following is from the Player's Guide to the Sabbat:
The Ignoblis Ritae are rituals created and observed by various
packs. Most packs observe one or more rituals of this
type. These rituals may or may not require the use of
the Sabbat clergy. Most of the Ignoblis Ritae are held
during the packs' weekly meetings - the esbats. Many of these
rituals are more along the lines of protocol and tradition rather
than ritualism. Keep in mind that all packs are not the
same,so the type and number of rituals they employ will vary.
Most packs use somewhere between three and ten rituals as their
own Ignoblis Ritae in addition to the Auctoritas Ritae common
to almost all packs. Some categories of Ignoblis Ritae
are as follows:
Almost all packs have a specific ritual that they use to recognize
a new leader, accept a probationary member as a full member,
and accept a Sabbat recruit as True Sabbat. The nature
of the acceptance rites varies from pack to pack, but usually
involves all members of the pack recognizing the new position
of their fellow Sabbat, as well as that Sabbat taking some sort
of oath of allegiance.
This ritual is used to bid a fellow Sabbat, or an entire Sabbat
pack, farewell. This ritual is used when a visiting pack
leaves, when a fellow pack member leaves for a long period of
time, and occasionally to honor the recently destroyed.
The farewell Rites usually involve the leader of the pack praising
those who leave.
The initiation rites are an important tradition for all Sabbat.
This ceremony transfers rights to the individual, making him
or her a Sabbat. This ritual differs from the acceptance
rites in that the acceptance rite involves the entire pack.
Initiation rites generally occur before the acceptance.
For instance, defectors from the Camarilla go through initiation
rites, but it may be years before they get the acceptance rates.
The initiation rites are used to confer the power of the sect,
not the power of the pack.
Packs use these rites to greet other Sabbat.
The welcoming rites of both packs are combined for the celebration,
with both bringing some new aspect to the festivities.
The rites are more like a party, but at two points certain protocol
is carried out. At the beginning of the welcoming rites,
all pack members greet each other individually, presenting their
names and their home. At the high point of the celebration,
a gift is usually exchanged from pack to pack. The two
leaders often use this ritual as an opportunity to discuss Sabbat
Some examples of types of Ignoblis Ritae are below:
Blessings: The pack invokes a blessing
upon itself or another for some important purpose.
The ritual is used before dangerous missions and occasionally
before a Jyhad. It serves primarily as a morale boost.
Call to Caine: These are
various speeches that call upon the guidance of Caine for some
great mission or event.
The Sabbat priest is not the only one that leads this ritual;
all the pack members get a turn.
Confession: This ritual is
less a confession than it is a bragging contest. It is
used at celebrations where each individual
vampire relates his best, greatest and vilest accomplishments.
Consecration Rites: These rituals
sanctify an area or building. Usually a sacrifice of some
kind is used and the area
is then marked with signs representing its sanctity.
Dance Macabre: The Dance of Death
is held simply to celebrate being a vampire. The entire
Its members dance around, wrestle and drink each other's blood.
Many packs dress in costumes and masks representing death.
It is not uncommon for participants to frenzy.
Dance: This special dance is held to honor the dead.
The dance is not only for fallen members of the pack,
but also for its human victims. The dance is carried out
in many different ways.
Harvest Rites: The harvest represents
the in mortal food supply. The Rites are held to bless
the Hunt. The pack calls for aid
in catching prey and covering the evidence. The Rite usually
involves the Blood Feast before or afterward.
Jyhad Rites: The pack it asks for
a blessing in upcoming Jyhad through this ritual. It often
acts out a mock battle, though
Sabbat have been known to get carried away and seriously hurt
Oaths of Fealty: This is a less
this is less a ritual than a swearing of mutual allegiance to
one another. All the Sabbat of the pack
profess their loyalty and responsibility to one another.
Pack Creed: The pack creed is a
short, emotional speech about the duties of pack members and
the honor of the pack.
Running the Gauntlet: The pack
actually forms two parallel lines with a few feet between them.
Then all pack members in
turn or one chosen pack member, runs between the two lines while
the other vampires beat him.
Sacrificial Rites: This is a ritual
involving the sacrifice of the human, Lupine or vampire.
The pack may hold the sacrifice as part
of another ritual or separately for some special reason.
Sun Dance: The Sun Dance is a ritual
dance held from sunset to sunrise without pause. The ritual
is always held on a full moon.
Pack members usually dress in masks or paint. The Sun
Dance often involves a pack member acting as a sacrifice by
taking the test
of pain known as the Indian stick trial for the length of the
Sunrise Service: This
is a ritual of bravery. The Sabbat perform some special
ceremony, then wait outside. The Sabbat prove their
courage by seeing who among them can longest remain in the open
as the sun rises. Many Sabbat have died during this ritual.
Tests of pain: During this ritual
a Sabbat willingly puts herself to a test to see how strong
of spirit he or she is. The ritual is used by
some on all who would claim leadership, and by some as a form
of punishment. There may be any number of reasons
the test is used.
A few examples of the kinds of tests are the Indian stick trial
(where the pack hangs the subject up by a stake poked through
the trial by fire (where various body parts of the subject are
singed) and fasting. Various forms of torture are also
Thanksgiving Ritual: The vampires
give thanks for some accomplishment in this ritual. They
recognize someone or something as the
reason for their success.
Visionquest: In some packs, if
an individual wishes to become a leader or simply seeks advice,
she must go on a visionquest. The
Sabbat's visionquest is similar to that of the Plains Indians.
The Sabbat must go alone to a desolate spot. There he
or she must fast,
drinking only enough vitae to avoid torpor. She must pray
constantly, meditate, and mutilate herself to induce a vision.
War Dance: The war dance is a ritual
dance similar to the Jyhad Rites, but the war dance is held
before the commencement of a war
party. The war dance may also be held during crusades.
Other ways that packs can customize themselves are as follows,
and are not Ignoblis Ritae, but merely differences in style
by which one may identify himself with his pack.
Manner of dress: Packs dress in a variety of styles. They
may dress a certain way during a particular ritual, or for all
rituals. Some ideas for particular features include facemasks,
face and/or body paint, ceremonial robes and clothing of a certain
Songs: Packs often have unique songs which they sing on a regular
basis. The songs can have any purpose: to show pride,
to show disdain for the enemy, for historical reasons were just
Symbols: Packs often have their own symbols that they wear on
their clothing and use to mark their territory.
Tales: Packs often tell tales at their esbats. Most packs
develop their own collection of tales based upon pack war, pack
heroes, the Camarilla and Sabbat history as they see it.
Trials: while the entire sect has procedures for trying a person
accused of a crime, many packs prefer their own brand of justice.
They often conduct trials their own way, with their own judge
and jurors. They even mete out their own forms of punishment.
Among the punishments are burning, drawing and quartering, making
the guilty a Blood Feast victim, making him or her ^Walk
the plank off a high-rise building, and permanent imprisonment.
All these special customs are of course voluntary and vary from
pack to pack.
Oftentimes, Ignoblis Ritae are held at certain significant times.
Some examples of these times are as follows:
Summer solstice, winter solstice, vernal equinox, Autumnal equinox,
first or last day of the month, certain day of the week, first
day of the moon phase, a full moon, new moon, waning moon.
Naturally, these are only examples, and your pack may very well
be on a different schedule entirely.
Well, that's what the Player's Guide to the Sabbat has to say
about customizing your pack. Some things to consider when
deciding upon and creating your own Ignoblis Ritae are such
things as the clans in your pack, the Paths of Enlightenment
that each member follows, the Nature and Demeanor of each character
(or only that of the leader or priest), what political faction
your pack's members support, what your general
attitude and worldview is, and so on.
Naturally, a pack of Cathari are going to celebrate the Ghost
Dance in a much different manner than a pack comprised mostly
of Necronomists. Likewise, a pack of Ultra-Conservatives
is likely to do things in a very different manner than a bunch
of Loyalist rabble. Lasombra are more likely to be regal
in their proceedings than a pack of Panders, and Tzimisce will
probably be more occult-oriented than a pack of Gangrel. The
guidelines above from the Player's Guide to the Sabbat should
give you some ideas of the things that you can do, but you need
to remember the following things about rituals when you are
creating your own:
Rituals are what make one night different from the next.
Having a ritual every day of the week only decreases each ritual's
Rituals have a very distinct beginnings, guidelines, and ends.
Pack members should never be uncertain whether not a ritual
is being performed. (part of the ritual is knowing that
the ritual is happening; otherwise it has no value)
Rituals should serve some purpose. Whether it is celebrating
some event, mourning a fallen comrade, reveling in freedom,
or honing each pack member's skills, the Ritae should always
have been created for a purpose, and still continue to serve
some purpose, but whether not the current service is the same
as the original purpose is up to you know.
Rituals generally have a leader who guides the participants
through the ritual. This leader is usually the pack priest,
though the pack leader or others have been known to perform
rituals in the Sabbat.
The more intense rituals generally involve some sort of rhythm,
be it stomping, clapping, snapping, singing, or the like.
Naturally, this is less likely to be a part of a Lasombra ritual
than a Ravnos antitribu's ritual, but punctuation and phases
assist the feel of the ritual.
In creating your rituals, you need to realize that acting out
an emotionally charging event can emotionally charge the players
as well as the characters involved. While this is not
necessarily intrinsically bad, it is * very * important that
the line separating fantasy and reality be kept * extremely
* strong while participating in rituals. Rituals are one
thing that keeps the Sabbat strong in the World of Darkness,
but can be scary and alienating in the real world. The
Sabbat is made up of inhuman monsters, and each player needs
to be very careful when engaging in emulation of such creatures.
Every player who participates in an in-character ritual needs
to be cautious to keep his participation completely in-character.