Revelations

by James Seidel (12 Nov 94)

Contents


Character Concepts

"The vampyre is a master of psychological manipulation. He plays upon the lust of the wretched by giving them more, so that they end up beyond redemption from vice, and in his intimate relationship with women he has the power to transform even the most virtuous into a shamelessness. But who could resist his power?"
- Vampire, a Complete Guide to the Undead, Manuela Dunn Mascetti, 1991.

GAME PLAY

The presence of the knights is a sign that the long suffering world is fighting back. Evil is counterbalanced by good: But it is not a simple equation.

The warrior monks are restrained by the law and their religion. Vampires, whose only restrictions are the masquerade and the control of their princes, have the freedom of the lawless.

Murder, destruction, illegal activities - often involving the death of innocents - are irrelevant to the minds of Cainites.

Knights, however, cannot destroy or damage what they are sworn to protect. There is no such thing as "collateral damage" in a knights dictionary - therefore harming innocents must be avoided at all cost.

The fight against the Corrupt is not an easy one. While vampire hunters have existed throughout history, they have rarely attained a high degree of organisation or continuity.

The knights have the advantage of over a 700 years of written history - but many vampires have lived longer. Knights are mortal : vampires immortal.

This is not as big a problem as it may appear. The knights are fighting a holy war - a cause in which they wholly believe. Through their faith they no longer fear death as they believe it simply brings them closer to their God.

High standards of training and tradition ensure that knowledge is passed through the generations.

The primary quarry of the knights are vampires. While the Magi, witches and werewolves are recognised and regarded as evil, their destruction is secondary to that of a vampire. But finding a vampire is not easy. A basic purpose of the Masquerade was established to avoid the Inquisition - and the knights.

The bulk of a knight's work throughout the ages has been investigation. Tracking down tales and signs of a vampire occupies a significant amount of time. The "cleansing operation" is but the culmination of a long process.

Killing a vampire is not a simple task either. Not only must the Cainites supernatural abilities be taken into account, the action must be of minimal risk to the innocent populace. Each "cleansing operation" must be carefully planned and professionally executed. This is the cause of the high degree of military training each knight must undergo.

There are only a limited number of knights. Each Order would be hard pressed to muster more than 100 fully trained and combat capable knights at any one time. Each Order would also have about 300 Novices.

As a result, the warrior-monks will almost always be out- numbered and in a hostile environment. Knights are themselves high on the hit list. Their extensive training and holy powers are their only protection.

The knights maintain the Masquerade as it serves their own purposes. A populace living in open fear, hostile to all strangers and unusual behavior would be close to hell on earth. Publicly exposing the vampires would also reveal the existence of the Militant Orders. Any organisation with the influence and power of the Knights would attract jealousy and fear - and the tragedy of 1316 France would almost inevitably repeat itself


Methods

"Beowulf spoke:'Let your sorrow end! It is better for us all to avenge our friends, not mourn them forever. I promise you - she shall have no shelter, no hole to hide, no towering tree, no deep bottom of a lake where her sins may hide.'"
- Beowulf

SCIENTIFIC METHOD (Templar)

The knights of the Temple take a scientific approach, believing that technology and theories of science will ultimately lead to the defeat of vampires. This particular approach is based in the Militant Order's long history of scientific knowledge - even when many of the key theories were considered heresy by the Church.

The knights of the Temple believe God prefers mankind to use its own resources to resolve its own affairs, and created a self- contained universe. Any direct intervention on His behalf is purely a bonus. Much of the Templars resources, gathered through their contacts, the Masons, is spent on scientific research into vampire physiology and psychology. Such research has resulted in the invention of technology capable of assisting knights in the hunt: sun torches, air-compressed dart guns, weapons of aggravated damage, vampire poisons, and vampire repellents.

While this approach is largely strategic, it is considered vital in the long term war against vampires. In the field, while actually fighting against vampires, Templars adopt the Detective method - supplemented by the fruits of the Scientific approach.

DETECTIVE METHOD (Hospitaller)

The Hospitallers have been involved in the espionage world for a long time, their status as a Sovereign nation making them particularly attractive to organisations such as the CIA, MI5, KGB etc. A derivative from this experience is their preference for the Detective method of investigation. Using deductive reasoning and investigation, the knights of St John follow their suspicions until they are satisfied one way or another. Careful investigation of suspects include tailing and direct observation, record searches and talking to associates. Scientific and Medical elements are often utilised in the Detective approach, but generally the Hospitallers believe in getting out there and doing the job with whatever is available.

Stealth and Tracking skills (with specialities in Shadowing) are a must for trailing a vampire back to its lair. Driving skill, with the Following speciality, is good for tailing vampires to their meeting places. Security is useful for breaking into the vampires mansion once it has been located. Brawling and Melee skills are helpful if you bump into anything "nasty".

HEAVY FIREPOWER METHOD (Teutone)

The Teutonic knights are rather old-fashioned in their approach, and their history is a particularly ruthless one. Scientific and Detective methods are too subtle, though sometimes useful. But to the Teutones, such scheming, behind the scenes methods are unchivalrous - they would rather take the battle straight to the Kindred, and fight out in the open. The general tactic is to hit a Kindred hard, then kill them with a stake or sword before it heals itself with blood. Such tactics work with a lot of training, and luck. One item of preference in the Teutone arsenal is the Dragonsbreath round - a shotgun cartridge that sends a jet of flame about 20 feet from the barrel (has a 6 difficulty roll to resist, affects one part of body per shot). Another item just coming into common use is an incendiary bullet. Here, the bullet itself has a magnesium base that ignites as it leaves the gun - similar to tracer.

Teutones usually have little patience. They will not wait around for slower methods to work if they can be killing vampires now.


Character Creation

The Templar whom God to a strange folk should send as head; Must ban all world or question of his country or home or race; If his subjects want their rights from him and would in his sight find grace; They must not ask his origin, for he must leave them straight away.
- Parzifal, Chretien de Troyes

Before anything is put to paper, the gamer and the Storyteller must determine what type of character is being played. Is it a fully fledged Knight an experienced Novice or a new Associate of the Militant Orders? It also involves choosing which is the most appropriate Order for a character to be a member of. Is he a Templar a Teutone or a Hospitaller?

Choosing between these will provide the groundwork for a gamer's character.

Becoming an Associate Teutone would indicate he has no powers beyond the Faith rules described in Vampire: The Masquerade but has a police or military background.

A Hospitaller Novice would allow the character to obtain Piety Points and therefore use the Blessings as outlined under the Gifts - but not the Prayers or Rituals. Being a Hospitaller usually indicates a background in the clergy or medical professions.

A Knight Templar is a fully Initiated warrior-monk, blessed with high True Faith and the Holy Powers of the Blessings as granted to mankind under the Gifts, Prayers and Rituals. As a Templar, the character's background is likely to be in science or business.

BASE STATISTICS

Associate: Mortal stats (see Hunters Hunted).
Novice: Attributes 7/5/3, Abilities 16/12/8, Background 6, Faith 1*, Freebie 24, Virtues 8.
Knight: Attributes 8/5/4, Abilities 19/15/11, Background 7, Faith 5*, Freebie 27, Virtues 9.
* minimum.

THE ORDER:

Choosing the character's Order is somewhat like choosing a vampire's clan. Each Order attracts particular types of characters (as outlined in the Order's Fact Sheets earlier in this volume).

The Order determines the policies a character can follow and provides specialist Blessings known only to members of that particular Order.

Associates do not have to immediately link themselves to any particular Order, though subtle pressure to do so should be applied. By the time of the Novitiate Initiation ceremony, a character must have well and truly chosen. After all, it takes the recommendation of his peers to qualify as a Novice.

NATURE AND DEMEANOUR:

These are simply words to help in the description of the character. Natures and Demeanours are limited to those acceptable to monastic standards (no chance, Madonna!).

Nature is the most dominant part of a characters personality, though not the only factor that applies. It should describe the characters innermost being, feelings and beliefs.

Demeanour is what characteristics a character presents to the open world. Often it is different from true Nature and is a facade to hide insecurities or imperfections.

ATTRIBUTES:

These represent the Physical, Social and Mental components which make up a character. The method of choosing these for a member of a Militant Order is exactly the same as that under Vampires.

Knights are highly trained in the physical attributes, and their minds are always being tested under conditions of combat, their areas of speciality and theological thought. As a result, the statistics for a knight are usually higher than most humans. Give them 8/5/4. Novices are on the same path but have not reached the same level of excellence and devotion. Give them 7/5/3

ABILITIES:

This measures what a character has learnt during the course of his life, including Talents, Skills and Knowledge. Membership of the Militant Orders can have a significant influence on Abilities. High standards of training, education and performance are demanded if one is to succeed (and stay alive).

The measure of abilities under Abilities should reflect the specialist training that particular Novice/Knight has undergone (see chapter Combat Techniques). The statistics 19/15/11 for knights and 16/12/8 for novices reflect this intense training - but should only be interpreted as ball-park figures. As outlined below, points must be spent in specific areas of training for them to qualify as members of the Militant Orders.

Talents represent the innate skills that a person posess, and these can be refined once identified.

All Knights must have a minimum of three dots in Brawl and Melee. With Melee four, special offensive/devensive manoeuvres become available for swordplay (See Apendice 3).

Skills are the primary areas considered for qualification as a Church Knight. Associates enter the Orders with what they have learned from the outside world. Essentially, they are established via the Mortal character creation method as outlined in Hunters Hunted. The Militant Orders have the basic requirement of giving their members the skills necessary for a chance of survival in the fight against evil. A good standard of combat training is vital. Both Novices and Knights must have completed several basic elements of training.

All Knights must have a minimum of three dots in Firearms. Knowledge is the most valuable weapon in the Cleansing Crusade. With it, no vampire is safe from exposure. Upon becoming a Novice or Knight, the Militant Orders will offer training courses in areas of the characters interest or their Order's need. Activities, such as lectures, will take place in order to increase the characters experience points - though they are "targeted" experience points which cannot be used anywhere else. This system is largely up to the Storytellers discretion - he may consider six months of full-time study necessary for Computers Three, but only a weekend session with a friend for Computers One. It is often best to build upon the Knowledges characters bring with them to the Order. Several knowledges are considered vital, and therefore all members must receive training.

Training
The importance of getting the job done quickly, efficiently and with the minimum of fuss is vital. Too many botches can ruin the Church Knight's own masquerade, destroying any progress they have made in a particular region. Church Knights represent the Special Forces of vampire hunters, and thus must have very high standards of training in at least one major combat-related field. This is expressed through the compulsory competency in one of the following areas: Signals, Munitions, Medical and Intelligence.

SIGNALS MUNITIONS MEDICAL INTELLIGENCE
MAJOR Computer Firearms Medicine Investigation
Etiquite Security Science Occult
Stealth Science Empathy Law
MINOR Repair Demolitions Chemistry Interrogation
Cryptography Artillery Forensics Criminology
Electronics Heavy Weapons Biology Law
Security Piloting Psychology Research
Driving Escapology Research Linguistics

To gain competency, a knight must be trained in either a Major Knowledge/Skill to the level of five points, or trained in two Minor Special Skills to a level of four each.

All Knights must also be fluent in Latin, therefore Linguistics one is also compulsory.

ADVANTAGES:

Disciplines: These do not count under the Church Knight System.

Backgrounds: These work in exactly the same way as under Vampires: the Masquerade. However, the wide ranging support and resources of the Militant Orders must be taken into account.
ALLIES - Friends and associates who can be counted on in times of difficulty. They do not have to know of the character's status.
CONTACTS - The number of readily available sources of information the character has.
FAME - How widely the character's is known in the world. This can be area specific (such as medical science).
INFLUENCE - The Novice/Knights social status or political influence.
MENTOR - A more experienced Knight or Monk who acts as the character's personal advisor and,where possible, does what he can to assist.

Virtues: While Humanity may seem somewhat redundant with the addition of the Church Knight System's Piety, Faith and Grace Point mechanics - Courage, Self Control and Conscience still have a place. Piety is the measure of a Knights behavior under their Monastic Rule. Humanity remains the same, judging how humane a character's nature is.

WILLPOWER:

For Militant Characters, Willpower is equal to their Courage (like in Vampires). It can also be modified through freebie points. True Faith can be used in the place of Willpower, once all willpower has been expended. This is an expensive recourse. *Iron Will (Hunters Hunted and Players Guide) is a Gift given to all Novices and Knights, though not Associates. As an Associate is a normal mortal, they may have this ability from previous experience - but not granted through a Militant Order.

HUMANITY

Like vampires, this is determined through Conscience + Self Control.

TRUE FAITH:

The intricacies of this advantage is described in the following chapters, particularly Holy Powers. However, the following synopsis is for character creation purposes. One level of Faith is the equivalent of Seven Freebie Points. Novices and knights can buy extra Faith Points with Freebie Points. To gain Faith Levels during game-play, it will costs the Novice/Knight their current rating x3 in experience points up to level 5. For Associates, the cost will be current rating x5 in experience points thereafter.

Members of the Orders only have to increase the equation to Current Rating x 4 in experience points because of the support found within their Order and as a reward for living under holy vows.

PIETY POOL:

All Novices and Knights start out with a pre-set number of Piety Points, granted during their Initiation and Investiture Ceremonies. Knights are given the maximum Piety Rating of Ten, and Novices Five. Piety represents the degree to which the character is pleasing God. A sin or thoughtless act can cause Negative Piety Checks, and a loss of Piety Points. Serious offences cause an automatic loss of Piety Points to a value proportionate to the crime. A particularly good deed can cause Positive Piety Checks and the gain of Piety Points. This system is detailed in Pious Behavior.

GRACE POINT POOL

Grace Points determine how much Grace Energy the Novice or Knight is allowed to expend upon his Holy Powers. His Grace Level is directly linked to his performance under Faith and Piety. Grace Pool = Faith Level + Piety Level. This system is detailed under the chapter The Measure of Grace.

HOLY POWERS

The Gifts, Prayers and Rituals of the Church Knights are not easy to come by. Rather, characters must demonstrate to their Order that they are worthy of being taught how to use such precious Blessings.

Upon the initiation of a Novice, the Order (in other words, the Storyteller) may choose to train him in Three of the Gifts. Any Gifts over and above this must be earned. Initiated Knights may be given an extra Three Blessings on top of what they have already learnt as Novices. However, Knights may also choose from among the Prayers.

Order-specific Gifts and Prayers are automatically granted to Novices and Knights and are not included among the Three choices. Rituals cannot be given in this manner. A Knight must demonstrate his worthiness and then undergo training in the particular Ritual as part of his roleplaying.

FREEBIE POINTS:

These can be spent in exactly the same way as Vampire, though they cannot affect the Piety Pool or Grace Point Pool directly. Piety is a set number, while Grace Points is the sum of Piety and True Faith. Associates (mortals) can only use Freebie Points to buy one Faith Level (cost 7). Knights and Novices can buy as many as they can afford. Attributes cost 5pts, Abilities 2pts, Backgrounds 1pts, Virtues 2pts, Faith 7pts.

SKILLS, TRAITS & SECONDARY ABILITIES

Usually specialities are only available for Attributes and Abilities of level Four or higher. This is not always the case among the Militant Orders.

Some special abilities are considered vital for combat. Hospitaller Novices usually have a speciality in a humanity skill such as First Aid, Templars in the Investigation fields and Teutones in combat or hunting related areas.

As members of combat teams, Knights have particularly specialised roles and abilities. See the chapter Combat Techniques for further details.

You can hold status as a Novice or Knight without any specialities, but not as a full combatant. It should be the aim of early role-play sessions to bring their Specialities up to a suitable standard - if they have decided to spend their Freebie Points elsewhere.

EQUIPMENT:

Associates can spend money or own personal items. The strictures of the Code and The Rule do not affect their daily lives. Militant Orders can give them items to assist with their activities, though this is usually in the form of a loan. Novices have the right to own personal property - supplemented with Militant Order issue items. Knights are bound by The Rule not to have any personal belongings whatsoever. Everything they have is owned by their Order. Issue equipment is listed under the chapters The Rule, Combat Techniques and Uniform and Equipment.

QUIRKS, MERITS AND FLAWS:

Idiosyncrasies of character can add a lot of interest to a character. But they can also be a major liability. Some Flaws may have severe effects on a Knight or Novices Piety and Faith ratings. If this is the case, the character may be required to leave the Order. Other Merits may actually assist in a characters Pious and proper behavior. The essence is appropriateness - a knight is unlikely to have the Trait Vengeance, as his motives are personal and not of Worship.


Religious Powers

"We fight for the honor of the most glorious Virgin, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the honor and defence of the Holy Church and for all the Christian faith and for the expulsion of the enemies of the Cross."
- The Trial of the Templars, Malcolm Barber

RELIGIOUS POWERS

In return for the sacrifices made through taking their monastic vows, and their high faith, the knights have been blessed with "Divine Gifts". These powers are vital in the war against Corruption, as vampires are generally beyond the ability of even the best trained mortal to defeat.

However, these powers do not belong to the knight - but to God. The blessing of supernatural powers must only be used under the guidelines of the Rule - a knight cannot use them for selfish or vain purposes such as in revenge, laziness or personal profit. While some specific abilities are granted for specific purposes, they may not necessarily be carried out the same way every time. Miracles are a prime example of this. A desperate knight may beg for a miraculous obstacle to appear between him and an advancing vampire. This "barrier" could, by God's will, be anything from a wall of fire, a collapsing tree, a swarm of bees or the souls of the vampires victims.

The powers embodied in Faith assist in all aspects in the battle against the Cainites. Investigation of, protection from and combating vampires all benefit in different ways.

The piety of the followers of God is a coinage measured in Faith. The higher one's Faith the closer they stand to God. The Warriors of Christ wage a bitter war with the Damned, their most valuable weapon and their most effective shield is their Faith in their Lord. The Holiness that they receive from their beliefs grants them ever increasing Blessings which give them the ability to directly oppose the centuries old creatures that they hunt.

These powers do not belong to the knight - but to God. The Blessings must only be used under the guidelines of the Rule - a knight cannot use them for selfish or vain purposes such as in revenge, laziness or personal profit. The term "Blessings" applies to three distinctly different types of Holy Powers which are bestowed upon the Church Knights. These are, the Gifts, the Prayers, and the Rites.

FAITH:

For the members of Militant Orders, Faith is not a Merit - but a blessing and attribute. You simply cannot become a knight without a Faith rating of Five or more. Novices must have a Faith of at least One. When a hunter is in dire straits, and has no more Willpower, then he can call upon the strength of his Faith. Faith points can be used as a substitute for Willpower points. When he is out of Faith, he is out of luck - except for the intervention of a miracle. Willpower can be regained within oneself, but Faith must be regenerated through the dictates of one's religion, such as charity, compassion or penance.

Always give players an idea of the enormity of their Faith. It represents something greater than them. They may direct and focus it, but its power comes from Beyond. They are not its cause, but its servants.

Vampires, in the presence of a Knight concentrating on their Faith have to make a Willpower Check v. Faith. The number of successes equals the number of steps he can move forward. The number of failures represents the steps backwards he takes, a botch results in Rotschreck.

Faith Ratings

1-4 = Novices are initiate knights, with normal human abilities. They have not reached a level of Faith high enough for extra power, or initiation in the Orders. Novices are often at differing levels of experience and training. It is possible for a Novice to have a Faith of 9 - but has not completed enough training to become a Knight. Invested Novices are granted use of the Gifts.

5 = A Faith rating of greater than five indicates a true intimate connection with the supernatural. This level of Faith is the minimum acceptable for Knights. It allows Invested Knights to learn and use the Prayers and the Rituals, and also allows sensing of True Faith in other people.

6 = Cleanse the taint of evil from an area. Cause the difficulty of all reaction rolls in the area to be reduced by 1 (aura of tranquillity). Get a sign from God which inspires you (an extra point of Willpower for the remainder of the scene).

7 = Cause a vampire or psycho killer to collapse with guilt. Add three dice to any reaction rolls made toward you, even with animals. Know the correct answer to all moral, ethical questions. Bless a religious icon such as a cross, etc, so contact with the item damages supernatural beings (1 die or so per success) Get a sign from heaven which inspires the entire unit you command, resulting in an extra point of Willpower for you and your companions for the rest of the scene.

8 = Change the nature of a person for a temporary or permanent period, depending on how well you roll your Charisma + Empathy against the targets Wits + Self Control. Reduce the level of vampiric disciplines by one for every success you roll.

9 = Exorcise demons and evil spirits (Faith versus the demon's willpower). Can also lay a ghost to rest. Those with this Faith rating can leave an aura of tranquillity in an area, such as a violent slum. The residents of the area will be more moral and cooperative, old feuds will fall by the wayside, crime will drop etc. Those with this level of Faith can permanently touch the world with their Faith. Complete protection against supernatural evil is another ability, as long as you do nothing but concentrate and stand still or slowly leave with no aggressive action. Can protect others in immediate vicinity also. A powerful ability is that of causing an evil being, if truly deserving of death, to realise this; it takes at least five successes of your Faith against the targets Willpower. The target must have a Humanity of 2 or below, and must have committed truly horrible atrocities. If successful, the creature will be overcome with remorse and will either commit suicide or submit to the stake (or silver) etc.

10 = Ignore a source of damage (up to 10 dice per round) if at least five rounds are spent in preparation for the feat and a difficulty roll is made against a 9; each success removes two dice of damage. You simply refuse to believe your Faith would allow you to get hurt. Can also cleanse someone of the Embrace (difficulty 10, only in dramatic circumstances and the target must want to be saved). Call the minions of the Divine (usually in mortal form) to aid you in a dark hour.

Crises of Faith: Sometimes a person can lose his Faith. Doubts arise about the truth of their calling, and they begin to wonder whether religion is just a sham. Every time a hunter tries to use their Faith and comes up with two or more botches, they lose a point of Faith. For the Church Knights, it is for three or more botches. This can be regained only through the strong support of their fellows, or through further successful actions. If a knight's faith falls below level five, he must subject himself to a great deal of soul-searching. Usually, the knight will remove himself to the nearest monastery where the abbot would hear his confession, provide instruction and support in the Faith and the serene company of monks devout in their worship. Once the knight has restored his Faith to his previous highest attained level, he main leave.

Gaining Faith: It costs 7 freebie points to buy a level of Faith. It is the easiest Numina for a mortal to gain. Religion comes easy to humans, but not all can reap its benefits. This is what Faith power represents, a tangible clinging to religion in the face of the darkest night of the soul. It costs the hunters current rating x3 to raise Faith with experience points up to level 5, and the current rating x5 thereafter. Members of the Orders, living as they do in under a monastic Rule, remain at current rating x 3 because their vows and sacrifices make the task easier.

HOLY MIRACLES:

Praying for a miracle takes one round. Roll a percentile dice. The chance of success is 2 per cent per Faith level, plus any modifiers the Storyteller decides are warranted. Success means the miracle has been granted and the event takes place. Failure means the request has not been granted. At the Storytellers discretion, positive or negative modifiers may be added. For example, if the miracle is desperately needed and of great importance to the Church, a +5 per cent or +10 per cent modifier may be appropriate. On the other hand, if the request is simply for convenience or frivolous reasons, a -5 per cent or -10 per cent modifier may apply. If a particularly spectacular or rare miracle is granted - the knight may be on the path to Sainthood (indicated by a Storyteller defined increase in Faith Points). An increase in Faith must be granted, ranging from one point to five - once again upon the Storyteller's discretion. Praying for a miracle on consecrated ground or with the aid of a significant holy relic may provide more positive modifiers, depending on the circumstances.

HOLY GROUND:

The power of Holy Ground can be tapped by the knight if called upon. The base Faith rate of the site is added to the hunter's when used to resist the Willpower of a vampire attempting to go where it is not allowed. In the case of the knights, it also adds a point to their brawl, athletics and dodge scores if engaged in combat. Most importantly, the Holy Ground's supernatural strength can supplement a knight's own Holy Powers.

While such Holy Ground Faith ratings only reflect the Faith of their patrons, some places have stored power. However, whenever those powers are used it temporarily reduces its Faith base by at least one point. The only places with a Faith rating of 10 points are the Vatican in Rome, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca etc (essentially the centre of each major religion). Holy Ground is naturally repulsive to evil. Anything evil, such as a vampire, must make a Willpower v Holy Ground check. Invitation nullifies the repulsion.

RELICS:

Holy relics, icons and blessed items are focuses of Faith. While most items serve only as conduits of the subjects own Faith, the Militant Orders have objects which are actual sources of power. Relics are not blessed objects - they are ancient and sacred items, Relics can protect against natural, human or demonic afflictions and cure disease. The presence of a Holy relic can add to the strength of Holy Ground or the Knight/Novice holding it. Once a genuine relic has been found, it must be guarded and respected. A Relic does not have to be authentic - people only have to believe it is. It is not the relic which generates the power, it is the belief the Faithful have in it. An ancient or forgotten relic may still hold True Faith Points, but once they are used the relic is a powerless object. Once, the Knights Templar had under their protection one of the greatest Relics of all time - the Turin Shroud. In fact, it is possible distorted rumors of this holy item helped lead to their downfall. (See Appendice 3 for details). Relics force the same Willpower Checks as True Faith and Holy Ground. Outcomes are the same.


Pious Behavior

"It is . . incumbent upon all of us to consider and to choose to amend our sins by voluntary chastisement and to turn to the Lord our God with penance and works of piety; and we should first amend in ourselves what we have done wrong and then turn our attention to the treachery and malice of the enemy."
- Pope Gregory VIII, launching the Third Crusade. In The Atlas of the Crusades, Jonathan Riley-Smith

VIOLATIONS

The Council at Troyes foresaw that not all Knights were to be Saints, and that Grand Masters would need a method of enforcing the Rule. Practical punishments ranging from small penances, humiliating acts such as eating off the floor, expulsion from the Order and perpetual imprisonment were laid down to be administered by the Order's hierarchy. At least one knight was starved to death for disobedience in the London Temple. Another was imprisoned in the Jerusalem mother-house for leading an unauthorised raid against the Saracens, and losing the lives of several knights in his troupe.

The modern application of the Rule is no different. However, the composition of the Orders is. Members must have a measure of True Faith, making serious crimes unlikely. Most offences are expected to be simply the domain of human failure - such as pride, ignorance and stupidity.

Knights or novices who abuse the powers given to them, fail to adhere to the Code or break the Rule of their monastic life may lose God's favor and the ability to use some of their Holy Powers. Loss of specific abilities are at the Storytellers discretion - but should suit the nature of the crime. Punishment does not mean loss of all powers. For example, preventing use of a particular Blessed item, Prayer or Ritual can be devastating enough. Total loss of powers should result only from serious or repeated sins.

Definitions of codes of conduct affecting knights can be found in the chapters The Rule and The Code earlier in this volume. Other binding disciplines follow in The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues.

PIETY POINTS

Piety Points are a measure of a knights performance against the Seven Deadly Sin and Seven Virtue tables. It represents the strict code of conduct knights and members of any monastic organisation have to follow.

Piety Points are also a method of enforcing appropriate role-play and knightly behavior - and only applies to characters who have undergone the Novitiate Initiation ceremony or the Knight Investiture. Failure to behave Piously results in a loss of available Grace Points and, at the Storyteller's discretion, a character's ability to use particular supernatural powers. The whole idea is supposed to be that the gifted powers demand sacrifice and pain.

Measured from one to ten, a knight starts with the maximum Piety Level of Ten. Good behavior and works warrant a Positive Piety Check (Piety dice rolled, requiring a number of successes equal to that of the knights Faith rating level). If the roll of Piety dice is successful (against a Difficulty Level set by the storyteller to reflect the nature of the event), a gain in Piety Points is rewarded. (Piety Points equate available Piety dice). A Negative Piety Check is made when a knight commits a sin.

An offense may attract more than one Piety Check. If the Storyteller feels the wayward knight deserves to loose more than one Piety Point, he may demand multiple rolls - specifying the breach which warrants each Check. Otherwise, major crimes will cost the same as a minor act of thoughtlessness.

An apparent problem occurs when a knights Piety Level falls below that of his Faith. This is deliberate. As Faith Levels increase, so does the difficulty of maintaining the strict self- discipline (Piety Points) that Faith Levels demand. If you have the Faith of a saint, you must behave like a saint (The Faith rating of Nine demands a Piety Rating of Nine - allowing virtually no room for sin).

When a knight's Piety Level falls below the value of his Faith, the knight would be wracked with self-disgust, guilt and self- abasement. His powers may be reduced, and regeneration of used Grace Points suspended. The only solution is to remove himself to a place of worship, serving penance until the Storyteller determines his Piety Level has been restored to that of his Faith Level.

A Piety Level below that of the Faith Level will not allow a knight to roll Positive/Negative Piety Checks. Any Negative Piety Check his behavior incurs will automatically fail, and he looses a further Piety Point. Any Positive Piety Check his behavior causes cannot be rolled as it will not measure up to his Faith - therefore he looses the ability to restore Piety Points through his own actions.

Only Penance can restore Piety Points to the level demanded by Faith. Penance can provide one point per day of total worship. Any interruptions automatically removes that day's benefit. The Storyteller can also add specific tasks needing completion before his Piety is restored to a level no greater than his Faith. Further good works are needed before it grows higher than Faith. (See the For Example at the end of this chapter for further clarification).

If Piety falls below zero, one point of Humanity must be deducted. All powers are lost until the character returns his piety level to that of his Faith. Falling below zero represents continuous failure to live according to the vows, so suitable punishment must also originate from within the Order. This usually involves removal from combat status, an interview by a superior of at least Knight Preceptor rank and severe penance. If Piety reaches 10, no extra benefit is obtained. However, if Piety remains at 10 for a considerable time, the Storyteller may decide to reward this excellent behavior with an extra Humanity point or Faith point.

HUMANITY

Humanity points and checks are conducted in the same manner as Vampires. However, with the Church Knights there is a link to the Piety system.

The main difference with Piety is the seriousness of the offense that causes a check. Humanity is linked more to serious crimes, such as those outlined under the Ten Commandments.

When a check calls for a loss in Humanity Points, a corresponding loss of five Piety Points occurs. With any increase in Humanity, Piety is also boosted by a maximum of five. If a novice or knight has a humanity of less than five, they are immediately expelled from their Order.

DEFINITIONS OF CONDUCT

Each of the following outline the rules of conduct knights and novices must adhere to. The Ten Commandments affect Humanity Checks, while the Seven Virtues and Seven Deadly Sins affect Piety Checks.

Ten Commandments

First and foremost, a knight must uphold God's commandments as given to Moses at Mount Sinai. These stand above The Rule, The Code and the Seven Deadly Sins - even though they were themselves derived from the Commandments.

Any breach of the following must be dealt with the complete removal of Grace points and Piety Points. The offending knight must be banished to a remote monastery, where he must demonstrate an extraordinary degree of penance if the favor of God is to be restored to him. Many offenders end up serving Penance for life.

  1. Thou shalt not have any other Gods.
  2. Thou shalt not worship any idol.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor.

The Seven Deadly Sins

A knights Piety can be measured against the Seven Deadly Sins. Offences in any of these categories will cause a Negative Piety Check, with failure resulting in a drop in Piety status and incurring the penalties inherent in such a loss.

Punishment can be dealt out in several forms. Most often the offense can simply be punished through a Piety Check, with a Difficulty Level determined by the Storyteller. Serious offences can result in several Piety Checks (the number determined by the Storyteller) - and thus the potential to loose a number of valuable Piety Points.

In other cases, a knight may loose specific Gifts, Prayers or Rituals until the knight recognises the sin he committed, apologises - and then serves an equal amount of time in penance.

The appropriateness of a punishment should be determined by the nature of the sin.

Pride:
One of the most common offences. Becoming too enamoured with one's own powers and abilities is punishable by loss of those same blessings. Knights must remember that their powers are not their own: rather, they are blessed as being a vessel for God's will. Their success is not due to their own actions - but to God's. To frequently calling upon divine aid when simple diligence and courage would suffice is taking God's favor for granted. This is a serious form of pride - as the power's divine source has been forgotten.
In every-day life, knights may also demonstrate pride through behavior including haughtiness, excessive self-satisfaction, conceit, arrogance and egoism. Apart from loosing Piety Points, suitable punishment usually includes the removal of the object of pride or setting the character's ego in its place - all of which can be determined by the storyteller.
Covetousness:
Coveting what is not a rightful possession is a typical human failing. Covetousness is usually related to emotional matters, such as wistfully desiring something out of immediate reach (such as a Faith level of 7, instead of 5). More insidious behavior such as selfishness and avarice come under this category. Trying to use Holy Powers for one's own purposes demonstrates a severe breach of the tenets of The Rule and Faith.
Lust:
This has obvious connotation for Monks. Having to suppress passion is an important component of a knight's sacrifice to gain favor in the eyes of God is a vital component of reaching the status of knight, as determined by the Rule. Failing to do so results in a loss of this favor. Apart from lechery, lust includes the excess of almost any passion. Knights must demonstrate self- restraint, though there are times in which suitable demonstrations of loss, remorse, compassion etc are appropriate. In some ways lust overlaps with Covetousness and Gluttony, as all reflect unwholesome desires and urges.
Anger:
Vengeful violence when patience, charity, mercy and forgiveness are called for demonstrates a failure under the terms of the Rule and the Code. There is no place for unfettered rage in the Militant Orders, nor for subliminal hostility or continuous provocation.
Animosity and ire also fall under this category. Demonstrations of great self control and restraint are to be encouraged. The severity of their rage or animosity must be reflected in the Difficulty Level of any Piety Point Check - as well as the consequences of their actions.
Gluttony:
As a warrior-monk, self sacrifice is a basic requirement. Waste, greed and longing goes against this rule of behavior. Over consumption of an item, be it food or ammunition, is a wanton display of wastefulness. Gluttony is usually linked to acquiring material possessions and any longing desire to obtain an object. An example may be an excessive desire to own a particular weapon. Covetousness relates to matters emotional and religious.
Envy:
Undue jealousy over a companion knights rewards, powers or status is an insidious sin that would affect most knights at one stage or another. Such a failing can be demonstrated through spiteful behavior, rivalry and begrudging respect. Knights should be made to understand that God's favor is demonstrated to different people differently. Humility is a key virtue if a warrior- monk is to remain pious. Piety check's should be accompanied with a role-play rebuttal or other suitable punishment.
Sloth:
Avoiding the instructions and duties of one's Order is a serious offense. Any body of knights is only as strong as its weakest link. If a knight avoids his designated chores, punishment can be doled out by his comrades according to the Rule. Carelessnes, Apathy, passivity, lethargy, failure to take appropriate action - all are sins under the banner of Sloth. Avoiding serious events - such as battle - will result in loss of all Piety Points and trial before a Chapter of Knights.

REWARDS

The Seven Virtues

While Piety can be lost, so can it be gained. Knights striving to increase their favor in the eyes of God can, through the following Virtues, gain status - and therefore power. A good demonstration of any Virtues will call for a Positive Piety Check. If the roll succeeds, an extra piety point is gained. However, if a knight's Piety Level is below that of his Faith Level, only Penance can restore lost Piety Points.

Faith:
A knight must demonstrate faith (as reflected in the Faith points system) that his God will look over his actions and protect his soul. If a knight hesitates overmuch when planning to use a Holy Power because he fears a major botch, then he is demonstrating a lack of assurance in God's word. However, when succeeding in a roll which has a high probability of failure, rewarding his faith with a Piety Point would be appropriate.
The knight must demonstrate a sureness in his belief in his everyday behavior, a certainty that the Divinity does exist and an unshakeable belief in God's favor, under whatever circumstances.
Hope:
An inherent optimism about the fate of God's children on earth needs to be demonstrated. Allowing oneself to become despondent and fall into despair over the power of evil shows a lack of hope. A knight lives in expectancy of revelations of God's will and favor - this is why the success of miracles result in an immediate boosts to the Faith level. Through hope, attributes such as trust and confidence are spawned. Continuous examples of a hopeful attitude (though not over-optimism) should be rewarded with Piety Points, though despair has an opposite effect.
Charity:
As reflected in The Rule and The Code, a generosity of spirit is required to make a knight's worship complete. Along with the more obvious "giving" aspect of charity, behavior such as benevolence, compassion and tolerance are vital elements of this most wide-reaching virtue. On-going displays of such behavior should be rewarded through Piety Points. Thoughtlessness or deliberate acts of nastiness ought to be punished.
Justice:
Justice is the demonstration of fairness and equity in the judgements made in everyday life. But for a knight it goes beyond this narrow definition. Natural justice can also be affected by a knight's own integrity and uprightness. If a knight lies or conceals the truth, he is committing an injustice. This can pose interesting dilemmas - sometimes the truth is not the best thing to say!
Fortitude:
This relates to a knight's steadfast resolve to see God's will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Despite the hurdles encountered, a knight must demonstrate tenacity and determination to get the job done. Such perseverance should be rewarded: giving up to easy, punished.
Prudence:
Demonstrating a high degree of common-sense and forethought can save a knight from a lot of trouble - even if things go wrong.
Cautious calculation shows a knight is taking everything he can into account before an action is taken or a decision is made. If a decision turns out to be wrong, and the knight has acted prudently, then he should not be punished for the event. If it goes wrong because of a lack of consideration and judgement - a Negative Piety Check must be made.
Temperance:
Knights must be humble, seeking Holy Powers only when necessary and to serve the needs of the Order and the Church. By sincerely striving to avoid using their Holy Powers, knights can gain favor in the eyes of the Lord. This demonstrates a strong respect for his religion and a regard for his God's desire to limit intervention upon this earth.
But Temperance goes beyond use of powers. A knight must demonstrate the virtues of humility, self control, abstinence and modesty in all their behavior. Clear-cut examples of such behavior, or merely a string of good performance, can be rewarded by the Storyteller by granting a Positive Piety Check.

PENANCE

Knights who lose the benefits of their Faith or Piety may make a penance to regain them. The remorseful knight must seek solitude, such as a church or monastery, and devote himself to meditation, study and private prayer - begging forgiveness with a humble heart. Penance includes publicly announcing to all companion knights the nature of his sin, and explaining what will be done to prevent such an offense occurring again.

Correcting one's actions can be an important prelude to Penance - though not always necessary. If a knight sins by punching a hole in the wall in frustration after a vampire escapes, the Storyteller may require the knight pays for and organises the repair. (To make this even more demanding, the Storyteller does not have to tell the knight what it is he has to do before his Penance takes effect - let him figure it out for himself. Never forget, True Faith makes harsh demands upon its subjects.)

Piety: Piety can be gained or restored through a Piety Check when a knight displays an act of one of the Seven Virtues. A Positive Piety Check (Piety Points rolled with a Difficulty Level determined by the Storyteller against a Faith Level number of successes) can reward the knight with an extra Piety Point. If the Positive Piety Check fails, he simply gains no benefit.

However, if Piety Points have fallen below the total number of Faith Points the benefits of the Virtues cannot be gained (Not to mention, its impossible to roll Six Successes with only Five Dice!). In this situation, only Penance can restore lost Piety.

Penance will restore one Piety Point per day - only if it is under conditions of true repentance in uninterrupted prayer, usually conducted in a monastery or another private place of worship. Interruptions automatically removes the Piety Point that day's worship was intended to restore - so it is best to leave a penitent knight alone.

Serious or repeated offences may extend the period of penance and can result in permanent loss of powers. The Storyteller may also give a knight a particular task to complete before penance is granted such as correcting a wrong he has committed, a worthy act of charity or a simple apology.

Penance cannot restore Piety to a level greater than Faith. Further good works outside of Penance are needed before Piety grows higher than Faith.

Faith: Loss of Faith is in some ways more severe than a loss of Piety. It represents a measured loss of belief, trust and adoration of God. Therefore, restoring a lost Faith Point is a much more difficult task. However, restoring a lost Level is not as hard as gaining new Faith Points. Thus a knight can undergo penance to restore the lost Faith - and not wait until he has sufficient Experience Points to re-purchase a level. Penance of Faith will require Faith x 2 weeks of prayer and charity. The Storyteller may, however, require a clear act of belief and faith in one's God before returning his Faith Level's Holy Powers. These restored Faith Levels cannot surpass the highest Faith Levels previously obtained.

Humanity: Penance cannot restore Humanity levels.

{For example: A Templar Knight Captain is running through a garden party in hot pursuit of his quarry. Instead of dodging past a group of young ladies, he decides to barge on through. This action causes one of the young debutantes to fall in a pond, ruining the dress she could not really afford and severely embarrassing her in front of her male friends. This action - Sloth - warrants a Negative Piety Check: he could easily have attempted a dodge. (If he had bothered to do the right thing, it would have automatically negated the need for a Negative Piety Check - even if he failed the dodge - as the accident was no longer a case of Sloth.) The Knight Captain has a Faith Rating of Five and a Piety Rating of Five. The Storyteller gauges the severity of the offense at a value of Three (out of a maximum of 10). Therefore, the Knight Captain must roll Five Successes (Faith Rating) greater than Three (Difficulty Level) with his Piety Dice (in this case, Five) in order to avoid loosing a Piety Point. The Knight Captain fails the check, and must loose a Piety Point - reducing him to Piety Four. This new Piety Level is one point below that acceptable to his Faith Level of Five. His guilt and self- admonishment would prevent him from receiving the benefits of any Positive Piety Check and automatically cause him to fail any further Piety Checks. The Templar removes himself to a chapel for a day of prayer and repentance. However, at the end of that day he still feels remorseful (his Piety has not been restored - as it should). He realises the only way to satisfy his guilt is to find the debutante, apologise to her and pay her the cost of the spoiled dress. After two days of searching and obtaining a blushing acceptance of his apology, the Templar once again feels the comfort and security of Gods favor return (thus, Piety Points are restored to the Level of his Faith). Now, he can once again serve as an effective member of the Militant Orders.}


The Measure of Grace

"Non nobis Dominie, non nobis, sed nomine tuo, da gloriam. Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give glory."
- Templar motto, recorded at the Council of Troyes, 1128

The measure of Grace is the yard-stick against which a knight's Holy Powers can be measured. Grace is the sum of Faith + Piety. Both Faith and Piety are fluid ratings which can be affected by performance and behavior. Thus, a knights actions can influence his spiritual strength.

A knight who breaks The Rule or one of the Seven Deadly Sins must undergo a Piety Check. If the check fails, and he looses a rating of Piety, he also looses a point of Grace.

{For example: A Teutone sergeant with a Faith rating of six and a Piety level of seven has a Grace rating of 13. During the course of his investigations, the knight is curt and rude to a drunken hermit begging for money. This is an un-charitous act and calls for a single Piety Check (against Faith rating). Upon failing the Piety check, he looses one Piety Point. This reduces the sum of Faith and Piety by one - thus reducing his amount of available Grace Points. This loss of Grace Points will affect the total amount he can expend upon the Gifts, Prayers and Rituals. A loss of Piety to below one calls for serious disciplining. The aberrant knight must be banished to a monastery and stripped of his rank until he proves he has atoned for his sins.}

A loss of Faith points has a similar effect. A knight who botches a major prayer twice or more in succession must loose a point of Faith. This, of course, also reduces the number of Grace points available. But more importantly, it also reduces the number of Gifts, Prayers and Rituals the knight can select from (Holy Powers can be tied to Faith Levels). A knight whose Faith falls below Five must seek instruction from an Abbot and seclude himself in a monastery until his Faith returns. His ability to use Prayers and Rituals is also stripped away, though the Gifts remain until he has no more Faith.

EXPENDITURE

Grace points are the measure of the blessings conferred upon a knight, translating to game players as how many points are available to be expended as Prayers, Gifts and Rituals. As the sum of Faith and Piety, the pool of available Grace points is strongly linked to a knights behavior and belief.

This way, their powers and behavior cannot be taken for granted. A knight must remember always that he is not only a warrior - but also a monk.

The T rating before a Gift, Prayer or Ritual designates the number of Faith Levels required before that Holy Power becomes available. The numerical rating (say, 7) specifies what number of Grace Points must be expended to initiate the Holy Power. Thus a TTT Prayer (5) would reduce the total immediately available Grace Points from 13 to 8 (However, he must have a Faith Rating of at least 3 before he can attempt the action). Using a Holy Power does not affect the Faith or Piety scores. Grace points can be expended until there are none, and the knight must retire for private prayer to allow regeneration of his Grace points.

If a knight is low on Grace points, is in a desperate situation and needs to call upon a Prayer with a higher requirement of Grace than he currently has - he may call upon a miracle. The chance of success is 2 per cent per Faith level, plus any modifiers the Storyteller decides are warranted. (As per the Miracle rules in the chapter Religious Powers). A successful miracle will have an unpredictable end result - as it will be an act of God - as well as raise Faith by one Level.

HOLY GROUND AND RELICS

The True Faith Rating ascribed to Holy Ground and Relics can be added to a knights Grace Point Score (Faith+Holy Ground + Piety). It has no effect on Piety Checks or the Holy Powers directly linked to a knights individual Faith Level - it only supplements the powers of The Gifts, Prayers and Rituals. Once a Ritual, Gift or Prayer is used, taking advantage of the Holy Grounds Faith Rating, the Holy Ground must loose one level of Faith. If the object is no longer a focus of community worship, it will loose one Faith Level, per knight, per time it is used. Places of living Worship can regenerate their Holy Ground rating after a major service is conducted there (such as Sunday Mass). The moral of the story is not to attack a Church Knight on his own ground.

{For example: A Hospitaller Knight Sergeant is all that remains of an ambushed combat team sent into what appeared to be an abandoned country town. Fleeing for his life, he seeks refuge in the ruins of a church. This had been a very pious community before degradent land had made living in the are untenable. As a result, the ruined church has a Holy Place rating of Three. The Knight Sergeant, his own Faith rating being Five and his Piety Six, can add the Holy Ground rating of Three to his available Grace Points (Faith + Holy Ground + Piety = expanded Grace Points). Thus the knight is given greater strength with which to defend himself. However, the knight's excessive fear warrants a Negative Piety Check. The Faith Level of the Holy Ground has no effect on the knight's personal relationship with God, therefore it must be Six Piety Dice rolled against a Storyteller determined Target with Five Faith Level successes needed. The young knight succeeds the Check. Seeing a vampire approaching and successfully struggling against the affects Holy Ground, the Knight Sergeant jumps up - determined to sell his life dearly. He yells his war cry "Christi Imperat" (using the Word of Power Gift which costs 3 Grace Points). This reduces his available Grace Point pool from 14 (Faith Five+ Holy Ground Three + Piety Six) to 11. The Word of Power requires a Charisma & Faith versus the vampires Humanity as the target roll. The Holy Ground's Faith Rating must be added to the Knights Faith Level for this action (Charisma Three, Faith Level Five, Holy Ground Three versus vampire Humanity Target Six). His cry succeeds in frightening the vampire, causing the creature to make a Rotschreck Check. The Check must use the knights Faith plus the Holy Ground's rating as the level of difficulty (thus, Eight) under the p199 Vampires Rotschreck difficulty table. In this case, the effect on the vampire is similar to that of being exposed to direct sunlight. The vampire flees in a raging state of panic. Round one to the Knight Sergeant. However, the abandoned church's Holy Ground rating has been reduced to Level Two.}

REGENERATION

Grace Points return to the Faith + Prayer sum total at the rate of one Grace Point per hour of worship or meditation. Thus, a knight with Faith Five and Piety Eight would need 13 hours of quiet meditation if all 13 Grace Points were expended. If only one or two points have been used, these can be restored during the normal morning and evening prayers. If the knight is resting on Holy Ground, the locations Faith Rating acts as an automatic boost - giving them an initial surge of Grace Points equal to the sites Faith Level.

Granting the Blessings

"Ere the moon has climbed the mountain, ere the rocks are ribbed with light, When the downward-dipping tails are dank and drear. Comes a breathing hard behind thee, snuffle-snuffle through the night, It is Fear, O Little Hunter, it is Fear!"
- The Song of the Little Hunter, Kipling

The ability to use the Blessings is directly tied to one's Faith, as shown through the links with Piety and Grace Points. Many powers also only come available once a Knight has gained a particular level of Faith - demonstrating the necessary degree of understanding and acceptance of God's will.

But these Blessings are not granted without effort upon the Novice/Knights behalf.

Novices, during the lead-up to their Initiation, are taught Three of the Gifts by their superiors. Which of the Gifts these Three are is determined by the Chapter, based on what will serve the Order the most and what Faith Level the Novice has. Once the Novice has been Initiated, he is then taken away and taught in secret the Order's own particular Gifts.

Knights, during their Investiture Ceremony, receive instruction on a further Three Blessings. These are once again chosen by the Chapter, and can be a mix of both Gifts and Prayers - limited only by the Knights own Faith Level.

Once a Knight or Novice earns a Faith Level in game-play, they become eligible to learn more of the Gifts or Prayers. The supplicant must approach the leader of his Chapter, usually a Knight Preceptor, petitioning him for the honor of further theological training in the nature of the Blessings. If granted, the Novice or Knight is usually sent to an out-of-the-way monestary to study the ancient Canons of the Order. Whether the supplicant learns the new powers or not is determined by a dice roll.

Take the Faith Level of the Blessing and use this to represent the number of months necessary to learn the ability. The character must then make an Intelligence + Occult roll v the Blessings Faith Level. The number of successes represents how many weeks may be taken off the study time.


The Gifts

"Instinctively I moved forward with a protective impulse, holding the Crucifix and Wafer in my left hand. I felt a mighty power fly along my arm, and it was without surprise that I saw the monster cower back. . . "
- Bram Stoker, Dracula.

THE GIFTS

These are abilities that Knights are able to call upon at any time, they are generally boons which allow the Knight to be aware of and deal with the Supernatural forces of Darkness. Gifts apply to all members of the Militant Orders at all times.

Any member, be he novice or knight, is given these abilities as a sign of Gods favor. The strength of many abilities do vary with Faith, and others may only be granted with particular Faith ratings. But they are still Gifts.

Expenditure of Grace Points is often required - though not always. Sometimes the warrior's Faith is all that he needs to empower his Will or Word with an ability. These are the only supernatural powers that a Novice has access to. Only Investiture as a Knight gives a character the status to learn the Prayers and Rituals.

All of the powers outlined under White Wolf's Faith Table system are regarded as Gifts. Gifts are enacted at will, and a maximum of two Gifts can be used per turn.

General

Bless. (3pts + 1pt per Willpower expended)
A knight may use this power to strengthen another mortal's will or body. It cannot be used upon oneself. With the expenditure of Willpower the knight can ask for the following blessings. It must not be forgotten that a knight's blessing is but a channel of God's will. If the prayer is made in frivolous or unnecessary circumstances, it will not be granted. Willpower and Grace point expenditure still occurs, however.
T At the cost of one Willpower the knight may grant one Willpower for an hour.
TTT: At the cost of one Willpower the knight may grant one Willpower for a day.
TTTTT: At the cost of one Willpower the knight may grant one Willpower permanently.
TTTTTT: At the cost of three Willpower the knight may raise one attribute by one dot for one hour (this can raise an attribute over five).
TTTTTTT: At the cost of three Willpower the knight may raise one attribute by one dot for one day.
TTTTTTTT: At the cost of three Willpower the knight may raise one attributes by one dot for one month.
TTTTTTTTTT: At the cost of five Willpower the knight may raise a mortal's attributes by any amount with an effect for up to one day.
Bless is restricted to one use per individual per day.

Danger Sense: (0) By Jamie Seidel
Each occurrence of this power is a direct gift from God. The knight's Faith Level determines how much information he can extract from the warning - usually given in the form of a brief vision or a voice in one's head. A knight must roll Perception + Alertness if he is to comprehend the interruption of his thoughts.
TT Detect danger - imminent and in vicinity.
TTT Detect danger direction - imminent and in vicinity
TTTTT Detect danger degree - imminent and vicinity.
TTTTTT Detect nature of danger - can be distant.
TTTTTTTT Predict danger - not near or imminent.

Light of Truth: (5) By Simon Miles
This power allows the knight to generate a small sphere of pure white light that will hover above his head for the remainder of the scene, or until willed to disappear. The light has a number of effects, depending upon the Faith of the knight and the nature of the viewer.
T Simple Illumination
TTT Illumination. Vampires find the light unpleasant. Faithful find the light comforting. Dispells Obfuscate one.
TTTTT Vampires will flee unless they make a humanity roll (difficulty is Faith level). Ghouls find the light unpleasant. Dispells obfuscate three.
TTTTTTTTT Vampires as above but attacks are at -1 dice. Ghouls as Vampires above. Wraith's will flee unless they make a willpower roll (difficulty is Piety level). Dispells obfuscate five.

Pain Block: By John Snead and Sarah Link (1pt per level of damage)
You can overcome pain through force of will. You may ignore the die penalties to actions from taking damage to the Hurt or Injured wound level. The damage from wounds greater than this is unaffected as it represents loss of bodily capacity due to injury.
The damage is still there, only the effects are temporarily removed.
Faith 1-5: Ignore non-aggravated damage from hurt (if Faith One) to crippled (if Faith Five).
Faith 6-10: Ignore all non aggravated damage, plus one level of aggravated damage (if Faith Six) to five levels of aggravated damage (if Faith 10).

T Wakefulness: (2) By John Snead and Sarah Link
You can remain awake without penalty for extended periods of time. To remain awake an additional 24 hours you must make a Willpower roll with a difficulty level of 6. Each additional day awake requires another Willpower roll, with the difficulty level increased by two each day. It is impossible to stay awake more than 3 additional days with this ability. If this roll is failed you must sleep within an hour, if you botch you must sleep within 1 turn.

TT Battle-Cry: (4) By Jamie Seidel
By reciting a word of particular significance (such as a battle cry), a vampire can be forced to make a Rotreschreck check. For Templars this word is likely to be "Bauseant!" (For Glory), the Teutones "Desperta ferre!" (Iron Awake) and the Hospitallers "Christi Imperat" (Christ Rules!). Using this power the knight is required to roll Charisma & Faith versus the vampire's Humanity as the target roll. A success causes the vampire to make a Rotreschreck check (using the Courage Roll Chart with a difficulty equal to the knights Faith Level, p 199 Vampire). No willpower can be expended to save vs Battle-Cry.

TT Hide Mind: (4) By John Snead and Sarah Link
Your mind has been finely tuned through your religious instruction. Your perception of the spiritual plane allows you to hide your mind from probing. A successful roll of Wits+Subterfuge will hide your mind form all forms of magical, psychic, and supernatural probing. This ability may be used at will and at the first inkling that probing may be going on. If the block is successful, anyone who knows of your location (such as someone who can see you) will notice a blank where your mind should be. A determined effort to probe further they must succeed in a roll of Perception+Subterfuge vs your Wits+Subterfuge.

TTT Heightened Senses: (5)
Equivalent to the Vampiric Discipline Auspex Level One, except that this Power does not allow you to see through vampiric Obfuscate (Vampire page 93). This Power is useable at will but does not include the Auspex danger sense ability.

TTT Holy Armour (4) By Chris Plaice
By concentrating for a round, a Novice is able to charge his/her armour with his/her faith. This effectively adds 2 points to the armour rating without penalty to Dexterity. Note. The user must be wearing armour and in a combat situation for this power to work. It lasts for one "bout" of combat.

TTT Self-Healing: (6) By John Snead and Sarah Link
This ability may be used once a day. You must Meditate quietly for at least 15 minutes, and then may make a Stamina+Medicine or First Aid roll, with a level of difficulty equal to the number of body levels you have lost+2. Each success achieved on this roll restores one health level. These levels return at a rate of one per turn after the meditation is over. This only applies to non- aggravated wounds and if the character rests one turn per wound level.

TTTT Sword of Light (4) By Chris Plaice
The Novice/Knight channels his power into his sword causing it to glow with an eerie cold flame. This flame causes aggravated wounds to enemies of the wielder. Friends are not effected by flame or sword while this power is active. The user must have the sword in hand and be in a combat situation to use this power. It lasts for one "bout" of combat.

Order Specific: TEMPLARS:

T Eidetic Memory: (2)
(Equivalent to the 2 point Merit, The Werewolf Players Guide, page 19). This power is only activated when the Knight specifies they wish to do so.

TT Visions (0) By Jamie Seidel
A character can see flashes of events around him while he is asleep or deep relaxation - such as prayer. These perceptions are in the form of visions, full of images of events and things that may affect the knight. However, they are often hard to interpret. The knight may dream about any event that may have a serious impact on their existence - at the storyteller's discretion. Each level of Faith the knight has represents one specific fact he can glean from the vision.

TTT Sign of Power: (3) By John Snead and Sarah Link
By making a specific and complex sign with your hands you can cause any opponent to be stunned for the next full turn. You roll Manipulation+Intimidation with a level of difficulty equal to your target's Willpower. If you succeed your target is stunned, if you fail they are unaffected. Using this ability costs one Willpower point per target you are attempting to affect with a single action, and it can only be used successfully once a scene on a given target.
It can only be used if the target is within 5 yards, is looking at you, and can see your hands. Non-targeted observers are unaffected. However, the Sign's effects are very subtle, and if your target or any observers fail a Perception+Alertness roll (difficulty 7) they will be unaware that you did anything and are unaffected by the sign. If he succeeds the Perception + Alertness roll, he is stunned.

Order Specific: TEUTONES:

TTT Hounding: (5) By John Snead and Sarah Link
If you are following a target (which can be either an individual or an object and) can make a Perception+ Alertness roll with a difficulty level equal to 8 each success allows you know in what direction the target is, an (very) roughly how far away for 6 hours, even if you cannot perceive the target at the time. Once this ability has worn off to use it again you must again have the target in sight. This ability only works on beings who are human, part human (like Garou), or once were human (like Vampires).

TTTT Stunning Touch: (7)
You are taught special pressure points and methods of non-lethal combat. If you can either strike a hand to hand blow which does damage before soak is rolled, or touch your target on the skin, you may make a Perception+ Medicine roll vs their Stamina+Dodge. One or two successes when touching a limb will paralyse the limb you touch for the rest of the scene, three or more successes touching the target anywhere allows you to totally paralyse your target for the entire scene. Using this ability costs one Willpower point.

Order Specific: HOSPITALLERS:

TTT Intervene (4) By Jamie Seidel
The character has the ability to intervene in an aspect of a subjects life. A wayward son who is drinking too much can be spoken to - and he will listen! The final act of will remains the subjects. System: Roll Manipulation + Empathy against the target's Willpower.

TT Clear Sighted: (2)
(Equivalent to the 3 point merit, The Hunters Hunted, page 61).

TT Glow of the Kindred (4) By Deird'Re Brooks
All Kindred within the character's line of sight glow with a pale light - even if Obfuscated. System: Upon concentration, Roll Perception + Empathy against a 6.


The Prayers

For we brethren of the Rosie Crosse, We have the Mason word, and second sight, Things for to come we can foretell aright . . .
- The Muses Threnodie, Henry Adomsan, 1638.

THE PRAYERS

Sacred formalised beseechments of God's intervention on this earth. Each of these Holy Prayers call for a specific power. If the supplicant has a great enough Faith, sufficient Grace Points and their need is just and true, then the Prayer will be answered and the Blessing granted.

Only one Prayer can be used per turn, with no Gifts (even with God's Speed)

Prayers are only available to Invested knights of the Orders. Novices are restricted to the Gifts.

General

TTTTT Exorcism (5) By Simon Miles
This prayer allows a knight to break a Wraith's Fetters, dispelling them from the physical plane. This is done by Faith v Wraith's Willpower. Each success reduces the Wriath's Fetters by one.

TTTTT Fear of God (3)
Over time an individual may be instilled with the fear of God - though not necessarily faith. A knight may instill fear in a ghoul or corrupt mortal, insuring assistance in investigations and infiltration of Kindred society. Fear of God does not apply immediately, but time increases effectiveness and reliability. The knight must roll Charisma + Leadership (difficulty target's Willpower). Installing fear takes time, the amount of which is determined by the Storyteller. Typically, the number of successes must amount to between five to 10 times the subjects self-control before complete success is achieved. Only role playing reveals the extent of success.

TTTTT Resist Magic: (5) John Snead and Sarah Link
If you spend one Willpower point, and make a Stamina+Occult roll with a level of difficulty equal to the level of the spell, ritual or Thaumaturgical path+2 You may instantly cancel the effect of any magic directed against you or anyone or anything you are directly touching.

TTTTT Shatter Bonds (5) By Deird'Re Brooks
Surgically obliterates any bonds the Knight desires to remove. Emotional ties, Dominate, Presence, etc. This effect is permanent. A Blood Bond could be weakened by this effect, but only temporarily (any number of successes will only cause the loss of 1 blood bond). System: Roll Manipulation + Leadership against the target's Willpower. Each success removes one emotional tie, mystical control or other item of emotional attachment.

TTTTTT Aura Enhancement (5)
The grace of God allows the astral auras of other being to be perceived, indicating their moods, identities and levels of hostility. This power also allows the recognition of people with True Faith, vampires and lupines. Experienced uses of aura can even recognise mortals such as the Magi and witches through the patterns of their aura.
Like the vampire Auspex Aura Perception, a knight must make a Perception + Empathy roll (difficulty 7). The Storyteller may do the roll openly or concealed. Each success indicates how much of an aura is seen and understood. A both indicates misleading information.
1 success Can only distinguish the shade (pale or bright)
2 successes Can distinguish color
3 successes Patterns can be recognised
4 successes Subtle shifts can be detected
5 successes Can interpret all auras.
Use the Vampire Aura Colors chart (p159) for details.

TTTTTT Forgive Ghoul (7) By Jamie Seidel
At this level of absolution, a knight may break the hold of a vampire's blood over a ghoul whether they desire it or not. Use a faith v willpower roll. The mortal, once free of the powers of vampiric blood, may make up their own mind as to their future. If the ex-ghoul deliberately seeks out its previous master, it is damned.

TTTTTT God's Speed (5)
The old blessing "God Speed" given to departing friends has meaning to knights. This blessing is specifically to counter the celerity of vampires - a power which gives them great advantage over most mortals. Like celerity, a knight may perform extra actions in a turn without penalty. One extra action is allowed, and the entire dice pool can be used for each action.
Unlike vampires, a knight must spend half-an-hour in prayer before using heightened speed. After the prayer, a knight can wait up to six hours before God's Speed expires. Because God's Speed is an act of faith, it will draw the equivalent of one faith point per turn it is used.
Thus a knight with faith 7 can use it for 7 turns. The knights inherent level of Faith remains - but Grace Points have been consumed.

TTTTTT Spiritual Savior (10) By Jamie Seidel
Here a knight can potentially save a repentant vampire's soul, but not its body. Many vampires with high humanities would willingly die to escape what they have become. This drive is the basis for the search for Golconda, but the knights offer an alternative. The vampire will be dealt with humanely, killed in a method as painless as possible with great respect. Upon death, only the vampire's mortal life will be considered upon judgement day.

TTTTTTT Tongues: (15)By John Snead and Sarah Link
This ritual allows the Knight to be able to speak any single language for the duration of the prayer. The duration of the spell as rolled for the duration ability. It takes 10 minutes to cast, and uses one Willpower point.

TTTTTTTT No Past (10) By Deird'Re Brooks
The character leaves no traces for Psychometry to read. The only information available is that the item was held by a mortal. This ability extends to other means of viewing past events, such as higher Auspex levels or magic or other similar means. System: The Knight rolls Manipulation + Stealth. If a Kindred with Auspex 9 or better handles the object, she rolls her Perception + Empathy and must exceed the user's successes.

Order Specific TEMPLARS

Psychometry (12)
Through touching an object a knight may sense information regarding a person, place or event - as long as that object bears some importance to the subject. Perception + Empathy can be rolled with a difficulty of 8. A botch indicates a false reading occurs, although the character believes it was correct.
TTTTT You get a vague impression of recent activities involving strong emotions involving the object or occurring in its immediate vicinity.
TTTTTT In addition to the above, a snapshot quality image of the subject can be seen in the minds eye.
TTTTTTT You can understand what the event was about and the number of people involved. If concentrating on the objects owner, information about the subject (such as age, emotional state, personality etc) can be gleaned.
TTTTTTTT You can clearly visualise the event or the actions of the individual for the past 24 hours he was near the object.
TTTTTTTTT You can understand the context and unspoken goings-on at the event and gain a clear insight into motives and plans of an individual the last time they were near the object. Also get a reflection of the individuals current location.

TTTTTT Inspire Obedience (4)
While holding eye-contact, a knight may clearly instruct a subject on a task. Complicated suggestions can be made, with either an event or a word acting as a trigger to spur action. Careful wording is vital, as the character will try to distort the spirit of the command if possible. For example, a knight may "suggest" an aggravated boyfriend should leave the room for half an hour. The suggestion cannot force a subject to do something against their innate nature. Only one suggestion can be made at a time.
A knight must roll Manipulation + Leadership (difficulty is Willpower of target). The number of successes determines how well the suggestion is implanted. Less than three suggestions would prevent a strange-seeming command being carried out. Less than five successes results in a successful suggestion, unless it would harm the subject. At five successes, almost any command would be obeyed.

Order Specific TEUTONES

TTTTT God's Strength (5)
This blessing has only been granted to the Teutonic Order. It allows superior strength and physical coordination. It allows knights to oppose vampires with Potence in physical combat on equal terms. Strength and ability in weight lifting, running, jumping and force are enhanced. A knight's rating in God's Strength provides automatic successes on nearly any Strength Roll. In melee and brawling combat, the automatic successes count on the damage roll. The Prayers lasts for the scene, or 15 minutes.

TTTTTTTT Heroic Action: (15) John Snead Sarah Link
This ability allows you to raise any relevant attribute to superhuman levels (equivalent to an attribute of 8 as defined in A World of Darkness: Mummy, pages 27-29) for the purpose of accomplishing a specific extended action. Examples of actions are: "rescue the people from this burning building", "destroy the opponent I am now fighting", "convince this crowd to take action (whatever action you persuade them to take)", "find any computer record of this woman". You can perform no other action until your Heroic Action is complete (if forced to interrupt a Heroic Action, the attribute enhancement does not apply to the performance of any other actions). This ability can only be used when the desired action can be attempted immediately. To perform a Heroic Action, you must spend all Will power points but one. The enhancement lasts as long as is necessary to complete the action, but for no longer than one scene. When the action is complete, you must roll your one remaining Will power die against a difficulty level of 8 to remain conscious.

Order Specific HOSPITALLERS

Healing Hands.
This is an extremely important blessing, considering knights and novices are mortals. While the blessings of God's Gifts and Prayers assist in humanity's combat against the Kindred, it does not remove their mortality. With the expenditure of One Willpower a knight may heal health levels of suitable mortals. Those with low humanities, who have been excommunicated or are otherwise condemned by god will receive no benefit from the act - though the knight will still loose the appointed number of Grace Points. Healing Hands cannot be used more than once per day, per wound.
TTTTT: Raise the health level of a mortal by one level per 2 Grace Points expended. One Willpower point must be expended per use.
TTTTTTT: Raise the health level of a mortal by one level per 1 Grace Point expended, restore one level of aggravated wounds per 2 Grace Points. One Willpower point must be expended per use.

TTTTT Comfort (5) By Deird'Re Brooks
With this ability, the Knight can calm someone, make them feel safe, warm and otherwise taken care of - even under the most dramatic of circumstances. System: Roll Charisma + Empathy against the subject's Willpower if unwilling, otherwise 6.

TTTTTT Forge Bonds (8) By Deird'Re Brooks
Strengthens existing positive bonds (love, friendship) and causes those who are neutral to be better disposed to those around them. System: The roll is made using Charisma + Empathy. The number of successes indicate how long the effect lasts. It will make enemies neutral and open to diplomacy.


The Rituals

"Templars are supposed to have been learned magicians, rich and powerful not so much because they were well endowed with Church estates as because they enjoyed a hidden knowledge and hidden practices"
- Murdered Magicians, Templars and their Myths

THE RITUALS

Includes items such as Holy Water (aggravated damage, Faith roll made from the Faith of the user, not the consecrator, with the number of successes being the amount of health loss to the vampire target).

A normal item, such as a sword, can be blessed and given particular abilities and powers permanently. Rituals can also prepare a knight for battle, can excommunicate a being from receiving the benefits of God's grace, and give the rites of Holy Absolution to a repentant vampire.

Rituals only need to be understood by one member of the group conducting it. The initiator of the Ritual must contribute the highest number of Grace Points toward enacting that ritual.

The right to learn a Ritual can only be earned through game play, or be awarded to ranking knights at the discretion of the storyteller.

General

Calling the Restless Spirit: (12 Faith Levels present, 15 Grace Points spent)
With this ritual, the supplicant may speak with someone who has died. Roll Intelligence + Occult (diff. is targets willpower)- The caster needs 2 successes for the prayer to work. The ritual must be held within 10 ft. of the corpse. If trying to contact a wraith, the caster must be in that wraiths haunt - the body is irrelevant.

Ward: By Jamie Seidel (15 Faith Levels present, 21 Grace Points spent)
The presence of at least 15 Faith Levels is needed in an half-hour ritual to create a warding against evil. Thus, knights would be able to establish a room-sized ward to protect themselves from the ethereal planes and repulse evil - such as vampires or lupines. This ward will remain in place for as long as at least one of the casting knights is there - with no maintenance. Once the knights leave, the ward will dissipate within half an hour. Any Kindred/Lupine who come into contact with it must make a Courage (8) roll or flee in Rotschreck. This Ward operates as Ward vs. Kindred.

Extend life-span: By John Snead and Sarah Link (80 Faith Levels present, 84 Grace Points spent)
This ability allows you to prolong your life. You must roll Willpower, with a difficulty of 8. Each success on this roll allows you to ignore aging for one year. However, you age a minimum of one year between rolls.
For example, if you roll 3 successes 4 years pass and you only age one. At the end of this time you may roll again. Failure means you age normally for the next year, with no repeats until that year is up, and a botch means that you age two years in the space of one.

Red Mass: Jamie Seidel & Adam Grey (90 Faith Levels present, 120 Grace Points spent)
A truly repentant vampire can be saved from its fate, and be returned to a normal life. This is the dream of many vampires, as they realise physical immortality is true hell. But, like Golconda, it is incredibly difficult to obtain. As described in the chapter Ministering to Vampires, the repentant vampire must be presented to a full Chapter of knights with the Grand Masters in attendance. The vampire may ether be restored to mortality or it can remain as it is. If mortality is restored, the ceremony must not be interpreted as a forgiveness of sins. The newly restored mortal's soul is yet to be judged - it has simply been given another chance at life.

Excommunication: By Jamie Seidel (90 Faith Levels present, 120 Grace Points spent)
A full Chapter of senior Knights may bring down the curse of excommunication upon any mortal, Kindred or other. Many of the curses within excommunication already apply to vampires, but would be new to mortals. Holy Ground resists their presence, plants wilt at their touch. The ecclesiastic blessings have no effect, nor do the benefits of Holy Powers such as Bless and Comfort. Whenever the excommunicated one is near one of the Faith, he is beset with guilt and looses a point of Willpower for the duration of the scene. When dealing with God's children, the excommunicate has the effects of their Charisma and Manipulation reduced to only one. Only true repentance and sorrow can convince the Chapter to revoke the curse, which must be conducted in a ceremony with the same level of Faith Points and Grace Points as the initial ceremony.

Bless Item (X Faith Levels present, X x 2 Grace Points spent)
A Chapter of Knights can band together to bless an Item with True Faith. The rating of the object will be equivalent to the total Faith Level of the attending Knights divided by 10. Therefore, 12 Knights amassing 80 Faith Levels can grant an object with 8 Faith Levels. The purpose must be real and necessary.
Remember, God does not look kindly upon wastage of his Blessings if other means suffice. This power includes the production of Holy Water, St George's Oil, etc.

Holy Graal: By Chris Plaice (15 Faith Levels present, 30 Grace Points spent)
The Knights invoke this power by pouring 500ml of holy water into a chalice or goblet. (A unique item dedicated to the Knight during his/her training. They then perform the ritual over the water. Anyone drinking from the chalice is healed of all normal damage or one aggravated damage. The chalice provides enough healing fluid to heal Charisma + Medicine (difficulty 7) times. A point of Willpower must be expended to invoke this power.