From time to time, I check the (internal) statistics page for the blog, and one of the aspects shown there are the search terms the users enter in search engine (like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) before clicking on the link which then refers to the blog. Mostly these search term are the usual suspects like “vtes brujah deck“, “vtes weenie combat” or “danse macabre set“, but from time to time more interesting questions come up. One of the recent search terms was “what does black hand do in vampire eternal struggle“. This one is quite easy to answer.
In itself the text “Black Hand” on VtES card does nothing. It is just what is called a trait in VtES, a keyword with having no direct effects in the game such as a title or the capacity of a vampire. That being said, being a member of Black Hand does have its benefits allowing them to use more than 20 cards in VtES, from Admonitions to Weeping Stone.
Please take notice, that Black Hand vampires must not be necessarily Sabbat vampires. All vampires which are Black Hand are Sabbat vampires and all of the cards making a vampire Black Hand are also be required to belong to the Sabbat sect, afterwards they can change their sect as they see fit without losing the Black Hand trait. Also noteworthy is the fact, that a vampire may have more than one trait without loosing the others. For example, a Red List vampire can become Black Hand, and Infernal, carrying all of these traits at the same time. The Anarch trait is bit different in the sense that it is tied to the Independent sect as per rules section “10.5. Anarchs“.
Common traits in VtES are Black Hand, Seraph, Red List, Infernal, Sterile, Blood Cursed, Scarce and Cold Iron Vulnerability.