The exclusive possession of the Gargoyle bloodline, Visceratika is an extension of the Gargoyles’ natural affinity for stone, earth and things made thereof. Certain Visceratika powers also closely resemble some aspects of Protean and, to a lesser extend, Vicissitude. Tremere in a position to know insist that this is pure coincidence, but the few among the Gargoyles who retain scholarly aspirations maintain that the Gangrel and Tzimisce blood used to create the bloodline still maintains a certain hold over its members.

Clan Tremere recently released a report stating that, contrary to popular belief, the appearance and wings of the Gargoyles are results of the Gargoyle Embrace or creation process, not side effects of Visceratika as was previously believed. The implication is that other Kindred can learn Visceratika and retain human appearance. The Gargoyles, however, are understandably unwilling to share one of their primary survival tools, and few other Kindred are willing to risk it in any case.

Level 1: Skin of the Chameleon

This basic power has saved countless Gargoyles from committing breaches of the Masquerade – and has allowed just as many to ambush unsuspecting intruders. When Skin of the Chameleon is in effect, the Gargoyle’s skin takes on the color and texture of the surrounding environment. This coloration changes reflexively as long as the Gargoyle maintains a walking pace or slower speed. More rapid movement causes the Gargoyle’s appearance to blur, negating the camouflaging effect. If this power is used while the Gargoyle is in flight, his skin becomes a reasonable facsimile of the night sky (though it will not shift to mimic nearby skyscrapers or star patterns, and a black silhouette against a brightly lit skyline is likely to be noticed).

System: The player spends one blood point. For the rest of the scene, the Gargoyle’s Stealth dice pool is increased by five dice. This power is subject to the limitations described above; any ground movement faster than a walk negates this power’s effect, as does flight (at the Storyteller’s discretion).

Level 2: Scry the Hearthstone

The backbone of the Gargoyle’s strength as guardians of havens and chantries, this power allows the user to maintain vigilance over part or all of an enclosed structure. The Gargoyle gains an innate sense of where all beings are located within the structure, even those who are hidden by Obfuscate or other supernatural concealment.

System: The player spends a Willpower point to activate this power, which remains in effect as long as the Gargoyle is within or in contact with the target structure, or until the next sunset. Scry the Hearthstone may be used on anything up to the size of a large castle, including a cave complex, a theatre, a parking garage or a mansion. The character gains an innate sense of the location and approximate size and physical condition of all living (or unloving) beings within the structure. To pinpoint a specific individual’s location with this power, the player must succeed in a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 6). If the subject is attempting to hide, he may oppose this roll with a roll of Wits + Stealth (difficulty 6).

Scry the Hearthstone may be used to detect the presence of characters who are under the concealment of Obfuscate or similar powers. In this case, the Gargoyle only knows that there is someone present – she cannot actually see the individual in question. To determine the Gargoyle’s ability to detect Obfuscated characters, compare the relative levels of the Gargoyle’s Visceratika minus one and the intruder’s Obfuscate as per the rules for Auspex.

Level 3: Bond with the Mountain

Similar to the Protean power of Earth Meld, Bond with the Mountain allows a Gargoyle to seek shelter within stone (or building materials that are stone-like, such as cement). The merge produced by this power is not as complete as that made by Earth Meld, however. A faint outline of the Gargoyle’s shape can be seen by the sharp-eyed observer.

System: The player spends two blood points, and the merge, which may only be performed upon bare rock or a similar substance, takes four turns to complete. This power functions in a fashion similar to the Protean 3 power of Earth Meld. However, the Gargoyle does not sink fully into the substance with which he merges, and his outline can be detected within the stone on a successful Perception + Alertness (difficulty 9) roll. A Gargoyle attacked while Bonded with the Mountain has triple his normal soak dice pool against all forms of attack. However, if he sustains three lethal levels of damage from a single attack, he is forced out of his bond and suffers disorientation similar to that experienced by an Earth Melded character whose slumber is interrupted.

Level 4: Armor of Terra

This power, combined with the unnatural resilience granted by Fortitude, is the source of the Gargoyle’s ability to withstand assaults that would tear lesser Kindred to shreds. An individual who has reached this level of Visceratika finds her skin to have become immeasurably tougher than it once was, and gains a higher pain threshold. She also acquires a limited amount of immunity to fire (though she is no less terrified of it).

System: This power is automatic and requires no roll; it is always in effect. A vampire with Armor of Terra has one extra soak die for all aggravated and lethal attacks and two for all bashing attacks, reduces all wound penalties by one, and halves the damage dice pool of any fire-based source of injury. However, the difficulty of all touch-based Perception rolls is increased by two due to the desensitization of the character’s skin.

Level 5: Flow Within the Mountain

A Gargoyle who has attained this level of Visceratika is no longer confined to the location in which he Bonded with the Mountain (Level 3). He may not travel through stone and concrete as if they were no denser than a thick liquid. Gargoyle guardians use this power to devastating effect when intercepting intruders, while more subtle individuals find it to be a highly effective method of gaining access to “secure” areas. This power is of more limited use in this age of girder construction than it was when buildings were made of solid stone, but it still sees nightly use.

System: Once the character has used Bond with the Mountain, the player spends two more blood points to activate Flow Within the Mountain for the duration of the scene. The Gargoyle can move within stone and cement under the same rules used for a character under the effect of the Protean 6 power of Earth Control, with the exception of the medium through which the character can “swim.”

The character can also use this power to walk through a stone wall and emerge on the other side without first using Bond with the Mountain. In this case, the player spends one blood point and rolls Strength (difficulty 8, Potence adds successes normally). The Gargoyle may flow through a maximum thickness in feet equal to the number of successes rolled. If the wall or barrier is thicker than this, the character is trapped within it until he is chiseled out of uses Flow Within the Mountain to escape.

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