Shroud Manifestation

Shroud Manifestation
Attribute: Resolve

The Shroud is the Manifestation most commonly used for defensive purposes. When a Sin-Eater dons the Shroud, the Bound allows the raw plasm of her geist to flow over her body, congealing into a hard shell which protects her from harm. The geist’s plasm flows out of the Sin-Eater’s body through every pore, enveloping her body and forming a protective armor of plasm. The precise results vary according to the Key used to unlock the Manifestation. Furthermore, Sin-Eaters generally customize their Shrouds: A Sin-Eater who favors the Primeval Shroud will often be enveloped into the silhouette of some great menacing creature of rippling muscle and shaggy fur, while one who favors the Industrial Shroud might seem to wear armor forged from castoff car parts or rusted metal. Regardless of its appearance or effects, the Shroud is generally invisible to anyone but a Sin-Eater or a ghost, either of whom can perceive that the character is defended. Other supernatural creatures may be able to perceive the Shroud with appropriate powers, such as vampiric Aura Perception or Mage Sight.

The Shroud is the Manifestation most commonly used for defensive purposes. When a Sin-Eater dons the Shroud, the Bound allows the raw plasm of her geist to flow over her body, congealing into a hard shell which protects her from harm. The geist’s plasm flows out of the Sin-Eater’s body through every pore, enveloping her body and forming a protective armor of plasm. The precise results vary according to the Key used to unlock the Manifestation. Furthermore, Sin-Eaters generally customize their Shrouds: A Sin-Eater who favors the Primeval Shroud will often be enveloped into the silhouette of some great menacing creature of rippling muscle and shaggy fur, while one who favors the Industrial Shroud might seem to wear armor forged from castoff car parts or rusted metal. Regardless of its appearance or effects, the Shroud is generally invisible to anyone but a Sin-Eater or a ghost, either of whom can perceive that the character is defended. Other supernatural creatures may be able to perceive the Shroud with appropriate powers, such as vampiric Aura Perception or Mage Sight.

Activation

Cost: 1 plasm

Dice Pool: Resolve + (Key Skill) + Shroud rating

Action: Instant

Dramatic Failure: The attempt to manifest the Shroud goes horribly wrong. The Sin-Eater suffers a number of levels of bashing damage equal to his Shroud rating and is unable to unlock the Shroud for the remainder of the scene.

Failure: The attempt to manifest the Shroud fails.

Success: The Sin-Eater manifests her Shroud, which provides both an Armor bonus equal to her Shroud rating and any special effects provided by the Key used in the activation.

Exceptional Success: The Sin-Eater’s Shroud rating is considered to be one higher for purposes of determining her Armor rating.

The Elemental Shroud Keys

Skill: Occult

The Sin-Eater charges the plasm of her Shroud with the power of one of the four elements, altering its effects as appropriate.

Cold-Wind Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 146 ]

In addition to providing armor, the Cold Wind Shroud also completely negates any damage resulting from extremes of cold. The Cold Wind Shroud also negates any Manifestation-based attacks of any form which were unlocked by the Cold Wind Key unless the attacking Sin-Eater got more activation successes with that Key than the defender did in unlocking the Shroud.

2 Dots: The Sin-Eater is completely immune to gas-based or suffocation attacks (except for drowning) while this Shroud is active.

3 Dots: Bound-Eater forms her Shroud from bitter icy winds, which inflict bashing damage dice equal the activation successes on anyone who touches her or whom she touches while the Shroud is active. Each time damage is inflicted, the Sin-Eater must pay 1 plasm. A Brawl roll may be required in order to inflict this damage on a resisting target, but the damage dice inflicted with this power cannot supplement a Brawl attack. The Sin-Eater must choose whether to strike her target or freeze him; she cannot do both.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater may completely ignore electricity damage from mundane sources. Against magical effects which inflict electrical damage, the Sin-Eater adds his Occult to the Armor rating of his Shroud to determine how effective it is.

5 Dots: The Sin-Eater may forge her Shroud from winds so cold that they cause instant frostbite. This power functions exactly like the 3-dot version except that the damage inflicted is lethal and the Sin-Eater must pay 2 plasm each time the damage dice are rolled.

Grave-Dirt Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 147 ]

In addition to providing Armor equal to the Sin-Eater’s Shroud rating, the Grave-Dirt Shroud also renders the Sin-Eater completely immune to suffocation (but not drowning or gas attacks) and to any damage inflicted by grapple attacks.

2 Dots The Bound may draw upon the strength of the unyielding earth. She now adds her Stamina to her Shroud rating for purposes of determining her Armor rating.

3 Dots: The Sin-Eater may cause his Shroud to become particularly resistant to stone, earth and metal. If attacked with a metal or earthen weapon, whether a sword, bullets, or simply a hurled rock, the Sin-Eater may downgrade any damage which bypasses the Shroud from lethal to bashing at a cost of 3 plasm per attack.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater may channel plasm through her Shroud, causing it to explode outward in a cascade of dust. The Sin-Eater’s player must roll Resolve + Composure + activation successes. Anyone within ten yards whose Stamina is less than the successes on this roll is overcome by a paroxysm of coughing and choking. For the next turn, anyone within the area of effect is reduced to a chance die on all rolls and loses benefit of Defense. Then, for a number of turns equal to the activation successes, any affected characters will suffer a -5 dice penalty on all actions. This effect costs only 2 plasm, but it immediately ends the Manifestation and potentially leaves the Sin-Eater vulnerable to harm. The Sin-Eater can protect allies from the choking dust at a cost of 2 plasm per protected ally.

5 Dots: The Sin-Eater is so in tune with the earth that he can shift damage from any source into it. So long as the Sin-Eater is either standing on earth or is above the earth no more than a distance equal to his Psyche in yards, he can negate any amount of damage at a cost of 2 plasm per health level. If the attack normally inflicts aggravated damage, the cost increases to 4 plasm per damage level.

Pyre-Flame Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 147 ]

A Pyre-Flame Shroud illuminates the area surrounding the Sin-Eater with a ghostly fire which envelops his body. In addition to the normal Armor bonus, the Sin-Eater can see in complete darkness by the unearthly light his Shroud generates. Of course, since only Sin-Eaters and ghosts can normally perceive a Shroud, only such beings can perceive the light that the Shroud generates. Thus the Sin-Eater and his allies can move about easily while his enemies remain in the dark.

2 Dots The Sin-Eater may totally ignore the harmful effects of natural fire and heat. Against supernatural fire and heat, the Sin-Eater adds her Occult to the Shroud’s Armor rating.

3 Dots: The Bound may ignite any flammable material with a touch, at a cost of 1 plasm.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater’s aura now burns those who would oppose him. If the Sin-Eater touches another person or is touched by another person, he can choose to burn her with his ghostly flames, inflicting a number of lethal damage dice equal to the activation successes. Each time damage is inflicted, the Sin-Eater must pay 2 plasm. A Brawl roll may be required in order to inflict this damage on a resisting target, but the damage dice inflicted with this power cannot supplement a Brawl attack. The Sin-Eater must choose whether to strike her target or burn him; she cannot do both.

5 Dots: As per the 4-dot power, except that if the Sin-Eater pays double the normal plasm cost, the damage is aggravated.

Tear-Stained Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 147 ]

In addition to granting Armor equal to his Shroud rating, the Tear-Stained Shroud allows the Sin-Eater to breathe underwater for its duration. He may also add the activation successes to all rolls relating to swimming or otherwise functioning while underwater.

2 Dots By spending 1 plasm, the Bound can douse any mundane flame whose Size is less than her activation successes. If the flame is magical in nature, the Sin-Eater’s player may roll Resolve + Composure + activation successes, resisted by whatever dice pool was used to create the magical fire. If the roll succeeds, the magical flame is extinguished.

3 Dots: The Sin-Eater may cause brackish sea water to manifest in the lungs of anyone who touches her or whom she touches. This attack inflicts bashing damage dice equal to the activation successes on anyone who touches her or whom she touches while the Shroud is active. Each time damage is inflicted, the Sin-Eater must pay 1 plasm. A Brawl roll may be required in order to inflict this damage on a resisting target, but the damage dice inflicted with this power cannot supplement a Brawl attack. The Sin-Eater must choose whether to strike her target or drown him; she cannot do both.

4 Dots: By spending 2 plasm, the Sin-Eater can inflict water damage on any inanimate and/or mechanical device she touches. The Sin-Eater’s player must roll Resolve + Craft + activation successes. If the device is mechanical, apply Durability as normal. If it is electronic or otherwise vulnerable to water damage, the attack bypasses Durability.

5 Dots: As per the 3-dot version, except that the Sin-Eater may choose to pay 3 plasm instead of 1 to inflict automatic bashing damage equal to the activation successes minus the target’s Stamina.

Industrial Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 148 ]

Skill: Crafts

An Industrial Shroud allows the Sin-Eater to fashion plasm into an armor which is particularly resistant to attacks of a technological nature. By reflexively spending 1 plasm, the Sin-Eater can double her Shroud’s Armor rating against a single attack which involves a man-made device. Such devices may include a crafted melee weapon (such as a knife or sword), a firearm, or any other crafted technological device, whether someone is trying to run the character over with a car or trying to hit her over the head with a laptop computer.

2 Dots The Bound can open any non-magical lock with the expenditure of 1 plasm. If the lock is electronic, the Sin-Eater’s player must roll Intelligence + Larceny + activation successes, applying the anachrotech penalties.

3 Dots: The Sin-Eater can render herself completely invisible to most forms of electronic surveillance, including cameras and recording devices. She may still be detected if, for example, a security guard observes an object moving by itself or a door opening for no reason, but the Sin-Eater herself will not show up on any form of electronic security.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater may cause any type of machinery (electronic or mechanical) to break down. The player rolls Intelligence + Crafts + activation successes, applying the anachrotech penalties found on p. 111. Durability applies to this roll, and each attempt to disable a device costs 1 plasm. This power normally requires the Sin-Eater to touch the item, but by doubling the plasm cost, he can target any device within an area equal to his Shroud rating x 10 in yards.

5 Dots: The Sin-Eater may forge her Shroud from electricity, inflicting lethal damage dice equal to the successes on the activation roll on anyone with whom she comes into physical contact. Each time damage is inflicted, the Sin-Eater must pay 2 plasm. A Brawl roll may be required in order to inflict this damage on a resisting target, but the damage dice inflicted with this power cannot supplement a Brawl attack. The Sin-Eater must choose whether to strike her target or electrocute him,;she cannot do both. The Sin-Eater may also pay 2 plasm when using the 4-dot version of this power to bypass a device’s Durability.

Passion Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 149 ]

Skill: Empathy

In addition to the normal Armor bonus, the Passion Shroud allows the Sin-Eater to add her Shroud rating to her Resolve or Composure for purposes of resisting magical attacks which might affect her mind or her emotional state.

2 Dots The Bound can make himself more terrifying to others, adding the activation successes as a dice bonus to any Intimidation roll made during the scene.

3 Dots: The Sin-Eater may shape his aura to fit the emotional state of anyone with whom he interacts. The Sin-Eater may spend 1 point of plasm in order to add the activation successes for the Shroud as bonus dice to any Presence or Manipulation roll made during the scene.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater may assault her enemies with a psychically devastating touch. Whenever the Sin-Eater touches or is touched by another person, she may roll a number of dice equal to the activation successes minus the target’s Composure. If the roll is successful, the target becomes emotionally drained and loses one temporary Willpower per success. This attack costs 1 plasm. Unlike similar Shroud powers, this effect can supplement a Brawl attack. That is, the Sin-Eater can strike his target to inflict physical damage and also attempt to drain her of Willpower, although such a double attack raises the plasm cost to 3.

5 Dots: As per the 4-dot power, except that the Sin-Eater may trigger a debilitating emotional trauma. At this level, the Sin-Eater may double the normal plasm cost in order to negate the penalty normally inflicted on the roll by the target’s Composure. Furthermore, if the Sin-Eater completely drains his enemy of Willpower, he may impose a derangement on her of his choice, which lasts until she has recovered at least one Willpower point.

Phantasmal Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 149 ]

Skill: Persuasion

In addition to the normal Armor benefits, the Phantasmal Shroud allows the Sin-Eater to add her Manipulation to her Defense against all attacks made by thinking beings, as the Shroud distracts and disturbs those who would do her harm.

2 Dots The Sin-Eater may occlude his own features from the observation of others. Anyone attempting to remember anything about the Sin-Eater’s appearance suffers a dice penalty equal to the activation successes. This effect is automatic unless the Sin-Eater chooses not to occlude his features.

3 Dots: The Sin-Eater can cause a single target to forget everything about the Sin-Eater once he leaves her presence. The Sin-Eater’s player must roll Manipulation + Persuasion + activation successes, resisted by the target’s Resolve + Psyche. This power costs 1 plasm.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater may reshape his Phantasmal Shroud to deceive others. With this power, the Sin-Eater may choose to wrap himself in an illusion which allows him to pose as another person. Compare the activation successes to the Composure of anyone with whom the Sin-Eater interacts. If the successes equal or exceed a given character’s Composure, that character believes the Sin-Eater is who she claims to be. The effects of this illusion last for as long as the Shroud is maintained. This power costs 1 plasm per person to be deceived.

5 Dots: Drawing upon her terrible understanding of the Underworld and the phantasms which lurk within it, the Sin Eater may cloak herself in an illusory appearance which is utterly frightening to a particular person. Only the targeted individual perceives the Sin-Eater’s terrifying visage, and only that target can be the focus for such an attack. Damage from attacks made with this power often appear to be the result of sudden heart attacks or aneurysms. The Sin-Eater’s player must spend plasm and roll her activation successes, minus the target’s Composure. Each success on the roll inflicts one level of damage on the target. For 1 plasm per attack, this damage is bashing. For 3 plasm per attack, it is lethal. Furthermore, even if the Sin-Eater fails to inflict damage on her enemy, his terror renders him unable to attack her for the duration of the scene, unless his Composure is higher than the activation successes.

Primeval Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 149 ]

Skill: Animal Ken

The Primeval Shroud is more durable than other Shrouds, but fills the Sin-Eater’s mind with the bestial nature of a wild animal. While the Shroud is in place, the Sin-Eater may spend one plasm to add his Stamina to his Shroud Armor against a single attack of any sort.

2 Dots The Sin-Eater may temporarily boost his Physical Attributes by channeling plasm through his Shroud. While the Manifestation is active, the Sin-Eater may reflexively spend plasm to boost his Strength, Dexterity or Stamina for a single dice roll. For each plasm spent, the Sin-Eater may increase one of his Physical Attributes by one point. The Sin-Eater may not spend more plasm than the lesser of his Animal Ken or Shroud ratings.

3 Dots: The Sin-Eater may reflexively spend 1 plasm to generate plasmic talons or claws which inflict Strength + 2 lethal damage. Against materialized ghosts, these claws inflict aggravated damage instead. The talons are normally only visible to Sin-Eaters and ghosts, but their effects may be felt by anyone the Sin-Eater attacks with them.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater may boost his Physical Attributes for an extended period. While the Shroud is active, the Sin-Eater may spend up to his activation successes in plasm, along with 1 Willpower point. For each plasm spent, the Sin-Eater may add one point to his Strength, Dexterity or Stamina, dividing up the points as he wishes. The effect lasts for the duration of the Shroud, and the Sin-Eater may only use this power once per Shroud activation.

5 Dots: The Sin-Eater may manifest claws or talons which inflict aggravated damage on all targets. However, the Armor provided by any type of Shroud defends against these claws as if they only inflicted lethal damage, although any resulting damage is considered aggravated. Activating these claws costs 4 plasm.

Stigmata Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 150 ]

Skill: Occult

The Stigmata Shroud aids the Sin-Eater in defending against the attacks of ghosts and other Sin-Eaters. While the Stigmata Shroud is active, the Sin-Eater adds her Shroud rating to her Resistance against all Numina used against her and against all Manifestation effects used against her which affect her body, mind, or soul.

2 Dots The Sin-Eater may now touch unmanifested ghosts and any other Twilight beings as if they were manifested. He can harm them with a successful Brawl attack.

3 Dots: The benefits of the 2-dot power now extend to any melee weapons carried by the Sin-Eater, allowing him to make Weaponry attacks against beings in Twilight.

4 Dots: Wrapping his bloody cloak tightly about himself, the Sin-Eater may use the Stigmata Shroud to enter Twilight for a limited time. The Sin-Eater can dematerialize at will and enter Twilight for one minute per activation success, although he can end the effect early and rematerialize at will. This power costs 3 plasm and 1 Willpower. The Sin-Eater may choose to suffer one level of lethal damage in place of either the plasm cost or the Willpower cost, or two levels of lethal damage in place of them both.

5 Dots: As per the 4-dot power, except that the Sin-Eater may bring one person per success into Twilight with him. An unwilling person forcibly brought into Twilight may resist by rolling Resolve + Psyche. The Twilight state may last for up a scene. He can end the effect and rematerialize himself and/or his companions at will and at no cost. However, once the Sin-Eater rematerializes, anyone who crossed over with him also does so — a Sin-Eater cannot use this power to strand another in Twilight.

Stillness Shroud Key [ Geist: The Sin-Eaters — Page 150 ]

Skill: Stealth

In addition to its Armor benefits, the Stillness Shroud also improves the Sin-Eater’s stealth. While the Stillness Shroud is active, the Sin-Eater adds her Shroud rating as bonus dice to all Stealth-related rolls.

2 Dots The Sin-Eater can spend 1 plasm to become invisible to other people. While this effect is active, a passive observer is oblivious to the Sin-Eater’s presence unless he draws attention to himself by touching or attacking the observer, or by otherwise causing some nearby commotion. Anyone actively searching for the Sin-Eater will be unable to see him unless she gets more successes on a Wits + Composure roll than the activation successes. Anyone who knows that an invisible person is nearby suffers a sense of dread, inflicting a dice penalty on all attacks against her equal to the activation successes. At this level, the Sin-Eater is still visible to technology such as cameras or infrared goggles, and can also by perceived by animals. Attacking anyone or attempting to damage any physical object will automatically end this Shroud.

3 Dots: The benefits of the 2-dot power are improved: The Sin-Eater’s invisibility now extends to technology and to animals. Additionally, the Sin-Eater may now attack others without sacrificing his invisibility, although each attack costs 1 plasm. As with the 2-dot power, anyone who realizes that an invisible person is nearby (such as after being punched by one) suffers a dice penalty on all attacks equal to the activation successes.

4 Dots: The Bound can render himself intangible long enough to pass through a wall or other solid barrier. Doing so requires one full turn of concentration and the expenditure of 1 plasm. The intangibility applies to one action.

5 Dots: The Sin-Eater can reflexively become intangible in order to evade physical attacks. When the Sin-Eater is subject to a Brawl, Firearms, or Weaponry attack to which his Defense would normally apply, he may spend 3 plasm to allow the attack to pass harmlessly through his body. This defense only applies to attacks with a purely physical component — if the Sin-Eater is attacked with a flaming torch, for example, the fire may still burn him despite his intangibility.If the attack is one which would normally inflict aggravated damage, the plasm cost increases to 5. This power is an exception to the normal limits on how much plasm a Sin-Eater can spend per turn. If the Sin-Eater’s Psyche is not normally high enough to allow him to spend 3 or 5 plasm, he may still do so when activating this power, but doing so will also cost him 1 Willpower point per activation.

Stygian Shroud Key [ Book Of The Dead — Page 81 ]

Skill: Medicine

Area Of Effect: 20 yards per activation success

Underworld. While other Keys tap into blood as the river of life to commune with the dead, the Stygian Key taps in to the essence of Death itself. It’s the Key of ultimate endings; possessing it grants a Sin-Eater power over death and decay. While modern occultists claim that “death” is often a symbol of transition and change, that’s spin applied by the living to help them sleep at night. Death is the End, the line between a living, breathing person and a lump of broken meat on a mortuary slab. The only real change is that between a vital, creative being and a ghost formed of memories and regrets.

Manifestations unlocked with the Stygian Key grant influence over death, decay, and rot. Not just the death of living things, but the death of sensation through means such as darkness, silence, and blindness; the death of the future by inflicting sterility; the death of enjoyment thanks to depression and kindling feelings like la petite mort, the little death felt after sex. Unlocking a Manifestation with the Stygian Key invokes the lex talionis: An eye for an eye, and a death for a death. The Sin-Eater has to kill a living thing. Most use small animals like mice that are readily available from pet stores and are small enough to hide in a pocket. A larger sacrifice does offer more power to the Sin-Eater, but carries risks of its own — not least of which is the involvement of mundane authorities. The Size of the creature equals the bonus gained to the roll to a maximum of +5 dice.

Unlike other Keys, a Sin-Eater has to seek out the Stygian Key. If he wants the dangerous knowledge of the dead, he has to find it for himself. Earning the Key changes his geist in subtle but noticeable ways, and those with the Stygian Key can recognize each other by perceiving the scars of the Underworld. Those changes also prevent the Key being shared between members of a krewe — knowing the nature of death is an intensely personal thing that cannot be shared.

A Sin-Eater must learn the Stygian Key by studying the Underworld itself. She must cross at least three of the Rivers, taking a draught of the “waters” of each along with her each time. The Sin-Eater then has to entreat a creature of the lands of death to teach him. Ghosts can’t perform that service; instead they have to seek out one of the Kerberoi, a creature that has no memory of the living world. The Kerberos imparts secret knowledge to the Sin-Eater and her geist, but that’s like receiving the ingredients for a meal rather than a cooked dish. To cook the dish — to make use of the Stygian Key — the Sin-Eater has to return to the living world and sacrifice part of herself. She might give up her memory of her first husband, scar her face, or deliberately cut into her own muscles. That sacrifice costs her one dot from an Attribute of her choice. The damage will heal, but only over time; she does not recover the lost dot until the end of the next story.

The Stygian Key is the Key of death and decay, and as such only protects the Sin-Eater as long as it can pass the injury on to others. Whenever an attack does no damage to the Sin-Eater, the nearest character — whether friend or foe — is attacked with a dice pool equal to the activation successes. This supernatural attack ignores Defense (but not armor) and deals the same type of damage as the attack that would have hurt the Sin-Eater. The Sin-Eater has no control over who her Shroud attacks, short of getting up close and personal with those who wish her harm.

2 Dots: As the Bound’s understanding of death grows, so too does her ability to avoid it. With the Stygian Shroud active, she is always aware when people intend to harm her, and her geist can even redirect a sniper’s bullet or an assassin’s knife. When the character dons the Stygian Shroud, any attacks that would normally deal a Killing Blow to the character are instead treated as normal attacks. This includes Killing Blows granted by Merits or supernatural powers. This ability is always active when the character dons the Stygian Shroud.

3 Dots: Whenever the Sin-Eater could apply her Defense against an attack, she can redirect that attack through her Shroud. Fists and knives strike someone other than their intended target, but bullets still find their mark. The Sin-Eater spends 1 plasm as a reflexive action, and the attack instead strikes the nearest character to her. The new target of this power still receives the benefit of his Defense.

4 Dots: The Sin-Eater can choose the victim of his Shroud’s wrath. She must touch the intended victim, but her geist will lash out at whoever she has marked. To do so, the player spends 2 plasm and rolls Dexterity + Medicine + activation successes – target’s Defense as an instant action. If her roll is a dramatic failure, the victim gains armor equal to the Shroud’s activation successes. On a success, any time the Stygian Shroud would affect the “nearest character” it instead affects the victim of this power. The victim remains marked for one turn per success.

5 Dots: Tendrils of darkness lash out from the Sin-Eater’s body, lashing out at those who harm her. The Sin-Eater spends 2 plasm and 1 Willpower, and her player rolls Resolve + Medicine + activation successes as an instant action. If the roll is successful, every time someone deals damage to the Sin-Eater, her geist attacks that person with a dice pool equal to the damage taken + activation successes, ignoring Defense and armor. This attack always deals lethal damage, and anyone harmed by it also loses a point of Willpower. This power lasts until the Sin-Eater dismisses the Shroud. If the player rolls an exceptional success, the Sin-Eater regains a point of Willpower every time she damages someone with this power.

Shroud Manifestation

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