New Paths (13 Paths)

The Salt Path (Forbiddance of the Art)

The Murk Path (Path of Morbid Denial)

The Ghost Path (Riding the Spirit)

The Devouring Path (The Path of the Vulture)

The Corpus Path (Dance of True Death)

The Usury Path (The Coins of Charon)

The Obsidian Path (The Way of the Nahualli)

The Corpse Path (Puppetry of the Corpse)

The Rust Path (Genesis of Destruction)

The Wasting Path (Touch of the Grave)

The Gaunt Path (Call the Wrathful Dead)

The Reliquary Path (Treasures of the Grave)

The Skull Path (Path of the Fallen Knight)

Revised Paths (8 Paths)

The Cheval Path (Abambo Dance)

The Vigil Path (The Spark of Life)

The Smoke Path (The Stilled Grave)

The Scourge Path (Shopona’s Touch)

The Clay Path (The Mortal Coil)

The Chthonic Path (Steps of Persephone)

The Requiem Path (Memento Mori)

The Pyre Path (Way of the Goblin Flame)

Rejected Paths (8 Paths)

The Withering Path (The Ravages of Time)

The Brain Path (Ascendancy of the Psyche)

The Fate Path (Tools of the Parcae)

The Funeral Path (Silence of the Grave)

The Plague Path (Yetzer Machaleh)

The Midnight Path (Shards of the Soul)

The Crumbled Path (The Crumbling Avatar)

The A’aru Path (Steps of Anubis)

Old Paths (canon)

The Sepulcher Path (Nigrimancy)

The Ash Path (Crossing the Shroud)

The Bone Path (Binding of Bones)

The Vitreous Path (The Hand of Kali)

The Cenotaph Path (The Path of Abombo)

The Grave Path (The Grave’s Decay)

The Cerement Path (Corpse in the Monster)

The Cadaver Path (Cadaverous Animation)

The Bile Path (The Path of Four Humors)

The Haunting Path (The Path of Haunting)

Old Paths (fanon)

The Blight Path (Gift of Thanatos)

The Harrowing Path (Torment of Duat)

The Iron Path (Binding the Hungry Ghost)

The Ebony Path (Ebon Mantle of Authority)

The Shadow Path (Walking the Shadow World)

The Mourning Path (Echoes of Passing)

Schools of Necromancy

Major Schools

Western (Giovani)

Voudoun (Samedi, Serpents of the Light, Lasombra)

African (Mla Watu, Ghiberti)

Indian (Nagaraja)

Minor Schools

Classical (Cappadocian, Lamia)

Egyptian (Lazarene Cappadocians, Setites)

Aztec (Pisanob, Tlacique)

Chinese (Della Passaliga)

New Paths (13 Paths)

The Salt Path (Forbiddance of the Art)

Death magic is a delicate and treacherous art, as many necromancers have learned to their dismay when a ritual or summoning goes awry. It is possible for skilled magicians to tangle the forces used by other necromancers, preventing their powers from working at all. In some cases, if the practitioner of the Salt Path is far more skilled than his opponent, the countered power or ritual may backfire in a grisly fashion.

System: The character may attempt to counter any Necromancy Ritual, Path power, wraithly Arcanoi or even the death-related powers of mortal sorcerers and mages. The only requirements are that the power to be countered must be used in the necromancer’s line of sight and not yet be complete when the Salt Path is invoked.

To counter a spell, the necromancer spends a Willpower point and rolls his Intelligence + Salt Path rating with a difficulty equal to (3+ level of target power). Each success on his roll negates one success on the opposing caster’s activation roll. If the Salt Path user gains twice as many successes on his countering attempt as the target did on their activation, the countered power is considered to have botched.

The Murk Path (Path of Morbid Denial)

Even the most blatantly supernatural actions of ghosts are often explained away by mortals who witness them. This is not simply the result of some sort of wraithly Masquerade, but rather a natural function of the barrier between life and death. The mortal mind is ill-equipped to deal with direct proof of the existence of wraiths, and so it hides that proof from itself. This effect is referred to as ‘the Fog’ by wraiths. A skilled necromancer can manipulate the Shroud, tapping into its powers to project such disbelief into the minds of mortals around him. Those affected will repress or rationalize away any memories of supernatural phenomena they might witness. Naturally, this Path is much in demand for covering up breaches of the Masquerade.

System: Any activation of the Murk Path requires the character to expend one Willpower and one blood point, followed by a Manipulation + Occult roll, difficulty (activated Murk Path level + 3). The player may choose what level of the Murk Path he wishes to activate, allowing him to affect an area smaller than his maximum potential. Mortals within the area who witness a supernatural event must roll their Willpower (difficulty 8) and gain more successes than the necromancer or they will be affected by the Fog.

For full rules on the Fog, consult Wraith: the Oblivion, page 241. For Storytellers without access to Wraith: the Oblivion, simply assume that mortals with a Willpower less than 8 will ignore or entirely forget the witnessed events. Mortals with extremely high Willpower will still attempt to rationalize the events, but will not be completely fooled by the Fog.

● - A tiny area, no more than 3 yards across

●● - A small area, such as a single room

●●● - A small to medium building, such as a house or business

●●●● - A very large building, such as a skyscraper or conference center

●●●●● - Roughly a single city block

The Ghost Path (Riding the Spirit)

Some necromancers are not content simply to issue orders to their ghostly slaves, they demand total obedience and control. It was the Nagaraja who first developed this Path, inspired by the ability of the wraiths to control the living. Using this Path requires the necromancer to remove his own spirit from his body and merge into the plasmic substance of the wraith he wishes to control. To do so, the necromancer and his victim must be on the same level of existence; either both in the Shadowlands or both in the living world.

● Ghostride

This ability forms the foundation of all other powers in the Ghost Path. It allows a necromancer to detach his spirit from his body and merge it into the form, or corpus, of a wraith. While merged in this way, the vampire experiences everything the wraith does, including pain. Without exercising some additional ability, however, the vampire has no control or influence over the wraith; he is simply a passenger. Only under the most extraordinary circumstances can this power be used without the wraith being aware of it, as the spectacle of the vampire’s soul leaving his body and merging into the wraith’s corpus is quite visible and pronounced.

System: In order to force his soul into a wraith’s corpus, the necromancer rolls his Willpower with a difficulty equal to the wraith’s Willpower. Each success is one day that he can remain attached to the wraith. While riding inside the ghost, the necromancer’s own body is comatose and inert, especially vulnerable to attack. Physical harm to his body will allow the necromancer to make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 6) to notice the disturbance and return himself to his body. The vampire can be driven out of his host if the wraith suffers damage, forcing its passenger to roll Courage (difficulty based on the severity of the damage) to stay attached in the face of the pain. Certain wraithly powers may also be able to remove a vampire from his host.

●● Direction

While riding a ghost, the necromancer can now exert his will and cause the wraith to take a single, physical action. He cannot force the ghost to use any of its powers, but he can make it move, grasp an object or halt whatever it was doing. The ghost can only be forced to take ‘single’ actions, ones that are quickly accomplished and simple in execution.

System: To issue his command, the player spends a point of Willpower and rolls Charisma + Leadership, difficulty equal to the wraith’s Willpower. So long as the command is within the limitations of Direction, the cannot help itself as its corpus acts under the direction of the vampire’s mind. A wraith may be forced to fire a weapon or destroy a valued possession, or attack a target, but it could not be forced to track someone down who is fleeing. The ability to overwhelm a wraith’s control of its own form only lasts a few seconds and thus is restricted to instructions that can be accomplished in a single action. Wraiths cannot be forced to take any action that will directly result in their own destruction.

●●● Stolen Tongue

The next step to mastery over a wraith allows the necromancer to steal the spirit’s voice. With a simple effort of will, the vampire can take control of the corpus he is riding and force it to speak whatever words he wishes.

System: The player spends a point of Willpower and engages in a contested Willpower roll with the wraith, difficulty 7. If the vampire wins, he can speak through the ghost whenever he wishes for the rest of the scene. If the ghost wins, the power fails. In the event of the necromancer botching, he is ejected entirely from the wraith’s form.

●●●● Domination

A necromancer with this level of mastery can now fully suppress the mind of the wraith he has attached himself to, becoming the dominant driving force within the creature’s form. For all intents and purposes, while this power is active the vampire has taken complete control of the wraith’s corpus and may act as if it was his own. After control ends, the wraith’s resurgence will eject the vampire from its form, but while it lasts it affords many opportunities.

System: To gain control of the wraith he is riding, the vampire spends a point of Willpower and rolls his Willpower against a difficulty equal to the wraith’s own Willpower. He must achieve as many successes as the wraith has points of temporary Willpower in order to succeed. If his first roll does not accumulate enough successes, the player can spend another point of Willpower and make another roll. As many rolls can be made as necessary, each one costing another point of Willpower. If any of the rolls fails entirely, the power fails. If any of the rolls botch, the necromancer is ejected from the wraith’s corpus and cannot use any power of this Path on that wraith for the rest of the story. Assuming the necromancer manages to take control of the wraith’s form, he has full access to the wraith’s physical traits and innate powers. The use of wraithly arcanoi, however, requires training that vampiric necromancers lack. Further, the vampire has no access to his own Disciplines aside from Necromancy while outside of his body. Only his connection to death, provided by his contact with the wraith, allows him to continue practicing his dark art. This power lasts until dawn, at which point the user is ejected from his host and returned to his own body.

●●●●● Soul Breaking

Complete control over a wraith is not enough for the masters of the Ghost Path. They desire ultimate, unending servitude. Through this most foul art, a necromancer can utterly destroy the consciousness of a wraith, leaving it nothing but a mindless Drone that will do whatever its master commands and act as an empty vessel for the vampire to possess whenever he wishes. It is not simple to destroy the mind of a creature that has persisted past its own death, and sometimes a necromancer wins against the wraith only to free the wraith’s Shadow and be attacked by a new-born Specter.

System: Because wraiths are creatures with a split soul, this power must overcome both the wraith’s mind and its Shadow in order to destroy the ghost’s identity. To begin, the necromancer spends 2 points of Willpower and engages in an extended, contested Willpower roll against the wraith, both rolling against a difficulty of 7. The vampire must gain a total number of successes equal to the wraith’s Willpower to defeat the wraith’s normal mind. Once he has done so, he must continue rolling and achieve the same number of successes to subdue the Shadow. If at any point during the rolls, the wraith has more successes than the vampire, this power fails. After a wraith’s mind has been destroyed, the necromancer can use any Necromantic ability on it with an effective 5 successes without a roll.

The Devouring Path (The Path of the Vulture)

After their transition to undeath, the Nagaraja realized that their reliance upon devouring human flesh to sustain their existence need not be only a curse. It might be turned to their advantage. They delved into research even darker than that which lead them into vampirism, creating this Path based on the foul art of anthropophagy. By ritually preparing and consuming the flesh of humans, the Nagaraja learned to devour not only the meat of their meals, but also bits of their souls. Rumors say that those who practice this Path too often and too eagerly may stain their aura in the same way as a Diablerist.

The cannibalistic Dunsirn family of Clan Giovani developed an almost identical incarnation of this Path, independently of the Nagaraja. While there are significant differences in the specific details of the preparation of flesh (the Dunsirn find hardly any ritual required at all and sometimes eat the flesh directly from living victims), the two versions of the Path are functionally the same. A vampire practicing either version is able to eat and digest the flesh of his victims.

● Bloody Feast

The first ability gained in the study of ritual cannibalism is the power to digest the meat of human bodies and use it in place of blood. Only fresh corpses can provide such sustenance. Old corpses, where the meat has begun to rot or is completely absent, are not suitable for this power. After the meal is complete, only gnawed bones remain of the body.

System: The player rolls Intelligence + Medicine, difficulty 8. Each success represents one blood point gained by eating the dead flesh. A body used in this manner cannot be the target of any further powers of the Devouring Path, though it can be used for other necromantic purposes, provided those purposes do not require flesh on the bones.

●● Invigoration

All souls are strongly tethered to their fleshy bodies; death does not immediately remove all such traces of life. By consuming the flesh of a recently dead body, the necromancer ingests these remnants of the soul and strengthens his own spirit.

System: This power functions in the same manner as Bloody Feast, except that each success allows the character to gain one Willpower. This Willpower cannot exceed the character’s normal maximum limit. Invigoration shares the requirement for a fresh corpse, and also the inability to use bodies for any further Devouring Path power. This power can only be used once per night.

●●● Secrets of the Flesh

As his palate grows more refined, a necromancer learns to draw more than nebulous spiritual strength from his meals. He can taste the life of the person whose meat he ingests, absorbing their knowledge and memories into him as he digests the substance of their body. Unlike the first two abilities of the Devouring Path, this ability can be used on old bodies. So long as the corpse retains flesh, no matter how rotten, it can serve as a meal.

System: The player spends 1 point of Willpower and rolls Stamina + Occult, difficulty 8. Each success indicates one piece of information that he has gained from his meal. Normally the Storyteller determines what information is passed on, with a preference for information that was either of extreme importance to the deceased or was in the person’s mind just before they died. If the player is seeking specific knowledge, he must make a Willpower roll with a difficulty of the corpse’s former Willpower. This roll is required for each individual piece of information sought. As with Bloody Feast and Invigoration, bodies used for this power are useless for further Devouring Path abilities.

●●●● Hunger for Knowledge

Drawing in ever-increasing amounts of the residue of life from his meals, the necromancer can now gain the skills and talents of those upon whom he feasts. Enough memories and bits of residual soul are extracted from the digested meat to allow the vampire temporary use of anything from acrobatic skill to technical expertise.

System: The player first chooses what Ability he wishes to gain a bonus to. Having chosen, he spends 3 blood points and 2 points of Willpower, then rolls Stamina + Occult, difficulty 8. If successful, he gains a number of bonus dice to the chosen Ability equal to the body’s former Ability rating -3. The number of successes dictates how long the bonus lasts. A character cannot benefit from more than one use of this power at a time. Bodies used for this ability cannot be used for any further Devouring Path power.

1 Success: The bonus lasts for an hour.

2 Successes: The bonus lasts for six hours.

3 Successes: The bonus lasts for a full night.

4 Successes: The bonus lasts for three days.

5+ Successes: The bonus lasts for an entire week.

●●●●● Glutton’s Boon

The ultimate goal of the Devouring Path is embodied in this power; making the strength of the dead a part of yourself. By eating a specific portion of the body symbolically tied to the attribute desired, a necromancer can enhance his own body or mind. To gain intelligence, a necromancer might eat the brains, to gain vitality he might devour the heart.

System: This power functions exactly like Hunger for Knowledge, except that it allows the character to gain bonuses to Attributes instead of Abilities. A character can have a bonus from both Hunger from Knowledge and Glutton’s Boon at the same time, but only one from each.

The Corpus Path (Dance of True Death)

Developed as an outgrowth of the Chakravanti magics that lead the Nagaraja into vampirism, the Corpus Path uses the state of undeath as a bridge between the living and the dead. While alive, the Nagaraja used dark magic to infuse their bodies with the strength of the undead. As vampires, they use Necromancy to push their bodies into, even across, the Shroud, taking on traits and powers of the Restless Dead.

● Apparition

The Shroud is ever-present, a barrier woven into the very fabric of the world. This power teaches a vampire how to edge closer to the line between life and death, fading away from the sight of the living. His body becomes hazy and translucent, making it particularly easy to dismiss his presence as a trick of the light or an oddly placed shadow. The magical nature of his existence pushes him far enough away from sight that modern means of surveillance will refuse to acknowledge him. This can be both good and bad; it’s hard to explain why you don’t show up on video records, after all.

System: To activate this power, the character spends a point of Willpower to nudge his body up against the edge of the Shroud. For the rest of the scene, his Stealth rolls are at -2 difficulty against visual perceptions and he will not show up on digital or analog recording devices unless those devices use silver-based film.

●● Phantom Limb

Experienced necromancers can reach through the Shroud, manipulating objects on the other side of the veil or even pulling things through. This Path does not extend so far across the Shroud, but it does allow a kind of halfway state. A single limb, arm, head or leg, can be infused with the power of the Shroud and rendered immaterial. Very useful if you need to reach through a wall or look through a door before stepping inside.

System: The player spends a point of Willpower and rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 8) to render one of his limbs immaterial. The effect lasts for one turn per success and cannot be ended early. Clothing or other items attached to the chosen limb become immaterial as well, but objects merely held in an immaterial hand will simply fall through ghostly fingers.

●●● Ghost’s Sight

By peering at the world through a portion of the Shroud itself pulled across his eyes, a necromancer can borrow the perceptions of the Restless Dead. Among the wraiths these powers are called Lifesight and Deathsight.

System: To use this power, the player spends a point of Willpower and rolls Perception + Occult, difficulty 8. A single success allows the character to use either Lifesight or Deathsight, with any extra successes allowing a single swap between types of vision. While using Lifesight, the character can attempt to read another’s aura with another Perception + Occult roll at the same difficulty. This ability functions similarly to the Auspex power Aura Perception.

Deathsight, meanwhile, allows the necromancer to determine how healthy an individual is, or possibly how and when they will die. It can also be used to detect dark magic affecting a target. As with Lifesight, it requires its own Perception + Occult roll, difficulty 8. Only a single success is required to determine how healthy the target is, or if they are affected by malevolent magical effects. If the vampire attempts instead to read any Death Marks on his subject, the roll determines how accurately and with how much detail he can divine the nature and time of the target’s impending death. Further details on Death Sight can be found under the Vitreous Path power Eyes of the Dead.

●●●● Shroud Walker

Merging his body into the Shroud, the necromancer exists halfway between the Shadowlands and the Skinlands. He is not fully of either world, and therefore is difficult for beings that dwell on either side of the Shroud to affect. While in this state, the vampire can see ghosts clearly and finds it far easier to wield Necromantic energies.

System: Activating this power costs 3 blood points and takes two turns, during which the vampire’s body becomes patched with dark mist as it fades partially into the Shadowlands. The difficulty of all attacks made against him are increased by 1 and his soak rolls against all sources of damage but for fire, sunlight and Faith have their difficulty reduced by 1. For as long as this power remains active, the character can perceive wraiths and has the difficulty of all his Necromancy rolls related to ghosts or the Underworld reduced by 1.

●●●●● Discorporation

The ultimate expression of this Path transforms the vampire into a bodiless creature of plasm, much like a wraith for a short time, rendering him fully immaterial. However, his ties to the physical world allow him to remain in the Skinlands instead of fading into the Underworld as a normal ghost would. He becomes invisible and intangible, though if he wishes he can still make himself heard by other inhabitants of the living world and his Disciplines may still affect them, even if his body cannot.

System: Becoming immaterial is a difficult process, and using this ability automatically inflicts one unsoakable level of Bashing damage on the character. It also requires three blood points, but the transformation is instantaneous. While immaterial, the character can walk through solid objects, is immune to all normal methods of attack and cannot be seen, smelled or touched. He can be heard, but only if he wishes to speak, as his movements will cause no noise since he cannot disturb the surrounding world. Only the character’s clothing becomes immaterial with him, not any objects he happens to be merely holding. This ability lasts for a scene, or until the character chooses to end it. Disciplines may be used normally, but those that require physical contact will end this power, as will any attempt to touch with the material world.

The Usury Path (The Coins of Charon)

Pioneered by the Giovani shortly after the destruction of their forebears, this Path was inspired both by the family’s own mercantile practices and the rumors that there are ghosts who trade not only in enslaved souls, but also in the raw emotion that fuels the dead. Why then, it was asked, could the Giovani not learn to trade in power and strength with the dead? So long as the necromancer always came out on top, of course. True masters of this Path have so much control over the exchange of power that they can rip the strength from wraiths to feed themselves, no return investment required.

This Path requires some method of interacting physically with the restless dead. Either the necromancer must be able to summon them physically into the living world, or he must be able to travel to the Shadowlands himself.

● Blood Price

The vitae of Cainites is charged with power. It was taken from the living, and concentrates not only the power of life, but also the curse of the undead. Necromancers who follow the Usury Path can concentrate this stolen power in a form that the dead can feed from. To ghosts, such blood is a delicious and rare taste of the life now forbidden to them, but aside from its rush of power and extraordinary taste it has no particular benefits and does not confer the strength of a ghoul or the Blood Bond.

System: Extraordinarily simple in its execution, this power simply enables the transfer of power from vampire to wraith. Each point of blood fed to the wraith restores one point of temporary Pathos. This ability will not allow a wraith to exceed its normal maximum Pathos.

●● Schadenfreude

The few wraiths who are aware this power exists will often trade almost anything to benefit from it. It allows a necromancer to draw strength from the dark Shadow that whispers in the mind of all the restless dead. The Shadow is deprived of its strength, the wraith indebted to the necromancer and the necromancer empowered by the emotional energy stolen from the Shadow. An extremely attractive situation for almost any vampire.

System: The player rolls Strength + Empathy, difficulty equal to the wraith’s permanent Angst. Each success siphons off one point of temporary Angst. Every two such points removed from the wraith restore one point of temporary Willpower to the necromancer. Willpower gained this way cannot exceed the character’s normal maximum. This power can only be used on any given wraith once a month and once a night, no matter the target.

●●● Spiritual Healing

Wraiths are composed of a material they refer to as corpus. Far softer and more malleable than human flesh, corpus can be put to any number of uses. Necromancers have heard tales that unfortunate or criminal wraiths are sometimes forged into material goods by those with the skills required. The corpus of a wraith, even removed from the creature, is filled with energy. Not the strength of life the vampires feed on, but still power that can be used. Necromancers who master this power can strip away the corpus of a wraith and use it to force their bodies to regenerate damage. Some wraiths offer their corpus in payment for the services of a necromancer, but others are forced to give up their flesh unwillingly.

System: If the wraith is willing or somehow compelled to submit to this ability, no roll is required. It simply allows the vampire to feed upon it as he would a mortal. Each level of Corpus drained will heal one level of Bashing or Lethal damage. Three levels of Corpus can be used to heal one level of Aggravated damage. If the wraith does resist, then the vampire must grapple with it as he would any character he was attempting to feed from without consent. There is no Kiss involved in this power; it is literally eating the wraith and no pleasure is created. wraiths who are not willing to submit will violently resist with all their power.

●●●● Feast of Rage

The rage of the Beast is a terrible burden to vampires, but wraiths feed upon emotion. The great and terrible passions of the Beast are a banquet to the restless dead. Through this art, a vampire can divert the anger of his inner Beast into a ghostly servant or ally. Only a ghost has tasted the vampire’s blood at least once, usually through an application of the first power of this Path, and is within sight of the necromancer can be the subject of this ability. There is of course a dark side to such an arrangement: the rage of the Beast feeds not only the hungers of the wraith, but also their Shadow.

System: When faced with a Frenzy or Rotschreck roll, the player spends a Willpower and rolls Self-Control + Occult, difficulty 6. Each success subtracts one from the difficulty of the roll to resist losing control of himself. Further, those same successes are given to the nearest eligible wraith to the necromancer as points of Pathos. The ‘gift’ of a Frenzy or Rotschreck is not free, of course. The wraith also gains 1 point of temporary Angst for every two points of Pathos gained. Wraiths cannot gain enough points of either Pathos or Angst to push them past their normal maximum amount.

●●●●● Soul Eater

Often the mere threat of being the victim of this power is enough to cow a wraith into service. Actually using it will quickly garner a fearsome reputation amongst the restless dead. Empowered with this most terrible art, a necromancer sinks his fangs into the corpus of a wraith and drains away the last remnants of life it clings to. Some say the vampire feeds upon the very soul of the ghost, not just its plasmic form. Whatever the truth, no wraith destroyed with this ability has ever been seen again.

System: The character grapples with his target, as he would if feeding from an unwilling victim. Each level of damage inflicted to the wraith can be used to allow the necromancer to gain one point of temporary Willpower or blood. As with Spiritual Healing, this ability never causes the Kiss and wraiths will always resist its effects. Wraiths killed with this power are consigned forever to Oblivion.

The Obsidian Path (The Way of the Nahualli)

In a dark mockery of the religious practices of the living Aztecs, a necromancer who practices the Obsidian Path can bind the soul of a beast to his own and use it as his agent in the Underworld and among the living. Before any powers of this Path can be activated, the necromancer must first murder an animal that matches his own day-sign totem via a ritual called Reclaiming the Beast Soul[a]. This captured spirit is referred to as a nagual. Once a nagual is claimed, the necromancer is able to use the powers of the Obsidian Path on it until it is destroyed. A necromancer can never have more than one nagual at a time.

● Vision of Tezcatlipoca

The simplest technique of this Path allows a necromancer to borrow the senses of his nagual. Often used to spy upon the ghost world, this ability can be used in conjunction with the more advanced powers in the Obsidian Path. Eventually the nagual can serve as a powerful agent in either the living world, or the Shadowlands.

System: The player spends a point of Willpower to borrow the senses of his nagual. While using the spirit’s senses, the necromancer’s awareness of his body is dulled. Any actions taken while rising the senses of his nagual are at +4 difficulty. Breaking the connection to the nagual is a reflexive action. Unless ended early, the connection lasts for a full scene.

●● Voice of Tezcatlipoca

While riding the senses of his nagual, a nahualli can now project his authority through his companion beast. The nagual becomes his literal mouthpiece, speaking with his voice. In the ancient days of the Aztec Empire, this ability allowed the priests and sorcerers among the undead to send messages long distances easily, or to impress the mortal herds with talking beasts. It can serve similar functions in modern times, and allow the necromancer to speak to his ghostly servants without calling them first to the material world or travelling to the Underworld himself.

System: The player spends a point of Willpower and rolls his Charisma + Occult (difficulty 7). For the rest of the scene, as long as the necromancer is borrowing the senses of his nagual, he can speak normally through it. It is not, however, possible to use Disciplines through the Nagual without at least 5 successes on the activation roll. Even assuming the necessary successes are gathered, only verbally-based Disciplines can be used and they require a point of Willpower to be spent in addition to any normal costs they would require.

●●● Solidity of Tepeyollotl

Granting his nagual a gift of blood and sorcery, the necromancer allows it to assume a corporeal form for a short time. The beast will appear as a midnight black example of its species, in perfect health. Though embodied, the nagual is not truly alive. The limited nature of such animation confers no powers beyond a normal animal. Even those necromancers that have tried feeding their embodied nagual additional blood have found no extra powers conferred. Nagual cannot become ghouls.

System: To create a body for his nagual, the player spends three blood points and one temporary Willpower. It takes three turns for the nagual’s body to completely solidify. For the rest of the scene, the necromancer’s nagual takes on physical form. While in this shape, it has all the normal traits of a living beast, except that it halves Bashing damage as if it were a vampire and has the ability to soak Lethal damage. If the nagual’s physical body is slain, the spirit simply reforms in the Shadowlands on the next new moon.

●●●● Ascendant Beast

Enhanced by the dark will of its master, a nagual’s spirit is far more powerful than that of any normal beast. By focusing his power into his nagual, the necromancer can grant it the ability to take over the body of a mundane animal. While his nagual controls another beast’s physical form, the necromancer can use either the Voice or Vision of Tezcatlipoca upon the possessed creature.

System: The player spends two points of Willpower and rolls his Manipulation + Occult (difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower). Each success allows the necromancer’s nagual to control the target beast for one hour. For as long as the nagual is in control of the beast, the animal is under the necromancer’s complete control, following his commands just as his nagual normally would. The necromancer also retains the ability to convey orders and understand anything the nagual attempts to communicate to him. If the possessed animal is slain, the nagual is released and returns to the Shadowlands unharmed.

●●●●● Return to the Liver

The Aztecs believed that the nagual soul dwelt within the liver of the nahualli. This most powerful technique of the Obsidian Path allows the necromancer to draw his nagual into his body and while it dwells within him, gain some of its beastial powers. This ability may be the source of tales wherein nahualli transform into their totem beast, but truly taking on the shape of a beast remains beyond the powers of the Obsidian Path. The exact abilities gained by the necromancer depend, of course, upon what species his nagual belongs to.

System: Absorbing the nagual into his body requires a great expenditure of power and will on the part of the necromancer. Activating this ability costs 2 blood points and 1 Willpower. The assimilation takes two turns to complete. Once the nagual has settled into his body, the necromancer undergoes physical changes, becoming a hybrid creature mixing traits of human and animal forms to reflect the merged nature of his spirit. The exact nature of these changes is determined by the species of the nagual. Some examples are presented below, but Storytellers should tailor the exact effects of this power to whatever the character’s nagual is.

  • Jaguar: A powerful predator, the jaguar nagual enhances its master’s combat abilities. A jaguar nahualli grows deadly talons, dealing Strength +1 Aggravated damage. His fangs enlarge, dealing an extra die of damage on any bite attacks. The spotted pelt that his skin transforms into blends seamlessly into dark shadows, giving a +2 bonus to Stealth.
  • Owl: An owl nahualli undergoes a more radical transformation than many; his arms becoming vast, feathered wings that allow him to fly at his normal running pace. He also gains perfect night vision, ignoring all darkness-related visual penalties and increasing his visual Perception pools by 2 dice. The owl form is also smaller than the normal vampire, only half his regular size, allowing him access to some places he would not normally fit.
  • Dog: Considered a psychopomp by the Aztecs, a dog nahualli is closely tied to the boundary between life and death. His canine eyes allow him to see both the living world and the Shadowlands with perfect clarity and ease. The dog shape also increases the necromancer’s Perception score by 4, conferring superhuman olfactory and auditory acuity. Aztecs considered dogs to be unclean creatures, and the bite of a dog nahualli often carries disease with it.

The Corpse Path (Puppetry of the Corpse)

There have long been rumors that powerful necromancers can control the undead as well as the dead. The rumors are true and true masters of this Path are feared by any who have seen demonstrations of their powers. Unlike Dominate or Presence, this Path does not influence the mind and it cannot be resisted with mental fortitude or defeated by thick blood. Only pure will can save a target of this Path from becoming nothing but a puppet for the necromancer, his body no longer under his own control. Few other powers hammer home so clearly that vampires are dead and their bodies nothing but corpses. Any walking dead can become the victim of the Corpse Path: the mysterious vampires of the Far East, the rare corpses animated by Risen wraiths and even the constructs created by other powers of Necromancy.

● Spasm

A simple, uncontrolled surge of necromantic power directed into a corporeal undead momentarily disrupts the animating forces of the victim. Suddenly unable to control their own body, the undead is sent into convulsions as their dead limbs twitch and writhe.

System: The player spends a point of Willpower and rolls his Strength + Occult (difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower). Each success applies a -1 penalty to the target’s next action as they are wracked by uncontrollable tremors and seizures.

●● Marionette

A more focused application of necromantic control over the dead allows for specific actions to be forced upon an undead body. Asserting his own will over that of the body’s owner, the necromancer can manipulate his victim’s body into taking a single physical action such as throwing a punch, swinging a sword, pushing a button, or even leaping from a high balcony. Only actions that are certain to end in death will provoke a strong enough surge of will to wrench control of the body back from the necromancer.  

System: The player spends a point of Willpower and engages in a contested Willpower roll (difficulty 6 for both) against his target, who must be within his line of sight. If the necromancer wins, his degree of success determines how effectively the action is carried out by the victim’s body. One success may simply result in a jerky, uncontrolled attempt to fulfill the command, whereas three or more successes will garner a smooth, natural action performed as elegantly as if the body’s owner was doing it himself of his own free will. Should the action result in direct, significant harm to the victim, it will automatically fail as self-preservation instincts interfere with the magical control. The victim’s Nature does not play into this, as they are not performing the action themselves. Their body is being physically hijacked by supernatural means.

●●● Stir Hunger

Until this level of mastery is reached a necromancer can only manipulate simple flesh and bone, controlling the bodies of other undead like puppets. With this ability the very reserves of power that animate the undead body can be tapped and expended, leaving the necromancer’s enemies weak and quite possibly powerless at the most inopportune of times.

System: The player spends two Willpower and rolls his Willpower (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina +3). Each success removes one point of Chi, Blood or Pathos from the target’s pools. This power has no effect on zombies or other forms of corporeal undead that have no resource corresponding to those listed above. The points burned through this power must be used to power some effect such as increasing Physical Attributes, healing damage or other innate powers. They cannot be used to fuel Disciplines or Arcanoi. The points spent can ignore normal per-turn spending limits.

●●●● Tug the Strings

Entire gatherings of the undead can now be forced to dance to the tune of the necromancer. The simple actions caused by Marionette can now be forced upon a multitude of victims at once. Entire Sabbat packs can be frozen in their bloody tracks, or a whole Elysium gathering humiliated as their bodies are ripped from their own control. While any use of the Corpse Path can gain the necromancer a deadly enemy, this power can gain many such enemies in a single stroke. It is best used with extreme caution.

System: To activate this ability, the player spends two points of Willpower and rolls his Willpower (difficulty 8). Each success allows the necromancer to control a single target within his sight. This power functions with the same limits as Marionette.

●●●●● Puppet Mastery

The most dreaded power of this Path, and for many vampires one of the most dreaded powers known, this ability allows a necromancer to take complete control of another undead for a full night. For as long as the necromancer maintains his concentration, the victim is a prisoner in his own mind, screaming helplessly as his body walks and speaks under the command of another’s will. The fact that the victim is fully aware during the entire ordeal and will remember perfectly what he did can lead to complications for the necromancer.

System: To gain full control of another undead’s body, the necromancer must first deplete the target’s reserves of Willpower to ensure that control cannot be wrestled back at an inopportune moment. The player spends a point of Willpower and then engages in a contested Willpower roll with his target (difficulty 6 for both). Each success the necromancer gains over his victim removes one of the victim’s Willpower points. Only if the necromancer fails, botches or the victim manages to break line of sight will the contested roll end. Once all the victim’s Willpower is drained, he can no longer keep control of his body. The necromancer can then dictate each and every action the body takes for the rest of the night, even forcing his target to speak if he wishes. While maintaining such control, the necromancer’s entire attention is absorbed and he cannot take any actions aside from directing his victim. If at any time he wishes to take an action himself, he breaks his connection with the target, setting them free. None of the victim’s Disciplines are available to the necromancer controlling him except for passive effects such as Potence and Fortitude.

The Rust Path (Genesis of Destruction)

Oblivion, the most terrifying power in the Underworld, is the primordial force of entropy. All things suffer the passage of time, a gradual accumulation of Oblivion in their structure that causes them to break down and decay. The decay of living matter is well known to necromancers, but the study of inanimate decay is less well explored by Cainite magicians. Certain wraithly powers are rumored to have influenced the development of the Rust Path, but considering its origins lay prior to the development of Giovani nigrimancy, it may simply be a study of the forces of entropy and Oblivion.

● Weather

An infusion of entropic energies will cause rust, mold and lichens to grow rapidly on an object, making it harder to use. More delicate objects, such as fabric or paper, may begin to disintegrate or dry rot rapidly. Only the most extremely fragile items can be destroyed by Weather, though unless restored by careful and possibly professional care, they may well be ruined.

System: The player spends a blood point and touches the object to be infused with decay. No roll is required and there is no resistance. This power is too primitive to release enough energy to affect animate beings, large objects or buildings. The biggest targets that can be Weathered are approximately the size of a grown man. Any task attempted using a tool affected by Weather is at +2 difficulty and extremely delicate or sophisticated items like computers or books are rendered unusable until repaired.

●● Polish

Learning to accelerate decay is only one facet of the knowledge required to master the energy of entropy. It can not only be infused into objects to hurry the return to nothingness, but also siphoned off. Removing the entropy that suffuses objects naturally over time will peel back the years. Rust falls away, cracks heal themselves, faded markings become vibrant and dust vanishes into nothingness. Items that have been damaged by force or violence cannot be repaired with this ability, nor can those that have been so decayed by age and nature that they are no longer intact.

System: After touching an unliving object no longer than a grown man, the player spends a blood point to strip away its entropy. He rolls his Stamina + Occult to safely dispel the entropic power. Failure inflicts one automatic level of Bashing Damage to the necromancer, but a botch inflicts converts the damage to Aggravated as the power of Oblivion is drawn into his body and ravages it. Objects affected by this power have any penalties to their use from their age or condition removed and function as if newly made. Their Resources value may also increase if applicable.

●●● Obliterate

A massive surge of entropic power, focused into an item will accelerate decay to such a rate that the affected object simply appears to sift into dust. Even metals like steel and gold will corrode away unnaturally as the power directed against them shatters the rules of the normal world. Entropy itself will not be denied. Unlike Weather, this ability is not limited by the size of its target. Instead, the necromancer can continue to draw and focus entropic power for as long as he wishes... or until he loses control.

System: Once the player has selected his target, the Storyteller should decide how many health levels’ the object has. A small, delicate item like a smart phone may only have a single health level, where a car might have fifteen and a tank might have fifty or more. The player touches his target, spends a blood point and rolls his Willpower. Each success destroys one of the target’s health levels, reducing the affected material to dust or rust. If the item is not destroyed with one application, the player can spend more blood to make further rolls. Each roll costs one blood point. If at any point the roll fails, the power ends. If the roll botches, each 1 rolled inflicts an automatic level of Aggravated damage to the necromancer.

●●●● Restoration

Even the barest scrap of an item reduced to ruin by the passage of time and accumulation of age can be restored if the proper energies are channeled into and out of it. The current theory explaining this power suggests that items retain a ‘memory’ or ‘pattern’ of their whole and proper form, even after age has turned them to scraps and dust. By removing the entropy that has disrupted the pattern and providing energy in the form of vitae to fuel regeneration, the necromancer can return almost anything to wholeness.

System: The player spends a blood point and then rolls his Willpower (difficulty 6). The number of successes required is determined by the Storyteller, based on the size, complexity and condition of the object. A small object that retains most of its parts and general shape might be only need 3, but an extraordinarily complex and degraded object like a Mayan codex aged into nothing but a lump of organic paste may require 20 successes or more. If the item is not regenerated with one application, the player can spend more blood to make further rolls. Each roll costs one blood point. If at any point the roll fails, the power ends. If the roll botches, each 1 rolled inflicts an automatic level of Aggravated damage to the necromancer.

●●●●● Consignment

Ultimate mastery of destruction is not simply scouring an object from the world, but casting it into the next. By expending a prodigious amount of power, a master necromancer can use lesser skills to destroy an item so thoroughly it creates a ‘ghost’ of the object. These items are of immense value to the restless dead as they are the only variety of material goods available in the Underworld that are not forged from souls. The ability to create Relics can come in extremely handy as a negotiation tool, or for necromancers that often visit the Shadowlands themselves.

System: When an item is destroyed through the use of Weather or Obliterate, the necromancer can opt to spend two additional blood points and all his remaining Willpower, which must be at least four points, to cast the object into the Shadowlands. As it crosses the Shroud, the sheer amount of magical force imbued into it transforms it into a Relic.

The Wasting Path (Touch of the Grave)

Exposure to the powers of the Underworld is not healthy for the living, or even the embodied dead. The physical substances of the living world are not meant to cope with the ambient energies of the Shadowlands, much less the raw entropy of Oblivion. Harnessing these powers and focusing them into the bodies of their enemies, necromancers can invoke a wide variety of horrific effects. Some Paths focus on the physical applications of death energy, creating rot and plagues. Others prefer more subtle effects, draining strength and power from their foes. The masters of the Wasting Path are said to be able to make even Methuselahs fall to their knees.

● Darkened Vision

The most basic application of death power against animate bodies causes the body to undergo a physical near-death experience. The victim’s blood becomes sluggish and their vision darkens, tunneling down before going entirely black. Even the gifts of the supernatural cannot completely defeat the power of the Shadowlands. Abilities that enhance senses or grant night vision can merely mitigate the curse levied by a necromancer.

System: Selecting a target in his line of sight, the player spends a blood point and rolls his Willpower (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina +3). If the roll is successful, the target is afflicted with the curse of blindness, increasing the difficulty of all vision-based Perception rolls by 4. If the target activates a power like Heightened Senses or Eyes of the Beast, the two powers cancel each other out. No benefit is gained from their improved senses, but no penalty is applied to their normal rolls. The curse lasts for the rest of the scene.

●● Sap Strength

More vulgar necromancers can achieve similar results by withering limbs or causing age to accelerate in an unnatural race to the grave. The followers of the Wasting Path inflict weakness and confusion by filling the mind and body of their victims with the chill power of death.

System: After touching his target and spending a blood point, the necromancer rolls his

Willpower (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina +3). If the roll is successful, the target’s Stamina and Wits are both reduced by 3 for the rest of the scene. Supernatural beings have some innate resistance to this power: their Attributes cannot be reduced past 1. Mortals are not so fortunate. If the target’s Stamina is reduced to 0 in this way, he collapses, unable to take any physical action. Should the victim’s Wits be reduced to 0 the effect is similar: a catatonic state where only the most instinctive reactions (running from danger, etc) are possible.

●●● Weakened Flesh

Raw entropic power infused into flesh will cause the muscle, bone and skin to rot away. Such massive, direct attacks are often favored by cruel or flashy necromancers, but they are not the only path to defeating an enemy. A more refined attack, delivered with a mere touch, fills the target with hidden weakness. Only when the victim’s body is assaulted by outside forces or placed under stress will it fail.

System: The necromancer must touch his target to inflict his curse. He then spends at least one blood point and rolls his Willpower (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina +3). Every two successes increases the difficulty of all the target’s Stamina rolls, including soak rolls, by 1 for one night per blood point spent. If the difficulty of a roll would exceed 10, it instead requires one additional success per extra difficulty past 10.

Vampires affected by this power have difficulty animating their undead bodies while the energy of death itself courses through them. It requires an additional blood point to awaken on any evening they are cursed.

●●●● Crippling Daze

The Wasting Path focuses on subtle applications of necromantic power and this ability is no different. It attacks the mind instead of the body, filling the consciousness of its victims with dread and a morbid fog of depression that clouds all thought. The fog is not merely figurative; the power of the Shadowlands truly has invaded the brain of target and is draining away their emotional stability and preventing access to their mental reserves.

System: The player chooses a target in his line of sight, spends two blood points and rolls his Willpower (difficulty equal to the target’s Wits +3). One success prevents the target from spending any Willpower for the rest of the scene. Three successes blocks the victim’s access to his Willpower for three days, while five successes prevents spending Willpower for a full week. The target cannot gain Willpower while this ability affects their minds, but they can still lose it if they are affected by abilities that drain Willpower.

●●●●● Gnawing Void

The most feared power of the Wasting Path is the ability to draw forth a fragment of Oblivion itself and force it into a victim. Once inside them, it ravenously devours their strength of will and their very life force. In the case of supernatural beings, it consumes the energies that allow them to wield their unique powers, burning through them rapidly before Oblivion starts to eat their bodies.

System: Calling forth Oblivion requires a full turn of concentration, after which the necromancer spends two points of Willpower and rolls his Stamina + Occult (difficulty 8) to control the power he has summoned. If he fails, the power vanishes and his attempt is wasted. If he botches, he automatically suffers the effects of this power himself, with each 1 rolled counting as a success. Should the power be successfully summoned and controlled, it is released into the intended victim with a touch. Once inside them, it begins sapping their reserves of Willpower and supernatural power. Each turn the target suffers this effect, they lose 1 point of Willpower and 1 point of vitae, Chi, Pathos or other similar resource. The effect lasts for one turn per success. If all the target’s Willpower and power reserves are drained before the effect ends, Oblivion begins to devour the target’s flesh. Each extra turn inflicts a level of unsoakable Lethal damage on the target.

The Gaunt Path (Call the Wrathful Dead)

Just as Cainites must contend with their Beasts, the restless dead are plagued by a dark force they call the Shadow. A twisted amalgam of the worst aspects of their personalities, the Shadow sometimes overwhelms ghosts and turns them into malevolent specters. Specters are possessed of raw, animal cunning and driven by sadism. While wildly chaotic, they can be directed through the arts of powerful necromancers, but never fully controlled. The Gaunt Path is a dangerous tool; there is always a chance the specters will slip their bonds and attack their summoner just as readily as his enemies.

Any time a Gaunt Path power is botched, the specters summoned will turn on the necromancer and attack him. In the case of particularly severe botches, the necromancer might accidentally unleash truly horrific beasts from the Labyrinth without any ability to control them.

● Haunting Cry

The simplest power of the Gaunt Path is simply a klaxon, a silent reverberation sent through the fabric of the Veil that attracts any nearby specters. There are rumors that specters are attracted to the energy given off by necromancers, or the horrific rituals performed by undead sorcerers. True or not, the Haunting Cry almost always gains the attention of at least one specter.

System: Issuing the Cry requires a Charisma + Occult roll (difficulty 8) and the expenditure of a Willpower point. Each success attracts the attention of a single specter. The difficulty may be lowered if the necromancer is in a particularly haunted location such as a graveyard or battlefield. Areas that would not normally be home to specters, such as consecrated church grounds and peaceful rustic meadows may actually raise the difficulty.

●● Narrow Window

A great weakness in ghostly servants is that only the most powerful and talented among wraiths can reach across the Shroud to harm or hinder the physical world. With a surge of power, a necromancer can rip a small tear in the Shroud, allowing a single specter to enter the material world. The opening is brief, and when it closes the specter allowed through is pulled back to the Shadowlands.

System: The player spends 2 blood points and rolls Strength + Occult (difficulty 8) to open the portal into the Shadowlands. As long as there is a specter on the other side, possibly lured there by a Haunting Cry, it will be pulled through. While in the living world, the specter remains immaterial and unable to interact directly with solid matter, but its powers are fully effective against material targets and even mere the appearance of a horrific, ghostly figure can be used to the advantage of a cunning necromancer. The rift remains open for 1 turn per success, after which it closes and the specter is sucked back through.

●●● Bystander

Possibly the most vital power of the Gaunt Path, this ability wards a single person against spectral attention by shrouding them in a confusing miasma of dark power. The shroud is uncomfortable and disorienting, but it is one of the only ways to avoid attack by specters who have crossed into the living world or are using their powers to reach beyond the Shroud. No power is foolproof, however, and some whisper that when necromancers most need their wards, they have found themselves defenseless as the wards suddenly evaporate under spectral attack.

System: The necromancer cuts himself and paints 1 blood point worth of vitae onto the forehead of his target. He can choose to use this power on himself, but he cannot use it on more than one person at a time. After painting on the blood, he rolls Wits + Occult (difficulty 7). If successful, the target becomes invisible to specters and largely immune to their powers. Any attempt by a specter to perceive or affect the warded target is at +4 difficulty. This effect lasts for a scene, or until the blood is wiped away. For as long as it is in effect, the target cannot gain Willpower via any means as the dark energy around their bodies unnerves them.

●●●● Open Gate

A refinement of Narrow Window, this ability opens a larger, more stable portal through the Shroud. For as long as the necromancer holds open the way, specters can pour through to wreak havoc. This power is used rarely because of the potentially catastrophic collateral damage caused by the rampaging ghosts. Unlike Narrow Window, the mad spirits allowed entrance to the living world through this power are not banished back to the Underworld when the necromancer closes the rift. They remain until their own reserves of strength are depleted.

System: This power functions the same way Narrow Window does, except that at the end of the portal’s duration the specters that have passed through are not returned to the Underworld. Instead they remain in the material world until they run out of resources. Each day in the living world strips 1 point of Corpus and 1 point of Angst from the specters. They cannot regain either as long as the are in the living world. After losing either all their Angst or Corpus (whichever comes first) the specters will be cast back into the Labyrinth, possibly to be consumed by the Void.

●●●●● Ghost Beast

In the depths of the Underworld there are horrific beasts that were never human and may have never lived at all. These monstrous creatures, called Plasmics by the few wraiths that have survived encounters with them, are normally barred from entering the living world. Only an extraordinarily powerful necromancer and an outpouring of power can rend the Shroud badly enough to allow such an alien being to manifest. Summoning these creatures is fraught with danger, since their rampages are almost impossible to conceal and may be equally impossible to survive if the beast turns upon its supposed master.

System: Summoning a Plasmic costs at least 3 blood points and requires a Strength + Occult roll (difficulty 10). Only a single success is required to call forth one of the alien things. These horrific beasts manifest in the living world with a partially physical body, allowing them to interact with solid matter. Any supernatural powers they have are fully functional as well. Plasmics are immune to Bystander and often attack indiscriminately once summoned. They can remain in the physical world for one minute per point of blood spend to summon them, after which they collapse into a puddle of ooze. No one knows if summoned Plasmics ‘die’ or if they simply return to the Underworld, shedding their temporary bodies to do so.

The Storyteller should assign whatever statistics he believes required, but may wish to reference the Plasmic examples of Wraith: the Oblivion, demons from Dark Ages: Vampire or the Vozhd and other flesh-beasts of the Tzimisce.

The Reliquary Path (Treasures of the Grave)

Egyptian necromancy focused on providing for the departed, ensuring that the needs of the dead would be taken care of in the Underworld. Grave goods were buried with the bodies to make sure the dead had food, clothing, equipment, wealth and servants. The Dark Kingdom of Sand was rich in Relics, items carried from the world of the living to that of the dead. Time has worn away these practices and claimed many of the Relics it created, but the undead still remember the arts required to craft goods that will cross the Shroud.

Focusing the unnatural, stolen power of vitae into physical form and bending it to their dark will, an Egyptian necromancer can bring into being material goods that exist in the Shadowlands. These items can be used as gifts, bribes or tools for wraiths the necromancer encounters, or as supplies for his own travels into the Underworld. Items created with the Reliquary Path never exist in the Living World. It is extremely hard to use this Path without some ability to see or touch things on the other side of the Shroud, since its products manifest solely in the Underworld. In Wraith terms, such items are considered Artifacts.

Objects made with this Path survive for one month per success on their creation roll. By default, these objects are bland, generic items without distinguishing characteristics. In order to craft more elaborate items or replicate the appearance of unique, pre-existing items the necromancer must spend a point of Willpower and make a separate Dexterity + Craft roll (difficulty 7), with the successes determining how elaborate their creation is. The creation of sophisticated items can only be accomplished if the necromancer can see and touch his creations by means of other Necromantic powers or by way of being in the Shadowlands himself when he fashions them.

● Chattel

The necromancer can form his blood and power into simple material objects. Only items with no moving parts and small enough that they could be lifted by a grown man can be created at this stage of mastery.

System: To create an item, the player spends 2 blood points and rolls Willpower (difficulty 7).

●● Material

Having advanced further towards mastery, the necromancer is now able to fashion complex items with moving pieces such as firearms, vehicles and even computers.

System: This power has the same system as Chattel.

●●● Eternity

Items crafted from memory and emotion alone do not last forever in the Underworld. Entropy wears away at them, eventually grinding them down to nothing. Only those items forged out of souls or crafted by sorcery truly last forever. The stolen life that powers the unnatural magic of Necromancy can fill both requirements. By expending additional blood when invoking his creations, a necromancer can ensure they will last until claimed by the Void itself.

System: Simply spend 2 additional blood points when activating any of the first four levels of this Path to make the Artifact created permanent.

●●●● Animation

Creating living beings for use by ghosts would be impossible, but trained adepts of this Path can create animated simulacra that fill the functions of living servants, guards and pets. Such creations cannot possibly be mistaken for true organisms: they always appear as moving statues or other forms of artificial representation such as flying clay pigeons, moving marble statues, or walking suits of armor.

System: The player spends 5 blood points and rolls Willpower (difficulty 7) to create the simulacrum. It must be between the size of a toad and a bull and cannot have any magical powers. Crafting Artifact griffons or dragons requires far more potent magic. Such creations are able to understand commands, but have no free will and cannot act without instructions. The Storyteller should determine their traits based on the closest animal or human template appropriate. Equipment for the simulacra such as weapons and armor must be fashioned separately.

●●●●● Treasure

Not only can a necromancer create ‘ordinary’ items for his wraithly servants or allies, a talented master of the Reliquary Path can fashion truly magical items. He has learned to imbue his own dark abilities into the items he creates, or even emulate the powers of wraith-crafted Artifacts. This power must be used carefully, lest the necromancer invest too much power in his creations and find his own soul being merged into the items he fashions.

System: After creating an Artifact with the first or second power of this Path, the necromancer can spend 2 points of Willpower and rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 8) to imbue it with a magical power. He can grant it any level 1 or 2 Discipline power he knows, or any level 1 or 2 Arcanoi power known to a wraith willing to demonstrate the power during the creation of the Artifact. Once a Discipline or Arcanoi has been imbued into the Artifact, any wraith that holds the Artifact can activate that power as if they had knowledge of it. Disciplines that normally require vitae are instead fueled by Pathos. At the Storyteller’s discretion, this power can also fashion any Artifact that would be ranked 1-3, but has effects outside those of Disciplines or Arcanoi.

Botching the roll for this power siphons off a Permanent point of Willpower.

The Skull Path (Path of the Fallen Knight)

Developed by Cappadocian Knights during the early Crusades, this Path has spawned nightmares and legends of horror. Walking skeletons wielding terrible blades, men fighting on as their flesh falls from their bones and slicing apart their enemies with the tips of their bloodied fingers. The Skull Path advocates abandoning the weaknesses of flesh in favor of the strength of bones and dark magic.

● Bone Talons

The necromancer expends a small amount of power to rot away the flesh on his fingertips, revealing razor-sharp bones that he can use to slice deep into anyone that stands against him.

System: The player spends 1 blood point and the bones of his fingers extend into talons that deal Strength + 1 Lethal damage with a simple Dexterity + Brawl attack. Such attacks have a difficulty of 6, but do not have an Accuracy bonus.

●● Rictus Grin

Peeling back the skin of his lips and gums, the necromancer bares his fangs in a terrible flash. Under the influence of this power, a vampire’s fangs extend into vicious weapons that can tear away gobbets of flesh with a mere swipe of the undead warrior’s head and a snap of his jaws.

System: To activate this power, the player spends 1 blood point. When making a bite attack with his enhanced fangs, the character does not have to have first tackled, held or clinched his target. He can simply make a Dexterity + Brawl roll (difficulty 6) with an Accuracy bonus of +1. The enhanced fangs deal Strength +2 Aggravated damage.

●●● Slough the Coil

When a warrior devoted to this Path finds his flesh too damaged to continue serving him, he simply discards it. Battered flesh falls from his bones, dissolving into bloody ooze and leaving the necromancer unencumbered by the damage done to it. His bones alone are sufficient to keep him moving and able. The sight of a vampire warrior using this power can be incredibly disturbing.

System: When the character takes damage to his flesh, that is damage that doesn’t remove a limb or otherwise destroy his bone structure, he can opt to spend a Willpower point to “shed’ up to three Health Levels of Bashing or Lethal damage. The affected flesh melts off the vampire’s body. Health Levels “shed” in this way are considered healed, but the vampire’s Appearance is reduced to 0 and the sight of him causes mortals to flee in terror unless they succeed on a Courage roll (difficulty 8). In order to restore his flesh, 3 blood points must be spent to regrow the lost flesh. The cost of regrowing flesh does not change based on how many Health Levels have been “shed”, but a vampire can only “shed” 7 Health Levels worth of flesh before he runs out and becomes a walking skeleton, unable to use this power again.

●●●● Osseous Armor

To protect himself, the necromancer dissolves some of the non-essential bones of his undead body, transforming them into mystically-charged dust. He then exhales the dust in a dry cloud, which settles on his body and quickly grows into a macabre suit of armor, apparently fashioned from blackened bones. The bone armor is flexible and supernaturally strong.

System: The player spends at least 1 blood point to create the bone armor. The armor’s soak rating is equal to the total number of blood points spent. No matter how much blood is used to create the armor, its innate resilience allows the necromancer to soak all forms of damage with his complete Stamina + Fortitude pool.

●●●●● Fleshless Warrior

Having utterly mastered the powers of bone and battle, the necromancer sheds all his flesh and becomes a skeletal Knight. Animated by magic and blood, his bony form needs no tendons, sinews or muscles to move, no eyes to see and no tongue to speak. He moves across the battlefield as a ghastly reaper as blows glance off his hardened bones and strike through his empty cavities.

System: The transformation takes two turns and requires 3 blood points. Once transformed, the character’s Bone Talons (if present) deal Aggravated damage. All melee attacks against the vampire are at +1 difficulty and all ranged attacks are at +2 difficulty as his attackers must struggle to hit bone rather than have their blows pass through empty space. He also becomes resistant to Lethal attacks, halving all such damage after soak. In exchange, his brittle bones are more vulnerable to blunt attacks; he loses the normal vampiric ability to halve Bashing damage. Bullets fired at the Fleshless Warrior are considered to inflict Lethal damage, which is halved. Lastly, without his flesh, sinew and blood, many Discipline powers are no longer effective against the transformed necromancer.

Revised[b] Paths (8 Paths)

The Cheval[c] Path (Abambo Dance)

Some among the practitioners of voodoo necromancy have taken to forging pacts with Les Invisibles, the wraiths of the Caribbean. While pacts between necromancers and wraiths are not unheard of, the degree of trust required for the unique bonds made between a practitioner of the Cheval Path and his restless allies is extreme. Through the arts of this Path, a necromancer bargains with one of the dead, allowing it to inhabit his body. Wraiths can normally possess humans with their own arts, but the magic of Cheval allows the bonding to be much more in-depth and beneficial to both parties. Users of this Path often find themselves gaining considerable fame among the dead, and their willingness to bargain physical bodies for secrets and services is held as a great boon to nearly any of Les Invisibles.

● Accord

This ability allows the necromancer to form a compact with a wraith, holding both of them to a set of rules for as long as the wraith is sharing the necromancer’s body. Each party must agree to all the terms, but once the pact is established, it cannot be violated or altered for as long as the wraith remains in the vampire’s body.

System: No roll is required to form the pact, but both the vampire and the wraith must spend a point of Willpower to seal their bargain. This power must be activated prior to using any other Cheval Path power. If the wraith and the vampire do not want to re-negotiate, they can simply resume an earlier set of terms by mutual agreement. Any action that would break the terms of the agreement by either party requires a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) and automatically ends any active Cheval Path powers instantly.

Accord is binding on all segments of both the vampire and the ghost: the rules apply even if the vampire Frenzies or if the wraith’s Shadow takes control.

●● Partager

Having formed an understanding with one of the Restless Dead, the necromancer is now ready for the next step: becoming a vessel. This power allows the vampire to extend a free invitation to any wraith willing to agree to make an Accord. If it accepts, the wraith can enter the necromancer and use his body as its own, granting it physical agency in the lands of the living. Many wraiths would literally kill for such a chance.

System: No roll is required and there is no cost beyond the required activation of Accord. While the wraith is riding him, the vampire retains full awareness of what happens and may eject the wraith at any time with a simple Willpower roll (difficulty of the Wraith’s Wits). The wraith uses his host’s Physical Attributes and Appearance, but its own traits for everything else. Without further Cheval powers, the wraith has no access to his own or his host’s supernatural powers while riding the necromancer. The wraith may remain inside his host until the sun rises, or the effect is ended by the vampire.

●●● Lait Fantôme

The bonding between wraith and necromancer can be enhanced and in some ways distilled into a thick, glowing white fluid. Infusing his blood with the power of his wraith ally, the necromancer creates ‘ghost milk’ that exists in both the living world and Shadowlands. If a wraith who has an Accord with the necromancer drinks the milk, he becomes temporarily more connected to the living world and to his undead ally.

System: The vampire rolls Stamina + Occult, then spends a blood point, while his wraithly ally must donate a point of Passion. Each success creates a single dose of ghost milk. Any wraith who drinks the fluid will gain 1 point of Passion per dose ingested. The wraith also treats the Shroud as 1 level lower for the next day after drinking ghost milk. For a similar time, the necromancer and the drinker can see each other even across the Shroud and communicate via line-of-sight telepathy. To benefit from these boons, the wraith must have formed an Accord with the vampire. Otherwise, the ghost milk is simply a tasty treat.

●●●● Unité

A far more powerful bond than initiates of the Cheval Path are capable of, this power allows the necromancer and the ghostly passenger to easily swap control back and forth, each taking control when most advantageous. With this more potent binding, the powers of the ghost are able to reach into the living world through the necromancer’s body.

System: The necromancer spends a blood point, then he and his wraithly ally both roll Wits + Empathy (difficulty 6). The lower number of successes is taken. For that many turns, control of the vampire’s body can freely pass from its owner to the ghost and back as a reflexive action. While the wraith is in control, it can now access its own Arcanoi and other powers. No matter how many times control shifts, only a single activation of Accord is required.

●●●●● Mélange

The sharing between ghost and necromancer becomes more than simply allowing the spirit control of a physical body. The two entities merge together, blending into an almost-seamless whole for a short time. Drawing on the strengths of both the restless dead and the blood-drinking vampire, such a creature is fearsome to behold.

System: In addition to activating Accord, the necromancer must spend 1 blood point and the wraith must spend 1 point of Passion. They both roll Wits + Empathy (difficulty 6). The lower number of successes is taken. For that many turns, the two act as one entity. Whenever they must make a roll, they choose from the highest of their scores in relevant traits, no matter which partner those traits belong to. Further, the pair has full use of both individual’s supernatural powers. Some trace of the wraith’s intangible nature remains, even in the living world. By taking an automatic Health Level of lethal damage, the bound pair may become immaterial for a single turn, avoiding attacks or walking through walls.

The Vigil[d] Path (The Spark of Life)

A radical deviation from most paths of necromantic study, the Vigil Path seeks to purge stresses, weakness and injury from living (or unliving) bodies. The same necrotic energies used by other Paths to cause rot and decay can be focused carefully to destroy disease-causing organisms, wipe away the toxins of fatigue and break down damaged tissues, allowing fresh, clean growth. Nothing can ever be fully turned against its own nature, though, and those who have been the recipient of care from the hands of necromancers often whisper of terrible chills, horrific nightmares, lingering numbness and other unpleasant side effects of having their ills cursed by the power of death itself.

● Diagnosis

By studying the build-up of entropic energies in their patients, even initiates of the Vigil Path can determine how close to death they are.

System: The player scrutinizes his target for a full turn, then rolls Perception + Medicine (difficulty 6). As long as even a single success is obtained, the necromancer learns how many Health Levels of damage the target has taken. If at least three successes were rolled, the type of damage taken is also revealed. With five or more successes, the necromancer learns of any diseases afflicting the target.

●● Deaden Pain

By impeding the function of nerves in the body with an infusion of chill power, the necromancer shields his patients from pain. Some have even reported being able to walk on shattered bones and fight with terrible wounds. There may be more than simple anesthetic to this power. Those who have felt the chill energy course through their bodies report that it is an extremely unpleasant sensation, leaving them uncomfortable in their own skins.

System: After laying hands on his subject and spending a point of Willpower, the character rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty equal to the target’s Stamina). Each success negates one point of wound penalties for the rest of the scene. For the same duration the subject of this power is completely unable to regain Willpower, their mind unbalanced by the alien sensations in their flesh.

●●● Purge Infection

This technique quite literally murders diseases, fungi or infestations afflicting an otherwise healthy body. Necrotic power, narrowly focused and finely controlled, surges from the necromancer’s hands into the patient and exterminates any alien presences that may be causing them to sicken. The experience of having illness expunged violently from your body is agony, but it can be the difference between life or death.

System: The character touches his target and rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 7) to direct the dark power. Each success on the roll wipes out one fungal, parasitic, viral or bacterial condition affecting the subject. Magical diseases or infestations can also be purged, but they require three successes each. For the rest of the scene, the subject has a -1 penalty applied to all their rolls for each condition removed with this power. If the necromancer botches his roll, he inflicts one Health Level of Lethal damage to his subject for each 1 rolled.

●●●● Unfeeling Flesh

A powerful surge of necromantic power fills the patient with the resilience of the corpse. Their wounds will not bleed, blunt trauma barely registers and even mortal wounds are borne easily, for a time. Even diseases do not easily find hold in flesh touched by death.

System: The necromancer touches his target, spends 1 blood point and rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 7). This power lasts for one turn per success. While the effect is active, the target’s soak rolls are at -2 difficulty and their Bashing soak is doubled. Mortal targets gain the ability to soak Lethal damage. Further, for as long as the dark power surges through the subject’s body, they are utterly immune to infection by disease.

●●●●● Expel Harm

True mastery of the Vigil Path is an almost perfect inversion of the normal function of entropic energy. By pulling underworld powers away from a physical body, the necromancer encourages regrowth and healing. Even the most terrible wounds can be overcome by a healthy body, unencumbered by the forces that underlay death and destruction.

System: After touching his target, the necromancer spends 2 blood points and rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 8). Each success cures one level of Bashing or Lethal damage. Damage healed in this way continues to inflict its associated wound penalties until the next sunrise.

The Smoke[e] Path (The Stilled Grave) 

Necromancers are often called upon by the living, or undead, to halt harassment from across the Shroud. Masters of the Smoke Path are some of the most skilled at such tasks; they are exorcists of the highest caliber, able to curtain the activities of wraiths, banish them from areas they are haunting or people they’ve possessed, even render the walking dead into nothing but ordinary corpses.

● Ephemeral Awareness

The most basic skill of the Smoke Path is simply being aware of the Restless Dead. Unlike the ghostly vision offered by other varieties of Necromancy, this sensitivity is more general and intuitive. While his awareness is sharpened, the necromancer can sense the presence of wraiths around him, instantly home in on any use of wraithly powers and even tell if wraiths frequent the location where he stands.

System: There is no cost or roll required to activate this power. The player simply notes that he is activating it, and for the rest of the scene he gains an uncanny awareness of the dead. While he cannot see them directly, he is able to sense their presence in his immediate vicinity with a reflexive Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 5), and automatically knows if any wraiths use their powers around him. He can also sense if wraiths have passed through his location in the recent past with a simple Perception + Awareness roll (difficulty 7).

●● Salt Line

By marking an opening with his blood, the necromancer creates an almost impenetrable barrier to the dead. Even wraiths riding in living or dead bodies, or temporarily immaterial, cannot pass through such wards. These wards work both ways, preventing entrance... or escape.

System: The necromancer spends a single blood point to mark the passage he wishes to bar, and rolls his Charisma + Occult (difficulty 6). Any wraith attempting to pass through the marked opening must get double the necromancer’s successes on a Willpower roll (difficulty 6). Any wraith that succeeds shatters the line, sending a mental alert to the necromancer. Salt Lines last until the first dawn after their creation.

●●● Lay to Rest

The use of dead bodies by wraiths or necromancers relies upon a trace of energy that remains in any corpse, the very faintest echo of the life that once animated its form. Adepts of the Smoke Path can obliterate this tiny spark, driving ghosts out of Risen bodies and reducing the zombie servants of other necromancers to inert husks. A body that has been Lain to Rest cannot be possessed by wraiths or re-animated by sorcery in the future; it is truly at peace.

System: The necromancer touches the target corpse and spends a point of Willpower. He then rolls his Charisma + Occult (difficulty of the target’s Stamina). If he succeeds, the animating spirit of the corpse is expelled. The wraiths inhabiting Risen bodies are forced back to the Shadowlands, while corpses animated through sorcerous means are rendered inert.

●●●● Exorcism

Occasionally used to free a wraith from compulsions or bindings holding them, the far more common application of this ability is to drive unwanted ghosts out of a location or even a possessed body.

System: To release a ghost from bindings, the necromancer simply speaks aloud to the ghost for a single turn, then rolls his Charisma + Occult (difficulty 8). Each success shatters one effect currently afflicting the ghost, such as Command Soul (Sepulcher 3) or Haunting (Sepulcher 4).

If used as a true exorcism, the roll is instead made against the Wraith’s willpower. Any success at all casts the wraith out of the current location, or banishes them from a living body they have possessed. Exorcised wraiths cannot return to the place or person they were removed from for at least one month.

●●●●● Hallowed Hall

The barrier between the land of the dead and the living world normally stymies most forms of influence the dead might have over the living. It makes the living hard to see and even harder to harm. Through the arts of the Smoke Path, the Shroud can be strengthened to such a degree that even the most powerful and ancient ghosts can only whisper to the living, no matter how hard they scream and howl.

System: The player spends two points of Willpower and rolls his Charisma + Occult (difficulty 8). If successful, the strength of the local Shroud increases to 13 for one day per success. If your Storyteller is not using rules for the Shroud, instead this should be treated as a +6 difficulty to any attempt by the Restless Dead to view, interact with or affect the living world in any way at all.

The Scourge[f] Path (Shopona’s Touch)

Following the path of Shopona, the Yoruba deity of sickness and disease, a necromancer gains the ability to both cause and cure plagues. Viruses and bacteria wither or thrive at his command. There are whispers that masters of this Path may have been responsible for some of the most deadly outbreaks in history. Those who seek mastery over infection are often avoided, well, like the plague.

Plague Casting

The first step in manipulating plagues required extensive familiarity with the agents of sickness. A necromancer quickly develops a heightened sensitivity to the presence of disease in those around him. Often it only takes a single glance to see who is infected and who is healthy.

 

System: The player simply rolls Perception + Medicine (difficulty 6). Each success allows him to determine if one person in his line of sight is infected by disease or healthy. Additional successes can be dedicated to any person that registers infected, each one granting further information about their condition such as what infection they carry and how far it has progressed.

●● Mercy of Shopona

The Orisha responsible for inflicting disease is also the Orisha responsible for curing them. Drawing on his power to send a surge of necromantic power through his subject, a practitioner of this Path can slay the diseases within his own body or in anyone he touches.

System: After touching his subject, the necromancer spends a blood point and rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 7). Each success purges the target of one disease. Additional successes can be used to render the subject immune to a single cured disease for one month per success.

●●● Shopona Stumbles

Yoruba legend tells that when Shopona joined in the elaborate dances of the Orisha, he stumbled during the steps. Humiliated by the laughter of the onlookers, Shopona lashed out and cursed any who saw his misstep with Smallpox. A venomous gaze at his target is all the necromancer needs to strike down his foes with any number of horrific plagues.

System: After choosing his target and fixing them with a dire stare for a full turn, the necromancer spends a point of Willpower and two blood points. His player then rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty of the target’s Stamina +4). If he succeeds, his target is infected with one disease of the necromancer’s choice, so long as the necromancer has either been infected by that disease, or cured a case of it using Mercy of Shopona.

●●●● Breath of Sickness

This level of near-mastery of Shopona’s Touch confers the ability to spread and cure diseases far more effectively than before. No longer does the necromancer have to deal with single subjects, he can exhale a cloud of dark power that either scours away plagues or plants the seeds of epidemics.

System: By spending an additional Willpower point for each extra target he wishes to affect, the necromancer can use either Mercy of Shopona or Shopona Stumbles upon multiple targets at once. The difficulty of Shopona Stumbles used on a group is determined by the highest Stamina among the chosen victims.

●●●●● Wrath of Olodumare

When necessary, Shopona acts as the avenger of the Orisha. True mastery of his Path allows the creation of horrific plague infused with the power of undead vitae. In order to unleash the Wrath of Olodumare, the necromancer must first ingest at least one point of disease-ridden vitae to act as a basis for the terrible sickness he will craft.

System: The necromancer can have ingested the tainted blood at any point, so long as it remains in his body when he activates this power. After spending the tainted blood point, he rolls Stamina + Medicine (difficulty 7). If successful, he can transmit the enhanced plague through the use of Shopona Stumbles, or through contact with his bodily fluids. Anyone exposed to contaminated vitae can roll their Stamina (difficulty 8) to avoid infection, but they must gain more successes than the necromancer did. The infected can also spread the disease via their own fluids for as long as they are affected, though the difficulty to avoid secondary infection is only 6 and secondary infections last half as long.

Those infected suffer catastrophic versions of the base diseases’ regular symptoms, as determined by the Storyteller, for a number of days equal to the necromancer’s successes. The true effect of the plague, however, is the loss of 1 dot of Stamina per day. Vampires can heal such Stamina loss as if it was an Aggravated wound, but mortals have no such defense. A mortal that drops to Stamina 0 dies, while a vampire is thrown into Torpor.

The Clay[g] Path (The Mortal Coil)

Corpses are vitally important to the practice of Necromancy, but most Paths pay little attention to the condition and location of bodies. Though concerned primarily with the physical state of remains, true masters of the Clay Path are rumored to be able to draw memories and even skills from the bodies of the dead. Generally the powers of this Path are restricted to human corpses, but there are rumors of some Gangrel necromancers that have learned to use it to on the bodies of animals.

● Grim’s Trail

One of the most important abilities for any necromancer is finding useful corpses. Like the dreaded Black Dogs of myth, the vampire can track down the dead near him. A single sniff of the air will lead the necromancer to the nearest corpse, or simply allow him to identify how many bodies are nearby and what condition they are in.

System: Whether using this power to locate a corpse or perform a census of bodies, the player rolls Perception + Occult (difficulty 6). If attempting to locate the nearest useful body, the degree of success correlates to how clear a path he is given to follow to the corpse. In the event the player simply wants to know how many bodies are nearby, each success reveals one corpse and its current physical condition (fresh, rotten, skeletal, etc) within one mile per success.

●● Forensic Touch

With a simple touch, the necromancer surveys a corpse. He can sense how far it has decayed, find any foreign bodies within, catalogue its wounds and even determine where it has been. Some necromancers use their skills to turn a profit on cold cases, others simply prefer to know more about the dead people they’ll be enslaving.

System: After touching the body he wishes to study, the character rolls Perception + Medicine (difficulty 6). Each success reveals one fact about the physical condition of the body. If the player chooses to make his activation roll at difficulty 7 instead, he can also learn facts related to the environments the body was in prior to and following its death.

●●● Bodily Perfection

Sometimes a body has been too battered by time, scavengers or human hands to be useful to a necromancer. In such cases, there is no other option but to force the body to recall its own self-image and return to that perfect state. Once the body reforms, the necromancer wards it against entropy, allowing him to preserve it forever if he wishes. Even bodies rendered to ash or a smear of bone and flesh can be restored to apparent perfection using this technique.

System: To restore a corpse to wholeness, the necromancer must have at least 50% of the body’s original mass. He then touches the corpse and spends 2 blood points. There is no roll required, but the body takes 1 turn for every 10% of its original mass missing to reform. Once reformed, the body will not decay naturally and will show no marks or wounds. It appears perfectly healthy, though completely dead.

●●●● Final Words

The final gasp of a dying man can unravel the mysteries of his life. Death magic ensures it is never too last to extract these last words. Even if a body has rotted away to bones, a well-trained necromancer can call forth the knowledge locked inside a corpse.

System: To activate this ability the player rolls his Perception + Occult (difficulty 7) and touches the corpse from which he wants to gather information. Each success allows him ask the Storyteller one question about topics the deceased could reasonably have had knowledge related to in life. Particularly vital or complex questions may require additional successes.

●●●●● Bequeathal

A true master of the Clay Path can salvage more than flesh, bone and memories from the dead. He has learned how to unlock the aptitudes and prowess once available to a living person by stealing it from their corpse. The strength of the dead adds to the necromancer’s own, temporarily granting him inhuman abilities.

System: Stealing the traits of a corpse requires physical contact for a full turn, after which the player spends a  blood point and rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 8). For one turn per success, the highest rated Attribute and Ability that the deceased possessed is halved (rounded down), then added the the necromancer’s own scores in that Attribute and Ability. If the deceased had multiple traits at the same level, the Storyteller decides which traits are passed to the necromancer.

The Chthonic[h] Path (Steps of Persephone)

The Underworld is far deeper and more complicated than even most necromancers know. Beyond the Shadowlands there is a great, sunless ocean tossed by a terrific storm. In this Tempest, wraiths dwell in nations of their own. Beyond even that, there are whispers of a dark realm called the Labyrinth, where specters and other malefic creatures dwell and plot against both the living and the dead. The Chthonic Path was created by necromancers who explored even the furthest, deepest reaches of the Underworld. It allows for navigation and survival in these distant places.

• Shroudsense

The first step of mastery in the Chthonic Path is to gain an understanding of the Shroud. All the other powers of this Path rely on being able to detect weak points in the barrier between the living and the dead. Shroudsense also allows the necromancer to feel the layers of the Underworld while travelling through the lands of the dead.

System: There are two functions of this power. This first requires no roll and simply allows the character to sense the strength of the Shroud in his immediate vicinity by spending a point of Willpower to attune himself to the power of death.

The second power requires a Perception + Occult roll (difficulty 7) to reach out and feel the Shroud in an extended area, searching for the weakest point within one mile per success. Once located, the necromancer knows how far and in what direction the weak point lays. This ability can also be used to locate holes, called Nihils by Wraiths, in the Shadowlands that reach into a deeper, darker layer of the Underworld called the Tempest.

•• Stygian Compass

In the depths of the Underworld, a great storm-tossed sea called the Tempest dominates the landscape. Without proper guidance, it is easy to become lost forever in the sunless waves and howling winds. This power grants the necromancer a limited ability to navigate through the Tempest to safe paths known as “byways”. By itself, this power grants no knowledge of where the byways lead or the geography of the Tempest. That must be learned via other means.

System: Whenever your character is in the Tempest, he can find his way to the nearest byway or safe haven by rolling Wits + Survival, difficulty 7 (or difficulty 8 in particularly harsh or confusing conditions). 1 success gives a vague sense of "that-a-way," where as five successes gives the necromancer exact directions.

••• Worn Gateway

There are weak points in the Shroud, places and times where the worlds of the living and the dead are very, very close. At these times and places, it is easy to pass from one to the other. This ability allows a necromancer to step across the Shroud when it is naturally thin. The stroke of midnight, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Dia de los Muertos are all times when the Shroud becomes thin. It also thins in graveyards, slaughterhouses, battlefields and other sites of death.

System: To step across the Shroud, the necromancer must expend a point of Willpower and roll Stamina + Occult, difficulty of (the Shroud -1). 3 successes are required to fully transmigrate to the Shadowlands reflection of his current location; fewer successes dump the necromancer into the Tempest. A botch may send the necromancer into the Labyrinth itself.

•••• Tears of Acheron

Tears of Acheron grants the necromancer the ability to sustain himself with the emotional energies that compose the roiling Tempest… for a short time at least. By spending hours floating in the Tempest, he may absorb some of the dark energies of the storm into himself. The harsh, violent power is sufficient to animate a vampire, but it is not healthy even for the undead. Too much reliance on Tears of Acheron may threaten the user’s sanity.

System: To gain sustenance from the Tempest, the character rolls his Willpower, difficulty 8. Each success counts as one "Tempest Point" gained. These points can only be used to rise from sleep each night and for no other purpose.

While any Tempest Points remain in a vampire’s body, all his Virtue rolls are at +1 difficulty from the roiling emotional energies inside him. Additionally, each night that the vampire has Tempest Points he must roll Willpower (difficulty 7) to avoid a temporary Derangement that lasts until the Tempest energy is purged from his body. Botches on the Willpower roll may cause the Derangement to become permanent.

••••• Death’s Doorways

Only the most experienced necromancers travel deep enough into the Underworld to learn that there are layers beyond the Shadowlands. These other layers are hidden beneath the Shadowlands and to travel them, a portal must be opened to allow entrance. Wraiths refer to these portals as Nihils and to the deeper layers of their realm as the Tempest. Certain ghosts have learned to use the Tempest as a shortcut to long distance travel, though one fraught with risks. Through this ability, a master necromancer can do the same. Once they locate a Nihil in the Shadowlands, they can use this ability to travel through it and, after a short time in the Tempest, emerge through another Nihil far across the Shadowlands. This power should be used sparingly; almost as many necromancers vanish forever as emerge from the Tempest after stepping in.

System: This power must be activated while in the Shadowlands and standing near a Nihil. Just before stepping into the Nihil itself, the necromancer spends 1 Willpower and 3 blood points. He is then plunged into the Tempest and must begin the process of navigating to his destination. The navigation process is a series of Perception + Occult rolls (difficulty 8). The Storyteller determines how many total successes are required to reach the chosen destination. Somewhere only a few dozen miles away may just require 5 successes, but a few hundred miles may require 20 successes. To use the Tempest to cross oceans could require 100 or more successes. Each navigation roll represents one hour of effort. If a roll botches, it indicates that the necromancer has attracted the attention of specters or other unpleasant denizens of the Tempest. At any time, the necromancer can opt to stop his travel and try to escape the Tempest on his own, but doing so has its own risks. If all goes as planned and the necromancer gains the successes required, he finds another Nihil waiting for him, one that will return him to the Shadowlands reflection of his intended destination.

The Requiem[i] Path (Memento Mori)

Memories are the lifeblood of the dead; the psychic remnants of their breathing days leave an indelible legacy upon their afterlives that flows through their plasmic veins. Ghosts draw strength from the memories of people and places significant to them in life, and those who remember the departed continue to feed the spirits in the hereafter. A necromancer with the Requiem Path may delve into these fading threads of memory and manipulate them in order to force spirits to act at his behest.

• Memoriam

Spirits are fueled by emotion, and the primary source of their strength are the memories that bind them to the world of the living. Knowing the Passions that a spirit clings to can give the necromancer a great deal of sway over the ghost. This power allows a necromancer to divine the Passions of a wraith by gazing intently into its spectral eyes.

System: To use this power, the character must be able to see the ghost in question. The player rolls Perception + Empathy, difficulty equal to the spirit’s Wits + Subterfuge. Each success allows the necromancer to learn one emotional tie that the wraith has to the living world. The information is general by default (“love for my son”), but extra successes can be used to gain more detail if desired.


•• Eulogy

By speaking to a ghost and reminding her of her past deeds and memorable events in her life, the necromancer may either bolster or weaken the spirit. Reminding the ghost of her finer qualities and exploits will grant the spirit sustenance, while expounding upon the ghost’s vices or mistakes can fuel the dark side that all wraiths have: the Shadow.

System: The Necromancer must know the spirit’s name, and at least one event in the ghost’s life that he can base his speech upon (such memories may be gained through the Memoriam power). It requires only a single turn of speaking to invoke this power, after which the player rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty 7). Each success allows the necromancer to infuse the wriath with positive or negative emotional energy, harvested from the power of his own vitae.

 Eulogy may only be attempted on a given spirit once per scene, regardless of the success of the attempt. A botch means that the necromancer cannot use this power on that particular spirit for the remainder of the story.

••• Death’s Slumber

Ghosts no longer possess bodies, but their spiritual forms still require rest to replenish. When a wraith’s corpus is disrupted it is sometimes necessary to reconstitute his ectoplasmic form, and to do so he enters into a Torpor-like state called Slumber. A necromancer who has progressed this far along the Requiem Path learns to lull a spirit into this healing sleep. This can be used to heal a wounded wraith, or to incapacitate one that is not acting as the necromancer wishes.

System: This power can only be used on wraiths that the character can see. Once he has chosen his target, the player spends 1 point of Willpower and rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge with a difficulty equal to the wraith’s (Stamina + Empathy). This roll is only required if the wraith is unwilling to enter Slumber. As long as the necromancer succeeds, his target falls into a deep sleep that lasts 1 hour per success. During the sleep, the wraith rolls its own Willpower and regains as many health levels as it gained successes.

•••• Lamentation

Passions form the basis of a wraith’s existence, defining their reasons for clinging to existence in the face of their own death. They are the most ‘alive’ part of a wraith and, therefore, change over time as the wraith evolves and death moves on. A necromancer who has reached this degree of mastery may reshape the emotions and obsessions of a wraith, manipulating its Passions for his own ends. He cannot destroy or create new Passions, but he can twist the wraith’s existing Passions that his has learned through the earlier powers of this Path.

System: Once a Passion has been identified, the necromancer must spend at least three turns speaking with the wraith, manipulating it into seeing the Passion in a different light or understanding why that Passion leads to the new one. After the vampire finishes speaking, his player rolls Manipulation + Empathy with a difficulty equal to the wraith’s Willpower. Slight modifications of Passions may only require 2 or 3 successes, but completely re-writing a Passion would require at least 5. These changes in Passions wear off after a number of days equal to the necromancer’s Manipulation. Botches on this power make the wraith immune to all future uses of compulsion or manipulation effects from the necromancer for the rest of the story.

••••• Last Rites

Some wraiths believe that there lies a state beyond their restless existence, something they refer to as ‘Transcendence.’ They also believe that in order to reach this hallowed state, they must shed their connections to the mortal world, their Passions and Fetters. Some necromancers take advantage of this belief by using this power. In truth, they are lying to their ghostly supplicants. Last Rites does not peacefully resolve the Passions of a ghost, it destroys them. The very power of Oblivion is used to eat away at the emotional connections holding the spirit to the living, rendering them forever lost. If used with sufficient frequency and power, this ability may eventually lead to a wraith’s utter destruction.

System: Activating this power requires the expenditure of 1 blood point and 2 Willpower, and for the necromancer to lay hands on his target. If by some means the necromancer convinces a wraith to willingly be the subject of this ability, there is no roll required. The player simply selects one of the wraith’s Passions and that Passion is destroyed, forever. Should the wraith resist, however, it engages the necromancer in a contested Willpower roll, difficulty 6. If the wraith wins, it retains its passion. If the necromancer wins, the Passion is destroyed. Further, a wraith that unwillingly loses one of its Passions also loses all of its temporary Willpower.

The Pyre[j] Path (Way of the Goblin Flame)

The Pyre Path allows the necromancer to call forth the soulfire of the underworld, burning his foes, be they physical or spectral in form. There have been reports that the Asian vampires possess blood magic similar to this path, allowing them to summon forth strange, blue fire. The efforts of the della Passaglia Giovani culminated in distilling this Path from scraps of knowledge and rumors, after studying the Cathayan arts and observing the constantly-active soulforges of the Dark Kingdom of Jade for decades.

• Corpse Candle

The necromancer infuses entropic energy into an object in the Underworld, causing it to catch flame. The ghostly flames burn in both worlds, providing a brief source of illumination. The fire burns normally, centered on whatever object was set alight by the power.

System: Spend a blood point. If the necromancer already has some means of seeing objects in the Shadowlands, then no roll is necessary. Otherwise, activating this power requires 3 successes on a Perception + Alertness roll, difficulty 6. For one minute per point of Perception the vampire possesses, the targeted objects burns with ghost-fire. It illuminates an area equivalent to a small room on both sides of the Shroud.

The torch-fire is very real to ghosts and other beings in the Underworld. Such creatures suffer 1 health level of aggravated damage each time they pass through the ghostly fire. The flames do not burn individuals in the living world.

•• Nether Light

This spell allows the necromancer to view nearby ectoplasm by faintly kindling a small bit of emotional energy into a soft radiance from beyond the shroud of death. The light appears as a small ball of blue-white flame that hovers near its master. When the necromancer evokes the Nether Light, any entity in the underworld that is composed of plasm will begin to glow visibly, even across the Shroud in the living world.

System: To invoke Nether Light, the vampire must expend a blood point and roll Perception + Occult (difficulty 7). All ectoplasm becomes visible within a radius of 3 yards for one turn per success. Ghosts with stealth-related powers may confound the Nether Light. The wraith receives a Wits + Stealth roll, opposed by the Necromancer’s Perception + Occult roll. If the ghost succeeds, it remains invisible.

••• Spirit Burn

Spirit Burn allows the necromancer to invoke the bluish white flames of the underworld. Using the emotional charge of his vitae, he focuses that power into the plasm of a nearby creature in the Shadowlands and sets them on fire. Wraiths, specters and even travelers using magic to visit the Underworld without a corporeal body are vulnerable to the attack.

System: Spend a blood point and roll Wits + Occult, difficulty 7. Every two successes on the roll inflicts one level of Aggravated damage to any spirit in the necromancer’s sight. To properly aim the Spirit Burn attack, the necromancer must be able to see the target either using a power to see across the Shroud, or by existing in the Shadowlands himself.

•••• Soulfire

Through this power, fires of the Underworld can be called into the living world. This attack can be directed against wraiths, but most sorcerers find it far more effective against the living as the ghost fire is invisible in the living world. The victims of such fires suffer agonizing, but mysterious attacks. Their blood boils and internal organs crisp, but no flames are seen and no smoke emerges from their bodies. Only those able to see into the Shadowlands, or possibly those very skilled in sensory talents like Auspex, can perceive the ghostly fire surrounding a screaming mortal victim.

System: Summoning these flames costs a blood point, and requires a roll of Wits + Occult (difficulty of the local Shroud). The fires appear anywhere in the necromancer’s line of sight. On the first turn, the target takes one dice of aggravated damage per turn. On subsequent turns, the target suffers half of the damage that he suffered the previous turn (round down). The victim does have a chance to save themselves: a successful Willpower roll (difficulty 8) can reduce the post-soak damage of the fires by 1. The victim can make a Willpower roll for each turn that the fires burn him.

••••• Forge the Soul

Based on the horrific practice of ‘Soulforging’ that wraiths whisper of in fear, this power allows a necromancer to melt a wraith’s corpus into raw material. The horrible blue-white fire of the Underworld blazes so hot that it dissolves the bonds holding a wraith together and reduces them to nothing but raw plasm. The resulting mass can then be shaped either by other wraiths or by the necromancer himself, transformed into ‘soulsteel’. From soulsteel, any hard object the necromancer desires can be manufactured. No apparent trace of the wraith’s personality remains, but objects made of soulsteel are constantly moaning and sobbing.

Without other powers soulsteel may not be removed from the Underworld meaning this power is only useful if used through the Shroud or from inside the Underworld.

System: To forge a wraith, the necromancer must grasp its corpus in his hands, which burst into flame. However the contact is achieved, the player then spends 2 points of Willpower and one blood point. The wraith and the necromancer engage in a struggle: the wraith’s Stamina + Brawl against the necromancer’s Strength + Occult, both at difficulty 6. If at any point the wraith has more total successes than the necromancer, it breaks free. If the wraith fails to free itself, it starts to melt. Each net success gained by the necromancer is one permanent Willpower point that the wraith loses. When the wraith loses all its permanent Willpower, it is reduced to nothing but raw plasm. The resulting mass is roughly one cubic foot per point of Willpower the wraith originally possessed. The remains can then be shaped normally with a Dexterity + Craft roll, difficulty determined by the availability of proper tools and the complexity of the object desired.

Rejected Paths (8 Paths)

The Withering[k] Path (The Ravages of Time)

● - Appraisal - Ascertain the true age of an item or person.

●● - Ancient Visage - Cosmetically age your victim, making them appear old.

●●● - Decrepitude - Reduces the target’s Physical Attributes.

●●●● - Dementia - Reduces the target’s Mental Attributes, Charisma and Manipulation.

●●●●● - Eternal Burden - Increase the duration of ranks 2-4.

The Brain[l] Path (Ascendancy of the Psyche)

● - Discern the Anima - Gauge the willpower of targets and possibly spiritual anomalies.

●● - Erode the Will - Strip willpower points from a target.

●●● - Bolster the Ego - Increases capacity of willpower pool or donate willpower to your target.

●●●● - Conflagration of Quintessence - Burn the target’s mind from the inside.

●●●●● - Rapacity of Vitality - Steal Willpower from a target and add it to your own.

The Fate[m] Path (Tools of the Parcae)

 Rod of Decima - Learn how long a target has to live

●● Shears of Morta - End the life of a target already close to death, peacefully and without pain

●●● Morta's Choice - Learn the method of the target's death and possibly change it

●●●● Nona's Spindle - Alter the time when the target's fate will come to pass

●●●●● Nona's Distaff - Temporarily revive the recently deceased or awaken a Torpid vampire.

The Funeral[n] Path (Silence of the Grave)

● - Silent Witness - Listen to past conversations that have occurred in your vicinity.

●● - Back to Whispers - Communicate with a target via untraceable mental whispers.

●●● - Funereal Silence - Steal the breath of your target, suffocating and silencing them.

●●●● - Malicious Roads - Stuff

●●●●● - Funerary Dream - Enter a state of Torpor where your mind and powers remain active.

The Plague[o] Path (Yetzer Machaleh)

● - Discerning the Path - Determine if a target is infected with disease, and if they are terminal.

●● - Path’s End - Peacefully end the life of someone who will die from disease within 24 hours.

●●● - Guiding the Path - Aggravate a disease or force it into remission.

●●●● - Walking the Path - Cure a target of a disease by taking it into yourself, or infect a target with a disease you carry.

●●●●● - Path’s Exposure - Purge yourself of all disease, creating a toxic slime that infects anyone who gets too close.

The Midnight[p] Path (Shards of the Soul)

● - Myopia - Temporarily blind your target.

●● - Sap - Reduce the target’s strength, lowering their Physical Attributes.

●●● - Frighten - Summon horrific visions that terrify the victim.

●●●● - Instigate - Fan the flames of the Beast, provoking Frenzy.

●●●●● - Reciprocate - Cause the victim to harm themselves whenever they hurt another.

The Crumbled[q] Path (The Crumbling Avatar)

● - Survey - Learn about the circumstances of a body’s death.

●● - Taint - Cause a decaying body to generate a toxic miasma.

●●● - Stop Decay - Prevent a corpse from rotting any further.

●●●● - Corpse Eruption - Turn a body into a bomb, causing a massive explosion.

●●●●● - Resurrection - Bring back to life someone that has died in the last week.

The A’aru[r] Path (Steps of Anubis)

● - Sense Death - Gain the ability to tell when people near you die.

●● - Soul’s Passing - Sense if anyone has died in your location recently.

●●● - Locate Fetter - Track down a wraith’s Fetters.

●●●● - Banish Soul Servant - Shatter the bindings that hold ghosts.

●●●●● - Form of Anubis - Transform yourself into a lesser image of the god Anubis

Old Paths (canon)

The Sepulcher Path (Nigrimancy)

 - Witness of Death - See ghosts

●● - Summon - Summon ghosts

●●● - Compel Soul - Command ghosts

●●●● - Haunting - Bind ghosts to objects or places

●●●●● - Torment - Attack ghosts from across the Shroud

The Ash Path (Crossing the Shroud)

 - Shroudsight - View the Shadowlands

●● - Lifeless Tongues - Speak the language of the dead

●●● - Dead Hand - Affect the Shadowlands physically without going there

●●●● - Ex Nihilo - Step into the Shadowlands

●●●●● - Shroud Mastery - Weaken or strengthen the Shroud

The Bone Path (Binding of Bones)

 - Mindless Repetition - Bind a drone into a corpse, causing it to repeat a single action forever

●● - Apprentice’s Brooms - Bind drones into bodies to perform labor

●●● - Shambling Hordes - Bind drones into bodies that can fight

●●●● - Soul Stealing - Remove a soul from its body

●●●●● - Daemonic Possession - Put a soul in an empty body

The Vitreous Path (The Hand of Kali)

 - Eyes of the Dead - Gain the power of Deathsight

●● - Aura of Decay - Cause objects to decay

●●● - Soul Feast - Feed on Oblivion energy from locations or wraiths directly

●●●● - Breath of Thanatos - Exhale a cloud of pure Oblivion

●●●●● - Night Cry - Let out a scream tainted with Oblivion to help or harm

The Cenotaph Path (The Path of Abombo)

 - A Touch of Death - Sense the presence of wraiths

●● - Reveal the Catene - Identify if an object is a Fetter

●●● - Tread Upon the Grave - Determine the strength of the Shroud

●●●● - Death Knell - Sense when wraiths come into being

●●●●● - Ephemeral Binding - Create an artificial Fetter

The Grave Path (The Grave’s Decay)

 - Destroy the Husk - Turn an ordinary corpse into dust

●● - Rigor Mortis - Cause muscles to lock up

●●● - Wither - Shrivel an opponent’s limb

●●●● - Corrupt the Undead Flesh - Inflict a horrible plague on a vampire

●●●●● - Dissolve Flesh - Turn a body, living or undead, into dust

The Cerement Path (Corpse in the Monster)

 - Mask of Death - Appear cosmetically as if dead

●● - Cold of the Grave - Ignore physical and emotional pain

●●● - Curse of Life - Inflict the downsides of life on a vampire

●●●● - Gift of the Corpse - Become a true-dead corpse

●●●●● - Gift of Life - Shed many of the downsides of vampirism temporarily

The Cadaver Path (Cadaverous Animation)

 - Lifesigns - Cause a corpse to move or twitch

●● - Call Homunculus - Animate a small, mobile piece of corpse

●●● - Corpse Servant - Create menial laborers from bodies

●●●● - Deathless Knight - Create a zombie warrior

●●●●● - Corpse Army - Create a horde of zombie warriors

The Bile Path (The Path of Four Humors)

 - Black Breath - Exhale a poison that creates nightmares or hallucinations

●● - Lilith’s Kiss - Turn your saliva into a potent venom

●●● - Dark Humors - Transform your blood into one of four useful substances

●●●● - Phlegmatic Trance - Turn your blood into a fluid that saps emotion and willpower

●●●●● - Melancholy Miasma - Exhale a gas that causes suicidal depression

The Haunting Path (The Path of Haunting)

 - Morbid Fascination - Hypnotise a listener, causing obsession with death

●● - Summon Wisp - Calls up a minor spirit with hypnotic abilities

●●● - Harrowing - Create horrific nightmares

●●●● - Phantasms - Create ghostly illusions to terrify

●●●●● - Dire Haunting - Specters haunt and torment the target

Old Paths (fanon)

The Blight Path (Gift of Thanatos)

 - Reaper’s Purse - Store a small object inside your body

●● - March of Ages - Control your own physical age

●●● - Awaken - Raise yourself or another from Torpor

●●●● - Ashes to Ashes - Turn into a pile of ashes

●●●●● - Touch of Death - Kill with a touch

The Harrowing Path (Torment of Duat)

 - Grave Paranoia - Your target becomes convinced they will soon die

●● - Darkness - Strike your target blind

●●● - Suffocation - Render your target unable to breathe

●●●● - Entombment - Create a phantom coffin around your victim, trapping them

●●●●● - Banishment - Send your victim’s soul to the Underworld

The Iron Path (Binding the Hungry Ghost)

 - Soul Judgement - Determine if a wraith’s Shadow or Psyche is in control

●● - Dark Whispers - Talk with a wraith’s Shadow to learn secrets

●●● - Provocation - Cause a wraith’s Shadow to take control

●●●● - Severing - Split a wraith into two entities: Shadow and Psyche

●●●●● - Shadow Taming - Silence the Shadow for a short time

The Ebony Path (Ebon Mantle of Authority)

 - Soulgaze - Read a wraith’s mind

●● - Mind to Mind - Create a telepathic bond with a wraith

●●● - Authority - Overawe ghosts with your presence

●●●● - Oblivion’s Eye - Drive wraiths to madness with a glare

●●●●● - Soul Shackles - Impose an emotional binding on a wraith, similar to a blood bond

The Shadow Path (Walking the Shadow World)

 - See the Dead - Perceive nearby ghosts

●● - Banish the Dead - Ward locations against ghosts

●●● - Command the Dead - Issue commands to wraiths

●●●● - Dead Horde - Summon mindless Drones to serve you

●●●●● - Shadow Walk - Step into the Shadowlands and take others with you

The Mourning Path (Echoes of Passing)

 - Death Bell - Sense nearby deaths

●● - Grave Sense - Determine if anything has died nearby

●●● - Mortal Echo - Learn about past deaths nearby

●●●● - Ashen Feast - Draw power from sites of death

●●●●● - Future Passing - Divine if death will visit a location in the future

Schools of Necromancy

Major Schools

These four schools are thriving practices in the Modern Nights

Western (Giovani)

The most common and expansive school in the Modern Nights, Western Necromancy focuses on the spiritual and draws heavily from Roman traditions. Despite many of its trappings, the practitioners are primarily secular, using religious traditions in a pragmatic manner. Authority is the keystone of the paradigm: Wraiths are considered tools and manipulated ruthlessly. Intimidation, force and punishment are used to keep souls in line with the necromancer's demands. Some of the more exotic Paths studied by Giovani branch families such as the Ghiberti and the della Passaglia have been modified by the Venetians in order to comply with the Western paradigm.

Knowledge of the Classical school of Necromancy formed the foundation of the Giovani practices, but much of that lore has been discarded since the destruction of the Cappadocians. It was considered unwise to wield too openly the powers and abilities of their expunged forebears during the early nights of the Clan. Such practices were put on hold to avoid drawing the ire of the former allies of the Cappadocians, many were simply never picked up again. Some of the elders of the Giovani still remember these older Paths, but tradition has set in and they are rarely taught to neonates.

Unique Paths

  • The Usury Path
  • The Smoke Path
  • The Requiem Path

Shared Paths

  • Western Necromancy has access to all non-unique Paths

Voudoun (Samedi, Serpents of the Light, Lasombra)

The youngest school of Necromancy was originally an outgrowth of the African school. For four centuries, the followers of Voudoun have flourished in the New World and established themselves as an independent tradition. The practices of Voudoun Necromancy often overlap with Wanga blood-sorcery, both practiced by religious leaders of the various Afro-Caribbean faiths among the undead. There are rumors that true masters of either art can cross the borders between blood sorcery and necromancy. In terms of focus, Voudoun crosses the borders of spiritual and physical. Wraiths are treated as allies and often appeased or negotiated with in order to achieve a result satisfactory to both parties. The influence of the Samedi means that many powers related to rot, decay and putrescence are available to Voudoun necromancers, but the Lasombra and Serpents of the Light who practice the Discipline tend to stick more strongly to the spiritual side of the art.

Unique Paths

  • The Cheval Path (Abambo Dance)

Shared Paths

  • The Sepulcher Path
  • The Ash Path
  • The Bone Path
  • The Grave Path
  • The Blight Path
  • The Salt Path
  • The Gaunt Path
  • The Wasting path

African (Mla Watu, Ghiberti)

While the people of Africa may have respect for the spirits of the dead, the same cannot be said for the necromancers of the Ebony Kingdoms. The most powerful and ancient are the Ghost Eaters, the Mla Watu, and they care nothing for the feelings of the dead. The Mla Watu enslave the dead and use them ruthlessly to terrify and attack the living. Their power over the dead is simply another tool in the arsenal that the Ghost Eaters wield in order to secure their own comfort and power. A family of slave-traders, the Ghiberti Giovani are hardly any more friendly. Because of the distrust the Laibon have for all Necromancers and especially for intruding Cainites like the Ghiberti, African Necromancy tends to be practiced carefully and subtly, but the poor souls trapped by a Ghost Eater or a Slaver are not comforted that their suffering goes unnoticed by bloodsuckers other than their tormentor.

In general, the practices of the Mla Watu and the Ghiberti are strongly focused on the spiritual side of Necromancy, with only the rudiments of physical Paths available to them. The Ghiberti, of course, benefit from their ties with Venice, able to trade their knowledge of African Necromancy to the main Clan for instruction in other Paths if they so desire.

Unique Paths

  • The Shadow Path (Walking the Shadow World)
  • The Scourge Path (Shopona’s Touch)

Shared Paths

  • The Ash Path
  • The Bone Path
  • The Cenotaph Path (Path of Abombo)
  • The Haunting Path
  • The Salt Path
  • The Corpse Path
  • The Gaunt Path
  • The Wasting Path

Indian (Nagaraja)

Based on the practices of an ancient sect of Mages called the Chakravanti, this school of Necromancy is practiced exclusively by the flesh-eating vampires of the Nagaraja bloodline. As mortal mages they experimented with a type of magic known as necrosynthesis, oriented towards blurring the lines between the living and dead. When their research ended in the entire group transformed into aberrant vampires, the Nagaraja were not deterred at all. The Indian school of Necromancy continues to focus on the Shroud and how to manipulate the Shadowlands. The arts concerned with the physical body are neglected, aside from a few rare examples of power based on manipulating the balance of life and death within the vampiric body itself. Hindu practices still have a significant influence on the trappings and rituals of the Nagaraja, but they have left behind almost all traces of religion. Their thousands of years of undeath and their insatiable hunger for human meat have left the Nagaraja with a vicious attitude towards both the living and dead.

Unique Paths

  • The Iron Path (Binding the Hungry Ghost)
  • The Ebony Path (Ebon Mantle of Authority)
  • The Vitreous Path (The Hand of Kali)

Shared Paths

  • The Ash Path
  • The Cerement Path
  • The Salt Path
  • The Ghost Path
  • The Gaunt Path
  • The Murk Path
  • The Corpus Path
  • The Chthonic Path

Minor Schools

Time has not been kind to these schools of Necromancy. Their practitioners have either been driven extinct or their numbers are so few that they teeter on the edge. The Chinese and Aztec schools have a decent population of existing practitioners, but they are so closely intertwined with the Giovani that the Western Paradigm of the main Clan threatens to overwhelm the native traditions of the smaller families.

Classical (Cappadocian, Lamia)

The progenitor of the Western School, but entirely focused on the physical aspects of death instead of the spiritual. The school draws heavily from Greco-Roman philosophy, medieval medicine and the Abrahamic religions. It displays a slightly more religious bent than Western Necromancy, but only slightly. It is still at its core a pragmatic study of forces instead of a religious experience.

Unique Paths

  • The Bile Path (Path of the Four Humors)
  • The Cadaver Path (Cadaverous Animation)

Shared Paths

  • The Grave Path
  • The Cerement Path
  • The Blight Path
  • The Mourning Path
  • The Salt Path
  • The Corpse Path
  • The Vigil Path
  • The Clay Path
  • The Withering Path
  • The Rust Path

Egyptian (Lazarene Cappadocians, Setites)

Distinct from African Necromancy, the Egyptian tradition was pioneered by the Shezmu. It embraces the religion of ancient Egypt and has close ties with Akhu, though it does not venerate Set in particular and was originally intended to operate as an extension of the Egyptian religion, instead of operating on the principles of corruption and blasphemy. After the destruction of most of the Shezmu, the Setite lector-priests absorbed much of its knowledge and have twisted it into accordance with their own paradigm. It is primarily concerned with the welfare of the spirits of the dead in the Afterlife. The heavily ritualized culture of Egypt lends itself far more strongly to Rituals than Paths.

Unique Paths

  • The Harrowing Path (Torment of Duat)
  • The Reliquary Path (Treasures of the Tomb)

Shared Paths

  • The Ash Path
  • The Cenotaph Path
  • The Salt Path
  • The Bone Path
  • The Chthonic Path

Aztec (Pisanob, Tlacique)

The death magic of the Aztecs was robust and powerful, practiced under the auspices of the skeletal God Mictlantecutli by his dedicated priests. The vampires of Central America enjoyed vast power, fueled by the blood sacrifices of the mortal herds, and their magicians held places of great honor and power. When the Spanish came, their vampiric instigators overwhelmed the natives just as happened among the living. The last scraps of Aztec Necromancy belong to the Pisanob Giovani, but their ties to the Venetians have eroded away most of the uniqueness and flavor of the ancient traditions. Only a handful of Rituals survive, but there are rumors of a single Path known only to the very oldest and most reclusive of the Pisanob elders. Even softer rumors suggest that the Pisanob have allies from their ancient culture, the last surviving Tlacique. These few dozen blood mages, once the leaders among the vampires of the Flayed Lands, may also remember some of the Necromancy of the Obsidian Kingdom.

Aztec Necromancy focuses on journeys to the Underworld and ensuring that the dead are keep satisfied and placated so they will not visit harm upon the living. Very few of the powers of Aztec Necromancy concern the flesh of the dead, and those that do are often meant to give temporary homes to restless souls. Generally, Aztec Necromancy focuses far more on Rituals than Paths, but many of those Rituals were lost forever with the Spanish conquest.

Unique Paths

  • The Obsidian Path (The Way of the Nahualli)

Shared Paths

  • The Sepulcher Path
  • The Ash Path
  • The Bone Path
  • The Salt Path

Chinese (Della Passaliga)

The youngest and least developed of all the Schools of Necromancy, Chinese Necromancy is known only to a handful of the della Passaglia Giovani. Though the Portugese trader family has been in Beijing for many decades, the intransience of the native undead and the xenophobic hostility of the ghosts that inhabit Yellow Springs have limited the development of new Paths and Rituals. The practices and techniques of the Kuei-Jin and other East Asian supernaturals remain largely unknown to the Giovani.

Clan Giovani itself is another barrier to the development of a true school of Chinese Necromancy, since the Italians demand that the young family of traders and scholars must send all their knowledge back to Venice. At the same time, the della Passaliga are pressured to learn the Western techniques and powers, leaving very little in the way of a culturally distinct tradition among the Cainite necromancers of China. Only one Path has been developed by studying Yellow Springs and its inhabitants: the Pyre Path. Even this unique development was immediately reported to Venice and quickly converted to the more standardized format of Western Necromancy.

Unique Paths

  • There are no Unique Paths known to Chinese Necromancers

Shared Paths

  • The Pyre Path

[a]Reclaiming the Beast Soul (level 3 Ritual)

Unique to practitioners of Aztec Necromancy, this Ritual is a twisted version of the art of the living nahualli. These Aztec sorcerers are spiritually linked to totem beasts; a portion of their soul manifests itself as a member of the totem species. A vampire's soul cannot support a true nagual, so undead necromancers have other ways to mimic the power of the living. The Ritual begins by trapping an unblemished specimen of the desired totem beast on the night of the new moon. Common nagual beasts include turkeys, dogs, jaguars, bats and owls. The beast must be kept for a full lunar month, maintained only on a diet of vitae and flesh killed by the necromancer's own hands. At the next new moon, the necromancer restrains the animal and cuts open its chest, removing the heart and draining the blood from the still-beating vessel. As the creature dies, the necromancer binds its spirit to his own tainted soul.

System: After the steps described above, the necromancer rolls his Charisma + Occult, difficulty 10. Only a single success is required to complete the Ritual and bind the nagual to the caster. The result is a ghostly spirit in the form of the sacrificed animal that is completely in thrall to the necromancer. It acts as if under a Blood Bond towards the caster, performing any action demanded of it within its capabilities. The nagual has all the normal traits of a ghost, though it more closely resembles the phantasmic creatures known as 'plasmics' to wraiths. It is no more intelligent than an ordinary animal, though it can understand its masters commands and make itself understood to him in turn. Unless given specific orders otherwise, a nagual will accompany its master closely, dogging his footsteps from the Shadowlands.

[b]Original ideas or versions by other authors. These are my takes on their outlines, or my revisions of their finished products.

[c]Idea by IHAL

[d]Idea by Kale

[e]Idea by Kale

[f]Idea by IHAL

[g]Idea by Kale

[h]Idea by Mike Vides

[i]Idea by Mike Vides

[j]Idea by Mike Vides

[k]By ctuncks

I'm not sure if I want to keep this Path or not. It's an interesting idea, but the basic theme of "age people" is pretty narrow and seems to be fairly well covered in a bunch of other Paths. Still, narrow themes haven't stopped me before. Maybe if I can come up with a really awesome level 5? I don't really dig this one.

[l]by ctuncks

I'm not a fan of this idea. It's quite admittedly just a copy-n-paste of the Path of Blood, except it targets Willpower instead of Blood. I don't agree with ctuncks that Willpower represents your "soul", and I don't think that Willpower manipulation is should exactly reflect Blood manipulation either. Some of these powers might make decent Rituals or part of a debuffing Path based on Void energy, but overall I'm not onboard.

[m]by Fili Noctis

This is a really, really cool idea. I will almost certainly not make my own version, because messing with the future is a horrible idea in RPGs. Players change the future all the time, but how does that work when the future is pre-determined by a power? I like the idea, but it works better in a solo-written narrative than in a collaborative environment.

[n]by MarioJPC

The original Path is in Spanish, but Mario posted an outline and I used Google to translate more of the original text. It's actually a signature Discipline for a bloodline devoted to Silence. I can see that, but I don't know that Necromancy is really the place for it. Heh. This is the REAL "Quietus". If Quietus meant "being quiet".

[o]by Theodrim

I don't really see this as an improvement over Covenant of Nergal or Shopona's Touch. The original Path also mandates that just for learning it, you become a permanent Disease Carrier, which seems harsh. Level 2 is either terribly useless, or horrifically overpowered depending on the circumstances.

The Path also requires a very great deal of Storyteller arbitration, since there isn't much of a system for how diseases work in the World of Darkness.

[p]by Reno Camilani

The Midnight Path's fluff is based around summoning "ghostlings" which don't exist in the standard cosmology and I don't see how there can be tiny little ghosts. Are they animal ghosts? Naw.

Many of the powers, however, were incorporated into my Wasting Path.

[q]by Reno Camilani

Wow, the level 5 is just crazy. The first level is just Insight over again, basically. Stop Decay is another ritual. In fact, all of the powers seem very Ritualistic. Just, overall, I wasn't a huge fan.

[r]by Calabim

There isn't much to recommend this Path over Cenotaph or Echoes of Passing. I'm also not a big fan of the random power at the end where you turn into a giant jackal-monster. It fits Egypt... but nothing else in the Path is Egyptian or related to Anubis.