Thaumaturgy

Thaumaturgy encompasses blood magic and other sorcerous arts available to Kindred. The Tremere Clan is best known for their possession (and jealous hoarding) of this Discipline. The Tremere created Thaumaturgy by combining mortal wizardry with the power of vampiric vitae, and as a result it is a versatile and powerful Discipline. Although there are whispers of the existence of Tremere antitribu in the Sabbat, other Clans in the Sword of Caine have also researched and developed access to such mystical might. Nevertheless, the Tremere of the Camarilla remain this Discipline’s masters.

Like Necromancy, the practice of Thaumaturgy is divided into paths and rituals. Thaumaturgical paths are applications of the vampire’s knowledge of blood magic, allowing her to create effects on a whim. Rituals are more formulaic in nature, most akin to ancient magical “spells.” Because so many different paths and rituals are available to the arcane Tremere, one never knows what to expect when confronted with a practitioner of this Discipline.

When a character first learns Thaumaturgy, the player selects a path for the character. That path is considered the character’s primary path, and she automatically receives one dot in it, as well as one Level One ritual. Thereafter, whenever the character increases her level in Thaumaturgy, her rating in the primary path increases by one as well. Additional rituals are learned separately, as part of a story; players need not pay experience points for their characters to learn rituals up to the level equal to their overall rating in Thaumaturgy, though they must find someone to teach the rituals in question. Path ratings never exceed 5, though the overall Thaumaturgy score may. If a character reaches a rating of 5 in her primary path and increases her Thaumaturgy score afterward, she may allocate her “free” path dot to a different path. (Experience costs are covered on p. 124.)

Many Kindred fear crossing the practitioners of Thaumaturgy. It is a very potent and mutable Discipline, and almost anything the Kindred wishes may be accomplished through its magic.

Thaumaturgical Rituals

See Thaumaturgy Rituals.

Thaumaturgical Paths

Paths define the types of magic a vampire can perform. A vampire typically learns his primary path from his sire, though it is not unknown for some vampires to study under many different tutors.

As mentioned before, the first path a character learns is considered her primary path and increases automatically as the character advances in the Discipline itself. Secondary paths may be learned once the character has acquired two or more dots in her primary path, and they must be raised separately with experience points. Furthermore, a character’s rating in her primary path must always be at least one dot higher than any of her secondary paths until she has mastered her primary path. Once the character has achieved the fifth level of her primary path, secondary paths may be increased to that level.

Each time the character invokes one of the powers of a Thaumaturgical path, the thaumaturge’s player must spend a blood point and make a Willpower roll against a difficulty equal to the power’s level +3. Only one success is required to invoke a path’s effect — path levels, not successes, govern the power of blood magic. Failure on this roll indicates that the magic fails. A botch causes some kind of loss or catastrophic backfire, such as losing a Willpower point (or dot!), spontaneous combustion, or accidentally letting a living statue run rampant. Thaumaturgy is an unforgiving art.

Various Sects and Clans have different access to each path, but unless the Storyteller decides otherwise, it is assumed the Tremere have some access to all of them. (“Having access” does not mean the same thing as “easily gained,” especially within the Tremere power structure.) The paths start with one of the most common (The Path of Blood), and thereafter are presented in alphabetical order. (The unusual “path” of Thaumaturgical Countermagic is also presented, although it is considered a separate Discipline – see Thaumaturgical Countermagic for details.)

Below are the paths available for play in LA in Anarchy.

Biothaumaturgy - Manipulation of living tissues to heal and create.
The Path of Blood - This path encompasses some of the most fundamental principles of Thaumaturgy, based as it is on the manipulation of Kindred vitae.
Elemental Mastery — This path grants control over and affinity with inanimate objects.
The Green Path — Communion with and control over plant life.
The Lure of Flames — A hellfire which grows larger and deadiler with the practitioner's skill.
Neptune’s Might — Control over bodies of standing water plus some other water-related powers.
Movement of the Mind — The power of telekinesis, allowing the practitioner to move matter at a distance, and at higher levels allowing flight and levitation.
The Path of Conjuring — Create objects (or even living things) from nothing.
The Path of Corruption — A mentally and spiritually oriented path centered on influencing the psyches of other individuals.
The Path of Technomancy — The control of electronic devices, from cellphones to laptops, and its proponents.
Thaumaturgical Countermagic — The ability to resist thaumaturgy.
Weather Control — Control over the weather from subtle manipulations to raging storms.

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