

Burning Blade

Caster can temporarily enchant a melee weapon to inflict unhealable wounds on supernatural creatures. While this ritual is in effect, the weapon flickers with an unholy emerald flame.

System: Caster must cut the palm of weapon hand during ritual, with the weapon if edged, otherwise with a sharp stone. Caster takes 1 level of lethal damage, unsoakable. Caster spends 3 blood points that are absorbed by the weapon. Once cast weapon inflicts aggravated damage on ALL supernatural creatures. Duration of attacks is equal to the number of successes rolled. Multiple castings cannot be stacked for longer durations nor can aggravated strikes be saved up.

Deny the Intruder

To protect chantries from unwanted observation, tremere rely not only upon mystic wards, but also upon mortal bureaucracy. An enemy can hardly drop in if the chantry isn't listed in any directories or real estate paperwork, after all. Better still, a little judicious paper-shuffling can "lose" records for electrical payments, telephone calls and other incriminating evidence.

To set up a chantry's bureaucratic defense, the Tremere simply scrawls a series of mystic characters on a piece of paper. This page goes out by mail (some modern Tremere even scan the page and use e-mail> and promptly becomes lost in the system. For the next year, the chantry becomes difficult to track via the usual paperwork routes.

System: There's no special cost for the paperwork involved in this ritual, though the Tremere must scrawl out the characters with charcoal. Once the paper makes it into "the system" - by the hands of the mailman, by e-mail to some server, or what have you - it vanishes without a trace. So, too, do the records of the chantry. Attempts to investigate the chantry or unearth records of it's existence increase in difficulty by one fore each success scored on the ritual roll. This doesn't hinder the chantry's normal functions; the telephones still work and the electricity still runs. It's just that nobody ever sends the bills directly to the chantry or writes anything in the credit memos that reveals the buildings location.

Detect Authority

This is a testing ritual, usually performed on new neonate members to make sure they are not working for the prince. The caster cuts his palm, and does the same to the young neonate. They then clasp hands, mixing their blood while the caster stares into the eyes of the neonate, searching for any mystical sign of the prince's blood or power.

System: The caster rolls Perception + intimidation (difficulty of the neonates willpower.) Any successes reveal if the neonate is blood bound or under the control of a vampire's Discipilne. The Anarchs will usually refuse to accept anyone who tests positive to this ritual, unless she has a damn good explanation.

Donning the Mask of Shadows

This Ritual renders its subject translucent, her form appearing dark and Smokey and the sounds of her footsteps muffled. While it does not create true invisibility, the mask of shadows makes the subject much less likely to be detected by sight or hearing.

System: This ritual may be simultaneously cast on a number of subjects equal to the casters Occult rating; each individual past the first adds 5 min to the base casting time. Individuals under the mask of shadows can only be detected if the observer succeeds in a perception+Awareness roll (difficulty = casters wits + Occult) or if the observer possesses a power (i.e. Auspex) to penetrate level 3 Obfuscate (ACTIVE). The mask of shadows lasts a number of hours equal to the number of successes rolled when it is cast or until the caster lowers it.

Enhancing the Curse

Ghouls can survive almost indefinitely, with the stipulation that they have vampiric blood within their bodies. A thaumaturge casting this ritual on a ghoul enhances the strength of the vampiric vitae in his body but causes him to suffer similar adverse effects to sunlight exposure as vampires would suffer. Every moment the subject spends exposed to the daylight will generate third-degree burns over the ghoul's body. This proves fatal if the ghoul is unable to find shelter from the sun's rays. The vampire must scratch the subject and draw blood, though some variants of this ritual require the thaumaturge to strike the ghoul. Obviously , this is not a pleasant ritual, and is used by thaumaturges to discipline or test their ghouls.

System: This ritual requires physical contact between thaumaturge and ghoul for it to take effect. So long as the victim retains vampiric blood in his body, he will suffer one health level of aggravated damage per two turns while in direct exposure to sunlight. Once the vampiric blood is spent from his system, the victim will cease to suffer damage from sunlight. For the next month, anytime the ghoul ingests and retains vampiric blood in his body, he will suffer damage in direct sunlight.

Extinguish

This ritual eliminates the threat that fire poses to kindred. The caster is able to douse dangerous flames, leaving vampire hunters quite surprised when their torches and brands are no longer effective tools. To enact this ritual, the caster pinches out a candles flame while spitting on the floor.

System: The ritual is set up in advance, but for the entire night the caster has but to speak a single magical syllable to extinguish one fire up to the size of a bonfire. For the duration of one night, the caster can use this power a number of times equal to the number of successes on the initial ritual roll. Pinching out the candles flame in preparation is likely to require a Rotschreck check, as well.

Impassable Trail

The vampire can travel through even the densest woods without leaving any sign of his passing. He will still leave a trail for creatures with powerful olfactory senses, but that will be all. the thaumaturge must carry an owl's feather steeped in Kindred vitae or burn the legs of a dead toad and carry the ashes with him while this ritual is in effect.

System: The vampire will leave no evidence behind, save for a faint odor that takes three successes on a perception + alertness roll (difficulty 8) to detect. the ritual lasts for one night.

Inscription

Not everyone can be proficient with Thaumaturgy. Some Tremere build mystic items specifically to aid their subordinates or allies. A neonate with only the rudiments of skill may have need of a specific ritual, or another kindred might desire to purchase the special services of Thaumaturgy but need them for his own later use. Instead of taking the time and risk to instruct someone else in the fine points of the working in question, a proficient thaumaturge can build an annotated version of a ritual, fueled with his blood, to make the formula accessible to someone else.

The inscription ritual allows the thaumaturge to place any other first or second level ritual in a written form. This generally requires the equivalent of a full page of paper. A reader can then unlock the power of that ritual by reading the inscription and following it's instructions. The scribe uses his blood as a base for the ink, and his vitae's power remains in the mixture to help fuel the ritual. An inscribed ritual is in imperfect form - it cannot be used to learn thaumaturgy. It's a simplified set of instructions, with the scribe's vitae empowering the rite so that it overcomes any omissions or sloppiness on part of the practitioner.

System: A thaumaturge who knows the techniques of Inscription can write an abbreviated form for any first or second level ritual that he knows, at a cost of two blood points. Anyone who can read the language may then use the ritual notes later. Actually casting the ritual from the notes requires the use of the usual components and time, as well as the standard intelligence + occult roll, but the caster need not have any knowledge of Thaumaturgy. Once an inscription is complete, the power of the writer's vitae is trapped in the object; his maximum blood pool is effectively reduced by one until the inscription is used. After use, the inscription dries into a fine, illegible ash, with all the power expelled from the vitae-based ink. The scribe can use the scroll himself (which is rather pointless) or give it to someone else. To prevent an inscription from reaching the wrong subject many scribes also use Encrypt Missive with this ritual.

Jinx

This ritual concerns itself with using the blood of other Kindred to afflict them with various minor banes at the thaumaturge's whim. Relying largely on the Principle of Identity, this ritual consumes the blood of the subject instead of the blood of the caster. The thaumaturge must have in his possession one point of his victim's blood, which vanishes once a sending his attempted. The horrors visited upon subjects as a result of this ritual have given the Tremere quite a reputation. Indeed, many Kindred have reasonable fears of allowing the Warlocks to harvest any of their precious vitae, as the powers of this ritual can attest. Most fearsome of all, a thaumaturge need not even be in her victim's company, so strong is the connection of Identity. All the thaumaturge needs to do is sacrifice the subject's blood….

The Thaumaturge briefly vexes his victim with bad luck, causing her to fail in a mundane task. This can cause everything from minor typographical errors, to automobile accidents and everything in between, depending upon how the magus jinxes his mark.

System: The next roll a jinxed character makes automatically fails, regardless of the outcome. This does not cause a botch, just a simple failure. If applied to a contested or extended action, the roll simply yields no successes for the current turn - the victim may garner other successes on subsequent turns ( provided the failure doesn't make all the difference.

Machine Blitz

Machines go haywire when this ritual is cast. It takes effect instantly and lasts as long as the vampire concentrates on it. This ritual may be used to kill car engines, erase computer media, stop life support machines, ect. Essentially, machine blitz ceases any machine more complex than a rope and pulley. The caster must have a scrap of rusted metal in his possession for the ritual to work.

System: This ritual only stops machines; it does not grant any control over them. The effects of this ritual are invisible and not necessarily obvious – these things just seem to happen by coincidence.

Mourning Life Curse

Although this ritual causes no physical damage to it's subject, it can be psychologically traumatizing. It allows the caster to coax blood from a mortal without injuring her. The Tremere must drink a dram of thrice-distilled crocodile blood and make a paste from copal oil, ground eyebright and dates. He carries this paste until he finds a suitable victim. He then dabs the paste onto her eyes and whispers a two-line invocation into the mortal's ear. The mortal then begins weeping uncontrollably, and bloody tears slowly ooze down her cheeks. The effect continues until the caster stops staring at the victim. The only after-effect is a slight swelling of the capillaries around the subject's eyes, along with the normal effects of blood loss.

System: The victim will bleed slowly. It takes about five minutes to collect a single blood point. There is no active defense against this ritual, but the mortal must be able to hear the invocation that the caster whispers. Some thaumaturges use this power on sleeping victims, to spare them the unpleasantness of seeing the act.

Principle Focus of Vitae Infusion

This ritual imbues a quantity of blood within the object upon which the ritual is cast. The object must be small enough for the vampire to carry in both hands, and it may be as small as a dime. After the ritual is conducted, the object takes on a reddish hue and becomes slick to the touch. At a mental command, the caster may release the object from its enchantment, causing it to break down into a pool of blood. This blood may serve whatever purpose the vampire desires; Many Tremere wear enchanted baubles to ensure they have emergency supplies of vitae.

System: An object may only store one point of vitae. If a kindred wishes to make an infused focus for an ally, she may do so but the blood contained within must be her own (and if the ally drinks the blood, they are one step closer to the blood bond). The ally must be present at the creation of the focus.

The Open Passage

Walls, locked doors and even sealed vaults cannot stop a thaumaturge with the Open Passage ritual. The caster smears snake or vermin excrement over the surface in an intricate pattern, which takes an hour to complete. Once finished, the caster becomes insubstantial with respect to that surface - she can walk through a wall or door, yet can touch and interact with anything attached to it (like a mirror or wooden shelf).

System: The open passage lasts for one turn, so the caster must be quick in stepping through the barrier.

Ritual's Recognition

Some thaumaturgical rituals don't have an immediately visible effect. A ritual's success or failure may not be immediately apparent; cautious thaumaturges need a way to tell if their rituals work. Even a competent thaumaturge's rituals fail from time to time. Most would consider a few extra minutes of work worth the trouble to make sure that, say, a Deflection of wooden doom ritual functions properly, instead of finding out the hard way.

To set up Ritual's Recognition, the caster must sever the last eighth of an inch of his nose or an earlobe and crush the fleshy bit in an ivory mortar and pestle. He then dusts his face with the resulting paste. Immediately afterward, the thaumaturge casts another ritual; upon completion, the caster can tell whether the ritual succeeded or failed.

System: Casting Ritual's Recognition causes one level of unsoakable bashing damage as the caster removes a gobbet of skin. Once complete, the thaumaturge must immediately begin his next ritual. When that ritual is finished, the caster automatically knows whether or not it succeeded, even if it would normally have no visible effect. By design, the caster can automatically tell if Ritual's Recognition succeeded, and can regrow the lost bit and recast it if it failed. In either case, the caster feels a warm flush upon completion of a successful rite.

Steps of the Terrified

This power lets the caster put the brake on a fleeing enemy. The harder the subject tries to run, the slower he becomes. Eventually, he slows to the point that he can barely move at all. The vampire is often able to take her time and still catch up with her target. The vampire must cast a handful of poplar buds at the target and then douse her hands in oil while repeating a short incantation seven times. She then wrings the oil from her hands before following the target.

System: The first turn after the ritual is completed, the subject moves at half his normal speed. If he tries to speed up, he slows to one-quarter his normal speed. Each time he tries to go faster, his speed is halved. The ritual lasts until the following sunrise.

Ward Versus Ghouls

By evoking this ritual, the Tremere creates a glyph that causes great pain to any ghoul who comes in contact with it. The caster pours a points worth of blood over the object he wishes to ward (a piece of parchment, a doorknob etc.) and recites the incantation which takes ten minutes. In 10 hours, the magical ward is complete, and will inflict excruciating pain on any ghoul unfortunate to touch it.

System: Ghouls touching warded objects suffer 3 dice of lethal damage. This damage occurs again if the ghoul touches the object further; A ghoul who consciously wishes to touch a warded object must spend a point of will to do so. This ritual wards only one object – if inscribed on the side of a car it only affects the door or fender not the whole car. Wards may also be placed on weapons.

Warding Circle Versus Ghouls:

This ritual is enacted in a manner similar to that of Ward versus Ghouls (see Vampire: The Masquerade, p. 184), but creates a circle centered on the caster into which a ghoul cannot pass without being burned. The circle can be made as large and as permanent as the caster desires, as long as she is willing to pay the necessary price. Many Tremere chantries and havens are protected by this and other Warding Circle rituals.

System: The ritual requires three blood points of mortal blood. The caster determines the size of the warding circle when it is cast; the default radius is 10 feet, and every 1 0-foot increase raises the difficulty by one, to a maximum of9 (one additional success is required for every 10-foot increase past the number necessary to raise the difficulty to 9). The player spends one blood point for every 10 feet of radius and rolls. The ritual takes the normal casting time if it is to be temporary (lasting for the rest of the night) or one night if it is to be permanent (lasting a year and a day).

Once the warding circle is established, any ghoul who attempts to cross its boundary feels a tingle on his skin and a slight breeze on his face- a successful Intelligence + Occult roll (difficulty 8) identifies this as a warding circle. If the ghoul attempts to press on, he must roll more successes on a Willpower roll (difficulty of the caster's Thaumaturgy rating + 3) than the caster rolled when establishing the ward. Failure indicates that the ward blocks his passage and inflicts three dice of bashing damage on him, and his next roll to attempt to enter the circle is at + 1 difficulty. If the ghoul leaves the circle and attempts to enter it again, he must repeat the roll. Attempts to leave the circle are not blocked.

The Tremere have access to several other Warding Circle rituals: Warding Circle versus Lupines (Level Three), Warding Circle versus Kindred (Level Four), and Warding
Circles versus Spirits, Ghosts, and Demons (Level Five). Each Warding Circle ritual must be learned separately. The material components required for each warding circle are the same as those needed for the corresponding ward, but in larger amounts. The effects against the targeted beings are the same as for Warding Circle versus Ghouls.

Whispers of the Ghost

Using this strange ritual, the vampire may communicate from his Psychic Projection form into the material world. While employing this ritual, the Kindred can speak with anyone he encounters, but his words come as ghostly whispering. People who hear these whisperings often mistake them for the words of ghosts or spirits. When this ritual is performed, the thaumaturge must have the ear of a still-living creature in his left hand.

System: This ritual applies only to vampires using the Auspex power of Psychic Projection. after weaving the spell, the cainite can speak for one scene or until sunrise, whichever comes first. The thaumaturge may only speak to the physical world; he may not be seen, touched, etc.


Level 3 Rituals

A Touch of Nightshade

This ritual allows the thaumaturge to poison a single victim by her slightest touch. The caster must anoint his hands with the bitter extract of nightshade before conducting this ritual.

System: The victim rolls Stamina + Fortitude (difficulty 8). With three or more successes, the target is unaffected. With two successes or less, the victim feels nauseous and queasy for three nights and increases his difficulties by one. (This does effect Kindred)

Blood Allergy

Reminded of their lost mortality, of illness and unhappiness, Kindred suffering from an allergy of the blood cannot keep vitae within their bodies. Attempts to hold down any blood after ingesting this unlife sustaining fluid will result in moments of severe nausea followed by episodes of vomit-induced heaves that only abate when all of the blood is expelled from the system. After spilling his blood onto the dead petals of a red rose, a magus may infect a target with this allergy.

System: This ritual requires only 10 minutes of preparation before casting, during which the thaumaturge must spend a blood point and mingle it with dead rose petals. A target suffering a blood allergy is affected for one night per success scored by the caster. Victims are unable to keep blood within their bodies, and, therefore, unable to do much that concerns their vampiric powers. Vampires will not expunge blood if they have three or less blood points remaining, and this power does not work on Kindred older than the caster. While the loss of blood is not enough to cause a Kindred to enter torpor, he will be on the threshold of hunger, and may need to roll frenzy if he encounters blood.

Cleansing the Flesh

Vampires must drink the blood of mortals in order to survive and, accompanying this bane is the risk of becoming addicted to mortal vices: illegal narcotics and alcohol. In some cases, Kindred lead their unlives as hosts to a number of sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS. The Warlock casting this ritual must spend one full night in a bathtub filled with purified water. Throughout the night, the thaumaturge must expunge all but the smallest drop of his blood from his body, a little at a time over the course of one night. As the blood is released from the body, all addictions and diseases the vampire formerly housed will no longer burden him.

System: The caster lies in a vessel of purified water and bleeds out all but one of his blood points, roughly two points an hour. All addictions to drugs and all diseases that are not supernatural in nature will no longer hinder the thaumaturge beginning at the night's end, though he will likely be quite ravenous after performing this ritual. This ritual may be performed on another, who must open his own veins, with the Warlock chanting beside the tub.

Clinging of the Insect

This ritual allows the thaumaturge to cling to walls or ceilings, as would a spider. She may even crawl along these surfaces (as long as they can support her.) Use of this power seriously discomfits mortal onlookers. The character must place a live spider under her tongue for the duration of the ritual (though the spider may die while in the thaumaturge’s mouth.)

System: The character may move at half her normal rate while climbing walls or ceilings. This power lasts for one scene, or until the vampire spits out the spider.

Flesh of Fiery Touch

This defensive ritual inflicts painful burns on anyone who deliberately touches the subject's skin. It requires the subject to swallow a small glowing ember, which does put off some thaumaturges with low pain thresholds. Some vain Tremere use this ritual purely for its subsidiary effect of darkening the subject's skin to a healthy sun-bronzed hue. System: Flesh of Fiery Touch takes two hours to cast (reduced by 10 minutes per success). It requires a small piece of wood, coal or other common fuel source, which ignites and is swallowed at the end of the ritual. The subject who swallows the red-hot ember receives a single aggravated health level of damage (difficulty 6 to soak with Fortitude). Until the next sunset, anyone who touches the subject's flesh receives a burn that inflicts a single aggravated health level of damage (again, difficulty 6 to soak with Fortitude). The victim must voluntarily touch the subject; this damage is not inflicted if the victim is touched or accidentally comes in contact with the subject. This ritual darkens the subject's skin to that which would be obtained by long-term exposure to the sun in a mortal. The tone is slightly unnatural and metallic, and is evidently artificial to any observer who succeeds in a Perception + Medicine roll (difficulty 8).

Incorporeal Passage

Use of the ritual allows the caster to make himself insubstantial. The caster becomes completely immaterial and thus is able to walk through walls, doors or escape manacles. The caster also becomes invulnerable to physical attack for the duration of the ritual. The caster must follow a straight path through any physical objects, and may not draw back. Thus kindred may walk through a solid wall but not down through solid earth as the spell would expire before reaching the other side. The ritual requires the caster to carry a shard from a shattered mirror to hold his image as he moves insubstantially.

System: This ritual lasts a number of hours equal to the number of successes scored on a Wits+Survival roll (Diff 6). The caster may prematurely end the ritual by turning the mirror away so that it no longer reflects his image.

Inherited Affinity

Although it's possible to learn Thaumaturgy with long and difficult study, experienced Tremere can help a student to "attune" his blood more closely to the twisted form of the Curse necessary for thaumaturgical practice. Students who are sluggish in mastering the basics of Thaumaturgy often suffer through this ritual once, which seems to "open the door," so to speak. Non-Tremere kindred have a rougher time - should they find a willing tutor, this ritual can help in learning Thaumaturgy, but it's still a slow and painful process. To awaken the Inherited Affinity, the caster must have uninterrupted access to the subject for an entire night.

Typically the subject is chained to a wall, so as to avoid having her break loose and cause havoc. The caster feeds the subject a nauseating concoction of rendered fat, various herbs and powdered garnet all steeped in blood. Then the thaumaturge inserts six heated, gold-plated needles into various points of the subject's anatomy - points of bodily power, generally , through the exact locations vary from caster to caster. Over the next three hours, the caster instructs the subject to infuse her body with the power of her vitae. The needles block off usual sources of blood circulation and alter the results (often quite painfully), complete with bloody splotches on the skin, profoundly distended veins and bleeding from various pores. Once complete, the subject may practice the new vistas of Thaumaturgy. This of course, requires that the subject ingest yet more vitae to replace that lost through the ritual. Many Regents know how to use the Inherited affinity, and it's common to put a newly Embraced neonate through the process to help awaken the power of blood magic. The subject must remember the feelings of the blood flow from the course of the rite; for most Tremere, this comes naturally after one application.

System: Surviving the Inherited Affinity ritual does not guarantee that a subject can learn Thaumaturgy, but it helps. The end result is up to the storyteller - if the storyteller requires players to make various study rolls to unearth thaumaturgical knowledge or rituals, going through the Inherited Affinity ritual may lower the difficulty. The ritual itself takes three nights of time and requires the subject to suffer through five levels of lethal damage and to expend all but one blood point; it's most helpful if the subject then imbibes additional blood and contemplates the feelings evokes. Obviously a kindred is subject to the usual chances of frenzy from hunger and injury due to this ritual.

Major Creation

Normally the Path of Conjuring is restricted to items the size of the thaumaturge, both in size and weight. However, by the application of this ritual, the conjurer is able to create items that exceed this normal limit. Tremere magi can surprise enemies by creating a motorcycle "out of thin air" for an escape or anything else they can think up. This ritual requires the caster to sever his own thumb, which disappears during any conjuration. Many thaumaturges suspect that the thumb provides the additional mass for large conjured objects, even though the object may be several times the caster's size.

System: After preparing this ritual, the number of successes on the activation roll determines the multiplier that the conjurer can exceed on his normal weight an size limit. Use of this ritual costs an additional three blood points, in addition to the normal costs of conjuring an item. What the thaumaturge creates is still limited by the Path of Conjuring power being activated. Additionally, severing one's own thumb requires a successful Willpower roll or expenditure of a Willpower point.

Pavis of Foul Presence

The Tremere joke privately that this is their "ritual for the Ventrue." Kindred who invoke the Presence Discipline on the subject of this ritual find the effects of their Discipline reversed, as if they had used the power on themselves. For example, a vampire using Presence to instill utter fear in a Kindred under the influence of this ritual feels the fear herself. This ritual is an unbroken secret among the Tremere, and the Warlocks maintain that its use is unknown outside their clan. The magical component for this ritual is a length of blue silk, which must be worn around the neck of the person protected by the magic.

System: This ritual lasts until the sunrise after it is enacted. Note that the Presence Discipline power must actually succeed before being reversed by the ritual.

Power of the Pyramid

Among the Tremere clan's most famous exploits are its great binding rituals over the entirety of the Tremere Antitribu, and the majority of the Assamite Clan. No lone thaumaturge could accomplish such a feat. Only by sharing strength can the Tremere achieve the necessary might to create or resist such forces. To combine thaumaturgical strength, Tremere kindred can use a linking ritual. The Power of the Pyramid rite requires that each participant know and invoke the ritual simultaneously, and requires physical contact - so a group of Tremere, formed in a circle with linked hands, all chanting the same words in unison, indicates that the clan prepares for a daunting task. Once completed, the rite allows the Tremere involved to gather their mental strength together so that they can multiply their power. Perhaps because of it's connotations, this ritual only works for Kindred of Tremere lineage. Other vampires might be able to learn it, but it would probably not do them much good. This ritual requires the casters to fast for 24 hours before performing it. Additionally, one of the thaumaturges participating in the group must wear a brooch or pin made from mortal bone, which must pierce his flesh (though it need not be visible to the rest of the group).

System: Each Kindred involved in Power of the Pyramid must know this ritual and successfully cast it simultaneously - any failed castings imply exclude the individual from the circle but do not hinder other successes. Once complete, a single Tremere can break from the circle without nullifying the ritual, but if any others lose physical contact the ritual ends. So long as the ritual continues, all participants may freely share their Willpower. Thus, one Tremere could break from the circle, perform another ritual and draw upon the Willpower of all Kindred involved. Once a caster has broken from the circle , he cannot return and release someone else; that "lynchpin" is the only one able to move around freely.

Ritual of the Bitter Rose

Although this ritual has almost passed wholly from the face of the world, it's reputation makes it one of the most fearsome weapons in the arsenal of the Tremere. The Ritual of the Bitter Rose allows multiple kindred to gain the benefit of diablerizing a single vampire. Many elders rightly fear this ritual; nothing encourages a bloodthirsty coterie more than a chance to bring themselves closer to Caine and the opportunity for all of them to do it at once…. Needless to say, it is almost unthinkable that someone would teach a childe or protege this ritual, as the potential for having it turned around and harm her is too great. Scholarly Tremere suspect that perhaps a half-dozen or so transcriptions of this ritual exist outside the one copy carefully locked away at the Vienna Chantry.

System: The diablerie victim must be drained of all but a single blood point. This in itself may prove difficult, and those players of vampires drinking this blood from the kindred may have to make a self-control roll (difficulty 7) to halt their characters at the proper time. Thereafter, the victim's heart must be cut out and ground into paste with a marble mortar and pestle and mixed with a small amount of red wine. The thaumaturge adds to this mix a bit of ash from a burned alder stake and a pint of pure water. In old accounts of this ritual, the "pure water" comes from a mountain stream, but the few accounts of this ritual being used in the modern nights indicate that even purified tap water or store-bought distilled water works as well. Each character wishing to take part in the communal diablerie must imbibe the concoction. The player of the character performing the ritual then makes the necessary roll.

If the roll is successful, the ritual works correctly, and a number of characters may lower their generation. If the ritual fails, the concoction is sterile and no one gains any benefits (or suffers any detriments) of diablerie. If the roll botches, the mixture becomes poisonous, inflicting three unsoakable aggravated wounds on each kindred who partook of it. The number of kindred who can benefit from this ritual is equal to the number of generation steps between the diablerized vampire and the vampire of the lowest generation participating in the ritual, even if he's not the one performing the ritual. That is, if an eighth generation vampire, a 10th generation vampire and an 11th generation vampire use this ritual on a fifth generation vampire, all three can benefit from the ritual (as the difference between generations eight and five is three).

If the number of steps yielded by the difference is less than the number of vampires participating in the ritual, the storyteller should lower the generations of those kindred with the highest generations first until all of the steps have been accounted for. No kindred may gain more than one generation step through use of this ritual at one time. Anyone who participates in the ritual suffers the drawbacks of diablerie - loss of humanity, veins in their aura, etc. - even if they did not gain a benefit from it.

Rutor’s Hands

Gargoyles and homonculi remain relatively common in some Tremere chantries, but few kindred know of Rutor's hands, or would want to. A thaumaturge of sufficient will can pluck out his own eye and set it atop one of his own severed hands - the ritual preserves them from disintegration - and animate this thing as a scurrying, malevolent spy. The eye rests on the back of the hand and swivels about to watch its surroundings, while the hand scuttles like a desiccated spider. The construct obeys the will of it's owner and can relay what it sees and hears (even though it has no ears) back to its master, as the thaumaturge desires.

System: The Thaumaturge cuts off his hand and plucks out his eye at the conclusion of this ritual; this causes five levels of unsoakable aggrevated damage. Once this damage is healed, the Tremere regenerates his hand and eye, though the ghastly homunculus may still prowl. Completing this ritual may also require a Willpower roll, at the storyteller's discretions, simply to carry out the painful finale. The animate hand has one health level of it's own and moves about with the equivalent of two dots in each physical attribute and in perception, though it cannot fight. The caster mentally directs the thing's movement at will (so long as the thaumaturge remains conscious, of course). The Hand must have one point of blood each week, or else it crumbles to dust. Likewise, if the hand is exposed to sunlight or fire, it vanishes with a squeal and leaves a greasy stench.

Sanguine Assistant

Tremere often need laboratory assistants whom they can trust implicitly. As Tremere often trust no one whom they know and no one whom they do not, this ritual allows the intrepid thaumaturge to conjure a temporary servant. To cast the ritual, the vampire slices open his arm and bleeds into a specially prepared earthen bowl. The ritual sucks in and animates whatever random unimportant items the wizard happens to have lying around his workshop - glass beakers, dissection tools, pencils, crumpled papers, semiprecious stones-and binds the materials together into a small humanoid form animated by the power of the ritual and the blood. Oddly enough, this ritual almost never takes in any tool that the thaumaturge finds himself needing during the assistant's lifespan, nor does it take the physical components of any other ritual nor any living thing. The servant has no personality to speak of at first, but gradually adopts the mannerisms and thought processes that the thaumaturge desires in an ideal servant. Sanguine Assistants are temporary creations, but some Tremere become fond of their tiny accomplices and create the same one whenever the need arises.

System: The player spends five blood points and rolls. The servant created by the ritual stands a foot high and appears as a roughly humanoid shape composed of whatever the ritual sucked in for its own use. It lasts for one night per success rolled. At the end of the last night, the assistant crawls into the bowl used for its creation and falls apart. The assistant can be re-animated through another application of this ritual; if the thaumaturge so desires, it re-forms from the same materials with the same memories and personality.

A Sanguine Assistant has Strength and Stamina of I and Dexterity and Mental Attributes equal to those of the caster. It begins with no Social Attributes to speak of, bur gains one dot per night in Charisma and Manipulation until its ratings are equal to those of the caster. It has all of the caster's Abilities at one dot lower than his own. A Sanguine Assistant is a naturally timid creature and flees if attacked, having only four health levels, though it will try to defend its master's life at the cost of its own. It has no Disciplines of its own, but has a full understanding of all of its master's Thaumaturgical knowledge and can instruct others if so commanded. A Sanguine Assistant is impervious to any mind-controlling Disciplines or magic, so completely is it bound to its creator's will.

Shaft of Belated Quiescence

This ritual turns an ordinary stake of rowan wood into a particularly vicious weapon. When the stake penetrates a vampire’s body, the tip breaks off and begins working its way through the flesh towards the heart. The trip may take several minutes or several nights, depending on where the stake struck. The stake eludes attempts to dig it out, burrowing further into the victims body to escape surgery. The only kindred who are immune to this internal attack are those who have had their hearts removed by Setites.

System: The ritual takes 5 hrs to enact, minus 30 min per success. The stake must be carved of rowan wood, coated with three blood points of the casters blood, and blackened in an Oakwood fire. When the ritual is complete the stake is enchanted to act as described above. (For further details see A Guide to the Camarilla Pg 112)

Track Transgressor

Following the recent destruction of the Tremere antitribu, a subsect of clan Tremere has undertaken hunting what they call transgressors, non-clan kindred who wield the secrets of Thaumaturgy. This crackdown on those violating the most sacred of Tremere laws has not been widespread, but this is expected to change soon with the recent addition of this ritual. This ritual finds and tracks down these transgressors, presumably to be dealt with at the Tremere's discretion. The thaumaturge spills her own blood on the ground, which briefly reveals the footprints of the transgressor.

System: The thaumagurge must conduct this ritual at a site where Thaumaturgy has been used within the past 24 hours. After casting this ritual, the Tremere is able to flawlessly track down the other magus for the rest of the night. This tracking follows the exact path that the magus took after leaving the area where he magic was used. This ritual may track down only Thaumaturgy and not Necromancy or other types of magic. The caster must spend at least one blood point to activate the ritual.

Transubstantiation of Seven

Even many outsiders know that the Tremere hold a blood loyalty to their clan, but the extent of this loyalty - or the means by which it's accomplished - remains a secret. Almost every Tremere holds a slight bond to the Council of Seven through their mixed blood. Of course, the Council cannot expect every newly embraced neonate to come to Vienna to drink of their blood. Nor can they simply ship their blood around the world - both solutions are far too impractical and dangerous, as any number of waiting kindred would relish the thought of stealing such vitae or intercepting Tremere neonates and destroying them before they can become threats. To overcome this problem, most regents know and use this ritual instead.

After the Embrace, a Tremere neonate typically goes through a formal oath-swearing. No magic compels that oath, but the presiding regent (or higher ranking Tremere) ends the formality with the Transubstantiation. The ritualist fills a large chalice with his own blood and intones the syllables of the ritual. The neonate, still grappling with the new phenomenon of blood-thirst, drinks the entire contents of the chalice. As the blood enters and spreads through her system, the rite mystically transforms it into the blood of the Seven. By this means, the Tremere place each neonate a step toward a full bond with the council, without the risk of having enemies steal the council's blood. The Transubstantiation is considered a requirement for a fledgling to be recognized socially as a true member of the Tremere Clan.

For this reason, the vast majority of regents learn this ritual, which incidentally guarantees that most regents are at least reasonably competent with Thaumaturgy. Even in chantries where the regent lacks this power, some Tremere instructed in this rite must be present for any new Embrace, unless the hapless sire wishes to risk the ire of the clan. Those who undergo the ritual, and indeed, many who have the ability to perform it, know little of it's mechanical workings. Obviously , the transmuted blood is that of the Council of Seven - but how vast are their stores that they can transfuse neonates at the whims of those conducting the ritual? Where does the neonate's blood go? whispers of a hidden vault beneath Vienna with labeled, preserved vials of vitae from every Kindred who has ever undergone this ritual can't possibly be true, can they?

System: The caster of the Transubstantiation must sacrifice a full quart of his blood - volume, not blood points, are required. The blood placed in the chalice remains unchanged until after int's imbibed and then spread throughout the subject's system, at which point it takes on the properties of the Council of Seven. This causes one step towards a blood bond to the whole council, but guarantees that the councilor's vitae cannot be stolen. Because the blood is already in the subject's system, it counts as his own vitae if it is later drained out. In truth, there is no physical requirement that this rite be used on a new neonate. A rare few tremere neonates escape the process, while conversely the rite could be used to generate a stronger bond in older Tremere or even in ghouls or Kindred of other clans. Kindred of the 14th or 15th generations, ghouls and revenants cannot use this rite - their blood is not sufficiently strong enough to channel the councilor's power.

Ward versus Fae

During the nights of ages long past, peasants and nobles took superstitious precautions to avoid an untimely visit from the Fair Folk. The Tremere created this ward to protect themselves and their mortal and ghoul thralls from any interactions with the Wild Ones. As the Middle Ages came to a close and the Industrial Revolution set in, most individuals no longer believed in faeries, and, as a result, this ritual ward was cast with less frequency. In tonight's society, only people tied to the occult and supernatural might possibly have some knowledge as to the existence of changelings, but nothing concrete. Although this ritual is not cast very often, it remains unforgotten, recorded for a later time when it is needed.

System: The thaumaturge casts this ritual in a similar fashion as he would the ritual Ward Versus Ghouls, but it affects changelings rather than ghouls. The ritual requires a handful of cold iron filings rather than a point of blood.

Ward versus Lupine

This ritual functions exactly as ward versus Ghouls, (Lvl 2) but affects werewolves.

System: The requirements for this ritual are exactly the same as for ward v ghouls, except that silver dust is required in the place of mortal blood.


Level 4 Rituals

Blood Certamen

While most modern Tremere apprentices see Thaumaturgy as a distinct property of their blood, some aged Tremere who survived the Long Night remember nights as mortal wizards. The clan's very foundation rests upon the traditions of those wizards. The clan's very foundation rests upon the traditions on those wizards - tribunals, apprenticeships, the Tremere Oath; all stem from the organization that the Tremere abandoned in their plummet into damnation. Among those early practices was one magical rite used to settle disputes.

Even though the Tremere traded their mortal sorcery for blood magic, they managed to find ways to turn their old practices into their undead state, and the ritual of certamen made that transition as well. Certamen exists as one of the oldest forms of dispute resolution between wizards, or so the elder Tremere say. In the modern nights, certamen takes a decidedly sinister form, and remains in the hands of very few Tremere. Indeed, perhaps only a half-dozen Tremere below the rank of regent know the ritual itself, and a handful more remain aware of it's existence.

Still, it's use remains protected by ancient tradition, and a Tremere without other recourse can, if he is even aware of it, call for certamen to settle a quarrel. One pontifex supposedly favors certamen as a traditional measure and a hallmark of a true and loyal Tremere - and correspondingly evidences terrifying skill with the practice. The rite of certamen opens with a formal declaration of challenge, though that does not constitute part of the actual ritual. The rite itself sees the contenders in a circle of blood or vitreous humor, where by technique and form - the power to harness Thaumaturgy - they shall settle the matter.

A circle 10 paces across marks the boundaries of the competition, while each participant stands in an interior circle two paces wide and faces the opponent. The interior circles' outer edges just touch upon the inner ring of the large circle, so the competitors stand just a short distance apart. The participants state their terms immediately upon entering the circle, challenger declaring what he stands to gain and defender declaring three limits upon the forms of the combat. Each one intones the ritual for certamen; when both complete it, the test of blood begins, to end only in death, submission or the judgment of the presiding arbiter.

By tradition, each participant brings a second, who makes announcement of this contender and handles offices such as holding the participant's trappings or ritual accoutrements. The seconds stand behind and to the right of their participants. A (supposedly) neutral party arbitrates, and may end the certamen at his discretion; he can, for instance, intervene or prevent a prodigious apprentice from destroying a regent. The arbiter determines or ratifies the victor, and also overrules the apparent victor in rare cases of cheating (though technically, the only way to "cheat" at certamen is to bring in magical artifacts or excess blood without announcing their presence to the arbiter and opponent). The arbiter also determines whether a given certamen contest has a definitive result. Should, say, one contender simply use Movement of Mind to force the other out of the ring a few seconds into the contest, or should both participants exhaust their stores of vitae without a clear victor, the arbiter may declare the matter inconclusive or a draw.

Certamen allows a thaumaturge to extend his usual path effects into more symbolic and devastating forms. Fire magics become incendiary great swords or demonic flamebolts; spirit minions become translucent, armed legionnaires; weather sorcery takes on a viciously turgid aspect. Onlookers watch as the two Tremere contend with the mightiest blood magic at their disposal. Ultimately one must give way or be slain. Each participant holds comparable amounts of power, while the ritual causes Thaumaturgy cast by the two to evidence mystic traces and patterns that allow onlookers to tell what's happening and even give the participants some ability to defend against the opponent's attacks. Victory goes to the finesse and broad knowledge, not to raw power. Should a participant frenzy, his second ( and any attending guards) must put him down immediately; he loses the contest.

Similarly, stepping from the inner circle immediately results in forfeiture. Completion of the ritual does not mystically bind either participant to it's terms, but failure to adhere to one's own agreed upon certamen carries grave weight with nearly every Tremere, and may well lead to condemnation as a rogue ( assuming that the oathbreaker survived the experience). Of course, in the Final Nights certamen exists more as a curiosity than as a common practice. Some few Tremere do use it, but certamen is never frequent nor lightly invoked. A Tremere can decline a challenge of certamen, though doing so usually entails a loss of face among the more traditional members of the clan. Successful certamen garners some small amount of prestige among the few who still consider it an art, but its use remains restricted to personal disputes.

A Tremere cannot use certamen to force a superior to give him rank or to show off his thaumaturgical might, but he could use the rite to legitimately dispose a superior with whom he had a personal grievance or to force a peer to stop interfering in his affairs. Similarly, a higher ranking Tremere may step in as an arbiter, and an dour pontifex may very well step the whole process before it begins. And, of course if the battle results in death, why then someone more competent than the loser must step forward to take over the late kindred's assets and duties. To this night, very few members of the other clans have even heard of certamen. Elder Tremere intend to keep it that way.

System: Certamen ultimately serves a simple game mechanical purpose: the two (always and only two.) Tremere involved in certamen may expend exactly two blood points per turn, regardless of generation. Furthermore, at a cost of one blood point, a player may make a Willpower roll against the opponent's Thaumaturgy roll, with the difficulty being the opposite character's Thaumaturgy. This acts as a normal resisted roll, canceling out the opponent's successes. Because certamen highlights all the thaumaturgical actions, the player can roll Intelligence + Occult (difficulty varies by power) to recognize most incoming thaumaturgical effects and decide whether or not to defend against or respond to them, as if using the poer Thaumaturgical Sight. This allows participants to invoke potent Thaumaturgy and to defend more ably against incoming attacks. The certamen ritual imposes these modifiers only so long as both participants remain in their respective circles.

Bone of Lies

This ritual enchants a mortal bone so that anyone who holds it must tell the truth. The bone in question is often a skull, though any part of the skeleton will do - some Tremere use strings of teeth, necklaces of finger joints or wands fashioned from ribs or arms. The bone grows blacker as it compels its holder to tell the truth, until it has turned completely ebony and has no magic left.

This ritual binds the spirit of the individual to whom the bone belonged in life; it is this spirit who wrests the truth from the potential liar. The spirit absorbs the lies intended to be told by the bone's holder, and as it compels more truth, it becomes more and more corrupt. If summoned forth, this spirit reflects the sins it has siphoned from the defeated liar (in addition to anger over its unwilling servitude). For this reason, anonymous bones are often used in the ritual, and the bone is commonly buried after it has been used to its full extent. A specific bone may never be used twice for this ritual.

System: The bone imbued with this magical power must be at least 200 years old and must absorb 10 blood points on the night that the ritual is cast. Each lie the holder wishes to tell consumes one of these blood points, and the holder must speak the truth immediately thereafter. When all 10 blood points have been consumed, the bone magic ceases to work any longer.

Curse Belated

Warlocks normally reserve the casting of this ritual for a ghoul who is prized above all others, or one near and dear to a thaumaturge's unbeating heart. By performing this ritual on a ghoul, the thaumaturge can all but guarantee his thrall's chance of survival, for the moment the ghoul dies, the vampiric blood inside his body courses through his system and thereafter resurrects him as a full-fledged vampire. The thaumaturge brands the ghoul with his sigil, which vanishes once the ghoul becomes one of the undead.

System: The Thaumaturge, as part of the requirement of the ritual, will temporarily lose one permanent point from his blood pool. This is invested, instead, in the ghoul he wishes to safeguard. A second point of the thaumaturge's blood must be fed to the ghouled, which remains in the ghoul's body until he dies (the ghoul may not use it to power Disciplines, heal, etc.) Upon death, the inaccessible point of vitae will save the ghoul from Final Death and bring him back as a vampire of the same clan as the caster, usually after a short delay to allow the ghoul's killers to depart. The temporary blood pool point returns to the thaumaturge after the ghoul becomes Kindred.

Heart of Stone

A vampire under the effect of this ritual experience the transformation suggested by the rituals name: his heart is transmuted to sold rock, rendering him virtually impervious to staking. The subsidiary effects of the change, however, seem to follow the Hermetic laws of sympathetic laws of magic: the vampire’s emotional capacity becomes almost non-existent, and his ability to relate to others suffers as well.

System: This ritual requires 9 hrs (reduced by 1 hr per success). It can only be cast on oneself. The caster lies flat on a cold stone surface and places a bare candle over his heart. The candle burns down to nothing over the course of the ritual, causing 1 aggravated level of health damage (Diff 5 to soak with fortitude.) At the end of the ritual the casters heart hardens to stone. The benefits of this are that the caster gains a number of additional dice equal to twice his thaumaturgy rating to soak any attack that is aimed for his heart and is completely impervious to a shaft of belated quiescence, and the difficulty to use all presence powers on him are increased by 3 due to his emotional isolation. The drawbacks are as follows: the casters conscience and empathy scores drop to 1 (or 0 if they were at 1) and all dice pools for social rolls except those involving intimidation are halved (including those required to use disciplines) All merits the character has pertaining to social interaction are neutralized. Heart of stone lasts as long as the caster wants it to.

Infirm Inert

One of the mystical powers of vitae possessed by Kindred is the supernatural ability of healing. With blood fueling the mending of their injuries, everything from stab wounds to the loss of appendages may knit and heal. When a thaumaturge drips some of his blood onto a target and casts this ritual, the victim loses the ability to use his vitae for healing. Before casting this ritual, the thaumaturge must imbibe a small quantity of blood laced with laudanum.

System: For every success the thaumaturge scores in casting this ritual, a target lacks his healing ability for one night. This ritual requires 20 minutes of concentration, during which time the caster spends one blood point. With its successful completion, Thin Blood causes an afflicted to immediately lose the ability to heal, though he may not be aware of this until he actively attempts to use his blood to do so. Victims may spend a point of willpower to ignore this effect for one turn. When this ritual expires, all wounds may be healed according to the type of damage suffered, as normal.

Innocence of the Child’s Heart

This ritual requires that the vampire who casts it be carrying a child’s toy, and for as long as she is carrying it on her person, her aura will be bright white.

Mark of Amaranth

Among Kindred, diablerie is regarded as a great crime - many elders go to extraordinary lengths to extinguish an upstart neonate who evidences a hunger for the blood of his fellows. Deceptive Tremere can turn this paranoia against a hapless victim. All that's needed is some intimate possession of the target, and the destruction of another Kindred…

System: The thaumaturge must destroy another Kindred by his own hand, while holding or wearing some possession of the subject. He may then invoke this ritual by placing the object in the dead Kindred's corpse before it crumbles to ash. Once the ritual is completed, the subject exhibits the evidence of a diablerist to all forms of divination until the next sunrise. This includes Aura Perception, the Blood Walk ritual and any other sort of scrying. The mark of amaranth cannot be deferred by the Soul Mask Discipline, though higher levels of Obfuscate or certain advanced rituals might be able to counter it. Note that the ritual does not necessarily cause the victim to think that he's a diablerist - an innocent victim can truthfully answer that he is not a diablerist, even as his aura contradicts him. Normally, use of this ritual is an efficient way to rapidly erode one's Humanity.

Return of the Heart

This ritual is a severe curse to the less humane Kindred. Cainites that are the target of this power have the portion of their soul that has been slowly dying returned to them. Murderers become racked with remorse over their actions and lament their deeds. For more debased members of the Sabbat this power is particularly crippling and may well result in their destruction at the hands of their packmates. Invoking this power requires either knowledge of the subject's True Name or a quantity of her blood.

System: The subject becomes temporarily governed by the Hierarchy of Sin for Humanity as if she had a Humanity rating of 9. Note that this does not actually impart a Humanity of 9 to the character - she is simply overwhelmed by a sense of her own damnation. The subject still has the Path rating that they normally would have, but they are no longer inured to the cruelties of the world. This will have the Cainite performing Degeneration tests for the most minor of deeds. This power lasts for one hour per success on the ritual roll.

Scry

The thaumaturge causes a body of water to become a scrying pool, able to center on a person or location. The Caster is able to see and hear as if he was personally there. Natural pools and bowls of water are often the means of viewing through this magic. Smaller (no larger than a child's pool), still (better for viewing) bodies of water are considered best for this. This ritual requires a bit of owl's blood to be mixed in with the water.

System: Although this magic is similar to the Auspex power of Clairvoyance, it does have it's differences. First, the caster cannot use additional Auspex powers through the Scry magic. Second, if used to center on a person, the magus must have a personal item of the individual's in his possession, or he must know the subject's True Name. Third, if a location is the center of the Scry, this location cannot be changed throughout the duration of the ritual. This ritual lasts for a number of hours equal to the number of successes for the casting. The thaumaturge only has to concentrate during this duration to view scenes through the water.

Soul of the Homunculi

Tremere in need of assistants for their research work cannot always rely upon the loyalty of apprentices. But who can doubt the loyalty of one's own flesh? a homonculus is a tiny creature crafted out of the caster's blood and tissue, which acts as an extension of the caster's will. Crafting a homunculus takes several hours of uninterrupted work, and a thaumaturge can have only one homunculus at a time. the horrid little entity takes shape in a bubbling morass of oil, blood, denuded bone and chunks of the caster's body. At the conclusion of the ritual, the honunculus crawls from it's fatty birthing caul to serve its master. The homunculus can move about under its own power, and may be used as a spy or a means to fetch materials. Many types of homunculi exist; different thaumaturges create different sorts of beasts. The most common are flyers (which resemble tiny winged demons), grubs (which look like worms with their master's faces), and hoppers (small bald, implike entities with their casters' features reduced to miniature). The honunculus acts according to its master's orders, which may be issued nonverbally as long as the beast is in its creator's presence. Over time, some homunculi develop their own personalities and goals, and more than one unnerved Tremere has discovered his homunculus playing malicious pranks behind his back.

System: A homonculus has two health levels and two dots in each Physical Attribute. It works much like a limb of the creator - the homunculus only moves or acts if the caster so wills it. A homunculus cannot fight effectively, but it can push or carry objects, and can often hide or spy on locations unnoticed due to its small size. Though the homunculus is initially wholly loyal, its experiences may eventually (over years) cause it to form a personality of its own, often spawned from the worst qualities of its creator. Homunculi are damaged by sunlight and fire like Kindred. A homunculus, though created from the caster's flesh, is a separate physical entity and thus does not count as an arcane connection, nor do its bodily fluids count as its creator's blood. However, establishing a psychic connection to a homunculus instead projects into the consciousness of its controller. A homunculus must be fed one blood point each week or it will wither and die. Feeding may be an unsettling act to witness - some Tremere suckle them at their own breasts, acting on some undead parental urge, while others treat their imps derisively, holding their opened wrists far above the creature's head while forcing it to caper about for its sustenance.

Splinter Servant

Another ritual designed to enchant a stake; splinter servant is a progressive development of shaft of belated quiescence. The two rituals are mutually exclusive, which is fortunate for many, because a splinter servant of belated quiescence would be a truly terrifying weapon. A splinter servant consists of a stake carved from a tree, which has nourished itself on the dead, bound in wax sealed nightshade twine. When the binding is torn off, the splinter servant springs to life, animating itself and attacking whomever the wielder commands – or the wielder, if he is to slow in assigning a target. The servant splits itself into a roughly humanoid form and begins single mindedly trying to impale the targets heart. Its exertions tear it apart within a few minutes, but if it pierces the victim’s heart before it destroys itself, it is remarkably difficult to remove, as pieces tend to remain behind if the main portion is indelicately yanked out.

System: The ritual requires 12 hours to cast; -1 per success and the servant must be created as described above. When the binding is torn off, the character that is holding it must point it at the target and verbally command it to attack during the same turn. If this command is not given, the servant attacks the closest being, living or unliving, usually the unfortunate being who currently carries it. A splinter servant always aims for the heart. It has an attack dice pool of the casters wits + occult, a damage pool of the casters thaumaturgy rating, and a max move of 30 yds per turn. Note these are the values of the caster not the wielder. A servant cannot fly but can leap its full move per turn. Every action it takes is to attack or move toward its target; it cannot dodge or split its dice pool to perform multiple tasks. The servant makes normal stake attacks that aim for the heart (Diff 9) and its success is judged by the normal rules for staking. A splinter servant has 3 health levels, and attacks directed at it are made at +3 Diff due to its small size and spastic movement patterns. A splinter servant has an effective life of 5 combat turns per success rolled in its creation. If it has not impaled its victim by the last round of its life, the servant collapses into ordinary splinters. 3 successes on a dex roll (Diff 8) are required to remove a splinter servant from a victim’s heart without leaving behind shards of the stake.

Stolen Kisses

Thaumaturges cast this ritual when they do not wish to feed by mouth. Instead, Stolen Kisses allows them to drain small portions of vitae through other parts of a vessel's body. Some vampires prefer the strong handshake. Others enjoy choking vessels, a double pleasure of asphyxia and the flush of new vitae coursing through cold veins. Others "get off" by draining blood from a vessel during sex. In any case, a vessel is usually not immediately aware that blood is sucked out of his body, though he will experience a slight sensation of dizziness and light-headedness. This ritual requires the caster to carry a "witch's kiss" - a thistle steeped in the blood of a vampire - somewhere on her person.

System: The magus must first make a small incision on his body where he intends to make physical contact with a vessel. The ritual is then cast; once complete, the wound knits itself closed. However, it opens to create a lip-and-mouth-type orifice when continually pressed against a vessel's flesh, which mystically sucks out one blood point every other turn as long as the contact persists. After the second point of vitae is consumed, a vessel is likely to feel woozy, while taking five blood points probably causes the victim to black out from the substantial lack of blood in his body. Stolen Kisses remains active for one night. A Warlock does not cause ecstasy or rapture when taking blood in this manner, as he would were he to feed upon a vessel by mouth.

Unweave Ritual

With the preponderance of cursing rituals among jealous Warlocks, it's only a matter of time until a Tremere labors under the effects of an enemy's magic. Whether it's another Tremere eager to discomfit a political adversary, or some non-Tremere thaumaturge looking for retribution, having Thaumaturgy turned around against it's supposed masters makes for a bitter aftertaste indeed. Once a Tremere manages to identify the enemy ritual under which he labors, it's possible to build a counter-sorcery to unweave it. Thaumaturges skilled in this magic learn general principals to confound other rituals, shrug off their effects or collapse them prematurely.

System: First, the caster must figure out what ritual currently afflicts him. This is probably automatic if he knows the ritual ( unless the caster has been very subtle or the subject is daft), but may require some research (and Intelligence + Occult rolls, at the ST discretion) otherwise. Next, the unweaving takes place. The caster must secure a component that would be used in the casting of the offending ritual, then destroy it in some fashion. His successes subtract from the successes scored by the original caster; if he manages to wipe away all of the successes, the offending ritual immediately ends, with all concomitant effects. Thus, a quick end to the Bind the Accusing Tongue would allow the Tremere to speak ill of his enemies again, but a premature end to a Blood Contract would painfully shove him into torpor, and a premature end to Night of the Red Heart would result in Final Death. Only rituals that have a duration can be unwoven. For instance, a Tremere who has thrown off a blood bond through Abandon the Fetters (below) is not constantly under the effects of that ritual - once the ritual is complete, the bond is gone and the ritual is done. However, a Tremere suffering from Steps of the Terrified would be considered under the duration of the ritual as long as it slowed his movement, so it could be unwoven. Note that a thaumaturge can only unweave a ritual on himself, not one on someone else. Also, a thaumaturge suffering from multiple rituals must unweave each one separately. Multiple unweavings can be accumulated against a ritual so long as the appropriate time and components can be acquired.

Ward Versus Kindred

This warding ritual functions exactly as do Ward versus ghouls and lupines, but it inflicts injury upon cainites.

System: Ward versus Kindred behaves exactly as does Ward versus Ghouls, but it affects vampires rather than Ghouls. The ritual requires a point of the casters own blood and does not affect the caster.


Level 5 Rituals

Abandon the Fetters

As closely guarded as any secret within the clan, Abandon the Fetters seems to depart from normal conventions of Thaumaturgy. Occult theorists note that it has more in common with primal, passionate sorcery than with the cerebral, systematic approach to Hermetic blood magic. A few even darkly hint at it's similarities to the Vaulderie - for the ritual to Abandon the Fetters shatters the blood bond. Breaking a blood bond is a grueling process. The thaumaturge must have unrestricted access to the subject, as well as a sample of blood from the master. The ritual requires an entire night; its execution is excruciating for both caster and subject. The thaumaturge forms a bond to the subject and master with a mixture of blood from all three, placed in a glass container. Next, the caster must exsanguinate and excoriate the subject - the manner is up to the ritualist's individual style; some might mortify the flesh with lashes, while others might apply brands. Once the subject hangs on the thread of demise, the caster shatters the glass container, spilling the blood to the ground and snapping the thread of the bond. The mixture of blood evaporates in a hissing, scalding steam, and the subject is freed. Of course, Abandon the Fetters remains one of the rarest of Tremere secrets. Few Warlocks could be trusted with such potent knowledge. Indeed, the merest hint that a Tremere can perform this ritual is enough to cause other kindred to eye her with renewed suspicion - the Tremere have sorcerous ways to steal blood, so who's to say that a thaumaturge couldn't release someone's thralls and bond them to herself instead? Even those Kindred who suffer under the bond's lash would rarely trust a Tremere enough to risk going through the process.

System: The thaumaturge must have one point of blood from himself, the subject and the subject's regnant. (If the caster happens to be the subject or regnant, no additional blood is needed.) The excoriation causes three levels of unsoakable aggravated damage to the subject, as flesh is flayed or burned away. The final venomous steam inflicts an additional level of unsoakable aggravated damage upon both the caster and the subject. The subject loses a permanent point of Willpower, but if the ritual succeeds, the blood bond atrophies immediately. However, this offers no protection against the formation of another, later bond.

Blood Contract

This ritual creates an unbreakable agreement between the two parties who sign it. The contract must be written in the casters blood and signed in the blood of whomever applies their name to the document. This ritual takes three nights to enact fully, after which both parties are compelled to fulfill the terms of the contract.

System: This ritual is best handled by the storyteller, who may bring those who sign the contract into compliance by any means necessary. The only way to terminate the ritual is to complete the terms of the contract or to burn the document itself. 1 blood point is consumed in the creation of the document, and an additional blood point is consumed by those who sign it.

Cobra’s Favor

As a precaution from having their blood stolen against their will, the Tremere manipulated their vitae via this ritual to burn with a toxin that causes it to damage anything it touches. It requires an herbal poultice and the venom of a snake to be mixed with some of the thaumaturge's blood.

System: After spilling one point of vitae into a container and combining them with the necessary herbs and poison, the thaumaturge recites an incantation and the concoction turns jet black. The caster must ingest the elixir for the ritual to take effect, suffering one level of unsoakable aggravated damage in the process. For one full month, anything consuming the blood of the caster suffers a level of aggravated damage per point ingested.

Court of Hallowed Truth

Although this ritual was developed to be used in Tremere tribunals, recent nights have seen princes call upon Tremere to use it within their political halls in exchange for favors. Unbiased testimony and blatant truth become standard within the court, and many connivers and liars have betrayed their own plans with their unwittingly veracious words. A pair of crossed bones must be laid before every entry to the room, including windows.

System: The magic weaves its spell upon the room, and all within abide by the truth-telling edict it creates. No falsehood may be spoken, and direct questions from the presiding judge or power are answered candidly with no omission or deceit. The magic persists within the room for the length of one full month. Several princes have come to rely on this, much to their undoing, as either the prince becomes preposterously indebted to the Tremere or other Kindred resent his heavy handed tactics and refuse to attend meetings.

Enchant Talisman

Allows Caster to enchant a personal magical item (ex. fabled wizard's staff) to act as an amplifier for her will and thaumaturgical might. May be laden with additional rituals (ex wards). They physical appearance must be a rigid object close to a yard long. Swords and walking sticks are the most common talismans.

System: Requires 6 hours per night for one complete cycle of the moon, beginning and ending on the new moon. During this time the Caster carves in its Hermetic runes that signify her True Name and the sum total of her thaumaturgic knowledge. Player spends 1 bp per night and makes and extended Intelligence + Occult roll (diff 8), one roll per week. Rolls must accumulate to at least 20 net successes. If not….the ritual must be begun over.

Powers of Talisman:

  • Difficulty of ALL magic or magik that targets Caster is increased by one.
  • +2 die on all rolls of Primary Path and +1 die for ritual castings.
  • When used as a weapon, Caster receives +1 hit die.
  • If separated from talisman, Caster can roll Perception + Occult, diff 7, to give its location.

Escape to a True Friend

One of the few rituals available to the Tremere that allows a form of teleportation, Escape to a True Friend allows the caster to travel to the person whose friendship and trust she most values. The ritual has a physical component of a yardwide circle charred into the bare ground or floor. The caster may step into the circle at any time and speak the True Name of her friend. She is instantly transported to that individual, wherever he may be at the moment. She does not appear directly in front of him, but materializes in a location within a few minutes' walk that is out of sight of any observer. The circle may be reused indefinitely, as long as it is unmarred.

System: This ritual rakes six hours a night for six nights to cast, reduced by one night for every two successes. Each night requires the sacrifice of three of the caster's own blood points, which are poured into the circle. Once the circle is complete, the transport may be attempted at any time. The caster may take one other individual with her when she travels, or a maximum amount of "cargo" equal to her own weight.

Night of the Red Heart

Neonates whisper that Tremere elders can utterly destroy their enemies with but a sample of vitae. Although little is ever that simple, some truth lies behind the dread rumor. With Night of the Red Heart, a thaumaturge can send his enemies shrieking in terror, slay them outright or force a confrontation. The thaumaturge needs only a quantative sample of the victim's blood.

Over the course of an entire night, the caster chants the syllables of the ritual continuously. After the first iteration of the ritual )which takes about 10 minutes), the victim suddenly feels a foreboding sense of dread. Whenever the subject faces the caster, he realizes that a ritual is in progress to slay him - and that he must either escape its power, or else find and interrupt the caster by following the preternatural knowledge imparted. Once the ritual ends at sunrise, if the victim is within its range, he spectacularly crumbles to ash in a matter of seconds. In addition to the victim's blood, the caster must have an effigy of the victim that he has carved himself from bone, rotten wood harvested at midnight or stone from the grave of a faithful priest's headstone.

Paper Flesh

This dreadful ritual enfeebles the subject, making her skin brittle and weak. Humors rise to the surface and flesh tightens around bones and scales away at the slightest touch. Used against physically tough opponents, this ritual strips away the inherent resilience of the vampiric body, leaving it a fragile, dry husk. The thaumaturge must inscribe his subject’s true name (which is much harder to discern for elders than it is for young vampires) on a piece of paper, which he uses to cut himself and then burns to cinders.

System: This ritual causes the subject’s Stamina and Fortitude (if any) to drop to 1. For every generation below eight, the subject retains one extra point of Stamina and Fortitude (though she may not exceed her original scores). For example, a vampire of the Fourth Generation targeted by Paper Flesh would drop to a Stamina + Fortitude score of 5 (assuming the score was more than 5 to begin with). This ritual lasts one night, and it is popular among packs that regularly undertake War Parties and Wild Hunts.

Sculpting the Perfect Servant

Intrigued by the manner in which the Fiends bred their revenant servants and, improvising on those methods, a powerful European thaumaturge ritualized the ability to enroll an individual's service even before the child had been born. By manipulating an unborn fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman, a magus has the ability to grant exceptional aptitudes and attributes that develop in the child. These Warlocks may also be exceedingly cruel, cursing these innocents with scars and defects. This technique of creating ghouls was founded to increase the abilities of their ghouls, as well as the service of the mother. Children affected by Sculpting the Perfect Servant, though possibly growing up normally, always feel a supernatural connection to the magus. To use this ritual, the caster must rend a stillborn baby in half and allow its blood to flow over the belly of the pregnant mother.

System: While it takes only a moment to curse or damage a child, a caster who expends the time and energy in blessing (which requires five hours every week until the pregnant mother comes to term, starting in the first three months of the pregnancy) will reap the benefits. This results in the baby possessing exceptional Attributes (three or sometimes four points per trait, rather than the usual two points most mortals have) and gaining an extended life span (usually living for about 100-120 years). Unfortunately despite being strong, handsome and healthy, these mortals are also cursed by the lack of moral development; their Humanity can never be raises above 6. For every curse inflicted on the unborn child, one common deformity may be created as well, to bind the child to the magus.

Severed Hand

Used during the Dark Ages, this ritual was used as a punishment for Cainites who did not deserve destruction. In Muslim countries, crimes of theft would be addressed by cutting off the offender's hand. Because of the great healing ability of vampires, threat of this punishment did not carry the grave penalty it had for mortals. This ritual prevents a severed body part from healing normally. Although a severed hand was the most common appendage removed, this ritual can affect eyes, fingers, tongues and other body parts. The most important component is the severed anatomy of the subject, which is why this ritual is almost always performed at the maiming.

System: This ritual takes an entire night to perform, during which time the wound is treated with different alchemical compounds to prevent the regeneration process. Although the health levels can heal in the normal way, the severed body part is unable to be restored to its former condition without magical healing (such as Obeah).

Stone of the True Form

This ritual banishes the false form of an individual and causes him to return to his original, natural form. This ritual will also expose, say , an Obfuscated Nosferatu who lurks unseen in the shadows. The flesh of a grotesque zulo-formed Tzimisce will crawl around it's body and reform into its original guise. Even enraged Lupines have been known to lose their lives after shifting into mortal or wolf form, unable to shift back to their warrior-form before being drained of blood and torn to pieces by a thaumaturge. This ritual requires a small, round stone, which changes the subject's shape after coming into contact with her.

System: The thaumaturge must cast this ritual on a small round stone the size of a marble. After completing the ritual incantation, the thaumaturge coats the ball with a point of his vitae. The marble must touch a victim in order to force a transformation to natural form. After the stone makes physical contact with a victim, both he and the magus enter into a contested Willpower roll (difficulty of each other's Stamina). If the caster wins by even one success, the subject will immediately shift to his natural form for a single turn. Every success above and beyond the first success extends the number of turns a target is unable to assume a shape other than his original form.

Stone Slumber

This ritual protects a sleeping vampire by turning her into solid stone. The caster must smear her entire body with the blood of a 12-hour-old corpse and stand completely still in an open area facing east. When the first rays of the rising sun strike her, the vampire's body turns to stone. In this form, the Kindred is completely protected from all forms of physical damage and most types of flame (including sunlight) and heat, unless the heat would be strong enough to melt rock (as with a lava flow or other disaster). Telepathy and other mental Disciplines are also useless, as the thaumaturge's mind is dormant.

System: The caster must begin this ritual exactly one hour before sunrise. If the timing is not exactly right, the ritual will not work and the caster suffers aggravated damage from the light of the sun, as normal. The ritual lasts until 10 minutes after the following sunset. During this period, the Kindred is completely oblivious to her surroundings and cannot wake up. In addition, waking up the next evening costs an additional blood point.

Virus Acquirit Eundo

This is simply a way of extending the effect of another ritual. The caster recites an elaborate incantation, then breaks an hourglass and casts the sand over a green flame while performing the other ritual. The only disadvantage to using this ritual is that it has different effects depending on what the caster uses it with.

System: The storyteller has the final decision on the effects of this ritual. Generally, it adds time or potency to another ritual in order to extend it's duration or prolong its effect. The efficiency with which it does so depends on the number of successes on the caster's roll.

Ward Versus Spirits

This warding ritual functions exactly as other wards except it inflicts injury upon spirits.
System: Ward Vs Spirits behaves exactly as ward Vs Ghouls, but it affects spirits (including those summoned or given physical form by thaumaturgical paths such as elemental mastery). The material component for ward Vs spirits is a handful of pure sea salt.

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