Thaumaturgy has some of its roots in the early practices of Hermetic alchemy, which concerned itself with changing the properties of given ideals. Indeed, much of Thaumaturgy’s codified structure and basic principles are very similar to those of alchemy. In the near millennium that has passed since the Tremere’s earliest efforts with blood magic, alchemy has fallen by the wayside, however. Modern technology makes possible almost anything this path can do and far more – it is easier and more reliable to mine for gold, for example, than it is to create it by transmuting other materials. Still, old habits die hard among vampires, and the Tremere are no exception. A few elders still practice this path, and of these, some still teach it to their childer to illustrate the basic tenants of modern blood magic. System: The number of successes on the activation (Willpower) roll determines how radically a Thaumaturge may alter a given compounds form. He need not use all his successes – a Thaumaturge wishing to effect only a simple change of form need not turn lead into gold if he accumulates five successes. The Thaumaturge must, however, acquire at least the minimum number of successes suggested by the table below to generate the effect he seeks. Changing one element into another requires familiarity with both elements. One cannot suddenly decide he wants to change a balloon’s worth of helium into a sphere of solid titanium if he has never dealt with either of those elements before. Simply knowing an atomic number is not enough to warp the laws of nature so radically. It is worthwhile to note, however, that Alchemy makes no distinction between naturally occurring and man made elements – it affects Einsteinium as readily as it affects carbon. Note also that this path has fallen out of practice because it is less useful in modern nights than it was in the past. Transmutations create Hermetic “ideals” rather than perfect real-world resources which cannot be broken down into lesser constructs. A hunk of gold is a hunk of gold – an attempt to cast coins with it will reduce the hunk to a pile of inert sludge. Before you ask – yes, this means your Tremere anarch will not be able to create nuclear bombs by turning the prince’s shoes into uranium. There’s nothing wrong with converting lead into gold and selling that hunk of gold to someone else, however – caveat emptor! Note: Storytellers are encouraged to apply this principle to the use of Path of Conjuring as well. Characters who try to conjure “antimatter” or create weapons of mass destruction magically should be subtly but reasonably discouraged. Also, use of this path assumes the Thaumaturge works with elements in a laboratory-style (or at least controlled) environment. No vampire will be able to walk down the street and turn the iron in people’s blood to helium with a simple touch. A vampire’s knowledge of Alchemy determines how greatly she may change a given element.
* Simple changes in form – solid to liquid, liquid to gas, etc.
** Complex changes to form – liquid to a specific shape solid, water to separate hydrogen and oxygen gas clouds, etc.
*** Complicated changes to form – water to breathable oxygen and loose Hydrogen gas compounds into separate elements, etc.
**** Minor shifts in composition, such as adjusting an element’s atomic number up to five greater or less than its original designation.
***** Miraculous shifts in composition, such as turning lead into gold or nitrogen into radium.