Clan Guide: Mekhet
 
Strengths and Weaknesses

Everything in the Mekhet arsenal is devoted to seeing without being seen and knowing without being known. Nowhere is this more apparent than in their signature Discipline, Auspex, which allows the Kindred to gather a wealth of information about his surroundings without any noticeable display of supernatural power at all. Obfuscate naturally augments this already considerable ability, and together with Celerity provides the Mekhet vampire with an unmatched capacity to avoid being noticed, avoid being seen, and avoid being caught.

Obviously this makes Mekhet vampires ideal candidates for spying, scouting, stalking, theft, assassination, etc. But all that stuff's obvious, and such a limited view of the Clan does them a disservice. 

Have you ever wished you could be a fly on the wall in a room--to hear what people say when you're not around? Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to swap places with someone you know, to be treated by your friends the way they treat that person? Have you ever wished you could pry open someone's mind and know for a fact what's inside? You don't have to be some kind of master safe-cracker or occult assassin to appreciate the usefulness of these tools. 

Mekhet aren't merely sneaky and perceptive. They're masters of information--and misinformation. Knowing what others know is the first step toward manipulating them, and a Kindred who understands this can accomplish an awful lot socially and politically. The best part about it is that, without any obvious Discipline use, there's nothing for other Kindred to lash out at. Sure, a Ventrue can Dominate a rival into submission, but even the most adept Dominate user has to worry about the fallout eventually if she Dominates fellow Kindred; a victim of Auspex, on the other hand, may genuinely never know it, and if the Mekhet makes good use of Obfuscate, her victims might very well blame a totally innocent person as the source of a harmful leak of (mis-)information. 

That said, Mekhet blood is the most in touch with secrets and the occult--and as such, their mysticism is burned into their very nature with their Clan Bane. Their power set is the most cerebral, the most logical--so it stands to reason that their blood is most keen to follow the unspoken rules associated with the Kindred. Having the greatest insight into the workings of the Kindred, they subconsciously bind themselves more strongly to those workings--thus they're weaker to Banes than the other Clans. 


The Hunt

Candice was always a talented actor, but now that she can see and feel others' hopes and expectations, she is preternaturally gifted. She can be whatever her victim wants her to be; have whatever interests her victim wants her to have; know whatever her victim wants her to know. In the end, she doesn't need any supernatural powers of persuasion to get her way. After all, she can smell her victim's desire as easily as she can smell his blood--she knows what he wants and how to get it, and the closer she gets, the more open the book becomes. How can the kine possibly resist the intimacy of someone who knows him so completely?


Benjamin likes to find happy couples out on dates. He takes a seat at a table nearby, just another face in the crowd. He studies the way they talk--learns their mannerisms, their dynamic, their nicknames and inside jokes. After their dinner, he follows them home; he might watch them make love to study the technique, or if that doesn't happen, slip into the mind of one of the couple and glean an unspoken fantasy. The next evening, he arranges for one of the couple to be busy--and then appears to the other as her partner. He knows just what to say; he knows all the lines. To the kine, it's just another night with her beloved, albeit somewhat more intense than usual. To him, it's an easy meal with none the wiser. 


Kine unfortunate enough to wander into Finn's house seldom escape alive. Hallways twist and turn in on themselves, while doors and windows have a way of simply disappearing. Hours of torture pump the mortal's blood full of adrenaline--Finn's favorite flavor--as he renders his subject ripe for the kill, and when the attack comes, it comes in the form of a victimized loved one, or a vengeful vigilante, or an Angel of God. As he carries the exsanguinated body over shoulder into the crematorium, none of the kine on the street pays Finn any mind.  To the outside world, a mortal simply wanders into a house and is never seen again. 


Roleplaying Tips


Mekhet are the most subtle of the Clans, and leveraging their abilities requires a lot of finesse. The first and most essential trick to playing a Mekhet well, then, is learning the value of understatement, of discretion, and of the control you have over the flow of information.

You should endeavor, as a matter of course, to learn as much as possible about everyone you encounter while revealing as little about yourself--including your interest in them--as possible. Ask opportune questions, even if there's no immediate reason for you to be interested; you never know when that information, carefully filed away, might come in handy later. When mundane conversation fails, or would be too suspicious, don't be afraid to use Auspex to siphon a little more knowledge, or Obfuscate to stalk or eavesdrop on those who seem like they have something to hide. 

Once you have a wealth of information at your disposal, you'll start to see who is in league with whom, who can be turned against whom. Learn how to cause havoc by leaking the right detail to the right person at the right time. Learn how to leak that information without anyone even realizing that it's you. 

Not only is it important to understand what other people know and want, it's also important to understand what other people think. Learning a victim's expectations and misconceptions about others is just as useful as factual information, if not moreso--it gives you a narrative to play into, a weakness to exploit. If one of your rivals thinks another is trying to betray him, it doesn't matter if it's actually true. You can make it true--or make it seem true. Try to make your enemies feel like they're waging a hopeless battle against a relentless propaganda campaign; keep their enemies apprised of their weaknesses, and keep their allies doubting them. Ideally, you never have to lift a finger. 

Of course, when push comes to shove, a Mekhet is no slouch in a direct confrontation either. If it comes to that, the swift and sudden ambush is your best friend. Take your enemies when they least expect it, and strike hard and fast--a skilled Mekhet doesn't leave his victim an opportunity to see the hit coming, or to retaliate afterward. 


Disciplines

Auspex is a ridiculously powerful Discipline, and far and away the most useful tool in the Mekhet toolbox. While the power Auspex gives you requires intense, exhausting focus--and thus cannot be used lightly--don't be afraid to activate Auspex if your character has even the slightest reason to do so, because this is a Discipline which carries no downsides and almost zero risk. 

You get one free use of Beast's Hackles and Uncanny Perception per scene, so try to make use of these powers when you've got a reason. Whenever you're in a scene, you should always be putting the back of your mind toward what your Kindred would be most focused on trying to learn. Is she wondering anything about those around her, or about her current surroundings? If so, why not put the Beast to work? 

By the way, the questions listed for the first two powers are a great baseline, but they're not a hard limit to what your character can learn. As a rule of thumb, if you're trying to learn information about threats to your character, possible dangers, or weaknesses in the scene, it's Beast's Hackles. Anything that focuses on one particular person is the territory of Uncanny Perception. 

Auspex is the only hope any Kindred has of piercing the Obfuscate Discipline, but it's important to remember that you can't use Beast's Hackles for this purpose unless you specifically devote the power toward searching for an Obfuscated character. This means you can only use Auspex to pierce Obfuscate if your character has a legitimate reason to suspect that someone nearby might be using Obfuscate. The same goes for Auspex rolls in general; though it's okay to be liberal with your use of this Discipline, remember not to metagame!

Finally, remember that intimate contact with a target affords Auspex a hefty +3 dice bonus. Most people don't think of it this way, but Auspex is absolutely as powerful a social tool as Dominate and Majesty. 


Obfuscate is the flip side of the information-gathering coin, and it too is an extremely powerful tool. The first dot alone ensures that almost no one can successfully track down your character as long as he does not want to be found; this first power especially can be used liberally, since it costs nothing and doesn't even require you to roll dice to activate. It's basically free and infinite spying. 

Beyond that, the higher levels of Obfuscate serve to make feeding trivially easy. They also make your Kindred exceptionally good at ambush, surprise, and--with Oubliette especially--manipulation of the environment. A clever Mekhet can use these powers to entrap a victim, separate him from his friends, or even attack him out in the open while passersby ignore his cries for help. 


Celerity is also a fantastic Discipline, and while most of its applications (like increasing your Defense) are obvious, there are a few qualities about it which are frequently overlooked. The ability to preempt others' actions, for example, is tremendously powerful. If your Kindred has the ability to spend 2 Vitae in a turn, and has Celerity at 2 or higher, there is a good chance that your character can simply "nope" out of any possible combat: first by preempting an attack made against her, and then tripling her run speed to disappear out of sight before the attack can land. Once your character is out of sight, Obfuscate ensures she probably won't ever be found. Never underestimate the ability to escape almost any dangerous situation with impunity. 

Of course, the interrupt ability of Celerity can be used aggressively, too. If you preempt someone's action with any action of your own that causes their action to become impossible or irrelevant, your opponent simply loses their action entirely. Don't forget that.