The Gaki's personal nightmares, so horrible they avoid sleep at an costs, remain a part of them even in their waking hours. These nightmares are no mere constructs of their own brittle psyche; they manifest as actual dimensional rifts, personalized for the individual Gaki. Since making contact with the West, some Gaki have compared their own situations with that of the Christian damned, caught up in an individual hell.Each rift differs substantially from any other. Based on the Gaki's own traumas, fears, shames and guilt, the rift epitomizes all the tragedy of his/her existence. When they sleep, their mind fills with images from this realm -- demons, fears, shames; all the travesties they have perpetrated return to them a hundredfold.
However, the Gaki manifest at least some control of their rifts. Young Gaki learn to extend their rift out to touch other people. As they grow older, they learn to draw others in. Using the realm of one's own nightmares can be terrifying experience. Use of any of the powers listed below, successful or not, requires a Courage roll against a difficult of the power's level; failure costs the Gaki a minimum of one Willpower point, and botches can send the Gaki writhing in disgust at her own sins.
Rift is a Discipline that is partly a Flaw. It requires a great deal of consideration during the character creation process. A Gaki cannot simply select the Mortal of his/her choice and sire this person. The potential Gaki must have "sins of Unrestrained Desire" to be suitable candidate. These "unrestrained desires" should reflect somewhat in the concept of his/her Rift. After all, Buddha is punishing the Gaki for these sins, and the worst part of a Gaki's existence is their lack of sleep.
Level 1 • The JoiningSometimes called tsutaeru by the Gaki this power allows them to silently communicate with both those around them and other Gaki. While this does not allow mind reading, attempts to communicate with Gaki are automatically successful unless the other Gaki is blocking such contact, and can be made over any distance. Communicating with non-Gaki requires the user of this power be within eyesight of his target and make a Wits + Linguistics roll against a difficulty of 7.
I consider this too be way too easy, and I play it "within eyesight only." I rarely roll for localized telepathy with a non-Gaki, but when it comes to combat situations, I insist it be done. Generally, Nobunaga does not answer telepathic speech, mostly because he hates it, considers it very rude.
Level 2 • Glimpse of the PainWith the second level of Rift, the Gaki begins to draw others into his/her realm of agony, if only for a moment. This power, called tsukamu allows (forces) a target to see the Gaki's own rift. This look at a whole microverse of guilt, sin, frustration and horror is often more than most can handle. Being blind or closing one's eyes can lessen the agony, but the rift is a complete sensory and psychic experience, so the victim may still be affected (Storyteller's discretion).
You should already have written down what the victim will see when he/she enters your Rift, and a really clear description. It's a very small look... a good idea is to create a text file with the new AOL 3.0 text editing system. You can spruce it up, make it look more dramatic... even create a GIF for it!
"Glimpse..." is like an illusion; or rather, the victim only enters the Rift in a partial sense, so damage is only based on perception. (A vampire caught in a Rift of Hellfire will not burn up.) The Clear Sighted Merit will affect the use of this power; see below.
The target, if a Vampire or Gaki, must make a Courage roll with a difficulty of his own Humanity + 2 not to fall into a Courage frenzy. For others, the Gaki must make a Perception + Intimidation roll with a difficulty of 6, resisted by the target's Willpower roll against the same difficulty. Each additional success the Gaki achieves means the target is incapacitated for an additional turn, frozen with horror at the monstrosity just seen.
This means: Courage vs. difficulty of the victim's Humanity +2 not to revert to the Beast. (ie. unable to use Disciplines and wild, feral for the rest of the evening.) In the past, I generally allowed the victim to use the system for "others". No more. As I stated earlier, I do allow the extra roll of Clear Sighted, but in vampires, I ask the other player to subtract their Empathy rating from their Perception + Alertness dice pool.
This cannot be used in Celerity. This is a power that directly effects a victim's perception, and as such it must be "presented" in normal time. If the victim is in Celerity, and fire is an element in the Rift, all actions must be started with the Courage roll.
Level 3 • Crossing the Iron BridgeAt this stage in a Gaki's development he/she begins to deal with her own inner demons. This power allows her to enter into her rift confronting all that which makes it such a hell. The Gaki actually disappears from the place she was, and will reappear there shortly.
I despise the ease with which people become aware of the limitations of a power by seeing it performed only once. I generally suggest that all Gaki who do this simply say "you see me disappear."
This is by no means a pleasant experience, and the character must make a Self-Control roll with a difficulty of her own Conscience for every turn they remain here. Some Gaki use this power for protection, some use it to deal with their own guilt, and some are rumored to have entered into their rift never to return again.
Level 4 • Journeying the Iron BridgeWhen a Gaki first becomes able to Cross the Iron Bridge, all he can take with him are those inanimate items which have a personal connection -- clothes, keepsakes, etc. -- and these for just a short time. With the fourth level of this power, the Gaki can take anything with him, but he must make a Stamina + Survival roll against a difficult of 6. Failure means any item brought in falls from wherever the Gaki was holding it. In addition, the Gaki can stay in the rift for as long as he wants... or can.
The Gaki could, say, grab something and run with it into his Rift. It isn't much of a change from the previous level...
Level 5 • Passing the Inner RealmAt this point the Gaki begins to learn how to manipulate the rift, using this horror to her own advantage. While the rift is not infinite, it is subject only to the limits placed on it by the Storyteller. Thus the Gaki can travel through it, invisible to the outside world, to any he point he could see before entering the rift. She can even enter the rifts of other Gaki she could see before using this power.
Rift has been used incorrectly before as a means of Shadow Step, which it isn't. The Gaki with "Passing..." can do much with it. I prefer to think of the Rift as a personal Umbral layer the Gaki takes with him.
This movement takes as long as crossing the distance physically would, but the Gaki can avoid barriers, reappear behind foes, avoid attacks, etc. To use this power before an attack can hit requires a Wits + Dodge roll against the opponent's Dexterity + 1.
As you can see, this can be used as a dodge, and was written that way.
I grant those with the power to see into Umbral layers while in the Tellurian (some Garou and Mages) the ability to see into the Rift. I treat this kind of voluntary glance into the Rift as a "Glimpse...". (I also admit the player who can enter Umbral layers the ability to enter. See Level 8 for details.)
Because those with the ability to look into Umbral layers have the ability to shut out the dead Umbra and things that they don't want to see, the Mage/Garou should be able to block out "Glimpse..." permanently. This is a hairy business, but I have already encountered this and the other player and I developed what we thought was a fair system. The Garou agreed to use the "Clear Sighted" system if I ever attempted to attack him with "Glimpse...". Another agreeable system is a permanent block on the ability to use "Glimpse against the Mage/Garou, and in return, all Intimidation rolls against the creature have their difficulties lowered by two dots.
Level6 • CollectionNow the Gaki can manipulate objects without having to enter the rift. Collection allows him to send inanimate objects he touches into the rift or call back items which have been stored there.
Similar to collection, a Gaki able to Transport can touch an object and send it through her rift to any point she can see. Targeting with this power requires a Dexterity + Athletics roll against a difficulty of 7. Botches may mean something else comes out.
I have never played this with a botch. Since this is generally used as on an ally, I would give the target a "Glimpse..." instead of the prize he/she was about to receive.
Level 7 • Eyes of a ThiefAn offshoot of Collection, this power lets the Gaki take any object he can see and send it into his rift. This requires a Perception + Alertness roll against a difficulty of 7.
No, sorry, this can't be resisted by Clear Sighted. As well, you can't point to a person's head and put it into your Rift, minus the body... But, yeah, this can be used to steal Soul Swords and the like.
Doorway to Hell
Generally a Gaki's rift comes with her wherever she goes. However, with the Doorway to Hell, the Gaki can create a physical entrance to her rift somewhere, one that anyone can enter. Setting up the doorway requires a location with an entrance way and the loss of a Willpower point -- permanently. Note that the Gaki can still Cross the Iron Bridge normally, and can then exit the rift through the doorway instead of having to reappear at the spot she first went in. Others entering through the doorway are affected as though they had a Glimpse of the Pain.
Nobunaga has a maximum Willpower of 9 over this.
Level 8 • Touch of SinNow the Gaki can actually grab others and bring them involuntarily into his rift with a Manipulation + Brawl roll against the target's Humanity + 2. Those brought in by this power experience the same effects as someone getting a Glimpse of the Pain, but each turn she remains in the rift, the difficulty of her Willpower roll increases by one and the Gaki's decreases by one. Every time the victim botches a Willpower roll, she gains a Derangement. The victim can leave if she gains more successes on her roll, or the Gaki leaves the rift.
With Gateway, the Gaki can send others through his rift just like he does when he uses Passing the Inner Realm. This costs two Willpower points (one to send the target into the rift and one to get her back out), and the target must deal with a Glimpse of the Pain along the way. The Gaki must make a targeting roll of Perception + Empathy to get the target to the right place, and must first touch her.
Level 9 • ImprisonA victim imprisoned by the Gaki is caught in the rift until the Gaki cares to release him (or the victim manages to find a Doorway, if there is one). Imprisoning a victim in the rift requires the Gaki make a Manipulation + Intimidation roll against the Willpower of whoever it is she holds. Three successes means the victim is sent to the Gaki's rift as in Touch of Sin, except the Gaki need not spend Willpower to keep him there. Note that since many who are imprisoned are guaranteed to go mad if left in a Rift too long, this is a good way for Gaki to lose Humanity.
Level 10 • Manifest the HorrorNow the Gaki can not only pull others into his rift, but can open his rift on to the outside world. The actual effects of this power vary based on the individual Gaki, but he can loose any sort of torments found in his rift.
This can include oni (demons), Hima, giant multi-headed, lightning-breathing lobster eagles, whirling tornadoes of fire and light or anything else the Storyteller's fiendish imagination can come up with. However, everything that enters the world from the Gaki's rift costs the Gaki a Willpower point, and may even be hostile to him (it is from his own version of hell, after all). However, the Gaki can usually control the manifestations with a Charisma + Empathy roll with a difficulty of 7.