Vicissitude is the signature power of the Tzimisce, and is rarely shared outside the Clan (though it is known to some other Cainites of the Sabbat). Similar to Protean in some ways, Vicissitude allows vampires to shape and sculpt flesh and bone. When a Kindred uses Vicissitude to alter mortals, ghouls, and vampires of higher Generation, the effects of the power are permanent; vampires of equal or lower Generation can choose to heal the effects of Vicissitude as though they were aggravated wounds. A wielder of Vicissitude can always reshape her own flesh.

The wielder must establish skin-to-skin contact and must often manually sculpt the desired result for these powers to take effect. This also applies to the use of the power on oneself. Tzimisce skilled in Vicissitude are often inhumanly beautiful; those less skilled are simply inhuman.

There are rumors that Vicissitude is a disease rather than a “normal” Discipline, but only the Fiends know for sure, and they aren’t talking.

Note: Nosferatu always “heal” Vicissitude alterations, at least the ones that make them better-looking. The ancient curse of the Clan may not be circumvented through Vicissitude. The same applies to physical deformities from the Gangrel Clan weakness.

• Malleable Visage

A vampire with this power may alter her own bodily parameters: height, build, voice, facial features, and skin tone, among other things. Such changes are cosmetic and minor in scope — no more than a foot (30 cm) of height gained or lost, for example. She must physically mold the alteration, literally shaping her flesh into the desired result.


The player must spend a blood point for each body part to be changed, then roll Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 6). To duplicate another person or voice requires a Perception + Medicine roll (difficulty 8), and five successes are required for a flawless copy; fewer successes leave minute (or not-so-minute) flaws. Increasing one’s Appearance Trait has a difficulty of 9, and the vampire must spend an additional blood point for each dot of Appearance increased beyond their natural total. A botch permanently reduces the Attribute by one.

•• Fleshcraft

This power is similar to Malleable Visage, above, but allows the vampire to perform drastic, grotesque alterations on other creatures. Tzimisce often use this power to transform their servitors into monstrous guards, the better to frighten foes. Only flesh (skin, muscle, fat, and cartilage, but not bone) may be transformed.


After spending a blood point, the vampire must grapple the intended victim. The player of the Flescrafting vampire makes a successful Dexterity + Medicine roll (difficulty variable: 5 for a crude yank-and-tuck, up to 9 for precise transformations). A vampire who wishes to increase another’s Appearance Trait does so as described under Malleable Visage; reducing the Attribute is considerably easier (difficulty 5), though truly inspired disfigurement may dictate a higher difficulty. In either case, each success increases or reduces the Attribute by one.

A vampire may use this power to move clumps of skin, fat, and muscle tissue, thus providing additional padding where needed. For each success scored on a Dexterity + Medicine roll (difficulty 8), the vampire may increase the subject’s soak dice pool by one, at the expense of either a point of Strength or a health level (vampire’s choice).

••• Bonecraft

This terrible power allows a vampire to manipulate bone in the same manner that flesh is shaped. In conjunction with Fleshcraft, above, this power enables a Vicissitude practitioner to deform a victim (or herself) beyond recognition. This power should be used in conjunction with the flesh-shaping arts, unless the vampire wants to inflict injury on the victim (see below).


The vampire’s player must spend a blood point and make a Strength + Medicine roll (difficulties as above). Bonecraft may be used without the fleshshaping arts, as an offensive weapon. Each success scored on the Strength + Medicine roll (difficulty 7) inflicts one health level of lethal damage on the victim, as his bones rip, puncture, and slice their way out of his skin.

The vampire may utilize this power (on herself or others) to form spikes or talons of bone, either on the knuckles as an offensive weapon or all over the body as defensive “quills.” If bone spikes are used, the vampire or victim takes one health level of lethal damage (the vampire’s comes from having the very sharp bone pierce through his skin — this weaponry doesn’t come cheaply). In the case of quills, the subject takes a number of health levels equal to five minus the number of successes (a botch kills the subject or sends the vampire into torpor). These health levels may be healed normally. Knuckle spikes inflict Strength +1 lethal damage. Defensive quills inflict a hand-to-hand attacker’s Strength in lethal damage unless the attacker scores three or more successes on the attack roll (in which case the attacker takes no damage); the defender still takes damage normally. Quills also enable the vampire or altered subject to add two to all damage inflicted via holds, clinches, or tackles.

A vampire who scores five or more successes on the Strength + Medicine roll may cause a rival vampire’s rib cage to curve inward and pierce the heart. While this does not send a vampire into torpor, it does cause the affected vampire to lose half his blood points, as the seat of his vitae ruptures in a shower of gore.

•••• Horrid Form

Kindred use this power to become hideous and deadly monsters. The vampire’s stature increases to a full eight feet (two and a half meters), the skin becomes a sickly greenish-gray or grayish-black chitin, the arms become apelike and ropy with ragged black nails, and the face warps into something out of a nightmare. A row of spines sprouts from the vertebrae, and the external carapace exudes a foul-smelling grease.


The Horrid Form costs two blood points to awaken. All Physical Attributes increase by three, but all Social Attributes drop to zero, except when dealing with others also in Horrid Form. However, a vampire in Horrid Form who is trying to intimidate someone may substitute Strength for a Social Attribute. Damage inflicted in brawling combat increases by one due to the jagged ridges and bony knobs creasing the creature’s hands.

••••• Bloodform

A vampire with this power can physically transform all or part of her body into sentient vitae. This blood is in all respects identical to the vampire’s normal vitae; she can use it to nourish herself or others, create ghouls, or establish blood bonds. If all this blood is imbibed or otherwise destroyed, the vampire meets Final Death.


The vampire may transform all or part of herself as she deems fit. Each leg can turn into two blood points worth of vitae, as can the torso; each arm, the head, and the abdomen convert to one blood point each. The blood can be reconverted to the body part, provided it is in contact with the vampire. If the blood has been utilized or destroyed, the vampire must spend a number of blood points equal to what was originally created to regrow the missing body part.

A vampire entirely in this form may not be staked, cut, bludgeoned, or pierced, but can be burned or exposed to the sun. The vampire may ooze along, drip up walls, and flow through the narrowest cracks, as though she were in Tenebrous Form (p. 190).

Mental Disciplines may be used, provided no eye contact or vocal utterance is necessary, although the vampire can perceive her surroundings just fine (but the perceptions are always centered on the largest pool of blood). If a vampire in this form “washes” over a mortal or animal, that mortal must make a Courage roll (difficulty 8) or fly into a panic.

Body Crafts

Vampires who wish to use Vicissitude well often specialize their knowledge of Medicine in an art known as Body Crafts. This specialization enables its possessor to make all manner of alterations to living and dead flesh and bone. It also gives insight into more mundane techniques; many Tzimisce are skilled at flaying, bone-carving, embalming, taxidermy, tattooing, and piercing.

Related Links

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License