Hunter: The GM’s Friend


I’m finally taking some time to read through my “Hunter: The Vigil” book. I have to say, I wish I’d read this one sooner!

Yes, this is partially because I might have decided to run Hunters instead of Mages and as a result saved myself a large quantity of sanity points. Mostly though, it’s because Hunter works so well for any World of Darkness Chronicle. It’s possible for Hunters to have unique abilities based upon what Hunter conspiracies they belong to (if they belong to one at all), which allows them to be powerful enough to go up against a group of supernatural PC’s as effective antagonists. They can also wind up with the advantage of numbers if your PC’s have been running amok in your setting and causing all types of weirdness like, say, casting “Platypus Whirlwind” in the heart of mid-town Manhattan. Not that a Mage PC would ever think to do something like that, of course! I speak purely hypothetically.

No matter what skills they bring to the table however, Hunters make great antagonists because when you come right down to it, they’re just ordinary people. Once upon a time they were normal folks just looking the other way and trying not to lose their minds – to quote “A Shoggoth On The Roof“. They are the people your PC’s might have been had their own encounters with the supernatural gone only slightly differently. Wielded properly this can lead to all sorts of mayhem for your troupe.

Take for example a recent session of mine in which a Cabal of Mages and a Pack of Werewolves, who have become friends despite my best efforts to the contrary, wound up almost TPKing the entire campaign! All my co-GM and I needed to do was allow them to capture one poor, defenseless, unconscious Hunter. Some PC’s shout “Kill him! He’s a Hunter! He’d kill us if he was conscious!” Other PC’s say “But wait! He’s just a squishy mortal person, you know, like we used to be. He doesn’t know any better. One day he might become one of us!” It isn’t long before a knife gets thrown, an Acanthus Mage starts bleeding (even before she can suggest using Post Cognition to find out why he became a Hunter in the first place), sides are drawn… we haven’t gone near any of the GM’s carefully laid plans (which in this instance is fine because the GM’s got to kick back and eat chips for a change) and people are calling for initiative rolls on each other.

This, loyal readers, is what I like to call “GM Win!”

It doesn’t happen often enough.

And then there is the glorious entire section of the book that tells you how Hunters trick out their homes with booby traps. I found this section most inspirational! (Yes, that is a tear of joy sliding down my cheek as I type this.) Of course, I like to go the extra mile and dump a few dozen acid-spewing zombies on my PC’s to go along with the traps, but if you’re looking for some decent rules regarding pit traps and the like “Hunter: The Vigil” is an excellent resource! In fact, I have to admit that it’s an excellent resource for pretty much everything in the World of Darkness. It’s well organized, well edited, and clearly well thought out. As a GM or a player I highly recommend it.

Mages Make Me Cry

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Posted on June 24, 2011, in Gaming, Hunter the Vigil, Mage Awakening, MtAw, RPG, White Wolf, WoD, World of Darkness and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I don’t recall the platypus whirlwind plan (I blame Arrow; it sounds like an Arrow plan), but I do recall the “throw pebbles at someone and then turn the pebbles into angry koalas” plan (another Arrow classic). So far I think we’ve avoided executing any plans that are quite that ridiculous . . . though we did technically attack a demon with a jukebox.

    To be fair to the thrower of that knife, the Acanthus tweaked fate so that she’d be the one to take the damage rather than the unconscious KIDNAPPED Hunter. This is why Supernatural-Hunter relations suck so much, you know? Because the supernaturals go “Oh, they’re hunters! They’re evil!” and slaughter them. This is NOT an approach to the situation that will result in a positive outcome! Most Hunters are just trying to save their friends, family, and neighbors from the nasty things that go bump in the night—the things that the Mages and Werewolves are usually trying to deal with as well.

    Note to self: Be wary of booby traps in the future.

    I also play a Hunter in a mixed WoD campaign. . . I don’t recommend that unless you have infinite patience and a very high initiative/combat roll. First off, you’re affected by Disquiet and Lunacy, you cause Disbelief, oh, and there’s always a new supernatural trick that your comrades are going to pull out of nowhere and leave you going “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” And when the answer is “Because I could!” it’s never comforting.

  2. Platypus Whirlwind (I believe originally a Jim idea) has yet to happen because I need someone with Forces to help me out. “Pebbles to Koalas” and “Stone to Rabid Wombat” ARE plans I have brought up on a number of occasions but that I have yet to use.

    The PvP was also partially my fault for deciding to put the angered werewolf to sleep before he could kill the hunter, which lead to him waking up even more angry, and trying to kill the hunter anyway. Though I considering that one of my shining moments, what with my “rousing” speech about the virtues of not killing a defenseless, unconscious mortal man.

    Arrow may possibly be insane but he is not a killer and (so far) has shied away from the horribly vulgar spells unlike some people… 😛

  3. It really doesn’t amaze me how quickly “Platypus Whirlwind” was attributed to Arrow. He says he has shied away from the horribly vulgar spells, but I’m fairly certain he is the only member of his cabal to have turned a cleaning implement into a living being. A mindless living being (it was, after all, a toilet brush), but living nonetheless… at least until the Paradox wore off.

    Now having a Hunter as a PC in the game… I’m starting to like this idea. Think of all the extra Paradox dice I could milk that for? The disbelief!! Yes… I have to give this idea some thought…

  4. Do I get cookies for helping?

  5. The cake is — and will be — a lie.

    • Except you kept bringing cake to save us from the other half of “Cake or death.” So the cake being a lie is a paradox.

      And the GM likes paradox because it causes death.

      But if there’s death then there’s no cake.

      But if there’s no cake then the cake being a lie isn’t a paradox.

      And if there’s no paradox there’s no death, indicating that there is, indeed, cake to make the GM happy at the lack of paradox, which would normally make her happy.

      It’s simple logic, really. I think. Maybe. Or not.

      • You have presented the following logical argument:

        If Cake, Then No Death
        Cake
        No Death

        In the above model, if there is cake, then it is guaranteed that there will be no death.

        Sadly for you, there is a fallacy in your opening statement.

        The proper statement is as follows:

        If No Cake, Then Death
        No Cake
        Death

        In this corrected model if there is no cake then death is certain. The presence of cake however guarantees nothing.

        I hope this clears things up!

      • Re Caitlin’s comments:

        Except that I am no longer bringing cake…

        …therefore the cake is a lie

        …the cake will be a lie

        …hence my original comments

        ..and therefore, no cake-induced paradox

        However, MageMistress commented before I was able to, so in regard to her comments — oh well, it was only a matter of time anyway…

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