The Cities of Eternal Fog
The source of many legends of the vampire’s hypnotic gaze, Mesmerize allows the Kindred to implant a false thought or suggestion into the subject’s subconscious mind. The power requires not only eye contact but intense concentration and precise wording, so both the character and the subject must be free from distraction. The Kindred may activate the imposed thought or command immediately —“Walk over here and open the door” — or he may establish a stimulus that activates the suggestion at a later date — “When you see a man in a blue suit with a red rose in his lapel, you will spill your drink on him.” The victim must be able to understand the vampire. The Kindred must maintain eye contact only as long as it takes to implant the suggestion or idea.
Mesmerize can deliver truly complex and long-term commands, such as following someone, taking notes on her activities and reporting back on the first of the next month. A subject can have only one suggestion implanted at any given time.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Expression + Dominate versus Resolve + Blood Potency
Action: Contested; resistance is reflexive If this power is turned on a vampire with whom the user has a blood tie (see p. 162), a +2 bonus applies. Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The subject does not obey and is immune to the character’s Dominate until the next sunset. Failure: The character loses or ties the contested roll and the subject does not obey.
Success: The character wins the contested roll by getting the most successes, and the victim obeys to the best of his ability.
Exceptional Success: The character wins the contested roll with five or more successes. The victim not only obeys, but rationalizes what she does as her own decision until and unless someone questions her about it in depth.
This power lasts for as long as it takes the subject to carry out the required task, or until the character is destroyed or enters torpor. Impossible actions such as, “Count every grain of sand on this beach,” automatically fail to take root in the subject’s mind. If, during the course of carrying out the implanted suggestion, the victim realizes he puts himself in danger or acts completely contrary to his normal moral code, a Resolve roll may be made to shake off the compulsion. This is a contested roll. Successes rolled must exceed the number of successes obtained for the dominating character when the individual was first mesmerized.
Dramatic Failure: Not only must the subject continue to carry out the command, no more Resolve rolls may be made to shake the dominator’s control, no matter what the subject is forced to do.
Failure: The victim must continue to carry out the command as ordered.
Success: The victim escapes the suggestion.
Exceptional Success: The victim defies the suggestion, and the dominator incurs a -1 penalty to future attempts to Dominate him until the next night.
No matter how strong the dominator’s will is or how many successes he obtains, he cannot make a subject harm himself directly. Any command to commit suicide is therefore ignored, although commands that are likely to lead to harm — such as, “Walk into that crack house and shoot the man in the red shirt” — are enforceable, subject to the Resolve rolls discussed above.
If a vampire attempts to Mesmerize a subject who is already under the influence of a previously implanted directive, compare the successes rolled in the attempt against the successes gained during the implantation of the first suggestion. If the character obtains more successes than the previous Kindred, the new command may supplant the old one. If he does not, the original command remains active and the new one fails to take root. In case of a tie, the original command takes precedent over the new one. A vampire seeking to supplant an old suggestion with a new one must also acquire successes in excess of those rolled for the subject in his contested Resolve + Blood Potency roll.