Edo Jidai Hunter Compacts and Conspiracies for Dark Eras

Hunter: The Vigil, Open Development

Hey all,

I’m currently wrapping up the Edo Period for Dark Eras. First off, I just want to say holy shit, I could easily write an entire book on this topic. Getting a coherent, rich setting into that word count was super difficult. But I think we managed pretty damned well.

I have about a week before I get in the final drafts to turn in, so I figured I’d share some stuff, get a comment here or there, and maybe polish a thing or two.

The thing is, Hunter… is hard to do in:

a) A time period where pretty much none of the core book Compacts existed.

b) In a region where almost none of the core book Conspiracies could exist.

So we had to offer a bunch of them, in order to give player choice. Fortunately, I’m of a mind that things like Compacts and Conspiracies are a great, word count dense way to offer a lot of implied setting, and give readers the tools to really dig in and make their own world. These had to be super tight, but I think we’ve got some great foundation that’ll make people want to read more on these topics.

We also added a tiny bit to add some core book Conspiracies, if you’re so inclined. There’s a small handful of Aegis Kai Doru and Ascending Ones in Japan at this time, and one or two Lucifuge and Malleus Maleficarum. I figured that pushed the boundaries a little for western influence in the period, but it’s an easy way to expand play opportunities with just a few words. When you’re working with such small space, you’ve got to finagle what you can.

Also, because of fan requests, we added one more from the last time I discussed this. Before, we had:

Ama-San: Pearl divers who battle ickiness in the deeps.

Bijin: Entertainers, artisans, performers who ferret out monsters preying on their audiences.

Gimu: Samurai trying to root out corruption in the courts, while remaining unnoticed.

Hototogisu: A mercantile network who steals supernatural powers from monsters.

Otodo: Oni-blooded hunters who seek to find a balance in the world.

I previously shared the Otodo, because they have the biggest Endowment of the groups. I took some of the commentary to heart, and made some tweaks and revisions. They’re included in this document. But, across the various feeds, the most common request was for a group of Miko. I personally think Miko are awesome. So, I found space to add one.

The Azusa-Miko: A group of maidens, banished from their temples, wielding and playing sacred bows to deal with and fight back the other world.

I think we’ve given players at LEAST a chronicle’s worth of content here. Here’s the draft version. Don’t mind the formatting; there’s some weird stuff, like sidebars bleed into text sometimes, and that flows weird. Also, don’t mind things like typos; this hasn’t been through an editor yet. I’m curious how they feel, and if there’s any minor stuff you want touched on. I’m working on limited time here, so I can’t do any massive rewrites. This is second draft material, not first. But, if there’s something that doesn’t make sense, feel free to let me know. I’ll start a forum thread for it here.

Here’s the draft.

  24 comments for “Edo Jidai Hunter Compacts and Conspiracies for Dark Eras

  1. August 12, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I’ll be honest: I skimmed the document to get the gist of it instead of digging for details. I’m definitely interested in seeing the rest of the setting.

    I like the Ama-san and Gimu. The Otodo are intriguing but beg the question: why NOT just make them Lucifuge that have assimilated into the local culture? I can understand new Compacts as they tend to be localized but Conspiracies are world-wide. From a word-count and setting perspective, wouldn’t it be easier to use existing groups and detail the “local color” rather than create new ones from whole cloth? There’s plenty of material already and each troupe could determine how deeply the local customs have impacted them based on the needs of their chronicles.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

    • David A Hill Jr
      August 13, 2015 at 12:23 am

      The Otodo open up more avenues to ask questions at your table. This is doubly important when the existing groups are so heavily Eurocentric.

      The Lucifuge, descending from an Abrahamic nemesis figure, would make exactly zero sense in most of the world, unless you’re willing to say that Abrahamic faiths are objectively true, and somehow spread in in the supernatural world more than they did in the mundane world. That’s not a direction I’m interested in taking.

      • August 13, 2015 at 1:08 am

        If I understood you correctly, that makes perfect sense. A (I believe) Shinto-influenced Compact would be more appropriate for the time period and locale.

        I saw stereotypes of the other Hunter groups in the draft but no views on the various supernatural groups the troupe is (presumably) going to be hunting. Was that on purpose?

        While writing this response I just went back and found the sidebar on the Lucifuge (I did warn you I only skimmed it earlier *is now mortified*).

        • David A Hill Jr
          August 13, 2015 at 3:01 am

          No worries.

          We’re leaving monster types a little open; we address specific aspects of the period and the area in the rest of the section, and that talks about some of the various supernatural threats here and there. There’s no “vampire hunter” group; we only gave nominal attention to preferred prey. It’s a very dense place, with tons of threats. You’d be remiss to focus too heavily on one of them.

    • Nathan Henderson
      August 13, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      It’s important to remember that the Lucifuge are a special case compared to most Hunter orgs – their atypical state of being that is the root of their Endowments exists without the organization. The organization just recruits families and individuals with this trait. At my own table, I’m inclined to say that IN THE PRESENT DAY the Otomodo have been officially recruited in the Lucifuge fold – but everyone understands that this is a formality, they don’t take orders from Milan.

  2. Mr. Paint
    August 14, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Might be a little late to ask, but any plans to include the Kakure (Japanese Crypto-Christians). As a persecuted minority (the shogunate made serious attempts to exterminate them) any monster problems they have would have to be handled “in-house” with minimal reliance on outside authority.

    • David A Hill Jr
      August 14, 2015 at 3:46 am

      I actually planned to include them. But, in writing, I quickly realised I couldn’t do them justice without:

      a) Taking up too much space in an already short section.

      b) Giving disproportionate attention to Western thinking.

      • Nathan Henderson
        August 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

        It would be pretty easy to whip as a “community defender” Compact for the Kakure at a table. I wouldn’t go Malleus with them, as their’s wouldn’t be a crusade against the darkness in the world, but rather they’re just trying to survive predation.

        • David A Hill Jr
          August 14, 2015 at 10:58 am

          Definitely. Particularly since the Kakure weren’t Catholic, and they heavily blended their Christian faith with local Buddhist and Shinto traditions. It was very much its own thing, very interesting, and definitely something worth looking into for a Compact.

          • August 14, 2015 at 11:47 am

            Is it something you can fit in a sidebar?

            Just a short description and some encouragement to look into it more would probably be enough, especially since there seems to be interest in it already. I’d never heard of them but it sounds like they could be an interesting group to work into stories.

      • Mr. Paint
        August 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        Might we see them in a future iteration of Dark Eras?

  3. Lance
    August 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    So I actually recently just picked up VtR2 and am now at the section regarding different international domains, and in the Tokyo section they mention the Hotogisu as being still active in modern times.

    However reading through the entry, while their basic structure is still that of a conglomeration of human businessmen that take a stand towards vampires…that said, that entry seems to imply that the Hotogisu was first formed after WWII and not during the Edo period. And also makes no reference at all to the Edo Hotogisu’s abilities of stealing other supernaturals’ powers.

    Uhm…a flub, or something that will be addressed in the Dark Eras chapter that hasn’t been shared yet?

    • David A Hill Jr
      August 14, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      It’s totally intentional.

      I’m not making an explicit statement about the connection at this time. But let’s see if we get further material for Tokyo where I can flesh that out.

  4. Tristan
    August 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Sounds neat – but the Azusa-Miko playing their bows sounds like the character Mo in Charles Stross’ “Laundry Files” series. Homage? Or did you guys all get the idea from some historical precedent?

  5. Tristan
    August 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Actually, scratch that; I did some research, and see that they Azusa-Miko are based on Japanese traditions [sort of], and so I guess the resemblance is coincidence possibly inspired by the same thing!

    • David A Hill Jr
      August 14, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Possibly shared inspiration. I’m unfamiliar with Laundry Files, outside of knowing that there’s apparently a really good RPG based on it.

  6. Menace
    August 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Someone at Onyx Path seems to like Japan. I get the impresion it comes up quite a lot in WoD books.

    • Meles Badger
      August 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      iirc, David Hill actually lives in Japan
      so… it could explain a lot (and I’m really happy to read inspiration for Japan very far from the typical western otaku point of view, in fact)

      • David A Hill Jr
        August 14, 2015 at 11:37 pm

        I live here. Filamena Young lives here. I’ve hired a couple of others that live here from time to time.

        It’s actually a sort of experiment I started, to keep things fun for me.

        When we were doing cities for VtR2, I wanted to do Tokyo, because I’m very familiar with it, and I wanted some non-Western cities. Then, I had the idea to do something way different than the traditional Requiem city.

        Once I was hired for Forsaken 2e and Mage 2e, I just decided to make it a sort of meta-project. We probably won’t get to do another proper “city book”, because they don’t sell very well, and we’re really busy updating the game lines to 2e and considering essential supplements.

        So now, Tokyo is basically going to be a mini-supplement that’s spread across a ton of books in modular fashion, that are pretty friendly to crossover interaction. In my own little way, I’m making it World of Darkness Second Edition’s unofficial “signature city” like Chicago in 1e.

  7. B
    August 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I think it should make a difference when Otodo assume demon form whether they become blue or red oni.

    • David A Hill Jr
      August 14, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      That’s not a bad idea. I don’t know that I want to devote space to it. But, it’s totally something I’d have players flesh out at the table.

      • B
        August 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm

        So not a mechanical thing, then?

  8. Sean
    August 14, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Last time around, I remember the Bijin being described as male courtesans. Here, they are described as entertainers and artists. Has there been a change in their focus as a compact, or are these descriptions mutually compatible? I know geisha were trained in a variety of arts, was it the same thing with bijin?

    • David A Hill Jr
      August 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Mutually compatible. In the specific period, male kabuki performers and the like were also sex workers. We opened the genders because as I spoke to a couple of local history experts, they explained to me that the culture was deeply blended, so a Compact that would have come up in those circles probably would have been all-inclusive. It’s less about a specific profession, more about a “sub-caste” of entertainers. That was largely indistinguishable from sex work.

Comments are closed.