V20 Dark Ages – Necromantic Rituals

Vampire: The Masquerade

View_of_a_Skull_IILast week, I shared Necromancy and Thaumaturgy’s Path magic. This week, I wanted to show some of Necromancy’s rituals. We’re still not 100% sure how high we’re going with Disciplines in the book, because of space constraints. Turns out, it takes a lot of words to make a ton of vampire clans and bloodlines happen. Since we have more bloodlines than V20, and more Disciplines than V20, we needed more space. But, if we go the shorter route, and keep with the lower levels in V20 Dark Ages, we’ll strive to bring further levels with additional material. Wouldn’t a Kickstarter stretch goal that let us run wild with high level Disciplines and Combination Disciplines be keen? I think so.

Like with Necromancy, these come courtesy J Dymphna Coy, who also provided our Cappadocian splat material.

So here’s levels 1-5.

On the update front, about 95% of the text is either in editing, or in final form. Right now, I’m working on the “bumpers”, those little sections at the beginning of a chapter that leads you in and introduces you to the content. Like, “This is what a Discipline is. Welcome to how the next one hundred pages work.” Those sections go pretty quickly.

  17 comments for “V20 Dark Ages – Necromantic Rituals

  1. ignytezero
    June 24, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Shew Stone, just as it’s revised and V20 counterpart seems to have no limitations at all. In theory one could write the name of any Methuselah or Antediluvian and get their exact location. That is powerful on a broken level for a lvl 1 ritual.

    • Feylin
      June 24, 2014 at 9:20 am

      wouldn’t you think the ST would rule that you would need a true name or maybe write it in an alphabet the spirit can read? Especially for something like them Antediluvian.

      • machineiv
        June 24, 2014 at 10:28 am

        I would say that it takes a true name. And even if they have that, they’ve found an Antediluvian. Let’s count the ways that’s wise to pursue.

        • Ignytezero
          June 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm

          Yeah, I’d personally argue for a true name, but the discussion has been up on the forums before and some tend to interpret it very literally. A clarification/rewording would prohibit that.

          Anyways, great stuff as always!

        • The Nate
          July 30, 2014 at 10:11 pm


          Seriously, though, I agree with the notion completely.

          A true name fits theme, mood, and, by the way, opens up other rituals and powers related. Hiding one’s name or cursing anyone who invokes it, for example. A power could locate any person speaking or writing one’s true name. You want to make this especially paranoia-inducing, make that a 3rd level ritual or so.

          Tattletale Spirit: The winds carry tales of your name far and wide. Anyone who invokes your name has their name whispered into your ears.

          Or something akin. Auspex could allow scrying on such automatically; Presence could have some scheme to invoke fear and awe of one’s name; et cetera

  2. felipe moulim
    June 24, 2014 at 3:42 am

    When the 20th anniversary books started with v20, Justin said that, one of the goals, was to stay close to the original conception of vampire and even with second generation books. Now what we see is far from any of it even with the promisse of new bloodlines. That said, we are going to see Kyasids with necromanvy? Sorry to ask but they hade it once and some players like them by the wat they were and we saw Ventrue with auspex agsin right? And i think iy was cool. A cool reminder to celebrate the original material we loved at first place!

    • machineiv
      June 24, 2014 at 5:25 am

      I don’t think our Kiasyd will have Necromancy. We’re going to see if we can fit Mytherceria (sp). I don’t THINK we have Ventrue with Auspex showing up anywhere. But, this isn’t the end of V20 Dark Ages, just the beginning.

      In our case, we’re fleshing out stuff that got vague, passing, one-line references in one-off supplements. It’s a fun way to both homage, and to grow. Ultimately, we’re celebrating with you. This is our love letter to a game most of us grew up with.

      • felipe moulim
        June 25, 2014 at 5:08 am

        Sabbat Ventrue are presrnted with auspex in v20. Check that out! 🙂

  3. Daniel P
    June 24, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Im going to try posting this since the last post I wrote disappeared.

    I am a huge fan of the Dark Ages Vampire line and vastly preferes its setting and clans over the modern ones. This book is my single most anticipated kickstarter in years and if I can do anything in order to help make it as good as possible please let me know.

    On the topic disscussed, I think Ignytezero is correct, the level one ritual Shew Stone needs some serious limitations even if moved to a higer level, say 4-5, and it should never be able to locate an Antideluvian or Methuselah, these vampires are just to powerful to be affected by a level 1-5 ritual.

    Really like the new rituals, my new favorite is the Treasures of Hades one, which Im sure will make a good addition to my games.

    Looking forward to see what new content you guys will show us next!! 🙂

    Regards Daniel P

    • June 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      I actually did a quick check today and none of the Rituals are new. With the exception of Final Sight and Vision of St. Anthony (formerly known as Peek Past the Shroud from DA:V), they’re all taken from VtM books and just reskinned for the Dark Ages. I’m kinda peeved about that, since three of the Voodoo rituals from Blood Magic, and both of the Aztec Rituals from CBR:Giovanni got reskinned, which dramatically reduces the number of culture-specific Rituals for Necromancy.

      Instead of using DAV:20 to add diversity, it’s being removed. I’m pretty bummed about it. I was hoping for at least one or two new Rituals, but failing that, it’d have been nice to see the writer stick to DA:V material when possible. There wasn’t a shortage of Rituals. PGttHC is full of them.

  4. Mu
    June 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t understand the focus of Necromancy. I thought that simply Mortis was renamed to Necromancy for coherence reasons. But nearly all of the rituals are related with ghosts or the underworld.

    We always knew that Cappadocians had no that knowledge. They controlled the physicals processes of death, and a little of the low soul that remains in a corpse, but they had little knowledge of ghosts and the afterlife. That were why they recruited the Giovanni.

    I’ve been looking the rituals and think that few of them suit a Cappadocian. They are nice, but for Giovanni (and Nagaraja if they are being included).

    • June 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I have to share the same concerns as voiced by Mu. These Rituals are primarily taken from CBR:Giovanni, Guide to the Sabbat and other VtM sources. I see virtually none of the truly excellent Rituals from Guide to the High Clans. There even some of the Aztec-themed rituals from CBR:Giovanni. What are Aztec Rituals doing in a DA:V source?

      I don’t have mechanical issues, since they were pretty well written in the first place, but the selection of Rituals here is truly, truly confusing. I think some of them might be new… but since the White Wolf Wiki no longer exists, I can’t easily reference that big table of all the Necromancy Rituals ever and what they did. The new names are throwing me off, but pretty much all the effects seem familiar.

      • Ignytezero
        June 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

        Mu really has a point. Cappadocians studied death, not the afterlife. As it were at least.

    • tau neutrino
      June 25, 2014 at 1:38 am

      Agreed about the Cappodocians. However, it should also be kept in mind that the Giovanni are just beginning to develop Necromancy. I remember V:tDA having the Giovanni limited to the third level of it. Like the Tremere and Thaumaturgy, Necromancy rituals shouldn’t have the power they do centuries later. I’d argue that some of the rituals, esp. the level two ones (Hand of Glory, Memento Mori, The Fountain of Miracles, Totenpass), are overpowered even in modern times. Is there a willpower roll for the Hand? When do the visions in Memento Mori occur? What are the precise effects of Nightmare Drums?

      • June 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

        Despite the Rituals being almost 100% Giovani in nature, the Cappadocians have been using Necromancy for thousands of years. They’re not upstarts like the Tremere are. Still, it’d be nice to see that represented in the material, with a heavier focus on the physical side of death that the Cappadocians were interested in, and a much smaller focus on the spiritual Giovani stuff.

  5. Quinn Y
    June 24, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    So far so good, all this preview material sounds awesome!

  6. felipe moulim
    June 25, 2014 at 5:04 am

    Sabbat Ventrue are presented with auspex in v20, check it out! This is a major return to the game roots. By the way, read the original Giovanni clan book and some wraith material where Kyasid keeped the discipline. It was a major part of them since revised era. And im not one of those who like them because of the strange disciplines anyway.

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