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  • Art of Witch Hunting

    Mine groups return to our Mage game about Hieromagus, ancient ruins, Archmasters shenningans and Abyss chasing PCs. To make things even more interesting, I concider of using the witch hunters this time - I have a strong subplot of Seers in background and were considering of putting players againts Division Six ( from Abstergo Indrustries faction ) and Malleus Maleficarum ancient hunters group that know more about main plot from Vatican Archives.

    The question of topic is simple - How Sleepers can hunt mages effectively? And I mean without going with Banishers. I really want this to be "mortals threat", not next Awakened that fight with PCs.

    As I see, problem is bigger than you think - Awakened are very powerfull individuals and cabal of six of them ( mine now PCs group ) is really force to be recon with. Sleepers can make problems of vulgar magic when they see it, but one good spell and whole teams of witch hunters can gone. *pufff*

    So how Sleepers hunt our Awakened, in the end, to not get killed and win the day?
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-08-2015, 02:39 AM.


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  • #2
    Honestly, there really isn't anything the Malleus Maleficarum can do to any decently experienced Mage cabal directly. There's a reason that the Witchfinders book provides non-Awakened Mages and recommends against using powerful Awakened as adversaries.

    The only way to level the playing field in a direct confrontation would be to give the Hunters some anti-magic artifact, otherwise they'd be limited to harassing the Mages' families and friends or causing other, political and social, challenges.


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    • #3
      I am going to pit Witch Hunters post 2e who stumble upon a master. They don't have a supernatural templates ability to resist magic... that Thyrsus is going to just look at you crossly, and you die.

      To answer your quesrion:
      Honestly, the only way you can do much is to bring overwhelming firepower and numbers if you are going to do straight combat (and your mages will likely still win).

      Instead, have them go around the mages and use connections to shut them down. Have them call in contacts that have the ability to ruin the mages lives: cut off their water and power, have theither assets seized, etc. Remember that mages are humans and still live amongst sleepers. pull apart their lived and support and then when they are distracted, kill them.

      Or use explosives... lots and lots of explosives. You nwver know. You might get lucky.

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      • #4
        Assassination. Don't do straight up combat, just pick them off one at a time in rapid succession.

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        • #5
          We start our game after PCs resettle in the new reality ( very long story ) so each cabal member is on his own and even do not remeber the rest, for now. Maybe individual members are easier to pick up? If yes, how Sleepers could get them?

          Originally posted by Ashenrogue View Post
          Assassination. Don't do straight up combat, just pick them off one at a time in rapid succession.
          I like this idea on general hunter theme. It could work with Division Six. But I do not see this with Mallus Maleficarum, because of their general Modus Operandi.
          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-02-2015, 03:13 AM.


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          • #6
            Take them out in a single strike, don't give them time to respond. Depending on how paranoid they are, drugging them with something that knocks them out before they realize something is up might work. Afterwards though, you'll need to keep them drugged and unable to think clearly. If they can think, they can form an imago, and if they can form an imago, they can probably escape or kill their captures.

            Though vigilant use of Fate magic makes everything a lot harder.

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            • #7
              Nice point about drugging them on. I assume most Witch Hunters made Tactics and Endoments based on mages loosing focus, so they are have really problem with forming Imago. I assume some Condition is in order? The problem are Life wielding sorceres, but mine PCs do not have those, most of the group.

              I must see Witch Finders book if Divison Six or Mallus do not have some tricks that could be used on PCs.
              Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-02-2015, 11:27 AM.


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              • #8
                I imagine it's going to be a more clear thing in Second Edition, when mages can hold fewer spells at once, it takes longer to cast even when you Reach for it, there are more complications to account for and the risks of Paradox are greater. I would say that a mage who goes into heavily kitted out for scenarios other than fighting are going to be troubled if a fight should break out.


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                • #9
                  oh, I am not saying they cannot do it even in 1e. But if the mage knows you are coming, you are screwed. and once you reveal yourself, they can start mounting a defense.

                  I mentioned this in the other cross-over thread: mages grow in power the longer thry have time to engage. They start just above a baseline human, but the longer they have time to consider a reaponse, the more god-like they can become. That is why you need to overwhelm them in a fight with numbers and/or firepower, since it keeps them distracted and on the defensive, because if you give them any time to think and respond, thry will either hit back hard or get away.

                  Yes, they are still human and cannot prepare for everything. But like humanity, given enough time, and they can get up to some ridiculous stuff. They just have the means to do so very efficiently. So an assassination when they have no idea you are coming is the best way to take them out as a Hunter. snipe them, poison them, car bomb, whatever. But hope you get them on the first try.

                  And if they are supposed to antagonist for a mage chronicle, the assassination method doesn't work, cause then your players will be pissed that you essentially pulled a ST fiat. It is realistic but not any fun.

                  Considering Wyrd's characters survived the Abyss to return to an alternate reality while fleeing from an Archmage they pissed off, I was assuming they have some degree of skill and finesse, as well as a hefty bit of brute power, so they aren't going to be an easy Cabal to threaten. I think the better Compacts would be TFV or the Aegis Kai Doru:
                  - TFV let's you bring the US government down on them, which is enough to make any mages life hell, even if their agents don't quite get it. When the IRS repossessed your home, you are on America's Most Wnted as a Terrorist, and guys in fatigues with laser cannons are after you... you can almost get a Technocrat game going.
                  - the AKD has both a shared back story (they think they descend from atlantis, but mages stole their power) and magical artifacts that you can simulate as mage Artifacts/Imbued items (or not, to keep the mages guessing) which can let you make things interesting (shit! He has a thaumium sword! I can't hit him with my spells!)

                  Also, keep in mind paradox and run with it. Use sleepers to weaken the mages. Have them attack in the mall. I also count standard TFV members as sleepers, since of all conspiracies, they still don't seem to get what is going on and thry rely completely on (advanced) mortal technology.

                  Anyway, just my 2 cents from running games with Hunters as antagonists.

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                  • #10
                    First of - thanks for ideas. I will answer some to maybe plan better the capturing.

                    Originally posted by Freemind View Post
                    Yes, they are still human and cannot prepare for everything. But like humanity, given enough time, and they can get up to some ridiculous stuff. They just have the means to do so very efficiently. So an assassination when they have no idea you are coming is the best way to take them out as a Hunter. snipe them, poison them, car bomb, whatever. But hope you get them on the first try.

                    And if they are supposed to antagonist for a mage chronicle, the assassination method doesn't work, cause then your players will be pissed that you essentially pulled a ST fiat. It is realistic but not any fun.
                    I think that less martial PCs could be bring to the questioning rather than immediately assassination. I will point it more later, but game start with characters being splited, do not remebering they previous role of quasi-Messihas, with Abyssal Taint now. They are suspecting, but even Conspiracies, I suppose, rather would like to question them first, kill them later.

                    Originally posted by Freemind View Post
                    - TFV let's you bring the US government down on them, which is enough to make any mages life hell, even if their agents don't quite get it. When the IRS repossessed your home, you are on America's Most Wnted as a Terrorist, and guys in fatigues with laser cannons are after you... you can almost get a Technocrat game going.
                    Most characters are British, and action of game is, generally, in London. I think that TFV would be in this bad idea, but maybe Knights of Saint George, as they are quasi-official Englands witch hunters? Could use Lords Stewards for govemrnt thing, but I think they will be too soft for "we need to capture or kill those reality deviants".

                    Originally posted by Freemind View Post
                    - the AKD has both a shared back story (they think they descend from atlantis, but mages stole their power) and magical artifacts that you can simulate as mage Artifacts/Imbued items (or not, to keep the mages guessing) which can let you make things interesting (shit! He has a thaumium sword! I can't hit him with my spells!)
                    It's very interesintg proposition. I posted Divison Six becuase of their unobvious connection to the Seers ( large antagonists of previous season of game ) and they rather drastic Modus Operandi - good on the martial part of the previous cabal and new Bond movies feel for this subplot.

                    Malleus Maleficarum, on the other hand, beside being concerned with hunting witches, can be easily connected by the Hieromagus plot - they can easily thinks that PCs are false Messiahs, that are deluded to think are next Jesus. Not without some clues from jelous Guardians of Veil cabal, planning to take out probable problems before they PC will start them. Now Abyssal Taint on PCs only corrects that they can by "Anti-Christs" to the eyes of the Shadow Congregation. I imagine that Malleus presence in UK has risen after new apostolic constitution in 2009 - Anglicanorum Coetibus - that basiclly allow anglicans to become part of Catholic Church.
                    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 05-02-2015, 09:56 PM.


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                    MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events
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                    • #11
                      Well, there is nothing saying that the Bits don't have their own version of TFV. And they would have a lot more resources (imagine how many camera are in London... who is scrying who now?).

                      But the KSGs are a great group to throw at them. If your guys are abyssal tainted, maybe it means they can sense your characters (since they serve abyssal beings). And they aren't going to soft. They view magic as bringing about the end of the world and want to kill off mages (remember:they serve the Abyss!).

                      And if the Seers are central, just make Division 6 scarier. And remember, they are US based too, so just like TFV, you would need to make the British version too.

                      But yeah, those were just ideas. I really don't know how things are set up in your game, so I am just working from general principles in the lines.

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                      • #12
                        Use attacks in mall with caution. With certain groups you are going to end up with a few Manifestations in the mall.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Korusef View Post
                          Use attacks in mall with caution. With certain groups you are going to end up with a few Manifestations in the mall.
                          So you mean more fun for the ST.

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                          • #14
                            Your going to have to give them something to give them an edge, because as has been mentioned they can easily be picked apart by potent mages if your not talking about assassination attempts bombs ect you might wanna read about "The lucid" from the unbidden book. (Sleepwalkers with a mages unseen senses that make them hate magic)

                            Another option if your definitely trying to avoid supernatural elements is some novel tool that close that gap.

                            Call me uninspired but I'm suggesting something like Orbo from "witch hunter robin" an anime about witch hunting police force but suitably different to match the theme of your chronical and not be a blatant rip off :P

                            Orbo in that series is a Green fluid, It can be used Defensively and Offensively against "craft users" Defensively it's put into Jewelry (Usually crucifix style amulets) It reacts against magic becoming the target of the spell instead of the person absorbing much of it's potency. In that series it's shown to save the lives of several cast members when they get targeted by "witches" who have abilities like "I make you explode by looking at you/Touching me makes you age to dust" merely knocking out the character and breaking the amulet.

                            Offensively they place it into Glass ampoules with a sedative and fire it at witches once it enters the bloodstream the effect is to gradually weaken and then nullify there magics then rendering the "witch" unconscious.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              Most characters are British, and action of game is, generally, in London. I think that TFV would be in this bad idea, but maybe Knights of Saint George, as they are quasi-official Englands witch hunters? Could use Lords Stewards for govemrnt thing, but I think they will be too soft for "we need to capture or kill those reality deviants".
                              Always figured that TFV was more "NATO" structured where it's basically the US providing logistics with local countries supporting their own groups. Thus, it would be perfectly acceptable to have TFV personal and/or equipment show up in a game where it's mostly supporting the local government backed conspiracies.

                              But outside the US, I would think that TFV really only shows up personally if you've done something to grab their attention (Interfering with US base personal, magical "terrorism", etc.) so I don't see them active in a London game that much other than perhaps puppet masters or "Allies of my enemy".

                              Still, it gives you a nice excuse to put them in if things really start getting loud and deadly with the local government hunter cells as they start calling in favors to TFV.




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