March 15, 2011

Hunter: the vigil

I am planning on running a Hunter game within the next few months. Once the Ravenloft game is finished with of course. It is going well and I hope it continues but I am planning for the inevitable and I want to jump in while there is a gap in everyones roleplay sessions. Everyone wants me to run Gamma World to I would prefer Hunter. Gamma World is fine but I can't easily tell a story in that game. I am struggling a little with what story exactly I want to tell even with Hunter and therefore how to tell it is really causing me some problems. I would like a slow exposure to the World of Darkness background to the players for sure. Only one of my players is familiar with the game, though he is very familiar. I will probably ask him to play some form of occultist to explain how come he has that much knowledge. The rest don't have a clue so this means I can easily use what I want. I would like the horror part of the game to be high and to have a lot of tension.

This then easily leads into an overall but limited arc. Something has happened, a process has started. If the players don't stop the process something worse happens. So immediately they are on a time scale. They will not know exactly what is about to happen but they know when it will happen. Lets just say when the Moon is next full. So within twenty eight days they need to define and accomplish their goals. The next thing is the horror. This can come in many forms and it will serve to heighten the tension. Shock is one form but an insidious atmosphere of horror generally serves best. To create this one needs to give the players something very familar and friendly and then slowly change it to the unfamiliar and unfriendly. So their hometown should at first be a perfect society and then over the progress of the campaign it becomes something else entirely. The woods on the north of the town where the players enjoyed picnics with their families is revealed as a nest of Werewolves. The sewers hide Vampires while a coven of Witches are the caretakers at the homeless shelter. Defining these themes will take a while but will be worth it in the end.

One of the things I really want to include are Ghouls. I am not sure how to do this but as they are my favourite of all horror monsters I should be able to find a place. The local mortuary/crematorium/graveyard should be a fine setting. Though what role should they play? Well as in the Hunter rulebook Ghouls or at least a form of them are described. For me they will be the introductory horror. The first experience that the characters will have with the otherside. In some way the ghouls will effect the lives of everyone in the group bringing them together and providing an initial motivation. Thankfully some research from the link above has turned up a lot of useful information on the creature including the fact that a star is named after it, Algol. Even better this star has an occult tradition from the middle ages. Thats a lot of fuel for my inspiration.

For instance having Algol and its stronger influence when within 6° of a planet being the event that the players need to race against instantly gives something to work with. It is also a Behenian Star meaning that it was used in the creation of talismans and is associated with diamonds and black hellebore. The latter is a well known poison. Even better than this is the fact it is associated with the summoning on daemons! What better associations can you get for a World of Darkness game?

Further Campaign Thoughts:
The Ghouls
The Cemetery
The Witches

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