Widely believed to be practiced by only the loathsome Giovanni, Necromancy has actually been adopted by the Harbingers of Skulls, who claim to have learned the magic of death while trapped in the Underworld. Harbingers seem to know little of the Bone or Sepulchre Paths, instead learning their own Mortuus Path and the Ash Path. Harbingers of Skulls have not been known to interact with the Giovanni, but they may have acquired some knowledge of other paths from the Samedi, with whom they share some inexplicable tie. Harbingers of Skulls learn the Mortuus Path as their primary Necromancy Path; they can only learn their first level of the Ash Path after achieving the third level of mastery in the Mortuus Path. That aside, they learn Necromancy like other vampires.
This power allows the Cainite or the subject of her choice to take on the semblance of death. Skin stretches tight over bones, flesh grows pale and sallow and joints seize as the body grows rigid. This power may be used to “play dead” and look the part, or to curse another with the appearance of the walking dead.
System: The vampire must touch her target for this power to take effect. If the Necromancer assumes this form, she merely spends a blood point. If attempting to use this power on another, the character’s player spends a blood point and makes a Stamina + Occult roll (difficulty equal to the victim’s Stamina +3). The effects of this power last until the next dawn or dusk, when the shriveled individual slowly regains her normal state over the course of an hour. While under the effects of the Reaper’s Shroud, characters lose two points from their Dexterity and Appearance Traits (to a minimum of 1). Vampires may spend two blood points to reverse the effects of the Reaper’s Shroud.
This power allows the vampire to accelerate the aging and decrepitude processes in his intended victim. The subject suffers the effects of old age: brittle bones, dry and thin skin and various rheumatic pains among others. Some victims have even acquired certain ailments normally experienced by the elderly, including bone diseases and arthritis.
System: The vampire must touch his intended victim. The player them rolls Manipulation + Medicine (difficulty equal to the victim’s Willpower) and spends on point of Willpower. If this roll is successful, the target suffers the debilitating effects of advanced age. For the duration of this power (until the next dusk or dawn), the target, Cainite or otherwise, must subtract 3 points from all Physical Attributes (to a minimum of 1). Vampires and ghouls affected in this manner may still spend blood points to increase their Physical Attributes.
Mortals who undertake stressful activity while affected by Blight run the risk of heart failure. For each round the mortal continues strenuous activity, the player must make a Stamina roll (difficulty 6). If the roll fails, the mortal suffers a heart attack.
***Resume the Coil
This power allows the vampires the wrench themselves free from death’s long slumber. A character who possesses this level of mastery may throw off the darkness of torpor or aid another in doing so.
System: The player spends two Willpower points. She then makes a Willpower roll, for which the difficulty is 10 minus the target’s Humanity or path rating. Obviously, the vampire uses her own rating if attempting to rouse herself from torpor. For example, if a vampire seeks to rise from torpor and has a Path of Death and the Soul score of 5, his difficulty for the Willpower roll is 5. If the vampire wishes to awaken another Cainite in torpor, she must touch that vampire. If the vampire so raised entered torpor because of a lack of blood, she awakens with one blood point in her veins.
The Necromancer may temporarily cheat the Curse of Caine, albeit briefly, by becoming truly dead. While invoking this power, the character suffers none of the traditional banes against vampires. He is not burned by sunlight, holy water does not harm him, and he does not rise from the dead each night. He has literally become a corpse.
System: There is no cost to assume the corpse-body, but awakening from the slumber requires two blood points. While the character is in corpse form, he may obviously take no actions, nor may he use any Disciplines, even “automatic” ones like Fortitude. The corpse-vampire does not consume blood nightly – he retains the same amount of blood as he did when he entered the state of True Death (remember that it costs two blood points to leave the corpse state), which may prove damning should anyone cut him open in the interim. A character who has been staked through the heart is still paralyzed when he returns to vampiric consciousness. This power has no maximum duration, other than the time the vampire chooses to remain dead.
*****Mercy for Seth
Named after mortals – the Children of Seth – this power causes a victim to contract a virulent plague, similar to the epidemics of the 11th through 15th centuries (the Black Plague, the Red Death, etc.). This illness causes death within 24 hours for mortals and sends vampires to torpor within the same period of time. Mortal victims of plague exhibit terrible plague symptoms – sunken eyes, blackened limbs, bloody sweat and excretions, swollen nodes and weeping lesions.
System: The vampire touches her victim, and the player must spend one blood point (which must come in contact with the victim to communicate the plague) and one Willpower point. The player also rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower). Success indicates that the vampire has afflicted his victim with plague, who dies or succumbs to torpor within 24 hours.