Flight (Gargoyle Only)

The Gargoyle’s ability to fly is one of their more noticeable traits. Although Gargoyles do gain enormous strength via Potence, and they do sprout wings as a result of being Embraced or converted, their enhanced body density (some Gargoyles have been recorded as weighing over 800 pounds) makes natural flight an impossible proposition – they don’t have enough thrust-to-weight ratio to do more than glide like a brick with a couple of sheet-metal wings taped on. The more biology-minded among the Kindred have been wondering about this for some time.

The truth of the matter is that Gargoyles shouldn’t be able to fly. Their ability to perform aerial maneuvers is unnatural (even for the Kindred) and is a direct result of Tremere experimentation. The initial thaumaturgical process that created the Gargoyles incorporated a highly refined variant of Movement of the Mind as a fundamental component of the subjects’ magical makeup, making one application of this thaumaturgical path second nature to them. This instinctive magical ability has been passed along through their blood for centuries. The Tremere scholar who gave the Gargoyles their flight capability in this manner was destroyed in the Gargoyle Revolt, and it’s unknown whether anyone else knew what he did. Thus, the secret of Gargoyle flight is most likely lost forever.

For characters with more natural airborne forms, such as Gangrel in bat form, Flight is a specialty of the Athletics Talent, or at Storyteller discretion can be listed as a Secondary Ability instead. Gargoyles, however, use a unique Discipline called Flight that is only available to them. All Gargoyles start with one dot in Flight in addition to their initial three Discipline dots; further levels in Flight must be bought like any other clan Discipline. As the character’s Flight rating increases, so does her maximum speed.

1 – The character cannot fly per se, but can soar like a vulture or a hang-glider – as long as he’s not trying to carry anything. Maximum speed equals the prevailing winds, or 15 miles per hour in calm air.

2 – The character can make running takeoffs and can carry a maximum payload of 20 pounds. Maximum speed equals 30 miles per hour.

3 – The character can perform a straight vertical ascent if unencumbered, or can make longer takeoff runs carrying up to 50 pounds. Maximum speed equals 45 miles per hour.

4 – The character can carry up to 100 pounds aloft, though vertical takeoff is impossible with more than 50 pounds of baggage. Maximum speed equals 60 miles per hour.

5 – The character can lift 200 pounds, which should be sufficient for most player characters – or prey. Maximum speed of 75 miles per hour.

Every dot in Flight past the fifth adds an additional 100 pounds and 20 miles per hour to the Gargoyle’s maximums. Celerity cannot be used to enhance flight speed. Although Flight did originate as a modification of Movement of the Mind, it is not considered Thaumaturgy; Gargoyles with high Flight ratings may have slightly effervescent auras, but they certainly can’t perform rituals using Flight. Remember – only Gargoyles can learn this Discipline, and they’re not aware that it’s a Discipline at all. To the character, her wings and her ability to fly are just part and parcel of her existence as a Gargoyle.

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