Papa Doc Duvalier

In 1957, Francois Duvalier, a U.S.-trained doctor with a reputation for honesty and lack of political ambition, was selected by the Haitian elite as their candidate. He won the elections by a large majority against a mulatto candidate (Duvalier, who was black, was seen by the population at large as a man of the people). The transformation that followed has led some Initiates to believe that the man was possessed by a Mayombe spirit, perhaps the very one that was summoned in 1791 (see sidebar,...

GURPS Psionics The Phoenix Project

The possible interactions between psi and the mystic powers of GURPS Voodoo are explored on p. 45. A campaign where psis and Initiates work together would have a greater variety of situations and goals. It is recommended, however, that extra-high psi power and skill levels not be allowed a roof of 15 or even 20 should be adequate, without turning the campaign into a supers game. The sample campaign world in GURPS Psionics, the world of the Phoenix Project, can be integrated into the Shadow War...

Historical Sourcebooks

GURPS has books on a number of historical periods and places. Many of these sourcebooks can be used to set up a Shadow War campaign in another historical period. Adventurous GMs could replace the shamanistic magic system in the Ice Age supplement with a version based on the system in this book. Peopled with a rich totemistic spirit pantheon, the adventures of cavemen and women would have greater mystical overtones. The Lodges came into being during the Late Imperial period (third century A.D....

Priests and Magicians

The priests of Voodoo are Initiates or would-be Initiates who use rituals and ceremonies to appeal to and manipulate loas. These sorcerers do not work in hiding, and are not hated by the people around them. Quite the contrary they are as much a part of some communities as a doctor or a lawyer would be. This is true not only in Third-World countries like Haiti and Jamaica, but in many areas in the developed world. Voodoo is alive and well in many communities in North America it tends to exist in...

The voodoo cults

Several different types of Voodoo cults have developed during the centuries. In some areas of the Caribbean, the traditions of one African tribe or people tended to become dominant. Also, the culture of each colonial country (England, France, Portugal and Spain) influenced the slaves, often in unexpected ways. Although the rituals and ceremonies of all the different traditions work in the same manner, there are cultural differences between them, from which gods or saints they worship to the...

GURPS Vampire Werewolf and Mage Continued

The combination of all these storylines can provide many interesting developments, with Initiates, In-Betweeners, Spirits, Werewolves, Vampires and Magi working with and against each other. Or the GM can bring monsters and entities from the other books into his campaign for extra spice. PCs from the different backgrounds can all be mixed together, but the GM will have to come up with a storyline that keeps in mind the desires and goals of all the diverse characters while remaining uncon-trived...

GURPS Vampire Werewolf and Mage

The dark fantasy series The World of Darkness, created by the White Wolf Game Studio and adapted to GURPS, depicts a contemporary Earth beset by supernatural forces. Superficially, there are many resemblances between that setting and the world of the Shadow War, which may lead GMs and players to try to combine the two. Before doing so, however, it would be best to decide how the underlying principles behind the two settings fit each other. Of the themes of the World of Darkness, GURPS Vampire...

Minor Manifestation

Move Dodge 7 8 Fatigue 40 Moderate Manifestation ST 30 IQ 16 Move Dodge 8 9 Fatigue 80 Major Manifestation ST 50 IQ 20 This Gnostic spirit is a powerful guide and a favorite of mystics studying and meditating to gain higher Levels of Initiation. Sometimes the god's manifestations engage in metaphysical challenges with Initiates in the dream world. Abraxas is most often invoked in protection and divination rituals, and his symbols appear in protective amulets and mystic symbols. The seven Greek...

Magic in The Shadow

The system described in Chapter 3 attempts to depict magic as many cultures, from native American animists to European witches to Voodoo priests, think it works. Unlike sword-and-sorcery magic, with fireball-tossing wizards and spectacular effects, the magic of the Shadow War is usually quieter, less obvious and harder to identify as supernatural. Voodoo magic (like other mystic systems such as European witchcraft) has two elements applying one's will to determine the outcome of events, and...

Medium New Ager

Spiritualists are a semi-independent group of occultists with their own methods of contacting spirits. Long suppressed or ridiculed by Lodge-backed scientists and journalists, many mediums continue plying their mystical trade to this day. While many are fakers or self-deluded (see Charlatans, p. 46), others are true Initiates of often surprising power. Mediums use seances, ouija boards and other methods to contact spirits sometimes their mystical lines may hook entities capable of dragging them...

GURPS Cyberpunk and Cyberworld

The Shadow War is a dark fantasy setting. Placing it in the dark future of cyberpunk is easy, and may add even more excitement into a campaign. Initates not only have to worry about evil spirits there are the cybered-up street gangs that control the drug trade, the megacorps, who may know more than they are saying, and a savage, disintegrating world that is driving the Mayombe and other Dark Gods into a feeding frenzy. A cybered-up street samurai can match a Spirit Warrior or even an...

Psionics in the Shadow

Psionics, as described in the GURPS Basic Set and GURPS Psionics, can be used more or less freely in the world of GURPS Voodoo. Initiates of the Third Level and up are effectively psis, due to the Empathy advantage and their intuitive, almost pre-cognitive abilities. Psis can be viewed as following an alternate path of Initiation, and can become active participants in the Shadow War. To assimilate psis into the setting, a few rules on the interactions between psionics and the spirit world...

Karmic Ties Variable

Reincarnation has a place in the Voodoo cosmology (see the sidebar on p. 23). Many Voodoo practitioners believe that there are many elements to the soul, and that at least some of them are reincarnated. Some people are connected by their karma the freight of good and bad experience from past lives. Karmic ties create instant liking or dislike for a stranger, regardless of reaction rolls. Such a person should be evaluated as a Dependent, Ally, Patron or Enemy, whichever seems appropriate. A...

The Ancient Gods

The most powerful loas are the deities of the Voodoo pantheons. There are many types of Voodoo gods the gods of Haitian Voudoun have different names and properties than the orishas of Santeria, but they share the same traits. Each of these gods has control over certain elements, emotions and powers the sorcerer or priest has to choose which deities to invoke in the preparation of his rituals. The gods of Voodoo do not easily fit into categories of good and evil. They can be invoked to bring...

Protection3

This protection ritual can redirect an attacking hostile ritual. Two rolls are involved, one to fix the protection ritual on the subject, and another to resist the first hostile ritual directed at him. If the Reversal ritual wins a Quick Contest of skills, the hostile ritual affects its caster as if he had been the subject. Some Voodoo bizongues call this ritual Curse Mirror, and cast the ritual on a charm, usually a mirror. Only one blessed mirror can be carried at the time. The ritual works...

Past Lives

The character was an Initiate in a past life, and a brush with the supernatural awakened the subconscious abilities of his previous incarnation. This requires the Reawakened advantage (see p. 55). The Initiate can pick a number of abilities and rituals retained through reincarnation. The GM will have to determine how much knowledge the Initiate's previous self had to learn more, the Initiate will need to seek teachers. Calling on the powers of past lives also will bring the older personality to...

Shaman Witch

Besides the houngans and mambos (see p. 50), Initiates from other traditions are also involved in the Shadow War. Non-Western mystics include native American shamans, Buddhist holy men, and Gypsy sorcerers. Wiccan witches, although loosely associated with the Lodges through the Servants of Hecate (see p. 28), can also be considered independent. All these Initiates can take sides in the conflict or stay neutral. More information on those magical traditions will be provided in future supplements...

The Royalist Lodge

As its name indicates, the Royalist Lodge believes in monarchy and the superiority of noble bloodlines. This Lodge first appeared in the early Middle Ages, when the Roman Empire collapsed as a result of civil strife partly caused by Lodge rivalries and barbarian invasions. Many Initiates, isolated from their peers, became advisors and ministers of the Germanic kings who took over most of Europe. By the 12th century, these Initiates had become the force behind the royal houses of the continent....

Drug Dealer

In the streets of the inner city, more and more people turn to the drug trade to survive. The temptation of quick money is almost overwhelming 16-year-olds have the choice of working at the local burger joint for minimum wage, or becoming a mule drug courier and making hundreds of dollars a day. The wealth and dangerous reputation of a drug dealer make him a respected or at least feared member of the community. The other side of the coin, of course, is that the dealer makes his money from the...

Joshua Carson Spirit Warrior

Mid-twenties 5'11, 175 lbs. black, athletic, brown eyes, very short black hair and a trimmed beard. His chest and back are crisscrossed with knife scars, the result of torture see below . ST 12 20 IQ 13 30 Basic Speed 6.25 DX 13 30 HT 12 20 Move 7 Initiation Fourth Level 70 Patron Loa Lords, on a 9 or less 25 Reputation 2 local gangs 5 Addiction Cigarettes -5 Code of Honor Pirate -5 Duty Loa Lords -15 Social Stigma Minority -10 Hides his gentle nature behind a tough guy facade -1 Hates drugs...

Initiate of the Servants of Hecate

Age 21 5'3, 102 lbs. short red hair, green eyes and freckles. ST 9 -10 IQ 14 45 Basic Speed 5.25 DX 10 0 HT 11 10 Move 5 Attractive 5 Common Sense 10 Initiation Second Level 15 Patron Local Circle, on a 6 or less 8 Duty Servants of Hecate, on 9 or less -5 Pacifism Self-defense only -15 Sense of Duty Humankind -15 Stubborn -5 Fervent anti-smoker -1 Even-tempered and mellow -1 Cat lover -1 T'ai Chi enthusiast -1 Dislikes loud macho men -1 Path of Protection-14 8 Curse Sanctum-14 0 Reversal of...

Conducting Rituals

Most rituals and ceremonies have five separate steps see below , each designed to focus the will of the caster. The more advanced Initiates can eliminate some or most steps from a ceremony and still make it effective, but most magicians who take such shortcuts risk having the ritual fail or backfire. Different schools of magic change the elements or the exact order of each step, but for the most part they are always present. Repetition is an important element of most ceremonies. The same...

Examples of Rituals In Play

Come on he shouted in heavily accented Creole. Come here, Rupert By Baron Samedi, I command you. By Baron Cimetie, I call you to my side. By Legba, I open the doorways for you. A tingling feeling over Leon's scalp presaged the arrival of the ghost. His supernatural senses soon allowed him to see Rupert's translucent form standing before him. The ghost was angry at being summoned, angrier still to see that his summoner was an old enemy. He coiled to strike at the...

Drug Lords

Spell Rich

The illegal drug trade produces billions of dollars in revenue every year, more than the total budget of many a small country. Most of that money ends up at the top of the criminal food chain, in the hands of the drug lords. The heads of Colombian drug cartels, the crime bosses in the U.S. and the Caribbean, and the smugglers from Jamaica, Haiti and Panama are millionaires or billionaires with enormous influence. Unknown to the press and the authorities, however, a force behind these drug lords...

The Protectors

These Initiates operate mostly in the U.S. and Canada. They are the sons and daughters of Haitian or Cuban emigrants who have knowledge of Voodoo theology and a Western education and world view, and they have combined the two in ways that often anger traditional Voudounistas. The Protectors concentrate on the fight against the Corruptors. Their goal is to clean up the slums of North America and to mend the ills of the Caribbean islands. Their weapons are Voodoo rituals, Initiate powers and...

The Dahomets

Voodoo Mayombe Monster

During the 1810s, shortly after the Haitian revolution, the self-styled King Henry Christophe imported a number of African warriors from the Kingdom of Dahomey to act as his personal bodyguard. These Royal Dahomets used their war skills and their supernatural powers to subdue Christophe's enemies. The Royal Dahomets disappeared from history books in the year 1820, when Cristophe committed suicide and his kingdom ceased to exist. In reality, however, the Dahomets remained a powerful presence in...

Voodoo in Everyday Life

Leonora crossed herself twice more, gathering her courage. The santero had clearly described what she needed to do if she wanted to end the curse. She shuddered. Mr. Gonzales was a barrister as well as a santero, and his advice to her in legal matters had always been impeccable. She had never sought his services as a santero, though what use did she have for love philters and charms Her looks and her natural charisma had gotten her all the attention she could ever want. And perhaps her looks...

Santeria and Macumbe

All Symbols For Santeria

Santeria is common throughout Latin America, especially in areas with a large black or mulatto population, like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. The Voodoo forms that appeared in Spanish and Portuguese areas are different from French Voudoun, due to the nations and cultures that influenced them. Santeria and Macumbe are a product of Yoruba beliefs combined with Spanish Catholicism. The Yoruba and Dahomey kingdoms were often at odds in Africa, and their religious...

Houngans and Mambos

The clergy of Haitian Voudoun are called houngans priests and mambos priestesses . They are Initiates with varying levels of power usually relatively low , who concentrate on the more mundane pursuits of magic. They prescribe herbal medicines, simple rituals and amulets to solve the problems of their clients. They also are the organizers and leaders of many festivals and public religious celebrations and holidays. These holidays are celebrated with dances, during which the houngans and mambos...

Psychic vs Spiritual Magic

There are three schools of thought among Initiates as to the sources of magic. Most advocates of these ideas tend to be younger, less powerful Initiates the true masters of arcane knowledge seem to be above such concerns. Most of these occult theorists belong to the Western Lodges, and often discover that the more they dwell on the subject, the more prone they are to fail at using magic. Perhaps this is a result of the caterpillar syndrome, named after the story of the caterpillar who, when...