Fighting Style: Sniping

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Prerequisites: Dexterity •••, Resolve •••, Firearms•••, and Stealth ••

A sniper is the antithesis of a gunfighter, patient and serene rather than swift and ruthless. Your character, through life-long experience or intensive military training, is patient and skilled enough to spend hours staring through a rifle scope before taking one perfect shot that decides the fate of a hostage or a nation. Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next. So, your character can’t have “Battlesight Zero” until she has “On Scope.” The maneuvers and their effects are described below, most of which are based on the Firearms Skill. All of the following maneuvers work only with rifles (including assault rifles).

On Scope (•): Your character has an intuitive understanding of long-range ballistics and has spent countless hours straining to pick out tiny details through a telescopic sight. The maximum bonus she may receive from aiming (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 162) is increased to her Composure +1 for semiautomatic and automatic rifles and her Composure +2 for break-action, bolt-action and lever-action rifles. In addition, when using a scope or other long-range optic device (e.g., binoculars), she receives a +2 bonus to all perception rolls (see the World of Darkness Rulebook, p. 45).

Battlesight Zero (••): Once your character is familiar with the capabilities of a rifle, she can wring unparalleled performance from it. Whenever your character sights in a rifle (see “Sighting Tools,” p. 164), she doubles the number of attacks that receive the bonus from this process. In addition, whenever she makes an attack with a rifle that receives this bonus, the weapon’s short range is increased by five yards times her Wits, medium range by twice this amount and long range by three times this amount.

Focused Shot (•••): Your character can lurk motionless in ambush for days, ignoring sleep deprivation, temperature extremes and even life-threatening injuries in the name of putting lead on target. When making an aimed shot, she may ignore an amount of penalties for wounds, drugs, disease, pain, fatigue, environmental conditions and similar factors equal to her Resolve. For example, if your character has Resolve 4, has two points of Health remaining (–2), has gone without sleep for 36 hours (–2) and has ingested strong hallucinogens (–3), her aimed shots suffer only a –3 penalty instead of the –7 that affects all her other dice pools.

Tactical Intervention (••••): Split-second timing and nerves of steel enable your character to take advantage of the smallest opportunities for accurate shot placement. When making an aimed shot, all penalties for shooting into close combat and for concealment are halved, rounding down.

One Shot, One Kill (•••••): When your character picks up her rifle, people fall down. It’s just that simple. When making an aimed shot, do not add the rifle’s Damage rating to the attack dice pool (though “9 again” or “8 again” still applies if it would normally). Instead, if the attack succeeds, add the rifle’s Damage rating as extra successes. Drawback: Spend one Willpower per attack. Note that this Willpower expenditure does not add three dice to the attack.