|The Nature of Darkness
"The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven." - John Milton, Paradise Lost
Pure, unremitting evil is rare, and so are the Baali. They are not by
means stupid. They tempt others to let their dark side free. To just give
in, after all it's so much easier... Baali players should be rare, they
exist to try to corrupt kindred and kine alike to the dark powers without
ever revealing their true identities.
By playing a Baali we vent these dark desires, and thank every good power
we know that such beings do not really exist. By looking at our own dark
sides we can better ward against those of others, and become more aware of
the danger of "just giving in".
It is suggested that most player character Baali be followers of the Inner
Light, the small seed of hope in the heart of darkness.
The Baali have a greater connection to the powers of darkness than any
other kindred and this is reflected by several unique Disciplines, Merits,
Flaws, and Rituals.
Because of the structure of the Baali, different clan members have affinity
with different disciplines which help them in their masquerade. All clan
members have Obfuscate, Presence, and Daimoinon as their clan disciplines.
In addition, all members also have two semi-clan disciplines.
Semi-Disciplines are easier to learn than non-clan disciplines but harder
to learn than clan disciplines (6 x current level). All Baali have Dark
Thaumaturgy (see Storytellers Handbook to the Sabbat) as one of these
Semi-Disciplines, with the primary path determined by membership in one of
the loyalty orders. Each Baali also possesses a second semi-discipline
which is determined by membership in the Infiltrator Orders as follows;
Assamite - Quietus
Brujah - Celerity
Gangrel - Protean
Giovanni - Necromancy
Lasombra - Obtenebration
Malkavian - Dementation
Nagaraja - Nihilistics
Nosferatu - Animalism (Gargoyle - Viceratika)
Ravnos - Chimersty
Settite - Serpentis
Toreador - Auspex
Tremere - Thaumaturgy
Tzimisce - Vicissitude * (Old Tzimisce - Animalism)
Ventrue - Dominate
Shapechangers - Protean
(* the Tzimisce Order does not treat Vicissitude as a semi-clan discipline,
rather it is treated as a disease as described in the Storytellers Handbook
to the Sabbat)
Changing Infiltrator Orders (and hence Semi-Disciplines)
To change Semi-Disciplines a Baali must pay experience points to convert
the old Semi-Discipline into a non-clan discipline and then purchase the
first level in the new Semi-Discipline (if not already possessed). The
experience cost is the quantity of experience points saved by the
semi-discipline above and beyond what would have been saved as a non-clan
E.g A member of the Ravnos Infiltrator Order with Chimerstry 3 wishes to
join the Gangrel order. To convert Chimerstry to a non-clan discipline will
cost 3xp (1 for the second level and 2 for the third level). It will cost
the Baali a further 10xp to gain the first level of Protean as a
Semi-Discipline (on the assumption that the Baali does not already possess
Protean) for a total xp cost of 13. Had the Baali possessed Chimerstry 5
(and no Protean) the whole thing would have cost 20xp.
A large proportion of the Baali change Infiltrator orders at least once
during their unlives.
Merits and Flaws
Clear Sighted (3 point Merit)
Because of their connection with the powers of darkness, some Baali gain
the ability to see through Obfuscate. The individual can see through any
level of Obfuscate with a Perception+Alertness roll against a level of
Obfuscate + 3.
Dark Faith (7 point Merit)
The opposite of true faith, Dark faith is the Baali's faith in the infernal
powers. It may pre date the individuals embrace or be an effect of it. The
Baali now has a rating of one in Dark Faith, which adds to all willpower
and virtue rolls. The exact nature of Dark Faith varies, although its
relation to true faith is constant. If a Baali tries to use Dark Faith
against an individual with True Faith they must subtract the True Faith
rating from the Dark Faith rating, this is the effective rating for all
purposes. If the result is negative (True Faith greater than Dark Faith)
then the Baali is susceptible to the wielder of True Faith. It takes
experience equal to the current rating times three to gain Dark Faith up to
rating five and rating by five from then on. The maximum rating in Dark
Faith is ten.
Note: an individual with Dark Faith may enter a building/area with true
faith (such as a religious site) if their rating is higher than or equal to
the area True Faith rating.
Piggy-Backer (1 point Flaw)
You have a small demon or imp along for the ride. Only you can see it and
it is never of any help, in fact it is totally insane. This demon takes
over at certain times and is quite a hindrance to you. Choose the
occasion; it can be anything from "on the night of the full moon" to
"whenever someone mentions avacado". Create the demon: give it a name,
detail his madness, and give him some abilities. Play this out to the max
when the situation arises. If the storyteller deems that you are not
playing this well, he can declare that you have spent a willpower point to
suppress the little imp.
The Baali clan discipline holds great power and great limitation. Daimoinon
is a true Discipline, although few know of its sole 10th level power.
Demonic Ascension (Level 10)
On achieving this power the Baali follows in Baal's footsteps (or is it
hoof-prints?), ascending to become a True Demon (although one of only
moderate power). At least one Baali (apart from Baal) has achieved this
power, although there is great argument as to which demon this is. Common
consensus tends most often to rest at the feet of Nubaris, Grand Vizier of
Dark Thaumaturgic Rituals
Dark Thaumaturgy has many rituals, some of which are detailed here,
although more are being created every day and many more are sure to exist.
Rite of Contact: This is a method by which a Baali can announce their
presence to others of their clan in a city. When a half hour incantation is
recited, with the Baali enveloped in total darkness, telepathic message is
sent to the oldest Baali in the area and then to all others in order of
age. The ritual allows a one minute dialogue with each individual,
contacted at their discretion. This ritual has also been used as a distress
Power of the Invisible Flame: as the Thaumaturgical ritual, Players Guide
to the Sabbat except that it effects the Dark Thaumaturgical path Fires of
Summon Gremlins: This simple ritual sends one chosen machine of small size
haywire. This is especially damaging to computers which are usually
irrevocably damaged, all their data corrupted and their hardware beyond
Shaft of Belated Quiescence: as the Thaumaturgical ritual, Vampire Players
Balefire: This ritual allows the Baali to draw upon the Balefires of Hades
to bathe their body in a sickly blue green glow. The Baali is able to throw
bolts of this toxic stuff at their enemies. Any number of bolts may be
thrown, at the rate of one per turn, but each costs the Baali one blood
point. Hitting requires a Perception+Firearms roll (difficulty 6); they
take three points of aggravated damage and in addition mortal victims must
roll stamina+4 and match the Baali's number of successes or suffer a
damaging mutation (storytellers discretion).
The material component is a piece of radioactive waste or raw uranium.
Drawing upon the Bound: as the Thaumaturgical ritual, Players Guide to the
Unlock Dormant Wisdom: This ritual allows the castor to gain some part of
the knowledge of a dead being by consuming their brain. The age of the
corpse is irrelevant, so long as some part of the brain is intact. The
castor must role Intelligence+Occult versus a nine. The number of Successes
indicate the degree of transfer (one for minor/most recent, five for total
This ritual can be performed on any being with a physical form (vampires,
garou, mortals, etc.) except mummies (including bane mummies) but is
ineffective on such creatures as demons or other spirits.
Bone of Lies: as the Thaumaturgical ritual, Vampire Players Guide
Thirst Unquenchable: as the Thaumaturgical ritual, Players Guide to the
Shadow of the Wolf: as the Thaumaturgical ritual, Players Guide to the
Sabbat. This is used by the masters of the Shapechanger Order.
Form Theft: The Baali have found it useful to take the forms of others.
This ritual is a higher level version of Transfer Essence (see Storytellers
Handbook to the Sabbat). It allows the Baali to steal the body of a
recently slain human, vampire, or shapechanger using the same system as
Bargaining with your Soul.
The Soul is a valuable, although often undervalued resource. The Baali
value souls more than any other kindred, whilst often giving them away in
exchange for temporal power.
All human based individuals (including Kindred, Lupines, Magi, and
changelings) possess a 10 soul points at birth. They may be sold off,
(either whole or piecemeal) for worldly power.
The most commonly granted powers are Investments, Disciplines and Paths,
-Note- Each soul point bargained has a cost. The individuals Corruption
Rating (number of Soul points used) affects their Humanity (or path of
Enlightenment). Any individual with a Corruption Rating must make rolls for
infringements of the Hierarchy of Sins of the Path of Evil Revelations,
even if the follow another path.
For example a Baali on the Path of Ecstasy with a Corruption Rating of 4
must make a Path Loss roll for any infringement of the Hierarchy of Sins for
the Path of Evil Revelations rated at 4 or below. This is independent of
the actual Path of Enlightenment, which may or may not have been infringed.
This is the reason most Baali follow the Path of Evil Revelations.
The Baali's connection to demons gives them a source of power largely
unavailable to the other clans. This power does not come without cost
however, the Baali literally sell their souls for this power. As well as
the Demonic Investments presented in The Storytellers Guide to the Sabbat,
the Baali have been known to gain other powers more closely suited to there
lifestyle of infiltration. Each point of Investment costs 1 soul point (of
the individual gaining the powers souls unless they are a Devil's Advocate
- see below).
1 Point Investments
Aura Perception: The Infernalist can see auras of other beings, the colors
indicate their moods, identities and levels of hostility. This power
operates in all ways as the second level Auspex power of the same name with
one exception, the Auras of individuals with True Faith, or vampires in
Golconda will blind a Baali viewing them for 1-10 turns.
Eyes of Hades: For the expenditure of 1 bloodpoint the Infernalists eyes
glow with hellfire (red if not observed closely). The Infernalist may then
see objects via heat rather than by light (allows vision in total
darkness). Anyone looking directly into the eyes will see dancing flames,
and feel distinctly uneasy at the sight. The power may be 'turned off' at
any time with no cost.
False Purity: The infernalists aura is permanently set at one specific
color, masking true feelings and diabolic taints.
Gaseous Form: The Infernalist is able to diffuse her body into a gaseous
state; this takes only 3 seconds. However, the Infernalist must expend one
bloodpoint to become gaseous and expend another point to become solid
again. The gaseous form remains cohesive in a strong wind. The Infernalist
emits a horrible stench while in this form.
2 Point Investments
Begin Decent: With the expenditure of one blood point the Infernalist
descends into the earth, thereby moving closer to hell. The Infernalist can
rest during the day without fear of exposure to sunlight. The power can
only be used in soil or other loose material. It has no effect on stone or
concrete surfaces. The Infernalist can choose to end the power at any time,
rising from the earth.
5 Point Investments
Devil's Advocate: One of the most subtle and devious of investments,
Devil's Advocate allows the Infernalist to act as a type of middle-man in
the soul trade. By finding individuals willing to bargain away their souls
the Infernalist may receive a percentage of the take in the form of
investments. Most often Baali form cults, and double the cost of
investments received by their mortal followers. The remaining soul points
are used by the Baali themselves to gain more powers. The other party must
sign a contract in their own blood for this power to work. Some Baali are
known to collect soul points for such things as fleshcrafting, or wealth,
thereby insuring a larger profit margin for themselves.
8 Point Investments
Ignore the Blinding Light: This grand investment gives the Baali some
degree of resistance to sunlight. In an area of high smog, or on days with
significant cloud cover, the Infernalist has only to wear high SPF
sunscreen on any exposed skin. In all other situations the Infernalist
takes only one aggravated wound per turn in sunlight (rather than the usual
Disciplines and Paths
Demons find it easy to improve and individuals Disciplines and or Paths
through the mortgaging of the Soul.
Disciplines can be gained, and improved at an initial cost of 1 point.
Advancement is at a rate of New Level - hence Potence 3 for an individual
without Potence would cost 1+2+3 or 6 of an individuals 10 soul points.
Paths of Dark Thaumaturgy and Thaumaturgy are far less expensive, costing 1
point per dot, regardless of level.
For some reason, Demons cannot, or will not, grant power with the
Disciplines of Bardo, Obeah, and Temporis.
Demons offer mortals many things that are seen as Backgrounds - the most
common being Resources, Status, and Prestige. These cost 1 point per dot
regardless of level.
Paths of Enlightenment.
Many Baali had abandoned their Humanity well before the Embrace, and none
maintain it afterwards. All Baali, therefore, follow Paths of
Currently, only three such Paths are sanctioned by the Baali council. These
are; The Path of Evil Revelations ( see The Storytellers Handbook to the
Sabbat), The Path of Ecstasy ( see Clanbook Settites), and the Path of
Character Generation Rules.
Baali undergo an embrace not too dissimilar to the creation rites employed
by the Sabbat (who inherited the practice from the Baali regardless of the
beliefs of the True Black Hand). This is reflected in the point allocation
during character generation. Baali characters have the following point
allocation during creation;
Attributes: 7/5/3 (Mental usually primary)
Abilities: 13/9/5 (Talents usually primary)
Virtues: 5 (Demonic virtues, Treachery/Cruelty/Courage)
Freebie Points: 14 (7/5/2/1)
Baali do not have humanity, instead they follow Paths of Enlightenment.
Only the Paths of Evil Revelations, Ecstasy, and Baal are condoned by the
clan although members of the Inner Light (the majority of player
characters) frequently follow the Path of Death and the Soul or other less
Virtually all Baali have the Autocrat, Bon vivant, Bravo, Conniver, Critic,
Deviant, Fanatic, or Sycophant natures but may (and usually do) have any
Baali have certain minimum requirements. They must have an Occult of at
least one, a Linguistics of one (Latin), and must possess the Background:
Alternate Identity. Also during character generation the Baali must choose
a loyalty order and corresponding primary path of Dark Thaumaturgy (even if
the individual does not have any rating in Dark Thaumaturgy). All Baali
must have a rating of at least one in either Daimoinon or Dark Thaumaturgy.
Mental Attributes and Talents are usually primary. Many Baali also know the
Dragon Tongue of the Nephandi.
Baali have a Corruption rating from 0 to 10 that represents how much of
their soul has been given over for investments (0 indicates a normal human,
10 is a totally corrupted soul). All Baali must have at least 1 investment,
and some have several. No player Baali can start with more than seven
points of investments, and most have between 1 and 4.