Hunter: The Reckoning
Hunter: The Reckoning is a Storyteller game focused on the lives of mortal hunters given extraordinary power by mysterious benefactors. The "bliss of ignorance" has been taken from them and the existence of supernatural manipulation of humanity cannot be ignored. However, the hunter cannot simply reveal this knowledge to mundane authorities since they will be branded as unstable and insane. Supernatural forces control many human media, law enforcement, and government agencies; any attempt to reveal the existence of these forces would result in the supernatural manipulators using those connections to paint the Imbued as crazy and dangerous, and to dispose of Imbued who snoop in their affairs and try to impede their control.
Hunters wage a desperate, clandestine war against the inhuman, ageless forces that manipulate mankind. They see their task as taking back the night from bloodsuckers, ravaging beasts, vengeful spirits and manipulative sorcerers. The Imbued must face mankind's worst fears made real in the most deadly game of the hunt in order to fulfill the task they have set before them to "Inherit the Earth".
The Hunter: The Reckoning storyline, along with those of Demon: The Fallen, Changeling: The Dreaming, Kindred of the East and Mummy: The Resurrection, was ended in the WOD: Time of Judgment supplement as White Wolf stopped its Classic World of Darkness line. As a minor product line, it received comparatively little attention in the whole Time of Judgment setting, which left some of the series' fans unsatisfied.
Introduced as the core game for the Year of the Reckoning (1999).
Hunter deals primarily with mortals that have received an Imbuing from the Messengers, who are also commonly referred to as the Heralds. The mortals, known as the Imbued, are granted minor powers, such as the Second Sight, which allows them to succeed in their struggle against The Enemy, which seems to have a grasp into every crevice of mortal society.
Hunter is totally opposite to the idea of the World of Darkness as seen on the other core games. This one is about the battle of the humans, chosen by the Heralds (or Messengers) against the forces of the darkness. That battle is a desperate struggle against the world dominated by the vampires, the reality shattered by mages, the lone places predated by werewolves and the other monsters (phantoms, zombies, demons).
The difference came from the type of players that Hunter showed to the World of Darkness: not super priests or mega scholars as seen in the Inquisition or the Arcanum, only normal people called to arms by a supernatural force, to take back their world. As this new warriors came to earth, wielding the very power of their conviction, the other factions of the supernatural creatures, ignoring their new challengers, continued in their affairs, but looking on them as rarities or simply "strange beings".
The game requires from the players a totally new attitude: a hunter knows that the world is touched by evil, but they don't know how deep the rot has spread.
The Imbued are relatively new to the World of Darkness and, unlike Kindred or Garou, have little in the way of a coherent society of Hunters. The closest thing to a social organization for hunters is "Hunter-Net," described later. Although Hunters are generally unaware of the labels, a hunter is defined by their Creed. Additionally, Creeds are grouped by a primary Virtue that engenders the Creeds.
Virtues & Creeds
The ways of hunters differ radically according to the personality and the type of imbued. They develop a strong tendency of how to deal with monsters and how to protect humanity. This leads to three main virtues a hunter may follow in an active, an assessing and a passive way.
Those hunters that tend to show compassion towards and attempt to reconcile with the supernatural forces of the world follow one of the Mercy Creeds. The Mercy Creeds are:
- Martyrs: Those who sacrifice their all for their cause.
- Redeemers: Those who wish to bring the monsters back into the light.
- Innocents: Those who refuse to prejudge the supernatural.
Those hunters that are unforgiving and dogmatic in their belief that humanity is meant to "Inherit the Earth" and that supernatural forces are arrayed against this manifest destiny of mankind, tend to be one of the Zeal Creeds. The tendency of these hunters to be warriors/soldiers among a group of hunters gives these Creeds the stereotype as brute "zombie-killers." These hunters do the dirty work out of a passion few humans may understand.
- Avengers: Those who seek revenge for the harm done by creatures of the night.
- Judges: Those who mete out punishment based on how monstrous the creatures have acted.
- Defenders: Those who protect the victims.
Understanding and information gathering are the primary gifts of these creeds. Originally charged to lead the Imbued in their war against the unnatural powers of the world, the Visionary Creeds consist of one viable Creed and two "Lost Creeds." In theory, these "Lost Creeds" consist of people who were granted too much insight for the mortal mind to handle and have ended up deranged due to this Calling. However, there is some implication throughout the different source books that these "Lost Creeds", specifically Waywards, ended up precisely how the Messengers wanted them.
- Visionaries: Those who seek to understand the greater meaning behind the imbuing and the existence of the supernatural.
- Waywards: Lost Creed. "Failed" Imbued who have gone violently psychotic. They should have been the strategists and tacticians of the Imbued. Because of their violent psychosis, they often see only the need to destroy the enemy, and are known to cause large amounts of collateral damage in the completion of their mission.
- Hermits: Lost Creed. "Failed" Imbued who receive psychic static near other Hunters and supernaturals. They should have been the intelligence gatherers for the Imbued, receiving information directly from the Messengers.
What initially started as a simple internet chat room eventually became the premiere gathering place and supernatural information storehouse for Imbued on the internet. Hunters and bystanders communicate via email or chat on the internet. The site's creator a hunter who calls himself Witness1 was eventually granted supernatural assistance in protecting the site from outside intrusion. To date only a few supernaturals have ever located hunter-net and those few who were able to bypass the security were seemingly "directed" to the site by a power similar in description to the messengers. Two supernatural beings have made their way onto the site and identified themselves, "Ishmail" purportedly a Keui-jin and the notorious Carpenter169, a Risen that has appeared in the Hunter videogame series.
At the time of Hunter's release White Wolf also placed a link to a new site Anonymous-liberty.com on their home page. It appeared to be a political group with slightly libertarian leanings. The cover site is mentioned in some of the opening stories including the one at the front of the Hunter core book. After completing a short survey with vague questions about supernatural occurrences the user is sent an invitation to join the hunter mailing list on Hunter-net.org. It is never stated explicitly but some supernatural guidance must have been used to screen out non-Imbued. After joining the hunter would take a screen name. Generally one takes a word to describe oneself and then a number signifying what order they joined is assigned. - by this Doctor119 is a hunter who has decided to describe himself as a doctor and is the 119th person to join.
The security of the site was always in question as none of the posters could know for sure that their information would not fall into the hands of vengeful supernaturals or worse, vengeful fellow hunters. At one point the security broke and Witness1 the originator of the site was locked out. Internecine fighting between various hunters broke out and the list all but shut down. After several months Witness1 regained control of the list and security was reestablished.
- Merits/Flaws. Hunter: the Reckoning merits and flaws.
- Characters. A flurry of NPCs to interact with and get inspiration from.
- Antagonists. Enemies of Hunter: the Reckoning characters.
- Hunter-Net. The primary social mechanic of Imbued world-wide.
- House Rules. Share your own rules that work so well.
- Locations. Cities and places relevant to Hunter: the Reckoning.
- Storyteller Advice. Advise your fellow STs about running a game.
- Plots. Plot ideas, campaigns and subplots about Hunter: the Reckoning games.
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