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Cone of Silence
Level 2 Thaumaturgy Ritual

by: Bjorn Townsend A Legacy Article from Sanguinus Curae

In a group as secretive and political as Clan Tremere, discretion truly is the better part of valor. Since private conversations must often take place in public, neutral areas - such as Elysium -- the Tremere find it handy to have a means of preventing casual eavesdroppers from picking up any juicy tidbits.

The Cone of Silence ritual creates a bubble ten feet in diameter that is nearly impervious to sound. Only the loudest, lowest-frequency sound can penetrate (such as the pounding bass of a noisy nightclub). Conversation taking place within this bubble will be nearly impossible to listen in on, and will also remain undisturbed by the surrounding noise -- allowing the parties involved to speak normally, no matter how loud the surrounding area may be.

This ritual can be a grave breach of the Masquerade, however, if used in a public area. It is most often employed in private Elysium gatherings.

System:

Tabletop: The caster makes the standard Thaumaturgy roll. A single success allows the bubble to be created. It lasts for one hour, or until dispelled by its creator. Any being attempting to listen in on the conversation using supernatural abilities or sophisticated electronic listening devices is at a +3 difficulty. Persons inside the Cone of Silence will have equal difficulty in perceiving sounds outside of the Cone's area of effect. Neither is possible if the Cone is being used in an area where loud noise is already present.

Note that the Cone of Silence does not present a visual or tangible barrier -- it simply insulates against sound. Anyone can simply step into the Cone's area of effect, and will be able to hear the conversation inside. A talented lip-reader might also be able to discern the conversation, unless suitable precautions (like covering one's mouth while speaking) are taken. Furthermore, the Cone of Silence does not guard against electronic or magical surveillance devices hidden within its area of effect, though such devices hidden outside its effective area will not pick up any sound.

MET: The standard ritual-casting challenge is used to invoke the Cone. An individual attempting to use supernatural or technological means to overhear the conversation must bid his or her perception based traits (intelligence or wits-based traits are not applicable to this challenge) against a difficulty of five traits.

All those within the Cone gain the negative trait Oblivious that can be invoked in challenges to hear sounds from outside the Cone.

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