by Bryan Rendell (27 Sep 93)
This was mostly done before the players II came out so their is more 'Offical' stuff now, but still, its a nice piece of work.
"Eeyore, the old grey donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water."
- A.A.Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Setite virtues run a line between Sabbat and Camarilla virtues. While just as committed to their own evil as the Sabbat, their continued understanding of human values, and the effect this has on their spiritual conduct, renders them similiar to Camarilla vampires. Setites possess the virtues of Callousness, Self-Control and Courage. While for the Sabbat, a total lack of Humanity means the end of Self-Control, for the Setites, as they are still partial bound by the constraints of Humanity, Self-Control is still possible. Similarly, the possess courage, not having the pack mentality of the Sabbat. Setite virtues are affected by the level of the Path of Enlightenment in the same way virtues are affected by Humanity. A Setite cannot roll more dice for Self-Control than he has points in his Path.
"He don't like that refrigerator.
He don't like that refrigerator.
So, throw down your bun.
You've got no breakfast."
- Mr Floppy, Breakfast
The Paths of Enlightenment for Setites are different from Sabbat Paths in two ways. Firstly, Setite Paths lack the diversity of the Sabbat variants. Being all concerned with corruption in one way or another, they are all rather similiar, generally diverging only on the issue of the "why" of corruption. This should be kept in mind if creating new Paths. Secondly, Setite Paths are explicitly concerned with notions of human morality, as the vast majority of Setite targets are humans and Camarilla vampires. The Sabbat Paths, however, are designed to divorce Sabbat vampires from their old morality, and as value systems go, are little concerned with human ideas of good and evil. In a strange way, the Setites have retained their human values, and can suffer loss of a Path if they breach values demonstrated in the Humanity table, as well as their own Hierachy of Sins table. In general, if a Setite acts contrary to Humanity outside of their holy cause of corruption, then they can lose a point from their Path in the same way Camarilla vampires lose Humanity. This is only a general stipulation, and the exact conditions of such loss may vary slightly between Paths.
"Morality, wisdom, ethics: These are all lofty and noble ideals, to which all should aspire. Yet what is their value, if they are never tested? What is the hope of their realization, if the way is misguided and unfruitful?"
- Ephrim, Setite Philosopher
Basic Beliefs: All conscious entities in the world are embroiled in the constant conflict of their baser impulses to evil against their higher yearning to good. Also in the world are many things which lead one to evil. Setites are one of these.
Awakeners believe that for intelligent and self-aware entities, the pusuit of the good is the greatest and most worthy of goals. Yet the very worth of the good is intertwined with the possibility of a falling away into the evil. For the Awakeners, they strive for the good by ensuring the continued value of the good. Only be constant temptation and corruption can the virtue grow strongest.
Corruption also acts as a useful pruning method, cutting away the ones lacking self awareness and introspection, those who have lost their way on the path upwards, or who have corrupted the process of the ascent. Only by stripping away all of these corrupt and useless values, leaving the base human animal, can the pure process begin again.
For those on this path, the roll of the Setites as the great corrupters is viewed as being a necessary evil to ensure the greater good. Far the Awakeners, so long as they perform with this in mind, and not act gratuitously, then they have achieved a goodness as instruments of the process of the universe. As instruments of, rather than participants in, the universe, they themselves are not beholden to the usual moral standards which they themselves judge others against.
The Ethics Of The Path
The Path of Re-Emergance is the youngest of the Paths practised by the Setites, emerging at the time of the Inquisition and the Anarch revolt that spawned the Sabbat. The fevor and the faith demonstrated by the Inquisition in their war against the Kindred brought the realization amongst a small group of Italian based Setites that only through the practise of evil does good grow the strongest. The Path of Re-Emergance never captured the imagination of most Setites, and claims the least number of Setites of any Path.
Awakeners do not have any regular gatherings or meetings. They are far less likely to establish or rule a temple than other Setites, being often nomadic and concerned with an individual case of corruption. Possibly their most distinctive practise is the time and effort they spend in choosing and embracing a childe. Having established the virtue of the candidate, and embraced them, they begin the long and involved process of subtley corrupting them, while maintaining the depth of their understanding. This can take months, or even years. Young Awakeners generally have the highest virtues of any Setite neonate.
Description Of Followers
To human eyes, Awakeners seem in a state of self contradiction. An Awakener may engage in deep ethical discussion, espousing the value of such, and then calmly perform some twisted and perverted act. They are extremely calm and controlled, often leading ascetic lifestyles of self denial. Of all Setites, the Awakeners are generally the more learned and of philosophical bent.
Views About the Path of Typhon: "They are helpless and blind, seeing only what is already in their own hearts and souls. Still, they are our fellow instruments of renewal, although I wouldn't bother trying to make them understand this."
Following the Path
The character should maintain his composure and reserve at all times, avoiding situations that lead to frenzy. The character should spend time in self contemplation to ensure his own continued purity and strength of purpose. The character should investigate matters ethical thoroughly, the better to corrupt it. The character should concentrate all efforts to corrupt on a single individual or institution at a time. The character should distain worldy power and possessions beyond what is required to corrupt a particular subject.
Common Abilities: Acting, Bureaucracy, Empathy, History, Meditation, Philosophy (Ethics), Setite Lore, Subterfuge.
Preferred Disciplines: Beyond the Clan Disciplines, Auspex is the most commonly exercised. Animalism is another common one.
Do's and Don'ts of Following the Path of Re-Emergance
Path of Re-Emergance Hierachy of Sins
If an Awakener ever acts contrary to humanity without the end of corruption in mind, or derives any gratification from the act itself, then they must make a Path roll exactly as if they possessed Humanity.
|Path Rating||Minimum Wrongdoing for Path Roll|
|10||Failing to pursue an opportunity to expand your ethical understanding|
|9||Allowing evil people to die when saving them would endanger your own life|
|8||Diverging your focus of corruption from more than one target at a time; Failing to periodically engage in self examination and assessment|
|7||Failing to attempt to corrupt an inaccessible target|
|6||Allowing evil people to die when saving them would involve some danger; Choosing to save good people over evil ones when this is the easier course of action|
|5||Riding the Wave during frenzy or acting in a way that may distort your perception of your purpose|
|4||Failing to attempt to corrupt an accessible target|
|3||Allowing evil people to die when saving them would present no apparent danger;Choosing to save good people over evil ones when this is the harder course|
|2||Embracing the evil and the non-virtuous|
|1||Deliberately choosing to corrupt yourself by seeking to frenzy or by reveling in worldy blandishments|
"Bruises, bruises, bruises,
Cuts, cuts, cuts,
Giblets, giblets, giblets,
Guts, guts, guts."
- This Is Serious Mum, Death, Death, Death
The Setites discipline of Vitiatus is derived and developed from the legendary powers of Set, and is entirely unique to the Setite clan. The over-riding concern of this discipline is the corruption of its victims by various insidious means.
 Sense the Sin: By means of this power, the Setite can learn about the targets personal failings and weaknesses, if any. Such knowledge then provides the Setite with the direction further efforts at corruption should go. Such things as derangements, low Willpower, Virtues or Humanity, addictions or compulsions are revealed by this power. Note that this power cannot reveal any knowledge the target may have, such as a crime committed, unless it is connected to a consistant flaw, such as kleptomania.
System: The Setite makes a Perception + Empathy roll, difficulty of the target's Humanity/Path. The number of successes determines how much information is gained, and how accurate it is. Note that no amount of successes will reveal a flaw that isn't there.
 Eyes of the Serpent: The eyes of the Setite appear to be gold with large black irises, and mortals around the character find themselves strangely attracted to him. These eyes are highly beguiling, and will immobilize mortals who look into them. Until the character takes his eyes off of them, they are frozen in place. The use of this power is generally to facillitate the use of other Vitiatus powers.
System: No roll is required for the use of this power, but it can be avoided if the mortal takes care not to look into his eyes. Vampires can also be affected by this power, but the Setite must succeed a Willpower roll (difficulty of 9) in order for it to work.
 Heaven's Touch: Despite the name, this is a particularly insidious and subtle power. By speaking to the target for several minutes and working the power upon them, the target will find that all external pleasurable stimuli are dramatically increased, while all sensory pains are muted. Thus nice food tastes great, great food tastes wonderful, average sex becomes great sex, and the euphoric effects of drugs and alcohol are extremely pronounced. At the same time, dropping a brick on your foot causes little more than a distant and dull sensation.
While this may seem great, the Setites are quick to exploit it's down side. While under the influence, self control and reason play little part in decision making as the desire for immediate gratification grows strong. Psychological addictions to substances are rapid, as are chemical ones. Addiction to the very state of being under the power of Heaven's Touch is common, as the target returns again and again to the Setite to enjoy the pleasures once more. All these possibilities render this seemingly benign power a potent weapon for the Setites.
System: The Setite must spend at least 5 minutes speaking with the target and gazing into their eyes. The Setite then rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty of the targets Willpower). The number of successes determines the duration and intensity of the effect.
|1 success||One minute and minimal effect|
|2 successes||15 minutes and mild effect|
|3 successes||1 hour and average effect|
|4 successes||1 night and pronounced effect|
|5 successes||1 week and extreme effect|
For every success gained, the victim can ignore 1 die of wound penalty. With 5 successes, a person could be crippled and function quite normally. However, when attempting a Virtue roll to resist any pleasurable or gratifying stimulus, including a vampire attempting to resist frenzy when hungry and confronted with blood, the victim suffers a dice penalty equal to the successes gained. Vampires only can attempt to resist the effect of the power for a single turn by spending a Willpower point. Spending Willpower equal to the successes the Setite gained will negate the power.
Beyond the game mechanics, the Storyteller should emphasise the role playing aspect of this power. Certain Natures may more readily resist this power, while others wouldn't even try. The Storyteller should also feel free to give characters addictive Derangements when they wantonly indulge their appetites.
 Beautific Vision: Where Heaven's Touch tampered with the pleasures that satisfy desire, Beautific Vision corrupts the desires themselves. If a person subjected to this power feels any desires, then all objects reasonably associated with satisfying that desire will appear to the target as being as desirable as the most desirable example of those objects. Note that this will vary slightly from person to person. A desire to bet on the horses would render all horse races as desirable as betting on the Grand National maybe. A desire for food would render any food as desirable as a nine course gourmet meal. A desire for sex would render any appropriate partner as desirable as that person's sexual ideal. Pertinently, a desire for blood would render any blood as desirable as the incomprable blood of an Antedeluvian. Beautific Vision cannot actually induce the desire in anyone, unless combined with a power like Heaven's Touch. Only once a desire arises does the power take hold. The corrupting potential of such a power need not be dwelt upon.
System: The Setite must talk with the subject, and maintain eye contact with them, for at leat 15 minutes. The Setite then rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty of the target's Willpower). The number of successes determines for how long the power remains in effect.
|1 success||One Minute|
|2 successes||One Hour|
|3 successes||One Day|
|4 successes||One Week|
|5 successes||One Month|
If the character subsequently expresses a desire for something, or the Storyteller is reasonable sure they want it, then they must make an appropriate virtue roll, usually Self Control/Instinct, at a difficulty of 9, in order not to make some attempt to possess the object of desire. This roll must be made for every object of desire that confronts the character, until he fails a roll, or no more objects of temptation are in sight. A botched Self Control roll may mean that the character will go to any lengths to claim the object of his desire. For hungry Vampires, the difficulty of any attempts to resist frenzy when confronted by blood is automatically 10. However, Vampires only can attempt to resist the effect of Beautific Vision for a turn by spending a point of Willpower. Spending Willpower equal to the successes the Setite gained will negate the power As with Heaven's Touch, the use of Beautific Vision should emphasis the roleplaying aspect of vaulting desire. Simply because the character succeeded in making a Self Control roll does not mean he is as cool and collected as he ever was. If a charcter is not acting appropriately, you may require that they spend Willpower, reflecting the efforts at composure their are obviously making
 Unholy Vision: No longer restricted to attempting corruption by temptation, a Setite who has advanced this far into the power of Vitiatus can attempt to corrupt a victim directly, by filling their minds with twisted visions of depravity, debauchery and perversity, and inviting them to enjoy what they behold. Multiple attempts at this can taint even the most saintly of souls, while average persons can be quickly drawn into the Abyss.
System: The setite must spend at least an hour talking to the target, gazing into their eyes all the while. The Setite then makes a Manipulation + Empathy roll (difficulty of the targets Conscience/Callousness + 4). Any successes means that the target must make an immediate Humanity/Path roll, in the usual way, at a difficulty of the number of successes the Setite gained + 2. 5 successes would require a difficulty 7 Humanity roll. If the Setite manages to successfully use Sense the Sin on the target previously, and discovered any hidden needs or desires the target had, then he can specifically include images intended to arouse that particular need. The successes gained in Sense the Sin are divided evenly between reducing the difficulty of the Setites attempt, and increasing the difficulty of the targets Humanity roll. Left over successes go to decreasing the Setites difficulty. The power of Unholy Vision can be used no more than once per day on any one individual.