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Mature Content Warning: contains graphic and written content of a mature nature, including violence, sexual themes, and strong language. Reader discretion is advised.
Brothers and Sisters in Caine, united under the banner of the Dark Father
An antagonists’ guide to the cultic fanatics of the Sabbat, this book contains:
Descriptions of the Paths of Enlightenment, the foundations of Sabbat identity
Information on the Gehenna War, and how the Sabbat opposes the dread Antediluvians
New tools to expand your chronicles, including Discipline powers, versatile antagonists, and the horrifying Ritae of the Black Hand
Sabbat: The Black Hand is a supplement for the Vampire: The Masquerade Roleplaying Game, outlining in detail the lore and background of the Sabbat, including new Paths and Disciplines, histories, and new Storyteller resources for a richer roleplaying experience.
- Includes descriptions of the Paths of Enlightenment, the foundations of Sabbat identity.
- Contains information on the Gehenna War, and how the Sabbat opposes the dread Antediluvians.
- New tools to expand your chronicles, including Discipline powers, and the horrifying Ritae of the Black Hand.
At a Glance
- 140 page hardcover full color book
- Includes red satin bookmark ribbon
- This is a supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade Roleplaying book
Download the fillable PDF character sheet here.
- Number of Players:
- For Ages:
13 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
Sabbat: The Black Hand does a great job of lending context not just to the horrors of the Sabbat and the... well... darkness of the World of Darkness, but also the intricate relationship between different factions of the Kindred in this universe. Even if you are not planning on bringing the Sabbat into a VtM campaign, there is much to be learned that can increase tensions between characters and groups of any setting. Very well written, informative and a pleasure to read.
New to vampire the masquerade and this helped me a lot with ideas for Sabbat characters
Great information. Plenty to make the monsters that scare other Kindred.
I have been a long time player of each Vampire edition and this supplement is truly spectacular. I very much enjoy the care taken to understand the "why" behind the mechanics. I have been disappointed with leaving it up to stories to try and explain things. Generally there's lots of effects which don't translate into mechanics. So, this is tremendously refreshing. I totally get Sabbat motivations, how they do things and what sets them apart. There are some tantalizing new powers too of course.
This is easily the best of the main game books, surpassing both sect books as well as the main book, IMHO. I prefer Chicago by Night Fifth Edition and Cults of the Blood Gods but this is definitely one of the better works done for Fifth Edition. It is written almost entirely out of character and gives clear, concise, as well as informative facts about what the state of the Sabbat is as well as how to run them. There's also ample crunch to be found here as well as lore. The book is more than a little on the short side, though, with 134 pages in length. Given the Camarilla was 204, I have to wonder who decided to not give the writer room to breathe. I don't think anyone would have disliked having more material to follow up on. The Fifth Edition version of the Sabbat has suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Second Inquisition, their massive Gehenna War, as well as civil war. The Sabbat has forfeited most of its territory to the Camarilla and Anarchs with defectors to both sects. Some of the more popular Paths of Enlightenment have also become forgotten with the Path of Beast (Feral Heart), Honorable Accord, and Lilith being all but abandoned. 5E amalgamation has also hit a few of these paths too with the Path of Night and Path of Metamorphosis becoming "flavors" of the Path of Cathari and Path of Death and Soul. There is no Regent of the Sabbat and it is controlled by a loose alliance of warring Cardinals. No sign exists of the (False) Black Hand special forces that once were the deadliest killers outside of Alamut. However, not all is ill in the Sword of Caine. The Fifth Edition version of the Sabbat is more ideologically committed and united than ever. No Sabbat remain on the Path of Humanity and infighting is practically nonexistent. While they have lost vast swathes of territory, they still maintain Archbishopdoms and strongholds across the world. They do not suffer Stains, have Touchstones, or have penalties for diablerie. Oh and among their tricks are now the ability to raise feral zombies, create Blood Brother-esque mini-vozhd from ghouls, and other abominations against both magic as well as reality. The Gehenna War is all but it is not fought in the Middle East but every corner of the globe against anyone the Sabbat wishes. The Sabbat is not a swarm of locusts even if their focus is entirely on the war against the Antediluvian. They engage in hot war of Mass Embraces, mass diablerie, and Sabbat Crusades as before but this is only part of the way it's done. Instead, they also engage in cold war using subversion, destabilization, and infiltration that is every bit as intelligent as before. The Paths replace Clans for dividing up the Sabbat with all of them identifying as antitribu now. We get insights into the various ritae the Sabbat perform as well as how each Path treats the process of doing so. We also have a new Path in the Path of Sun that is followed exclusively by the Thin Bloods that may actually have a better time in the Sabbat than the Camarilla. The art of the books is fantastic and those few fiction elements of the book are well-handled. I was disappointed we didn't get more information on Sabbat NPCs but Lucita is apparently (accent on apparently) still unalive and ruling Madrid. She's now a Lasombra Antitribu. Vykos is also alive, back to referring to themselves as Sascha, and a Tzimisce Antitribu. We also get a part of the book detailing what happened to the Web of Knives and Alamut. It's ridiculously gonzo and I think meant to state we're never going to hear of Ur-Shulgi or the diablerie-happy murder cultists of the Banu Haqim again. In conclusion, this is a solid and entertaining book but I can see where massive amounts of content could have been added that would have made it an even better experience. They could have easily included a Path system and mechanics for running them rather than just say, "Sabbat don't suffer your puny degeneration unless they are nice to mortals or are other kinds of freaks." The seeming loss of the Inquisition and (False) Black Hand is also notable with no commentary on the Harbingers, Salubri Antitribu, or other matters that could have been inserted into the abbreviated history. There are also no Loresheets, even for people who fight the Sabbat or have defected from them. But for what the book is, sharing a truly terrifying fanatical sect that will not be stopped, it does gloriously.
To get this out of the way immediately, this product DOES NOT CONTAIN RULES FOR PLAYING THE SABBAT. I imagine a lot of people are purchasing this book for that explicit purpose, and if so, you will be disappointed. In this book the Sabbat are painted solely as antagonists for your campaign, and in that it does pretty well giving plot hooks, lore, etc. So if you want it for that, buy it. If you were thinking of running a Sabbat game, you'll need to repurpose old mechanic from V20.
The book is following the good trend of providing new gameplay options, such as new paths, discipline powers, and a whole new antagonist faction to add on to any of the chronicles an storyteller could build! On another hand, even if the addition of new toys for the players to play with is great, the book lacks on more substance for the more lore demanding type of players. There is barely any mentions of important figures or old domains of the Sabbat and their stories and where they are now, leaving many questions unanswered for the old timers of the game. Having a game with such a lore rich world, the book felt like it was lacking on this department. All in all, is a good book for new players of V5, very friendly for those not familiar with the faction, but leaves much to be desired for old timers and fans of the game.
I thought the book was good, but my biggest problem with it is that it's primarily an antagonistic book. Sure it comes with the paths and new disciplines, but unlike the camarilla and anarch books, this book should have included all three clans from the companion PDF so then they can at least be in a physical copy, or just clan Tzimisce since this is the Sabbat. Other than that the Sabbat also lack their structure compared to previous editions even though before V5 they had far more structure and organization than even the Anarchs. The main high lights for me so far are the paths and disciplines which you can homebrew pretty easily for a Sabbat game, and the art work for the most part is slightly better than that of the previous books I've mentioned, but not as good as Chicago by night.
This supplement is everything I hope it would be. The sabbat is back, it's scary again, and it's an immensely interesting tool for storytellers. A wonderful addition to v5