Blood Sorcery is a blanket term to refer to the various dark magics practiced by the vampires of the world of darkness. Most prominently, this includes Cruac and Theban Sorcery. While this is what most vampires know, there are groups and sects and bloodlines that practice their own form of blood sorcery. Here on Shadows Over Reno, we use the system as laid out in the V:TR 2.0 book, starting on page 150, with a few modifications and clarifications. For the ease of our users, a condensed version (along with differences between here and the book) is reproduced here. Please note that staff reserves the right to add, remove, or adjust Blood Sorcery as we see fit. There's a lot of custom content here, as well as new content coming from Onyx Path, and all requires balancing and consideration.
Learning Blood Sorcery
Blood Sorcery can only be learned by individuals held in good standing by their covenant or group. This means that no new dots of the discipline nor new rites may be purchased unless a vampire has status in their group. If a vampire loses status, they may still use whatever discipline and rites they have, but they may not take new dots in the discipline, nor learn new rites.
Taking new dots in Blood Sorcery requires a teacher with dots in the discipline greater than or equal to the dots to be learned. This does not require drinking blood.
Learning a new dot in a discipline costs 4 experience per dot. Each dot taken allows the sorcerer to learn one new rites. Additional rites may be purchased at a cost of 2 experience per rite.
Rites and Miracles
Cruac rituals are paid in blood at a cost of one vitae per dot of the rite. The ritualist burns one vitae to activate the discipline, and then must spill any additional vitae that is needed. This additional vitae need not come from the ritualist themselves.
Theban miracles cost one Willpower and one sacrament. This sacrament is a physical object tied to the ritual itself. The sacrament turns to dust when the ritual is complete.
Other forms of sorcery will have their own sacrifices listed on their pages. There is always a sacrifice.
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Occult + Crúac or Intelligence + Academics + Theban Sorcery
Action: Extended. Each roll represents 30 minutes of work, cut to 15 minutes if the ritualist possesses more dots in the discipline than the dotes of the ritual. The ritualist may roll a maximum number of times equal to their unmodified skill + discipline. A ritualist stops rolling when the number of successes has been reached.
Failure: The ritualist receives no successes and can abandon the ritual or accept the Stumbled Condition and continue.
Success: The ritual accumulates successes or completes, if the number of successes have been reached.
Exceptional Success: Choose one:
*Reduce the target number of successes by her dots in the Ritual Discipline.
*Reduce the time per roll to 15 minutes (or to 5 minutes if she has more dots in the Discipline than the rating of the ritual).
*Apply the Ecstatic (Crúac) or Raptured (Theban Sorcery) Condition if and when the ritual succeeds.
*If the exceptional success allows the ritual to reach completion, add your discipline dots to the potency of the ritual.
Ritual Potency: Before a ritual begins, the caster may set a target Potency for the ritual. Each point of Potency adds one additional required success onto the number of required successes set in the ritual write up. Unless otherwise specified, Potency is capped by the caster's sorcery Discipline.
Ritual Targets: Unless otherwise specified, the ritual targets one person/place/thing.
Ritual Range: Rituals are effective in the same grid square and any adjacent grid square. Casting outside of sensory range requires sympathetic connection. Some rituals require the caster to touch the target or a specific means of sympathetic connection, and if that is listed in the ritual, the ritual cannot be cast at a distance. Please consult the below table, as taken from M:TA 1E p. 114-115.
|Dice Penalty||Sympathetic Connection Between Caster and Target|
|—||Sensory: You can see, hear or otherwise sense your target directly. This is the default factor, a sensory spell.|
|–2||Intimate: You have a piece of the target’s physical substance, such as hair, nail clippings or blood from a creature, a leaf or flower from a plant, or a sliver of material from an object. Or you know the target very well, such as a longtime friend or close family member, a beloved pet or a prized possession.|
|–4||Known: You know the target, which might be a friend, co-worker or personal possession. You have a photo or other accurate representation of the target, or you can see the target on live video or hear the target over live audio.|
|–6||Acquainted: You’re acquainted with the target. It might be a casual acquaintance, a co-worker you hardly know, or an item you held or used once.|
|–8||Encountered: You have encountered the target briefly, such as a person you passed on the street or an item you touched once.|
|–10||Described: You have never encountered the target, but can describe it. You might know a person’s name or physical description, or what an object or place looks like.|
|Impossible||Unknown: If you know nothing about the target, you cannot cast a sympathetic spell on it. Knowing that there is a rival [vampire] in town is not enough to affect the mysterious figure from afar. You must at least know its name, description or location.|
Defense Against the Dark Arts
* Rituals that target others will note if they are contested or resisted. Contested requires a roll from the target, and resisted subtracts from the caster's dice pool. Contesting is reflexive, and the target will roll each time the ritualist rolls. If the target matches or beats the ritualist, no progress is gained or lost. If the ritualist beats the target's successes, add the difference in successes to the pool of accrued successes.
* Vampires (and other supernatural beings that have a supernatural advantage) become aware when they are targeted with blood sorcery. This does not reveal what ritual is being done, or who is doing it, simply a bad feeling that something is happening to them.
* Targets that are conscious or sleeping may spend Willpower to increase the dice pool to Contest by +3, or add a +2 bonus to Resistance.
* While frenzied, vampires receive +3 to contest and +2 to resist.
* While the ritual is taking place, the victim increases his blood sympathy to the ritualist by two ranks if he is of the same clan, or gains it at “Thrice Removed” if he is of a different clan.
NeoTiamat on the WoD Forums. Rituals can and will be added to the game over time, but at the time of opening, we are not accepting requests/suggestions for custom rituals to be added to the system.The set of rituals on Shadows Over Reno are all those present in the V:TR 2nd Ed book, with the addition of a set of rituals taken from
We are, however, willing to work with sorcerers to create rituals that can be used for thematic purposes, to progress plots, etc. These rituals will not provide mechanical benefit to any players. If you wish to use such a ritual, please put in a request.
There's a fair number of changes made to include blood sorcery in Shadows Over Reno, and I (skew) would like to explain a few of the choices that have been made.
- Why are we not using the Blood Sorcery book?
We (Wendigo and I) have played using the Blood Sorcery book before. Due to the ad-hoc, improvised nature of the system, we've found it takes a lot of staff resources to support. We've also found the system to be extremely powerful, to the point where it unbalances the game. As such, we've decided to use a modified version of the blood sorcery found in the V:tR 2E book.
- Why is potency fixed, and why is it capped at discipline dots?
The book version of blood sorcery bases the effect of the spell (ie, the potency) on the final roll that generates the required number of successes. If your target is 5, and you roll a 1, then a 4, your spell has a potency of 4. If those rolls came in reverse, it would have a potency of 1. While that level of unpredictability and chaos might be in-theme for Cruac, we felt it really made blood sorcery too unpredictable to the point where it was impractical. Likewise, from a role play stand point, working long and hard on a ritual only to have your tornado spell stir up a light breeze felt wrong. Ritualists devote their lives to this, the should be better at it, and should be able to guarantee results (to a certain level).
We chose to cap potency at your discipline dots to prevent prevent abuse, and prevent the system from becoming too powerful. In theory, a vampire could work a very powerful ritual that leaves them with only 1 or 2 dice per roll. While that roll would most likely fail, in a MU setting with huge amounts of downtime, there's no real way to prevent a ritualist from attempting it again and again, until they "got lucky" with their rolls. Please note that certain spells list their effect as two-times potency.
- Why these rituals?
I found the rituals on the OnyxPath/WoD forums. They were already updated for 2E, and they had a nice flavor to them. I used these, as well as the 2E rituals from the book. I didn't dig into the old 1E rituals simply because reading, balancing, and converting them all would require more work. As stated above, I/we are willing to add more rituals, and that'll come soon.
- Why do Tzimisce and Architects of the Monolith get their own blood sorcery?
First and most importantly, I found write ups for these bloodlines on the forums that were already converted to 2E, and I found them to be very cool. Second, it felt like trying to squeeze in all the things a Tzimisce and an Architect should be able to do into 5 discipline dots simply wouldn't work. Moving their powers into sorcery was a way to give them all the things I believed they should be able to do, while also limiting them. Blood sorcery is not cheap, xp wise.
- How 2 telenuke pls?
You'll likely note there's no Spear of Faith. There's no Destruction rituals. The closest is a Cruac ritual that can deal up to 10L to a target, and a Theban ritual which has the potential to dish out some heavy damage to sinners. Simply put, we have no desire to give players the ability to "telenuke". We do not feel it suits the game we're trying to create and run.
- So what about those new rituals?
Right now, we're not taking jobs for custom rituals. Once we get situated, we'll work on some guidelines.
- If anyone has any other questions, please submit a request.
That's not a question.