The Path Of Technomancy

The newest path to be accepted by the Tremere hierarchy as part of the Clan’s official body of knowledge, the Path of Technomancy is a relatively recent innovation, developed in the latter half of the 20th century. The path focuses on the control of electronic devices, from cellphones to laptops, and its proponents maintain that it is a prime example of the versatility of Thaumaturgy with regards to a changing world. More conservative Tremere, however, state that mixing Tremere magic with mortal science borders on treason or even blasphemy, and some European Regents have gone so far as to declare knowledge of Technomancy grounds for expulsion from their chantries. The Inner Council did approve the introduction of the path into the Clan’s grimoires, but has yet to voice any opinion on the conservative opposition to Technomancy.

• Analyze

Mortals are constantly developing new innovations, and any vampire who would work Technomancy must be able to understand that upon which he practices his magic. The most basic power of this path allows the thaumaturge to project his perceptions into a device, granting him a temporary understanding of its purpose, the principles of its functioning, and its means of operation. This does not grant permanent knowledge, only a momentary flash of insight which fades within minutes.

System

A character must touch the device in order to apply this power. The number of successes rolled determines how well the character understands this particular piece of equipment. One success allows a basic knowledge (on/off and simple functions), while three successes grant competence in operating the device, and five successes show the character the full range of the device’s potential. The knowledge lasts for a number of minutes equal to the character’s Intelligence.

This power can also be used to understand a non physical technological innovation — generally a piece of software — at +2 difficulty. The character must touch the computer on which the software is installed — simply holding the flash drive or CD-ROM is not enough. Software applied remotely to a device (such as through an app store) also cannot be analyzed until it is installed.

•• Burnout

It is usually easier to destroy than to create, and sensitive electronics are no exception to this rule. Burnout is used to cause a device’s power supply (either internal or external) to surge, damaging or destroying the target. Burnout cannot be used to directly injure another individual, although the sudden destruction of a pacemaker or a car’s fuel injection control chip can certainly create a health hazard.

System

A character can use this power at a range of up to 10 times her Willpower in yards or meters, although a +1 difficulty is applied if she is not touching the target item. The number of successes determines the extent of the damage:

Successes Result
1 success Momentary interruption of operation (one turn), but no permanent damage.
2 successes Significant loss of function; +1 difficulty to use using the device for the rest of the scene.
3 successes The device breaks and is inoperable until repaired.
4 successes Even after repairs, the device’s capabilities are diminished (permanent +1 difficulty to use).
5 successes The equipment is a total write-off; completely unsalvageable.

Large enough systems, such as a server cluster or a passenger aircraft, impose a +2 to +4 difficulty (at Storyteller discretion) to affect with this power. Additionally, some systems, such as military and banking networks, may be protected against power surges and spikes, and thus possess one to five dice (Storyteller discretion again) to roll to resist this power. Each success on this roll (difficulty 6) takes away one success from the Thaumaturgy roll.

Burnout may be used to destroy electronic data storage, in which case three successes destroy all information on the target item, and five erase it beyond any hope of non-magical recovery.

••• Encrypt/Decrypt

Electronic security is a paramount concern of governments and corporations alike. Those thaumaturges who are techno-savvy enough to understand the issues at stake have become quite enamored of this power, which allows them to scramble a device’s controls mystically, making it inaccessible to anyone else. Encrypt/Decrypt also works on electronic media; a DVD under the influence of this power displays just snow and static if played back without the owner’s approval. Some neonates have taken to calling this power “DRM.”

System

The character touches the device or data container that he wishes to encrypt. The player rolls normally. The number of successes scored is applied as a difficulty modifier for anyone who attempts to use the protected equipment or access the scrambled information without the assistance of the character. The caster can dispel the effect at any time by touching the target item and spending a point of Willpower.

This power may also be used to counter another thaumaturge’s use of Encrypt/Decrypt. The player rolls at +1 difficulty; each success negates one of the “owner’s.”

The effects of Encrypt/Decrypt last for a number of weeks equal to the character’s permanent Willpower rating.

•••• Remote Access

With this power, a skilled thaumaturge can bypass the need for physical contact to operate a device. This is not a form of telekinesis; the vampire does not manipulate the item’s controls, but rather touches it directly with the power of his mind.

System

This power may be used on any electronic device within the character’s line of sight. The number of successes rolled is the maximum number of dice from any relevant Ability that the character may use while remotely controlling the device. (For instance, if Fritz has Technology 5 and scores three successes while using Remote Access on a keypad lock, he can only apply three dots of his Technology rating to any rolls that he makes through any use of the power.) Remote Access lasts for a number of turns equal to the number of successes rolled, and can only be used on one item
at a time.

If an item is destroyed while under the effects of Remote Access, the character takes five dice of bashing damage due to the shock of having his perceptions rudely shunted back into his own body.

••••• Telecommute

A progressive derivation of Remote Access, Telecommute allows a thaumaturge to project her consciousness into the Internet, sending her mind through network connections as fast as they can transfer her. While immersed in the network, she can use any other Technomancy power on the devices with which she makes contact.

System

The character touches any form of communications device: a cellphone, 3G-equipped netbook, Wi-Fi tablet, or anything else that is connected directly or indirectly to the Internet. The player rolls normally and spends a Willpower point. Telecommute lasts for five minutes per success rolled, and may be extended by 10 minutes with the expenditure of another Willpower point. The number of successes indicates the maximum
range that the character can project her consciousness away from her body:

Successes Result
1 success 25 miles / 40 kilometers
2 successes 250 miles / 400 kilometers
3 successes 1000 miles / 1500 kilometers
4 successes 5000 miles / 8000 kilometers
5 successes Anywhere in the world

While in the network, the character can apply any other Path of Technomancy power to any device or data with which she comes in contact. A loss of connection, either through the destruction of a part of the network or simply a loss of cell signal, hurls her consciousness back to her body and inflicts eight dice of bashing damage.

A character traveling through the Internet by means of this power can use her Path of Technomancy powers at a normal difficulty. Using any other abilities or powers while engaged thus is done at a +2 difficulty.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License