mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Oubliette: Vodou & Thelema.


("Hellboy - The Storm #2" by Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo.)

Some more house rules for running Oubliette in the World of Darkness.

Blood Ritual (Special; Varies)

In Oubliette, The Blood is The Life. Blood magic is a potent & notable way of tapping into the mystical fluid in the human body-- whether you believe blood to be sacred, alchemically potent, or an elementally superior substance. Note that in Oubliette, blood magic is not necessarily regarded with hatred or suspicion, nor is required to be a hallmark of dark arts. The idea of sacred bloodshed is a prevalent one, & has been incorporated into many religions & folkways, whether is is a sacrifice to the heavens or an appeal to the spirits. Even the most "civilized" religious ceremony frequently contains symbolic blood magic, as the Catholic Eucharist is testament to in the real world. While the more visible & potent effects of Blood Rituals require that the blood of a sentient creature be shed, the use of animal offerings is often incorporated & is not to be overlooked-- at the Storytellers discretion, the practices of believers may very well have subtle but far reaching effects, or reward those with the Virtue of Faith. A wise & respectful practitioner of Blood Rituals can become a fixture of a community or church. The reverse is true of course-- there may be people who find the practice abhorrent & unclean, or who believe that only their brand of blood magic is holy & that all others are heretics. As with most things, context is everything.

Regardless of your characters cosmology & belief system, the end effects are similar enough to fall under the heading of this Merit & shares the same rule mechanics. Rather than a single Merit, Blood Rituals are a category of Merits, each of which must be taken separately. Players, with Storyteller permission, may choose any ritual, from the Ceremonies in Geist: The Sin-Eaters to the Crúac & Theban Sorcery Rituals in Vampire: The Requiem or the Rites in Werewolf: The Foresaken. Note that like any Supernatural Merit, Blood Rituals should be rare & carefully considered-- Players & Storytellers are encouraged to be conservative & sparing in their selection. The Level of the ritual is the Cost of the Blood Ritual Merit. Once the Storyteller & Player have agreed on a ritual, the following rules supersede the rules originally printed in the book:

Cost: One point of lethal damage to a sentient subject. This must be ceremonially spilled, & so must come from the Character, a willing subject, or a helpless subject. Some rituals might originally specify a cost of more than one point of Essence, Vitae, etc-- in which cast the cost of the Blood Ritual is similarly increased.
Dice Pool: Humanity. This is modified as suggested in the original ritual-- that is, it may be penalized by an opponant's Attributes or used in a contested roll, etc. Superior tools-- a sacred alter, an auspicious night when the stars are right-- may add to the Player's Dice Pool, & circumstances may subtract from it as well. Blood Rituals are fundamentally tied to humankind. A practitioner of Blood Rituals who has begun to follow a darker path may automatically succeed on a roll by making a check for Humanity loss (with a Dice Pool of 5 - the Blood Ritual's Level), with Storyteller approval.
Action: Extended. The number of successes required to activate the Blood Ritual is equal to the Level of the Blood Ritual (so a Level 3 ritual requires three successes to enact). Each roll represents one turn of ritual casting & the ritual is activated on the turn in which the target number of successes is reached or surpassed. If the original rite requires more than this number of successes, use the larger target number.
Effect: per the original ritual, ceremony, rite, etc.

Andromache of the Dowsing Square sept belongs to a mystical Inquisitive order within Mother Church & her Player wishes for her to learn a Blood Ritual in order the portray the supernatural aspects of her faith. As the order is one of vision quests & revealed knowledge, her Player & the Storyteller comb through sourcebooks, looking for a good fit. They agree on "Cheval," a Level-Two Crúac ritual from Vampire: the Requiem. The Player marks "Blood Ritual OO (Cheval)" on her character sheet. When Andromache uses this ritual, she ignores the rules for Crúac, such as rolling a Dice Pool of Manipulation + Occult + Crúac, & uses the rules above, rolling Humanity in its place-- the roll to activate "Cheval" is normally penalized by the target's Composure, & this is kept. With just a little tweaking, the Player & the Storyteller have created the Blood Ritual, & Andromache's sanguinary abilities are ready to go.

Will Working (Special; Varies)

There are Things Man Was Not Meant To Know-- but the strong of will are not afraid, forging ahead in the pursuit of eldritch knowledge. The secrets of the universe can be laid bare, & the bold can learn from them the secrets of power. The very mettle of the psyche is tested, but those with iron within them can find new vistas in the horrible truths. Will Working is the magic of occult knowledge & willpower. It may be a personal path or one pursued by a cabal, but the dangers of the unknown are very real, & not idly shared. In fact, when dire spells & hexes are carelessly taught, they can destroy the student & the master-- or worse, they can lose their efficacy. Due to the nature of dark sorcery & the character of will workers-- for whom hubris is often a given (though not always-- Will Working is rare & sporadic, & almost never codified. Its dweomers are scattered in tomes, its artifacts hidden, its teachers removed from the mundane world.

Whether your character dares the uncanny spirits of the Æther, a keeper of blasphemous words, or bearer of a cursed lineage, the mechanics for Will Working are the same. Rather than a single Merit, Will Workings are a category of Merits, each of which must be taken separately. Players, with Storyteller permission, may choose any ritual, from the Ceremonies in Geist: The Sin-Eaters to the Crúac & Theban Sorcery Rituals in Vampire: The Requiem or the Rites in Werewolf: The Foresaken. Note that like any Supernatural Merit, Blood Rituals should be rare & carefully considered-- Players & Storytellers are encouraged to be conservative & sparing in their selection. The Level of the ritual is the Cost of the Blood Ritual Merit. Once the Storyteller & Player have agreed on a ritual, the following rules supersede the rules originally printed in the book:

Cost: One point of Willpower. Some rituals might originally specify a cost of more than one point of Essence, Vitae, etc-- in which cast the cost of the Blood Ritual is similarly increased.
Dice Pool: Varies for each Will Working, but always Attribute + Skill. Players & Storytellers are encouraged to come up with an interesting combination-- & especially a unique one. Each Will Working possessed by a character should use as many different Attributes & Skills as possible. Will Working taxes every aspect of a Character, & often requires unexpected knowledge to control.
Action: Extended. The number of successes required to activate the Blood Ritual is equal to the Level of the Blood Ritual (so a Level 3 ritual requires three successes to enact). Each roll represents one turn of ritual casting & the ritual is activated on the turn in which the target number of successes is reached or surpassed. If the original rite requires more than this number of successes, use the larger target number.
Effect: per the original ritual, ceremony, rite, etc.

Cassius Dolebury, an orphan child, is adopted by the warlock under the hill, Elias. Specializing in abjurations, one of the key Will Workings he imparts upon Cassius is based upon the Level-Two Werewolf: the Foresaken Rite "Fortify the Border Marches." Cassius' Player notes that the Rite originally requires a Dice Pool of Harmony; he consults the Storyteller, arguing that since Elias' magic works on a concept of ritual purity, & the Player wants the Will Working to be something like an exorcism, a Dice Pool of Composure + Intimidate would be best. Noting that one of Cassius' other Will Working Merits use already uses Composure, the Storyteller suggests Presence instead, which the Player agrees to. Cassius' Player also notes that the Rite requires 20 successes with a sigh, as that translates to his Will Working Merit as well.
Tags: house rules, oubliette, rpgs, wod
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