It is the nature of the vampire to hunt. In perusing the following descriptions, note the ‘Risk Level‘. That is an estimate of how likely the result of botching a hunting check is to significantly affect your character in a negative fashion (whether via risk to the Masquerade, physically or tipping off rivals or vampire hunters, etc.).
It should also be noted that having your method set as say ‘Carousing’ doesn’t mean that you never seduce someone at a club, or a bully never takes a swing at you in a restroom stall, and then you Intimidate and feed on him. It is meant to be your ‘main approach’, the prism through which all other hunting-related activity proceeds from that night. That’s why ‘Charisma + Etiquette’ serves as your Primary Roll, in the context of carousing.
Every method has one Supporting Ability associated with them. This is an Ability that gives you a -1 or -2 modifier to your hunting difficulties when using that method, if the Ability is rated highly enough. The next section will have more on modifiers (as there are many others that can either hurt or help you, where Disciplines, Merits, Flaws, Morality and such are concerned).
Note #1: Some of these methods are not equally available to all characters. Some will require special preparation, or other Backgrounds or such, to render plausible. Your Director will help you settle on the best method for your character’s IC circumstances.
Note #2: You can type +hunt/details <method> in game to see how good your character is at each method of hunting.
Primary Roll: Charisma + Etiquette
Supporting Ability: Style
Description: In the carousing method, a vampire engages in social activities and festivities to blend in with their potential prey. They attend parties, nightclubs, and various events where people gather, using the lively atmosphere and lowered inhibitions of their unsuspecting victims as a cover to discreetly feed on them. This allows the vampire to sate their hunger while maintaining a semblance of normalcy (and Humanity) in their interactions with humans.
It is a very likely that a majority of all vampires from all Clans in the Camarilla, with the possible exception of the Nosferatu, ultimately rely on some manner of carousing to sustain their eternal existence. In many ways, the entire edifice of the Camarilla exists to promote and protect this lifestyle.
Drawbacks: The carousing method can be time-consuming and energy-intensive, as the vampire must actively engage in social activities to find their prey. This approach also increases the risk of drawing attention to oneself, as maintaining a public presence exposes the vampire to potential threats or discovery. Furthermore, it can be difficult for the vampire to maintain a long-term social circle for obvious reasons (such as their unchanging appearance and mysterious nature). Nonetheless, Carousing (and Seduction) is by far the preferred method for most Camarilla and Anarch vampires.
Risk Level: Very Low to Low.
Primary Roll: Strength + Intimidation
Supporting Ability: Brawl
Description: The coercion method involves a vampire using intimidation and force to obtain their sustenance. This could include cornering their victim in a dark alley, using supernatural strength to overpower them, or instilling fear through displays of their vampiric nature. Coercion allows the vampire to feed quickly and efficiently but often leaves a trail of terror and violence in their wake.
The rebellious and passionate Brujah often prefer hunting methods that involve coercion or brute force. Especially among the Sabbat and the most brutal Anarch gangs, they relish in exerting their power over mortals, using intimidation or physical prowess to feed on those who cannot resist.
Drawbacks: Employing coercion as a hunting method often leads to a negative reputation for Camarilla vampires, potentially making it difficult for them to maintain connections or allies. The use of force or intimidation can attract unwanted attention from both mortal and supernatural authorities, increasing the risk of confrontation. Additionally, reliance on coercion can lead to an overconfidence in brute force, neglecting the development of subtler skills and strategies that could prove useful in other situations.
Risk Level: High.
Primary Roll: Perception + Survival
Supporting Ability: Animal Ken
Description: The feral hunting method, involves a vampire focusing solely on feeding from animals instead of preying on humans. By tapping into their heightened senses and predatory instincts, these vampires track, stalk, and capture their animal prey, often choosing those with a substantial amount of blood to satiate their hunger. This zoophagic approach allows them to maintain their vampiric existence while minimizing harm to human populations, blending in more seamlessly with society, and reducing the risk of drawing attention to themselves from vampire hunters or rival factions.
Feral hunters tend to found at either the extreme ends of high Humanity fledglings that find the cannibalistic nature of their new existence to be revolting, or simply bestial Nosferatu or Gangrel who don’t give a shit anymore.
Drawbacks: Feeding solely on animals can limit the nourishment a vampire receives, as animal blood does not provide the same level of sustenance as human blood. This method may also prove challenging in urban environments where suitable animal prey is scarce or difficult to access. Additionally, relying on animals for feeding often leads to the vampire being perceived as weak or less-threatening by their supernatural peers, affecting their status or influence within vampire society.
Risk Level: Very Low
Primary Roll: Manipulation + Subterfuge
Supporting Ability: Intrigue
Description: When employing guile, a vampire relies on cunning and deception to approach and feed on their prey. They may use disguises, false identities, or intricate schemes to get close to their target without arousing suspicion. By skillfully manipulating the situation, the vampire can extract what they need while keeping their true nature hidden from their victims and any potential witnesses. In the more extreme (and low Humanity / demented) examples, they might use blackmail or trickery, such as trap doors or puzzles (think Jigsaw). This often relies on leaving the victim so disoriented afterwards that no one would believe them anyways. Mostly though, this method just involves being a certain kind of manipulative asshole.
Malkavians, known for their madness and unpredictability, often employ guile as their primary hunting method. They use their unique insight and understanding of the human psyche to manipulate and deceive their prey, feeding while their victims are caught off guard. Certain Tremere often use their knowledge of rituals and supernatural abilities to deceive or enthrall their prey, feeding without the need for physical confrontation.
Drawbacks: Utilizing guile as a means of hunting requires a high level of cunning and adaptability, making it challenging for some vampires to master this method effectively. Deception can create a web of lies that may become difficult to maintain, leading to potential exposure or the collapse of carefully constructed plans. This is by far the most time consuming of all the different hunting methods, and one that quite a few vampires look askance at, if they should learn of the hunter’s elaborate proclivities.
Risk-Level: Low to Moderate.
Primary Roll: Intelligence + Bureaucracy
Supporting Ability: Vice
Description: Vampires who focus on feeding from blood bags are often cautious and discreet, avoiding the risks and complications associated with hunting live prey. These vampires have adapted to modern society, utilizing black market medical resources such as blood banks, hospitals, or even forming alliances with Sanguinaries, morticians or medical professionals to ensure a steady supply of blood. By feeding from bagged blood, these idealistic vampires imagine they can ensure their sustenance without endangering humans or drawing attention to themselves. This method is particularly appealing to (often intelligent) vampires who value maintaining a low profile or wish to blend in with human society without causing harm.
Historically, the Camarilla has looked down upon and sought to discourage the reliance of vampires upon Sanguinaries or blood banks. There are many reasons for this, and most of them have to do with the Masquerade. Additionally, blood bags (which are virtually never whole blood, yet separated into either plasma or packed cells), while offering a technical nourishment, do nothing to abate the Beast’s gradually growing lust for the real thing. For this reason, historically, Thin-Bloods, Caitiffs and Autarkis vampires have been most likely to pursue this method. In the more modern nights however, as technology has advanced, some among the Camarilla have begun to reconsider the viability of such strategies…
Drawbacks: Relying on blood bags or blood banks for feeding can present logistical challenges, as the vampire must secure access to these (expensive) resources without raising suspicion. The quality of the blood is also always inferior to that of fresh, live prey, which tends to impact the vampire’s overall strength and well-being (and make them dangerously yearn for the real thing). Additionally, this method may be unsustainable in the long term, as blood banks are subject to supply fluctuations and may not always have sufficient stock to meet the vampire’s needs. Not to mention, you are inherently putting yourself at the mercy of your supplier, whoever that might be.
Risk Level: Low to Moderate.
Primary Roll: Appearance + Seduction
Supporting Ability: Style
Description: The seduction method involves a vampire using their supernatural charm and allure to entice their prey. They may engage in flirtation, create an air of mystery, or appeal to their victim’s desires to draw them into a vulnerable position. Once the target is enamored and captivated, the vampire can feed on them with ease, often leaving their victim with hazy memories or attributing the encounter to a passionate tryst.
Toreador are drawn to beauty and art, making seduction a natural choice for their preferred hunting method. They use their Presence to captivate their prey, feeding while ensnaring them in a web of desire and fascination. However, any vampire, whether they’re an elegant Ventrue aristocrat or shaggy blonde Brujah rocker, who has been blessed with charisma and attractiveness (i.e., the ability to get laid) will often find this the easiest method by far. It has the bonus effect of not deviating too far from how their mortal lives were probably spent as well. This is probably the second most common hunting method among both the Camarilla and the Anarchs. It’s not uncommon among the Sabbat’s Cathari, albeit there is rarely, if ever, a particularly happy ending.
Drawbacks: The seduction method relies on the vampire’s ability to charm and attract their prey, which may not be effective on every potential victim. This approach can be emotionally draining to the more sensitive high Humanity neonates, as it often involves manipulating the feelings and desires of others. It is impossible for a vampire to feed on the same individual more than once or twice a month (at most), so be prepared for a string of jealous suitors and drama to follow in your wake. Additionally, focusing on seduction as a primary hunting method may lead to the vampire becoming overly reliant on their physical appearance and allure, potentially hindering their ability to adapt to situations where such tactics are less effective.
Risk Level: Low
Primary Roll: Wits + Streetwise
Supporting Ability: Stealth
Description: Stalking is a more predatory approach to urban hunting, where a vampire observes and tracks their prey from the shadows, patiently waiting for the right moment to strike. They may study their victim’s habits, routines, and vulnerabilities to determine the most opportune time to feed. This method is often employed by vampires who prefer to avoid direct interaction with humans or wish to minimize their exposure to potential threats.
As the most in-tune with their bestial nature, Gangrel vampires are more likely to employ stalking as their primary hunting method. They use their keen senses and predatory instincts to track and hunt their prey, often favoring a more primal and visceral approach. Similarly, Nosferatu vampires, cursed with grotesque appearances that make blending in with mortal society impossible, often rely on stealth and stalking to secure their prey. They use their innate ability to hide in the shadows and their knowledge of secret passageways to ambush their victims, feeding before they have a chance to react.
Drawbacks: Stalking as a hunting method can be time-consuming and isolating, as the vampire must spend significant amounts of time observing and tracking their prey before making their move. This approach carries the risk of being discovered while stalking, which could lead to panic or confrontation. Moreover, the stalking method can also contribute to the development of obsessive or paranoid tendencies, as the vampire may become overly focused on their target or excessively cautious in their efforts to remain undetected.
Risk Level: Moderate
Primary Roll:: Charisma + Leadership
Supporting Ability: Empathy
Description: A voluntary hunter is a vampire who feeds exclusively on willing victims, often drawing from a group of devoted followers, cultists, or individuals who offer their blood as a form of charity. This type of vampire relies on their charm, charisma, or supernatural abilities to create a bond with their prey, ensuring a constant supply of consensual sustenance. These vampires maintain a unique relationship with their donors, often providing protection, guidance, or other benefits in exchange for their blood. This method allows them to uphold a level of morality and control over their feeding habits.
Many Salubri (with some bloodlines having different requirements) are practically restricted to this method, owing to their Clan Weakness. While unknown to most other vampires, who simply consider them Masquerade-shattering Infernalists, it is a habit that their most perceptive and learned persecutors have exploited in the past.
A Special Note: The Independent Clans of the Giovanni, Assamites and Setites all have sinister, Masquerade-straining associations with various forms of ‘voluntary’ contributions. And such practices (whether from family, employers or cultists) are all in violation of the Camarilla’s Traditions. Perhaps hypocritically, Ventrue elders with their more refined tastes, paranoia and reclusive natures, sometimes maintain networks of loyal followers and blood dolls on staff, feeding upon their (often supernaturally compelled) devoted servants. This is not something that younger vampires can expect to get away with however. Not least of which is that it requires quite a lot of time and money to establish such a ‘household’. When these ancient monsters go ‘prowling for sport’, they’re more likely to predate upon the local Caitiff or Anarch population than mere humans!
You must get with your Director (in this case, Sundance) for confirmation and approval, before ever roleplaying your character along these lines.
Drawbacks: Seeking only willing donors for feeding can significantly limit the vampire’s potential pool of victims, making it more difficult to secure a reliable and consistent source of blood. Maintaining a group of willing donors may require the vampire to invest time and effort in building trust and relationships, which can be emotionally demanding. Furthermore, the reliance on consensual feeding could create a sense of dependency or obligation towards the donors, which may be exploited by others seeking to manipulate or control the vampire. However the biggest risk by far, is that it shatters the Masquerade – potentially inviting all manner of crackdowns.
Risk Level: Low (Inner Circle methuselah) to Moderate (Setite cult leader) to High (Salubri fledgling) to Very High (you).
Note that +hunt modifiers are intended to specifically address a vampire’s hunting efficiency in terms of risk vs reward. Some activities are low risk (such as feeding from animals) but also low reward (animals give much less blood). A vampire with low Humanity who wishes to pursue the Seduction method is certainly likely to waste more vitae on Blush than one with a high Humanity. Similarly, radiating unholy malice is unlikely to help you get what you want from mortals…even under the coercion method, they might fight rather than submit. Or more likely, they’ll flee, requiring the vampire to chase them down.
Ultimately, modifiers are not intended to be an exact parallel to whatever the Disciplines, Abilities or Merits/Flaws might affect in terms of individual dice rolls. They are the system’s best intent to measure how likely it is you are to come out ahead in terms of blood supply. Some methods have better modifiers than others, making them usable in more locations, such as Affluent Residential enclaves. Some are less so, meaning that they’re best left to areas like Slums or the Inner City.
Note #1: In the case of a fraction, round down the final result.
Note #2: Again, the most important factor for the modifiers is how likely are to end the night with excess vitae. A character with the Lifesaver Flaw will no doubt be exaggeratedly careful over drinking too much, for example.
Note #3: This table is not exhaustive. It does not reflect every strange or obscure power in the World of Darkness. Truly ancient vampires with multiple Abilities and Disciplines at 6+ have centuries – perhaps even millennia – of practice at getting what they want. The most depraved (several of which sit on the Camarilla’s Inner Circle or have served as particularly corrupt Justicars at one time or another) are as likely to hunt and feed upon younger vampires as they are humans. Similarly, this system is not meant to represent the murderous feeding frenzies that packs of Sabbat shovelheads often subsist by. It’s primarily aimed at most Camarilla, Anarch and Independent vampires residing in Los Angeles in the 2020s.
|Supporting Ability at 2||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5|
|Supporting Ability at 3||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1|
|Supporting Ability at 4||-1.5||-1.5||-1.5||-1.5||-1.5||-1.5||-1.5||-1.5|
|Supporting Ability at 5||-2||-2||-2||-2||-2||-2||-2||-2|
|Has Conviction Virtue||+1||+1||+1|
|Has Instinct Virtue||+2||+2||+2||+2|
|Addictive Blood 3||-1|
|Alien Perfection 2||-1|
|Blush of Health 2||-0.5||-0.5|
|Calm Heart 3||-1||-1|
|Cold Read 3||-1|
|Early Riser 1||-0.5||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25|
|Eat Food 1||-0.5|
|Efficient Digestion 3||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1|
|Enchanting Voice 2||-0.5||-0.5||-0.5|
|Extra Sharp 3||-0.5||-0.5|
|Healing Touch 1||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25|
|Impressive Restraint 2||-0.5|
|Inoffensive to Animals 1||-1|
|Master of the Masquerade 2||-1||-1||-1|
|Rugged Bad Looks 5||-1|
|Slowed Degeneration 5||-1||-1||-1||-1||-1|
|Stillness of Death 2||-0.5||-0.5|
|Acute Senses 3||-1||-1|
|Behind the Scenes Hero 2||-0.5|
|Dark Triad 3||-1||-1|
|Enchanting Feature 2||-0.5|
|Friendly Face 1||-0.25||-0.25||-0.25|
|Huge Size 4||-1|
|I Know You 1||-0.25||-0.25|
|Local Hero 3||-1||-1|
|Master of Red Tape 4||-1|
|Natural Leader 2|
|Nature's Child 2||-0.5|
|Perfect Liar 2||-0.5|
|Physically Impressive 2||-0.5|
|Regal Bearing 1||-0.25||-0.25|
|Sex Appeal 3||-1.5|
|Socially Networked 2||-0.5|
|Beacon of the Unholy 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Body Trail 4||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5|
|Can't Cross Running Water 3||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Cast No Reflection 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Cold Breeze 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Conspicuous Consumption 4||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5|
|Dead Inside 4||+1||+1||+1|
|Deep Sleeper 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Disease Carrier 4||+1||+1||+1|
|Dulled Bite 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Eerie Presence 2||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Flesh of the Corpse 5||+2||+2||+2||+2|
|Forked Tongue 2||+1||+1||+1|
|Glowing Eyes 3||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Grip of the Damned 4||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5|
|Incomplete Understanding 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Kiss of Death 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Lord of the Flies 2||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Lord of the Night 3||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Obvious Predator 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Open Wound 2+||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Parasitic Infection 4||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5|
|Permanent Fangs 3||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Prey Exclusion 1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Privacy Obsession 3||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Rat in a Cage 2||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Refined Palette 1||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Refined Palette 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Refined Palette 3||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5||+1.5|
|Repelled by Crosses 3||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Repulsed by Garlic 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Shadow Walker 6||+2||+2||+2||+2||+2||+2|
|Short Fuse 2||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Smell of the Grave 1||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Stone Tongue 3||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Thirst for Innocence 2||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Touch of Frost 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Uncommon Vitae Preference 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Unholy Stain 3||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Venomous Bite 2||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Victim of the Masquerade 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Combat Novice 3||+1||+1|
|Cultural Other 1||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25||+0.25|
|Family Issues 3||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Impractical Dresser 1||+1||+1|
|Mr. Red Tape 4||+1.5|
|Profiled Appearance 2||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5||+0.5|
|Repulsive Feature 2||+1||+1||+1||+1|
|Rotten Liar 3||+1.5|
|Shrinking Violet 2||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1|
Hunting FAQ (WIP)
FAQ #1 (Feeding From Retainers & Ghouls)
Question: Why do I need to hunt? I can just maintain five PC and NPC ghouls and take turns feeding on one every night, once they heal the lethal damage.
Answer: Although you can technically recover from being fed on within three days, to where it won’t mechanically hurt your dice pools, actually being fed on repeatedly will soon kill you. A human being loses roughly 10% of their body’s hemoglobin every time they donate blood, which takes about 4-6 weeks to replenish. You’re pretty much fucked once you get down to 50% hemoglobin levels.
What this means is that each human being – provided you want them to live – can supply about two blood points a month at most.
Followup Question: That sounds pretty inconvenient. Could you elaborate?
Answer: Yep. It’s why you’re not allowed to handwave feeding from NPC Retainers anymore. That said: Take heart in the fact that when vampires are with their ghouls, they will often bite them, bleed them and lick their cuts. However, they just don’t do so to the extent of taking an entire blood bag’s donation worth of blood from them. Vampires lick and bite each other all the time as well, without gulping down pints of vitae, after all.
Remember, you must ingest an entire blood point’s worth of vitae in one scene, to be blood bonded to someone.
FAQ #2 (Herd & ‘blood dolls’)
Question: How does Herd work these days? Can I still send my blood doll zombie slaves to my friends and automatically grant them vitae?
Answer: Well. Herd never worked like that, for one thing. Herd does not represent your brain dead, walking blood bag slaves. The Background is intended to represent the extent of the mortal social circle that you maintain. At the Storyteller’s discretion, it might instead be used to represent other stuff, like access to blood bank inventory or a Sanguinary contact. However, that requires a unique +note to that effect. Otherwise, Herd = mortal social circle, which means that a vampire should be reasonably social to justify a high Herd.
Herd may not be treated as automatic blood points anymore. That was a temporary expedient prior to the release of +hunt. Now, it adds to your +hunt dice pools.
FAQ #3 (Fame)
Question: How does Fame interact with this system?
If your method of hunting is Carousing or Seduction, I’ll add it to your dice pool, same as with Herd. They can stack.