The Ravnos are heirs to a legacy of illusion, and none can say exactly why. The elders of their clan, when properly approached, speak cryptically of ghouls and rakshasas, and the shapeshifting antics of their Antediluvian founder are the subject of many a dark campfire tale among the clan. But whatever the source, the nomadic Ravnos have a potent weapon in the form of their Discipline of Chimerstry.
Chimerstry is an art of conjuration; the vampire may draw upon her inner reserves to bring phantoms to life. These false images can confound mortal senses and sensory equipment alike. If the Cainite's power is strong enough, illusions created by Chimerstry may even baffle the heightened senses of the vampire. The Ravnos are fond of using this power to seduce, swindle or enslave mortals, effectively purchasing their victims' souls in exchange for a sack of bouillon that isn't there.
Illusions created by Chimerstry may be detected by Auspex (see "Seeing the Unseen, see Auspex). They may also 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 his hand through it effectively banishes the illusion).
The vampire may conjure a minor, static image that confounds one sense. For instance, he may evoke a sulfurous stench, the image of a curtain, of the feel of raw silk. Note that although 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.
System: The Player must spend a point of Willpower to create the illusion. It lasts until the Ravnos 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; this requires no effort, only the merest whim.
The Cainite can now create illusions that appeal to all the senses, although they remain static. For example, the vampire could throw a mirage over a dank basement, making it appear to be a sumptuous boudoir, although she could not create flickering candles or a flowing fountain. Again, the dweomer has no solid presence, although it’s easy enough to make a filthy mattress on two saw horses feel like a four poster bed.
System: The player spends a Willpower point and a blood point to create the dweomer. These static images remain until dispelled, in much the same way as Ignis Fatuus illusions does.
Not really a power unto itself, Apparition allows a vampire to give mention to an illusion created with Ignis Fatuus or Fata Morgana. Thus, the Ravnos could create the illusion of a living being, running water, fluttering drapes or a roaring fire.
System: The creator spends one blood point to make the illusion move in one specific way. She may change the image’s movement only if she has done nothing but concentrate on the mirage since creating it.
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, Ravnos often cloak their temporary havens in false trappings of luxury, or ward off trespassers with illusory guard dogs.
System: The vampire need only spend a blood point, and the illusion becomes permanent until dissolved.
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 him, an imaginary noose can strangle him, and an illusory wall can block him. This power affects only one person at a time; although other people can try to convince the victim that his terrors are not real, he won’t believe them.
System: A Horrid Reality costs two Willpower points to set in motion and lasts for an entire scene (although it effects may last longer; see below). If the vampire is trying to injure his victim, his player must roll Manipulation + Subterfuge (Diff of the victim’s Perception + Self Control). Each success inflicts one health level of damage on the victim; if the player wishes to inflict less damage, he may announce a maximum amount of damage before rolling the dice. This power cannot actually kill its victims (although a target with a heart condition may well die from fright); a victim “killed” by an illusory attack loses consciousness or enters torpor. All injuries disappear once the victim is truly convinced that she wasn’t actually harmed by the Horrid Reality. Of course, such a cure may take a long time, or even psychological therapy. The nightmarish power of Chimerstry is nothing to be taken lightly.