Thaumaturgy Guide

Thaumaturgy Paths and Rituals

All Thaumaturgy not on this master list is banned from Riverside Opera.

The primary path of Thaumaturgy for all characters is Path of Blood, Lure of Flame, or Movement of the Mind unless the 10-point perk, “Begin with a non-standard path of Thaumaturgy,” is purchased. If you purchase that perk, you may select any path of Thaumaturgy from Standard Practices or Advanced Study as your primary path. You can always advance your primary Path, even if it’s Advanced Study, by spending XP alone if Thaumaturgy is an in-clan Discipline for you.

Paths of “Dark Thaumaturgy” are no more or less inherently evil than normal thaumaturgy, though they retain a significant stigma due to their common appearance among the worst sorts of the Damned. They certainly do not actually require consorting with the minions of Hell. Cainites being rumormongers at heart, though, claims of demon-haunted Tremere, orgiastic Black Masses, and more persist and may have significant and potentially fatal impacts on one’s reputation should you obviously employ such magicks. In the Sabbat, the Inquisition destroys such Cainites on sight.

Unless otherwise noted, most Thaumaturgical rituals can be cast to benefit a target other than the person performing the ritual. The time and costs are the same, though any blood requirements in these cases refer to the blood of the recipient of the effect. It is not inherently obvious to an observer what ritual is actually being performed; a Static Mental Challenge, using Occult to retest, may be used to ascertain this. Likewise, merely seeing a ritual being performed is not sufficient to grant knowledge of the ritual or any level of Thaumaturgy.

The casting of Thaumaturgy that is not a ritual is not inherently obvious. Any effects are very likely obvious, however; you cannot hide a flaming hand, for instance, or conjuring a suit of armor. The casting of a ritual is obvious, though the challenge for completion of a ritual (such as those required to employ Fire in the Blood) follows the normal rule for Thaumaturgy challenges.

Standard Practices

The following paths and rituals are considered “standard practices” and can be purchased with free traits or experience points on character creation with no perk required by any character who has Thaumaturgy as an in-clan Discipline. After character creation, subject to the usual restrictions of learning multiple Paths of Thaumaturgy, those with Thaumaturgy as an in-clan Discipline may learn these Paths or purchase these rituals with experience points alone. No research is required.

Characters who do not have Thaumaturgy as an in-clan Discipline must learn each Path as if it were a different Discipline. As usual, a trait of blood from a clan for which Thaumaturgy is in-clan must be consumed to gain access to Thaumaturgy, though this need only be done once no matter how many Paths you wish to learn. Once this is done, you can research each level of the Path using Occult influence (x3 for a Basic, x4 for an Intermediate, or x5 for an Advanced level of a path) or the Secrets of the Arcane power. You can also be taught Thaumaturgy by another character, subject to the usual rules for teaching Disciplines, or learn it from your Mentor. Alternatively, you can purchase one of these paths on character creation with free traits or experience points by purchasing the 20-point perk, “Begin with Thaumaturgy.”

Any of the rituals below may be purchased on character creation, whenever a character may learn a ritual for free through progression of their primary Path, or whenever purchasing a ritual with experience points. No research is required to purchase these rituals, as they are considered relatively common knowledge among thaumaturges or are naturally “intuitive” to a thaumaturge.

Paths

Name Description Reference
Path of Blood Manipulate the properties of blood. LotN 177-178
Lure of Flames Create fire. LotN 178-180
Movement of the Mind Wield telekinesis. LotN 180-181
Weather Control Manipulate local weather. CG 93-95

 

Rituals

Name Level Description Reference
Communicate with Kindred Sire Basic Communicate with your sire telepathically over any distance. LotN 185
Defense of the Sacred Haven Basic Prevent sunlight from entering a room, as long as you reside there. LotN 185
Deflection of Wooden Doom Basic Until the next dusk or dawn, the next successful staking attempt on you fails, and the stake is destroyed. LotN 185
Devil’s Touch Basic Give a mortal Repugnant and Obnoxious until the next dawn. LotN 185
The Open Passage Basic Make a barrier of any sort insubstantial for one round. LotN 185-186
Principal Focus of Vitae Infusion Basic Infuse an item with a trait of your own blood, which you can then dissolve back into blood instantly. LotN 186
Wake with Evening’s Freshness Basic Instantly awaken during the day with no penalties for two rounds if you are threatened. LotN 186
Ward versus Ghouls Basic Cause 1 lethal damage to any ghoul who touches the warded object. (This damage is additive with other damage sources, but it does not change the type of damage of the other source. A warded weapon that does bashing damage adds 1 lethal from the ward; the ward does not change the rest of the damage to lethal.) LotN 186
Blood Rush Basic Until the next sunset, gain a free retest to avoid frenzying from hunger or the smell or sight of blood. SG 128
Dominoe of Life Basic Assume one physical characteristic of mortality per casting. Multiple applications stack. Lasts until one hour after the next dawn. SG 128
Widow’s Spite Basic Apply the negative trait, Witless, to a target for one night. SG 128-129
Blood Walk Basic Determine the complete lineage of a vampire, to the Fourth Generation – true names and faces. This necessarily provides the clan and generation of the target as well. With a successful Static Mental Challenge against a difficulty of the subject’s Mental Traits, the caster learns the identity of all parties with whom the target shares a Blood Bond (as regnant or thrall). Requires three hours to cast and 1 Blood trait of the target, which is consumed in the ritual. **
Purity of Flesh Basic Removes impurities (poisons, drugs, pollutants, and other adulterants, but not diseases or magical effects) from a target’s blood. Requires 1 Blood trait from the target, which is consumed in the ritual. **
Rebirth of Mortal Vanity Basic Regrows hair. Requires a hair from a mortal child, one per inch of overall growth, which is consumed during casting. **
Bone of Lies Intermediate Create an item that turns black and forces the holder to tell the truth whenever the holder attempts to speak a lie. After 10 uses, the bone is pitch black and useless. LotN 186
Incorporeal Passage Intermediate Become incorporeal for one scene or one hour (or until you end the ritual). You can only move forward or stand still; you may not turn or back up. LotN 186-187
Rutor’s Hands Intermediate Create a creature made of a hand and eye that you can mentally control and see and hear through. LotN 187
Soul of the Homunculi Intermediate Create a tiny replica of yourself that acts like an extra limb or retainer. LotN 187
Detect the Hidden Observer Intermediate Notifies the caster when any type of surveillance, supernatural or otherwise, is attempted on her. AG 67
Hell’s Calling Intermediate Forces a target to resist or enter Rotschreck. AG 67
Ward versus Kindred Intermediate As Ward versus Ghouls, except it causes lethal damage to vampires. **
Greater Ward versus Ghouls Intermediate As Ward versus Ghouls, except it causes aggravated damage. **
Blood Contract Advanced Creates a contract that, if broken by either party, instantly places them in torpor. LotN 187
Greater Ward versus Kindred Advanced As Ward versus Ghouls, except it causes aggravated damage to vampires. **
Escape to True Friend Advanced Create a ritual circle over 6 nights using 3 blood per night. Once created, at any time, you can step into the circle and instantly Fair Escape, appearing next to the individual you selected when you cast the ritual. The effect is instantaneous and cannot be interrupted. You can take one other individual or cargo in mass roughly equal to your own. The user of the circle, and the target, must be specified at the time of casting. The same circle can be enabled for additional users and targets by recasting the ritual. **

 

Advanced Study

The following paths and rituals are more difficult to access, even by Tremere. Regardless of your clan, to purchase one of these paths on character creation using free traits or experience points, you must purchase the 10-point perk, “Begin with a non-standard path of Thaumaturgy,” in addition to the 20-point perk, “Begin with Thaumaturgy,” if Thaumaturgy is not in-clan for you.

To learn these Paths after character creation, you must research each level of the Path using Occult influence (x3 for a Basic, x4 for an Intermediate, or x5 for an Advanced level of a path) or the Secrets of the Arcane power. You can also be taught each level by another player character, following the usual rules for teaching Disciplines, or be taught them using your Mentor background.

Whenever you are allowed to select a new ritual for free by progressing your primary Path, you may select one of the rituals below. They cannot otherwise be purchased on character creation. After character creation, to learn them by spending experience points, you must research them using Occult influence (x3 for a Basic, x4 for an Intermediate, or x5 for an Advanced level of a path) or the Secrets of the Arcane power. You can also be taught a ritual by another player character who already knows it, or learn it from your Mentor using the Mentor background.

A Mentor can only know a single Path of Thaumaturgy from Advanced Study. Once you select the Path your Mentor knows, it is permanently fixed.

Paths

Name Description Reference
Hands of Destruction Corrode and destroy objects. LotN 183-185
The Green Path Manipulate plant life. CG 78-81
Neptune’s Might Create and control water. CG 81-83
Path of Technomancy Control machines. CG 86-89
Fires of the Inferno Create sickly green fire, as if channeling the fires of Hell. SG 98-99
Path of Phobos Manipulate dreams. SG 100-101

 

Rituals

Name Level Description Reference
Banish Big Brother Basic Detect and potentially disable technological eavesdropping devices. AG 66
Flatline Basic Remove all signs of life from a mortal until the next sunrise. AG 66-67
Iron Body Basic Convert up to four levels of aggravated damage to lethal damage. AG 67
Illuminate Trail of the Prey Basic Track a target using a glowing path (three free retests to track). SG 128
Eyes of the Night Hawk Basic See through the eyes of, and control the flight of, a predatory bird. SG 128
Machine Blitz Basic Disable an electronic or mechanical device. SG 129
Recure of the Homeland Basic Create a paste that can heal aggravated damage. SG 129
Rite of Introduction Basic Send a broadcast message to other members of your Clan (typically, this is used by Tremere to introduce themselves). The message reaches the highest ranking Tremere first, then moves downward through the circles. If you are not Tremere, the message travels from closest to Caine to furthest. It may be up to five minutes in length. Any individual may express a desire to converse, at which point you may spend a Mental Trait to reply (1 Mental Trait per five minutes). **
Craft Bloodstone Basic Create a stone whose location you instantly and intuitively know. Costs 3 Blood Traits to cast, which are consumed during the ritual. You may only be attuned to a single Bloodstone at a time. **
Clinging of the Insect Intermediate Climb on walls or ceilings like an insect for one scene. SG 130
Firewalker Intermediate Win or tie a simple test to reduce aggravated damage from fire to lethal damage for one hour. SG 130
Mirror of Second Sight Intermediate Create a mirror that detects the type of supernatural creatures. SG 130
Pavis of Foul Presence Intermediate Reflect active Presence effects on their users. (Note: This ritual is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for non-Tremere to learn. Access to it outside clan Tremere is at the Storyteller’s discretion.) LotN 187
Heart of Stone Intermediate You are immune to all forms of staking and receive three bonus traits and a free retest to defend against Presence and other emotional manipulation powers. However, for the duration, your Conscience is reduced to 1, you lose all Empathy traits or abilities, and you are three traits down and lose all ties on all Social challenges except those involving Intimidation. All Merits that provide benefits in positive social interactions are neutralized as well. The effect is permanent until canceled. Requires 9 hours to cast and causes 1 aggravated damage, and can only be cast on yourself. **
Iron Mind Intermediate Whenever a character attempts to employ any power of Auspex on you, they must expend 1 Willpower trait and win a Static Mental Challenge against a difficulty of your Mental Traits. If they succeed, they can perform the Auspex challenge normally. The increased difficulty is obvious. This ritual costs 1 Willpower trait to activate and lasts for one hour per Mental trait expended at the time of casting. You must wear an iron object on your head, though it need not be visible and can be as simple as barrette. Iron Mind does not affect Spirit’s Touch or Psychic Projection – only Auspex effects that target you directly and involve a challenge (Heightened Senses to see through Obfuscate, Aura Perception, and Telepathy). **
Bottled Voice Intermediate Produce an empty bottle with a stopper that has been prepared in the casting of this ritual and defeat your target in a Mental Challenge. If you succeed, your target cannot speak until the bottle is opened or destroyed. The bottle may only be used once per casting of the ritual. **
Paper Flesh Advanced Remove all Fortitude and endurance-related traits from a target for one night. SG 131
Shaft of Belated Quiescence Advanced Enchant a wooden weapon (not a bullet) to burrow through a target to reach its heart. If at least one health level of damage is caused by the stake, the tip breaks off and begins burrowing to the heart. The tip makes staking challenges every hour until it succeeds in staking the target. A surgeon can make a Static Mental Challenge against a difficulty of the caster’s Mental Traits to surgically remove the tip, or (if possible) the limb that was hit can be removed (causing aggravated damage). The target is not necessarily aware of the tip working through their body. The ritual requires 3 blood traits and 5 hours to complete. The weapon is enchanted until used. **
Flesh of Fiery Touch Advanced Anyone who voluntarily touches the subject suffers one aggravated damage. This damage ignores armor. Requires the target suffer 1 aggravated damage to enact and lasts for one night. **
Enchant Talisman Advanced Enchant a rigid object of at least three feet in length to aid in Thaumaturgy. When in hand, you receive 3 bonus traits on all Thaumaturgy or other magic challenges and may throw the Bomb on such challenges. You can spend one Mental trait to instantly know the location of your talisman if it’s separated from you. However, if someone holds your talisman, they receive all these benefits to wield magic on you. You can only have one talisman at a time. Creation takes one month and your entire blood pool (you begin the game after creation with zero blood and must hunt to have any blood). You can only create a talisman for yourself. **
Thirst Unquenchable Advanced Your target is considered starving for the entire night; they may not use Self-Control cards to resist frenzy and frenzy upon the sight or smell of any blood. Requires five minutes during which your target must remain still. **

 

Esoterica

The following paths can only be accessed through research using Occult influence (x3 for a Basic, x4 for an Intermediate, or x5 for an Advanced level of a path) or the Secrets of the Arcane power. You can also be taught such Paths by another player character who knows them. The Mentor background cannot be used to acquire Paths in Esoterica.

Rituals in this category may only be learned after performing research, as outlined above, and by spending experience points. You may also be taught these rituals by another player character who knows them.

No character may begin play with these rituals or paths. They are only accessible with research and can only be purchased with experience points.

Paths

Name Description Reference
Path of Corruption Warp the minds of targets to make them engage in dark acts or be dependent upon you. CG 83-86
Path of Mars Gain powers related to combat. SG 123-125
Path of Father’s Vengeance Impose curses related to the trials of Caine. SG 125-127
Taking of the Spirit Degrade others’ Mental and Social capabilities. SG 101-103

 

Rituals

Name Level Description Reference
Curse of Oedipus Basic Blind a target and force him to bleed tears of blood. SG 104
Crimson Sentinel Basic Wards a room against a particular individual. They must win a Static Mental Challenge against a difficulty of your Mental Traits to enter the warded area; if they fail, they cannot enter. The ritual is permanent until the ward is destroyed (though an individual can repeatedly challenge the ward, up to once per hour). Requires 1 trait of the target’s Blood, which is consumed by the ritual. **
Engaging the Vessel of Transference Intermediate Enchants a small urn, which has magical symbols on it, to switch the blood trait it contains with that of any individual who contacts it with bare flesh. Only one blood trait can be transferred per casting of this ritual. The blood is considered consumed by the target, with all the usual effects thereof. A target feels a brief wave of coldness that is not, in and of itself, obviously supernatural (depending on the circumstances). **
Felis Negrum Intermediate Transform yourself, or another, into a (relatively) mundane black cat. SG 105
Plague’s Secret Domain Intermediate Impose a crushing depression on a target that may force them into torpor or to commit suicide. SG 105-106
Ward versus Vitae Intermediate As Ward versus Kindred, except it causes aggravated damage to vampires of lower generation than the caster. AG 68*
The Severed Hand Intermediate Remove a limb or other appendage; the target cannot regrow it until this ritual is reversed. The ritual must be cast on target as part of the removal of the appendage. **
Fire in the Blood Intermediate Touch your target after casting this ritual and say the word “burn” (which can be worked into a sentence and need not be otherwise obvious; however, an attempt to do this in combat is an obvious attack). If you defeat them in a Mental Challenge, this ritual takes effect. For the rest of the night, whenever the target engages in a Physical Challenge, they suffer 1 aggravated damage. This damage is suffered upon initiation of the challenge by either party and can be resisted by Fortitude normally, but ignores all armor. Relenting to the challenge allows the target to avoid the effects. What provokes the effect is immediately obvious, though its nature, cause, and source may not be. You need not specify your target when you initially cast this ritual; you may employ it on any one individual per casting chosen at the time of your challenge. You may only have one “charge” of this ritual active at a time. **
Innocence of the Child’s Heart Intermediate Foils Aura Perception by always returning a pure, white aura. You must carry a child’s toy on your person at all times during the effect (though it need not be visible). Costs 1 Mental Trait per hour of effect. **
Steps of the Terrified Intermediate Speak the word “slow” (which need not be obvious) and defeat your target in a Mental Challenge after casting this ritual. The target is progressively slowed on each round they attempt to run or employ Celerity. Each round removes one level of Celerity from the target. After all Celerity is removed, the target’s speed is reduced by half each round. The progression is halted on any round when the target neither runs nor uses Celerity, but immediately restarts if the target takes such actions again. (The effect and how to avoid it is immediately obvious, though its source is not.) The effect of this ritual lasts for one scene. You need not specify your target when you initially cast this ritual; you may employ it on any one individual per casting chosen at the time of your challenge. You may only have one “charge” of this ritual active at a time. **
Close the Ways Advanced Causes catastrophic bad luck to a target for months. SG 107
Nectar of the Bitter Rose Advanced Split diablerie across five targets. LotN 187-188
Umbra Walk Advanced Enter the Astral Plane. (There is no Umbra in our game.) When under the effects of this ritual, you have no equipment, but you have access to all your Disciplines and other abilities. As you are truly in the Astral Plane, you may employ physical and social Disciplines as normal. LotN 188
Abandon Fetters of Blood Advanced The target is freed of the Blood Bond. The cost is one trait of the Regnant’s (or Regnants’) blood, all of the subject’s blood, and one permanent trait of the subject’s from each trait category. **
Binding the Beast Advanced Extract the Beast from a target. The target cannot frenzy, but also cannot regain Willpower, use more than one Blood per turn, or feed without making a Courage check (difficulty 3). The target must spend 1 Willpower to use any Discipline. The effects last for one month (ending at the beginning of the next game). Requires 10 minutes and the caster need not see the target, but must imbibe a trait of their blood and suffer two lethal health levels of damage. The target and those nearby are only aware of their extreme passivity; there is no obvious appearance or awareness of the loss of the Beast. **
Dominion Advanced Ward an area up to the size of a large room (500 square feet) such that all uses of Animalism, Dominate, and Presence, save those employed by you or those you designate (and are attuned with 1 trait of their Blood), automatically fail (no challenge). To cast this ritual, you must embed iron seals in all doors and window frames in the area of effect and expend 1 Blood per seal; the seals need not be obvious, but if they are damaged or removed in any way, the effect ends. The effect lasts for one month (ending at the beginning of next game) and requires one week to cast, plus any time required to create the seals. **