Continuing our series of Custom Mechanics, we now present what is probably likely to be the first of many custom combo disciplines.
A modification of the Armory of the Abyss, Cthonic Barding allows the vampire to extend the protection of his own shadow-arsenal to his heralds and steeds, the better to preserve them against jealous rivals and hostile threats.
In use by: Marcus
The player spends one blood point and rolls Manipulation + Crafts (difficulty 6) or Occult (difficulty 7) as per Armory of the Abyss. The barding takes one full turn of concentration to form and solidify. If the vampire is disturbed during this period, his player reflexively rolls the same pool at difficulty 6. Any failure or botch abruptly ends the power and dissipates the half-formed shadow creation. A disturbance may include any violent physical contact, sudden loud noise or similar stimulus. At the end of the turn, the barding completely hardens around the chosen ghoul. Shadow barding adds one less than the character’s Obtenebration rating in soak dice but provides no protection against sunlight or fire. Objects created with this power last until the end of the scene or an hour has passed, whichever is longer. Every use of this power requires a separate activation. There is no weapon-form for this power.
Being encased in the raw stuff of the Abyss is a horrifying experience for any creature so-encased. The Vampire must make a Charisma + Animal Ken roll (difficulty 8) to coax the animal into accepting the barding, or use advanced Animalism abilities to force acceptance. An animal which has not accepted the barding panics and attempts to flee or tear at the barding with its claws, and cannot take other actions until the barding dissipates or is destroyed. Once an animal accepts the barding, however, subsequent uses of this power reduce the acceptance roll to a difficulty of 6, and repeated use may eliminate the need for rolls at the Storyteller’s discretion. Due to the need for a blood link to channel the powers of the Abyss, the Vampire may only use this ability on animals she has ghouled. It cannot be used on humans.
Barding takes the form appropriate to whatever animal it has been applied to, but does not obstruct the animal’s movement and is weightless. Stylistic details can be added with additional successes on the crafts/occult roll.