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Baelite’s Discipline: Pain

Description: Baelites have no need for subtlety. They, more than any other of the Sicarii Clans, have lost touch with whatever made them human once. Often, they have some of the highest Callousness scores and they're certainly adept at inflicting the greatest amount of discomfort on their enemies.

The Discipline Pain, then, fits right in hand with their stereotype: brutal, sadistic and ruthless. However, every power has a price. For the Baelites, that price can be high, indeed...

* Disconnect: Many vampiric, especially Sabbat, scholars have often wondered how the Baelites live with themselves after a lifetime of sadism and butchery. It's as if they've given themselves fully over to the Beast and yet, when not enraged, Frenzied or in a combat mode, most Grunts can be amicable – if somewhat limited -- chaps. How is this?

The answer is Disconnect. This power allows the Kindred to suppress the nominal human emotions that even vampires are a slave to. They simply go into a fugue-like state from which they emerge only after their psyche senses the deeds have been done and it is safe to come out from behind the Wall once more.

System: No die roll is needed, but a blood point is required for every day Disconnect is used. Most Grunts, however, never turn it off and live their entire unlives in a perpetual revision of history, selectively editing the "bad parts" from their minds. It is no wonder then, that a great many of their fellow Kindred think them madder than Malkavians.

** Absolution: A more extreme version of Disconnect, Absolution allows the Grunt to completely erase an event of what they euphemistically call "high moral tension" from their mind. Once again, they rewrite history to preserve whatever's left of their sanity.

Unlike Disconnect, however, it can be projected on others, with similar effects. On another Kindred, Absolution will only dull the memory of a particularly horrible event (for some reason, it works better on Grunts. Azis like to joke it's because there's less for it to work on). On a mortal (including Ghouls, Mages and Garou), however, the event is completely wiped out. A gaping hole is left where that memory once was.

System: Wits + Intimidation for both variations with Willpower defining the difficulty level. Each attempt at its use devours a single blood point.

1 Success - Barely even taking the lustre out of the memory. Otherwise, a nigh-total failure.

2 Successes - The outlines remain the same, but the faces are absent (and, sometimes, that's enough).

3 Successes - All but the briefest of flashbacks remain of the memory.

4 Successes - A skeletal outline of an "alternate" memory is present. Obviously fake, the psyche will be reminded of it whenever you access that part of your brain.

5 Successes - A partial "alternate" memory, with outlines but no faces or intricate details, is implanted. The psyche cannot tell the difference between what's real and what isn't.

6 Successes - My Lai? What's that? Complete seamless "alternate" memory that, nonetheless, is the air of plausibility about it. Others who were there would beg to differ, but to those who were not, it sounds convincing...because the Grunts (or their targets) actually believe it to be true.

*** Agony: Beginning here, the Butchers get their reputation for utter sadism. Agony is, quite frankly, a torture technique; a power used solely to enhance a body's physical pain.

System: Manipulation + Interrogation (or, Torture) against the target's Willpower minus one. Each attempt at its use causes the loss of a blood point. Each success costs another blood point, in addition to the one expended for just trying.

**** Fists of Steel: By concentrating their vitae into their extremities (most likely their hands, but their feet could also be used, in spite of the power's name), Grunts may greatly increase the density of those appendages, thus allowing them to cause more damage when they strike their target(s). For some inexplicable reason, the Butcher is always capable of handing their newly dense hands or feet, no matter that, by rights, they might not have the Strength to match such a feat.

System: Stamina + Brawl against their own Willpower minus one. For each success, an additional die of damage is added to the final tally if used simply for blunt attacks.

Alternately, Fists of Steel may also be used to defend one's self as well. Perception + Scan against his own Willpower plus one allows the Butcher to execute a shielding maneuver in order to deflect knife thrusts, sword strokes or even single bullets (though not bursts). None of the above will cause damage to the appendage while the Fists are operating.

Both variations cost a single blood point for use per turn.

***** Body of Steel: Much like Fists, Body of Steel uses the vitae to increase the density of the flesh, allowing every part to become fairly secure from physical harm. Melee weapons have no effect on a Butcher using Body of Steel and guns halve their damage, rounding down. Aggravated damage, of course, is different. They still take full penalties from those methods of attacking.

System: Stamina + Dodge (it's more of a defensive than an offensive power) against their own Willpower minus one.

Alternately, Body of Steel can be used as a weapon, by transforming yourself into a battering ram. For all intents and purposes, Body quadruples your weight (though the only effects you will see are on another person. You don't leave tracks, as such.). With that in mind, double the amount of damage you can inflict using Body Slam, the only modification being that you cannot cause harm to yourself by scoring less than three successes. Grunts who specialize in this type of attack are called "Rollers".

****** Sustain: From this point forward, the nature of the Pain Discipline fundamentally changes from the infliction of physical/mental pain (or the protection from it) to the sustenance one can receive from it. A dirty little secret of the Baelites is that they burn vitae worse than an old Beetle burns oil and, to compensate for this apparent flaw, the Butchers of high enough Generation can begin to feed off of the pain and suffering they generate.

System: Stamina + Survival against the target's Willpower minus one. For each success, the Butcher can recover a half blood point used against the individual through any of the powers listed in the Pain Discipline. Once the Baelite has reached the limit of the amount of damage he's caused through use of Pain (Storytellers, keep a running tally), Sustain will be of no further least, until he or she inflicts more pain.

Note that the Butcher is still at a net loss. This power is only a partial solution to the "blood burn" problem.

******* Succor: One step beyond Sustain is Succor. It's a more efficient way of refining pain and suffering, one which allows a complete recapture of all lost blood points expended during the application of the Pain Discipline.

System: Stamina + Survival against the target's Willpower minus one. For every success, a full blood point is recovered. As in Sustain, only those blood points used in inflicting damage through Pain can be salvaged.

******** Ambrosia: Beyond Succor is Ambrosia, the pinnacle in this particular chain of Baelite powers. By using Ambrosia, the Butcher may do two things: first, she can fully recover those lost in the expenditure of lower Pain powers. Secondly, she may "create" blood points by using the emanations formed from the damage inflicted by anyone on that particular person, so long as it was taken within a week's time.

System: Stamina + Survival against the target's Willpower minus two. Success comes in two parts. For each success, like Succor, she recover a full blood point that they have expended while using the Pain Discipline upon the target. Secondly, when that tally has been exhausted, each additional success can bestow upon the Baelite an artificially created blood point, carved from the emanations of pain taken at the behest of anyone else. So long as the damage was taken within a week's time, any misc. damage can be salvaged and transformed into a reasonable facsimile of a blood point.

Note there are no physical differences between a "real" and a "created" blood point, but Auspex will reveal that the Baelite has portions of someone else's aura about her, a residual effect which lasts for a week's time, whether or not that particular blood point was used.

********* Leech: From physical pain to mental and emotional pain we travel. Leech allows a powerful Baelite to translate the anguish and fears, morose feelings and unhappy thoughts into "created" blood points. Any given mortal has anywhere between 10-20 "points" of such emotional distress, while Kindred have double their nominal Blood Pool level (at maximum capacity). Garou will lean towards the maximum human potential.

Once a Baelite has Leeched the entire reservoir of black feelings, the being in question becomes something of a recluse, devoid of portions of his or her life and unattached to the things around him. In fact, mortals need their pain; it forms an intrinsic part of what we are and to have it ripped from them is disconcerting to say the least. This effect lasts for a month while the psyche slowly recuperates.

Curiously, a Kindred fully drained cannot Frenzy and a Garou fully drained is "stuck" in his birth-form.

System: Stamina + Survival against the target's Willpower minus three. For each success, a full blood point's worth of negative emotion is temporarily drained from the target. If the target reaches zero inside of a single Scene, he or she lapses into unconsciousness for 1d10 hours.

********** Lich: The absolute peak of Baelite power is Lich, a culmination of the previous post-Five levels into a deadly manifestation.

Baelites exercising this power may steal the very essence of a person: her soul, spirit, Ka or other appropriate term. The attack causes no physical damage that anyone can readily discern but the effects are undeniable. To calculate the sum total of a person's being, add the entire target's Attributes together. That is the "pool" which will be used in reference to this power.

System: Stamina + Survival against the target's Willpower. For every success, deduct a "dot" from the "Spirit Pool". That essence is now food for the Baelite and contributes two blood points to his or her Blood Pool (it's more refined than regular vitae but harder to acquire). At zero, the target dies or suffers the Final Death. This one can effect wraiths, unlike other powers of a lesser variety, because it targets the very stuff they are made of.