Corebook Outline & Kick-Off [Hunter: The Vigil]

Hunter: The Vigil, Open Development

Hunter: The Vigil logo

Hello Hunter: The Vigil fans! I’m happy to present the outline for the Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition corebook. I kicked off the project with a team of writers, and we are working on first drafts. This is the high level overview, and I’ll be able to share with you more specific information at a later date. Right now, I want to remain focused on knocking out a killer round of first drafts.

Before I get to the outline, I wanted to drop in a few words of wisdom for those of you who’d like to work on this line in the future. My goal is to continue hiring new-to-Onyx Path writers for every book, but I will be placing preference on submissions that clearly indicate a working knowledge of the Chronicles of Darkness setting and rule set going forward. For supplements, this means I will assume that you have read the upcoming corebook as well. If your existing submission doesn’t fit that requirement, I encourage you to withdraw and resubmit.

Okay! With that administrivia in mind, here’s how I’ve proposed the chapter-by-chapter breakdown:

Fiction: We’re presenting the fiction as stand-alone pieces called “case files.” They’ll be highlighting different aspects of the setting, and they’ll precede several chapters in the book. Lots of fresh monsters and locations here!

Introduction: This will be a setting overview, and will include a lexicon for the setting and system.

Chapter 1: For this chapter, we’ll dive deeper into the setting and provide an overview of the tiers, The Code, history of the hunt, and threats & targets. The Code will be a rule designed specifically for hunters, and will help make them distinct. Unlike first edition, The Code will be a part of regular gameplay and presented as such.

Chapter 2: Compacts & Conspiracies: This is a huge section in the book and, as promised, we are representing every compact and conspiracy that has ever been created. For splats, we have six compacts and six conspiracies. Both compacts and conspiracies will get a new, never-before-seen splat. While I’m not ready to announce the new compact just yet, the new conspiracy is called the “Council of Bones”.

Members of the Council of Bones believe that the best way to hunt the supernatural is to “talk” to their dead victims by conducting seances, hiring mediums, using Ouija boards, and similar rites to communicate with ghosts and find out what really happened before they died. Within the conspiracy, the leaders monitor members to ensure they are not communicating with spirits for personal gain. They can, on occasion, also track, identify, and recruit hunters who show promise in this art, and frown on hunters who cross them or break their rules. Spooky!

Additionally, we are freshening up the rules on Endowments and ensuring they are a better fit with second edition rules.

Chapter 3: Character Creation – In addition to the rules for creating your character, this is also is where we’ll expand upon the rules for The Code, introduce hunter-specific Merits, and tease some of the other rules present later on in the book. Edit: Flaws were a typo! Goes to show you how bad of an idea it is to put in a long day and then post a super-important outline.

Chapter 4: Gameplay
– This is another chapter that’s a “must”. Gameplay will be tailored for Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition. We will also be including Tactics which will also be freshened up for second edition.

Chapter 5: Monsters Around The World – Every hunter needs a monster to fight, right? This is where we’ll have your monster-hunting needs covered! Our approach to the monsters is to focus on urban legends around the globe, while remaining true to core monster archetypes (e.g. the vampire, poltergeist, etc.). We will offer NPCs, a section on how to create your own monsters, and a heap of Dread Powers.

Chapter 6: Mysterious Places – Have you ever wondered what would happen if hunters encountered a sentient haunted house? How would they cleanse a supernaturally-charged site? We’re attaching rules to places where hunters fight in exciting and (hopefully) scary ways! More on this as the systems and setting development comes together.

Chapter 7: The Slasher Chronicle – The idea behind the chronicle is that someone (or something) is creating slashers, and because of that hunters all around the world are rallying to fight and contain the very real, very terrifying problem. We will include two splats, one brand new compact and the VASCU conspiracy, to help round out the chronicle. The compact hasn’t been named yet, and I’ll have more on that at a later date.

Chapter 8: Storytelling – In addition to helping Storytellers best run your games, we’re also including a “Creating a Compact” and “Creating a Conspiracy” section to help you create new setting material that’s in line with our rules.

Appendices – We’ll cover customizing gear and building traps, Tilts, and Conditions perfect for hunters. Like some of the other rules, I can’t speak to the nitty gritty until we’ve had a chance to work out the details. I’m looking forward to it, though!

Thanks for being patient, and I’m happy that Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition is officially in first drafts. I anticipate there may be a few minor changes to the outline as the drafts proceed, but first we’ve got a lot of heavy lifting to do. Onwards!

  35 comments for “Corebook Outline & Kick-Off [Hunter: The Vigil]

  1. Anaximander
    January 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Will Philadelphia still be the setting city?

    • January 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Per the outline, we will not have “a” setting city due to the way that this is structured. There are more monsters than ever before, and that’s a big theme for this book.

      Philadelphia will definitely get a nod, and I will be taking inspiration from first edition to ensure that the essence and all of the great work that prior writers and developers have done will be preserved.

      • atamajakki
        January 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm

        Will there be sample cities like the other 2e cores?

        • January 20, 2017 at 10:13 am

          The worldbuilding for this book will be packed with cities, and we are taking an integrated approach to this. More on this later!

  2. Unsilent Majority
    January 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  3. Re_Becca
    January 19, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Will we get regular updates on the development progress?

    • January 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      I will be checking in during milestones as we achieve them on the project. I don’t want to promise anything I have to pull, and that means ensuring that everyone behind-the-scenes is on board.

  4. atamajakki
    January 19, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    “We are representing every compact and conspiracy that has ever been created” and “six Compacts and Conspiracies” are contradictory, no?

    • Bluegrass Geek
      January 20, 2017 at 12:26 am

      “Representing” doesn’t necessarily mean “detailing.” The other C&Cs may just be getting brief mentions.

      • January 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

        This is correct. We are presenting a history of section for both the compacts and conspiracies, and each will get a few paragraphs written up in a separate section. I couldn’t do 30+ splats in the corebook, but I did manage to get 14; 7 for compacts, and 7 for conspiracies total, including the splats for the Slasher Chronicle.

  5. Morgan Long
    January 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Will this be compatible with older Hunter splats, which allow for Demons, Mages and other game-lines to be created as opponents?

    • January 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

      I’m not sure what you mean by that. Hunters hunt all kinds of monsters, and the Dread Powers system allows for that. We will also be providing you with a template to show you how to create your own monsters as well.

      • Chris Shaffer
        January 23, 2017 at 3:06 pm

        I suspect Morgan is asking if the new systems will be compatible with the special mechanics in Witch Finders, Night Stalkers, and Spirit Slayers for representing mages, vampires, and werewolves.

        • January 24, 2017 at 11:09 am

          At this time, we are putting our focus on 2E systems and not on backwards compatibility. We may do that at some point in the future, but it’s not a goal for this book since we have a lot of 2E systems ground to cover for the core.

  6. Atavist
    January 20, 2017 at 12:30 am

    I like the idea behind the Council of Bones. But I wonder why the compact’s name was held back. The name ‘Council of Bones’ seems a little too blandly to the point compared to the other conspiracies. Like they’re not really hiding, perhaps.

    I like the sound of the case file fiction. It seems like how the Horror Recognition Guide was done, and that was a fantastic Hunter book.

    • January 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Both of the new compacts’ names were held back because they are in development, and we have not formalized their names yet. No “conspiracy” there!

      • Atavist
        January 20, 2017 at 11:34 am

        I was thinking it was because it would be revealing. Like telling for Deviant or something, or some new idea that you don’t want to be spoiled.

        Thanks though!

  7. Bluegrass Geek
    January 20, 2017 at 12:43 am

    Interesting to see that VASCU is being moved into the Slasher Chronicle part of the game. Is that to make them an NPC group, or just for emphasis (“these guys REALLY hate Slashers”)?

    Also, any hint on what’s to become of the Ashwood Abbey? I know there was previous talk of them either being reformed or replaced, but never heard an announcement.

    • January 20, 2017 at 9:26 am

      I decided to enhance the Slasher Chronicle by providing a compact and conspiracy for players. VASCU was a natural choice for the conspiracy and, combined with the new compact, that will allow us to dig deep and highlight how the tiers are dealing with the uptick in slashers. They are not for NPCs.

      • Bluegrass Geek
        January 24, 2017 at 2:32 am

        Ah, good to know. Thanks for clarifying!

    • January 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

      In terms of which compacts and conspiracies are going in the book, I will reveal the specifics in a later open development post. I weighed a lot of considerations, both from OpenDev and conversations I monitored during the Dark Eras Kickstarter, and I aimed for a happy medium. The vast majority of the material does come from the corebook; I look at second edition as an enhancement as opposed to reinventing the great work that came before. Thanks!

      • SunlessNick
        January 20, 2017 at 10:10 am

        I was about to ask how many of the splats would be new ones, but I guess that’s my answer.

        I’m interested to see what the anti-slasher compact is. Though what I’m hoping for is something formed out of frequently victimised and disregarded populations like the homeless or sex workers – or maybe people who work with them, like social workers or counsellors – that seems like a good counterpart to the law enforcement conspiracy.

  8. Nicias
    January 20, 2017 at 12:46 am

    YOU LITERALLY PUT THIS UP ON MY BIRTHDAY THANK YOU SO MUCH

    • January 20, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Happy birthday! Wa-hoo!

  9. Daigotsu Max
    January 20, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Merits and… Flaws? Haven’t seen any Flaws in CoD, is this new? Or a WoD slip? 😉

    • January 20, 2017 at 9:28 am

      This was a “I put in a twelve hour day and was so excited I made a mistake and added a typo.”

      Or, in other words, a typical Thursday for me. Thanks for the catch!

      • Daigotsu Max
        January 20, 2017 at 10:00 am

        No problem 🙂 thanks for your hard work on the game!

  10. Juhn
    January 20, 2017 at 10:32 am

    “Chapter 5: Monsters Around The World – Every hunter needs a monster to fight, right? This is where we’ll have your monster-hunting needs covered! Our approach to the monsters is to focus on urban legends around the globe, while remaining true to core monster archetypes (e.g. the vampire, poltergeist, etc.). We will offer NPCs, a section on how to create your own monsters, and a heap of Dread Powers.”

    I really like this direction. One of my favourite things about mortals games (and Hunter games) is being able to throw weird gribblies at the players without having to tie it to or explain it through the setting or metaphysics of a preexisting gameline, so it’s got me excited to see a deliberate focus in that direction.

  11. SunlessNick
    January 20, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Do chapters five and/or six include cities around the world the way the other 2nd ed books do?

    • January 20, 2017 at 10:55 am

      See above: we are taking an integrated approach to the worldbuilding. HTV2E will be a little different, and this is very exciting for us! Loads of setting to explore!

      • SunlessNick
        January 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

        Cool, thanks.

  12. The Sword Emperor
    January 23, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Poltergeists? Does this mean you intend to represent ghosts as Monsters with Dread Powers, instead of Ephemeral Entities? That would be neat

    • January 24, 2017 at 11:10 am

      We are exploring this, since many urban legends are essentially poltergeists. Nothing has been confirmed yet, though.

  13. Malus
    January 24, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Will Endowments still be just a special category of merits, or will they use a pricing system closer to other supernatural powers?

    Th last edition really had very poor balance in that regard, with some conspiracies purchasing every Endowment as a separate and often expensive merit, while others (Malleus Malleficarum and Lucifuge) got a leveled merit that provided a new and often very respectable power for each dot.

    I also hope the system for designing one’s own powers, the previous edition suffered from the self designed Endowments just being overpriced and subpar compared to the written ones.

    • January 24, 2017 at 11:11 am

      We are not ready to announce the specifics of the redesign of Endowments. They are being reworked, however, and our goal is to ensure it’s a good fit for Hunter and for the 2nd Edition systems prominent in Chronicles of Darkness.

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