The Discipline of Spiritus opens the vampire up to worlds and vistas — and methods of feeding — that most Kindred can never touch. Vampires are spiritually dead, unable to create life. The shamanic ritual that created the Ahrimanes, though, allowed a spiritual connection between the undead and the vast, living world all around them. While the vampire can barely scratch the surface of what living shamans can accomplish, the Discipline of Spiritus is still formidable.
• Aid from Spirits
Spirits are everywhere, but invisible to most living (and unliving) beings. This power allows the vampire to briefly rouse the spirit of an object, making that object perform its intended function better and more efficiently. It in no way makes the spirit well-disposed toward the vampire — not that this usually matters to the Ahrimane.
System: The character touches the object, and the player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty 6). If the roll succeeds, the player receives a bonus to her dice pool using that item, equal to the number of successes rolled. For example, if the character uses this power on a gun and the player rolls three successes, she then receives a +3 to her next Firearms roll made with that gun. Unused bonuses fade at the end of the scene, and multiple uses of this power do not combine (the most recent use trumps any previous uses). The character can, however, use the power on multiple objects she uses in the same scene, so long as she has the blood for it.
•• Summon Spirit Beasts
The vampire might not fully understand the link between “animal” and “animal-spirit,” but spirits of aggressive animals are usually more than willing to take on a physical body and fight for the vampire. Spirits of curious animals, meanwhile, seem to enjoy unlocking doors or following people. With this power, the Ahrimane can summon up the spirit of an animal indigenous to the area and send it to do what comes naturally. The spirit assumes the corporeal form of the appropriate animal, and is capable of whatever the animal would normally be able to do. The animal can follow simple telepathic commands, and is slightly more intelligent than a normal animal would be (but still not as intelligent as a person).
System: The animal summoned must be native to the area — just because the local zoo hosts a tiger doesn’t mean there are tiger-spirits running about. The player must spend one blood point and roll Charisma + Animal Ken (difficulty 7). The number of successes indicates how long the spirit remains material. The spirits have the same number of health levels their physical counterparts would normally have. If they are reduced to Incapacitated, they discorporate.
1 Success One Turn
2 Successes Five Turns
3 Successes One Hour
4 Successes One Night
5 Successes One Week
••• Aspect of the Beast
Instead of calling up animal spirits, the vampire learns to emulate aspects of those spirits herself. In this way, she can become faster, stronger, tougher, or gain the special powers of nearly any animal, provided that the spirit is local to the area.
System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty 7). The power lasts for one turn per success, unless otherwise noted. Some examples of aspects are given below, though the player and Storyteller are welcome to make up others:
Beaver’s Bite — This makes the Ahrimane’s bite strong and sharp enough to cut through almost any substance (though it does no additional damage to living or unliving targets).
Chameleon’s Colors — The Ahrimane becomes capable of changing color to suit the environment (-2 difficulties to all Stealth rolls involving hiding).
Ears of the Hare — The Ahrimane can hear as well as a rabbit, reducing the difficulty of Perception rolls involving hearing by two.
Falcon’s Eye — The Ahrimane can see great distances as if she had the eyes of a falcon (-3 to all Perception rolls involving vision).
Ferocity of the Cougar — All Courage rolls are made at -2 difficulty.
Leapfrog — This grants the Ahrimane the ability to leap three times the normal height and distance.
Nose of the Hound — The Ahrimane’s sense of smell is far greater than that of a mortal. She can even track by scent with on a Perception + Survival roll (difficulty set by Storyteller).
Serpent’s Venom — The Ahrimane’s bite transmits a venomous toxin that causes two health levels of damage in living victims per turn. The damage continues until the toxin is removed or nullified, or until the Ahrimane’s spirit power ends.
Sound of the Cricket — This grants the power to produce an annoying, grating sound loud enough to deafen those nearby. The target suffers a +4 to all Perception rolls related to hearing for the next scene unless he succeeds on a Willpower roll (difficulty 7).
Squirrel’s Balance — The Ahrimane can move about in the branches and limbs of trees or across tightropes with little fear of falling. All such Athletics rolls have their difficulties decreased by two.
Strength of the Bear — This gives the Ahrimane two extra dots of Strength.
Swiftness of the Stag — The Ahrimane can move at twice her normal running speed.
•••• Engling Fury
Spirits abound — supposedly everything, from one’s shirt to the very air, has one. The Ahrimane can take those spirits into herself, break them down, and refresh her own mental reserves. This destroys the spirit, but no repercussions have been reported.
System: The player rolls Manipulation + Intimidation (difficulty 8). Every success allows her to regain a point of Willpower, but each use of this power destroys another spirit.
••••• The Wild Beast
The Ahrimane grows leaner, lithe, and strong. She hunches over slightly, her eyes become slitted and catlike, and she grows vicious claws on her hands. Her features become slightly feline, and in this form she is an even more formidable predator than usual. Animals react with fear to the Wild Beast, and mortals see her as a monster — if they see her at all.
System: The change does not require a roll, but the player must spend two blood points. The change raises the vampire’s Strength by three, and Dexterity and Stamina each by two. Appearance falls to 0 and Manipulation is reduced by three. The vampire’s fangs inflict an extra die of damage, and she grows claws that inflict aggravated damage. The character can see in the dark, and all difficulties involving scent, hearing, and vision fall by two. The character can retain the Wild Beast form for a number of hours every night equal to her Willpower rating.
••••• • The Spirit Beast
The Ahrimane merges with an indigenous spirit animal, and their bodies and minds become one.
System: No roll is required, but the player must spend one blood point and one Willpower point. The vampire fully merges with a spirit animal of her choice, effectively creating a new being. The vampire’s Intelligence drops by two and her Wits by one, but she is no longer affected by sunlight and may remain awake without a roll at the cost of two Willpower points daily. Since the vampire is co-inhabiting with a spirit, she can choose whether to be corporeal or incorporeal and she may travel the spirit Umbra. She can use Animalism, Celerity, Fortitude, Potence, and Spiritus while in Spirit Beast form. The duration of Spirit Beast is indefinite, though the vampire must pay another blood point and Willpower point to change back; a vampire who cannot pay this cost and has no means of re-acquiring either might find herself stuck.