New Orleans: The Big Easy Just Got Scarier

Voodoo: the Macabre Chapter Seven


Chapter Seven

Character Creation Outline

Step One: Who are you?


  • Choose Concept, Nature, Demeanor, Patron Mystere 
  • Determine Motivation: What drew you to Mysteres, or what drew them to you. Who was your mentor. How did you get involved in Voodoo. Are you clergy or not. What is your relationship with the Mysteres. Which Voodoo Rite or Rites do you follow, Pethro or Rada. How do you integrate your voodoo life with your normal life, if you have one. What is your chief fear having to do with Voodoo. How do you feel about the other Voodoun, and interact with them. How did the Drought affect your character. 


    Step Two: Attributes

    • Prioritize your three categories:
    * Primary – 6 points
    Secondary – 4 points
    Tertiary – 3 points
    ** Primary – 7 points
    Secondary – 5 points
    Tertiary – 3 points
    * For those with the Standing Background of 1 – 3
    ** For those with the Standing Background of 4 – 5



    Step Three: Abilities

    • Prioritize your three categories:
    * Primary – 11 points
    Secondary – 7 points
    Tertiary – 4 points
    ** Primary – 13 points
    Secondary – 9 points
    Tertiary – 5 points
    * For those with the Standing Background of 1 – 3
    ** For those with the Standing Background of 4 – 5



    Step Four: Select Advantages

  • Choose Backgrounds (5)
  • Choose Knowings (Determined by your Standing Background)
  • Choose Rituals (Determined by your Knowings)
  • Virtues (7) 

    Step Five: Finishing Touches

  • Record Humanity
  • Record Willpower
  • Record Starting Mojo
  • Record Starting Hex
  • Spend Freebie Points
  • Choose Merits and Flaws
  • Choose Patron Gift (Clergy only) 


    Character Creation and Development

    Creation: Freebie Points
    Trait Cost
    Attributes: 5
    Abillities: 2
    Backgrounds: 1
    Willpower: 2
    Virtues: 2
    Humanity: 1
    Knowings: 7
    Rituals: 3
    Development: Experience Points
    Trait Cost
    New Ability 3
    Willpower Current Rating
    Knowledges Current Rating
    Talents Current Rating x 2
    Skills Current Rating x 2
    Attributes Current Rating x 4
    Knowings Current Rating x 8
    New Knowing 10 for first dot
    New Rituals 3
    Humanity Current Rating
    Virtue Current Rating x 2
    Backgrounds Current Level
    New Merit Point Cost x 3
    Buying off Flaw Point Cost x 3
    New Patron Gift 10


    Architect Avant-Guarde Bon Vivant Bravo
    Caregiver Conformist Conniver Crackerjack
    Critic Curmudgeon Deviant Director
    Fanatic Jester Judge Loner
    Martyr Rebel Renunciate Sage
    Sensualist Supplicant Survivor Theorist
    Traditionalist Visionary
    Artist Authority Crank Debutante
    Devotee Explorer Caretaker Hermit
    Mystic Outsider Philosopher RebelSub
    Reverent Scholar Visionary Warrior
    Ancestors Heirlooms Mentor
    Oumphor Rites Standing
    Awareness Dreamcraft Ifa (Fortune-telling)
    Intuition Sense Rhythm
    Charms Crafts Dancing
    High Ritual Potions Veves
    Garou Lore Hearth Wisdom Herbalism Kindred Lore
    Mage Lore Mythology Rituals Spirit Lore
    Supernatural Lore Umbra Lore Voodoo Lore
    Two-Headed (3) Oshun’s Charm (3) Oya’s Freedom (3) Yemaya’s Love (3)
    Ogoun’s Craft (3) Chango’s Justice (3) Legba’s Truth (3) Obatala’s Body (3)
    Baron’s Tricks (3) Erzulie’s Fortune (3)
    Drum Deaf (1) Hexed (3)
    Papa Legba – Chief of the Voodoun Gods (Sun) Erzulie – Wealth and Prosperity (Moon)
    Oshun – Love and Abundance Oya – Change and magic
    Yemaya – Dreams and healing Chango – Justice
    Ogoun – Blacksmith Obatala – Wisdom and divination
    Guede Baron – Spirits, death and pranks





    In addition to the reverence of Mystere is the practice of revering one’s Ancestors. A Voodoun can receive Ancestor Boons from her Ancestors, just as if they were Mysteres. Many times an Voodoun will have a better relationship with his dead relatives than his living ones!

    * You know and talk to your grandmother or grandfather once in a great while.
    ** You know the first names of the last three generations of your family, and are on at least neutral terms with them.
    *** You know who the last five or so generations of your family, and can possibly trace your roots back through Haiti at least. You are on fairly good terms with your Ancestors.
    **** You can trace your roots all the way back to Africa and are on good terms with your Ancestors.
    ***** Who needs family reunions when you sit back and chat with Papa Legba himself and the rest of your family who is dead on a regular basis. You can trace your roots back to the Origin. This can be both a good and a bad thing, and you had better stay on very good terms with your Ancestors.


    You possess an object of power, one of the few Voodoun Heirlooms not destroyed during the Drought.

    * A minor Heirloom, perhaps an item dedicated to one of the Mysteres.
    ** A useful Heirloom.
    *** An Heirloom of significant power.
    **** A legendary Heirloom of great value.
    ***** An Heirloom of incredible power, perhaps one of the Lost Heirlooms.


    You have someone you can go to, perhaps a confiance or mam’bo caille, or even one of the Houngans or Mambos. It might even be the Madre or Padre, the person who will Initiate you.

    * A houn’sih bassales.
    ** A member of the chorus, a hounsis.
    *** One of the confinances or mam’bo caille.
    **** A lesser Houngan or Mambo.
    ***** Powerful or influential Houngan or Mambo.


    You have your own place do to working, an area dedicated to the Mysteres.

    * A small space, like the bedroom closet, stocked with a few essential items. Arcane Rating: 1.
    ** A decent space, perhaps an entire room; it contains a number of useful tools and ingredients kept in easy reach. Arcane Rating: 1.
    *** A spacious area, perhaps a small backyard, enough to have a decent Oumphor. Arcane Rating: 2.
    **** A very large area, perhaps a large backyard, enough to have both a peristyle and Oumphor. Arcane Rating: 2.
    ***** A fully functional Oumphor, peristyle, tree reposoir and several smaller chambers dedicated to the different Mysteres. Most anything that can be desired for a working or charm, food, knowledge, can be accessed. Arcane Rating: 3.


    You may only have this ability if you have a standing of 2 or higher. This background determines what Rites your character knows.

    * One additional rite.
    ** Two additional rites.
    *** Three additional rites.
    **** Four additional rites.
    ***** Five additional rites.


    This is your standing and position among the Voodoun Community, each level gains benefits, and determines the amount of Knowings you start with.

    * Vodouisant – Someone who has not been initiated into the Voodoun ways, but that takes part in Voodoun activities and rituals, a ‘tourist’.
    Beginning Knowings: 0
    ** Houn’sih bossales – A student learning the ways, who has been Touched at least once, and is preparing to be initiated into the Voodoun.
    Beginning Knowings: 1
    *** Houn’sih or Hounsis – A fully initiated person in the ways of the Voodoun, perhaps one of the ritual chorus members, a houn’torguiers or the houn’guenicon caille.
    Beginning Knowings: 3
    Beginning Rites: 1
    **** Confiance or Mam’bo Caille – An apprentice Houn’gan or Mam’bo.
    Beginning Knowings: 6
    Beginning Traits: 7/5/3, 13/9/5
    Beginning Freebie points: 15
    Beginning Rites: 3
    May apply up to three dots into other Lores outside Voodoo Lore, but cannot start with a Lore higher than 1.
    ***** Houngan or Mambo – An Emperor or Empress of Voodoo
    Beginning Knowings – 10
    Beginning Traits: 7/5/3, 13/9/5
    Beginning Freebie points: 21
    Beginning Rites: 5
    Patron Gift
    May apply up to six dots into other Lores outside Voodoo Lore, but cannot start with a Lore higher than 2.



    New Abilities

    Sense Rhythm

    The Rhythm of Mojo and the Mysteres is like a resonant back beat throughout the spirit-scape of voodoo-positive areas. As a result, it is possible to tune one’s senses to hear this rhythm and understand its intricacies. Using this trait, a Voodoun may come to know the passing of the Mysteres, the mood of the Voodoun community, and the flavor and power level of the latest Workings. You may only have this ability as high as your Standing Background.

    * Novice: You sometimes hear the rhythm before going to bed or upon waking.
    ** Practiced: You move with and respond to the Rhythm as you go about your day, but do so on an almost subconscious level. Major Workings are sometimes heard. Sometimes you can hear the Rhythm surrounding a specific person you can see.
    *** Competent: You know who’s making the more obvious beats, but can’t tell what’s causing the more subtle percussions. Major Workings are frequently heard, minor Workings are sometimes revealed. It’s easy to tell a Voodoun from the Rhythm around them.
    **** Expert: You know just about every layer of the wall of drumming that makes up the Rhythm. Major Workings are never missed, most minor Workings are known, and the pulse of the community is quite easily read.
    ***** Master: Not only can you hear today’s beat, but you know the resonance of the past, and the syncopation of the future – you sometimes have a sense of Workings before they happen, and have the ability to sense what has occurred in a place.

    Skill – Charms

    See section on Charms above.

    Skill – Potions

    See section on Potions above.

    Skill – Veves

    See section on Veves above.

    Knowledge – Rituals

    This covers a Voodoun’s knowledge of the ceremonies, and traditions of the rich and intricate religious life they are a part of. This is essential for understanding things like how to behave at a ceremony, what the Chorus is doing, what the Mambo or Houngan are doing, and can tell you the difference between the cultures, like Haitian Voodoo vrs African Voodoo Mysteres.

    * Vodouisant – You are still just a tourist.
    ** Houn’sih bassales – You can attend ceremonies, but you are kept behind the wall so you don’t make a fool out of yourself.
    *** Houn’sih or Hounsis – You can help out with the Chorus decently, and not upset the Mysteres, too badly.
    **** Confiance or Mam’bo caille – You can fulfill most any role with confidence, and not displease the Mysteres to badly.
    ***** Houngan or Mambo – You know by heart the different ceremonies, when they are done, how they are done, variations, and just about everything else there is to know.



    New Merits and Flaws


    Two-Headed (3): Supernatural
    You can see and hear the Orisha as they move through the world, as if they were people. They know this instinctively upon looking at you.

    Oshun’s Charm (3): Supernatural
    You have -3 to all charm difficulties and can have an Appearance of higher than 5.

    Oya’s Freedom (3): Supernatural
    You gain a -3 to all difficulties on every roll when confronted with situations that would inhibit your freedom.

    Yemaya’s Love (3): Supernatural
    You have a capacity for love that’s never-ending, and people sense this in you. You have -3 difficulty to all Social rolls.

    Ogoun’s Craft (3): Supernatural
    You have the ability to make something out of almost nothing. As a result, you get -3 on all difficulties to repair or create technology. Furthermore, you gain an additional Resource level just from your shrewd ability to recover that which others might discard.

    Chango’s Justice (3): Supernatural
    You have an innate knowledge of justice. When sensing deception, or attempting to discern the truth, you gain a -3 to all difficulties. When speaking with authority through leadership, you also gain a -3 to the difficulty.

    Legba’s Truth (3): Supernatural
    You have an innate knowledge of where, exactly, you are at all times.

    Obatala’s Body (3): Supernatural
    You are an excellent physical specimen. You may roll Stamina + 2 to soak any wounds and you may also heal yourself of any non- magical non chronic disease normally by a successful Stamina + Medicine roll, difficulty 7.

    Erzulie’s Fortune (3): Supernatural
    You are favored by the winds of fate. Luck just happens to follow you, especially when it comes to money. You will always have a resources of 2 to draw on in addition to your own resources.

    Baron’s Force (3): Supernatural
    You walk side by side with the force of death, as such, any difficulty in dealing with the dead or zombies is lowered by 3. This merit can have some unusual side effects at times, for those who are close to death, often show this in subtle ways.

    Just because you have a Merit of a particular Orisha doesn’t mean they favor you, although others don’t necessarily know that. 


    Drum-Deaf (-1): Supernatural
    The Voodoun cannot hear the Rhythm and so has a hard time knowing what kind of voodoo is going on around him.

    Hexed (-3): Supernatural
    This is the counterpart to the Merits of the Mysteres. For what ever reason, you just cannot work well with one of the Mysteres, and gain a +3 modifier to any workings dealing with the Mystere you are hexed by. In addition to the following:

    Legba You seem to always lose things, and tend to get lost, a lot.
    Erzulie You have a problem holding onto money.
    Obatala You are sickly, and seem to always catch the latest cold going around.
    Oya Magic affects you more easily, especially when trying to bind you.
    Ogoun You and machines do not get along, they are always malfunctioning at the wrong time.
    Chango People have a hard time believing what you say.
    Oshun You are unlucky in love, and all your serious relationships are doomed to fail.
    Yemaya You are the antithesis to charisma.
    Baron Just give up and higher your own personal heart surgeon, because you be needing one to remove that serious wedgie. 



    Houn’gan and Mambo Patron Gifts

    Below are the Patron Gifts that Orisha give Houn’gan when they are Adopted (4). Voodoun are not offered these gifts – these are only for the Initiated. An extra Patron Gift can be purchased by the Houn’gan for 10 Experience Points. A Houn’gan can never have the Patron gift of another Orisha.


    Dazzle: This power allows excellent communication and makes others pay attention to you, and what you’re saying. Roll your Manipulation + Expression, difficulty 6. Number of successes equal how long they will pay attention to you.
    Cost: 2 Mojo

    Seduce: This power causes others to forget their vows and morals for a time and act totally uninhibited. Roll your Manipulation + Seduction versus their Willpower. The number of successes indicate how many scenes they will stray. When the effect is over, they revert to their traditional beliefs and values. This power may be resisted over time with Willpower rolls. Note: Mis-use of this gift may cause Hexing.
    Cost: 5 Mojo


    Shout: You have the ability, through pure verbal energy, to change someone’s mind on a temporary basis. Roll Manipulation + Expression, difficulty the target’s Intelligence + Subterfuge. The number of successes indicates how many scenes the person will change her mind. Optionally, you may use successes to simply cause a person to honestly, truthfully re-visit their closely-held beliefs.
    Cost: 2 Mojo

    Escape: This gift allows you to roll Dexterity + Security or Dexterity + Stealth, difficulty 6, to escape any physical confinement as if by magic: doors open, handcuffs are unlocked, windows suddenly give way.
    Cost: 5


    Pray: This gift allows you to bless someone so that they receive extra successes on their next dice roll. You must first communicate to the target in some way – through words, a touch, a phone call, an email. Then roll your Charisma + Expression, difficulty is the target’s Willpower. The number of successes is equal to how many extra successes the target receives on the very next roll they make.
    Cost: 1 Mojo / success.

    Watch: This gift allows you to tag a specific person with Yemaya’s watchful eye for a 24 hour period. You must touch your target. After that, you need only roll Perception + Empathy, difficulty 7, to get a general feel for where the person is, and how they are doing emotionally and physically. For an addition 3 Mojo, you can also send a one- sentence “thought” to the person and it will be interpreted as an idle thought of theirs.
    Cost: 5 Mojo.


    Purify: You may cleanse someone of taint to their body with this Gift. You may cleanse toxins in their body or heal simple diseases. Fatal diseases such as Cancer or AIDS would require a Working and do not fall under this Gift. It works instantly. You must touch your target. Roll your Stamina + Medicine, difficulty 7. The Storyteller may decide that particularly nasty taints require extra successes.
    Cost: 5 Mojo.

    Protect: You may provide direct protection to someone’s body by touching them and rolling your Manipulation + Brawl versus their Dexterity + Dodge. You invest their body with a great ability to resist damage, which either gives them a bonus to their Soak roll, or provides them with a Soak roll when they do not have one. Each success adds Soak dice for a 24 hour period.
    Cost: 7 Mojo


    Repair: With this power, you may make technological objects (tools, vehicles, computers, electronics) that are broken become operable for a short time. You must touch Roll your Manipulation + Repair, difficulty 7. Each success makes the item operable for a scene.
    Cost: 3 + 1/Mojo per success.

    Destroy: You may use this power to make technological objects (tools, vehicles, computers, electronics) that are working fine, break. Roll your Manipulation + Repair, the difficulty is according to the complexity of the object you’re trying to break.

    Computers: Difficulty 4
    Vehicles, Difficulty 6
    Pistols/Handguns, Difficulty 7
    Cost: 3 Mojo 


    Discern: Using this power, you can sort through the web of deception and lies and discern the truth in someone’s words. Use Perception + Empathy, difficulty 6.
    Cost: 3 Mojo.

    Sacrifice: With this gift, you may choose to convert your own Health levels into Mojo *before* your Mojo demands it. There is no Mojo cost. Each Health level you give up with this Gift renders 3 Mojo. Of course, if your Working demands blood from you, it takes it on a one-for-one basis like with everyone else.


    Open: Touch anything that’s closed or locked, roll Dexterity + Security, difficulty 7 and it will open.
    Cost: 3 Mojo

    Bargain: You may seal any deal with a special handshake. If the deal goes astray, the person who breaks the deal will receive either Hex points (if appropriate) or physical damage equal to the number of successes of a Willpower roll versus your target’s Willpower.
    Cost: 5 Mojo.


    Fortune: You may change the winds of fortune for someone either increasing or decreasing their luck. This power lowers the difficulty by one or increases it by one.
    Cost: 4 Mojo.

    Bless: With this power you can bless someone, or yourself by saying a prayer to Erzulie, then roll your Charisma + Knowing-Erzulie, difficulty 7. Each success gives the target one additional dice to use during a scene as they see fit.
    Cost: 7 Mojo.


    Trick: Bad things happen, more so when you use this power. Shoe laces untied, a hole in a cup causing a person’s drink to dribble down, just minor, mild irritating pranks that do nothing but annoy someone for a scene.
    Cost: 3 Mojo.

    Question: With this power you can ask the spirit of a recently deceased individual one question per success. This power may only be used once on any one expired person. Roll Manipulation + Knowing-Samedi, difficulty is the deceased willpower. Add a +1 difficulty for every week past death.
    Cost: 8 Mojo.