by Rick Jones
[To start off, the Nightstalkers, Frank Drake, Blade, and Hannibal King are all copyrighted, trademarked, and Blood Bound to Marvel Comics.]
Here's a little group of hunters to give your players Daymares. The history and abilitiies I gave them are appropraite to the Vampire world, and any side notes about their actual history in Marvel Comics will be in "".
Str 4 Cha 1 Per 4
Dex 4 Man 1 Int 2
Sta 4 App 2 Wit 3
Talents: Alertness-3, Athletics-4, Brawl-4, Dodge-3, Intimidation-3
Skills: Drive-3, Melee-4 (daggers), Fire Combat-3, Stealth-3
Conscience-0, Self-Control-4, Courage-4
Interesting Stuff: Danger Sense, Iron Will, HATRED-Kindred, Driving Goal (rid the world of the occult) [All of the Nightstalkers have the Driving Goal], "Sense Magic" and "Sense Wyrm" (like the Garou Gifts)
Weapons: a "Saracen Sword" (not enchanted or anything, just a good [for beheading] sword, wooden stakes, teak daggers, a shotgun that shoots wooden stakes, plus various knives, hand axes, and other things that go clank in the night. He's probably got lots of silver weapons as well.
History: Blade's mother was attacked by Kindred while she was pregnant. Although she died, Blade survived and, somehow, was given immunity to Kindred mental abilties(Iron Will), and a "scent" for the supernatural(sense magic, detect danger, and sense wyrm powers). He literally smells it. Traumatized by the event, he dedicated his life to Hunting the Undead. Sometime in his career, he made contact with Quincy Harker's band of Hunters, and later, along with King and Drake, was called in by a magi [Dr Strange] to assist in an attempt to finally lay to rest Dracula [actually, they, for a time broke the ancient spell that allowed vampires to exist, Marvel decided that vampires meant money, however, and brought them back]. After Dracula was laid to rest (or at least they think he was), Blade worked with Drake and King for a short time, but then suffered a nervous breakdown. His release from the insane asylum was engineered by the magi, who had plotted to reform the trio in an attempt to check the plans of a demon. While in the asylum, his psychiatrist, under the mage's orders was able to broaden Blade's psychosis so that he now wants to destroy all creatures of the supernatural, and not just kindred.
Blade is not nice. He's not kind. And if he finds out you use the occult, you're not long for this world. If he find out you're a vampire, leave town. Blade hates kindred with a passion rivaled only by the Garou. He spends all of his time not hunting the supernatural training for his war. Consider that Blade made his living killing Kindred in hand to hand combat. It could be that he has some sort of death wish, but it's most likely that he just want to see the Cainite's face as it dies. He currently advocates breaking the Masquerade, which his partners are wary of. He is very paranoid about King, and sees him as a constant reminder of his loss and his obsession. Though he is loyal to the team, he would be somewhat ambivalent about helping King, were he in danger.
Str 2 Cha 3 Per 3
Dex 3 Man 4 Int 4
Sta 4 App 3 Wit 3
Talents: Alertness-2, Brawl-2, Leadership-3, Subterfugue-3
Skills: Drive-3, Ettiquette-4, Fire Combat-4, Melee-2, Repair-2
Know: Bureaucracy-3, Computer-2, Finance-3, Investigate-2, Occult-4 Science-4
Background: Contacts-3, Fame-1, Resource-4
Conscience:3 Self-Control-3, Courage-3
Neat Stuff: Driving Goal (rid the world of the supernatural)
"Linda" (aka "The Exorcist"). Using his millions, and his knowledge of science and the occult, he contstructed "Linda", a weapon designed to hurt the supernatural. Linda looks like a science fiction laser rifle/bazooka, with occult runes carved on the sides.
Depending on how "out of the world" you want to get with the Nightstalkers, Linda could be a couple of things. A UV/laser beam, that damages Kindred like the sun, is probably the most appropraite to the Vampire Universe. He also is a crack shot with other firearms, and, when hunting Garou will most likely have some high powered gun loaded with silver rounds.
[In the comic book, Nightstalkers, Linda fires "Necrotech" in a plasma beam carrier. The occult nanotech engines begin altering supernatural objects and entities. It would cause occult objects to burn, and do aggrivated damage to Kindred. Also, if he gets 5 successes, the target is paralyzed, just as if they had been staked. The beam doesn't do anything to anything untainted by the occult. It has be used to sweep a room, causing objects handled by supernatural entities to react. ]
History: Frank Drake has the dubious honor of being Dracula's only living mortal descendant. In Dracula's castle in Transylvania, he foolishly removed a stake in Dracula's chest, ending decades of paralysis. Somehow, Drake escaped with his life, and quickly became a Hunter, and allied himself with Quincy Harker, and Rachel Van Helsing (Abraham's descendant). He was the driving force behind the formation of Borderline Investigations with Blade and King, and used his millions to bankroll the trio. While he was convinced that Dracula was dead (and he still has that misconception), and settled down with Marriane [something], who became his wife. He had had a relationship with Rachel Van Helsing, but she was later turned to a Vampire herself, and was killed by Hunters. [The Uncanny X-men]
Personality: Frank is the closest to a normal person in the Nightstalkers. He does have the driving goal of ridding the world of the supernatural along with his partners, but he's the most relaxed about it. Drake is the public face of Borderline, and is experienced at dealing with the press and covering up their "borderline" activities. He's also the voice of reason at keeping Blade in line, and prodding King out of his depression. He's the de facto leader of the team, and finds most of their cases. He finances their activies with his family money, and has numerous contacts all over the East Coast, who feed the Nightstalkers with information about possible targets. Drake, on the surface is pleasant and engaging, with a hint of "rich boy playing detective." However, beneath the surface, he is as dedicated to the cause as the others. His wife knows he had some sort of mysterious history with Borderline and is concerned about their getting back together, but does not know the extent of their activities.
9th Generation Caitiff (Gangrel / probable Sabbat Gangrel)
[the generation can be upped or toned down as desired, but I figure he's
pretty powerful, but no lower than 7th and higher than 10th]
Str 4 Cha 2 Per 4
Dex 3 Man 3 Int 2
Sta 4 App 2 Wit 3
Disciplines: Animalism-2, Potence-2, Auspex-1, Fortitude-1, Protean-4 [in the comics, he has Dominate-2 and Protean-5, Presense-1 as well as some other strange things, like his Bat form is a huge man/bat form, not a regular bat]
Talents:Acting-2, Alertness-3, Brawl-3, Streetwise-3, Subterfugue-2
Skills:Driving-1, Security-3, Stealth-2
Knowledges: Investigation-4, Law-2
Conscience:3 Self-Control-4, Courage:3
Neat Stuff: Eat Food, Driving Goal
History: Hannibal King was an ordinary PI, until a "white haired vampire" attacked him. Three days later, he woke up on the slab at the morgue. He managed somehow to rebuild his detective agency and try somehow to recapture his mortal life. Limited to night work, he had to hustle to make ends meet. In his time as a vampire, he has never had to kill to feed, and limits himself to blood banks (and perhaps animals, it's never stated what exactly what he eats). Hannibal managed to avoid contact with the supernatural for the next few years, encountering Harker's hunters once, and it was his investigations that led the mage [Dr Strange] to gather Blade and Drake to destroy Dracula [and all the otehr vampires].
Using a spell from the Darkhold [Marvel comics' version of the Necronomicon], the Montessi Formula, they managed to destroy Dracula [and all the other vampires]. Thanks to the mage, and the fact that he had never consumed the blood of the living, King temporarily reverted back to humanity.
However, recently, when Dracula returned, and perhaps with a touch of help from the mage, King is once again, a vampire. [In the comics, he's trapped between humanity and undeath, with the powers of a stereotypical vampire, and the growing desires of one. The sun pains him but doesn't burn him, and he's getting more and more hungry for blood.] He still can eat food, and get intoxicated by alcohol, which he drinks too much. ["Aren't you drinking too much?" "Beats what I've got a _real_ thirst for." - Drake and King, Nightstalkers #1] He is desperately trying to hold onto his humanity, and tries to use his mortal abilities to the exclusion of his vampryic ones (picking locks when he could mist under it or break it down). He has yet to feed on the blood of the living [in VtM, he's probably Banking, with Drake's help], and is fighting to retain control to keep from Frenzies.
King right now is on the edge. Having regained his humanity and lost it a second time is pushing him to the edge. The only way he can justify his existance to himself is to destroy the supernatural in any way he can. He has bouts of depression, one of which found him in a cemetary, carving his name on a headstone and weeping for his lost humanity. When Hunting, he has started to wear a dark opera cape and fancy clothing, like a Hollywood vampire. He also has a dark sense of humor, and will occasionally taunt his enemies. While not on the hunt, and not depressed, he has a regular sense of humor, and acts like a "regular guy," but these times are less and less frequent as time goes on.
What the Nightstalkers Know: The three of them know most, if not all, of Dracula's history, thanks to their own research, and the teachings of Qunicy Harker and Rachel Van Helsing. They are more familiar with the Sabbat, since their methods are less meticulous than Camarilla Kindred. However, they do know that the Camarilla exists, but do not have as much experience hunting them. Their methods lend themselves to hunting Kindred, but are equally devoted to slaying werewolves. They don't know anything of Garou, other than the myths. They do know that they can change whenever they want, not just on Full Moon nights, and natually know their weakness to silver. After all their experience hunting Kindred, the Delerium has no effect on the trio (Drake might be unnerved, but he wouldn't cut and run).
Methods: They are currently using their detective agency, "Borderline Investigations," as a cover for their hunt. They are based in Boston, and have yet to really attract the attention of the Boston Nightlife, though a few may know of Blade, since he was a somewhat notable Hunter.
Their usual methods involve learning of supernatural activity via Drake's information network. Once they have a target, they close in and attack by suprise and with overwhelming force. (The Big Guns/Marvel Comics method) Drake softens them up with Linda, and Blade and King wade into the crowd. They have radio headsets to keep in constant contact, and are total professionals about it.
[Imagine Sullivan Dane crossed with Delta Force, and you have the Nightstalker method. Very subtle on the investigaton and clean-up phase, and brutal on the assault.]
Bibliography: Dr Stange #58-61, Nightstalkers 1-5.
Notes: I did not read the issues of Dr Strange where vampires come back, so I really have no clue about how it happened. In the VtM version of the Nightstalkers, I'd guess that Drac faked his death in the battle with the Magi, and that King got his humanity back temporarily as a side effect of his "diet" and being at ground zero of the spell.
Nightstalkers is a guilty pleasure comic. The villains so far, with the execption of #1 have been pretty cheezy. However, Dan Chinchester does a good job at showing the Hunter mentality. #1 is quite good, but part of a Marvel marketting blitz (Rise of the Midnight Sons - the intro of their new "supernatural" line, crossed over with Ghost Rider, a "hot" character), so the issues might be a little expensive. Issue #1 is the best, so far. 2-4 involve a silly group of occult "super-agents", but have some good character bits, if you can stand a villain whose power is that he can pull out his internal organs and use them as weapons (spraying stomach acid on people, using his intestines as a whip and a garotte). #5 involves the Punnisher and an evil cult and is so-so.