Day 1: Blood Magic: A Look at Rites of the Blood

Sales, Vampire: The Masquerade

Onyx Path’s Month of Nightmares features games, stories, and more to celebrate the spirit of Halloween. Count down the days with us by reading our excerpts, participating in the discussion, or by taking advantage of our special offers leading up to a haunted Halloween.

Rites of the BloodOne of the things I loved about working on Rites of the Blood was how flexible the idea of a “blood ritual” was. It allowed my team to explore a wide variety of concepts all across the spectrum of Vampire: The Masquerade beyond pure Thaumaturgy and Necromancy. For example, here’s one of the new Sabbat ritae that was created for the book.

Purity of Babel

The Book of Genesis details the story of a mighty city of peace and prosperity, whose heights would reach into heaven and rival even the glory of God. The Almighty struck down that city, even as Enoch was destroyed by the Deluge. So, too, do the Loyalists see absolute unity as another type of slavery, and reject conformity. The Purity of Babel was created by a Kiasyd known only as “Balthazar” to strengthen the pack, allowing secure communication even within a larger gathering. The fact that public conversations using the ritus tend to frustrate those who do not understand them is just a bonus. Only members of the Loyalist Faction may participate in this ritus.

System: For the rest of the night, those who participated in a specific Purity of Babel ritus (up to ten Loyalists) may choose to communicate with one another in a manner that is indecipherable to all those around them. These vampires have the capacity to literally speak another language, one that cannot be deciphered by any means. Further, this communication does not have to be verbal. The participants in this ritual may signal to one another clearly so long as they can see, hear, touch, or otherwise clearly sense one another, even over video cameras, cellphone or other electronic means, and those who were not part of the individual’s ritus cannot gain meaning from these gestures.

Vampires who participate in one Purity of Babel ritus may not decipher the communication of those using a different form of the ritus. This communication is as obvious as any other conversation; only the meaning is obscured.

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  5 comments for “Day 1: Blood Magic: A Look at Rites of the Blood

  1. Bob
    October 1, 2015 at 11:18 am


    Slightly different description from the PDF version.
    Like this one better however.

    • Monica
      October 1, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Sorry? This isn’t meant to update the description on DriveThru. Eddy Webb selected an excerpt from the book and talked about it. I’m confused!

      • Bob
        October 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm

        The description for the Purity of Babel ritus is slightly different from the one in the PDF.

        I’m not talking about any updates.

        • Monica
          October 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

          Okay, that’s weird. I didn’t realize the excerpt itself was different. Thanks for the clarification!

  2. Phaolan
    October 1, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I’ll admit it, I didn’t like the idea of Thaumaturgy when I first read Vampire: the Masquerade around 1992. It wasn’t until Revised Edition, when Necromancy became a school of blood magic, that I started to really think about the possibilities of vampire sorcery. I know that others (at White Wolf and in the fanbase) did the same thing.

    Rather than continuing that ‘everybody and his best mate has Thaumaturgy ‘coz it’s KEWL’ trend we saw in Second Edition, blood magics became scary and exclusive in Revised. Not everyone agreed – nor agrees yet – but when Koldunic Sorcery, Akhu, Dur-an-Ki and ‘voudoun’ Necromancy became actual schools of blood magic, those practices went from pedestrian to right terrifying!

    …You can find my handle as ‘Phaolon the Brute’ or somesuch in the credits for Rites of the Blood, but all I did was carefully read a book that I quite love! Do I love ALL of it? Nah (the notion of all blood magics using the same mechanics does NOT occur at my table!), but this really IS a wonderful addition on many levels. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have my (assumed) name in this one!

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