Voodoo and the Supernatural
Voodoo is not for Mortals only, although only non-Mage Mortals can ever become a Houn’gan (Initiated). The Orisha have been known to grant Mojo to other supernaturals, as defined below:
Kindred can be Voodoun, but can never be a Houn’gan (Initiated), as they are not alive. They are limited in Knowing to “Recognized” and may never pass that level, except with the Orisha Baron Samedi or a similar undead Orisha. Each Kindred cannot interact with more than one Patron Orisha at a time, and they cannot hold more Mojo within them than their Humanity.
In Workings, the Kindred may not spend more than his Self-Control trait in Mojo. The plus side for a Kindred Voodoun is that he may spend Vitae to substitute for Mojo when his Mojo runs out on a one-for-one basis. After exhausting the Vitae supply, the Working goes after the Kindred’s body levels like it does for mortals.
This does not make them very powerful Voodoo practitioners, but it allows them to use it occasionally as an “ace up their sleeve.”
Because a Kindred is a dead Ancestor already, they cannot ask for aid from their Ancestors, so they never have Ancestor Orisha. Many Houn’gan see Kindred as being “stuck in the cycle of life and death” and won’t deal with them. The Orisha are in general ambivalent about them, but have been known to interact with them anyway.
The Followers of Set and the Samedi are well-suited to be affiliated with Voodoo. Many Setites have good relations with Ogoun, Oya, and Chango, while the Samedi have a peculiar Haitian Orisha named Baron Samedi who is their primary (and only) Voodoo patron. Still, other Orisha occasionally visit other Clans. Some Tremere Spirit Thaumaturgists have longed to learn more about Voodoo, but for some reason the Orisha absolute avoid these types. The Nosferatu and the Toreador seem to be the most frequent Camarilla Voodoo-positive clans.
Samedi do not have the prohibition against raising Mojo, but they have secret rites they must undergo in order to interact with their Orisha, and those rites are not given to just any old Samedi Leech – they’re treasured and closely guarded.
The Giovanni, for all their studies of death, have not been seen to have the power of voodoo, for some reason. They have other pacts with the Dead, and resist the idea of dead spirits affecting them.
The Orisha must accept eastern Kindred before they can interact with them.
The Sabbat, by and large, rejects Voodoo, except for the Serpents of the Light, who continue to practice it in secret. The Children of Osiris also practice Voodoo and follow Chango, Legba, Oya, and Yemaya.
No Ghoul of any kind can become initiated as a Houn’gan, although Houn’gan who are later Ghouled do not lose Mojo as a result – unless they offend an Orisha, who may Hex them.
Werewolves and other Shifters:
Only Werewolves and other Shifters who are derived from human stock (Homid) are allowed to become voodoun.
Most Garou do not become Voodoun, but can have ties to those who are Voodoun. Most Garou view voodoo as “magic of the Wyrm.” The fact that the Orisha come from a Dark Kingdom (the Lower Umbra) seems to support this.
Garou are limited in their abilities to become Voodoun. Their Totems tend to interfere with Knowing Orisha – they may not reach past the Recognized degree in a relationship with an Orisha. Furthermore, they may only have one Orisha as a Patron.
Garou often lose Wisdom and Honor Renown when it is revealed they are Voodoun. No Garou may become a Voodoun who also has either a Familiar Spirit or a Pack Totem background.
The Uktena and the Silent Striders are the most Voodoo-positive tribes. Because of the powerful spirit-nature of the Uktena, the Orisha rarely interact with them. They are not interested in having their Orisha Avatars bound into Garou artifacts.
Those Uktena practitioners who know of Baron Samedi feel that he is a Wyrm-Tainted Orisha. There is some debate about whether Ogoun is Wyrm-tainted, however. The Uktena are attracted to the wisdom of Obatala and the power of Chango.
The Silent Striders are more frequently Voodoun than other tribes. They are usually omi-Legba and frequently have Ancestor Orisha. The Silent Striders have one special exception: they may become Voodoun of Adopted and even Favored Knowing if their Orisha is an Ancestor who is also a Past Life. They may also have this same Orisha as a Pack Totem. No other tribe may have an Orisha as a Pack Totem.
There are no known Black Spiral Dancers who are also Voodoun, but theoretically, when and if the Wyrm lets them, they may become limited (Knowing of Recognized) Voodoun, and would choose Hex versions of Legba, Ogoun, Chango, or Oshun.
Among the Bastet, it is only the Egyptian-derived Bubasti and the Qualmi who have any Voodoo- involvement, and they may become Voodoun. Bastet are favorites of Oya, Oshun, and Legba.
The Corax avoid Voodoo like the plague, as the Orisha are still angry with them for some slight that Raven did to them long ago.
The Orisha will not go near the Gurahl, who all appear to be spirit Masters, although one Louisiana black bear named Thomas Patch has, through becoming good friends with a Voodoun, managed to gain the patronage of Legba.
It is said that the Louisiana Mokole actually have their own form of Houngan – that they worship a strange transliteration of the Dragon and Chango as King. Some say that Mokole can actually become Houngan of a sort – at least, they have frequently demonstrated Knowing of more than one Orisha, and their Ancestor Orisha are particularly powerful.
No Louisiana Rokea are known, but if there are any, and they became Voodoun, they would probably revere Yemaya, Mother of the Seas.
There are rumors of a Bayou Ananasi named Lady Calla who is a Voodoun, oma-Chelisk, the Spider- Woman, a strange Arachnid Orisha who is also found in South America. No one has heard from Lady Calla in years. This doesn’t mean that all were-spiders are Voodoo-positive, however.
The Orisha leave the Nuwisha alone, and vice versa.
The Ratkin are sometimes Voodoun, and follow Chango, Legba, or Ogoun, but are never Houngan.
Those Kinfolk who become Houn’gan (which is possible) are frequently oma-Oshun, Oya, Yemaya, or Legba.
Kami may not become Houn’gan, but they are allowed to be Voodoun and have one Voodoo Patron.
Just in case you were wondering, no Orisha will listen to the pleas of an Abomination – it just doesn’t happen, so don’t even think about it.
No Magi may become Voodoun. Their Awakened Avatars prevent them from doing so. It would be technically possible for a Voodoun to be Awakened prior to his achieving Adopted Knowing, but once that is achieved with any Orisha, the Voodoun is “set” as a Voodoun for life, and can never be Awakened. Upon Awakening, ties with the Orisha are suddenly and irrevocably shattered.
A Mage may still attempt to interact with the Orisha through Spirit Magick. This is a fairly dangerous proposition, as it places the Mage in a position of forcing an Orisha to do his bidding. Orisha do not like that. The manifestation of an Orisha on Earth is considered a powerful spirit, an Incarna Avatar, and are themselves Greater Spirits as per the Mage rules.
The Orisha frequently grant Voodoo Ward boons specifically so that their Voodoun are protected from True Magick. This simply gives them an element of Countermagick.
The Orisha are inherently distrustful of and dislike the Technocracy, especially the Void Engineers, who wish to see them destroyed. They have done much to remain Mythic Threads of New Orleans and they’re not about to see it stopped now.
Acolytes and Consors of Mystics can become Houn’gan, however they give up any chance of Awakening afterward. The Initiation process shapes a Mortals’ Avatar into a structure suitable for use by the Orisha, and this rules out any further Awakening.
Mortal Plus (Mortal +):
Psychics and Sorcerers can become Houn’gan, and frequently do.
The Oblivion Wraiths cannot in any way interact with any of the Orisha because they’re dead.
However, a Houn’gan, once dead, can become Ancestor Orisha for a living Voodoun. Not only does this gives them Memoriam, but it also allows them extra Eidolon dice to stave off their Shadow, and gives them a Fetter of their Voodoun. The potential Ancestor Orisha must be given a Mass for the Dead by three powerful Houn’gan, who call the Orisha to give the Ancestor power in Death. Those Orisha intercede with Samedi to grant the Ancestor his status. Becoming an Ancestor Orisha is the only way for a deceased Voodoun’s Mojo-workings to be retained – otherwise, once dead, their magical workings disintegrate.
Although this is basically unheard of, it is theoretically possible for a Revenant (Risen) to interact with Baron Samedi as his Voodoo Patron and become a Voodoun. Some Ancestor Orisha have “come back” temporarily in order to right a tremendous wrong – these Risen Voodouns have access to their old wisdom and knowledge but must fight their Shadow in order to get Mojo again.
There are no known Mummy Voodoun. However, if a Mummy was to spend the time and energy getting to know the Orisha, and wasn’t very spirit- threatening, he could conceivably interact with a non-Ancestor Orisha as a Patron. Most mummies leave Voodoo alone, and despise Baron Samedi as his Kindred.
To Changelings, the Orisha are Mythic Beings. They’re Chimerical spirits. The area around New Orleans is steeped in enough of the Dreaming so that the myths of Voodoo are allowed to actually be real. It is the Changelings who actually have the best chance of actually seeing and interacting face-to-face with the Orisha.
Changelings, because of their faerie selves, cannot become Voodoun.
Kithain (faerie mortals) are allowed to become voodoun, but must never lose the fight to Banality or they will not have access to their Mojo. They may not become Houn’gan.
A scarce few Vampire Hunters are Voodoun. Those who are, usually follow Chango or Obatala.
The Romani are superstitious about getting involved with Voodoo. It’s scary stuff to them. They would rather deal with their own magic and not worry about Voodoo problems. Their magical blood prevents them from becoming Houn’gan – the Orisha have never Initiated a Romani with pure blood as one of their own. However, they can if they wish interact with the Orisha as Voodoun, limiting themselves to one Patron, although this does cause them some flack with the Rom community.
A note about Foreigners, Acceptance, and Mardi Gras
Because the Orisha in the World of Darkness are tied in with a specific region (in this case, New Orleans / Louisiana), they have limited power outside that region. Furthermore, in order for a person to have as a Patron one of the Orisha, he has to be accepted by the community of New Orleans first. He can’t be just a tourist or a one-time visitor. He has to have New Orleans in his blood, as it were. Anyone who stays in NOLA for more than three weeks is pretty much accepted, and even a business traveler who only visits three or four times a year might find themselves accepted by the Orisha. Of course, during Mardi Gras, all bets are off. This is the time when the Loas walk among Mortal kind freely, perhaps even riding a total unknown to them.