Thaumaturgy

Once mortal wizards who traded their souls for immortality, the Tremere found upon their transformation into vampires that mortal magic no longer worked for them. Mortal magic depended too greatly on a human's life force, which a vampire can only mimic. The Discipline of Thaumaturgy came about through frantic trial-and-error experimentation in the wake of the Inner Circle's faux-Embrace. The new Cainites found that while most of their magics failed, those that were based on certain pagan rituals — particularly those requiring blood sacrifice — continued to function. It has taken more than a century for the Tremere to become well established in the Cainite community, and during that time, they have established several Thaumaturgic paths and dozens if not scores of functioning rituals.

Thaumaturgy is a large Discipline, even as new as it is. The Tremere are aggressive about discovering new forms of blood magic and converting forms of mortal hedge magic into their own paths and rites. The Tremere have developed secret paths of great power, including the only whispered-at "Rego Magica" path which is said to allow them to control magic itself. Thaumaturgy uses a rigorous system of invocations that allows the Tremere to perform a wide variety of magical feats both through quick incantations from one of several well-defined paths, and through longer, time-consuming rituals. Thaumaturgy as described here is a Tremere secret of the highest order. Teaching it to non-Tremere for any reason is sufficient cause for the teacher's recall to Ceoris for reeducation or worse.

System: Unlike the variability of Mortis, Thaumaturgy is much more consistent and rigorous. When a Tremere uses any power from a thaumaturgic path, the player spends a blood point and rolls Willpower against a difficulty equal to the power's level + 3. Only a few powers go against this basic system, as indicated in their descriptions.

Paths

Rego Vitae

This path was the first one the Tremere devised, and it remains the primary path of many a Usurper. It works to control and analyze vampiric vitae, and it was a key in uncovering ways in which to unlock the broader powers of Thaumaturgy itself. The havens, laboratories and workshops of Usurpers who study this path are often adorned with vial after vial of blood — vampiric, mortal and some from more esoteric sources still. Strange alchemical stills, barbed hooks and needles and arrays of especially enthusiastic-leeches are all part of such a magus's thaumaturgic repertoire.

• A Taste for Blood

With a taste, the Cainite with this power can analyze the power in a drop of blood. A vampire's blood reveals its owner's secrets: generation, freshness—telling how long it's been since the vampire last fed — and the amount of blood he has in him. Mortal blood reveals the presence or absence of Cainite vitae mixed in (which would unmask a ghoul), as well as the presence of any diseases that stem from an imbalance between blood and another bodily humor.

System: The vampire simply ingests a drop of the target's blood, which is sufficient to take her one step toward a blood oath if the target is a Cainite. The player then spends blood and rolls as normal. The number of successes determines the amount of information gained and its accuracy. A single success would reveal that a vampire was of comparatively high or low generation (compared to the thaumaturge) or that a mortal was healthy or ill. Five successes would reveal all the secrets listed thus far and even more (Storyteller's discretion).

•• Blood Rage

This ability lets a thaumaturge control another Cainite's expenditure of vitae, rousing the victim's Beast as he does so. The Tremere must touch the target for a moment to activate the power, and he must maintain contact if he wishes the target to continue using blood at his behest. The Usurper can force the target to burn blood to heal wounds or augment physical capacities, but not to activate a Discipline that requires blood.

System: The player rolls and spends blood as normal once the character touches the target. Each success forces the victim to spend one blood point to either raise a Physical Attribute or to heal a non-aggravated wound. The Tremere's player chooses just how each point is spent. Each success also raises the target's difficulties to resist Frenzy by one. If the target is not currently at risk for frenzy, he may become so through use of this power.

••• Blood of Potency

The Tremere who uses this extremely valuable power can concentrate his blood, thickening it to the potency of the vitae of low-generation Cainites. In so doing, he lowers his effective-generation for a short time. Younger Tremere, Embraced in the last few decades, theorize that some early, secret version of Blood of Potency allowed their elders to achieve generations so close to Caine during their early nights, but Tremere and his close acolytes refuse to share any details.

System: For every success on the standard roll, the player can decrease her character's effective generation by one, or add an hour to the power's duration. It she allocates no successes to duration, the effects lasts for a single turn. Childer Embraced during the duration of Blood of Potency are, as per normal, one generation higher than their sire's normal generation. This power does not give Tremere the ability to create super-childer. Similarly, the vampire cannot learn high-level Discipline powers while he is under the influence of this power. Nor do those who diablerize her while she is in this state gain any special benefit from that foul act. The power affects only uses of the Discipline of Dominate, blood expenditure and maximum blood pool size.

•••• Theft of Vitae

Theft of Vitae allows a vampiric sorcerer to steal the life essence from a target as far away as 50 feet, as blood leaps through the air from the target to the blood-wizard. Truly a horrifying sight, this image may incite frenzy in hungry Cainites or raw terror in unprepared mortals. The blood can come from eirher a Cainite or mortal victim. It makes no difference to the power's user.

System: The player rolls and spends blood normally. For every success, the vampire steals one blood point from the target and his blood pool increases as though he had consumed the blood himself. A Cainite victim does not take damage from this theft, but a mortal takes one health level of lethal damage for every blood point stolen. Neither a mortal nor Cainite victim experiences the blissful effects of the Kiss from Theft of Vitae. It is a painful process indeed. Stealing a vampire's blood does put the Tremere a step toward the blood oath with respect to that vampire, however.

••••• Cauldron of Blood

Once, the secrets of turning a victim's blood against her were the Assamites' alone. Now, masters of Rego Vitae can make a victim's blood literally boil within his veins. This is certainly lethal to any mortal, and it does terrible damage to any vampire or ghoul subjected to it. The thaumaturge must touch his target to begin the boil, though of course his hand is cool to the touch.

System: The vampire touches the target (possibly requiring the player to make a Dexterity + Brawl roll) and the player rolls Willpower and spends blood normally. Every success destroys the equivalent of one blood point in the target and deals her one level of aggravated damage as well. It the target is a mortal, one success is sufficient to kill her.

Creo Ignem

This power allows a Cainite to call into existence small, short-lived pockets of unholy flame, which rest in the palm of its wielder's hand. Although it is bright, this blood-fire is cool to the touch and does not subject its wielder to Rotschreck. Those two things change as soon as the wielder releases the flame. The sorcerer who wields Creo Ignem can direct his creation's initial destination. He cannot, however, manipulate the fire he sets once it has left his hand.

The released fire quickly grows and immediately becomes true flame. It is hot, and it can ignite nearby combustibles (and vampires). As soon as the released flame strikes something, even its creator may risk Rotschreck. The rush of heat and crackle of burning material strikes fear into every Cainite heart.

System: The player spends blood and rolls as with any other Thaumarurgy path power. For each success, the vampire can hold the flame for one minute before casting it away. Targeting the flame upon its release in combat requires the player to roll Perception + Alertness. It doesn't generally require a roll outside of combat unless the vampire is trying something very difficult.

The following chart describes the amount of flame created based on the level at which the thaumaturge commands this path. The various difficulties and damage ratings are for a direct application to a vampiric target. These ratings can change as the thaumaturge uses the flame to ignite other objects. Damage from thaumaturgic fire is aggravated.

Path Level Flame Size Diff. to Soak Dam./Turn
1 Candle 3 1
2 Handful 4 1
3 Campfire 5 2
4 Bonfire 7 2
5 Conflagration 9 3

Rego Tempestas

A master of this path controls the weather. He can bring about lightning-filled thunderstorms on a cloudless night or clear away clouds to allow the hated sun to shine down over anything — or anyone — left exposed. This power is very uselul for a Cainite who has no choice but to move around during the day. Remember, of course, that even a sun cloaked by heavy clouds and rain can burn a vampire.

System: The player rolls and spends blood as normal and the number of successes determines the speed with which the vampire can alter the weather, as described here:

Successes Speed
1 success 12 hours or more
2 successes 1 hour
3 successes 15 minutes
4 successes 3 turns
5+ successes 1 turn

The Storyteller is free to alter difficulties based on the current weather conditions and the local environment. Bringing overcast weather to the shores of Britain is much easier than doing so to the African desert. The following chart gives the number of dots you must have in the power to make the listed change. You can change average, clear weather into the weather pattern listed, or you can change the weather pattern listed into average, clear weather. And of course, you can always choose to take a less extreme tack. You may wish to reduce a thunderstorm to an overcast day, rather than clearing it up entirely. Kind Storytellers may grant extra dice to perform tasks that are simple relative to your level of mastery in this path. The change of weather remains in effect until local conditions dissipate it (usually after one scene per success).

Level Weather type
1 Fog
2 Rain
3 Wind
4 Storm
5 Lightning (Perception + Occult to hit a specific target, 10 dice lethal damage)

Rego Motus

This path allows the Tremere who wields it to control the motion of objects and people. He can summon a sword from across the room, or fly across a county in an evening. Of course, such things cannot move too quickly — this power is no catapult or longbow. Objects do not move faster than the Cainite controlling them could. This does mean that weapons or shields can be used through Rego Motus, assuming that the thaumaturge has enough progress along the path to enable him to carry such things.

System: The player spends blood and rolls as normal, and the Tremere can control the object (or group of objects) for one turn for every success. If, however, the player rolls five successes, the vampire can control it for the remainder of the scene. Conscious creatures can resist this control through force of will it they wish to do so. Both players roll Willpower, with a target of the opposing character's Willpower trait. Whoever achieves the most successes gets the result they desire from the contest.

The degree of mastery of this path determines how much weight the thaumaturge can carry. If the player wants to make her character fly, she needs to have three dots in the path (even if the character weighs more than 200 pounds). To strike an opponent with a weapon that was animated that turn, the player simply uses the successes on the initial Willpower roll as if they were successes on a Melee roll. Damage is determined by the weapon, using the character's Rego Motus rating instead of Strength. To strike with the weapon in subsequent turns, the player rolls Rego Motus + Melee to hit.

Level Ability
1 One pound (page through a book, sweep aside a light curtain)
2 20 pounds (wield a dagger or light club, move a book, open a door)
3 200 pounds (fly, open a locked door)
4 500 pounds (lift a loaded wagon, knock over a tree)
5 1000 pounds (lift a horse, knock down part of a stone wall)

Rego Elementum

In the days before their transformation into vampires, the magi of House Tremere had access to generations of elemental research. Their fellow Hermetics and others had undertaken great strides into communion with (and exploitation of) the inanimate world as expressed in the four classic elements of earth, air, fire and water. Elemental spirits (animate manifestations of these primeval forces) were their playthings. Much of this power has been lost with the curse, but the Rego Elementum path still remains. For those Tremere who remember, it is a far cry from what was once theirs. For other Cainites, it is a sign of unprecedented mastery over the unliving world. Unlike some mortal forms of elemental magics, Rego Elementum cannot affect living things, be they plants or animals.

• Earth-Born Strength

•• Blooden Tongues

••• Animate the Unmoving

•••• Elemental Form

••••• Summon Elemental

Transitus Velociter

• One being a mount or walking human)

•• Up to six mounts or one laden wagon

••• Up to 12 mounts or four supply wagons

•••• Up to 24 mounts or eight supply wagons or one siege engine

••••• Up to 48 mounts or 16 supply wagons or four siege engines

Rituals

Level Ritual
1 Communicate With Sire:
1 Defense of the Sacred Haven:
1 Deflection of Wooden Doom:
1 Devil's Touch:
1 Wake With Evening's Freshness:
2 Revelation of the Blood Lineage:
2 Donning the Mask of Shadows:
2 Principle Focus of Vitae Infusion:
2 Ward Versus Ghouls:
3 Flesh of Fiery Touch:
3 Incorporeal Passage:
3 Shaft of Belated Quiescence:
4 Heart of Stone:
4 Ward Versus Cainites:
5 Enact the Blood Contract:
5 Escape to a True Friend:
5 Ward Versus Spirits: