Mortals are constantly developing new innovations, and any vampire who would work Technomancy must be able to understand that upon which he practices his magic. The most basic power of this path allows the Tremere to project his perceptions into a device, granting him a temporary understanding of its purpose, the principles of its functioning and its means of operation. This does not grant permanent knowledge, only a momentary flash of insight which fades within minutes. System: A character must touch the device in order to apply this power. The number of successes on a Willpower roll (Diff 6) determines how well the character understands this particular piece of equipment. One success allows a basic knowledge (on/off and simple functions), while three successes grant competence in operating the device, and five successes show the character the full range of the devices potential. The power lasts for a number of minutes equal to the characters Intelligence. This power can also be used to understand a non-physical technological innovation – in other words, a new piece of computer software – at +2 Diff. The character must touch the computer on which the software is installed – simply holding the CD-ROM is not enough.
It is usually easier to destroy than to create, and sensitive electronics are no exception to this rule. Burnout is used to cause a device’s power supply, either internal or external, to surge, damaging or destroying the target. Burnout cannot be used to directly injure another individual, although the sudden destruction of a pacemaker or a car’s fuel injection control chip can create a definite health hazard. System: A character can use this power at a range of up to 10 times her Willpower in yards, although a +1 Diff is applied if she is not touching the target item. The number of successes on a Willpower roll (Diff 6) determines the extent of the damage.
1 Success. Momentary interruption of operation (1 Turn), but no permanent damage.
2 Successes. A significant loss of function; +1 Diff to use the device for the rest of the scene.
3 Successes. The device breaks and is inoperable until repaired.
4 Successes. Even after repairs, the device’s capabilities are diminished (Permanent +1 Diff to use).
5 Successes. The equipment is a total write off; completely unsalvageable.
Large enough systems, such as mainframe computers or passenger aircraft, impose a +2 to +4 Diff (at Storyteller discretion) to affect with this power. Additionally, some systems, such as military and banking computers, may be hardened against power surges and spikes, and thus possess one to five dice (Storyteller discretion again) to roll to resist this power. Each success on this roll (Diff 6) takes away one success from the Thaumaturgy roll. Burnout may be used to destroy electronic data storage, in which case three successes destroy all information on the target item and five erase it beyond any hope of non-magical recovery.
Electronic security is a paramount concern of governments and corporations alike. Those Tremere who are techno-savvy enough to understand the issues at stake have become quite enamoured by this power, which allows the Thaumaturge to scramble a devices controls mystically, making it inaccessible to anyone but him. Encrypt/Decrypt also works on electronic media; a video tape under the influence of this power displays just snow and static if played back without the owner’s approval. System: The character touches the device or data container which he wishes to encrypt. The player rolls Willpower (Diff 6). The number of successes scored is applied as a difficulty modifier for anyone who attempts to use the protected equipment or access the scrambled information without the assistance of the character. The Thaumaturge can dispel the effect at any time by touching the target item; the countermanding costs a point of willpower. This power may also be used to counter another Thaumaturge’s use of Encrypt/Decrypt. The player rolls at +1 Diff; each success negates one of the “owner’s”. The effect of Encrypt/Decrypt lasts for a number of days equal to the character’s permanent Willpower rating.
With this power, a skilled Thaumaturge can bypass the need for physical contact to operate a device. This is not a form of Telekinesis; the vampire does not manipulate the item’s controls, but rather touches it directly with the power of his mind. System: This power may be used on any electronic device within the character’s line of sight. The number of successes scored on a Willpower (Diff 6), roll are the maximum number of dice from any relevant Ability that the character may use while controlling the device. For instance, if Fritz has computer 5 and scores three successes when using Remote Access on an automatic teller machine, he can only apply three dots of his computer rating to any rolls that he makes through any use of the power. Remote Access lasts for a number of turns equal to the number of successes rolled, and can only be used on one item at a time. If an item is destroyed while under the effects of Remote Access, the character takes five dice of bashing damage due to the shock of having is perceptions rudely shunted back into his own body.
*****TelecommuteA progressive derivation of Remote Access, Telecommute allows a Thaumaturge to project her consciousness into the global telecommunication network, sending her mind through satellite uplinks and ISDN lines and fibre-optic phone cables at the speed of light. While immersed in the network, she can use any other Technomancy power on the devices with which she makes contact. System: The character touches any form of communication device: a cellular telephone, network card-equipped computer, fax machine or anything else that is connected directly or indirectly to the global network. The player rolls Willpower (Diff 6) and spends a Willpower point. Telecommute lasts for five minutes per success rolled, and may be extended by ten minutes with the expenditure of another Willpower point. The number of successes indicates the maximum range that the character can project her consciousness from her body.
1 Success 25 Miles
2 Successes 250 Miles
3 Successes 1000 Miles
4 Successes 5000 Miles
5 Successes Anywhere in the world, including Telecommunication satellites.
While in the network, the character can apply any other Path of Technomancy power to any device or data with which she comes in contact. A loss of connection, usually through the shutdown or destruction of a part of the network through which the character’s connection runs, hurls her consciousness back to her body and inflicts eight dice of bashing damage. A character travelling through the Net by means of this power can use her Path of Technomancy powers at normal difficulty. Using any other abilities or powers while engaged thus is done at a +2 difficulty. Furthermore, there are other denizens of the Net who may not take kindly to Tremere intrusion, and who may well take steps to remove the riff raff from their electronic doorsteps.