Lore of Paths

• Find Path

This evocation permits the Malefactor to determine if a path exists between herself and a destination that fits the criteria she requires. The path is visible only to the demon and anyone she touches, revealing itself as a faint, silver-blue line, like a ray of moonlight.

System: Your character sets the criteria for the path she seeks, and you make a Perception + Survival roll. The number of successes required depends on the criteria set and the distance covered. For example, if your character wants to find a path through a stretch of impenetrable forest or swamp, you might need only one success. If she wants a path across an open field that allows her to move unobserved, you might need two or more successes. A path that leads her unharmed through a raging house fire might require three or more successes. If the roll fails, the path cannot be found.

Torment: Monstrous demons are able to seek paths just as their more human peers can, but the difficulty for such rolls is equal to the demon's Torment. The more murderous the demon is, the less she is prepared to perform a concentrated search.

•• Lay Path

At this level, a Malefactor doesn't have to look for a useful path. She can lay one to suit her needs, though it's not something that can be done on the spur of the moment.

System: The demon determines the criteria of the path she wishes to lay, and the distance it is to cover. You make a Dexterity + Survival roll. The difficulty of the roll increases according to the complexity of the path. A shortcut that reduces travel time, allows the user to pass unobserved, and is wide enough to permit multiple people to walk it at once is very complex, and it could have a difficulty as high as 9 or 10. You must gain a number of successes equal to the length the path covers in hundreds of yards. These successes can be gained through an extended action, but they must be gathered over successive turns. Using the previous example, if your Malefactor wanted to lay such a path between two points that were 500 yards apart, you would need to gain five successes at a difficulty of 9 or 10. The path, once laid, is visible to only the Malefactor (though successful use of the Find Path evocation can detect it like any other path), and remains useable for a number of days equal to your character's permanent Faith score. The player can make the path permanent by expending a temporary Willpower point.

Torment: Monstrous demons can lay paths as well, but the taint that becomes worked into the fabric of a trail makes the course unpredictable and dangerous. Rolls to traverse a path laid by a monstrous demon botch on a roll of 1 or 2. A botched roll causes the traveler to exit the path at a random point along its length, determined by the Storyteller - a potential fatal mishap if the path in question leads under a lake or through a mountain.

••• Conceal Path

Paths, once formed, can be found and followed by any demon who has the eyes to look for them — unless they are camouflaged by the demon that made them.

System: Roll Perception + Survival. Any demon who attempts to find the path later must gain more successes than the Malefactor when searching for the hidden route. This concealment lasts for a number of days equal to the character's permanent Faith score, or it can be made permanent with the expenditure of a temporary Willpower point.

Torment: Monstrous demons do not hide a path as much as they lay a trap for the unwary. When the evocation is performed, the successes rolled become automatic levels of bashing damage that are inflicted on any other being that steps onto the path. This trap can be detected with a supernatural awareness roll, but it cannot be avoided or disarmed. Unlike the more benign form of concealment, this trap cannot be made permanent. It disappears after a number of days equal to the demon's Torment score.

•••• Close Path

This evocation allows a Malefactor to seal both ends of a path, denying its use to both friend and foe until it is opened again. Paths closed in this way are often "locked" using special words that can then be used as a kind of key to allow specific individuals access to the path while restricting others.

System: Spend one Faith point and roll Dexterity + Survival. You must gain a number of successes equal to the length the path covers in hundreds of yards, and then effort can be accomplished in an extended roll over a period of successive turns. If successful, the path is closed. If travelers walk the path at the time, they are trapped within until the demon chooses to open it again. You can spend a temporary point of Willpower and for your characters to create a keyword that other demons (and thralls) can use to unlock and travel the path.

Paths closed with this power can be forced open with a successful Willpower roll. The difficulty is equal to the Willpower that the Malefactor had when he closed the path, and the roll must net a number of successes equal to the closer's Faith score at the time. Forcing open a path in this way can be done as an extended action performed over a period of turns.

Torment: Monstrous demons do not close paths — they collapse them. Again, you must gain a number of successes equal to the length the path covers in hundreds of yards and your character can make the effort as an extended action over a period of turns. If successful, the path collapses and is destroyed. If travelers walk the path at the time, the consequences are dire. The Storyteller rolls Dexterity + Survival for each person (difficulty 8). If the roll is successful, that victim exits the path at a random point along its length. If the roll fails, she is lost between the physical and spirit realms and begins to suffocate (refer to drowning rules). The Storyteller can continue to roll for a trapped victim each minute until she escapes or is killed. If the character dies, her body does not return to the physical realm.

••••• Warp Path

This evocation allows a Malefactor to warp the nature of an existing pathway, altering one or many of its parameters. The path can be traveled in a shorter or longer period of time, it can lead travelers back to their point of origin, it can lead to a different destination entirely, or it can simply loop back upon itself without end.

System: Spend one Faith point and roll Dexterity + Survival. If your character wishes to increase or decrease the time to travel the path, travel time is altered by a factor equal to the successes rolled. If she wants to change the destination of the path or cause it to loop back on itself, you must roll a number of successes equal to the length of the path in hundreds of yards. The duration of the effect is a number of days equal to your character's Faith score, it can be made permanent by expending a single Willpower point.

Torment: Monstrous demons create warped paths that prey upon the minds of travelers, as well. In addition to any alterations made to the path itself, travelers crossing it must make a Willpower roll upon reaching their destination. If the roll fails, the gain a temporary derangement. If the roll botches, the derangement is permanent.