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Vampires can activate their third level obfuscate discipline and vanish from sight instantly, even where there are bystanders. Its stated that only those with supernatural powers, like Auspex, could see through the illusion unless the obfuscated vampire draws attention.

One of my players used this discipline to break into a museum and steal ancient tablets. The problem I'm having is, unsuspecting mortals are completely defenseless against this kind of burglary. Even the vampire has no skills to commit a heist, he can virtually never get caught, which eventually leads him to succeed.

During that scene, the vampire first tried to knockout the guard in the museum gallery and failed, shots were fired, alarms triggered. he immediately used cloak of night and vanished from sight. the mortal who got shot was panicked and confused of course, but he can't seem to understand how he was shot without anyone in the room. Next the vampire broke the glass that kept the tablet he came to acquire, and steal the tablets, mortals who came for the alarm draw their guns to shoot... and the vampire vanishes again.

Even they don't understand what they're up against, they initiated lock-down to all doors in the museum to keep the thief inside and wait for the police. The vampire waited patiently, used cloak of night before it expires again and when the police arrived he just get out whenever someone opens the door leading to exit. after a while he was outside, still invisible, with the tablet worth millions, and no clue left behind.

how am I supposed to counter that, not that I'm trying to foil all his plans, but if he keeps doing that, mortals have no means to stop him, and he might get too powerful or too rich too early.

Of course there is an option to plant supernaturals around valuable object and let them detect the vampire, but that should be my last resort, since it would be bending odds too far against the players.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't the Obfuscate drop when the character "interacts with objects"? Because carrying around the very object someone is paid to protect sound like the kind of thing that would drop the Obfuscation. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jan 19 '15 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's dropped when he grabs the object, but this won't prevent the vampire to use the discipline again. Also he could use obfuscate 1 to vanish the object and that won't be found unless he is specifically searched for that very object. \$\endgroup\$ – Volkan Ulukut Jan 19 '15 at 16:29
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Use more guards, and guards with higher Willpower.

The memory of the victim is only altered when said victim has a Willpower rating lower than the number of successes garnered. Even in that case, the subject, if the vampire vanishes before him, will remember the vampire's presence earlier and even his appearance and description — he simply won't understand how the vampire escaped. (“I glanced away for a moment, and when I looked back I think I saw him leave through that door.” — p.136, VTR) If you're trying to vanish in front of onlookers, each witness present takes a die out of his pool. (p.137) This can represent heightened security after thefts, if you like.

Use electronic countermeasures.

A quote from the description of Obfuscate, on page 135:

It’s important to note that Obfuscate affects the viewer’s mind, rather than making any true physical change to the vampire. Thus, the Discipline is not effective at cloaking a character from mechanical devices. Photographs, video cameras and the like record the normal blurred image that all vampires leave in such media, not the assumed appearance. Obfuscate does affect any individual currently using the recording device, however, so someone videotaping an Obfuscated vampire sees the illusion when looking through the lens, discovering the truth only later when he reviews the tape itself.

To clarify: if you're watching the feed live, Obfuscate works on you (and you count as a witness); if you're reviewing the security tape, it doesn't, and you can see the vampire commit his robbery.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, the security guards who saw him could easily describe him to the police, which means he's in trouble. about security tapes, are vampires not blurred in any visual recordings? like photographs or videos? how can you see the vampire commit the robbery, if you can't decipher blurred images. well its obvious something is stolen at that moment but the vampire can't be identified. \$\endgroup\$ – Volkan Ulukut Jan 20 '15 at 11:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VolkanUlukut Closer to the second. His facial features will be blurred, but his height, build, and clothing will be perceptible. It won't conclusively identify him, but it could give people something to work with. (Investigation checks on behalf of the museum staff will, of course, modify the situation — or Larceny checks on the part of the vampire.) \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Jan 20 '15 at 14:43
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What i feel everyone that answered your question forgot is the importance of the masquerade. This question is a year old, but for anyone in a similar situation that happen upon this, here is the consequences of performing actions similar to these.

Blatantly using his mystical abilities in front of one or more mortals in this manner, possibly being video taped while doing so, and attracting massive amounts of attention to himself by stealing something very valuable is enough that a blood hunt would be called down upon him.

The local prince or similar depending on your edition would have to clean up this whole mess, bribing people/pulling strings to make the witnesses "forget" the incident, putting the stone tablet back in the right hands, and get a cover story to give the media if applicable.

The biggest limiter on vampires is the whole need to maintain the status quo, vampires want the world to believe there are no supernatural entities, and most importantly, they want the city they live in to not know about invisible blood-sucking corpses that can make thralls of men.

Humans, if made aware of vampires, would be the end of all bloodsuckers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I was looking for a mortal approach. Any supernatural could prevent him one way or another. \$\endgroup\$ – Volkan Ulukut Jan 26 '16 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer is great in that it avoids saying "yeah, you should metagame and counter your player" and heads straight to what the real in-game consequences actually would/should be. A vampire can legit pull off such burglaries with relative ease; but there are big reasons they might not want to, if they know what's healthy for them. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 26 '16 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ While I agree to an extent with @SevenSidedDie that this is a great point to make, per meta, an answer really should also answer the specific question asked, i.e. whether or not it’s actually possible for a mortal to see through Cloak of Night. It may not matter whether or not a mortal can do so, per this answer, and that seems like a great point, but a great point doesn’t make a great answer on its own. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 26 '16 at 17:57

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