Gilded Cage Rituals

„I hereby submit these sacred rituals to the perusal of the our most esteemed Madame Charpentière in the city of cities that gave birth to our most noble line. I pray that she may find the fruits of both my personal experimentation and diligent research into the sadly curtailed past of our great work within the English borders enlightening and deserving of an eternal place in the libraries of our fellow Architects. Louis de Montagne, Scholar of the Sanguine Curse, Kogaion of London

Hunting Lodge (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫)

The rolls to activate this ritual are penalised by the size of the structure to be affected (use Haven Size dots). If successful, add the successes to all hunting rolls made on the premises for that night, or to other rolls that are required during hunting and do not involve fighting (e.g. Stealth, Athletics, perception rolls, Intimidation, or seduction). Shadows seem to conceal Kindred or draw back to reveal vessels, while floorboards sing out or become muted depending on whether a vampire or a mortal steps on them. Lights dim to romantic levels for seduction attempts, or corridors seem to lengthen to frighten potential vessels. This ritual can only affect a number of vampires equal to the caster’s dots in Gilded Cage (see Ways and Means). If an additional vampire tries to hunt, or a roll that is made as a part of the hunt fails, the ritual’s effects end at once. The ritual can only be cast once per night on a single building. Ways and Means: A map of the building and a calling card for each vampire (a simple cardboard rectangle with the vampire’s name is sufficient).

The Golden Key (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫)

The roll to activate this ritual is penalised by the Size of the premises to be affected (use Haven Size dots). It is possible to restrict the effect to smaller areas of larger estates, thus lowering the difficulty of the ritual. While the ritual is active, any door in the affected building will unlock or lock at the caster’s touch, though he still has to open them manually. Even electronic locks open and bars lift when the sorcerer knocks, though the locks of pieces of furniture or even of safes are unaffected (unless a safe door leads to a vault, in which case it is fair game). Supernaturally locked doors are unaffected by the ritual. The ritual lasts for one scene. Ways and Means: A gilded or golden key (a small key-shaped amulet is sufficient).

Voice of the House (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫)

Splendid Manor, Foul Hovel (Gilded Cage
⚫⚫) This ritual either enhances or warps the appearance of a building, making it appear either more splendid and in better repair than it is, or the other way round. Needless to say, this ritual is extremely effective in facilitating the acquisition or sale of property. The rolls to activate the ritual are penalised by the Size of the property (use Haven Size dots). If successful, the caster may shift the appearance of the house in either direction, and all rolls that would benefit from such shifts (be they seduction rolls in a beautiful place, Intimidation rolls in a dark and haunting house that suddenly smells of rot, or haggling rolls during a purchase or sale) gain a bonus equal to the caster’s successes. The ritual’s effects last until the next sunset or sunrise, which is its only drawback – if the broker comes in during the day, the vampire has to conduct the ritual during daytime. The ritual can only affect man-made structures. Ways and Means: A small cube of marble and a carved piece of wood for the splendid manor, or a crumbling cube of plaster and a piece of wood full of rot and woodworm for the foul hovel.

The Masons are considered masters of the special brand of ritual magic taught by the Dragons, and this ritual is one of the reasons behind that reputation. Sometimes the Dragons’ fontal rituals (see the Ordo Dracul sourcebook) require specific resonances of specific intensities. While this ritual cannot alter the resonance of a Wyrm’s Nest, it can strengthen or weaken it. The roll to activate the ritual is penalised by the current intensity of the resonance. If it is successful, the resonance’s intensity can be increased or decreased by up to the caster’s dots in Presence, for a number of hours equal to the ritual’s successes. After this time, the original resonance reasserts itself at a rate of one point per hour, though it remains in turmoil for a number of days equal to the ritual’s successes. During this time, all supernatural activities that draw on the Wyrm’s Nest and require rolls (be they mages drawing Mana or werewolves and spirits drawing Essence from a locus, or spirits attempting to hide in a locus) take a -2 penalty. This ritual cannot be repeated during this time span. Ways and Means: Five different items that represent the “taste” of the nest’s resonance (e.g. five bloodied weapons if the resonance is murder or violence) that must be placed at the points of a pentagram at the centre of the nest.

Scent of the Prey (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫⚫)

Submitted by Marcus_Krohne on 19th January 2009, with alterations by Wordweaver05. The masons discovered that every footstep taken to a person leaves a form of "psychic footprint" on the ley lines that an attuned mason can detect. Using this ritual the Mason can detect these "psychic footprints". In essence it allows a person to track a target using a form of "psychic compass". When this ritual is invoked, the mason gains a bonus equal to the number of successes when attempting to locate the target designated when casting the ritual. These dice both affect perception rolls or Skill rolls made to directly track the target and attempts to otherwise verify the target's location (e.g. asking locals if they have seen the target). The only way to prevent detection is for the target to flee the area on the sorcerer’s map (see Ways and Means), or get into a place that is not yet on that map (e.g. because it was recently constructed or has been forgotten). The ritual lasts until sunrise, and the activation roll is penalised by the target’s Composure. Ways and Means: A map of the city, and a personal object of the target (e.g. a driving license or a personal picture).

Pax Domi (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫⚫⚫)

This powerful ritual gives the sorcerer an edge by making it more difficult to invoke Disciplines in a house. The activation rolls are penalised by the Size of the building (use Haven Size dots). If the ritual is successful, all rolls to activate Disciplines within the ritually defined area are penalised by the sorcerer’s dots in Gilded Cage, except for the sorcerer’s own. In case of Disciplines that do not require a roll to activate, roll Resolve+Blood Potency with an equal penalty to see if the activation succeeds or fails each time it is attempted. If the activation of a Discipline fails, no vitae or Willpower is spent. The ritual’s effects remain in place for one scene. Ways and Means: The sorcerer must inscribe sigils and wards in each corner of the area to be affected. Inscribing a sigil requires four successes on an extended Intelligence+Occult roll, with each roll requiring 5 minutes of time. Sigils may be used again, but if they are erased, the ritual's effects ends at once.

Prudence Door (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫⚫⚫)

The Golden Door (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫⚫)

The roll to activate this ritual is penalised by the Size of the premises to be affected (use Haven Size dots). As with The Golden Key, the ritual may be restricted to part of the building to make it easier to perform. While the ritual is in effect, doors open at the sorcerers approach, and if he so desires, close as a reflexive action and even lock as an instant action, as long as he can see them (the ritual may operate any number of doors at once as long as the sorcerer can see them with his unaided vision; camera images and mirrors don't count). The sorcerer may also name a number of additional characters equal to his Gilded Cage dots that may also control doors in this manner, although the sorcerer’s desires always take precedence. Doors locked by this ritual can be picked or forced normally, but the appropriate rolls are penalised by the sorcerer’s Resolve unless the lock’s normal picking difficulty is higher. The ritual lasts for one scene. Supernatural means of locking or unlocking doors are not affected by it. Ways and Means: A key ring that must contain at least five different keys to doors inside the building (if fewer keys are in use, duplicates must be acquired). Once the ritual is complete, the keys may be passed on to the characters named in the ritual, and if they should lose them, they lose the benefits of The Golden Door.

This ritual allows the sorcerer to prepare an “emergency room” anywhere in his Haven (when the ritual is used on a building that is not represented by Haven dots, the roll suffers an additional penalty of -3 to all activation rolls). The roll to activate the ritual is penalised by the building’s Size (use Haven Size dots). If the ritual is successful, the sorcerer may step into the emergency room from anywhere in the same building by spending an Instant action to close a door (if it is currently open), open it again, and step through. The sorcerer simply vanishes as he steps through the door, reappearing through a designated entrance into his safe room. If the sorcerer is somehow prevented from stepping through a door he has opened with the intention of using it to escape, one use of the ritual is lost. It is impossible to accompany the sorcerer during this movement; if currently grappled, for example, the sorcerer simply vanishes from his assailant’s grasp as he passes over the threshold. The sorcerer may use this “escape route” a number of times equal to the ritual’s successes or until he falls into torpor outside the building, whichever comes first. The sorcerer may only prepare one building with escape routes in this manner. Ways and Means: A floor and plan of the building. The sorcerer must draw lines from every door of the building do the door to the safe room he wants to reappear through. When re-casting the ritual, lines already drawn by the sorcerer do not need to be drawn anew, though erased lines must be redrawn.

Ward of the Fiery Eye (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫⚫⚫)

This ritual places a ward on a doorway or window. Anybody trying to pass the ward and not having the correct symbol of passage on them bursts into mystical flame that is quit terrifying to vampires, even though it isn’t as deadly as real fire. To create the ward, the sorcerer must have a number of symbols of passage equal to or less than his Willpower dots on him (elaborate amulets are the norm, but the symbols can be letters, scrolls, tattoos, or any other object, as long as they look alike). Once the ritual is cast, the ward retains a number of “charges” equal to the sorcerer’s successes. When an intruder passes through the warded area or attempts to remove the ward, the eye-shaped ward flashes briefly and the target bursts into flame, suffering lethal damage equal to the ritual’s successes (even vampires only suffer lethal damage, but they must roll for Rötschreck as if they had been burned by real fire). Mystical armour (e.g. armour gained through Devotions or magic) reduces this damage by its armour rating, but a vampire must still roll for Rötschreck even if he is not harmed. Using Obfuscate also offers some protection, offering 3 dots of armour at level 3 or higher as long as the vampire is invisible when traversing the warded area. The ward retains its charges indefinitely until it is destroyed or depleted. It will not attack characters attempting to remove it by shooting if the attacker is standing further away than arm’s length, though most sorcerers place the wards so that they’re difficult to target by shooting. A single success on a gunshot attack is enough to deface the ward and render it inactive, but all attack rolls suffer a -4 penalty because of the ward's small size. If the warded location is also a Wyrm’s Nest attuned to sorcerous energies (i.e. a Hallow), wards will slowly regenerate their charges at a rate of one charge per day per ward (so two wards will only gain one charge each every two days, etc.). If the Wyrm’s Nest’s energies were depleted using a Fontal Ritual, however, this regeneration is interrupted for a month, and if the ritual is botched, the wards lose their attunement to the site and will never regenerate. Ways and Means: A small gold triangle engraved with an open eye. The triangle need only have the size of a thumbnail, and it must be placed to overlook the warded entrance.

Stone Guardian (Gilded Cage ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫)

This ritual animates a stone statue or gargoyle that is already part of a building. The Guardian usually stays fused with the stone itself and will not respond to attempts to damage it unless ordered to do so by one of its controllers, and it cannot voluntarily leave the premises. It may detach from the building as an instant action and wander about if so commanded. If carried outside, it becomes inanimate if it cannot return in a number of turns equal to its Willpower dots, but will become animate again once it is carried back into the grounds. If the limits of the grounds change after the stone guardian has been created (e.g. through sales or acquisitions), the stone guardian still obeys the limits as they were in the moment of creation. To become a controller of a stone guardian, the right to be so must be granted by one of the other controllers (the sorcerer automatically is a controller). A controller cannot relinquish his right of control or have it withdrawn, even by another controller, and stone guardians may only be animated if the vampire has some title to the building in question (e.g. pertinent dots in the Haven or Resources Merits). Stone guardians slowly regenerate as long as they are attached to their building and have been repaired (Two successes on a Craft (Stonemason) roll for a box of Bashing damage, four for each box of Lethal damage, and eight for every box of Aggravated damage; each roll takes one hour). Use twice the human healing times for the guardian’s regeneration. Stone guardians use the gargoyle stats from Vampire: The Requiem, though they may be armed at the sorcerer’s discretion and will automatically know how to use the weapons they carried when animated. Ways and Means: A ritual circle inscribed with a mixture of blood and gold dust, and some chippings from the statue in question at the exact centre of the grounds to be protected. The circle requires 10 successes on an extended Intelligence+Occult roll, with one roll allowed every hour. A circle may be reused in subsequent castings of the ritual.

A word from the editor The rituals contained in this file are not part of the official Vampire: The Requiem material, and are therefore subject to Storyteller approval. Use of the rituals submitted here requires Bloodlines: The Hidden. The rituals presented here were designed by Wordweaver05, unless otherwise noted in the ritual's individual entry. Game balance and staying “in character” have been major considerations in developing them, and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everybody who contributed to a more interesting unlife on the White Wolf website's Vampire forum, where these rituals were previously published, and from which a selection using the aforementioned guidelines was compiled for this PDF.

This PDF is meant as a contribution by fans for fans, and is not intended to infringe on White Wolf's copyrights and intellectual property in any way. If you paid for this file, you were ripped off, since it's meant to be available for free on the White Wolf Vampire forum. Wordweaver05 Germany, January 2009.