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We're playing a cross-over nwod game where some of the players are mages and others are vampires. Our moros mage asked if he could effect vampire body (heal, empower, dampen) with his death arcana in the same way that a life mage effects living beings. I wasn't able to find anything on the books about it, and am unsure what would be considered fair.

According to books, death arcana is able to heal ghosts with 2 dots and command them on 3 dots. One idea I have is that commanding vampires would require both death and another arcana (like mind) but would healing or empowering solely be in death arcana purview.

How should death magic affect vampires?

I'm looking for an official answer (from books or errata). If not possible, please advice on dots required to do the following:

  • Boost physical and mental attributes of vampires
  • Heal Vampires of bashing, lethal and aggravated wounds
  • Slow Vampires undead body, hinder his actions by means of dice and speed penalties
  • Change the appearance of vampires undead body (add or remove features)
  • Command, control vampire for a limited duration. (as in control ghost)
  • Sense vampires from a distance
  • Protect himself from vampire disciplines (as in mind shield)
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In general, Death replaces Life directly. Spells that do not involve Life can affect kindred as normal without requiring Death conjunctional. All these spells are handled as improvised, since few Mages would take the effort to codify them into rotes.

For any spell that directly targets a vampire, Blood Potency gets added to the vampires contested roll if the spell is contested. Resisted spells don't get that benefit.

  • Boost physical and mental attributes of vampires

Boosting another's attributes is an advanced use of the Perfecting practice, thus Death 4 for physical attributes and Mind 4 for mental attributes.

  • Heal Vampires of bashing, lethal and aggravated wounds

Death 3 for bashing and lethal at touch range, costing 1 Mana per casting. At Death 4 can heal aggravated but spell is always vulgar OR can be cast on sensory range. Getting both effects at the same time requires Death 5.

  • Slow Vampires undead body, hinder his actions by means of dice and speed penalties

This already exists, use the Ennervation spell from Death 4.

  • Change the appearance of vampires undead body (add or remove features)

Same as the Many Faces Life spell, but with Death 4 instead. This is an example of an advanced application of the Weaving practice.

  • Command, control vampire for a limited duration. (as in control ghost)

Use Mind normally. Remember that supernaturals, will not be permanently affected by spells like Psychic Reprogramming and the like. You could also use Death 5 to forcibly control the vampire's body like with the Human Minion Life 5 spell.

  • Sense vampires from a distance

Many arcana at 1 can help. Death will detect them straight if you ask. Matter will detect unusual traces of dried blood. Life will tell that a subject is not alive. Mind and Prime will find specific tells in their aura's. Forces will detect unusual body temperature.

Model your spell after Sense Consciousness (Mind 1).

  • Protect himself from vampire disciplines (as in mind shield)

The spell Mental Shield (Mind 2) would protect as normal against disciplines that depend on manipulation of the subject's mind, such as Majesty, Dominate, Nightmare and Auspex (some of it). The potency of the shielding spell is subtracted from the vampire's discipline activation roll.

If a discipline does not normally require a roll, I suggest the vampire rolls Blood Potency + Discipline + Skill - Potency. Skill would depend on what is trying to be done, take a look at the description of Auspex and how it handles such a clash of wills.

Keep in mind that these answers are for nWoD 1e.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ this is exactly what I was looking for. thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – Volkan Ulukut Nov 19 '14 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ one more question, is obfuscate considered a mental attack, since its altering the mind to be ignored thus can be pierced with mental shield? \$\endgroup\$ – Volkan Ulukut Nov 19 '14 at 9:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I totally forgot obfuscate, but it will protect you from it as well, in the same manner that Mental Shield allows you to see people hiding behind Incognito Presence (Mind 2). \$\endgroup\$ – arthexis Nov 19 '14 at 14:50
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I have no big knowledge of NWoD, but since its (more or less) based on the oWoD I can bring you the old rule used by my ST, that hopefully will be helpful: to do something with vampire's body mage had to join "life sphere" with "matter" (usually only one dot, in more complicated operations two), since vampires were both alive and dead at the same time. But to influence vampire's mind (or protect from vampire's influence) normal "mind" sphere was used, of course with higher difficulty.

I hope that's helpful.

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Vampires' not alive son, and Life is strictly about anything that breathes.

Mind don't work too. Again, anything that has a brain pulse counts when it comes to affecting others. Vampires don't have em', don't need em' and it can't work in the first place. Now unless you're making the judgement that their brains are "weird"-type alive, that's that.

Only way it could work is a Conjunctional spell... and even then...

Nope, nope. Gonna have to get real used to using Death, get real comfortable with it.

As far as actual effects, take rules for zombies and increase their access level to them by one. Also, any effects should be resistable by Blood Potency as a minimum and that's any AND all effects.

Long-term though, your GM's gonna need to sit down and make some judgement calls before you even begin your Chronicle. This is already gonna go left if it's even a problem about being able to acheive "fair" with this little cross-over you've got going on.

One thing you can do -- and should be doing -- is making it clear that the masters of death are vampires and that any attempt to magic Death stuff is only happening because the vamp's cool with it. Same way Changelings got Fate on lock, same way Werewolves got Spirit locked down, too. Keeps game authentically NWOD-feeling and already adds a source of tension from the start.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do not argue in comments. If you have a better answer, provide it. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 17 '14 at 12:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Promethean, you appear to be opening your answer by challenging some idea that the Life domain can apply, and asserting that the Death domain will have to work instead. As a matter of fact the question suggests the asker already agrees with that, and they're asking for advice on how the Death domain would be applied. I suggest you might be better off removing the rebuttal against Life being relevant, since nobody suggested it was. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 17 '14 at 22:19

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