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The True Hand
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The True Hand


The True Hand is a sect book which introduces the True Black Hand as a playable faction in Vampire: The Masquerade.

This book features the following:

  • Chapter One: History. An accounting of where the sect was and how it got to where it is. This version of the history is a bit streamlined with a focus on the Aralu bloodlines and their role in the development of the sect. This section delves into deep lore concerning the fallout of the Second City and the implications that carry into the modern day
  • Chapter Two: Organization. An exploration into the current byzantine structure of this infamously incestuous political apparatus. Do not worry, there is a suitably bureaucratic org chart. In this chapter you will find leaders and Cabals, all the way down to operatives in the field and the trained assassins of the Shakari.
  • Chapter Three: Operations. All about how missions tend to work. Who sets them up, and who knocks them down. How they go wrong and who pays the price. This chapter presents the kinds of resources a team can expect from their Handler and how they move from objective to objective along the way. This is adventure building that looks more like an action movie or a heist than a typical Elysium-bound Camarilla story.
  • Chapter Four: Building an Operative. This is where we put all the game mechanics, as well as the guidelines for building True Hand characters and coteries (called Columns). Lots of new rules here, including a couple new Backgrounds, full splats for the Duskborn (aka Thin-Bloods) and the four bloodlines (the Danava, Guruhi, Ishtarri, and True Brujah), new Celerity rules for True Brujah’s Temporis, Blood Sorcery rules for the Danavas, and more. We even provide a whole new way of constructing coteries around the Missions that they are currently assigned.
  • Chapter Five: Storyteller Characters. Here you will find a host of interesting characters for use in your True Hand Chronicles. Some are famous or infamous, while others are on their way there.
  • Appendix A: Ready-Made Prophesies. Finally, the book concludes with “actionable” prophetic visions. The idea here is that the prophesies the Hand pays attention to are more than just mystical gibberish – there is always a useful nugget of intel if you look close enough. These are messages from the Aralu! The antediluvians have plans and this is how a Storyteller drops them into a story.

Be warned: This is not the old Hand you can find in the three previous official guidebooks for the sect (one of which was about their “False Hand” cousin). Instead, this version of the True Black Hand is lean and mean. It is a spy thriller story set in the horror setting of Vampire. It is a way of telling stories about vampires who fight for a cause, even if that cause is in service of ancient creatures of unimaginable motives. Much of the old trappings of the Hand were thrown out. Yes, it is still a secret organization, infiltrating the other sects and subverting them to the Aralu’s purposes.

Firstly, this Version of the True Hand is all vampires. Since we are working with V5 here that was intentional. Vampire is currently the only show in town when it comes to playable supernaturals. Also, one of the things that dragged down certain other versions of the Tal’mahe’Ra was the overuse of crossover. You will find almost none of that here. There are also far fewer demons. Per the canon, the Baali, Old Clan Tzimisce, and Nagaraja didn’t make it when the sect reformed and we held to those constraints.  Frankly, the True Hand already has enough going on that introducing all the other stuff starts to garble the signal-to-noise ratio.

Instead, what you will find is a secret organization built around its original foundation: the Aralu. Four antediluvians whose identities were merely suggested in earlier editions are now explicit in this book. We name them and note that their bloodline descendants are the true inheritors of their vision for the world and the coming Gehenna. We give you options to operationalize their plans in your chronicles and give Vampire players the details on all four of those bloodlines, ready to be played. We also detail the reasons why the sect chose to adopt the Thin-Bloods as their front-line operatives.  In this version of the Tal’mahe’Ra, the Thin Bloods are welcome (mostly) and play an important role. 

The Hand has taken a very strange turn here, to be sure. It embraced technology, seized mortal institutions of power, and produced a generation of secret agents. The genre is intentionally skewed towards modern espionage stories: crypto, jet-setting, and street-level action all dropped into the backdrop of our favorite vampire game. This version of the True Hand is exploring the process of combining the supernatural and the hyper-modern – with some interesting results. Ancient vampiric prophecies and powerful blood-driven Disciplines work alongside bullpups and algorithms. Even with all these tools, the Hand’s operatives are not godlike field agents. Think more Jason Bourne than James Bond. These operatives make mistakes and the forces they’re up against are almost impossible to defeat outright.

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Customer avatar
Helder A April 26, 2022 8:59 pm UTC
Does it include a scenario?
Customer avatar
Kelly B April 26, 2022 10:14 pm UTC
Not in this book, though there are a few ideas we've been kicking around for possible scenarios as supplements. It does have an extensive chapter on how missions work and a system for Mission types that replace Coterie types as a more fluid system. Lots of useful systems and story hooks here for coming up with your own scenarios.
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File Last Updated:
April 26, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on April 26, 2022.