Melpominee

Named for Melpomene, the Greek Muse of tragedy, the unique Discipline of the Daughters of Cacophony is one of speech and song. The powers of this Discipline explore the various uses of the voice for both benefit and harm. As is the case with mortal art, it is not always clear which of those directions these powers take. No character may have a rating in Melpominee higher than her Performance rating. Melpominee affects the subject’s soul as well as the ears; thus, it works perfectly well on deaf subjects, and has caused at least one known breach of the Masquerade due to this effect. Additionally, the powers of Melpominee work only on those who are present when it is used — Daughters of Cacophony cannot record Melpominee effects, send them across radio waves, or have them streamed over the Internet.

Daughters of Cacophony can use some of the powers of the Melpominee Discipline in concert, as it were. If more than one Siren uses the same level of this Discipline simultaneously, the difficulty for the roll falls by one for each Daughter involved beyond the first. The difficulty cannot fall lower than 3, however. The Discipline levels that can benefit from this rule are noted below.

• The Missing Voice

The character can “throw” her voice anywhere within her line of sight. This enables the Daughter to carry on surreptitious conversations, sing duets with herself, or cause any number of distractions. This power can also be combined with other Melpominee powers to disguise their source (and some Daughters use it to conceal the fact that Melpominee powers do not function through recorded media).

System

This power functions automatically as long as the character wills it. However, using The Missing Voice while performing any action other than speech or singing incurs a penalty of two dice on that action due to the disruption of the character’s concentration.

•• Phantom Speaker

The Daughter can project her voice to any individual she has personally met. Distance is no object, but it must be night wherever the target presently is. The vampire can sing, talk, or otherwise project her voice in any way she sees fit (including other uses of Melpominee), but she cannot hear what she is saying, and therefore suffers a +1 difficulty to any rolls accom-
panying her utterance. For instance, the vampire could project her voice to an enemy in an attempt to intimidate him, but would suffer a +1 to the difficulty of the Charisma + Intimidation roll.

System

The player rolls Wits + Performance (difficulty 7) and spends a blood point. Each success allows one turn of speech; three or more successes allow speech for an entire scene.

••• Madrigal

Music has the power to sway the listener, engendering specific emotions through artful lyrics, pounding crescendo, or haunting melody. The Daughters of Cacophony can tap into music’s power, forcing listeners to feel whatever they wish. The emotion becomes so powerful that the listener must act, though what a listener does isn’t something the Siren can directly con-
trol.

System

The player rolls Charisma + Performance (difficulty 7). Each success instills the chosen emotion in a fifth of the Kindred’s audience (more than five successes have no additional effect). The Storyteller decides precisely which members of the audience are affected. Characters may resist this power for the duration of the scene with the expenditure of a Willpower point, but only if they have reason to believe that they are being controlled by outside individuals. The song the vampire sings must also reflect the emotion she wishes to engender — no one’s going to mob the concert security no matter how well she sings “High Hopes,” but they might if she performs “I Predict a Riot.”

Affected individuals should act in accordance with their Natures — enraged Conformists would join a riot but not start one, aroused Bravos may force their attentions on the object of their desire, and jealous Directors may send cronies after their rivals.

Multiple Daughters may use this Discipline in concert.

•••• Siren’s Beckoning

The Daughters of Cacophony don’t spread madness as surely (or as visibly) as the Malkavians, but their songs are definitely detrimental to one’s sanity. With this power, the Daughter can drive any listener to madness. Most of the time, the victim is too fascinated to realize that he should leave the area and block out the music from his mind.

System

Siren’s Beckoning requires an extended, resisted roll. The player rolls Manipulation + Performance (difficulty equal to the target’s current Willpower); the victim resists with a Willpower roll (difficulty equal to the singer’s Appearance + Performance). If the singer accumulates five more successes than the victim at any point, the hapless soul acquires a new derangement or Psychological Flaw of the Storyteller’s choice. This derangement normally lasts for one night, with an additional night per success over five. With a total of 20 net successes, the Daughter can make it permanent.

Multiple Daughters may use this Discipline in concert.

••••• Virtuosa

Most of the low-level Melpominee powers can only be used on one target at a time. When the Daughter reaches this level of mastery in her Discipline, she can “entertain” a wider audience. Each member of the audience hears the same message.

System

The Daughter may use Phantom Speaker or Siren’s Beckoning on a number of targets equal to her Stamina + Performance. The player must spend one blood point for every five targets beyond the first.

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