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DungeonMaster Neruman
30.05.2021 21:39
Path of the Four Humors
Philosophically, the four humors represent different qualities, split along two axes: hot and cold, and wet and dry. Blood is hot and wet; phlegm is cold and wet; yellow bile is hot and dry; and black bile is cold and dry.

Historically, when a mortal was out of sorts or ill, it was said that his humors were out of balance, and a philosopher or physician would try to heal him by bringing his humors back into balance. Ancient necromancers believed that in their undead forms, all four humors were held in a mystical stasis, and that they could tap into all four of them instead of merely tapping into blood in the form of vitae as other vampires did.

This antiquated path was primarily considered the knowledge of the Lamia bloodline, and certainly very few necromancers have learned this path without tutoring from a Lamia. Since the loss of the Lamia, elder necromancers have searched everywhere (both in this world and the next) for clues to its existence.

• Whispers to the Soul
The necromancer with this ability can let slip a little of her own undead bilious humor as she speaks to another being (whether mortal or Kindred). The wicked vapor slips into the target’s ear and whispers nightmares to the target throughout the day and night. The target has a harder time sleeping, and becomes irritable and distracted during his waking hours.

System: The character must whisper the target’s name (as she knows it) into his ear. The victim rolls Willpower (difficulty 8). If the roll fails, the victim suffers from nightmares and hears mad, wicked mutterings while awake, for a number of full days equal to the necromancer’s Manipulation. The victim loses one die from all dice pools while thus afflicted, and at the Storyteller’s discretion, the difficulty to resist Rötschreck may be increased by one at the same time.

•• Kiss of the Dark Mother
Kiss of the Dark Mother allows the necromancer who uses it to mix her vitae with black bile, turning it into a noxious poison. The necromancer forces it into her mouth as saliva might once have come; the vitae tastes acrid and bitter, as though it had been scorched. Once the necromancer coats her teeth and lips with it, she can inflict terrible damage with her bite.

System: The player spends one blood point; activating this power is a reflexive action, but it must be done before making a bite attack. If the bite hits, the aggravated damage inflicted by a single bite is doubled before soak is calculated. This power does not affect the character’s ability to drain blood from the target, nor does it increase the amount of damage done by blood loss. The necromancer’s bite remains potent until this ability is discharged by a successful hit or she spends one turn cleansing the dark blood from her mouth.

••• Dark Humors
The vampire can exude a coat of a particular humor onto her skin, causing all that touch it to experience the most intense form of that humor. After a necromancer has used this power, she generally feels the opposite of the sensation the humor usually conveys: Using blood leaves her depressed and pessimistic; using yellow bile renders her calm and placid; using black bile leaves her optimistic; and using phlegm makes her aroused and angry.

System: The player spends two blood points. The necromancer chooses which humor she wishes to excrete. The humor can simply coat the skin — in which case touching the victim’s skin lets the humor take effect — or it can act as a poison if placed in a beverage (or in vitae). The victim must make a Stamina roll (difficulty 8) to resist the effects of the humor:

• Phlegm: Target becomes lethargic; all dice pools are reduced by two for the remainder of the scene.

• Blood (vitae): Target becomes prone to excessive bleeding, and any lethal or aggravated wounds he suffers deal an additional health level of damage on the turn after they originally occur. Vitae altered by Dark Humors will not turn a human into a ghoul if ingested, nor will it initiate a blood bond.

• Black Bile: Target suffers a number of health levels of damage equal to the necromancer’s Stamina. This damage is considered lethal and can be soaked (if the victim is normally capable of soaking such damage), though armor does not protect against it.

• Yellow Bile: Target becomes melancholic and is plagued with visions of death. He cannot spend Willpower for the remainder of the scene, and all Willpower rolls receive a +2 difficulty.

•••• Clutching the Shroud
Blood, the sanguine humor, was regarded by philosophers as being both hot and wet. Blood from a cold corpse has been transubstantiated into a dead form — a cold incarnation of a hot, wet element. This transformation of the living into death holds great power; the necromancer knows how to infuse her own being with the blood of a cold corpse and transform herself into something not wholly vampiric. Instead, the necromancer edges closer to being an animated corpse in fact as well as name. She grows distant and chill, as though possessed by the spirit of Death itself; she has to work to push her attention into the physical world.

System: The character must drink, and then spend, five blood points from a cold corpse (one dead for 24 hours or more, but generally less than three days). It will generally take at least two turns to consume that blood, and the power is not activated until the character can spend all of it. For example, if the character is Twelfth Generation, Clutching the Shroud takes at least seven turns total to activate (two to consume the blood and five to spend it).

After the power is active and for the rest of the scene, the necromancer gains several benefits. First, she receives two additional soak dice, which may be used to soak any sort of damage, even if the character does not possess Fortitude. Second, she gains a mystic sense of how far those in the area are from death — whether they are healthy or infirm, suffer from diseases, or are undead, ghouls, or mortals. Finally, a Manipulation + Occult roll lets her speak with ghosts freely. The difficulty for this roll depends on how attuned to death a locale is; a cemetery would be difficulty 5, while a cozy apartment might be difficulty 7. However, this ability makes the necromancer much more susceptible to the effects of powers used by ghosts, which means that she must act carefully.

••••• Black Breath
A necromancer who has mastered this path can harness the undead black bile that festers at the core of her being; she pulls that melancholy to her lungs and lets it mingle with her outgoing breath. She then exhales the dark mist, letting it engulf those nearby. The necromancer feels curiously lightheaded and optimistic after using this power, as she has forced some of her most depressed nature out into the world; those caught in the black vapors grow despairing and hopeless.

System: The player spends one Willpower and one blood point, and rolls Stamina + Athletics (difficulty 7). Black Breath allows the character to exhale a dark cloud of vapor that is five yards or meters in diameter per success rolled. Those caught in the mists may attempt a Dexterity + Athletics roll to escape it if they have an available action; otherwise, they may be overwhelmed by depression to the point of suicide. Those who cannot escape the mists must immediately roll Willpower (difficulty 8 for mortals, 7 for supernatural beings) and achieve more successes than the invoker did. Mortals who fail in this actively attempt to kill themselves on their next turn. They do not attempt such ludicrous suicides as praying for a lightning bolt or holding their breath; they use the most effective means at hand to end their own lives. If prevented from suicide, they attempt it again as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

This impulse lasts for the rest of the scene, and the Storyteller may impose flare-ups over the next day or so at his discretion. Those who succeed on the Willpower roll still become enchanted with the prospect of death, whether mortal or Kindred, and lose two dice from all dice pools for the rest of the scene.

Kindred who fail the Willpower roll do not attempt suicide; as they are already dead, the malign influences of undead humors do not have as strong an effect on them. Instead, the affected vampire sinks into torpor. The duration of this torpor is based on the vampire’s Humanity or Path rating, just as if lethal wounds had forced him into it.


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