Dec 21, 2012
Nòt Sou Pratik la Nan Rituèl Vodou
Vodou Rituals Book
This book (written in English despite the Haitian Creole title and occassional Creole inside) was written in the early 20th century. It describes numerous Vodou Rituals. Learning a specific ritual requires study and the expenditure of experience points – the same as learning a miracle: 10 xp per new Ritual.
Not all affairs are instantaneous in Vodou and the proper Loa need to be contacted or placated in order to do something specific. Whenever a ritual is performed, an Intelligence + Rituals skill roll must be made to determine success or failure. Each Success level in the roll will allow the Houngan to gather D4 ambient Essence from the area to use in the ritual. If an animal is sacrificed to the Loa the Houngan can gain D10 more Essence for the ritual. If a human is sacrificed, half of the Essence of
the victim is available to the practitioner. These Essence points can be spent instead, or in addition to, the Essence from the Houngan, which keeps the Essence expenditures of the Houngan from draining him too far. If the Rituals roll fails, the collected Essence is lost.
Other factors can figure into the roll, such as the disposition of the Loa being contacted, the time of year, or even the materials used in the ritual. The ZM can set a difficulty based on any of these factors, if he wishes. An example would be granting a bonus to a ritual that requires the permission of Baron Samedi by doing the ritual in a graveyard, at night, and offering the Baron some quality rum and cigars. Alternatively, a penalty could be imposed for attempting the same ritual on a boat in the middle of the ocean and offering a wet stogie.
ZMs should try to avoid the “You spend an hour, you roll, the ritual works” scenario. In all instances, these rituals should be played out by the ZM and players, which will make the whole ritual more interesting and fun as the Cast must deal personally with the Loa they are calling. To make it even more of a supernatural occurrence, the ZM can make the Rituals roll in secret. This way, the players may not know until the very end of the ritual if they have succeeded or failed
Charm or Fetish Ritual
This allows the Houngan to create a magical charm or fetish that serves a specific function. The item could grant the wearer good luck or insight or even protection. The Houngan must first contact the proper Loa and make the proper offerings. The most likely Loa summoned are Legba, Aida Wedo, Maitre Carrefour, Baron Samedi, or Maman Brigitte, but other Loa may be asked instead. The size of the item partially determines the amount of Essence spent in the creation of the item. An expenditure of 3 Essence must be spent per pound the item weighs, to a minimum of 3 Essence. Adding a Quality or Drawback costs the same amount of Essence as the points for the Quality or Drawback. Thus, creating a cursed item that makes the wearer have constant nightmares would cost one additional Essence point for the Nightmares Drawback on top of the points for the item itself. The Houngan can opt to make the item temporary or permanent, depending upon how the Essence is
spent. If the item is to be temporary, the Essence is spent and the Houngan cannot get those Essence points back until the item is used or activated. If the item is to be permanent, the Essence expenditure is also permanent. Any Blessings or Curses made permanent always use the maximum bonus or penalty that is imbued into the item and can be used once per game session. Blessings/Curses can be made to be always active for double the Essence cost, making the bonus or penalty always active.
The Houngan can make the Essence expenditure less by causing the item to need to draw Essence from the wearer to be used. This drawback drops the Essence cost for the creation of the item by one third (round up). The usual Essence expenditure for a Miracle would then come from the wearer every time it is used. Items with Qualities or Drawbacks cannot be created with this drawback.
Blessings/Curses can also be limited to a bonus or penalty against one effect, such as magic, which drops the cost to 2 Essence per bonus/penalty. The entire ritual takes one hour plus one half hour for each item created.
Thus, a Cast Member who has a permanent ring that has a +2 Blessing of Magic Protection that is always active, has a bonus of +2 against magic that is added to all rolls against magic. The cost for said item is 14 permanent Essence (3 Essence for the ring + 4 Essence for the plus 2 Blessing [at the reduced cost for being only against magic] x 2 for always active).
Other Example Items
This is a mystical rattle used by Houngans, Mambos and Bokors. It is made from a gourd and filled with snake bones. Making one from scratch requires the necessary components and two days of ritual preparations. Two Success levels in an Intelligence + Craft (Woodworking) Task, three Success levels in an Intelligence + Rituals (Vodou) Task, and an expenditure of 10 Essence are required. The Asson provides 2 Essence for Ritual purposes and a bonus of +3 to all Rituals rolls. The Essence bonus is only for those rituals that do not require permanent Essence expenditures.
Bochio of Protection
(Cost to Create 18 Permanent Essence)
A Bochio is a small, carved wooden figure, which was the precursor of the Voodoo Doll. Originally, these small carvings were used primarily as protective charms and love magic. When Voodoo came to New Orleans and Europe, the doll changed somewhat, as practitioners were no longer allowed to carry them. Instead, practitioners began carrying around the European “poppet dolls”. These dolls gave rise to the notorious Voodoo Dolls of many a horror movie. This particular doll grants a protection bonus of +3 on all rolls to ward off magic, Vodou, or witchcraft (but not Mind Powers) while the owner carries it.
Fetish of Foraging
(Cost to Create 10 Permanent Essence)
This small fetish is made from various bones, feathers, bits of wood and other things collected from the forest floor and strung together on a strip of leather. This Fetish calls upon Loco. It confers the Earth’s Bounty Miracle on the wearer while foraging for food in the wilderness and drains 5 Essence from the wearer when used.
When Earth’s Bounty Miracle is used, it allows the Houngan to gain double the provisions from an area. The bounty depends greatly upon which Loa is called to help with this task. Calling Agwe, for example, would allow for double the fish to be pulled out of the sea while calling on Azacca or Loco will allow him to forage double the food in the wilderness. See ATbZ p. 44 for information on foraging in the wild.
This ritual works virtually the same as the The ritual takes one half hour to set up and perform.
The Initiation Ritual is a lengthy affair where the Houngan initiates a follower, giving him more status within the religion. In essence, the follower is made a full initiate or even a priest. Only an Asogwe Houngan, Mambo, or Bokor may use this ritual of initiation. In the ceremony, Legba is called to allow the other Loa to cross. Once this is done, the initiate will be mounted by the Loa that has chosen him. Other Loa often show up to these rituals, as they all love a good party. The entire ritual can take as little as one hour to several hours, depending upon when the Loa are finished with the affair. The Houngan must spend 40 Essence points for the summoning, some of which can be from ambient Essence. Once the ritual is over, the follower is now an initiate of the Loa that has chosen him. Though this does not grant The Gift or Inspiration Qualities, it does allow the initiate to purchase them. He will still need the Experience Points to take them, along with any Miracles he may wish to purchase.
Ritual of Immortality
This ritual does not confer true immortality, but it does allow the Houngan to live for a lot longer, provided he does not run into any lead balls, sharp objects, poisons or other mishaps. He must still eat, drink, sleep, relieve himself, and avoid exposure to disease and other hazards. The Essence expended in this ritual must all come from the initiate. For an expenditure of 20 permanent Essence, the Houngan’s life span is greatly increased. Aging progresses at one tenth the normal rate. For 40 permanent Essence, the initiate’s aging stops altogether. For 50 permanent Essence, the initiate gains regeneration at 1 LP per Constitution level every minute, and for 60 permanent Essence the initiate can regenerate 1 LP per Constitution level per Turn.
The initiate gains this ability for as long as he is in favor with his patron Loa. If he should ever anger his patron or go against the wishes of his patron, the power could be taken away on a temporary or even permanent basis, at which time the Houngan will begin to age as normal. A particularly malicious Loa might make him revert to his true age, which could be a problem if the Houngan was 150 years old. This ritual takes 12 hours of preparation, ceremony and supplication and costs 100 pieces of eight
for all the ritual components.
Ritual of Supplication
With this ritual, an initiate can call upon a Loa to ask a question or to plead with it to remove a curse. This ritual is also used when trying to appease a Loa. The Success levels of the Rituals roll are used to determine how many questions can be asked of the Loa and how long it will stay. Each Success level in the roll means the Loa can be asked one question and stay around for one minute. To sway a Loa to remove a curse or forgive a follower, the initiate must make a Difficult Willpower Test with a bonus equal to the Success levels in the Rituals roll. The ZM may add additional bonuses or penalties to the roll depending upon the circumstances. The initiate must expend 15 Essence points in the ritual. The whole ceremony takes one half hour, plus the time that the Loa stays around.
Voodoo Doll Ritual
Used mainly by Bokors and occasionally by Houngans and Mambos, this ritual is used to create a special doll to use against an enemy. The doll itself can be made from many different materials, from beeswax to wood to stuffed cloth. Something personal of the victim is also required and needs to be made a part of the doll by sewing, kneading, or otherwise sealing it into the material. An Intelligence + Craft Task roll must be made with a minimum of two Successes. The ZM can decide how long it will take based upon the materials used. Once the doll is created, the practitioner must make a successful Rituals Task roll and expend 10 Permanent Essence into the doll. Once created, it can be used to inflict harm and hardship upon the victim that it represents. Treat the damage as “non-lethal”, doing 1 LP for every 4 Eps of damage. However, it still causes excruciating pain and the victim must make a Simple Constitution Test to do more than writhe around in agony, holding the afflicted area. Even after the initial damage, if the damage is left on the doll, the victim will be at -2 on any task using the affected area and will be in constant pain. Other Invocations or Miracles may be used on the doll as well, affecting the victim as though it had been used on him directly.
There are two methods to remove the influence of the doll. The first is by having another practitioner remove the curse, which will make the doll and its contents useless for any further torment. The practtioner must make a Contested Difficult Willpower Test against the attacker. If successful, the doll and components become useless, melting down, exploding, or just becoming inert. The second way is for the victim to get the doll and destroy it himself. However, only he can destroy it in this manner, lest he suffer the same fate as the doll.