Exclusive to the Samedi bloodline, and it is tied intrinsically to the Stiff’s identity and history. Although Thanatosis appears to deal closely with death and the energies of decay, no Giovanni have ever claimed mastery of this power. The clan would undoubtedly be most interested in learning this Discipline. However, the Giovanni view the Samedi with distrust and loathing, while the Samedi take on the Giovanni is usually expressed by muttering a curse on the clan and spitting blood. Thus, the possibility of an exchange of information approaches nil.
The character can expand or contract her skin and the outer layer of fatty tissue that underlies it. This can be used to change the character’s general appearance or to create pockets like a kangaroo’s pouch for the concealment of small objects. This power is most effective when used by characters whose skin condition is already deteriorating, as additional distortion is less likely to be visible. If a character other than a Samedi or Nosferatu uses this power, large wrinkles or bulges may be readily visible in her skin.
System: This power requires one turn to shape the wrinkles and the expenditure of a blood point. If the power is used to distort a character’s features, the Samedi player must roll Stamina + Acting (difficulty
. Success raises the difficulty to visually identify the character by one and lasts for one hour per success rolled. If the character is attempting to hide a small object (a wallet, a letter, a small pistol), the roll and duration are the same, but all rolls made to see if the object is detected (for example, a pat-down search or a security guard’s visual inspection) are at a +2 difficulty.
This power allows the character to cause supernaturally rapid decomposition in a living or undead target. The victim loses skin and hair, teeth loosen, blisters and cysts appear, and fungus develops. Needless to say, the psychological impact of this power can be as devastating as the physical.
System: This power first requires that the character touch his intended target. The player then rolls Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty of the target’s Stamina + Fortitude) and spends a blood point. Success inflicts one health level of lethal damage on the target and removes one point of the victim’s Appearance. This Appearance loss returns to vampires at the rate of one point per night, but is permanent for mortals (though plastic surgery can correct mortal’s physical disfigurement). If a mortal suffers three or more health levels of damage from repeated uses of this power in one scene, gangrene or other ailments may occur.
This power can also be used on plants, in which case the target becomes blighted and withered. It cannot, however, be used on inanimate objects such as cars or wooden stakes.
***Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to Ashes allows the character to transform herself into a thick, sticky powder, about a double handful in volume (what would be left after a cremation). The character takes no damage from sunlight or flames while in this form, and most physical attacks are ineffectual. However, the character is only dimly cognizant of her surroundings while in ash form, and separation of the ashes can prove catastrophic when the Samedi tries to reform.
System: The transformation to ashes requires one turn and the expenditure of two blood points. While the character is in ash form, the player must make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 9) for any scene in which she wishes her character to be aware of her surroundings. Reforming from the heap of ashes takes one turn. If the character is in a confined space (such as an urn), she explodes from it in a suitably dramatic manner as she brings herself back to full size.
If a Samedi is scattered while in this form, one health level and one blood point are lost for each tenth (roughly) of the character that has been dissipated. Five blood points are required to heal each health level lost in this manner. At the Storyteller’s discretion, the Samedi may be missing limbs or vital organs (though never the head or the heart) until the missing health levels are healed.
Many vampires, accustomed to their forms remaining ageless, have been aghast to discover the effects of this power. Withering allows the Samedi to shrink and warp a victim’s limbs, rendering them immobile and causing extreme pain. Some particularly vicious Samedi take shrunken parts of their opponents as trophies or for use in ritual magic.
System: The Samedi must touch the limb he intends to shrivel. The player spends a Willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Medicine (difficulty of the victim’s Stamina + Fortitude). Three successes are required for this power to shrink a limb. With one or two successes, the victim takes one health level of bashing damage, which may be soaked normally, but is otherwise unaffected. (If the Withering attempt is successful, the subject suffers no health level of damage, but rather the withering of the limb itself.) The effects of Withering fade after one night if a vampire or other supernatural creature is the victim, but mortals (including mages) are permanently afflicted unless some type of supernatural healing is used.
If this power is used on an arm or leg, the limb instantly becomes useless. If this power is used on an opponent’s head, mortal victims die instantly. Kindred lose two points from all Mental Attributes while their heads are shrunken and are unable to use any Disciplines except Celerity, Potence, and Fortitude. Multiple uses of this power on the same appendage have no additional effect.
Although its effects appear similar to those of Putrefaction, the impact of Necrosis on affected characters is much greater. Necrosis causes living (or undead) tissue to decompose and slough off, exposing bones and organs and leaving the victim open to infection.
System: The Samedi must make contact with the victim. The player spends two blood points and rolls Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty of the target’s Stamina + Fortitude). The victim takes a number of health levels of lethal damage equal to the number of successes rolled and suffers additional effects as listed below.
1 success – No additional effects
2 successes – Lose a point of Appearance
3 successes – Lose a point each of Appearance and Dexterity
4 successes – Lose a point each of Appearance, Dexterity and Strength
5+ successes – Lose two points of Appearance and one each of Dexterity and Strength
Attributes lost in this manner are regained when all damage from the Necrosis attack is healed. If a victim is reduced to zero Strength or Dexterity, he is unable to move except for weak flailing and crawling but may still use Disciplines and spend blood points normally.