The Embrace gifts some vampires with startling speed and reflexes. They can use Celerity to move with amazing swiftness in times of stress. Mortals, and even Kindred lacking this Discipline, move as if in slow motion compared to the astonishing blur the vampire becomes.
Celerity is common among the Assamite, Brujah and Toreador clans. The Assamites use this ability to strike down their foes before the victims are even aware of the attack. Brujah delight in the advantage this Discipline gives them against superior numbers of opponents. Toreador are more likely to use Celerity to lend preternatural grace to live performances such as dance or extraordinary speed when creating sculptures or paintings - however, they can be as terrifying as any Assamite or Brujah when angered.
System: The character spends a single blood point. The next turn, she gains a number of additional full actions equal to her Celerity rating. These additional actions must be physical (e.g., the vampire cannot use a mental Discipline like Dominate multiple times in one turn). So a vampire with Celerity 4 who spends a blood point may perform a total of five physical actions in her next turn. The actions occur at the end of the turn (the vampire's regular action still takes place per her initiative roll).
Normally, a character without Celerity must apply a dice pool penalty if she wants to take multiple actions in a single turn. A character using Celerity performs his extra actions (including full movement) without penalty, gaining a full dice pool for each separate action. Extra actions gained through Celerity may not in turn be split into multiple actions.
Cloak of Shadows
At this level, the vampire must rely on nearby shadows and cover to assist in hiding his presence. He steps into an out-of-theway, shadowed place and eases himself from normal sight. The vampire remains unnoticed as long as he stays silent, still, under some degree of cover (curtain, bush, door frame, lamppost, alley) and out of direct lighting. The immortal's concealment vanishes if he moves, attacks or falls under direct light. Furthermore, the vampire's deception cannot stand concentrated observation without fading.
System: No roll is required as long as the character fulfills the criteria described above. So long as he remains quiet and motionless, virtually no one but another Kindred with a high Auspex rating will see him.
With experience, the vampire can move around without being seen. Shadows seem to shift to cover him, and others automatically avert their gaze as he passes by. People move unconsciously to avoid contact with the cloaked creature; those with weak wills may even scurry away from the area in unacknowledged fear. The vampire remains ignored indefinitely unless someone deliberately seeks him out or he inadvertently reveals himself.
Since the vampire fully retains his physical substance, he must be careful to avoid contact with anything that may disclose his presence (knocking over a vase, bumping into someone). Even a whispered word or the scuffing of a shoe against the floor can be enough to disrupt the power.
System: No roll is necessary to use this power unless the character speaks, attacks or otherwise draws attention to himself. The Storyteller should call for a Wits + Stealth roll under any circumstances that might cause the character to reveal himself. The difficulty of the roll depends on the situation; stepping on a squeaky floorboard might be a 5, while walking through a pool of water may require a 9. Other acts may require a certain number of successes; speaking quietly without giving away one's position, for instance, demands at least three successes.
Some things are beyond the power of Unseen Presence to conceal. Although the character is cloaked from view while he smashes through a window, yells out or throws someone across the room, the vampire becomes visible to all in the aftermath. Bystanders snap out of the subtle fugue in which Obfuscate put them. Worse still, each viewer can make a Wits + Alertness roll (difficulty 7); if successful, the mental haze clears completely, so those individuals recall every move the character made up until then as if he were visible the entire time.
Quietus, the Discipline of silent death, is practiced by the assassins of Clan Assamite. Using the principles of poison, vitae control and pestilence, this blood-based Discipline focuses on the destruction of its target through varying means. Quietus does not always cause a quick death; the Assassins rely upon its secret lethality to hide their involvement with their victims.
Silence of Death
Many Assamites claim never to have heard their targets' death screams. Silence of Death imbues the Assamite with a mystical silence that radiates from her body, muting all noise within a certain vicinity. No sound occurs inside this zone, though sounds originating outside the area of effect may be heard by anyone in it. Rumors abound of certain skilled Assamite viziers who have the ability to silence a location rather than a circumference that follows them, but no proof of this has been forthcoming.
System: This power costs one blood point to activate, which maintains a 20-foot radius of utter stillness around the Assamite for one hour.
By changing the properties of her blood, an Assamite may create powerful venom that strips her prey of his resilience. This power is greatly feared by other Kindred, and all manner of hideous tales concerning methods of delivery circulate among trembling coteries. Assamites are known to deliver the poison by coating their weapons with it, blighting their opponents with a touch, or spitting it like a cobra. An apocryphal account speaks of a proud prince who discovered an Assamite plotting her exsanguination and began to diablerize her would-be assassin. Halfway through the act, she learned that she had ingested a dire quantity of tainted blood and was then unable to resist the weakened hashashiyyin s renewed attack.
System: To convert a bit of her blood to poison, the Assamite's player spends at least one blood point and rolls Willpower (difficulty 6). If this roll is successful, and the Assamite successfully hits (but not necessarily damages) her opponent, the target loses a number of Stamina points equal to the number of blood points converted into poison. The victim may resist the poison with a Stamina + Fortitude roll (difficulty 6); successes achieved on the resistance roll subtract from the Assamite's successes to affect the target. The maximum number of blood points an Assamite may convert at any one time equals her Stamina. The number of successes scored indicates the duration of the Stamina loss.
|1 success||One turn|
|2 successes||One hour|
|3 successes||One day|
|4 successes||One month|
|5 successes||Permanently (though Stamina may be bought back up with experience)|
If a mortal's Stamina falls to zero through use of Scorpion's Touch, she becomes terminally ill and loses immunity to diseases, her body succumbing to sickness within the year unless she somehow manages to increase her Stamina again. If a Kindred's Stamina falls to zero, the vampire enters torpor and remains that way until one of her Stamina points returns. If a Kindred is permanently reduced to zero Stamina, she may recover from torpor only through mystical means.
To afflict her target with the poison, the Assamite must touch her target's flesh or hit that target with something that carries the venom. Many Assamites lubricate their weapons with the excretion, while others pool the toxin in their hands (or fleck their lips with the poison, for a "kiss of death") and press it to their opponents. Weapons so envenomed must be of the melee variety - arrows, sling stones, bullets and the like cannot carry enough of the stuff to do damage, and it drips off in flight. Players whose Assamites wish to spit at their targets must make a Stamina + Athletics roll (difficulty 6). No more than two blood points' worth of poison may be expectorated, and a Kindred may spit a distance of 10 feet for each point of Strength and/or Potence the character possesses. Assamites are immune to their own poison, but not the blood-venom of other Assamites.
This terrible and recently rediscovered power allows an Assamite to drown her target in his own blood. By concentrating, the Assamite bursts her target's blood vessels and fills his lungs with vitae that proceeds to strangle him from within. The blood actually constricts the target's body from the inside as it floods through his system; thus, it works even on unbreathing Kindred. Until the target collapses in agony or death throes, this power has no visible effect, and many Assamites prefer it because it leaves no trace of their presence.
System: The Assamite must touch her target prior to using Dagon's Call. Within an hour thereafter, the Assamite may issue the call, though she need not be in the presence or even in the line of sight other target.
Invoking the power costs one Willpower point. The Assamite's player makes a contested Stamina roll against the target's Stamina; the difficulty of each roll is equal to the opponent's permanent Willpower score. The number of successes the Assamite achieves is the amount of damage, in health levels, the victim suffers. For an additional point of Willpower spent in the next turn, the Assamite may continue using Dagon's Call by engaging in another contested Stamina roll. Damage from Dagon's Call is considered lethal. So long as the Assamite's player continues to spend Willpower, the character may continue rending her opponent from within.
The penultimate use of blood as a weapon (short of diablerie itself), Baal's Caress allows the Assamite to transmute her blood into a virulent ichor that destroys any living or undead flesh it touches. In nights of yore, when Assamites led the charges of Saracen legions, the Assassins were often seen licking their blades, slicing open their tongues and lubricating their weapons with this foul secretion.
Baal's Caress may be used to augment any bladed weapon; everything from poisoned knives and swords to tainted fingernails and claws has been reported.
System: Baal's Caress does not increase the damage done by a given weapon, but that weapon inflicts aggravated damage rather than normal. No roll is necessary to activate this power, but one blood point is consumed per hit. For example, if an Assamite poisons his knife and strikes his opponent (even if he inflicts no damage), one blood point's worth of lubrication disappears. For this reason, many Assamites choose to coat their weapons with a significant quantity of blood. If the Assamite misses, no tainted blood is consumed.
All vampires possess a preternatural constitution that makes most normal damage inconsequential. Fortitude bestows a resilience and vigor far beyond even normal vampiric toughness. Kindred with this power ignore the mightiest punches and barely feel hails of bullets. This Discipline also helps protect against sources of damage even vampires fear, such as sunlight, fire and terminal falls.
System: A character's rating in Fortitude adds to his Stamina for the purposes of soaking normal damage (bashing and lethal). A character with this Discipline may also use his dots in Fortitude to soak aggravated damage (Kindred cannot normally soak things like vampire bites, werewolf claws, magical effects, fire, sunlight or massive physical trauma). So a vampire with Fortitude 3 has three dice to soak aggravated damage.