AZAZELIANS Discipline: Ars Bellicus
Description: The Suits are known for their war fighting prowess and no little of their success can be attributed to their mastery over their unique Clan Discipline of Ars Bellicus. In some ways, it's an effective accouterment, helping the Azi out when they need it the most. At other times, it acts as a database and fully functioning analysis program, capable of advising the Suit on the tactical and strategic situation. Some say that there are Clan elders who, even now, plotting the destruction of their constant rival, Clan Baelite. Others claim it's only wishful thinking. Whatever the case may be, the Butchers are certainly taking no chances with the Azis...
* Scope: The simplest of powers, the Scope ability allows the Azi to magnify images from a distance and account for certain interference in their reception. It can affect the to-hit die roll, depending on the Storyteller's discretion.
System: Perception + Scan against a difficulty level chosen by the Storyteller. Consult the table below for the result.
1 Success - Target is magnified by a factor of two. In no other way, however, is it modified.
2 Success - Target is magnified by a factor of five and your visual acuity accounts for minor bad weather conditions (light fog or snow), allowing for a clearer picture.
3 Success - Target is magnified by a factor of no greater than ten (player's choice) and your visual acuity accounts for major bad weather conditions such as heavy fog or blizzard-like conditions.
4 Success - Target is magnified by a factor of no greater than twenty (player's choice), visual acuity accounts for major bad weather conditions, and basic audio input is attained.
Note: Five or greater successes have no further effects.
** Bank-shot: Bank-shot is the first of a series of targeteering powers available to the Azi. In essence, it guides the Kindred's movements.
System: Perception + Firearms against a difficulty level chosen by the Storyteller. Each success also costs a single blood point. The sacrifices one must make for a perfect shot...
For each success, the Azi is allowed an additional two dice in determining the character's chance of hitting a target. Note that this power lasts for only a single Scene and cannot be used until after a day's rest. It's the perfect tool for an assassin but for those eager for a more wider-ranging targeteering power, look towards the Sixth Level power Bullseye.
*** Game plan: This is the first of the Azi's analysis powers and is the most basic of them. Bottom line: it's a very selective form of precognition, limited to a certain area and place. While it can be useful, it's also a power that should be taken with a grain of salt. The future is always in motion and one mote of dust going a different way than anticipated could throw a whole series of events into motion, destroying the Game plan.
System: Wits + Scan (or, alternately, Enigmas) and consult the table below. For every success, a single blood point is used.
1 Success - The Azi may anticipate the semblance of a future event, but only in the vaguest of notions and only when touching or in close proximity to the person in question. Almost useless from a tactical and strategic sense.
2 Successes - The Azi may anticipate the semblance of a future event from a distance but only so long as the person he is scanning is within eyesight. Still, no hard concrete details, but you needn't give your position away. Better than one success, but not by much.
3 Successes - The Azi has a fleeting glimpse of the target's future actions within the next turn. The first completely useful action with regards to this power.
4 Successes - The Azi has a fuller vision of the target's future actions within the next turn. This flash is automatically committed to memory and the Azi need only decide what to do next with this knowledge rather than struggle to recall what it was.
5 Successes - The Azi has a large vision of the target's future actions within the next week, giving the Azi a greater access to the target's reasoning and habits. Note that this level of success is very speculative, for almost anything can change the future at this point. A week is a long time.
6 Successes - The Azi knows the general direction this particular target's life is going to take, though only in the most vague of terms. Issues like salvation, damnation and roads not traveled are okay, but intimate details are verboten.
**** DI: The Azazelian's reason d'etre is to teach the arts of war to the various Clans of the Sicarii and, to a lesser extent, the other Clans of the Sabbat (in particular, those who become Templars/Paladins). Most of the time you can lead a horse to the pond, but you can't make him drink. DI, however, changes that whole relationship...
System: Manipulation + Leadership against the trainee's Willpower minus one. Consult the table below for the results.
1 Success - The trainee becomes somewhat receptive to your teaching, putting much of his or her other thoughts away in an instant.
2 Successes - The trainee becomes even more receptive, allowing for full concentration to lock into place. The practical effect is to add a single die to the chances of that particular trainee learning what the Azi has taught.
3 Successes - The trainee becomes a devoted student within a turn, applying all her might to absorb what it is you have to teach. The practical effect is to add two dice to the chances of that particular trainee learning what the Azi has taught.
4 Successes - Congratulations, Sarge! You've just broken the number barrier! A random number (1d10 will suffice) of trainees will be effected as if they'd been hit with a 2 successes-level blast of DI. Stand at attention, boys.
The same as above, only the numbers increase to everyone in the room or 20, whichever is lesser.
The Azi has the option of picking out a single trainee to impart greater knowledge, thus nearly guaranteeing (in practical terms, a 4 die greater chance) that that person learns what the Azi is attempting to teach. Otherwise, treat as a 5 successes-level.
***** Omniskill: Not all Azis are proficient in every weapon. But, with minimal practice and this power, they needn't have to worry about being caught wondering how to handle an epee...
System: Dexterity + Melee against a difficulty level chosen by the Storyteller. More complex weapons to use are encouraged to have higher difficulty levels while clubs should be gimme's.
1 Success - The Azi knows how to use the weapon without harming himself (approximately at a two-dot level).
2 Successes - The Azi knows how to use the weapon fairly well (approximately at a three dot level).
3 Successes - The Azi is successful in the use of the weapon (approximately at a four-dot level).
4 Successes - The Azi has deep knowledge of the weapon in question and is rather well above the average user (approximately at a five dot level).
5 Successes - The Azi is a masterful user of the weapon and is perhaps one of the most dangerous of its users alive (approximately at a six dot level).
6 Successes - Bruce Lee with Nunchucks. The Azi is a god in the use of that particular weapon (approximately at a 7-dot level).
Note that this proficiency lasts for a single Scene and cannot be attempted for another week's time.
****** Bullseye: One of the more deadlier powers of the Azazelian, Bullseye all but guarantees an automatic hit, no matter where the target is, so long as it is within a certain radius. It manifests itself as an ebon bolt, which is projected from the Azi's presence as he pulls on a seemingly imaginary bow.
The color and nature of the bolt has led some to hypothesize that the Azazelians are actually related in some way to the Lasombra, though both heatedly deny it and there is no real proof for such a claim. Besides, the Azis are a full Clan, so how could they be related to the Lasombra? That's impossible, right? Right, Sarge?! Sarge?!?
System: Perception + Hunter against the target's Willpower. Each success costs two blood points, however.
1 Success - The Azi gains a single die on his normal attack roll and the damage caused by the Bullseye is one Health Level of aggravated damage.
2 Successes - The Azi gains two dice on his normal attack roll, but the damage remains a single, aggravated Health Level.
3 Successes - The Azi automatically strikes the target if he or she is within twenty feet. One level of aggravated damage is done.
4 Successes - The Azi automatically strikes the target if he or she is within one hundred feet. Two levels of aggravated damage is done.
5 Successes - The Azi automatically strikes the target if he or she is within a single block's radius. Two levels of aggravated damage is done.
6 Successes - Same radius as above, but three aggravated Health Levels of damage are taken.
Note that this power may be used once per day only.
******* Tips: There will be times when an Azazelian requires depth of knowledge beyond her own. Azis have little to turn to and, instead, have crafted a power to bridge the gap between present and past. They can, with a certain degree of certainty, contact a fallen warrior's spirit and request a level of advice from it. The Azi must be able to speak the language the warrior spoke; else the entire effort will fall. Also, there is no guarantee that the spirit in question will be cooperative (Storyteller's are encouraged to be realistic about it. No one likes to be summoned, least of all the dead.)
There's a catch in all this. If the warrior died a particularly violent death, there is a chance that he became a Wraith and, hence, is unsummonable in the manner in which the Azi seeks. Storyteller's discretion, of course, is the key here.
System: Manipulation + Leadership against a difficulty assigned by the Storyteller. Generally speaking, the older the dead, the higher the difficulty, if only because they've forgotten how to make their way from the Far Shores to the mortal world.
******** War-mind: Strategy is the name of the game and the Azis are the consummate practitioners of it. The War-mind allows the Azi to "see the bigger picture". In a sense it's like a much larger scope of Game plan in that it's partially precognitive in nature, but finely tuned towards the conflicts Azi inputs into it. Ironically, it would be all but impossible to zero in on a single person, but larger disputes -- even if they involve two people instead of just one opponent, are fair game.
System: Intelligence + Intrigue against a difficulty level assigned by the Storyteller. Also, for every success, one blood point is used.
1 Success - The Azi is presented with a vague feel for the combatants, involving mostly empathic linkages. No real data is given and if more than a handful (say, 20) are the target of the probe, a single success is absolutely worthless and doesn't even give the aforementioned feel for the fighters.
2 Successes - Same as above except the numbers can be less than 20 (though, of course, more than one).
3 Successes - The first real stream of data. Azis who've achieved this level of success are given a basic game plan of the target forces, allowing them to ascertain their basic strategy (strategic thrusts, not tactical movements). If the target is a movement or a Clan, then the basic working orders of said group, are given.
4 Successes - Suits are given an even deeper look into their targets, allowing them to break the structure down into the larger factions. Each of them are detailed only in the vaguest of senses but enough is given to let the Azi know what he or she is up against.
5 Successes - An Azi with five successes can single out a small subgrouping within the greater target and plumb the possible paths that faction might or might not take. It's a risky ability, most often because the future is not so solid as it may seem in the vision, but many an Azi has become famous for their use of particularly successful War-mind.
6 Successes - A brief, almost incoherent, projection of the target's most probable future, within the timeframe of the next century. Storytellers are encouraged to fudge and lie and be as hazy as possible.
Levels Nine and Ten
No known Azazelian has been known to possess Ars Bellicus of the Ninth and Tenth Levels. That doesn't mean there aren't any, but that there hasn't been one in recent institutional memory.
Many rumors have sprung up regarding this alleged lack of strength. Most of them claim, in one way, shape or form, that the Suits are not a true Clan, but a Bloodline, possibly one descended from the Lasombra. Though the Azis have vehemently denied this, it was only until Antipater Baphoment IV (the current occupant of the Unholy See) ruled that to suggest the Azazelians were anything but a full Clan was to toy with heresy that the controversy died down.
Still, people talk and tongues wag... but they're all wrong.
The Azazelians are, indeed, a full Clan. In fact, the Azis are not nearly as disorganized, as they seem. Their Clan leadership is hidden, by the order of the Antipater Elagabalus II (1453-1503), to help preserve the Sicarii Clans against the coming Apocalypse of Gehenna.
Note: No player may have access to these levels of the Discipline Ars Bellicus. They are described only to help the Storyteller flesh out his or her campaign and are, thusly, not detailed in any great length because, quite simply, you'll never see them used (if you're lucky).
********* Sword of the Seraphim: This power allows the Azi to draw forth a powerful blade, carved from the very spirits of the dead (hence, for all you Wraith players, made of plasm). This blade was alleged to have been fashioned, by the Dark One Mephistopheles, or so the legend goes.
In any case, it is said to cause horrific damage to all preternatural creatures of any sort (read: aggravated) and, in a few swipes, slay any who stand in its way. The same legends also state that whomever draws the sword is also allowing Mephistopheles to bid for whatever's left of the Azi's soul, too...
********** Gehenna's Trumpet: In the End Days, when the Antediluvians rise from their torpor and seek out their progeny, legend has it that an Azazelian of great age and strength will summon the Demiurge from His abode to help the Childer of Caine fight off their Sires. Whether or not this is true or, like the Ninth Level of Ars Bellicus, part faith and part legend, no one knows.