Range: 5–15 feet

Fire Rate: Medium

Skill Level: Medium

Description: Although most firearms are ineffective when confronting a vampiric attacker due to its accelerated healing factor, there is one exception to this guideline: the shotgun. A weapon that is common in sporting, hunting, and the personal safety arena, shotguns fire shells that contain either round pellets known as shot or solid projectiles called slugs. This firearm is popular for home defense due to its effectiveness in close quarters and the lack of aiming precision required resulting from the spray pattern generated by the shot projectiles.

Being that decapitation and dismemberment are possible tactics in vampire combat, the shotgun is one of the few firearms that has the ability to accomplish either at close range. A well-placed blast has the potential to sever limbs and, if targeted properly, remove the head altogether. The discharge from this weapon also has the capability of knocking your opponent backward a short distance, enabling you to either escape or follow up with an additional attack. It is for these reasons that the shotgun is one of the few firearms that have true promise in a vampire engagement.

Due to the popularity of the shotgun as a “game-changing” weapon with extreme stopping power, it is important to convey the fact that the shotgun’s performance in undead combat should not be misjudged. Many overconfident combatants have relied on the reputation of this weapon only to find themselves in dire straits once its limitations reveal themselves against an attacking succubus. In order to perform the type of shots that are capable of severing limbs, the combatant must be in fairly close proximity to the target. Too great a distance, and the dispersal pattern of the shot will wound rather than amputate the target. Thanks to the vampire’s healing ability, minor shot wounds will mend themselves much like other types of superficial trauma. Although precise aim is not required with this weapon, it does take a moderate amount of skill to wield the shotgun effectively. Should this be one of your primary ballistic weapons, practice with it extensively, mimicking its use in an undead situation by aiming at specific areas such as the appendages and head. The last place you want to discover how difficult it is to blow the limb clean off an attacking vampire is when the creature is seconds away from clutching your throat.

Some may argue that certain high-caliber firearms are equally capable of the requisite damage that can be performed by the shotgun.  This is absolutely true.  However, rifles and handguns of this type are often difficult to obtain and challenging to wield for the everyday citizen with minimal firearms training.  Remember also that with the shotgun, the shot dispersal means that pinpoint accuracy is not as crucial, not so with a single bullet shot from a high-powered firearm.

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