Dementation: Dyslexic Reality

by: Don Lara, A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae @ Kismet's World of Darkness,

Dementation Level 6 Variant

     The harbingers of madness take it upon themselves to impart some small sliver of their own insanity onto others. Vampires who have mastered the manipulation of sanity, however, know that harmless alterations in perception can often have the same effect of a lifetime of mental anxiety and torture.
     When affected with Dyslexic Reality, the target's perceptions of the world around him are flipped on its axis, making all things perceived as their temporal opposites.
     Some possible effects: males perceived as female; night seen as day; red lights seen as green lights; black as white; up as down; old as young, etc. This power might also alter the victim's perceptions about themselves: the victim may believe he is speaking normally, when everyone around him hears it as backwards, and vice versa; looking into a mirror, he may see himself as female, or as physically older or younger than he really is.

Player spends a blood point, and rolls Manipulation + Empathy (difficulty being the target's Willpower score). The effects of this power can be few or wide. If simply used upon a target, the victim will perceive the opposite of everything around him, in whatever fashion the Storyteller may wish. However, if the Vampire spends a Willpower point when he enacts this ability, he may mentally choose a single thing to be perceived as opposite. Such a thing may only be general, such as 'males seen as females' or 'left is right.' Specifics like 'you will see Prince Jonathan as a woman' or 'main street is a two-way street, instead of a one-way' are not possible. Spending a Willpower point in this way precludes any other 'opposite perceptions' the victim might experience.
     The duration of this power depends on the number of successes gained:
1 success: 10 minutes
2 successes: 1 hour
3 successes: 1 day
4 successes: 1 week
5 successes: 1 month
     There are other effects this power might have: if ice is seen as fire, for example, the player will still have to make the regular roll for Rotschreck, though the perceived fire might not do any actual harm to the character (it's up to the ST, in the end). Also, if night is seen as day, the character might either run in Rotschreck, or be amazed or entranced that he is able to walk in the sun. The false sun, however, will not make the character sleepy or unable to function, or damage him; those effects are mystical ones caused by the real sun, and cannot be reproduced by an altered perception.
     If the player botches, however many 1's he rolled count as successes against 'himself' for use of this power. Ergo, a botch equates to the Discipline's user experiencing Dyslexic Reality.
     In the end, the key phrase for Storytellers is: Be creative, be sadistic, B-B Guns.
Note: This power is nothing like 'Horrid Reality.' It cannot be 'disbelieved' as it effects the target's entire concept of reality by the sum total of his perceptions.

     Player spends a blood trait and makes a Static Mental Challenge against the number of the target's Mental traits. On a win, the target experiences Dyslexic Reality, as described above (or as dictated by the Storyteller), for the scene or an hour, whichever comes first. However, if the player declares the spending of one mental trait prior to the initial challenge, and wins, the effects of the power will last for the rest of the night. If the player spends a Willpower point, he may define one 'general' subject to be perceived, as described above.
     In the end, the success and use of this power in a Live Action game is dependent upon good roleplaying, and its effects should not be 'skipped over,' or simply narrated. Use your best judgment.