Hunter: The Vigil
cover of Hunter the Vigil
|Designer(s)||Chuck Wendig, Travis Stout, Matt McFarland, Jess Hartley, Wood Ingham, Stew Wilson, Rick Chillot, Russell Bailey, Mike Lee, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Martin Henley, Alex Greene, Justin Achilli, Rich Thomas|
|Publisher(s)||White Wolf, Inc.|
|Publication date||August 2008|
Hunter: The Vigil is a game line from White Wolf, announced on January 2, 2008, and released on August 14, 2008, when the sponsors for the second Free RPG Day were announced. It is the sixth game line to be part of the World of Darkness and the spiritual successor of Hunter: The Reckoning from the old World of Darkness setting. Like Promethean: The Created and Changeling: The Lost, Hunter: The Vigil is a limited game line, consisting of a core setting book and several supplements. A board game is also planned.
The first hints of the new game line came in the Changeling: The Lost core book. At the back of the book was a word search, and after finding all the words and removing several Xs, all that was left was a cryptic message: thehuntersarrivetwothousandeight.
Hunters operate socially, in collectives and groups of various sizes. The smallest organizational unit in which hunters operate is the cell. Cells operate independently of one another, frequently without even being aware of the existence of other cells in the region. Individual cells make up for their lack of firepower with flexibility and local knowledge.
Characters affiliations are categorized into 3 tiers:
- First-tier Characters (individuals who for various reasons do not affiliate with any organization other than their Cell)
- Second-tier Characters (individuals who belong to Compacts, small and loosely connected organizations)
- Third-tier Characters (individuals who belong to Conspiracies, large global groups that command greater power and resources)
Cells occasionally discover one another and band together for strength and mutual support. When multiple cells get together in a region, the organization often acquires an independent identity, a group structure known as a compact.
Frequently, a compact forms out of a sense of cultural identity or shared purpose: The Long Night, for instance, comprises mostly fundamentalist Christians, whereas the compact known as Null Mysteriis draws its membership from the ranks of scientists and medical personnel who have been exposed to supernatural phenomena, and seek to strip it of all the superstitious hocus pocus surrounding it to find rational explanations for the irrational wherever possible.
Compacts can extend their reach to encompass large geographical regions, and even become global in scope through the medium of the internet if the compacts are particularly net savvy. Compacts sacrifice some of their flexibility for backup from other cells within the compact.
Compacts examples from Core Book:
- The Long Night – Christian hunters trying to destroy monsters to facilitate the second coming of Christ.
- Null Mysteriis – A group that seeks to scientifically study the paranormal.
- Network Zero – A group trying to expose the supernatural world to the public via the use of media sites.
- The Union – Consists of regular folks mostly trying to protect their neighborhood from oppression of any kind (humans or monsters).
- The Ashwood Abbey – Thrill seekers who want to experience everything involving the supernatural from the most benign to the most psychotic (torture, mutilation, and worse).
- The Loyalists of Thule – Guilt-driven knowledge seekers who use what they learn to help the world after their assistance in creating the Nazi Party.
Sometimes, a compact becomes something else: a truly global organization, with access to Endowments - powerful devices or other powers whose use blurs the line between the hunters and their prey. Conspiracies sacrifice flexibility for access to serious backup and firepower, including their Endowments. Some conspiracies date back thousands of years; others are relatively modern.
Conspiracies examples from Core Book:
- Task Force: VALKYRIE ("The Men in Black") – Founded after the "real" death of Abraham Lincoln, using high-tech weaponry to protect the public and keep them from knowing things they do not want to know.
- The Lucifuge – Children of Satan, who use their infernal powers to hunt monsters.
- The Cheiron Group – Group of international corporations who experiment on monsters in order to find cures for modern diseases such as cancer and HIV, and attaching parts of monsters to their field agents.
- Aegis Kai Doru (Greek for "Shield & Spear") – Empowered by ancient relics and bound by a vow to destroy both werewolves and mages for an ancient grudge.
- Ascending Ones – Ancient Egyptian cult turned Islamic hunters, they are well known for their use of drugs to help aid their monster hunting.
- Malleus Maleficarum – Secret enforcers of the Catholic Church, based on the heretical book from the Inquisition and specialize in vampire hunting.
With the release of additional sourcebooks for the game line, a greater range of compacts and conspiracies have been revealed.
Compacts from Sourcebooks
- The Barrett Commission - Groups of business and politically minded individuals in high positions of power dedicated to fighting vampiric influence in America, primarily through politics and economics.
- Maiden's Blood Sisterhood - College sorority created to protect colleges and universities from preying vampires.
- Night Watch - Organized vigilantes who protect slums and other urban areas from vampires.
- The Bear Lodge - American hunter group who pursue werewolves and other creatures for pure sport.
- The Talbot Group - American organization founded as a counseling service that aims to rehabilitate werewolves and other supernatural beings to humanity.
- Division Six - Extra-governmental group devoted to eliminating mages and other magic users.
- The Hunt Club - A group of wealthy socialites who partake in hunting normal, non-supernatural human beings for sport.
- The Promethean Brotherhood - Mage hunters who steal temporary supernatural magical abilities.
- Keepers of the Source - A group of protectors who safeguard places of power and protect forbidden knowledge.
- Illuminated Brotherhood - Organization that focuses on the use of drugs for understanding and creating supernatural events.
Conspiracies from the Sourcebooks
- Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit - Department of the FBI that uses psychics to track and capture serial killers and slashers.
- Knights of St. George - A group of so-called knights of England who seek to keep mages and magic users from attracting the attention of beings greater than humanity. Rumored to be responsible for the Tunguska Incident.
- Les Mysteres - Practitioners of Haitian vodou and Louisiana voodoo, the conspiracy hunts werewolves under the belief that they kill the spirits the group communicates with.
Endowments are a new category of Merit, and represent "tools of the trade" that hunters use to hunt monsters in the World of Darkness. While most hunters hunt with "their wits, willpower, and whatever supplies they can gather from the local sporting goods store", others have access to "tools beyond those that ordinary men and women can acquire".
Every Conspiracy has their own type of Endowment which can range from various rituals to special equipment to body modifications. Usually in order to get endowments from a Conspiracy you must have Status with them. Endowments are powerful tools and directly can be used against supernatural opponents at the expense of a multitude of red tape from your organization and character experience. While some Conspiracies are governmental bodies such as Vanguard Serial Crimes Unit and Task Force Valkyrie, it is still frowned upon to fling bolts of energy from your mind or firing off a howitzer sized rail-gun in public.
- Hunter: The Vigil. White Wolf. May 2008. ISBN 978-1-58846-718-8. WW55550.
- Witch Finders. White Wolf. August 2008. ISBN 978-1-58846-722-5. WW55554.
- Bad Night at Blackmoon Farm* (PDF Only) (October 2008)
- Spirit Slayers. White Wolf. February 2009. ISBN 978-1-58846-746-1. WW55557.
- Night Stalkers. White Wolf. March 2009. ISBN 978-1-58846-745-4. WW55556.
- Under the Skin* (PDF Only) (February 2009) inspired by Spirit Slayers
- Spearfinger* (PDF Only) (January 2009) inspired by Witch Finders
- Murder Will Out* (PDF Only) (January 2009) inspired by Slasher
- Blood Drive* (PDF Only) (May 2009) inspired by Night Stalkers
- Horror Recognition Guide. White Wolf. May 2009. ISBN 978-1-58846-355-5. WW55560.
- Compacts and Conspiracies. White Wolf. May 2010. ISBN 978-1-58846-538-2. WW55566.
- Block by Bloody Block. White Wolf. March 2011. ISBN 978-1-58846-533-7. WW25032.
- Collection of Horrors* (PDF Only) 16 guides that can work in conjunction with the Horror Recognition Guide. They were released as individual guides, as packaged bundles or as a weekly subscription
- 1 The Razorkids
- 2 Host of the Clutter
- 3 Frankenstein's Mobster
- 4 Empty Space
- 5 The Man with the Gray Beard
- 6 Meeting the Frostbite Girl
- 7 Getting Her Back
- 8 Body of Evidence
- 9 Caveat Emptor
- 10 No Escape
- 11 Good for the Soul
- 12 Serpent's Tooth
- 13 The Mother of All Wrong Turns
- 14 Mother to Monsters
- 15 Dead to Me
- 16 Mr. Thélème
- Mortal Remains. Onyx Path. May 2014.
- Tooth and Nail. Onyx Path. March 2017.
* Storytelling Adventure System
- "Free RPG Day Initial Sponsors Announced". Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- "Rich's Reveal 2008 (#14)". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- "WOD Next book riddle?". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- "Endowments in Hunter: the Vigil". Retrieved 2008-06-25.