The Dark Trick

by Palika Goldstein (17 Mar 95)

Here is the Ashlar Bloodline Disipline called the Dark Trick

The Discipline of the Night

This discipline involves the manipulation of the Vampires' Blood and eventually the Blood of others, be it mortal, Lupine or Cainite. By using this discipline the Vampire is able to control aspects of his or her Blood to behave in specific ways. Members of this discipline are ones who seek power and control over others through superior force. The members of the secret society of Inconnu are rumored to have knowledge of this discipline, but none know if they use it or not. The Sabbat recently has been rumored to have found it through the diligent study of one of it's splinter members, a scientist/occultist who makes Chicago his haven. What the status of this and just how many know this discipline are unknown. The Dark Trick is a powerful discipline and should be used with care, it's teachings appeal to the Beast more than anything else in all of us. Vampires who use this discipline frequently are seen as power hungry, insane individuals who exhibit behavioral traits similar to the Malkavians in their quest for power.

[01] Whispers: A Vampire may speak in tones so low that normal hearing can not distinguish actual speech. This speech can be directed at another person, or Vampire, as to make just that one person or close group hear what is being said to them. The effect can even be centered inside someone, so that the target listener feels as if his or her own conscious mind is speaking to them. To notice the speaker requires a Perception + Alertness (difficulty 6 if you are the target, 9 if otherwise), and it is next to impossible for another to hear what is being said (mortals can not hear this unless they are the target, but Vampires may roll Perception + Alertness at 8 to hear if they are in the vacinity of the target). Shouting is not possible with the Whispers, and only short sentences may be used. This power can not be used in conjunction with establishing any Dominate discipline over the target, although the subject may believe that someone is talking to him or her (like a conscious or God). There is no roll required for the Vampire to use Whispers.

[02] Articulation: With this power the movements and actions of the Vampire are smoothed and refined into an artist's quality. If the Vampire is a dancer, then the leaps are graceful and seem to last just a little longer then they should, the dancer staying up in the air just a bit too long. Reduce the difficulty of all performance target numbers by 2 when any sort of grace or agility is concerned to affect the outcome. If a musician or artist is using this power, reduce all target numbers to perform or make a painting/sculpture by one (these actions are not full body as a dancers). Finally, a solo performance in a theater like atmosphere may induce Awe (Presence Level One) if the Storyteller thinks it is appropriate. This power requires the use of one blood point.

[03] Levitation: This power simulates the legendary ability of Vampires to rise into the air or disappear off of tall buildings. The power, once used, is limited to that day and that specific scene; the Vampire may jump off a bridge and Levitate to the surface of the water, but after swimming across the lake; may not then levitate again to the top of the cliffs. Constant Levitation is not possible; if the Vampire looses concentration (roll Willpower against Target Number given to you by the Storyteller if it is appropriate) or stops Levitating for any reason the Vampire falls. Levitation in this manner can be used to gain some horizontal distance while jumping from one building to another, double the amount of dice available for running jumps as long as the height of the object you are jumping to is less then the one you are jumping from. You may not levitate sideways, only up and down. This power costs one blood point to use. You may carry more then your own body weight at the expenditure of one extra blood point for each mass beyond your own; for instance if you wanted to Levitate while holding a beautiful woman in your arms you would first have to be able to physically pick her up (roll strength) and then expend two blood to levitate up to the overhead balcony. Because of the concentration required to use this power, no action is allowed either while moving or immediately after (jumping off a building and then shooting a foe when you arrive at the pavement isn't allowed, it takes too long for one action). If it is dark (which it constantly is in Vampire) or if the environment is hazardous to movement (like a rain of bullets or a storm) then the Storyteller may ask you to make a Wits + Athletics roll (difficulty from 2-9) to reflect the conditions of your landing correctly. Three successes is usually needed to land, if you don't make it then you crash prone and loose your action for the next round.

[04] Sealing of the Blood: This power prevents Kindred and the like from using blood in any way for the duration of the combat. The Vampire using this rolls Manipulation + Occult against the targets Willpower (Iron Mind does not affect this because it is not a Domination ability) and expends one blood point. If the Vampire gets at least three successes, then the target is prevented from using blood (but not drinking it). Additional successes increase the time effectiveness of the Sealing, each one is an extra minute that the target can not use blood. If the Vampire botches this roll then the target can Never be sealed until the Vampire lowers his or her generation.

[05] Flight: This grants the Vampire the ability to maintain controlled flight. All the Vampire does is to expend three blood points. The Vampire then lifts off the ground to a height he or she wants and fly's towards a destination. The Flight ability allows for minor correction to avoid large passenger air planes, birds and the like, but not bullets or spears. The Vampire may continue to fly as long as he or she likes, but may not fly for more then 24 hours.

Speed is comparable to that of a sports car (safe 100, unsafe 190), and at speeds greater than that the Storyteller may require a remain conscious roll (Stamina) against a difficulty of 6-10 to reflect the inherent dangers of reckless speed. An unconscious Vampire striking the earth, building or such suffers twice the amount of wounds as if they had fallen from a height equal to the speed they were traveling. For example, Bob the Vampire takes off after a leer jet and blacks out while traveling at 200 MPH. Bob falls to the ground (or grinds along the runway if that it appropriate) and has to soak as if he fell 400 feet off a building (40 floors, Cainites) which is the max 10 health levels. As flying is an unsteady base, increase all applicable difficulties by 2 while in the air. Controlled crashing, like through a window or door, grants the Vampire 5 extra dice to roll along with Strength (don't forget to add Potence), and damage to the Vampire is up to the Storyteller's disgresion (see the chart on page 193 of the Handbook to get an idea of what force we are talking about).

[06] Drawing of the Blood: Any physical attack upon the target by the Elder Vampire causes the target to loose blood as it sprays from his or her body. The amount is double the damage left unsoaked by the target, to a maximum of 10 blood. If the hit does no damage or the target successfully resists all physically damage, then the target looses the minimum of 3 blood.

[06] Healing of the Blood: The Elder Vampire may spend 5 points of blood and heal an aggravated would at any time, in addition to taking an action. This can be done as may times as the Elder rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 6). One failed, the Elder must rest one day to use this power again.

[06] Killing Glare: This allows the Elder Vampire to project his or her thoughts into another being to cause damage. The Elder rolls Manipulation + Occult and must see the target. Difficulty is the target's Stamina if the Elder's Willpower is higher, target's Willpower if it is not. Each success indicates one normal wound done to the target, resisted normally with Stamina + Fortitude.

[07] Stealing of the Blood: When any Kindred who is successfully targeted by this power burns blood it instead goes to you. Target difficulty is Willpower (roll Manipulation + Occult). Must be line of sight. It is possible for the Elder to drain corpses and other bodies this way without being near them, although the nature of this power being used is incredibly obvious. One blood is used per target, and there is no limit as to the number of targets as long as they are with in line of sight.

[08] Akasha's Combustion: For every blood point you spend, do 1 aggravated wound of fire damage to a target (house, Vampire, object, ammo clip, etc.). There is no roll needed to use this power unless the target can not be seen clearly (or at all), then a Perception + Alertness is required based on the Storyteller's disgresion. This damage is resisted by Fortitude (9).

[08] Enkil's Will: The Elder Vampire may immobilize a target by rolling Intelligence + Occult against Stamina. Three success are required, and any additional success immobilizes the target for 10 minuets per success. The target is physically unable to move, and this will kill any mortal in 1 minuet (heart stopped), but will not adversely affect Vampires in the like manner. The target may expend Willpower to counter the successes of this power, and once done the power can not be used again on that Vampire. This requires one blood to use.

[08] Khayman's Purpose: This power allows the Elder Vampire to stop the physical mechanical movements of objects around him. Objects must not weigh more then the character can left. Thus, guns will not work, cars do not start, bullets cease to move. This provides absolute protection from moving things in a 20 foot radius around the caster. The Elder has absolute control over the things moving, and can send bullets back to targets, or strike different ones. This requires expenditure of 5 blood. Any amount of damage can be inflected by force of will, up to 10 dice normal. More then one "thing" can be controlled at one time, for instance, the Vampire using Khayman's Purpose may stop the beating of the hearts of all mortals in a 20 foot radius around him or her. This causes death in 5 minuets to the subject. Other examples apply.

[09] Master of the Blood: This power allows the user to completely ignore normal needs for blood. The Elders blood becomes so potent that 5 days may pass with out the need to use blood to feed on. The Vampire need not sleep nor hunt, and makes all rolls versus any terror at double the amount of dice. The Master of the Blood can compress actual liquid blood into forms that can be stored and handled. For example, the Elder may change the 5 gallons of blood in a vase into the vase its self. The vase would then be able to hold the blood indefinitely. Breaking the object that the blood is in does not destroy it, although the pieces will contain less blood then the original as a whole. The Elder may choose to meld into this blood soaked object at will, by merely coming into contact with the object that has been properly prepared with holding blood. At least one blood point must be in the object. The Elder looses all blood currently in his or her body while in the object, and has as many blood as the object has in storage. The Vampire may use this blood normally. It takes 10 blood to reform his or her body to exit this state, and the Vampire will have 10 blood. While in the object, the Vampire can not be harmed by any means short of total destruction of the object.

[10] The Red Mist of Cabal: Not much is known about this power, for it is only rumored to exist. Older sages of the Vampiric Lore have pointed to obscure references in Biblical text of the existence of a entity that may travel through space and time, that takes on the forms of the Apocalypse Horsemen. No one knows if this is true, but also no one knows of a Vampire old enough to have possessed this level of the Dark Trick.