No announcement yet.

Where I adapt Sullivan Dane to V5

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Where I adapt Sullivan Dane to V5


    I'm a huge fan of Vampire: The Masquerade as fans of this blog may have noticed. Sometimes, you can't get an idea out of your head. In this case, I wanted to update one of my all-time favorite characters to 5th Edition. Sullivan Dane is the first vampire hunter we meet in the game and one of the major characters of the Forged in Steel chronicle. He gets a short update in Chicago by Night 5th Edition but not a full write-up and I thought I'd try my indie urban fantasy writer's hand at making an interesting character transformation for him. I hope you enjoy my take on this classic character.

    Sullivan Dane

    Epitaph: Saint of the Hunt

    Quote: "If you truly wish to atone, then Final Death is not something to fear."

    Mortal Nights: Too Long against Evil

    Sullivan Dane is a name that is whispered among Neonates and loathed by Ancilla as well as Elders. Some have called him the greatest vampire hunter in history or at least the Modern World. Neither is precisely true as there are individuals like Nathaniel Borduff, Caiaphas Smith, Leopold von Murnau, and a handful of others who exceed him either in either body count or the age of his kills. He is, however, one of the most successful ones this century and the last. Whereas most Inquisitors may destroy a few vampires if they are lucky and call it a career, Sullivan Dane has dozens of vampire kills to his name and many of them are Elders. Even more surprising, Sullivan Dane has achieved this with a minimum of collateral damage.

    Born in 1957 in Mapperly, United Kingdom, Sullivan was always a strange child. Growing up in a very conservative household, he was unlike other children in that he had an intense religious faith that bordered on the fanatical. It wasn't helped by the fact that he often saw things that shouldn't have been there ranging from spirits in the garden, fairies hiding behind the faces of neighbors, and ghosts. His parents despaired of their son and considered him mentally ill, eventually sending him off to boarding school. Sullivan converted to Catholicism by the time he was eighteen and was a Jesuit priest at 1980. He was assigned to work in Washington D.C. and already scouted by other forces that recognized the aura of the strange clung to him.

    On the streets of Georgetown, while ministering to a mostly indifferent flock, Sullivan encountered a Caitiff vampire named Maggie Kyle. Maggie was a bitter soul living under the radar of Prince Vitel and fed on the homeless Sullivan sought to protect. She attempted to use her powers to force him to renounce God, sleep with her, and then humiliate himself in public. Maggie was stunned Sullivan proved completely immune to mental manipulation and drove her away with faith when she tried to feed. Later, Sullivan would use his formidable intellect to track her down and a combination of folklore as well as deductive reasoning to destroy her. His attempts to inform the Church got him branded a lunatic but the Society of Leopold scooped him up before criminal charges could be filed.

    Sullivan would have destroyed his first seven vampires by 1992 and his move into the city of Gary where he began monitoring the Damned to find out their sinister schemes. It was then he discovered they were not the creatures he expected as a member of the Society of Leopold's Children of Lazarus. They had personalities, friendships, rivalries, regrets, and loves. The vampires Allicia and Michael convinced him not all undead were irredeemably evil even as the actions of Juggler and Modius convinced him many were. Sullivan left the area for almost a decade following an apocalyptic blood red moon where he almost died battling a literal demon.

    Sullivan's activities for the next decade would test his faith multiple times as a Red Star appeared in the sky, God seemingly blessed hundreds of hunters with a true sight akin to his own, and he encountered many beings more overtly evil than the vampires he normally hunted. Unbeknownst to the society, Sullivan became a secret convert to the Florentine Heresy and released several Thin Bloods scheduled for torture and death. It is to his disgust he lied about his actions and he sometimes wishes he'd accepted martyrdom for his actions. Since that day, he was only interested in the worst of the undead like the Samedi wight Jean Delisle or "The Satanic Sabbath."

    After a failed attempt to destroy Modius and Juggler in 2011, Sullivan's life changed with the arrival of the Second Inquisition and the realization he was getting too old to continue the hunt. The Society of Leopold was revitalized with government funding and an army of indoctrinated Special Ops. soldiers. His ambivalence toward the Society of Leopold's methods became disgust as the new Inquisitor General proved to be one of the most ruthless in centuries. Only his reputation as an individual of profound piety and success against the undead kept him from being "quietly retired."

    Sullivan has been assigned a new mission, both to keep him out of the way of the Society's new agenda and also because he has insight into the minds of Kindred that others don't. The Kindred have apparently been expanding their own blasphemous version of the Catholic Church, revering the First Murderer, and have given Sullivan the impossible task of destroying it. Sullivan must decide to fight this genuine heresy with fire or words...or whether his actions are better used against his own order.

    Plots and Schemes

    - Stop the Anti-Christ: Sullivan is genuinely appalled at the existence of the Church of Caine. He is probably the most knowledgeable non-supernatural in the world on Cainite religion and knows about both it, the Bahari, the "Paths of the Sabbath", and Hecata. He believes all of these things lead away from God's forgiveness and the myth of Golconda. He can't share this with the Society of Leopold since the idea vampires can be saved at all is heresy. What Sullivan wants, though, is to find allies he can talk out of the heresies and convince of an alternative religion. This requires talking to actual vampires, though, and trying to persuade him to work for not only their personal redemption but the redemption of their fellow Damned.

    - Miracle or Magic: Miracles happen around Sullivan Dane. This is just a fact of his life. Wounds heal far faster than normal, his old age hasn't deteriorated his fighting skill nearly to the extent it should have, and he once cleansed a ghoul or Thin Blood of their curse (something even he's not entirely sure about). He is uncharacteristically afraid of investigating these events because he worries he's tapping into something beyond God's will. If he were to accept he is more than just an instrument of divine power but a willing channel, he might awaken to something he wouldn't know how to handle. It doesn't help that Sister Rose is encouraging him along these lines.

    - Reform the Inquisition: Despite the fact he doesn't believe all vampires should be killed (at least not without some effort to save their souls or break their curse), Sullivan Dane is still aware they operate under a dreadful curse that endangers the innocent. As such, he's been ambivalent about the genocidal plans of the Second Inquisition. An avalanche begins with a rolling stone and he has "humanized" the undead and the methodology for hunting them among numerous soldiers he's worked with. This has not always worked out well with some horrified by their actions or others believing he verges on being a traitor. Ultimately, Sullivan must choose whether to buckle under the "greater good" or martyr himself by publishing a coherent defense of mercy for even the most wretched.

    - A Good Death: Now in his sixties, Sullivan Dane knows his career is coming to an end. The fact he is able to fight on better than most hasn't removed the emotional toll of the Hunt. Decades of watching people destroyed emotionally and physically by the undead as well as being forced to kill individuals who were once good has left Sullivan with severe combat fatigue. Whether or not he has full-blown PTSD is questionable but he's already started becoming suicidal. He wants to end his Hunt either by dying in battle or martyring himself for a good cause. He's already tried several times to substitute himself for vampire victims or taken risks that would have gotten him killed if not for Sister Rose. Retirement is not an option for Sullivan Dane as long as there is evil to fight.

    Domain and Haven

    * The Unmarked Van (Haven 1, Arsenal 3): Sullivan Dane used to drive around in a 1973 black Lincoln Continental. This now being only slightly less obvious than driving around the Batmobile, he's since retired his beloved classic car for a white unmarked van. The vehicle is filled with a variety of anti-vampire weapons hidden in compartments disguised as catering equipment or pesticide tools (depending on the mission). Sullivan generally sleeps in cheap motels or churches that he's developed associations with. As such, he's virtually anonymous and moves freely from city to city without detection.

    Thralls and Tools

    * The Society of Leopold (Allies 3, Contacts 3, Resources 3): Sullivan is technically still a member of the Society of Leopold even though he's kept them at arm's length for almost a decade. The only spot on his record is the time the Thin Bloods escaped and he's destroyed enough vampires since then to allay most suspicions. Generally, the assumption is Sullivan is suffering burnout rather than any treasonous thoughts. Despite their encouragement for him to come home, retire, and take up a teaching position--the Inquisitor General herself has signed off on him to have whatever help he wishes (within reason).

    * Supernatural Contacts (Contacts 4): It would be enough to find him guilty of heresy to find out Sullivan knows hunters "touched by God" from the turn of the millennia, interfaith magicians belonging to something called the Choir, and a couple of Thin Blood vampires he believes are not beyond redemption. These individuals have been known to feed him information even if they won't risk their lives for him. As such, Sullivan has a wealth of knowledge about the supernatural other Hunters do not. Using these contacts always puts them at risk, though, as the Second Inquisition wants to know how Sullivan has become so knowledgeable.

    * Sister Rosemary Johnson (Retainer 4): Sullivan Dane's 40-year-old assistant and a talented theruge with a talent for pyromancy as well as defensive magic. Sister Rose was destined to be burned as a witch for her inability to keep her opinions to herself when Sullivan scooped her up. She is a Florentine heretic like himself and wishes to find a cure for vampirism rather than destroy them all. Most of her opinions now have been shared with Sullivan and he has vowed to keep them under the confessor's seal. These include the fact she believes the Society of Leopold does more evil than good, that vampires are redeemable, and that she is a lesbian. Sister Rose is much more overtly passionate than Sullivan and can be easily persuaded into believing a monster is innocent or irredeemable on flimsy evidence.

    Kindred Relations

    * Anatole (Terror): Anatole is the one vampire who Sullivan Dane is terrified of. It is not for fear of his soul or body but what Anatole represents. Sullivan sees him as burning with God's power but it is not a god of love that empowers him but a god of blood. They have met twice and both times Sullivan barely escaped with his sanity intact.

    * "The Beast" (Righteous Fury): A powerful demon that Sullivan encountered outside the Succubus Club and one that completely overwhelmed him. Sullivan Dane recognizes it as a being of pure evil and it attacked him as a servant of God. Sullivan has somewhat conflicting reports of this being and has confused it with the Toreador Helena at times. Both are, after all, inhumanly beautiful. If he can banish or destroy this "Gulfora" then he would consider his mission on Earth complete.

    * Modius and Juggler (Unfinished Business): Neither Modius nor Juggler are close to being the worst vampires that Sullivan Dane has faced over the years (he actually fought a Baali once). They are, however, consistent and unrepentant in their evil. Sullivan has made a token effort to reach both but would be just as happy sending them to their Final Deaths. Both vampires consider him a dangerous annoyance they're surprised hasn't gotten himself killed yet.

    * Lucian (Enemy): Sullivan has identified Lucian as a key figure in the Church of Caine within the American Midwest. He also has determined the vampire has begun slaving as well as other unholy pursuits. As such, Sullivan desires to get close enough to him to destroy him. No quarter will be offered or taken by either party.


    + Sullivan Dane helped lead the attack on the Vienna Chantry alongside several other Inquisitors. As such, he is a direct witness to the destruction (or not) of the Council of Seven.

    + Sullivan Dane is one of the first of the "Imbued" and never realized it due to not possessing the internet or access to their network.

    + Sullivan Dane is actually an unacknowledged mage that doesn't realize the power of "God" that flows through his veins is just hedge wizardry.

    + Sister Rose and Sullivan's relationship is not wholesome. She has corrupted him with her feminine wiles to the practice of black magic.

    + The Malkavian Anatole has had his eye on Sullivan for some time and intends to Embrace him.

    Mask and Mein

    - Sullivan Dane is a grim-looking well-muscled man with white hair and a short-well-trimmed beard. While in his sixties, he is in incredible shape for his age and could easily pass for a man a couple of decades younger. Sullivan prefers to wear black attire like a trench coat and Fedora but Sister Rose has convinced him to start wearing less conspicuous clothes while on the hunt. One quality that is noticeable is that he wears black leather gloves when on the hunt to disguise his fingerprints. This isn't actually necessary due to the Second Inquisition wiping his once considerable SAD file that linked him to dozens of Federal crimes. It is a file that could be reopened if he ever offends the Society's new allies.

    - While Sullivan Dane no longer is wanted for questioning or many crimes attributed to him by both well-meaning law enforcement or Camarilla agents, he prefers to work under a variety of aliases provided for him by criminal associates. He keeps multiple false identities and could, theoretically, disappear even from the U.S. government if he wanted to (Mien 3).

    - Sullivan Dane usually carries a pair of blessed silver-plated Berretas modified for use against supernaturals. It can carry clips of incendiary or silver-ammunition that inflict an extra three dice of damage. These aren't used simultaneously but kept in case he needs to share a weapon with Sister Rose or to arm civilians caught in the crossfire. Sullivan Dane also carries a centuries-old relic broadsword given to him by a Gladius Dei associate that can be used as both a cross to ward away vampires as well as a weapon that adds his True Faith score to any damage rolls. Dane is uncomfortable using this weapon as not only is it very conspicuous but he dislikes killing in the name of God now, even if it is sometimes necessary.

    Sire: N/A
    Embraced: N/A
    Ambition: To rid the world of evil
    Convicton: Protect the innocent
    Touchstone: Sister Rose
    Humanity: 9
    Generation: N/A
    Blood Potency: N/A

    Attributes: Strength 2*, Dexterity (Cat-Like) 4*, Stamina (Determined) 4*, Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Composure 5, Intelligence (Discerning) 4, Wits (Devilishly Clever) 5, Resolve 4

    Athletics (Gymnastics) 4*, Awareness (Vampires) 4, Brawl (Boxing) 4, Empathy 1, Intimidation 3, Streetwise (Street Culture) 4, Crafts 2, Drive 2, Etiquette 1, Firearms (Assassination) 4*, Insight 4, Larceny 3, Melee (Staking) 5*, Performance (Violin) 5, Stealth (Darkness) 5*, Survival 3, Academics 3, Computer 1, Investigation (Vampire Hunting) 5, Law 3, Medicine 2, Occult (Vampires) 4

    Secondary Attributes: Health 7, Willpower 10

    True Faith: 4**

    * If Sullivan Dane ever loses his mystical aura of faith then these attributes will be halved, rounded down, due to age and injury.

    ** If Sullivan ever fully awakens, he will gain Arete 3, Entropy 2, Life 2, and Prime 2 that he will use to perform coincidental "luck" magic, sensing vampires, healing injuries, and inflicting aggravated damage. It will also restore him to his full bodily strength for at least another decade or two. He will no longer have True Faith but a more mixed and questioning relationship with God.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-07-2020, 03:44 AM.

    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.