Four Hunters

While the response to my Four Splat poll was a bit underwhelming, I was paying attention to it and will go with a group of four characters from the only game that both got any votes and fit the poll criteria. Changeling: the Lost got a vote also, and is a very cool game, but I did specify oWoD this time around and so it’s disqualified for now. I’ll probably do nChangeling for my next Four Splat post anyway, but for today, oWoD takes priority.

I’ll start this out by saying straight out that I’m not a big fan of Hunter: the Reckoning because I tend to prefer to have my WoD monster hunters to be truly normal humans, maybe with a Numina or two at most, rather than being the low grade Buffy-style Slayer knock offs that I saw Hunters as. I disliked that show, so maybe that tainted my perception of the game unfairly. There are definitely some cool ideas in Hunter, and some good potential. While it’s not quite my cup of herbal tea, I can appreciate it for what it is: a decent game about a few almost normal people dealing with a mad world where the scales of deceit have fallen away from their eyes.

I’ll add, however, the fact that I did enjoy making these and I do hope you’ll enjoy reading about them or possibly even using them as inspiration for characters (PC or NPC) in your own games. I know that, were I to play in a game of Hunter, I could certainly enjoy playing any one of these but especially Stacey and Ted.

Julius Fredericks

accountant

Concept: Tax Accountant
Nature: Analyst
Demeanor: Director
Primary Virtue: Vision
Creed: Visionary
Starting Conviction: 3
Attributes
Strength 2, Dexterity 1, Stamina 3
Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 2
Perception 3, Intelligence 4, Wits 2
Abilities
Talents: Alertness 1, Awareness 1, Empathy 2, Intimidation 1, Leadership 2, Subterfuge 2
Skills: Animal Ken 1, Drive 1, Etiquette 2, Stealth 1
Knowledges: Academics 2, Bureaucracy 3, Computer 1, Finance 4, Law 2, Research 1
Edges: Foresee (Visionary 1), Hide (Innocent 1)
Virtues: Mercy 1, Vision 2
Backgrounds: Allies 1,  Contacts 3, Exposure 1, Influence 2 (business world), Resources 4
Conviction: 3
Willpower: 4
Merits & Flaws: Upright Citizen (2M), Corporate Savvy (3M), Vice: Smoking (1F)
Freebie Points: 6 Backgrounds, 4 Talents, 2 Skills, 4 Knowledges, 1 Willpower, 5 Merits, +1 Flaw

Julius Fredericks had a good and carefully planned but uneventful life until he received his Call: he came from a good middle-class home, got good grades at good middle-class schools and settled safely into a career as an accounting professional, eventually becoming a partner in his own firm. He has a good wife and a good son that plays on a good junior varsity football team. Everything was good. Everything was going according to plan. Taking the long view and playing it safe was paying off.

Something always seemed slightly wrong to him, but he could never put his finger on it. Moving through the worlds of finance as he has, he has often had brief and seemingly innocuous brushes with supernatural things and their minions, but he never had any idea what he’d just shaken hands with or who was the real force behind a firm whose books he was going over. One day, as he was meeting with a potential new client, he glanced down at the businessman’s paperwork and saw the writing of the Heralds: “HE FEEDS UPON THE LIVING.” Nothing has ever been the same since. The world is no longer good, or more accurately he has learned that it never was good to begin with. Julius is holding on to his family, his company and his sanity as he tries to learn more about the hidden truths of the fallen world around him, but the balance required is becoming increasingly precarious. Something’s got to give.

Stacey Rourke

Mom

Concept: Young Widow
Nature: Caregiver
Demeanor: Curmudgeon
Primary Virtue: Mercy
Creed: Redeemer
Starting Conviction: 3
Attributes
Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2
Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 3
Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Abilities
Talents: Alertness 1, Athletics 1, Awareness 3, Empathy 3, Intimidation 1, Intuition 2, Leadership 1, Subterfuge 2
Skills: Animal Ken 1, Crafts 2, Drive 1, Etiquette 2, Firearms 1, Performance 1, Survival 1
Knowledges: Academics 1, Linguistics 1 (Vietnamese), Medicine 2, Science 1
Edges: Bluster (Redeemer 1), Insinuate (Redeemer 2)
Virtues: Mercy 3
Backgrounds: Allies 2, Contacts 1, Destiny 1, Patron 4, Resources 1
Conviction: 3
Willpower: 5
Merits & Flaws: Children (1F), Ward (3F) (these two flaws are related but have different effects. She’s subject to both)
Freebie Points: 5 Wits, 6 Talents, 6 Skills, 2 Knowledges, 4 Backgrounds, 2 Willpower, +4 Flaws

Stacey is the granddaughter of poor refugees that fled the Tet Offensive to find a home in a better land, a land of opportunity and hope. A land of dreams. Two generations later, all of those dreams seemed to have been realized: the girl whose parents and grandparents had spent their own childhood huddling in a one bedroom apartment scraping every penny that they could together to give their family a better life had graduated college with a bachelor’s in psychology and along the way had met and fallen in love with a sweet and well-to-do American fellow student named Henry, then married him straight out of college. She settled down to take care of their home and children as he went on to become a psychiatrist, and their future seemed more or less secure. To make matters even better, she learned that another baby was on the way.

Then the Rot came. It was a young Rot that was was having tremendous difficulty coping mentally with its condition, and it had showed up at Henry’s office after dark but before he was ready to leave. Stacey had agreed to meet him in there then go out on the town, and arrived a few minutes after the Rot did. Henry, not realizing that he was dealing with something much worse than just some schizophrenic, tried to talk it down so that he could arrange for it to be taken in for observation and treatment. Unfortunately, it was hungry too, and lost control. Stacey walked in just as it lunged and sank its fangs into her husband. She grabbed hold and tried to pull it off, pleading for it to stop, and her words reached through its berserk hunger enough for the Rot to drop its prey and flee weeping bloody tears into the night. It was already too late for Henry, and he was dead before the ambulance could arrive.

Her late husband hadn’t been in practice long enough for the family to be financially secure yet, and Stacey was left with considerable debts. His life insurance has helped, but she’s still just scraping by. Her little family had to give up their suburban home and move into a small apartment in town as she has struggled to get steady work and adapt to the challenges of a pregnant widow’s life. Correction: she struggled to adapt to the challenges of a pregnant widow who had been plunged into a secret world filled with supernatural monsters. Stacey couldn’t forget the look on the Rot’s blood-smeared face when it released Henry; it was almost as horrified by what it had done as she was. Clearly, it hadn’t wanted to do monstrous things, and maybe there was some way to understand and rehabilitate the monsters out there so that they could become productive members of society. Stacey means to do exactly that, swearing that her husband’s death won’t have been in vain if others can be spared his fate.

Enrique “Ricky” Hernandez

The construction worker

Concept: Day Laborer
Nature: Traditionalist
Demeanor: Bon Vivant
Primary Virtue: Zeal
Creed: Judge
Starting Conviction: 3
Attributes
Strength 4, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4
Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2
Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Abilities
Talents: Alertness 1, Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Dodge 1, Empathy 1, Intimidation 1, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge 1
Skills: Crafts 2, Demolitions 2, Drive 1, Etiquette 1, Firearms 1, Melee 2, Performance 1, Security, Stealth 1, Survival 1, Technology 1
Knowledges: Bureaucracy 1, Investigation 2, Linguistics 1 (Spanish)
Edges: Discern (Judge 1), Demand (Martyr 1)
Virtues: Mercy 1, Zeal 2
Backgrounds: Allies 3, Contacts 2, Exposure 2, Patron 2, Resources 1
Conviction: 3
Willpower: 3
Merits & Flaws: Illegal Immigrant (3F)
Freebie Points: 5 Strength, 10 Talents, 5 Backgrounds, 4 Skills, +3 Flaws

Ricky spent his early childhood on a farm in rural Mexico, but eventually his family fled that country’s continuous unrest and poverty to come to the States seeking a better life. Unable to secure documentation, they made their way in through the porous border and have been scraping by ever since. Moving in the shadows of the barrios and taking whatever under the table work they could, he and his large family have managed to scrape by for years, under the dread of exposure and deportation. Ricky has done his best to keep his nose clean and to live by honest toil not only because it is the best way to avoid the scrutiny of police and their associated immigration authorities, but also because it is the right thing to do. He yearns to secure a green card and eventually citizenship, but has not yet felt that the opportunity was within his reach.

Living in the shadows of mainstream society, one often sees things that do not wish to be seen and are not easily understood, and so Ricky has more than once had passing and unknowing encounters with the supernatural monstrosities that prey upon the poor and fearful who dare not cry out to the authorities for help. One night as he was walking home, he noticed that a stop sign at the corner had the wrong text on it: “CORRA”. Confused at this, but dismissing it, he kept going and turned down an alleyway as a shortcut. Ricky stumbled right in between a pack of the walking dead and a large, hirsute man towards whom the corpses were shambling menacingly. In moments, Ricky was caught in the middle of a fierce battle between a werewolf and the walking dead. The werewolf ignored him and tore into the walking dead, and Ricky barely escaped with his life by thinking quickly on his feet and using his shovel to plow a way through one of the corpses so that he could run for it. Once he was clear of the swarming cadavers, he resolved to remember not only his brush with death, but the fact that the werewolf had allowed him to escape.

Ted Binder

Mall Ninja

Concept: Mall Ninja
Nature: Dreamer
Demeanor: Bravo
Primary Virtue: Zeal
Creed: Defender
Starting Conviction: 3
Attributes
Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2
Charisma 2, Manipulation 3, Appearance 1
Perception 4 , Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Abilities
Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 1, Awareness 1, Brawl 1, Empathy 3, Intimidation 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 2
Skills: Crafts 1, Demolitions 1, Drive 1, Etiquette 1, Firearms 1, Melee 1,  Security 1, Stealth 1, Survival 1, Technology 1
Knowledges: Bureaucracy 1, Investigation 2, Law 1, Occult 1, Research 1, Science 1
Edges: Ward (Defender 1), Rejuvenate (Defender 2)
Virtues: Zeal 3
Backgrounds: Arsenal 4, Contacts 1, Patron 3, Resources 1
Conviction: 3
Willpower: 3
Merits & Flaws: Firearms License (2M – including concealed carry), Nonswimmer (1F), Medicated (5F – insulin-dependent diabetic)
Freebie Points: 4 Talents, 6 Skills, 6 Knowledges, 5 Intelligence , 4 Backgrounds, 2 Merits, + 6 Flaws

Ted Binder has always known that it is his duty to hold back the ravening hordes at the door. He’s always known that he was destined to be a hero protecting the weak and downtrodden. He tried to join the military, but wasn’t in good enough shape to make it through Basic. Next he tried to go into police work or firefighting but he didn’t have the grades and ended up washing out of college. So he went to the one place that made sense for a man of his obvious drive and need for heroism: working as a security guard at the local mall. He likes to think that he is a masterful urban warrior and protector of the innocent, but the fact of the matter is that he’s an overweight wannabe of the first water. Recently,  the Messengers have brought him to an understanding that he is protecting decent folk not only from thieves and robbers, but from literal monsters as well. The Imbuing has given him a chance to make his imagined heroic self real… or to die alone and unmourned in some dark alley.

Equipment: AR-15 with lots of accessories, extensive hoard of enough firearms and survival equipment to make the ATF rather nervous. Security guard’s uniform and badge. Webgear, fatigues and balaclava. Beaten-up old jeep.

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4 Responses to “Four Hunters”

  1. EgoPoisoning Says:

    As one of the votes for Hunter, I’m pumped that you took the time to work up some doomed folk! The mad mall cop is a very nice touch.

    The system itself did have some problems, and back when I was playing it I applied a few hacks to the system…but it sounds like I went the opposite direction of what you like, since a few of my hacks were designed to make a Hunter of a given Creed feel more special out of the gate, and benefit more powerfully from their primary Virtue (so Defenders boosted their soak, Avengers got a pool they could use to improve their attacks, etc).

    I’ve always loved Hunter because, once you’re sitting on a mound of all the splats (and I found a sale on ebay whereby I picked them all up for like 60 bucks), the intricacy of the clockwork is revealed. Unlike every other WW game I’ve played—including the ones I adore, like Mage—Hunter is built so that the game functions better with each Creed you add to the whole. I can’t imagine running a 9 person, or even 9 character, game…but if you could, you’d have a self-repairing hunting organism. And since players usually DON’T field more than four or five characters, you get to see (and as a Storyteller, pressure) the weak spots in their grouping.

    Since my third-favorite WW property is Exalted, I also appreciated the connections between Hunter and the Solars; tying the weakest and mightiest characters together in that way, and seeing how the Heralds screwed up both times, felt like a reward for sticking with so many WW properties.

    • casewerk Says:

      You’re welcome! I did enjoy this one. Ted was the first one I thought up, actually, and my amusement at and interest in him is what got me going enough to create the rest of them. My first thought was to make him as an Avenger, but as I read the Creeds over it very quickly became obvious that he was much better suited to being a Defender.

      Interestingly (or not!) I found that I much preferred Dark Ages: Inquisitor over Hunter: the Reckoning even though the hunters in that game were a bit more powerful. They were a totally different animal though, since they were a small and elite group rather than random joes off the street. I think that I like my joe hunters more street level and my specialist hunters less street level. I did run a nWoD game about totally mundane protagonists investigating the paranormal (it was straight nWoD, not Hunter: the Vigil), and I had a great deal of fun running that one.

      The ideal group dynamic thing for Hunter was apparent to me from the get-go, but then I do look at game systems from a design angle, and it was clear that Hunters were designed to be an inter meshing group. Werewolf characters were designed to shore one another up too, but that was perhaps a little less obvious because of their base combat ability being much higher and their array of powers being much wider. While the Garou were designed to function as a group, a lone Garou could take care of himself much better than a lone Hunter could.

      I found the connection between Solars and Hunters interesting, but the similarities between oWoD and Exalted fall apart pretty hard and fast as you look a little deeper, and for me at least became pretty unsatisfying, except maybe for the Solars coming back as the Hunters. I really preferred the idea of the Messengers being angels (a la Demon: the Fallen), lending their power to the Hunters over the idea of Hunters being Solar Exalted in a new age.

      I like the setting of Exalted quite a lot, just not as the prehistory of the oWoD. My biggest issue with Exalted is the system. The setting feels to me like it demands a fast, high flying and energetic system instead of the bogged-down mess that it got. I’d get a lot more mileage and enjoyment playing Exalted using a system that actually supports the style of play that the setting speaks to me. If I were to play in the setting, I’d probably use either a FATE/Spirit of the Century variant, Capes, Wushu or octaNe. Heh… come to think of it, those are the same systems I’d want to use if I were to run something in the Rifts setting (oh Palladium Games ruleset, how you make my brain bleed).

      • EgoPoisoning Says:

        When I read “My biggest issue with Exalted is the system…” I immediately thought FATE! It works so well for so many projects.

        When I read Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series, I immediately wanted to put the characters into Exalted roles (since the elements largely line up); but when I saw FATE it fit that setting even better too. Exalts and their charms—especially the subtler ones—seem quite well-suited to an Aspects-based game.

        One of the Hunter splats did provide rules for playing a Hunter who was in deep with the infernals, but I liked the idea that these entities were just picking off unguarded Hunter minds. The thing that made Hunters so compelling to me was that they were this intricate, beautiful, thoroughly broken toy; after all, even if your group managed to represent 7 creeds, good luck getting a Wayward to work with everyone else and then finding and hooking up with a Hermit.

        I also love the mandate to play the Hunters as normal folk and see how they react to their first brush with the supernatural; it was far more compelling to me with that system than WW or V:tM. Mage comes close, but ultimately I think Mage works best if it’s handled one-on-one, whereas Hunter lets you prologue a whole group satisfyingly.

        Glad you had some fun whipping up the characters; maybe do Inquisitor next to wash the taste out of your brain?

      • casewerk Says:

        FATE is made up of so many flavors of awesome. Right now I’m playing in two different FATE variant games, one of my own design (a renaissance clockpunk sorcerous quests-and-intrigue arrangement) and one by a friend that I introduced to the system (Basically Traveler, FATE style).

        As for the infernals thing… I meant that the hunters were empowered by the non-Fallen angels, who the DtF characters were always looking over their shoulder for but not seeing (well… until Time of Judgment of course). But yes, I agree about the beautifully broken toy thing. It’s a nice touch that even insight brought from theoretically/supposedly/allegedly benevolent forces can still be too much for people to deal with and remain sane and functional.

        Prologues for most of the other systems are best run solo, yeah, with one caveat, again related to werewolf. I think werewolf works best with a prelude for each PC, and then a collective Rite of Passage type prologue for the whole pack to emphasize the pack mentality and nature of the characters. I might do some Dark Ages stuff like inquisitor. I don’t know if I’m going to do more of the four splat posts. We’ll see if something jumps at me.

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