This is an unofficial publication for the Cajun Nights MUSH.
Voodoo, the Macabre
The Three Limitations of Voodoo There are three major limitations of Voodoo. New Orleans Voodoo cannot: Cause "flashy" special effects like lightning bolts and fireballs. Affect anyone or anything outside of the Louisiana regional area, with the exception of other Voodoo rich regions like New York, Haiti and Africa. Directly affect anyone when their Willpower is successful employed. What can it do, you ask? Only your own imagination is the limit.
Table of Contents Introduction Disclaimer and Legal Information
Chapter 5: Sounds Rhythms Chants and Prayers
A note about real life Voodoo
What does it mean to be a Voodoun?
Chapter 1: Voodoo History on Cajun Nights
The Voodoo Chorus
Chapter 2: Priests and Priestess of Voodoo
The Emperors and Empresses The Confiance and Mam'bo Caille The Houn'sih or Hounsis The Houn'sih Bassales The Vodouisant Chapter 3: Gods and Goddesses of Voodoo
The Drums Chants Voodoo Prayers Chapter 6: Performing Voodoo Magic The Knowings Mojo Primary Uses of Mojo and Costs The Working Charms and Talismans
The Court Loas
The Voodoun Pantheon
Chapter 4: Symbols of Voodoo
The Voodoo Temple
Calendar of Voodoo Ceremonies
Perfumes Ritual Flags
Sword of La Place
Character Creation Outline
New Merits and Flaws
Chapter 8: Voodoun and other Supernaturals
Chapter 9: Lexicon
Voodoo, the Macabre FIRST DRAFT, Version 1.5, April 3, 1998By Sam Chupp Revisions and additions:Ratalon@CajunNights, May 23th, 1999Katana@CajunNights, December 20th, 2000, Dulcinea@CajunNights Typesetting by Shakron@CajunNights. , January 2005
Dedications This work is dedicated to Luisah Teish and Alice Walker, the two women who got me first interested in Voodoo stuff. -- Sam
Acknowledgments A Natural Wealth: The Gods of the African Diaspora", in Gnosis, issue #28 (Summer 1993)Secrets of Voodoo, Milo Rigaud, City Lights Books San Francisco Quotes from Dean R. Koontz's novel Darkfall used without permission.
Disclaimer and legal information One cannot speak of New Orleans without also mentioning voodoo. This animistic, matrifocal religion is deeply fascinating, and adds its mystery and mysticism to the already mysterious New Orleans mystique. What follows is a set of guidelines for Voodoo in the World of Darkness, more specifically, for Voodoo in the World of Darkness MUSH called "Cajun Nights." It is written in the style of a White Wolf supplement, although it is certainly not an 'official work', nor is it for sale. This work will be given away free to anyone who asks for it - as long as the copyright statement below is preserved. All original material is Copyright, 1998, by Sam Chupp. This document may be reproduced freely for personal use only as long as copyright information remains attached. If you would like to show your appreciation, send a donation to the ACLU earmarked for the defense of religious freedom in the United States of America. This document contains a number of references to White Wolf's World of Darkness, their trademarks, and their proprietary game information. This document is virtually useless without any number of Storyteller books by White Wolf, Inc. - to order those, visit www.whitewolf.com. No mention of trademarked names in this document in any way is meant as a challenge to that trademark. This document is not for sale, nor for distribution on a mass scale. It is intended only for my personal group of gamers on the MUSH called Cajun Nights MUSH. This material offers an alternative view of voodoo in the World of Darkness. White Wolf, Inc. has published a perfectly lovely voodoo system by now, I'm sure, so if you don't like this one, you can certainly attempt to use that one - but not on Cajun.
A note about real life life Voodoo Real life Voodoo is an afro-diasporic religion that was carried along with the slaves that brought it from Africa. It changed as it traveled: Haitian voodoo is not the same as Cuban voodoo and is not the same as New Orleans voodoo. By the time the religion reached New Orleans, the slaves cloaked their religion in the dominant Catholic paradigm. They, rather intelligently, convinced their masters that they were following Catholic saints, not their African gods and goddesses. But their Old Ways were preserved through the use of this ruse. Much of the observances with Voodoo center around the 17,000 Orisha, also called the Loa. These are various spirits of nature and powerful ancestors who represent a concept or idea. Mysteres are prayed to, asked to intercede, and in certain instances, actually take possession of voodoo practitioners.
What does it mean to be a Voodoun? Being a full Voodoun means that you have a relationship with at least one Mystere, though there are those who are part of the religion that are never Touched. These relationships range from a fleeting touch to being fully recognized by the Mystere. A Voodoun may learn to use these relationships to get Mojo through, a kind of magical power for Voodoo magic. The Voodoun can then use this Mojo to ask their Mystere for special favors, and these favors take the form of magical effects. The Mysteres, however, do not form extremely deep relationships with Voodoun. As a result, they are ultimately limited in what they can accomplish, whereas a Houngan is not. Note that a Houngan is merely a voodoun who has been Initiated, although "merely" here is about the same as saying, "She is merely pregnant." So, it is correct to use the term "Voodoun" to include all Voodoo magical workers, even though usually if someone is a Houngan, you'd best refer to them as such (it's like calling a Ph.D. an "Academic").
Chapter One Voodoo History on Cajun Nights The Drought Up until very recently, a spate of powerlessness crept over New Orleans for all Voodoun that lasted from 1998 to 2000. This has been called "The Drought." It saw the diminishing of all voodoo magic, and has been going on for some time. Ancient artifacts that were made a hundred years ago lost their power forever. Clergy were unable to eck even a little Mojo from the Orisha. Even sacred places became suddenly mundane. Many voodoun left New Orleans for places South, to Cuba, to Haiti, to Miami. Only since last Mardi Gras 2000 has the mojo begun to trickle in, and now this Mardi Gras has seen the return of the power of the Mysteres. No one knows why exactly this Drought has occurred, and the Orisha aren't saying, except that it's true that something deep in the swamps has been re- awakened and seems to be linked in with the resurgence. Since the local traditions are mostly oral traditions, and since most of the old people took the opportunity to leave the city, nobody knows if a Drought has ever happened before, and if it will happen again. This has made many voodoun quite nervous. However, post-Drought New Orleans is now a brand new frontier for Voodoun - a blank slate. The Old Guard of voodoo power has left for warmer, more potent climes or has retired. The Orisha have come back in force to re- claim that which was once theirs fully. This is a new age of Voodoo. The Barons The Barons are a group of trickster Orisha who are affiliated with Death. Baron Samedi is the most famous of these, both others are Baron La Croix and Baron Cimataire. They are loud, wild, raucous, perverse, and dark. These Orisha are the wild cards in the deck - you'll never know when they'll show up and cause trouble. They serve no one but themselves, and only rarely Touch mortals, preferring to consort with perverse undead and corrupt sorcerers. The Lost Ones There are powerful voodoun who have retired to the swamp to meditate. The Drought struck them hard, but most were powerful enough to simply understand it was time to move on. The Lost Ones are out there somewhere. They don't actually exist all the time in the real world they fade in and out like shadows. You never know when some old woman or man will be a Lost One, so you better be nice to every one of them! Especially if they come from the swamp. Eminent Doom Because the power of voodoo itself has been virtually nonexistent during the Drought, the powers of Hex have been also tamped. Now that voodoo magic is back, Hex is back again, active. There are quite a few folks who have been deluded into thinking they were no longer Hexed, and are now going to discover, much to their chagrin, otherwise.
The Heirlooms There are so many ancient voodoo objects of power that were thought destroyed when the Drought came and are only now resurging in power and awareness. These Heirlooms have all but been lost. A few of them have Ancestor Orisha of their very own to watch over them and power them. Heirlooms such as the Mirror of Laveau, Doctor John's Rattle, the Petro Drum, and the White Dagger of Ogoun are still at large and may still be powerful, or regaining power in the resurgence after the Drought. More common juju bags and the like were destroyed, except for a few housed in special tombs and crypts protected from the Drought. La Baton Morte One voodoo society, which may still be active, though no one knows for sure, is a group of non-initiate but still powerful voodoun who have always flaunted voodoo society in New Orleans. They've done what they damn well pleased. Rumors that they were involved with a drug ring, and that they conducted child prostitution may very well be true. They have been known to use a combination of drugs and dark Mojo to create zombi slaves. Who knows where these Baron followers will show up, now that the Drought is over? Harriet's Herbals Harriet McNamara's mother Sarah is one of the many voodoun who left for Miami when the Drought came on. Since then, Harriet has become full owner in her mother's root shop, and has renamed it and re-styled it to be more of a herbal and new age place than a purely Voodoo oriented botanical. Some wonder if Sarah's legacy of strong voodoo power and healing ability has bred true in Harriet. Since none of the former societies or ritual circles are around any longer to say one way or another, no one's quite sure if Harriet has been properly Initiated or not. So she may or may not be a Mambo. One thing is for certain, however, Sarah was a potent Voodoun, and her daughter is likely to also be. Voodoo Places of Power In New Orleans Currently there are no places of power in New Orleans. The Drought wiped out any sacred ground that had been created, and all the hounfors of the previous clergy have been desecrated or destroyed by the fleeing voodoun. In addition, all of the "traditional" voodoo places in the city are now being run by folks who have no real idea of true Voodoo. Places like Marie Laveau's, Whodo Voodoo, and the St. Louis Cemetery are no longer places of voodoun magical power. However, there's nothing that says these places can't once again become powerful - and it may be possible that there are some places of power in the swamp, which have escaped the influence of the Drought.
The Orisha Manifest Manifest The resurgence of the power of voodoo has meant that, for a time, the Orisha themselves have been trying to make contact with humanity again. That means their level of activity is almost frenetic, and they are starting to develop spontaneous relationships with mortals. This means that a Mambo might stumble upon an otherwise normal person, with no formal training or initiation, who might have a Knowing and be a voodoun by default. As well, there have been rumors that the Orisha have actually materialized - manifested in the real world - in the form of seemingly normal looking humans, but very recognizable to those voodoun who know what to look for. This is an exciting time for the voodoun for this reason alone - how many worshippers get a chance to meet their deities face-to-face and tell the tale! The Mysteres Both Mysteres and voodoun have a serious tradition of silence about that is broken only at dire peril. Although the power of the old voodoo societies is now negligible, it's quite clear that the Mysteres only tolerate a certain amount of knowledge being passed on to the non initiated, especially now that their hold on reality is just now returning. As a result, conversations about the Mysteres are held in private, and only the most circumspect of clergy chooses to speak to the Media, and what they share to the world is nothing of the total truth. There are some things only an Initiated is meant to know.
Priests and Priestess of Voodoo The Emperors and and Empresses The priests and priestesses of voodoo differ from many other religions in several ways. To start, every oum'phor is a law unto itself, with a reigning Priest, or Houn'gan, or Priestess, a Mambo who directly receives words from the gods themselves. There are elaborate greeting rituals done between Houn'gan and Mambos, that establish and re-establish ties and ranking among them. Generally, the Houn'gan or Mambo who owns the oum'phor where the ceremonies are being performed outranks most others, except in the case of the Houn'gan or Mambo who initiated them, then they are given due respect by the reigning Houn'gan or Mambo. With the taking of the Asson, comes a great amount of responsibility. A Houn'gan or Mambo has the ability to call upon the gods to beg favors, favors to heal the sick, make magic charms, use magic. In return, they must resist evil, and strike against agents of Congo and Pethro Rites whenever they encounter them. You serve the gods, they do not serve you. Should you go against their wishes, they may not answer your calls at best, at worse they can abandon you. Most likely, the Mysteres will hex you for your trouble. When you take the Asson, your own personality and wishes begin to become lost, as you serve your patron (or matron) Loa. Because of this, a Houn'gan or Mambo often takes on another name, or several. One that they are known by to the general public, and there personal magic name. The Mysteres speak through you, and often ride you, you lead the ceremonies, serve as a voice in the community. It is not unknown for a Houn'gan or Mambo to also be a wellrespected doctor, business leader, teacher or other like position in a city. In the game system, taking the Asson, and gaining a Knowing of 4 in a Loa, occur at the same time. The Confiance and Mambo Caille. These are the apprentice Houn'gans and Mambos. They have gone through all levels of initiation save the last, the taking of the Asson. These are members of Voodoun society that serve as the major supports to the Houn'gan and Mambo. They are able to lead rituals and ceremonies; they take over when the Houn'gans and Mambos retire to the djevo. The only thing they cannot do, is pass the Asson on to someone else, since they have yet to take it. The Houn'sih or Hounsis The Houn'sih or Hounsis are the members of the ritual chorus, or the active members of the voodoun society. These are the people who have been fully initiated into the way of the Voodoun, and often are candidates for possession. There are many positions for a Hounsis, or student, in a ceremony like drumming, flag bearing, or cooking the sacrifices. They can initiate members up to their level in the ways. They are perhaps, the second most numerous of the Voodoun standings.
The Houn'sih Bassales The Houn'sih Bassales are an uninitiated person who is associated with a particular peristyle, attends ceremonies regularly, and appears to be preparing for initiation is sometimes referred to as a hounsis bossale. Hounsi is from the Fon language of Dahomey, and signifies "bride of the spirit", although the term in Haiti refers to men and women. Bossale means "wild" or "untamed", in the sense of an untamed saddle horse.
The Vodouisant An uninitiated person who attends ceremonies, receives counsel and medical treatment from a Houngan or Mambo, and takes part in Voodoo related activities is called a Vodouisant. It is said that twenty five percent of New Orleans is Voodoun; most of this is divided up between the Vodouisant and the Houn'sih Bassales.
Gods and Goddess of Voodoo The Court Loas
Papa Legba: Legba The trickster, the opener of the way and the guardian of the crossroads, both physical and spiritual. Comparable to Hermes or Mercury in the European tradition, Legba makes the impossible possible. He lifts us beyond the limitation we impose upon ourselves in daily life. He is identified with portrayals of St. Peter and St. Nicholas. His favorite offering is candy and tobacco and coconuts. He is the chief, or king, of the voodoun Loas, and is symbolized by the sun, and gold. He is the origin and male prototype. Legba is the synthesizing god of Voodoo, and as such, you must first ask him to carry your words to the other Loas. He is the Orient, the East, the chief cardinal point, the point of space, which presides at or governs the magic. His wife is Maitresse Erzulie.
Erzulie: Erzulie The origin and the female prototype, she is the moon. She is represented as a dark-skinned Ethiopian woman. She is necessarily dark because she is burned by her husband, the sun, Papa Legba Antibon. She is the magic principle of wealth and prosperity. She is invoked by all who desire a change of fortune or who wish to become wealthy. Her symbols are the rainbow and the moon, and favors silver. She is associated with the Virgin Mary. She is good will, perpetual help; she can also be envy and discord when angered.
Obatala: Obatala The "old man of the mountain", responsible for the creation of our physical bodies. Literally "chief of the white cloth." Obatala's help is sought in ethical dilemmas and the problems of self-discipline. He is generally identified with the crucified Christ. Obatala is androgynous and very old: he is gentle, a sky god, and taught the people how to do Ifa, the table divination system.
Yemaya: Yemaya Literally "mother of fishes". She rules birth and the surface of the oceans, and works closely with Olokun, who rules the depths. She works through dreams and intuition. Her waves wash away all sorrow. Her compassion nurtures her children through any spiritual or emotional crisis. Her love sustains life. She is identified with Mary, Star of the Sea.
Oshun: Oshun The Goddess of love and abundance. The power of desire is hers, and she often uses s this power to transform. She is beauty, laughter, and generosity. The erotic is her sacrament. She is often compared to Aphrodite, and is identified with the portrayal of Our Lady of Caridad. Oshun likes to heal hurt with love, and plants seeds of change in people. She can also be the Mystere of jealousy and vengeance; she shares these traits with Maitresse Erzulie.
Oya: Oya A revolution in constant progress, Oya brings sudden change. She is a whirlwind, an Amazon, a huntress, and a wild buffalo. Lightning and rainbows are signs of her presence. She also rules communication between the living and the dead. Think of Hecate or Artemis. She is identified with St. Catherine and St. Theresa.
Chango: Chango Chango is a king, and his name is synonymous with justice. He lived in historical times and ruled as the fourth Alafin (or chieftain) of Oyo, a city in modern day Nigeria. He is a knight in shining armor. He uses lightning and thunder to enhance the fertility of the earth and of his followers. Myths concerning his death (or rather the fact that it did not occur) link him to the European figure of the Hanged God. He is identified with representations of St. Barbara.
Ogoun: Ogoun God of iron and machines, Ogoun is a smith, a soldier, and a politician. In modern times he has come to be known as the patron of truck drivers. He is the spirit of the frontier, cutting paths, through the wilderness with his ever-present machete. Although Ogoun clears the way for civilization, he often prefers to dwell alone in the wilderness. He is identified with St. Anthony.
Guede Baron Samedi: Samedi Lord of the crossroads and the cemetery and death. The baron revives, kills or enslaves, and often grants deviations, which can bring on or ward off death. His colour of course is black, his ritual food offerings must be fish and black chickens. Otherwise, he has a fondness for whiskey and cigars. When he takes possession, his horses often laugh evilly; conceal their eyes from light. Like all the Guede Mysteres, he is a caustic character, and a prankster.
The Voodoun Pantheon There are thousands upon thousands of Voodoun Gods. It would be nearly impossible to list them all. Every voodoo rich culture brings more into the list, as Houn'gan or Mambos die; they too, are added into the fold. They are easier to classify in the various rites, or divisions of Voodoo. This is also called the Mysteres. Sometime a specific Mystere will cross over into another Rite, or be part of all the different Rites. A mystere generally belongs to the rite he or she is served in, with the exception of the Guinin mysteres who prefer to keep themselves traditionally pure. The loas of death and the cemeteries are classed separately because they all have several noms vaillants, a name they appear under because they do not wish their real names to be known. While Pethro or Congo Rites are termed here as the paths of "black" magic, in reality they are not necessarily evil. A listing of some of the Rites: Rada Rada-Dahomey Rada-Nago-Congo-Dahomey Nago Pethro Dantor Kitha Zandor Ibo Congo Boum'ba Canga and the Guedes
The Rada Mysteres This is main pantheon of benevolent gods, those that are called upon to do "white" magic. The Voodoo Pantheon A Dan-hi
Aganman, Caimon, Anolis
Agoueh R Oyo
Agoueh Tha Oyo
An Tha-hi Medeh
Ate Gbini Mon Se
Ati Dan-hi Ibo Loko
Bade'sih Cala Houn'sou
Baron La Croix
Danbhalah Grand Chemin
Danbhalah To Can
Erzulie Severine Belle-Femme
Gougoune Dan Leh
Grand Bois Megui
Grande Miroi Ze
Guede Agu Roi Linsou
The Rada Mysteres, continued La Belle Venus
Legba Ati (n) Bon
Loco A Dan-hico
Loko Azamblo Guidi
Maitresse and Grande Erzulie
Quebiesou Dan Leh
Ti Pierre Dantor
Zo Man Kile
The RadaRada-Dahomey Mysteres A smaller Rite dedicated to the benevolent gods.
Ate Gbini Mon Se
Ye Dan Gbe
Lihsan Gba Dya
Legba Atin Bon
An Que Zo
A Dan-hi Loko
Erzulie La Belle Venus
The Nago Mysteres A smaller Rite dedicated to the benevolent gods of Voodoo. Ogou Fer
Ogou Bha Lin Dyo
Ogou Bah Tha Lah
Lam'ba File Sabre
Ogou Bha Da Gri
Ti Pierre Dantor
General Jules Canmil
The Pethro Mysteres gods,, or This is one of the two major Rites dedicated to the 'evil' gods 'black' magic. Ogou Chango
Lem'ba File Sabre
Danbhalah La Flembeau
Ogou Cancan Ni Can
Erzulie Ge Rouge
Ti Jean Pethro
Guede Baron La Croix
Guede Baron Cimetie
Ti Jean Pied Cheche
Guede Agu Roi Linsou
Grand Bois Megui
Trois Feuilles, Trois Racines
Marinette Pieds Cheches
Ogou Dan Pethro
Zo Flanco Pethro
Six Milles Hommes
The Congo Mysteres This is one of the two main divisions dedicated to the left handed path, or 'black' magic Sim'bi d'l'eau
Marassah Congo Bord-de-Mer
Reine Congo Franc
Mysteres Belonging To All Rites Assato
Maitresse et Grande Erzulie
Quebiesou Dan Leh
Zo Man Kile
Danbhalah Grand Chemin
The Guedes Guede L' Orage
Guede Cinq Jours Malheureux
Guede Ti Puce Lan d'l'eau
Guede Ti Wawa or Ti Oua-Oue
Guede Ti Pete
Guede Bon Poussiere de la Croix
Guede Ti Clos
Guede Docteur Piqures
The Mysteres Also called the Loa or Mystere, an Orisha is a particularly powerful spirit of a type called "the Incarna", who all live in a Far Realm called the Dark Kingdom of Ivory, a spirit-kingdom outside of the reach of most mages and werewolves. In Voodoo, the place where the spirits reside is Ife, a land in Africa from where all things in Voodoo are traced back to. In Haiti, the place where the ancestral spirits dwell is called La Ville Aux Camps. They have magical ties to certain parts of the Earth, ties that wax and wane depending on the area, the time of year, and the phase of the Moon. They are natural spirits for the most part, and very ancient: they were old when humanity was new. These magical ties allow them to freely travel back and forth between their Kingdom and the realm of Earth. The Orisha aren't immortal, but they are extremely long-lived. They're not omnipotent, but they are extremely powerful. They're not omniscient, but they can fake the illusion of omnipresence, especially in areas where they are established as powers. They are not infinitely divisible, but they do divide themselves without diminishing their power and show certain facets to some, and other facets to others. They're very discerning. They're incredibly intelligent, very wise, and very knowledgeable. Each Orisha has several areas of influence in which they can affect everyday life and existence on Earth. These areas are not very specific, and occasionally overlap. For example, Oshun could be called upon for a divination on romance in someone's life, but so could Obatala, the Orisha of divination. Yemaya could be asked to help lost sailors on the sea, as she is the Mother of Oceans, but so could Legba, who is the patron of directions and the lost. What is important is that the Orisha are not mindless, heartless, or thoughtless entities. They're characters in and of themselves - they have feelings, thoughts, plans, strategies, agendas, and quirks. They're quite human in many ways. Whether this is because they were once human beings, or because their interactions with humans have forced them to be so remains to be seen. A Divine Motivation What is it that the Orisha want? Well, first and foremost, like all of us, they want to survive. The prevailing rule of reality these days being counter to the survival of the Loa, they have endeavored to imbed themselves deeper in the consciousness of the world - with varying levels of success. They also wish to thrive. They have managed to create a few places in the world where their power can still be felt. New Orleans is still one of them. Some parts of Africa in the deep jungle and the island of Haiti are another. Their power is spreading throughout Miami with the rise of Santeria, which is a similar but different religion. Although in recent years they have become much more cooperative with each other, the old rivalries do flare up. Sometimes it's Oya versus Chango. Sometimes itâ€™s Ogoun versus Chango, or Yemaya. Sometimes Oshun makes Legba jealous of Chango, or Chango unwisely bans Legba, or Baron Samedi shows up to try and take one of them to Death. It's all an integral part of their personality. Everything is so contrary that each Orisha isn't always sure where their true allies are - and often don't know for certain who's what until they take a stand and see how the chips fall.
Finally, they can't help but play Deity where they have power. They pursue their old spheres of influence, and through their Voodoun, try to learn more about the state of the world around them. Slowly, but surely, they're entering into the 20th century, just in time for the 21st. Keeping it simple.... The character cannot make an Orisha Ride them. It's that simple. The Voodoun can beg and plead, but it's purely up to the whims of the Orisha/Storyteller. When the Voodoun is actually Ridden, he will take on the personality traits and habits of the Orisha. The Voodoun is pretty much helpless. A Willpower roll vs. 10 minus Knowing for that Orisha will allow the Voodoun to make one action per success. This, however, may anger the Orisha. Keep that in mind. Essentially, the Orisha are Incarna-level spirits who create a kind of spirit bond with a normal mortal. Through that bond, they filter a kind of specially flavored Quintessence (Mojo) that allows those mortals to have an effect on the world. What is actually happening is that the Mojo itself forges a brief spirit link with the Voodoun, and the Orisha himself is the one who actually does "the magic." The spirit bond is totally up to the Orisha, but technically, if a Voodoun wished to escape his bond, he could be cleansed of it by someone sufficiently knowledgeable in spirit magic. The reason no Paradox is involved is because the effects tend to be coincidental in nature, and when they're not, they're explainable as "voodoo" - the mythic thread that the Orisha exploit just to exist. In Mage Terms: A Voodoun could be temporarily crippled by a Spirit 4 Ward, which cut him off from his Orisha. Spirit Mages can use their sphere to undo some effects from a Working, but not always all. Unweaving a Working requires knowledge of, at the very least, Spirit 2. During chargen, you will select an Orisha to be your primary. This is usually the one who first Touched you and brought you into the Voodoun life. With this in mind, your character's lifestyle and Nature should closely match the goals of the Orisha who have chosen him. For example, Oshun wouldn't have any real interest in a street gang assassin with Bravo or Monster Nature. She would, however, grow close to a doctor (mental or physical) with a Caregiver or Visionary Nature. Only under extreme circumstances (usually involving a change of Nature and lifestyle), can you have more Knowing in any Orisha higher than the knowing in the primary you chose in chargen. Such a change is very difficult and may anger the Orisha have just turned your back on. Not wise. It has been known to happen that an Ancestor Orisha has 'transcended' in the Shadowlands and actually become reborn in a human body. Some believe that Marie Laveau, the one-time Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, will do this one-day. Although the reincarnated Ancestor must begin her relationship over with the Orisha, she is born a Mambo, already Initiated.
Chapter Four Symbols of Voodoo The Asson
The Asson, or calabash rattle, is the symbol of office for a Houn'gan or Mambo, and is used in just about every thing a Houn'gan or Mambo does. The calebassier ordinaire, grows on a crescentia cujete tree, and is pierced with a hole to attach the handle to which is called the coua-coua, and is used by lesser officers. The coua-coua is also the Asson used in Pethro rites. The calebasse courant, a gourd that grows on the liana tree, has a natural handle. It is filled with stones of different colors and the vertebrae of snakes, wrapped about the calebassee are beads that give the Asson it's unusual sound that symbolizes the powers of the ancestors from whom the Voodoo is handed down. The Voodoo Temple
The Oum'phor, also called a Hounfort, is the temple of Voodoo. The peristyle is a roofed courtyard where the elaborate ceremonies are performed and where the sick are usually treated. At it's very center is a post, or the Poteau-mitan. Off of the peristyle is a square house that serves as the Oum'phor proper, where the Houn'gans and Mambos retire to consult with the gods. Off this house, in a large Oum'phor, can be several different chambers reserved for the worship of a single god with an altar dedicated to that god. The djevo is a special room set aside, where the Voodoo candidates are examined and initiated.
The Poteau-mitan represents the center of all things, heaven at the top, hell at the bottom. It is governed chiefly by Legba. From its supports the boat of Erzulie is hung, as well as a whip that symbolizes the mastery of self and of Voodoo that one attains through the various degrees of initiation. It is around this that all important voodoo ceremonies revolve. The post itself is usually square, and set into a circular pedestal of brick and concrete, which has socles, triangular niches, formed into it. The pedestal is usually constructed into two or three steps, but can be just a single step, and serves as the main pe for the voodoo temple. The post is covered in spiraling designs, which represent the two serpent gods, Danbhalah Wedo and Aida Wedo, while the pose itself represents Legba Ati-Bon, or wood of justice. A peristyle may not even have a visible poteau-mitan, or one of a wooden post, but it is always represented. If the Oum'phor is large enough, then in the yard there will be trees that serve as sanctuaries for the gods, this is called the tree reposoirs, or arbres-reposoirs. Like the poteau-mitan, the bases are surrounded by pedestals. Sometimes, a snake who symbolizes Danbhalah and Aida Wedo live within the branches, and are trained to come down during ceremonies to be hand fed. The reposoirs are gaily decorated, painted with veves and adorned in the colors of the god it is dedicated to. Ritual dances are most often held in the reposoirs instead of the peristyle, especially if it is a larger group. A perpetual fire burns in the yard of the oum'phor, this bonfire is called the forge of the Ogous, and has an iron bar planted in the center. The Pe The altar or altar stone is called a pe' in a voodoun temple. It is square or rectangular, and set at the rough height of a man's chest. The name is derived from a Dahomey word "kpe" which means stone. It is upon this that the assens, bells, stones, necklaces, flags, books and even drums are kept. The pots-de-tete are jars that contain a part of the spirit of those who worship at the oum'phor, they too are placed on the altars. Other jars, called govis, which the Voodoo gods descend into when called by a Houn'gan or Mambo. Although anything, govis, a tree reposoirs, even the body or heart of a man or woman, can be required by the gods to be consecrated and used as a reposoir. The Assen The Assen is an iron rod surmounted by a round plate fastened horizontally. Candles and govis are placed upon the assen, and when sacrificial offerings are placed upon it, they are said to have a greater chance to be accepted. When one takes the Asson, they also receive their own assen. There is great mystical and magical significance to the assen, and at times, can represent more synthesis power than the veves.
Perfumes Perfumes hold a very high ritual significance, they are not simple things of vanity, they are olfactory symbols of the different gods. Each Mystere has it's own scent they prefer, and is one of the finest gifts a person can offer to a Loa. Ritual Flags
Like perfumes are to the sense of smell, the ritual flags are to the sense of sight. They show visible the symbols and colors of the different gods and are made in the oum'phor itself. They are made to be symbols of beauty, and can often be costly to create. They are used in salutations to the Loas, or in salute to others. The flags are carried traditionally by two female houn'sihs called co-drapeaux, who surround the la place, or commandant place, a male houn'sih who guides their movements. Sword of La Place The sword of La Place, or the ku-bha-sah, which means the greatest of the invisibles, has slain or abolished all that which is material, all that which is the depths or the abyss. The swords and other sacrificial knives are the emblem of the Ogous. These items are also called Ogoubhasah, and hold great meaning to the initiated. No oumâ€™phor is without its machetes. Foods In Voodoo, ritual foods are offered in order to nourish, enliven, fortify and to make contact with the invisible powers, the better the ritual food is adapted to the loas requirements, the greater the magical power immediately available. It is up to the Voodoun to learn what foods the gods likes best, to appease them, and can be a learning experience on it's own. The Joukoujou The joukoujou is a notched pole that represents the tree of good and evil. The arbre-sec, which means dry tree or sun, is one end of the joukoujou, while the other end is the arbre-mouille, wet tree or moon, and represents both Pethro and Rada magics, the polar rites of Voodoo.
Magic Baths Ritual bathing is an important, and potent, magic to the Voodoo. Many Houn'gan and Mambos have special chambers dedicated to this ritual, with custom made bathtubs that one can totally be submerged in. Baths are used for cleansings, purifications, exorcisms, healing, and simply pleasing the Loas. It can be a renewing experience, a way to ground oneself before doing other magic. The Christmas day bath is one of the more famous ritual where the Voodoun wade out into the ocean with limes in hand, dive in, to come out renewed and cleansed. Magic Lamps An oil lamp, or small bowl filled with a mixture of castor oil and olive oil, provide a magic aura where ever the light shines. These are simple charms, or simply dedicated to a Mystere. Perfumes or other things can be added to the oils, but it is best to wait to see what the Mystere prefers least you anger him or her. A Work Lamp is light to bring the maker employment, usually Legba is invoked. A Black Lamp has many extra ingredients added to it, these are used to cause discord, and are hung outside in another person's yard, perhaps to cause an enemy to move, disrupt a family, and the like. It can also be used to combat evil, if dedicated to the gods of the Rada Rite instead of the Pethro Rite. A Bottle Lamp or Black Bottle is composed of much the same way as a Black Lamp. But the wick is light, then snuffed out when the cork is placed in it, and the bottle hung in the oum'phor yard. Every day, at the same hour, the Houn'gan or Mambo rushes at it with a whip, and gives it a sound thrashing, to hasten the Mystere it is dedicated to hurry up. This, of course, might get you some hex for your troubles though. The Charm Lamp is created with the purpose in mind of attraction and sweetness, to help bring someone to you. It is placed on the area you most do your magical workings. A Disaster Lamp is created and placed in a hole in the ground, since it is dedicated to the Guede Mysteres, for the effects of producing a dire catastrophe against your enemy. Each lamp has it's own ingredients, and all but the simplest of the lamps are kept as knowledge reserved for higher level initiates.
Blood Sacrifices Often when one thinks of Voodoo, the images of sacrificing chickens or goats, or other animals come to mind. What the non-initiated do not realize is that these animals are then cooked and eaten; the Voodoun does not waste life. Every Loa has a particular animal that they prefer to be sacrificed to them, which is to say, killed, cleaned, cooked and served to them. The Houn'gan or Mambo, and other members of the congregation also share in the feast, to derive power in the act of being able to eat with their gods. Often times, a Houn'gan will drink the fresh blood of an animal for more potent magic, or use this to trace a veve. One's own blood also has potent magic, for the mojo we receive flows in our veins. Doing a blood sacrifice is an in-depth ritual consisting of many phases; just killing a cock has several variations in how to do it, depending on the purpose. It involves chants, prayers, drawing of veves and other steps known only to the Houn'gan or Mambo.
Human Sacrifices There are places in Africa where human sacrifice is still done, these tribes are known as members of the Red Sect. They follow the Congo and Ibo Rites, and are seen as a type of survivalist sect that believe themselves to be animals. They get possessed, and can perform extraordinary feats, calling themselves wolfmen, serpentmen, leopardmen, owlmen, crocodilemen, lionmen and others. They have even been known to be able to shape shift into these creatures. Another sect who has dedicated themselves to the Pethro Rites, once dressed in white, but now dress in red, blood red. Tradition holds that they wear a silver ring with the emblem of a tower upon it. Their symbol is the destroying sword of St. Michael. They serve only destruction, using swords or bows, and use humans in their sacrifices, much in the same way as a Houn'gan of the Rada Rite will use a chicken. If that went over your head, yes, this means they are cannibals.
Chapter Five Sounds Rhythms Chants and Prayers
Images of women dancing frantically around a fire, men standing in the background beating on drums, a man, stumbling, seeming to be drunk who then stands up perfectly fine and is greeted with high honors, all of these have meanings to the initiated. To the uninitiated, it can be a frightening sight. A man eating razor blades, another eating glass, a third walking across hot coals, a woman preening before a mirror, these bizarre acts almost seem to appear to belong to a circus side-show, not a religion. The Ogan The ogan is a musical instrument that looks like a flattened bell with a clapper; it is struck with an iron rod, and is used to set the tempo and pace of the ceremonies. It has a very piercing sound that can be heard, almost annoyingly so, through everything else. The person who plays this is called the ogantier. The Triangle The triangle, a musical instrument made of iron shaped into three sides. Not only in voodoo does the image of the triangle hold many mystical meanings, it almost seems to be a universal symbol for magic. In the rhythms of the Voodoun, the sounds of the triangle being struck symbolizes audibly the waters of Ife that you pass through to become fully initiated. It represents Danbhalah, Erzulie and Legba. It has many layers and meanings. The Drums There are three classes of voodoo ritual drums in the Rada rite, the Manman, which is the largest of the drums, represents the Chromosphere. The Second, the middle sized drum, represents the Photosphere, and the Bou-Lah, the smallest of the drums represents the solar nucleus. These layers are the three layers of the atmosphere of the sun, and in turn, represent Papa Legba, the center of all things. The voodoun care for their drums as if they were living entities, and whole ritual is devoted to the upkeep of one of the most notable symbols in Voodoo. Even the shapes of the drumsticks used by the houn'torguiers, the drummers, hold meaning. In the Pethro rite, there are only two drums; they are the demonic, even cannibalistic drums. Because they represent the atmosphere closest to the nucleus of the sun, they are dangerous to control and use in ceremonies. They are said to have a high temperature, and a fiery temperament. In the Congo rites, the drums are nearly the same as the Rada rite, but they are called the Manman, the Grondez and the Ka-Tha-Bou. In addition to all the previous drums, the largest drum of all is called the Assato. The magic power of this drum is limitless, and only those who are possessed by Loas are allowed to drum upon it. There is a saying, "Let there be as many drumsticks as there are saints; let there be as many saints as there are drumsticks beating ceremonially."
The Voodoo Chorus The Voodoo chorus is led by the houn'guenicon, generally a houn'sih woman. Her role is the second most important in the ceremonies, for she must lead the houn'torguiers, the trianglier, the ogantier, the chants, the dances, the prayers and all that is the sound that is sent to make contact with the Loas into the spirit world. The word houn'guenicon means: houn - drum; gue or je - supposed to be; nukon or nikon - the first; voudoun-sih - houn'sihs or women. Typically, members of the ritual chorus dress in white, though if it is a ceremony dedicated to the gods of the Pethro rite, they can dress in red. If it is not a ceremony of importance, then there is no special garb to wear. It is also, the members of the chorus that are most frequently mounted by the Mysteres. And when the loa-crisis is over, they simply take their place back among the singers and drummers. Chants There are thousands of chants; it is impossible to list them all. They very from rite to rite, region to region, even oum'phor to oum'phor. The purpose of the chant is two fold; it calls upon a specific Rite, and gives purpose to a specific Mystere. If in the opening chant, Legba is called upon to open the ways, then he knows his purpose for the ceremony. A chant in pure Haitian Creole, Yanvolou MysteresN'a remecie, n'a remecie yo...Apre Bon Die, n'a remecie yo. Apre Bon Die, nous la; n'a remecie yo; N'a remecii Die douvant Hounâ€™gan. Nâ€™a remeci d'l'eau domi houn'gan...N'a remeci, n'a remecie yo. Nâ€™a remecie houn'guenicon, N'a remeci houn'sih canzo. Voodoo Dances
Each dance also determines who and what is called, much like a chant. But, unlike the chants which are very similar even in different Rites, a dance from the different Rites are easily told apart because of how different they are from one another. In a Rada ritual dance, three drums are used. In the Pethro Rite, only two drums are used, and the dances are called Kitha, Kitha mouille (wet Kitha) and Kitha sec (dry Kitha). Dances are also named after the geographic region from which they are taken.
The two great dances that are most popular and whose origins are from the African mask dances are the Mascaron, a Pethro Rite, and the Meringue, of a mixed Rite between Rada and Pethro. Another dance called the Rara is performed to the accompaniment of vaccines, or bamboo flutes, and is danced down along side country roads.
Voodoo Prayers Voodoun ceremonies always begin with a prayer; these are more like long litanies, lead by the Houn'gan or Mambo, with the congregation giving the responses. The prayers begin with the Priere Guinin, the African prayer, said in French, and also includes the names of the Roman Catholic Saints. It is followed by the Priere Djor, or a similar litany done in voodoun language, or creole. These litanies are long, and are done in specific orders to call upon the Mysteres.
Performing Voodoo Magic The Knowings Unlike other deities with higher publicity budgets, the Mysteres aren't omniscient. They are extremely knowledgeable, however. Still, they cannot reveal themselves to those who have not at least been properly introduced. They cannot influence, or expend energy on, or provide protection or power for those they do not know. For the Mysteres, their knowledge of mortals depends on the relationships they develop with them. On the Voodoun's side, however, the same is also true. The Voodoun cannot ask for power from a Mystere with whom she has no relationship. Part of the process of Initiation introduces the Voodoun to the Mysteres, and the Loas will ride the initiate to test their worthiness. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple touch from a Mystere to establish a relationship. A relationship with a Mystere is not unlike a relationship with a parent - the course of the relationship is a focused interaction between mortal and Mystere, between Voodoun and Incarna. This interaction serves as the fundamental basis for all voodoo magic. A Knowing trait defines the depth of relationship that the voodoun has with a specific Mystere. Although Freebies can be spent on beginning Houngan to purchase Knowing, after that, the traits are totally outside of the player's control. The individual Mystere decides when and where to deepen the relationship, and thus increase the Knowing - no amount of experience points can purchase another level. Still, they do cost experience points to raise (x 8) once the Mystere approves the new level. 1:Touched
Briefly encountered by the Mystere
You called, and the Mystere came, or he called and you came.
The Mystere has recognized you with your name or you have seen the Mystere in a crowd.
The Mystere has made you her own child.
You are singularly important to a Mystere.
Below is a description of each degree of knowledge, each level the relationship between human and Spirit. Although a rating number between one and five is assigned to each degree, this isn't meant to be a cut-and-dried process. Each degree must be evaluated and passed by the Storyteller - it is not something that uses experience points. Touched (*) The Making: Not every touch of a Mystere creates this level of relationship, but a single touch is required for this relationship to begin. The Mysteres touches the mortal through some auspice: either spiritually, or through riding another. After the Touch, a shiver is usually felt. This signifies that the relationship with the Mysteres has begun. The Taking: With a Touch relationship, a Voodoun can sense the power of that Mystere at work. She can also use that Mystere's powers to gather information about that Mystere's area of influence. Examples: Give love advice with Oshun's power. Sense a policeman with Chango's power. Know the shortest route through a city with Legba's power. Sense the hand of Ogoun on someone or something. Heard (**) The Making: In order for a Voodoun to be Heard by a Mystere, she must first successfully call that Mystere's attention and have that Mystere answer. The Mystere is not compelled to obey by any stretch of the imagination, but the very fact that the Mystere Heard and responded is enough to advance the relationship forward. Remember that it is up to the Mystere whether she Hears a Voodoun or not - the relationship doesn't advance without the Mystere's consent. The Taking: What this level of relationship gives a Voodoun is the ability to entreat the Mystere to do things for the Voodoun in the world. The Mystere may or may not respond, but at the very least, the Voodoun can ask. Asking for actions that take existing conditions and alter them slightly are best. Asking for actions that are firmly in the Mystere's interest and area of influence is better. No requests that do not involve the Voodoun will be granted - there has to be some connection with the Voodoun at this level for something to work. Examples: Ask Oshun for someone already in your life to fall in love with you. Entreat Yemaya for help in finding a friend of yours who is lost at sea. Request Oya to help you quit smoking. Beg Chango to help the police overlook your parking tickets. Pray to Obatala for good health for your mother.
Recognized (***) The Making: After the Mystere has been called enough times to become more familiar with the Voodoun, sometimes the Mystere will acknowledge the relationship with the Voodoun and decide to call him by name. This signifies a deeper relationship, and enables both Mystere and Voodoun to exchange energy on a deeper level. The Taking: The Voodoun can use his Recognition to cause magic to happen to people other than himself or those he is involved with. The request must be within the Mystere's area of influence. Also at this level, the Voodoun begins to sense spirits of other types and kinds, as described in games like Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, and Wraith: The Oblivion. This sense does not convey the ability to speak with the spirits, but it does allow them to track their presence and movement and general bent. At this level because of the strong spiritual ties to the Mysteres, the Voodoun gains immunity to the Delirium. Examples: Requesting that Oshun give you a new lover whom you haven't even met yet. Calling Yemaya to take away a stranger's depression and sadness. Heal someone you just met with Obatala's power. Chanting to ward against Ogoun's power for your business for a day. Trying to put a curse on a stalker so that they become lost with Legba's power. Adopted (****) Mojo Bonus to all Workings with this Mystere: 1Working Difficulty Bonus: -1 The Making: Generally only one Mystere out of all will take a relationship with a Voodoun to the next level, although it is not entirely unheard of for like-minded Mystere to very rarely share a Voodoun at this degree. At this level, a Voodoun becomes the adopted child of the Mystere. It is at this level that the Mystere can come down and inhabit the Voodoun and speak using his voice, although the Ridden Voodoun cannot use the Mystere's power yet in this state. The Mystere can also start requesting specific services of the Voodoun and expect for the service to be fulfilled - if it is not fulfilled, then no Mojo will be received or requests will be answered by that Mystere. The Taking: The Voodoun can now make commands, not requests. Technically, the Mystere can still refuse a request made by one of this degree, but it is not often that it happens (and the Mystere must return the Mojo spent on the request). The Voodoun can learn veves and can invest a Mystere's power temporarily in objects so that even non-believers can use the power of the Mystere. The Voodoun can now also request that the Mystere do something that is not in the Mystere's direct interests - like Oshun being asked to break up a love relationship, or Yemaya being asked to allow something in the ocean to be found. At this level, the Voodoun can start speaking to, calling and bargaining with other kinds of spirits, but cannot compel them to serve. Examples: Making a cursed juju bag with Chango's power and sending it to the Mayor. Creating a perfume that makes someone irresistible with Oshun's power. Weaving a cloth that protects the body for a time when worn with Obatala's power.
Favoured (*****) Mojo Bonus to all Workings with this Mystere: 3Working Difficulty Bonus: -3 The Making: This level of relationship only comes after years of service. It is a deep relationship between Mystere and Voodoun. The Voodoun lives most of his life in constant service to his Mystere to the point where he has nearly no other thoughts or feelings. The Mystere frequently inhabits the body of the Favored, and can even use some of his spirit power while within the Voodoun. There is very little separation between Voodoun and Mystere at this stage - requests, commands, and other information pass back and forth between them continuously. The Taking: At this degree, the Voodoun can ask for permanent boons, make items of power, and accomplish magical feats that no other Voodoun can: such as entering the umbra. Because of frequent Ridings by the Mystere, the Voodoun begins to lose touch with mortal reality and begins to have a kind of double- vision: he sees the spirit world overlaid atop the real world. This means that he frequently interacts with beings who, to others, appear to not be there. At this level, the Voodoun can start compelling other kinds of spirits to serve, and with a proper teacher, can even make fetishes. Examples: Take Ogoun's strength and throw a car down the street .Use Oshun's seduction to enchant a vampire. Heal yourself from the edge of death to healthy with Obatala's power. Make a store completely peaceful forever with Yemaya's boon. Create a compass, which never fails to get you where you're going with Legba's power. Enchant a pistol with the justice giving power of Chango.
Mojo Mojo is the energy of the Mystere, the magical power of the Voodoun. It is what enables the Voodoun to affect the world, to cause things to happen. It is gained directly from the rituals that the Voodoun enacts, which are assigned to her when she first establishes a relationship with the Mystere. She may receive one additional ritual per level of relationship, as the relationship grows. Unless otherwise noted, each ritual gains her one point of Mojo that lasts until she spends it. Mojo is a magical energy that is stored within the soul of a Voodoun. The Voodoun is given this energy through the spirit bond that exists as a result of his relationship with a Mystere. The energy is usually only given when certain actions are taken. These "Mojo Rites" usually correspond to a specific Mystere and his particular area of influence. The human body has Mojo stored in its lifeblood, and as a result, one may use one's own life as a substitute for Mojo, while the reverse is not necessarily true (at least, not unless Obatala is involved).
A Mojo Rite (or Ritual) is a special action on the part of the voodoun character that proves them worthy of receiving Mojo from their Mystere. A character has only a limited number of these rituals from which to choose from on a daily basis. Mojo Rites cannot be endlessly repeated without "rest." If they are, the Mystere associated with the rituals will tend to get angry as the voodoun is becoming greedy with his personal Mojo. Mojo Rites are decided upon when a character is generated and do not change unless somehow the voodoun changes Mystere or loses his position as a clergy. The difference between a Houngan and other voodoun in this is that a Houngan is given many Mojo Rites from the Seven African Powers and the voodoun must scrape by on what few rituals their patron Mystere allow, or beg them frequently for gifts of Mojo. Each Mystere requires different rituals for a voodoun to gain Mojo. All voodoun have at least one such ritual, while Houngan have at least one for every Mystere with whom they have a relationship. Houn'gan and Mambo may gain additional mojo rituals at storyteller discretion.
Some sample rituals for the Court Loas are: Legba: Spend an hour hanging out at a crossroads. Give directions (good or bad) to someone who is lost. Drink the milk from a single coconut in one sitting, and eat all the flesh Find a penny on a sidewalk. Ogoun: Do an hour of extremely hard labor. Make something with your bare hands. Practice martial arts for three hours. Destroy something of worth. Oshun: Wear beautiful clothing and receive at least three honest compliments. Experience a rare but beautiful sensation. Make love all night long. Resolve a heated argument peacefully. Chango: Do the right thing even if it hurts. Make a decision, which affects someone else's life drastically. Make a judgment in a dispute. Have someone swear loyalty to you. Obatala: Meditate for an hour. Help someone else heal from an illness. Dress all in white all the time. Fast, drinking only pure water, for three days. Erzulie: Play the lottery. Spend the day doing good deeds. Give away an expensive gift. Receive an expensive gift. Baron Samedi: Spend the night in a graveyard. Drink a bottle of whiskey. Sacrifice a black chicken.
Remember that these are just suggestions. The Mystere know each individual voodoun, and they tend to assign them special rites to fit their personality. Voodoun have a maximum Mojo they can hold equal to their total Knowing points. Any Mojo gained after that must be immediately used, or it is taken back by the Mystere who is most favored of the Voodoun. There are some ancient voodoo artifacts that allow a Voodoun to keep extra Mojo.
Primary Uses of Mojo and Costs When a voodoo working is done, Mojo can be used to substitute a number of successes needed to complete the working. If a Voodoun reaches 0 Mojo, and is in the midst of doing a working, the Voodoun cannot simply end it - she will feel the voodoo power wracking at her and pulling apart her insides in the effort of becoming. The Voodoun will have to replace her missing Mojo with wound levels, in order to properly end the working. For this reason, wise Voodoun work in groups, or do not attempt that which is too difficult for them. Houngan may use Mojo in a special way. Each Houngan has a Patron Gift, an ability which is natural to them that is given to them by their Patron. This gift uses Mojo and is not a Working as per the magic rules. Mojo so spent is regained normally. Houngan may also spend 10 Mojo at once to change their current Temporary Hex trait to one higher of Permanent Hex, thus putting off the inevitable catastrophe for a time. Mojo Costs Costs No Duration:
Lasting for only an instant
Lasting for one "scene"
Half a day:
60 Years Average
* These durations mean that the Working is no longer counted as "tying the Mystere up" (see the Working Modifier Chart) as it becomes a natural part of the background of reality.
Minor, subtle effect: effect No lasting harm, no damage, no major changes in personality or perspective. Cost: 0 Mojo Examples: You make someone think of an old lover with Oshun's power. You make someone forget their car keys with Legba's power. You give someone a twinge of pain with Ogoun's power. Major, subtle effect: effect Someone can be harmed, but it isn't obvious how this is accomplished. The effect is surprising but not unwarranted. Cost: 3 Mojo Examples: You make someone call an old lover with Oshun's power. You make someone forget where they parked their car with Legba's power. You give someone a momentary muscle spasm with Ogoun's power. Extreme, effect: A series of circumstances and consequences Extreme, subtle effect conspires to create a strange but believable effect. Cost: 5 Mojo Examples: You make someone visit an old lover with Oshun's power. You make someone forget that they lent their car out with Legba's power. You give someone a sprain or charley horse with Ogoun's power. Minor, blatant effect: effect Strangeness is definitely afoot - unless hidden by cover of night or other magic, people will definitely remember and wonder about it. Cost: 7 Examples: You make someone start dating an old lover with Oshun's power. You make someone confused as to where they are, exactly, with Legba's power. You give someone a heart attack with Ogoun's power. Major, blatant blatant effect: effect You are definitely doing something totally out of the ordinary, that cannot be explained by any other means, and it hurts or changes reality big time. Cost: 10 Examples: You make someone leave their fiancĂŠ to marry an old lover with Oshun's power. You make someone forget who they are and what they're doing with Legba's power. You make someone's lungs catch fire with Ogoun's power. Extreme Blatant Effect: Effect Extremely powerful, nasty, it's also dangerous. Cost: 20 Examples: You make someone fall in love with everyone who looks like their old lover with Oshun's power. You give someone Cancer or a terrible genetic disease with Ogoun's power. You make someone think they are someone completely different, and forget they were ever anyone else with Legba's power.
The Working The 'working' is how the Voodoun does his or her magic. These are the 'spells' they cast. They can be cast for any purpose, to heal, to charm, to bless, even to curse. There are specific forms of workings, like the creation of a veves, or a ritual bath. If the working is combined with one of these rituals, the target number may be lowered by up to three at Storytellerâ€™s discretion.
Voodoun decides what he wants to do. Voodoun states what Mystere he is going to call on. Based on his relationship with that Mystere, the Storyteller evaluates the Mojo required for the working to take effect. The Voodoun rolls his Knowing with the Mystere he is using to do the working. This is called the "Working Roll." The difficulty is determined by a number of factors, all listed on the Working Roll Modifiers Chart, below. All workings begin with a difficulty of 4 and progress upward. They may never fall below 4, no matter how many negative modifiers qualify. The difficulty may never rise higher than 10, no matter how many positive modifiers are added. Each success on the working roll cancels out one Mojo point from the Mojo requirement for the working. If the required Mojo level is exceeded by the working roll's number of successes, then the Voodoun may freely spend Mojo up to the limit of his highest Knowing to extend and upgrade the level of success of the working. If the working roll fails, the Mojo cost is not paid, but no effect occurs. If the working roll botches, the Mojo cost must be paid at any cost. Working Effects: If a working is successful, then the Voodoun rolls the Knowing of the working's Mystere again to determine the working's level of success. The success level will help the Storyteller determine how resistible it is, and the general success level of the working. Resisting a Working: If the target chooses to resist, or the Storyteller decides to assign resistance to the target, then this must be overcome by the Working Effect roll in order for the Working to have any effect. If the target is someone with Willpower, she may elect to roll her Willpower against a difficulty of 6 to see if she resists it. Each success takes away a level of the working's effect. If a failure, she is subjected to the full effect. If a botch, she is subjected to the full effect plus she takes a wound level as one point of Mojo is drawn from her body and placed in the reservoir of the Voodoun. If the working is in the form of a curse, check to see if hex should be given.
Working Modifier Chart: +3
If working in concert with other Voodoun who do not have a Knowing with the Mystere of the working.
If the Voodoun is in combat.
If the Voodoun is requesting more than his Knowing level with a Mystere allows.
If the target of the effect is not alive, this includes Kindred.
If the Voodoun has had no prior preparation time.
If the Voodoun is in pain.
If the target of the effect is not within line of sight.
If the Voodoun does not keep ritual garb appropriate for the Mystere he is calling upon.
If the Voodoun does not have an altar dedicated to the Mystere he is calling upon.
If working in concert with other Voodoun who do have a level of Knowing with the working's Mystere.
If the Voodoun is performing in the open, in public.
If the target of the effect is another Voodoun.
For every Working successful and still running.
If the Voodoun is not free to speak and move without hindrance.
If the target is in plain view, the Voodoun has had time to prepare some, and all other factors are equal.
If the Voodoun is Adopted of the working's Mystere.
If using special ritual tools consecrated to the working's Mystere.
If long-term preparation is undertaken.
If the target's true name or magical name is known.
If the target is an Outcast Voodoun, repudiated by the working's Mystere.
If the Voodoun is Favored of the working's Mystere.
Mojo Circles: Working in Concert A group of Voodoun can work together with one person leading them. The leader is the principal Voodoun and is the one upon whom all working rolls depend. The other Voodoun, however, can elect to share their own Mojo with the leader at the conclusion of the working. Thus, even voodoo tourists who only have 1 Touched Knowing and 1 Mojo can be of value to a Houngan. Mojo is taken on a point-by-point basis, going right from the leader, one point at a time until the entire working is paid for. If there is *still* not enough Mojo in the circle, the leader is the one who must sacrifice himself for the good of the group - the working will not steal health levels from any of the others working in the circle. Charms and Talismans You can only have this ability as high as your Standing Background. Charms are created by the Voodoun to spread an effect created by a particular Mystere. You cannot create a charm in a Mystere's area of influence higher than the Knowing you have with that Mystere. The level you have in Charms determines the effectiveness of the charm you create, within the limits of your knowing. The most notable type of charm is the mojo bag, or as it is called in New Orleans, the Gris-gris.
Minor effect usable only by Voodoun. Such as an Oshun necklace that grants the user an extra die for social rolls involving winning over allies or seducing a potential mate.
Moderate effect usable only by Voodoun. A bracelet of Ogoun that lowers the difficulty by one for creating or repairing a mechanical device such as a car.
Same as the Level One ability, but usable by anyone.
Same as the Level Two ability, but usable by anyone.
The stuff of legends.
The object that will become the charm can first be created with a Dexterity + Crafts roll. Each success lowers the difficulty of creating the talisman. The better the workmanship, the more the Mystere is impressed. The object is then empowered. This takes a Manipulation + Knowing, difficulty beginning at 10 and further adjusted by the same factors as a Working. The number of success equals the number of times the charm can be used. Once the charm is used up, it is useless and cannot be recharged. The mojo cost of creating a talisman is equal to the number of successes. Voodoun charms will not work for a Mage no matter what level the charm is. This may have something to do with the Mystere having conflicts with Awakened Avatars.
Potions You can only have this ability as high as your Standing Background. Potions and brews are very similar to charms, except they are ingested by the Voodoun. You cannot create a potion higher than the level of knowing you have in the Mystere you call upon. The level you have in Potions determines the effectiveness of the brew you create, within the limits of your knowing.
Minor effect usable only by Voodoun. Cure minor rashes, induce or prevent sleep, alleviate symptoms of slight illnesses.
Moderate effect usable only by Voodoun. A potion that when ingested, can lower the difficulties of performing a task, or imbibed an extra dot in an ability that would correspond to the Mystere who empowered it.
Moderate effect, usable by anyone. Same as the second level power, but able to be used by anyone.
Major effect, usable by anyone. Reduce the effectiveness of poisons, give good dreams (or bad ones), and help your plants grow at an unnatural rate.
Love potion #9.
First the correct ingredients must be gathered and prepared correctly. Sometimes it is handy to keep a written recipe book in case you want to duplicate the potion again. To empower a brew, it takes an Intelligence + Knowing, difficulty beginning at 10 and further adjusted by the same factors as a Working. The number of success equals the number of doses it has. Also, all potions are bitter vile things to taste, and sometimes have strange, uncounted for, side effects (at storytellers discretion). The mojo cost of creating a potion is equal to the number of successes. Voodoun potions will not affect a Mage no matter what level the potion is. This may have something to do with the Mystere having conflicts with Awakened Avatars.
Veves You can only have this ability as high as your Standing Background. The Houngan or Mambo, known as the celebrant, begins by crossing himself and reciting the Priere Dior. He then traces the Veve upon the ground with white flour, or other powder, including crushed herbs. The remaining powder in his hand is blown to the four corners. He then crosses himself again, saying Linsah, Mawu, Vovo-Lin-V-Hwe, Hevio-Zo. He makes the sign of the cross above the ground. Then in a loud, commanding voice he calls out to a list of spirits three times. He then takes a candle and lights it, placing it in the working space. He takes a bowl of water, and throws three drops of water on the ground in a triangle each time as he recites three times another list of spirits, the loa of the Terrestrial Fluid. He then places a golden pin into the ground or table, and attaches a silver or gold chain. He sprinkles water upon the working area in a triangular pattern saying, Bolou, Boye, Bocice. He then announces what he desires the loas to do, and recites one of two formulas that are kept closely guarded secrets. Lastly, he takes three drinks of the water, and sprays it out of his mouth in liberation, after which, he sprinkles perfumes all over the ceremonial working space. He dispatches the loas in the end with a final benediction. All items used in the ritual are 'oriented' during the creation of the veves. The veves are almost like signposts that the Loas can easily recognize and respond to. While these take almost more time to prepare than anything else, in the end, the results are fairly straightforward and simple.
Can invoke one Mystere and create simple designs of low power, mojo bonus of +1. Can invoke one Mystere and create simple designs of moderate power, mojo bonus of +2.
Can invoke two Mysteres and create fairly intricate designs of moderate power, mojo bonus of +3.
Can invoke two Mysteres and create fairly intricate designs of decent power, mojo bonus of +5.
Can invoke and create several variations of the Milo-Can of great power, mojo bonus of +8.
The creator of the Veves then rolls their Manipulation + Knowing for each Mystere invoked to empower the design with the desire of the Voodoun. Mojo costs and difficulties are worked out in the same way as a working. Symbols of power can be used for protection or warding, evening summoning or binding spirits, but this requires the appropriate level of Knowings and Lores. They can even be used to heal others, by having the injured person lie down upon the completed Veves.
This ability is restricted to Houngan and Mambo level characters only. Voodoo Lore 4+ and Charms 3+ are both required. Creating a voodoo doll is much the same as creating a charm. The major difference is what the doll is stuffed with and which Mystere is summoned to empower the doll. The standard doll is stuffed with a 50-50 mix of Bayou mud and Spanish moss. The mud should be collected in either the dark of a new moon or the light of a full moon. The moss must also come from the Bayou, but can be gathered at any time. The final ingredient is a hair/nail clipping/blood sample from the target. After constructing the doll as per the charm rules above, one of the Mysteres is called upon to empower it. Once again, the doll is empowered as per the charm rules. The successes may be divided up as the player chooses into two categories. The first category determines the number of scenes the doll is good for. The second determines how many times the doll may be attacked per scene. Once the power is used up, the doll is useless and cannot be recharged. Creating a replacement doll requires all new ingredients. Each attack upon the doll costs one Mojo point. Only pins and black candles may be used. A roll of Manipulation + Voodoo Lore is used to attack the doll. The target feels the attack upon the doll as if it was real, but takes no actual damage. Thus, burning a portion of the doll over a candle flame will make the target feel the burn. If the attack roll successes exceed the Stamina + Fortitude of the target, the target is incapable of action due to the pain for 5 minus Stamina turns. A more powerful version of this doll is available to those with Knowing in one of the Guede Loa such as Baron Samedi. Instead of mud and moss, the doll is stuffed with human ashes and dirt from a fresh grave. Hair/nail clippings/blood are still necessary. The Guede is summoned to empower this doll as above. In this case, the attack on the doll results in actual health levels to the target. The successes are rolled as damage. Pins will draw blood. Fire will blister the skin. There are side effects to using this doll. The doll will bleed freely during attacks. No one is quite sure where this blood comes from. The doll also screams very loudly during the attack. Finally, the Voodoun will feel each attack as per the lower powered doll above. NOTE: As stated above the use of these dolls requires MOJO. If the voodoun attempts to use the doll but lacks Mojo, an equal number of health levels will be taken as per the working rules. A voodoo doll will only work for the voodoun creator.
Only a Houn'gan or Mambo can create a zombie. Voodoo Lore 4+ and Herbalism 3+ are both required. In both types of zombie, the soul is broken into its two parts. The ti-bon-ange and the grosbon-ange. The ti-bon-ange is imprisoned in a jar kept by the zombie's creator. The gros-bonange is left with the body to control it. With it's ti-bon-ange trapped and at the mercy of the creator, a zombie wouldn't dare do anything to anger it's master. As a side effect of this soul splitting process, the zombie doesn't have an aura. The part of the soul that creates an aura is in the jar. Marcher mort - Walking Dead This type of zombie is truly the walking dead. They are the most "loyal" type since they lack the creativity or the willpower to resist the will of their creator. The zombie is created from a corpse at least a month dead, but no more than a year dead. The spirit of the deceased must be obtained using the Prise du mort Rite, with the soul being placed in a govis. If the govis is broken and the Casse Canari is performed, the Zombie is effectively destroyed. The zombie continues to rot as time goes on, and will decay with time, there flesh and mind slowly deteriorating until finally it is nothing more than truly a walking corpse. Only Baron Samedi can be called upon to make a zombie of this kind, and the creator must have Knowing-Samedi 3+ to do it. Over a period of three days, 20 points of Mojo are invested in the body. Day 1:
Prepare the body
Intelligence + Voodoo Lore diff 7
Prepare the potion
Intelligence + Voodoo Lore diff 7
Invoke Baron Samedi to capture soul and split it
Knowing-Samedi diff 7
Average the successes of the three rolls. Result determines how useful the zombie is and how much of its original abilities it retains. *
Minimal: (3/1/1) (3/2/2) App 0
Average: (4/2/2) (4/3/3) App 0
Good: (5/4/3) (5/4/4/) App 0 Damn Good: (7/4/3) (8/5/4) App 1 is possible if corpse is less than 6 months old. Is It Dead?: (9/4/3) (9/5/4) App 2 possible if corpse is less than 2 months dead.
Attributes are prioritized with Physical as primary, Mental as secondary, and Social as tertiary. Abilities are prioritized was Talents as primary, Skills as secondary, and Knowledges as tertiary. WP is 10 for purposes of resisting anyone other than the creator. Willpower is nonexistent when dealing with the creator. Manipulation + Voodoo Lore diff 4 is necessary to command the zombie.
Mort lan barriere - Death at the gate To begin with, a quest to Haiti is needed to learn how to make the powder. No one outside of Haiti will be able to teach it as learning it automatically puts a prohibition upon the character, keeping them from even writing the recipe down let alone telling anyone about it or letting them watch. This is a neat little safety feature to keep people from running rampant turning folks into zombies. Gathering the ingredients for the powder can take weeks, as they are quite rare. Once the ingredients are gathered, it takes a week to prepare. If the powder isn't used within a week of completion, it goes bad and will not work. Making the powder is a very delicate operation and attempts to create more than enough for a single use will automatically fail. The week is spent mixing herbs and investing 20 points of Mojo into the powder and requires three rolls to create. Intelligence + Voodoo Lore diff 7 to remember the recipe properly. Intelligence + Herbalism diff 7 to make the powder. Knowing-<Patron> to charge the powder. Difficulty for this roll is determined by the chart below. Notice only the Voodounâ€™s patron can be used for this project, and the difficulty is based on how likely the patron would be willing to engage in such a heartless act. Papa Legba
The successes for the powderâ€™s effectiveness are taken from an average of the three creation rolls. In most cases, the target is going to lose mental abilities due to the time spent dead. The damage is determined by the chart on the following page, using the powder successes. Losses are from all stats in the category listed. Any stats at that level or below vanish completely. Example: Bubbah is hit with zombie powder created at 2 successes. He originally had Business 4, Linguistics 3, Occult 2. The powder has dropped him to Business 1 and completely wiped out Linguistics and Occult. These abilities may be bought back with XP, provided the master allows the victim time to do it.
Target dies. Cannot be resurrected. Target might sneeze.
Lose 3 points in all abilities. Lose 2 points of Intelligence, but go no lower than 1. Lose 1 point in Wits, but drop no lower than 1. Gain 1 derangement at storytellerâ€™s discretion. The victim remains "dead" for 5 days.
Lose 3 points in all Knowledges. Lose 2 points in all Skills. Lose 1 point in all Talents. Lose 1 point of Intelligence. Victim remains dead for 4 days.
Lose 2 points in all Knowledges. Lose 1 point in all Skills. Victim remains dead for 3 days.
Lose 1 point in all Knowledges. Gain 1 point in Stamina. Victim remains dead for 2 days.
No loss in abilities. +2 Stamina, +1 Strength. Dead for 1 day.
The victim, upon being hit with the powder, may attempt to resist with a Stamina roll diff 5 + powder successes. The victim must gain at least as many successes as the powder success in order to fight off the powder. Partial success does not lessen the effect. Victim has WP of 10 when dealing with anyone other than master, but WP of 4 when dealing with master. Victim may be 'cured' if the jar containing his ti-bon-ange is shattered and his soul is put back together. It won't go back together by itself. Someone has to help it along, using the Rite of Casse Canari. If the jar is shattered but no one puts the soul back together, the ti-bon-ange remains with the shards of the jar. The body will also need to be purified. The powder doesn't wear off. It needs to be cleansed from the body inside and out. This powder will not work on Mages; nor will it work on Kindred, because they are already dead. It must also be noted, that use of this knowledge will result in hex.
Hex In general, Voodoo does not describe what you should and should not do with Mojo, or power. It is up to each individual Voodoun to decide what is moral, and what is ethical. However, the Mystere are people like everyone else. By using your Mojo to do one thing with one Mystere, you may offend another. Being a Voodoun is often about placating the Mystere that you pissed off last week, only to piss off another Mystere this week. Remember - they all have to listen to a Voodoun, but they don't have to like it! There are no laws or rules imposed by the Mystere. There are some basic rules to the universe, however, that cause a certain ethicality to be revealed. The Law is in general, a very simple concept: What Goes Around, Comes Around. What you do using Mojo will come back to you. Retribution comes from the Mystere. If one of them is displeased, they may elect to impose a Hex on the offender. This Hex causes various difficulties and can be as mild as a simple discomfort to as major as a power-stripping, humiliating defeat. It also effectively limits the Voodounâ€™s ability to use their Mojo with the Mystere who punished them, and frequently causes them to lose any chance to gain Mojo from that Mystere. The wise Voodoun knows that there are ways to get what one wants without using Mojo directly on the problem, or in a way that will be negative. For example, let's say a Voodoun wants to be rid of his current lover. It would offend Oshun (the Mystere of love and abundance), to use Mojo she gave him for the purposes of getting rid of the girlfriend. However, he *could* conceivably use the Mojo to ask Oshun to send a more desirable lover to *her*, thereby hopefully distracting her attention away and reaping the reward of the magical return energy (the idea being that, on return, the Mojo will grant *him* a better, more desirable lover). Still, there are Hex Masters or Mistresses, called Bocor or Bokor, who use Mojo to harm, injure, and conflict - without due cause. These Voodoun are on a tragic path to destruction, as Hexes build up against them from each of the Mystere, and as their Mojo supply dwindles to nothing. There are those who believe they are above the Return.... but none truly are. It is possible - with foul, dark magic - to delay the Return, but it can never be denied. Eventually, the spiritual bad checks the ill-bent Voodoun writes will have to be cashed. The Hex Trait reflects the morality of a voodoun's magical practice. It consists of two 10-point tracks, a Permanent Hex track and a Temporary Hex track. Temporary Hex points are gained when the Voodoun uses his power to cause harm or otherwise thwart the Mystere's plans.
Retribution is a calling-due of the karmic debt that a Voodoun has incurred. The current temporary Hex pool is the dice pool for the Retribution roll; the difficulty is based on the current Permanent Hex trait: Permanent Hex
Count the number of successes on the roll. Those successes indicate the Retribution points for this Retribution. These points are then used to assign Hex Flaws. It is up to you as storyteller to assign them appropriately.
Add up the qualities below for each Hex Flaw. Duration Aspects: Aspects Permanent
*The flaw occurs at random times. Intermittent*
*The flaw occurs in a regular pattern that can be identified. *Intermittent
*The flaw occurs whenever a trigger is encountered. This trigger can be a person, place, thing, or action. Continuous
+2 Intensity Aspects
*Causes annoyance, mild disability, dysfunction, and a slight loss of money. Major Flaw*
*Can cause real damage, can destroy relationships, can get you fired from your job, or cause a car accident. Near-Fatal Flaw* *Can cause massive injury, ruination in relationships and wealth.
Permanent Hex points are gained when a voodoun's temporary Hex score goes to 10 without being released in a Retribution. Houngan may spend Mojo to convert all of their current temporary Hex into an additional point of Permanent, which helps them stave off a potential Retribution. Temporary Hex points are worked off by either Penance or Retribution. A Voodoun may please a Mystere and thus have his Hex points erased, or he may so outrage a Mystere that his store of bad karma is called due. Permanent Hex points are released when a Voodoun suffers a major setback or defeat, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, or professionally. When released, one Permanent Hex vanishes and immediately becomes 10 points of temporary Hex, and a Retribution is immediately called. There are rumors that Voodoun can undergo an intense and deep soulsearching and purification called Redemption that allows them to cleanse themselves of Permanent Hex without this life- wrenching release, but none of the Wise Ones speak of it. In addition, a Voodoun may transfer his Permanent Hex to others. He can never transfer more than one point of Permanent Hex at a time, and the individual receiving the Hex must be a normal mortal human who is Hex-innocent (no Hex of any kind) and who willingly accepts the voodoun's sin. Permanent Hex may never be reduced below three through this despicable act, and Voodoun who accomplish it must immediately check for Retribution upon success. The Voodoun must be on extremely familiar terms with his victim, and cannot use a Working to convince them to take the Hex. They may, however, use any and all non-magical and physical wiles, and other tools including but not limited to voodoo artifacts, money, prestige, power and sex. Note that such a victim may immediately become a Voodoun himself, as a Mystere will probably reveal itself to him out of pity. The transference of the permanent Hex point involves a ritual ceremony that cannot be hidden or disguised. Anyone with Voodoo Lore of 4 or higher will know this ceremony. Once Permanent Hex reaches 7 or higher, the Mystere become extremely angry with the Voodoun in question, and begin and active campaign against the Voodoun to destroy her. Permanent Hex can never be more than 10.
Rites As a Voodoun goes through the various levels of initiation, they begin to understand more and more about their place, and their responsibilities. As such, they are entrusted with the knowledge of how to perform certain rites, even initiation. This is a basic list of some of the rites a Voodoun would know, in addition to their mojo gaining rites. You may only take rites that equal you highest Knowing level. Thus someone who's highest Knowing is a 3, may only have access to those rites of equal or less value. Initiation Rites - Charisma + Voodoo Lore diff 7. For the actual haussement, the person leading the ritual must acquire the same number of successes as the level of standing they are raising someone to. Mette n'anme (*) - Placing the soul. This ritual magically balances the two parts of the soul, the ba and the ka, in a newborn. This is the ritual that prepares a person to be able to become a Voodoun, that is, to be able to come to Know the Mysteres. Without this ritual, a special dispensation from the Mysteres themselves must be given to raise someone past a Standing of 1. Garde (**) - Protection. This is the magical confirmation of the Leve-nom. When this ritual is done, it means that the devotee takes a more active roll, and must make ritual sacrifices as compensation for the protection. It is done at any age after seven but before twenty-one. It confers a mystical link to the spirits, and minor form of a guardian angel, as long as the person continues to perform regular rituals to appease it. Leve nom (***) - Taking the name. This is a talisman and magical protection given to children; they are given the name of an ancestor in order to continue the voodoun tradition. The child is entrusted to the protective spirit whose name he was given. This protection lasts until the Garde is done. It is a minor form of guardian angel. Can-Zo or Boulez-Zain (***) This ritual has many different purposes and ways to be performed depending on the end result. It is the initiatory 'putting to bed' of the houn'sih. Canzo means initiation by fire, and this initiation is usually done in the djevo. This ritual is done to raise someone's Standing, but this is a weaker version and can only be used to raise a Voodoun up to a Standing of 3. It is also done to prepare someone for initiation at any level. Anyone of a higher Standing can raise someone of a lower Standing up to the next level. Thus a Mambo or Houn'gan can confer all degrees of initiation, while those of lower Standings can only confer degrees of initiation of their own Standing level or below. Haussements (****) - Lifting or Rising. This is the ceremony that grants the initiate degrees, including the successive degrees to which the houn'sih can-zo, La Place, Houn'guenicon, Confiance, Mambo and Houn'gan can attain. This is the higher-level version of the initiation ceremony and can raise someone up to a Standing of 4. Passing the Asson (*****) This is the ceremony that rises a Voodoun to a Houn'gan or Mambo. Only another Houn'gan or Mambo can perform this. It is exactly like Haussements or the Can-Zo, but used to create a new Houn'gan or Mambo.
Death Rites - Manipulation + Rituals diff 6 Boulez-zain mort Ou-an Zain (*) This ceremony is performed either once for a low level initiate or three times for a high level initiate upon their death. It is the last rites of a Voodoun. In the case of a Mambo or Houn'gan, when this is performed, there is an equal chance of the soul being sent off to be reincarnated, sent to a higher existence. Desounin (**) The recovery of the powers of the deceased initiates. Performed at the end of a ceremony when things are quieter and the loas have taken their leave, the Mambo gives the signal to pass the left hand and foot through the last flames of the zins. This ritual gives a pool of mojo for those participating to share and use, as twice the number of successes gained on the roll. Casse Canari (***) Breaking the jugs, or the pots-de-tete that contain a part of the spirit of those who are members of the oum'phor that have died. This released their soul from purgatory and allows them to continue on their journey. This ritual is used when freeing trapped souls, if enough knowledge about a person or subject is known or learned, then the ritual can be used on a non-initiated person as well to free their trapped soul or spirit from bondage and send it on it's way. This can also work on fetishes or talens, or like items, at a +1 difficulty, if appropriate Lores are known. Ouette mor l'an d'l'eau Cassez-canari (****) This is a magical ceremony where the souls of the deceased Voodoun are withdrawn from the depths of the water in order that they may move on to higher planes of existence. This is a more powerful ritual that combines the effects of both the Boulez-zain mort Ou-an Zain and Casse Canari. When it done on a deceased Mambo or Houn'gan, there is a chance that their spirits may rise and join the ranks of the Loas. Prise du mort (*****) This obtains the spirit of the dead from the cemetery where the person has been buried. This ritual is essential in the creation of the Marcher Mort Zombie.
Ceremonial Rites - Charisma + Rituals diff 7 Coucher-tambours (*) Putting the drums to bed. One of the important rituals in the upkeep of the drums. This gets them prepared for the journey to Ife. The drums are one of the more noticeable figures in the Voodoo religion. Voodoun feel that they are alive, and have spirits of their own. As long as a drum is well care for, using it in a ceremony can lower the difficulty of any ritual or working performed by 2. This ritual must be done at least once every two weeks for the benefits to remain. Baille-tambours-manger (*) Feeding of the drums. After the drums have been put to bed, then are then ritual fed grain and cornmeal. In the case of Pethro or Congo drums, the manger crus is mixed with blood. After the Coucher-tambours, this ritual is performed to further keep the drums happy. If done at least once every two weeks, when the drum is used in a ceremony, it lowers the difficulty by 2. If both the Coucher-tambours and Baille-tambours-manger is done regularly, the effects are combined to reduce the difficulty by 4. Lave-tete (*) - Washing the head. Ritual baptism that opens the ways for a new initiate to be able to receive the Loa, to be ridden. It opens the spiritual gateway within someone, that allows them to begin to be mystically connected to the mysteries of the spirit world. It can allow an uninitiated person to become a Les Chevaux - a horse - for the Mysteres for a night. Bo-te (*) This is a ceremonial genuflecting and kissing of the ground that pays honor to the Mysteres, and to your betters. This is one of the basic rites that everyone learns. It can appease the Loas, or a person of higher standing than yourself if you upset them. Orient (*) To orient an item, it is shown to the four cardinal directions, East, West, North, South, or Apolihsahgbadya, Ahouengan, Sih-ye to menan, Bo dan guimin. All items used in ceremonies are oriented during the ceremony before they can be used. If an item is not oriented, then the magic will not work. Casse Gateaux (**) Breaking the cakes, a communal form of the manger-loa where the congregation is invited to feast as well. This allows those who partake of the feast to draw in some mojo, usually only one point per person who participates. Manger-loa (**) The feeding of the Loas, the main ritual done in the Boule zins caille. This keeps the Loas very happy. Performed once a month at least. If you miss feeding one of the Loas honored by the oum'phor, then all difficulties working with the un-fed Loa increases by one for each week that the ritual is not done. Atoutou (***) This ritual is part of the sacrifice and uses the Zins, or cast iron cooking pots that are sunk into the ground. In the case of the Nago zin, no chicken is used, but instead cornmeal balls called acras Nago. They are cooked and removed with the same ceremony as the pieces of chicken, and placed in a coui, or half of a calabash, or on white plates. When the cornmeal mush in the zins has become fairly thick, the Houn'gan calls the houn'sih canzo from their dance and one by one they kneel at his side. They dip their hands into a mixture of oil and wine, and then scoop up bits of the boiling hot cornmeal forming it into little balls after Orienting it, placing them on the mombin leaves. They then perform the Bo-te and move for the next person to come and do the same. This is the Atoutou.
Every Zin corresponds to a Rite, and it is a way of keeping the Mysteres of specific Rites happy, in the similar way the Manger-loa does. It is only performed once a year, or every two years during the Boule zins caille. This ritual is simply how to prepare and serve the sacrificial food, and if not done correctly, can anger the Mysteres, causing all difficulties with a particular Rite to be increased by 1 until the following year. Manger-les-morts (***) The feeding of the dead, or ancestors. When this ritual is done, it is a way for those with the Ancestor background to gain mojo. Up to the level of the background can be obtained from this ritual. Refraichi-tete (***) - Refreshing the head. This is a further baptism for reinforcing the maitretetes loas that opens the spiritual pathways further in a person by the magic of water. This must be performed once a year on a Voodoun so that he may continue to be 'ridden' by the Loas. If it is not done, then the person ceases to become a Les Chevaux. Manger tetes d'leau (***) The feeding of the waters. A ceremony where ritual food is prepared and offered to the rivers and springs to keep the Mysteres associated with water happy. Performed once a year, and builds a mojo pool to share among the voodoun participating of twice the number of successes. Agoueh r Oyo (****) Very similar to the Manger tetes d'l'eau, but instead this ritual feeds the sea and the Loas of the Terrestrial Fluid, is done once a year, and can build a mojo pool of three times the number of successes. Bamboches (****) This is the ceremony that is performed where the Loa are called upon to freely ride the horses. A special Bamboches is done in the first days of November for the Guedes. Anyone participating who has had the Lave-tete done, may be a candidate for being 'ridden' when this ritual is done, though, chorus members are usually the first chosen to be horses. Boule zins caille (*****) This is a grand ceremony performed every year or every two years to honor the Mysteres of a given oum'phor. Without this ritual done, the oum'phor looses one level per year until it no longer has any spiritual resonance left.
Mystic Rites - Manipulation + Rituals diff 7 You will notice that the levels of these rites may not make sense at first. What use is there to summon a spirit, before you can bind it? Quite simply, Darwin's theory. Anyone can summon up a demon from the pit of hell, the trick is, can you control it. Purification (*) This ritual is used to purify a person, place or thing, from the evils or malignant spirits that may linger about. Usually done in private before any working or ceremony is performed. It can also be done as needed on an item or person. Spirit Awakening (**) This ritual lets you awaken the spirit in an item similar to the Bete Rite. Summoning (**) This ritual allows you to summon spirits, animals or other supernatural creatures, but it is not very polite and could upset said spirit or creature, especially if said spirit is the Mystere you follow. It must also be taken once for each type of spirit, animal or supernatural creature, you wish to summon. If the creature has Willpower, then the summoner must gain twice as many successes as his target's willpower, making one roll an hour, as well as overcome any other applicable abilities of the person or creature being summoned like Mages Spheres, Vampiric Disciplines, or Garou Gifts. Willpower can be spent to ignore the summons, on a one for one exchange of the number of successes. The magic does not instantly conjure a creature out of thin air, unless it is a spirit. Target, if not a spirit or similar entity, must be within the range to feel the call. And any summoned creature will come at best, neutral, at worst, want you for dinner. Summoning ummoning Success Table botch
You did mean to summon up the 7th Lord of the Underworld, didn't you?
Weak spirit, or 1 small animal, supernatural creature or person you know very well within range of 1/4 mile.
Minor spirit, or a few small animals of the same type, a large animal, creature or person you know within range of 1/2 mile.
Strong spirit, or many small animals of the same type, a few large animals of the same type, creature or person you have meet once of within range of 1 mile.
Incarna, or a horde of small animals of the same type, many large animals of the same type, a single gigantic sized creature (like a whale), creature or person you have meet once within the range of 3 miles.
Minor deity, or any animal of any amount, a person or creature you have glimpse in a crowd within the range of 5 miles.
You did mean to summon up the 7th Lord of the Underworld, didn't you?
Calling (***) This ritual is used to have your voice heard by a Mystere or spirit, it does not necessary summon them, but lets them know you wish to have their attention. It is far more polite to simply call upon a spirit or person, than to summon them. In game terms, it simply gives the target a brief "message" that you wish to speak with them, and lets them know where you are. The number of successes determines how strong, how much can be sent, and how far. It must also be taken once for each type of spirit, animal or supernatural creature, you wish to summon. Calling Success Table botch
Caller mentally stunned for several rounds and disoriented for a full day.
Weak spirit; small animal; person or supernatural creature you know very well; very general location of where the caller is; simple idea like: help!; 1/2 mile.
Minor spirit; medium sized animal; person or supernatural creature you know; rough idea of where the caller is; two word phrases; 1 mile.
Strong spirit; large animal; person or supernatural creature you have meet once; know the city block your in or similar range; short sentence; 5 miles.
Incarna; very large animal; person or supernatural creature you have meet once; building or house; complete sentence; 10 miles.
Minor deity; any animal; person or supernatural creature you know the name of; room; complete sentence; 50 miles.
How exactly did you get the personal thought wave of that 7th Lord of the Underworld, and why would he want to talk to you?; any animal or person you know of; exact location; a few sentences; half a world away if the Storyteller is feeling nice enough.
Counterspells (***) There are two forms to this ritual, basic counterspells and unweaving. This allows a Voodoun with the right knowledges and abilities to be able to protect themselves, or others, from the magic of other supernaturals. Each type of counterspell must be bought separately, and must be purchased for a specific type of magic. Normal Counterspell: Can be cast immediately and protects its subject against hostile enchantments, blocking another incoming spell, gift, discipline, rote, etc. is a difficulty 8 and each success counters one success of the theirs. A mojo point is used per success. Unweaving Counterspell: This undoes another's enchantments. You must have the appropriate knowledge and/or applicable abilities of the magic you are trying unweave judged by the storyteller. Difficulty 8. Each success and mojo point spent cancels one of the original magic, unless it is an older and well laid enchantment, then the storyteller may deem that extra mojo or extra successes are needed, or both. Dedication (***) This ritual dedicates an item to the service of a specific Mystere. When the item is used in ritual, it can lower the difficulty of the working or ceremony. Sacrifice (****) This ritual has many forms, from a simple sacrifice of an object to be given to a Mystere, your own blood, a blood sacrifice or for those powerful bocors, human sacrifice. Each success gives one mojo to the person performing the sacrifice. Binding (****) This ritual lets you bind a spirit or supernatural creature that you have called or summon to you, into performing tasks or lending their spiritual power to an object, or simply asking for council. It does not work on the Mysteres. It must also be taken once fore each type of spirit or supernatural creature you are binding. The voodoun rolls against the target's willpower, every success is one request that can be made. If the target wishes to resist, they roll their willpower verses the voodoun's manipulation + rituals, each success takes away one of the voodouns. Or, the target can simply spend willpower to avoid it all together. Warding (****) This ritual allows you to ward yourself against specific spirits, or even supernatural creatures, and specific magic. This ritual must be taken for each type of spirit, creature or magic you wish to ward against. A veves is used to ward an area or room, protecting it from specific magics or creatures. Each success on a difficulty 8 adds to the barrier that another using a form of magic must make more successes to overcome. Dismissal (****) This ritual allows you to dismiss the spirit or supernatural creature you have summoned back to where they came from, as well as letting them go peacefully. As with previous rituals dealing with this, it must be taken once fore each different type of spirit or supernatural creature you wish to dismiss. To appease the person or thing you have summoned, bribes, favors, and thanks are offered. You did also remember to take the Bo-te? Fetish (*****) This ritual allows the Houn'gan or Mambo to create objects of great lasting power, much in the same way a Bete fetish is made Umbra (*****) This ritual allows the Houn'gan or Mambo with a Knowing of 5 in their Patron Mystere to step sideways. You must have a mirror or reflective surface dedicated to your Patron, covered in ritual Veves for this ritual to be effective.
Calendar of Voodoo Voodoo Ceremonies January 2-4
Casse gateaux (Breaking the cakes), a communal form of mangerloa.
Les Rois (The Kings).
Ritual feeding of the springs (manger tetes d'leau).
Loko Davi (Eating of ritual wood and of its guard).
Saint Joseph (Expression of the jurisdiction of Legba).
Legba Zaou (Eating consists mainly of a black goat and of bananes laudanne).
Dan Wedo, Clermeille
Casse canarie (Breaking the jugs: deliverance of the souls from purgatory).
Mange-les-morts (Feeding the dead: The mangers crus are offered to the jugs or jars in which the souls are supposed to reside and where they eat; subsequently the manger cuits are offered them, particularly gombo or okra, moussah, Carib-cabbage).
Feeding of different loa
Feeding of Grande Aloumandia
Chante-messes (Sung masses in the Roman Catholic Churches), Martinique dances, Bamboches
M'sieu Guimeh Sauveur; Mystere Ge Agoum Tonnerre; Table served for Maitresse Erzulie; Maitresse Tenaise, Maitresse Mam'bo (common table). July
Papa Ogou (alias Saint James the Greater), to whom is offered particularly sheep and goats.
Grande Saint Anne (alias Mystere Grande Delai and Grande Aloumandia; common table).
Maitresse Silverine, who only very slightly tastes of the food offered to her. Maitresse Lorvana, who smells flowers for her nourishment.
Communion table for Dan Wedo (alias Saint Louis, King of France)
O-dan; L'orient, one of the most important Mysteres
Aga-ou (Offerings: particularly goats, peppers, peppermint).
Roi Wangol; Mousondi
Maitresse Delai (A very important Mystere who "walks" with the houn'tor: the voodoo tambourine player).
Singing Masses in the Roman Catholic Churches. Communion table. Martinique dance. Armchair ritually covered with 30 - 40 scarves of different colors, exposed to the peristyle and served.
Bamboches for the Guede Mysteres: the dead who come out of the cemeteries, possess their "horses," and come into the oum'phors to amuse themselves in the form of souls incarnated or reincarnated.
Manger-yam (Eating the yams).
12 - 14
Agoueh R Oyo (Feeding the sea).
Bath of Christman. Leaf-rubbing (for medical treatments and talismans for magic protection). Ritual sacrifices of pigs and goats. Bonfires (boucans) for amusement, to which the loas come to bathe themselves and their protĂŠgĂŠs. Sacrifice of turkeys for Caplaou.
Character Creation Outline Outline
Step One: Who are you? Choose Concept, Nature, Demeanor, Patron Mystere Determine Motivation: Motivation What drew you to Mysteres, or what drew them to you. Who was your mentor? How did you get involved in Voodoo? Are you clergy or not. What is your relationship with the Mysteres? Which Voodoo Rite or Rites do you follow, Pethro or Rada. How do you integrate your voodoo life with your normal life, if you have one? What is your chief fear having to do with Voodoo. How do you feel about the other Voodoun, and interact with them. How did the Drought affect your character? Step Two: Attributes Prioritize your three categories: *
Primary - 6 points Secondary - 4 points Tertiary - 3 points
Primary - 7 points Secondary - 5 points Tertiary - 3 points
For those with the Standing Background of 1 - 3
For those with the Standing Background of 4 - 5
Step Three: Abilities Prioritize your three categories: *
Primary - 11 points Secondary - 7 points Tertiary - 4 points
Primary - 13 points Secondary - 9 points Tertiary - 5 points
For those with the Standing Background of 1 - 3
For those with the Standing Background of 4 - 5
Step Four: Select Advantages Choose Backgrounds (5) Choose Knowings (Determined by your Standing Background) Choose Rituals (Determined by your Knowings) Virtues (7) Step Five: Finishing Touches Record Humanity Record Willpower Record Starting Mojo Record Starting Hex Spend Freebie Points Choose Merits and Flaws Choose Patron Gift (Clergy only) Character Creation and Development Creation: Freebie Points Trait
Development: Experience Points Trait
Current Rating x 2
Current Rating x 2
Current Rating x 4
Current Rating x 8
10 for first dot
Current Rating x 2
Point Cost x 3
Buying off Flaw Point
Cost x 3
New Patron Gift
Traits Archetypes Architect
Knowledges Garou Lore
Oshun's Charm (3)
Oya's Freedom (3)
Ogoun's Craft (3)
Chango's Justice (3)
Legba's Truth (3)
Baron's Tricks (3)
Erzulie's Fortune (3)
Flaws Drum Deaf (1)
Knowings Papa Legba - Chief of the Voodoun Gods (Sun)
Erzulie - Wealth and Prosperity (Moon)
Oshun - Love and Abundance
Oya - Change and magic
Yemaya - Dreams and healing
Chango - Justice
Ogoun - Blacksmith
Obatala - Wisdom and divination
Guede Baron - Spirits, death and pranks
Backgrounds Ancestors In addition to the reverence of Mystere is the practice of revering one's Ancestors. A Voodoun can receive Ancestor Boons from her Ancestors, just as if they were Mysteres. Many times a Voodoun will have a better relationship with his dead relatives than his living ones! *
You know and talk to your grandmother or grandfather once in a great while.
You know the first names of the last three generations of your family, and are on at least neutral terms with them.
You know whom the last five or so generations of your family, and can possibly trace your roots back through Haiti at least. You are on fairly good terms with your Ancestors. You can trace your roots all the way back to Africa and are on good terms with your Ancestors. Who needs family reunions when you sit back and chat with Papa Legba himself and the rest of your family who is dead on a regular basis. You can trace your roots back to the Origin. This can be both a good and a bad thing, and you had better stay on very good terms with your Ancestors.
Heirlooms You possess an object of power, one of the few Voodoun Heirlooms not destroyed during the Drought. A minor Heirloom, perhaps an item dedicated to one of the * Mysteres. ** *** **** *****
A useful Heirloom. An Heirloom of significant power. A legendary Heirloom of great value. An Heirloom of incredible power, perhaps one of the Lost Heirlooms.
Mentor You have someone you can go to, perhaps a confiance or mam'bo caille, or even one of the Houngans or Mambos. It might even be the Madre or Padre, the person who will Initiate you. * ** *** **** *****
A houn'sih bassales. A member of the chorus, a hounsis. One of the confinances or mam'bo caille. A lesser Houngan or Mambo. Powerful or influential Houngan or Mambo.
Oumphor You have your own place do to working, an area dedicated to the Mysteres. A small space, like the bedroom closet, stocked with a few essential * items. Arcane Rating: 1. **
A decent space, perhaps an entire room; it contains a number of useful tools and ingredients kept in easy reach. Arcane Rating: 1.
A spacious area, perhaps a small backyard, enough to have a decent Oumphor. Arcane Rating: 2.
A very large area, perhaps a large backyard, enough to have both a peristyle and Oumphor. Arcane Rating: 2.
A fully functional Oumphor, peristyle, tree reposoir and several smaller chambers dedicated to the different Mysteres. Most anything that can be desired for a working or charm, food, knowledge, can be accessed. Arcane Rating: 3.
Rites You may only have this ability if you have a standing of 2 or higher. This background determines what Rites your character knows. *
One additional rite.
Two additional rites.
Three additional rites.
Four additional rites.
Five additional rites.
Standing This is your standing and position among the Voodoun Community; each level gains benefits, and determines the amount of Knowings you start with. Vodouisant - Someone who has not been initiated into the Voodoun ways, but that takes part in Voodoun activities and rituals, a 'tourist'. *
Beginning Knowings: 0 Houn'sih bossales - A student learning the ways, who has been Touched at least once, and is preparing to be initiated into the Voodoun.
Beginning Knowings: 1 Houn'sih or Hounsis - A fully initiated person in the ways of the Voodoun, perhaps one of the ritual chorus members, a houn'torguiers or the houn'guenicon caille. Beginning Knowings: 3
Beginning Rites: 1 Confiance or Mam'bo Caille - An apprentice Houn'gan or Mam'bo. Beginning Knowings: 6 Beginning Traits: 7/5/3, 13/9/5 Beginning Freebie points: 15 Beginning Rites: 3
May apply up to three dots into other Lores outside Voodoo Lore, but cannot start with a Lore higher than 1. Houngan or Mambo - An Emperor or Empress of Voodoo Beginning Knowings - 10 Beginning Traits: 7/5/3, 13/9/5Beginning Freebie points: 21 Beginning Rites: 5 Patron Gift May apply up to six dots into other Lores outside Voodoo Lore,
but cannot start with a Lore higher than 2.
New Abilities Sense Rhythm The Rhythm of Mojo and the Mysteres is like a resonant back beat throughout the spirit-scape of voodoo-positive areas. As a result, it is possible to tune one's senses to hear this rhythm and understand its intricacies. Using this trait, a Voodoun may come to know the passing of the Mysteres, the mood of the Voodoun community, and the flavor and power level of the latest Workings. You may only have this ability as high as your Standing Background. Novice: Novice You sometimes hear the rhythm before going to bed or * upon waking.
Practiced: Practiced You move with and respond to the Rhythm as you go about your day, but do so on an almost subconscious level. Major Workings are sometimes heard. Sometimes you can hear the Rhythm surrounding a specific person you can see.
Competent: Competent You know who's making the more obvious beats, but can't tell what's causing the more subtle percussions. Major Workings are frequently heard, minor Workings are sometimes revealed. It's easy to tell a Voodoun from the Rhythm around them.
Expert: Expert You know just about every layer of the wall of drumming that makes up the Rhythm. Major Workings are never missed, most minor Workings are known, and the pulse of the community is quite easily read.
Master: Master Not only can you hear today's beat, but you know the resonance of the past, and the syncopation of the future - you sometimes have a sense of Workings before they happen, and have the ability to sense what has occurred in a place.
Skill - Charms See section on Charms above. Skill - Potions See section on Potions above. Skill - Veves See section on Veves above.
Knowledge - Rituals This covers a Voodoun's knowledge of the ceremonies, and traditions of the rich and intricate religious life they are a part of. This is essential for understanding things like how to behave at a ceremony, what the Chorus is doing, what the Mambo or Houngan are doing, and can tell you the difference between the cultures, like Haitian Voodoo vs. African Voodoo Mysteres. *
Vodouisant - You are still just a tourist.
Houn'sih bassales - You can attend ceremonies, but you are kept behind the wall so you don't make a fool out of yourself.
Houn'sih Houn'sih or Hounsis - You can help out with the Chorus decently, and not upset the Mysteres, too badly.
Confiance or Mam'bo caille - You can fulfill most any role with confidence, and not displease the Mysteres too badly.
Houngan or Mambo - You know by heart the different ceremonies, when they are done, how they are done, variations, and just about everything else there is to know.
New Merits and Flaws Two-Headed (3): Supernatural. You can see and hear the Orisha as they move through the world, as if they were people. They know this instinctively upon looking at you. Oshun's Charm (3): Supernatural. You have -3 to all charm difficulties and can have an Appearance of higher than 5. Oya's Freedom (3): Supernatural. You gain a -3 to all difficulties on every roll when confronted with situations that would inhibit your freedom. Yemaya's Love (3): Supernatural. You have a capacity for love that's never-ending, and people sense this in you. You have -3 difficulty to all Social rolls. Ogoun's Craft (3): Supernatural. You have the ability to make something out of almost nothing. As a result, you get -3 on all difficulties to repair or create technology. Furthermore, you gain an additional Resource level just from your shrewd ability to recover that which others might discard. Chango's Justice (3): Supernatural. You have an innate knowledge of justice. When sensing deception, or attempting to discern the truth, you gain a -3 to all difficulties. When speaking with authority through leadership, you also gain a -3 to the difficulty. Legba's Truth (3): Supernatural. You have an innate knowledge of where, exactly, you are at all times. Obatala's Body (3): Supernatural. You are an excellent physical specimen. You may roll Stamina + 2 to soak any wounds and you may also heal yourself of any non- magical nonchronic disease normally by a successful Stamina + Medicine roll, difficulty 7. Erzulie's Fortune (3): Supernatural. You are favored by the winds of fate. Luck just happens to follow you, especially when it comes to money. You will always have a resources of 2 to draw on in addition to your own resources. Baron's Force (3): Supernatural. You walk side by side with the force of death, as such; any difficulty in dealing with the dead or zombies is lowered by 3. This merit can have some unusual side effects at times, for those who are close to death, often show this in subtle ways. Just because you have a Merit of a particular Orisha doesn't mean they favor you, although others don't necessarily know that.
Flaws Drum-Deaf (-1): Supernatural. The Voodoun cannot hear the Rhythm and so has a hard time knowing what kind of voodoo is going on around him. Hexed (-3): Supernatural. This is the counterpart to the Merits of the Mysteres. For whatever reason, you just cannot work well with one of the Mysteres, and gain a +3 modifier to any workings dealing with the Mystere you are hexed by. In addition to the following: Legba You seem to always lose things, and tend to get lost, a lot. Erzulie You have a problem holding onto money. Obatala You are sickly, and seem to always catch the latest cold going around. Oya Magic affects you more easily, especially when trying to bind you. Ogoun You and machines do not get along, they are always malfunctioning at the wrong time. Chango People have a hard time believing what you say. Oshun You are unlucky in love, and all your serious relationships are doomed to fail. Yemaya You are the antithesis to charisma. Baron Just give up and higher your own personal heart surgeon, because you be needing one to remove that serious wedgie.
Houngan and Mambo Patron Gifts Below are the Patron Gifts that Orisha give Houngan when they are Adopted (4). Voodoun are not offered these gifts - these are only for the Initiated. An extra Patron Gift can be purchased by the Houngan for 10 Experience Points. A Houngan can never have the Patron gift of another Orisha. Oshun: Dazzle: Dazzle This power allows excellent communication and makes others pay attention to you, and what you're saying. Roll your Manipulation + Expression, difficulty 6. Number of successes equals how long they will pay attention to you. Cost: 2 Mojo Seduce: Seduce This power causes others to forget their vows and morals for a time and act totally uninhibited. Roll your Manipulation + Seduction versus their Willpower. The number of successes indicates how many scenes they will stray. When the effect is over, they revert to their traditional beliefs and values. This power may be resisted over time with Willpower rolls. Note: Mis-use of this gift may cause Hexing. Cost: 5 Mojo Oya: Shout: Shout You have the ability, through pure verbal energy, to change someone's mind on a temporary basis. Roll Manipulation + Expression, difficulty the target's Intelligence + Subterfuge. The number of successes indicates how many scenes the person will change her mind. Optionally, you may use successes to simply cause a person to honestly, truthfully revisit their closely held beliefs. Cost: 2 Mojo Escape: Escape This gift allows you to roll Dexterity + Security or Dexterity + Stealth, difficulty 6, to escape any physical confinement as if by magic: doors open, handcuffs are unlocked, windows suddenly give way. Cost: 5 Yemaya: Pray: Pray This gift allows you to bless someone so that they receive extra successes on their next dice roll. You must first communicate to the target in some way - through words, a touch, a phone call, an email. Then roll your Charisma + Expression, difficulty is the target's Willpower. The number of successes is equal to how many extra successes the target receives on the very next roll they make. Cost: 1 Mojo / success. Watch: Watch This gift allows you to tag a specific person with Yemaya's watchful eye for a 24-hour period. You must touch your target. After that, you need only roll Perception + Empathy, difficulty 7, to get a general feel for where the person is, and how they are doing emotionally and physically. For an addition 3 Mojo, you can also send a one- sentence "thought" to the person and it will be interpreted as an idle thought of theirs. Cost: 5 Mojo.
Obatala: Purify: Purify You may cleanse someone of taint to their body with this Gift. You may cleanse toxins in their body or heal simple diseases. Fatal diseases such as Cancer or AIDS would require a Working and do not fall under this Gift. It works instantly. You must touch your target. Roll your Stamina + Medicine, difficulty 7. The Storyteller may decide that particularly nasty taints require extra successes. Cost: 5 Mojo. Protect: Protect You may provide direct protection to someone's body by touching them and rolling your Manipulation + Brawl versus their Dexterity + Dodge. You invest their body with a great ability to resist damage, which either gives them a bonus to their Soak roll, or provides them with a Soak roll when they do not have one. Each success adds Soak dice for a 24-hour period. Cost: 7 Mojo Ogoun: Repair: Repair With this power, you may make technological objects (tools, vehicles, computers, electronics) that are broken become operable for a short time. You must touch Roll your Manipulation + Repair, difficulty 7. Each success makes the item operable for a scene. Cost: 3 + 1/Mojo per success. Destroy: Destroy You may use this power to make technological objects (tools, vehicles, computers, electronics) that are working fine, break. Roll your Manipulation + Repair, the difficulty is according to the complexity of the object you're trying to break. Computers: Difficulty 4 Vehicles, Difficulty 6 Pistols/Handguns, Difficulty 7Cost: 3 Mojo Chango: Discern: Discern Using this power, you can sort through the web of deception and lies and discern the truth in someone's words. Use Perception + Empathy, difficulty 6.Cost: 3 Mojo. Sacrifice: Sacrifice With this gift, you may choose to convert your own Health levels into Mojo *before* your Mojo demands it. There is no Mojo cost. Each Health level you give up with this Gift renders 3 Mojo. Of course, if your Working demands blood from you, it takes it on a one-for-one basis like with everyone else.
Legba: Open: Open Touch anything that's closed or locked, roll Dexterity + Security, difficulty 7 and it will open. Cost: 3 Mojo Bargain: Bargain You may seal any deal with a special handshake. If the deal goes astray, the person who breaks the deal will receive either Hex points (if appropriate) or physical damage equal to the number of successes of a Willpower roll versus your target's Willpower. Cost: 5 Mojo. Erzulie: Fortune: Fortune You may change the winds of fortune for someone either increasing or decreasing their luck. This power lowers the difficulty by one or increases it by one. Cost: 4 Mojo. Bless: Bless With this power you can bless someone, or yourself by saying a prayer to Erzulie, then roll your Charisma + Knowing-Erzulie, difficulty 7. Each success gives the target one additional dice to use during a scene as they see fit. Cost: 7 Mojo. Baron: Trick: Trick Bad things happen, more so when you use this power. Shoe laces untied, a hole in a cup causing a person's drink to dribble down, just minor, mild irritating pranks that do nothing but annoy someone for a scene. Cost: 3 Mojo. Question: Question With this power you can ask the spirit of a recently deceased individual one question per success. This power may only be used once on any one expired person. Roll Manipulation + Knowing-Samedi, difficulty is the deceased willpower. Add a +1 difficulty for every week past death. Cost: 8 Mojo.
Voodoo and the Supernatural
Voodoo is not for mortals only, although only non-Mage mortals can ever become a Houngan (Initiated). The Orisha have been known to grant Mojo to other supernaturals, as defined below: Vampires: Vampires Kindred can be Voodoun, but can never be a Houngan (Initiated), as they are not alive. They are limited in Knowing to "Recognized" and may never pass that level, except with the Orisha Baron Samedi or a similar undead Orisha. Each Kindred cannot interact with more than one Patron Orisha at a time, and they cannot hold more Mojo within them than their Humanity. In Workings, the Kindred may not spend more than his Self-Control trait in Mojo. The plus side for a Kindred Voodoun is that he may spend Vitae to substitute for Mojo when his Mojo runs out on a one-for-one basis. After exhausting the Vitae supply, the Working goes after the Kindred's body levels like it does for mortals. This does not make them very powerful Voodoo practitioners, but it allows them to use it occasionally as an "ace up their sleeve." Because a Kindred is a dead Ancestor already, they cannot ask for aid from their Ancestors, so they never have Ancestor Orisha. Many Houngan see Kindred as being "stuck in the cycle of life and death" and won't deal with them. The Orisha are in general ambivalent about them, but have been known to interact with them anyway. The Followers of Set and the Samedi are well suited to be affiliated with Voodoo. Many Setites have good relations with Ogoun, Oya, and Chango, while the Samedi have a peculiar Haitian Orisha named Baron Samedi who is their primary (and only) Voodoo patron. Still, other Orisha occasionally visit other Clans. Some Tremere Spirit Thaumaturgists have longed to learn more about Voodoo, but for some reason the Orisha absolute avoid these types. The Nosferatu and the Toreador seem to be the most frequent Camarilla Voodoo-positive clans. Samedi do not have the prohibition against raising Mojo, but they have secret rites they must undergo in order to interact with their Orisha, and those rites are not given to just any old Samedi Leech - they're treasured and closely guarded. The Giovanni, for all their studies of death, have not been seen to have the power of voodoo, for some reason. They have other pacts with the Dead, and resist the idea of dead spirits affecting them. The Orisha must accept eastern Kindred before they can interact with them. The Sabbat, by and large, rejects Voodoo, except for the Serpents of the Light, who continue to practice it in secret. The Children of Osiris also practice Voodoo and follow Chango, Legba, Oya, and Yemaya.
Ghouls: Ghouls No Ghoul of any kind can become initiated as a Houngan, although Houngan who are later Ghouled do not lose Mojo as a result - unless they offend an Orisha, who may Hex them. Werewolves and other Shifters: Shifters Only Werewolves and other Shifters who are derived from human stock (Homid) are allowed to become voodoun. Most Garou do not become Voodoun, but can have ties to those who are Voodoun. Most Garou view voodoo as "magic of the Wyrm." The fact that the Orisha come from a Dark Kingdom (the Lower Umbra) seems to support this. Garou are limited in their abilities to become Voodoun. Their Totems tend to interfere with Knowing Orisha - they may not reach past the Recognized degree in a relationship with an Orisha. Furthermore, they may only have one Orisha as a Patron. Garou often lose Wisdom and Honor Renown when it is revealed they are Voodoun. No Garou may become a Voodoun who also has either a Familiar Spirit or a Pack Totem background. The Uktena and the Silent Striders are the most Voodoo-positive tribes. Because of the powerful spirit-nature of the Uktena, the Orisha rarely interact with them. They are not interested in having their Orisha Avatars bound into Garou artifacts. Those Uktena practitioners who know of Baron Samedi feel that he is a Wyrm-Tainted Orisha. There is some debate about whether Ogoun is Wyrm-tainted, however. The Uktena are attracted to the wisdom of Obatala and the power of Chango. The Silent Striders are more frequently Voodoun than other tribes. They are usually omi-Legba and frequently have Ancestor Orisha. The Silent Striders have one special exception: they may become Voodoun of Adopted and even Favored Knowing if their Orisha is an Ancestor who is also a Past Life. They may also have this same Orisha as a Pack Totem. No other tribe may have an Orisha as a Pack Totem. There are no known Black Spiral Dancers who are also Voodoun, but theoretically, when and if the Wyrm lets them, they may become limited (Knowing of Recognized) Voodoun, and would choose Hex versions of Legba, Ogoun, Chango, or Oshun. Among the Bastet, it is only the Egyptian-derived Bubasti and the Qualmi who have any Voodoo- involvement, and they may become Voodoun. Bastet are favorites of Oya, Oshun, and Legba. The Corax avoid Voodoo like the plague, as the Orisha are still angry with them for some slight that Raven did to them long ago. The Orisha will not go near the Gurahl, who all appear to be spirit Masters, although one Louisiana black bear named Thomas Patch has, through becoming good friends with a Voodoun, managed to gain the patronage of Legba. It is said that the Louisiana Mokole actually have their own form of Houngan - that they worship a strange transliteration of the Dragon and Chango as King. Some say that Mokole can actually become Houngan of a sort - at least, they have frequently demonstrated Knowing of more than one Orisha, and their Ancestor Orisha are particularly powerful.
No Louisiana Rokea are known, but if there are any, and they became Voodoun, they would probably revere Yemaya, Mother of the Seas. There are rumors of a Bayou Ananasi named Lady Calla who is a Voodoun, oma-Chelisk, the Spider- Woman, a strange Arachnid Orisha who is also found in South America. No one has heard from Lady Calla in years. This doesn't mean that all were-spiders are Voodoo-positive, however. The Orisha leave the Nuwisha alone, and vice versa. The Ratkin are sometimes Voodoun, and follow Chango, Legba, or Ogoun, but are never Houngan. Kinfolk: Kinfolk Those Kinfolk who become Houngan (which is possible) are frequently oma-Oshun, Oya, Yemaya, or Legba. Kami: Kami Kami may not become Houngan, but they are allowed to be Voodoun and have one Voodoo Patron. Abomination: Abomination Just in case you were wondering, no Orisha would listen to the pleas of an Abomination - it just doesn't happen, so don't even think about it. Magi: Magi No Magi may become Voodoun. Their Awakened Avatars prevent them from doing so. It would be technically possible for a Voodoun to be Awakened prior to his achieving Adopted Knowing, but once that is achieved with any Orisha, the Voodoun is "set" as a Voodoun for life, and can never be Awakened. Upon Awakening, ties with the Orisha are suddenly and irrevocably shattered. A Mage may still attempt to interact with the Orisha through Spirit Magick. This is a fairly dangerous proposition, as it places the Mage in a position of forcing an Orisha to do his bidding. Orisha do not like that. The manifestation of an Orisha on Earth is considered a powerful spirit, an Incarna Avatar, and are themselves Greater spirits as per the Mage rules. The Orisha frequently grant Voodoo Ward boons specifically so that their Voodoun are protected from True Magick. This simply gives them an element of Countermagick. The Orisha are inherently distrustful of and dislike the Technocracy, especially the Void Engineers, who wish to see them destroyed. They have done much to remain Mythic Threads of New Orleans and they're not about to see it stopped now. Acolytes and Consors of Mystics can become Houngan, however they give up any chance of Awakening afterward. The Initiation process shapes a mortals' Avatar into a structure suitable for use by the Orisha, and this rules out any further Awakening.
Mortal Plus 'Mortal '': '' Psychics and sorcerers can become Houngan, and frequently do. Wraith: Wraith The Oblivion Wraiths cannot in any way interact with any of the Orisha because they're dead. However, a Houngan, once dead, can become Ancestor Orisha for a living Voodoun. Not only does this gives them Memoriam, but it also allows them extra Eidolon dice to stave off their Shadow, and gives them a Fetter of their Voodoun. The potential Ancestor Orisha must be given a Mass for the Dead by three powerful Houngan, who call the Orisha to give the Ancestor power in Death. Those Orisha intercede with Samedi to grant the Ancestor his status. Becoming an Ancestor Orisha is the only way for a deceased Voodoun's Mojo-workings to be retained - otherwise, once dead, their magical workings disintegrate. Although this is basically unheard of, it is theoretically possible for a Revenant (Risen) to interact with Baron Samedi as his Voodoo Patron and become a Voodoun. Some Ancestor Orisha have "come back" temporarily in order to right a tremendous wrong - these Risen Voodouns have access to their old wisdom and knowledge but must fight their Shadow in order to get Mojo again. Mummies: Mummies There are no known Mummy Voodoun. However, if a Mummy was to spend the time and energy getting to know the Orisha, and wasn't very spirit- threatening, he could conceivably interact with a non-Ancestor Orisha as a Patron. Most mummies leave Voodoo alone, and despise Baron Samedi as his Kindred. Changeling: Changeling To Changelings, the Orisha are Mythic Beings. They're Chimerical spirits. The area around New Orleans is steeped in enough of the Dreaming so that the myths of Voodoo are allowed to actually be real. It is the Changelings who actually have the best chance of actually seeing and interacting face-to-face with the Orisha. Changelings, because of their faerie selves, cannot become Voodoun. Kithain: Kithain Kithain (faerie mortals) are allowed to become voodoun, but must never lose the fight to Banality or they will not have access to their Mojo. They may not become Houngan. Hunters: Hunters A scarce few Vampire Hunters are Voodoun. Those who are, usually follow Chango or Obatala
Gypsies: Gypsies Gypsies are superstitious about getting involved with Voodoo. It's scary stuff to them. They would rather deal with their own magic and not worry about Voodoo problems. Their magical blood prevents them from becoming Houngan - the Orisha have never Initiated a Gypsy with pure blood as one of their own. However, they can if they wish interact with the Orisha as Voodoun, limiting themselves to one Patron, although this does cause them some flack with the Gypsy community. A note about Foreigners, Acceptance, and Mardi Gras Because the Orisha in the World of Darkness are tied in with a specific region (in this case, New Orleans / Louisiana), they have limited power outside that region. Furthermore, in order for a person to have as a Patron one of the Orisha, he has to be accepted by the community of New Orleans first. He can't be just a tourist or a one-time visitor. He has to have New Orleans in his blood, as it were. Anyone who stays in NO for more than three weeks is pretty much accepted, and even a business traveler who only visits three or four times a year might find themselves accepted by the Orisha. Of course, during Mardi Gras, all bets are off. This is the time when the Loas walk among mortal kind freely, perhaps even riding a total unknown to them.
Voodoo, the Macabre has been written specifically for the MUSH Cajun Nights, Nights which can be found at http://www.cajunnights.com.
Cajun Nights MUSH is an Internet-based roleplaying game, which had original grand opening on October 31st, 1995. Current date is post 2012, "the Near Future". Cajun Nights uses the rules and setting from White Wolf Gaming Studio's World of Darkness books.
The mush is run on a dedicated server using the RhostMUSH Alpha version 3.2.4 platform, with a few of our own modifications to make role-playing a little more interesting, such as 'reality level' code which allows us to let players walk around unseen for those who can use abilities like invisibility and obfuscation.
Modifications have been made to accommodate those with high auspex or magical awareness abilities.
We work hard to put together a fun game and hope that players want the same.
We continue to use Second Edition rules for Vampire the Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse, and Mage the Ascension. Although there have been some addition from Third Edition incorporated into our House-Rules.
We will be as fair as humanly possible and hope you can respect the amount of time and energy we volunteer for the enjoyment of all involved.
â€œZombie Girlâ€? by JayJay Jackson, used with permission. http://www.seriousdesign.com/