V20: methuselahs rising
Sargon's Custom Discipline of Chimerstry
The Ravnos are known as masters of illusion, although the reason why is lost to history. Rumors abound of Ravnos ghûls, rakshasas, and shapeshifters, but whatever its origins, Chimerstry remains a potent and powerful weapon for the Deceivers. The Discipline is, fundamentally, an art of conjuration that converts the vampire’s will into phantoms that confound the senses and technology alike.
Even vampires fall under the sway of the Ravnos’ illusory world, unless they have a strong enough grasp of Auspex*. The Ravnos often use this power to swindle and seduce their victims into acts that work out badly for the victim (but great for the Ravnos).
Auspex v Chimerstry
*When a character with Auspex uses his acute senses to see through another’s Chimerstry, make a contested roll of Wits + Investigation + Auspex versus Resolve + Subterfuge + Chimerstry. If successful the character with Auspex may see through the illusion but the illusion remains for others.
• Ignis Fatuus
The vampire may conjure a minor, static mirage that confounds one sense. For instance, he may evoke a sulfurous stench, the image of a curtain, or the feel of raw silk. Note that although tactile illusions can be felt, they have no real substance; an invisible but tactile wall cannot confine anyone, and invisible razor-wire causes no real damage.
System: The player must spend a point of Willpower to create this illusion. It lasts until the Ravnos leaves its vicinity (such as stepping out of the room). The Cainite may also end the illusion at any time; this requires no effort, only the merest whim.
•• Fata Morgana
The Cainite can now create illusions that appeal to all the senses, although they remain static. For example, the vampire could throw a mirage over a dank basement, making it appear to be a sumptuous boudoir, although he could not create flickering candles or a flowing fountain. Again, the dweomer has no solid presence, although it’s easy enough to make a filthy mattress on two sawhorses feel like a four-poster bed.
System: The player spends a Willpower point to create the dweomer. These static images remain until dispelled, in much the same way that an Ignis Fatuus illusion does.
Not really a power unto itself, Apparition allows a vampire to give motion to an illusion created with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana. Thus, the Ravnos could create the illusion of a living being, running water, fluttering drapes or a roaring fire.
System: The creator spends one Vitae to make the illusion move in one specific way. She may change the image’s movement only if she has done nothing but concentrate on the mirage since creating it.
This power, also used in conjunction with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana, allows a mirage to persist even when the vampire cannot see it. In this way, Ravnos often cloak their temporary havens in false trappings of luxury, or ward off trespassers with illusory guard dogs.
System: The vampire need only spend a Vitae, and the illusion becomes permanent until dissolved.
••••• Horrid Reality
Rather than create simple illusions, the vampire can now project hallucinations directly into a victim’s mind. The target of these illusions believes completely that the images are real; a hallucinatory fire can burn him, an imaginary noose can strangle him, and an illusory wall can block him. This power affects only one person at a time.
System: Spend one point of Willpower. Attacking with an illusion requires a roll of Manipulation + Subterfuge + Chimerstry – the target’s Composure.
This “attack” inflicts bashing damage, but might feel and look like something far more serious to the target. If the target’s Health track is filled by this imaginary damage, he immediate falls unconscious or into torpor. Unconscious targets wake during the next scene, while vampires driven into torpor can awaken the next night.
••••• • Fatuus Mastery
A Ravnos with Fatuus Mastery has no restriction on how often he may use the first three levels (Ignis Fatuus, Fata Morgana, and Apparition) and can maintain or control illusions with minimal concentration or fatigue. Kindred who rely on the high cost of Chimerstry to limit a vampire’s ability to use illusions are in for a very rude surprise when they encounter a Cainite with this power.
System: Fatuus Mastery negates the Willpower and blood cost for using the first 5 levels of Chimerstry. In addition, the Kindred may direct movement for a number of illusions equal to his Resolve without intense concentration.
Furthermore, the character can maintain the illusion as long as it remains within his Willpower rating in miles (or about one and a half times that in kilometers), although he may not make it react to events around it if he has no way to perceive those events.
Additionally the Cainite has mastered illusions to such an extent that an observer must have Auspex equal to or greater than the Cainite’s level in Chimerstry to even attempt to see through the illusion.
••••• •• Apparition Mastery
Cainite’s at this level have refined their illusions to the extent that they can affect more onlookers while also providing a false resonance to certain illusions. Additionally, the kindred may increase the scope of their use of Chimerstry to 100 sq ft per dot of Chimerstry.
Finally, the Cainite at this level may use Horrid Reality without resistance unless the target has Auspex (or equivalent) at the same level of the user of Chimerstry or higher in which case they may resist as normal.
Illusions of living or unliving beings are all well and good until someone decides to read the illusion’s mind or its aura. The automatic failure to perceive any sense of the target’s thoughts or emotions will usually be passed off as bad luck, lack of concentration, or whatever reason any Kindred might construct to explain why he didn’t succeed in gleaning information through supernatural means. A vampire can use False Resonance to overlay auras and thoughts on illusions, as well as leave a trace that other emotionally resonant powers can detect later.
System: This power requires no cost to activate. If powers (like Horrid Reality) are used on more than one target, use the highest resistance roll (i.e. highest Composure).
Overlaid thoughts won’t be exceptionally complex and will relate to whatever is going on around the illusion in a mundane and simplistic way. Auras will consist of colors related to specific emotions (anger, sadness, hatred, love, and happiness) and will not show much complexity beyond that. Spirit’s Touch can pick up the same emotional resonance until the next sunrise.
••••• ••• Synesthesia
A Cainite who masters this power can shuffle others’ senses around to suit his preferences. He can select one target and inflict a serious, disorienting, and all-encompassing case of synesthesia upon her, making it impossible for her to interact meaningfully with the real world for the power’s duration. The vampire has complete control over how the target’s senses work and can manipulate them to suit. For example, he may decide that she smells all sounds as varieties of nauseating stenches, or more subtly, he may exchange pain for pleasure. Used against a crowd, sensations are randomly shuffled, so one man will see what the woman next to him sees, but may hear what the man 15 feet behind him hears and feels what the child a block away feels. The end result is extremely disorienting for all victims.
Additionally, the user of Chimerstry at this level may effect 1000 sq ft of illusion per dot in Chimerstry.
System: Spend one Willpower point and roll Manipulation + Intimidation + Chimerstry – subject’s Composure + Blood Potency.
Subject must be within line of sight.
Success: Subject is affected for one night.
Exceptional Success: Permanent or until dispelled by the Ravnos or other creature capable of dispelling mystical effects.
••••• •••• Mayaparisatya
This expression of Chimerstry allows the Cainite to directly alter or create real objects or creatures, although such changes are of finite duration. A vampire with this power can transform the air around a rival Kindred into fire or render a locked door insubstantial.
A more harrowing use of this power enables the vampire to force an object out of existence by transforming it into nothing more than a wisp of its former reality.
Additionally, the user of Chimerstry may now effect 10,000 sq feet per dot of Chimerstry
System: To use this power, the player must spend 3 blood points and roll Manipulation + Subterfuge + Chimerstry – subject’s Composure + Blood Potency. Inanimate objects do not get to resist unless they are magical in nature. This power can affect anything within any distance of the vampire, as long as the character is aware of the target’s location in some way. If used with Far Fatuus, the effects are centered on the chosen location. This power can affect a number of conscious targets equal to the Kindred’s Blood potency. When dealing with inanimate objects, the number of successes determines how drastic the alteration may be. No matter how many successes the player rolls, the duration is always a scene. This power can affect any objects of a type within the vampire’s targeted area.
••••• ••••• Phantom
Phantom furthers the concept of Mayaparisaya. Anything the kindred can imagine can become real. A garden can turn into a swamp. Someone’s clothing could suddenly be made of lead or even lava.
Much like Green Lantern’s ring, the power is limited only by the kindred’s imagine.
System: This power operates the same way as Mayaparisatya except that the duration is 1 scene per success or permanent with 5 successes. To use this power, the player must spend 3 blood points and roll Manipulation + Subterfuge + Chimerstry – subject’s Composure + Blood Potency. Inanimate objects do not get to resist unless they are magical in nature. This power can affect anything within any distance of the vampire, as long as the character is aware of the target’s location in some way. If used with Far Fatuus, the effects are centered on the chosen location. This power can affect a number of conscious targets equal to the Kindred’s Blood potency. Phantom can 1 target per point of Blood Potency or 1,000 square feet of space per point of Blood Potency.
Additionally, the Cainite may now effect 100,000 sq ft per dot of Chimerstry.