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The Cast
Hunters & Mortals
Ahl al-Jabal
Ashwood Abbey
Bear Lodge
Barrett Commission
Division Six
Hunt Club
Illuminated Brotherhood
Keepers of the Source
The Long Night
Loyalists of Thule
Maidens Blood Sisterhood
Network Zero
Night Watch
Null Mysteriis
Promethean Brotherhood
Talbot Group
The Union
Aegis Kai Doru
Ascending Ones
Cainite Heresy
Cheiron Group
Knights of Saint George
Les Mysteres
Malleus Maleficarum
Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit
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Tactics are concerted strategies enacted by hunter cells against monsters.

  • Tactics are purchased with Practical Experience.
  • The cost for Tactics can be spread around a cell.
  • A Tactic can be purchased for any number of hunters, regardless of how many hunters are required to actually perform the Tactic.
  • That Tactic can then be taught to other cells.
  • Tactics make use of the Teamwork rules[1]
  • A hunter cell can acquire a new Tactic in one of two ways:
    • by learning it from another hunter
    • or by creating it.
  • Cells can also modify Tactics they already know, which is considerably easier than creating or learning new ones.

Learning Tactics

Tactics can be taught to hunters from hunters who know them or learned by creating their own tactics. The Spiral is likely a good place to go to if your cell is ready for this step.

Tactics are purchased with Practical Experience. The cost for Tactics can be spread around a cell. A Tactic can be purchased for any number of hunters, regardless of how many hunters are required to actually perform the Tactic. That Tactic can then be taught to other cells. Tactics can also be developed independently of a teacher (this, in fact, is how tier-one cells usually gain Tactics, since they can’t rely on a larger organization to teach them).

The distribution of cost when purchasing a Tactic isn’t important. If a five-member cell wishes to learn a Tactic costing 10 experience points, they could each pay two, or one of them could pay all 10, or any other combination. Once the cost has been paid, all the hunters know the Tactic and are theoretically capable of teaching it (see the restrictions onteaching Tactics, below).

Hunters do not need to meet the prerequisites for a Tactic in order to learn it, but they do need to meet those prerequisites before they can use the Tactic. Learning the theory behind a Tactic and practicing it in a safe environment are much easier than actually performing it against a real monster. For instance, a hunter with no dots in Brawl can learn the Hamstring Tactic, but won’t be able to help the cell use the Tactic in the field until the player spends the experience points to buy a dot of Brawl for that character. From the perspective of the story, a hunter cell can acquire a new Tactic in one of two ways: by learning it from another hunter, or by creating it. Cells can also modify Tactics they already know, which is considerably easier than creating or learning new ones.

The Tactics from the Core Hunter Book

  • Controlled Immolation

Prerequisites: All: Composure 2, Stamina 2, Survival 1 Partial (1): Firearms 3 or Firearms 2 with a Specialty in Flamethrower or Athletics 3 or Athletics 2 with a Specialty in Throwing (primary actor). Partial (3): Weaponry 2 (secondary actors). Requires: 4; up to 6 grants a +1 per extra hunter to secondary actors, more than 6 levies a -3 penalty to primary actor. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Firearms or Athletics (immolation); Wits + Composure (control). Secondary: Wits + Weaponry (immolation); Wits + Survival (control). Action: Instant. Description: Setting monsters on fire is a time-honored way to kill them. Modern inventions like flamethrowers make immolation even easier, but chemicals that ignite and burn well have been around for centuries. The biggest problem with the method, of course, is that fire is indiscriminate in what it consumes. This Tactic allows the hunters to torch a monster and hopefully avoid losing the rest of the neighborhood in a conflagration.

Controlled Immolation is composed of two separate Teamwork actions. In the first (the immolation action), the hunter must surround the monster. The secondary actors are armed with long, pointed weapons (usually spears or javelins, but pitchfork and even long wooden poles work). They force the monster toremain within a wide circle. The primary actor then steps for ward and fi res the flamethrower, douses the monster in flammable chemicals or otherwise immolates the creature. After the creature is on fire, it suffers damage as appropriate to the type of fi re used (see Fire on p. 180 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) each turn. The hunters continue using the Tactic, however, as this prevents the creature from stopping the flames by rolling or spreading the fire to other areas. The dice pools change to their “control” values. The primary actor for the first part of the Tactic does not necessarily have to be the primary actor for the second part. This action can be taken each turn until the creature is dead or the hunters wish to put out the fire. Organizations: The Long Night knows that the servants of Satan are bound for the fi res of Hell eventually, so there’s no reason not to give them a head start. That said, bringing Hell to Earth isn’t the goal, so the fires need to be rigorously contained. The Ascending Ones, masters of potions and elixirs, know many different chemical methods of ignition, and use them to great effect against the supernatural.

To Purchase: 15 Practical Experience, 12 for the Long Night, 10 for the Ascending Ones.

  • Corral

Prerequisites: All: Intimidation 2, Resolve 2. Partial (1): Intimidation 3 or Firearms, Brawl or Weaponry 3. Requires: 3; 4 or more bestows a +1 to the primary ac- tor’s roll; 8 or more bestows a +2. Dice Pool: Primary: Presence + Intimidation. Secondary:Strength or Presence + Intimidation. Action: Instant and contested; target rolls Resolve + Composure (resistance is reflexive). Description: Having a fight with monsters in full view of witnesses is unwise. Likewise, sometimes hunters need to drive a monster toward a given area, in order to spring a trap, lock the creature in a cage, or simply prevent innocents from being harmed. The Corral Tactic allows the hunters to frighten a monster into running, and direct its retreat in a direction advantageous to the cell. Note, though, that some monsters can fly, vanish into shadows or take advantage of other escape tactics that hunters cannot counter. This Tactic does not prevent the monster from doing such things, if it is able. While all hunters involved in this Tactic must be intimidating, at least one has to be downright scary, either because he carries himself like a dangerous person (Intimidation or Brawl 3) or because he has a large weapon or firearm and clearly knows how to use it (Weaponry or Firearms 3). This person does not, however, have to be primary actor. Organizations: The Union often has the numbers to make this Tactic especially effective. One cell, using shotguns and homemade flamethrowers, drives the monster into whatever cul-de-sac the organization has set up. The second cell, waiting in said cul-de-sac, springs the trap. The heavily armed members of Task Force: VALKYRIE, always under admonition to spare the lives and sanities of normal citizens, likewise find this Tactic important.

To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for the Union, 9 for Task Force: VALKYRIE.

  • Cripple Claws

Prerequisites: All: Composure 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 1. Partial (1): Disarm Merit or Firearms 3 (primary actor). Requires: 2; 4 or more levies a -2 penalty to the primary actor, above and beyond the penalty for shooting into combat (see below). Dice Pool: Primary: Strength + Weaponry or Dexterity + Firearms. Secondary: Dexterity + Athletics. Action: Instant. Description: A hunter only has to face a creature with talons once before he learns to fear the hands of a monster. Some creatures have literal claws; others can warp flesh or cause disease with a touch. Witches and other spell-casters sometimes rely on hand gestures to make their spells work. This Tactic allows the cell to target the hands of a creature, making them useless for attacking or fine manipulation. This Tactic requires that the creature’s hands be extended enough for the primary actor to take a swing or a shot. The secondary actor(s) therefore act as bait, trying to get the creature to reach. The secondary actors move in close, goading the monster into attacking, and then move out of reach quickly, affording the primary actor a clean shot. Of course, combat being the messy situation that it is, the secondary actor might wind up being clawed or otherwise damaged in the process. That doesn’t prevent the Tactic from working, but it can hinder the effort. The primary actor can swing at the monster’s hand with a melee weapon or a gun. He makes a normal attack roll, applying the damage modifier from the weapon and the monster’s Defense as usual. If the hunter is using Firearms, remember that shooting into melee carries additional penalties (see p. 162 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). No matter what other modifiers apply, the primary actor suffers a -4 penalty for specifying a target (see p. 165 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). If a secondary actor’s roll fails, he does not get out of the way of the monster in time. When the monster’s next action arrives, it can attack that hunter without applying the hunter’s Defense. This does not affect the primary actor in any way (other than not granting the player extra dice, of course). Organizations: While any martial group of hunters can benefit from this Tactic, the Loyalists of Thule find that limiting a creature’s ability to manipulate its surroundings is a superb way to reduce its killing power, but leave it alive for study. Likewise, the Aegis Kai Doru developed this Tactic to put weapons such as swords and spears to best use.

To Purchase: 15 Practical Experience, 12 for the Loyalists of Thule, 10 for Aegis Kai Doru.

  • Deprogramming

Prerequisites: All: Intelligence 2, Empathy 1 or a Specialty in Psychology (in either Medicine or Academics). Partial (1): Manipulation 2, Persuasion 1 (primary actor). Requires: 2, maximum of 3 hunters at any one time; see below. Dice Pool: Primary: Manipulation + Persuasion. Secondary: Presence + Empathy (secondary actors). Action: Extended and contested. Description: A disturbing number of creatures of the night can alter the thoughts and emotions of mortals. Sometimes this power is subtle — a hunter first comes to respect a vampire, thento admire her, then to love her. Sometimes, the power is much more overt. A siren song from afar, and suddenly a hunter would lay down his life for the singer. The Moral Support Tactic (see p. 226) offers some protection against such powers before the monsters have a chance to use them, but sometimes a cell has to talk a member down from such a power.

Likewise, some cells use moles, hunters that are sent to infiltrate cults or cabals (usually subjected to double-blind techniques so they don’t know enough to betray their cells) and then debrief and deprogrammed later. At least two hunters can act as deprogrammers. One talks with the victim, breaking down his self-esteem, then building it back up, explaining rationally what is happening one moment and then growing violent the next. Some cells claimthat this shock to the emotional system snaps the hunter’s own mental defenses back into relief, but in actuality, the primary actor is brainwashing the subject. The secondary actors stay in the background and lend support to whatever the primary actor is saying or doing. One roll is made every hour. The subject resists with Resolve + Stamina + a number of dice equal to the successes achieved on the monster’s roll to mentally control or influence the hunter (if the Storyteller doesn’t know this number,she should assign a modifier based on how powerful the creature is). The subject doesn’t seek to achieve a specific number of successes, only to match or exceed the deprogrammer’s total.

Sooner or later, the subject is going to break…or wind up going mad, or being rescued by his supernatural “patron,” or snapping and attacking his fellow hunters. The deprogrammer seeks to achieve a number of success- s equal to the subject’s Resolve + Composure + [the same modifier applied to the subject’s roll, as described above]. While only three hunters can deprogram at a time, secondary actors can be switched out at any time. The primary actor can be switched, but the first deprogramming roll after he switch suffers a -2 (primary actor). Organizations: All cells of hunters, regardless of organization, fear the power of monsters to alter their minds. This Tactic, therefore, is a favorite of any cell that fights monsters with a propensity for doing so, rather than being a favorite of many particular organization.

To Purchase: 13 Practical Experience, 10 for any tier-two cell, 8 for any tier-three cell.

  • Dentistry

Prerequisites: All: Strength 2, Weaponry 1, Brawl 1. Partial (1): Weaponry 2 (primary actor). Partial (1): Brawl 2 or Brawl 1 with a Specialty in Grappling (all secondary actors). Requires: 2; up to 4 adds one die to secondary actors per extra hunter. Maximum 4 for this Tactic. Dice Pool: Primary: Strength + Weaponry. Secondary: Strength + Brawl. Action: Instant. Description: The bite of a monster can have any number of hideous effects. Apart from rent flesh, some monsters carry disease. Some, reportedly, can pass on their monstrous condition with a bite. Vampire bites, according to some sources, are even addictive. The Dentistry Tactic provides some protection against monster bites by knocking out teeth or breaking the jaw. All that’s required is a hunter with a lot of muscle, and another hunter with a heavy weapon of some kind. Blades work, but hammers and bats are more popular. The secondary actor(s) first grapple the target. See pp. 156–158 of the World of Darkness Rulebook for information on Grappling (note especially the section on multiple people grappling a single target). The roll to grapple the creature, however, is not part of the Tactic. That is, the initial roll to grapple does not add dice to the primary actor’s roll. Once the creature has been grappled and one secondary actor successfully overpowers the creature, all the secondary actors’ players make their rolls (Strength + Brawl). This roll is to keep the monster from thrashing about, giving the primary actor a clear target. The primary actor’s player then rolls Strength + Weaponry (adding the weapon’s damage modifier as usual), swinging his weapon at the creature’s maw. Note: Some hunter cells, particularly within the Aegis Kai Doru, use a variation on this Tactic that targets a creature’s nose rather than its mouth. Animalistic monsters like werewolves rely heavily on scent to track and navigate, and removing that ability can be a major tactical advantage. Dentistry can be used this way without learning a separate Tactic; simply reverse the “Success” and “Exceptional Success” results, below.

Organization: While this Tactic might seem a bit brutal for the scientists of Null Mysteriis, it makes perfect sense to them: a creature that can no longer feed on humanity is not a threat (at least not in the short term). The Aegis Kai Doru, on the other hand, finds a sadistic pleasure in using this Tactic to silence spell-casters in a most painful manner.

To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for Null Mysteriis, 9 for Aegis Kai Doru.

  • Disappear

Prerequisites: All: Stealth 2, Composure 2. Partial (1): Expression 2 (secondary actor). Requires: 2 or more. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Stealth. Secondary: Presence + Expression. Action: Instant and contested; opponent rolls Wits + Composure (resistance is reflexive). Description: Sometimes plans go badly and hunters have to disappear. Red and blue lights appear from nowhere. A monster’s reinforcements can be heard howling in the distance. A building catches fire, or a storm knocks out power to an area. Whatever the catalyst, the cell needs to escape, to blend into the scenery. That’s the time to enact this Tactic. Note: this Tactic reverses the usual Teamwork rules a bit, insofar as it has several “primary” actors who receive support from one, lone secondary actor. One (or more) of the cell accepts a terrible risk and takes on the role of the decoy. This hunter (the secondary actor) distracts the monster’s attention while the others retreat and hide.

Once the others are out of sight, the decoy hunter finds his own hiding place, if possible. Often, though, he simply runs, trying to make it to a populated area before the monster catches up with him. The Storyteller’s roll for the monster (Wits + Composure) is then compared to each of the primary actors’ rolls. Example: A cell of hunters is in a fight, but not doing so well. The creature it is fighting looks more or less human, but its eyes are black, glassy and empty, and it seems to be able to pull shards of glass from nowhere. Bleeding and in pain, the hunters decide to Disappear. There are four hunters: Kim, Barry, Greg and Mal. Kim is the fastest of the four and (perhaps because of this) the least injured, so she takes on the role of secondary actor. Her player rolls four successes on a Presence + Expression roll; Kim waves her hands in the air and screams at the creature to get its attention. Meanwhile, the other players roll Wits + Stealth + 4 dice (for Kim’s successes). Barry, Greg and Mal sprint in different directions, trying to find cover (their players roll two, three and six successes, respectively). The Storyteller rolls the monster’s Wits + Composure and gets three successes, so Mal and Greg get away. Kim and Barry, however, are still viable targets, and the creature pulls another shard of black glass from the shadows… Potential Modifiers: Secondary actor is especially attractive to the monster, such as a visibly bloody hunter tempting a vampire (+1 to secondary actor); secondary actor has wounded monster in the past (+1 to secondary actor); nearby area has a great deal of cover (+1 to +3 to primary actors); nearby area is densely populated (+2 to primary actors); primary actor is especially attractive to the monster (-1 to appropriate hunter); nearby area is sparse and open (-2 to primary actors); no other people in the area (-3 to primary actors); secondary actor cannot speak (-3 to secondary actor).

To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for Network Zero, 9 for the Ascending Ones.

  • Exorcism

Exorcism Prerequisites: All: Resolve 2, Composure 2, Occult 2. Partial (1): Morality 7, Occult 3 or Occult 2 with a Specialty in Possession or Religion (primary actor). Requires: 2 or more. Dice Pool: Primary: Resolve + Composure. Secondary:Stamina + Expression. Action: Extended and contested (see below). Description: (Note: this Tactic is based on the Exorcism system found on p. 214 of the World of Darkness Rulebook, but is modified in many ways) Ghosts can possess the bodies of the living for their own purposes, and hunters know this. But the shades of the unquiet dead aren’t the only beings capable of usurping control of others: spirits from planes of reality unknown to most mortals, unholy creatures that could legitimately be called “demons,” and even powerful sorcerers can displace a person’s consciousness. The exorcism system from the World of Darkness Rulebook is designed to work solely on ghosts, while this Tactic functions on any form of supernatural possession.

It does not function, however, on hypnotic suggestion, emotional manipulation or other forms of mind control. Only when the victim’s mind is intact but displaced can a cell attempt Exorcism.

Exorcism requires the target to be immobile. It’s possible to hold the target in place, but any hunters involved in doing so cannot participate in the Tactic itself. The better option is to restrain the target by tying him down. The secondary actors must chant, pray or simply concentrate on freeing the target from the possessing entity. The primary actor, meanwhile, carries out the ritual in whatever manner he has been trained. A Catholic hunter has a very different ritual method of freeing a person from possession than a secular hunter from Null Mysteriis, and these ritual differences can impose modifiers on the process (see below). Unlike most Tactics, Exorcism is an extended action. The entity possessing the target rolls Power + Resistance (if a ghost or a spirit), or whatever the activation roll is for the possession ability (if some other kind of supernatural creature). Successes from the primary actor’s rolls are compared to the entity’s successes for each roll. The party with the fewest successes in each roll loses Willpower. When one side or the other is reduced to 0 Willpower, the contest is over. Note that secondary actors cannot lose Willpower as part of this Tactic (though they can, and probably should, spend the 4 Willpower to enact the Tactic). The primary actor can risk Willpower on only one of the rolls for this Tactic (since it’s only possible to risk Willpower once per scene; see p. 65 for more information), and so it makes sense to wait until the character is running low on Willpower before attempting this.

Potential Modifiers: Primary actor has one of the possessing ghost’s anchors handy (+3 to primary actor; only applicable for ghosts); form of the ritual is appropriate to the possessed individual, such as a Catholic ritual being enacted on a Catholic or Christian victim (+2 to primary actor); primary actor spends at least 10 minutes instructing secondary actors in appropriate chants or prayers before beginning (+1 to secondary actors); loud or distracting environment (-1 to all participants); target has been possessed for more than one day (-1 to primary actor for each day after the first); target willingly accepted the possession (-5 to primary actor).

To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience, 13 for the Long Night, 11 for the Malleus Maleficarum.

  • Hamstring

Prerequisites: All: Dexterity 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 1. Partial (1): Strength 3, Weaponry 3 (primary actor). Requires: 2; 5 or more levies a -2 penalty to the primary actor. Dice Pool: Primary: Strength + Weaponry. Secondary: Presence + Athletics. Action: Instant. Description: The Hamstring Tactic is one that hunters use just before a retreat, or when they wish to prevent a monster from fleeing. The Tactic reduces a monster’s capacity for speed by damaging its leg, severing muscles and shattering bone. Hamstring works by mechanical damage, rather than relying on putting the monster in pain. Monsters don’t always feel pain, but if the creature’s tibia is sticking out of its lower leg at a 90º angle, it isn’t going to be sprinting any time soon.

Hamstring functions similarly to Cripple Claws (p. 219). The secondary actors present targets for the monster, while the primary actor flanks the beast and strikes its leg with a weapon. The primary actor needs to inflict enough damage to the creature to make a shattered mess of the leg in order for the Tactic to work, and legs aren’t exactly fragile — muscle and bone are both quite thick here. As such, in addition to any other applicable modifi ers, Hamstring suffers a -5 modifier to the primary actor to compensate for specifying a target (see p. 165 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) and for cutting through or smashing the muscles and bones. If a secondary actor’s roll fails, he does not get out of the way of the monster in time. When the monster’s next action arrives, it can attack that hunter without applying the hunter’s Defense. This does not affect the primary actor in any way (other than not granting the player extra dice, of course).

Potential Modifiers: Primary actor uses a bladed weapon of at least Size 3 (+1 to primary actor); secondary actor is especially attractive to the monster, such as an obviously bloodied hunter facing a vampire (+1 to primary actor); monster is Size 6 or larger (+1 to primary actor); primary actor is especially attractive to the monster (-1 to all participants); monster is Size 4 or smaller (-1 to primary actor); primary actor’s weapon inflicts bashing damage (-2 to primary actor); small, enclosed space (-3 to all participants); secondary actor(s) has a lower Initiative than the primary actor (-3 to all participants).

To Purchase: 15 Practical Experience, 12 for the Union,10 for the Lucifuge.

  • Harvest

Prerequisites: All: Intelligence 2, Composure 2, Occult 2. Partial (1): Occult 4 or Occult 3 with a Specialty in the type of monster being harvested (vampires, werewolves, etc.). Partial (1): Medicine 2 (primary actor).

Requires: 3; more than 5 imposes a -1 penalty on all participants. Dice Pool: Primary: Composure + Medicine. Secondary: Wits + Occult (one secondary actor); Strength + Brawl (all other secondary actors). Action: Instant and contested; target resists with Strength + Brawl (resistance is reflexive). Description: Whether for scientific research, arcane rituals or just because they want a trophy, hunters often have reason to collect samples of monsters. Unfortunately, the physical matter of a monster often changes once the creature dies. Vampires crumble to dust, their blood and bones becoming naught but ash. Werewolves revert to human form, and their skin and muscle is indistinguishable from any other person’s. This Tactic,though, takes a sample from a still living (or extant, at least)supernatural creature, and thus allows the hunters to use it. This is a complicated Tactic, and requires coordination and concentration. At least one secondary actor must grapple the target creature (rolling Strength + Brawl; refer to p. 158 of the World of Darkness Rulebook for rules on multiple people grappling the same opponent). At that point, another secondary actor, who must remain uninvolved in the grappling but stay close enough to observe the proceedings, advises the primary actor on how to proceed (this character must have Occult 4, or Occult 3 with a Specialty in the type of monster being harvested). Then the primary actor, armed with the necessary tools (a syringe, a bone saw, a specimen jar, etc.), takes the sample and seals it up. What complicates this, of course, is that the monster doesn’t cooperate. The creature thrashes against the hunters, and that means taking the sample requires a steady but quick hand. As such, Harvest is a contested action.

To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience, 13 for the Ashwood Abbey, 11 for the Cheiron Group.

  • Identification

Prerequisites: All: Wits 2, Occult 1, Empathy 1, Investigation 1. Partial (1): Empathy 3. Partial (1): Occult 3 orOccult 2 with a Specialty in Identifying Monsters (either of these characters can be the primary actor). Requires: 2; more than 2 bestows a +1 to the primary actor for each extra hunter. Dice Pool: Primary: Intelligence + Empathy or Occult. Secondary: Wits + Investigation. Action: Instant. Description: Before the hunt can begin, the hunters need a target. This Tactic allows a cell to identify a supernatural being from a normal human. It doesn’t allow the cell to discern what kind of supernatural being the target is (though it probably gives them a direction for further research), only that the target isn’t quite normal. The secondary actors make observations about the target, noting body language, behaviors, tics and habits. They report these to the primary actor, who makes a summary judgment about the target, supernatural or not. Secondary actors can make a number of observations over the period of a day. Each secondary actor can make one roll per dot of Investigation in a day, at a rate of one roll per scene, but can only “keep” one of these rolls for purposes of reporting to the primary actor (probably the one with the most successes). Organizations: Cells of all three tiers and all organizations make use of this Tactic. Misidentifying a target can lead to murder, after all. Potential Modifiers: Target has a number of supernatural “indicators,” as allergy to sunlight, no reflection, restrictions on behavior or diet,unconscious effects on the emotions of those around it, etc. (+3 to secondary actors); target is a werewolf (+2 to secondary actors); target is possessed by a spirit, ghost or other non-human entity (+2 to secondary actors); secondary actor speaks face to face with target (+2 to appropriate secondary actor); hunter has the Unseen Sense Merit and the target is of a “type” that would set off his Unseen Sense (+2 to appropriate hunter); hunters have encountered this type of creature before (+1 to all participants); hunters have never encountered this type of creature before (-1 to all participants); target is a mage (-1 to secondary actors); target has few or no supernatural “indicators” — kin to werewolves, servant to vampires or mages, etc. (-2 to secondary actors); target is a normal, non-supernatural human being (-2 to secondary actors), primary actor has never seen the target himself (-3 to primary actor).

To Purchase: 15 Practical Experience, 12 for any tier-two cell, 10 for any tier-three cell.

  • Measurements

Prerequisites: All: Wits 2, Science 2. Partial (1): Academics 2 or Computer 2. Partial (1): Science 3. Requires: 2 or more. Dice Pool: Primary: Intelligence + Science. Secondary: Wits + Stealth. Action: Extended (each roll represents one turn of scrutiny). Description: In order to defeat (or use, or even redeem) monsters, hunters often to wish to learn about them. The Measurements Tactic allows the cell to collect this data, using any number of methods. Photography, sound recording and thermal imaging all simply require the right kinds of instruments, but hunters have used this Tactic to achieve more sophisticated measurements. By measuring how fast a creature moves from a stationary position, they can make a guess at adrenal function and body strength. By how quickly it responds to stimuli, they can draw conclusions about its sensory apparatus. Using Measurements benefits from some setup time, but given the right equipment, the hunters can draw data on the fly, as well. The Storyteller needs to decide how to present the acquired data to the players. Telling the players that the monster is “stronger than a human being of comparable size” isn’t terribly useful, but knowing that a creature has “at least Strength 5” might be. Of course, the way the players hear the data and the way the characters hear it are quite different. The Storyteller might tell the troupe, “Based on the data, the creature could probably tear a door off the hinges quite easily. In terms of game mechanics, that’s roughly Strength 5 or 6.” Some troupes, of course, might not want to hear the game mechanics side of things, preferring to just interpret the data in character, and that’s fine, too. The secondary actors hide in the area, taking readings, running cameras and producing stimuli, if necessary. The primary actor interprets this data as it comes in, making adjustments to the machinery, if any, or giving instructions to the secondary actors. Measurements can be sustained over a number of turns, but if the target ever has a reason to become suspicious or if one of the secondary actors fails the Wits + Stealth roll, the Storyteller can make a Wits + Composure roll for the monster. If this roll succeeds, the monster notices the hunter whose Stealth roll failed, and can attack or flee as it sees fit. Note that Measurements can continue in combat with a monster, as long as at least one secondary actor is available to feed data to the primary actor. To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for Null Mysteriis, 9 for the Cheiron Group.

  • Moral Support

Prerequisites: All: Resolve 2, Empathy 1. Partial (1): Presence or Manipulation 3, Empathy 2 (primary actor).Requires: 2 or more. Dice Pool: Primary: Manipulation or Presence + Empathy. Secondary: Wits + Expression. Action: Instant. Description: A monster might be able to tear a man’s arm off or bite through his throat, but the truly terrifying ones are those that can control his thoughts and feelings. Hunters have long been aware that many creatures of the World of Darkness can do this sort of thing — some even cause memory loss by their very presence. The Moral Support Tactic, hopefully enacted before it becomes an issue, gives a cell some protection against this kind of attack. The secondary actors exchange words of encouragement and support, psyching each other up, as it were. The primary actor then says a few words to the cell: last-minute advice, reminders about Tactics, or just an admonition to “kill the bastards.” The cell can then enter a dangerous situation knowing that the members have each other’s backs. While this isn’t a foolproof method of preventing infiltration or mind manipulation, it’s certainly better than nothing. Note, though, that moral support does nothing to help with existing mental manipulation. If a vampire catches a hunter out alone and implants a hypnotic suggestion, this Tactic does nothing to remove or weaken it. The hunter is protected from other mental incursions, but the prior one stands. Organizations: All the organizations make frequent use of Moral Support. Potential Modifi ers: Hunters have been together for more than a year with no alterations in membership (+5 to all participants); hunters have been together for more than six months with no alterations in membership (+3 to all participants); hunters have been together for more than three months with no alteration in membership (+1 to all participants); cell’s last encounter was a victory (+1 to all participants); primary actor is the recognized leader of the cell (+1 to primary actor); cell’s last encounter was a defeat (-1 to all participants); primary actor is not the leader of the cell (-1 to primary actor); a member of the cell has died within the last month (-3 to all participants, cumulative); a member of the cell has become a monster or otherwise betrayed the cell within the last month (-5 to all participants, cumulative).

To Purchase: 13 Practical Experience, 10 for tier-two compacts, 8 for tier-three conspiracies.

Tactics from Night Stalkers

  • Arson

Prerequisites: All: Larceny 2, Science 1, Survival 1, and Composure 2. Requires: 2 to 5 (-1 for every person above 5) Dice Pool: Primary: Wits + Larceny; Secondary: Intelligence + Larceny Action: Instant Description: Fire can seem alive. It breathes, feeds, moves, grows, reproduces; possessing many of the signs of life. Like any wild and dangerous animal, if it can be properly tamed it can be used. One of the most vulgar expressions of fire’s vast utility is, of course, arson. A cell can find a hundred ways to exploit this Tactic for use in the Vigil. Destruction of evidence, distracting authorities, smoking out the enemy, insurance fraud, etc. Considering vampires have a downright supernatu- ral fear of the stuff, its relevance against their kind is a no-brainer. True arson is far more than starting a fire and let- ting it burn—any “professional” arsonist knows that. Ar- son cares for the fire; feeds it, leads it and encourages it along its way all while covering the arsonist’s tracks. The cell as secondary actors take care of the path, spreading tinder and accelerant as needed. Subtlety and plausibility are the watchwords of a good burn job, and the cell should focus on arranging the existing environment more than spreading some wood chips, upending a gas can and running off into the night. Tipping a bookcase over the couch, to lead to the drapes in the kitchen near where some stray grease from the oven awaits, etc., helps paint a better scene when and if curious investigators come through.

The primary actor’s job is to find the best place to start the blaze, making a nest for the fire to be born while waiting for his cellmates to clear the area. He gives the flame its first spark of life and gets the hell out of there before the whole place goes up. Multiple primary actors (from multiple cells) could amplify the effects by starting multiple fires if the fire is meant to spread through a lot of stories in not a lot of time. The cell’s efforts will necessarily draw attention un- less they’ve greased a few palms or targeted a remote enough location that no one is likely to report the burning in time. Depending on the cell’s desired effect, the authorities might finish the job for them. The resultant water damage can be just as destructive to materials, structures or evidence; and the concurrent investigation might require a vampire tenant to abandon the site for fear of discovery regardless of the damage done to the publicly accessible portions to their den. More advanced cells might add a postscript to this Tactic that involves setting fire to a suspected vampire den under a noonday sun, leaving the monster no re- spite. This method is imperfect however, as the cell runs a much greater risk of immediate response from the lo- cal fire department during daylight hours (unless the cell was counting on the speedy response per the above). Another variation popular among military types turns the night back to their advantage and involves setting up snipers outside the burning nest, shooting anything that comes out screaming. The bullets might not kill them, but might severely hamper the desperate monsters’ attempts to escape their fiery doom. Organizations: The Union often have the tools, access and know-how to get rid of unwanted neighbors or potential nests that are in need of some urban renewal. Task Force: VALKYRIE agents are no strangers to cover-ups. Potential Modifiers: Accelerants (+1 to +3), Old building (+2), Wooden frame (+1), Masonry structure (-2), Stone structure (-3).

Roll Results Dramatic Failure: Some simple miscalculation causes a misfire: the fire-starter burns herself in the process taking 2 lethal damage. The fire flares out be- fore it can start. Failure: The materials are spread too thin or the kindling suffers an early break. If the fire starts at all, it extinguishes itself almost immediately. Success: The fire is set and the area is sure to be destroyed as desired while leaving no traceable evidence back to the cell. The fire begins as the Size (1) and Heat (+1) of a Torch. Every five turns, the fire goes up anoth- er level of both Size and Heat, to a maximum of Inferno (3) and Bunsen Burner (+2). If it reaches that point, the fire becomes very difficult to stop: assume that it burns despite the best efforts to put it out. Firefighters will need at least one hour to put out the conflagration. Exceptional Success: The Arson is swift and un- merciful. The fire grows to the Heat of a Chemical fire (+3) and will take two hours to extinguish—though it will likely burn one or several buildings to the ground before that occurs (and the fire naturally burns itself out). To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience; 13 for the Union; 11 for Task Force VALKYRIE.

  • Battle Hardening

Prerequisites: All: Athletics 2, Stamina 2; Partial (1): Stamina 3, Expression 2 (secondary actor) Requires: 2 or more Dice Pool: Primary: Stamina + Athletics; Secondary: Stamina + Expression. Action: Instant (roll made at end of five-day regimen) Description: The Vigil is a physically exhausting com- mitment that exacts a demanding price and gives noth- ing in return. A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a healthy body tends to stay healthy. Hunters as a rule should try to stay in shape, but working out and Battle Hardening are as dissimilar as running is to jumping. An individual can be bulging with muscle but still get winded from a 100-yard sprint or tear a muscle and put themselves in traction for weeks due to lack of proper preparation. Battle Hardening is about strengthening a cell’s constitution in order to reduce fatigue and decrease valuable recovery time away from the hunt. With a steady and daily routine of stretching, intense cardio- vascular exercise and pushing the body beyond what each individual believe themselves capable of, the cell becomes limber and ready to face the intense physi- cal demands the Vigil can place on a body. Especially when facing off with the preternatural physicality of vampires and myriad other monsters they face. This Tactic behaves slightly differently than normal and involves one secondary actor working as instruc- tor, pushing the cell to commit to the daily regimen. There’s usually only one or two secondary actors—the rest are all primary actors, and gain bonus dice in the normal way. The more effective the instructor (second- ary), the more those working the regimen (primary) get from the Tactic. The instructor performs the regiment with the rest of the cell—this is important if she wants to gain some benefit from the exercise. This Tactic is only complete when the cell com- mits to one hour’s worth of training for five days in a row. The rolls to work this Tactic are made at the end of the five day period; those hunters unable to commit to this regimen for that long fail to gain any benefit from this Tactic. Some examples of appropriate exercise include wind sprints, “Hit Its,” bicycle sit-ups, lunges, and other exercises where the rigors of the activity apply directly to one’s Stamina—the goal is the loosening of muscle groups rather than tightening them through feats of Strength. Organizations: The hunters of the Ashwood Ab- bey may come off as spoiled hedonists, but they are perhaps the most physical of the compacts and desire to maintain their physique and edge over their prey as much as—if not more than—anyone. The Ascend- ing Ones need to maintain exceptional mental and physical acumen to keep their bodies pure (the body is a temple, after all) and able to transmute the toxic substances they consume.

To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience; 11 for the Ashwood Abbey; 9 for the Ascending Ones.

  • Cauterize

Prerequisites: All: Brawl 2, Dexterity 2, Medicine 1. Partial (1): Weaponry 2, Crafts 1, Wits 3 (primary actor). Requires: 3 to 6 (-1 to the primary actor’s dice pool per member over 6) Dice Pool: Primary: Intelligence + Weaponry. Secondary: Strength + Brawl (grapple) Action: Instant Description: Vampires can heal the most grievously crippling wounds in minutes, sometimes seconds. Open a bloodsucker up and a hunter can watch the beast mend itself right back to good-as- godforsaken-new. They’re a hard enough breed to hurt in the first place and watching one stitch it- self up with a smile is demoralizing to even the best hunters who take up the Vigil. So it should come as no surprise this Tactic spikes in popularity every couple of years. It’s not uncommon to hear some vets swear by a hot iron or acetylene torch among their checklists of absolutely required field gear when facing down a nest of fangs or other similarly regenerative monsters. The goal is to leave the critter with a memento of the hunters’ efforts: a wound that acts as an ugly reminder of the fight for nights on after (maybe even weeks if it’s a particularly good one). If the cell is prepared and practiced with the Cauterize Tactic they must be ready to go at any time. This proves necessary for success since the window in which the need for Cauterize opens and closes can be minimal. Everyone must be prepared to play any part if needed at a moment’s notice. The starter gun, so to speak, is whenever any member of the cell manages to cut a good chunk out of—or off of—the monster. The primary actor needs to already be prepared or waste precious seconds—even minutes— getting ready, by which time it might be too late. If done properly, it should take no more than a turn to initiate the Cauterize Tactic. The primary actor opts to go last in initiative order if he isn’t already or he’ll end up going next turn (and a lot can happen between now and then). As many secondary actors as are available attempt to grapple the creature and hold it still while the primary actor sears, brands, or otherwise aggravates the wound. If using open flame, the primary actor would be wise to avoid let- ting the creature see it or it might lose control in blind panic (see “Frenzy,” p. 163). To Purchase: 15 Practical Experience; 12 for the Long Night; 10 for the Lucifuge.

  • Eviscerate

Prerequisites: All: Brawl 2, Dexterity 2, Wits 2. Partial (1): Weaponry 2, Survival 1 (primary actor). Requires: 3 to 6 (-1 to the primary actor’s dice pool per member over 6) Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Weaponry. Secondary: Dexterity + Subterfuge Action: Instant Description: Vampires need blood to animate their bodies, fuel their powers, and heal their wounds. The Eviscerate Tactic hopes to cost them in that regard by spilling more blood than the creature stands to lose. The cell rushes the monster from all directions, feinting and trying to goad the creature into overextending itself and leave its belly exposed. Once it does so, the primary actor exploits the gap and opens up the creature’s bread- basket. The damage tends to be less severe but the en- emy’s spoiled resources more than make up for it. The primary actor opts to go last in Initiative or- der if he isn’t already or he’ll end up going next turn where the situation might be different. The secondary actors use their Initiative to make runs at the vampire from all sides, one by one. Their make their rolls ex- actly as if making a normal attack roll, including sub- tracting the creature’s Defense normally; however, no damage will be dealt as no actual attack is made. The trick for the secondary actors is to get close enough to provoke the creature to defend against her or reach out for her in counterattack but pull back at the last second. Once the vampire has been run out from all directions, it will be left overextended and turned away from the primary actor, exposing the flank or midriff. Now the primary actor steps in and opens the creature up like a bag of soup, ideally spilling its precious life- blood out over the floor beyond its means.

To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience; 13 for the Loyalists of Thule; 11 for the Ascending Ones.

  • Helter Skelter

Prerequisites: All: Resolve or Composure 2, Stealth 1, Intimidation 1. Partial (1): Brawl or Weap- onry 2 (primary actor). Requires: 3 to 8 (-1 to the primary actor’s dice pool per member over Dice Pool: Primary: Strength + Brawl or Weapon- ry. Secondary: Dexterity + Expression Action: Instant Description: Vampires are predatory creatures with every possible advantage on their side. Supernaturally strong, fast, and enduring, vampires don’t tire, bleed, or even bruise, and they have little reason to hold back for fear of long-term injury or death. To enter into the arena with one or challenge it to fair fight would be dan- gerous at best and probably suicidal. This is why smart cells who want to stay in the Vigil longer than their first night throw all sense of fairness out the window. (Some hunters like to be honorable and “play fair.” Those hunters usually get dead. After all, is it fair that vampires drink blood, turn into mist, and command swarms of rats? Didn’t think so.) Luckily, vampires have several natural aversions that can be exploited to try and balance the scales—even if only by a little. This Tactic when performed correctly involves the primary actor squaring off mano e mano with a vampire while the rest of the cell clamors and creates as much distraction as possible. Waving flashlights, torches, strobes, flashbulbs or even glow sticks; while clang- ing on pipes, screaming, singing hymns, chanting, and cat-calling. All in a prolonged effort designed to keep the creature from being able to focus on its foe. Vampires are creatures of the night and shrink instinc- tually from fire. Drawing from this instinct, strobing lights and other bright sources of illumination tend to make them just as twitchy. Beyond the base distraction of the noises created by the cell, vampires often seem possessed of supernaturally-enhanced senses and this Tactic could be agitating or even painful. A major caveat in using this Tactic is that vampires are quite prone to going into a state of mindless rage (see “Frenzy,” p.163) when hungry, agitated, or actively afraid. That has its advantages but presents an extraor- dinary risk. To be successful with this Tactic the second- ary actors are looking to distract the opponent while the primary actor fights it, not enrage it. The cell has to keep their presence a nuisance while remaining non- threatening. Wagging a torch nearby is enough to keep the creature’s attention. To approach or try and do too much and suddenly you’re going to need a whole other Tactic to get away from the rampaging beast. To achieve the best results, the cell would want to choose the place and time, leading the creature into an ambush. However, if the cell is minimally prepared with a couple lighters, halogen flashlights, and a shrill rape whis- tle, they could perform this Tactic anywhere, anytime. Organizations: The Long Night liken this Tactic to the story of David and Goliath and chose a champion among them to confront the beast, and the congregation circle around it singing hymns, praying loudly, and pass- ing candles and torches around. The Ascending Ones call this Tactic the Rising Sun (in reference to an attack com- ing from the east at dawn to blind an opposing army). Potential Modifiers: Target has the Meditative Mind Merit (-3); creature has some other method of height- ened sense (smell/ESP) (-2); cell forced to improvise (-1); using real fire (+1); target has the Enhanced Senses Dread Power (+2), hunters have surprise (+2); near dawn (+3); hunters possess fire of 2 Size or +2 Heat (+3) Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The hunter gets too anxious Dramatic Failure: The hunter gets too anxious and too close. The monster immediately frenzies and a secondary actor becomes the first target. Failure: The vampire could care less about the hunter’s effort. He is nothing more than a buzzing in- sect in the ear of a giant. Success: The secondary actors’ successes are pooled, and the players determine how to distribute those suc- cesses. Successes can go toward the following: • Toward the primary actor’s attack roll as dice (per normal Teamwork action). • Toward the primary actor’s Defense score. • Toward reducing the vampire’s Defense, Initia- tive or Speed. Example: Gwendolyn, Eamon and Angus are the secondary actors and roll a total of four successes be- tween them. They give Kamaria (the primary actor) one bonus die. They add one to her Defense. They subtract one from the vampire’s Defense score, and one from the vampire’s Initiative score; thus, they ‘spent’ all four of their successes. (They could have just as easily reduced the vampire’s Initiative by four or given the primary actor four dice to his attack roll.) These bonuses count in the same turn (or if the vam- pire has already gone this turn, during the vampire’s next action). The cell can continue to use this Tactic turn after turn, but doing so necessitates re-rolling the Tactic’s ac- tion (and redistributing successes where desired). Exceptional Success: The creature is temporarily blinded and teeters on the verge of panic. Any failure in the following round of combat on the part of the opponent counts as a Dramatic Failure. To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience; 11 for the Long Night; 9 for the Ascending Ones.

  • Invisible Fence

Prerequisites: All: Investigation 2, Wits 2, Com- posure 2. Partial (1): Weaponry 2 or Firearms 3 (pri- mary actor). Requires: 5 (-1 per hunter under 5) Dice Pool: Primary: Wits + Composure (or other as described below) Secondary: Wits + Investigation Action: Contested (Wits + Stealth) Description: A classic image in folklore involves vam- pires disappearing before the eyes of their pursuers. This ability has been confirmed in vampires and other supernat- ural critters by hunters all over the world. Knowing it can happen and seeing it for the first time are two completely different things, however. With regular drilling and practice any hunter, even the newly uninitiated can be taught the best way to respond through the Invisible Fence Tactic. When and if a vampire disappears from the hunt- ers’ view, the cell immediately circles the area in which the creature disappeared. The cell establishes a pe- rimeter with the primary actor in the circle, presum- ably with the vampire if the response time was quick enough. Circling is the easy part; the primary actor still has to find the creature and rob it of its advantage as quickly as possible. In the past, secondary actors would tighten the circle with the hopes of herding the crea- ture toward their teammate, a method which got a lot of good people killed. Learning from experience, anymore secondary actors contribute by keeping their distance, kicking up dust, shining flashlights—or even better, laser pointers—through the circumference of their circle look- ing for broken beams and other anomalous refractions. Pinpointed or pigeon-holed, the primary actor’s job is to attempt to pinpoint the creature so it can be handled in some fashion. Some highly trained personnel might trust their aim with a firearm to do the job but that is something the cell will want to be comfortable with beforehand. Any option is a controlled risk. It should be noted, the ball is firmly in the primary actor’s court and it’s up to him what to do with the vampire once he thinks he’s pinpointed it (and provided it stands pat). Once revealed, for instance, the cell can easily segue into another Tactic such as Helter Skelter or Tar and Feather. If the cell intended the vampire no harm in the first place, they might try and talk it back into the light now that they’ve evidenced they’re not a couple of rubes or fang-chasers. Any number of solutions make themselves available and creative cells should be able to find ways to turn the situation to their advantage. Organizations: The intellectuals of Null Mysteriis know that there is no such thing as true invisibility—it’s a trick of the light or perhaps some form of advanced hypnotism. Whatever it turns out to be, the creature is still very much in the room. VALKYRIE squads drill for these situations enough to break swiftly into formation once a creature goes “dark.” Potential Modifiers: Small room, less than 20 square feet (+3), medium room, less than 100 square feet (+1); large room more than 100 square feet (-1); dusty (+1); brightly lit (-2); wide open area (-3) Roll Results Dramatic Failure: While trying to establish the perimeter, the hunter trips over her own cellmate, leaving an open opportunity for the creature to make a clean break. Failure: The hunter doesn’t properly cover her area and contributes -1 to the overall result. Success: The primary actor thinks he knows where the creature is—perhaps he spots the dust pat- terns changing in such a way or sees the laser pointers refracting. He immediately alerts his cellmates. Any at- tempts by the creature to escape the hunters’ “invisible fence” suffer a -3 dice penalty. Exceptional Success: The primary actor gains +1 to any attacks made against the creature, even while it to any attacks made against the creature, even while it remains “unseen,” provided it’s successfully corralled with Invisible Fence. To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience; 13 for Null Mysteriis; 11 for Task Force: VALKYRIE

  • Lobby

Prerequisites: All: Manipulation 2, Politics 1, So- cialize 2, Expression 1; Partial (1): Politics 2 (primary actor); Partial (2): Persuasion 2 (secondary actors) Requires: 4 or more (-1 to all pools per member under 4) Dice Pool: Primary: Manipulation + Politics; Sec- ondary: Charisma + Persuasion Action: Primary: Instant; Secondary: Extended (no target successes necessary, the secondary actors may continue to accumulate success to add to the primary actor’s roll; each secondary actor roll is equivalent to one week’s worth of work). Description: Some vampires nestle within the dark and terrible heart of politics. Such creatures are without a doubt the most populous monster at this stratum in society (short of the politicians themselves). Feeding, gaining influence, and pulling strings in the highest halls of government all are part of the vam- pire’s wheelhouse. Behind the scenes they sit, fat and bloated, spending their eternal nights greasing palms, twisting minds, and redirecting funds. The names might never appear in the newspaper, but true to parasitic form they lurk just under the skin. The common man can feel powerless enough against Big Government without the added treachery of the forces of darkness. Hunters face the latter as a matter of course, but earnest cells find a way to bring the Vigil to those leeches suckling at the marrow of government, business and high society. Lobbying is a concerted effort to influence public policy or authorities in a way that stirs them to act against the interests of a vampire (or the creature’s whole accursed society). The scope of this Tactic affects local level (townships, boroughs, and city) politics only as the theater for most games. The Lobby Tactic is slightly more mutable than the muscle memory response or a Tactic like Hamstring or Staking, and as a result may take myriad shapes. Directly contacting local representatives, public demonstrations, “donations” (i.e. bribery), grassroots campaigns and petitions to rally the voting citizenry are all valid methods. Exceptional Success: The bill or motion sails through with overwhelming public support. The pri- mary actor gains a dot in Status (Local Politics). To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience, 13 for the Union, 11 for the Malleus Maleficarum.

  • Stalking Horse

Prerequisites: All: Socialize 2, Streetwise 1, Persuasion 1; Partial (1): Subterfuge 2, Expression 1 (primary actor); Par- tial (2): Stealth 1, Investigation 2 (secondary actors). Requires: 2 or more (-1 for every member below 4) Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Subterfuge Secondary: Presence + Socialize Action: Instant Description: Vampires are social parasites. No other monster needs people nearly as much as they do. Sometimes, the best place to encounter them is out in the public where there exists the potential for a lot of eyes watching or innocents near. However to be truly proactive in the Vigil, one has to hunt them on their own feeding grounds. Once, bird hunters noticed that their prey, while easily spooked by the presence of man, seemed other- wise indifferent to the presence of other non-predatory animals. By using their riding horses for cover, hunters found themselves able to get much closer to their prey, none the wiser for their presence. Like any predator, most vampires look for the easiest prey, not one who’s going to put up much of a struggle. This scratches battle-ready hunters right off the list. However, like with the titular Stalking Horse, the hunters might themselves able to get in better position with the right cover. The method to this madness relies on the primary actor’s ability to put on all appearance of being alone, available, and acting from a position of weakness (drunk, lusty, ostracized, sickly, or some other vulnerable state). Meanwhile, the secondary actors engage any other targets likely to draw predatory attention, or move to intercept anyone else attracted to the lone figure that is their cellmate.

The secondary actors make their rolls and add any successes to the primary actor’s attempt to call attention to herself. Once the vampire is successfully on the hook, he will either lead the presumed “victim” to a more private place or the hunter can separate herself from the herd, hoping that the fang will follow. Either way, the rest of the cell excuse themselves and follow along to close the trap. Success on this Tactic successfully isolates the creature (whether in an alley, a closed-off restroom, or wherever it is that the hunter leads the vampire). They’ve also cornered a very dangerous predator away from any likely witnesses. The results of this isolation are up to the individual cell. While the Ashwood Abbey might delight in abducting the creature or abusing it right there in an alleyway, the Null Mysteriis might enjoy the chance to interview the creature in exchange for some of the blood it claims to need. In either situation, the group should keep itself girded for trouble or at least aware of how quickly they can get back into the public eye. Organizations: It is said the Ashwood Abbey has refined and perfected this Tactic while hunting within their vast social networks. The widespread members of the Lucifuge often find themselves in a position to hunt the hunters in their own territories (although they call this Tactic “Judas Goat”). Potential Modifiers: Hunters know the vampire’s feeding preferences and attempt to mimic those preferences (+3); the primary actor is bleeding (+2); hunters are improperly dressed (-2); hunters know nothing about the vampire in question (-3) Roll Results Dramatic Failure: Somehow, the primary actor exposes his intentions (or has them exposed by the secondary actors). The vampire now knows a game is going on, and can either escape… or play the game and maneuver the hunters the way she wants. Failure: The primary actor doesn’t put off the right vibe of desperation and isolation and fails to draw any attention to herself. Success: The hunter throws off just the right amount of isolation and weakness to attract their social predator and may lead him or wait to be led depending on what the cell has in mind. In a combat situation, the vampire has no inclination what is coming and may not roll to detect surprise. Exceptional Success: The tables are so effectively turned, the vampire loses her Defense for the first two turns of combat. To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience; 11 for the Ashwood Abbey; 9 for the Lucifuge

  • Stakeout

Prerequisites: All: Composure or Resolve 2, Wits 1, Investigation 1, Stealth 1, Streetwise 1; Partial (1): Lar- ceny 1 (primary actor); Partial (1): Investigation 2 (sec- ondary actor) Requires: 3 or more (for every hunter above 5, the cell suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to any Stealth rolls requires to remain inconspicuous) Dice Pool: Primary: Wits + Intelligence; Secondary: Wits + Investigation Action: Primary: Instant; Secondary: Extended (players can continue to roll and accumulate successes as long as they choose, though extended stakeouts run a higher risk of detection; each roll is equivalent to one 24-hour period) Description: A vampire den, a museum filled with forgotten Relics, a ship-yard expecting a mysteri- ous shipment, an airbase in the middle of the desert that isn’t nearly as abandoned as reported. The World of Darkness is full of places that a hunter cell would want to get in without an invitation. Stake Out is the smartest way toward getting it done. This Tactic, strictly translated involves positioning multiple hunt- ers around the location in rotating shifts to observe the location at all times of the day. Once a requisite amount of observation has been catalogued, the cell uses this pooled information to create a map not only of the location, but of the various schedules, foot traf- fic, and average daily activity of the locale. The secondary actors station themselves around the target and surrounding area and take notes about what they see and when. If possible, at least one mem- ber of the Tactic will want to get as far inside the loca- tion as she can, whether it’s a public place with operat- ing hours, a tour, or a quick scam that lets a hunter in to “check the pipes.” Once successfully stationed and inconspicuous (a Storyteller may necessitate Stealth rolls to remain con- cealed; if the hunters are discovered, the Tactic ends), the secondary actors begin taking their notes. By taking shifts and different vantages, the cell will be able to con- jure a working model of the local security force and what to expect once inside. These observations are looking for more than when a store closes, how many windows are on the second floor or how many employees man the front desk. The cell wants to take note of patterns in foot and vehicle traffic around the location, guard rotations, idiosyncrasy in building designs, and a dozen other in- conspicuous items that might come in handy. Note that all secondary actors do not need to be present for every hour of every day—but the cell needs to rotate and keep at least one secondary actor “on duty” at a time. Many cells may take up to a week or so to proper- ly “stakeout” a location, but the Storyteller should note that every night beyond the first that the cell stakes out a location they suffer a -1 to any Stealth rolls made to remain inconspicuous (that van that sits there for several days is going to start drawing some attention). The primary actor takes the accumulated informa- tion and puts it to practical use. The hunter might draw up a map or refer to blueprints. He might take notes and construct some kind of plan out of what the secondary actors have witnessed. And then he’ll take that plan and likely put it into action—whether the ob- jective is to steal an artifact, set a fire, or let the rest of the cell inside, the hunter hopes to have the necessary advantage to stay one step ahead. If at any point the stakeout is interrupted, suc- cesses gained by the secondary actors are not lost, but they can gain no more by continuing the Tactic. The primary actor must make do with whatever informa- tion the secondary actors gleaned by that point. Organizations: By dint of its general expertise, Net- work 0 brings a lot of technological improvements to an old game. By setting cameras instead of milling around outside, hacking security payroll instead of counting heads and other modern conveniences, they can cut a lot of guesswork out of the operation. The hunters of Aegis Kai Doru are adept at getting into places they weren’t invited, taking what they want, and leaving without a trace of their passing. They make it look easy, but a lot of legwork goes into that appearance. Potential Modifiers: Hunters are well-concealed (+2); hunters using cameras (+2); hunters live nearby (+1); high walls or other obstructions (-2); heavily guarded (-3) Success: Success gives the cell the following ben- efits, which apply only when the cell aims to interact with the location (likely within the location): • The cell gains a bonus to Initiative scores equal to the primary actor’s successes gained. (This bo- nus only applies in regards to the location: if the hunters were trying to break into the location or battle a vampire within a staked-out haven, the bo- nus applies. If they were ambushed getting out of the van, the bonus does not.) • The cell gains +2 to any Stealth or Larceny rolls made regarding the location (i.e. breaking in, stealing an item, hiding from a patrolling thrall, and so forth). • The cell gains +1 to any roll meant to detect surprise while within the location. Exceptional Success: The cell also gains +1 Speed while operating within the location. To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience; 13 for Net- work 0; 11 for the Aegis Kai Doru.

  • Tar and Feather

Prerequisites: All: Composure 2, Dexterity 2; Partial (1): Computer 1, Crafts or Expression 2 with a specialty in Film (primary actor); Partial (2): Athletics 1 (secondary actors). Requires: 2 to 5 (-1 penalty for every hunter over 5) Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Crafts, Secondary: Dexterity + Athletics. Action: Instant Description: One of the problems in collecting valuable data from vampire encounters comes from a strange supernatural “side effect” that doesn’t allow them to be filmed or photographed. Folklore claims this is the same phenomenon that prevents some vam- pires from reflecting in mirrors. Photographs and mir- rors reflect the soul, and as vampires do not have souls (or so the story goes), they appear as dark smudges, blurs or obscured in shadow even when there should be none. Modern ingenuity has found a way around this problem even if it is a crude one. The name of this Tactic isn’t entirely accurate but conjures the right image. The idea being that some of the secondary actors attempt to douse the creature with some kind of adherent material, tar, glue, grease, syrup— anything sticky. The rest of the secondary actors coat the target in particulate matter, like sawdust, pebbles, sand, grass clippings—something they can film. All while the primary actor secrets himself a safe distance away and lets the cameras roll—a sort of “poor man’s motion capture.” This Tactic usually involves ambushing a vampire on the street, relying on the safety of being out in pub- lic to save them from retaliation. For more thorough investigations, a secure location might be required, that is, if the cell is feeling ballsy. In a pinch smaller cells might simply drench the creature in paint or dye in an attempt to save themselves a step. They have to be careful not to obscure the target as to be just as un- recognizable as a dark blur would have been, or stuck with ridiculous footage that just looks like some poor bastard they doused in paint. Ultimately, the hope is that the creature is pro- voked to do something supernatural or otherwise damning while on film. Once successful, the cell may attempt any number of follow up efforts while the crea- ture is caught on tape, however most non-combatants use the most common, “run and gun” method. For every relative success there are dozens of completely unusable failures. Still, the Vigil is won in inches and this relatively new Tactic might still be refined into even more useful forms with advances in technology, and good old-fashioned trial and error. Organizations: In their ongoing pursuit for ir- refutable proof of the supernatural, Network 0 per- haps has the most vested interest in this particular Tactic and often stage reckless fly-bys on suspected vampires. The Cheiron Group is responsible for the most successful version of this Tactic to date, by setting up a controlled suite and using photore- ceptive particles and blood dosed with a magnetic dye to map a vampire’s body. It is unfortunate that the subject escaped before completion. Efforts are in place to replicate this level of “recordability” in the field. Potential Modifiers: Windy area (-2); Poor light- ing (-1); Paint or dye only (-1); Well lit (+1); Digital Equipment (+2). Roll Results Dramatic Failure: Whether hurling the grease or dust, a sharp blowback or slip of a finger sends the ma- terial into the hunter’s own eyes or that of one of his cellmates. The afflicted individual suffers a -2 penalty until they can successfully wipe away or flush the mate- rial from their eyes. Failure: Through any combination of settings, technique or equipment failure, the recording simply fails to catch any valuable footage whatsoever. Success: In the course of the Tactic the creature performs some unearthly feat or otherwise reveals its monstrous nature. It might not be irrefutable, but it’s nevertheless a success. Hunters trying to track the crea- ture using video technology gain a +3 to any rolls made to do so. In addition, even ground-level tracking of the creature is improved (it leaves behind a trail of feath- ers, chalk, photoreceptive silica, whatever was used in the tactic), and ground-level tracking efforts (whether using Investigation or Survival) gain +2 dice.Exceptional Success: The coating is so thorough it even pierces a creature’s potential invisibility—if, after being “Tar and Feathered” the creature drops out of sight using a supernatural ability, hunters still gain +1 to try to spot it on camera or with one’s bare eye. To Purchase: 12 Practical Experience, 9 for Net- work Zero, 7 for The Cheiron Group.

SAS Tactics

Cover Your Heart Prerequisites: All: Composure 2, Dexterity 2. Partial (1): Wits 3, Athletics 3, Brawl 3 (primary actor), Brawling Dodge or Weaponry Dodge Merit. Partial (1): Athletics 2, Brawl 3 or Weaponry 3 (second- ary actor). Requires: 2; up to 4 grants +1 per extra hunter to secondary actors. More actors cannot participate. Dice Pool: Primary: Wits + Athletics or Wits + Brawl. Secondary:Dexterity + Brawl or Dexterity + Weaponry. Action: Instant. Must be performed as a held action. Description: Some monsters just love to go for vital spots—the Spearfinger rips out livers with a flick of the wrist; other creatures eat hearts, brains or lungs. Usually, creatures with these sorts of hungers also have a special way of getting to the tasty morsels. Even body armor and fast reflexes aren’t enough to stop them, but a hunter who’s brave enough to throw herself into the line of fire can defend against such an attack and leave an opening for teammates.

The Tactic requires waiting for a creature to make such a signature maneuver, then using a prepared defense to counter the beast and open up its defenses. The primary actor must delay, waiting for the creature to strike. (Often, the hunter will taunt the foe, perhaps using Manipulation + Expression to try to make it attack her.) Once the creature makes its signature lunge, the primary hunter dodges the attack while the secondary hunters take the opportunity to strike.

Confuse the Scent Prerequisites: All: Wits 2, Stamina 2, Survival 2. Partial (1): Survival (Tracking) 3 (primary actor). Requires: 2; up to 4 imposes no penalty, 5 or more levies a -1 penalty to the primary actor for each extra hunter. Dice Pool: Primary: Wits + Survival. Secondary: Stamina + Survival. Action: Extended and contested Description: Sometimes running away is a valid strategy. Not every hunt goes exactly to plan and it is easy for hunters to become the hunted. The problem with running from werewolves is that they have the tracking capabilities of wolves combined with the problem-solving capacity of humans. Simply running upstream or through a crowded area isn’t usually enough to baffle pursuit.

Feigned fight can also be a useful device for drawing werewolves away from innocent bystanders or as a precursor to another Tactic, like Divide and Conquer (see below).

This Tactic assumes that the hunters are already well outside of visual tracking range and have forced the werewolves to fall back on tracking by scent and animal instinct. The secondary actors move in ways intended to disrupt their scent, making them more difficult to track. They cross moving water, travel along rocky areas, and even double back every now and then to disguise their true course.

This requires at least a basic idea of how to disguise signs of passage and the wherewithal to keep at it for an extended length of time. The primary actor follows along behind his companions and utilizes his greater knowledge of tracking to further confuse the trail by eliminating errant signs of the cell’s movements (sweeping the path with branches, gathering bits of torn clothing or eliminating any blood trail as much as possible) and attempting to muddle their scents by introducing stronger smells (such as bleach, perfume or setting small, smoky fires) to cover the back trail. This is a valid ploy against any type of monster that tracks by scent and sense. Each roll for this Tactic is equal to five minutes. Pursuing werewolves must succeed on Wits + Survival + any bonuses for heightened senses. The target number for the hunters is 15. The pursuing werewolves aren’t assigned a target number. Instead, if the pack’s number of successes exceeds the cell’s number of successes at any time it has caught the scent and, given the speed of a four-legged creature versus a two-legged one, it is unlikely to let its prey’s scent go a second time. If the hunters reach 15 successes without being caught, they have managed to shake off the pursuit.

Tactics from Spirit Slayers

  • Bait and Switch

Prerequisites: All: Composure 3, Manipulation 2, Sub- terfuge 2. Primary: Stealth 2 Requires: 4; 5 or 6 grants a +1 bonus to primary actor, 7 or more imposes a -3 penalty on the primary actor. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Stealth. Secondary: Ma- nipulation + Expression. Action: Instant and contested; target rolls Resolve + Composure refexively. Description: Werewolves are creatures of feral emotions that teeter on the brink of berserker frenzy every minute of every day. Intentionally provoking the rage of such a monster is nigh on suicidal in most circumstances. Fury erases even the smallest hint of conscience or self-control and turns a werewolf into a merciless killing machine. For hunters with the balls to attempt it, the frenzy of a werewolf can be turned against his pack. This Tactic works by goading a werewolf into a frenzy, then misdirecting him so the only target he has for his rage is his own pack. First the hunt- ers poke, jab and needle the target, both physically and verbally, working the monster up to a fury — the equivalent of poking a dog with a stick. Physical at- tacks are intended to belittle rather than damage. In- tentionally frustrating a werewolf into a murderous rage requires serious composure from every hunter in- volved; inciting a werewolf to violence is no place for cowards. Once the werewolf is frothing at the mouth, the primary actor attracts the creature’s attention with a particularly humiliating attack (a slap to the face, spitting on the werewolf, knee to the groin) and sidesteps to hide behind another member of the werewolf ’s pack. It should go without saying that this Tactic can go horribly wrong. Primarily designed for combating werewolves, this Tactic can also be useful in pushing vampires into a frenzy and turning them on each other.

Failure: The werewolf refuses to give in to his rage and may respond normally. Success: The werewolf becomes enraged and at- tacks his own pack. As long as hunters stay out of his line of sight the infuriated werewolf will not attack them for the duration of his frenzy (unless he’s out of targets and all that remain are hunters). Additionally, by forcing the pack to deal with one of their own, the hunters steal the Initiative in the fght. During the next turn, all members of the cell may choose to act at any time (though they retain their Initiative score for the remainder of the combat), even interrupting enemy actions. Exceptional Success: The werewolf becomes en- raged and will only attack his own pack for the du- ration of the frenzy, regardless of whether a hunter comes into his line of sight or not. To Purchase: 17 Practical Experience, 14 for the Union, 12 for Task Force: VALKYRIE.

  • Defle

Prerequisites: All: Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Sci- ence 2 or Occult 2. Partial (2): Investigation 2. Partial (1): Crafts 2. Requires: At least 4. Dice Pool: Primary: Intelligence + Science or In- telligence + Occult. Secondary: Wits + Investigation. Action: Extended Description: For the most part, the material realm is separate from the strange and terrifying world of spirits. Though little is known by hunters about the spirit world, some scholars realize spirits are kept out of the material realm (and humans kept from the spirit world) by an invisible barrier of unknown power. Places do exist where the barrier between the worlds is thin, allowing spirits to slip into the mate- rial realm more easily. These places, called Loci by the enlightened, also seem to draw the attention of werewolves. Werewolves seem to gather at a Locus to replenish their energies, as though the Locus were a kind of watering hole. Hunters that seek to dimin- ish the capacity of werewolves to make war or have an interest in keeping the spirits out of the material realm attempt to locate and shut down such places. To Defle a Locus, the cell must frst have iden- tifed the nature of the Locus they are dealing with. This could have been accomplished in advance of the mission by gathering information about the Locus, or on the scene by searching for clues. Once the cell be- lieves it has properly identifed the nature of the Locus, it can attempt to close it by altering the phenomena that contributed to its creation. A Locus that formed around despair might draw its power from parapher- nalia left by suicides (razor blades, guns, empty drug bottles), the cell might disrupt a Locus with the nature of silence just by its very presence, or a Locus empow- ered by death might be fed from a number of unmarked graves and a general blight in the area. The secondary actors go around and identify the best places to “defle” the area — the primary actor follows-up on their iden- tifcations and advice, acting as the one to truly disrupt the nature of the “hot spot.” The target number of successes per roll for this extended action varies on the strength of the Locus in question. A weak Locus might only require a fve or six successes to close, while a particularly strong locus might require 20-30 successes to close. Each roll is equivalent to 10 minutes’ worth of time. Although intended to close doorways to the spirit world, this Tactic might be useful for closing gateways that lead Note that plenty of danger exists in trying to de- fle a Locus. First, werewolves may sense the disrup- tion and will come with furious vengeance to stop the marauding hunters. Second, spirits feed from these places, and will do whatever they must to block the hunters’ success. Failure: No progress is made towards defiling the Locus. Success: Progress continues towards defling the Locus. When the target number of success set by the Storyteller to refect the strength of the Locus has been met or exceeded, the cell has managed to sever the link between the material realm and the spirit world, and the Locus closes. The cell gains a +2 bo- nus to Intimidation rolls made against spirits with a nature similar to that of the Locus for the next week. (Note that Loci do not necessarily stay closed; hunt- ers must be vigilant custodians carefully watching for a resurgence of spiritual energy around that place.) Exceptional Success: No additional beneft is gained beyond the number of successes rolled. To Purchase: 16 Practical Experience, 13 for the Long Night, 11 for the Lucifuge.

  • Spirital Retuning

The “Defle” Tactic could also be adapted to target the infuence a spirit holds over a place to help drive it off. Spirits with the power to do so exert their infuence into the material realm to feed off the energies created or to bolster their dominance of the area, even in the spirit world. Used in this way, the Tactic would identify ways in which the cell might go about recalibrating the spiritual energy of the place. This might include mediating between rival gangs to reduce instances of violent crime, instigating a neighborhood cleanup project to drive off a spirit of litter, or even fgure out ways to foment anger in an area where a happiness spirit has gone a little too far.'

  • Disarm

Prerequisites: All: Intelligence 2, Wits 2, Occult 2. Partial (1): Varies (see below) (primary actor). Requires: 3 or more. Dice Pool: Primary: Varies (see below). Second- ary: Intelligence + Occult. Action: Instant Description: Werewolves are formidable op- ponents even when employing only their “natural” weaponry against a cell (claws, teeth, strength). Like most of the creatures that haunt the World of Dark- ness, werewolves can also call upon mystic powers to increase their lethality. Werewolves use their pow- ers to increase their hunting and killing abilities, but they also employ those same powers in the creation of magical tools and devices: an axe that a werewolf has enchanted seems to hunger for blood; a carved piece of bone can jinx opponents with misfortune; or round clay balls that contain bomb fragments can be used like grenades. Depending on the fght or the potency of the magical object, the frst course of action taken by a cell might require it to relieve the enemy of their magical devices.

  • Divide and Conquer

Prerequisites: All: Wits 2, Manipulation 2. Par- tial (3): Stealth 2. Partial (1): Expression 3 (primary actor). Requires: 4; 5 or 6 participants grants the prima- ry actor a +1 bonus, more than 7 imposes a -1 penalty to all participants. Dice Pool: Primary: Manipulation + Expression. Secondary: Dexterity + Stealth Action: Instant Description: While a hunter cell is a match (or so they hope) for a single werewolf, the shape-chang- ing beasts rarely operate as individuals. More often than not werewolves run in packs, which tips the bal- ance of power in the numbers game back towards the monsters. For most cells, facing off in a battle of even numbers with werewolves is a tall order. The trick is to pick them off one by one in fghts where the supe- rior numbers of the cell can even the odds. From a practical standpoint, the best way to accomplish this task is by keeping an eye on the creatures and seizing opportunities for attack as they present themselves. Once the beasts know they are under siege or during a battle that is already underway, separating a single werewolf from her pack becomes much more diffcult. This Tactic aims to solve that particular dilemma. The secondary actors hoot and holler at the pack, then scamper out of sight and hide allowing the beasts to charge past them. The primary actor, meanwhile, taunts and belittles a single member of the pack with the intention of focusing all of the creature’s atten- tion on him. In essence, the secondary actors distract the werewolves, save for the one targeted by the pri- mary actor, by way of a feigned fight, moving them away from the primary actor. Secondary actors that fail their Stealth check may fnd their feigned fight becomes a real race for survival. This has no effect on the overall success of the Tactic as the werewolves are still moving away from their packmates. Once the secondary actors have managed to ditch their pursu- ers, they double-back and rejoin the primary actor.

  • Domesticate

Prerequisites: All: Intelligence 2, Intimidation 1 or a Specialty in Psychology (in either Medicine or Academics). Partial (1): Manipulation 2, Persuasion 2, Animal Ken 2 (primary actor).

Requires: 2, maximum of 3 hunters at any one time; see below. Dice Pool: Primary: Presence + Animal Ken (beast), Manipulation + Persuasion (man). Second- ary: Wits + Expres​sion(beast), Presence + Empathy (man). Action: Extended and contested. Description: Some hunter cells believe they have a moral compunction to at least attempt to rehabili- tate the monsters they fght. Other cells look at the creatures as potential allies or subjects for experimen- tation. Regardless of the reasoning behind the use of this Tactic, every cell that employs it is after the same thing: a compliant, willing werewolf that is sympathet- ic to their goals. Kinder, gentler souls might refer to the process of turning a werewolf as brainwashing or even torture (Storytellers are left to determine if the meth- ods used constitute a Morality sin), but most hunters are more interested in results than philosophical de- bate. Every convert to the cause is one less moldering body left to rot in a shallow, unmarked grave. Werewolves are much more diffcult to convert than most humans. Not only do werewolves recover from abuse much faster than humans, they can also at- tempt to cut deals with spirits for assistance.

  • Effigy

Prerequisites: All: Intelligence 2, Presence 2, Occult 2 or Science 2. Partial (1): Crafts 1. Partial (1): Expression 2 (primary actor). Requires: At least 3; additional hunters will be re- quired to gain the attention of more powerful spirits. Dice Pool: Primary: Presence + Expression. Secondary: Intelligence + Occult or Intelligence + Science. Action: Instant

Description: The majority of the creatures that stalk humanity and are, in turn, stalked by hunters are corporeal in nature. Even an eight-foot tall mass of fur, muscle and rending talons can eventually be put down through purely physical means. Spirits, though, are harder to combat. Hunters can combat the infuence of a spirit and hope to drive it off, but this is a time-consuming prospect without any real guarantee of success. Lacking the ability to reach into the spirit world, most hunters have no way of directly combating a spirit unless that spirit happens to be at a Locus and happens to materialize. This Tactic at- tempts to trick spirits into materializing at a time and place dictated by hunters, allowing them to bargain with or combat a spirit in the material realm. To begin with, the cell must have at least a vague idea about the nature of the spirit they are targeting. This information can be most reliably gained through use of the “Resonance” Tactic, though painstaking research can also produce enough basic information to use. Once the cell has determined the basic na- ture of the spirit, they begin construction of an effgy that represents the nature of that spirit in physical form. Creation of the effgy is an extended Dexter- ity + Crafts action, with 10 successes minimum (note that this extended action is not part of the Tactic roll) and each roll equal to an hour. The more time and effort put into the creation of the effgy, the more ef- fective it will be when used in the Tactic. The shape and materials used to create the effgy should refect the nature of the spirit the cell is dealing with. An effgy created in the image of a murder spirit might contain bullets, knives, blood, and human fesh along with whatever materials are used to shape the effgy as a whole (clay, wood, etc.). Different hunter orga- nizations will also put their own spin on the creation process: the Lucifuge might bake the base materials with Hellfre; the Ashwood Abbey might bathe the effgy in the not-so-fresh blood of a vampire; and the Cheiron Group might include medical waste and im- plant scraps to give their creation the semblance of life. Note that at least one member of the cell must be personally involved with the creation of the effgy to attune the thing to the cell.

  • My Brother’s Keeper

Prerequisites: All: Resolve 2, Brawl 2 or Weap- onry 2. Partial (2): Athletics 2. Partial (1): Expres- sion 2 (primary actor) Requires: 4; a maximum of 6 hunters may par- ticipate. Dice Pool: Primary: Wits + Expression. Second- ary: Strength + Brawl or Strength + Weaponry. Action: Instant Description: A large part of the success of a werewolf pack in battle results from the entirety of the pack acting as a group rather than individuals. The werewolves watch each other’s backs in a fght and coordinate their movements so that if one of them is attacked the entire pack can respond. When a battle moves to close combat range, a hunter with a gun can be just as dangerous to his cell as he is to the monsters they fght. Reluctantly, hunters turn to melee weapons to reduce the chances of friendly fre. Taking a page from the monsters they fght, some hunter cells have begun to adopt forms of the pack tactics they’ve witnessed or, lacking such experience,

have simply learned to rely on each other for physical and moral support. When the call to use this Tactic is made, the cell closes ranks into a loose combat formation with the primary actor in the center, behind the lines. They stand near enough to each other to provide support and far enough apart to reduce the chance of accidents. The primary actor doesn’t engage directly in battle, but relies on his cell (the secondary actors) to defend him from harm and allow him to direct the fght. He calls out changes in formation to adapt to enemy move- ments and shouts encouragement to his cell to boost their spirits. Performed correctly, My Brother’s Keeper allows the cell to defend each other from attacks, re- spond to threats with alacrity, and reinforce the morale of the cell as a whole. (If the primary actor is attacked directly, this Tactic ends and must be reattempted.)

  • Resonance

Prerequisites: All: Resolve 2, Science 2. Partial (1): Academics 2 or Computer 2. Partial (1): Science 3. Requires: 2 or more Dice Pool: Primary: Intelligence + Science. Sec- ondary: Resolve + Composure. Action: Extended (each roll represents one turn of scrutiny) Description: Though similar to the “Measure- ments” Tactic (see Hunter: The Vigil, p. 225), Reso- nance attempts to gather useful information about spiritual rather than physical entities. Data is col- lected in many of the same ways as for the “Measure- ments” Tactic, but also includes more pseudo-scientifc equipment such as ghost-lenses, Kirlian photography, and live electronic voice phenomenon playback. The cell also monitors changes in ambient temperature, erratic behavior in participants and notes anything that seems out of place, unusual or downright bizarre for the location. Resonance is also useful for identify- ing the type of spirit possessing a human, determining the qualities of a Locus, or recognizing the infuence a spirit has over a specifc area. In essence, the hunters are attempting to iden- tify trace elements of the infuence a spirit has over a place or; if dealing with a manifested spirit, hunters are looking for clues about the nature of the spirit gathered from observations about its appearance, ac- tivities and behavior. Storytellers will have to decide how to describe the information gathered. A spirit of mourning that haunts a cemetery incorporeally might register as a quiet sobbing on the EVP playback, arouse feelings of soul-crushing loss in the hunters, and cause even freshly picked fowers laid on grave- stones to wither. A manifested anger spirit might ap- pear agitated, kicking trash or barging through what- ever is in its path, and people it passes might suddenly begin to fght for no apparent reason.

  • Roadkill

Prerequisites: All: Composure 2, Dexterity 2. Partial (1): Drive 2 (primary actor), Partial (1): Ath- letics 2. Requires: 2; 3 or 4 hunters grant a +1 bonus to secondary actors, more than 5 imposes a -3 penalty on all participants. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Drive. Second- ary: Manipulation + Dexterity Action: Instant Description: Fully transformed, a werewolf in bestial hybrid form stands seven or eight feet tall and weighs upwards of 400 lbs: any creature that mas- sive gains serious momentum as it charges towards its next victim, momentum that isn’t easy to redirect on short notice. Some hunter cells have attempted to take advantage of this momentum by stringing wire or other impediments in the path of a charging were- wolf and waiting for the creature to clothesline itself. Although the idea has merit, it is rarely as effective as the hunters had hoped it would be. Werewolves have keen enough senses that they always have an outside chance of noticing and dodging the trap. Even if the monster doesn’t notice the line, it is very diffcult to securely anchor a thin enough wire that might avoid detection yet will hold up under the strain of a charg- ing werewolf. The solution to the problem is to hit a werewolf with an object both solid enough to damage the creature and to provide protection for the opera- tor. After some debate, the hunter cell that frst de- vised this Tactic decided to use a truck. The secondary actors gain the attention of a were- wolf through whatever means are at hand, positioning themselves in such a way as to screen the vehicle driven by the primary actor. This can be accomplished by stand- ing at the end of an alley, near a side road that is screened by foliage or even on a street corner where the sight of an oncoming vehicle wouldn’t seem unusual. Attracting the attention of a werewolf can usually be easily enough accomplished by shooting at the creature, though such attacks aren’t really intended to seriously wound their foe. The secondary actors then stand their ground as the werewolf charges them, waiting until the very last second before they leap out of harm’s way. While the hunters that are acting as bait draw their target towards them, the primary actor puts pedal to metal and drives his truck as fast as he can directly as he can directly towards his friends. If everything goes exactly right (the timing must be almost perfect) the truck will plow into the werewolf just as the other hunt- ers dodge out of the way.

  • Silver Bullet

Prerequisites: All: Dexterity 2 or Strength 2, Firearms 1 or Weaponry 1. Partial (1): Crafts 2. Requires: 4; up to 6 grants a +1 bonus per extra hunter to the primary actor, 7 or more impose a -3 penalty on all participants. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Firearms or Strength + Weaponry. Secondary: Dexterity + Fire- arms or Strength + Weaponry. Action: Instant Description: Nearly anyone with even the slight- est amount of occult knowledge can tell you that sil- ver is the bane of werewolves. Theories abound as to the reason why this is so. Null Mysteriis theorizes that the dominant gene responsible for lycanthropy also carries with it an extreme allergy to silver. The Malleus Malefcarum believes that the type of demon that possesses humans to create a werewolf is unable to stand the holy purity of the metal. Regardless of the reason why, the fact is that nothing pains a were- wolf like silver. The monsters are fully cognizant of this weakness and will fee from those who wield sil- ver weapons or attempt to deprive a hunter the use of that weapon. Of course, hunters can’t just stroll down to the local gun shop and buy silver bullets, and fnd- ing pure silver melee weaponry is even more diffcult. Each cell must have at least one member that can work the metal into ammunition or other weapons (thus the Crafts 2 requirement). Unlike the stories, a single silver bullet or wound from a silver dagger is unlikely to kill a werewolf. Giv- en the creature’s tendency to fee or react violently to the presence of silver, use of such special weaponry results in fewer confrmed kills than might be expect- ed. Certainly a werewolf will suffer a serious wound or two during a battle with a silver-wielding hunter, but most of the monsters are too clever to stand and fght when faced with silver weaponry. The Silver Bullet Tactic coordinates the attacks of the entire cell into a

fashing ring of silver death. No matter which direc- tion the werewolf turns he is confronted by silver. The secondary actors spread out and surround the target, attempting to cut off possible avenues of escape. They cut, slice and menace the werewolf with their silver weaponry, slowly herding the creature into position. As the creature’s desperation to escape reaches a climax, the ring parts slightly, offering the illusion of withdrawal. When the werewolf moves into the gap, the primary actor steps forward and de- livers a single, brutal attack.

  • Thin the Herd

Prerequisites: All: Strength 2, Subterfuge 2, Weap- onry 1. Partial (1): Expression 2 (secondary actor). Requires: 3; more than 6 hunters imposes a -3 penalty to the secondary actor’s roll. Dice Pool: Primary: Strength + Weaponry (or another appropriate attack roll). Secondary: Manipu- lation + Subterfuge Action: Instant Description: Wolves instinctively seek out weak and lame members of a herd to attack and werewolves, for all their greater intellect, have the same basic in- stinct. When a hunter trips and falls down or seems to be favoring one leg, the predator instinct of a werewolf is to bring down that hunter and thin the herd. This Tactic works a little differently than others in that it has one secondary actor and several primary actors. Thin the Herd begins when the secondary actor pretends to trip and fall or feigns some other weakness intended to trick a werewolf into commit- ting himself to what he believes will be a killing blow, while her companions sham concern over her plight. If the werewolf takes the bait, the primary actors (the rest of the cell) take advantage of the distraction to attack the werewolf while he is vulnerable. Vampires can be tricked into becoming overeager for a taste of blood through use of this Tactic. A weak or disabled opponent is nearly as attractive to them as it is to werewolves.

  • Corruption

Prerequisites: All: Manipulation 2, Occult 1. Partial (1): Expression 3 (primary actor). Partial (1): Empathy 2 (secondary actor). Partial (1): Occult 3 Requires: 2; more than 2 bestows a +1 to the primary actor for every extra hunter Dice Pool: Primary: Manipulation + Expression. Secondary: Wits + Empathy or Investigation Action: Instant Description: Witches aren’t the only source of magic in the world. Houses with internal dimensions that are distinctly non-Euclidian, ancient standing stones, and places where the spirit world is just plain closer than it damn well should be. Magical energy — what some hunters know as Source — leaks into the world in these places. Some witches seek out forbidden cities and underground gardens, while others guard even the smallest incursion of Source energy into the world. Corruption is the hunter’s answer to these places.Magical places typically generate from one to five pointsof Source each day, though mysterious places hidden from the mundane eye may be higher. The secondary actors spend time in and around the site, trying to get a feel for the place. Each secondary actor can make one roll per day, for a number of days up to her Investigation dots. She can only “keep” one of these rolls to bolster the primary actor, but can choose which one to use — normally the one with the most successes. Once the secondary actors have made their rolls, one must roll Intelligence + Occult to work out the best way to twist the area’s feel (if the primary actor has Occult 3 or more, skip this part of the Tactic as he can work out the right patterns himself). The primary actor then enacts a ritual designed to alter the resonance of the area. Each cell has its own rituals, though often they’re flavored by the hunters’ affiliation.

Success: The hunters come up with a ritual that alters the feel of the area and enact it correctly. Subtract the number of successes rolled from the amount of Source that an area generates each day to get the new amount generated for the next seven days. Successes over and above that number be- come additional days that the site doesn’t generate Source — if the area normally generates three points of Source and the primary actor rolls four successes, the site now generates no Source for the next eight days. Exceptional Success: In addition to the effects of a suc- cess — giving the hunters a chance to nullify even the strang- est of places — smaller sites are disabled for longer. Each success over the amount needed to depower a site keeps it powerless for another three days, not one. If the area normally generates three points of Source and the primary actor rolls six successes, the site generates no Source for sixteen days: seven initially, then three more for every success over the three needed initially. To Purchase: 13 Practical Experience, 10 for the Long Night, 8 for the Aegis Kai Doru.

  • Distraction

Prerequisites: All: Composure 2, Brawl 1. Partial(1): Ex- pression 2 (secondary actor). Partial(1): Brawl 2 or Weaponry 2, Stealth 1 (primary actor) Requires: 2; more than 2 bestows a +2 to primary actors; more than 4 gives a -2 to all actors Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Stealth. Secondary: Presence + Expression Action: Instant and contested; opponent rolls Wits + Composure (resistance is reflexive) Description: Witches wield great powers, but for all that hunters can tell they can’t do so instantly. They need at least a few seconds to marshal whatever eldritch energies they wield and focus on a target. The more powerful the magic, the more time it takes. That’s what this Tactic is for, to give a witch one target when the rest of the cell uses that delay to their advantage. Note that like the Disappear Tactic (Hunter: The Vigil, p. 221), one secondary actor supports several primary actors. One hunter has to bite the bullet. He makes himself a nice target — the more powerful and dangerous the better. It’s a terrible risk. If his teammates aren’t good enough, he’s fucked. If he’s lucky, it’s a quick death. While he makes him- self a target, the other hunters fade out of the witch’s sight. Taking advantage of the distraction, they can strike from where the witch least expects. The Storyteller’s roll for the witch (Wits + Composure) is then compared to each of the primary actors’ rolls. Example: A cell of hunters is fighting a witch who’s more powerful than they first thought. They decide that a Distraction is their best bet. There are four hunters: Alexis, Barry, Cassan- dra, and Dan. Dan’s toting the latest in Task Force: VALKYRIE’s monster-killing arsenal, and is volunteered to be the secondary ac- tor. He makes a big show of cocking his gun and drawing a bead on the witch, and his player rolls three successes on his Presence + Expression roll. The other players roll Dexterity + Stealth + 2 (from the number of hunters) +3 (from Dan’s successes). Alexis rolls four successes, Barry two, and Cassandra fi ve. The Story- teller rolls the witch’s Wits + Composure and gets three successes. The witch is aware of Barry and Dan, but Alexis and Cassandra are free to strike from the shadows.

Success: The primary actor’s player rolls more successes than the Storyteller. The witch loses track of the hunter, and cannot target him until he acts against her. If the hunter at- tacks her next turn, the witch does not apply her Defense to the roll. Exceptional Success: The primary actor’s player rolls more successes than the Storyteller and rolls an exceptional success. The monster has no idea what the hell is going on. The witch loses all her Defense against all participants — not just those who were successful. If the hunter who gains an exceptional success would normally act on a lower Initiative than the witch, he instead acts as though his Initiative is one higher. To Purchase: 13 Practical Experience, 10 for the Union, 8 for the Knights of Saint George.

  • Excision

Prerequisites: All: Wits 2, Medicine 2. Partial (1): Intel- ligence 3, Medicine 5 or Medicine 4 with Specialty in Brain Surgery (secondary actor). Partial (1): Dexterity 3, Medicine 4 (primary actor). Requires: 3 or more; more than 3 adds +2 to the primary actor’s roll, more than 6 imposes a -2 modifi er instead. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Medicine. Secondary: Wits + Medicine or Intelligence + Medicine (secondary actor with Medicine 5) Action: Extended

Description: What hunters know as witches aren’t al- ways strange practitioners of magic. Many more are blessed — or cursed — with a gift that stems from within. Some of these psychics can cast their perceptions out of their bodies, or see the past and future. Others can have more tangible effects, setting fi res or hurling objects. A few can dominate the wills of others, using their mind to steer otherwise innocent people. While nobody’s sure what causes these psychic phenomena — autopsy results, even full-brain dissection, are as unique as the psychics involved — it’s possible to short out the area of a psychic’s brain that knows how to access her powers. Saying it’s not easy is an understatement. The hunters attempting this Tactic are attempting highly experimental brain surgery. If they fail, they’ll leave their subject a vegetable. If they suc- ceed, on the other hand, they give psychics the chance to live a normal life — whether they want to or not. After the fi rst experimental surgeries, a cell attempted the same Tactic on a witch with a signifi cant degree of success. Some cells special- ize in using this Tactic against even powerful witches, believ- ing they can live a better life without access to their powers. The secondary actors prepare the subject and monitor him during the procedure. Unlike most brain surgery, this procedure involves a general anesthetic. Though this increases the risk to the patient, it also means her powers won’t trigger during the surgery. One of the secondary actors points out the precise locations that require electrostimulation (rolling Intelligence + Medicine). Unlike other such Tactics, there’s no way for the primary actor to shortcut this roll — this is a very complex and dangerous tactic. The primary actor stimulates specifi c areas of the brain with an electronic probe, shorting out the refl exive memories that allow a subject to access her powers. Success: Successes are accumulated toward the total. If the doctor’s player rolls enough successes to hit the target de- scribed above, he successfully shorts out the psychic’s control centers. The patient suffers six points of lethal damage as part of the surgery which must heal normally, and loses access to the Gifted and Gnosis Merits and all associated powers. Exceptional Success: Many successes are accumulated toward the total. If the doctor’s player rolls fi ve or more suc- cesses over the total required, then the surgery went excep- tionally well. The subject loses the Gifted and Gnosis Merits and all powers, but only suffers four points of lethal damage which must heal normally. All hunters who participated in this Tactic regain a point of Willpower. To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for Ashwood Abbey, 9 for The Cheiron Group.

  • Headshot

Prerequisites: All: Strength 2, Brawl 2. Partial (1): Dexterity 2 (primary actor). Partial (1): Medicine 2 (secondary actor). Requires: 2; up to 4 adds one die to secondary actors for each extra hunter. A maximum of 4 hunters can use this Tactic. Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Brawl - target’s Stamina. The primary actor suffers no called shot penalties as the witch is thoroughly subdued at the time of attack. Secondary: Strength + Brawl; Wits + Medicine (secondary actor with Medicine 2). Action: Instant Description: Many hunter cells want to capture witches without killing them. Some cells hope they can redeem the witch, either convincing her to give up her powers or using them to help her community. Other cells see the witch as a source of information, using intensive questioning and torture to get the location and capabilities of her coven. Still others just want a quiet chat about all this “magic” stuff that the witch claims to use, but wants home-turf advantage. Whatev- er their reasoning, they all have a need to take witches alive. This Tactic is designed to do just that, by striking at pressure points on the head. That way, the witch can’t concentrate — and can’t use her magic against the cell. All it takes is someone who knows enough anatomy to work out precisely where to strike. The secondary actor(s) fi rst grapple the target. See pp. 156-158 of the World of Darkness Rulebook for informa- tion on Grappling (note especially the section on multiple people grappling a single target). This roll to grapple the crea- ture is not part of the Tactic, rather it’s just the set-up — in other words, the initial roll to grapple does not add dice to the primary actor’s roll. Once the creature is grappled and one secondary actor overpowers the creature successfully, all of the secondary actors’ players make their rolls (Strength + Brawl). This roll is to stop the monster thrashing around, giv- ing the primary actor a chance at hitting the right spot on the monster’s head. One of the secondary actors then rolls Wits + Medicine to point out where to strike, which is usually the temples (if the primary actor has Medicine 3 or more, skip this part of the Tactic as he can work out where to hit by himself). The primary actor then strikes the pressure points, dazing the target. Organizations: Null Mysteriis often use this Tactic to their advantage. They have a burning need to know how this so-called magic works, but most witches aren’t willing to talk. Stunning them and removing them to a more appropriate lo- cation can make a witch more talkative. Task Force: VALKY- RIE offi cially doesn’t capture witches, and it especially doesn’t put them through extreme interrogation techniques to fi nd the names and addresses of their fellow supernatural terrorists. That’d be un-American. But desperate times call for desper- ate measures. To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for Null Mys- teriis, 9 for Task Force: VALKYRIE

  • Interrogation

Prerequisites: All: Manipulation 2, Subterfuge 1, Intimi- dation 1. Partial (1): Academics 2 or Computer 2 (secondary actor). Partial (1): Intimidation 2 (secondary actor). Partial (1): Subterfuge 2 (primary actor). Requires: 3 or more. Dice Pool: Primary: Manipulation + Intimidation. Sec- ondary: Presence + Intimidation, Intelligence + Academics or Computer Action: Extended and contested Description: Witches traffi c in secrets. Some are purely magical: ancient spells or the location of fountainheads of magi- cal power. Others are more mundane. The principles of sympathy and contagion are real for many witches. Knowing the name on a witch’s birth certifi cate, holding a copy of the high-school year- book that voted her “Most Likely to Go Nowhere,” or a set of photographs of her mundane family all hold sway over a witch. Many fear that other witches could get that information and use it to turn deadly powers against them. Others have a quite legitimate fear of law enforcement getting hold of that information and link- ing today’s supernatural insurgent with last year’s nebbishy college student activist. A hunter cell using this Tactic has to gather some infor- mation on the witch, usually by digging through public records. This is a roll by one or more of the secondary actors of either In- telligence + Academics or Intelligence + Computer, depending on whether he looks on-line or through public archives. A total number of secondary actors can support the primary actor in the next step equal to the number of successes gained on this roll. If the cell has previously completed a Profi ling Tactic against the same target, this step can be skipped and the number of second- ary actors equals the number of successes rolled for that Tactic.The primary actor questions the target, pumping for in- formation. In amongst the usual questions designed to make the target more likely to answer, there are a few the cell really wants answered. Throughout the questioning, the secondary actors mention what they’ve found. One might mention the target’s bank balance and account number, another might re- mark on the color of his wife’s eyes, while a third drops his mother’s address into conversation and the fourth mentions his son’s school. Having all his secrets laid bare like this is in- credibly unsettling for anyone, making the target all the more likely to answer the important questions. Success: If the interviewer’s player rolls more successes than the target’s Resolve + Composure, then the interviewer can ask a number of questions equal to his Investigation dots which the subject will answer truthfully. If the Storyteller rolls more successes for the subject than the interviewer’s Composure + Empathy, the Tactic fails and cannot be used on the subject again. Exceptional Success: If the target achieves an excep- tional success, she’s destroyed the interrogator’s confi dence. The primary actor suffers a -2 modifi er to all Social rolls for a day. If the interviewer achieves an exceptional success, the subject loses a point of Willpower in the face of extreme ques- tioning. To Purchase: 13 Practical Experience, 10 for the Loyalists of Thule, 8 for the Malleus Malefi carum.

  • Shadowing

Prerequisites: All: Wits 2, Stealth 1, Investigation 1. Partial(1): Investigation 3 (primary actor). Partial(2): Stealth 2 (secondary actors) Requires: 3; more than 3 bestows a +1 to secondary ac- tors rolling Stealth for each extra hunter.

Dice Pool: Primary: Intelligence + Investigation. Second- ary: Wits + Investigation or Stealth Action: Instant Description: Similar to the Identifi cation and Profi ling Tac- tics, a cell uses this Tactic to gather information about their foe. The cell follows her for several days to fi nd out where she goes and what she does with her time, and build a pattern of her life. Each secondary actor follows the target for a set period, before handing her off to another, doing her best to ensure that the target doesn’t realize she’s being followed. Some cells prefer to make their han- doffs in person, using eye contact and hand signals, while more technologically advanced groups favor having one man in overall control from a separate location and using cell phones — especial- ly text messaging — to co-ordinate the secondary actors. Though the hunters on the street don’t know if the handover went well, this method gives off less signs that the witch is being followed. A cell can shadow their target for a number of days. Each secondary actor can make one roll per day, for a number of days up to her Stealth dots. She can only “keep” one of these rolls to report to the primary actor, but can choose which one to use — normally the one with the most successes, though if the witch had got to one secondary actor beforehand, he might prefer to keep a dramatic failure. The primary actor may join his cell on the street, but only makes the Intelli- gence + Investigation roll. Organizations: The Knights of Saint George are masters of this technique, using what they know of witches to identify which parts of a target’s daily routine are the best places to strike. Task Force: VALKYRIE likewise excels in recon opera- tions, with one man coordinating an army of Men in Black to build a comprehensive picture of a target and identify other threats. Though these groups are the best of the best, cells of all three tiers and all organizations make use of this Tactic. Those who don’t often don’t survive.

Success: The primary actor assembles a working model of the target’s daily routine, and identifi es potential weak spots. If the cell plans and carries out an assault or raid against the tar- get using their routine, they gain a pool of extra dice equal to the number of successes on the primary actor’s roll (to a maxi- mum of +5). These extra dice can be added to “preparatory” rolls, including Empathy, Investigation, Larceny, Stealth, and Subterfuge rolls, as the Storyteller deems appropriate. Once the witch realizes the hunters are on to her (either because they try to kidnap her, fail a Subterfuge roll, or otherwise draw attention to themselves) the extra dice in this pool are lost. On the fi rst action of an assault, the witch’s Initiative is set to one less than the lowest Initiative in the cell. Exceptional Success: The hunters not only assemble a model of their target’s daily routine (as for a success), they identify a number of the target’s companions as also being of interest. If the cell attempts the Identifi cation or Profi ling Tactic (see Hunter: The Vigil page 224 and 227) on one of those companions, the primary actor in that Tactic receives a +1 bonus. To Purchase: 14 Practical Experience, 11 for Task Force: VALKYRIE, 9 for the Knights of Saint George.

  • System Shock

Prerequisites: All: Dexterity 2, Athletics 2, Brawl 1. Par- tial (1): Dexterity 3, Firearms 2 (primary actor). Requires: 2; more than 5 levies a -2 penalty to the pri- mary actor Dice Pool: Primary: Dexterity + Firearms. Secondary: Presence + Athletics. Action: Instant Description: The counterpart to Distraction, this Tac- tic is for more organized hunters who want to implement surgical strikes. Commonly used as a first strike, this Tac- tic capitalizes on the fact that most witches need a mo- ment’s concentration to use their power. Whether they burst through the door with SWAT gear, flash-bang gre- nades, and tear gas, or offer a more civilized distraction by taunting the witch without making the first move, the majority of the cell gives the witch something to focus on. One hunter hangs back. Traditional witch-hunters prefer shotguns, high-powered rifles, or any handgun chambered for .44 magnum shells for their relatively certain chance of putting a witch in the ground permanently. Those who prefer being able to talk to their targets afterwards use rubber bullets, tranquilizer rounds, or Tazers to stop witches in a less lethal way. Unlike Distraction, System Shock focuses on over- loading the target’s senses. The secondary actors make a lot of noise and catch the witch’s attention, presenting possible targets. Before he can do anything, the primary actor pulls the trigger. Though this target is mostly useful against witches, some cells have put it to good use against werewolves — though sacrificing lots of hunters just to put a silver bullet through the beast’s heart is seen by many as grandstanding. The primary actor needs to score enough damage to stun the subject of this Tactic. Normally, this calls for a head-shot, giving the primary actor a penalty of -3 (see p. 165 of the World of Darkness Rulebook for called shot rules). Note that if a secondary actor fails, he’s proved him- self too good a target, and the witch can target him with a spell before going down. Otherwise, if the Tactic is suc- cessful, there’s not enough time for the witch to bring any mystical effects to bear. Organizations: When the Lucifuge strike against witches, they know to go in hard and fast. Their Castigation rituals can provide additional benefits when distracting a witch, and once they’ve subdued their target they can tell if it’s demon-touched, or a stranger kind of witch. Null Mysteriis much prefer interviewing witches on their own terms. They strike to subdue; better to question the witch at their own leisure than wait for his friends to break down the door and fill the room with primal fire. To Purchase: 15 Practical Experience, 12 for Null Mysteriis, 10 for the Lucifuge.

  1. World of Darkness p. 134
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