This Discipline is, fundamentally, an art of conjuration that converts the vampire’s will into phantoms that confound the senses and technology alike. Illusions created by Chimerstry can be seen for what
they are by a victim who “proves” the illusion’s falsehood (e.g., a person who walks up to an illusory wall, expresses his disbelief in it, and puts their hand through it effectively banishes the illusion), and explicitly incredible illusions are seen as false immediately (e.g., dragons breathing fire or gravity working in reverse).
• Ignis Fatuus
The vampire may conjure a minor, static mirage that confounds one sense. For instance, they may evoke a sulfurous stench, the appearance of stigmata, or the shatter of broken glass. Note that though tactile illusions can be felt, they have no real substance; an invisible but tactile wall cannot confine anyone, and invisible razor-wire causes no real damage. Similarly, the vampire must know the characteristics of what they are creating. While it’s easy enough to estimate what a knife might look like, falsifying a person’s voice or a photograph of a childhood home requires knowledge of the details.
System: The vampire spends Blood Point to create the illusion. The volume of smells, ambient lighting, smoke clouds, and the like are limited to roughly half of one cubic meter (20 cubic feet) per dot the vampire has in Chimerstry. The illusion lasts until the vampire leaves its vicinity (such as stepping out of the room) or until another person sees through it somehow. The Cainite may also end the illusion at any time with no effort.
•• Fata Morgana
The Cainite can now create illusions that appeal to all the senses, though they remain static. For example, the vampire could make a filthy cellar appear as an opulent ballroom, though they could not create a glittering chandelier or a score of graceful dancers. Again, the illusion has no solid presence, though it’s easy enough to fool an enraptured visitor with suggestions of what they might expect. A bucket of brackish water is as cool as chilled champagne, after all.
System: To create this illusion the vampire spends two Blood points, taking two turns to do so if they need. These static images remain until dispelled, in much the same way that an Ignis Fatuus illusion does.
Not really a power unto itself, Apparition allows a vampire to give motion to an illusion created with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana. Thus, the Cainite could create the illusion of a living being, running water,
fluttering drapes, or a roaring fire.
System: When maintaining an illusion, the creator may spend an additional blood point to make
the illusion move in one significant way, or in any number of subtle ways. For example, the vampire could create the illusion of a lurking mugger lurching at her victim, or they could create the illusion of a desolate street, down which a chill wind blows trash while a streetlamp flickers and hums. Taking complicated actions besides maintaining the illusion — that is, anything that would require a dice roll — first requires success on a Mettle test, resulting in the dissolution of the false construct if the roll fails.
Once the creator stops concentrating on the illusion, it can continue in simple, repetitive motions – roughly speaking, anything that can be described in a simple sentence, such as a guard walking back and forth in front of a steel door. After that, the vampire cannot regain control over the illusion – they can either allow it to continue moving as ordered, or let it fade as described under Ignis Fatuus.
This power, also used in conjunction with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana, allows a mirage to persist even when the vampire cannot see it. In this way, vampires with this discipline often cloak their temporary havens in false trappings of luxury, or ward off trespassers with illusory guard dogs.
System: While maintaining the illusion, the vampire need only spend a blood point and the illusion becomes permanent until dissolved (including “programmed” illusions like those created by Apparition).
••••• Horrid Reality
Rather than create simple illusions, the vampire can now project hallucinations directly into a victim’s mind. The target of these illusions believes completely that the images are real; a hallucinatory fire can burn, an imaginary noose can strangle, and an illusory wall can block passage. This power affects only one
person at a time; though others can see the illusion, it doesn’t impact them in the same way. Other people can try to convince the victim that their terrors are not real, but to no avail.
System: A Horrid Realty illusion costs a Fate point to set in motion and lasts for an entire scene (though its effects may last longer; see below). If the vampire is trying to injure their victim, they must roll Charisma + Subterfuge opposed by the victims Mettle. Each success inflicts one health level of lethal damage on the victim that cannot be soaked — the Cainite assaults the victim’s mind and perceptions, not their body. If the vampire wishes to inflict less damage or change it to bashing, they may declaire a maximum amount of damage before rolling the dice. Secondary effects (such as frenzy rolls for illusory fire) may also occur, although the victim has a +2 Dice Pool bonus to these tests.
The victim heals all his damage instantaneously if they can be convinced that the damage they suffered was illusory, but convincing themmay take some doing, such as with at least two successes on a Charisma + Sublinguistics or Logic + Leadership roll (opposed by the vampire’s Charisma + Subterfuge of the Cainite using Horrid Reality).
The target must be convinced of the attack’s illusory nature within 24 hours of its taking place, or it becomes too well established in their memory, and they will have to heal the damage using blood (if a vampire) or over time (if mortal).
This power cannot actually kill its victims (though a target with a heart condition may well die from fright). A victim “killed” by an illusory attack loses consciousness or enters torpor.