World of Darkness: Tenebris Raptis

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 Serpentis

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PostSubject: Serpentis    Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:20 pm

Serpentis is the legacy of Set, his gift to his children. The Followers of Set carefully guard this Discipline's secrets, teaching the reptilian art only to those they deem worthy (almost never outsiders). Most Cainites fear the Setites purely because of this Discipline, the way of the serpent and the tempter. Serpentis can evoke an almost primordial fear in others, particularly those who recall the tale of Eden. After all, hiss the Setites, the serpent was an evil older than even Caine himself.

*The Eyes of the Serpent

This power grants the Setite the legendary hypnotic gaze of the serpent. The Setite’s eyes become gold with large black irises, and mortals in the character’s vicinity find themselves strangely attracted to him. A mortal who meets the vampire’s beguiling gaze is immobilised. Until the character takes his eyes off his mortal victim, the person is frozen in place.
System: No roll is required, but this power can be avoided if the mortal takes care not to look into the Setite’s eyes. Vampires and other supernatural creatures (Lupine, Mages, etc.) can also be affected by this power if the Setite’s player makes a Willpower roll (Diff 9). If attacked or otherwise harmed, supernatural creatures can spend a point of willpower to break the spell.

**The Tongue of the Asp

The Setite may lengthen her tongue at will, splitting it into a fork like that of a serpent. The tongue may reach 18 inches, and makes a terrifyingly effective weapon in close combat.
System: The tongue’s razor fork opens aggravated wounds (Diff 6, Str dam). If the Setite wounds her enemy, she may drink blood from the target on the next turn as though she had sunk her fangs into the victim’s neck. Horrifying though it is, the tongue’s caress is very like the Kiss, and even strikes mortal victims helpless with fear and ecstasy. Additionally, the tongue is highly sensitive to vibrations, enabling the vampire to function effectively in the darkness the clan prefers. By flickering her tongue in and out of her mouth, the vampire can halve any penalties relating to darkness.

***The Skin of the Adder

By calling upon her Blood, the vampire may transform her skin into a mottled, scaly hide. A vampire in this form becomes more supple and flexible. The Path of the Warrior (a line of Setites who adhere to the ancient warrior-codes of Egypt) makes much use of this power.
System: The vampire spends one blood point and one willpower point. The vampire’s skin becomes scaly and mottled; this, combined with the character’s increased flexibility, reduces soak difficulties to 5. The vampire may use her Stamina to soak aggravated damage from claws and fangs, but not from fire, sunlight, or other magical energies. The vampire’s mouth widens and fangs lengthen, enabling her bite to inflict an extra die of damage. Finally, the vampire may slip through any opening wide enough to fit her head through. The vampire’s appearance drops to 1, and she is obviously inhuman if observed with any degree of care, though casual passers-by might not notice if the vampire is in darkness or wearing heavy clothing.

****The Form of the Cobra

The Setite may change his form into that of a huge black cobra. The serpent weighs as much as the vampire’s human form, stretches over 10 feet long and is as thick as a woman’s thigh. The Form of the Cobra grants several advantages, including a venomous bite, the ability to slither through small holes, and a greatly enhanced sense of smell. The character may use any Disciplines while in this form save those that require hands.
System: The Setite spends one blood point; the change is automatic, but takes three turns. Clothing and small personal possessions transform with the vampire; the vampire remains in serpent form until the next dawn, unless he desires to change back sooner. The Storyteller may allow the Setite bonus dice on all perception rolls related to smell, but the difficulties for all hearing rolls are increased by two. The cobra’s bite inflicts damage equal to the vampire’s, but the vampire does not need to grapple his victim; furthermore, the poison delivered is fatal to mortals.

*****The Heart of Darkness

The Setite with mastery of Serpentis may pull her heart from her body. She can even use this ability on other Cainites, although this requires several hours of gruesome surgery. Only the new moon, the invisible moon may grant this power success. If performed under any other moon, the rite fails. Upon removing her heart, the Setite places it in a small clay urn, and then carefully hides or buries the urn. She cannot be staked by any wood that pierces her breast, and finds it easier to resist frenzy. The heart is the seat of emotion, after all, and so the difficulties of all rolls to resist frenzy are two lower. Setites are careful to keep their hearts safe from danger. If someone seizes her heart, the Setite is completely at that person’s mercy. The Setite heart can be destroyed only by casting it into a fire or exposing it to sunlight. If this happens, however, the Setite dies where she stands, boiling away into a blistering heap of ash and blackened bone. Plunging a wooden stake into an exposed heart drives the Setite into instant torpor. A Setite may carry her heart with her, or have several false hearts buried in different places. A Setite often avoids her hearts hiding place, to deter discovery. Those wise in Setite lore whisper that the corrupt elders of the clan often hold their underling’s hearts, the better to control the errant hatchlings.
System: This power requires no roll. Those who witness a Setite pull his heart from his breast (or cut the heart from another vampire) must make Courage rolls. Failure indicates anything from strong uneasiness to complete revulsion, possibly even rotschreck.

ELDERS

[ 6 ] Cobra Fangs

A character using Form of the Cobra gains a venomous bite along with his serpentine form. Unfortunately, huge black cobras tend to make people run away as fast as they can. This Serpentis power enables a vampire to gain the deadly bite without the full-body transformation, making it more useful for taking victims by surprise. The police do ask questions when someone dies from a cobra bite under unlikely circumstances, so Cobra Fangs still requires some discretion in its use.

System: The Kindred expends one blood point, and in one turn his fangs become hollow, more slender and venomous. The vampire injects venom when he bites. He must still grapple with the victim to deliver a bite attack, and the bite does the usual amount of damage; the venom, however, kills mortals within one minute. Bitten vampires or other supernaturally resilient creatures suffer (10 – victim's Stamina and Fortitude) levels of aggravated damage over the course of five minutes.


[ 7 ] Divine Image

Many of the low-Generation Setite elders no longer need the illusions of Obfuscate to appear as a god. Through this Serpentis power, a vampire can physically metamorphose into the form of a god. Male Kindred generally take the form of Set himself: A muscular man with the head of the "Typhonic Beast," an animal with a long, narrow snout and upstanding, square-topped ears. Less often, they take the form of the crocodile-headed god Sobek, whom the Egyptians often linked to Set, or the wolf-headed war-god Wepwawet, often identified with Set's son Anubis. Female vampires generally assume the form of the cobra-headed goddess Renenet, wife of Sobek, or the hippopotamus-goddess Taweret, sometimes considered a consort of Set. Both were goddesses of pregnancy and childbirth. Setite doctrine labels all four deities as Set's eldest childer. While assuming the Divine Image, the vampire becomes stronger, tougher, and more impressive. More importantly, perhaps, the vampire's will becomes more powerful as he identifies with a divine forebear.

System: The character expends three blood points and transforms into the Divine Image in one turn. In the Divine Image, the vampire gains two dots each of Strength and Stamina and a dot each of Charisma and Manipulation, but her Appearance drops to 1. These enhancements can push the vampire over his generational limit. The character also gains two full dots of Willpower (to a maximum of 10). The Cainite can stay in the Divine Image for a full scene. A vampire has only one Divine Image form (unless the player buys this power twice). The character does not know what Divine Image he will manifest until he invokes the power the first time, although the player can freely choose the preferred form.


[ 8 ] Heart Thief

The Serpentis power Heart of Darkness normally takes hours to perform upon other vampires, and only works at the dark of the moon. Some elders, however, can pull the heart from another vampire's chest with a quick snatch. This does not destroy the victim, unless the attacker then destroys the stolen heart. Heart Thief is not an easy power to use despite its speed, but few Discipline effects can place one vampire in another's power so suddenly and completely.

System: The character must expend one Willpower point. Removing the heart of a reluctant vampire is a difficult feat, comparable to staking: The attacker must garner at least three successes on a Dexterity + Brawl attack (difficulty 9). The victim may use Fortitude to "soak" the attacker's successes, but mundane Stamina has no effect against this magical attack. A vampire who loses his heart this way takes one unsoakable level of aggravated damage, and receives all the benefits and drawbacks of the Heart of Darkness power. Resisting frenzy becomes easier (-2 difficulty) and he cannot be staked by wood that impales his breast. On the other hand, thrusting a stake through the removed heart will instantly force the vampire into torpor and exposing the heart to fire or sunlight will bum the vampire to ash; even biting into the heart will cause aggravated wounds to the vampire in question.


[ 9 ] Shadow Of Apep

Only Set and Set's own childer can perform this terrifying power. These ancient monsters can take the form of Set's defeated enemy, Apep. The vampire becomes a giant serpent of fluid, glittering Darkness -- not mere shadow, but anti-light, like the black force commanded by Obtenebration. In this form, physical force cannot harm the vampire: Not claws or fangs, not bullets, not explosions, nothing but fire, sunlight, or mystical powers. Physical barriers cannot easily stop the vampire, whose shadowy form can seep through even the tiniest crack. The vampire, however, can still exert physical and supernatural force quite freely.

System: Taking the form of Apep costs a Willpower point. The transformation takes three turns to complete; once the vampire has transformed, her body remains changed for one scene. In this form, the vampire takes no damage from any physical attack: Fists, weapons, or falling buildings pass through the vampire as if she were a shadow. Fire and sunlight inflict the normal aggravated damage, however, and mystical powers (such as Thaumaturgy) still affect the transformed vampire. The vampire's new body gains three dots in each Physical Attribute. Ignore generational limits for this purpose. The transformed vampire can use her Strength to make normal close combat attacks and can bite for Strength + 2 dice of damage. The vampire can also employ any Discipline that does not require hands.
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