|Bloodlines:||Harbingers of Skulls, Kiasyd (second edition only), Maeghar, Nagaraja, Impundulu|
Just as there are different styles of conventional blood sorcery, there are a variety of Necromancy practices. It is primarily practised by the Giovanni clan and the Samedi, Harbingers of Skulls and Nagaraja bloodlines. The blood magic style itself could be said to be an evolution and fusion of the Cappadocians' earlier discipline of Mortis (as written up in the revised Dark Ages: Vampire setting) and the Giovanni's trademark "Nigrimancy".
While there are several "schools" of Necromancy, the foremost in the Western World is the art that draws inspiration from Classical Rome and Greece. During this time, Necromancy was not seen as inherently evil, as long as the necromancer would refrain from forcing the spirits of the dead to do his biding and would use their arts for good ends. With the advent of Christianity, the earliest necromancers would syncretize the Roman and Greek arts with the new christian world view. Even tonight, Classical mythology and the imagery of figures like Hades and Cerberus resonate with many rituals used by necromancers. During the Dark Ages, vampires believed that Necromancy showed God's disfavour by placing them between the realms of the dead and the living, without belonging to either.
In the Modern Nights, Necromancy is divided into two parts that further cemented themselves in the third century: The Principle of Authority and the Principle of Taboo. Authority was developed with reference on the cosmology of Iamblichos, which classified gods, demons and similar entities into a single hierarchy of beings that could be manipulated through the right use of symbols and cultic practices. As the ghosts of the dead occupied a lower place than the living, a necromancer could force these creatures to his biding, as God had given Adam and Eve dominion over the world. For these necromancers, wraiths were as much resources as wood and grain. Necromancers of this strain emphasize purity, chasteness, preciseness and the use of objects with symbolic connotations to authority and enslavement.
Taboo, on the contrary, does not rely on rules, but on the overstepping of them. Taboo-breaking necromancy posits that the rules of a society have mystical properties that draw from the persons that observe them. Deliberately breaking these rules gives the necromancer power. The more sacrosant the rule is, the more power can be gained from breaking it. Since the contact with human remains was among the greatest taboos in the Western World, necromancers focused on bodily remains of the dead. Necromancers of this strain emphasize the use of objects that arouse disgust in the living (rotten flesh, maggots, grave dust and similar things), as well as objects that are associated with concepts that are thought separate from death (youth, fertility, pleasure). Acts like necrophilia are then used to break the Taboo and power the practice.
The Principles of Authority and Taboo are very difficult to use conjointly. Most necromancers focus on one approach.
Standard Paths and AbilitiesEdit
Necromancy paths, similar to their Thaumaturgy counterparts, are collections of reliable powers which revolve around a particular aspect of the dead. Among the Giovanni (and thus the majority of Kindred necromancers) the Sepulchre Path is the primary path that most practitioners learn. Subsequent releases in the Revised setting added various rituals and a handful of additional paths as well.
The Sepulchre PathEdit
This path allows the necromancer to command, interact with and combat ghosts.
- Insight: see the last moment's of a corpses life.
- Summon Soul: summons a wraith.
- Compel Soul: force a wraith to do your bidding.
- Haunting: binds a wraith to a location or object.
- Torment: damages a spirit.
The Bone PathEdit
This path allows the necromancer to animate and control the dead corpses of animals and people, letting him/her create zombies of a sort.
- Tremenes: making the flesh of a corpse shift once
- Apprentice's Brooms: allowing the dead to rise and perform simple functions like lifting a heavy box.
- Shambling Hordes: allows the dead to rise and perform attacks.
- Soul Stealing: remove one soul from its body.
- Daemonic Possession: place a soul in a fresh corpse.
The Ash PathEdit
- Shroudsight: allows you to see into the Shadowlands
- Lifeless Tongues: allows you to speak with the dead in any language.
- Dead Hand: allows to you reach into the shadowlands and touch objects there.
- Ex Nihilo: allows you to enter the Shadowlands
- Shroud Mastery: allows you to strengthen or weaken the shroud rating in an area.
Bloodline and Specialty Paths and AbilitiesEdit
Below are some Speciality Paths of Necromancy detailed. Each of these Paths is a closely guarded secret among its associated bloodlines, who are usually not forthcoming with teaching their treasured art.
The Vitreous PathEdit
The proprietary path of the Nagaraja, allows for more refined control over wraiths than even the Sepulchre Path; a master of the path may gain sustenance from them. It was introduced in Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised as a replacement for the Nihilistics discipline.
The Vitreous path was originally quite stripped down compared to Nihilistics, removing the powers that focused on harnessing Oblivion energy to focus exclusively on sensing and manipulating Wraiths. The V20 revision altered the path to more closely emulate Nihilistics, the main difference being that the 2nd and 3rd level powers were switched.
- Eyes of the Dead (Rev): Use the Deathsight of nearby Wraiths
- Eyes of the Dead (V20): As the level 2 power Hour of Death, below
- Hour of Death (Rev): Grants the necromancer Deathsight of his own which can be used to determine nearness of death or diagnose illness
- Aura of Decay (V20): Infect an object with the taint of Oblivion
- Soul Judgment (Rev): Determine if a Wraith is controlled by his Shadow
- Soul Feast (V20): Consume the energy of a Wraith as a substitute for blood
- Breath of Thanatos: Release necrotic energy as a deadly weapon
- Soul Feasting (Rev): Consume the energy of a Wraith as a substitute for blood
- Nightcry (V20): Summon creatures from the Shadowlands
The Cenotaph PathEdit
- Touch of Death: Sense the recent presence of wraiths
- Reveal the Catene: Allows the Vampire to identify if an object is a fetter
- Tread Upon The Grave: Sense the strength of the local Shroud
- Death Knell: The necromancer can sense deaths that occur near him
- Ephemeral Binding: Create artificial fetters
The Path of AbomboEdit
A path practised by the Laibon of Africa, focussing on the connection between the dead and the living; similar to but distinct from the Cenotaph Path. ( )
The Nightshade PathEdit
- Tend the Body Garden: Manipulate the rate at which a corpse decomposes
- Witch's Fruit: Enchant fruits to allow a target to see into the Shadowlands
- Raise the Green One Raise a corpse enhanced by plants
- Wails and Whispers: Fasten or slow a soul's descent into the Underworld by either screaming or whispering at it
- Chthonic Womb: Birth a wraith servant from a person you have drained dry
The Path of HauntingEdit
A path practiced by the Maeghar and also pioneered by Giovanni during their time as a bloodline of the Cappadocians. It revolves around the ephemeral nature of the Shadowlands and the fascination associated with death.
The Path of the Twilight GardenEdit
The Mortuus Path (Defunct)Edit
The proprietary path of the Harbingers of Skulls (though this is questionable), this path allows the necromancer to manipulate the actual state of undeath for personal utility and offensive applications. It was introduced in Guide to the Sabbat as a straight adaptation of Vampire: The Dark Ages' Mortis discipline.
- Reaper's Shroud: Causes an individual to resemble a walking corpse, temporarily
- Blight: Causes all the ill-effects of advanced age and decrepitude in a target
- Resume the Coil: Awaken from Torpor or help another vampire do so
- True Death: Become a true corpse, unaffected by the banes of vampirism
- Mercy for Seth: Infects its target with a virulent plague that kills mortals or puts vampires into Torpor
- Main article: List of Necromancy Rituals
Similar to Thaumaturgy, Necromancy has several Rituals that can be used to achieve static effects.
Official Abilities (Defunct)Edit
- Insight (1st/2nd/VtDA): Allows recall of the last thing glimpsed by a corpse
- Summon Spirit (1st/2nd/VtDA): Allows a Necromancer to summon a wraith
- Haunting (1st/2nd): Ties a wraith to a location in the Shadowlands
- Soul Stealing (1st/2nd): Turns a mortal into a wraith temporarily, leaving his body as a Fetter
- Zombie: Animates a corpse through the insertion of a Drone into the shell
- Torment: Allows a vampire to Strike a wraith physically and do normal damage
- Severing the Ties of Death: Traps a wraith inside an object, preventing them from being affected from the Shadowlands
- Soul Exchange: Permits the exchange of spirits between bodies
- Possession: Temporarily places a wraith in command of a freshly dead corpse
- Inurement: prepares a fetter in order to become a wraith if faced with Final Death
Necromancy in the second edition was a single Discipline, favored by the Giovanni, Nagaraja and Kiasyd. In the revised edition Necromancy was broken up into paths and rituals much like its counterpart Thaumaturgy; the Kiasyd's clan Disciplines were changed, replacing Necromancy with Dominate.
In Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, Necromancy and Mortis are combined into a single Discipline for simplicity's sake, adding the Path of the Grave's Decay, the Path of the Corpse In the Monster, and the Path of the Four Humors. The Mortuus Path, being a simplification of the first two, was removed.
- ↑ DAV: Players Guide to the High Clans, p.193
- ↑ VTM: Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy, p.101-105
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Wraith: The Oblivion Second Edition, p. 282
^ Level 1
|Insight||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 127|
|Insight||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 136|
|The Tragedy Revealed||Clanbook: Cappadocian||Pg. 42|
|Insight||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 161|
|Tremens||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 163|
|Shroudsight||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 164|
|Eyes of the Dead||Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised||Pg. 40|
|Eyes of the Dead||Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 174|
|Tend the Body Garden||The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra||Pg. 70|
^ Level 2
|Summon Spirit||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 127|
|Summon Spirit||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 136|
|Call Forth the Host||Clanbook: Cappadocian||Pg. 43|
|Summon Soul||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 161|
|Apprentice's Brooms||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 163|
|Lifeless Tongues||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 164|
|Hour of Death||Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised||Pg. 40|
|Aura of Decay||Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 175|
|Witch's Fruit||The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra||Pg. 71|
^ Level 3
|Compel||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 127|
|Compel||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 136|
|Corporeal Home||Clanbook: Cappadocian||Pg. 43|
|Compel Soul||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 161|
|Shambling Hordes||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 163|
|Dead Hand||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 164|
|Soul Judgment||Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised||Pg. 41|
|Soul Feast||Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 175|
|Raise the Green One||The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra||Pg. 72|
^ Level 4
|Haunting||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 127|
|Haunting||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
|Haunting||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 162|
|Soul Stealing||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 163|
|Ex Nihilo||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 164|
|Breath of Thanatos||Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised||Pg. 41|
|Breath of Thanatos||Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 176|
|Wails and Whispers||The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra||Pg. 72|
^ Level 5
|Soul Stealing||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 127|
|Soul Stealing||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
|Torment||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 162|
|Daemonic Possession||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 163|
|Shroud Mastery||Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition||Pg. 165|
|Soul Feasting||Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised||Pg. 42|
|Nightcry||Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition||Pg. 176|
|Chthonic Womb||The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra||Pg. 72|
^ Level 6
|Zombie||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 127|
|Zombie||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
^ Level 7
|Torment||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 128|
|Torment||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
|Severing the Ties of Death||Clanbook: Giovanni||Pg. 42|
^ Level 8
|Soul Exchange||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 128|
|Soul Exchange||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
^ Level 9
|Possession||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 128|
|Possession||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
|Inurement||Clanbook: Giovanni||Pg. 43|
^ Level 10
|Death Pact||Vampire Players Guide First Edition||Pg. 128|
|Death Pact||Vampire Players Guide Second Edition||Pg. 137|
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