Vicissitude


Vicissitude is the signature power of the Tzimisce and is almost unknown outside the clan. Not that the fiends have too many would-be pupils; some things are beyond the pale even for the rest of the Damned.

Vicissitude is similar in some respects to Protean, but springs from a much darker source. Whereas Protean merely enables a Cainite to emulate God's creatures, this twisted power allows a Tzimisce to defile and deform those creatures (or herself) for all manner of perverse ends. The most beautiful maiden or noble stallion can, with but a knead of the fingers and a flick of the wrist, be reduced to a hideous freak or a blob of deliquescent pus. The Fiends have certainly used Vicissitude's more grotesque side effects to cement their infamous reputation.

Note that while this Discipline permits powerful and horrific effects, the wielder must obtain skin-to-skin contact and must often physically sculpt the desired result. This even applies to the use of the power on oneself. Tzimisce skilled in Vicissitude are often inhumanly beautiful; those less skilled are simply inhuman.


Level 1 • Malleable Visage (Changeling)

A vampire with this power may alter her bodily parameters: height, build, voice, facial features and skin tone, among other things. Such changes are cosmetic and minor in scope. She might for example, resume her mortal coloration, make herself resemble a Moor, Viking or Saracen; or even copy the form of a web-fingered naiad or faerie noble.

System: The vampire must spend a Blood Point for each body part to be changed. Then she must roll Intelligence + Body Crafts/Alteration (difficulty 6). To duplicate another person or voice requires a Perception + Body Crafts/Alteration (difficulty 8), and five success are required for a flawless copy (fewer successes leave minute, or not-so-minute, flaws. (See the Alteration Chart to determine the exact outcome.) Increasing one's Appearance Trait is a difficulty 10 and a botch reduces the Attribute by one.



Level 2 • Transmogrify the Mortal Clay (Fleshcraft)

This power is similar to Malleable Visage, above, but allows the vampire to perform drastic, grotesque alterations on other creatures. Tzimisce often use this power to transform guards, the better to frighten foes. Only flesh (including muscle, fat and cartilage, but not bone) may be transformed. The power is permanent on mortals, though vampires may spend Blood Points to "heal" the transformation.

System: The vampire must grapple the intended victim and make a successful Dexterity + Body Crafts/Alteration roll (difficulty variable: 5 for a crude yank-and-tuck, up to a 9 for transforming a Toreador popinjay's perfect aquiline nose into a grotesque replica of a tapir's snout). A vampire who wishes to increase another's Appearance Trait, does so as described in the Alteration Chart above as Malleable Visage; reducing the Attribute is considerably easier (difficulty 5), though truly inspired disfigurement may dictate a higher difficulty.

A vampire may use this power to move clumps of skin, fat and muscle tissue to provide additional padding where needed. For each success scored on a Dexterity + Body Crafts/Alteration roll (difficulty 8), the vampire may increase the subjects soak Dice Pool by one, at the expense of either a point of Strength or a Health Level (vampire's choice).



Level 3 • Rend the Osseous Frame (Bonecraft)

This terrible power allows a vampire to manipulate bone in the same manner that flesh is shaped. In conjunction with Transmogrify the Mortal Clay, above, this power enables a Vicissitude practioner to deform a victim (or herself) beyond recognition. This power should be used in conjunction with the flesh-shaping arts, unless the vampire wants to inflict injury on the victim (see below).

System: The Vampire must make a Strength + Body Crafts/Alteration roll (difficulties as above). Rend the Osseous Frame may be used without the flesh-shaping arts, as an offensive weapon. Each success scored on the Strength + Body Crafts/Alteration roll (difficulty 7) inflicts one Health Level of damage to the victim, as his bones rip, puncture and slice their way out of his skin.

The vampire may utilize this power (on herself or others) to form spikes or talons of bone, either on the knuckles as an offensive weapon or all over the body as defensive "quills". In the former case, the vampire takes one Health Level of normal damage; in the latter, the subject takes a number of Health Levels equal to five minus the number of successes ( a botch kills the subject if mortal, or sends the vampire into torpor). These Health Levels may be healed normally. Knuckle spikes inflict Strength +2 non-aggravated damage, while defensive quills inflict a hand-to-hand attacker's Strength in non-aggravated unless the attacker scores 3 or more successes on the attack roll (the defender still takes damage normallly). Quills also enable the vampire or altered subject to add two to all damage inflicted via grapples or body slams.

A vampire who scores 5 or more successes on the Strength + Body Crafts/Alteration roll may cause a rival vampire's rib cage to curve inward and pierce the heart. While this does not send a vampire into torpor, it does cause the affected vampire to lose half his Blood Points, as the seat of his vitae ruptures in a shower of gore.


Level 4 • Awaken the Zulo Form (Horrid Form)

The Tzimisce who employs this fell power becomes the veriest monster, the dread zulo of the Balkan peasants' terrified whispers. The vampire's stature increase to a full eight feet tall; the skin becomes a sickly greenish-gray or a greyish-black chitin; the arms become apelike and ropy, tipped with ragged black nails; and the face warps into something out of a nightmare. A row of spines sprouts from the vertebrae, and the extended carapace exudes a foul-smelling grease.

System: The zulo shape costs 2 Blood Points to awaken. All Physical Attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina) increase by 3, but all Social Attributes drop to zero, save when dealing with others also in zulo form. (However, a zulo-transformed vampire trying to indimidate someone may substitute Strength for a Social Attribute!) Damage inflicted in brawling combat increases by one due to jagged ridges and bony knobs creasing the zulo's hands.


Level 5 • Ascendency of the Sanguine Humor (Inner Essense)

The blood is more than life to a vampire with this power, for she can physically transform all or part of her body into sentient vitae. This blood is in all respects identical to the vampire's normal vitae; she can use it to nourish herself or others, create ghouls and establish Blood Oaths. If all this blood is imbibed or otherwise destroyed, the vampire meets Final Death.

Vampires who assume this shape often act giddy and fey for several hours afterwards, as the sabguine aspect of their nature imposes itself over their choleric, phlegmatic and melancholy humors.

System: The vampire may transform all or part of herself as she deems fit. Each leg can turn into two Blood Points worth of vitae, as can the torso; each arm, the head and the abdomen convert to one Blood Point (though turning one's head to blood is somewhat foolish). The blood can be reconverted to the body part, provided it is in contact with the vampire. If the blood has been utilized or destroyed, the vampire must spend a number of Blood Points equal to what was originally created to regrow the body part.

A vampire entirely in this form may not be staked, cut, bludgeoned or pierced, but can be burned or exposed to the sun. The vampire may not physically attack or move in this form, but her fluid body acts in ways normal for a puddle of gore (so she can splash free from manacles or ooze through a dungeon grate beneath her).

Mental Disciplines may be used, provided no eye contact or vocal utterance is necessary -- and if in this form "washes" over a mortal or animal beneath her, that mortal must make a Courage roll (difficulty 8) or fly into a a panic.


Level 6 • Chiroptean Maurauder

This power is similar to Awaken the Zulo Shape, but even more potent. The vampire assumes a form similar to the zulo (and gains all the benefits and drawbacks thereof), but gains several additional advantages. A vampire in this shape resembles nothing so much as a giant bipedal bat.

The vampire's arms sprout fluted, leathery wings enabling flight at 25 mph (objects can be carried, but not manipulated while the vampire is airborne). Additionally, the vampire may make a Strength + Bodt Crafts roll (difficulty 6) to extend talons on the ends of the wings (where the hands are); these talons inflict Strength + 2 aggravated damage.

Finally, the vampire subtracts two from the difficulties of all hearing rolls, but adds one to visual difficulties (bats, as everyone of learning knows, are blind -- and even bat-monsters are somewhat myopic.

System: The vampire must spend three Blood Points to assume the shape and must make a separate roll to form the talons.


Level 6 • Skin Trap

This power allows the user to remove a layer of his or her epidermis and use it as a fleshy snare. Victims may be bound, blinded, or even suffocated in the skin-sac.


Level 6 • Plasmic Form

Similar to Inner Essence, this power however allows the user to exist in a liquid blood form. Therefore, bullets and sword will splash right through, but the user is incapable of action. The vampire may transform herself into a sentient fluid, capable of movement, and holding any shape. This grants immunity to physical attack, but makes actions requiring eye contact or a physical body impossible.


Level 6 • Body Arsenal

The vampire may craft parts of his own body (especially bone) into weapons such as swords, knives, clubs and other weapons. They do aggravated damage. The vampire may create non-projectile melee weapons from her flesh.


Level 6 • Blood of Acid

The vampire’s blood becomes highly caustic, doing five dice of damage per blood point, and being able to eat through wood. This is considered a permanent change. If this blood is drawn by an attack, the attacker may roll Dexterity + Dodge, difficulty 8, to avoid contact with the blood; difficulty 9 if the damage was done by tooth or claw. The vampire can not be diablerized, but can no longer embrace a mortal. The user is therefore unable to create progeny or ghouls. This power is very useful combined with Plasmic Form.


Level 7 • Kraken's Kiss

The vampire may alter the cartilage, bone, and skin in her head, and morph it into a tentacle. In place of squid-like suckers, there are rows and rows of fanged mouths permitting incredibly fast blood drain.


Level 7 • Cocoon

The vampire may form a cocoon with double her own soak value, over a period of ten minutes. The cocoon protects the user from twice the damage of that the vampire can normally soak. The vampire is safe from sunlight within, and can hear and use mental disciplines, but can not see. She may dissolve the cocoon at will.


Level 7 • Flesh Rot

The vampire can cause a disease similar to advanced leprosy in a victim. It can permanently remove Health Levels, Appearance, and Stamina.

System: Roll: Stamina + Medicine, difficulty 9
At a touch, the vampire can inflict a degenerative disease on a victim that resembles leprosy. Each success is another day that the disease remains, carrying further effects. All changes to attributes made by this disease are permanent; the victim is also considered to be horribly disfigured for the entire time she is affected.
1 suc. Day 1: the victim loses one Stamina.
2 suc. Day 2: the victim loses one Stamina.
3 suc. Day 3: the victim loses one Strength, one Stamina, and one health level.
4 suc. Day 4: the victim loses one Strength, one Dexterity, and one health level.
5 suc. Day 5: the victim loses one health level.


Level 8 • Bauble

This power allows the vampire to turn into an unliving object no smaller than half the vampire's size, and no greater than twice the vampire's size. This object still has her aura, may still use mental disciplines, and may still be destroyed by sunlight.


Level 8 • Breath of the Dragon

This power allows the vampire to exhale flames similar to that of a flame thrower without doing damage to herself.

System: Roll: Dexterity + Firearms, difficulty 6
The vampire may exhale flames. Each time the vampire hits something, a die is rolled to determine coverage, and that many dice of aggravated damage are inflicted every turn until the flames are extinguished.


Level 9 • Doppelgänger

The vampire may assume any shape, from half her mass to double her mass, by spending one blood point. She retains her weaknesses (such as vulnerability to sunlight) in this form.


Level 9 • Meld with the Land

The vampire may enter the earth, becoming invulnerable to any force that doesn’t destroy her section of earth. The subject is aware of all that occurs above her, but can not see or hear. This power may even be used in torpor.


Level 10 • Reform Body

The vampire’s body reforms, even after she is destroyed. Yes, you read that right. She will live forever... like it or not.


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