The Bone Path

The Bone Path is concerned primarily with corpses and the methods by which dead souls can be restored to the living world — temporarily or otherwise.

• Tremens

Tremens allows a necromancer to make the flesh of a corpse shift once. An arm might suddenly flop forward, a cadaver might sit up, or dead eyes might abruptly open. This sort of thing tends to have an impressive impact on people who aren’t expecting a departed relative to roll over in his coffin.


To use Tremens, the necromancer spends a single blood point, and the player must succeed on a Dexterity + Occult roll (difficulty 6). The more successes that are achieved, the more complicated an action can be effected in the corpse. One success allows for an instantaneous movement, such as a twitch, while five allow the vampire to set up specific conditions under which the body animates (“The next time someone enters the room, I want the corpse to sit up and open its eyes.”). Under no circumstances can Tremens cause a dead body to attack or cause damage.

•• Apprentice’s Brooms

With Apprentice’s Brooms, the necromancer can make a dead body rise and perform a simple function. For example, the corpse could be set to carrying heavy objects, digging, or just shambling from place to place. The cadavers thus animated do not attack or defend themselves if interfered with, but instead attempt to carry out their given instructions until such time as they’ve been rendered inanimate. Generally it takes dismemberment, flame, or something similar to destroy a corpse animated in this way.


A roll of Wits + Occult (difficulty 7) and the expenditure of a point of both blood and Willpower are all that is necessary to animate corpses with Apprentice’s Brooms. The number of corpses animated is equal to the number of successes achieved. The necromancer must then state the task to which he is setting his zombies. The cadavers turn themselves to their work until they finish the job (at which point they collapse) or something (including time) destroys them.

Corpses animated in this way have no initiative of their own, and are unable to make value judgments. They respond to very literal instruction. Thus, a zombie could be told “sweep this room every day until all the dust and cobwebs are gone” or “transcribe this manuscript” with an expectation of reasonable results, while a more open-ended command such as “fix this motorcycle” or “research this Necromantic ritual and write down the results” would be doomed to failure.

Bodies energized by this power continue to decay, albeit at a much slower rate than normal.

••• Shambling Hordes

Shambling Hordes creates obvious results: reanimated corpses with the ability to attack, albeit neither very well nor very quickly. Once primed by this power, the corpses wait — for years, if necessary — to fulfill the command given them. The orders might be to protect a certain site or simply to attack immediately, but they will be carried out until every last one of the decomposing monsters is destroyed.


The player spends a point of Willpower. The player then must succeed on a Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 8). Each success allows the vampire to raise another corpse from the grave, and costs one blood point. If the player cannot or chooses not to pay the blood point cost of additional zombies past a certain number, the extra successes are simply lost. Each zombie can follow one simple instruction, such as “Stay here and guard this graveyard against any intruders,” or “Kill them!”

Note: Zombies created by Shambling Hordes will wait forever if need be to fulfill their functions. Long after the flesh has rotted off their mystically animated bones, the zombies will wait and wait and wait, still able to perform their duties.

•••• Soul Stealing

This power affects the living, not the dead. It does, however, temporarily turn a living soul into a sort of wraith, as it allows a necromancer to strip a soul from a living body. A mortal exiled from his body by this power becomes a wraith with a single tie to the real world: his now-empty body.


The player spends a point of Willpower and then makes a contested Willpower roll against the intended victim (difficulty 6). Successes indicate the number of hours during which the original soul is forced out of its housing. The body itself remains autonomically alive but catatonic.

This power can be used to create suitable hosts for Daemonic Possession. It has no effect on Kindred or other supernatural creatures (except ghouls) until such creatures are dead – in the case of vampires, this means Final Death.

••••• Daemonic Possession

Daemonic Possession lets a vampire insert a soul into a freshly dead body. This does not turn the reanimated corpse into anything other than a reanimated corpse, one that will irrevocably decay after a week, but it does give either a wraith or a free-floating soul (say, that of a vampire using Psychic Projection) a temporary home in the physical world.


The body in question must be no more than 30 minutes dead, and the new tenant must agree to inhabit it — a ghost or astral form cannot be forced into a new shell. However, most ghosts would gladly seize the opportunity. Should the vampire, for whatever reason, wish to insert a soul into another vampire’s corpse (before it crumbles to ash), the necromancer must achieve five successes on a resisted Willpower roll against the original owner of the body. Otherwise, the interloper is denied entrance.

Note: The soul can use whatever physical abilities (Athletics, Brawl, Potence) his new fleshy home possesses, and whatever mental abilities (Computer, Law, Presence) he already possessed. He cannot use the physical abilities of his old form, or the mental abilities of his new one.

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